Matthew 5:40

40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

Read Matthew 5:40 Using Other Translations

And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.

What does Matthew 5:40 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Matthew 5:40

And if any man will sue thee at the law
Or "will contend with thee", or as the Syriac renders it, (Kme Nwdnd) , "will strive", or "litigate with thee"; not contest the matter, or try the cause in an open court of judicature, a sense our version inclines to; but will wrangle and quarrel in a private way, in order to

take away thy coat,
by force and violence,

let him have thy cloak also;
do not forbid, or hinder him from taking it; see ( Luke 6:29 ) . The "coat", is the same with (tylj) , "the upper garment": and what we render a "cloak", answers to (qwlx) , "the inward garment"; by which words Sangari expresses the passage in the place before cited: and the sense is, if a wrangling, quarrelsome man, insists upon having thy coat, or upper garment, let him take the next; and rather suffer thyself to be stripped naked than engage in a litigious broil with him. This also is contrary to the above canon of the Jews F9, which says;

``If a man should pull another by his ear, or pluck off his hair, or spit, and his spittle should come to him, (wnmm wtylj rybeh) or "should take his coat from him", or uncover a woman's head in the street, he shall pay four hundred "zuzim", and all this is according to his dignity; says R. Akiba; even the poor in Israel, they consider them as if they were noblemen, who are fallen from their estates, for they are the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.''


FOOTNOTES:

F9 Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6.
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