New International Version
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
King James Bible
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Darby Bible Translation
For verily I say unto you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, one iota or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all come to pass.
World English Bible
For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.
Young's Literal Translation
for, verily I say to you, till that the heaven and the earth may pass away, one iota or one tittle may not pass away from the law, till that all may come to pass.
Matthew 5:18 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven - In the very commencement of his ministry, Jesus Christ teaches the instability of all visible things. "The heaven which you see, and which is so glorious, and the earth which you inhabit and love, shall pass away; for the things which are seen are temporal, προσκαιρα, are for a time; but the things which are not seen are eternal αιωνια, ever-during," 2 Corinthians 4:18. And the Word of the Lord endureth for ever.
One jot or one tittle - One yod, (י), the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. One tittle or point, κεραια, either meaning those points which serve for vowels in this language, if they then existed; or the seraphs, or points of certain letters, such as ר resh, or ד daleth, ה he, or ח cheth (as the change of any of these into the other would make a most essential alteration in the sense, or, as the rabbins say, destroy the world). Or our Lord may refer to the little ornaments which certain letters assume on their tops, which cause them to appear like small branches. The following letters only can assume coronal apices, ץ tsaddi - ג gimel - ז zain - נ nun - ט teth - ע ayin - ש shin. These, with the coronal apices, often appear in MSS.
That this saying, one jot or one tittle, is a proverbial mode of expression among the Jews, and that it expressed the meaning given to it above, is amply proved by the extracts in Lightfoot and Schoettgen. The reader will not be displeased to find a few of them here, if he can bear with the allegorical and strongly figurative language of the rabbins.
"The book of Deuteronomy came and prostrated itself before the Lord, and said: 'O Lord of the world, thou hast written in me thy law; but now, a Testament defective in some parts is defective in all. Behold, Solomon endeavors to root the letter yod out of me.' (In this text, Deuteronomy 17:5. לא ירבה נשים lo yirbeh, nashim, he shall not multiply wives). The holy blessed God answered, 'Solomon and a thousand such as he shall perish, but the least word shall not perish out of thee.'"
In Shir Hashirim Rabba, are these words:
"Should all the inhabitants of the earth gather together, in order to whiten one feather of a crow, they could not succeed: so, if all the inhabitants of the earth should unite to abolish one י yod, which is the smallest letter in the whole law, they should not be able to effect it."
In Vayikra Rabba, s. 19, it is said:
"Should any person in the words of Deuteronomy 6:4, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is אחד achad, One Lord, change the ד daleth into a ר resh, he would ruin the world." [Because, in that case, the word אחר achar, would signify a strange or false God].
"Should any one, in the words of Exodus 34:14, Thou shalt worship no Other, אחר achar, God, change ר resh into ד daleth, he would ruin the world." [Because the command would then run, Thou shalt not worship the Only or true God].
"Should any one in the words of Leviticus 22:32, Neither shall ye Profane תחללו techelelu, my holy name, change ח cheth into ה he, he would ruin the world." [Because the sense of the commandment would then be, Neither shall ye Praise my holy name].
"Should any one, in the words of Psalm 150:6, Let every thing that hath breath Praise, תהלל tehalel, the Lord, change ה, he into ח cheth, he would ruin the world." [Because the command would then run, Let every thing that hath breath Profane the Lord].
"Should any one, in the words of Jeremiah 5:10, They lied Against the Lord, ביהוה beihovah, change ב beth into כ caph, he would ruin the world." [For then the words would run, They lied Like the Lord].
"Should any one, in the words of Hosea, Hosea 5:7, They have dealt treacherously, ביהוה beihovah, Against the Lord, change ב beth into כ caph, he would ruin the world." [For then the words would run, They have dealt treacherously Like the Lord].
"Should any one, in the words of 1 Samuel 2:2, There is none holy As the Lord, change כ caph into ב beth, he would ruin the world." [For then the words would mean, There is no holiness In the Lord].
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryAgree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th …
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
Salt Without Savour
The Lamp and the Bushel
The New Form of the Old Law
They are established for ever and ever, enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."
who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,' of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be rebuilt,' and of their ruins, 'I will restore them,'
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
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