sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

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A version of the proverb as graffiti under a railway bridge across the Weavers’ Way, a footpath in Norfolk, England, U.K.

From Matthew 6:34 in the King James Version of the Bible[1] (spelling modernized): “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”[2] The phrase is a translation of Ancient Greek ἀρκετὸν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ κακία αὐτῆς (arketòn têi hēmérāi hē kakía autês), and there is a parallel rabbinical expression in the Babylonian Talmud, דיה לצרה בשעתה (“the suffering of the (present) hour is enough for it”).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /səˈfɪʃ(ə)nt ˌʌntʊ ðə ˈdeɪ ɪz ðiː ˈiːvɪl ðɛəˌɹɒv/, /-ˌʌntə-/, /-ˈiːvəl-/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /səˈfɪʃənt ˌʌntə ðə ˈdeɪ ɪz ði ˈivəl ðɛˌɹʌv/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: suf‧fic‧ent un‧to the day is the evil there‧of


sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

  1. There is no need to worry about the future; the present provides enough to worry about.
    Synonyms: never cross a bridge before you come to it, never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you
    • 1667, O[wen] S[tockton], “Quest[ion] 3. What Shall They Render to the Lord for His Mercy, Whose Houses and Goods Were Preserved from Being Consumed by the Late Dreadful Fire?”, in Counsel to the Afflicted: Or, Instruction and Consolation for Such as Have Suffered Loss by Fire. With Advice to Such as Have Escaped that Sore Judgment. Contained in the Resolution of Three Questions, Occasioned by the Dreadful Fire in the City of London, in the Year 1666. [], London: [] E. Cotes, and are to be sold by H. Brome, [], →OCLC, section 12, pages 334–335:
      For ought vve knovv every day may bring forth as much trouble as vve are able to bear; if it be otherwiſe vve muſt aſcribe it to the goodneſs of God, Matth. 6. 34. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof: and this is our condition as long as vve live, to be liable to trouble and ſorrovv all our dayes, []
    • 1679, R[ichard] Mayhew, “Direction III”, in The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: Being a Narrative of the First Death as the Mistress of Mortals, and Empress of the Universe, [] (Ward’s Library of Standard Divinity; 1), London: Thomas Ward and Co., published [1839], →OCLC, page 37, column 1:
      O, saith one, what shall I do when poverty and prison come? O, saith another, what shall I do when the sword and the plague come? O, saith a third, what shall I do when fire and famine come? O, saith a fourth, what shall I do when the rack and the stake come? But "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." He that now leadeth will then lead, if these things come before thou goest off the stage.
    • 1698, Lancelot Addison, “A Farther Account of the Things to be Pray’d for”, in The Christians Daily Sacrifice, Duly Offer’d. Or A Practical Discourse Teaching the Right Performance of Prayer, London: [] Robert Clavel, [], →OCLC, page 118:
      And the Petition for Daily Bread [in the Lord's Prayer] is by ſome thus paraphras'd, "Provide for us to morrows Bread, and give it to us to day, that we be not ſolicitous for to morrow: for ſufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
    • 1709, Augustus Hermannus Franck [i.e., August Hermann Francke], translated by [anonymous], Faith in Christ, Inconsistent with a Sollicitous Concern about the Things of This World. A Sermon Preach’d on the XV Sunday after Trinity, 1708. At Hall in Saxony. [], London: [] Joseph Downing [], →OCLC, page 15:
      That God, vvho provided for this Day, vvill take Care for the next; ſufficient unto the Day is the Evil thereof. 'Tis enough for you to bear every Day's Trouble our Heavenly Father lays upon you, in paſſing through all the Changes and Chances of this Mortal Life; in ſtriving againſt Sin and fighting the good Fight of Faith, you'll find VVork and Trouble enough for the next Day.
    • 1847 February 11, [Thomas] Corwin, Speech of Mr. Corwin, of Ohio, on the Mexican War. Delivered in the Senate of the United States, February 11, 1847, Washington, D.C.: [] John T. Towers, →OCLC, page 2:
      He admonishes all not to anticipate evil to come, but to fold their hands and close their eyes in quietude, ever mindful of the consolatory text, "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
    • 1860 December 3, James Buchanan, Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress at the Commencement of the Second Session of the Thirty-sixth Congress (Senate Executive Document, 36th Congress, 2d session; no. 1, pt. 3; United States Congressional Serial Set; no. 1080), Washington, D.C.: George W. Bowman, [], →OCLC, page 5:
      [I]t is a remarkable fact in our history that, notwithstanding the repeated efforts of the anti-slavery party, no single act has ever passed Congress, [] And it may also be observed, judging from present indications, that no probability exists of the passage of such an act by a majority of both houses, either in the present or the next Congress. Surely, under these circumstances we ought to be restrained from present action by the precept of Him who spake as man never spoke that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." The day of evil may never come unless we shall rashly bring it upon ourselves.
    • 1893 June 6, T[homas] Playford [II] (chairperson), “First Progress Report of the Royal Commission on Stores: Minutes of Evidence”, in Proceedings of the Parliament of South Australia, with Copies of Documents Ordered to be Printed, volume III, Adelaide, S.A.:  [] C. E. Bristow, Government Printer, [], published 1894, →OCLC, paragraph 8967, pages 104–105:
      Is not that, then, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof? Is there anything in the present system requiring the attention of Parliament; is there anything unfair in the way we are paying for stores at the present time?
    • 1928, D[avid] H[erbert] Lawrence, chapter I, in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, authorized British edition, London: Martin Secker [], published February 1932 (May 1932 printing), →OCLC:
      Only this life with Clifford, this endless spinning of webs of yarn, of the minutiae of consciousness, these stories Sir Malcolm said there was nothing in, and they wouldn't last. Why should there be anything in them, why should they last? Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Sufficient unto the moment is the appearance of reality.
    • 1951 September, O. C. S., “Off-duty Reading: The March of Progress: Writing Redskins to Hellish Bombs”, in Joseph I. Greene, editor, United States Army Combat Forces Journal, volume 2, number 2, Washington, D.C.: Association of the United States Army, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 48, column 2:
      I suspect that many people took a sufficient-unto-the-day-is-the-evil-thereof attitude toward the book [The Hell Bomb (1951) by William L. Laurence], and toward the bomb. Time enough to worry after the scientists got a little further along.
    • 1960 September, Hazel Scott, “The Truth about Me: Pianist-singer Makes First Comment on Controversial Marriage, Scores Show Business Evils”, in John H[arold] Johnson, editor, Ebony, volume XV, number 11, Chicago, Ill.: Johnson Publishing Co., →ISSN, →OCLC, page 144, column 2:
      The hardest problem to a person with his back against the wall is living a day at a time and knowing someone cares. Just one day at a time or as a Great Man said, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
    • 1998, Paula Marshall, “The Deserted Bride. Chapter 1.”, in Marie-Louise Hall, Paula Marshall, The Elizabethan Collection, Richmond, Surrey: Mills & Boon, published 2003, →ISBN, page 19:
      And now Drew Exford was proposing to visit her—if she could believe him. Useless to worry about how she was to greet him. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof," she said aloud. "I'll think about that when he arrives."



  1. ^ Jennifer Speake, editor (2015), “SUFFICIENT unto the day is the evil thereof”, in Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, 6th edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 305.
  2. ^ The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], 1611, →OCLC, Matthew 6:34, column 1:Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow ſhall take thought for the things of it ſelfe: ſufficient vnto the day is the euill thereof.

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