Luke 11:41

41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.

Luke 11:41 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 11:41

But rather give alms of such things as ye have
The phrase (ta enonta) , is variously rendered, and so furnishes out various senses: the Syriac version renders it, "give that which is", which is yours; or "which is given to you", as the Persic version, and agrees with ours, "such things as ye have"; and which carries in it but a very odd sense; for none can give of that which they have not. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "that which is over and above"; superfluous substance, and which may be easily spared without hurting a man, or his family: others, "as much as you can": according to a man's ability, and as God has prospered him in the world. The Ethiopic version renders it, "that which is necessary"; which the necessities of the poor call for, and is right and proper to give them: and the Arabic version, very foreign from the sense of the phrase, reads, "before every thing"; above all things give alms. But the true sense of it is contained in the literal version of it, "things that are within"; that is, that are within the cup and the platter; give meat and drink to the poor, your platters and cups are full of, gotten by injustice and oppression. Some read it not imperatively, "give", but indicatively, "ye do give": you oppress and defraud men, devour widows' houses, and fill your own with the spoils of others; and then give out of your cups and platters drink to the thirsty, and meat to the hungry, to make atonement for your avarice and extortion:

and behold all things are clean unto you;
that is, according to their own opinion, who fancied that alms deeds justified them in the sight of God, cleansed them from their sins, delivered them from hell, and gave them a title to eternal life; (See Gill on Matthew 6:1) for it can never be thought to be our Lord's meaning in earnest, that either their persons, or what they had, should be pure and clean unto them, by giving a part of their ill-gotten goods to the poor; but he speaks their sense, in an ironic way. From this opinion of theirs it is, that the Hebrew word, (hkz) , which signifies "to be clean", is used by them for giving alms: so it is said F25, that

``R. Jonathan and Resh Lekish went down to bathe themselves in the baths of Tiberias; and a certain poor man met them, and said unto them, (yb Nyykz) , "give me alms"; they said unto him, when we come back we will (Kb Nyykz) , "give thee alms":''

and so the Mahometans call alms by the same name, because they imagine that they cleanse their other substance from pollution, and their souls from avarice.


F25 Vajikra Rabba, Sect. 34. fol. 174. 2. Vid. fol. 173. 3, 4. & 174. 4.

Luke 11:41 In-Context

39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?
41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.