Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
New Living Translation
“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.
English Standard Version
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Berean Standard Bible
And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard.
Berean Literal Bible
And praying, do not use vain repetitions like the pagans, for they think that in their many words they will be heard.
King James Bible
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
New King James Version
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
New American Standard Bible
“And when you are praying, do not use thoughtless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
“And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
“And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
Christian Standard Bible
When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
When you pray, don’t babble like the idolaters, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words.
American Standard Version
And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And whenever you are praying, you shall not be verbose like the heathen, for they think that they are heard by speaking much
Contemporary English Version
When you pray, don't talk on and on as people do who don't know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers.
And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard.
Good News Translation
"When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long.
International Standard Version
"When you are praying, don't say meaningless things like the unbelievers do, because they think they will be heard by being so wordy.
Literal Standard Version
And—praying—you may not use vain repetitions like the nations, for they think that in their speaking much they will be heard,
New American Bible
In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
When you pray, do not babble repetitiously like the Gentiles, because they think that by their many words they will be heard.
New Revised Standard Version
“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.
New Heart English Bible
And in praying, do not use vain repetitions, as the unbelievers do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking.
Weymouth New Testament
"And when praying, do not use needless repetitions as the Gentiles do, for they expect to be listened to because of their multitude of words.
World English Bible
In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking.
Young's Literal Translation
'And -- praying -- ye may not use vain repetitions like the nations, for they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard,
Additional Translations ...
ContextThe Lord's Prayer
…6But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7And when you pray, do not babble on like pagans, for they think that by their many words they will be heard. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.…
1 Kings 18:26
And they took the bull that was given them, prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, shouting, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no sound, and no one answered as they leaped around the altar they had made.
Do not be quick to speak, and do not be hasty in your heart to utter a word before God. After all, God is in heaven and you are on earth. So let your words be few.
Treasury of Scripture
But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
1 Kings 18:26-29 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made…
Ecclesiastes 5:2,3,7 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few…
Acts 19:34 But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
Matthew 26:39,42,44 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt…
1 Kings 8:26-54 And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father…
Daniel 9:18,19 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies…
Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Use not vain repetitions.--The Greek word has a force but feebly rendered in the English. Formed from a word which reproduces the repeated attempts of the stammerer to clothe his thoughts in words, it might be almost rendered, "Do not stutter out your prayers, do not babble them over." The words describe only too faithfully the act of prayer when it becomes mechanical. The devotion of the rosary, in which every bead is connected with a Pater Noster or an Ave Maria, does but reproduce the eighteen prayers of the Rabbis, which they held it to be an act of religion to repeat. On the other hand, it is clear that the law of Christ does not exclude the iteration of intense emotion. That is not a "vain repetition;" and in the great crisis of His human life our Lord Himself prayed thrice "using the same words" (Matthew 26:44). How far our use of the Lord's Prayer, or of the Kyrie Eleison of our Litanies, is open to the charge of "vain repetition" is another question. It is obvious that it may easily become so to any mechanical worshipper of the Pharisaic type; but there is, on the other side, an ever-accumulating weight of evidence from really devout souls, that they have found it helpful in sustaining the emotion without which prayer is dead.
As the heathen do.--We know too little of the details of the ritual of classical heathenism to be able to say how far the charge of vain repetition applied at this time to them. The cries of the worshippers of Baal "from morning even until noon" (1Kings 18:26), the shouts of those of Artemis at Ephesus "for the space of two hours" (Acts 19:34), may be taken as representative instances.
Their much speaking.--This thought was the root-evil of the worship of the heathen or the Pharisee. It gave to prayer a quantitative mechanical force, increased in proportion to the number of prayers offered. If fifty failed, a hundred might succeed. But this assumed that the object of prayer was to change the will of God, or to inform Him of what He did not know before, and our Lord teaches us--as, indeed, all masters of the higher life have taught--that that assumption vitiates prayer at once.Verse 7. - But when ye pray (προσευχόμενοι δέ). The Revised Version, and in praying, shows that our Lord is only continuing the subject, and not turning to a new one, as in vers. 2, 5, 16. But while he has thus far thought of prayer as an external act, he now speaks of the substance of the prayers offered, the δέ indicating a transition to another aspect of the same subject. Use not vain repetitions; "Babble not much" (Tyndale). The word used (μὴβατταλογήσητε) is probably onomatopoeic of stuttering. The Peshito employs here the same root () as for μογιλάλος, Mark 7:32 (). But from the primary sense of stuttering, βατταλογεῖν, naturally passed to that of babbling in senseless repetitions. As the heathen do (οἱ ἐθνεικοί, Gentiles, Revised Version; Matthew 5:47, note). Thinking that the virtue lies in the mere utterance of the words. Even the Jews came perilously near this in their abundant use of synonyms and synonymous expressions in their prayers (cf. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.'). Perhaps it was this fact that assisted the introduction of the reading "hypocrites" in B and the Old Syriac. For they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. In the continuance (ἐν) of their external action lies their hope of being fully heard (εισακουσθήσονται).
Parallel Commentaries ...
Strong's 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.
[when] you pray,
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 4336: To pray, pray for, offer prayer. From pros and euchomai; to pray to God, i.e. Supplicate, worship.
do not babble on
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's 945: To chatter, be long-winded, utter empty words, stammer, repeat. From Battos and logos; to stutter, i.e. to prate tediously.
Strong's 5618: Just as, as, even as. From hos and per; just as, i.e. Exactly like.
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 1482: Pagan, heathen, gentile; subst: a Gentile, non-Jew. From ethnos; national, i.e. a Gentile.
Strong's 1063: For. A primary particle; properly, assigning a reason.
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 1380: A prolonged form of a primary verb, doko dok'-o of the same meaning; to think; by implication, to seem.
Strong's 3754: Neuter of hostis as conjunction; demonstrative, that; causative, because.
Strong's 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 846: He, she, it, they, them, same. From the particle au; the reflexive pronoun self, used of the third person, and of the other persons.
Noun - Dative Feminine Singular
Strong's 4180: Much-speaking, loquacity. From a compound of polus and logos; loquacity, i.e. Prolixity.
they will be heard.
Verb - Future Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 1522: To hear, listen to, heed. From eis and akouo; to listen to.
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NT Gospels: Matthew 6:7 In praying don't use vain repetitions as (Matt. Mat Mt)