Matthew 5:23
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

King James Bible
Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Darby Bible Translation
If therefore thou shouldest offer thy gift at the altar, and there shouldest remember that thy brother has something against thee,

World English Bible
"If therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you,

Young's Literal Translation
'If, therefore, thou mayest bring thy gift to the altar, and there mayest remember that thy brother hath anything against thee,

Matthew 5:23 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar ... - The Pharisees were intent only on the external act in worship. They looked not at all to the internal state of the mind. If a man conformed to the external rites of religion, however much envy, and malice, and secret hatred he might have, they thought he was doing well. Our Saviour taught a different doctrine. It was of more consequence to have the heart right than to perform the outward act. If, therefore, says he, a man has gone so far as to bring his gift to the very altar, and should remember that anyone had anything against him, it was his duty there to leave his offering and go and be reconciled. While a difference of this nature existed, his offering could not be acceptable. He was not to wait until the offended brother should come to him; he was to go and seek him out, and be reconciled. So now the worship of God will not be acceptable, however well performed externally, until we are at peace with those that we have injured. "To obey is better than sacrifice," 1 Samuel 15:22. He that comes to worship his Maker filled with malice, and hatred, and envy, and at war with his brethren, is a hypocritical worshipper, and must meet with God's displeasure. God is not deceived, and he will not be mocked.

Thy gift - Thy sacrifice. What thou art about to devote to God as an offering.

To the altar - The altar was situated in front of the temple, and was the place on which sacrifices were made. See the notes on plan, Matthew 21:12. To bring a gift to the altar was expressive of worshipping God, for this was the way in which he was formerly worshipped.

Thy brother - Any man, especially any fellow-worshipper. Anyone of the same religious society.

Hath aught - Is offended, or thinks he has been injured by you in any manner.

First be reconciled - This means to settle the difficulty; to make proper acknowledgment or satisfaction for the injury. If you have wronged him, make restitution. If you owe him a debt which ought to be paid, pay it. If you have injured his character, confess it and seek pardon. If he is under an erroneous impression, if your conduct has been such as to lead him to suspect that you have injured him, make an explanation. Do all in your power; and all you ought to do, to have the matter settled. From this we learn:

1. That, in order to worship God acceptably, we must do justice to our fellow-men.

2. Our worship will not be acceptable unless we do all we can to live peaceably with others.

3. It is our duty to seek reconciliation with others when we have injured them.

4. This should be done before we attempt to worship God.

5. This is often the reason why God does not accept our offerings, and we go empty away from our devotions. We do not do what we ought to others; we cherish improper feelings or refuse to make proper acknowledgments, and God will not accept such attempts to worship him.

Matthew 5:23 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Eighth Beatitude
'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'--MATT. v. 10. We have seen the description of the true subjects of the kingdom growing into form and completeness before our eyes in the preceding verses, which tell us what they are in their own consciousness, what they are in their longings, what they become in inward nature by God's gift of purity, how they move among men as angels of God, meek, merciful, peace-bringing. Is anything more needed
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Second Beatitude
'Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.'--MATT. v. 4. An ordinary superficial view of these so-called Beatitudes is that they are simply a collection of unrelated sayings. But they are a great deal more than that. There is a vital connection and progress in them. The jewels are not flung down in a heap; they are wreathed into a chain, which whosoever wears shall have 'an ornament of grace about his neck.' They are an outgrowth from a common root; stages in the evolution of Christian
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Law of Love
'Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Redemption
"Ye shall therefore be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect."--MATT. V. 48. "Wretched man that I am! who shall deliver from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord."--ROM. VII. 24, 25. We have studied the meaning of reconciliation through the Cross. We have said that to be reconciled to God means to cease to be the object of the Wrath of God, that is, His hostility to sin. We can only cease to be the objects of this Divine Wrath by identifying ourselves
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

Cross References
Matthew 5:24
leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Mark 11:25
"Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.

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