What is Important to God?  

May 27, 2021

by Barry Fike

    Matt. 5:40-42

    Under the influence of what is called taA-LIT by Jews to today, some translators have understood that the taA-LIT was a shawl-like covering draped over the upper part of a man’s body during prayer.  For instance, in Matthew 23:5, the New International Version translated, “They make…the tassels of their prayer shawls long.”  This is misleading since, in the time of Jesus, the taA-LIT was part of everyday dress and not a religious article.  It is true that out of modesty one would not pray publicly in his haA-LUK, but the taA-LIT was not itself a holy garment.

          This clarification of the double robes worn in Jesus’ time helps us understand his statement recorded in Mathew 5:40, “If someone wants to sue you for your haA-LUK, le him also have your taA-LIT.” (tunic)

          In the privacy of one’s home, the haA-LUK (mantle) could be worn without the taA-LIT, but it was embarrassing to go out in public dressed in it alone.  However, if necessary, the taA-LIT could serve as one’s only garment.  Therefore, the taA-LIT rather than the haA-LUK was indispensable.  If someone tries to confiscate your tunic in a dispute, Jesus said, you should, for the sake of peace, also offer him your mantle.[1]


Verses 41, 42- The same principle applies as referred to in v. 38.  This has to do with the reconciliation of a brother to a brother.  Whatever it takes, do it.  That is how important this relationship is to God.


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