Matthew 10:14

14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Matthew 10:14 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 10:14

And whosoever shall not receive you
Into their houses, and refuse to entertain them and provide for them in a friendly manner;

nor hear your words,
slight their salutations, make no account of, but despise their good wishes for their welfare; and also treat with contempt the doctrines of the Gospel preached by them; and either would not attend on their ministry, or if they did, give no credit to what they should say, but deride and reject them.

When ye depart out of that house, or city;
to another house, or to another city, being obliged to remove, through their contemptuous rejection of them:

shake off the dust of your feet.
So Paul and Barnabas did at Antioch in Pisidia, when the Jews contradicted and blasphemed the Gospel preached by them, raised a persecution against them, and expelled them out of their coasts, ( Acts 13:51 ) which ceremony was ordered by Christ to be observed even to the cities of Judea, that should despise and reject the ministry of his apostles; and that either to show that they did not come to them with worldly views, with any design to amass riches and wealth to themselves, for they would not so much as carry away with them the dust on their feet, but it was purely with a view to their welfare, both spiritual and temporal; or to testify that they had been among them, and that that very dust they shook off their feet would rise up in judgment against them, and declare that the Gospel had been preached among them, and they had rejected it, which will be an aggravation of their condemnation; or rather to observe to them, that such was their wickedness, that even the dust of their country was infected thereby, and therefore they shook it off, as though it defiled them, as the dust of an Heathen country was thought by the Jews to do; so that by this action they signified that they would have nothing more to do with them, or say to them, and that they looked upon them as impure and unholy, as any Heathen city or country. There seems to be an allusion to some maxims and customs of the Jews, with respect to the dust of Heathen countries.

``On account of six doubts, they say F21, they burn the first offering, for a doubt of a field in which a grave might be, and for a doubt (Mymeh Uram abh rpe) , "of the dust which comes from the land of the Gentiles"''

On which Bartenora has this note;

``all dust which comes from the land of the Gentiles, is reckoned by us as the rottenness of a dead carcass; and of these two, "the land of the Gentiles", and a field in which is a grave, it is decreed that they "defile" by touching, and by carrying.''

Again F23,

``the dust of a field in which is a grave, and the dust without the land (of Israel) which comes along with an herb, are unclean.''

Upon which Maimonides makes this remark,

``that the dust of a field that has a grave in it, and the dust which is without the land of Israel, defile by touching and carrying; or if, when it hangs at the end of an herb, when they root it out of the dust of such a field, it is unclean.''

Hence they would not suffer herbs to be brought out of an Heathen country into the land of Israel, lest dust should be brought along with them.

``A Misnic doctor teaches F24, that they do not bring herbs from without the land (of Israel into it), but our Rabbins permit it; what difference is there between them? Says R. Jeremiah, they take care of their dust; that is the difference between them.''

On that clause, "they take care of their dust", the gloss is,

``lest there should be brought with it (Mymeh Ura vwgm) , "any of the dust of the land of the Gentiles", which defiles in the tent, and pollutes the purity of the land of Israel.''


F21 Misn. Taharot, c. 4. sect. 5. Vid. c. 5. 1. & Maimon & Bartenora in ib.
F23 Misn. Oholot. c. 17. sect. 5.
F24 T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 12. 1.

Matthew 10:14 In-Context

12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
The King James Version is in the public domain.