“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.
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coate, let him haue thy cloake also.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan
"If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.
- New American Standard Version (1995)
And if any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
- American Standard Version (1901)
And if any man goes to law with you and takes away your coat, do not keep back your robe from him.
- Basic English Bible
and to him that would go to law with thee and take thy body coat, leave him thy cloak also.
- Darby Bible
And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
- Webster's Bible
If any one wishes to go to law with you and to deprive you of your under garment, let him take your outer one also.
- Weymouth Bible
If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.
- World English Bible
and to hym that wole stryue with thee in doom, and take awey thi coote, leeue thou `to him also thi mantil;
- Wycliffe Bible
and whoever is willing to take thee to law, and thy coat to take -- suffer to him also the cloak.
- Youngs Literal Bible