Matthew 10:27

27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!

Matthew 10:27 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 10:27

What I tell you in darkness
Hence Christ proceeds to encourage his disciples to an open, plain, and faithful ministration of the Gospel, not fearing the faces and frowns of men. For with respect to the Gospel, his meaning is, that what was hid and covered should not remain so, but should be revealed, and made known, and they were the persons who were to do it; and it was with that view that he had communicated it to them: and whereas he had told them it "in darkness"; not in a dark and obscure manner; for though he spoke in parables to others, yet to them he made known the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven: and if at any time he delivered parables, or dark sayings, to them, he would afterwards, or when alone, explain them to them; but his meaning chiefly is, that what he communicated to them in private houses, when they were by themselves, and no one saw, or heard them, and so were in darkness with respect to others,

that speak ye in light;
openly and publicly in the synagogues and temple, in the high places of the city, streets, or fields, wherever there is a concourse of people; hide and conceal nothing, but speak out all clearly, distinctly, fully, without the least reserve, or throwing any obscurity on it, which may cover the true sense of it from the view of the people.

And what ye hear in the ear,
or is whispered to you by me, as your master. Christ alludes to the custom of the Jewish doctors, who had each an interpreter, into whose ear he used to whisper his doctrine, and then the interpreter delivered it to the people: so it is said {s},

``Rab came to the place of R. Shilla, and he had no speaker to stand by him; wherefore Rab stood by him, and explained.''

The gloss upon it is,

``an interpreter stands before a doctor whilst he is preaching, and the doctor (wl vxwl) , "whispers to him" in the Hebrew tongue, and he interprets it to the multitude in a tongue they understand.''

Again F20,

``they said to Judah bar Nachmani, the interpreter of Resh Lekish, stand for a speaker for him.''

The gloss upon it is,

``to cause his exposition to be heard by the congregation, (Kl vwxlyv) , "which he shall whisper to thee".''

Now it was absolutely requisite, that the speaker, or interpreter, should faithfully relate what the doctor said; sometimes, it seems, he did not: it is said F21 in commendation of the meekness of R. Aba,

``that he delivered one sense, and his speaker said another, and he was not angry.''

The gloss says,

``his speaker was, he that interpreted to the multitude what he (wl vxwl) , "whispered to him" in the time of preaching.''

Sometimes one doctor is said to whisper in the ear of another, when he instructed him, or informed him of anything. R. Jochanan F23 whispered R. Joshua (hyndwab) , "in his ear". The Jews have a notion that the law was given this way; so they interpret "the eloquent orator" in ( Isaiah 3:3 ) F24 this is he to whom it is fit to deliver the words of the law, (vxlb hntynv) , "which was given by whispering": and so, it seems, the Gospel was in like manner delivered by Christ to his disciples. It was reckoned a very great honour, and a token of magisterial dignity, to have one to whisper in the ear to, and speak for them. So to one that related his dream, that he saw an ass standing at his pillow, and braying, answer is made, thou shalt be a king, that is, the head of a school; and "a speaker" or "an interpreter shall stand by thee" F25. Our Lord very justly takes upon him the character of a doctor, master, and dictator, and solemnly charges his disciples, clearly, loudly, and faithfully to declare what he suggested to them.

That preach ye,
says he,

upon the housetops;
for the roofs of their houses were not ridged, but plain, and flat, upon which they could stand or walk; and battlements were made about them to prevent their falling off, according to the law in ( Deuteronomy 22:8 ) . Here many religious actions were performed: here Peter went up to pray, ( Acts 10:9 ) and here persons sometimes sat and read: hence that passage in the Misna F26 if any one (ggh varb arwq) , "was reading on the top of a roof", and the book is rolled out of his hand and sometimes they made their proclamations from hence of their festivals and solemn days, and particularly of their sabbath; which was done by the sound of a trumpet, that the people might cease from work in the fields, and shut up their shops in the city, and light up their lamps. This proclamation, by the sound of a trumpet, was made six times by the chazan, or minister of the congregation, from an housetop; and, it is said, that there was, (ryeh hbwgb dxwym gg) , "a peculiar roof in the highest part of the city", and from the middle of it he blew the trumpet F1. In allusion to this, our Lord orders his disciples to blow the trumpet of the everlasting Gospel; and loudly proclaim to all the truths and mysteries of grace, which he had made known to them.


F19 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 20. 2.
F20 T. Bab. Sanhed. fol. 7. 2.
F21 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 40. 1.
F23 T. Hieros Kiddushin, fol. 65. 4.
F24 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 1.
F25 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 56. 1.
F26 Erubin, c. 10. sect. 3.
F1 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 35. 2. & Gloss. in ib.

Matthew 10:27 In-Context

25 Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
26 “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.
27 What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin ? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.
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