Matthew 17:2
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light.

King James Bible
And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

American Standard Version
and he was transfigured before them; and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow.

English Revised Version
and he was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his garments became white as the light.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he was transfigured before them: and his face shone as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

Weymouth New Testament
There in their presence His form underwent a change; His face shone like the sun, and His raiment became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:2 Parallel
Vincent's Word Studies

He was transfigured (μετεμορφώθη)

μετά, denoting change or transfer, and μορφή, form. This latter word denotes the form regarded as the distinctive nature and character of the object, and is distinguished from σχῆμα, the changeable, outward fashion: in a man, for instance, his gestures, clothes, words, acts. The μορφή partakes of the essence of a thing; the σχῆμα is an accident which may change, leaving the form unaffected. Compare Mark 16:12; Christ "appeared in another form" (μορφή), and 1 Corinthians 7:31 : "the fashion (σχῆμα) of the world passeth away." The distinction passes into the verbs compounded with these two nouns. Thus, Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed to this world," is μὴ συσχηματίζεσθε; i.e., be not fashioned according to the fleeting fashion of this world. So Rev., fashioned. See, also, 2 Corinthians 11:13, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 2 Corinthians 11:15, where the changes described are changes in outward semblance. False apostles appeared in the outward fashion of apostles of Christ; Satan takes on the outward appearance of an angel. All these changes are in the accidents of the life, and do not touch its inner, essential quality. On the other hand, a change in the inner life is described as a change of μορθή, never of σχῆμα. Hence, Romans 12:2, "Be ye transformed (μεταμορφοῦσθε); the change taking place by the renewing of the mind. Compare Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:21; and see, further, on Philippians 2:6, Philippians 2:7.

Why, then, it may be asked, is a compound of μορφή employed in this description of the transfigured Saviour, since the change described is a change in his outward appearance? It may be answered, because a compound of σχῆμα, expressing merely a change in the aspect of Christ's person and garments, would not express the deeper truth of the case, which is, that the visible change gets its real character and meaning from that which is essential in our Lord - his divine nature. A fore-shadowing or prophecy of his true form - his distinctive character - comes out in his transfiguration. He passes over into a form identified, so far as revealed, with the divine quality of his being, and prophetic of his revelation "as he is" (1 John 3:2), in the glory which he had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). In truth, there is a deep and pregnant hint in the use of this word, which easily escapes observation, and which defies accurate definition. The profound and overwhelming impression upon the three disciples was due to something besides the shining of Christ's face and garments, and the presence of Moses and Elijah; and was deeper and subtler than the effect of all these combined. There was a fact and a power in that vision which mere radiance and the appearance of the dead patriarchs could not wholly convey: a revelation of Deity breaking out in that glorified face and form, which appealed to something deeper than sense, and confirmed the words from heaven: This is my beloved Son.

The same truth is illustrated in the use of μορφή in Mark 16:12, where it is said that Jesus appeared in a different form (ἐν ἑτέρᾳ μορφῇ) after his resurrection. The accidents of figure, face, pierced hands and feet, were the same; but an indefinable change had passed upon him, the characteristic of which was that it prefigured his passing into the condition peculiar and appropriate to his essential spiritual and divine being.

Matthew 17:2 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Luke 9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good...

Philippians 2:6,7 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God...


his face.

Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Exodus 34:29-35 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand...

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory...

John 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me...

Acts 26:13-15 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun...

Revelation 1:13-17 And in the middle of the seven candlesticks one like to the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot...

Revelation 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was on his head...

Revelation 19:12,13 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself...

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away...


Psalm 104:2 Who cover yourself with light as with a garment: who stretch out the heavens like a curtain:

Mark 9:3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.

Cross References
Exodus 34:29
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.

Song of Solomon 6:10
"Who is this who looks down like the dawn, beautiful as the moon, bright as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?"

Matthew 17:1
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

Matthew 17:3
And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

Revelation 1:16
In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

Revelation 10:1
Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire.

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