Do Not Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger: What Does Ephesians 4:26 Mean?


Ephesians 4:26 reads, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” King James Version (KJV)

TranslationEphesians 4:26
ESVBe angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
NASBBE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
NIV“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
NLTAnd “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry,

Do Not Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

4:25-28 Notice the particulars wherewith we should adorn our Christian profession. Take heed of every thing contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God’s people are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying.

Take heed of anger and ungoverned passions. If there is just occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, and to reprove, see that it be without sin. We give place to the devil, when the first motions of sin are not grievous to our souls; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed.

This teaches that as sin, if yielded unto, lets in the devil upon us, we are to resist it, keeping from all appearance of evil. Idleness makes thieves. Those who will not work, expose themselves to temptations to steal.

Men ought to be industrious, that they may do some good, and that they may be kept from temptation. They must labour, not only that they may live honestly, but that they may have to give to the wants of others.

What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Alms, to be accepted of God, must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and industry. God hates robbery for burnt-offerings.

Ephesians 4:26 | Pulpit Bible Commentary

Verse 26. – Be ye angry, and sin not. Quotation from the Septuagint version of Psalm 4:5. Anger, the feeling and expression of displeasure, is not wholly forbidden, but is guarded by two checks.

Our Lord did not make anger a breach of the sixth commandment, but being angry with a brother without cause. The first check is to beware of sinning; to keep your anger clear of bitterness, spite, malevolence, and all such evil feelings.

The second is, Let not the sun go down on your irritation; examine yourself in the evening, and see that you are tranquil. Eadie quotes Thomas Fuller: “St. Paul saith, ‘Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,’ to carry news to the antipodes in another world of thy revengeful nature.

Yet let us take the apostle’s meaning rather than his words – with all possible speed to depose our passion; not understanding him so literally that we may take leave to be angry till sunset; then might our wrath lengthen with the days, and men in Greenland, where day lasts above a quarter of a year, have plentiful scope of revenge.

And as the English, by command of William the Conqueror, always raked up their fire, and put out their candles when the curfew bell was rung, let us then also quench all sparks of anger and heat of passion.”

It is especially becoming in men, when about to sleep the sleep of death, to see that they are in peace and charity with all men; it were seemly always to fall asleep in the same temper.

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