Matthew 6:3

3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing

Matthew 6:3 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 6:3

But when thou dost alms
Do it so privately, and with so much secrecy, that, if it was possible, thou mightest not know it thyself, much less make it known to others:

let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth;
acquaint not thy nearest and dearest friend with it; let not one that sits at thy left hand know what thou art doing with thy right hand; it is a proverbial and hyperbolical phrase, expressing the secrecy of the action. It is a Jewish canon F16, that

``he that gives a gift to his friend out of love, may make it known, (hqdub al lba) , "but not if it be by way of alms".''


FOOTNOTES:

F16 Piske Tosephot in Sabbat. c. 1. art. 134.

Matthew 6:3 In-Context

1 “Be careful that you don't practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 “Whenever you give to the poor, don't blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that's the only reward they'll get.
3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing
4 so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.
5 “When you pray, don't be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that's the only reward they'll get.