New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
King James Bible
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Darby Bible Translation
Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves; be therefore prudent as the serpents, and guileless as the doves.
World English Bible
"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Young's Literal Translation
'Lo, I do send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves, be ye therefore wise as the serpents, and simple as the doves.
Matthew 10:16 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
As sheep in the midst of wolves - That is, I send you, inoffensive and harmless, into a cold, unfriendly, and cruel world. Your innocence will not be a protection.
Be wise as serpents ... - Serpents have always been an emblem of wisdom and cunning, Genesis 3:1. The Egyptians used the serpent in their hieroglyphics as a symbol of wisdom. Probably the thing in which Christ directed his followers to imitate the serpent was in its caution in avoiding danger. No animal equals them in the rapidity and skill which they evince in escaping danger. So said Christ to his disciples, You need caution and wisdom in the midst of a world that will seek your lives. He directs them, also, to be harmless, not to provoke danger, not to do injury, and thus make their fellow-men justly enraged against them. Doves are, and always have been, a striking emblem of innocence. Most people would foolishly destroy a serpent, be it ever so harmless, yet few are so hard-hearted as to kill a dove.
LibraryThe Obscure Apostles
'These twelve Jesus sent forth.'--MATT. x. 5. And half of 'these twelve' are never heard of as doing any work for Christ. Peter and James and John we know; the other James and Judas have possibly left us short letters; Matthew gives us a Gospel; and of all the rest no trace is left. Some of them are never so much as named again, except in the list at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles; and none of them except the three who 'seemed to be pillars' appear to have been of much importance in the …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The King's Charge to his Ambassadors
Enduring to the End
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden '?"
But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, "Do not do this thing, for you are telling a lie about Ishmael."
So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
"Behold, I have told you in advance.
"Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time?
"Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.
but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.
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