Luke 6:43
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
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(43-46) For a good tree bringeth not forth . . .—See Notes on Matthew 7:16-21. Here again, judging by what we find in St. Matthew, there may have been missing links; but even without them the conjunction “for” does not lose its force. The good tree of a Christ-like life cannot bring forth the “corrupt fruit” (better, perhaps, rotten fruit) of censorious judgment; the rotten tree of hypocrisy cannot bring forth the “good fruit “of the power to reform and purify the lives of others. The tree of life (i.e., the wisdom of perfect holiness, comp. Proverbs 3:18; Proverbs 11:30), whose leaves are for the healing of the nations (Revelation 22:2), is of quite another character than that.

Luke 6:43-45. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit, &c. — See notes on Matthew 7:16-20; Matthew 12:33-35. For of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh — The meaning of this whole passage is, as a tree is known to be either good or bad by its fruit, so a man is known to be either good or bad by his words; especially when he speaks of the characters and actions of others, or pretends to rebuke them. On such occasions he will, either by the charitable and mild constructions which he puts upon the doubtful actions of others, show himself to be a good man; or, by his uncharitable and harsh interpretations, demonstrate the wickedness of his own heart.

6:37-49 All these sayings Christ often used; it was easy to apply them. We ought to be very careful when we blame others; for we need allowance ourselves. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit. Though full and exact returns are made in another world, not in this world, yet Providence does what should encourage us in doing good. Those who follow the multitude to do evil, follow in the broad way that leads to destruction. The tree is known by its fruits; may the word of Christ be so grafted in our hearts, that we may be fruitful in every good word and work. And what the mouth commonly speaks, generally agrees with what is most in the heart. Those only make sure work for their souls and eternity, and take the course that will profit in a trying time, who think, speak, and act according to the words of Christ. Those who take pains in religion, found their hope upon Christ, who is the Rock of Ages, and other foundation can no man lay. In death and judgment they are safe, being kept by the power of Christ through faith unto salvation, and they shall never perish.See the notes at Matthew 7:16-18.41-49. (See on [1589]Mt 7:3-5, [1590]Mt 7:16-27.) Ver. 43-45. See Poole on "Matthew 7:16", and following verses to Matthew 7:20. Luke 6:43 and Luke 6:44 are expounded in Luke 6:45. Men and women here (as in other texts of Scripture) are compared to trees, with respect to their root and fruit, and the dependence the fruit hath upon the root and the nature of the tree. The heart of man is made the root, that being the principle of human actions, as the root is the principle to the fruit; for all the overt actions of a man’s life are but the imperate acts of the heart and of the will. Hence it is that a will renewed and sanctified in a man, and made conformable to the will of God, doth not only will and choose the will of God, love it, desire it, and delight in it; but commandeth the tongue to direct its discourses conformable to it, and also commandeth all the members of the body, in their motions and order, to act conformably: and on the contrary, the unrenewed and unsanctified will of man doth not only reject and refuse the will of God, but directeth the tongue to words contrary to the Divine will, and all the members of the body, in their motions and order, to act without any respect to or awe of the will of God.

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit,.... The particle, "for" is left out in the Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; and so it is in Beza's ancient copy: nor do these words stand in close connection with the preceding in Matthew's Gospel, though they may be very well considered as an illustration of them; for as that cannot be called a good tree, which brings forth bad fruit; so such men cannot be accounted good men, let them make ever so large pretensions to such a character, who are very busy in espying, discovering, and censuring the faults of their brethren; when they take no notice of, nor refrain from, nor relinquish their own. These words, with what follow in this, and the next verse, and the similes in them, are used by our Lord in Matthew, on account of false prophets or teachers; where he suggests, that as good and faithful ministers of the Gospel cannot, and do, not bring forth, and publish corrupt notions, and false doctrines, usually and knowingly; even usual, nor can it be, that a good tree should bring forth corrupt fruit; so,

neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit; or men of corrupt minds deliver good and sound doctrine, or the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ: but here they seem to be applicable to other persons, even true believers and hypocrites: the former are comparable to good trees, and are called trees of righteousness, which being planted by the river of the love of God, and rooted in Christ, and filled with the fruits of righteousness by him, do not bring forth the evil fruit of sin, as the common and constant course of their lives and conversations; for that they never commit sin, or are entirely without it, cannot be said; but sin is not their usual and common practice, or they do not live in sin: and the latter, hypocrites, who pretend to a great deal of religion, and have none that is true and real, these are comparable to corrupt trees; which, though they may make a fair show, yet do not bring forth good fruit, or perform works of righteousness which are truly such; what they do have only the appearance of good works, and are not properly so;

