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Matthew 6:19-24

Context
Lasting Treasure

6:19 “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth 1  and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 6:20 But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 6:21 For where your 2  treasure 3  is, there your heart will be also.

6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, 4  your whole body will be full of light. 6:23 But if your eye is diseased, 5  your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

6:24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate 6  the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise 7  the other. You cannot serve God and money. 8 

1 tn The term σής (shs) refers to moths in general. It is specifically the larvae of moths that destroy clothing by eating holes in it (L&N 4.49; BDAG 922 s.v.). See Jas 5:2, which mentions “moth-eaten” clothing.

2 tn The pronouns in this verse are singular while the pronouns in vv. 19-20 are plural. The change to singular emphasizes personal responsibility as opposed to corporate responsibility; even if others do not listen, the one who hears Jesus’ commands should obey.

3 sn Seeking heavenly treasure means serving others and honoring God by doing so.

4 tn Or “sound” (so L&N 23.132 and most scholars). A few scholars take this word to mean something like “generous” here (L&N 57.107). partly due to the immediate context concerning money, in which case the “eye” is a metonymy for the entire person (“if you are generous”).

5 tn Or “if your eye is sick” (L&N 23.149).

sn There may be a slight wordplay here, as this term can also mean “evil,” so the figure uses a term that points to the real meaning of being careful as to what one pays attention to or looks at.

6 sn The contrast between hate and love here is rhetorical. The point is that one will choose the favorite if a choice has to be made.

7 tn Or “and treat [the other] with contempt.”

8 tn Grk “God and mammon.”

sn The term money is used to translate mammon, the Aramaic term for wealth or possessions. The point is not that money is inherently evil, but that it is often misused so that it is a means of evil; see 1 Tim 6:6-10, 17-19. God must be first, not money or possessions.



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