Matthew 16:3

3 red sky at morning, sailors take warning.' You find it easy enough to forecast the weather - why can't you read the signs of the times?

Matthew 16:3 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 16:3

And in the morning, it will be foul weather today
When you rise in the morning, and take a survey of the heavens, it is a very usual thing with you to say, it is like to be windy or rainy weather today,

for the sky is red and lowring;
which shows, that the clouds are so thick that the sun cannot pierce through them, and its face is not seen; so that it may be reasonably concluded they will issue in rain, or wind, or both.

O ye hypocrites.
The Vulgate Latin, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel, leave out this appellation; but all other versions, as well as copies, have it: and it is an usual epithet, bestowed very justly by Christ, on these men; who pretended to be the guides of the people, took upon them to teach and instruct them in divine things, and set up themselves as men of great holiness, piety and knowledge; and yet, instead of searching the Scriptures, and comparing the characters of the times of the Messiah therein fixed, with the present ones, spent their time in making such low and useless observations, and which fall within the compass of everyone's knowledge and reach.

Ye can discern the face of the sky;
very distinctly, and make some very probable guesses, if not certain conclusions, what will follow, good weather or bad:

but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
or, as the Syriac reads it, "the time", the present time: if they had not been blind, they might easily have discerned, that the signs of the time of the Messiah's coming were upon them, and that Jesus was the Messiah; as the departure of the sceptre from Judah, the ending of Daniel's weeks, the various miracles wrought by Christ, the wickedness of the age in which they lived, the ministry of John the Baptist, and of Christ, the great flockings of the people, both to one and to the other, with divers other things which were easy to be observed by them: but they pretend this to be a very great secret.

``The secret of the day of death, they say F25, and the secret of the day when the king Messiah comes, who by his wisdom can find out?''


F25 Targum in Eccl. vii. 24.

Matthew 16:3 In-Context

1 Some Pharisees and Sadducees were on him again, pressing him to prove himself to them.
2 He told them, "You have a saying that goes, 'Red sky at night, sailor's delight;
3 red sky at morning, sailors take warning.' You find it easy enough to forecast the weather - why can't you read the signs of the times?
4 An evil and wanton generation is always wanting signs and wonders. The only sign you'll get is the Jonah sign." Then he turned on his heel and walked away.
5 On their way to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring along bread.

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Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.