Matthew 6:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face

King James Bible
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

Darby Bible Translation
But thou, when fasting, anoint thy head and wash thy face,

World English Bible
But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face;

Young's Literal Translation
'But thou, fasting, anoint thy head, and wash thy face,

Matthew 6:17 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But thou when thou fastest, anoint ... - That is, appear as you do daily. Do not assume any new appearance, or change your visage or dress. The Jews and all neighboring nations were much in the habit of washing and anointing their bodies. This washing was performed at every meal; and where it could be effected, the head, or other parts of the body, was daily anointed with sweet or olive oil. In a warm climate, exposed to the great heat of the sun, this practice conduced much to health, preserved the skin smooth and tender, and afforded a most grateful sensation and odor. See Mark 7:2-3; James 5:14; Mark 11:13; John 12:3.

The meaning of this whole commandment is, when you regard it to be your duty to fast, do it as a thing expressing deep feeling or sorrow for sin, not by assuming unfelt gravity and moroseness, but in your ordinary dress and appearance; not to attract attention, but as an expression of feeling toward God, and he will approve and reward it.

Matthew 6:17 Parallel Commentaries

Library
June 16. "Ye Cannot Serve God and Mammon" (Matt. vi. 24).
"Ye cannot serve God and Mammon" (Matt. vi. 24). He does not say ye cannot very well serve God and mammon, but ye cannot serve two masters at all. Ye shall be sure to end by serving one. The man who thinks he is serving God a little is deceived; he is not serving God. God will not have his service. The devil will monopolize him before he gets through. A divided heart loses both worlds. Saul tried it. Balaam tried it. Judas tried it, and they all made a desperate failure. Mary had but one choice.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

June 10. "Your Heavenly Father Knoweth Ye have Need" (Matt. vi. 32).
"Your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need" (Matt. vi. 32). Christ makes no less of our trust for temporal things than He does for spiritual things. He places a good deal of emphasis upon it. Why? Simply because it is harder to trust God for them. In spiritual matters we can fool ourselves, and think that we are trusting when we are not; but we cannot do so about rent and food, and the needs of our body. They must come or our faith fails. It is easy to say that we trust Him in things that are a long
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Hearts and Treasures
'For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'--MATT. vi. 21. 'Your treasure' is probably not the same as your neighbour's. It is yours, whether you possess it or not, because you love it. For what our Lord means here by 'treasure' is not merely money, or material good, but whatever each man thinks best, that which he most eagerly strives to attain, that which he most dreads to lose, that which, if he has, he thinks he will be blessed, that which, if he has it not, he knows he is discontented.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Solitary Prayer
'Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret,'--MATT. vi. 6. An old heathen who had come to a certain extent under the influence of Christ, called prayer 'the flight of the solitary to the Solitary.' There is a deep truth in that, though not all the truth. Prayer is not only the most intensely individual act that a man can perform, but it is also the highest social act. Christ came not to carry solitary souls by a solitary pathway to heaven, but
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Ruth 3:3
"Wash yourself therefore, and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes, and go down to the threshing floor; but do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking.

2 Samuel 12:20
So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

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