See Gill on Matthew 7:16. See Gill on Matthew 7:17. See Gill on Matthew 7:18.

{9} For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

(9) Skill in reprehending others does not make a good man, but rather he that proves his uprightness both in word and deed.

Luke 6:43-44. Comp. Matthew 7:16-18; Matthew 12:33 f. For[105] a man’s own moral disposition is related to his agency upon others, just as is the nature of the trees to their fruits (there is no good tree which produces corrupt fruit, etc.), for (Luke 6:44) in the case of every tree the peculiar fruit is that from which the tree is known.

οὐδὲ πάλιν δένδρον] (see the critical remarks) nor, on the other hand, vice versa, etc. Comp. Xen. Cyrop. ii. 1. 4; Plat. Gorg. p. 482 D, and elsewhere.

[105] Bengel aptly says on this γάρ: “Qui sua trabe laborans alienam festucam petit, est similis arbori malae bonum fructum affectanti.”

Luke 6:43-45. In Mt. these parabolic sayings are connected with a warning against false prophets (Matthew 7:15-19). Here the connection is not obvious, though the thread is probably to be found in the word ὑποκριτά, applied to one who by his censoriousness claims to be saintly, yet in reality is a greater sinner than those he blames. This combination of saint and sinner is declared to be impossible by means of these adages.

Luke 6:43. Γἀρ, for) The force of the for is, He who, whilst suffering under his own beam, yet aims at extracting rather another’s mote, is like a bad tree affecting (aspiring) to bring forth good fruit.—ποιοῦν, producing, bringing forth) A part of the subject.[68]

[68] The Predicate is οὐἐστιν, the Subject is δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verses 43, 44. - For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For a religious teacher ever to work any real work of good, the first requirement is that he should be known as a faithful doer of the thing he advocates. He must be intensely in earnest, and to be in earnest he must be real. This is emphatically what the religious scribes of Israel were not. This portion of the report of the great sermon, at one period of the Church's history possessed a special importance. It was used as one of the foundations of the system of dualism taught in the once widespread Manichaean heresy, which apparently reached its culminating period of popularity in the fifth century. This heretical school taught that there were two original principles - one good, from which good proceeded; one evil, from which evil came; that there were two races of men, having severally their descent from the one and from the other. The Manichaean teachers, while rejecting many of the Christian doctrines, made much of the sermon on the mount, calling it the "Divine discourse," mainly on account of the statement we are here discussing. Yet here, when the words of Jesus are carefully considered, there is no assertion of Manichaean dualism, neither does the Master hint that there is anything irrevocably fixed in men's natures, so that some can never become good, and others never evil, but only that, so long as a man is as an evil tree, he cannot bring forth good fruit; that if he would do good he must first be good (see here Augustine, 'Contra Faust.,' 32:7; and 'De Serm. Dom. in Mon.,' 11. 24; 'Contra Adimant.,' 26, etc., in Archbishop Trench's 'Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount,' pp. 309, 310). For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. This imagery is taken from what is a common sight in Palestine; behind rough hedges of thorn and of the prickly pear, fig-trees are often seen completely covered with the twining tendrils of vine branches. Luke 6:43A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit (οὐ ἐστιν δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν)

Rev., more correctly, there is no good tree that bringeth, etc. Σαπρόν, corrupt, is etymologically akin to σήπω, in James 5:2 : "Your riches are corrupted." The word means rotten, stale.


Rev., nor again. The A. V. omits again (πάλιν, on the other hand).

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