“Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”
King James Version (KJV)
6:2 As the hypocrites do - Many of the scribes and Pharisees did this, under a pretence of calling the poor together. They have their reward - All they will have; for they shall have none from God.
Mt 6:2 Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms. This is the first example. The wrong way, that of the hypocrites, is described. The Greek word rendered "hypocrite" means a theatrical actor, one who is not real, but acts a part. Their method was to give ostentatiously. In our age the world rings with the praises of the millionaire who gives a few thousands, but is silent concerning the humble ones who have taken from their necessities and given to the same cause. Do not sound a trumpet before thee. This seems to be a proverbial expression to denote the making of a thing publicly known. The meaning is, when you give to the poor, do not make a show of it. Hypocrite. A Grecian actor. The actors wore masks and appeared to be somebody else than they really were. So, too, the religious hypocrites.