“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.”
King James Version (KJV)
5:40-41 Where the damage is not great, choose rather to suffer it, though possibly it may on that account be repeated, than to demand an eye for an eye, to enter into a rigorous prosecution of the offender. The meaning of the whole passage seems to be, rather than return evil for evil, when the wrong is purely personal, submit to one bodily wrong after another, give up one part of your goods after another, submit to one instance of compulsion after another. That the words are not literally to be understood, appears from the behaviour of our Lord himself, #John 18:22,23|.
Mt 5:40 If any man will sue. That is, is about to sue thee. Take away thy coat. The inner garment, the tunic or shirt. Cloke. The outer garment, the covering at night. It could not be held by a creditor (Ex 22:26-27). Better to give it up, too, than to engage in litigation. Many a poor soul has realized this when it was too late, and the lawyers had divided his property. Avoid lawsuits.