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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 6 - Verse 7

Verse 7. Use not vain repetitions. The original word here is supposed to be derived from the name of a Greek poet, who made long and weary verses, declaring, by many forms and endless repetitions, the same sentiment. Hence it means to repeat a thing often, to say the same thing in different words, or to repeat the same words, as though God did not hear at first. An example of this we have in 1 Ki 18:26: "They Called on Baal from morning until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us;"*

The heathen do. The original word is one commonly translated Gentile. The world was divided into two parts, the Jews and the Gentiles; that is, in the original, the "nations," the nations destitute of the true religion. Christ does not fix the length of our prayers. He says that they should not repeat the same thing, as though God did not hear. And it is not improbable that he intended to condemn the practice of long prayers. His own supplications were remarkably short.

{q} "as the heathens do" Ec 5:2 {*} The following is a specimen of the vain repetitions of the Romans.

"Pious Antonine, the Gods preserve thee. Gentle Antonine, the Gods preserve thee. Gentle Antonine, the Gods preserve thee."

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