Matthew 6:2

Therefore when you give your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, 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.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Do not, says He, desire to become known in the same way as the hypocrites. Now it is manifest that hypocrites have not that in their heart also which they hold forth before the eyes of men. For hypocrites are pretenders, as it were setters forth of other characters, just as in the plays of the theatre. For he who acts the part of Agamemnon in tragedy, for example, or of any other person belonging to the history or legend which is acted, is not really the person himself, but personates him, and is called a hypocrite. In like manner, in the Church, or in any phase of human life, whoever wishes to seem what he is not is a hypocrite. For he pretends, but does not show himself, to be a righteous man; because he places the whole fruit [of his acting] in the praise of men, which even pretenders may receive, while they deceive those to whom they seem good, and are praised by them. But such do not receive a reward from God the Searcher of the heart, unless it be the punishment of their deceit: ...

Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
Earlier Jesus taught that the work of justice is to be done not for the sake of humans but for the sake of God. Now we are also instructed that we should not blow the trumpet when we perform acts of charity. That is, we should not broadcast what we do, because it is not the mark of a devout mind to do any of the works of God in order to anticipate the glory of human praise. Many people, you see, make a donation for the use of the poor in order to reap from the gesture the human praise and the renown of their contemporaries. The Lord shows that they have received the reward of their work in this age. For as long as they seek the glory of this age, they lose the reward of the future promise. . ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
This must be understood figuratively, that we must avoid all ostentation in the performance of our good works. Many respectable authors are of opinion, that it was customary with the Pharisees and other hypocrites, to assemble the poor they designed to relieve by sound of trumpet. (Menochius) Let us avoid vain glory, the agreeable plunderer of our good works, the pleasant enemy of our souls, which presents its poison to us under the appearance of honey. (St. Basil) ...

Hippolytus of Rome

AD 235
For this reason we are enjoined to ask what is sufficient for the preservation of the substance of the body: not luxury, but food, which restores what the body loses, and prevents death by hunger; not tables to inflame and drive on to pleasures, nor such things as make the body wax wanton against the soul; but bread, and that, too, not for a great number of years, but what is sufficient for us today. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Not that they had trumpets, but He means to display the greatness of their frenzy, by the use of this figure of speech, deriding and making a show of them hereby. And well has He called them hypocrites for the mask was of mercy, but the spirit of cruelty and inhumanity. For they do it, not because they pity their neighbors, but that they themselves may enjoy credit; and this came of the utmost cruelty; while another was perishing with hunger, to be seeking vainglory, and not putting an end to his suffering. It is not then the giving alms which is required, but the giving as one ought, the giving for such and such an end. Having then amply derided those men, and having handled them so, that the hearer should be even ashamed of them, He again corrects thoroughly the mind which is so distempered: and having said how we ought not to act, He signifies on the other hand how we ought to act. How then ought we to do our alms? ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. The hypocrites did not actually have trumpets; the Lord is here deriding their thoughts, for they wanted their almsgiving to be trumpeted. "Hypocrites" are those who differ in appearance from what they really are. These men, therefore, appear to be merciful and generous, but are in fact the opposite. Verily I say unto you, They have received their reward. Having been praised by men, that is the only reward they will receive. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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