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Matthew 11:16–20

16 oBut whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their oofellows, 17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have pmourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither qeating nor rdrinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, sa friend of sspublicans and sinners. But wisdom tis justified uof vher children.

20 wThen began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:

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Matthew 11:16–20 — The New International Version (NIV)

16 To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “ ‘We played the pipe for you,

and you did not dance;

we sang a dirge,

and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:16–20 — English Standard Version (ESV)

16 But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

17  ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

20 Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:16–20 — New Living Translation (NLT)

16 To what can I compare this generation? It is like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,

17 We played wedding songs,

and you didn’t dance,

so we played funeral songs,

and you didn’t mourn.’

18 For John didn’t spend his time eating and drinking, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by its results.”

20 Then Jesus began to denounce the towns where he had done so many of his miracles, because they hadn’t repented of their sins and turned to God.

Matthew 11:16–20 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

16 But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, 17 and saying:

We played the flute for you,

And you did not dance;

We mourned to you,

And you did not lament.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

Matthew 11:16–20 — New Century Version (NCV)

16 “What can I say about the people of this time? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace, who call out to each other,

17 ‘We played music for you, but you did not dance;

we sang a sad song, but you did not cry.’

18 John came and did not eat or drink like other people. So people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and people say, ‘Look at him! He eats too much and drinks too much wine, and he is a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved to be right by what she does.”

20 Then Jesus criticized the cities where he did most of his miracles, because the people did not change their lives and stop sinning.

Matthew 11:16–20 — American Standard Version (ASV)

16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the marketplaces, who call unto their fellows 17 and say, We piped unto you, and ye did not dance; we wailed, and ye did not mourn. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a demon. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! And wisdom is justified by her works.

20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.

Matthew 11:16–20 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

16 But to whom shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the markets, which, calling to their companions, 17 say, We have piped to you, and ye have not danced: we have mourned to you, and ye have not wailed. 18 For John has come neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon. 19 The Son of man has come eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a man that is eating and wine-drinking, a friend of tax-gatherers, and of sinners: —and wisdom has been justified by her children. 20 Then began he to reproach the cities in which most of his works of power had taken place, because they had not repented.

Matthew 11:16–20 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

16 “How can I describe the people who are living now? They are like children who sit in the marketplaces and shout to other children, 

17 ‘We played music for you, 

but you didn’t dance. 

We sang a funeral song, 

but you didn’t show any sadness.’ 

18 “John came neither eating nor drinking, and people say, ‘There’s a demon in him!’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and people say, ‘Look at him! He’s a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 

“Yet, wisdom is proved right by its actions.” 

20 Then Jesus denounced the cities where he had worked most of his miracles because they had not changed the way they thought and acted.

Matthew 11:16–20 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 To what should I compare this generation? It’s like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to each other:

17 We played the flute for you,

but you didn’t dance;

we sang a lament,

but you didn’t mourn!

18 For John did not come eating or drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

20 Then He proceeded to denounce the towns where most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent:

Matthew 11:16–20 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

16 But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

17 We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19 the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent.

Matthew 11:16–20 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

16 “But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces who call out to one another, 17 saying,

‘We played the flute for you and you did not dance;

we sang a lament and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a man who is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

20 Then he began to reproach the towns in which the majority of his miracles had been done, because they did not repent:

Matthew 11:16–20 — New International Reader’s Version (1998) (NIrV)

16 “What can I compare today’s people to? They are like children sitting in the market places and calling out to others. They say,

17 “ ‘We played the flute for you.

But you didn’t dance.

We sang a funeral song.

But you didn’t become sad.’

18 When John came, he didn’t eat or drink as you do. And people say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 But when the Son of Man came, he ate and drank as you do. And people say, ‘This fellow is always eating and drinking far too much. He’s a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ’ Those who act wisely prove that wisdom is right.”

20 Jesus began to speak against the cities where he had done most of his miracles. The people there had not turned away from their sins. So he said,

Matthew 11:16–20 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

16 But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children,

17 and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’

19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

20 Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.


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