Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 7 (Matthew 6:7)

Use not vain repetitions - Μη βαττολογησητε , Suidas explains this word well: " πολυλογια , much speaking, from one Battus, who made very prolix hymns, in which the same idea frequently recurred." "A frequent repetition of awful and striking words may often be the result of earnestness and fervor. See Daniel 9:3-20; but great length of prayer, which will of course involve much sameness and idle repetition, naturally creates fatigue and carelessness in the worshipper, and seems to suppose ignorance or inattention in the Deity; a fault against which our Lord more particularly wishes to secure them." See Matthew 6:8 . This judicious note is from the late Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who illustrates it with the following quotation from the Heautontimorumenos of Terence:

Ohe! jam decine Deos, uxor, gratulando Obtundere,

Tuam esse inventam gnatam: nisi illos ex Tuo Ingenio judicas,

Ut nil credas Intelligere, nisi idem Dictum Sit Centies

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible