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VOLUME II. 

THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN AND THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 



THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN. 

BY 

Prof. WILLIAM MILLIGAN, D.D., & Prof. WILLIAM F. MOULTON, D.D., 

VNIVIESITY or ABEKD&SN. THB LEYS COLLSCB, CAMBRIDGK. 



THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. 

BY 

The very Rev. J. S. HOWSON, D.D., & The Rev. Canon SPENCE, 

DBAN or CHKSTEK. RECTOR Or fT. PANCRAS, LONDON. 

The Publishers hope to be able to issue the Second Volume during the 
summer. 



PRINTED BY MORRISON AND GIBB, 



FOB 



T. & T. CLARK, EDINBURGH. 



LONDON .... ITAMTLTON, ADAMS, AND CO. 
DUBUN ROBERTSON AND CO. 



MANCHESTER, . . JOHN HEYWOOD. 

NEW YORK. . . . CHARLES SCRIBNER's SONS, 



MELBOURNE, GEORGE ROBERTSON. 






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POPULAR COMMENTARY 



OM 



THE NEW TESTAMENT, 



BY ENGLISH AND AMERICAN SCHOLARS OF VARIOUS 

EVANGELICAL DENOMINATIONS. 



IVirH ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS. 



editp:d by 

PHILIP SCHAFF, D. D., LL. D., 

HA!J>WIN PKOFESSOR OF SACRED LITERATUKE IN THE UNION TIIEOLOUICAL SEMINARY, .NEW YORK. 



IN FOUR VOLUMES. 



VOL. I. 
^mrotmction, and tfie <&h^ti^A$ of !ai^ttt)cl», Si^rH, anb Uuftc. 

/^^^^^^^ 
f. MAY '^79 .) 

EDINBURGH: 
T. & T. CLARK, 38 GEORGE STREET. 

1879. 



/^/. it /CfO. 



CONTRIBUTORS 

TO POPULAR COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT. 



■♦■ 



VOLUME I. 
Introduction, and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. 

Page. 
Jntroduction to the New Testament. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D. D., New 

York, and Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D. D., Hartford .... 3-26 

The Gospel of Matthew. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D.D., and Prof. Matthew 

B. Riddle, D. D 27-245 

The Gospel of Mark. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D. D., and Prof. Philip 

Schaff, D. D 246-336 

The Gospel of Luke. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D. D., and Prof. Philip 

Schaff, D. D 337-508 

VOLUME IL 

The Gospel of John, and the Acts of the Apostles. 

The Gospel of John. By Prof. William Milligan, D. D., University of Aber- 
deen, and Prof. Wiluam F. Moulton, D. D.,The Leys College, Cambridge. 

The Acts of the Apostles. By J. S. HowsoN, D. D., Dean of Chester, and 
Canon Donald Spence, Rector of St Pancras, London. 

VOLUME in. 
The Epistles of Paul. 

Romans. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D. D., and Prof. Matthew B. Rid- 
dle, D. D. 

/. and II. Corinthians. By Principal David Brown, D. D., Free Church Col- 
lege, Aberdeen. 

Galatians. By Prof. Philip Schaff, D. D. 

Ephesians. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D. D. 

Philippians. By Rev. J. Rawson Lumby, B. D., St. Catherine's College, Cam- 
bridge. 

Cohssians. By Prof. Matthew B. Riddle, D. D., Hartford. 

/. and II. Thtssalonians. By Rev. Marcus Dods, D. D., Glasgow. 

/. a$ul IL Timothy. By Prof. Edward Hayes Plumptre, D. D., King's Col- ^ 

lege, London. 

Titus. By Rev. J. Oswald Dykes, D. D., London. 

Philemon. By Rev. J. Rawson Lumby, B. D., Cambridge. 



Vlll 



VOLUME IV. 

The Catholic Epistles and Revelation. 

Hebrews, By Prof. Joseph Angus, D. D., Regent's Park College, London. 

James, By Rev. Paton J. Gloag, D. D., Galashiels. 

/. and IL Peter. By Prof. S. D. F. Salmond, M. A., Free Church College, 

Aberdeen. 
/. //. and III. John. By Prof. William B. Pope, M. A., Didsbury College, 

Manchester, and Prof. William F. Moulton, D. D., Cambridge. 
Jude. By Prof. Joseph Angus, D. D., Regent's Park College, London. 
Revelation. By Prof. William Milligan, D. D., Aberdeen, and Prof. William 

F. Moulton, D. D., Cambridge. 

Maps and Plans. 

By Prof. Arnold Guyot, Ph. D., LL.D., Professor of Geology and Physical 
Geography in Princeton, N. J. 

Illustrations. 

By Rev. William M. Thomson, D. D., late of Beir(it, Syria, and William 
H. Thomson, M. D., New York. 



PREFACE. 



This Commentary aims to present, in an evangelical catholic spirit and in popu- 
lar form, the best results of the latest Biblical scholarship for the instruction of the 
English reader of the Word of God. It embraces the authorized version, marginal 
emendations, brief introductions, and explanatory notes on all difficult passages, 
together with maps and illustrations of Bible-lands and Bible-scenes derived from 
photographs and apt to facilitate the understanding of the text. Four volumes will 
complete the New Testament. 

The work has, I may say, an international and interdenominational character. 
It is the joint product of experienced and well known British and American 
scholars who have made the Bible their life-study. It will be published by Messrs. 
T. & T. Clark in Edinburgh, and Messrs. Charles Scribner's Sons in New York. 
The maps of ancient Palestine and Jerusalem were prepared under the super- 
vision of Professor Arnold Guyot, of Princeton. A map of modern Palestine with 
the improvements of the latest researches, and missionary maps of the Apostolic 
age, by the same competent hand, will appear in the next volume. The material 
for the pictorial illustrations is furnished by the Rev. Dr. W. M. Thomson and 
Dr. W. H. Thomson, who from long residence in the East are perfectly at home 
in 'The Land and the Book.' 

The plan of such a Commentary was conceived by the editor about thirty years 
ago,^ but indefinitely postponed when he undertook the English translation and 
adaptation of the Bibelwcrk of Dr. Lange, now nearly finished in twenty-four vol- 
umes. It was resumed in 1869, under more favorable auspices, as a composite 
work, with the aid of several divines who will give it greater variety and value than 
any single author could do, but the publication was again unavoidably delayed by 
the illustrations and other difficulties beyond my control. It will now be carried on 
without interruption. The second volume is already in the hands of the printer. 

This new Commentary will in no wise interfere with the English edition of Dr. 
Lange's ' Bible-work.' It differs from it in plan and aim as well as in size. It 

> Some spedmens of the Commentary on Romans and Galatians, etc, with a new translation (Ger- 
man and English) were published in ScbafTs Deutsche Kirchenfireund for 1848 to 1852, and in the 
liercershurg Review for 1861. 



X PREFACE. 

is purely explanatory, and intended for laymen ; while Dr. Lange's is a threefold 
Commentary (exegetical, doctrinal, and homiletical), and intended for ministers and 
theological students. Yet the spirit is the same, as are several of the contributors ; 
and the editorial labor and care spent upon the American reproduction of Lange 
have been of much use, especially in the textual department, but the emendations, 
instead of being inserted in brackets, are separated from the text and more fully 
conformed to the idiom and vocabulary of our popular version, which is now under- 
going a thorough conversative revision in England and America. 

The last twenty years have been unusually prolific in Commentaries, critical and 
popular. One seems only to create a demand for another. The Bible is of such 
universal and perennial interest that it will call forth comments and sermons with- 
out number, to the end of time. This of itself is sufficient evidence of its divine 
origin and character. It is now more extensively studied than ever before, and 
goes on conquering and to conquer in the face of all enemies. It is inexhaustible. 
It never grows old, but increases in interest and value as time flows on. Human 
books have their day, but * the Word of the Lord endureth forever.' 

PHILIP SCHAFF. 

New York, Aprils 1879. 



CONTENTS OF VOLUME L 



INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT: 

By the Editor, and Professor M. B. Riddle, D. D. 

I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 3-13 

§ I, Name. § 2, Origin. § 3, Canon. § 4, Character. § 5, Organic 
Arrangement. § 6, Preservation of the Text. 

II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS 14-26 

§ 7, Name and Division. § 8, Harmony and Chronology. § 9, Origin 
OF THE Synoptic Gospels. § 10, Gospel according to Matthew. 
§ II, According to Mark. § 12, According to Luke. § 13, Accord- 
ing TO John. 

COMMENTARY ON ST. MATTHEW 27-245 

By the Editor, and Professor Riddle, D. D. 

COMMENTARY ON ST. MARK 246-336 

By Professor Riddle, D. D., and the Editor. 

COMMENTARY ON ST. LUKE 337-5o8 

By Professor Riddle, D. D., and the Editor. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



FULL-PAGE ENGRAVINGS. 



Jerusalem Frontispiea 

Engraved on steel by J. Duthie,from ihepainiing by Selous, 

To face 

Bethlehem 32 

Drawn and engraved on wood^from phonographs selected by JV, M, Thomson^ D, D. 

Site of Capernaum (Sea of Galilee) jj 

From a photograph by F. Frith. 

Coast of Tyre 137 

From a photograph by F. Frith. 

Ancient Jerusalem 191 

From the painting by Selous. 

Tiberias (Sea of Galilee) 248 

From a photograph by F. Frith. 

Jericho 303 

From photographs selected by W. M. Thomson^ D. D. 

Nazareth 341 

From photographs selected by W. M. Thomson^ D. D. 

Road from Jerusalem to Jericho 412 

From a photograph by F. Frith. 

The Mount of Ouves 471 

From a photograph by F. Frith. 

CHi^kcH OF the Holy Sepulchre (Traditional Site) 499 

From photographs selected by W. M. Thomson, D. D. 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT. 

•»♦ All the illustrations in this volume and throughout the entire work are edited by 

W, Af. Thomson, D, Z?., and are drawn from original photographs taken for him^ 

from photographs and combinations of photographs selected and arranged by him, or 

from illustrations in standard works of reference, to which due credit is given in the 

following list. 

Page 
A Coin of Herod the Great 38 

From Akerman. 

Rachel's Tobib 38 

From original photograph. 

Pilgrims' Bathing-Place in the Jordan 4a 

From selected photographs. 



XIV LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Pagt 

Viper 43 

From Tristram's ^^ Natural History of the Bible:* 

Sandals 44 

From Kitto's Cyclopadia. 

Threshing Floor 44 

From drawing by W, H. Thomson, M, D. 

Casting a Net (Sea of Galilee) 51 

From selected photographs. 
Mount of Beatitudes (KiSrOn Hatttn). Traditional 54 

From original photographs. 

A Farthing 61 

From Smith's "Bible Dictionary:* 

Flowers of the Field 71 

From Murray s " New Testament:* 

Lateen Sail Ship 83 

From Chambers's "Encyclopeedia:* 

Wady Semak (Site of Gergesa) S4 

From drawing by W. H. Thomson, M. D. 

Sitting at Meat (Custom of the Present Day) 88 

Leathern Bottles 89 

Oriental Mourning 91 

From Kitto*s Cyclopadia. 

A Galilean Village 92 

From photograph. 

Housetop 100 

From selected photographs. 

Sparrows loi 

From drawing by W. H. Thomson ^ M. D. 

Syrian Reeds 104 

From drawing by W. H. Thomson, M. D. 

Thistle of I'alestinb 120 

From Tristram's ''Natural History of the Bible.** 

Source of the Jordan at Cesarea Philippi 143 

F^om original photograph. 

Tares or Zowan 123 

Hermon (probable Mount of the Transfiguration) 9 148 

From Van de Velde. 

Vineyards at Hebron 175 

From original photograph. 

Roman Denarius 181 

From Smith's ''Dictionary of Roman Antiquities:* 

Phylacteries 187 

From photograph by Ber^uim. 

Anise and Cummin 189 

From Tristram* s " Natural History of the Bible.** 

Roman Standards 196 

From Smiths " Bible Dictionary:* 

Peasant House in Palestine 196 

From drawing by W. H, Thomson, M. D. 

Alabaster Box and Vases 210 

From Kittds " Cyclopadia.** 

Shekel of Israel 211 

Fro9H Smiths " Bible Dictionary:* 

Tombs Hewn in the Rock 238 

From selected photographs. 

Locusts 247 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. XV 

Ruins of Synagogue at Meirun 252 

From original photographs, 

Ekron, City of Beelzebub 261 

From original photograph, 

Gadara (Um Keis) 269 

From original photograph. 

Washing of Hands 283 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Tabor (Traditionsd Mount of the Transfiguration) 292 

From selected photographs. 

Blind Beggars 304 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives from the Hill of Evil Counsel . 306 

From photograph by Frith, 

Figs 308 

Scribe 315 

From photograph by Bergheim, 

Foundation Stones in the Temple Area 318 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Upper Room, or Guest Chamber 322 

From drawing by IV. If. Thomson^ M. D. 

Old Olive Trees in Gethsemane 324 

From photograph by Good. 

High Priest 326 

Forms of the Cross 330 

City of Zacharias (Ain Karim, Traditional) 345 

From selected photographs. 

Writing Materials 349 

Augustus Cesar 352 

Wayside Inn 354 

From selected photographs. 

Turtle Doves 358 

From Tristram's " Natural History of the Bible:* 

Tiberius Cesar 364 

" Whose Fan is in his Hand " 365 

From Murray's " New Testament:'* 

Mount of the Temptation (Quarantania, Traditional Mount) 369 

From photograph by Bierstctdt, 

Ruins of Synagogue at Kefr Burim 372 

From Van de Velde, 

Nain 387 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Funeral Procession 388 

From Lane's ** Egyptians:* 

Ruins of Church of St. John, Samaria 407 

From photograph by Bierstadt, 

Ruins of Synagogue at Capernaum (Tell Hum) 410 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Scorpion 417 

Remains of Nineveh (Birs Nimroud) 420 

From Layard*s " Nineveh:* 

Mint and Rue 422 

From Tristram's '* Natural History of the Bible,** 

VlELY, OR MUKAM OF A SAINT 423 

From selected photographs. 



xvi LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Page 
Village op Siloam (Silwan) 433 

From photograph by Good. 

A Supper Scene 44' 

Syrian Woman's Head-dress 445 

From Lane's ** Egyptians^'' 
MuREX Purpura (Source of Tyrian Dye) 454 

From drawing by W, If. Thomson, M. D, 

ZioN Gate and Lepers' Quarter, Jerusalem 458 

From photograph by Bergheim. 

Lepers 459 

From photograph by Bergheim, 

Sycamore Tree 467 

From drawing by W. H, Thomson, M. D. 

— • » 

MAPS AND PLANS. 
Prepared under the supervision of Prof , A, Guyot, 

Map of Palestine at the time of Christ To face page 3 

Map of the Wilderness of Judea 41 

Map of Decapolis 271 

Plan of Ancient Jerusalem according to Dr. E. P. Robinson . To face page lyj 

" « « « Conrad Schick . . " " « 337 

Modern Jerusalem and Environs, from Petermann « « "508 

♦ 

FAC-SIMILES OF NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS. 

Selected by the Editor and A, W, Tyler, 

Facing 
page 

The Five Great Unoals 10 

Later Uncials and the Three Best Cursives «... 11 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION 

TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 



§ I. Name of the Neiv Testament, 

THE full title of the collection of books which have preserved for us the life of 
Jesus Christ and the teaching of His Apostles is : the New Testament of 
OUR Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Greek, the title is simply The New 
Covenant (17 #caiF^ SiaOi^Krj). The name was applied to distinguish it from the Old 
Covenant. The word Testament comes to us through the Vulgate, or Latin version 
of the Scriptures, which invariably uses testamentum in rendering the Greek word 
diatheke. 

There is, however, a propriety in the term, since by the death of Christ the new 
covenant has been sealed and the inheritance secured to us. 

The true title, New Covenant, is still more appropriate. The truth is here re- 
corded, not as an abstract statement of doctrines and duties, but as the fulfilment 
of God's promise, in the historical facts respecting the Person and work of Jesus 
Christ. For Christianity is primarily not merely doctrine, but life, first embodied 
in Jesus Christ, the God-Man, to spread from Him and embrace gradually the whole 
body of the race, bringing it into saving fellowship with God. 

The new life, however, necessarily contains the element of doctrine, or knowledge 
of the truth. Yet truth must not be confounded with dogma. The one is the 
divinely revealed substance, the other is the human statement of truth, and may be 
more or less imperfect according to the limitations of human knowledge. No sym- 
bol or confession of the Church is fully commensurate with the truth of God in the 
Scriptures. The Word of God will ever remain the only infallible source and rule of 
the Christian faith and life. The New Testament exhibits the truth itself, especially 
in the Person of Him who calls Himself * the Truth.' This revelation is the fresh, 
immediate utterance of Divine life, coming with authority to the heart, the will, and 
the conscience, as well as to the intellect The knowledge of God in Christ, as it 
meets us here, is at the same time eternal life — pledged to us and actually made 
ours by the New Covenant of Him who is * the Life.' 

§ 2. Origin of the New Testament. 

The twenty-seven books collected in the New Testament were written by a num- 
ber of authors, eight at least (nine, in case the Epistle to the Hebrews was not 
written by Paul). For each book there was some special occasion, each had its 
distinct purpose, and between the writing of the earliest and latest parts nearly half 
a century intervened. The agreement, under these circumstances, is truly wonderful, 
and the adaptation of a volume, thus penned, for all ages and classes is not less so. 
Nothing will account for such agreement and adaptation save a supernatural element 
in the composition ; but we are now concerned with the human conditions which 
called forth these writings. 



4 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

Christ wrote nothing ; but is Himself the book of life to be read by all. The 
human heart does not crave a learned, literary Christ, but a wonder working, sym- 
pathizing, atoning Redeemer, risen and ascended to the right hand of God the 
Father Almighty, and ruling the world for the good of His kingdom. Such an One 
is Himself written on men's hearts, and thus furnishes an inexhaustible theme of 
holy thoughts, discourses, and songs of praise. So, too, the Lord chose none of His 
Apostles, Paul excepted, from among the learned ; He did not train them to literary 
authorship, nor expressly command them to perform such labor. They were to 
preach the glad tidings of salvation. 

Personal oral teaching was the means used for first propagating the Gospel and 
founding the Church ; as, in fact, the preached word is to-day the indispensable 
instrumentality. No book of the New Testament was written until at least twenty 
years after the resurrection of Christ, and more than half a century had passed 
before John wrote the fourth Gospel. 

As the Church extended, the field became too large for the personal attention of 
the Apostles, and exigencies arose which demanded epistolary correspondence. The 
Epistles were first in order of time, although they assumed an acquaintance with 
the leading facts of the life of Christ, which had already been communicated by 
oral instruction. The vital interests of Christianity, as well as the wants of com- 
ing generations, demanded also a faithful record of the life and teachings of Christ, 
by perfectly trustworthy witnesses. For oral tradition, among fallible men, is sub- 
ject to so many accidental changes, that it loses in certainty and credibility as its 
distance from the fpuntain head increases, till at last it can no longer be clearly dis- 
tinguished from the additions and corruptions collected upon it. Some have even 
asserted that such changes had already taken place when our Gospels were written. 
But the eye-witnesses were still alive, and, besides, no people could preserve oral 
tradition with more literal accuracy than those of Jewish origin, since the method 
of instruction in vogue among them involved careful memorizing. Our Gospels 
were not written too late for accuracy, but they were none too early to guard against 
error, for there was already danger of a wilful distortion of the history and doctrine 
of Christianity by Judaizing and paganizing errorists. An authentic written record 
of the words and acts of Jesus and his disciples was therefore absolutely indispens- 
able, to maintain the Church already founded, and to keep Christianity pure. Such 
records were to be expected, since the Old Covenant was committed to writing. 
And as the Living Word had come, the existence of a written Word, telling the 
story, would best accord with the character of Him who is *the same yesterday, 
to-day, and forever.' This written word exists in twenty-seven books by Apostles 
and Apostolic men, written under the special direction of the Holy Ghost 

They were all written in Hellenistic Greek (unless the Gospel according to Matthew 
be an exception ; see § lo), /'. e, in that idiom of Macedonian Greek spoken by the 
Jews of the Dispersion (called Hellenists) at the time of Christ. It was a living 
language, expressing Jewish ideas in Greek words, thus uniting, in a regenerated 
Christian form, the two great antagonistic nationalities and religions of the ancient 
world. The most beautiful language of heathendom and the venerable language of 
the Jews are here combined, baptized with the spirit of Christianity, and made the 
picture of silver for the golden apple of the eternal truth of the Gospel. The style 
is singularly adapted to men of every class and grade of culture, affording the child 
simple nourishment for its religious wants, and the profoundest thinker inexhaustible 
matter of study. It is the Book for all, as it is the revelation of the God of all. 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 



5 



§ 3. The New Testament Canon, 

Few books, besides those in the New Testament, were written in the apostolic age, 
But during the second and third centuries numerous Apocryphal works appeared. 
While none of them claim to be * Gospels/ in the full sense, we must still ask : 
Have we all the books and only those books which were written by inspired men as 
authoritative documents in regard to the truths of Christianity ? This question is 
readily answered in the affirmative. The collection of the various writings into a 
canon was the business of the early Church. Not that the Church made the canon, 
or authoritatively decided what books were canonical ; for the earlier synods and 
councils took no action on the subject. The synod of Laodicea, which is supposed 
by many to have settled the canon, was merely provincial. The later assemblies 
only declared what books were received. Indeed, the question is one of fact, not of 
dogma. Still we have good reason for believing that the Church was guided by the 
Spirit of God in making the collection, for He who prepared such a book would pro- 
vide for its purity. And this belief is supported by external and internal evidence. 

There is evidence that the collection was begun, on the model of the Old Tes- 
tament Canon, in the first century ; and the principal books, the Gospels, the Acts, 
the thirteen Epistles of Paul, the first Epistle of Peter, and the first of John, in a 
body, were in general use in the second century, and were read, either entire or by 
sections, in public worship, after the manner of the Jewish synagogue, for the edifi- 
cation of the people. 

All the doubts in regard to certain books have arisen from the scrupulous care of 
the early Church. Few writers of the first four centuries allude to any books as 
canonical, which are not contained in the New Testament as we have it. The mass 
of literature rejected as either apoctyphal or merely human, though orthodox and 
genuine, proves that the early Christians were not lacking in the critical discern- 
ment needed for this task. 

Historical evidence establishes the fact that the twenty-seven books now, in all 
cases, constituting the New Testament, were reckoned parts of it so far back as the 
fourth century ; that while there were doubts in the beginning of that century as 
regards seven of the books, the testimony in favor of their place in the Canon is 
preponderant, that in favor of the others being well-nigh unanimous, during the 
interval between the beginning of the fourth century and periods immediately fol- 
lowing the dates at which they were respectively written. 

The present unanimity, long continued as it is, presents of itself strong evidence. 
A few individual scholars have doubted the canonicalness of some of the books, 
and the reasons for their doing so can readily be discovered. Luther, for example, 
placed at the end of his translation of the New Testament the Epistles of the 
Hebrews, of James, and Jude, and the Book of the Revelation, saying, they had not 
originally been so highly regarded as the others. His hostility to the Epistle of 
James arose from the apparent disagreement with his doctrine of justification by 
faith alone. The Lutheran Church, however, never denied these books a place in 
the Canon. 

None of these books can be regarded as canonical works of a secondary grade 
(deutero-canonical), for the Bible, as a Divine-human book, unique in its character 
and inspiration (see § 4), cannot embrace any parts of this description. 

Those fathers of the fourth century who enumerate the books concur in accepting 
all those and only those which now constitute the New Testament. Among these. 



6 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

Rufinus, Jerome, Augustine, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, may be named. It 
should be added, however, that allusions are made to doubts : in the Eastern Church 
as respects the Book of Revelation ; in the Western Church, the Epistle to the 
Hebrews. These doubts ceased after the third Council of Carthage (a. d. 397). 

Eusebius of Csesarea accepts twenty-one books, throwing doubt upon the other 
six, five Catholic Epistles and the Book of Revelation. The Epistle to the Hebrews 
was little doubted in the Eastern Church. Without citing the passage from Euse- 
bius, or enumerating the other early authors who either do not mention, or cast 
doubt upon, these books, we may remark that in each case good reasons can be 
assigned for the doubts and omissions (see Special Introduction to the several 
books). The existence of such doubts shows the caution of the Church. In view 
of this caution we are abundantly justified in laying down the principle, that books 
are not to be rejected, because their canonicalness has been impugned, but if the 
existence of such doubts can be satisfactorily accounted for, we should accept every 
book for which the evidence is greatly preponderating. The insertion of a book 
differs from the insertion of a word or clause, and is to be discussed upon principles 
which differ from those of strictly textual criticism. 

In all fairness the evidence in favor of the least supported book is to be regarded 
as preponderant It exceeds that in favor of the genuineness of the very writings 
which record the doubts, and also of the Greek and Latin classics which no one 
rejects. In regard to the more important books, the evidence is overwhelmingly 
conclusive. They are proven genuine and as such have been received into the 
canon of the New Testament. 

§ 4. Tlie Character of the New Testament. 

A book purporting to be written by a Christian author might be universally re- 
garded as genuine and yet not be entitled to a place in the Canon of the New 
Testament. There must be something else in its character to warrant insertion there, 
A book could only be entitled to a place in the New Testament Canon, which was 
regarded by Christians as sacred, authoritative, and inspired, just as the canonical 
books of the Old Testament were regarded by Jews and Christians alike. 

* It is written,' * Thus saith the Lord,' * God spake by the mouth of his holy 
prophet : * such are the formulas of citation from the Old Testament, used by Chris- 
tians, by Christ Himself. The record of Him who was Himself the Way, the Truth, 
and the Life, could not be less highly esteemed. Whatever of inspiration Christ 
recognized in the sacred books of the Jews, we must a fortiori recognize in the 
books of the New Testament, or deny their place in the Canon. Our Lord's own 
words predict such an inspiration, and the volume itself abundantly evidences it. 

The Apostles all drew their doctrine from personal contact with the divine- 
human history of the crucified and risen Saviour, and from the inward illumination 
of the Holy Ghost, revealing the person and work of Christ in them, and opening 
to them His discourses and acts. This divine enlightenment is inspiration, govern^ 
ing not only the composition of the sacred writings, but also the oral instructions of 
their authors ; not merely an act, but a permanent state. The Apostles lived and 
moved continually in the element of truth. They spoke, wrote, and acted from 
the Spirit of truth ; and this, not as passive instruments, but as conscious and free 
agents. For the Holy Ghost does not supersede the gifts and peculiarities of 
nature, ordained by the Lord ; it sanctifies them to the service of the kingdom of 
God. Inspiration, however, is concerned only with moral and religious truths, and 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 7 

the communication of what is necessary to salvation. Incidental matters of geog- 
raphy, history, archaeology, and of mere personal interest, can be regarded as directed 
by inspiration only so far as they really affect religious truth. 

The New Testament presents, in its way, the same union of the divine and human 
natures, as the person of Christ. In this sense also * the Word was made flesh and 
dwells among us.' The Bible is thoroughly human (though without error) in con- 
tents and form, in the mode of its rise, its compilation, its preservation, and trans- 
mission ; yet at the same time thoroughly divine both in its thoughts and words, in 
its origin, vitality, energy, and effect ; and beneath the human servant-form of the 
letter the eye of faith discerns * the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of 
grace and truth.' 

It is therefore to be studied, carefully and with the help of all the light which 
human learning can shed upon it, for it is a human book ; but also and chiefly in a 
devout manner under the illuminating influence of the same Spirit who inspired its 
authors ; for it is a Divine book. That Spirit is promised to the prayerful reader, 
and without that help, the study will only be that of the ' natural man ' who ' receiveth 
not the things of the Spirit of God ; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can 
he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.' 

§ 5. Organic Arrangement of the New Testament, 

I. While the New Testament forms one harmonious whole, it was written by dif- 
ferent men, inspired indeed, and yet free and conscious agents. The peculiar charac- 
ter, education, and sphere of the several writers therefore necessarily show them- 
selves in their writings. The truth of the gospel, in itself infinite, can adapt itself 
to every class, every temperament, every order of talent, and every habit of thought. 
Like the light of the sun, it breaks into various colors according to the nature of the 
bodies on which it falls ; like the jewel, it emits a new radiance at every turn. The 
harmony will appear more fully as we recognize the minor differences ; the fulness 
of the truth will be manifest as we discover the various types of Apostolic teaching. 

These types result mainly from the historical antithesis between Jewish and Gen- 
tile Christians. We read of Apostles of the circumcision, and Apostles of the un- 
circumcbion. The former represented the historical, traditional, conservative prin- 
ciple ; the latter, the principle of freedom, independence, and progress. Subordinate 
differences of temperament, style, etc., have also been noticed. James has been 
distinguished as the Apostle of the law ; Peter as the Apostle of hope ; Paul as the 
Apostle of faith ; and John as the Apostle of love. The four Gospels also present 
similar differences ; the first having close affinity to the position of James, the 
second to that of Peter, the third to that of Paul, the fourth being the work of John 
himself. 

The books of the New Testament may be arranged according to the three types 
of doctrine. 

(i.) The Jewish-Christian type, embracing the Epistles of Peter, James, and 
Jude, the Gospels of Matthew and Mark (and to some extent the Revelation of 
John). These, originally designed mainly, though not exclusively, for Jewish-Chris- 
tian readers, exhibit Christianity in its unity with the Old Testament, as the fulfil- 
ment of the law and the prophets. 

(2.) The Gentile-Christian type, embracing the writings of Paul, the third Gospel, 
and the book of the Acts (written by his disciple Luke), and the Epistle to the He- 
brews, which is anonymous, but written either by Paul himself or one of his imme- 



8 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

diate disciples. Here Christianity is apprehended in its absolute and universal 
character, justification is emphasized in opposition to Judaistic legalism, and the 
creative power of divine grace, producing life and freedom, constantly placed in the 
foreground. 

(3.) The perfect unity of Jewish and Gentile Christianity meets us in the writings 
of John, in his doctrines of the absolute love of God in the incarnation of the 
Eternal Logos, and of brotherly love, resting on this divine foundation. Less logical 
than Paul, he is more mystical, and speaks from immediate intuition. 

These three types of doctrine together exhibit Christianity in the whole fulness of 
its life ; they form the theme for the variations of the succeeding ages of the Church. 
But Christ is the key-note, harmonizing all the discords and resolving all the mys- 
teries of the history of His kingdom. 

2. Accordingly we may properly speak of ^progress of doctrine in the New Tes- 
tament The great facts of salvation are recorded in the Gospels. But during the 
life of our Lord the full significance of these facts could not be known. Nor could 
a brief story of the events themselves contain the applications of the great facts 
without losing to a great extent its historical character. Hence, the Epistles were 
needed to explain the meaning of the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord, and 
the writers of them were better fitted to explain them when they wrote than during 
the presence of our Lord on earth. Indeed, the book of Acts (chap, x., xi.) nota- 
bly asserts an enlargement of Peter's apprehension of the scope of Christianity. 
(Comp. chap, xv.) To learn the full meaning of the gospel the whole New Testa- 
ment must be studied in the relation of its parts, even as the whole was written for 
our learning. This is the more necessary, since the Epistles were, for the most 
part, written before the Gospels. They, however, assumed a knowledge of gospel 
facts, the meaning of which they explain. The Gospels, on the other hand, may be 
said to assume the existence of the explanatory Epistles already written. 

3. The usual division of the books is : Historical (the four Gospels and Acts), 
Doctrinal (all the Epistles), Prophetical (the Book of the Revelation). It should be 
remarked that the Book of Acts was originally included among the Epistles. It 
forms a transition from the historical to the doctrinal books, giving the historical 
basis for the Epistles, by narrating the foundation of the Church by the Apostles. 
The three classes of books are related to each other, as regeneration, sanctification, 
and glorification ; as foundation, house, and dome. Jesus Christ is the beginning, 
the middle, and the end of all. In the Gospels He walks in human form upon the 
earth, accomplishing the work of redemption. In the Acts and Epistles he founds 
the Church, and fills and guides it by His Spirit. And, at last, in the visions of the 
Apocalypse, He comes again in glory, and with his bride reigns forever upon the 
new earth and in the city of God. 

4. Chronological Order of the Books, This cannot be determined with absolute 
certainty. The First Epistle to the Thessalonians was probably written first (a. d. 
S3)» the writings of John were composed last, viz., towards the close of the century. 
The date of the Synoptic Gospels cannot be fixed, except in the case of Luke, 
which there is good reason for believing was written a. d. 60-62. Matthew and 
Mark probably did not appear much earlier (see § 9). 

For all practical purposes, the following classification is sufficient : — 
A. D. 53-58, first series of Pauline Epistles : i and 2 Thessalonians, Galatians^ 
I and 2 Corinthums, Romans. 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. g 

A. D. 61-64, second series of Paulie Epnistles : Colossians^ Ephesians^ Philemon^ 
Philippians ; probably Hebrews, 

A. D. 60-70, Matthew y Mark, Luke, Acts, Epistles of yames, and i Peter, 

Uncertain date, but before 67 : The Pastoral Epistles (2 Timothy written last) 
2 Peter, yude. 

A. D. 70-100, probably late in the century: Gospel of yohn, three Epistles of 
yohn, and the Apocalypse. 

§ 6. Preservation of the Text of the New Testament, 

The original manuscripts of the various books of the New Testament have all 
been lost. The ancient Fathers contain scarcely an allusion to them. They were 
written on frail and perishable materials. The possession of them might have 
spared much labor, but a superstitious adoration of them and a relaxing of zeal, 
research, and investigation, would doubtless have been the consequence. The 
text was of course exposed to variations and corruptions from the ignorance, care- 
lessness, or caprice of transcribers. All the results of learning show, however, 
incontestably, that, while many words, clauses, and verses, and a few paragraphs are 
of doubtful genuineness, as a whole, the Greek text of the New Testament is in a 
far better condition than that of any ancient work, the Hebrew Scriptures excepted. 

The science which investigates this subject is called Biblical Criticism. It has 
been pursued by men of all shades of belief and of no belief. They have attempted 
to discover the precise words of the New Testament, as originally written, or, in 
other words, to secure a pure and entire text ; pure, in containing no word or letter 
not belonging there ; entire, in containing every such word and letter in its proper 
place. The labor bestowed upon these investigations has been immense ; it has 
been conducted upon approved principles, and in an unbiased manner. The result 
has been a triumph for Christianity. 

In arriving at its conclusions, N. T. criticism avails itself of certain sources of 
information, termed, in general, authorities. As the notes in this commentary refer 
to these authorities, it may be well to enumerate them. 

I. Ancient manuscript copies of the New Testament (or parts of it) are about 
1600 in number. This enumeration not only includes all the fragments, but is 
based on a division of the New Testament into four parts (indicated below), so that 
a manuscript containing the whole New Testament is reckoned four times. A few 
were written as early as the fourth and fifth century, others are but little older than 
the earliest printed copies. Some contain the whole Bible, others the New Testa- 
ment alone, and some only a small part of the latter. The Gospels are found in 
the greatest number of copies ; next in frequency rank the Pauline Epistles, then 
the Catholic Epistles and Acts, while the Revelation is found in fewest. 

These manuscripts are distinguished as uncial and cursive, according to the mode 
of writing. The letters in those of the former class are square, perpendicular, and 
of a large size ; while the latter class are written in a running hand (hence cursive). 
The uncial MSS. are older and more valuable, but of course fewer in number. Two 
are as old as the fourth century, but some only date back to the close of the ninth 
century. For convenience in reference, the capital letters of the Roman and Greek 
alphabets are used to designate the uncial manuscripts ; the first letter of the 
Hebrew alphabet has been brought into requisition to meet a special case (the 
Codex Sinaiticus). The cursives are designated by Arabic numerals (and also by 
small letters). The fourfold division, indicated above, has resulted in a fourfold 



lO I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

enumeration ; so that while i refers to the same manuscript throughout the New 
Testament (excluding the Apocalypse), with three exceptions, every other manuscript 
containing more than one part, has a different number for each part For example, 
one of the best cursives is 33 for the Gospels, 13 for the Acts and Catholic Epistles, 
17 for the Pauline Epistles. Another excellent cursive is not only numbered four 
times (69, 31, 37, 14), but cited by Scrivener, as * m ' for Acts and Epistles, * f ' for 
the Apocalypse. Few of the cursives have any independent value, but are very use- 
ful in showing the origin and history of variations, and in aiding us to decide where 
the testimony of the older MSS. is divided. The number of uncial manuscripts, 
including fragments, does not exceed sixty, but if they are reckoned according to the 
fourfold division, and over sixty lectionaries added, the sum total amounts to 154. 

Fifty-six uncials contain the Gospels, in whole or in part ; fourteen the Acts ; six 
the Catholic Epistles ; fifteen the Pauline Epistles ; five the Apocalypse. Scarcely 
one third are complete, however, except in the case of the Catholic Epistles and 
Apocalypse. 

Two belong to the fourth century, one entire, the other nearly so, two, both com- 
paratively perfect, with some fragments, to the fifth century. Seven with many frag- 
ments belong to the sixth century. Small as these numbers are, it will be found 
that the material is very great, when compared with that on which the text of the 
Greek and Latin classical authors rests. 

The two oldest manuscripts, which are most valuable in determining the text, 
were not available until a few years ago ; one (the Sinaitic) was discovered in 1859, 
the other (the Vatican), though known before, was almost inaccessible, until 1868. 
The number of doubtful passages has been greatly diminished, since it has been 
possible to use these two authorities for critical purposes. It may safely be said 
that since 1859 more progress has been made in determining the words of the New 
Testament, more unity of opinion among scholars secured, than during all the cen- 
turies since the days of Jerome. We add a sketch of the five most ancient MSS. 
designated respectively M, B, A, C, D. 

H (Aleph). Codex Sinaiticus, The most entire (and probably the most ancient) 
manuscript. It was discovered by Tischendorf in 1859, at the Convent of St. 
Catherine, near Mount Sinai ; hence the name. It is now at St Petersburg, the 
monks having been persuaded to sell it to the Russian Emperor as protector of 
the Greek Church, No other MS. was so speedily applied to critical purposes. At 
first Tischendorf thought it was written in the first half of the fourth century ; after- 
ward he placed it about the middle of that century. While of itself it would not 
establish a reading, yet there were a great number of passages where the authorities 
had been so evenly balanced, that the discovery of a new witness was sufficient to 
remove the doubts, 

B. Codex Vaticanus, This is also of the fourth century, possibly written by one of 
the scribes employed on N. It is in the Vatican Library at Rome. Not so complete 
as N, it still seems to be more correct Its value for critical purposes was well-nigh 
neutralized by the jealous guardianship of the Papal government The citations 
made previous to 1868, when the fac-simile edition was issued, are not always trust- 
worthy, B in the Apocalypse refers to another Vatican manuscript 

A. Codex Alexandrinus, So called because it was brought from Alexandria 
by Cyril Lucar, patriarch, first of Alexandria, then of Constantinople, and by him 
presented to Charles I. of England (1628). It is now in the British Museum. It is 
defective, and carelessly written, so that while it is third in age (probably of the fifth 




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I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. II 

century), it is far from being of equal value with S and R From its location, how- 
ever, whatever value it has became the common possession of scholars. 

C. Codex Ephraetni Syri, The name is derived from the fact that some of the 
works of Ephraem the Syrian were written over the original contents. It is of the 
fifth century, and now in the Library at Paris. More than one third is wanting. It 
is not preserved with sufficient care. 

D. Codex Beta; so called because the Reformer Beza first procured it from the 
monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons. He possessed it about twenty years, and 
then presented it, in 1581, to the University of Cambridge in England, where it 
is now in a good state of preservation. It dates from the sixth century, but contains 
only the Gospels and Acts in Greek and Latin. 

These five manuiscripts, excepting D, are in Greek alone ; some of the others 
contain Latin versions also, as for example A of the Gospels, D of the Pauline 
Epistles (sixth century). 

It is difficult to arrange the other uncial manuscripts in order of value, nor is it 
important for our present purpose. If however i^, B, A, C agree in support of a 
reading, their testimony ordinarily outweighs that of all the others, uncials and 
cursives. If these authorities are sustained by i and 33 among the cursives, it is 
difficult to defend another reading, even though supported by all other authorities 
and by internal probability. 

It might be supposed that these copies were sufficient to establish the correct 
text They certainly do show the general accuracy with which the New Testament 
was copied. But as in the centuries from the date of the oldest copy slight changes 
crept in, which can be traced by a comparison of the manuscripts, we infer that 
similar changes took place during the interval between the fourth century and the 
date at which the various books were written. Such changes are alluded to by the 
early Christian writers. The object of criticism is to obtain a more perfect text 
than that of the oldest manuscripts ; and much progress has been made in doing 
so, by means of all authorities extant. 

II. Ancient Versions. — These are valuable for determining the exact text, in 
proportion to their age, the immediacy of the translation (/. ^., when made directly 
from the Greek), their literalness, and the close affinity of the language they use to 
the Greek. Hence the most important versions are the Syriac and the Latin. 
The former are the oldest, the latter very ancient, and most closely allied in lan- 
guage to the original. The ancient Syriac versions are four in number, two of 
them fragmentary. The oldest is the PeshitOy probably made in the second century. 
It omits five smaller books of the N. T., which some have supposed were not in gen- 
eral circulation so early. It is not slavishly literal, but evidently was made from an 
accurate copy of the original. A manuscript (of the fifth century), discovered by 
Dr. Cureton in the British Museum, supposed by some to contain a more ancient ver 
sion, probably presents a form of the Peshito, older than that preserved elsewhere. 
The Philoxenian version was made at the beginning of the sixth century, under the 
auspices of Philoxenus, Bishop of Hierapolis in Syria. It is very literal, but 
its value is lessened by the poor condition of its text. It omits the Apocalypse. 
The yerusalem-Syriae version, found in a manuscript in the Vatican, is of the fiflh 
century. It is confined to the Gospels. 

The other known Oriental versions are the Coptic, Thebaic, and Bashmuric (all 
Egyptian), the Ethiopic, the Armenian (all five ancient), the Persian, Arabic, and 
Georgian (these are not from the original). 



12 I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

Latin Versions, There is some dispute about the earliest version in this language. 
It would appear, however, that one was made in Africa in the second century ; that 
this underwent changes in the course of centuries, so as to produce the impression 
in the days of Augustine and Jerome, that several had been made. The form of 
this version used in Northern Italy was called the Itaia^ by Augustine. We have 
many remains of this ancient version, and they are exceedingly valuable, far more so 
than the mass of the later Greek manuscripts. The best known Latin version is the 
Vulgate. This was originally in the main a revision by Jerome of the older version. 
But it has been re-revised from the days of Charlemagne to the time of Pope Clement 
VIIL (1592). The authorized edition of the Roman Catholic Church, of the last 
named date, differs from another authorized edition of 1590, and both editions vary 
from the original Vulgate. Great efforts have been made by scholars to discover 
the exact text of the latter, since this is the most valuable help in criticism which 
can be obtained from versions. A large number of manuscripts of the Vulgate 
exist; the oldest, called Codex Atniatinus^ dates back to a. d. 541, nearer the time 
of Jerome than our most ancient Greek manuscripts are to the Apostolic age. 

The other Western versions are the Gothic (fourth century, literal and valuable), 
made by Ulfilas, and the Slavonic (ninth century, of no special value). 

IIL Fathers. — Much help is derived from the works of the early fathers, 
especially from commentaries in which the Greek text is quoted. The mass of 
doctrinal and homiletical works are of little critical value. Among the Greek 
fathers whose writings are valuable in this department, we mention : Irenaeus, 
Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, Eusebius, Athanasius, (Ecumenius, and Theophylact 
(the last two belong to the eleventh century, but are very useful). Many Latin 
fathers are valuable for establishing the text of the old Latin version, but for the 
Greek, Jerome (d. 419) is worth all the rest ; next to him rank Tertullian (d. 220) 
and Augustine (d. 430). 

In using these authorities and determining the text, critics are governed by certain 
general rules deduced from the habits of transcribers and the laws of human nature. 
Griesbach, a German editor of the New Testament, has given the best statement of 
these rules, but in the application of them to special cases the judgment of scholars 
necessarily differs. Very often reasons can be drawn from the context and from the 
passage itself, for or against certain readings. These are termed internal grounds. 
Then, too, the origin of the readings deemed inaccurate must be accounted for, and 
this affects the evidence very often. In discussing the text of the classical authors 
scholars often make conjectural alterations, 1. ^., change words into what they sup< 
pose the author wrote. This is not allowed in N. T. criticism. Nor is it ever nec- 
essary, since we have so many authorities and so many variations. There is less 
guess-work here than in the editions of any other ancient book. 

The science of Biblical criticism was scarcely known when the common English 
version was made. It is well, therefore, to lay before the reader a brief account of 
the printed text of the Greek Testament, which was used by the translators of that 
version. The first printed edition of the whole Greek Testament was that contained 
in the Complutensian Polyglott, prepared at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes 
(1514-1519), but not published until 1522, when the Pope gave his permission. No 
old MSS. were used in preparing this edition. Erasmus hastily prepared an edition 
for the press, which was published in 15 16, before the Complutensian appeared. 
The last editions of Erasmus (1527, 1535) were compared with the Complutensian, 
but no MSS. older than the tenth century were used. Then followed the editions 



I. GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT. 13 

of Robert Stephens of Paris. The first (1546), and second (1549), are called MirifioE^ 
from the first word of the preface ; the third (1550), called Regia^ follows the fifth 
edition of Erasmus very closely, but Stephens used a number of good MSS. in pre- 
paring it Beza's editions are dated respectively, 1559, 1565, 1582, 1589, 1598. From 
the edition of 1589, and the third edition of Stephens 1550, the translation of our 
present English Bible was chiefiy but not invariably taken.* Beza was a better 
commentator than critic, but had good materials for his work. The Elzevir editions 
are the work of an unknown editor, who followed Stephens' Regia very closely. 
He gives no readings not found in the editions of Stephens and Beza, and probably 
consulted no Greek MSS. These editions were printed by Elzevir of Leyden ; the 
first (1624) contains the Received Text, — a phrase borrowed from the preface to 
the second (1633). One hundred years elapsed before a critical edition of the Greek 
Testament was published. The pioneer was J. A. Bengel, the pious, pithy, and 
learned commentator. Wetstein largely increased the material. Then followed 
Griesbach, who may be deemed the founder of the science. Among the latest 
editors we name Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort 

Lachmann marks a new epoch in Biblical criticism. He first carried out the cor- 
rect principle already suggested by Bentley and Bengel, which aims to substitute for 
the comparatively late and corrupt textus receptus the oldest attainable text from 
Nicene and ante-Nicene sources. His resources were defective, but since the dis- 
covery of the Sinaitic Bible, and the critical editions of the Vatican and other im- 
portant MSS., we are enabled to ascertain with a tolerable degree of certainty and 
growing unanimity, the text which comes nearest to the apostolic original. The 
number of variations is very great, but the vast majority are isolated errors, 
analogous to those now termed typographical. Many more at the first glance are 
recognized as errors and accounted for. In about two thousand places there is 
room for a difference of opinion. 

Of these probably not more than three fourths affect even the shadings of the 
sense ; while those passages where a disputed reading modifies the doctrinal bearing 
do not exceed one hundred in number. Further, it can confidently be asserted that 
were all these altered, they would not affect the Scripturalness of any evangelical truth. 
In fact, the great number of authorities, with all their variations, is the best security 
for a correct text. The textual critic is likely to be most confident that we have 
the exact words written by the authors of the N. T. writings. 

* According to the careful collations of Professor Abbot of Harvard University, the authorized 
£. V. agrees with Beza (1589) against Stephens (1550) in about 97 passages ; with Stephens against 
Beza in about 47 ; and in about 67 it differs very immaterially from both. See the details in Schaff^s 
Revision of the English Version of the Holy Scriptures^ New York, 3d cd., 1877, pp. 28-30. 



14 II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 



%y. Tk^ Gospels. 

1. Name. The word * gospel ' means good news, glad tidings. It is used to 
translate a Greek word which at first signified a present in return for good tidings, 
or a sacrifice offered in thanksgiving for good news, then the good news itself. In 
the New Testament it always means the glad tidings of salvation by yesus Christ, 
The word is now used in this sense ; but as applied to the four books of the New 
Testament, which contain the records of our Lord's life on earth, it evidently means 
the writings which contain the glad tidings. The gospel is one, there are four Gos- 
pels in the latter sense. These are properly termed the Gospel, according to 
Matthew, Mark, etc., not the Gospel of Matthew, etc. There are four human writ- 
ings, forming the one Divine record of the gospel. They do not assume to be full 
biographies of Jesus, but aim to give a selection of the characteristic features of his 
life and works, for the practical purpose of leading their readers to living faith in 
Him as the promised Messiah and Saviour of the world. The style is simple, un- 
adorned, and straightforward. Never were histories written so purely historical. 
The authors, in noble modesty and self-denial, entirely suppress their personal views 
and feelings, retire in worshipful silence before their great subject, and strive to set 
it forth in its own power to subdue, without human aid, every truth-loving and 
penitent heart 

2. Division. The first and fourth Gospels were composed by the Apostles Mat- 
thew and John, the second and third, under the influence of Peter and Paul, and by 
their immediate disciples, Mark and Luke ; hence they are likewise of apostolic origin 
and canonical authority. Postponing to another place a discussion of the peculiari- 
ties of each, we here call attention to the most obvious distinction. The first three 
Gospels, while beginning the history at different points, confine themselves in their 
accounts of our Lord's ministry, to events which occurred in Galilee, until the final 
journey to death at Jerusalem ; John specifically mentions the visits to Jerusalem, 
and tells of His ministry in Judea with some detail. The first three Evangelists are 
mere historians ; they deal mainly in facts, and give the parables and the popular 
discourses of Christ concerning the kingdom of heaven. The fourth not only claims 
to be an eye-witness, but interprets, speaking with authority; the discourses of 
Christ in the fourth Gospel relate mostly to his Person and his relation to the Father ; 
they are more metaphysical and theological, as they were addressed mostly to the 
leaders of the Jewish hierarchy, the Pharisees. The other three proceed, moreover, 
on a common outline. Hence they are termed the Synoptic Gospels, their authors 
the Synoptists, 

The fourth Gospel was called very early, the spiritual Gospel (Kara irvcO/ma). 
Luther says it is * the one true, tender, main Gospel ' ; Ernesti names it, ' the heart 
of Christ* It is doubtless the sublimest of all literary compositions. Needed by the 
Church when it was written and ever since, to supplement the Synoptic Gospels, 
there is no evidence that the Apostle wrote it with such a conscious purpose. Cer- 
tainly it detracts nothing from their trustworthiness or value. It does not transcend 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 15 

them in their estimate of the Divine character of Christ ; nor is it less historical, 
though more profound. All were needed, all are alike true, alike inspired. ' And 
thus the fourth Gospel could not properly compensate either of the other three with 
us, though, as the Gospel of the full idealization of the real life of Jesus in the per- 
fect, personal life of love, it must evidently stand as the conclusion, the completion, 
and the crown of the Gospel books ' (Lange). 

We learn from both the Acts and the Epistles that from the very first the story of 
Jesus Christ was told by the Christian preachers, was in fact the substance of their 
message. It is probable that this story, being constantly repeated in public worship 
and in private circles, took stereotyped form, the more readily, on account of the 
reverence of the first disciples for every word of their divine Master. This oral 
tradition was not subject to great changes, since in the absence of books the memory 
was more accurate, and the Jews were of all people most literally exact in their pres- 
ervation of words accounted sacred. There is no objection to supposing that this 
oral tradition was the common basis of the Synoptic Gospels. No doubt written 
documents in certain parts of our Lord's history were also used (see Luke i. 1-4). 
Scholars have puzzled themselves greatly to discover the various component parts 
of the Synoptic Gospels (see § 9. i), but generally agree in assuming the existence 
of this oral tradition. The mistake, too often made, is in supposing that such oral 
tradition comprised all that was historically accurate, that what each added is of 
less authority, or in other words, that this oral tradition, could we discover exactly 
what it was, is more correct and authoritative than our canonical Gospels. This 
we cannot admit The analogy of a written Revelation in the Old Testament is 
against it ; the nature of the case does not favor it ; the Gospels themselves afford 
no grounds for it, and to adopt such a view is to give up written records, incompara- 
ble in their simplicity and air of truthfulness, and to seek an ignis fatuus. Whatever 
theory be adopted as to the origin of the Synoptic Gospels, wc hold to their truth- 
fulness in their integrity. 

§ 8. Harmony and Chronology. 

I. Harmony. The four Gospels being the four representatives of the one gospel, 
there is a remarkable agreement in substance, while the greatest independence is to 
be noticed. As however our Lord's life on earth was one, attempts have been made 
from the earliest times to construct a harmony^ as it is called, /. ^., to present all the 
events recorded by all the Evangelists in strict chronological order, and also to 
make one fuller account by using all the details mentioned by the several Evange- 
lists when telling of the same event. No such harmony can claim to be infallibly 
correct Perhaps the efforts of harmonists have often been injudicious ; certainly 
some of the theories adopted by them have been used with success by the adversa- 
ries of our religion. 

It should be observed that no one of the Evangelists pretends to give a full history, 
hence each may have omitted details of which he was well aware. Further, no one 
of them wrote all that was true, for then four truthful histories could not exist It 
would be preposterous to assert this. These two facts dispose of a great mass of 
objections raised against the details of the Gospels, as involving discrepancies. On 
the other hand great caution must be exercised in assuming that similar miracles, 
sayings, and events are the same. The two miracles of feeding multitudes, one of 
five thousand, another of four, would certainly have been regarded as identical, 
had not accounts of both been found in the same Gospels. The particularity with 



I6 II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 

which they are distinguished is well adapted to enforce the caution just mentioned. 
Then our Lord often repeated the more important sayings put on record. 

Real discrepancies cannot with fairness be said to exist. Apparent ones there 
undoubtedly are, but of just such a character as to establish the independence and 
truthfulness of the witnesses. Even where we cannot harmonize details, we have no 
right to say that any contradiction exists, since all the facts are not known to us. In 
every case we may assume, from the general truthfulness of all four Evangelists, that 
their accounts would harmonize entirely, had we all the facts in our possession. When 
we say the accounts cannot be harmonized, we simply mean that we do not know 
enough to construct the harmony. What other details would enable us to do so, we 
can conjecture, but our conjectures are of no authority. In presenting theories in 
regard to the harmony, we submit them as theories, which may be accepted or re- 
jected, as the reasons urged do or do not commend themselves to the judgment of 
the reader. The exact statements of all the Evangelists are true, our attempts to 
blend them may be false. The former are the testimonies of truthful witnesses, the 
latter the summing up of advocates. 

2. Chronologv. Besides the questions respecting the details of parallel pas- 
sages, harmonists usually discuss questions of dates and of the order of events, or 
general chronology and chronological order. 

(I.) General Chronology, The points to be fixed are the dates of our Lord's 
birth, baptism, and death. The two later dates are involved in the question, How 
long did the ministry of our Lord continue ? The data for a comparison with pro- 
fane history are not sufficient to fix the dates with certainty, and the Gospels them- 
selves do not seem to aim at chronological accuracy. The statements respecting 
the course of Abijah (Luke i. 5-8), the star of the Magi (Matt. ii. 2-7), the enrol- 
ment under Quirinius (Luke ii. 2), and the death of Herod (Matt. ii. 19), are of 
value in discussing the date of the birth of Jesus. The references to secular rulers 
in Luke iii. i, give a clue to the time of His baptism, while the details respecting 
the last Passover, in all the Gospels, are used to fix the date of His death. The 
length of His ministry affects the order as well as the chronology, and the contro- 
versy turns on the view taken of John v. i. If the feast of the Jews there referred 
to, was the Passover, then there were four Passovers during our Lord's ministry ; 
if it was the feast of Purim, or some other feast, then there were but three Pass- 
overs, /. ^., the length of the ministry was only a fraction more than two years, and 
the events extended over two years by the other theory are to be compressed into 
one. The beginning of the last year is not in dispute. 

If we accept a three years' ministry, we would place the date of the birth of Jesus 
at B. c. 5, year of Rome 749, probably in December \ that of His baptism in a. d. 
27, year of Rome 780, in January; that of His death on April 7, a. d. 30, year of 
Rome, 783. 

If the ministry were briefer, the probable dates would be : Birth, b. c. 4 ; Baptism, 
early in a. d. 28 ; Crucifixion, a. d. 30. See Lange on John. Other opinions are 
numerous. The date of the birth is variously fixed from (year of Rome) 747 to 754 
(the common era), but recent commentators do not advocate a later point than 750.* 

• It is certain from Matt. ii. 1-16, that Herod was still living when Christ was born. All chronolo- 
gists agree in fixing the date of his death at (year of Rome) 750, just before the Passover, that is, 
four years before our Christian era. That era has only traditional authority and value. It dates 
from a learned monk, Dionysius Exiguus, in the sixth century, who erroneously fixed the year of the 
incarnation as coincident with the year of Rome 754. It is evident from the established date of Her- 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. I? 

The date of the crucifixion is also variously assigned from 781 to 786, but the great 
majority of modem authors agree upon 783, a. d. 30. 

(2.) Chronological order. Undisputed order. — There is a general agreement as to 
the order up to the first Passover, and the return to Galilee through Samaria ; also 
from the feeding of the five thousand narrated by all the Evangelists (Matt. xiv. 13- 
21; Mark vi. 30-44; Luke ix. 10-17; John vi. 1-14). The disputed order is 
therefore respecting the events recorded in Matt. iv. 13 to xiv. 12 ; Mark i. 14 to 
vi. 29 ; Luke iv. 14 to ix. 9 ; John iv. i to v. 47. Some of the incidents mentioned 
by Luke (xi.-xiii.) are also in dispute. 

The theory which accepts a two years' ministry, compresses all the events in the 
passages above mentioned into one year, usually regarding the feast mentioned 
in John v. i as that of Purim, and not as the second Passover, agreeing however 
in general with the order advocated by Robinson and others. Lange, Ellicott, 
and many others uphold this view. 

The best known theory is that of Robinson, who accepts a three years' ministry, 
placing in the first year, in addition to those mentioned by John, the following 
events : The opening of the Galilean ministry (Matt. iv. 17 ; Mark i. 14, 15 ; Luke 
iv. 14, 15) ; the rejection at Nazareth and the removal to Capernaum (Matt. iv. 
13-16; Luke iv. 16-31); the call of the four fishermen (Matt. iv. 18-22 ; Mark 
i. 16-20 ; Luke v. i-ii) ; the healing of a demoniac at Capernaum (Mark i. 21-28 ; 
Luke iv. 31-37) ; the healing of Peter's wife's mother (Matt. viii. 14-17 ; Mark L 
29-34; Luke iv. 38-41) ; the first circuit throughout Galilee (Matt iv. 23-25 ; Mark 
i. 35-39 ; Luke iv. 42-44) ; the healing of a leper (Matt viii. 2-4 ; Mark i. 40-45 ; 
Luke V. 12-16) ; the healing of the paralytic (Matt ix. 2-8 ; Mark ii. 1-12 ; Luke 
V. 17-26); the call of Matthew (Matt ix. 9 ; Mark ii. 13, 14; Luke v. 27, 28), 
The second year opens with John v. i ; Matt xii. i ; Mark ii. 23 ; Luke vi. i. 

There is still a third view, upheld by Lichtenstein and others, and fully detailed 
by Andrews. Accepting a three years' ministry, it places the whole of the Galilean 
ministry after the second Passover (John v. i). About the previous year the Syn- 
optists are silent. The events of the second year are all those recorded in the 
passages in dispute. The order is much simplified by this theory. It avoids the 
great difficulty which has been felt in extending the Synoptic accounts over three 
years, and also the difficulty common to both the other theories, namely, inserting 
so important a visit to Jerusalem, as that recorded in John v., at a point in the 
Synoptic narratives where there is nothing to indicate such a visit 

We add an outline, which presents the salient points of the history, according to 
Robinson and Andrews. 

od*s death, that our Lord's birth could not have taken place later than the beginning of the winter 
of A. u. 750. Chronologists differ as to the year : Bengel, Wieseler, Lange, Greswell, Ellicott, An* 
drews, fix it at 750 (a. u.) ; Petavius, Ussher, Browne, 749 ; Kepler, 748 ; Ideler, Wurm, Jarvis, Al- 
ford, and the French Benedictines, 747 ; Zumpt, 747 or 74S, 1. ^., 7 or 8 years before the common 
era. For particulars, sec Wieseler (Chronology of the Gospels), Zumpt (7}(^ Year of Christ's Birth)^ 
Andrews (Lifi of our LorJ)^ Robinson (Harmony of the Gospels), and Farrar (Life of Christ). The 
three authors last named, respectively present, in popular form, the three theories of our Lord's 
ministry, which are entitled to most consideration. 

VOL. I. a 



I8 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 



OUTLINE OF THE GOSPEL HISTORY. 



Y.iar of 
K«ime 



AC. 



749 



7S0 



Matthew. 



780 



7?« 



B.C. 
5 
December 

A. D. 

January 



a; 



28 



780 



a; 



73. 



2i 



78a 



783 



a9 

April 7, 
30 



I. 



Introduction. 
Prefaces . . 



Genealogies . . 
Antecedent Events 



II. Tub Birth and Childhood op Jesus . . 

in. OuMidx>RD*s Introduction to His Ministry. 

From the appearance of the Baptist .... 
To the wedding at Cana of Galilee .... 

IV. Fir.st Year of our Lord's Ministry. 
(According^ t0 Andrews^ narrated by John cn/j.) 

From the First Passover 

To the second Passover 



V. Second Year op our Lord's Ministry 
{vAoIly in Galilee. ) 
From the beginning of the ministry . . . 

To the feeding of the five thousand and 
The discourse at Capernaum 



I. 1-17. 
i. 18-25 

iL 1-23. 



ill. I, to 
iv. II. 



Mark. 



I 1-13. 



IV. t?, 

to 
xiv. 36. 



1 14, 

to 
vi. 5'>. 



IV. First Year op our Lord's Ministry. 
{According to Robinson.) 

From the first Passover, including the follow- 
ing events, narrated by the Synoptists : 

The beginning of the Galilean ministry . . . 

The rejection at Nazareth and removal to Ca- 
pernaum .... ■..•... 

The call of the four fishermen 

The healing of a demoniac at Capernaum . . 

Tlie healing of Peter's wife's mother . . . 

l*he first cireuit through Galilee 

The healing of a leper 

The healing of the paralytic 

The call of Matthew 

Followed by the second Passover. 

V. Second Year op our Lord^s Ministry. 

From the second P.issover and the Sabbath 
controversy in Galilee 

To the feeding of the five thousand and 
The discourse at Capernaum, including . . . 
The events narrated by Luke in 

• 

And those narrated by Matthew, not cited 
under IV. 



IV. 17. 

iv. 13-16. 
iv. 18-22. 

viii. 14-17- 
iv. a3-25- 

viii. 2-4. 

ix. 2-8. 
ix- 9. 



XII. I, 

to 
xiv. 36. 



» Hf 



to 



II. 14. 



»»• a3i 
to 

vi. 56. 



Luke 



L 1-4. 


iii. 23-38- 


i. 5-80. 



il. x-52. 



HI. s-23. 



IV. 14, 

lo 
ix. 17- 



IV. 14. 
iv. 16-31. 

V. l-IX. 

>v. 3»-37. 
iv. 38-4 X. 
iv. 4»-44- 
V. 12-16. 
V. 17-26. 
V. 27-28. 



VI. I, 

to 
ix. 17. 



XI. M, 

to 
xiii- 9. 



VI. Third Year op our Lord's Ministry . 

Until the arrival at Bethany 

VII. From the Arrivai. at Bethany . . 

To THE Burial op Jesus 

VIII. Resurrection and Ascension . . . 



XV. ty 

to 
XX. 34- 

xxi. I, 
to 



vn. t, 

to 
X. 52. 

xi. I, 
to 



xxvii. 66. XV. 47. 



xxviti. 



XVI. 



ix. z8, 

to 
xix. 28. 

xix. 29, 

to 
xxiii. 56. 

xxiv. 



John. 



I. 1-5. 



i. 6, to 
ii. 12. 



n. 13, to 

V. I. 

V 1, 

to 

vi. 14. 
vi. 71. 



"• >3» 



to 



V. I. 



v. I. 

vi. 14. 

vi. 71. 



vn. ly 

to 
xi. 57. 

xii. I, 

lo 
xix- 42. 



XX., XXI. 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 19 

§ 9. The Synoptic Gospels* 

Origin. The common basis of the Synoptic Gospels was the oral teaching of 
the Apostles and eye-witnesses of the events of our Lord's life (see § 7. 2.). Mat- 
thew was himself, for the most part, an eye-witness ; Luke seems to have had access 
to written documents on certain parts of the life of Jesus ; Mark, the confidant of 
Peter, probably gives a faithful copy of the Gospel preached by that Apostle, and 
may also have used some records made by him under the fresh ipnpression of the 
events themselves. We are not prepared to admit anything more in regard to the 
probable origin of the Synoptic Gospels. Scholars have disputed for ages which 
was written first, and what influence the earlier one had upon the others. A multi- 
tude of theories have been broached as to the component parts of each. If by 
such laborious investigations a tnier history might be obtained, there would be 
some practical purpose in these theories. But we assume that the canonical Gos- 
pels are true, and did they contain superadded matter, the conjectural and contra- 
dictory character of the theories which assume this prove the impossibility of elim- 
inating it We shall not be surer of the truth by leaving simple straightforward rec- 
ords and searching for the lost original Gospel, if ever such an one existed. 

We agree with Alford and others, that there is no good reason from the internal 
structure of the Synoptic Gospels to believe, but every reason to disbelieve, that 
any one of the three Evangelists had access to either of the other two Gospels in 
its present form ; that all drew from the same tradition, but each wrote indepen- 
dently. This is the most natural hypothesis, and we shall be able to offer evidence 
in support of it in commenting on nearly every section which narrates events re- 
corded by more than one Evangelist. The independence of the writers appears 
from the fact, that no one narrative gives evidence of having been written to sup- 
plement another, to correct another, to adapt another to a different class of readers, 
or of having borrowed the common matter from the others. That the seeming 
independence arises from alterations made to give an appearance of originality is 
absurd : the character of the writers forbids it, and the character of the writings 
no less. These views have been carefully tested in the preparation of this Com- 
mentary, and are advanced here as having fully stood the test. 

According to the testimony of the earliest Christian fathers, Matthew wrote first, 
then Luke, and Mark third. This testimony is of course rejected by those who 
hold theories respecting the origin of the Synoptics calling for another order. But 
even if we leave these theories out of the discussion, we cannot receive this testi- 
mony as conclusive. 

If any Gospel shows internal evidence of priorit}-, it is that of Mark. If it were 
a matter of importance to know what was the outline of the so-called traditional 
Gospel, we infer that it coincided in chronological order and salient features with 
the briefest, most vivacious synoptic Gospel, which is most accurate in its order, 
and in its style shows most marks of originality. If, however, Matthew wrote in 
Hebrew, the priority must be conceded to his Gospel. The priority of Luke is in- 
ferred by many from its relation to the book of Acts, which refers to it as a former 
treatise. The latter seems to have been published about the time when its narra- 
tive closes (63). It is asserted that neither Matthew nor Mark could have written 
before this time, hence Luke wrote first. 

It appears then that patristic authority favors the priority of Matthew, internal 
evidence that of Mark, and the inference just suggested that of Luke. In other 



20 II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 

words we are left in uncertainty on this point, which loses its importance, if we ac- 
cept the theory that the Synoptists wrote independently of each other. 

§ lo. 2%^ Gospel according to Matthew, 

1. That this Gospel was written by the Apostle Matthew, there is no reason to 
doubt. Seventeen independent witnesses of the first four centuries attest its genu- 
ineness. Until the discovery of the Sinaitic manuscript, there was some uncer- 
tainty in regard to one of these witnesses, — the author of the so-called Epistle of 
Barnabas. That MS. contains the Greek text of this Epistle, which was written 
as early as a. d. no (possibly before), and there is now no doubt, that at that date 
the Gospel was known as that according to Matthew, since it is cited as such. 
The other testimonies of the second century are those of Papias, Justin Martyr, 
Irenaeus, Tatian, Celsus (the heathen), and Tertullian. The evidence is more pos- 
itive and explicit than that which supports any non-Biblical work of the same age. 

2. Matthew (or Levi ; see Mark ii. 14 ; Luke v. 27, 29) was a publican, or 
taxgatherer, called by our Lord from the tollbooth, near the Sea of Galilee, where 
he was perfortning his secular duty. The name, according to Dr. Lange, might 
be interpreted as meaning * God's free man.' Others with more reason, regard it 
as derived from the same word as Matthias (Acts i. 23, 26), meaning * gift of God.* 
It is probable that this name was adopted as his new Christian, apostolic name 
(comp. Simon, Peter ; Saul, Paul). While his former avocation was regarded by 
the Jews with contempt, it doubtless gave him an extensive knowledge of human 
nature and accurate business habits, which tended to fit him for his great work as 
an Evangelist. Indeed, it has been supposed that the topical arrangement of his 
Gospel is largely due to the influence of his previous occupation. The New Testa- 
ment is silent in regard to his special labors. Tradition says he was murdered in 
Ethiopia, while at prayer, but according to the earlier statement of Clement of Al- 
exandria, he died a natural death. 

3. The Gospel was probably written in Palestine, for Jewish Christians. (On the 
original language, see below.) It presents Christ as the last and greatest Prophet 
and Lawgiver, as the Fulfiller of the Old Testament, as the Messiah and King of 
the true people of Israel. Its arrangement is not strictly chronological, but topi- 
cal, since it groups together similar works and sayings of Christ. Though a simple 
narrative in its form, and not proposing any definite design on the part of the 
author, it is in fact a historical proof that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah. The 
frequent references to the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy suggest this pur- 
pose. While it is not certain that it was the first in time, it deserves the first place 
in the New Testament ; for it forms the best link between the Old and New Tes- 
taments, the Law and the Gospel. It occupies the same position in the Canon of 
the New Testament, as the Pentateuch in the Old Testament, giving us in the 
Sermon on the Mount a counterpart of the legislation from Mount Sinai, the fun- 
damental law of the Christian Church. Its leading object may be found in the 
declaration : *I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil' (v. 17). With this must be 
closely joined the solemn words of ver. 20 : * Except your righteousness shall ex- 
ceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into 
the kingdom of heaven.* In it * the life of Jesus is presented as forming part of 
the history and life of the Jewish nation ; and hence as the fulfilment of the hered- 
itary blessing of Abraham.* The genealogy, the revelation to Joseph, the visit of 
the Magi, peculiar to this Gospel, all combine to make this impression as one 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 21 

begins to read, which is deepened by the Sermon on the Mount, the parables of the 
kingdom of heaven, the discourse against the Pharisees (chap, xxiii), and the re- 
peated citations from the Old Testament prophecies, which are declared to be 
fulfilled in Christ. 

4. In what language did Matthew first write his Gospel ? The two views are 
[a) that it was originally composed in Hebrew, i. e., Syro-Chaldaic, or Western Ara- 
maic, the dialect spoken in Palestine by the Jewish Christians ; (p) that it was writ- 
ten in Greek, as we now possess it. 

(a) The testimony of the early Church unanimously favors the first view. Those 
fathers who assert that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, also assert that his work was 
translated into Greek, and unhesitatingly employ the present Greek Gospel as a 
faithful representative of the Apostolic production. If we accept a Hebrew origi- 
nal, then we must also conclude that when the necessity for a Greek version be- 
came obvious, Matthew himself made, or caused to be made, the present Greek 
Gospel. Of this there is no positive and direct proof, but it accords with the testi- 
mony of the fathers, accounts for the double assignment of dates which we find, and 
also for the universal acceptance of our Gospel. It cannot be supposed that the 
Gospel, which is known to have existed from the end of the second century to the 
beginning of the fourth, under the name * the Gospel according to the Hebrews,* 
was the original work of the Apostle, for there is good evidence that it was only 
a corrupted form of the Gospel of Matthew, and as such rejected and lost, while our 
present Gospel was preserved as the genuine Gospel. The idea that there was a 
briefer original Matthew, to which additions were made, is an ingenious fiction 
without historical basis and against internal evidence. 

(^) In favor of a Greek original, or of the original character of our Gospel, it has 
been urged, not only that the testimony of the fathers is insufficient, unsatisfactory, 
and at times confused, but that the evidence from the Gospel itself is abundantly 
conclusive on this point. The theory of a version by Matthew himself will account 
for the early citation of the present Greek text, but not so readily for certain facts 
in the Gospel itself. It agrees most exactly with the other two (Mark and Luke) 
in the discourses, especially those of our Lord, and differs from them most in the 
narrative portions. And further, where citations from the Old Testament occur 
in the discourses, they are usually from the Septuagint, while those in the narrative 
appear to be independent translations from the Hebrew, It is argued : * A mere 
translator could not have done this. But an independent writer, using the Greek 
tongue, and wishing to conform his narrative to the oral teaching of the Apostles, 
might have used for the quotations the well-known Greek Old Testament, used by 
his colleagues ' (Smith, Bib, Diet,, art. * Matthew '). This of course involves a com- 
paratively late date for the Gospel. It is objected, that this habit of the Synoptists, 
of using the LXX. in reporting the discourses of our Lord, proves too much, namely, 
that our Lord himself spoke in Greek, using the very words of the LXX. which 
they agree in reporting. This difficulty is not an insuperable one. It is almost 
certain that our Lord spoke in Greek with foreigners, such as Pontius Pilate, the 
Greeks (mentioned in John xii.), the Syro-Phenician woman, but with his disciples 
and the Jewish people, in the Aramaic, These foreigners probably had not learned 
Hebrew, and no interpreter is mentioned. There is no improbability in the view 
that our Lord occasionally spoke in Greek, since that language was extensively used 
in Galilee of the Gentiles. (See Smith's Bib. Diet,, Am. ed., art. * Language ol 
N. T.,' by Professor Hadley.) The whol^ question is an open one, and it is to 



22 II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 

be hoped that some future archaeological discoveries will settle it. The drift o£ 
scholarly opinion is toward the acceptance of a Greek original. In any case there 
is no reason for doubting the genuineness of the canonical Gospel. 

5. As regards the time when it was written, there is great uncertainty. Evidently 
Jerusalem had not been destroyed, and just as evidently some time had elapsed 
since the events it records had occurred (chaps, xxvii. 7, 8 ; xxviii. 15). Some of 
the ancients give the eighth year after the Ascension as the date, others the fif- 
teenth; but Irenaeus asserts that it was written* when Peter and Paul were preaching 
at Rome ' (after 61). If there was an original Hebrew Gospel, the earlier date 
belongs to it, but we would place our present Gospel between 60 and 66, a period 
during which both Mark and Luke probably wrote their Gospels. 

§ II. The Gospel according to Mark, 

1. The second Gospel was written by Mark, or John Mark, as he is also called 
(Acts xii. 12, 25 ; xv. 37). Its genuineness, attested by explicit testimony, has been 
little disputed ; while its brevity and freshness have led to the opinion that it was 
the primitive Gospel (see § 7, 9), The theory that it once existed in briefer form 
and was enlarged to its present size by additions from various sources, is unsup- 
ported by evidence. (On the conclusion, see chap. xvi. 9.) 

2. Mark, or John Mark, was a Jew, probably a native of Jerusalem, where his 
mother Mary resided (Acts xii. 12). She was a person of some repute among the 
early Christians, as Peter, when released from prison, naturally went to her house. 
Mark was probably converted by that Apostle (i Pet. v. 13), and the minute account 
of the young man who followed Jesus on the night of the betrayal (Mark xiv, 51, 
52) together with the omission of the name, points to the Evangelist as the person 
concerned. Going with Paul and Barnabas (his * cousin,* Col. iv. 10), as their min- 
ister (Acts xii. 25), on their first missionary journey, he left them at Perga (xiii. 13), 
and in consequence became the occasion of * sharp contention * between them (xv. 
36-40). Afterwards in Rome he appears as a companion of Paul (Col. iv. 10 ; 
Philem. 24). He was with Peter when that Apostle wrote his first Epistle (i Pet. 
v. 13), but was at Ephesus with Timothy at a date probably later (2 Tim. iv. 1 1). 

Trustworthy details respecting his after life are wanting, but ancient writers agree 
in speaking of him as the * interpreter ' of Peter, This may mean that he trans- 
lated for the Apostle, but more probably that he wrote his Gospel in close conform- 
ity to Peter's preaching. 

3. This close relation to Peter is confirmed by the . Gospel itself* Many events 
are recorded as if from the lips of an eye-witness. Some suggest, that the Gospel 
is based upon a diary of Peter, sketching his fresh impression of events as they 
occurred. The style shows the influence of that Apostle. Peter's address to 
Cornelius (Acts x.) has been called the Gospel of Mark in a nutshell. A compar- 
ison of the accounts in Matt. xvi. 13-23 and Mark viii, 27-33, indicates that Peter 
himself (or an enemy of his, which is impossible) occasioned the omission of the 
praise (* Thou art Peter,' etc.), and yet the insertion of the rebuke (* Get thee be- 
hind me, Satan,' etc.). Mark alone mentions the two cock-crowings (chap. xiv. 72), 
thus increasing the guilt of Peter's denial. Even if not submitted to the Apostle 
for approval (as Eusebius asserts on the authority of Clement of Alexandria), the 
faithfulness of the history may well be accepted. 

4. The Gospel begins with the baptism of John, gives few discourses, dealing 
mainly with facts arranged in chronological order (see p. 18), narrating these in 
brief, rapid sketches with graphic power. No subjective sentiments or reflections are 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 23 

interwoven (see, however, chap. vii. 19). Peculiar to this Evangelist are the re- 
peated use of * straightway,' and of the present tense in narratives, the prominence 
given to Christ's power over evil spirits, such touches and incidents as the follow- 
ing : that Jesus was * in the hinder part of the ship, asUep on the boat cushion ' (iv. 
38) ; that * he looked round about on them with anger ' (iii. 5) ; beholding the rich 
young man 'he loved him' (z. 21); the vivid details of the escape of the * young 
man,' probably himself (xiv, 51, 52). A few miracles and one parable also are 
found only here. These peculiarities serve to show both independence of the other 
Evangelists and the close relation to some eye-witness. 

5. Although written in Greek, the Gospel was designed for Roman readers, 
and is especially adapted to their mind, so easily impressed by exhibitions of energy 
and power. It exhibits Christ as the spiritual conqueror and wonder-worker, the 
Lion of the tribe of Judah, filling the people with amazement and fear. Mark in- 
troduces several Latin terms ; he even substitutes Roman money for Greek (xii. 
42), which Luke does not, and notices that Simon of Cyrene was ' the father of 
Alexander and Rufus ' (xv. 21), who were probably Christians in Rome (Rom. xvi. 
13). It is therefore most likely that the Gospel was written in that city, before the 
destruction of Jerusalem, whether before or after the Gospel of Luke, is uncertain 
(see § 9). 

6. Mark may be said to form the connecting link between Matthew and Luke, 
Peter and Paul, the Jewish and the Gentile Christianity. But his Gospel is inde* 
pendent of the other two. Its similarity to Matthew has not only led the mass of 
readers to undervalue it, but exposed it to numerous slight alterations on the part 
of the early copyists. Precisely where Mark's peculiarities were most apparent, 
these attempts to produce literal correspondence with Matthew have been most fre- 
quent Modem textual criticism has achieved here a proportionately greater work 
of restoration. For abundant proof that this Gospel is not an abridgment of that 
of Matthew, see the commentary throughout. 

§ 12. T?ie Gospel according to Luke, 

1. Common consent and internal evidence sustain the view that the author of 
the third Gospel was Luke, mentioned in Col. iv. 14; 2 Tim. iv. 11 ; Philem. 24. 
The only question has been whether we possess the book in its original form. 
Marcion, a Gnostic heretic, who flourished in the second century, used a Gospel, 
which, while agreeing in general with this, omitted chaps, i., ii., and connected iii. i, 
immediately with iv. 31. After renewed and exhaustive discussion in modem 
times, it may be considered settled, that Marcion, as the early Fathers assert, muti- 
lated the Gospel of Luke to suit his dualistic views of the antagonism between the 
Old and New Testaments. Objections have been made to chaps, i. and ii. on doc- 
trinal grounds; but the same objections could be made against passages in the 
other Gospels, which are undoubtedly genuine. 

2. The name Luke, Greek Lucas, is probably an abbreviation of Lucanus, pos« 
sibly of Lucilius, but not of * Lucius ' (Acts xiii. i ; Rom. xvi. 21). The Evangelist 
was not a Jew, as is cedent from Col. iv. 14, where *the beloved physician ' is dis- 
tinguished from 'those of the circumcision.' The opinion that he was a native of 
Antioch (Eusebius) may have arisen from confounding him with 'Lucius' (Acts xiiL 
i). That he was one of the Seventy or of the two who were walking to Emmaus, is 
unlikely, as he was not himself an * eye-witness ' (chap. i. 2) of the Gospel facts. 
A physician according to the New Testament, a painter also, according to tradition, 



24 II- SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 

he comes into historical prominence as the companion of Paul in his later journeys, 
though his presence is modestly indicated in his own narrative only by the change 
to the first person plural. Joining the Apostle at Troas (Acts xvi. lo), he accom- 
panied him to Philippi, on his second journey ; rejoining him some years later at the 
same place (xx. 5), he remained with Paul until the close of the New Testament 
history. 

Of his subsequent life little is known. * It is, as perhaps the Evangelist wishes 
it to be ; we only know him whilst he stands by the side of his beloved Paul ; when 
the master departs, the history of the follower becomes confusion and fable '(Arch- 
bishop Thomson). 

3. The Gospel of Luke was written, primarily, for the use of one * Theophilus * 
(chap. i. 3). Some have supposed that the name, which means * Lover of God,' is 
applicable to any Christian reader. But it is better to refer it to a person. The 
minute description of places in Palestine, indicates that he was not an inhabitant 
of that country, while the mention of small places in Italy as familiarly known 
(Acts xxvii. 8-16) makes it probable that his home was at Rome, a view confirmed 
by the abrupt conclusion of Acts. In any case he was a Gentile. The Gospel was 
designed mainly for Gentile Christians, and is Pauline in its type, representing the 
Gospel in its universal import for all nations and classes of men, in opposition to 
Jewish exclusiveness. This agreement with Paul is but natural from his close 
personal intimacy, but there is no evidence that Paul dictated it, and that it was re- 
ferred to by the Apostle as his Gospel (2 Tim. ii. 8 ; * my gospel ' ). The preface 
indicates nothing of this, nor does the style. The verbal resemblances, especially 
in the account of the words of institution of the Lord's Supper (comp. Luke xxii. 
19, 20 with I Cor. xi. 23-25), are such as would result from companionship with 
Paul, but there is nothing here (or in the writings of Paul himself) to sustain the 
view that it was written in the interest of a distinctively Pauline party in the early 
Church. That whole (Tubingen) theory is now exploded. 

4. The peculiarities of the third Gospel are marked. The style closely resembles 
that of the Acts, but has a larger number of Hebraisms, especially in the first two 
chapters, which indicate the use of Hebrew documents by the Evangelist. Where he 
describes scenes he had witnessed, the style is far more pure. A large number of words 
are peculiar to Luke, and to him we are indebted for nearly all the chronological 
notices which link the Gospel facts with ancient history in general. The narrative 
is more complete than the others, and yet the order is not strictly chronological. He 
presents himself more as an author than the other three, yet never names himself. 
That he was an educated physician appears both from his style in general and his 
mode of describing diseases. He, more than the other Evangelists, presents Christ 
as the * Physician,' recording details which * give greater prominence to the genuine 
humanity of his person and the healing nature of his redeeming work.' The same 
is true of the incidents peculiar to this Gospel : the account of the Nativity, the 
presentation in the temple ; the miraculous draught of fishes ; the sending out of 
the Seventy ; the parables of the Good Samaritan, the barren fig tree, the lost sheep, 
the prodigal son, the unjust steward, Dives and Lazarus, the importunate widow, 
the Pharisee and the Publican, the ten pounds, and the visit to Zacchaeus, with many 
details respecting the closing scenes. ' In studying it, we are more attracted by the 
loveliness than even by the dignity of the Lord ; and the Holy One, born of Mary, 
appears before our eyes as th^ fairest of the children of men.' 

5. This Gospel also was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, to which 



II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 25 

there is no allusion except in our Lord's prophecy. Had such a prophecy been fab- 
ricated, the details would have been fuller. As the Gospel was written before Acts 
(Acts i. i), it is highly probable that the former was written at Caesarea, in Pales- 
tine, during Paul's imprisonment there (a, d. 58-60), the latter at Rome, before the 
close of Paul's first imprisonment there (a. d. 61-63). Some date the Gospel even 
earlier, the place of composition being determined in accordance with the date as- 
signed. It may have "been written earlier than the Greek Gospel of Matthew, but 
on the well-sustained view of the independence of the Synoptical Gospels, the 
question loses its importance. The nearer the dates of writing, the less the proba- 
bility that this was compiled from the other two. That the Gospels of Matthew 
and Mark are referred to in chap, i. i, is very improbable (see commentary). 

§ 13. The Gospel according to jfohn} 

1. The author of the fourth Gospel was the Apostle John. The last written, it 
was written by the last of the Twelve, the disciple whom Jesus loved, who leaned on 
his breast at the last supper, who stood at the cross and at the open tomb, and who 
witnessed the greatest facts which ever occurred or ever will occur in the history of 
mankind. After protracted controversy the conviction is more firmly grounded, that 
no one but the Apostle John could have written it. (The genuineness of chap. viii. 
i-i I will be discussed in that place.) The external and internal evidence are both 
very strong. The testimony of antiquity, heretical as well as orthodox, is unanimous 
and goes back to the pupils of John. The Gospel claims John as its author, and 
the modest references to himself combine with the characteristics peculiar to an 
eye-witness to support the claim. The familiarity with Jewish nature and with lo- 
calities in Palestine furnish incidental corroboration, while the solemn and explicit 
testimony of chap. xix. 35, and the sublime character of chaps, xiv.-xvii., far out- 
weigh the objections drawn from seeming discrepancies of a minor nature. There 
is no doctrinal difference between this and the Synoptic Gospels. The longer dis- 
courses form no objection, since it was to be expected that John would narrate 
these ; some, because they were spoken in privacy, and John heard them ; others, 
because they contained severe language against the Jews, which would be appro- 
priately reported in the latter part of John's life. If he did not write it, it is a 
forger}- — and this alternative is both a literary impossibility and a moral mon- 
strosity. If a forger can write such a book, then Beelzebub has for these eighteen 
centuries cast out devils. The opponents substitute an unnatural and an immoral 
miracle for a rational and moral one. 

2. The fourth Gospel stands by itself. Its relation to the other three has been 
much discussed. The truth lies midway between two opposing theories ; it was 
neither designed as a supplement to the Synoptists, nor written without any reference 
to them. A supplement would not contain so many things in common with the 
other Gospels ; had John been unaware of the existence of the other accounts he 
would scarcely have omitted such important events as the transfiguration. In any 
case his independence and inspiration are to be insisted upon. The character of 
the Gospel is a sufficient proof of both. This is the Gospel of life, light, and love, 
the Gospel of holy peace and union. It reveals the inmost secrets of the divine 
human person of our Lord and of his redeeming love. No human composition can 
compare with it. It has ever exerted and will ever exert an irresistible attraction 
upon the strongest minds and purest hearts, and ' draw all men ' to Christ. It de- 

^ For a special introduction to John, see commentary on that Gospel. 



26 II. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS. 

picts mainly the labors of Jesus in Judea among the Pharisees and scribes, while 
the Synoptists present chiefly his labors in GaJilee among the common people. 
Omitting most of the miracles, he records the greatest, two of them (at the wed- 
ding in Cana and the raising of Lazarus) not mentioned by the others. He pre- 
serves for us the most profound discourses of our Lord, on his relation to the 
Father, to his disciples, and to the world. He is silent about the outward Church 
and the visible sacraments, but unfolds the idea of the vital union of believers with 
Christ and of the communion of saints. Instead of the institution of baptism he 
gives the discourse with Nicodemus on regeneration of water and of the Spirit ; 
and instead of an account of the institution of the Lord's Supper, we have the mys- 
terious discourse on the eating of the flesh and the drinking of the blood of the 
Son of Man by faith. He sets forth the incarnate divinity, the Synoptists the di- 
vine humanity of the God-man. He begins with the eternal Son of God ; Matthew 
and Luke with the birth from the Virgin Mary ; Mark with the public preaching of 
Christ But the Christ of John is as truly human in all things, as the S)moptic 
Christ, and the latter as truly divine as the former. 

3. The Gospel was probably written at Ephesus towards the close of the first 
century, at least early testimony leads to this view. Later anonymous writers state 
that it was written in Patmos. Internal evidence points, though not conclusively 
of itself, to a later date than the destruction of Jerusalem. We have no positive 
evidence as to whether John wrote it before or after his general Epistles and the 
Apocalypse. The probabilities are that it was written first, since the other writings 
indicate a more advanced stage in the development of error within the Church, and 
the Apocalypse, the book of the future, appropriately closes the canon of the New 
Testament 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO 



MATTHEW. 



d Gen. zxxviiL 
Comp. Rath 



IV. i8-as 



Chapter I. 1-17. 
The Genealogy of yesus t/te Messiah. 

1 npHE book of the * generation of Jesus Christ, *the son of ai.iT«riL»s 

X David, ^ the son of Abraham. k dtp. xxn. 

2 Abraham begat Isaac ; it-t*. 
And Isaac begat Jacob ; i *' . 
And Jacob begat Judas and his brethren ; 36. . 

3 And * Judas ^ begat Phares and Zara ^ of Thamar ; * Luke i. 3a, 
And Phares ^ begat Esrom ; * &.t^' ^ 

^ ' Acts u. so. 

And Esrom * begat Aram ; ^ ^^- v. 3- 

o ' f Gen. XII. s. 

4 And Aram ^ begat Aminadab ; ® g^*. hi i& 
And Aminadab ® begat Naasson ; ^ 
And Naasson ^ begat Salmon ; 

5 And Salmon begat Booz ^ of • Rachab ; ^ \^ "* 
And Booz® begat Obed of -^ Ruth ; ' S^ii.'^*"^ 
And Obed begat Jesse : / Ruth ii -iv. 

6 And Jesse begat David the king ; 

And ^ David the king ^^ begat Solomon, of her that had been the ^ \^' *"• 

wife of Unas ; ^^ * I'^^i^l;^ 

7 And * Solomon begat Roboam ; '* ^''^ 
And Roboam begat Abia ; ^' 

And Abia ^ begat Asa ; ^* 

8 And Asa '* begat Josaphat ; ^* 
And Josaphat ^ begat Joram ; 
And Joram begat Ozias ; ^® 

9 And Ozias ^® begat Joatham ; *" 
And Joatham ^^ begat Achaz ; ^® 
And Achaz ^ begat Ezekias ; ^® 

* Judah * Pharez and Zarah * Tamar * Hezron (Greek E.sroin) 

* Ram * Amminadab ^ Nahshon ^ Boaz * Rahab 
"• the best authorities omit the kin? " of the wife of Uriah 
" Rehoboam " Abijah ^* C7r^^>t Asaph ** Jehoshaphat 
" Uzziah " Jotham " Ahaz i® Hezekiah 



28 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. I. i-i;. 

10 And Ezekias ^^ begat Manasses ; ^ 
And Manasses ^ begat Amon ; ^^ 
And Amon ^i begat Josias ; ^ 

11 And Josias ^ begat * Jechonias ^ and his brethren, about the » Esti»eriid 

time they were carried away ^ to Babylon : xxvii. *>.' 

12 And after they were brought ^ to Babylon, Jechonias^ begat 

Salathiel;26 

And Salathiel ^ begat Zorobabel ; ^ 

13 And Zorobabel ^ begat Abiud ; 
And Abiud begat Eliakim , 
And Eliakim begat Azor ; 

14 And Azor begat Sadoc ; 
And Sadoc begat Achim ; 
And Achim begat Eliud ; 

15 And Eliud begat Eleazar ; 
And Eleazar begat Matthan ; 
And Matthan begat Jacob ; 

16 And Jacob begat* Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was ^ vers, ts, 19 
born ' Jesus, who is called "• Christ. ' LuTef.'ar^' 

ii. 21. 

17 So all the generations from Abraham to^ David ar^ fourteen ^^^^^"^"^^ 
generations; and from David until ^ the carrying away into ^ Dan"ix'25, 
Babylon are^ fourteen generations; and from the carrying 

away into ^ Babylon unto Christ are ^ fourteen generations. 

* Manasseh " Gr^ek Amos ^ Josiah ^ Jechoniah 

** at the time of the removal — after the removal ** Shealtiel 

^ Zerubbabel ^ unto ^ removal to ^ omit are 

Contents. The f^enealogy of Christ. Two the long list of his human ancestors, we have a 
lists of the human ancestors of Christ are given cloud of witnesses, a compend of the history of 
in the New Testament : Matthew, writing for preparation for the coming of Christ down to the 
Jewish Christians, begins with Abraham ; Luke Virgin Mary, in whom culminated the longing 
(iiL 23-38), writing for Gentile Christians, goes and hope of Israel for redemption. It is a history 
back to Adam the father of all men (for other of divine promises and their fulfilment, of human 
points of difference, see on ver. 16). According faith and hope for the * desire of all nations.* In 
to his human nature, Christ was the descendant the list are named illustrious heroes of faith, 
of Abraham, David, and Mary ; according to his but also obscure persons, written in the secret 
divine nature He was the eternal and only-begot- book of God, as well as gross sinners redeemed 
ten Son of God, begotten from the essence of the by grace, which reaches the lowest depths as well 
Father. John (i. 1-18) begins his Gospel by as the most exalted heights of society. Mat- 
letting forth his divine genealo^. In Him, the thew*s table is divided into three parts, corres- 
God-man, all the ascendmg aspirations of human ponding to three periods of Jewish preparation 
nature towards God, and tW the descending rev- for the coming of Christ (see on ver. 17). 
elations of God to man meet in perfect harmony. Ver. i. The book of the generation (or, birth^ 
Matthew begins at Abraham : i. to prove to Jew- the same word in Greek as in ver. i8). Literally, 
ish Christians that Jesus of Nazareth was the 'book of birth, birth- book,' «. ^., pedigree, gene- 
promised Messiah ; 2. to show the connection alogy. The title of the genealogical table, vers, 
between the Old and New Testaments through i-i7» not of the whole Gospel, nor of the first 
a succession of living persons ending in Jesus two chapters, nor of chap. i. Possibly the title 
Christ, who is the subject of the Gospel and the of an original (Hebrew) document, used by the 
object of the faith it requires. Evangelist — Jeeoa ChrUt. This combination is 

Christ is the fulfilment of all the types and the Gospel in a nutshell, a declaration that Jesus 

prophecies of the Old Testament, the heir of all is the Christ, the promised Messiah, the great 

Its blessings and promises, the dividing line and truth, which the following narrative is to estab- 

connecting link of ages, the end of the old and lish. — Jeeoa. The human name (ver. 21) = the 

tlic bt^nning of the new history of mankind. In Hebrew Joshua (comp. Hcb. iv. 8) = the Lord is 



Chap. I. 1-17.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



29 



Hclpef, Saviour (Ex. xxiv. 13; Num. xiiL 16; 
Neh. vii. 7).--Chriit = The Messiah, the An- 
ointed One; the official title. Applied to the 
three officers of the Old Testament theocracy: 
prophets (i Kings xix. 16), priests (Lev. iv. 3 ; v. 
16; Ps.cv. 15), and kings (i Sam. xxiv. 7> 11 ; Ps. 
ii. 2 ; Dan. ix. 25, 26). Here all three offices are 
combined and perfected. Christ is our Anointed 
Prophet, Priest, and King. That of ' King ' was 
most prominent in the expectations of the Jews. 
— Hie Bon of David. ' David the king/ ver. d 
From him descended One 'bom Kins of the 
Jews ' (ii. 2). — Hie Bon of Abraham. The gene- 
alogy is traced back thus far, because ' to Abra- 
ham and his seed were the promises made ' (Gal. 
iii. 1 6), The Epistle to the Galatians shows the 
connection of tne gospel and the covenant with 
Abraham. * Son ' here is almost = ' seed ' there ; 
both refer to Christ. 

Ver. 2. Abraham begat Iiaae. < Begat,' re- 
peated throughout, makes prominent the idea of 
a living connection and succession. — Jndah, the 
direct ancestor, is named ; his brethren are added, 
to indicate the connection with the whole cove- 
nant nation. 

Ver. 3. Tamar, a heathen woman, guilty of 
intentional incest The Jews and some commen- 
tators seek to excuse her, but the stain must be 
admitted. The mention of this name not only 
proves the correctness of the genealogy, but 
tends to humble Jewish pride and exalt the grace 
of God 

Ver. 5. Bahab. Another heathen woman, a 
sinner also. Undoubtedly the woman of Jericho 
( Foshua ii. i ; vL 23, 25). But by heroic faith 
she rose above her degradation. — Bath. Still 
another heathen woman ; though personally not 
criminal, to her also a stain attached according 
to the Jewish law. The book which bears her 
name and tells her story is a charming episode 
of domestic virtue and happiness in the anarchi- 
cal period of the Judges, when might was right 
Its position in the canon is a recognition ofthe 
working of God's erace outside of Israel, and a 
prophecy of the calline of the Gentiles. — Com- 
pare the record in Ruth iv. iS-22. The long in- 
terval between the taking of Jericho and the 
birth of David (366 years according to Ussher), 
has^ led to the supposition that some names are 
omitted here, as is certainly the case in vers. 8- 
II. But Rahab was probaolv young at the time 
Jericho was taken, Boaz ola at the time of his 
marriage, and David was the youngest son of an 
old man. See further under ver. 17. 

Ver. 6. David the king. Emphatic as the cul- 
minating name of an ascending series. Even 
here pride is humbled ; the wife of a heathen is 
mentioned, David's partner in the deepest guilt 
of his life, but also in his most profound penitence 
(Ps. Ii). — The Wife of Uriah. < Her that had 
been the wife ' seems to gloss over the guilt 

Ver. 8. Between Joram and Uiiiah, three 
names are intentionallv omitted : Ahaziah, Joash, 
and Amaziah, probably to reduce the number of 
generations. These three were chosen, either 
Because personally unworthy, or because descen- 
dants to the fourth generation from Jezebel, 
through Athaliah. 

Ver. II. Joeiah. The next king was Jehoia- 
kim (2 Kings xxiv. 6 ; 2 Chron. xxvi. 8). lie was 
forcibly placed on the throne by the king of 
Egypt, hence unworthv of mention. — The re- 
■ioVaL Spoken of indefinitely, as it extended 
over a considerable period of time during three 



successive reigns. The word used does not nec- 
essarily imply a forcible removal, the Jews being 
accustomed to speak ofthe Captivity in this mild 
way. The course is downward through these 
royal generations. 

Ver. 12. The succeeding list cannot be veri- 
fied, although we meet with the names of Sal- 
athiel (Shealtiel), Zerrubbabel (Ezra iii. 2 ; Neh. 
xii. I ; Hag. i. i ) in the Old Testament ' In I 
Chron. iii. 19, Zerubbabel is said to have been 
the son of Pedaiah, brother of Salathiel. Either 
this mav have been a different Zerubbabel, or 
Salathiel may, according to the law, have raised 
up seed to his brother J ( Alford). 

Ver. 13. Abind. This name is not mentioned 
among the sons of Zerubbabel in i Chron. iii. 19, 
20. He is supposed by some to be identical 
with Hananiah (i Chron. iii 19) ; by others with 
Hodcuah ( i Chron. iii. 24), one of his descendants, 
who is further supposed to be the Judah of 
Luke iiL 26 ; all this, however, is conjecture. 
The downward course reaches its lowest point 
in the humble carpenter of Nazstreth. The prom- 
ised Saviour was to be * a root out of a dry 
ground ' (Is. liii. 2). 

Ver. 16. Josepn, the l^al father, whose Kcn* 
ealogv is here given. In Luke iii. 23, Joseph is 
callea ' the son of Heli.' Explanations : — 

(i.) Luke gives the geneaJogjy of Mary, Heli 
being her father, and the father-in-law of Joseph. 
This is the most probable view, since the writers 
of the New Testament assume that Jesus was 
descended from David through his mother. It 
involves no positive difficulty, and is in accord- 
ance with the prominence given to Mary in the 
opening chapters of Luke. See notes on Luke 
iii. 23. 

(2.) Both are genealogies of Joseph. This 
assumes one, or perhaps two, levirate marriages 
in the family of Joseph. (A levirate marriage 
was one in which a man wedded the widow of 
his elder brother, the children beinc^ legally 
reckoned as descendants of the first husband : 
comp. Deut xxv. 5, 6 ; Matt. xxii. 24, and paral- 
lel passages.) It is supposed that Jiuob (Mat- 
thew) and lleli (Luke) were brothers or half- 
brothers, one of whom died without issue, the 
other marrying the childless wife. If brothers, 
Matthan (Matthew) and Matthat (Luke) refer to 
the same person. The objection to the whole 
theory is, that Jewish usage would insert in the 
gepealogy not the name of the second husband 
(the reid father), but only that of the first hus- 
band who died childless. The theory that Jacob 
and Heli were brothers compels us to assume an 
identity which is opposed rather than favored by 
the similarity of the names : Matthan and Mat- 
that The theory that they were half-brothers 
assumes a second levirate marriage in the case of 
Matthan and Matthat Besides the double diffi- 
culty thus created, there is no evidence that the 
levirate usage applied to half-brothers. The view 
that the names Matthan and Matthat refer to the 
same person, involves the cousinship of Joseph 
and Mary, which is nowhere alluded to. Accord- 
ing to another hypothesis, the royal ancestry of 
Joseph is given by Matthew, a descent from Da- 
vid through private persons is traced by Luke 
This implies inaccuracy in one or the other. — 
Of whom was bom. The form here changes in 
accordance with the miraculous conception and 
birth of Jesus. 

Ver. 17. Fourteen generatiooi. There were 
exactly fourteen generations from Abraham to 



30 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. I. ig-25. 



David ; the two other series are made to corre- 
spond. But to make out the second and third 
series, one name must be counted twice. We 
prefer to repeat that of David, and dose the 
second series with Josiah, since Jeconiah and his 
brethren are only indefinitely included in it ; the 
third then begins with Jeconiah and ends with 
Christ. Thus: — 



Abraham. 

Isaac 

Jacob. 

Judah. 

Pharez. 

Hezron. 

Ram. 

Amminadab. 

Nahshon. 

Salmon. 

Boaz. 

Obed. 

Tesse. 

David. 



David. 

Solomon. 

Rehoboam. 

Abijah. 

Asa. 

iehoshaphat. 
oram. 
Uzziah. 
Jotham. 
Ahaz. 
Hezekiah. 
Manasseh. 
Amon. 
Josiah. 



Jeconiah. 

Shealtiel. 

Zemibbabel. 

Abiud. 

Eliakim. 

Azor. 

Sadoc. 

Achim. 

EHud. 

Eleazar. 

Matthan. 

Jacob. 

Joseph. 

Jesus. 



Meyer counts Jeconiah twice, since he belongs 
•to the period before and during the Captivity. 
Others, with less reason, repeat the name ol 
Josiah ; others make no repetition, but reckon 
the third series from Shealtiel to Christ, Includ- 
ing the name of Mary, which seems forced. 

In a nation where few books and records ex- 
isted, such genealogical tables would be put into 
a form easy to be remembered. Hence, the 
omissions and the divisions which cover the three 
periods of Israelitish history. The numbers here 
mvolved, two, three, and seven, had a symbolicd 
significance among the Jews, but this symbolism 
is not the prominent reason for the arrangement. 
It has been noticed that the forty-two generations 
correspond with the forty-two vears of the wan- 
dering in the wilderness. Tnus Jesus is the 
sacred heir of the ancient world ; as heir of the 
blessing, the Prophet of the world ; as heir of the 
sufferings entailed by the curse, its atoning High 
Priest ; as heir of the promise, its King. 



Chapter I. 18-25. 
The Circumstances of t/ie Birth of yesus Christ, 

18 ^TOW the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: "When as a 
^ ^ his mother Mary was espoused ^ to Joseph, before they 

19 came together, she was found with child ^ of the Holy Ghost. 3 
Then ^Joseph her husband, being a just man^ and not willing 
to make her a public example, was minded to put her away 

20 privily.' But while he thought on these things, behold, the * 
angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Jo- 
seph, thou son of David, fear not 'to take unto thee Mary thy 
wife : for that which is conceived ^ in her is of the Holy Ghost 

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and ^'thou shalt call his name d 

22 JESUS : 'for He® shall save his people from their sins. Now # 
all this was done,^ that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of 

23 the Lord by the -^prophet,® sa]^ing, Behold, a* virgin shall be/ 
with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his 
name Emmanuel,^^ which being interpreted is,^^ God with us. 

24 Then Joseph being raised ^ from sleep did ^ as the angel of 

25 the Lord had bidden ^* him, and took unto him his wife : And 
knew her not till she had ^^ brought forth her first-bom son : ^* 
and he called his name^ JESUS. ^ 



Lukef. 37. 



Luke i. 35. 



c Deut. xxiv. 
I. 
Matt six. 8 



Luke i. 31 ; 
u. ai. 
John i. 29. 
Acts iii. j6 ; 
ziiL 93. 

ISA. Tli. 14. 



Comp. vers 
t6, i8- 



* His mother Mary having been betrothed * And 

• privately, or secretly * an • begotten • for it is he that 
' nath come to pass ' by the Lord through the prophet • the 

^ Immanuel " which is, being interpreted ^^ And Joseph arose 

" and did " commanded " omit had *• a son 

Contents. The circumstances preceding the her vindication by means of a dream ; Joseph^a 
Nativity: Mary, doubted by her betrothed hu8- faith; the name m accordance with prophecy; 
bond i lUA dcsicn of putting her away privately ; the actual birth, ^s the sinless second ^dam. 



Chap. I. 18-25.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



and as the SaTioor of men, Jesus could not come 
into the world by ordinary human generation, but 
1^ a new creative act of God, or the supernatural 
agency of the Holy Ghost Sin is propagated by 
Keneration, the active agency of man ; and what 
IS bom of Uie flesh is flesh. God formed the first 
Adam of the mother earth, the Holy Ghost formed 
the second Adam out of the flesh of a pure virgin. 
Even the heathen had a dim conception that the 
ideal of the race could not be realized without su- 
pernatural generations of sages and heroes firom 
a pure virem (Buddha, 2^roaster, Romulus, Py- 
thagoras, Plato). The heathen myths are carnal 
anticipations of the mystery of the Incarnation. 

Ver. 18. The Urtk of Jenii Christ. Same 
word as in ver. i ( ' generation '). Here it means 

* orisin.' The more usual word impUes a * beget- 
ting^; the choice of this word indicates something 
peculiar in this birth, as does the fqrm : ' Abraham 
begat Isaac,' etc., etc. ; ' the birth of Jesus Christ, 
however, was in this wise.' 'For,' in the next 
clause, implies : there is need of a particular 
account, for the circumstances were peculiar. 
The best critics, however, omit the word. — Hia 
Bother Kary haTixig boon betrothed to Joseph. 

• Betrothed,* not yet 'espoused.' The betrothal 
was previous to the discovery. After betrothal 
unfiuthfulness on the part of the woman was 
deemed adultery. — Before they eame together, 
lived together in one house as man and wife. — 
Sie was fofuiid. Perhaps by herself, according to 
the revelation made to her (Luke i. 26 fil). If 
this verse points to a time after her return from 
visiting Elizabeth (see notes on Luke i. 39 ff*.), 
her condition would soon be apparent. — Of the 
Holy Ohott. A statement of fact, not a part of 
the discovery, or Joseph would not have been 
perplexed. The Third Person of the Trinity is 
meant Comp. Luke i. 35. * Conceived by the 
Holy Ghost, bom of the Virgin Mary,' is an arti- 
cle not only in our Apostles' creed, but in nearly 
all other creeds of the ancient Church. On the 
other hand, neither the Scriptures nor the early 
Church know anything of the supernatural, im- 
maculate conception of Mary. Christ is the sole, 
the absolute exception to the universal rule of 
sinfulness ; a miracle in history. 

Ver. 19. Joeoph, according to the Jewish law, 
hor hnihaad. Comp. ver. 20; Gen. xxix. 21 ; 
Deut. xxii. 24. — A just man, a man of upright- 
ness. His conduct does not compel us to accept 
the sense: a kind man. He was influenced by 
justice. Mary had possibly told him of the rev- 
elation made to her : he was just in giving her a 
bearing, and then, in consequence, in not wishing 
to make her a public example. At the same time, 
justice led him, as a Jew, to the intention of put- 
ting her away, though privately. The former 
phrase is the more remarkable, since such justice 
IS rarely exercised to one in the situation of^Mary. 
So high a regard for the honor and reputation of 
a woman is most rare in Elastem countries. 
Mary's strong faith may have influenced him 
also. — Hot willing expresses the mere wish ; 
was minded, the intention ; a distinction not al- 
wavs recognized in discussing this passage. — 
Prrratoly. In the conflict between his sense of 
right and his regard for Mary, he chose the mid- 
dle way of private divorce. The eternal Son of 
God exposed himself, at his very entrance into 
the world, to the suspicion of illegitimacy ! One 
chosen to be His mother was suspected of un- 
Cuthfolness by her husband ! — The two kinds of 
divorce among the Jews. The private divorce 



31 

here spoken of consisted in giving the wife a bill 
of divorce (Deut. xxiv. 1-3; Matt xix. 8), with- 
out assigning a reason for it. The public divorce 
would have involved the charge of adultery, and 
consequent punishment, stomne to death. By 
preferring the former, Joseph eimibited not only 
kindness but self-sacnfice, since her condition, 
when publicly known, would be reckoned his 
disgrace. 

Ver. 2a But while he thought on these things. 
As ' a just man,' he was pained and grieved, yet 
not having entirely lost confidence in her, he 
thought the matter over ; then came the deliver- 
ance from doubt. An honest doubter will obtain 
light, but not he who gives way to passion. Man's 
extremity, God's opportunitv. — An angel of the 
Lord. ^ (iabriel had appearea to Mary ; here the 
angel is not named. Angels, who are ' minister- 
ing spirits,' appeared to reveal God's will before 
the coming of Christ Since the full revelation 
of the One Great Mediator, the necessity for their 
appearance has ceased. The phrase, *The an- 
gel of the Lord,' in the Old Testament, often re- 
fers to the Second Person of the Trinity, but this 
is certainly not the case here, where the definite 
article is not used. The revelations to Joseph in 
the Old Testament, and Joseph in the New, were 
always made in dreams. * The announcement was 
made to Mary openly, for in Mary's case faith and 
concurrence of will were necessary ; the com- 
munication was of a higher kind, and referred to 
a thing future' (Alford). — Thon Bon of David. 
A fitting title in view of the communication to be 
made. — Fear not, either for yourself or for her. — 
Kary thy wife. He is reminded that she is le- 
gally his wife. — Begotten, rather than * con- 
ceived,' since Joseph is referred not so much to 
Mary*s state as to its cause. 

Verse 2 1 . Jesus. Comp. ver. i . — For it is he, 
alone, that shall save his people. Joseph, prob- 
ably, understood this as referring to the Jews ; 
but the phrase, firom their sins, spiritualizes the 
people as well as the salvation. Not temporal 
deliverance, nor mere legal justification, but ac- 
tual salvation from sin as a polluting power in 
our nature. In the revelation to Maiy the glory 
of Messiah is spoken of ; here his saving power ; 
not because she needed salvation less than J oseph^ 
but because he was troubled by doubts regarding 
her, and now he is told that what he in his doubt 
deemed sin was the means of salvation from sin. 
The words ' He ' and ' from their sins,' are em- 
phatic, pointing to the office and work of ^e 
Messiah. ' His people ' has no special emphasis ; 
they are those whom He saves from their sins. 
If men are not being saved from sin they have no 
evidence that they are of his people ; if, how- 
ever, in seeming tenderness of conscience, they are 
ever forgetting the Saviour in the thought of their 
sins, then the^ lose the force of this ante-natal 

§ospe1, this Divine statement, that He who was 
om of Mary, the Person who lived in Judea, and 
He alone, can and does save us from our sins. 

Ver. 22. But all this hath oome to pass. An 
explanation of the Evangelist, who everywhere 
points to the fulfilment of prophecv. — That, i. e.» 
' in order that.' The event fulfillea God's purpose 
as predicted, and therefore took place. The 
prophecy depends on the fact as purposed in the 
Divme mind. — Fulfilled. This word has its 
usual sense here as applied to prophecy. — By the 
Lord, who spoke through the Prophet, i.e., Isaiah 
(vii. 14). The writing followed the speaking. 
Yer. 23. The virgin, not a viigin. The pro- 



32 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. II. 1-12. 

phetic si)irit of Isaiah had in view a particular Ver. 25. Jbum hftr aot. A Hebrew form for 
virgin, the mother of the true Emmanuel. The conjugal cohabitation; comp. Lake L 36. — A Mm. 
Quotation is but slightlv varied from the text of The words answering to 'her' and 'first-bom' 
ttie Greek translation of the Old Testament called are omitted by some of the best authorities, 
the Septuagint, in conmion use among the Tews They ma]^, however, have been left out to support 
at that time. All the variations are merelv in the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, 
form. Evidently the Evangelist considered these In Luke ii 7, the phrase is genuine beyond a 
occurrences to be the first complete fulfilment of doubt It does not of itself prove that Maiy had 
the prophecy of Isaiah. There had probably other children, nor does tUi of necessity miply 
been a previous fulfilment in the davs of Ahaz, this. Yet Matthew, with the whole history of 
viz., a sign given to him respecting tne temporal Christ before him, would scarcely have used the 
deliverance of the kingdom of Judah. Some re- expression, had he held the Roman Catholic no- 
fer it to the wife of the prophet But a higher tion of the perpetual virginity. It would have 
reference is clearly involved. The language of been easy to assert that by saying: he n^zvr 
the prophet (Is. vii. 13) indicates something knew her. Many Protestant commentators sup- 
more important, and what then occurred presents pose that the genealogy of David found its end 
in many points a type of what is now spoken o£ m Christ, and that Mary could not have given 
The Old and New Testaments are related to each birth to children after having become the mother 
other as type and antitype, prophecy and fulfil- of the Saviour of the world. But this is a mat- 
ment, preparation and consummation. The New ter of sentiment rather than a conviction based 
Testament writers do not, however, use the Scrip- on evidence. * The brethren of our Lord ' are 
tures by way of accommodation ; whenever a pas- frequently mentioned (four by name, besides 
sage is explained by them as having a second ful- sisters), m close connection with Mary, and ap- 
filment, as in the present case, that fulfilment is parently as members of her household. They 
in accordance with the first, only fuller, broader, are nowhere called his cousins, as some claim 
more spiritual. Whether the prophets themselves them to have been. They were probably either 
were conscious of this fuller sense is immaterial ; the children of Joseph by a former wife (the view 
for our passage tells of what ' was spoken by the of some Greek fathers), or the children of Joseph 
Lord through the prophet' — Whiehii, being in- and Mary (as now held by many Protestant com- 
terpreted. This indicates that the whole explan- mentators). To the first view the genealogy of 
ation is that of the Evangelist, not of the angel. Joseph seems an insuperable objection ; for the 
— Ood with US. Applied to Christ in the highest oldest son by the former marriage would have 
and most glorious sense : God incarnate among been his legal heir, and the genealogy out of 
us. He is still Immanuel, God with us ; once He place. The question, however, is complicated 
came among men and identified himself with with other exegetical difficulties and doctrinal 
them ; now He saves men and identifies them prejudices. The virginity of Mary up to the birth 
with Himsel£ ^ of Tesus is here the main point The whole 
Ver. 24. Then Joeeph— did. He believed, subject is fully discussed by Lange and Schaflf 
therefore he obeyed. Thus early in the Gospel in the English ed. of Lange's Commentary, Afai' 
is obedience represented as the fruit of faith. iAav, pp. 255-260. 



Chapter II. 1-12. 
T/ie Visit and Adoration of the Magi. 

1 "V] OW "when Jesus was bom in Bethlehem of Judea in the « luk. ii. 4- 
1 M days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men^ 

2 from the east to Jerusalem, saying. Where is he that is born * chap. xxi. 
* King of the Jews } for we have seen ^ ' his star in the east, and Js »« ^,.7 

3 are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard H^^^"^^^ 

4 these things? he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And ^ J^*^ » *9. 
when he had gathered * all the chief priests and scribes of the Num. xxir. 
people together,* he demanded* of them where Christ^ should 

5 be bom. And they said unto him. In Bethlehem of Judea : for 

6 thus it is written by the prophet, *'And thou Bethlehem, in ^ the ^ m»^« ^- «• 
land of Juda,® art not the least among the princes of Juda : ® * for ' Jo^» ^»- 4* 

1 Mad " saw • And when Herod the king heard it 

* And gathering together • omit together « inquired 

^ or the Christ • omit in • Judah 



Chap. II. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 33 

out of thee shall come ^^ a Governor, -^that shall rule ^^ my people/ {«• «i- »«•. 

7 Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called^ the wise »5- 
men,^ inquired of them diligently ^^ what time the star appeared. 

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search dili- 
gently for ** the young child ; and when ye have found ///;//, 
bring me word again,^ that I *^ may come and worship him also. 

9 When they had heard the king, they departed ; ^^ and, lo, the 
star, which they saw in the east, went ^ before them, till it came 

10 and stood over where the young child was. When they saw 

1 1 the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when 
they were come ^ into the house, they saw the young child 
with Mary his mother, and fell ^ down, and worshipped him : 

and when they had opened ^^ their treasures, ^ they presented ^ p» ix«» »« 

12 unto him gifts ;^ *gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. AndAis.ix.6. 
being warned of God *in a dream that they should not return to . «v{i*. 19. 
Herod, they departed ^ mto their own country another way.-" «»• »: 

Jobxxxiii 

** come forth ** shall be the shepherd " Then Herod privately called '5* 

" and learned of them exactly ** inquire exactly concerning 

*• omit again *• I also, omitting also at the end ^'^ went their way 

" went on ^' And coming 

* substitute a semicolon after mother ; and insert they before fell 

** opening ** ( > ) instead of(;) ^ or withdrew 

•* ^r by another way into their own country 



The Date of our Lord's Birth. See In- in * the fulness of the time * (Gal. iv. 4). The visit 
trodaction, § 8, pp. 16, 17. The visit of the of the Magi is of itself an indication that the 
Magi, while it does not determine the year of the preparation for the coming of the Messiah was 
birth of Christ, fixes a date before which it must now complete. * In the flret chapter, the Evan- 
have taken place. Herod was alive when Jesus gelist points out the part which the Jewish people 
vas bom (vers. ^-12), and therefore A. u. c. 750 is had in connection with the Messiah. Christ's 
the latest date which can be assigned to the Nativ- genealogy and His birth from the Virgin show 
ity (secver. 7). The other chronological data are» that salvation was of the Jews. The second chap- 
(i) the age of Jesus at the date of His baptism ter, which records the amval of the Magi from the 
(Luke ilL 23) ; (2) the list of rulers named in East, presents the interest of the Gentile world in 
Luke iii. i ; (3) the saying of the Jews at the Christ. The Magi are, so to speak, the repre- 
first Passover after our Lord's baptism (John ii. sentatives of those pious Gentiles whose names 

20) : ' Forty and six years was this temple in are recorded in the Old Testament Thus 

building,' etc To this some add (4) the remark the first chapter of our Gospel illustrates the 

of Luke respecting Zacharias (Luke i. 5): 'of hereditary blessing as contrasted with the hered- 

the course of Abijah ; ' (5) the appearance of the itary curse ; while the second proves, that al- 

star (see ver. 2). It will appear from a reference though the heathen were judicially given up to 

to the notes on the various passages cited, that their own ways, there was among them in all 

the more definite statements may be used to sup* ages a certain longing after, and knowledge of, 

port the view which places the birth of Jesus at the Saviour (Rom. i.)/ Lange. 

the close of A. u. a 749, or at the beginning of Contents. Matthew tells none of the details of 

75a It is true none of them are decisive ; yet the Nativity (see Luke ii. 1-20), and makes no al- 

on the other hand the arguments used against lusion to the fact that Joseph and Mary had pre- 

this view rest on the statements (such as 4 and 5) viously resided in Nazareth. See next section, 

which are far from presenting assured chrono- He brings into the foreground Joseph, while 

lo^cal data. As much confusion exists in the Luke tells of Marv. This difference, so far from 

minds of some in consequence of the reckoning being incompatible with the accuracy of both, is 

from two eras, we insert a list of corresponding an evidence of truthfulness. Each cnooses those 

years. It should be carefully noted that the num- facts which best accord with his purpose. The 

bers are ordinal^ standing for ' first,' ' second,' etc. pictures are taken from different points of view ; 

A. u. c 749 750 751 752 753 754 755 only real objects can be thus presented. In this 

B. c. 5 4 3 2 I I 2A. D. chapter the Evangelist has grouped those events 
If we fix the date at the close of 749, the com- which further demonstrate the Messiahship of 
mon era is four years too late, not five, since we Jesus. The infant Saviour is recognized by rep- 
teckon from the dose of the fifth year. See on resentatives of the heathen world, in a state of 
Luke ii. 8, in regard to the time of the year. expectancy ; Judaism, with its better founded ex- 
Bat whatever DC the date, the Saviour appeared pectations, is hostile. The close connection ol 

VOL. I. 3 



34 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. II. i-i2. 

the facts, narrated in this chapter, is peculiar ophers; and there were many in more Western 

to Matthew. The visit of the Magi excites the countries who made astrology and the like their 

suspicion of Herod ; this suspicion leads to the trade ; for example, Simon Magus and Elymas 

murder ; the murder to the flight into Egypt ; the sorcerer. Hence the term * magician ' has a 

and then to the return to Nazareth instead of bad meaning, not implied in the word 'magi,' 

Bethlehem. Science (astrology) and history, na- from which it is derived. The tradition that tne 

ture and revelation, all point to the future great- Magi were three kings (Caspar, Melchior, and 

ness of the child. Prophecy directs whither the Balthazar) appears to have arisen from the num- 

star leads ; the Magi meet the dead orthodoxy ber of their gifts, and from the prophecv in Is. 

of the Jews ; the frightened ruler would defend Ix. 3. The earlier fathers speak of tncm as 

himself with the sword against the * bom King twelve and even fifteen in number. They ars 

of the Jews,' but the King is miraculously deliv- justly regarded as the first fruits and representa- 

ered. The visit of the Magi is profoundly sig- tives of heathen converts to Christianity. Hence 

nificant : they were the forerunners of Gentile the festival of Epiphany (Jan. 6), also adled * the 

converts, and the whole occurrence foreshadows three kinp,' celebrating Christ's manifestation to 

the reception given to the gospel in apostolic the Gentiles, though originally instituted for a 

times. This section is the Gospel for the Epiph- wider purpose, was very early associated with this 

anv, or Christ's manifestation to the Gentiles, visit of the Magi, and celebrated as a missionary 

Ot^ier events have been connected with the day, festival. The date of the visit was probably 

called also the Festival of the Three Kings (sec more than twelve days after the birth of Jesus.— 

on vcr. I ). From the east. Either : they came from the east, 

Ver. I. How waen Jesus was bom. See cnap. or : their home was in the east The latter is 
i. 25. Further details are given in Luke ii. 1-2 1. the more probable meaning, and would imply the 
The visit of the shepherds had already taken former. * The east * may refer to Arabia, Persia, 
place, the presentation in the temple was either Chaldea, or more remote countries. In all these 
shortly before or alter this visit of the Magi. — astrologers were foimd, and in all there was an 
Bethlehem of Jodea. A small town situated on expectation of some great deliverer to come about 
the crest of a small hill about six miles south of this time, derived, as is supposed, from the proph- 
Jerusalem. Thepresent inhabitants (about 5,000) ecy, Dan. xiv. 24. Comp. the Star of Jacob 
all belong to the Greek church. The name means : in Balaam's prophecy. Numb. xxiv. 17. Persia 
house of breads probably given on account of its or Mesopotamia was probably their residence, 
ereat fertility. It is called Bethlehem Judah The way was doubtless long, but they found 
(Judg. xvii. 7, 8; I Sam. xvii. 12) to distinguish Christ, while those nearer Him had not even 
it from another town in Galilee (tribe of Zebulon) looked for Him. The hope of a Saviour was 
of the same name ; also Ephrath (Gen. xxxv. 19 ; given to the Jews as a chosen race^ but the same 
xlviii. 7) and Ephrata (Mic. v. 2); also *the city hope was given to chosen individuals 2imon^ the 
of David' (Luke iL 4), because his birth-place Gentiles. Comp. the many instances in Old 
(Ruth L 1-19; I Sam. xvi.). Its insignificance Testament history. — ToJerasalem. Atthecap> 
and its honor are contrasted in the prophecy ital thc^ looked for the King, or for tidings of 
(Micah v. 2) quoted by the scribes (ver. 6). — him. For a description of the city, see map and 
Herod the Idng, generally called in history Herod Bible dictionaries. The excavations of the Pales- 
the GreaJt, the son of the Edomite Antipater by tine Exploration Fund tend to alter the commonly 
an Arabian mother. Antipater, who was made receivea views in regard to some of the localities, 
procurator of Judea by Caesar, appointed his son Ver. 2. Where is he that is bom King of the 
governor of Galilee at the age of^ fifteen. Herod Jewsl Confidence is implied in the question, 
was made tetrarch by Antony, but driven away by The word * bom ' is emphatic ; the one sought 
Antigonus, a Maccabxan prince. Fleeing to was not only newly bom, but a born king, not one 
Rome, he was there crowned king of Judea by placed on the throne by accident. The question 
the Senate, through the favor of Antony, and by mvolves a deeper meaning than the magi de- 
the help of the Romans actually obtained the signed. A bom King of the Jews is the hoi>e of 
throne. Securing the favor of Augustus he the Gentiles also, according to the promise now 
reigned thirty-seven years. A skilful ruler, fond so widely fulfilled. — For we saw. They prob- 
of architectural emoellishment, but extremely ably had not seen it all along their journey, cer- 
cniel and jealous, being charged with the murder tainly not while in Jerusalem. — His star. Comp. 
of his wife and three sons. He died at the age of Zumpt on the year of our Lord's birth ; Upham 
seventy, shortly after putting to death the third on the star of Bethlehem. The event was worthy 
son, in the 750th year of Rome. This date shows of such a display of power. Elxplanations : (i) 
that the birth of Christ must have taken place at A meteor or a comet. Improbable. (2) A mi- 
least four years before the common era. For raculous star appearing for their guidance, and 
forty days b>efore his death he was at Jericho and then disappearing (seen by them only, as some 
the Dathis of Calirrhoe, hence the events mentioned think). (3) A remarkable conjunction of the 
in this section must have occurred before that heavenly bodies, viz., of the planets Jupiter, Sat- 
time. He was the first ruler of the Jews who did um. Mars, and an extraordinary star. First 
not acknowledge the rights of the Messiah. The proposed by the devout astronomer Kepler. Ju- 
Asmonean princes all did. Before the death of piter and Satum were conjoined in the year of 
him who had been foisted on the throne by Ro- Rome 747, and seen twice (May 20 and Oct. 27), 
man enactment, one was * bora King of the Jews,' Mars was added in the following spring. In 
in accordance with Gen. xlix. 10. 1603 a fourth star was in conjunction. It is sup- 

Xagi, sc^es. Originally a class of priests posed that this occurred at tnat time also. The 

among the Persians and Medes, who formed the recent astronomical calculations on this subject 

king's privy council, and cultivated astrology, have been verified at the Greenwich Observatory, 

medicine, and occult natural science. They are ' Abarbanel, a Jew of the fifteenth century, speaks 

frequently referred to by ancient authors. After- of the same conjunction as occurring before the 

wards the term was applied to all Eastern philoe- birth of Moses, and found in its recurrence in bis 



Chap. II. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 35 

day (a. d. 1463) a sign of the speedy coming of been written and still remains on record. — By 

the Messiah.* Astrologers would attach more {UUrally^ through) the prophet (Micah v. i, 2). 

importance to such a conjunction than to the ap- As the prophecy was well known the name is not 

pearance of a new star, hence the phenomenon given. 

must have been noticed by the Magi. The Ver. 6. And thou Bethlehem. Freely quoted 

Greek word used, however, i>oints to a single from the Greek version (the Septuagint) then in 

star, and the date is two years earlier (h. c. 7) common use. The Hebrew is literally: *But 

than that in which Christ is generally supposed thou Bethlehem Ephratah, too small to ble among 

to have been born. These difficulties are not in- the thousands of Judah [/. ^., the towns where 

supcrable, however. (4) The expectations of the the heads of thousands resided, the chief towns 

Magi were aroused by the remarkable conjunc- of the subdivisions of the tribes] : but of thee 

tion, and their watchmg was rewarded by the shall come forth unto me one who is to be ruler 

sight of the miraculous star. This is, pernaps, in Israel.' The variations are undoubtedly \\\- 

the best theory. It recognizes the astronomical tentional and explanatory. It is not evident 

^ct, and teaches even more fully the lesson that whether the passage was (quoted by the scribes, 

the exfectant study of nature leads to the discov- or inserted as an explanation by Matthew. In- 

ery of the supernatural. Equally with the last stead of Ephrata, we find * the land of Judah,' 

view it shows us the Magi, because earnestly seek- and instead of ' too small to be among ' we have 

ing the Messiah, led to Him by nature, by science, * art not the least,' which is a sort of question in- 

if astrology can be so termed. God can use troducing the insignificance of the place, and im- 

the imperfect researches of men, and blesses plying its moral greatness as the birthplace of 

investigations which fail of obtaining the whole the Messiah. Bethlehem was not among the 

truth ; otherwise modern science would be un- chief towns of Judah in the list given. Josh. xv. 

blessed no less than astrology. Astrology did 59. — Pzineei is, according to a usual figure, put 

not, at all events, prevent them from recogniz- for the towns where the princes, or heads of 

ing ' His Star.' Among ancient nations there thousands, lived. — For gives the reason for the 

was a general belief, that strange phenomena in greatness in spite of the insignificance. — Shall 

the sky betokened important events, especially be the ehephera. This includes both ruling and 

the birth of great men. A sign in heaven will feeding; the meaning is: shall be a careful and 

precede the second coming of Christ (chap. xxii. affectionate ruler. 

30). — In the east. Seen by them in Eastern Ver. 7. Privately. This indicates his evil 
countries, or seen in the eastern sky. The first purpose, and is quite characteristic of political 
was certainly the fact, but the second is the prob- suspicion. — Learned of them exactly. He prob- 
able meaning here. Some explain it as meaning : ably drew some inference from what they told 
*at its rising,' but this is hardly borne out by the him, and took measures accordingly. — What 
language. — And have oome to worship him. No time. This implies how long it had appeared, 
doubt in the sense of religious adoration. Gen- quite as much as, when it appeared, 
tiles would hardly travel so far merely to render Ver. 8. Contains his deceitful command. It 
the homage usually accorded to earthly kings. was a lie diplomatic, based on the truth, for he 

Ver. 3. Herod the king; the reigning king — sent them to Bethlehem. 
was troubled, fearing for his throne, as might be Ver. 9. They went their way* The interview 
expected from his jealous disposition. — And all seems to have taken place in the evening, and 
Jemsalem with him. Either: at the same time they set out immediately afterwards, but night 
with him, or : because of him, knowing his cru- travelling is customary in the east. — IiO,thestar, 
elty. Many may have dreaded the Advent of the etc. The theory of a miraculous star easily ex- 
Messiah, either from stings of conscience or from plains the statement of this verse, and if we were 
dread of the troublous times which were expected told that the star stood over the house^ then no 
to attend his coming. If the tyrant tremble, all other explanation will suffice. The expression, 
his surroundings tremble with him. Unbelievers, where the young ehild was, may, however, refer 
in times of danger, are often the most supersti- to Bethlehem. The astronomical theory thus ex- 
tious. Those who do not believe in God, believe plains the passage : The most remarkable con- 
in ghosts or idols. junction of Jupiter and Saturn took place in May, 

Ver. 4. All the ehief-priests. Probably not a and would be visible before sunrise (1. ^., in the 

formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, since to this east), five months afterwards, a sufficient time to 

belonged the ' elders ' also, who are not mentioned perform the joumev ; another conjunction took 

here. Literally : * high priests.* It includes, be- place which would oe visible near the meridian 

sides the one actual high-priest, those who had shortly after sunset If then they set out in the 

held the office (for the Romans often transferred early night this phenomenon would be apparent 

it, contrary to the Jewish law), and, perhaps, the in the direction of Bethlehem. Being near the 

heads of the twenty-four courses of priests. — zenith it would seem to go before them on their 

Beiibee of the people. The successors of Ezra, way. Supposing, then, the standing of the star 

the official copyists of the Scriptures, who natur- to mean its reaching its zenith, there would be 

ally became its expHDunders. These two classes about sufficient time to reach Bethlehem, for the 

were the proper ones to answer Herod's ques- calculations show that the planets were at the 

tion. — Where the Christ should be bom. An ac- zenith one and a half hours after sunset. The 

knowledgment that the Messiah had been prom- time of year, according to this view, was Decem- 

ised by God. Herod*s subsequent cruelty was a ber 5. 

defiance of God. The scribes knew the letter, Ver. 10. When they saw the star. This shows 
but not the spirit of the Scripture. The Magi, that for some time, at least, they had not seen it. 
with less knowledge but more faith, were nearer — They rcjoioed with exceeding great joy. Lit- 
the truth. The indifference of the former was erally, 'rejoiced a great joy exceedingly.' There- 
hostility in the germ. appearance of the star indicated to them their 

Ver. 5. For. They speak of the prophetic success and the truth of their calculations The 

declaration as decisive. — It is written. It has joy, however, was not at the standing of the star, 



36 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. II. 1-23 

but at its appearing again, hence miraculous guid- for the purification of Mary. Strangers from a 

ance is not necessarily implied. distance must be the instruments of providing foi 

Ver. II. The house. Probaoly not the place the bom King of the Jews ; the promised Mes- 

where Jesus was bom, but temporary lodgings, in siah supported in his poverty by heathen. OfTer- 

which they remained until * the forty days of puri- ing to the Lord what we have ; He knows how to 

iication ' were accomplished. If the event falls put it to the very best use. These heathen show 

within that period it would be easy to find the how the sight of Christ not only leads earnest 

house, since the story told by the shepherds would hearts to worship, but willing hands to give, 

not be so soon forgotten in a little place like Ver. 12. Being warned of Ood. Probably they 

Bethlehem. — With Kary, hii mother, not * Mary had asked guidance, because they suspected 

with her child' (as the later Mariolatry would Herod's double dealing. They obtained guid- 

have it). The same order occurs in vers. 13, 14, ance in a dream, or by dreams. — They departed, 

20,21. Joseph seems to have been absent. — or * withdrew.' — By another way. Avoiding Je- 

And they feU down and worshipped him, and rusalem, to which they would naturally have re* 

Him alone. The worship was more than the turned, wherever their own country might have 

usual reverence to kings, or the joumey of the been. — Their own eonntry. Still indefinite. 

Magi would seem unaccountable (comp. ver. 2) — The brief story of this episode thus ends. 

Owning their treasures. The bags or boxes cr)n- Superstition has founded legends upon it ; faith 

taming their treasures. — QUtB to a superior sov- finds many lessons in it Heaven and earth 

creign were usual in the East. — Gold. Offered move, as it were, about the holy child as their 

chiefly to kings and gods. — Frankinoense. A centre ; He is so remote, so hidden, so disowned, 

resinous transparent gum of bitter taste and fra- yet near, discovered and acknowledged by those 

grant odor, used in sacrifices and temple worship, who seek Him ; their search is helped not only 

distilled from a tree in Arabia and India. — by Scripture, but by nature and the most imper- 

■yrrh. An aromatic gum, produced from a feet science ; the awakening faith of the Gentiles 

thom-bush, indigenous in Arabia and Ethiopia, and the slumbering unbelief of the Jews. The 

but growing also in Palestine, used for fumigation star of Bethlehem is a beautiful symbol of the 

andfor improving the taste of wine, but especially nobler aspirations of heathenism and of every 

as an ingredient of a very precious ointment, human soul toward the incarnate God to whom 

The Greek word is smyrna. These gifts were it points and over whom it abides. The Magi, 

costlv, but give no clue to the home of the magi, like Melchizedek and Job, open to us a vista of 

nor ao they indicate their number or rank. hope respecting the salvation of many who live 

The holy family were thus providentially sup- outside the visible church and removed from the 

plied with means for the joumey to Egypt, and ordinary means of grace. 



Chapter II. 13-23. 
The Flight into Egypt, 



13 A ND ^ when they were departed, behold, the^ angel of the 
-L^ Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying. Arise, and 
take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and 
be thou there until I bring thee word : ^ for Herod will seek 

14 the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he* took the 
young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt : 

1 5 And was there until the death of Herod : that it might be ful- 
filled which was spoken of the Lord " by the prophet,^ saying, « Hot. ».. i 
Out of Egypt have® I called my son. 

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, ' 
was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children ® 
that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts ^ thereof, from two 
years old and under, according to the time which he had dili- 

17 gently inquired ^^ of the wise men J Then was fulfilled that 

which was spoken * by Jeremy^* the prophet, saying, *jkR.juou.is 

* Now ^ an • I tell thee * And he arose and 

* by the Lord through the prophet • omit have 

" trifled with {or lightly treated) by the Magi * male children 

* borders ^^ exactly learned " Jeremiah 



Chap. II. 13-23.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 37 

18 In Rama was there a voice heard,^^ 
Lamentation, and ^^ weeping, and great mourning, . 
Rachel weeping for her children ; 

And [she] would not be comforted, 
Because they are not. 

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord ap- 

20 peareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying Arise, and take 
the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel : 

21 for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he 
arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into 

22 the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign 
in ^* Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go 
thither : notwithstanding, ^^ being warned of God in a dream, he 

23 turned aside ^® into the parts of* Galilee : And he *^ came and ^ ci1ap.ii1.13; 
dwelt in a city called ^ Nazareth : that it might be fulfilled which ^^0.1^,3. 
was spoken by ^® the prophets, He shall ^^ be called a Nazarene. john i! J^.* 

^* A voice was heard in Ramah " omi/ lamentation and 

^* was reigning over ** and ^' withdrew 

^' omit he, siibstituting a comma at the close of verse 22 
" through " that he should 



Chronology. We place the flight into Egypt of Philo and his followers. — ITntU I teU thee, or, 

f///r the presentation in the temple (Luke ii. 22- say to thee (what thou shalt do) — WiU seek, 

j^). The latter took place on the fortieth day, more exactly, * is about to seek.* 

and the interval which this allows is too brief for Ver. 14. And he arose. Implying immediate 

the events of this section. On the relative posi- obedience ; characteristic of genume faith. — By 

tion of the Adoration of the Magi and the pre- night, 1. ^., the same night. — Departed, or, ' with- 

lentation, see Luke ii. 22-39. On the childhood drew/ the same word which was used respecting 

of Jesus, see Luke ii. 40-52. the Magi. 

Contents. Peculiar to Matthew, who follows Ver. 15. The prophet. Hosea (xL i). A p'roph- 

the thread of the history, rather to discover ecy referring first to the children of Israel, then 

proofs of the Messiahship of Jesus than to pre- t3rpical of Christ Alford : * It seems to have 

sent a full and chronological narrative of events, b^en a settled axiom of interpretation (which has, 

In this section the fulfilment of Old Testament by its adoption in the New Testament, received 

prophecy is asserted in accordance with this de- the sanction of the Holy Ghost Himself, and now 

sign. The flight into Egypt. Herod, failing to stands for our guidance), that the subject of all 

discover the Messiah bv craft, seeks to destroy allusions, the represented in all parables and 

Him without discovery, by indiscriminate cruelty, dark sayings, was He who was to come, or the 

The return to Judea and the residence in Galilee, circumstances attendant on His advent or reign.* 

Herod, the king of the Jews through Roman — The place of Egypt in history should not be 

favor, represents the fruitless hostility of Jew and forgotten. Thence came the children of Israel 

GentUe to the Christ of God ; which results, how- and He whom they typified ; but thence, too, an- 

ever, in gr^at human distress. Egypt and Galilee cient civilization and the influence which pre- 

protect Hiu) whom Jeriisalem persecutes. Flight pared the wav for the spread of the gospel. God 

and persecution follow the angelic anthem and did not forsaxe the Gentile world, though it for- 




-gypv 

(Starke). — Nazareth a symbol of the humilia- led Israel and Jesus thither. — The place of so- 

tion of Christ and the humble condition of His )Ourn is unknown, though tradition points to a 

people. village called Metariyeh, not far from the city 

Ver. 13. The Magi may have communicated of Heliopolis, and near the site of the temple 

their suspicions or revelation (ver. 12) to Joseph, erected in Egypt for the Jews under the priest- 

to whom as the head of the family the present hood of Onias. 

revelation is made, in a dream, again. — Eg7pt» Ver. 16. The beginning of the persecutions 

* as near, as a Roman province and independent which culminated in the crucifixion. — Then Herod 

of Herod, and much inhabited by Jews, was an when he saw that he was trifled with, 1. e,, duped, 

easv and convenient refuge* (Alford). In Alex- according to his view of the case, by the Magii 

anoria, its chief city, the Old Testament had been was ezoeeding wroth. The murderer of his own 

translated into Greek, and there the Jewish and wife (Mariamne) and two sons (Alexander and 

Greek religions and systems of thought were Aristobulus) would easily murder other children 

brought into contact, resulting in the philosophy in his anger. The emperor Augustus made a 



38 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Ch, 



. II. i3-!i 



Greek nitlicism on (he cruelty of Herod (o his 
sons, and Jose)>hus records that he ordered a 
number of the chief men to be put to death as 
toon as he expired, that there tnight be no re- 
joicing at his own decease. Josenhus, however. 
does not mention the massacre at Bethlehem. It 
may have been unknown to him, since (he send- 
ing forth may have been in secret, as was the 
questioning «! the Magi (ver. 7), or 




among the many horrible crimes of Herod, 'II 
will only be right, in estimating the value of the 
fads related by this Evangelist, to remember that 
the more forced in some cases appears the con- 
nection which he maintains between the facts he 
mentions and the prophecies he applies to them, 
the less probable is it that the former were in- 
vented on the foundation of the latter. Such in- 
cidents as the journey into Egypt and the mas- 



sacre of (he children, mus( liave been well-ascer- 
tained facta before any one vnould think of finding 
a prophetic aimovincement of them in the words 
of Hosea and Jeremiah, which the author quotes 
and applies to them.' (Godct.) —Hal* ohildnu, 
as the Greek implies. — In all iti boidcii, 
'coasts' is now applied to sea liorders alone. 
The neighborhood was included that there might 
be no escape, just as the age, tVO JMxn, was 
the cittcme limit within which the child could 
have been bom, acoordiiig to tlla time, or period, 
which h* had exactly launtd ol the XagL As 
children under the age of two years were slain, 
it is probable that the star had not appeared so 
long a time before the visit of the Magi. Cruelty 
here overran the limits of space and time alike. 
These infant martyrs were much celebrated in the 
ancient cliurch, especially on the feast of Inno- 
cents (E)ecember 28). 

Ver. 17. Janniah th« pr^dut (ixxit. 15). 
Free quotation (from the Septuagint) of a typicil 
prophecy. Not ; ' that it mighlTie fulfilled,' but 
simply : ' was fulfilled.' 

Ver. iS. In Ramth, etc. The words 'lamenta- 
tion and ' are found in the Septuagint, but to be 
omitted here. The passage refers primarily to 
the leading of the Israelites captive to Babylon. 
Rachel, the ancestress of Benjamin, buried neai 
Hethlehem, is represented as issuing from ihe 




crave and lamenting, thus indicating extreme ca- 
^mity. 1'he sound of her lamentations is carried 
beyond Jerusalem, and heard at Ramah (the name 
probably means ' high '), a fortress of Israel on 
the frontier toward Judah, where the captives were 
collected. The figure becomes a typical prophecy 
of the grief in Bethlehem. Rachel was the an- 
cestress of the tribe of Benjamin, which was al- 
ways idenlilicd in fortune with judah. She well 
represents the mothers of Bethlehem, near to 
which she died in child-birth and was buried. 
Her tomb, on the site of which there is now a 
mosque, lies about half a mile north of Belhle- 



n the road to JeruE*alem. See the accom 

fianying cut of the mosque, with the village nl 
let Jala in the background. Jews, Christians, 
and Mohammedans alike revere the spot, which 
is much frequented by 'pilgrims.' 'The waii of 
Rachel is renewed in Ihe Church as often as Ihe 
witnesses to the truth are put 10 death by carnal 
and worldly men. who profess to be Ihe repre- 
.senlatives of the Church.' (Lange.) 

Ver, 19. Wlua H«Tod wa« dead. Herod died 
at Jericho about the lime of the Patsover (April) 
in the year 750 after the building of Rome, four 
years before Ihe date from which we reckon our 



Chap. II. 13-23.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 39 

time. The common Christian era was not fixed statements and those of Luke. Each mentions 

until five hundred years later. ( See Introd.^ § 8.) those facts most important for his special pur- 

The length of the stay in Egypt has however pose. Matthew's narrative is not a biography, 

been variously reckoned from a few weeks to three but brings up facts to prove the fulfilment of 

years in accordance with the various dates as- prophecy. He reserves the mention oE Nazareth 

signed to the Nativity. The Evangelist adds no until he can say : ' that it might be fulfilled/ etc. 

comment on Herod's character, no terms of re- Nor was it strange that Joseph, though pre- 

proach. He can learn little, who will not of him- viously a resident of Galilee, should at first seek 

self make proper inferences. Joseph us describes to return to Judea. The revelations made to 

the horrible death of Herod, amid alternate de- him would suggest Bethlehem as the proper 

signs of revenge and fits of despair. place' to train this 'child.' ' He naturally sup- 

Ver. 2a Th^ ue dead, etc. A similar ex- posed that He who was of the tribe of Judah 

pression is used (Ex. iv. 19) in a revelation made should dwell in the land of Judah, the most re- 

to Moses, with which Joseph was certainly ac- ligious, most sacred part of Palestine ; and, as 

quainted. the promised Messiah, should be brought as 

Ver. 21. The land of Imel included Galilee, near as possible to the theocratic centre, where 

but Judea would be reached first on the return. He might have frequent intercourse with the 

Ver. 22. AreheUva. Four sons of Herod (the priests and rabbins, and be educated under the 
Great) are mentioned in the New Testament very shadow of the temple. Only through a spe- 
(He had ten wives and fourteen children.) (i) cial command of God, was he led to return with 
Herod Antipas^ the murderer of John the Baptist Jesus to Galilee ; and that he made his abode in 
(frequently mentioned in Gospels and Acts i v. 27; the obscure vale of Nazareth, can only be ex- 
xiii. i), and (2) Archelaus^ were sons of Malthace plained by the fact, of which Matthew is wholly 
the fourth wife of Herod ; (3) Herod Philip I, silent, that this had been his earlier residence, as 
(* Philip,' Mark vi. 17) was the son of Mariamne, related by Luke.' (Andrews.) All difficulties 
the third wife, and lived a private life, having are met, if we suppose that when Joseph and 
been excluded from all share in his father's pos- Mary left Nazareth at the time of the census, 
sessions ; (4) Herod Philip II, (* Philip the te- they intended to settle at Bethlehem, which they 
trarch,' Luke iii. i), was the son of Cleopatra, would regard as the most suitable place of resi- 
the fifth wife of Herod, and the husband of Sa- dence for the expected child, the infant Mes- 
lome, the daughter of Herodias (Matt. xiv. 6 ; siah. — A city called Nasareth. Implying the 
Mark vL 22), and his half-brother Philip. — The comparative obscurity of the place. *It is situ- 
name, * Archelaus,' means * ruler of the people.* ated on the northern edge of the great central 
Herod excluded Archelaus by will from any share plain of Jezreel or Esdraelon, into which it opens 
in his dominions, but afterward bequeathed him through a narrow pass in the wall of hills by which 
' the kingdom.' The Emperor Augustus allowed it is surrounded. The name Nazareth, seems to 
him to be * Ethnarch ' over Judea, Idumea, and be an Aramaic form of a Hebrew word, meaning 
Samaria. He was actually reigning at the time a shoot or twig, and applied by Isaiah (xi. i) to 
referred to in this verse. He was afterward sum- the Messiah as a shoot from the prostrate trunk 
moned to Rome and banished into Gaul. Herod or stem of Jesse, i, /., to his birth from the royal 
Agrippa I. (* Herod the King,' Acts xii. i, etc.) family of Judah in its humble and reduced es- 
and Herod Agrippa II. ('King Agrippa,' Acts tate. This coincidence of name, as well as the 
XXV., xxvL) his son, were descendants of Aristo- obscurity of Nazareth itself and the general con- 
balos, the murdered son of Herod the Great. — tempt for Galilee at large, established an associa- 
Waa afiraid te go thither. Hearing this, proba- tion between our Lord's humiliation and his resi- 
bly, on the way, lie turned aside before reaching dence at t^is place, so that various predictions of 
Judea. The word go, strictly means * go away,' his low condition were fulfilled in being called a 
as if he would naturally have gone somewhere Nazarene.' (J. A. Alexander.) — That it mlffht 
else, f. ^., to Nazareth his home. — And. The be fulfilled, (jod so willed it, irrespective of Jo- 
rendering of the E. V. ('notwithstanding') has seph's design of settling there. — Prophets. In- 
misled many into the notion that Joseph acted con- definite, because what follows is a summing up 
trary to the revelation he received on his return of the sense of a number of prophetic allusions. — 
from Elgypt, an idea of which there is no trace That he ahonld be called aHaiarene. He was thus 
in the original. — Warned, even more than in ver. called, as an inhabitant of Nazareth (comp. Acts 
12, implies a previous inquiry. — Withdrew, as in xxiv. 6 : ' sect of the Nazarenes ') ; but no prophet 
ver. 12, 14. — The parts <n Qalilee, /. ^., the coun- uses these words or applies this name to the 
try itself, the northernmost province of Palestine. Messiah. It cannot be a Quotation from a lost 
Ttic name is derived from a word signifying a or apocryphal book, nor is the term identical with 
ring or circle. The Galileans, though Jews in * Nazarite.' * The various allusions to the de- 
religion, were looked down upon by inhabitants spised and humble appearance of the Messiah 
of Judea (Jews in the strict sense), probably be- are, so to speak, concentrated in that of Nezer. 
cause provincials, and living more closely allied The prophets applied to Him the term branch 
with the heathen. Samaria lay between Judea or bush, m reference to his insignificance in the 
and Galilee. eyes of the world ; and this appellation was spec- 

Ver. 23. It does not follow that Matthew was iaily verified, when He appeared as an inhabitant 
not aware of the previous residence of Joseph in of despised Nazareth, ** the town of shrubs." ' - 
Nazareth. There is no contradiction between his (Langc.) 



40 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. III. i-iz 

Chapter III. 1-12. 
The Preaching of yohn the Baptist, 

1 * T N those days came * John the Baptist, preaching in * the • ^^** *• ** 

2 A wilderness of Judea, And* saying, ^Repent ye:^ for *the [-""»"•»- 

3 kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken * j^la^.td! 
of by* the prophet Esaias,^ saying, *The voice of one crying in ^clS?!*J!!7; 
the wilderness, -^Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths 1^^; ^^*°' 

4 straight. And the same John^ had 'his raiment of camel's hair, ' ^pk^\.\l 
and a leathern girdle about his loins ; and his meat ^ was * locusts ^ a K*il*8^ 

5 and ' wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Ju- Sii ^ **^ 

6 dea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were ^ baptized 1 1 sam!'x!J'. 

7 of® him in Jordan,^^ confessing their sins. But when he saw * SUp. xxiu 
many of * the Pharisees and ' Sadducees come ^* to his bap- / ctap. xxii. 
tism,^ he said unto them, ~ O generation of vipers, who hath « fh*p«: »«- 

8 warned ^ you to flee from " the wrath to come } Bring forth * « Th«»- »• 

9 therefore fruits ^ meet for repentance : ^* And think not to say * ^ "vL 
within yourselves, ' We have Abraham to our father : for I say t John riu. 
unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children 

10 unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root ^ q chap. vh. 
of the trees : therefore ^ every tree ^® which ^" bringeth not forth '* 

1 1 good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. ^ I indeed bap- r John i nbx 
tize you with water *unto repentance: but 'he that cometh « verl/afs: 
after me is mightier than I, whose shoes ^® I am not worthy xix. 4. 

to bear : he shall baptize you • with the Holy Ghost, and with »6. *? ; m. 

12 fire : ^® Whose fan^ is in his hand, and he will thoroughly • Mn 1 35.. 

' ^ ^ X Chap. xiii. 

purge his floor, and 'gather his wheat into the garner ; but he g^^j^^ 
will burn up the chaff" with ^ unquenchable fire.^^ *^ 

• cometh * omit And • omit ye * or through 

• Isaiah • Now John himself ' food * they were 

• by *^ the river Jordan " coming 
" some read for baptism " Brood of vipers, who warned 

** fruit worthy of repentance " even now the axe is lying at the root 

w every tree therefore ^^ that ** sandals 

*• the Holy Ghost and fire * or winnowing shovel 

** cleanse his threshing-floor ; and he will gather his wheat into the 
garner, but the chan he will bum up with nre unquenchable. 

Contents. John the Baptist, his mission, Elijah (Luke i. 17; comp. Matt. xi. 14), to be 
character, and preaching. The section takes up the connecting link between the Old and New 
the Old Testament prophecy (ver. 3), and con- Dispensations. His inspiration (comp. Luke iii. 
eludes with an announcement of the coming Mes- z\ 'the word of God came to John,* the Old 
siah (vers. 11, 12), whose baptism is next re- Testament formula) was ' more of a sudden over- 
corded. ^ John combines the characters of Moses powering influence, as in the prophets, than a 
and Isaiah, joins law and promise in his preach- gentle indwelling, manifested tnrough the indi- 
ing ; the last of the Old Testament and nearest vidutl character, as in the apostles and evan- 
to the New (comp. chap. xi. ii). He decreases gelists' (Alford). His doubts about the mission 
that Christ may increase (John iii. 30) ; preaches of Christ (chap. xi. ^) recall the impatience of 
the law (repentance), because the gospel is at Elijah, at Horet) ( i Kmgs xix. ). Yet his baptism 
hand (ver. 2) ; stem in rebuke of sinners (ver. 7)> had a greater significance than the Mosaic ritual 
he is poor in spirit before the Saviour (ver. 1 1 ). washings, and his preaching was an advance on 
A herald of the kingdom (ver. 2), yet not of it all previous teaching. The former culminated in 
(chap. xi. 11), he came in the spirit and power of the baptism of Chnst (vers. 15-17), the latter in 



Chap. III. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 4' 

Ver. 3. For, He thus preached, because he wai 
sent lo fulfil this prophecy. — Ii he. All the 
Evangelists and Jonn himself thus appij the 
prophecy, which is more than a t]rpical one. 
Even it Ihe primaiy reference was to a return 
trom captivity, the entire fulfilment was in the 
mission of Ihe Baptist. — luUh, xl. 3. Here, as 
in Mark L 3 ; Luke iii. 4, the Evangelist quotes ; 
in John j. 13, the Baptist applies the prophecy 
to himself. — TIm Toiee. From the Septuagtnt. 
Literally 'a voice.' Some suppose John is rep- 
resented as a ' voice,' in contrast with Christ a* 
' the Word,' others because his life was vocal, 
' the whole man being as it were a sennon,' 
perhaps with reference to Ihe long silence since 
the prophet Malachi. — In tlw wildamaas is con- 
nected, in the Hebrew, with ' prepare,' here with 
'crying,' The sense remains the Same. 'The 
wilderness' here {and probably in the onginal 
prophecy) refers to the spiritually desolate con- 
dition of God's people.— ne way of the Iind, 
>'. f; Jehovah. By implication the coming One 
was Jehovah. An allusion to the Eastern custom 



i-a9). 

Ver. t. In thoae dayi. Nearly thirty yean 
after the events mentioned in the last chapter 
(comp. Luke iii. 13). Of that long period of pri- 
vate discipline and preparation in Naiareth, only 
one incident is preserved in the Gospels (Luke 
ii. 41-52). The Apocryphal histories 'of the 
Infiuicr ' are as foolish as ialse. This silence 
of Scripture suggests lessons of obedience and 
re*eT«nce to parents, of patience and peraever- 
ance in the long processes of education Ibr our 
life-work. — Cometb, maltes his appearance as a 
public personage ; probably at the Levitical age 
of thirty years, as in the case of our Lord (Luke 
iii. 13). This chapter is then the history of six 
months. — John, Hebrew: Tiiiaiian (the Lord 
graciously gave} allied to the Phenician name 
Hannibal (German, GMliit). On the remarkable 
circumstances attending his birth and naming, see 
Luke i. He was rcUted lo the holy Eunily, 
through his mother (Luke I 36). — Sl« Baptist, 
weU known as such. This title !s translcrred 
from the Greek. Mark (vi. 14, 14) twice calls bira 
'the Baptizer' ('he who baptized'). Baptism 
maa a prominent and, as lar as previous usage 
was concerned, a distinctive rite in his minis- 
try. — Pnaeklng. Proclaiming, or publishing, a* 
a herald does ; so throughout the New Testa- 
tnent Not so much the act of formal religious 
instruction, as the announcing of facts, the her- 
alding of a person. Preaching should still be 
tbos distinguished from lecturing, catechising, etc. 
John was emphatically a herald (comp. vers, i, 
3), and in the truest sense, a propheL — In tlw 
WildMuas, >'. e. a region ' not regularly cultivated 
and inhabited, but used for pasturage, being gen- 
erally without wood, and deficient in water, but 
oot entirely destitute of vegetation.' This wil- 
derness was a rocky tract in the eastern part ot 
IidM, toward the Dead Sea. This appearance 
in the wilderness was not only a fulfilment of 
prophecy, but characteristic of Ihe mission of 
John: whom men should go out to see (chap. 
n- 7i S, 9), and symbolical of the isolalton of the 
Jews imdcr Ihe old covenant. 

Ver. z. Bcpant. Not mere remorse, but con. 
Teision and refoimalion. oi turning away from sin 
and unto God. The Greek word means change of 
mind or heart. A necessary eihortatioo, because 
Ihe people were corrupt, but especially now : for 
tto tingiimn at hearvn la at hud, ('. t., has be- 
come and is now near in time. ' The kingdom 
of heaven' is equivalent to 'the kingdom of God,' 
and it used by this Evangelist alone. It is in the 
world, but not of the world, heavenly ih its origin, 
character, and destination. It is the kingdom 
from heaven, for the Messiah, the King, came 
from heaven. The Jews, however, thought it was 
to be a temporal kingdom. Hence they rejected 
an humble Saviour, and yet used this view against 
Him before Pilate {Luke xiiii, z ; John xix. 11). 
From this Jewish error Ihe Apostles were not 
entirely &eed until the day of Pentecost, It does 
not rder exclusively to a kingdom still future, 
but to the Tcign of the Messiah ooth in its incep- 
tioolat the Advent) and its consummation (at 
the ratun 'coming ) The former is the promi- 
nent thot^l hero, la other cases Ihe latter. In 

*'" — "'"' 't includes the Old Testament 

Matthew's exclusive 
ly in coBlrasI with the 
r) Jcwiah notiOM. 




UK wKicH lenBc, i[ includes ii 
Ibeocran as a preparation. M 
use of *lieav«n,' Is probably in 
extetnal (and worldly) Jcwiah 1 



of removing obstacles before the approach ol a 
royal personage. Hence the prophecy did not 
primanly refer to the return of the Jews from 
captivity, when no King was present. 

Ver. 4. How John kintseU. The dress and 
habits of John confirm the statement of ver. 3. 
His dress, like that of Elijah, corresponded with 
his preaching. The resemblance to Elijah was 

Gisibly in the mind of the Evangelist, since out 
rd in his public teaching (chap. li. I4 ; xrii 
II, 13), referred the prophecy of Malachi (respect- 
ing Elijah) lo John. — Oamal's hair. The coarse 
cloth woven of the hair shed each year. The 
fine cloth called camlet, is made of the softer 
hairs. Zach. liv. 3, suggests that this was the 
distinctive dress of the Utd Testament prophets, 
but this is not certain. E^lijah was thus distin- 
guished (comp. 1 Kings i. 81, —■ A laatbam Rfidtot 



42 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. III. i-ii 



9 Elijah wore, of undressed hide. The 
dress befitted the austere preachFT of re- 
X, whose ministry, like that of Elijah, 



their fathe 

exact rendering than 'meat' — Lomttt 
eaten in the East by the poorest class, : 
allowed to be eaten by the Mosaic law 
zi). The older expositors. 



1, give c 



ural ciplan 



that 1. 



Shrimps, cakes, etc. — Tlld bona;. Abundant in 
Palestine, which is described as ' flowing with 
milk and honey.' The term is, however, used 
by other ancient authors, of a kind o( honey 
which issued from fig trees, palms, and other 
trees. A still more meagre diet. — Thus John 
came 'neither eating nor drinking,' — a Naiarite. 
He probably did not enjoin this mode of life 
upon others. Mis posidon demanded it of him, 
and his actual self denial had asymbolical i 



of Chris 



repentance 



precedes the assurance of satvatiott in onr con- 
Bciousness, but the coming of salvation is the 

Seat motive lo repentance : ' Repent ye, for the 
ngdom of heaven Is at hand.' 

Ver. 5- To him, i. t., to the banks of Jordan. 
— Jantulam. The inhabitants of the capital city 
are first referred lo. — All JIlda<^ the multitude 
was great enough to jiisti^ this expression. — 
Bonod ftbont JonUn. An mdefinite expression, 
which may include parts of Samaria and Galilee, 
but the most remote locality seems to have be«n 
put first and the nearest last Continued action 
IS here asserted. John's spiritual power was so 
great, that it became quite the bshion, even 
among the self-righteous Jews, to go out into the 
wilderness lo be baptizeiL 

Ver.6. Andthsyvanbaptiwdliyldiii. 'They' 
is to be supplied, since verse ^ speaks of the re< 
gions. Baptism was eascnlially a symbolical or 
ceremonial washing, prescribed at first hy the Mo. 
sale law, as a sign of moral renovation, joined with 
sacrifice. John may have derived his Hie from 




the practice of baptiiing proselytes, but this is 
uncertain, as is also the antiquity of this practice 
The objection to this view of the denvahon of 

John's baptism, is that it would have presented 
im as the founder of a new sect, rather than as 
the restorer of the ancient ways. 1'here is no 
hint that be was thus regarded. Only on this 
theory can the baptism of John be identified 
with Christian baptism. The children of prose- 
lyles were also baptized. A better view is that 
John, by his preaching of repentance, declared 
th« uncleanness of the Jewish people, and bap- 
tiied the individual Jew upon conlession, as a 
«gn of purification. Thus Iherite was essentially 
a Jewish one, the final preparatory rite of the Old 
cunmny , and hence not identiral with 



Christian baptism Those who had received 
Johns baptism were rebaptized (Ads xix, 4) ; 
Christ himself was the subject of the nte, as a 
Jew (sec next section). While it had a more 
profound significance than the ceremonial lustra- 
tion, yet it was not a baptism ' unto his death ' 
[Rom.vi.3). but "unto repentance' (comp. ver, 
1 1 1.— Details of external form are not made 
prominent in the telision of Christ. If the rite is 
not identical with Christian baptism, Ihc mode 
practised by John cannot conclusively determine 
the proper mode of Christian liaptism. The sub- 
jects went into the river and were either im- 
mersed by John, or water was poured on them. 
I'he Greek verb iafi/iu (from (he root 6afitti, tt 
dip) is a technical term for a sjTnbuUcal washin)^ 



Chap. 111. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



43 



with a view to spiritual purification 
in any case to retain the wnrd 'baptize,' as mark- 
ing more distinctly this technical sense. — In tlw 
imr Joidaa. This follows the better sustained 
reading. — Oanfauing tlwiT (iiu. This they did 
in every case, usually in a particular and public 
maniter; yet the form probably varied. Some 
explain, ' on condition of confessing their sins ; ' 
but this Is too strong. 

Ver. 7. Bnt^isiilia hw eamlng tohU 

b^tiim. Not 'against his baptism,' though he 
opposed them. They came to be baptized (' for 
baptism ' Is the sense of a briefer rising), but 
John saw they were not (it subjects. Luke rep- 
reunts John as speaking thus 'to the tnnlti- 
tndes.' The coming of these leading people prob- 
ably attracted a crowd to whom the langua^ 
■as equally applicable ; or the Pharisees and 
Sadducecs themselves formed 'the multitudes,' 
more closely defined by Matthew in accordance 
With the character of his Gospel 

Ths Phwlim and SiddnoM*. Two opposing 
parlies, here classed together in the same un- 
worthy category. They afterwards stood together 
ajgainsi Chnst. According lo Josephus, both par- 
ties originated about the same time, b. c 154-144. 
The Pharisees were the upholdeis of strict ortho- 
dox Judaism, including the traditions of the 
elders. The name probably means, Stfaratisli, 
but implies, not a separation from the rest of the 
people, although this occurred to some extent, 
fwt their desire to separate the Jews from other 
nations. They represented one great fomi of re- 
li^gious error, that of outward legalism and tradi- 
tionalism, hence of superstition, of self-righteous- 
ness, of hypocrisy, of lifeless orthodoxy, — a 
pernicious tendency that has continued While 
our Lord lived on earth, they were his bitterest 



better from Abraham, he thus classes them among those 
over whom the seed of the woman should obtain 
the victory. This explanation takes away the 
apparent harshness, is in keeping with what fol- 
lows, and appropriately applied by one who her- 
alded the coming of Christ, to those who caused 



The Sadducees (so named from (heir sup- 
posed founder, Zadok), represent the opposite 
tendency of skepticism, rationalism, and unbelieE 
They rejected tradition, and probably even the 
later books of the Old Testament, denied the im- 
martalitrof the soul, the existence of angels, etc, 
triA conformed greatly to heathen customs. Out 
of Christ the majori^ of men belong to one or 
the other of these schools. 

A third school existed, the Essenes. They are 
not mentioned in the Gospels, probably because 
they stood aloof Their daily lustrations would 
lead them to attach little importance to the bap- 
■ n of John, They may be called the Jc " 



myidcs, and n 



versal 



nearer to Christianity than the Phariseea and 
Sadducees, for they adopted both Jewish purifi- 
cations, and Alexandrian philosophy. Among 
the Greek* and Romans the Stoics correspond to 
the Pharisee*, the Epicureans to the Sadducees, 
the PIatoni*tt to the mystical and ascetic Es- 

The two leading schools seem at first 10 have 
rec<^iied John as a prophet, but his words soon 
aroiised dislike. This grew into enmity when he 
announced Jesus as the Messiah, so that after- 
wards they tacitly denied his aulhoritv (comp. 
Ixike viL 30 ; Matt. xxi. 25-27). The new 
teacher lost popularity when he rebuked sin and 
pointed to Christ 

Bro«d of Tlp«r*. The phra-sc characterizes 
them a* both deceitful and malicious. John prob- 
ably alludes to the expression, 'seed of the ser- 
pent ' (Gen. iii. 15) ; in spite of thdr descent 




His death (thus bruising his heel). — V1u> wamd 
Tmil Intimated to you, gave you a hint of. 
John expresses surprise that such as they could 
lake the hint. — To flae, i. i., to attempt to es- 
cape, as they were professing to do, or were ac- 
tually doing. If the first be the sense, then John 
doubted their sincerity ; if the latter, he would 
insist on thorough work. — Th* vraUi to eam«, 
or, the coming, impending wrath of God, here 
identified with punishment itself. Foretold by 
Malachi (iii. z; iv. j), in connection with the 
forerunner of the Messiah. Hence troublous 
times were anticipated. The fear of these times 
rather than of the future judgment moved the 
Pharisees and Sadducees, while John himself 
foretold the fete of the Jewish nation as part of 
the 'impending wrath.' 

Ver. 6. Bring forth tlUTsfore. 'Therefore,' 1. 
/., if you are really fleeing as you profess to be, 
(hen bring forth fnait [the singular is found in 
the original) vortliy of repantuioe (or, j'lur re- 
pentance). The fruit or result, worthy of repen- 
tance, implies a good tree to produce the fruit. 
The germ of the great gospel truth : ' Ye must 
be born again,' since natural lurth, or descent from 
Abraham (ver. 9), did not insure the worthy 
fruit. 

Ver. g. TMnV not to t^, or, 'that voa may 
say.' Do not say, nay, do not think that this i* 
a plausible defence, even vithfn yinmdTM, in 
your own hearts : Te luvs Abrahani to evr 
i*thar, or ' for a father,' i. t., we shall escape, or 
be saved, because we , 1 - . .. 

promise made to him. 
boast, the Jewish erroi 
to the heart of (he m: 
the Jewish boast was n< 
(or, 'out of') tlL«i« ston 
banks of Jordan, where 
Sarcastic. No figurative reference lo heathen, or 
to monuments, — To laist np chUdren onta Alin- 
luun. Very emphatic, God could create others to 
take (heir place as heirs of the promise. Prob- 
ably a reference 10 the spiritual olRpring of the 
patriarch (Rom. iv, 16 ; Gal, iii, 7). John, either 
consciously or unconsciously, predicts the Call- 
ing of the Gentiles. Spiritual succession not de- 
pendent on natural or ecclesiastical (even ' apos- 



itural heii 
This was tlie Jewish 
John's preaching went 
cr. — For. The reason 
valid,— Ood if abloot 



ic-)s, 
Ver. I 



And arm no«, while T am speaking 

ii lying at th* loot of th* tree*. The 

of verse 8 (' fruit') is carried out The ax« 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. Xhap. HI. I-IJ. 



(Divine judgnients) has not been applied as yet, 
bul is ready for use, implying that ' Ihe trees ' were 
unfruitful, oi of a bad kind A striking declaration 
rif imminent destruction. — Thareton, because of 
the position of the axe. — Bringftth not forth gooi 
Iniit. There may be Majserus, professions, and 
yet no (mil, or the fruit may be io</. — Ii hswn 
down. Not ' will be ; ' the present tense repre- 
tents a certain and ininiediale future action, or 
» general law of the 'kingdom' which John 
heralded. — Into tha fin, continued figure, set- 
ting forth the effect, God's wrath. 

Ver. II. I indeed. Contrast between himself and 
the One he heralded. Me was not the judge ; the 
Messiah would be. — With (literally ' in') wkter. 
The person baptized stood in the water as the 
most convenient place, and may have been im- 
mer^d, or the water was taken up and poured 
on his head. — Unto, i.e., with a view to rojMnt- 
utM. — Ho tlurt oomath kfter nw, the Messiah ; 
assuming his speedy appearance, and (hat the 




moM «Uid«li I UD not wortlir to hew. Sandals 
were fastened with a strap ; comp. Mark i. 7, 
where there is a reference to unloosing this strap, 
here to carrying the sandals away after being un- 
loosed. To perform for the Meisiah this menial 
office of the meanest slave, was too honorable 
for one to whom all Judea resorted. This unex- 
ampled humility was stronger 
evidence of true greatness y— 

than the power he eietted _ 
as a preacher. A fit fore- -~ ' .^ 

runner of the 'meek and """ 

lowly ' Messiah. Here the 
efficiai superiority of Christ 
IS spoken of, the superiority 
of nalurt is declared in the 
Gospel according lo John, 
chap. i. — He ibim iMptiM 
yon. Christ himself did not 
baptize {John iv. z). The 
contrast is between John's 
baptism unto repentance, and 
the spiritual power which 
Christ would give (not the 
Christian rite), for full and 
entire salvation. The sec- 
ond baptism is figurative ; 
hence nothing is suggestett 
for or against the identity of 
John's bapti" 



The third person of the Trinity ; not a contrast 
between external water and internal spirit. — 
Firo. ' With ' is not lo be supplied. .Some re- 
fer this to the fire of judgment, as in ver. iz; 
but the close connection with what precedes, and 
the actual appearance of 'fire' on the day of 
Pentecost (Acts il i;j), favor a reference lo the 

Sjwerful and purifying influences of the Holy 
piril (Is. iv. 4; Jcr. v. 14; Mai. iii. z). 'In' 
must not be pressed in either case, since the 
Holy Ghost is represented as poured out, and 
the fire on the day of Pentecost came down upon 
the disciples. 

Ver. [2. VIiow vinnowinK^hoTBl, etc Anew 
figure, including a reference both to the saved 
and the lost; 'the axe' referred 10 the latter 
alone. The * winnowing-shovel,' for separating 
the chaS and the wheal, was ready for use, in 
hi* hand, and thus equipped, ho will olMnte 
UunDiuhly (from one end to the other) hll 
thmhing floor. The threshing floor was a cir- 
cular space on the farm, either beaten hard or 
paved, where the grain was trodden out bv oxen 
or hoises. The threshing floor of the Messiah 
becomes larger as the course of history move* on. 
The thorough cleansing of the floor itself will 
be completed when the end of the world comes, 
bul the process of winnowing is included, i. t., 
the disciplinary and punitive leadings of God 
with men. —And he will gather. The punctua- 
tion of the common version should be altered. 
The cleansing process is spoken of first in gen- 
enU, then Ihe twofold result is set forth ill con- 
trasted clauses. — Hii whoat, the fruits of the 
husbandry, the persons saved, hence 'His.' — 
nugarnor, the storehouse; either the kingdom 
of heaven on earth, or heaven itself, probably 
both, since Christ's salvation includes both words. 
— ^a ohaff, Ihe refuse, not ' His,' when separ- 
ated will be burned up. As in the case of the 
'wheat,' persons are meant, and the punishment 
may begin, like the blessing. In this world. — 
Fire luuioanoliabla. The violent, uncontrollable 
blaze of a straw fire is the figurative representa- 



Christiin nte. — 




all/, ' 



The 



tion of an awivi reality. Once begun, the fiery 
judgment continues, until the unquenchable tirr 
of Gehenna is kindled. 



Chap. III. 13-17.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 45 

Chapter III. 13-17. 

Tlu Baptism of yesus ; the Attestation of the Father a7id the Holy Ghost, 

13 "nr^HEN cometh Jesus *from Galilee to Jordan ^ unto John, « mark 1.9. 

14 A to be baptized of^ him. But John forbade® him, say- m/ai,"" 
ing, I have need to be baptized of * thee, and comest thou to ^ "* **' 

15 me? And* Jesus answering said unto him. Suffer it to be 
so now : ^ for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. 

16 Then he suffered^ him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, 
went up straightway out of ^ the water : and, lo, the heavens 

were opened unto him, and * he saw the Spirit of God de- c John i. 3*1 

17 scending like® a dove, and lighting* upon him: And lo a 

voice from heaven,^® saying, * This is ray beloved Son, in whom d chaps, xii 
I am well pleased. ^* 

* thejordan * by * would have hindered * But 

* Sufi^r it now • suffereth ' from ^ as 

* coming (and is of doubtful authority) " out of the heavens 
** in whom I was well pleased, or more literally^ in whom I delighted. 



Contents, The culmination of the ministry of the Messiah. Compare the very decided decU- 

John in the baptism of Jesus. The accompany- rations made by the Baptist immediately after- 

ing attestation : to John, a revelation that this wards. 

was the Christ ; to Jesus his iWJfJXOTwV iVftfKjgwra- Ver. 15. Suffer it now. The propriety of 

Hon, It therefore marks an epoch in the Gospel John's scruples is recognized ; but he was *now' 

history, and doubtless in the consciousness of the or ' as yet ' the minister of the law, which Jesus 

God-Man Himself (see notes on vers. i6t 17). must fulfil. The relation between them would 

While ful^Iling all righteousness (ver. 15), the soon be changed. — It beoometh ns. Both John 

well-beloved Son receives witness from the Father in his ofHce and Jesus in His. — Bighteonmen, 

(ver. 17), and is baptized with the Holy Ghost The requirements of the law, regarded as includ- 

(ver. 16). A solemn introduction Into His public ing all tnat is ri^ht — Snfferetli him. More than 

ministry. 'he baptized him'; Jesus was really the active 

Ver. 13. Than. Probably about six months af^er i>erson, since the rite was administered at iiii 

John b^^ to preach ; comp. ver. I — Cometh, as command and by His authority. 
m ver. i, a coming forth into public view. — From Ver. 16. Fzimi the water. Mark : ' out of.* 

OtlilM, from His home in Nazareth, a long dis- They probably stood in the water, but as both 

tance. — T6 bo baptiied by him. Jesus who was accounts do not so assert, this is not the essential 

sinlessy came to a baptism ' unto repentance.' fact. — And lo, the heavens were opened. How, 

This condescension formed a part of the obe- cannot be explained. Doubtless some miraculous 

dience to the Divine law (see ver. 15), rendered appearance in the sky. Langeeven suggests that 

by Him as a member of the Jewish nation. The the stars appeared. ' Heaven, which was dosed 

{ews were baptized in token of uncleanness, so by the first Adam, is opened s^gain over the sec- 
le, ' numbered with the transgressors,' must ond.' — ITnto him and he saw, 1. /., Jesus ; though 
needs go through the rites and purifications pre- John also saw it (John i. 33). The two state- 
icribed for them. This act closes the concealed ments are not contradictory, but point to a real 
life of quiet subjection and legal submission, o]>en- appearance, seen by both the persons who were 
ing the public life of mediatorial satisfaction, concerned in this solemn inauguration. 'Unto 
Hence He was baptized, both to fulfil all right- Him ' may also mean * for him," for his advan- 
eousness and to receive the Divine attestation ; tage. — The Sidrit of God. Only a Person could 
certainly not merely to honor John. be thus embodied. — Desoending as a dove. Luke 
Ver. 14. Bnt John wonld have hindered him. says, ' in a bodily form, as a dove.' This state- 
Peculiar to Matthew. Began to hinder Him, by ment, in which all four Evangelists agree, is to 
act rather than word. — I have need, continuous, be understood literally. A temporary embodi- 
habitual need. — Comest then to me 1 A question ment of the Holy Spirit occurred to publicly 
of surprise, implying a recognition of Jesus as inaugurate our Lord as the Messiah. The acci- 
the Messiah. John s knowledge of Jesus was dental, or even Providential, appearance of a real 
sufficient to occasion the question. His subse- dove would not call for such marked mention in 
quent declaration (John i. 33) : * I knew him all four Gospels. The dove symbolizes perfect 
not,' does not contradict this. He had not yet gentleness, purity, fulness of lite and the power 
received the sign from heaven that would en- of communicating it. — Cominff npon him. John 
able him to authoritatively proclaim Jesus as (i. 32) says : 'it abode upon Him;' the outward 



46 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IV. i-ii. 

sign was temporary, the anointing was permanent, and eternal Sonship of Christ are obviously im- 

His active mmistry now begins. plied. — In whom. This clause is taken from 

The baptism with the Holy Ghost of One *con- Is. xlii. i. See the direct quotation in chap, xii., 
ceived by the Holy Ghost,* is a Divine mystery. 18. — I WM well pleased. The clause might he 
In one light it was but the outward sign of that paraphrased : ' On whom I fixed my delight' 
which wab His already. At the same time our This means perfect complacency. The original 
Lord had a human development (comp. Luke ii. indicates a past time, not a continued state. 
40, 52 ; Heb. v. 8). It may aid us in apprehend- The latter sense is a possible one, declaring the 
ing the fact that the Son of God became a real eternal good pleasure of the Father in the Son, 
man, to regard this event as marking the age of but this would be only a rei>etition of the previ- 
maturity ; the attainment of the full consciousness ous declaration. The more grammatical sense 
of his nature and mission as the God-Man and points to the complacency of the Father in the 
Saviour. The time had come for Him to begin Son, when He assumed the office of Mediator 
His official work, that time was marked by the (comp. Eph. 1.4; John xvii. 24). Hence the ref- 
visible sign of the Holy Ghost, here spoken of ; erence is to the past, not to the time of his bap- 
the Divine Spirit now entered ' into some new tism. His preexistence is implied, and the mean- 
relation with the Incarnate Son, with respect to ing is peculiarly appropriate in the circumstances, 
the work of salvation, and the God-Man received The Godhead eternally existing as Trinity was 
some internal anointing for His work correspond- manifested, as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to 
ing to the outward sign.' us and for us in this occurrence, as throughout 

Ver. 17. And lo, a yoice ont of tlie heavens, the economy of redemption. The revelation of 

Heard by all who stood bjr, as on the mount the Trinity at the baptism of Jesus gives special 

of transnguration (chap. xvii. 5). — This is. A significance to the formula of baptism: *in'(or 

declaration to John that * this is* the Messiah, 'into*) 'the name of the Father,* etc. By this 

Matthew, who pays special attention to the proof attestation to his Sonship and Messiahship, lesus 

of the Messiahship of Jesus, probably gives the was anointed as Prophet, Priest, and King, 

exact language ; Mark and Luke give the sub- That such an occasion should involve miraculous 

stance : * Thou art.* — My beloved Son, lit, * My events was to be expected. The supernatural be- 

Son the beloved ! * Used in a unique sense, comes the natural in the life of a Divine human 

No one else was or could be a ' Son,* or * Be- Person, 
loved,* as this Person was. The Divine nature 



Chapter IV. i-ii. 



TAe Temptation. 

1 •T^HEN was Jesus led up of^ the Spirit into the wilder- « mark i. i», 

2 -■- ness to be tempted of* the devil. And when he had iv.'i-ij. 
fasted * forty days and forty nights, he was afterward a hun-3Comp.Deut. 

3 gered.2 And when the tempter came to him, he said,^ If thou Kin^ills! 
be* the Son of God, command that these stones be made^ 

4 bread. But he answered and said, It is written, ^ Man shall *: deut. viii. 
not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth 

out of the mouth of God. 

5 ** Then the devil taketh him up ^ into * the holy city, and set- d Luke iv. ^ 

6 teth him on a^ pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If # aiap xxvii. 
thou be* the Son of God, cast thyself down : for it is written, xi.*», is.* 

•^ He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in^/psA. xd. n, 
their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time ^ thou dash 

7 thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him. It is written 
again,*^ 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. g dkut. m. 

S * Again, the devil taketh him up into** an exceeding high ;k Luke iv. 5. 
mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and 

* by * afterward hungered 

* And the tempter came and said to him * art * become 

* omit up ' the • on 



haply ^^ Again it is written ^^ taketh him unto 



Chap. IV. i-ii.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 47 

9 the glory of them ; And saith ^^ unto him, All these things 

10 will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then 

saith Jesus unto him. Get thee hence, * Satan : for it is written, 1 1 chron. xri 
*Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only ^^ shalt * dbut. vi 

11 thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him," and, behold, 'angels /cuap. xxvi. 
came and ministered unto him. JLl. 4^''* 

" said " alone " (;)/^r (,). 

Contents. The threefold temptation by Sa- by his own will, but by the Spirit to fulfil the 
tan ; the threefold victory over Satan. He who design of the Father. According to his human 
came * to destroy the works of the devil,* triumphs nature, Jesus could be tempted, was in need of 
over him in personsd conflict This was the Mes- trial. Through this he passed without sin ( Heb. 
siah*s trio/ smd pro^a/iafttza His baptism had been iv. 15). — By the devil. The Greek word means 
His inauguration. The second Adam, like the slanderer, accuser. In the Old Testament he is 
first, was tempted. Contrasts between the temp- called Satan, or adversary. A person, not a 
tations : paradise, wilderness ; fall, victory ; dis- principle or influence, as is evident, from the 
obedience and death, obedience and life. — The whole tenor of Scripture. The personal repre- 
aim of ^a»an was to make of Jesus a pseudo- sentatives of the two kingdoms here met As 
Messiah, abusing the Divine gifts for selfish ends Christ was in human form, it is natural to sup- 
by conforming to the carnal expectations of the pose the adversary took some bodily form. What 
Jews respecting the Messiah. — The three temp- form is not stated, nor is it material. The views 
tations : (i) to doubt the Word of God ; (2| to which regard the temptation as purely internal do 
presume upon the Word of God ; (3) to reject not reauire any bodily appearance. Some sup- 
the Word of God ; or successive appeals to appe- pose that * the tempter,* ver. 3, was a member 
tite, pride, ambition. On the analogy between of the Sanhedrin, presenting, as the special instru- 
the three temptations and the three Jewish par- ment of the devil, the prevalent false Messianic 
ties, and the three great Messianic offices, see notions of the Jews. But * the devil * is expressly 
iange, Matthew^ p. 86. mentioned in the second and third temptations ; 

Different views of the temptation : — the suggestion of verse 9 could not be made with 

1. An external history, Satan appearing in per- any power by a Jew ; verse 10 speaks of Satan 
son. Objections : * It involves something super- by name. 

natural.' But this might be expected in such Ver. 2. Fasted. Entire abstinence from food ; 

circumstances. ' Verse 8 cannot be taken lit- comp. Luke iv. 2. — Forty days and forty nights, 

crally.' It may be in a qualified sense. The Not fasting by day and feasting by night. The 

personality of Satan is implied, but this is no length of the fast is not incredible. Comp. the 

argument against this explanation. On the whole fasts of Moses (Ex. xxxiv. 28) and Elijah (i Kings 

this is the most natural view. xix 8). Absorption in intellectual pursuits, but 

2. An inner experience, a soul struggle with especially in spiritual contemplation, will render 
Satan. The detailed accounts, full of references any one for a time independent of ordinary food 
to localities and actions, might be thus explained, or nourishment If necessary, supernatural sup- 
But it is necessary to admit some external cle- port would be granted. There is nothing here 
ments, and it is difficult to draw the line. Ben- to encourage asceticism, however. Our Lord was 
gel, Lange, and others, combine explanations ( i ) enduring for us, not prescribing fasts to us. He 
and (2). neither practised nor enjoined monastic habits. 

3. A vision, like that of Peter (Acts x.), and of — BDs afterward hungered. The wants of His 
Paul (2 Cor. xii.)- It is difficult to account for human body were no longer overborne. Here 
the purely historical form of the accounts on for the first time the Gospel presents our Lord as 
this theory. ^ sharing our physical needs. The glorious attes- 

4. A parable clothed in narrative form. tation to His Sonship preceded, the victory over 

5. A myth or religious poem, true in idea, but Satan followed. Sent by God to triumph for us. 
false in fact He appears identified with us. Even when weak- 

The last two are incompatible with the histori- est physically, when the temptation would be 

cal character of the Gospels. strongest, He overcame in our nature what en- 

Ver. I. Tlien, immediately after the events slaves our unaided nature. — The tempter came, 

mentioned in the last chapter, as Mark more ex- Luke (iv. 2) says that Jesus had been tempted 




the wilderness. What wilderness, is a question ing said to him.' 

of no special importance. Tradition points to a First Temptation. Vers. 3*4. If thou art the 

high and precipitous mountain near Jencho, close Bon of Ood. The emphasis rests on ' Son.' On 

by the banks of the Jordan, called Quarantania, any theorv the tempter meant by ' Son,' what our 

from the forty days* &st This is the more prob- Lord haa been declared to be at His baptism. 

»ble locality ; but our Lord, like Moses and That he would not have dared to tempt Jesus, 

Klijah, may nave gone to the Sinaitic wilderness, had he known who He was, is an unwarranted 

— To be tempted. For this purpose. To this supposition. The lan^age implies more of taunt 

contest, the God-Man b impelled, not directly than of doubt. Maliaous taunting is more like 



48 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IV. i-ii. 

Satan than ignorant doubting. — Command that, there met by the tempter, i. e., by some one who 

lit., * speak in order that* theie itoiMf may be- had authority in the temple. The Evangelists, 

eome bread, lit., loaves.' A challenge to the hun- who write so simply, could easily have told us 

gering Messiah to display His miraculous power, this, had they so understood it — And settoth 

as if he had said, Can tne Son of God hunger? him. The conducting and setting were of a similar 

The tempter sought to overcome His trust in God. character. — On the pinnacle of the temple, r. e.. 

The demand was for magic, rather than miracle, the whole enclosure. The word ' pinnacle ' means 

What Satan suggested resembles not the miracles either a wing, or a pointed roof, or a gable. The 

of the GospelsTbut the legends of the Apocry- roof of the temple itself was covered with spikes 

phal Gospels, and many * Lives of the saints.* to prevent birds from defiling it. A portico of 

Ver. 4. It is written. * It has been and still is the temple is meant, probably that called the 

written,* is the full meaning of this phrase. Each Royal Porch, which overlooked the valley oi 

suggestion was answered ^r a passage from Scrip- Hinnom at a dizzy height. There is nothing to 

ture. A hint to honor the Old Testament, which indicate that the tempter desired Jesus to work a 

is rendered emphatic by this particular quotation, miracle in the sight of the people in the court of 

Jesus, who was fulfilling the law, answers Satan the temple. Lange supposes that He was placed 

from the law (Deut. viii. 3). The connection is somewhere in the temple itself, the temptation 

strikingly appropriate : * Jehovah sufiered thee to presented being the suggestion that He should, 

hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou by a miraculous display, elevate Himself to be- 

knewest not, neither did thy fathers know ; that come the priest-king of that temple, fiut the 

he might make thee know that man doth not next verse does not ravor this theory, 

live,' etc. The quotation is very slightly varied Ver. 6. The devil takes the weapon with which 

from the Greek of the Septuagint — Man. Feel- he had been already overcome. He too, * can 

ing so keenly His human needs, our Ix>rd does cite Scripture for his purpose.' But the result 

not exert his Divine power, nor assert His Divine proves that Satan was but a surface reader, or 

dignity, but overcomes the temptation by identi- rather a wilful perverter of the Scriptures. — Hie 

fymg Himself with *man,' conquering Satan for shall give, etc. From Ps. xci. 11, 12. — On their 

us men. ~ By, lit., 'upon,' bread alone, I. ^., ordi- handl, more literal. ~ Lett haply, not *at any 




bread, but one who lives upon what God pro- without altering the sense. The original is poetic 

vides, lives ' in ' it, as an atmosphere. Whoso Satan uses it literally, tempting to a rash confi- 

depends on the mouth of God, his mouth shall dence, as in the first instance to distrust. It was 

not want bread, and thus depending, most truly also a temptation to avoid the appointed endur- 

lives. ' Outward means cannot sustain us, but ance, and by one striking exercise of power prove 

God by outward means.' Some have taken * word ' himself the Messiah. 

as meaning ' thing,' because it is not expressed in Ver. 7. Again it is written. Not ' written 
the Hebrew (Deut. viii. 3), but this is not strictly again.' In another place ; Deut vi. 16. Our 
correct. The *word' may be a promise, com- I^rd corrects the misinterpretation of poetic 
mand, which results in the thing needed. The Scripture by citing a plain statement of the law. 
reference is not to spiritual food. The simple The original has * ye,' but Jesus answers : Then 
meaning is : Man is ordinarily sustained by bread, ahalt not tempt, turning it directly upon the 
but if it pleases God, under whose Providential tempter, for every tempting of God is caused Xy 
care he stands, to sustain him by other means, Satan. — The Loid thy Ood. By such rash conn- 
this will be done, and was done for Israel in the dence God would be tempted. The direct ad- 
desert, all done according to the word proceeding dress involves another thought : that Satan in 
out of the mouth of God. — Thus the temptation thus tempting Him was tempting the Lord his 
was overcome. The needed supply doubtless God. Religious fanaticism is a tempting of God. 
came, and the hungering nature was satisfied, Third Temptation ; vers. 8-10. 
without the miracle the tempter suggested. We Ver. 8. An exceeding high moontain. Its situ- 
are here taught to overcome Satan with Scrip- . ation can only be conjectured ; the Mount of 
ture ; to trust God for extraordinary help in ex- Olives, which was relatively high ; others, the 
traordinary circumstances ; as He sufiered thus, mountain in the wilderness (Quarantania), Nebo, 
sharing our needs, we may believe that we can Tabor. — Shewoth him. Luke adds, 'in a mo- 
triumph thus, partaking of His fulness. mcnt of time,' this may imply some supernatural 

Second Temptation; vers. j-7. Luke mentions extension of vision. Magical influence on the 
this last. ^ The order here is probably exact ; part of Satan is less probable than an actual 
vers. 5, 8, indicate an order of succession, which pointing out of the regions in sight, and a vivid 
is not necessarily implied in Luke's account The description of the adjoining realms — All the Idn^ 
closing verses in the two narratives confirm this domi of the world ; not to be restricted to Pales- 
view. Matthew says: * Then the devil leaveth tine, a narrower meaning which * world * occasion- 
him.' Luke (iv. 13) : 'And when the devil had aJly has, but never in such a phrase. It becomes 
ended all the temptation.' intelligible on the theory suggested : actual vision 

Ver. 5. Then. Probably immediately after- with added rhetorical -description, 

wards — Taketh him, as a companion. Force is Ver. 9. Satan in his true character. — AU 

not necessarily implied, though Satan may have theae thlnga, 1. /., ' all that renders them attrac- 

had for the time being some power over his weak- tive to the love of power, pleasure, wealth, honor ' 

ened body. The greater humiliation of being (J. A. Alexander). —WiU I give thee. The 

tempted l^ Satan included the less, that of being world is to a certain extent under the power of 

conducted by him. — Into the hdy dty. Un- Satan, not absolutely nor permanently, indeed, 

doubtedly Jerusalem. Some suppose Tesus of his but actually. His greatest weapons are his half- 

ovin accord went to Jerusalem for a day, and was truths, his perversions of the truth. Recognizing 



Chap. IV. 1-25.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 49 

in this Person One who would reconquer a king- 13). — Thou ihalt worship, etc The two clauses 

dom for Himself, he offers to surrencler his own taken together forbid every kind of religious hom- 

part of this kingdom in its temporal extent. But age to any other than Jehovah — God. When 

Christ's sway over the world was not of a kind Jesus of Nazareth permitted religious adoration 

that could lie given by Satan, however wide and of himself, he virtually declared that He was Je- 

deep-seated the power of the latter might be. hovah our God. Tempted yet sinless, hungry yet 

Yet to Jesus, who as man must conquer the world Divine, He is ready to sympathize with us and 

through suffering and death, this was a real temp- able to succor us. 

tation. — If thoa wilt fall down and wonliqt me. Ver. xx. Leaveth him. Luke (iv. 13), 'for a 

I'he next verse shows that religious worship is season.* He was tempted a^ain and again ; at 

meant ; devil worship in this case. Satan, fallen last in Gethsemane and on the cross. — Angela, 

through ambition, would ask no less for his do- Spiritual beings, probably in visible form on this 

minion. His price is always exorbitant. The occasion. Alone in the contest. He had these 

proposal was bold, but in the contest between companions after his victory. — Ministered. Most 

them it must come to this. Satan at last offers naturally means, 'supplied him with food,' as in 

all he could, but throwing away all disguise, asks the case of Elijah ; x Kings xix. c. Others think, 

from One tempted in all points like as we are, 'gave him spiritual companionship,* to support 

what he asks from us. Him and prove that ' man doth not live by bread 

Ver. 10. Get thee henoe. A single word, alone.* The view that the angels brought Him 

' begone,' 'avaunt,' expressing abhorrence of both food, accords l>etter with the events just narrated, 

person and proposal. — Satan. Addressed by He who would not turn stones into bread was 

name, having spoken in his true character as ' aa- now fed ; He who would not call upon angels to 

versary.' — For, giving a reason for rejecting the uphold Him in rash confidence, was now sus- 

proposal, and also for his going hence, from the tained by them ; He who demanded worship for 

presence of One who instead of rendering wor- God alone, received homage from these servants 

ship, could claim it —It is written (Deut. vi. of God. 



Chapter IV. 12-25. 

Tke Preaching of yesus and tJie calling of the Fishermen ; He heals the Sick 

and Multitudes gather about Him, 

12 "NTOW when Jesus had heard ^ that *• John was *cast into«chap«v.3; 

'3 i ^ prison/ ^'he departed ^ into Galilee; And leaving Naz-^ LuicBm.jo. 
areth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum which is upon the ^ ^"»« »v- «*• 
sea coast,* in the borders of Zabulon ^ and Nephthalim : ^ 

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias^ the 

15 prophet, saying, * The land of Zabulon,^ and the land of Neph- ^,5^ ,^ ,^,, 
thalim,® by the way of the sea,® beyond Jordan, Galilee of the 

16 Grentiles ; The people which sat in darkness saw great light ^ ; 
and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death 
light is sprung up.^^ 

17 'From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, -^Repent : ^mark i. 14, 
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. /ciap. iu. 2; 

18 ^And Jesus,^^ walking by *the sea® of Galilee, saw^^ two vi. 10. . 
brethren, Simon called ^® Peter, and Andrew his brother, cast- »o; comp. 

LuKB V. a- 

19 ing a net into the sea®: for they were fishers. And he saith »«; JohnL 
unto them, Follow me,^* and I will make you fishers of ™cn- * jSf,Sv][J* 

20 And they straightway 'left ///^/rnets, and followed him. And <chap.xix.27 

21 going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son 

• when he heard (the word Jesus is to be omitted here and in vers. 18, 23, 
according to the best authorities) * was delivered up 

• withdrew * on the shore of the lake * Zebulun 

• Naphtali ' Isaiah • or lake 

• a great light ^^ did light spring up " omit Jesus 

" he saw ^ who is called " come ye after mc 

VOL. I. 4 



50 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IV. 12-25. 

of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship^ with Zebedee 
their father, mending their nets ^* ; and he called them. 

22 And they immediately ^^ left the ship ^^ and their father, and 
followed him. 

23 And Jesus ^® went about all ^ Galilee, * teaching in their * chap ix. 351 
synagogues, and 'preaching the gospeP^ of the kingdom, and markI. ai, 
"• healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease * iv.'is-. *'" 

_ .o-ii, /Chap. ix. 35; 

24 among the people. And his fame went *• throughout ^^ all MARKi.14. 



M Mark!. 34. 

Syria : and they brought unto him all sick people that were *• JJ^"*^ ^• 
taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were * 9"^ ^'' 
•possessed with devils, and those which were ^ lunatic, and those i^.'^v. a'i*. 
25 that had « the palsy ^ ; and he healed them. And there followed ^ ^^p* ""^ 
him great multitudes of people from '"Galilee, and from^'^^^Zt' 
'Decapolis, and/r^;« ^ Jerusalem, and from ^ Judea, and frofn ''8;'lukb «' 
beyond Jordan.^* , kJark r. »> 

rii. 3t. 

" the boat ^* or putting their nets in order ^^ straightway 

^ substitute he /J?r Jesus " in all 

* every disease and every sickness ^^ And the report of him went forth into 

^all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed 

with demons, and epileptics, and paralytics ; 
^ omit from and the succeeding comma 2* the Jordan. 



Contents and connection. The appear- (comp. chap. xiii. 54-58 ; Mark vi. 1-6). If there 
ance of Jesus as the light of the world amidst the were but one (as many think), it occurred at the 
darkness of the land of Galilee, in accordance beginning of the Galilean ministry', since Luke's 
with prophecy (vers. 12-16). The record begins account is so particular. Against the identity, 
at the close of the ministry of John the Baptist, see notes on Luke, and on chap. xilL 54-5S. — 
whose message is reannounced by Jesus (ver. 17). Came and dwelt, or having come he settled. — In 
He chooses four fishermen as his attendants (vers. Capemanm. A thriving commercial place on the 
18-22), goes through Galilee healing the sick and northwestern shore of the sea (or lake) of Galilee, 
followed by great multitudes from all parts of the hence called here * the maritime/ which is the lit- 
country (vers. 23-25I. Matthew, as well as Mark eral meaning of the word paraphrased : whiehis 
and Luke, begin their account of our Lord's min- on the shore of the lake. Mentioned, not to dis* 
Istry at this point. A number of events recorded tinguish it, but on account of the prophecy which 
by John (i. 19 ; iv. 54) certainly intervened ; in- follows. It was also in the boxdien of Zelmliui 
eluding the first Passover at Jerusalem. Some and Kaphtali. The exact site of Capernaum, so 
place the second Passover (John v. i ) before this often mentioned in the New Testament, is dis- 
section, which they record as the beginning of the puted ; the words of our Lord (Matt. xL 23) have 
second year of our Lord*s ministry (see Introd. thus been fulfilled. Some locate it at Khan Min- 
pp. 18, 19). The fourth Gospel concerns itself yeh, at the northern end of the Plain of (Jenncs- 
more with events in Jerusalem, the others with aret (EI-Ghuweir), near the Fountain of the Fig- 
those in Galilee. This may arise from different Tree, and on the present highway to Damascus ; 
sources of information or from difference in plan, others two or three miles further north, at Tell 

Ver. 12. When he heard, /. ^., in Judea. — Do- lIQm, which is more probable on account of the 

ttvOTod up, /. ^., into prison by Herod the tetrarch. very remarkable ruins, including a white svnsw 

The common version gives an explanation, not a go^ue (carefully examined and described by Cfapt 

literal translation. For reason of this imprison- Wilson, 1866), and on account of the similarity 

ment, see chap. xiv. 4; Mark vi. 17. — Ho with- of the name (Tell HOm means 'Hill of Nahum,' 

draw into Galilee. A withdrawal from prudence and Capernaum ' Village of Nahum '). Caper- 

(as chap. ii. 12, 22), hinting that lie had been naum was an important place, the residence of 

teaching in Judea. * Galilee* : here the whole re- Andrew, Peter, and the sons of Zebedee, prob- 

S*on of that name, since Nazareth was in lower ably of Matthew also, chiefly honored by the title, 

alilee. In John iv. 43-45, it means upper Gali- * His own city' (ix. 1). See Schaff; Bible Lands 

lee, or Galilee in the stricter sense. Herod was (1878), p. 34^ 

tetrarch of Galilee, hence the withdrawal was not Ver. 14. That it might be fnlfilled. The pur* 

through fear of him. It was due to the opposition pose ot fulfilling prophecy ever involves the 

of the Pharisees (John iv. i, and v. 16, 18, if that higher purpose of carrying out God*s plan thus 

occurrence preceded). revealea. — laaiah the prophet (Isaiah ix. t, 2). 

Ver. 13. And leaving Kaiareth, His early An independent and free translation. The Sep- 

hjme. Because rejected there (Luke iv. 16-30). tuacint is quite incorrect here. 
A second rejection took place at a later period ver. i& The land of Zebnlnn, etc These 



Chap. IV. 12-25.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



S' 



words form the close of a sentence in the otig. 
mal prophecy, and are introduced Co specify the 
legion spoken of in this Messianic predict'" 
Either an apostrophe to these regions or equiva- 
lent to ! as W the land of Zebulun, elc The 

sense is the same. — By tlie v*7 of Uia ••■• The dcpravih', including more ihan ignorance. 

■ea (or lake) of Galilee, not the Mediterranean, ignatliglit The past tense in prophecvindicatea 
The latter view would indicate that the region certain fulfilment This region tiad seen Christ, the 
was profane, being the way ol Ihe sea for all the light of men, bringing to them ' truth, knowledge, 
world. But this seems forced. — B«7and Jordui, moral purity, and happiness I ' The article brings 
'the Jordan.' Either the country on the west this out more fully. — The rtgim and ihrndow at 



Ver, t6. Hw pMpla; of the region just de- 
scribed. — Blttiitg in dtrlmaw. Dwelling con- 
lentedly. Isaiah says; 'walking,' but Matthew 
indicates that Che condition was worse. 'Dark- 
s the usual .Scriptural figure 



side already spoken of, or Pcrca on the east side. 
(Both senses are sustained by Old Testament 
mage.) The former is preferable, since the va- 
rious lerms of the verse seem to be in apposition. 
Some take this verse as describing the regie- 



dMtb. Poetic parall 

'darkness,' meaning either the region where death 

resides and the shadow he produces, or simply the 



landing Ihc lake {referring this to Perca), but the 



Napbtali extended beyond Ihe 
Jordan, I. ?., north wan ' 



'/"fron 



of the 



. . : persons being passive. The 
, though probably not more barbarous 
and depraved than the inhabitants of Judea, were 




was not understood by Che official inCerprcters. 
tJohn viL ji.l 

Ver. 17. Fram that tbne. Either, of this sel- 
tlcment in Capernaum, or the imprisonment of 
lohn the Baptist. — jMot twgan to praaoh. The 
beginning of the ministry ' '--'■'-- -- - - 



His forenuiner. The expression 'at hand.' in- 
dicates that Jesus had not yet publicly declared 
Himself to be the Messiah. But John had an- 
nounced Him i He had been accepted as such W 
Andrew, Philip, and Nithanaet (John i. 41, 45, 49), 



teachings. 

Ver. iS. And waUdiig. The omission of the 
word 'Jesus' connects this verse closely with 
what precedes ; the 'walking' was while preach- 
ing (ver. 17), This close connection is brought 
out more fully in the account of l.ukc (v. 1-1 1). — 
As this verse is the beginning of Ihe Gospel for 
.St. Andrew's day, the name of Jesus was very 
early inserted for ihe sake of delinileness. — Tba 
MB or late d( OalilM. The Greek word, like Che 
German Set, is applied to both lakes and scaa. 



52 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IV. 12-25. 

This sea of Galilee or lake of Gennesaret, called Ver. 21. Ooing on from thonoe. (Mark: ' a 

in the Old Testament Connereth (Deut ii. 17), or little further.') All four had assisted in the 

Cinneroth (i Kings xv. 20), is a body of water of great draught of fishes (see Luke v. 7, 10). — 

oval shape, from twelve to fourteen miles long JaQief, /. tf., Jacob. Probably the older brother. — 

and about half as broad. It is formed by the John, the Apostle and Evangelist. The detailed 

river Jordan, although smaller streams flow into account he gives of our Lorcrs previous ministry 

it ' The water is salubrious, fresh and clear ; it and miracles suggests that he was among the 

contains abundance of fish; the banks are pic- 'disciples,' he mentions (John ii. 2, 11, 12; iv. i, 

turesque, although at present bare; toward the 8, 27, 31). — In the boat, a fishing boat (not a 

west tney are intersected by calcareous mountains, * ship '), probably drawn up on the shore. — Kand- 

— towards the east the lake is bounded by high ing, or * putting their nets in order,' preparing 

mountains (800 to 1,000 feet high), partly ot chalk them for use. The wider sense is perhaps to be 

and partly of basalt formation.' It is subject to preferred. — He called them, probably using the 

sudden and violent storms and is remarkable for same words. 

its depression, being 6j3 feet below the level of Ver. 22. These two brothers atraigbtway 

the Mediterranean. See Bible Dictionaries. — obeyed, leaving their father alio. He was prob- 

Simon, contracted from Simeon. He was called ably not poor, as he had * hired servants ' (Mark 

first — Who is called Peter, 1. ^., ' so called ' at i. 20). The lesson, more plainly taught elsewhere, 

the time when the Gospel was written, not at the is : Renounce every human tie, if necessary, to 

time of the event here narrated. The common follow Christ Yet human ties are not severed 

version does not bring out this distinction ; see by following Christ The brothers remained 

chap, xvi, 18. At a previous interview, however, brethren in the Lord, and these four companions 

(John i. 42) our Lord had declared he should be in fishing were joined most closely as * fishers of 

named * Cephas * (the Aramaic form of the same men.' Comp. Mark xiii, 3. 

name). — Andrew hia brother. This Greek name Ver. 23. And he went abont in all Oalilee. 

shows how common that language was in the East The sphere of His ministry is thus marked ; its 

It is not known which was the elder brother ; character is thus described. * Galilee ' here prob- 

sometimes one and sometimes the other is named ably includes the whole fertile and well peopled 

first Their home was Bethsaida (Tohn i. 44). An- district thus named, not upper Galilee alone. The 

drew and another disciple of John the Baptist, people of Judea looked clown on the Galileans, 

probably the Evangelist John, v/cre the first fol- partly because of their contact with the heathen, 

lowers of Jesus (John i. 35-40). They may have rjartly because of their dialect (comp. chap. xxvi. 

remained with him. Philip was callea to follow 73). The inhabitants of a sacred capital city would 

him (John i. 43). — Casting a net. They were have unusual contempt for provincials. — Teach- 

busy at their usual avocation, for they were fish- ing. The people recognized Him as a Rabbi (see 

era. This does not imply special poverty or ig- below).— In their synagogues. * During the Baby- 

norance. ^ lonish exile, when the Jews were shut out from the 

Ver. 19. Come ye after me. This call is to Holy Land, and from the appointed sanctuary, the 

be distinguished from the previous acquaintance- want of places for religious meetings, in which 

ship and discipleship (John i.), and also from the the worship of God, without sacrifices, could be 

later choice and call to the apostleship (Matt celebrated, must have been painfully felt Thus 

X.). The call is thus expanded : * i. An invitation synagogues may have originated at that ominous 

to full communion with Him ; 2. A demand of period. When the Jews returned from Babylon, 

perfect self-renunciation for His sake ; 3. An an- synagogues were planted throughout the country 

nouncement of a new sphere of activity under Him; for the purpose of affording opportunities for pub- 

4. A promise of rich reward from Him. The licly reading the law, independently of the regu- 

call of Jesus to follow Him, i. A call to faith ; lar sacrificial services of the temple (Neh. viii. I, 

2. A call to labor ; 3. A call to suffering and etc.). At the time of Jesus there was at least one 

cross-bearing ; 4. A call to our blessed home.' synagogue in every moderately sized town of 

(Lange.)Thiscall to personal attendance, probably Palestine (such as Nazareth, Capernaum, etc), 

in all cases preceded the call to the apostleship. and in the cities of Syria, Asia Minor, and Greece, 

Even this office did not obtain full validity until in which Jews resided (Acts ix. 2, sqq.). Larger 

the day of Pentecost, when the Church was or- towns possessed several synagogues ; and it is 

ganizea, or, strictly speaking, reorganized. The said that there were no fewer than 460, or even 

Twelve were gradually prepared for their work. 480, of them in Jerusalem itself.' "Winer. — The 

Paul's case is exceptional. — I will make yon. service was simple, and our Lord availed himself 

His power, not their ability, made them what of the opportunity of making remarks usually 

they became. — Fishers of men. * The main points given (comp. Luke iv. 16-27; Acts xiii. 15). 

of resemblance cannot be mistaken, such as the Neither Christ nor His Apostles attempted to 

value of the object, the necessity of skill as well subvert the established order of worship. They 

as stren^h, of vigilance as well as labor, with an attended the synagogue service, with which, how- 

implication, if not an explicit promise, of abun- ever. Christian worship has more in conmion than 

dance and success in their new fishery.* (J. A. with that of the temple. The influence that revo- 

Alexander.) Our Lord uses human agents ; even lutionized the world was not revolutionary. When 

He did not labor alone. Let no one assume to the tree is made good, it grows according to its 

be independent of others in any good work. God-given form, hacking from without only mars 

Ver. 2a 8trai|[htway (the same word as in it A hint for politicians and would-be reformers, 

ver. 22). Emphatic ; there was no delay. Luke — Preaching (Heralding), teaching and proclaim- 

tells of a miraculous draught of fishes, which pre- ing, the goapel of the kingdom. The glad tidings 

ceded and prepared the fishermen to obey. His alx>ut * the kingdom of heaven,' or which intro- 

narrative assumes that Jesus was known to them duced this kingdom. On the word * gospel,' see 

(Luke V. 5), and that they gave up their occupa- Introd. p. 14. The good-tidings of the kingdom 

tion to follow our Lord constantly. consist of facts about the King (comp. Rom. L 



Chaps. V.-VII.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 53 

1-4). As our Lord was a wise Teacher, He did bodies uf men, producing fearful effects. Every 

not publicly proclaim Himself the Messiah. His such possession was a sign of Satan's hostility, as 

preaching was preparatory ; the full gospel could every dispossession was a triimiph over him. We 

not be preached until after the occurrence of the cannot explain how such possession took place, 

facts it presents (comp. note on the Sermon on This passage distinguishes demoniacal possession 

the Mount). As a Rabbi, the Galileans would from every kind of sickness. — Lunatics, or * epi- 

hear Him, they looked for a less lowly King. leptics.' The latter sense is probable, since tne 

To confirm this preaching, of a new and start- word has this meaning in chap. xviL 15 (the only 

ling character, our Lord wrought miracles : Heal- other place where the term occurs). The Greek 

lug erery diiease and every deknoM, etc. His word nad originally the same reference to the in- 

' doing good ' in this lower form had a higher pur- fluence of the moon which is found in ' lunatic* 

pose, to prove a Saviour in a higher sense. On — And paralytics The original word corresponds 

the miracles of our Lord, see chap. viiL The two exactly. Those afHicted with morbid relaxation 

words, ' disease * and * sickness * include all forms of the nerves, as in paralysis and apoplexy. — Ha 

of bodily affliction. The first word occurs again healed them. Whatever the form, He did not fail 

in ver. 24, hence we render it * disease ' here. to cure. 

Ver. 24. The report ' Fame * has changed its Ver. 25. Oreat moltitiides, lit., ' many crowds.* 

meaning. — Syria, the name of the largest Roman These came from all parts of Palestine; from 

province north and east of Palestine, sometimes OaliLee, where he preached, Decapolis (meaning 

including it. Probably used here in its widest * ten cities *), a district principally east of the Jor- 

extent — They brought to him all that ware sick, dan ; according to Ritter, settlea by the veterans 

Those who had heard of Him and believed in his of Alexander the Great, Jemsalem, the capital, 

power to heal were numerous enough to justify Jndea, the southern part of Palestine, and from 

this expression. — Holden, /. ^., under the con- beyond the Jordan, here referring to the northern 

tinned power of the msfladies. — Tormonts, pain- part of Pcrea, on the east of the Jordan, south of 

ful bodily afflictions, such as the three specified in Decapolis. The compact style of the original re- 

the next clause (* and ' is to be omitted). — Pos- quires the omission of * from ' (italicized m com- 

sessad with demons, lit, * demonized.* All the mon version), except in the case of the locality 

Gospel statements in regard to this affliction imply last named, * from Galilee and Decapolis and Je- 

that in those days evil spirits actually invaded the rusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.' 



Chapters V.-VII. 
The Sennon on the Mount* 



General character. The magna charta of the power of God unto salvation ; exalting Christ's 
Christ's Kingdom : the unfolding of His right- earliest instruction to the Apostles at the expense 
eousness ; the sublimest code of morals ever pro- of the later ; uses His tender words on the Mount 
claimed on -earth; the counterpart c^ the legisla- of Beatitudes to make us forget Calvary; puts 
tion on Mount Sinai; Christ here appears as His principles before His Person, failing to lead us 
Lawgiver and King ; Moses spoke in God's to Him. But while it is not the full gospel, its 
name ; Christ speaks in His own. — Its position, tone is evangelical, and its ideal is Christian ; iiot 
contents, connection, as well as the whole tenor telling how or why we are saved, it implies 
of the New Testament, show that it 13 the end of throughout that God must and will help, encour- 
the law and the beginning of the gospel, the con- ages us to ask from Him (chap. viL 11). Ad- 
necting link between the two : (i) a mighty call dressed to those under the law, it is the best in- 
to repentance for the unconverted, showing them troduction to the gospel. 

their infinite distance from the holiness required 2. Leading thought and plan. The connection 
by the law ; (2) a mirror of the divine will for be- of thoughts, so far as Matthew indicates it, is 
lievers, showing them the ideal of Christian mo- with chap. iv. 17: * Repent ye, for the kingdom 
'^^v (3) ^^ announcement of blessings (beati- of heaven is at hand.' The motive to repentance 
tudes) to all in whom the law has fulfilled its was the coming of the * kingdom,' about which the 
mission, to create a sense of sin and guilt, to Jews had wrong expectations. These errors are 
b^et humility and meekness of spirit, as well as met at the outset by a description of the character 
to encourage and impel to hieher attainments. It of the citizens of that kingdom, while the call to 
is at once a warning* a stanoard and a promise, repentance is both expanded and enforced in the 
but not the whole gospel. The gospel is about body of the discourse, which spiritualizes the law. 
Christ as well as from Christ. This discourse The leading thoughts are respecting the true stand- 
contains little about His Person and Work ; nor ard of righteousness, negatively, nigher than the 
could it. The audience was not ready, not even righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees (chap. 
theTwe]ve(Mark,chap. xvi. 21-23), the facts were v. 20), positively, like God's (chap. v. 48). The 
not accomplished, the Teacher was wise in with- Golden Rule (vii. 12) is not the leading thought, 
holding, was still in His humiliation ; only when since the ethics of the discourse are religious ; 
He was glorified did the full gloi^ of the gospel see notes. 

appear. The improper estimate 01 its si^ncance The discourse follows the method of natural 

makes Christ a mere teacher of ethics, not a association, although in some cases the connec- 

Saviour ; makes the gospel a higher legalism, not tinn of thought is difficult to determine. A 



54 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. V.-VII. 

Mattbew and 



plan * is simply such an aiuJpis as will help as 
to understand il as a whole. 

Chap. V. A description of the character of the 
citizens of the kingdom of heaven, their relation 
to the world (vers. 3-16); the relation of Christ 
lo the law, with His exposition of the law, cul- 
minating in a reference to God's perfection {■ 
17^^). — Chap. vi. Religious 
aiid true performance of them 



Lulte 



Points of agreement : Both begin with beati- 
tudes, etid with the same similitudes, contain sub- 
stantially the same thoughts, frequently expressej 
in the same language. In both Gospels an ac- 
count of the healing of the centurion's servant im- 
the false mediately follows. — Points of difference: Mal- 

itcd (vers, thcw gives one hundred and seven verses, Luke 

regarding dedication of the but thirty; Matthew seven (or nine) beatitude^ 



s, prayer enjoined through promise of an an- occasionally different. Our Lord was sitting (ver. 

Bwer, to which promise (he Golden Rule is an- i) when this discourse was delivered ; apparently 

nexed (vers. 1-12)1 exhortation to self-denial, standing (Luke vu 17] during the other. Thil 

warning against false teachers and false profcs- was uttered on a mountain, the other on a plain. 

sions (vers. ij-Jj) ; conclusion, two similitudes A number of important events mentioned by Luke 

respecting obedient and disobedient hearers (vers, before the discourse are placed by Matthew af- 

34-27). The impression produced on the mulli- ter it. 
tlMc is then stated (vers. 18, 29). Explanations : (a) Two reports of the samo 




discourse ; each Evangelist modifying to suit his 

Eurpose. This is the common view, involvmg 
:we9t difficulties. It is then assumed, that our 
Lord was standing immediately before the dis 
course, but sat down to speak ; that on the moun 
tain there was a plain just below the summit [the 
fact in Ihe traditional locality: 'the Horns o( 
Hattin,' or ■Kur'n Hattin," see ver. i). The 
chronological difficulty is not serious. Matthew 
mentions the sending out of the Twelve (chap i ) 
not the choice, which is narrated by Mark and 
Luke. The latter immediately preceded the dis- 
course (so Luke), the fonncr took place some 
time after. The mention by Matthew of his own 
call out of its chronologic^ position is readily 
accounted for (see in chap. bt. 1-17). — (b) Two 
discourses on entirely different occaaiona. So 
Augustine and others. This is an improbable 



solution, not called for by the chronolo^cal dif 
ficullies. The mention of the same miracle ai 
immediately following m both Gospels shows 
that Ihe occasions, if different were not widely 
separated. — (c) Different discourses, but deliv 
ered n immediate succession , Ihe longer one on 
the mountain to the disc pies, the other on the 
plain CO the multitudes, bo Lange. Favored tn 
the direct address to the disciples and the af 
lusion to the Pharisees (Matt, v) not found in 
Lukes account opposed however by the fact 
that the multitudes also heard the longer dis- 
course (Matt vii. 18). — (d) Two summaries <A 
our Lord's teaching about this lime, not reports 
of particular discourses. Such summaries would 



appropriate place, since in both c 

(eneral sketch of our Lord's ministry precedes. 
Jut both Evangelists specify the place, and even 



Chap. V. i-id.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 55 

our Lord*s posture. — Accepting the differing re- the momentarv image. This fact accounts both 

ports of the same discourse, we should remember for the remarlcable essential agreement and the 

that the Evangelists did not compose their his- decided individuality and difference in detail, 

tones from written documents and with literal which characterize the Gospels. The two reports 

accuracv in details, but (according to Oriental of the Sermon on the Mount present in a striking 

fashion) from memory, which was then much bet- manner these characteristics. The date is proba- 

ter trained than now, and from living impressions biy just after the feast mentioned in John v. i, if 

of the whole Christ, strengthened and guarded by that is to be placed during the Galilean ministry. 

the Holy Spirit Hence we have after all a truer. Our Lord had certainly been preaching in Galilee 

more lifelike and instructive account of our Lord's for some time, and haid already aroused the an- 

ministr]^, just as pictures embodying the varied tagonism of the Pharisees. See chap. zii. i-i 5, 

expressions of a man's countenance are more true for the events immediately preceding (comp. 

to the life than a photograph which can only fix Mark ii. 1-19 ; Luke vl 1-16). 



Chapter V. 1-16. 



A Description of the Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven ; their Relation 

to the World. 

1 A ND seeing the multitudes, ^ he went up into a^ mountain : * JJS!j"Luki 

2 irV. and when he was set,* his disciples came unto him : And ''** ''* 
*he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, p». i«viii' 

3 * Blessed fl!/v* the poor inspirit: for theirs is the kingdom si , 

4 of heaven. Blessed are 'they that mourn: for they shall be ^p^^J* 

5 comforted. Blessed ate ^ the meek : for they shall inherit the '!»•'" ' •■ 

"' J J Jrs. XXXVII. 

6 earth. Blessed are ^they which do hunger^ and thirst after j^,^^^^ 

7 righteousness : for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merci- 

8 ful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are *the pure in jHeb^iiM^ 

9 heart : for * they shall see God. Blessed are the * peacemakers : l/''**" "* ^ 

10 for they shall be called the 'children* of God. "•Blessed are /l^lviii^. 
they which* are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs *"* «»»'4- 

1 1 is the kingdom of heaven. " Blessed are ye, when men shall * ' ^*** '''• '*' 
revile you, and persecute ^^«, and shall® say all manner of evil 

12 against you falsely, for my sake. * Rejoice, and be exceeding '^cSr.vi.w! 
glad : for great is your reward in heaven : for so ^ persecuted ^ ^** c>on. 
they the prophets which ^ were before you. cSpI' xxifi. 

13 Ye are the salt of the earth : ^'but if the salt have lost his^ ^I'xJ^^ 
savour, wherewith shall it be salted.? it is thenceforth good for ^Lukeiv m! 
nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden* under foot of " 

14 men. '' Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set ^^ on "" ^*'"- "• '5- 

15 a hill cannot be hid. 'Neither do men light a candle, and put ' LukV^ii'i! 
it under a^^ bushel, but on a" candlestick; and it giveth light ^ " " 

16 unto all that are in the house. Let your light so ^' shine be- 
fore men, 'that they may see your good works, and "glorify Cj^hnxy's, 
your Father which 1* is in heaven. ™- '' "' 

* the * had sat down, or was seated • they that hunger 

* called sons * that • omit shall ' who ^ its 

* to be cast out and trodden ^^ city set ** the *' it shineth 

*• Even so let your light ** who 



SC THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. V. 1-16. 

Contents. The scene (ver. i), the formal mouth, we should open our ears and hearts. — 
preface of the Evangelist (ver. 2) ; the opening Taii||lit, literally, ' was teaching/ implying either 
description of the citizens of the kingdom of contmued or habitual discourse. It is appropri- 
heaven (vers. 3-10) ; their relation to the world ate, whether this sermon was uttered on one oc- 
(vers. 11-16), in the form of a personal applica- casion, or is a summary of our Lord's teachings, 
tion. The discourse opens with a simplicity Vers. 3-11, The beatitudes constitute an as- 
that would be abrupt, were it not so full of cending series. The same thoughts are found in 
blessing. Only One bringing heaven's blessed- the Old Testament, but only since Christ has been 
ness to earth could thus spe^ — The beatitudes found there. — BUiaied. The word, first applied 
(so called from beati^ the word which begins these to God, means more than ' happy.* Happiness 
verses in the Latin version) are usually spoken of may come from earthlv things ; blessedness comes 
as seven in number, vers. 10, 11 being considered from God. It is not bestowed arbitrarily; a rea* 
supplementary, 1. /., ver. 10 sums up the pre- son follows each beatitude, 
ceding seven under the comprehensive term of Ver. 3. The poor in spirit, not * in body,' nor 
righteousness^ and ver. 1 1 applies the whole to ' in mind.' The humble, those conscious of their 
the disciples. Describing one class of persons, spiritual needs, and thus prepared to be filled 
they explain each other. — Contrasts : Smai and with the riches of the gospel. The discourse be- 
the Mount of Beatitudes ; the law ends with gins at the beginning ; sense of want comes be- 
blessing to those who keep it ; Christ begins fore spiritual blessings ; the fruit of the law and 
with blessings to those who through it have &en the germ of the gospel. The Jews with their 
brought to a sense of sin and guilt. The citizens carnal hopes were not * poor in spirit,' hence the 
of the kingdom, as the Tews expected them to be, appropriateness of the introduction. Pride is al- 
and as Christ dcclarea them to be (comp. on ways the first and great hindrance to obtaining a 
this contrast, the beatitudes and * woes ' of Luke's part in the kingdom. — Por ihsirs is. It belongs 
account; chap. vi. 20-26); those whom they to them. — The kingdom (tf heaven. See notes on 
regarded as blessed ; and those whom He pro- chap. iii. 2 ; comp. chap. xiii. Both the habits of 
nounced so ; these beatitudes found in the Old the Teacher and the expectations of the audience 
Testament, but only in the light that Christ sheds made this a familiar thought 
upon it; the world's judgment and Christ's Ver. 4. Iliey that monm, or 'the mourning 

1'udgment as to qualities to be honored ; the world ones.' A spiritual mourning is meant A sense 
lad honored and deified courage, wisdom, and of need makes men * poor in spirit,* but a con- 
strength ; Christ proclaims as divine, poverty of sciousness of the positive power of sin makes 
spirit contrition, meekness, moral longings, mercy, them mourn. Not terror, fear of punishment, but 
purity, peaceableness, and patient endurance. Men actual sorrow that sin has power over us. — Corn- 
may adore intellect and power, praising the active forted. This is a promise ; hence the comfort 
virtues ; but the distinctive virtues of the citizens comes not from ourselves, but from God. If re- 
of Christ's kingdom are those passive ones He pentance saved, then the promise would be : they 
has shown to be divine. shall comfort themselves. 

Ver. I. Seeing the multitudes. Comp. Mark iv. Ver. 5. The meek; the mild, the gentle, op* 

7, 8 ; Luke vi. 17, on the gathering of these mul- posed to the ambitious, who succeed in such a 

titudes. — He went ap. Not to avoid them, but kingdom as the Jews were looking for. A higher 

to gather from them a willing audience.— Into quality than the preceding. — Inherit the eiurth, 

the mountain, the Horns of Hattin, according to or 'the land,' 1. ^., of Canaan, the type of all 

tradition. Stanley : * It is the only height seen in blessings, not merely of spiritual ones. The lit- 

this direction from the lake of (jennesareth. The eral fulfilment is not infreouent, but the primary 

plain on which it stands is easily accessible from reference is to the Messiah*s kingdom, 

the lake, and from that plain to the summit is but Ver. 6. Hunger and thirst after righteousness, 

a few minutes' walk. The platform at the top is * Tlie righteousness,' /. ^., God's ; something with- 

evidently suitable for the collection of a multi- out us, given to us, not merely imputed to us, 

tude, and corresponds precisely to the *' level though that is included, but made ours, part of 

place " to which He would " come down '* as our life, as food is assimilated. A still stronger 

from one of its higher horns to address the peo- representation of the sense of spiritual need, ad- 

ple.' This suits the requirements of the view vancing to positive longing, for a blessing, known 

that Matthew and Luke report the same dis- to be the one needed, namely, God's approval — 

course (see note, p. 54). The central situation conformity to the will of God. Those thus hun- 

would also permit the gathering there of mul- gering are blessed, for they shall he filled, shall 

titudes from all quarters.-^ When he had sat dowUi get in abundance what they want A narrow 

or was seated. The usual posture of an Oriental view of this righteousness interferes with the full 

teacher, and the natural one for familiar instruc- obtaining of it 

tion. — His disdples came unto him. The Twelve Ver. 7. The merciful. Meekness is a passive 

had already been chosen (comp. Mark iiL 14 ; virtue, mercy an active one. * The meek bear the 




degree of sympathy and mutual love and help 

discourse is in chap. x. * His disciples ' may in- included. The spring of this grace is in God's 

elude all who came to be taught, as distinguished mercy, although it is ever rewarded with new 

from the * multitudes ' who had come to see the mercy ; according to the annexed promise : for 

miracles of healing. they shall ohtain mercy. First of all, God's 

Ver. 2. Opened his mouth. A formula in- mercy; the merciful character is both the evi- 

dicating * a solemn and authoritative utterance ; ' dence and the measure of God's mercy. Mercy 

comp. references. He had before opened the from men is included. All these beatitudes have 

mouths of others ; the King Himself now be- a subordinate temporal application, for God rules 

comes the Teacher. When the Lord opens his the world, despite its sin. 



Chap. V. 1-16.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 57 

Ver. 8. The pore in heart. Either a single Ver. 12. Bejoioe, etc An exhortation based 

virtue, or total freedom from sin. The former is on the declaration of blessedness in ver. 11, and 

here meant, i. e., a simplicity of heart, or 'that confirming it Needful, because the prospect of 

steady direction of the soul toward the Divine life persecution is far from awakening joy. — Per 

which excludes eveir other object from the hom- great is your reward in heaven. Tne reason 

aee of the heart' More than sincerity, or chastity both for rejoicing and for the blessedness. ' Re- 

olfeeling, or outward purity, such as the Levitical ward,' i, ^., recompense; but of grace, not of 

law denumded and the hearers mi^ht have deemed debt ' Great ' implies that it would be beyond 

sufficient, or the moral purity which philosophers merit ' In heaven : ' either, in heaven, given in 

enjoin ; it is inward purity derived from God a future state of blessedness, or heavenly, spirit- 

(comp. I John iii. 9). Hence the promise : they ual, i. ^., in the enjoyment of the blessings of the 

shall see God. Fulfilled even here. This visioa Messiah's kingdom, the kingdom of heaven. The 

of God begins when spiritual vision begins in tne latter sense accords best with the language of the 

regenerate neart (Eph. L 18) ; it is perfected when discourse, and culminates in the former one. — 

in eternity we shall see Him face to face (i Cor. Per so perseonted they, i. ^., the unbelieving Jews, 

ziiL 12 ; I John iiL 2), perfect knowledge being (as in ver. 11), tho prophets who were before yon. 

combined with perfect love. Not an express assertion that the disciples were 

Ver. 9. The peaeemakers. Not simply the prophets. It, however, puts them on the same 

peaceful, but those who reconcile others. How- level, establishes the connection between the Old 

ever understood by Christ*s hearers, we must and the New Testaments, showing that the old 

refer it to those who proclaim and further the antagonism remains. A permanent reason for 

Gospel of peace, which alone makes men truly at rejoicing, not for the greatness of the reward, 

peace with one another by making them at peace Vers, it- 16 teach the relation of the disciples, 

with God. In most kingdoms those who make as thus described, to the world, under the two 

war stand highest, but in the Messiah's kingdom, figures of salt and light 

the crowning beatitude respects those who make Ver. 15. Te, 1. ^., the disciples, though not yet 

peace. — TlMy shall he ealled sons of Ood ; reco^- forming a distinct organization. The influence 

nized as sons, 1. e,, children of full age. This here spoken of depends not u]>on external organi- 

acknowledginent is the reward freely given of zations, but upon the power of Christ in the in 

God to those doing His work of peacemaking. dividual believers. —> The salt of the earth. Salt 

Ver. 10 speaks of the blessedness of the citizens preserves, Christ's disciples preserve the world 

of the kingdom of heaven, as opposed by the from utter corruption. — Salt seasons food and 

world, and the same idea is repeated in vers. 11, prevents insipidity; Christians are to give a 

12, addressed to the disciples directly. Then spiritual seasoning to what is made 'stale, flat, 

follows a declaration of their office in blessing the and unprofitable ' by * earthly ' minds ; comp. 

world. This variation in the thought leads most Col. iv. d The first thought is the prominent 

to reckon the beatitudes as seven in number, one. * The earth ' refers to society as it exists. — 

closing with ver. 9. 3nt. A warning against pride. — if the salt have 

Ver. la Por xighteonsness' sake. ' Righteous- lost its savonr. A mere supposition, — yet salt in 
ness ' includes all the preceding graces ; but the the East does lose its saltness by exposure, or 
peacemakers are especially persecuted ; the effort foreign admixture rendering it impure, and is 
to spread the gospel of peace provokes the hos- then * good for nothing,' except to destrov fer- 
tility of men. Righteous living does the same, tility. ux. Thovason {The Land and the BootcyVoi, 
however men may be compelled to admit its ex- ii., pp. 43, 44) mentions an instance coming under 
cellence. The Jews would not expect persecution his own observation. Pure salt cannot lose its 
to befall the Messiah's subjects. Yet theirs 1b savor. The doctrinal bearings of the figure need 
tlie V»"g^«w" of heaven. The promise to the not be pressed. — Of men. No special emphasis 
* poor in spirit ' also. The only difference grows seems to rest upon this phrase. The early date 
oiit of the nature of the parties. The * perse- of the sermon forbids an exclusive reference of 
cuted ' are probably capable of receiving a higher the verse to excommunication or deposition from 
blessing. One class is spoken of throughout ; the the ministerial office. 

list of rewards begins and ends with the kingdom Ver. 14. The ligbt of the world. The influence 

of heaven, a phrase summing up all the bless- of salt is internal, of light, external ; hence 

ings. * earth ' (ver. 13), and here * world,' both referring 

Ver. II. Blessed are ye. The personal appli- to societv or mankind, the latter more to its 

cation; a prophecy also, since when men shall organizea external form. Light is opposed to 

ivfile yon, etc, implies that this will happen, darkness, and dispels it ; is the symbol of truth 

The firet revilers and persecutors were the un- and holiness. Christ's disciples opposed to the 

believing Jews, here referred to indefinitely. -^ world, and yet to transform it, by driving away 

Befile, u ^., reproach you to your face. — Perse- its ignorance and sin. They become the light of 

ante refers to acts ana the last phrase to back- the world, because He is * the true light,^ and 

biting. — Palsely, literally, ' lying ' (agreeing with makes them partakers of His light — A titj set 

' men '). The word is omitted by some author- on a hUl. In the East, cities are often built on 

ities ; but in any case it is implied. — Por my hills. Such a city may have been in sight, as 

sake. This shows that all the preceding beati- later travellers think ; but in any case, the figure 

tudes describe Christ's disciples, that He is em- is striking. The Church of God is such a city, 

bodied Righteousness. Those only suffer for and must be seen^ like the light 

righteousness' sake, who suffer for Cnrist's sake; Ver. i^ A eandle, or Mamp.* — The bnshoL 

elsewhere we learn more distinctly; those only The ordinary household measure, holding about 

are blessed with righteousness who are blessed a peck. Under this the light could be hid. — Bnt 

for Christ's sake. The promised trouble for on the eandlestiek, or Mampstand;' its proper 

Christ's sake comes as a part of the promised place,anelevatedholderorstand, so that its light 

blessing for Christ's sake. might be diffused as widely as possible. ~ It 



58 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. V. 1-48. 

ffh^wtfc- ' Giveth light,' implies that a certain those who built them * (Alford). The exhortation 
effect is necessarily produced, but the lamp only humbles in order to exalt : all good works, light- 
shines, its light may be rejected. giving, purifying and preserving influences, come 
Ver. 16. Eren 10, /. ^., like the city on the hill, from God, to whom the glory belongs, but He is 
the candle on the candlestick, not * so that they * your Father.* This is the fiirst occurrence of the 
may sec,' as the common version might be under- pospel phrase, * Father who is in heaven.' It 
stood. — Let joux light shine before men, that is taught us by the only begotten Son of God, 
they ma^ lee your good worki. Not professions through whom we become sons of God, who is 
or teachmgs, but what men, with all tiieir preju- His Father and our Father. The beatitudes cul- 
dices against Christ's people (vers. 10-12), are minated in the promise, * for they shall be called 
forced to acknowledge as real excellences. — The sons of God ' (ver. 9) ; the statement of our 
supreme end both of the shining and seeing is world to our * Father,' from whom our blessings 
added, and glorify yonr Father who 1b in hiea- come, shows us that in the world we may cause 
yen. * The praise and glory of a well-lighted position in the world, while leading us above the 
and brilliant feast would be given, not to the Him to be glorified. Our true glory is in His 
light, but to the master of the house ; and of a glory, 
stately city on a hill, not to the buildings, but to 



Chapter V. 17-48. 
Our Lord's Relation to the Law, and His Exposition of its Requirements. 

17 "" I ^HINK not that I am come^ to destroy the law, or the « Rom. in. 31. 

18 JL prophets : I am not come^ to destroy, but to fulfil. For 

verily I say unto you, *Till heaven and earth pass,^ one jot or *Lukexvi.i7. 
one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.* 

19 * Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least command- rjas. ii. 10. 
ments, and shall teach men so, he ^ shall be called the least in »»• •<> 
the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach /A^», 

20 the same ^ shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For 

I say unto you. That except your righteousness shall exceed ^ Rom. « 3 
** the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no 
case ^ enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

21 'Ye have heard that it was said by® them of old time, /Thou ^veraw tj, 

^ * 33» 38, 43 

shalt not kill ; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the -^0^^' JJ; 

22 judgment: But I say unto you, That ^whosoever® is angry r « John iH. 
with his brother without a cause ^^ shall be in danger of the 
judgment : and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall 

be in danger of *the council: but whosoever shall say. Thou AChape.x.17; 

^^ xwi cc^ etc 

23 fool, shall be in danger of * hell fire.^^ Therefore if * thou bring « ^'h»g «^.»'- 
thy gift to the altar,^ and there rememberest that thy brother ^ ^^ ^... 

24 hath aught against thee ; Leave there thy gift before the altar, -*' """•9- 
and go thy way ; ^ first be reconciled to thy brother, and then 

25 come and offer thy gift. 'Agree with thine adversary quickly, /Lukexii. 58. 
'"while thou art in the way with him :^* lest at any time^^ the *• p*. ««« 

^ came ^ came not • pass away * all things be done 

• OMt't he * he ' in no wise • to 

• every one who " tAe best authorities omit without a cause 
'1 the hell {literally Gehenna) of fire 

" If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar " (,) instead of {^^ 

" with him in the way ^ omit at any time 



Chap. V. 17-48.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 59 

adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee 

26 to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto 
thee. Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast ^® 
paid the uttermost ^^ farthing. 

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,^^ " Thou « ex. xx. m; 

28 shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That * who- cji^iiZdli'i 
soever * looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed 

29 adultery with her already in his heart. ^ And if thy right eye / chap. xpn 
offend ^ thee, pluck it out, and cast iV from thee : for it is profit- 47. 
able for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not 

30 i/iat^ thy whole body should ^^ be cast into hell. * And if thy ^ chap. xviu. 
right hand offend ^ thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee : for it 43'. 

is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and 

31 not t/iai^ thy whole body should ^* be cast ^ into hell. It hath 

been said,® ^ Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give r dbut. xxir. 

32 her a writing of divorcement : * But I say unto you. That who- ,chap.xix.9; 
soever^ shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornica- ^^''LidSi' 
tion, causeth^her to commit adultery: and 'whosoever shall /Roii'vii. 3 
marry her that is divorced ^ committeth adultery, 

33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by ^ them of old 

time, "*Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but 'shalt perform unto «LKv.xix.ia. 

' * X Num. xxx. 

34 the Lord thine oaths : But I say unto you, ^ Swear ^ not at all ; j- 

35 neither by heaven;® for 'it is God's throne:® Nor by the * ^gj- '*^.j.*' 
earth ; for *• it is his footstool : ^ neither by Jerusalem ; for it ^ J^*,^ , 

36 is * the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy * l^- **""**• 
head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 

37 But let your communication ^^ be, Yea, yea ; Nay, nay : for ^ 
whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.^^ 

38 Ye have heard that it hath been said,^ * An eye for an eye, c ex. xxi. 34 

39 and a tooth for a tooth : But I say unto you,** That ye resist not aoT dJut. 
'evil :^ but -^whosoever* shall smite ^thee on thy right cheek, </"&».' ^.7. 

40 turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at 19; « cor! 

V i3- 

the law,^ and take away thy coat, let him have /Ay cloak also, /lukbvi 39, 

41 And whosoever shall ^ compel ^ thee to go a mile, go with him ^chap.xxvii. 

42 twain. *Give to him that asketh thee, and' from him that JVn *^, 
would borrow of thee turn not thou away. as™^ "** 

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said,^ * Thou shalt love thy w ; , p». 

44 neighbor, and 'hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, ™ Love ETiS'vi 34I 

k Lev. xix. 18 

*• have *' last ^' /Ae best authorities omit by them of old time xxui. 6. 

» cause thee to offend » omit that ^ omit should *« ^^"^ ^ '^ 

" go {according to best authorities) ^ was said also ^ maketh 

" when she is put away ^ was said to ^ that ye swear 

• the heaven *• the throne of God * the footstool of his feet 

« speech •* omit for •• or of the evil one ** was said 

•* or the evil man •• smiteth 

^ And the man that would sue thee at law ^ impress 



6o THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. V. 17-48. 

your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that 

hate you, and * pray for them which despitefuUy use you, and per- « Luke xydn. 

45 secute you ; ® * That ye may be the children ^ of your Father eJ' ^"' 
which ^^ is in heaven : for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil . . ^ . * 

/ Acts XIV. 17. 

and on ^^ the good, and p sendeth rain on the just and on ^ the 

46 unjust. *For if ye love them which love you, what reward ^ Luke vi. ji. 

47 have ye ? do not even the publicans the same ? And if ye 
salute your brethren only, what do ye more ^/lan others ? do not 

48 even the publicans so ? *^ Be ye therefore '^ perfect,** even as^'^p/^,^^; 
your Father which is in heaven ^ is perfect. JVpwl'hl 

is; Col. i. 

^ the best authorities read only : But I say unto you, Love your enemies, and 28; .iv. 12: 
pray for them that persecute you ^ may be sons Ja8.i.4; m 

** who ^-^ omit on ^^ the heathen the same 

** Ye shall therefore be perfect ** your heavenly Father 

Contents. Our Lord defines His relation to of the ceremonial law ; (4) by redeeming us 

the old dispensation (vers. 17-19), thus Intro- through His expiatory death from the penalty and 

ducing the negative leading thought, viz., the utter curse of the broken law ; (5) by enabling us, 

failure of the Pharisees to attain true righteous- through His Holy Spirit, to fulfil the law in grati* 

ness, according to the law, which He came to fulfil tude to Him and in living union with Him. 

(ver. 20) ; an exposition of the requirements of Vcr. 18. Verily, lit., * Amen,- I lay onto yoiL 

the law (vers. 21-47), culminating in the positive The Evangelist John generally repeats the first 

leading thought, our perfect heavenly Father the word. The whole phrase is used by Christ alone, 

true standard of righteousness (ver. 48). — The the absolute, personal Truth. — Till heaven, etc 

occasion of this part of the discourse was, either Paraphrase : * While heaven and earth last, one jot 

the false notion that the Messiah would introduce or one tittle shall not pass from the law without all 

a period of license (ver. 17), or the antagonism these, declared, promised, or typified, being done.' 

between what Hehadjust said and the teaching of A strong assertion of the permanent character of 

the Pharisees. The former is simpler. Still the the law. — Jot means the smallest letter of the 

other is natural. A popular audience generally (Hebrew) alphabet, while tittle, /. e,^ * little 

puts an extreme construction on new doctrines ; horns,* refers to the small turns by which one 

as he seemed to oppose the strict legalists, they letter was distinguished from another. A warn- 

may have asked themselves, * Will He do away ing against contempt for the Old Testament, 

witn the law.' In any case the connection witn which leads at last to a denial of Christ. He has 

what precedes is : Our Lord shows His disciples Himself fulfilled the ceremonial law ; He teaches 

that they are to become lights of the world (vers, the true, higher, spiritual significance of the whole 

15, 16), not as revolutionary radicals but as his- law. 

torical reformers. The law fulfilled by Christ, in Ver. 19. An application of the truth just an- 

Christ, through Christ The law spiritualized, nounced. — 'Whosoever, therefore, because of this 

not abrogated. The gentle Teacher the most permanent character of the law. — Shall break, 

exacting ; not externally but internally. The or at any time may break, one of these least oom* 

boldness (* I say unto you'), breadth, depth, and mandments, the smallest part of this law, or, in 

height of this exposition. Like the introduction, the wider sense, of this revelation which God has 

It culminates in a reference to our heavenly made, and shall teach men so, by example or pre- 

Father. cept, shall be called, recognized as, least in the 

Ver. 17. Think not. See above. The great kingdom of heaven, in the new dispensation He 
Teacher addresses Himself to the thoughts of the was proclaiming. Such are not excluded, because 
audience before Him. — I came. This implies not opposing the law as a whole, but only some 
that He had a special mission ; not as yet a direct of its minutiae. * Least ' may allude to the Jewish 
avowal that He was the Messiah. — To destroy, to distinction between great and small command- 
undo, or do away with. Christ's mission not ments, a distinction revived by the Romanists, 
negative and destructive, but positive and con- but which cannot exist in God s law. The pos- 
structive ; Christianity is neither revolution nor itive declaration which follows corresponds. The 
restoration, but a new creation, which, however, subsequent part of the chapter, especially the 
conserves and perfects all that is good in the old. next verse, shows that our Lord does not com- 
— The law or the prophets. The whole spiritual mand a strict observance of the letter of the cere- 
development of tne Old Testament is meant, monial law. He there condemns those most scru- 
This Christ came to fulfil, to make perfect as pulous on these points. The fulfilment and the 
doctrine and to exhibit perfectly in life. So that keeping of the law here required are explained 
we need not limit * law ' to the ceremonial law, or by the fuller light shed upon it by the Saviour's 
' prophets ' to the Messianic predictions. Christ exposition. — He shall be ooUed great« * He ' is 
fulfils the law : (i) theoretically, by unfolding its emphatic here. 

deep spiritual significance, as in this sermon ; (2) Ver. 20. The scribes and Pharisees, by mt- 

practically, in his holy life, a perfect pattern for nute explanations of the law, had made it very 

unitation; (3) by realizing the types and shadows burdensome. The people, oppressed by this, 



Chap. V. 17-48] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



61 



longed for deliverance. Some hoped for it necessarily. — General sense : murderoas feelings 
through an abolition of the law, but our Lord and words are deemed a proper ground of con- 
opposes this further, by His exposition of the demnation in Christ's kingdom. A more particular 
real demands of the law. explanation involves a difficulty. Two kinds of 
Xzoept your rightdonniMt, your obedience, earthly punishment are spoken of, and then a f u- 
rectitude, shall esooed, abound more than, that ture one is attached to tne use of a word, which 



of tha leriboa and Fhariaeea, je ahall in no wiao 
antar into tha kingdom of haavan. He exacts 
more than these so exact and exacting in their 
• righteousness.' — Less a charge of hypocrisy or 
wickedness than a declaration that they, with all 
their care, had not yet understood the real spirit 
of the law. Their scrupulous literal obedience 
was only a perversion of the law. Christ only 
unfolds its true meaning, first, by saying that the 



does not seem very different from the preceding 
ones. Since no earthly court does punish feel- 
ings of anger, it would seem that all three refer 
to a future punishment, or at least to God's judg- 
ments, the degrees being represented by Jewish 
usages. It is clear from the passage that there 
are different degrees of guilt, and that even the 
germ of sin in the heart condemns before God. 
The sin is not in the word and act as such, but 



way to obey it is not that of the rharisees. Christ in the motive and spirit. There is also a rigAt* 



is the way to obedience. His words here are to 
awaken a sense of the need of Him, to enable us 
to attain to this 'righteousness.' — The rest of 
the chapter contains five contrasts between the 
true fulfilment of the law and the teachings of 



fffus indignation and wrath, an innocent use of 
terms like those forbidden here (comp. Matt 
xxili. 17, 19 ; Luke xxiv. 25 ; Gal. L 8, 9 ; iiu i, 
3 ; Tas. ii. 20). 
Ver. 23. Therafore. Application of the teach- 



the scribes and Pharisees. We include vers. 31, ing just uttered. — Art offaring thy {^t at tha al- 

32, respecting divorce, under the second contrast tar, engaged in what was then the highest act of 

(seventh commandment). worship. Even the most sacred act should make 

Ver. 21. Te hava haard, when the law was room for reconciliation. •» And thararamembazaat. 

read in public, etc. — It was said to vnot * by ') Proper worship makes us mindful of duty to oth* 

tham of old tima, * the ancients.' As the passage ers. — Thy brothar, one closelv connected with 

is from the law, the indefinite phrase, 'it was thee. — Sftth anght against tnaa. The charge 

said,' cannot be referred to a false teacher or may be groundless, but still may give occasion 

author of tradition. — Thon shalt not kilL From to bad feeling on our part. — Lsave thara thy 

the Decalogue, the sixth commandment (Elx. xx. gift, etc Better postpone even an acknowledged 

13), the first of the second table ; the fifth belongs religious duty than, the duty of reconciliation, 

rather to the first table, containing duties to God. The case is put in the strongest form. — Go thy 

— Whoaoavar shall kill, commit actual murder, way, not to neglect the religious duty, but in or- 

ahall ha in dangar of tha judgment, i, ^., subject der to first ha raooneilad. The two clauses must 



to trial by an earthly court, probably the one in 
the place he lived. The interpretation of the 
scribes ; correct, but not complete. 

Ver. 22. Bat I say onto yon. This implies 
equal authority with Him who gave the Deca- 
logue, greater authority than those who ex- 
pounded it The two thoughts of ver. 21 require 
two here. — Svary one who. This is the literal 
sense. — Angry with his brothar. ' Brother ' is 
equivalent to neighbor, in the wide sense. — The 



be closely connected. — Than oome and offer thy 
gift The reconciliation does not make the wor- 
ship unnecessary. Discharge of duty to men does 
not do away with duty to God. One truly rec- 
onciled to his brother is readiest to come to God 
in His appointed way. 

Ver. 25. A^^aa with thine adversary qnioUy. 
An opponent m a law-suit — With him in the 
way, /. ^., to the place of judgment, the last op- 
portunity for settlement The rest of the verse 



best authorities omit * without cause.' Probably describes the possible course in case of losing 



inserted by way of mitigatioiL Several fathers 
expressly say that it is not in the text — Tha 
jiiid|;niaat As before, the earthly court — Baca. 
This is a word of contempt, meaning either 
• empty head,' or * spit out,* i. ^., heretic It is 
rendered, 'vain fellows,' in the plural, by the 



the suit The words : ' at any time,' are super- 
fluous. — Offioar, is the same as our sheriff. 

Ver. 26, Verily I say nnto thaa. A higher ap- 
plication of the illustratioiL The prudent course 
m worldly affairs points out the prudent course 
in the higner sphere. ' Reconciliation with an of- 



translators in 2 Sam. vL 20. — ConneiL The fended brother in this life is absolutely necessary 

Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, consisting of seventy-two before his wrong cry against us to the Great 

members ; the highest earthly court. — Thou foot Judge, and we be cast into eternal condemna- 

The Greek word implies 'stupid fool.* It may tion.' (Alford.) This view can be held without 

be a Hebrew expression (' moreh ') containing a definitely assigning a higher meaning to adversary 

charge of wickedness and great impiety. Perhaps and officer, etc The warning against law-suits is 

an allusion to the atheist, Ps. xiv. i. — In dangar evident enough, but is not the principal thought 



— The last farthing, 
value. The meaning 
is ; until everything 
is paid. If our sins be 



A coin of insignificant 



af, literally, ' into,' /. e., in danger of being cast 
into, tha hall of flra, ' Gehenna of fire.' The first 
word originally meant the valley of Hinnom, once 
a place of idolatrous worship, on the south side 
of Jerusalem. It became a place of defilement, regarded as ' debts ' 
where the corpses of malefactors were thrown, this is impossible, but ' 
and was also, it is said, the scene of execution in no conclusive argu- 
certain cases. ' Of fire ; ' either because of the ment for or against 
fires kept burning in this valley to consume the the eternity of pun- 
offal of the city, or on account of the worship of ishment can be based 
Moloch, practised there, in which children were on the figure. See, 
burnt alive. In either case, the whole phrase is a however, Luke xii. 59, where the reference to 
significant expression for the place of future pun- future punishment is perhaps more marked. Ro« 
ishment It probably means this here, but not man Catholic expositors understand this passage 




A Farthing. 



62 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. V. 17-43. 

owing to the hardness of their hearts. — The 
writiag of divoroemint, designed not to encour- 
age divorce, but to render it more difficult, was 
in effect a protection of the repudiated wife. Our 
Lord's explicit teaching opposed the perversion 
of this provision of the Mosaic law. Some of 
the Rabbins allowed divorce in a great variety 
of cases, one going so far as to make the discovery 
of a more pleasing woman a sufficient ground. 

Ver. 32. Fomicatioii, or unchastity. — Xakitli 
her to commit adultery, not by the fact of her 
being divorced, but in view of the extremely 
probable case of another marriage. — When the 
18 put away. The force of the original is best 
given thus. The Romanists claim that this in- 
cludes one divorced for the sufficient cause just 
mentioned, but it is doubtful, since, grammat- 
ically, the reference is still to the one divorced on 
insufficient grounds. Besides, a woman divorced 
for adultery would be stoned, according to the 
law, and there is here no reference to mfidelity 
on the part of the man. The application to the 
case of a man is not only required by the spirit of 
Christ's teaching in general, but by the fact that 
He is here speaking of and condemning the sin 
of the man. This high ideal of the marriage 
union (comp. £ph. v. 22, 23) is the basis of social 
morality. To oppose it is not only unchristian, 
but to demoralize the family, and to make war 
against the welfare of humanity. 

Ver. 33. A summary of the Mosaic precepts 
in regard to swearing ; negatively, Thou Shalt not 
swear falselv; positively, hut shalt perform te 
the Lord thine oaths. (Comp. Lev. xix. 12 ; 
Num. xxv. 2.) The twofold mistake of the 
Jews, answered by our Lord : that only false 
swearing, and swearing by the name of God, were 
forbidden. They prooably considered no oaths 
binding, save those in which the name of God 
occurred ; this error, though not mentioned, is 
necessarily opposed. 

Ver. 34. That ye swear not at all, lit., ' not to 
swear at all.' The reason is given, in ver. y;. 
The prohibition is absolute for private and social 
life, and also for the kingdom of heaven, for 
which alone Christ legislates here. Civil govern- 
ments, on account of the fearful amount of false- 
hood in the world (comp. ver. 37), must require 
judicial oaths as a guarantee of veracity. That 
these are not referred to we infer from the ex- 
ample of our Lord (chap. xxvi. 63, 64), and of 
His Apostles (Rom. L 9 ; Gal. i. 20 ; i Cor. xv. 
31). Objection to them often becomes a species 
of Pharisaism. Yet such oaths are not to be 
lightly administered. The next examples refer 
to the habit, so silly and sinful, of swearing in 
ordinarv conversation. — Keither by the heaven. 
An oath then used, and considered allowable. — 
For it is the throne of Ood. To swear by heaven, 
is to swear by God Himself. Otherwise the oath 
is senseless. A condemnation of many phrases 
which are corrupted forms of actual oatns, and 
are used by those who scruple to swear outright 

Ver. 35. Kor by the earth. In this case also, 
the oath, if not senseless, would derive its valid- 
ity from the relation of the earth to God. — By 
Jerusalem, or, strictly, * towards,' turning towards 
it, as in praying. Any solemnity attending this 
oath, came from the fact that it was the city of 
the great King ; where the temple stood, the seat 
of the special religious government Jehovah had 
established over Israel. 

Ver. 36. By thy head. No man can create a 



of pursatory ; Universalists use it in support of 
their view of final restoration ; but neither * pris- 
on ' nor * till ' necessarily points to ultimate deliv- 
erance. Comp. 2 Pet li 4 ; Jude 6. The main 
idea is the inexorable rigor of divine justice 
against the impenitent sinner. 

Ver. 27. The seventh commandment (Ex. xx. 
14) is now cited, with an implied reference to the 
interpretation given bv the scribes, namely, that 
adultery alone was foroidden. 

Ver. 28. Every one who, not seeth, but vol- 
untarily looketh, with a view to lust after her. 
Our I^rd declares, not that such an one shall 
be condenmed, but that in his A^art he has com- 
mitted the sin. Adultery of the heart, and of 
the eye, desecrate the temple of the Holy Spirit ; 
how much more adultery in deed. — A woman 
mayjnean a *wife,' but the widest sense is not 
inappropriate. 

Ver. 29. An application by direct address. — 
Thy right eye, etc Comp. chap, xviii. 8, 9 ; Mark 
ix. 43-48, where the order is different Here the 
• eye** is placed first, on account of the connection 
with the lustful look (ver. 28). The * right eye,* 
in popular esteem the oetter one. — Cause (or ' is 
causing ') thee to offend, to stumble, to fall into 
sin. — Fluck it out. Not : as soon as thine eye 
causeth thee to sin, pluck it out ; rather : should 
it appear that the sight is an incurable cause of 
sin, then pluck it out ; but such bodily mutila- 
tion would not of itself cure sin. We should 
resist 'the first springs and occasions of evil 
desire, even by the sacrifice of what is most 
useful and dear to us.* — Cast it from thee, 
as something hateful, because given over to sin. 
The surgeon does not hesitate to amputate a 
limb, if he hopes thereby to save a life ; no 
earthly sacrifice is too great where eternal life 
is concerned. — ProfltaUe. Such self -denial is 
true self-interest, as all virtue is, could we but 
so understand it However * profitable,' the 
overcoming of sin is painful. — Body[, standing 
for the whole life here, because the sin referred 
to is a sin against the body. — Hell, Gehenna, 
not Hades ; the place of punishment, not the 
place of the dead ; hence spiritual, not physical 
death is referred to. 

Ver. 30 repeats the same thought, instancing 
the right hand. The eye is the symbol of delight 
in looking (sense of beauty) ; the hand, the sym- 
bol of converse and intercourse (social feeling, 
friendship) ; but in any case here represented as 
oreans of temptation. — Go (or,* go away') into 
hiuL The change in expression perhaps marks 
a development of lust inevitably tending toward 
hell. Here, too, we must avoid a slavish literal- 
ism, and remember the main thought, which is to 
spare nothing which hinders our salvation. A 
literal execution would turn the Church into a 
house of invalids, since every Christian is more 
or less tempted to sin by his eye or hand ; nor 
would the cutting off of all the members, of itself, 
destroy lust in the heart Here, too, the rule 
applies: *The letter killeth, the spirit maketh 
alive.* 

Ver. 31. The teaching in regard to divorce 
l^elongs properly under the exposition of the 
seventh commandment Loose notions about di- 
vorce indicate and increase unchastity. — It was 
said also. ' Hath been said * (here and vers. 33, 
j8, 43), is an unnecessary variation. — Quotation 
from Deut xxiv. Our Lord says elsewhere (chap. 
xix. 8 ; Mark x. 5), that even this precept was 



Chap. V. 17-48.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 63 

hair of his head, or even transform its color ; men and beasts into the public service, d matter 
what solemnity, then, in such an oath. Or, if very obnoxious to the Jews ; it includes also the 
carried further, to swear by what is under God*s quartering of soldiers, and military requisitions, 
control alone, is to swear bv Him, and that in a etc. — A mile, a thousand Roman paces, about 
very roundabout and senseless way. Dr. Thom- if520 yards (less than an English mile), but the 
son (7)1/ Land and the Book) says the Orientals proportion, one to two, is the main point En- 
to-day are fearfully profane, swearing continu- dure double hardship, even when it seems most 
ally, by the heart, their life, the temple, or the unjust, rather than angrily refuse, 
church. Ver. 42. Give to him that asketh thee. Beg- 

Ver. 77. But let yonr speeeh be. Tea, yea ; Kay, ging was as common and annoying then as now. 
nay. Not only foolish oaths, like those cited, are — And from him that would borrow of thee turn 
forbidden, but also all unnecessary appealing to not thou away, or ' be not turned away.' Ob- 
God. Even judicial appeals to God snould not viously to give to every beggar, to lend to every 
be multiplieo. The true oath consists m the borrower, would be as hurmil to them as harass- 
simple asseveration uttered under a sense of the ing and exhausting to us. Refusal may often be 
presence of God, before Him, and in Him. — the best gift Our gifts and loans are to be meas- 
Oametli of evil, or ' of the evil one.' The mean- urcd by the welfare, not by the desert of the 
ing is the same in either case. All strengthening asker ; and to be made in the spirit of our Heav- 
of simple yea and nay is occasioned by the pres- enly Father (ver. 4O. 

ence ot sin, and the power of Satan, in the world. Ver. 43. Thon wait love thy neighbour. (See 
— There is no more striking proof of the exist- I-cv. xix. 18). The original precept referred to 
ence of evil, than the prevalence of the foolish, Israelites, arid obedience to it helped to keep 
low, useless habit of profanity. It could never them distinct from other nations. But the Phar- 
have arisen, if men did not believe each other to isees, to increase the distance between the Jews 
be liars. Liars are most profane, and the reverse and Gentiles, added the converse precept : and 
is true. Ignorance and stupidity increase the hate thine enemy, meaning by ' enemy ' the Gen- 
habit Some men swear from want of ideas. tiles (comp. Deut xxiii. 6). Latin authors speak 

Ver. 38. Bye for an eye, etc The law of retal- of this as a distinctive feature of the Jewish char- 
iation (Ex. xxl. 24) was a judicial rule, righteous acter. Personal hatred also was probably justi- 
in itself, and especially necessary in the £^t In- tied by this assumed meaning of the words of 
troduced to do away with the private revenge, so Moses. Our Lord (* a light to lighten the Gen- 
common in the time of Moses, it had been per- tiles') opposes this interpretation. Separatism 
verted into a warrant for retaliation of every kind, was necessary to preserve the Jews from heathen 
Our Lord teaches that while this rule is correct influence, but this addition was contrary to proph- 
in law, our personal conduct should be governed ecy and to the purpose of God in sending the 
Vy a very different principle. Messiah. (Whom He meant by * neighbor,* we 

Ver. 'TQ, Bedat not evil (' wrong *),or, ' the evil learn from Luke x. 27 £) 
man.' The general principle governing all the Ver. 44. Love yonr enemies. The controlling 

cases mentioned. Lanee : ' Our Lord refers to principle, literally and universally applicable, 

sin and evil in the world, which is conquered by One of the few precepts which admit of no dis- 

wise Christian submission rather than by stren- tinction between * letter * and * spirit* The law 

uous resistance. To be merely passive, were of love, once deemed applicable only to those of 

weakness; but a non-resistance, from Christian the same nation, is now declared valid towards all 

principle and for a spiritual object, is true men, even personal enemies. This gospel prin- 

strength and real victory.* — But whoioever imit- ciple and Pharisaism cannot be reconciled ; here 

eth thee on thy right oliiBek, etc An application chiefly our righteousness must exceed that of the 

of the principle to a case of violence against the scribes and Pharisees. By his very hatred our 

person. Christian love must make us bear twice enemy becomes our neighbor ; his hatred tempts 

as much as the world, in its injustice, could de- to retaliation, leaving us no choice but to fall or 

mand. This neither justifies the world in its de- else defend ourselves with the weapons of love, 

mand, nor requires passive non-resistance, since 1. e.y to meet * persecution * with * prayer.' The 

the example of Christ (John xviiL 22) and His briefer form of the verse, found in the best au- 

Apostles show that there is a time for standing thorities, is the correct one. The parts we omit 

upon our rights. The literal observance ma)r be were probablv inserted from Luke vL 27, 28. 
Pharisaical, yet when rendered in the true spirit, Ver. 45. That ye may be. Such action proves, 

has often most successfully overcome violence, not makes, the sonship. So doing we show our 

These remarks apply in general to all the cases resemblance to God our Father (a relation sprine- 

adduced. ing from our relation to Christ) who maJketh me 

Ver. 4a This verse may be thus rendered : inn, etc, whose love of benevolence is universal 

' If any man desires to go to law with thee, and and not measured by the desert of the persons 

(by so doing) to take away thy coat (the inner on whom He showers His providential favors. 

garment, or tunic), let thy cloak (the more ex- Christ here teaches the power and providence of 

pensive upper garment) also go to him.* The God in nature, as well as His character of love. 
• doak ' was frequently used as a covering at Ver. 46. Per refers back to ver. 44 : if your 

nijght, and according to the Mosaic law (Ex. xx. action is simply in accordance with the precept 

2^ 29) could not TO retained as a pledge over of the Pharisees, what reward have ye 1 What 

ni^ht Rather give up even what the law cannot merit is there in it ? — The pnblieans, the taxgath- 

seize than cherish a vindictive spirit Christians erers who collected the revenue for the Romans, 

ought not to be those ' desiring to go to law.* The term was odious, because these men were 

Such often harbor vengeance while they speak of the agents of the hated Romans, and because the 

justice. system of letting out the collection of taxes to the 

Ver. 41. ImproH thee. The word is borrowed highest bidder led to great abuses. The ob- 

from the Persian, and refers to couriers pressing noxious office would soon be filled by a disrepu- 



64 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VI. 1-18. 

table class ; hence the phrase, ' publicans and understood the verse as setting up our heaysnly 

sinners.* Even such could love those that loved Father (lit, 'your Father, the heavenly one*) as 

them, practising in this respect a morality as high the ultimate standard of our morality and hoH- 

as that of the Pharisees, who despised tnem. It ness. No other standard is allowable indeed, 

is a poor religion which does not oeget a higher Even the rendering we adopt implies a command 

love than is natural to worldly men. to attain to this standard. Our ability cannot 

Ver. 47. The same idea is repeated here, ex- affect the case. ' Likeness to God in inward 

cept that heathen is substituted for ' publicans,' purity, love, and holiness, must be the continual 

according to the best authorities. The Jews, de- aim and end of the Christian in all the depart- 

spising the Gentiles, did not usually salute them, ments of his moral life. But how far we are from 

The morality of the Pharisees is proved to be, in having attained this likeness, St Paul shows u3 

this respect, no better than that of the heathen. (Phil. iii. 12), and every Christian feels just in the 

— The lame. This is correct here ; in ver. 46 it is proportion in which he has striven after it^ ( Al- 

doubtful whether we should read 'so* or 'the ford.) Instruction in morality cannot rise above 

same.' this verse. Christ alone can really give us such 

Ver. 48. Te shall therefore be perfect. The instruction, since He alone by life and death 

first reference is to completeness in love to oth- shows the perfection of God m man. Having 

ers ; to an all embracing, instead of a narrow, ex- thus led us up to our Heavenly Father as the 

elusive affection. But the highest virtue includes true standard, our Lord by a natural transition 

all the rest, since God is love. We may then speaks next of our religious duties, 1. ^., duties to 

accept the correctness of the ordinary view, which our Heavenly Father, 



Chapter VI. 1-18. 

Contrast between the Trtte and False Performance of great Religious Duties. 

.1 T^AKE heed that ye do not your alms ^ before men, to be 
-L seen of them : otherwise ye have no reward of your 
Father which ^ is in heaven. 

2 Therefore when thou doest thine ^Xms,^ do not sound a trum- 
pet before thee as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues and in 

the streets, that they may have glory of men. " Verily I say a vers. 6, 16. 

3 unto you, They *have* their reward. But when thou doest * Luke w. 14. 
thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand 

4 doeth : That thine alms may be in secret : ^ and thy Father c vcrs. 6, «8. 
which 2 seeth in secret himself^ shall reward thee openly.® 

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt ^ not be as the hypocrites 
are: for they love to pray standing® in the synagogues and in 
the comers of the streets,® that they may be seen of men. 

6 Verily I say unto you. They have * their reward. But thou, 

when thou prayest, ** enter into thy closet, and when thou hast rfi8.xxvi.ao. 
shut thy door, pray to thy Father which ^ is in secret ; and thy 

7 Father which ^ seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.® But 
when ye pray, ^^ use not vain repetitions, as the heathen 

do: ' for they think that they shall be heard -^f or their much * gmp- ^ 

8 speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them : ^ for your /^-^ ^ 
Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask ^ver.sa. 

* TTie best authorities read^ righteousness ' who 

• When thenifore thou doest alms * have received 

• omit himself • shall recompense thee {the best authorities omit openly) 
^ And when ye pray, ye shall • to stand and pray 

* In the broad ways *^ in praying 



Is. 



Chap. VI. 1-18.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 65 

9 Him. * After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father a lukb xi. «- 

10 which 2 art in heaven, * Hallowed be thy name. ^Thy kingdom iisxxix. 23; 

11 come. 'Thy will be done in earth, as // is in heaven.^^ *"Give . v" »5- 

12 US this day our daily bread.^^ And forgive us our debts, as we . )y- '7. 

- . ,Q • Chap. XXVI. 

13 forgive ^* our debtors. And "lead us not into temptation, but ^a j Luke 
deliver us from evil : ^* for Thine is the kingdom, and the ,„^ro^m* 

14 power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.^^ ^ For if ye forgive ^ ^^p ^^ 
men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive Ji^; ^'J'' 

15 you :^® ' But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will J;"''^ "*'* 
your Father forgive your trespasses. ^ a67LiSeti! 

16 Moreover *when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad^'^ / Siap. xviu 
countenance : for they disfigure their faces, that they may \\l "* "' 
appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you. They have^ iviu. 5. 

17 their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint ''thine head, ra sam. xii 

18 and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but 3°zech"^i 
unto thy Father which ^ is in secret: and thy Father which ^ 

seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.® 

'* as in heaven, so on earth ** See note on this verse 

*• have forgiven ** or the evil one 

** The best authorities omit the conclusion : For thine Amen. 

" forgive you also *^ sour 

Contents. Our Lord passes from moral to does) come from men (vers. 2, 5, 16), but not 

religious duties, enjoining a ' righteousness * from God. 

(vcr. i), which exceeds that of the scribes and Vers. 2-4. First Example {Alms^ing), 
Pharisees (* hypocrites '), and has regard to the Ver. 2. Therefore, in view of this general pre- 
character of our 'Father who is m heaven.* cept — Alms. A contraction or corruption of 
The three leading manifestations of practical the Greek word used by the Evangelist — Do not 
piety: almsgiving {ytrs. 2-4), /r^y^r (vers. 5-15), loaxid a trumpet before thee, etc It would be 
vA fasting (vers. 17-18), as perK>rmed by hypO' impossible to blow a trumpet in the tynagog^ee, 
crites and by the subjects of Christ's kingaonL where the alms were regularly collected, or even 
The wrone end : ' to b« seen of men ; ' the wrong in the itreets, where the giver would be accosted 
method, * oefore men;* the wrong reward, *they by the beggar, and hardly carry a trumpet with 
have received * it The right end, * to glorify him for such casual occurrences. The language 
our heavenly Father * (chap. v. 16) ; the ri^ht is figurative : a trumpet was sounded TOfore 
method, ' in secret ; * the right reward, that which official personages to call attention to them ; 
our heavenly Father shall give. — The false hence self-laudation and display are meant — 
tendency leads to extemalism, publicity, and Hypooritee. The Pharisees are not named, but, 
present popularity in religion. The true public as a class, deserved this epithet — Iliey have re- 
worship of God must encourage the meekness oeived their reward ; already in full, and will get 
and humility of individual worshippers. — For- no more. The^ have the applause of men ; the 
giveness and worship again conjoined (vers. 12, favor of God is denied by ver. i. Their 'due' 
14, 15, comp. chap. v. 23, 24). — The close con- reward is not spoken of. 

nection of self-righteous worship with merely out- Ver. 3. It is not necessary to find symbolical 

ward worship, and the rapid transition to vain meanings in the expressions : left hand — right 

and sinful worship. -^ On the Lord's Prayer, see hand ; the verse is a figurative command to ' com- 

below. plete modesty, secret, noiseless giving * (Chrysos- 

Ver._ I. Take heed. Obedience to this precept tom). 
difficult as well as important The duties are to Ver. 4. That, * in order that* The mode should 

be performed, the care respects the ' end * and be chosen with a view to secres^. — In seeret ; 

the 'method.* The method to be cared for to more than * secretly.* Literally, *in the hidden* 

guard against the wrong end. Hiding from men (place). — Thy Father who seeth in lecret, in 

only necessary to prevent the praise of men from this hidden place, who is ever and everywhere 

becoming the motive. — Bighteonineis. Not present — ' Himself * is probably to be omitted ; 

'alms;' the common version follows an incor- if retained, it implies : without regard to the ver- 

rect reading. This verse is a general statement, diet of man. — Shall reoompenee thee. The terms 

which is afterwards applied to particular duties, differ from those applied to the hypocrites. The 

— Otherwiie, if these things be performed with idea there is of ' hire ; * the hypocrites have re- 

this motive, ye have no reward fxwn yonr Father ceived that for which thej^ worked ; God grvet 

which it in heat^ The reward may (usually this reward: 'of grace, not of works.* — 'Openly* 

VOL. I. 5 



66 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VI. 1-18 

has but slight authority; it is literally: 'in the external worship leads to senseless and sinful 

oj)en * (place), /. ^., in tne greatest puolicity, be* worship. 

fore men and angels at the last day. The posi- Ver. 8. Tliareforo, because these things are 

tion in which almsgiving is placed by our Lord, heathen ; the temptation to adopt or retain hea- 

as well as chap. v. 42, show that it is a Christian then worship will arise. ^For your Father, etc. 

duty, which can be fully discharged only in per* Another and more important reason for avoiding 

Bon. "^ such practices. Our prayers do not tell 'our 

Vers. 5-1C. Second Example {Prayer), ' Father * of our needs, but simply confess our 

Ver. 5. But when ye pray. The plural form consciousness of them, and our trust that He can 
is more correct That men ought to pray is as- and will supply them. Both of these feelings 
sumed. Praycrless men cannot consistently praise must precede answer to prayer. Hence the rea- 
the Sermon on the Mount and the morality of son holds good against vain repetitions, not 
Jesus of Nazareth. Religion is the backbone of against childlike petitions, 
morality ; the second table presupposes the first : Vers. 9-13. The Lord's Prayer. 
no love to man without love to God. — Ye ihall Ver. 9. After this manner therefore. Because 
not be. This neither ou^ht to be nor will be the vain repetitions are forbidden, ^pattern or sftci- 
case, if we are Christ's disciples. — They love, not tmn of the true form of Christian prayer is given, 
to pray, but to itand and pray, etc, for the praise Hence other prayers are not only allowed but re- 
of men, resulting from the publicity of the places quired. Two forms of this prayer exist ; see 
they chose for their pretended devotions. It Luke xi. 2-4, Hence it is very unlikely that it 
was right enough to pray in the usual posture, was in liturgical use when the Gospels were writ- 
and the lynacfog^nei were proper places of devo- ten. ' It must be supplemented for the same 
tion ; but the standing was of a kind to attract reason that the whole Sermon on the Mount re- 
attention. Not posture and place, but spirit and quires supplementary teaching.* Vet opposition 
motive are condemned. — In the broad wayi. The to the use of it in puolic prayer may be as really 
word here used is not that found in ver. 2. The a species of formalism as too frequent liturgical 
hypocrites would purposely be in such conspicuous repetition of it. It is a/iviw, to be devoutly used 
places at the fixed hours of prayer. The fashion on proper occasions, and a perfect pattern which 
of airing piety in this way has not died out. could only proceed from the lips of the Son of 

Ver. 6, shows the proper way, and the injunc- God. There is little to prove that it was taken 

tion is made more personal : Then, when thou from forms of prayer already in use among the 

prayest, enter into thy cloiet. The little room on Jews. * Lightfoot produces only the mos( gen- 

the housetop of an Eastern dwelling, used for eral commonplace parallels from the Rabbinical 

such purposes. 'Thy' implies that the place is books.' But the beauty of the Lord's Prayer is 

one wnere the person can secure privacy. — Shut in its unit}', symmetry', completeness, and [>ervad* 

thy door. This extends the idea of privacy and ing spirit. 

solitude. Private prayer, which is exclusively re- As regards its contents in general, * it embodies 
ferred to here, is not to be performed in public all essential desires of a praying heart Yet in 
places. The * closet ' may be sought and the door the simplest form, resembling in this respect a 
shut in a Pharisaical spirit ; but this command is pearl on which the light of heaven plays. It ex- 
to be obeyed ; if possible, literally, since our presses and combines in the best order, every 
Lord's example teaches the importance of re- Divine promiset every human sorrow and wan/, 
tirement Actual solitude may be impossible, but and every Christian aspiration for the good of 
even in the midst of a crowd we may be alone with others.' It is generally arranged into three parts: 
God. How often the duty of secret prayer should the preface (address), the petitions {seven, accord- 
be statedly performed is of course not mentioned, ing to Augustine, Luther, and others ; six, accord* 
A prayertul spirit vvill multiply both opportuni- ing to Chrj'sostom, and the Reformed catechisms ; 
ties and desires for the exercise ; while prudence, ' deliver us from evil ' being regarded as a dis- 
not law, calls for stated times. tinct petition in the former enumeration), and the 

Ver. 7. But wh0n ye pruy^ The plural form conclusion (doxology). The address puts us into 

is resumed, and continue4 throughout the Lord's the proper attitude of prayer — the filial relation 

prayer ; this probably extends |he application to to God as our ' Father ' (a word of faith), the 

public prayer. — TJie not vai^ rtpf titione. The fraternal relation to our fellow men (' our,' a word 

correct s,ense of the Greek word (lit, ^to speak of love), and our destination for* heaven* (a word 

Btammeringly ') is given in our Efiglish v^ersion, of hope). Every true prayer, an ascension of the 

although all sepscless and irrelevant expressions soul to heaven, where God dwells in glory with 

are included. ;— The heathen, /'. e., the individual all saints and where is our final home. — Tne /V- 

Gentiles. Comp. the repetitions of the priests of fitions are naturally divided into two parts : the 

Baal (I Kings xviii. 26), of the mob at Ephesus ^rst, respecting the glory of God ; the second, 

(Acts xix. 34). The same usage prevails largely the wants of men. Hence *thy' in the first, 

among the adherents of all false religions. There ' our * in the second. The first part presents a 

may be * vain rep^etitions ' of the Lord's Prayer, descending scale from God's name to the doing 

which immediately follows. Hence Luther calls of His wilT; the second, an ascending scale from 

it * the greatest martyr.' * What is forbidden here 'daily breacj' to final deliverance m glory, — 

is not much praying, not praying tn the same words Meyer thus analyzes it : * Having risen to what 

(the Lord did both) ; but the making number and forms the highest and holiest object of believers, 

length 2i point of observance^ (Alford). — Por they the soul is engrossed with its character (first pe- 

think they ihall bt heard for their much ipealdn^. tition), its grand purpose (second petition), and 

A second error ; the first seeking to gain ment its moral condition (third petition) ; in the fourth 

l)efore men ; this, attempting to gain merit before petition the children of Oo4 humble themselves 

God. Prayer, not a magical charm, but a reason? under the consciousness of their dependence upon 

able service. * Much speaking * not mi^ch pray- Divine mercy even in temporal matters, but much 

jlng ; * vain repetition * of heathen origin ; merely mor^ in spiritual things, since that which accord- 



Chap. VI. 1-18.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 67 

ing to the first portion of this prlyer, constituted the Greek hints that it is ' ours,* 1. e,^ created for 
the burden of desire, can only be realized by for* ouf use ; * this day ' shows that we are to pray 



giveness (fifth petition), by gracious guidance daily and to ask neithef fof riches nor poverty, 




wise learned the doctrine of the Trinity, will find it occurs only in the Lord's Prayer (here and 




God as the Creator and Preserver ; the second, /. ^., to-morrow's bread ; but this is contrary to 

to God the Redeemer, and the third to God the the whole context (ver. 34), and gives no good 

Holv Spirit' To which Lange adds : * Devotion sense, since we do not need to-morrow's bread 

to Cfod, and acceptance of His gifts are contrasted • this day ; * (3) Romanists refer * bread ' to spir» 

in the Lord's Prayer. I. Devotion to His name^ itual nourishment (the sacraments) ; but while 

to His kingdom, and to His will. 2. Acceptance this is either included or suggested) the primary 

of His gifts in reference to the present^ the past, sense must be that of actual bodily food. For a 

and the future.^ See Lange, Matthew^ pp. 123- full discussion, see Lange, Matthew, pp. 121, 126^ 

129^ and Lightfoot, Revision of the Eng. X^ew Testa- 

Our FatlMr who art in hMvtxi, lit, * Our Father, ment (Appendix). The propriety of daily family 

the (one) in the heavens.' A form of address al- prayer is suggested by this petition for our * daily 

most unknown and to a certain extent unwar- bread.* 

ranted before Christ came. He had repeatedly Ver. 12. And forgive ns onr debts, etc. {fifth 

called God by this name in this discourse, now petition), * Debts,' undoubtedly, moral obli^a- 

He teaches this disciples to call Him thus. A tions unfulfilled, il e., sins. See ver. 14, which 

recognition of the new filial relation concerning requires this sense. — Af we have forgiven. *As/ 

which the Apostles have so much to say, ana i, e., * in the same manner as ; ' not, * to the same 

which is formed through and on Christ, who extent as,' nor * because.* The spirit of forgive* 

teaches this form of address. The added phrase, ness, which God implants, gives a better asstu> 

• in the heavens,* shows * the infinite difference be- ance of His forgiveness. — Onr debton , like 
tween this and every other human relationship of « debts,' is to be taken in the moral sense. We 
a similar kind : He is no weak, helpless earthly are sinners, always needing forgiveness ; forgive* 
parent* The word * our * implies at once our ness and readiness to forgive cannot be separated, 
fellowship with Christ and with one another, the latter being the evidence of the former. 

The very preface to the Lord's Prayer is a denial Ver. i^ And lead ns not into temptation 
of Atheism, Pantheism, and Deism, since it rec- (sixth petition). The next clause is reckoned the 
ognizes a God, a Personal God, who is our Father seventh by many, more from a desire to find in 
through Christ — Hallowed be thy name [first the prayer the sacred number seven than from 
petition), * Hallowed ' means made holy ; in this sound mterpretation. We prefer to join the 
case it can only mean recognized, treated as sa- clauses. God cannot tempt us (Jas. i. 1 3), /. e,^ 
cred, and thus glorified. ' Thy name ' is referred solicit us to evil, but * temptation * means also 
hy many to the actual name of God, Jehovah, as a trial of our moral character ; these trials are un- 
induding His self -existent and eternal being to- der God's control, and His Providence may lead 
gether with his covenant relation. By others to us into them, may even permit us to be solicited 
all by which He makes Himself known. In either by evil. This petition asks to be preserved from 
view, the hallowing can be accomplished only these, and by implication, to be shown a way of 
through Christ God's glory comes first in this escape. In view of the many temptations from 
model of prayer ; the proper order. We in our withm (our * flesh '), from witnout (the * world \ 
weakness ana need often put our desires first and from beneath (' the devil '), to which we are 
Ver. la Thy kingdom oome {second petition), constantly exposed, there is no help and safetv 
The Messiah's kingdom, which in organized form for us, but in the personal trust in Christ which 
had not yet come, but was proclaimed by the underlies the proper offering up of this petition. 
Lord Himself, as at hand. It did speedily come, We should never seek temptation, but flee from 
as opposed to the Old Testament theocracy ; but it ; or if we cannot avoid it, meet it with the 
in its fulness, including the triumph of Christ's weapon of prayer wielded in that faith which over- 
kingdom over the kingdom of darkness it has comes the world. — But deliver ns, literally, pull 
not yet come. For this coming we now pray and out, draw to thyself. — From the evil, either from 
the prayer is answered, in part by every success all evil, or from tho evil one, as the author of all 
of the gospel, and will be answerea entirely when evil, who tempts us. A higher petition than the 
the King comes again. A missionary petition, but fifth, implying that God alone can save us from 
not less a prayer for our own higher sanctification the power of sin. Entire deliverance by God's 
and for the second coming of Christ — Tliy will grace from evil (or from the evil one) is entire free- 
be done as in heaven, so on earth {third petition), dom from temptation, and looks toward that final 

• Heaven * and * earth,' put for their inhabitants, redemption in heaven where all our wants shall be 
As by pure angels, so oy men. The idea of hu- satisfied and our prayers, as petitions, be lost in 
man doing b prominent, our will subordinate to never-ceasing thanksgiving and praise. Hence 
God's wilL ' As * expresses similarity in kind and the concluding doxology. 

completeness. Conclusion or doxology. Wanting in the oldest 

Ver. II. Give ns this day onr daily bread copies of the New Testament now in existence; 

{fourth petition). First of the second division though found in the oldest version (probably a 

relative to our wants. These are subordinate, later insertion even there). The Lord's Prayer 

but not opposed, to the subjects of the previous was early used in private and public devotion 

petitions. * Bread,* food in general ; the form in with a doxology (after the Jewish custom) ; and 



68 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VI. 19-34. 

this was inserted first on the margin, then in the giving ' Father,* He will not brook an unforgiv 

text. It is certainly very ancient, very appro- ing spirit in us. 

priate, and there is a possibility that it is gen- vers. 16-18. Third Example {Fasting, 
nine ; hence it need not be omitted in using the Ver. 16. When ye fast Fasting as an aid to 
Prayer, though it must be excluded from the prayer and meditation, and a wholesome disci- 
text of the Sermon on the Mount — For, ' we pline, is a religious duty, and has a place in Chris- 
ask all this of Thee because,' thine, by right tian practice. More is meant than temperance in 
and possession, is the kingdom, the blessed do- meat and drink. Stated fasts are likely to be- 
minion for which we pray, and the power, om- come formal ; public fasts are almost sure to be- 
nipotence, ability to answer, and the glory, the come Pharisaical, but there are circumstances 
glory prayed for in the first petition which is in the life of every Christian which make days of 
the end of all our petitions. Forever, as the private abstinence appropriate. The wrong, nyp- 
unchangeable God. Thus the eternal fulness ocritical way of fastmg is first mentioned. — Of a 
of God forms the basis, the souly and the aim loar oonntenanoe, not sorrowful, but sullen, mo- 
of the whole prayer. — Amen. The word trans- rose, as is explained further by what follows. — 
lated, 'verily,'^ when used at the beginning of For they diiflgore their faoei. They left their 
a sentence. At the close of a prayer it ex- beards and faces uncleaned, attired themselves 
presses the assent of the worshippers to the negligently, with a purpose in view, viz., that 
prayer uttered by another. Jewish and early they may appear onto men to fast, or, that they 
Christian usage sanction the audible ' Amen ' by may appear unto men, fasting. They did really 
the congregation. fast, but they wished men to see them as they 
Vers. 14, 15. These verses explain the fifth fasted. There is a play upon the words in the 
petition (ver. 12), substituting the word * trespass* Greek: They make their faces unappearalUe 
for 'debt,* as some liturgies do in the Lord's ('disfigure'), that they may appear unto men 
Prayer itself. In * debt ' the notion of obligation fasting. They obtain their wish, have reoeived 
is prominent, in ' trespass ' that of misstep, Silling their reward, the hire for which they do such 
away from what is right The adoption of this things. 

explanation shows that forgiveness and readiness Ver. 17. When then fastest. He assumes that 

^o forgive were among the leading ideas of the His disciples would practise private fasting. — 

prayer. They are distinctively Christian ideas. Anoint thy head and wash th]^ faoe. The usual 

The people were not prepared to learn the true practice before meals, especially before feasts. 

ground of forgiveness, the redeeming work of Special preparation would involve hypocrisy also. 

Christ, but the principle could be laid down. No The meaning is, perform the cleansing usual and 

man is forgiven of God (whatever be his under- proper before meals even when fasting. (The 

standing of the doctrine of justification by faith, maxim of sound piety, ' cleanliness next to godli- 

his theoretical belief about the Person of Christ, ness.' Hypocrisy and false asceticism reverse 

and the work of the Holy Spirit) who has not re- the maxim.) 

ceived with the forgiveness of his own sins the Ver. 18. That then appear not, etc. The 

spirit of forgiveness toward others. It is impos- usual preparations would leave men unaware that 

sible that we should be forgiven, because we for- the disciple was fasting, but God, with reference 

give others, for none can do this until forgiven of to whom all these duties are performed, sees and 

God for Christ's sake. Because He is our for- rewards. Comp. vers. 4, 6. 



Chapter VI. 19-34. 



Instruction regarding Dedication of the Heart to God ; its Importance enforced 

and its Exercise illustrated, 

19 *» T AY not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,^ where « Pfo^- «j|j- 

JL— ' * moth and rust doth corrupt,^ and where thieves * break ^ j^* »<>• 

20 through and steal : But lay up for yourselves ^ treasures in ^ j^^p3- 



heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,^ and • where g; 



xxxt. 
Luke 



39- 



21 thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your^^/^P- *^- 

22 treasure is, there will your ^ heart be also. -^The light* of the /Lu«ri'."^ 
body is the eye : if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole ^* 

23 body shall be full of light. But if ^ thine eye be evil, thy whole r pfPj^j;^ 
body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in vn. «. 

24 ihee be darkness, how great is that darkness! * No man can ALuUexvLis. 

* the earth * consume • thy * lamp 




Chap. VI. 19-34.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 69 

serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the 
other ; or else he will hold to the ^ one, and despise the other. 

25 Ye cannot serve God and 'mammon. * Therefore I say unto /Lukexvi. 9, 
you, ' Take no thought ® for your life, what ye shall eat, or what * lukb xu. 
ye shall drink ; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. / vers. 27. ^a, 
Is not the life more than meat,^ and the body than raiment ? ^ ^°'^„r.M: p* 

' ' 34 ; Phil. IV. 

26 "• Behold the fowls of the air :^ for ^^ they sow not, neither do 6; comp. i 
they " reap, nor gather into barns ; yet ^^ your heavenly Father '*'^^^^- -^"'i 

27 feedeth them. Are ye not ^ much better than they ? Which J^*- "*''"• 
of you by taking thought ^* can add " one cubit unto his stat- » comp. Pa. 

28 ure ? ^ And why take ye thought ^® for raiment ? Consider 
the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do 

29 they spin : And ^" yet I say unto you. That ^ even Solomon p , Kings x 

30 in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, ^"^ 
if God ^® so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and 
to-morrow is cast into the oven, s/ui// he not much more clothe 

31 you, ** O ye of little faith } Therefore take no thought,^^ say- / chap«. viu 

26* xiv SI 

ing. What shall we eat } or. What shall we drink } or, Where- xvJ. 8. ' 

32 withal shall we be clothed } (For after all these things do the 
Gentiles seek :) ^ ^ for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye q Vers« s. 

33 have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of 
God,^ and his righteousness; '"and all these things shall be r comp. i 

34 added unto you. Take therefore no thought ^^ for the morrow : -iliTMaik 
for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.^ \x^\T.i. * 
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. 

• omit the • Be not anxious ^ the meat 

• the raiment • the birds of the heaven '° that 

** omit do they ** and " Are not ye 

** by being anxious '* age ** are ye anxious 

*^ omit And " But if God doth " Be not therefore anxious 

• no parenthesis ^^ His kingdom ^^m^ht anxious for itself. 

Connection and contents. The extenml Vcr. 19. Lay not up for yoxirselvof treasnrot, 
coHtuction seems to be between * they have re- literally, ' treasure not for yourselves treasures.' — 
ceived their reward/ which closes each of the Upon the earth. This qualifies May not up/ 
foregoing examples of false piety, and ' lay nut rather than ' treasures.' Earthly treasures are 
up for yourselves treasures ' (ver. 19). Main not forbidden in themselves, but the earthly stor- 
ioea : supreme dedication to God ; this is illus- ing up, the earthly desire manifesting itself in the 
trated and applied in various ways. The connec- common striving after wealth. It is no sin to 
Hon of thought^ then, is : not only are moral re- be rich, but it is a sin to love riches, which the 
ligious duties to be performed for God and with poorest may do ; while the rich man may glorify 
a view to His blessing, in reliance on His bless- God and benefit man by his wealth. — whero 
in^, but our whole life is for God and through moth and mst oonrame. ' Moth ; ' in oriental 
His blessing. ' In all our aims and undertakings countries, treasures of clothing were laid up. 
the mind should be set on the things of eternity.' The Greek word translated *■ rust ' means, liter- 
Hence vers. 10-21 teach that our treasures should ally, 'eating,' 'consumption,' referring here to 
be laid up in heaven, where our heart should be ; the ' wear and tear ' of time which consumes our 
vers. 22-24 enforce the duty of devoting our possessions. * Consume ' is better than * corrupt.' 
heart to God by two illustrations: vers. 25-32 — Thieves breakthrough (lit, 'dig through') and 
apply this principle to earthly wants ; ver. 33 itaaL The term, * thieves ' is quite general. Rob- 
states the principle plainly while ver. 34 deduces bers in the East often break through the walls 
from it the prohibition of anxious care for the of mud or unbumt brick common m those re- 
future. The last verse returns, as it were, to the gions. The verse exhibits in general the variety 
starting point, since anxious care for the morrow of all earthly treasures, which are earthly in their 
leads to neaping up of treasures on earth. ' place,' their ' kind,' and ' the manner of their 



70 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VI. i^y^ 

collection.* Not likely to be understood too lit- of conscience, when what was made to enlighteu 

erally. us but increases our darkness. 

Ver. 2a A positive precept, answering exactly Ver. 24. A still plainer illustration, to prove 

to the negative one of the last verse : bat lay up m that man cannot be thus divided, must be <w^, 

jonrMlvM trtMurw in heayen. ' Heaven ' some- light or dark, servant of God or of Mammon. — 

times means the atmospheric heaven (ver. 26), Svve, i. e.^ be the slave of, ^eldin^ entire obe- 

sometimes the starrv heavens (Heb. xi. 12) ; here dience. A hired servant might faithfully serve 

it is used in the highest and spiritual sense of the two masters, but such service is not meant here, 

unknown region where God has His throne and — For either he will hate the one, etc. Explana- 

reveals His glory (comp. vers. 9, 10), This is the tions : (i) The suppositions the reverse ot each 

* place ' where the treasures are laid up ; the other, with no particular difference between the 

• character ' of the treasures, is therefore, eternal ; two sets of verbs : * He will either hate A and 
they are to be collected in a heavenly * manner.* love B, or cleave to A and despise B.* (2) The 
Hence the reference is not exclusively to a future second clause less strong than the first, the refer- 
locality ; nor is there a thought of purchasing a ence being to the proper master and a usurper ; 
future and heavenly reward by laying up a store the servant may hate the proper master, and love 
of good works. The superiority ot these treasures the usurper, or if he love the former cleave to 
is more prominent than the way to lay them up. him, and despise the latter. The proper master 

Ver. 21. Per. A reason tor the preceding (God) may be loved or hated, but cannot be 

precepts (ver. 19, 20). — Where thy treainre ia, despised. Hence in any case *one* in the lat- 

whether on earth or in heaven, Uiere will thine ter clause must be God. — Ye eannot serre Ood 

heart be also. The singular pronoun adds im- and mammon. This is the direct application. 

f>ressiveness. Not a question of mere profit and * Money in opposition to God is personified and 

OSS, but of affection and of character. The pre- regarded as an idol, somewhat like Plutus, al- 

cepts are for those who hope to become subjects though it cannot be shown that such an idol was 

of the kingdom of heaven. Such must have their worshipped * (Olshausen). The Chaldee word 

heart in neaven, hence they must lay up their ' mammon * originally meant ' trust * or confidence, 

treasures there. The dedication of the heart to and riches are the trust of worldly men. If God 

God is the underlying thought on which the par- be not the obiect of supreme trust, something else 

ticular teachings are based. May be used in sup- will be, and it is most likely to be money. We 

port of the voluntary principle. People take must choose. Not the possession of money, but 

more interest in the Church, if they sustain it its mastery over the mind, is condemned, 

by purse and personal effort. Ver. 25. Therefore. Because of the precept 

Ver. 22. Not an abrupt transition, but an il- just given. Anxiety, which is distrust of God, is 

lustration of the importance of dedicating the the source of avarice. Living to God is the 

heart to God supremely. — The lamp (the same proper life, and it relieves from care, because we 

word used in chap. v. 15, but different from that trust Him for what we need. This thought is 

rendered Might * at the close of this verse, and in expanded in the remainder of the chapter. — Be 

ver. 23) of the body it the eye. The eye gives not ^wx^ftw^- The word means : ' to be dis- 

light which it receives from without, and is not tracted,* *to have the mind drawn two ways.' 

light itself, so the conscience lights the spirit Ordinary thought or care is not forbidden (comp. 

by light from above. — Single, /. /., presenting a \ Tim. v, 8 ; 2 Thess. iii. 10), yet there is little 

single, clear image. The application is to single danger of its being understood too literally, 

apprehension of God as the supreme object of When thought about temporal things becomes 

trust and love. — Fnll of light, or, * in light,* * in anxiety, it has become distrust of God. — Yonr 

full light,* the body having received what the eye life. The word here used means * soul * as the 

was designed to convey. seat of physical life. Hence the needs of this 

Ver. 23. If thine eye be evil. This means, life are spoken of, what ye shall eat, etc The 

according to the contrast, 'double,* distorted in body too has the same needs, but clothing;^ is 

vision. — Full of darkness, or, * in darkness/ more properly connected with it here : what ▼© 

(The word is not the same as that in the next shall put on. Is not the life more than the 

clause, but derived from it.) The evil result meati * The meat,* (/. /■., food of all kinds), 

of a divided state of heart, where what God de- needed to sustain it. Is not He who gave * the 

signed to be the means of showing Himself to us life * able and willing to give what will sustain 

as the supreme object of love, fails to perform its it, and He who made * the body,* what will 

office. The rest of the clause carries out the protect it. 

same thought — If therefore, since so much dc- Ver. 26. Behold, look attentively. — Hie Uids 

eends on the singleness of vision, the light that of the heaven, the skv, the atmospheric heaven. 
I in thee, what God has placed in us to be the This expresses the wild freedom afwve the earth 
means of conveying light, referring it to the con- which contains their food, and also their lower 
science. Man can lose the proper use of what rank in the scale of creation. — That. Not* for.' 
God designed to be the organ of spiritual light. We arc to behold with respect to the birds this 
even this may be darkness. In such a case, how fact, that they sow not, etc Do not use the 
great is that darkness. A fearful picture of a means which we all ought to use. — Bams, any 
confirmed sinful condition ; and it is implied that kind of storehouse. — And, not * vet * ; you are to 
a heart without single and supreme dedication consider this fact also, that your heaTinly Father, 
reaches such a condition. — Another view : * If standing in a higher relation to you than to them, 
then the light which is in thee is darkness, how feedeth them. — Are not ye mnch better than 
dark must the darkness be I * 1. ^., * if the can- they 1 This conclusive argument shows that ver. 
science^ the eye and light of the soul, be darkened, 25 must be designed to forbid our numerous earth- 
In how much msser darkness will all the passions ly cares. 

and faculties oe, which are of themselves naturally Ver. 27. Add one enhit unto his isfe, prolong 

dark I * No blindness is so terrible as blindness his life in the least ' Age * is preferable to * stat« 



Chap. VI. 1^34-] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



71 



are ' ( ihe word has both meanings) ; the reference 
is not to the body but to the life ; fuithcr, lo add 
a cubit (iS inches) to the stature would be a very 
great thing. Our age is conceived of as a race or 
foumey. If then we cannot da what is least by 



, inded and Illustrated; not 
only anxiety, but the cummon and childish vanity 
about raiment, is reproved. — Coniidv, 1. 1., study, 
obaervc closely ; more readily done in the case 
of the plants than in that oi the birds. — The 
lillM of tlw lltld, I. r.. wild lilies, growing with- 
out human care. The words, ' grass of the field ' 
(vcr. 30) lead us to suppose that wild floi 
general are meant. Many, how( 
the reference to the pomp of Soli 
the Huleh lily is specially referred 



the greatest gift, in giving Him who diui 

iches us. He joins His lessons of trust lo what 

; see every day, and we need them every day. 

Ver. 31. TheTflfora. The logic is so conclu- 

'e, even those of little faith might learn the 

lesson. It is not learned, if we are uziaiii, mj- 

ing, Wluit ihftU we cftt, etc Too fen have faith 

enough to interpret this verse correctly. 

Ver. 3:. For. A rea.ion against this anxious 
thought is now given. The parenthesis is unne- 
cessarj'. — Altar all thsu tUngi do tlu CtantilM 
ceak. Worldilness and distrust are heathenish. 
The Pharisees, boasting of freedom from Gentile 
influence, were guilty of such distrust Worldly 
men are quick to mocic at the childlike trust in 
because of CJod here commanded. — Tor. This introduces 
suppose an additional reason, yet one related to the other. 
it is very Heathen, unbelievers in God's Providence, may 
large, and the three inner petals meet above, and act in this forbidden manner. Do not resemble 
form a aoi^eous canopy, such as art never ap- thera, /irr you believe that you have a hMvenlr 
ptoached, and king never sat under, even in his Fathar and he knowftth that ya hsra nead at «U 
utmost glory' (Thomson, 7»^ LaaJ (lud Iht theM thiltg*. He does not forbid your wants. 
Book). This flower was common in the neigh- but supplies them. 

borhood of Nazareth. — How tha; grov. So Ver. 32. But aaak fa flnt. No 'secondly ' i* 
beautifully, luxuriantly, without human care, implied, as though we might be avaricious, after 
— nartoll not, naitlMT do thayapin; perform wc have attended to the duties of religion. The 
no labor in preparing clothing. first object is supreme. This positive command 

is needetl, for we can avoid such anxious thought, 
only when we have some better object. — HU 
kingdom, 1. 1., ' yout heavenly Father's ' (ver. 3*). 
The common reading is an alteration for explana- 
tion. Supreme dedication to a Personal Object 
of trust and desire, who is our Father for Christ's 
sake, is here commanded. — Hii rlghtaoniitaw. 
The spiritual purity spoken of throughout. Not 
'juslificalion,' which this word does not mean, 
however true it is that we obtain God's righteous- 
ness through 'justification.' This verse, which 
contains the crowning thought of this chapter, 
echoes the crowning thought of the whole dis- 
course (chap. V. 48). — All thaw thlaga, these 
things needed for the body. ^ Shall ba added to 
yon, over and above the spiritual blessings, which 
result from seeking God as the supreme obiect._ 
— - We are to ask God for temporal things. Chris-' 

■ ot in* Fi.id. ,jj„ prayer implies intimate and constant approach 

mon. The magnificence of to God, which would be impossible if we could 
:rbial through the East. To not tell Him of all our real neetls. To ask for 
ighcst representative of hu- them unconditionally, or to allow them to Crowd 
Uks ana of theia. 'One' is em- out spiritual desires and afleaians,is certaitily 
meanest of God's creatures exceed forbidden. 

5 lory the highest earthly pomp. Vanity about Vet. 34. nvofora. Either : a further deduc- 
I things is therefore the height of folly. An- tion ; or a summing up. The first view accords 
other lesion is hidden beneath the text, ' As the better with the reason given and would prcsup- 
beanty of the flower is unfolded by the Divine pose the other les.aons ; the latter is favored by 
Creator- Spirit from wilhiH, from tne laws and the position of the verse immediately after the 
capacities of its man individual life, so must all general precept of ver. 33, and finds a place more 
tnie adornment of man be unfolded from viil/iin easily in a logical analysis of the discourse. It it 
by the same Almighty Spirit' (Alford.) auspicious for that reason. — The morTow is here 

Ver. TO. Bst If Ood doth MelotlM. 'If does personified. — For tha morrow vlll ba anilDiialor 
not imply doubL The direct creative purpose and itMlt. Not 'take care of itself.' but 'bring its 
act of God is here assumed. — Tha fmi of tba own cares and anxieties.' do not foolishly increase 
ftaU. Wild flowers belong to the herbage, which those of to-day by borrowing from the morrow. 
i* cut down. It withers rapidly and is then fit — Snffldant nnto the day, or for the day, la tha 
for fuel, being gait into tlM om, its beauty gone, aril tharaof, ' Evit ' may mean natural or mora] 
even its iabstance consumed — Kneh mora, He evil, suffering, or sin. The latter sense Is the 
who adorns the transient wild flower, so that hu- more usual one, the former suits the context bet- 
van pomp is mean in comparison, wilt most as- ter. Perhaps both may be included, the sin being 
luredly provide for His children, whose being is the want of trust under the suffering. A hint 
not for a day, but forever. — y« of Uttla tdth, that wc never fully obey the precepts just uttered. 
Utile bith about what is \tasX, when He has given because our dedication to God is so impeifect. 




Ver. 19. I 

the Jew he w^ 
man glory. — 
phatic The 



ill prov 



J2 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VII. 1-12. 

Chapter VII. 1-12. 

Wanting against Censoriousness ; a Declaration of God's Willingness to give, 
introducing the Goldai Rule of Conduct toward Others. 

1 « JUDGE not, that ye be not judged. *For with what judg- *^^'^.^^' 

2 ^ ment ye judge, ye shall be judged : and « with what measure * ^^io- jU! 

3 ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.^ And why behold- »»^«3'»^"» 
est thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest "^ **"*' ^' '^" 

4 not the beam that is in thine own eye } Or how wilt thou say 
to thy brother. Let me pull out ^ the mote out of thine eye ; 

5 and, behold,^ a beam is in thine own eye } Thou hypocrite, 
first cast out,* the beam out of thine own eye ; and then 
shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's 
eye. 

6 ''Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your */chap.xT.a&. 
pearls before swine,* lest they trample them under their feet, 

and turn again® and rend you. 

7 * Ask, -^ and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find ; ' ^J'" "• 9- 

8 knock, and it shall be opened unto you : for every one that ask- -^^^Si*^*"; 
eth receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that iJl^^^f^ej 

9 knockcth it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, jM.i\*6-. 

10 whom^ if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone } Or if Lfv**?4,Vl; 

11 he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent } If ye then, ^ being r chap. xu. 
evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much 

more shall your Father which ^ is in heaven give good things to 

12 them that ask Him .^ * Therefore all things® whatsoever ye ^Lukeriji. 
would that men should do to you, do ye even so ^^ to them : 

» 

for * this is the law and the prophets. « <^^p- "»»• 

* omit a^ain * cast out * lo * cast out first 

* the swine • omit again ' of whom ® who 

* All things therefore ^° even so do ye also 

Connection and Contents. The connection voke censoriousness, do not indulge in it, since 

is not obvious ; no theory can be insisted upon, it exposes you to judgment (vers, i, 2) ; the folly 

Various views : (i) No connection intended. (2) and hypocrisy of it is shown by an illustration 

Vcr. 7 is connected with the last chapter, while (vers. 3-5) ; tne extreme of laxity is quite as fool- 

vers. 1-5 were addressed directly to the Pharisees ish (ver. 6) ; remember, however, God's kind and 

(who were showing signs of dissent), ver. 6 to the wise dealings (vers. 7-1 i)t and act thus kindly 

disciples in regard to the Pharisees. Conjectural, and wisely to others (ver. 12), without censorious- 

(3) A contrast (so Lange) : Be not surcharged ness on the one hand, or casting pearls before 

with worldly cares for the morrow, but rather be swine on the other. 

filled with spiritual anxiety for the day of judg- Ver. i. Judge not. This refers to harsh, un- 
ment Not obvious, since vers. 2 and 12 are kind judgment, not to the mere formation of- 
closely related to each other in thought (4) private opinion, or to judicial sentences. — That 
Vers. I- 1 2, grouped as a whole, referring to con- ye be not jndged, not by other men, but by God. 
duct toward our fellow men. The former part His judgment is more strict, and it takes spedal 
may have been addressed to the opposers ; but account of this harsh censorious spirit The 
the connection of thought is not to fee broken by judgment of men often corresponds, 
joining ver. 7 directly with the last chapter. This Ver. 2. For with what judgment, etc. Liter- 
we prefer. The line of thought, then, is : In this ally, * in what judgment ; ' the * measure ' accord- 
evil world (vi. 34) where there is so much to pro- ing to which G(xi's judgment will take place. 



Chap. VII. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 73 

namely, our own severe judgment The second turning from the precious pearls, or, turning upon 

clause repeats the same idea, making it more you. The main reason urged is the defilement of 

general. what is precious ; but the other danger follows. 

Vers. 5-5. A figurative application of the * Even saving truth must be withheld from those 

principle just laid down, showing the folly of sin- who would surely reject it with contempt and sav- 

ncrs being censorious, their incapacity for form- age hatred * (J. A. Alexander). Lange : * The 

ing a right judgment of others, hinting at the pro- dogs ultimately become swine, just as that which 

portionate magnitude which our own faults and is holy is further designated as pearls, and the 

those of others should hold in our estimation. iniquity of the first action passes into the madness 

Ver. 3. And, since the principle of ver. 2 is of the second. At last the full consequences ap- 

correct, why beholdeft thou 1 The verb means pear, when the swine turn from the gift to the 

to observe, to voluntarily stare at ; the context giver and rend the profane sinners.' No encour- 

shows that the one addressed could not have clear agement, however, either to * cowardly suppres- 

vision ; the question indicates that such observ- sion of the truth,' or revenge against its rejectors, 

ing was unnecessary. The singular *thou' is The Crusaders and others drew the latter infer- 

pointed, too much so for a direct address to the ence. Pharisaism does not ' cast out the beam,' 

Pharisees present — ThA mote, or splinter ; the but often ' casts away the pearls.' 

foreign substance in the eye is of the same kind Ver. 7. The thoughts of Judgment and un- 

in both cases. — ConsidereBt not, ' apprehendest worthiness (ver. 1-6), mi^ht discouraee ; encour- 

not' Stronger word than *beholdest' — Hie agement is given by showing God's willingness to 

beam, a hyperbolical expression for a great fault, give. The objection to connectijig this verse with 

to show the relative magnitude. No reference to chap. v. 34, is that it must then refer to temporal 

one class of sins. The ' mote ' which might be things. At the same time it shows that the trust 

overlooked is looked for, the ' beam ' of which there spoken of is a prayerful trust — Aik, and it 

one must be conscious is not considered. shall be given to yon, etc. ' Ask,' ' seek,' * knock,' 

Ver. 4. Or how wilt thou lay, have the face refer to prayer, forming a climax. The first im- 

to say. A step in folly beyond that represented plies simple petition, the second earnest desire, 

in the last verse. — Let me eait out (as in ver. 5) ; the third perseverance. ' To ask^ indicates the 

' permit me, I will cast out' The friendl^r Ian- want of an object, which can only be obtained 

guage presents the censoriousness as hypocritical, by free gift ; to seek^ that it has oeen lost ; to 

True to nature! The epithet of ver. 5 is not ^mv>t, that it has been shut up — hence this prayer, 

abruptly introduced. which is both the work of life and the evidence 

Ver. 5. Thou hypoerite. Not necessarily the of life.' Others apply * ask * to prayer, • seek ' to 

Pharisees, but any who thus act Such action our endeavors, 'knock' to our investigation of 

is hypocrisy before God and before the conscience the Scripture ; the former explanation is sim- 

also. — Fint, before meddling with others. — pier. 

And then ihalt thoa lee clearly. * See ' differs Ver. 8. For every one that asketh, etc. An 

from * behold ' (ver. 3). The look must be puri- invariable rule ; a plain promise, not for the 

fied before it can be used for this end ; one must future, but for the present, since our Lord says : 

have got rid of great faults before he can see reoeiveth, — findeth, — it is oponed. This prom- 

' clearly ' enough to help his brother get rid of his ise, several times repeated by our Lord, is limited 

faults. To get clearness of vision ourselves is only by the verses which follow ; comp., however, 

the great end ; caution is necessary in helping the Jas. iv. 3, * Ye ask and receive not ; because ye 

brother. ask amiss.' God always answers the right kind 

Ver. 6. If the preceding verses were addressed of prayer, but in His own right wgy. 

to the opposing Pharisees, our Lord nov: turns Ver. ^ Or, to view the matter in another light, 

to the disciples. We prefer to explain : Harsh comparing God's willingness with that of a nu- 

jodgment and unwise correction of others were man father. — What man is there of yon, more 

reproved (vers. i-O ; now comes a warning exactly, * who is there among you, a man,' a mere 

against laxity of judgment, childish ignorance of man. — Of whom, etc. In the Greek there are 

men- The two extremes often meet The latter, two questions, one broken off : * Whom his son 

no less than censoriousness, is an unwise attempt shall ask for bread (and who shall — no), he will 

at the correction of others, and will be avoided not give him a itone. The loaves or cakes, used 

by those who ' see clearly.' — Give not that whioh in the East, resembled somewhat a smooth, flat 

ia holy, i, e., the sacrificial meat, the provision of stone. A deceptive answer is meant 

the priests, nnto the doga. These, regarded as Ver. la A serpent. A response both decep- 

speaally unclean in the East, will receive it, but tive and hurtful. We often deem the bread a 

such giving will be a desecration. — Keither eait stone, and the fish a serpent, misunderstanding 

je yovr pearla before the iwine. Still more fool- God's good gifts. 

bh; *the swine' will not receive the 'pearls,' Ver. 11. If ye then, being eviL An argument 

which are of no value to them, as they cannot eat from the less to the greater ; ' if,' equivalent to 

them. A resemblance between pearls and the 'since.' An incidental proof of hereditary sin 

natural food of swine need not be assumed ; the and general depravity. Yet some elements of 

reference is to what is most precious. ' The good remain, such as humanity and parental af- 

dogs ' and ' the swine ' were both unclean, the fection. — Good gifts to yonr children. This is 

former probably represent what is ' low, unclean, the rule. — How mneh more. The difference is 

heretical ; the latter what is hostile, stubborn, and infinite. — Tonr Father who ia in heaven. He was 

savage.' Eastern dogs are more disgusting than to be thus addressed in prayer (chap. v. 9) ; real 

ours, and eastern swine more savage. The rest prayer is based on this relation. — Good things. 

»>f the verse applies only to the savage swine. — Luxe xi. 13, * the Holy Spirit,' which is the best 

Lsit they tram|de than under their feet. The of the ' good things ; ^ he who receives the Holy 

pollution, not the destruction, of the precious Spirit may expect all the rest, as far as ' good ' 

things is represented. — And tnm and rend yon, for him. God gives good gifts only, and what 



74 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VII. 1-29. 

He gives is alwavs good. — To fhem that ask them. — For this is the law and the pophott. 
him Prayer is the condition which God ap- This golden rule is equivalent to ' thou snalt love 
points ; hence trust and prayer help each other, thy neighbor as thyself/ but joined with the ex- 
in fact coincide. ample of God^s giving, whicn implies supreme 
Ver. 12. Therefore. An inference from vers, gratitude to Him, it is equivalent to the whole 
i-ii, summing up the duties to others: not cen- law. Comp. chap. v. 17, which introduced the 
soriousness, nor laxity, but giving like God's ; moral precepts of the discourse. — The Golden 
as He gives good things to those asking Him, Rule, thougn not without parallels in heathen 
even so give to others what you would have them ethics (in a negative form), is distinctively Chris- 
do. The precept is the counterpart of the prom- tian. (i) It- presents God's benevolence as the 
ise. The correspondence between our acts and guide of duty. (2) Hence it is positive (Do all 
God's, a warning in ver. i, becomes a precept, the good you can to your neighbor), not negative 
after the promise of his kind dealings. An echo (as the Rabbinical sentence : * Do not to ^our 
of chap. v. 48, the culminating precept of the dis- neighbor what is odious to you, for this is 
course; hence a fitting close to this section.— the whole law'). (3) It is taught by One who 
Even so do ye also to them. Not, 'do these wrought as well as taught 'righteousness,' who 
things,' as the order of the common version sug- died that we might * even so do also.' The 

§ests ; but, * after this manner do ye also.' Not, powerless teacher of correct ethics makes our 

o to others what we would have them do to us case the more hopeless (comp. Rom. iii. 19 ; vii. 

(this might become mere barter) ; but, do to them 7-14) ; but Christ is * the Power of God,' as well 

what we think they would wish to have done to as * the Wisdom of God ' (i Cor. i. 24). 



Chapter VII. 13^29. 
The Conclusion of the Discourse ; the Effect upon the People, 



ziii. 

24- 



13 " TENTER ye in at^ the strait 2 gate: for wide is the gate,'' J;»^* 

J—-' and broad is^ the way, that leadeth to destruction, and 

14 many there be which go in thereat:* Because strait ^ is the 

gate, and narrow^ is^ *the way, which® leadeth unto life, and *P«.xvi. m 

15 few there be that find it.^ * Beware of false prophets, which® <-chap wir. 
come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they^ are ** raven- johnVi.* 

16 ing wolves. Ye shall know them* by their fruits.^ Do nien ^^^^*Jj^*2|; 

17 gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles.^ Even so every ^^yin. ao; 
good tree bringeth forth good fruit ; but a ^^ corrupt tree bring- jjttuke Vl 

18 eth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, *^'^ 

19 neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. -^ Every tree/ci«p i»i. 
that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into 

20 the fire. Wherefore 'by their fruits ye shall know them. 

21 ^Not every one that saith unto me, Lord. Lord, shall enter r Luke ri. 46: 
into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my J*»- »• »»• 

22 Father which ^^ is in heaven. * Many will say to me in that day, * chap. ot 
Lord, Lord, have we not * prophesied ^^ in ^^ thy name } and * in ^^ .^ 's^^ 
thy name have " cast out devils ? ^^ and in ^^ thy name done ^® ^ {{'i^jx. ^ 

23 many wonderful works .^^^ And then will I profess unto 

them, I 'never knew you: '"depart from me, ye that work ^^J:^°|^^-^^ 



* by or through ^ narrow ■ om\i is 

* many are they that enter in thereby * straitened • that 
' few are they that find it • omii they 

* By their fruits ye shall know them ^* the ** who 
''^ Did we not prophesy *• bv ** omii have 
" demons *• do " mighty works 



4»- 



Chap. VII. 13-29.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 75 

24 iniquity. "Therefore whosoever^® heareth these sayings of '«Luic«vi.4r 
mine, and doeth them, I will liken him ^^ unto a wise man, 

25 which ^^ built his house upon a ^^ rock : And the rain de- 
scended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat 
upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a^^ 

26 rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and 
doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which ^^ 

27 built his house upon the sand : And the rain descended, and 
the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat^ upon that 

house ; and it fell : and great was the fall of it. ^ PTSii.ts; 

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ^^ ended these sayings,** 22 ^^^'^ J|j 

29 the people ^ were astonished at his doctrine : ^ ^ For he taught ^'*''*' *^' ^** 
them as oue'^ having authority, and not as the scribes.^ ^ wm^ jo"n 

vii. 46. 

*• Every one therefore that ^* ilit bssi authorities read shall be likened 

• smote ^ omit had ^ words 5* multitudes ^ teaching 

* omit one ^ the best authorities read their scribes 

Connection and Contents. The exposition destruction is broad * because* it is used by so 

of the requirements of 'the law and the proph- many. — Few are thoy that find the straitened 

cts ' just given, was far beyond the low morality way. It is not even discovered by most, much 

of the scrioes and Pharisees, and men might easilv less entered upon. This not because God has 

be tempted by their own hearts or by others to seek made it so ' strait,' but because so few desire to 

the easier way. Our Lord therefore concludes by find it 

urging His hearers to avoid the broad way and Ver. 15. Beware of false prophets, 1. ^., teach- 

seek the narrow one marked out (vers. 13, 14) ; ers. Not only is the way straitened, but those 

warns them against hypocritical teachers (vers, who might leave the * many * to find it are in dan- 

15-20), against self-deception (vers. 21-23), and ger from false teachers, such as would prevent 

closes with two similitudes respecting those who them from finding it The warning may refer to 

obey and disobey His precepts (vers. 24-27) ; the false teachers shortly to arise from among the 

vers. 28, 29, tell the impression produced by the Jews, but applies to all. — That oome to yon. 

discourse. — Contrasts : the narrow and wide * False prophets ' are defined as those who do 

gates ; the straitened and broad ways ; the good thus. They come * to you,' to the professed dis* 

and corrupt trees, with their fruit ; saying and ciples of Christ ; more anxious to proselyte and 

doing ; active in Christ's name, yet working in- pervert in the Church than to convert in the 

iquity ; the rock and the sand ; the standing the world, more meddlesome than missionary in 

storm and falling in the storm ; teaching with au- their activity. — In iheep'i clothing. No allusion 

thority and teaching as their scribes. to the dress of the prophets, but referring to the 

Ver. 13. Enter ye in by, or throngli, the nar« harmless exterior, or to the external connection 

row gate. The ' gate ' is mentioned first ; the with God's flock. — Inwardly, or from within, 

way Afterwards. It is the entrance gate at the acting according to their impulses, they are rav- 

beginning of the journey of life (the way), not ening wolves. The old destructive malice re- 

the eate of heaven at the close. Bunyan's * Pil- mains. The application of this strong (but not 

grim s Progress ' is the best commentary on all harsh) language to persons must be governed by 

such figures. Explanations ; Re[>entance, faith, what follows. 

humilitv, self-denial, poverty in spirit (ver. 3), Ver. 16. By their fmits ye shall know them, 

the righteousness of Christ ; the last is probably This order is more emphatic This common 

the best sense, in contrast with the self-righteous- figure is carried out in detail in vers. 17-19. — Do 

ness of the Pharisees (the wide gate). — For wide men gather grapei of tiioms, or figs of thistles 1 

ia the gate and broad the way, etc. More attrac* The fruits most highly prized in the East From 

tive, more easy to find, and to follow. A reason teachers we are to look for valuable fruit ; but 

('for') why we must be exhorted to enter in by false teachers can only bear after their kind (vers, 

the narrow gate. To follow our natural tenden- 17, 18), they are * thorns* and 'thistles.* The 

des is to pursue the broad way. -^ Destmotion. productions of the bushes here named are said to 

The way leads to this ; in one sense it is this al- resemble slightly the fruits Spoken of in each 

ready. Carnal Judaism led to the destruction of case ; the harsh spirit of the false teachers has 

Jerusalem. Carnal Christianity passes on to sim- been compared to the sharpness of the thorns, 

liar judgment and their proselyting spirit to the adhesive quality 

Ver. 14. Straitened (litf ' pressed together *) is of the thistle. The main point is, however, the 

the way. Even after we pass through the gate impossibility of getting good fruit from * fruitless 

the Christian course continues difficult, is a con* and forbidding plants.' 

stant conflict and self-denial, but it leadeth onto Ver. 17. The general law of nature is here 

Ufe. Eternal life which begins in this world, but laid down positively : As the tree, so is the fruit 

is obtained in its fulness in eternity. The way to The principle holds good in the moral world. 



70 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VII. 13-2CX 



Vcr. iw repeats the same truth, asserting the 
impossibility of its being otherwise. But while 
▼er. 16 refers to kinds of plants, these verses speak 
of individual trees. — Every good tree, 1. e.^ of a 
good nature for bearing fruit — Good fruit, of a 
eood kind — The oormpt tree, literally, * spoiled,' 
but meaning here of a bad quality ; e^ fruit, of 
a bad kind like the tree. Our Lord applies the 
general law to men's actions and their moral re- 
sults ; these are but manifestations of a moral 
nature, depraved or sanctified 

Ver. 19. The figure is carried further to show 
the awful destiny of the false teachers. — Every 
tree, irrespective of its kind in this case, that 
brin^th not forth good fmit, is entirely barren. 
All IS here made dependent on the fruitfulness. 

— Is hewn down and eaft into the fire. Such 
trees can only be used for fuel. The same lan- 
guage was used by John the Baptist (iil 10) in a 
wider application, which holds good still. 

Ver. 2a Whmfore by their fmits ye ihaU 
know them. Resumption of the thought of ver. 
16, which has been further illustrated. * Fruits,' 
If in this case not ' actions,' as usually, the actions 
of the false teachers were decisive as to their 
character, there would be little danger of their 
deceiving others ; ' acts seemingly virtuous are 
often nouiing more than the sheep's clothing in 
which the wolf wraps himself in order that he 
may deceive and devour the sheep.' (Words- 
worth.) Their influence, the moral effect of their 
teaching, is meant Their acts may be included, 
and also the influence exerted upon the doctrinal 
belief of others ; not their own doctrines, however, 
which form the tree in a certain sense. The main 
-test in the case of teachers is their influence upon 
the lives of others. 

Ver. 21. A natural transition from false teach- 
ers to false profession and self-deception. — Kot 
every one. The really pious profess Christ, but 
not all who profess are really pious. This an- 
swers a common objection urged against public 
profession from the number of hypocrites. — 
Lord, Lord, the repetition is emphatic This 
word, probably already used by the disciples, is 
the germ of a Christian confession, centring in 
the acknowledgment of personal allegiance to the 
Lord Jesus Christ Such acknowledgment in 
word {or subscription to an orthodox creed) is not 
enough for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. 

— Bnt he that doeth, etc. Of all who thus con- 
fess, only those doine the will of God shall enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. The contrast is not 
between hypocritical professors and hol^ non- 
professors, but between hypocrites and samts, all 
making the same outward profession. — Ky 
Father. The whole Gospel shows that this 
means a closer relation than that expressed by 
the phrases, * your Father,' * our Father.' Christ, 
the only begotten Son, always addresses God as 
* Father,' or • my Father.' 

Ver. 22. Kany. The number of * false teach- 
ers ' is large, much more that of hypocrites. 
—In that day. * The great day of the Lord ; ' 
whether it be one day of account for all, or the 
particular day for each. — Lord, Lord. The con- 
fession (ver. 21) now becomes a cry for help. — 
Did we not propheey, or preach. It those seem- 
ing to do much in Christ's name are cast out, 
much more will others be. — By thy name, /. e.y 
called by thy name, and prophesying by the au- 
thority of thy name. — Cast oat demons ; the great- 
est exercise of healing pa^v-er. — Mighty works. 



The word usually means * miracles.' Judged by 
external results h^'pocrites may appear successful 
in spiritual works ; such may have shared in the 
miraculous power of the early Church. Their 
self-deception continues to the very bar of final 
judgment 

ver. 23. And then, at once, will I profess unto 
them. They make false professions, but ' I will 
tell them the plain truth.' — I never knew yon. 
They had not fallen away, they had never been 
called by Christ, though called by His name, and 
calling on His name. Intimate knowledge of 
persons implies sympathy and similarity. — De- 
part from me (comp. chap. xxv. 41), ye that work 
iniqnity. The seeming success of a hypocrite is 
habitual and heightened iniquity. Important for 
self -examinations. Our Lord speaks of confess- 
ing Him, of works done in His name, His final 
verdict, all in connection with doing the will of 
His Father. No mere man could speak thus. 

Ver. 24. Therefore. In view of all that pre- 
cedes, especially the warnings just given, to which 
a further warning is here added — These sayings 
of mine, coming from me, with a hint as to His 
authority. This expression does not favor the 
view that this discourse is a summary made by 
the Evangelist. — Doeth them, makes them his 
habitual rule of action. The power to do them 
Christ gives us. How and why is to be learned 
elsewhere. To rise to the Mount of Beatitudes 
in our life, we must go to Mount Calvary for our 
life. — Shall be likened. This is the better estab- 
lished reading. — A wise man, a prudent man. — 
Who, ' such an one as.' — Bnilt his honse upon a 
rook. The Greek has the article with * rock ' and 
' sand,' with a generalizing meaning, /. a, rocky 
foundation, sandy foundation. The English id- 
iom usually omits the definite article in such a 
case ; but the £. V. is inconsistent, omitting the 
article here, and reading 'the sand' (ver. 26). 
The practice was common, but the form indi- 
cates a special case, which may have been known 
to the hearers. 

Ver. 25. A picture of the sudden violent 
storms so conmion in the East, as indeed the 
definite articles indicate. No distinct meaning 
need be assigned to rain, floods, and winds, but 
the rook means Christ The definite article points 
to this, and the figure is thus applied so frequently 
in the Scriptures. How we can ouild upon Christ, 
so that our doing of His sayings rests upon union 
with Him, is clearly made known elsewhere. 

Ver. 26. Doeth tnem not. Life is the test, not 
knowledge^ or profession, which may be included 
here under the word * hearcth.' — Foolish, 1. ^., 
senseless, singularly imprudent — The sand. The 
transitory teachings and works of man. For 
moral results, science itself is shifting sand com- 
pared to the Rock, Christ 

Ver. 27. The description of a storm is repeated, 
but the result is different ; the winds smote npon 
that honse ; and it felL Instead of adding, ' for 
it had been founded on the sand,' our Lord closes 
the illustration, and at the same time the dis- 
course, which began with the word, * blessed,' by 
saying, and great was the fall of it He empha- 
sizes the completeness of the ruin. Admiration 
of the Sermon on the Mount, without obedience 
of its precepts, involves destruction, inevitable 
and utter. In order to do * these sayings,' we 
must follow Christ further. 

Ver. 28. And it eame to pass when, etc A 
summary of our Lord's sayings would not be 



Chap. VIII. i-i;.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. ^^ 

thus referred to. — The mnltitiidM, as in ver. i. bodlment of the Truth. — And not ai their leribet 

They must have heard Him. — Were aitoniihed. The scribes were expounders of the Old Testa- 

A strong word ; * driven from their customary ment Their exposition, too, was in one sense 

state of mind by something new and strange.' — authoritative, but they referred continually to the 

TiMehinff, rather than ' doctrine ; ' the former in- authority of learned Rabbins. Our Lord intro- 

dudes the manner as well as the matter of His in- duced His expositions thus : ' Verily I say unto 

stmction, both of which awakened astonishment you.' No Ola Testament prophet assumed such 

Ver. 2pL 7te lie taught them. This may re- authority, no mere man has a right to do so. He 

fer to His haUtual mode of teaching. — Ai hav- who uttered this matchless discourse on morals, 

ing anUunitj. ' One ' is not only unnecessary, has personal authoritv to tell men what is true, 

but incorrect. Christ is not ' one among others to declare what is rignt, to set up His judgment 

* having authority,' but the only one having au- here and hereafter as the final appeal. None 

thority, in this highest sense, as the one coming but the God-Man could be the teacher on the 

directly from God, and Himself the personal em- Mount of Beatitudes. 



Chapter VIII. i -17. 
Miracles at Capernaum. 

1 T T /"HEN he was come down ^ from the mountain, great mul- 

2 V V titudes followed him. And, behold, " there came a leper « Mark 1. 40 
and * worshipped him, saymg, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make ^ \xll''^'xx 

3 me clean. And Jesus put forth ^ his hand, and touched him, iJ^'^J! jj,?^ 
saying, I will ; be thou clean .^ And immediately * his leprosy ^ ^!^^1^ j, 

4 was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, 'See thou, tell no Jvi^*^;'^* 
man ; but go thy way. ^shew thyself to the priest, and * offer ,^.^]^; *;.]][; 
the gift that Moses commanded,-^ for a testimony unto them. SJ.^** ^"* 

5 And ^when Jesus ^ was entered into Capernaum, there came 14" ^ ^*" 

6 unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my ^g^^t J 
servant • lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented, e lukb vii 

7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The 

8 centurion answered and said. Lord, I am not worthy that thou 
shouldst come under my roof : but * speak the word only,^ and a p* cvii m 

9 my servant shall be healed. For I ® am a man under authority, *6. 
having soldiers under me :® and I say to this many Go, and he 
goeth ; and to another. Come, and he cometh ; and to my ser- 

10 vant,* Do this, and he doeth it When Jesus heard it, he mar- 
velled, and said to them that followed. Verily I say unto you, I 

11 have not found 'so great faith, no, not in Israel. ^^ And I say /see chap. ix 



unto you, That * many shall come from the east and west, and * Luke xiii 
shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the king- 6. ' 

12 dora of heaven: ' But the children ^^ of the kingdom shall be 'Luke xiii. as 
*" cast out into outer ^* darkness : * there shall be weeping ^ and « chaps xxii 

* o 13 ; XXV. }o 

13 gnashing^ of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion. Go * ^I^J^f jsjij 

^ came down ^ And he stretched forth ' made clean 

* straightway * he ^ or boy 

^ only say in a word • I also • myself 

^ the best authorities read with no man in Israel have I found so great faith 

^ sons *' insert the 



78 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VIII 1-17. 

thy way ; ' and ^ as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. 
And his ^* servant was healed in the selfsame hour.^*^ 

14 * And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw ^ his ' ?J^*\u,2 

15 wife's mother laid, and sick ^^ of a fever. And he touched her ^ VcJ^Ttt's 
hand, and the fever left her : and she arose, and ministered 

16 unto thera,^^ When the ^® even was come, they brought unto 

him many that were ^possessed with devils : ^^ and he cast out ^chap.iv.a4; 

17 the spirits *■ with Ais word,^ and healed all that were sick : That r Comp. ver 
it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias ^i the prophet, 
saying, ' Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.^ * i^a. im. 4 



*• omi^ and 
" unto him 
^ Isaiah 



" the 

** omi^ the 

^ diseases 



^'^ in that hour 
" demons 



^' lying sick 
* with a word 



On our Lord's Miracles. The Greek word 
translated miracle means literally * power ' ; the 
idea of wondering underlies our word miracle. 
A miracle is therefore some wonderful display of 
power ; the special sense being that of a display 
of * supernatural * power. This docs not mean 
contra-natural, but simply the supervening of a 
natural law by the will of a Personal God, inde- 
pendent of, and superior to, nature. The opera- 
tion of the human will furnishes an analogy. The 
existence of a Personal God includes the possibil' 
ity of miracles. The analogy of the human will 
suggests the existence of a motive for the exer- 
cise of miraculous power, and the existence of 
such a motive involves the necessity of miracles. 
This motive is to be found in God's purpose of 
revealing Himself as a Spirit superior to the 
world, so that lost men may be brought back to 
Him. The miracles of our Lord were wrought 
to confirm and seal His ministry as the Saviour 
of men ; in each particular case, however, to teach 
a special lesson pertaining to our salvation. The 
great miracle is the Person of Christ, whom we 
know, in whom we trust, whom we love. All 
other recorded miracles are not only possible, but 
in a certain sense necessary, if that Divine Human 
Person existed. God may exert his miraculous 
power according to a higher law, so that the su- 
pernatural is, in its sphere, natural ; but this law 
and the means used are alike unknown to us. 
Yet the Person of Christ, the greatest of myste- 
ries, is the key to the moral law of the exercise 
of supernatural power. The alternative is now 
more clearly than ever, the living personal Re- 
deemer sealmg His mission by displays of mirac- 
ulous power, or blank Naturalism, which, in de- 
nying Christ's miracles, soon denies God and 
what of hope is left to man. As the Sermon on 
the Mount is a blow at Pharisaism, these chap- 
ters oppose Sadducism. 

Connection. The * solemn procession of mir- 
acles ' found in chaps, viii. and ix. confirms the 
•authority* discovered in the Sermon on the 
Mount Matthew's order is not chronological, 
but as usual topical. The lesson of the miracle 
governs its position in the narrative. 

Chronology. According to Mark and Luke 
the healing of Peter's wife's mother and of many 
others on the evening of the same day took place 
first ; then after an interval the healing of the 
leper ; while the cure of the centurion's servant. 



according to the more detailed account of Luke, 
occurred much later. The reason for the order 
followed in this chapter is obvious : Matthew 
places in prominent position and together the two 
miracles performed on persons deemed unclean 
according to the Mosaic law. 

Ver. I. When he came down. Comp. Mark 
i. 40-45 ; Luke v. 12-15. Notwithstanding the 
apparently definite statement of Matthew as to 
time and place, the chronological order of Mark 
and Luke is more correct. — Great mnltitndes, 
literalljr, * many crowds,' companies from differ- 
ent regions. 

Note on Leprosy. This is a horrible disease 
of the skin, prevalent in the Eastern countries, 
and especially among the ancient Hebrews. It 
probably exists in some forms still, defying cure ; 
out must have been yet more terrific m ancient 
times. Various forms of the disease are men- 
tioned in early writers, but the * white leprosy * 
was that peculiar to the Hebrews. (See Lev. 
xiii.) • When the disease is decided in its char- 
acter, it is either rapidly cured, or else spreads 
inward. In the former case there is a violent 
eruption, so that the patient is white from head 
to foot (Lev. xiii. 12 ; 2 Kings v. 27) ; in the lat- 
ter case, the disease progresses slowly, and the 
symptoms are equally distressing and fatal, end- 
ing in consumption, dropsy, suffocation, and 
death.' By the law of Moses the leper was de- 
clared unclean and excluded from intercourse 
with all other persons. * He had to wear the 
prescribed mourning garment (Lev. xiiL 45), but 
was permitted to associate with other lepers. 
Their abodes were commonly outside the city 
walls (Lev. xiii. 46 ; Num. v. 2) ; but they were 
allowed to go about freely, provided they avoided 
contact with other persons ; nor were they even 
excluded from the services of the synagogue 
(Lightfoot, 862). In this respect we note a great 
difference between the synagogue and the temple. 
On recovering from leprosy, several lustrations 
had to be performed (Lev. xiv.). The main points 
in the prescribed rite were, to appear before the 
priest, and to offer a sacrifice ; the latter being 

E receded by religious lustrations, and introduced 
y a symbolical ceremony, in which the two tur- 
tles or pigeons bore a striking analogy to the 
scape-goat and the other goat offered in sacrifice 
on the day of atonement. Lev. xvL' (Lange, 
Matthew,) Since the disease was not contagious, 



Chap. VIII. i-i;- [THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



79 



although infectious and hereditary, the reason for 
those regulations is to be founa, not in sanitary 
wisdom, but in the fact that such a disease repre- 
sented most plainly to the eye and powerfully to 
the mind, the fearful defilement of sin. ' The 
leper was the type of one dead in sin : the same 
emblems are used in his misery as those of 
mourning for the dead : the same means of 
cleansing as for uncleanness through connection 
with death, and which were never used except on 
these two occasions.* (Alford.) See Numb. xii. 
12. Matthew mentions this miracle first, proba- 
bly because such a miracle showed power over an 
extraordinary disease, showed special mercy and 
condescension, and betokened our Lord's power 
to save from sin. 

Ver. 2. Th«re eame a leper. (See above.) The 
coming of the leper is expressly mentioned in all 
the accounts. Luke is mdefinite as to locality 
(* one of the cities '), which indicates a place less 
prominent in the pospel history than Capernaum. 
— Wonhipped hun. He performed an act of 
homage, which was not necessarily religious wor- 
ship. Even such approach was forbidden in the 
case of a leper. — Lord. This was an expression 
of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, even though it 
might not then imply all we understand by it. 
The beautiful declaration : If thou wilt, thou, 
eanst make me clean, indicates strong faith in 
Christ's power ; His willins^ss to heal leprosy 
had not yet been manifested. One defiled by sin 
can now say : * Thou wilt, thou canst make me 
dean.' 

Ver. 3. And he (the best authorities omit ' Je- 
sus ') etretched f (nrth hii hand and touched him. 
Such touch was forbidden. Despite the conse- 
quent healing, it may have been regarded by the 
Pharisees as rendering Jesus unclean. -^ I will ; 
be thsu made clean, in direct correspondence with 
the leper's expression of faith. — ^And straightway 
his leprosy was cleansed. The touch of a leper 
defiled, carried contagion, but the touch of our 
Lord overcame the defilement and contagion, re- 
moving the disease. Our Lord's act in this case, 
as in most of His miracles, stands in a certain 
outward relation to the effect produced. The ob- 
vious lesson is : Go to Christ in faith for healing 
from spiritual leprosy. 

Ver. 4. Bee thou tell no man, i. e., do not stop 
to blaze it abroad, but go thy way, go directly 
and show thyself to the priest. The telling was 
forbidden until this duty was fulfilled. It is said 
that the first inspection was performed by the 
priest of the district, then a second one after 
seven days, then after purification a visit was 
made to tne temple, where it was the duty of the 
leper to offer the gift which Koses cammanded. 
(See Lev. xiv. 30, 31.) Our Lord adds : for a tes- 
timony to them, i. e., a testimony to the people 
that the cleansing had taken place. — Reasons for 
the command to be silent : Our Lord had in view 
the welfare of the person healed ; He did not wish 
to hinder the duty Moses had commanded, nor 
to prejudice the priests who would inspect the 
man ; He thus sought to prevent a concourse of 
the people, and the enmity of the rulers. The 
conmiand also implies a caution against making 
too much of the external miraculous acts of our 
Ix>rd ; a kind of materialism, no less than the 
denial of the possibility of such miracles. 

Vers. 5-13. The Healing ok the Centu- 
rion's Servant. Compare the fuller account in 
Luke vii. i-io. This miracle must not be con- 



founded with the healing of the nobleman's son 
(John iv. 47-53) in the same city. The two cases 
have striking points of difference. — And when he 
had entered into Capernaum. This does not nec- 
essarily determine the time. Matthew places this 
miracle next to the healing of the leper, probably 
with the purpose of showing how our Lonj healed 
those judged unclean by the Mosaic law. — Thm 
came unto him a centurion. A captain of one hun- 
dred soldiers, probably in the service of Herod 
Antipas, possibly in the regular Roman army. A 
heathen by birth, perhaps a proselyte of the sate. 
This class, however, is generally specified by 
some such word as * devout* The fuller account 
of Luke tells us that he had built a synagogue, 
and that he did not himself go to Jesus, but sent 
first * the elders of the Jews,' and then * friends.* 

— Beseeching him, through the elders of the 
Jews (Luke vii. 4). 

Ver. 6. Lord. This word, used by the elders, 
probably means more than a title of respect and 
less than an acknowledgment of Messiahship. — 
Ky servant, lit 'boy, as in many languages. 
His personal house servant ('held in honor by 
him,' Luke), as distinguished from the soldiers 
who served under him. — lieth at home, lit ' has 
been thrown down,* or * prostrated at my house.* 
Exceedingly appropriate in describing the effect 
of the disease. — Sick of the palsy, ^^^imusly tor- 
mented. Luke says : ' ready to die.' Paralvsis 
or ' palsy * was a common disease in those aays 
(comp. iv. 24). Alford : * The disease in the text 
majr have been an attack of tetanus^ which the 
ancient physicians included under paralysis, and 
which is more conmion in hot countries than with 
us. It can hardly have been apoplexy, which 
usually deprives of sensation.* 

Ver. 7. And Jesus saith unto him, to those 
whom he sent (Luke vii. 6) : I will come and 
heal him. According to Luke, our Lord went, 
expressing in act the willingness here expressed 
in word, and on the way the occurrences men- 
tioned in the next verses took place. 

Ver. 8. The centurion answered, through 
fi-iends (Luke vii. 6). — Lord, I am not wortl^, 
etc. This humility sprang out of his conscious- 
ness that he was a heathen, as well as his esteem 
of our Lord. — But only say in a word. This 
means one word of command, as verse 9 shows. 

— And my senrant shall be healed. ' Humility 
and faith always go hand in hand.' 

Ver. 9. For I also am a man under authority. 
' Also ' as in Luke vii. 8. The meaning is : I am 
in service, knowing how to obey and also how to 
command : having soldiers undsr myself ; hence 
if I who am after all a subordinate can command, 
much more one who is * in authority ' over dis- 
ease. The last thought is required by the com- 
mendation bestowed on his faith. — And I say, 
etc. I am in the habit of commanding with a 
word, and am obeyed. The first two commands 
are represented as addressed to soldiers; the 
last to the household servant, who works with- 
out his personal superintendence. Explicit com- 
mand, implicit obedience. ' What gives such 
charm to the illustration is, that the centurion 
ever again recurs to his poor faithful servant 
Some familiar servant of the Lord Jesus, he 
thinks, would suffice to restore his poor slave.* 
(Lange.) He may have thought of spirits doing 
the work of healing. The servant seems to have 
been his only one. 

Ver. la He marvelled. Not to be explained 



8o 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. VIII. 1-17. 



away. Our Lord could marvel ; a mystery of 
His humanity. —To them that followed. A multi- 
tude was probably near, all Jews. — With no man 
in Israel have I found 10 great faith. This is the 
sense of the correct reading, which however 
places last, for emphasis, the phrase, * in Israel.' 
There greater faith might have been looked for, 
but a Gentile was the first to acknowledge Christ's 
power to heal at a distance. 

Ver. II. Luke omits the further application 
contained in this and the following verse, record- 
ing them, however, when repeated on a different 
occasion (Luke xiii. 28, 29). — That manj shall 
eome from the east and west. A prophecy that 
the Gentiles, even the most remote, snail enter 
the kingdom of heaven. — And shall sit down 
(i. e., * recline at table ') with Abraham, etc. The 
tews represented the delights of the Messiah's 
kingdom as a feast with the patriarchs ; but the 
reference here is rather to intimate domestic in- 
tercourse. The patriarchs are properly men- 
tioned, since with these the separating of the 
people of God began. 

Ver. 12. But Uie sons of the kingdom. The 
Jews, who, by hereditar)r right and according to 
the ordinary law of gracious influences, might be 
expected to enter, shall be cast out, expelled from 
the feast or home of their patriarchal ancestors, 
into the outer darkness. The figure is that of 
darkness outside the house of feasting or the 
house of comfort. — There shall be the weeping 
and the gnashing of teeth, the sorrow and the 
rage consequent upon such expulsion. Also a 
hint at the wretchedness of a future state of pun- 
ishment The figures are fearful : black night, 
grief and rage. 

Ver. 13. As thou hast believed, etc The 
faith of the master resulted in the healing of the 
servant — In that hour, at once, at the moment 
The same kind of faith was exercised by the 
Syro-Phenician woman ; also a heathen (Matt. 
XV. 21-28). The three believing centurions of 
the N. T. : this one, the one by the cross, and 
Cornelius. 

Ver. 14. And when Jesus was oome into Pe- 
ter's house. At Capernaum (comp. Mark i. 21, 
29 ; Luke iv. 31, 38). Bethsaida, however, is 
called (Tohn i. 45) * the city of Andrew and Pe- 
ter.* when or why they removed is unknown. 
This miracle, together with others in *his own 
city* (chap. ix. i), occurred quite early in His 
ministi7. — His wife's mother. Peter was there- 
fore married. Jerome and modem Romanist ex- 
positors infer that the wife was dead from the 
fact that the mother when healed * ministered 
unto them ; * but were that the case Peter must 
have married again (comp. i Cor. ix. 5). ' Le- 



gend says that her name was Perpetua or Con- 
cordia.* — Lying, prostrate, confined to bed with 
fever. 

Ver. 1 5. And he touched her hand. Our Lord 
could heal by a word at a distance, in the re- 
sponse to faitn, but He generally made some out- 
ward sign of His willingness ana will to cure ; the 
sign corresponding to the cure and proving that 
His will healed. — The healing was instantaneous 
and perfect, she arose and miniftered unto him 
(the singular is sustamed by the best authorities), 
thus showing her perfect restoration. The faith 
of her family had called for the miracle, but she 
shows her own faith and her gratitude by • serv- 
ing * the Lord, and that too m the natural and 
womanly way of household duty. 

Ver. 16 tells us of a general gathering of the 
possessed and sick in Capernaum. Mark (L 32) 
says, * All the city was gathered together at the 
door.* Luke (iv. 41) tells how the demons recog- 
nized Him. For these numerous miracles of 
healing there was a sufficient motive. — Bven. 
Either because the most convenient time, or the 
best time for the sick to be taken out, or it may 
have been the Sabbath (comp. Mark L 21). Our 
Lord was ready to heal on the Sabbath, but the 
people may have waited until sundown, when 
the Jewish Sabbath ended. He healed them all, 
both those possessed with demons and the siok ; 
two classes carefully distinguished from each 
other in the Gospels. 

Ver. 17. Peculiar to Matthew, and in accord- 
ance with the purpose of his Gospel. — Isaiah the 
prophet. In the beautiful Messianic prediction, 
chap. liii. The Evangelist does not quote from 
the common Greek version, but makes a more 
exact translation, varying from the original only 
in the substitution of diseases for * sorrows,* 
in the last clause. This is allowable from the par- 
allelism of ideas common to Hebrew poetry. 
The prophecy refers to bearing and expiating 
our sms. but is here applied to the healing (n 
bodily diseases. His healing was also a suffer- 
ing with and for us. These miracles were types 
of His great work of bearing the sins of the 
world, being directed against the effects of sin ; 
they were signs and pledges of His spiritual 
power. His contact with all this suffenng was 
an important part of the work of One who for us 
became * a man of sorrows and acquainted with 
grief.* Matthew's application of the prophecy, 
especially at the close of such a group of mira- 
cles, is highly suggestive in regard to the vicari- 
ous work of our Lord. The work of healing is 
an integral part of our Lord*s redeeming work. 
The medical profession can find its highest in- 
centive and truest glory in this fact 



CHAPS. VIIL iS-lX. I.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. Si 



Chapters VIII. 18-IX. i. 

yesus departs for Gadara ; Answers to those who would follozu Him; He 
stills the Tempest ; the Demoniacs healed, and the Herd of Swine de- 
stroyed ; Gadara rejects Him and He returns to Capernaum. 

18 "NJOW when Jesus saw great ^ multitudes about him, ^'he " J|^^'^j]5. 

19 1 ^ gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And *'* 

*a certain scribe came,^ and said unto him, Master, I will follow ^lukbIx-s;- 

' 60. 

20 thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The 
foxes have holes, and the birds of the air^ have nests* ; but the 

21 Son of man hath not where to lay his head. *^ And another of ^' King»>u 
his ^ disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go ^ and 

22 bury my father. But Jesus said " unto him, Follow me; and let 
the dead bury their dead.^ 

23 ** And when he was entered into a ship,^ his disciples followed ''^^ff'^LuKi 

24 him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, in- ^'"- *^'*5 
somuch that the ship ^ was covered with the waves : but he 

25 was asleep. And his disciples ^^ came to ///;;/, and awoke him, 

26 saying. Lord, save us : ^^ we perish. And he saith unto them. 

Why are ye fearful, * O ye of little faith } Then he arose, and ' sec oup. 
■^rebuked the winds and the sea ; and there was a great calm. /Ps.civ. 7. 

27 But the men marvelled, saying. What manner of man is this, 
that even the winds and the sea obey him ! 

28 ^ And when he was come to the other side into the country g Mark v. i- 
of the Gergesenes,^ there met him *two possessed with dev- ^ ^«- a6-|7. 
ils,^' coming^* out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no v.i;^Luke 

29 man might ^ pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, 
saying, • What have we to do with thee, Jesus,^® thou Son of « « sam. xvi 

J ^* /• T '°' Mark I 

God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time.^^" a4;Lukei* 

30 And ^® there was a good way off from them a herd of many 

31 swine feeding. So the devils ^^ besought him, saying. If thou 
cast us out, suffer us to go away^® into the herd of swine. 

32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, 
they went into the herd of swine : ^ and, behold, the whole herd 
of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea,^ and ^ 

33 perished in the waters. And they that kept® them fled, and 

* some authorities omit great . ^ one who was a scribe came 

• heaven * or lodging places * the • go away 
' saith • leave the dead to bury their own dead • boat 

*• they ^* omit us ^-^ Gadarenes ^' demons 

" coming forth " could *• omit Jesus 

" before the time to torment us ^* Now !• send us 

* And they came out and went away into the swine. 

^ the whole herd rushed down the steep into the lake. " insert they ^ fed 
vou I. 6 



82 THE GOSPKL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. VIII. 18-IX. i 

went their ways 2* into the city, and told every thing, and what 
34 was befallen to the possessed of the devils.^^ And, behold, the 

whole city came out to meet Jesus : and when they saw him, ^ , ^^^ ^^ 

* they besought /lim that he would depart out of their coasts.^ g*' ^*'«^- 
IX. I 'And he entered into a ship,^ and passed over, and came ' Lite^viu.' 

into "* his own city. m*°chzp. h 

13; Compk 

2* ami/ their ways -^ from their borders Mark il i. 



Chronoloc.y. Matthew inserts this group of here spoken of, while the third (mentioned by 
events here ; Mark and Luke at a later point. Luke only) is Matthew. — Kaiter, /'. ^., teacher. 
We accept the chronology of Mark, who expli- an important confession on the part of a scribe, 
citly says that Jesus crossed the sea on the even- — I will follow thee, etc. Probaoly suggested by 
ing of the day the parable of the sower was the fact that our Lord was about to 'depart.' 
delivered. The events of this day are recorded But the proposal is to follow Jesus as a teacher 
more fully than those of any other during the and to faithfully adhere to Him. 
ministry in Galilee. The order in Matthew is Ver. 20. And Jenui laith onto him. The an- 
probably owing to his desire to group together swer alone reveals an improper motive in the pro- 
important miracles. The incidents mentioned in posal. — Foxei have holes, etc., caves, dens. — 
vers. 19-22, which are placed very much later by Birds of the heaven have nests, more literally, 
Luke (the only other Evangelist who records • lodging places.' The two represent the lower 
them), probably occurred just before our Lord order of animals. — The Son of Kan. A terra 
crossed the lake. There is a reason whv Luke applied to no one else, and often applied by our 
should vary from the order of time, but Matthew Lord to himself ; used in Dan. vii. 13, in refer- 
would hardly insert them here, unless the chron- ence to the Messiah seen in a vision. The prom- 
ological order called for it. There is, however, inent idea is that of the second Adam, but it also 
an appropriateness in their position so near ver. implies that Jesus was the Messiah. The thought 
17 (see ver. 20, and the opening section of chap, here is of His real humanity. His capability of 
ix.). These variations of order show the indc- suffering and privation, in opposition to the car- 
pendence of the Evangelist. nal expectation of the Jews, snared no doubt by 

Contents. After a day of conflict and toil, this scribe. The prophecy of Isaiah (ver. 17) 

our Lord seeks repose in the evening on the seems to have led Matthew to introduce this sim- 

lake (ver. 18) ; He is detained by doubting disci- ilar thought in the midst of a series of miracles, 

pies (vers. 19-22); sleeps calmly during the — Hath not where to lay his head. He did not 

storm (ver. 23, 24), but is awakened by fearful own a dwelling, as even the foxes and birds do ; 

disciples (ver. 25) ; He calms the elements (ver. but we have no reason to believe that He ever 

26), and * little faith ' changes to great wonder suffered from want of a lodging. Immediately 

(ver. 27). Reaching the other side. His conflict after we are told how He slept in the cabtnless 

with sin and Satan is renewed ; the fiercest de- boat on the lake. Overdrawn portrayals of our 

moniacs, possessed with the most numerous com- Lord's poverty are always out of place, yet He 

pany of demons, meet Him (vers. 28, 29) ; per- who as ' Son of man ' was * the crown of crea- 

mitted to enter a herd of swine, the demons de- tion,' did not possess what the humbler animals 

stroy these (vers. 30-32), which occasions a con- claim, a home. 

course from the city to ask Him to leave them Ver. 21. And another of the disciples. Cer- 

(vers. 33, 34) ; He departs (chap. ix. 1), probably tainly one who had already attended our Lord's 

never to return. The whole section is a vivid teachings. The conversation, according to Luke 

sketch of the various forms of weakness and op- (ix. 59), began with the formal request of our 

position our Lord always encounters. The cen- Lord : * Follow me.* This verse sounds like a 

tral event (the stilling of the tempest) is the response to such a command. Tradition says it 

most significant one. was Philip ; but our Lord had said, * Follow me * 

Ver. 18. Now when Jesus saw great mnlti- to him first of all Apostles (John i. 43). Aswav- 

tndes. Some very ancient authorities omit ering is implied, it may have been Thomas 

* great,' but it is better to retain it. The 'multi- (Lange). — Soffer me first to go away and hnry 

tudes ' had listened to the discourse in parables my father. The father was already dead, and 

(chap. xiii.). — He gave commandment to depart, the disciple wanted to go home and attend to all 

To avoid the crowd, who may have been in an the funeral ceremonies, intending to return and 

excited condition, and to find repose after a day follow Christ 

of conflict and labor (comp. chaps, xii., xiii.); Ver. 22. Leave the dead to bnry their own 

since this took place in the evening (Mark iv. dead. * This is a hard saying, and who can bear 

35). — To the other side, of the lake. it.' The common interpretation is: Let the 

Ver. 19. And one who was ascribe. * One * is (spiritually) dead attend to burying the (natural- 
emphatic ; either one disciple (ver. 21) who was ly) dead. Such a double meaning is common 
a scribe, or * one scribe,* suggesting that it was in brief-pointed remarks. * The goal and end of 
rare for one of that class to be among his follow- those who are spiritually dead — their last and 
ers. It is an ingenious hypothesis of Lange, that highest aim here is to fcury one another.' — If 
these persons all became Apostles, being specially * dead ' be taken literally in both cases we have 
called at this time. But it is probable that the the meaning : Let the dead bury themselves, 1. ^., 
Twelve had been chosen before this occurrence, better let them be unburied than that Christ's 
lie thinks Judas and Thomas are the persons disciples be drawn away from their obedience. 



Chaps. VIII. 18-IX. I.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 83 

Chrysostom 8»ys ; ' Jesus forbade him to E°> '" ""ori 

order to show that nothing, not even the moat thoai „ , .. — 

impoTtuit work of natural du^ and affection, is and tha ns, or, ' the winds and (he sea loo.' The 
10 momentous, as care for Ihe kingdom o£ heav- latter sense suggests that His power over other 
en ; and that nothing, however urgent, should things had been witnessed ; the former intimates 
catise >ia to be guilty of a moment's delay in pro- that this was the highest display of power. Such 
Tiding Gist for that.' a miracle, wrought Dcfore those (o whom the ter- 

rors of the lake were the highest natural dan- 
y'T^*' gcr, was best adapted to convince them of Hia 

power 10 save the soul. By it He also taught a 
lesson of faith and warned against unbelief, as 
well as attested to the mere lookers-on His Divine 
power. All His miracles are displays not only 
of power, but of love to lost men. Alford ; ' The 
symbolic application of this occurrence is too 
striking to have escaped general notice. The 
Saviour, with the company of His disciples in the 
ship tossed on Ihe waves, seemed a typical repro- 
duction of the Ark bearing mankind on the flood, 
and a foreshadowing of the Church tossed bythe 
tempests of this world, but having Him with her 
always. And the personal application is one of 
comfort and strengtherving of faith in danger and 

Ver. 28. Into tha ommtir of tha OadueiiM. 

Our version has; 'Cercesenes ;' in Mark and 
Luke: 'Gadarenes.' The best established read- 
ily in Matthew: 'Gadarenes'j Mark: >Gera- 




Ver. i^ A bo»t The best authorities omit 
Ihe definite article. It was, however, the boat 
from which he had been teaching (Mark iv. 36). 
— HU liMiplM, probably the Twelve, though oth- 
ers followed in other boats (Mark iv. 36). 

Ver. 24. A ^rrat tampeat in tha Ma. The 
' storm of wind ' is mentioned by Mark and Luke. 
The word ' tempest ' properly refers to the effect 
of Ibe wind, bemg used also of an earthquake. 
This lake, like most inland seas, is subject to sud- 
den and violent storms. — Bo thnt tha beat vu 
•orarad, lit, 'was becoming covered ' with tb« 
VkTia. ' Shipping seas ' in a boat without a deck 
would result, as Mark narrates, in the boat's be- 
coming full, and of course in the 'jeopardy,' of 
which Luke (viii. 23) speaks. — But lia wu i^eap 
or 'sleeping,' lying on the boat cushion in Ihe 
stem (Mark). He who had not where to lay His 
head, could still sleep m the storm. Needing 
Bleep, He slept ; the result was a more striking 
exhibition of His power. (On the events of that 
busv day, see Mark iv. 35.) 

Ver. 15. SkTa, v« pwiih, or, ' are perishing.' 
Disconnected language of it,.!.^. „t ..r-.>r ..■ ... 
the p,— "-'- '"-S ■ - 

be too weak, and ' cowardly ' too strong. 
Uttl* tdtk. Fear while the Saviour was with 
them, evidence of ' little faith ;' the cry to Him 
evidence they were not faithless. He rewards the 
faith they had, but rebukes them, because of iheir 
* Utile faith.' — Sa rabokad tha windi and tha Ma, 
■aying, ' Peace, be still' (Mark iv. 39). — Mat- 
thew places the rebuke of the disciples first ; 
Hark and Luke that of the elements. — A graat 
«aln, a perfect stillness. 

Ver. 27. Tie man mamllMl. Probably all 
who were in the boat. The parallel passages 
oblige us to include Ihc disciples as well as Ihe 
boat's crew. The former (• of little faith '} also 
wondered- — What ■■■■mitT ' ti maalstliii. An 
expression of astonishment It neither means, 
what country does he come from ; nor, Is he 



Ihc word 'Gadarenea ' into 'Gergesene 
Gospel (Origen), his reasons for doing it, and 
hence have a more correct copy of the verse than 
was current in the middle of the third century. 

The variety in names has occasioned much dis- 
cussion as to the exact locality. The common 
view is that Ihe citjr referred to in vers. 33, 34, 
was Gadara, the capital of Terea, situated south- 
east of the southern end of the lake. It wa* 
about seven miles from Tiberia 



probably inhabited 
IV Gentiles, and is novr called Omiiis. Tl ' 
iface was not too far away to be ' the city ' : 



This 



ferred to, since the events occurred before ' the 
city ' was reached. The name ' Gergesenes ' is 
then lo be regarded as derived from the old 'Gir- 

Sashites,' who lived there before the conquest of 
le Israelites. (Josephus says the name sur- 
vived.) ' Gerasenes ' was probably a corruptioit, 
or derived from the city Geraia, which was sit- 
uated in the same district, though at a great dis- 
tance. Another theory, now coming into favor, 
is, thai a place, called Cerasa or Cergtia, existed 
near the lake shore. (See Thomson, Thi Land 
and Ike Bosk, ii. pp. 34-37-1 The wood-cut rep- 
resents Ihe locality according to this view. — Two 
poMOHod with danwni. Mark and Luke speak 
of but one, although the former gives the most 
detailed account. They probably mention Ihe 
principal one, but do definitely affirm that there 
was but one. Matthew is always more particular 
as to numbers, as Mark is regarding looks and 
gestures. Lange ; 'Two demoniacs would not 
have associatetfunless one had been dependent 
on the other.' — All three Evangelisis agree, that 
the meeting occurred just after landing, although 
the form of expressing that fact varies. — Cha- 
ins fnnn out of tha tomb*. According to the 
olher accounts, their abode, chosen ' from a mor- 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. VIll. 18-lX. i 



shelter. The ' possessed ' probably 
dislance toward Ihe lake shore to 1 
The whole narrative indicates a ore 
; of the Lord. — 



.tje. 



(comp. Mark v. 3-5). Mark lells of the' 
cessful efforts made to suIk 



try. 
Ver. 19. And behold, tkn erltd out. 

strangely enough (■ behold ') did not assai , 
their hostile words confessed the superiority of 
leaus.— What have vft to de vith thw. lit. 
' What (is) 10 us and thee,' what have we in com- 
mon ? The language of the demons, who lecog- 
ized HimasUuNDof Qod. — ' J( 



Uthff Mora Uw tia* to taiBMBt ml ' Be- 

the time,' /. (,, loo soon, to be joined with 
e ; ' peculiar to this Gospel. It does not 
isaiily refer to some definite time of jiidg> 

__ or torment, when they would be forced to 

suMue them ; Mallhew, submit The language is that of opposition, 
' ' blended with consciousness of weakness. It U 

demoniacal to defy and oppose, even when con- 
scious (hat it is useless I According to Luke, our 
Lord had alreadv begun to exercise His power, 
and they knew they must obey. 

Ver. 30. A good w>r off. Mark says : ' Nigh 
unto the mountains'; Lukt : (hire — (Jn die 
mounuin,' The miracle probably took place On 
Ihe plain. — A hard of man; nrina, according to 



>r of the coun- 
They 



according to the best authorities. — DMt thou Mark, ' two thousand.' — raiding, under the caie 




of herdsmen (ver. 33). They were the property 
either of Gentiles or of Jews, engaged in a traffic, 
which was unclean, according to the Mosaic law. 
Ver. 31. 80 tha domoiu besought him. Mark 
and Luke insert here a question and aruwer re- 
tpecting the name of the demons, which brings 
their number into view. The former speaks of 
Iheit bq^ng not to be sent ' out of the country,' 
[he lalter, 'into the deep.' The latter phrase 
suggests that ' before the time ' (ver. 29), refers to 
a Imie of banishment from earth ' id their own 

S lace.' — It thODCMt ui out They recognized 
lis power, yet clung to the present habitation. — 
Send us away. This is the correct reading, 
agreeing with the words used by Mark. The re- 
quest was malicious ; that they might remain on 
earth, and continue their work of opposition. 

Ver. 32. Qo. Their request was fulfilled, and 
tha; vent away into tho iwina. The fact of the 
possession of the swine is staled. It is not more 



desires and appetites which coald be influenced 
by (he demons. — Bahold. An evidence of the 
reality of the possession. — Th* whola hard, etc 
The simuluiieous nish of Ihe whole herd was 
not a natural movement, bul due to the po«- 
sesscd, since few gregailous animals are so 
marked by individual stubbornness as swine. 
The distance to the precipice On the lake shore 
may have been considerable, Man having a ra- 
tional spint as well as an animal soul, can be 
possessed by demons for a long time withont 
physical death resulting, but the same destruc- 
tive influence quickly kills a lower animaL 
Mere sensuous life and demoniacal infltiencc 
sland in some relation ; hence this is a warn- 
ing against seiuualism. The permis^on given 
by our Lord to enter the herd of swine can be 
readily justilied. It suggests the above warning, 
it helped to rid the men of the demons ; there 
may have been other reasons growing out 0/ 
the Mosaic law, which make the loss of prop- 
erty a just punishment ; and after all it waa but 



demoniacal 
any bodily 



possession was not identical with 

disease. (2.) It also opposes the 

while the influence was indeed de* 



Chap. IX. 2-17.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 

« permission. Criticism of the conduct of Jesus 
on this occasion only proves His immaculate- 
ness. 

Ver. 31 And thej that fed them (herdsmen) 
flad, in fright and astonishment The miracle 
probably took pJace at some distance from the 
city. — And wliat was befallen the poeeessed with 
demona. The destruction of the swine was their 
personal concern ; the other stands in a subordi- 
nate place. 

Ver. 34. The whole eity, the great mass of the 
inhabitants from city and country, as it appears 
h-om the other accounts. — They besought him 
that ha wonld depart from their borders. The 
people were heathen, and as such were more 
affected by the loss of property and the fear of 
farther damage than by the blessing wrought on 
the possessed man. Our Lord never came back 
— but the healed men remained. The one 
spoken of by Mark and Luke wished to follow 
Jesus, but was bidden to publish the story of his 
cure among his friends. With what result we do 
not know, but doubtless he thus prepared the 
way for the gospel, which was afterwards preached 
everywhere. The possessed received Him more 
readily than the Gadarenes. Christ healed mad- 
men where calculating selfishness drove Him 
an^. 

Tnis miracle alone tells of a transfer of demon- 
iacal possession and of its effect upon other 
creatures than man. 

Remarks, (i.) This occurrence shows that 



85 



View that 

moniacal, bodily possession was merely a popu- 
lar notion ; the persons possessed identify mg 
themselves in their own minds with the de- 
mons. The plain language of the narrative is 
against such a theory, which moreover explains 
nothing. The main trouble is the admission, 
not of bodily possession, but of spiritual influ- 
ence of any kind. (3.) The most natural and 
tenable position is : that in the time of Christ 
persons were, actually and bodily, possessed by 
personal evil spirits. The New Testament ac- 
counts show, even by their grammatical peculiar- 
ities, the existence of a ' double will and double 
consciousness * (Alford) in the demoniac Some- 
times the spirit speaks, sometimes the poor de- 
moniac himself. That sensual sin prepared the 
way for possession has often been supposed, and 
is not improbable. Such things may occur again, 
but * discerning of the spirits ' was a special gift 
in the early church, which will doubtless return 
should occasion require. 

Chap. ix. I. And he entered, etc. This verse 
belongs to chap. viii. It is disconnected in time 
with what follows. — His own dty, /. ^., Caper- 
naum. Luke (viii. 40) : * The multitude wel- 
comed him ; for they were all waiting for hinu' 
The feast at the house of Matthew was the next 
event in order of time (see the following sec- 
tion). 



Chapter IX. 2-17. 



Various Occurrences in Capernaum, joined together by Three Evangelists, 



2 • A ND, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy,i 

.^A. lying on a bed : and Jesus* seeing their faith said unto the 
sick of the palsy t^ Son, be of good cheer ; thy sins be^ forgiven 

3 thee.* And, behold, certain of the scribes said within them- 

4 selves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus* knowing their 

5 thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts ? For 
whether ** is easier, to say. Thy sins be ^ forgiven thee ; * or to 

6 say. Arise, and walk } But that ye may know that the Son of 
man hath power ® on earth to forgive sins (then saith he to the 
sick of the palsy),^ Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine 

7 house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when 

8 the multitudes saw it, they marvelled,^ and^ glorified God, 
which® had given such power ^ unto men. 

* a paral3rtic * the paralytic * are 

* Tne best authorities omit thee * or which 

* authority ^ The best authorities read were afraid 

* who • or authority {as in ver, 6) 



a Mark ii. 3- 

12; LUKKV. 

h Chap. viii. 

10, 13 ; vera. 

22, 2^ ; chap. 

XV. 8; Mark 

X. j;2; Luke 

xvti. 19; 

Acts lit. 16; 

xiv. 9. 
c Chap. xii. ^ 

2s: Luke vi. 

8; ix. 47; 

John ii. 24, 

»5- 



d Chap. XV. 
31 ; Luke 
vii. 16 ; xxi'li 
47; Acts iv. 
21 



E6 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IX. 2-17. 

9 • And as Jesus passed forth ^^ from thence, he saw a man, ' ^.'^'lum V. 
named -^Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom ^^: and i^^ ^a^t x.a 
saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. LiJeii.lM 

10 And it came to pass, as Jesus ^ sat at meat^^ in the house, be- ^oroV^M^^k* 
hold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down ^^ with *y, i*;,,. 

1 1 him ^* and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw //, they 

said unto his disciples, ^ Why eateth your master with publi- ^chap.xi.19; 

1 2 cans ^^ and sinners ? But when Jesus ^ heard t/ia/, he said unto 
them,^^ they that be ^ whole need not ^" a physician, but they 

13 that are sick. But go ye and learn* what t/iat^^ meaneth, •! *HSJfvf"67* 
will have ^^ mercy, and not sacrifice : for I am not come ^ to 

14 call the righteous, but * sinners to repentance.^^ Then came^ * ''^""- >• 's- 
to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and ' the Phar- /Luke xviii. 

15 isees fast oft. but thy disciples fast not ? And Jesus said unto 

them. Can the children ^3 of the bridechamber mourn, as long m John Hi. 29 
as the bridegroom is with them ? but the ^ days will come, 
when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then 

16 shall ^ they fast. No man putteth a piece ^ of new^*^ cloth 
unto ^ an old garment ; for that which is put in to fill it up ® 

17 taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.^ Neither 

do men put new wine into old bottles : ^^ else " the botiles ^^ " J°^ "«"• 
break,^ and the wine runneth out, and the bottles ^^ perish : but 
they put new wine into new*^ bottles,^^ and both are pre- 
served.'^ 



*° passed by " place of toll 

" or reclined at table " Jesus 

^* /Aa best authoriiies omit unto them 

" this *• I desire 

2* the best authorities otnit to repentance 

^ sons ** omit the 

^ patch ^ undressed 

^ that which filleth it up ®° a worse rent is made 



" he 

" the publicans 

^' have no need of 

^ I came not 

22 come 

2fi will 

* upon 

'^ skins 



« burst 



^ fresh 



•* preserved together 



Chronology and connection. Three Evan- 
gelists join together the events we group in this 
section. Mark and Luke, however, place them 
immediately after the healing of the leper near 
Capernaum. We agree with most harmonists in 
placing the miracle wrought on th^ paralytic and 
the calling of Matthew together at the earlier 
period, and inserting the feast between the return 
from Gadara and the healins of Jairus' daughter. 
Tairus came to our Lord while at the feast m the 
house of Matthew (ver. 18). The Evangelist 
must needs speak of the feast, and properly pref- 
aces that account by telling of his call. As howt 
ever the latter event was preceded by an instruc- 
tive miraculous incident (the healing of the para* 
lytic) in the same city, it too was inserted. Mark 
and Luke, having placed the call of Matthew 
(Levi) in its proper chronological position, men- 
tion the feast in the same connection, 

Contents. Vers. 2-8: Christ reads the sc>» 
cTets of the heart, to reward faith and rebuke 



cavilling ; confirms the free forgiveness of the 
gospel oy visible signs ; the Pharisees account 
that blasphemy (ver. 3) which redounds to the 
glory of God (ver. 8). The miracle on the soul 
and on the body joined together ; Christ's greater 
work includes tne less. — How Christ forgives, 
once for all, He gives joy with pardon and 
through pardon. — Christ's authority on earth to 
forgive is His, as the Son of man ; God gives to 
men through the Son of man. — Ver. 9. The 
modesty of the Evangelist even when he men- 
tions himself ; his implicit obedience. — The 
publican becomes an Apostle. Vers. 10-17. The 
converted publican brings together his ola asso- 
ciates and his new ones. The Pharisees murmur. 
The reproof: (i) a warning ; (2) an encourage- 
ment — The Master knows of but one distinc- 
tion among men ; namely, whether they feel or 
do not feel their need of Him. ■=- Mercy the most 
acceptable sacrifice. — The disciples of the 
preacher of repentance fall into legalism,when they 



Chap. IX. 2-17.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



87 



do not find Christ — The kingdom of heaven a 
marriage-feast, even in the days of mourning. — 
New life, new forms ; not new forms, new life. 
The old form useless when antiquated ; the new 
form useless if it does not express the new life. 
— The incongruity of legalism and the gospel ; 
the gospel bursts the restraints of the old Juda- 
bm. 

Ver. 2. The accounts of Mark and Luke are 
more particular. — And, merely resumes the nar- 
rative, without implying connection with what pre- 
cedes. — Behold. A remarkable miracle. Luke 
intimates that many other cures were performed 
just before, and both he and Mark mention the 
crowd. The account of the latter renders it 
probable that this took place in the house where 
He generallv resided. — They brought to him a 
Mnuytie. Not being able to enter the house, the 
four who bore him carried him to the housetop, 
and, actually breaking up the roof, let him down 
(Mark). — Lying, or, more literally. Maid,' on a 
bed. — Seeing their faith, not only of the bearers, 
but of the man himself, since what follows shows 
his strong faith. — Son, be of good oheer. Words 
of affectionate address, fully given by Matthew 
alone. 'Son' implies that a new relation was 
now to exist between them, since Christ thus ad- 
dressed His chosen disciples (Mark x. 24). The 
*good cheer* came before the bodily healing, as 
a result of a purely spiritual blessing. — Thy una 
are foigiTon. A positive declaration, * they have 
been, and are now forgiven.' Certainly not a 
concession to the popular notion that such sick- 
ness was a direct judgment for sin. There is no 
proof that the disease was in this case the fruit 
of indulgence. The man's conscience was 
aroused through his sickness ; our Lord first of 
all gives him spiritual health ; afterwards bodily 
health ; proving His authority to pardon by His 
power to cure, He thus places * forgiveness ' not 
only before but above miraculous healing. The 
general connection l^etween sin and suffering is 
assumed throughout. 

Ver. ^ Certoin of the leribee. Many ' Phari- 
sees and doctors of the law ' were present, from 
all parts of the land (Luke v. 17). — Said within 
tbrauelvef, /'. ^., in their hearts, as is plain from 
Mark ii. 6. — This num, not necessarily a term of 
contempt — Blaaphemeth. The parallel pas- 
sages base the charge on the correct premise, 
that God only can forgive sins. The language of 
our Lord must therefore have been authoritative. 

Ver. 4. Knowing, by divine insight, rather 
than from the expression of their countenances. 
— Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts. A re- 
buke of the substance and the secrecy of their 
opposition. Bold language ; it assumes, that 
opposition to Christ's power to forgive sins is in 
itself wicked. Our Lord thus claims much for 
His Person. According to the usual chronology,' 
this was the first indication of hostilitv on the 
part of the Pharisees, although in John iv. i, 
there is a hint that this existed. If fohn v. pre- 
cedes the Galilean ministry, they had already 
sought to kill Him (John v. 16). The usual view, 
however, places that feast immediately after the 
call of Matthew. The Pharisees may have ob- 
jected to a declaration of absolution without the 
sacrifice required by the law. Pharisaism has 
<Mften opposed such direct absolution, calling for 
priestly intervention. 

Ver. c Por, as a proof that the thoughts were 
evil — whleh if easier, etc Archbishop Trench 



correctly sets forth the argument : * In our Lord*8 
argument it must be carefully noted that He does 
not ask, ** Which is easiest, to forgive sins, or to 
raise a sick man ? " for it could not be affirmed 
that that of forgiving was easier than this of heal- 
ing ; but " Which is easiest, to ciaim this power 
or to ciaim that ; to savy Thy sins be forgiven thee, 
or to say^ Arise and walk ? " And He then pro- 
ceeds ; " That is easiest, and I will now prove 
my right to say it, by saying with effect ancf with 
an outward consequence setting its seal to my 
truth, the harder word, • Rise up and walk? By 
doing that which is submitted to the eyes of men, 
I will attest my right and power to do that which, 
in its very nature, lies out of the region of proof." ' 

Ver. a Application of the argument, stated 
by all three Evangelists in the same terms. — 
The Son of man, here equivalent to the Messiah. 
— Hath authority. * Power ' is not so exact. — 
On earth. Christ claimed and exercised this ' au- 
thority ' as the incarnate Son of God, or as * the 
Son of man on earth,* having brought it with 
Him from heaven, as the One who is at once like 
unto us, and above us all as the crown and per- 
fection of humanity. 

Ver. 7. And he arose, and departed to his 
honse. The test was successfully applied. The 
intervening moment must have been one of sus- 
pense to all, save the Healer and the healed ; the 
one serene in the consciousness of power, the 
other strong in faith. His walk was truly * by 
faith,' and he went * glorifying God.' (Lute v. 

25.) 
Ver. 8. They were afraid (according to the 

best authorities). Either a religious awe, awak- 
ened by the higher character in which Jesus had 
presented Himself, or a spiritual conflict echoing 
that between Christ and the scribes. The result 
was they glorified God, who had given sneh 
power, or * authority.' Power to forgive sins as 
well as to heal ; the two were indissolubly united 
in the demonstration. — To men. This probably 
means * to mankind,' Jesus being regarded as the 
representative of mankind in this matter. The 
pardon of the paralytic was a foreshadowing of 
the rending of the vail of the temple, promising 
direct intercourse between God and the sinner, 
yet through the Son of man. Comp. the paral- 
lel passages. 

Ver. 9. From thence. According to all three 
accounts, immediately after the miracle just men- 
tioned. — Katthew, the Apostle and Evangelist. 

* A publican named Levi' (Luke v. 27) ; * Levi 
the son of Alpheus' (Mark ii. 14). Undoubtedly 
the same person ; the accounts agree closely. The 
formal call seems peculiar to the Apostles, and 
Mark and Luke mention Matthew, not Levi, 
among the Twelve. The former was probably 
the apostolic name, the latter the ordinary one. 
Matthew himself mentions the former only. Al- 
though * the son of Alpheus,' he was not the 
brother of James, the son of Alpheus. See chap. 
X. 3 ; xii. 46. — Sitting at the plaoe of toll, or 

* the toll-booth.' Like the four fishermen, at his 
regular employment, and probably previously ac- 
quainted with Tesus. — Follow me, m the specific 
sense, as in chap. iv. 19. Matthew obeyed in 
this sense, * he left all, rose up, and followed 
him ' (Luke v. 28) ; certainly not simply; walked 
after Jesus into His place of residence. 

Ver. 10. And it came to pass. All three ac- 
counts are indefinite as to the length of the inter- 
val. As already intimated, the arrangement of 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IX. 2-17 



Matthew's narrative seems to have been occa- marte a great feast for our Lord, although he 
sioncd by the fact that Jairas came to his house, modestly oraits the mention of that fact — The 
where the Pharisees were objecting to the keep- common version has inserted 'Jesus' at the be- 
ing cotnpany with publicans. The mention of the ginning of the verse, and omitted it at the close, 
feast required a notice of the call of the publican ; without any authority. — XinjiniblleiBi and dn- 
and [he call occurred during the powerful impres Ji*tt ouu uil tU at mat witli Imu and Ui 
■ion made ly the healing of the paralytic— The dUciptai. Luke sa« they were invited, and 



I, that 01 Matthew himself (Luke v. 39), <■ 



, Marli: 'ihey w 



lany and thej followed him.' 




The general character of the publ cans may be 
jofeired from the r assoc ates s nncts f 
persons excommun cated and generally d epu 
table. On the word publ ans comp chap v 
46. 

Ver. II. And whan thB FhaiJiMi aaw It Or 
Lord had just returned from Oadara, and they 
would be on the watth for Him ; or hearing that 
He was at the publican's feast, tliey pressed in 
They were not at the feast; the conversation 
took place after dinner. — Thtj Mid unto his dii- 
tdplea, not to Him. Bold enough to act as spies, 
but not to censure Him to His face. — Why aat- 
•th your Muter, etc The strict Jews would not 
eat with the Gentiles (comp. Acts. xi. 3 ; Gal. ii. 
II), and these classes were regarded as heathen. 

Ver. la. Our Lord, in ligurative language, 
lays down a principle, applicable to the case, on 
their own estimate of themselveEi, and the ' pub- 
licans and sinners.' — ne; Chat us whola have 
no need of pbjeieian, bnt they that are liok. He 
is the Physician ; the two classes are, the ob- 
jectors and those objected to. Those thinking 
themselves whole (although really they are not) 
need not (or do not admit their need of) a physi- 
cian, but those thinking themselves sick (which 
is really their case). 

Ver. I}. Oo ye and laam. The citation is pe- 
culiar to Matthew. "You are students of the 
Scriptures, yet do not know the meaning of the 
e I quote i instead of finding fault, go 

_l... L. ._ , , F 



leain what you ought ti 



' already.*^ The 



Rabbins used such a form. — I deeire nerey ud 
not (MiiBoe (Hosea vi. 6). The Greek trans- 
lat'on is here given ; the original Hebrew is ; 
n ercy ralher than sacrifice.' God prefers 
mercy to sacrifice, and teiecls the latter if it con- 

ts with the former. This the Pharisees had 
fo gotten in their criticism of His conduct. — Fei 

1 came not. etc. The best authorities omit, ' 10 
repentance.' The sense remains unalteretL — 
The rightaoiu, arc those thinking themselves so, 
•iimert, those convinced of their sin ; not those 
actually righteous and sinful. The latter view 
is admissible ; those actuall)^ righteous cannot 
be called to repentance, but this would not assert 
the existence of positively sinless meiu The 
former view corresponds better with ver. 12, 
gives a more direct reply to the Phariseos, and 
enforces the great lesson of the whole passage ; 
sense of need is the first step toward Christ 
(comp. the beatitudes). 

Ver. 14. The diaelplet of John. Luke puts 
the question in the mouth of the Pharisees, but 
by this time all the spiritual disciples of John 
must hive become followers of Christ ; the rest 
would lean toward Pharisaism. — Why do we ul 
the Phariieee fait otti Some authorities omit 
'oft,' but it is better to retain it. The Phari- 
sees, it is supposed, fasted twice in the week 
[Luke xviii. ts) ; the remnant of John's disciples 
would lie led to a similar practice, by his austere 
life. — Btit thy diKiiplM fait not 1 The complaint 
also implies : ' if you are a teacher from God, why 



Chap. !X. 2-35) THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 

does youi teachinR result in leading your follow- 

en away from old-established forms and customs, 

confirmed by the cuunple of our own teacher, 

John.' A demand for 3. compromise between Ihe 

old and the new, as ver. 16 shows. Eiiemal 

legalism here assumed to teach Christ ; and 

JohD'a disciples borrowed aid from the Pharisees 

whom John denounced. 

Ver. 15. Cut th» Mai ti tha brideobambtT. 
The companions of the bridegroom, as the bride 
was brought to his father's house. The festive 
proceaijon was luually in the evening, with 
torches, music, and dancing, and the marriage 
feast tasted seven days. The application is of 
conise to the disciples of Christ ; He Himself 
being tlw bridagroom. A common Old Testa- 
ment figure. There may also be an allusion to 
the words of the Baptist (John iii. zg) in which 
he represents himself as the friend of the bride- 
fJt)otn, Christ. 'Mourn' and 'fast' are used 
intcrcbangeably ; genuine fasting springs from 
real lOTrow. — Bat iMjft will oom«, etc ' Huw 
MiUimc and peaceful is this early announcement 

Soar Lord of the bitter passage before Him' 
. Uord).— ThratharwUl fuL A simple pre- 
dictkni, not a command, hence 'will,' instead of 
'tbalL' Real fasting takes place where there is 
real occa«on for it- History shows that pre- 
Kribcd Easts became formal ; that formal fasting 
is closely linked with Pharisaical ritualism. 

Ver. I& Two illustrations follow, naturally 
associated with a wedding feast. — Ho one put- 
(Kb * pKt«b of undiMMd, or, 'unfulled' dotk 
^cn an old gunwnt. The patch of cloth that 
would shrink, placed on a worn garment, would 

tear the weaker fibre; aod k woim nnt Uke« peritb; even the form is destroyed. — Bnt thn 
plu*, since Ihe new rent is all round the patch |iQt new wine Into Imb ikiiij. The second ad- 
that covered the old one. What is anliqualed jective is not the same as Ihe first. New emer- 
cannot be patched up with what is /rrth. The eencies require new means. In this case, God 
worn out system of fasting .or fasting's sake can- had appointed the new means. The foimer figure 
not be patched up with a piece from the new, seems most applicable to Ihe mistake of John's 
fresh, complete gospel. It is often attempted, disciples ; the latter to the subsequent dangers 
Many special applications may be made, but besetting the Apostles. Judaistic Christianity 
care must be taken that nothing directly ap- died, form and spirit were destroyed ; but the 
pointed by God be deemed ' antiquated.' freedom of the gospel for which Paul contended 

Ver. 17. Vaitlur de nun pnt new vino into remained. The new life assumes an outward 
old lUns, etc The skin-bottles common in the form, differing from the antiquated form, and 
Last. Old ones would burst from the fermenting we must seek to preserve both life and form: 
<A the ikcw wine, which would distend new ones botb an prMomd togatlur. 




The living principle of the new covenant 
e attempt to enclose it in the old ceremonial 
t, the wins ninnath out, and the akiii* 



Chapter IX. 18-35. 

Miracles clustering about the Healing of the Daughter of a RultT of the 
Synagogue (Capernaum). 

18 "XT /"HILE he spake these things unto them, behold, there """^J,^^ 

V V came a certain ruler, and * worshipped him, saying, My ^ g^ '^^J^ 
daughter is even now dead ' : but come and lay thy hand upon ''"' ' 

19 her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and 

20 so did his disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was 'diseased '^'■" 't 
with' an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and 

31 touched^ the hem ^ of his garment. For she said within her-''"'.»p|^.,."'- 
• even now died * ha4ing • border 



90 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IX. 18-35. 

22 self, If I may* but touch his garment, I shall be whole.** But 
Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said,® Daugh- 
ter, be of good comfort ^ ; ' thy faith hath made thee whole. * see rer a. 

23 And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when 

Jesus came into the ruler*s house, and saw -^ the minstrels and /a chron. 

- zxxv. zs- 

24 the people making a noise,* He said unto them, Give place : 

for the ^maid^ is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed rComp. acu 

25 him to scorn. But * when the people were ^^ put forth, he went a Amb. 40. 

26 in, and took her by the hand, and the maid ^ arose. And the 
fame hereof ^^ went abroad ^^ into all that land. 

27 And when Jesus departed thence,^^ two blind men followed 

him, crying,^* and saying, • T/iou Son of David, have mercy on »chap«. xii. 

28 us.^^ And when he was come into the house, the blind men xx.' s©.' 31/ 
came to him : and Jesus saith unto them. Believe ye that I am 1. 

29 able to do this.? They said^® unto him. Yea, Lord. Then 

* touched he their eyes, saying, ' According to your faith be it ^^ k chap. xx. 

34 t comp> 

30 unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly johnw.6. 

3 1 charged ^* them, saying. See ///a/ no man know it. But they, via. 4. 
when they were departed, *" spread abroad his fame in all that m Mark i 45. 
country. 

32 As they went out,^® behold, "they brought ^ to him a dumb <iCoaip.dBpw 

33 man •possessed with a devil.^^ And when the deviP^ was cast ^chipW.M. 
out, the dumb ^ spake : and the multitudes marvelled, saying, 

34 It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said. He 

35 casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.^ And Jesus 

went about all the cities and villages, ** teaching in their syna-/chap.iv.»3. 
gogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and * healing 9 chap. x. 1. 
every sickness and every disease ^ among the people.^ 

* do * literally^ shall be saved ® turning and seeing her said ' cheer 
^ the minstrels and the crowd in a tumult " the damsel 

*° the crowd was ^* or this fame *^ went forth 

" as Jesus passed by from thence ^* crying out 

" Have mercy on us, thou Son of David ^® say 

" be it done " solemnly charged ^' went forth 

** or there was brought ^^ demon ^ dumb man 

^ By {literally^ in) the prince of demons he casteth out demons 
2* every disease and every sickness (comp, chap, iv. 23) 
** the best authorities omtt among the people 

Contents. The four miracles mentioned in publicans, driven by paternal anxiety. The death- 

this section seem to have occurred in immediate bed of a child often the birthplace of faith. The 

succession. On the way to the house of the ruler, Lord leaves the house of feasting to go to the 

the woman with an issue of blood is cured ; the house of mourning. — The healing of the woman 

niler^s daughter is raised ; then two blind men suggests : All believers do not show their faith in 

receive their sight, and immediately after a de- the same way (comp. the paralytic) ; retiring 

mon is cast out of a dumb man, which occasioned faith to be encouraged and brought to public 

the further opposition of the Pharisees (ver. 34). confession ; the timid, shrinking ones may be 

In ver. 35 we have either a general sketch of our very near Christ ; the many oiseased women, 

Lord*s ministry, as in iv. 23, or the brief record whose sufferings must be kept concealed, have 

of another circuit through Galilee. — The faith of special need of Christ ; faith is only a hand to 

the Jewish ruler was not so strong as that of the lay hold of Christ, if it but touch tne border of 

Gentile centurion. * Not even in Israel,' etc. his garment He will strengthen it — The delay on 

(chap. viii. 10) was a later utterance. — A man of the way to the ruler's house, to try ana to 

the highest rank seeks Jesus in the company of strengthen his faith. — The ruler of the synagogue 



Chap. IX. 18-3 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 9I 

t one ruled out of the syna- Luke), i. c, the president of the synagogue, in 
gogue. — Twelve years of sickness overcome, virtue of his position as one of the Jewish eldeiB. 
twelve years of health restored. — The marked Therefore of the highest social rank in the ciljr, 
''■"■' ■--■--■ — — -. ■^- - as Matthew and his company were of the lowest. 

— Wonhippcd him. 'Fell at his feet' (Mark 
ind Luke). —KTdanglitw ana now dlad. Con- 
die statement. Mark and Luke give fuller de- 
e Pharisees), is tails ; (he ruler says that she is at the point of 
death, and on the way news of her actual death 
rtives. He had some faith, but not that Jesus 
Duld heal with a word, so he asks : Com* Mid 1^ 

Ver. 19. J«tu UMB and follorad him. Jairus 

3 the may have hastened, yet our Lord must have pro- 
"""■" '" ' ' ■ 'y if HU diMiplM, as w " '' - 



ts of the two miracles in vers. 27- J4 : Two 
men, though blind, follow Christ, confessing Him 
and are healed ; a dumb man, who cannot con 
fess, possessed of a demon (who might be e 
courased l^ the blasphemy ot the Pharisees' 
brought and healed, ' The first of these n 
cles was, so to speak, enacted on the threshold of 
the kingdom of heaven ; the second at the gate 
Ofhell.^ Lange. 

Ver. 18. Wluls h* ipake thtM thlngf . Either 
in the house after the feast, or ' nigh ur 

lea' (Mark v. zl), where the conversatio 

John's disciples may have taken place. — Then great crowd, which the other Evai^elists speak 
earn*. According to some authorities, ' came in.' of, accompanied Him. Crowds usually attended 
The character of the man who came in heightens Him, but the presence of the chief man of the 
the coQirasL — A rnltr (named Jairus ; Mark and city would excite unusual interest. 




Ver. MX Comp, throughout the notes in Mark 
T. 15-34; Luke viii, 43-48.— A vonu lutT^ 
•A iMw of blood, etc. During twelve years of 
sickness she had spent all upon, as well as suf- 
fered much from many phjrsicians, and only grew 
worse (Mark v. 26). The disease involved un- 
deanness, according to the ceremonial law, and 
on the part of the sufferer a sense of shame as 
well as fear. ' However commonplace the case 
ma^ seem to many, there are some in whose ei- 
penence when clearly seen and seriously attended 
to, H touches a mysterious cord of pamful sym- 
pathy.' (J. A. Alexander.) Hence she purposely 
•UM bAiad Um, or 'came to Him from behind,' 
aad tovdiad Uw border, or ' fringe,' of hii gar- 
mrat. The edge of the outer robe which He 
worei This was the slightest contact possible. 

Ver. 21. UIdobDttonotl,eIc -May'should 
be omitted ; she was timid, not doubtful. It ia 
implied that she wished only to toach some part 
at Hit clothes, no matter which. She may have 



would certainly e: 



uch a thought in a weak 



Ver. 22. Comp. the fuller accounts of Mark 
and Luke. She was healed at once ; our Lord 
asked, ' Who touched me } ' and thus constrained 
her 10 make public confession, sealed and 
slrenglhened her faith, presenting her to the 
world as healed and clean. — Daughter, ba of 
nod ehMT; tbT faith hath made thea whola. 
Comp. ver. 2. Her failh is extolled, though so 
different from that of the paralytic 

Ver. 23. Matthew passes over the message, that 
the damsel was dead; the faith of the ruler already 
strengthened by the miracle was further encour- 
aged By the words, ' Be not afraid, only believe ' 
(Mark V. 36). — Only Peter, James, and John 
(Mark and Luke) were allowed to follow Jesus 
lato tha ralu't hoBM. — Tha mlnitrali, >'. /., the 
flute playen, who attecKled fuiKtals.— And tba 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. IX. iS-jS- 



92 

wnwi U ft tmnlt There was alwaj-s a hocrible ChrUl bu. bf His 

clamur it Eastern funeials ; and (he prepamtions promise (o raise believers, declared death to be 

had begun, Eor early burial waa usual among the but a sleep. — And tk*7 1lilgh>l1 hba to MMl. 

Jews. The lamentation often began as the last Thej laughed Him down, not sharing Ibefather** 

breath left the body. From the fact that the failh. 



crowd outside was dismissed, and the c 
side driven out, we infer, not so much, not to 
crowd the Saviour, as not to crowd into family 
grief, and rudely enter the sacred circle of deep- 



Ver. 24. Sin piM*. A requeai for the crowd 
to retire. — 7or th* dunial li BotdMd, bttt (iMp- 
•th. A direct reference Co the miracle, which He 
was about to perform. She did not die, as others 
die ; but she is as one who sleepeth, for I am 
about (o raise her, as one is wakened from a 
■leep. The same words were used of Lazarus, 
In whose case Che actual raising from actual death 

b distinctly affirmed (John xL 11. 14,44). There words used 1 Ibe former 
is also a deeper and more general meaning ; for country. She was raised and also 



Ih* erowd vu pvt forth. Thej 

were put out of the house, as the next clause ia- 
tinutes thai this putting forth took place before 
the Lord went into the chamber of death. The 
believing ruler exercised his authority in his own 
house, though iC may have been a work of diffi- 
culty, for people cling to a funeral custom with 
singular leruciiy. — H* v«nt is M»d took kK ^ 
tha hand. Possibly a condescension to the weak- 
ness of the father a faith, but more probably an 
outward sign in Che presence of chosen wiCnesae^ 
to mark the power as His. — n* daauol •(■••, 
was raised.' Mark and Luke tell us the 
. of the 




„ WIS twelve j-ears, according 
Mark and Luke. The three accounts supple- 
ment each other, showing the variety of inde- 
pendent witnesses. 

Ver. z6. And Uw Imh boroof, lit., • this fame,' 
or ' report,' wont forth Into all that land. Many 
who had seen the girl dead, must afieiwaids have 
seen her alive. 

Ver. 2-j. And ai Joani paaaad by from thonoe. 
Probably as He left the house of the ruler, cer- 
tainly while on a journey. — Two blind num tol- 
lovod Mm Peculiar to Matlhew, Blindness 
was common in the Ease, and it was natural Chat 
the sulfeiers consorted. To follow Him, they 
eed only let the criiwd take them along. — C17- 



meniioncd by Maithew, certainly implied Hi» 
Mess! aha hi p. 

Ver. zS, Into the houo. Our Lord allowed 
them to cry on until He reached ' the house ' 
(wherevei it was), in order to draw out the ex- 
pression of iheir faith. Possibly He would avoid 
a public response to Che title ' Son of David.' 
The blessing is granted in auch a way as Co gain 
their faith and their confcRsion. 

Ver. 29. Than tonehed he thoir ona. As an 
outward sign of His power. — AEeaTdinc to yoar 
faith, etc. Failh is the hand which takes what 
God offers, the spiritual organ of appropriation, 
Ihe conducting link between emptiness and God's 
fullnes..!. 

Ver. TO. And their ejM wen epanad. A fig- 

■ - T- - natural expression for restoration to 



sight. - 
equivalent t 



Chaps, IX. 36-X. 4.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 93 

men had already shouted their belief in His Mcs- Ver. 34. But the Pharisees said. Many of 

siahship, in the public street, and their over-ready them were probably attracted by the fact that 

seal might provoke over-ready opposition. Jairus had called upon Jesus for help. If they 

Ver. 31. Their disobedience was undoubtedly had understood the saying mentioned in the last 
wrong. They brought Him no glory (His fame verse, as referring to the Messiah, it would pro- 
was already spread abroad, ver. 26), but tarnished voice some such expression as is here recorded, 
their faith. 2^al which is not according to knowl- — By, lit. ' in,' in league with, the prinoe of de- 
edge, fails to keep silent, even when authorita- mens, he casteth out demons. As no mention is 
tively told to do so. They doubtless helped to made of any reply bv the Lord, the Pharisees 
arouse the hostility spoken of in ver. 34. Over- may not have utterea the sentiment in Christ's 
sealous people are slow to discriminate between presence. On the meaning of this accusation see 
notoriety and success. notes on chap. xiL 22 ff., where it is openly pre- 

Ver. J2. As they went forth, /'. ^., the blind ferred. Their state was even worse than that of 

men. This miracle must, therefore, have imme- the dumb demoniac ; they used their power of 

diately followed the last — Behold. Another re- speaking to blaspheme one who cast out demons, 

markable case, mentioned by Matthew alone, as if the cause ot the latter were their own. 

Both he (xii. 22 ff.) and Luke (vL 14 ff.) mention a Ver. 35. And Jesns went aboat, etc. An ap- 

similar case. Still another is mentioned by Mark propriate introduction to what follows, as well as 

(vii. 32 ff.) — They brought to him. Probably the a fitting close to this account of the leading mir- 

fnends of the man, but not necessarily meaning acles performed by our Lord; almost identical 

more than : ' there was brought.* — A dnmb man with iv. 23, which precedes the Sermon on the 

possessed with a demon, ' a dumb demoniac,' the Mount, describing (as the tense in the original 

dumbness being the effect of the possession. shows) a customary course of action. Luke in- 

Ver. 33. Ai^ whm the demon was east ont, dicates three joumevs through Galilee, the second 
or, ' the demon having been cast out,' as a result, of which precedes the journey to Gadara, and is 
the dumb man spake, and the mnltitndes mar- mentioned by him alone. If this verse refers to 
Tellsd. ■ The crowds collected on this eventful a journey distinct from that spoken of in iv. 23, 
day had not yet dispersed. — It was never so it must be the third. This third circuit seems to 
seen, lit, ' Never did it thus appear,' in IsraeL have begun before the Apostles were sent out 
Th^ double cure was remarkable. Some trans- (chap, x.), and to have continued until their re- 
late, ' did he appear,' referring it to the manifes- turn. The verse may. however, be only a general 
tation of Messianic power. There may be a description of Christ s ministry, closing the group 
secondary reference of this character expressed of miracles. 
indefinitely through fear of the Pharisees. 



Chapters IX. 36-X. 4. 

Our Lord's Compassion for the Multitude ; He sends out Twelve Apostles as 

Laborers into the Harvest, 

36 OUT •when he saw the multitudes, *he was moved with '»5;^^;"p-<='^*p- 
-D compassion on ^ them, because they fainted, and were scat- * ^"^ ^» 34- 

37 tered abroad,^ "^ as sheep having no ^ shepherd. ^ Then saith he ^ Numb^xxviL 
unto his disciples, The harvest truly* is plenteous, but the la- ^ j«;;-^5-, 

38 bourers are few ; Pray ^ ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that 

X.I he will® send forth labourers into his harvest. 'And when * Mark m. 13- 
he had called ^ unto him his twelve disciples, he ^ gave them ]^^^ vl i\ 
power tf^tf/«j/ * unclean spirits, to cast them out, and -^ to heal/^»»*p «-3s. 

2 all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.^^ ^ Now the e mark iii. 

n r^» \ f_ 16-19; Luke 

names of the twelve apostles are these ; The first Simon, ^ who '''^^^^^'^ 
is called Peter, and * Andrew his brother; * James the son of *chap.iT.i8; 

' XVI. IB f 

3 Zebedee, and John his brother ; Philip and Bartholomew ; John i. 40. 
Thomas, and * Matthew the publican ; James the son of Alpheus, i^^JPh!i''iLli: 

4 and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus ; Simon the 9 
Canaanite,^^ and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.^ 

I for * were distressed, and scattered • not having a 

« omit truly * Beseech • omit will 

' And he called • and • authority over 

^"^ every disease and every sickness (as ver. 35) " Cananaean {or zealot) 

" </#• delivered him up. 



94 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. IX. 3^X. 4. 

Connection. The concluding verses of chap, tion of a 'shepherd' (ver. 36) suggests that the 

ix., referring to a definite occasion, form a fit in- prayer should be for efficient laborers who arc 

troiduction to an account of the formal sending good pastors. New pastors now came to replace 

out of the Apostles. Matthew has already men- the old, oppressive ones who were appointed by 

lioned the first call of some of the Twelve. Mark law an«l not impelled by the Spirit 
and Luke tell how they had been chosen as a Chap. x. i. And he called onto bim hii twelve 

body some time before, after a night spent in disoiplei. There is here an indication that they 

prayer (Luke vii. 12). The ministry of our Lord had been previously chosen. They are now sent 

was now assuming a more prominent Messianic out as * laborers.* Henceforward they are * Apos- 

character, and having been under His instruction ties' (ver. 2), with a definite mission; first to 

for some time, they are ordained as His chosen heal, as Christ did, by the authority He gave 

messengers. It suits the formal method of Mat- them, so as to attest the truth of the message 

thew to give a list of the Twelve at this point, they bore respecting Christ and His teachinfi;s. 

According to all three Evangelists, the date is near The number twelve (3X4) has been considered a 

the close of the second year of our Lord's ministry, symbol of the Trinity (3) indwelling in the world 

The Twelve Apostles. In the four lists (4). See Lange's Com. Matthew^ p. 183. 

fivenby Matthew (x. 2-4), Mark (iii. 16-19), and Ver. 2. Apottlet, those sent out; the name 
,uke (vi. 14-16; Acts i. 13), we find the name was given when they were chosen (Luke vi. 13), 
of Peter firsts that of Philipy^M, that of James but was strictly applicable only after the occur- 
the son of Alpheus ninth ; while between, the rence here mentioned. On its fuller meaning see 
same names occur in different order, Judas Iscariot Acts i. 2 ff. Matthew mentions the Twelve in 
bemg always put last The Twelve seem to be pairs, and it is probable that they were thos 
thus distinguished into three sets oi four each. J^*"^^ when sent out two by two (M!ark vi. 7). — 
In the first the four fishermen, who were once The first, Simon, who ia called Peter. ' First ' 
partners in business, arc placed together. Besides »n all the lists ; * first ' to confess the Messiah- 
these two pairs of brothers, we have two brothers ship of Christ, usually * first ' to speak both be- 
( perhaps three) in the third set, while Philip and ^ore and after the death of Christ. He was not 
Bartholomew were friends. All but Judas were ^he first to follow Christ ; Andrew and John pre- 
Galileans, a number had been disciples of John, ceded him (John i. 37 ff), nor the first one called, 
Our Lord therefore had regard to natural rela- since Philip was called long before him (John i. 
tionship and mental affinity m the construction of 43)' In all bodies of men, one must be first al- 
thc Apostolate, and the same principle holds though * first among equals.' Peter was there- 
Rood in all His dealings with the church. Those ioxt fersoftally, not officially, * the first' As re- 
friendships and fraternal ties are blessed which gards the primacy of Peter^ all that can be ad- 
are strengthened by common attachment to our mittcd as historically proven, is a primacy of 
Friend and Elder Brother. honor and influence, but without supremacy of 

The rest of the chapter contains the discourse jurisdiction. See chap. xvi. 18, and John xxL 

delivered to the Twelve, designed for their imnie- 15-18. His character constituted him a leader, 

diate mission, but also (especially the latter part) but he neither claimed nor possessed this posi- 

for their greater subsequent work. tion as one of office or rank. * Simon ' means 

Ver. 36. Bat when he saw the mnltitndei. * hearing,' ' answer ' ; on the name * Peter ' comp. 

The original indicates that this was on a partic- chap. xvi. 18. — Andrew his brother. The name 

ular occasion. — He was moved with compassion, is probably derived from, or related to, a Greek 

Popularity called forth pity. Our Lord's sym- word, meaning *manK'.' He was the first (with 

pathy, like ours, was called forth by particular, Tohn) to follow the Lord, and was called with 

passing events. — Becanse they were distressed nis brother (chap. iv. 18 ff.) — James the son of 

and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd. Zebedee. The same name as 'Jacob,' and nat- 

A figure, showing the spiritual condition of the urally common among the Jews. This one, usu- 

people. They were suflcring (* distressed') from ally called James the Elder, to distinguish him 

the burdens put on them by those who pretended from the other James (ver. 3), was the first of 

to be their shepherds, the scribes and Pharisees, the Twelve to suffer martyrdom (Acts xii. 2), 

and uncared for by these, they wandered (* scat- as John his brother was tne last survivor (on 

tered') as sheep left to stray from the pasture, the name see chap. iii. i). The two brothers 

Their physical condition as He looked upon were called * Boanerges,' according to Mark, 

them douotless made the figure especially apt. John is generally considered the type of an affec- 

All who are without the good Shepherd are thus tionate character, as he was the bosom friend of 

spiritually vexed and abandoned. the Lord. Tradition says he was the youngest 

Ver. 37. His disciples. Probably including of the Twelve. The name of their mother was 

more than the twelve. — The harvest, etc. The Salome, as we learn from comparing Matt, xxvii. 

people were ready to hear ; but could not, if 56 with Mark xv. 40. In John xix. 2J it is prob- 

more did not enter into the work. As yet. He able that the sister of the mother of Jesus refers 

was the only laborer. Our weak faith denies the to Salome ; if so, these two brothers were cousins 

harvest as much as it diminishes the number of of our Lord, 
laborers. Ver. 3. Philip, not the Evangelist. The first 

Ver. 38. Beseech ye. A strong word. — The disciple called, a native of Bethsaida. The name 
Lord of the harvest, /. ^., God. The harvest in- is Greek. — Bartholomew, 1. ^., the son of Thol- 
eluded the Gentile nations, for the laborers sent mai. He is probably identical with Nathanael 
forth at this time afterwards preached to them (John i. 43), the friend of Philip, and is also sup- 
also. — That he send forth laborers into his har- posed to have been a resident of Cana in Galilee, 
▼est. Real laborers are needed, but only such as — Thomas, /. ^., * twin,' the Greek name of the 
God sends forth. This prayer to the Lord of the same meaning being * Didymus.* He is fire- 
harvest was first answered in the sending forth quently mentioned in the Gospel according to 
of laborers (the Twelve) by Christ. The men- John. — Matthew the pnUiean, the writer of the 



Chap. X. S-I5] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 95 

Gospel, who inserts his previous employment as (Matt. xiii. 55) ; and has been identified with this 
a token of the power of grace. — James (Jacob) Apostle. But Matthew was also the son of Al- 
tba son of Alphons, called * James the less,' or, pheus, and yet no one affirms that he vras the 
the younger (Mark xv. 40, where his mother brother of James. It is as likely that there was 
Mary is mentioned). The name ' Alpheus ' has z great number of persons about our Lord called 
been considered identical with * Clopas ' or * Cleo- James, Judas, and Simon, as that two of the 
phasy' since * the mother of James the less ' Apostles mentioned together were not brothers, 
(Mark xv. 40) is identical with *Mary, the wife although the father of each was named Alpheus. 
of Cleophas' (John xix. 25). His mother's sis- Ver. 4. Simon the Cansnawm. Not 'Canaan- 
ter, in John xix. 25, may refer to Salome (see ite.* If a local term at all, it means ' an inhabi- 
above). The view that it refers to Marv, the tant of Cana * ; but it is probably derived from 
wife of Cleophas, identifies this James witn *the the Hebrew, and is the same as * Zelotes* (Luke 
Lord's brother' (Gal. i. 19); the term being taken vi. 15, Acts i. 13). The Zealots were a sect of 
in the wide sense of relative. Others reject the strict Jews, who afterwards became fierce fanat- 
notion that the two sisters had the same name, ics. They were apt to take the law into their 
and think that Alpheus was an older brother of own hands, to punish offences against the Jewish 
Joseph, who adopted his children, and that thus law. This Apostle has also been considered one 
they were called our Lord's * brethren.* We hold of our Lord's * brethren,' but * Simon ' was a 
that James the Lord's brother was the author of very common name (eight persons, at least, of 
the Epistle, but not one of the Twelve, nor were this name are mentioned in the New Testament), 
anyof* His brethren,' who were either the younger These three are joined together in all four lists 
children of Joseph and Mary or the children ot of the Apostles, but there is no other hint of re- 
Joseph by a former wife. For the reasons, see lationship. -^ Jodae Iscariot, /. ^., ' a man of Ke- 
notes on chap. xiii. 55. We only remark here : rioth,* in the tribe of Judah (Josh. xv. 25). He 
In the many-varying lists of the Apostles there is was not, like all the rest, a Galilean. — Who alao 
no hint that these persons were the Lord's breth- betrayed, or, deliTored him up. The choice of this 
ren ; that in Matt. xii. 46-50 these brethren are man remains a part of the great mystery concern- 
distinguished pointedly from the disciples, at a ing God's sovereignty and man's free choice. He 
time after the Twelve were chosen ; the taunt at is generally supposed to have been by nature the 
Nazareth, which names these brethren, loses most gifted of the Twelve ; but it is a mistake to 
much of its force, if they were among His disci- suppose that the Twelve as a body were poor, ig- 
plcs ; John (vii. 5) expressly states they did not norant, or dull. They had fair natural abilities, 
believe on Him. On the whole subject see a teachable disposition, and the common religious 
Lanse's Com., Matthew, pp. 255-260. education ; some had been in the preparatory 
Leobene, whoae avxiiame (or other name) wai school of the Baptist; Peter and John were men 
Tkiddens. Both have the same meaning, *cour- of genius, especiallvthe latter, as his Gospel abun- 
ageous.* He was also called * Judas ' ; was prob- dantly proves ; John possessed a house in Jem- 
aoly the brother of James, * the son of Alpheus,* salem, and was connected with the family of the 
and the author of the short Epistle of Jude. high-priest All were unsophisticated, simple- 
Comp. Luke vL 16 ; Acts i. 13 ; John xiv. 22. hearted, open to conviction, and fit vessels to be 
One of the Lord's * brethren ' was called Judas filled with the saving knowledge of Christ. 



Chapter X. 5-15. 



First Part of the Discourse to tfie Apostles, containing Particular Directions 

for their Immediate Mission, 

5 • '^J^HESE twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded^ ^^^"^» " Lukeix'i.V 
saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles,^ and into * \^^^^' 



a ^ 1 ^ 



^xn IV. 



6 any^ city of * the Samaritans enter ye not : * but go rather to J,; jShnlv. 

7 *the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, ^ S1ap.xv.j4. 

8 saying, ^the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, i^;i!^^iiL 
cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,* cast out devils,* -^freely ye 17. ^^'...'^ 

g have ® received, freely give. ^ Provide neither ^ gold, nor silver, ' iv. J^*"" *• 

, . • R r • '^i. /Rom.iii.a4; 

10 nor brass in your purses ; nor scnp^ for ^t7«r journey, neither Rev. xxi.6; 
two coats, neither shoes nor yet staves^ : for *the workman is^-Mxiici^.s- 

•^ II ; LuKS 

11 worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye « 3-5; 

' ^ ^ ^ comp. Luk« 

shall ^® enter, inquire who in it is worthy ; and there abide till j^jj^"" » 

1 When he had charged « Into a way of the Gentiles go ye not * i^p.'i''c5j' 

• a * raise the dead, cleanse the lepers ix. 7-14. 

• demons • omit have ' no 

' no wallet " nor shoes nor staff ^° omit shall 



6. "^ 



96 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. X. 5-15. 

12 ye go hence.^^ And when ye come^ into a house, •salute it. ' ^Sam 

13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it : but 

14 if it be not worthy, * let your peace return to you. And who- * Comp. ps. 
soever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ^ ye 

depart out of that house or city,^* 'shake off the dust of your '^*"}^Jh' 

15 feet. Verily I say unto you, "* It shall be more tolerable for the J;^!^^.'^*^ 
land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for '"^^^^ «• 
that city. 

^ depait 12 as ye enter 1* as ^< that city 



The First Preaching of the Twelve, gospel after the Jews and before the Gentiles. 

The locality from which the Twelve were sent The utterance of this prohibition hints that the 

out, and the length of their tour are unknown. Apostles had some idea of the wider extension 

But Galilee, where our Lord had Himself labored of the gospel. 

so long, was doubtless the scene of this first mis- Ver. 6. Lost sheep (comp. ix. 36). As most 

sion, which probably covered some time. The needy and most ready. 

instruction given, though directly applicable to Ver. 7. And as ye ffo preach, proclaim, an- 

the Twelve on that occasion, * may be taken as nounce. The matter of their preaching was the 

the type of all the commissions given by Christ approach of the kingdom of lieaTen (comp. ill. 2; 

to His servants.* (Lange.) We divide the dis- iv. 17). Their mission was preparatory ; the 

course into two sections. The second one is pe- gospel tells of a kingdom already come. As yet 

culiar to Matthew, and more general in its char- they were not instructed to proclaim the King, 

acter. The present one was more immediately hut were sent rather to announce the kingdom 

applicable to the first preaching tour. (ver. 7), 'to teach men its nature, and to prove it 

Contents. Both Mark (vi. 7-11) and Luke at hand by their miracles. If men had faith in 

(ix. 2-5 ; comp. v. 3-16) record the substance of the words of the Apostles, they would soon come 

this section, bat Matthew, himself an Apostle, to Jesus to be taught by Him. (Andrews.) 

gives a fuller statement, appending much that is Ver. 8. According to the best authorities, 

not found in the other Evangelists. Vers, j, 6 raise the dead should come before eleanse tbA 

tell where they were to go ; vers. 7, 8 what they lepers. The Apostles did raise the dead after the 

were to do (preach and heal) ; vers. 9, 10 describe resurrection of Christ, whether they availed them- 

their otttfit or want of outfit ; vers. 1 1-14 their selves of this power on this journey is not stated. 

conduct m cases of reception and rejection, while The power to do these things was delegated to 

ver. 1 5 adds a solemn warning in reterence to the them for the specific purpose of calling attention 

latter case. * In these first verses (5, 6) we have to and confirming their words. — FrMly ye re- 

the location ; in 7, 8 tht purpose ; in 9, 10 the^/- oeived. This refers both to the instruction and 

ting out ; and in 11-14 the mantur of proceedings the power. * Freely ' means not abundantly, but 

of their mission ; ver. 15 concluding with a pro- gratuitously, thus they were to give. The grace 

phetic denouncement, tending to impress them and the instrumentality are alike unbcmght, 

with a deep sense of the importance of the office Ver. 9. Although their labor was to be per- 

cntrusted to them' (Alford). formed gratuitously and not for tain, they were 

Ver. 5. The way of the Gentiles would lead not to make preparations for the journey, but to 
northward, they were to go toward Jerusalem, as go without first providing a store of money : no 
we infer from tne rest of the verse. — Oo ye not. gold, nor silTor, nor brass. * Brass,* not even the 
This prohibition was removed after the resurrec- smaller copper coins. — In yonr purses, /. ^., gir- 
tion (Acts i. 8). To have taken the way of the dies, which were used as pockets or purses. 
Gentiles at this time would have closed the way Ver. 10. No wallet. They need provide nei- 
to the hearts of the Jews, who must form the ther money nor baggage. — Two eoats, two inner 
basis of the Christian Church. —And into a dty garments or tunics. — Nor shoes. This either 
of the Sanuuritans enter ye not. Samaria lay be- means a second pair, or that they should wear 
tween Galilee, where they were, and Judea, their ordinary sandals without waiting to get a 
whither they probably went. They were not for- pair of walking shoes. The latter is preferable, 
bidden to pass through that region, but only to since we should read next, a staff. * Suves * was 
BUy there. The Samaritans were half-heathen, inserted to avoid a seeming conflict with Mark vi. 
the descendants of Gentiles who had been par- 8. The meaning really is : they need not pro- 
tially instructed in the Jewish religion (comp. 2 vide a staff especially for this journey, but take 
Kings xvii. 27-41 ) when they first occupied the the one they had. They were to be free from 
territory of the ten tribes. With them the Jews care, not seeking any profit from their office ; out- 
had no dealings in the time of our Lord (John wardly unburdened, inwardly carrying the great- 
iv. 9), treating them as heretics. They received est treasures. Without money or luggage they 
the law of Moses, once had a temple on Mount would be most free from care, for the workman is 
Gerezim ; and they expected the Messiah, and worthy of his meat (or 'sustenance.*) Those 
our Lord had already avowed Himself the Christ who * freely received * from them are expected in 
and gained converts among them (John iv. 9-42). their turn to 'freely give.* These verses in their 
But the harvest He there promised was to be literal sense apply only to that particular journey, 
reaped after His death (Acts. viii. 5) not through the principle, *the workman is worthy of his 
this sending forth of laborers. They received the meat,* remains always in force. Ver. 8, m forbid- 



Chaps. X. 16-XI. i.l THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 97 

ding the spirit of covetousness in the ministrv, salutation meant : * Peace be to you.' In the 
shows that the preaching of the gospel should case of worthiness the Lord will ratify your salu- 
not become a mere livelihood ; this verse shows tation which includes a wish for the hignest pros- 
that the laborers should be without worldly care, perity. Salutations are not necessarily unmean- 
Those among whom they labor should so provide mg forms; nor should Christians make them 
for them as to prevent care ; the extent of the such. — Let your poaoe return to yon. * Be con- 
provision to be rep;ulated by the mode of living tent with having brought a blessing on yourselves 
of those who provide it by showing such a spirit and obeying my express 

Ver. II. And into whatsoever dty or town, command' (J. A. Alexander). It is implied in 
etc. Left to choose their own precise route, their ver. 14 that they should have no further fellow- 
work involved the exercise of judgment and pru- ship with such households. The * angels una- 
dence, it was not a mere mechanical routine. — wares ' would thus be driven away. 
Who ia it (in the city or town) ie worthy. This Ver. 14. And whoeoever shall not reoelTO yon, 
refers either to hospitable or to pious character, as guests in the house. — Hor hear yonr words, 
probably to both, since they are often united, as teachers in a town. If refused in one house, 
Those who bore such a reputation might indeed they need not leave the town at once, although 
be unworthy (ver. 13), but pious people easily after inquiring for one * worthy,' such a refu^ 
find each other out. The next clause assumes would probably precede a rejection in the place 
that they had found the right place. — There itself. — Shake (rff the dnit of yonr feet. To be 
abide till ye depart. In this fixed aoode they were done immediately after decided rejection in a 
not to give unnecessary trouble (Luke x. 7). They house or a city. The act was symbolical, express- 
were not social visitors but messengers of the ing an end of all intercourse, and perhaps an end 
gospel. The time of the ministry may be wasted of responsibility. As His representatives, their 
by social exactions. act implied rejection and consequent judgment 

Ver. 12. The home. * The house ' they might (comp. Mark vi. 11). 

enter, whether it was the house of one really Ver. 15. The solemn formula, Verily I say 

worthy was to be tested. But whether worthy nnto yon, introduces a prophetic denunciation of 

or not they were to salnte it. Conformity to those who rejected them. — The land of Sodom, 

proper social customs, without official pride, with etc., the inhabitants of those guilty and doomed 

an immediate and friendly recognition of the ex- cities. The higher the spiritual offer rejected, 

pected hospitality, irrespective of the worthiness the greater the sin. Applicable then only to the 

or unworthiness of the host Jews with their light, now only to professing 

Ver. 13. And if the hoose he worthy, /. ^., of Christians, not to the heathen. As the rejection 
your stay. The worthiness of the house is de- would be general, instructions follow which ap- 
pendent on the worthiness of its head. In its ply to the ministry of the Apostles during per- 
nature, whatever exceptions there may be, the secutions, introduang suitable warnings ana corn- 
family is to be regarded as a spiritual unit — forts. 
Let yonr peace eome npo9 it. The usual Eastern 



Chapters X. 16-XI. i. 



Second Part of the Discourse to the Apostles^ containing Instructions Suitable 

for their Later Ministry, 

16 • TIEHOLD, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of*^"^*''' 

JLI wolves : be ye therefore * wise as serpents, and * harmless ^ J R^II;."i*vi.' 

17 as doves. But beware of men : for they will deliver you up to J^l ^p?* 
the * * councils, and they will scourge you • in their synagogues ; Jo "^ 

18 And* ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my *'^j**'^^*p-*- 

19 sake, -^for a testimony against* them and the Gentiles. ^But * i^^^t^i 
when they deliver you up, *take no thought ^ how or what ye i?ukrxH*. IIj 
shall speak : for * it shall be given you in that same ® hour what xiji. 9. 

20 ye shall speak. * For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of ^coinii.Mark 

21 your Father which speaketh in you. 'And the^ brother shall Luke xxii. 
deliver up the* brother to death, and the* father the* child : * see chap. 

* ' VI. 2^. 

I Elx- lY. 12 ; 

* simple * omit the • And moreover k LukexiL w; 

* to •be not anxious • omit same , ^^ *^- ^* 

/ Vera. J5, 36 
VOL. L 7 



XXX vu. 

24- 



98 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. X. i6-XI. i. 

and the ^ children shall rise up against their ^ parents, and cause '*,9jJ5,",[J' 

22 them to be put to death. "'And ye shall be hated of all men ^ ^*^- ^^^ 
for my name's sake : " but he that endureth to the end shall ® be ^ 3iap. xxiu. 

23 saved. But when they • persecute you in this city, ''flee ye into ^ctmp.chap. 
another ® : for verily I say unto you. Ye shall not have gone Sh.'V; u? 

24 over ^^ the cities of Israel, ^ till the Son of man be come. '"The^^ q cVap/xvl 
disciple is not above his master, nor the ^^ servant above his rLkevi. 40; 

25 lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, i6;xv.«p. 

# Ch&ps. ix. 

and the servant as his lord. *If they have called the master 34*. xii 14; 

Mark m. 22; 

of the house ' Beelzebub/^ how much more shall they call them ^ Lukexi. 15. 

26 of his household ? Fear them not therefore : " for there is noth- * Ma»*»^-.»*« 

Luke vm. 

ing covered, that shall not be revealed ; and hid, that shall not Luije^^P,'. 

27 be known. What I tell you in darkness,^^ that speak ye in 9- 
light ; ^* and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ^^ ye upon the 

28 housetops. And 'fear not^^ them which kill the body, but are ^ Jj^f-.^eilin 
not able to kill the soul : but rather ^ fear him which is able to ^'j^j, 

29 destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold 
for a farthing } ^^ and one of them shall not fall on the ground 

30 without your Father. But ' the very hairs of your head are all ' ' ^^^LuklT* 

31 numbered. Fear ye not therefore, "ye are of more value than "iij*^^^*^ 

32 many sparrows. Whosoever therefore ^^ shall confess me before ^^^T^^^^ 

33 men, ' him will I confess also ^^ before my Father which ^ is in • Rev.nis. 

33 heaven. But * whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I "JJ^^mjIJ' 
also deny before my Father which ^o is in heaven. Lukea.*a6. 

34 * Think not that I am come ^^ to send peace on earth : I * xu"«-yj^ 

35 came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come^^ • to set '^1>^p!'^cr^* 
a man at variance against his father, and the ^^ daughter against 

her mother, and the ^^ daughter in law against her mother in 

36 law. ^ And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 

37 ** He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy d Luke «!▼. 
of me : and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not 

38 worthy of me. And *he that taketh not his cross, and follow- * ^^'"r. «\|- 

21 ; Mark 

39 eth after me, is not worthy of me. -^He that findeth his life V\\^'* 

^^ ' ^ Luke IX. a J ; 

shall lose it : and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find /^^\ j^ 

40 it. ^ He that receiveth you receiveth me ; and * he that re- Jfy; ^^^ 

41 ceiveth me receiveth him that sent mQ. • He that receiveth a Jjji'jV*' 
prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's -, tlie^x! 16; 
reward ; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of AiiaritTx.'s'T; 

42 a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. And ^^."jolw 
* whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a % ricm^lmi. 

10; xviii. 4; 
2 Kings iv. 

' omit their * the same shall • the next, or the other ^i "chap. xxr. 

*° through "a ** or Beelzebul 40 ; Mark 

" the darkness " the light " proclaim |j; \^ "^*^ 

*• Be not afraid of *' penny ** Every one therefore who 

^ I also confess ^ who ^ came 



Chaps. X. 16-XI. i.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 99 

cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say 
unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. 
XI. I And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of com- 
manding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and 
to preach in their cities. 



Con tents. Peculiar to Matthew, though some Besides trials before Jewish spiritual tribunals, 

of the sayings occur in the other Gospels. As they should be brought before goTemort and 

such trials and emergencies did not occur on this kings, 1x:fore the civil tribunals as common crim- 

journey, some suppose this part of the discourse inals. All kinds of magistrates and rulers are 

was uttered at a later period. But Matthew, meant. The civil power has often aided ecclesi^ 

himself an Apostle, would be most likely to give astical persecutors. Romanists still justify this 

the whole discourse. The Twelve alone were step. — For a testimony to them and the Gentiles, 

prepared for so early a revelation about persecu** Probably an allusion to the ' witness-bearing ' 

tion ; yet this section is more universally applica- of martyrdom. This testimony was, of the truth, 

ble than the vers. 5-15. No satisfactory analysis and made to the Jews (' them ) and the Gentiles, 

can be given; the whole is a series of alternate yet it was also 'against' both, in so far as they 

warnings and comforts. Trials await them in the rejected the truth. Persecution extended the tes- 

world (vers. 16-18 ; no care about their defence timony ; the martyrdom extended the truth, 

(vers. 19-20); the intensity of persecution, with Ver. 19. But. llere the simplicity of the dove 

the promise to those who endure (vers. 21-22) ; is to be exercised. — Be not anxiona, 1. e.^ do not 

then with a twofold reference, flight in persccu- be unduly concerned ; comp. chap. vi. 34. — Hbv 

tion, with the accompanying promise (ver. 23); or what, neither about they^rm nor the jM^x/a;^^^. 

the disciples will only suffer as Christ has done — For it shall be given yon. A promise of spe- 

before them (vers. 24, 25) ; holy boldness and cial inspiration for particular emergencies, in that 

candor enjoined, since we should not be afraid of honr ; hence not an encouragement to laziness 

men, but fear God, who is our protecting father regarding pulpit preparation. * How * comes 

(vers. 26-31) ; as we confess or deny. He con- first ; studied eloquence checks the natural utter- 

fesses or denies us (vers. 32, 33). The opposi- ances of the heart, which are always the best de- 

tion is further set forth by the declaration that fence : * when the orator wholly disappears, the 

not peace but a sword is the result of the gospel True Orator will appear.' The promise is : what 

in the world ; so that it divides even the family ye shall speak shall be given. 

(vers. 34-j6) ; but Christ demands a love beyond Ver. 20. It is not ye, etc. Inspiration for 

that for tne family (ver. 77), that for life itself their defence is an indirect proof of the inspira* 

(vers. 38, 39) ; and yet despite this opposition tion of the apostolic writings, since the purpose 

His servants bring Him to those who receive of both is * testimony * (ver. 18), and writing was 

them, and the reward of reception is a corre- a permanent, and hence the most important, 

sponding one (vers. 40-42). testimony. The inspiration affects both what is 

Ver. 16. Behold, as usual, marking a new said ana hota it is said. I'he human form is 

thought — I send yon forth. 'I* emphatic; I influenced by the Divine substance revealed. — 

who know what awaits you, send you into these Your Father. Never *our Father,' except in the 

trials, but as my * ApK>stles,* with my authority Lord's Prayer, which He taught others to use. 

and promise and support. — As sheep in the God is our Father in a different sense ; Christ's 

midst of welves. Contrary to the order of nature, sonship differs from ours, and He calls God 

the meek and defenceless are sent among the simply * Father * or * My Father.' 

fierce and cruel, their natural enemies. The Ver. 21. And. The heavenly * Father * aids ; 

spirittuil strength He had imparted prevented the human relatives may persecute. — DeliTor np. 

the discouragement likely to arise from this rev- Become informers. The first prophecy of actual 

elation of the thorough hostility of the world, martyrdom. The idea of persecution in general 

Only His sheep can successfully encounter wolves, is of course included. — Shall rise np. A strong 

— Be, or ' become,' ye therefore wise as serpents, word, implying first, rebellion against parental 

and dmple as dores. Like serpents, cautious in authority, and then, in this connection, a parri- 

avoiding danger ; like doves^ in simplicity of mo- cidal course of conduct. 

five (rather than in harmlessness). Wisdom to Ver. 22. And ye shall be hated by all. ' All * 

avoid persecution without cowardice, simplicity other than believers, referred to in * ye.' This 

to encounter it without compromise. The spirit hatred toward Christ will spread over the world 

of Christ alone can combine these apparently an* like an infectious fever or pestilence. — For mj 

tagonistic qualities of serpents and doves. name'a salDa^ The Christianity of Christians, not 

Ver. 17. But beware of men, 1. ^., ' wolves.' their errors or personal faults, will call forth this 

Men in general will be hostile and weak. To * be- hatred. The latter may be the pretext, yet the 

ware ' they must be * wise.' Not needless sus- world has hated most those whom it was forced 

pidon but prudent discernment. — Conneils. The to resT>ect and admire most. — He that eodoretk, 

regular local courts, which tried for heresy. The or ' shall have endured,' /. a, in his confession of 

sentence they pronounced was executed in the Christ. — To the end. In the case of individual 

^ynagogves. Literally fulfilled in Apostolic times, believers, to the end of life, but primarily with a 

yet in Sx ages churcn courts have been apt to per- literal reference to great epochs ; in this case, to 

secute. Human nature is selfish and intolerant, the destruction of Jerusalem. — Shall be ^yed. 

and slow to learn the lesson of mercy and charity. Literally fulfilled in the escape of the Christians 

Ver. 18. And m er e o rer . An additional thought, from that doomed city, but with a wider applica- 



lOO 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. X. ifi-XL i. 



lion, and higher fulfilmenC, in the everlasting sal- 
vation. Perseverance to the end, however billcr, 
i* the evidence of genuine failh. 
Ver. 13. nili dty — tlw nut. General cx- 
\, though in particular form, — TIm j». 



tlere the wisdom o£ the si 



His followers ; 'leacher' and 'disciple' ; 'Lord' 
and ' seivanl ' ; ' master of the house ' and ' mem- 
bers of the household.' 

Ver. 25. U tha; 1ih» ealltd ; as thcv had al- 
ready done (see chap. in. 34 ; comp. chap. xii. 
Baelisbnb, more correctly * BeelzebuL' 



iJscd. Flight in persecution, from sellish regard The former ('lord of flies') was the t\ 



to personal safety and comfort, is cowardice ai 



e of a 



' Beelzebul ' means either, (i) 
' lord of dung,' (he word being changed from 
Beelzebub to Seelzebul 10 admit of this contemp- 
tuous sense ; or (2) - lord of the habitation.' The 
latter corresponds better with the expression, 
'master of the house.' Satan is referred to, but 
with a special reference to the indwelling of evil 
spirits in man ; Satan being their lord. This 
view agrees with the allusions to a ' house ' in 
connection with (he casting out of devils, in chap. 
xii. 25, 29, 44, 45- 

.., _ .^j „. „j Ver. 26. Fsmr tluBL not therafora, because of 

reference (as chap. xxiv.). The literal fulfilment the relation to Christ, who will certainly triumph. 
foreshadowed what is yet to take place. In gen- Another reason follows ; for than il nothing mt- 
eral, there will always be a new sphere of labor orad that ilutll not b« nrealed. A proverbial 
for Christ's people when excluded from the old statement, occurring with a different applicatio 

one ; this succession of opportunities will not '~ ' "' "' " ' — "■'" "'" ^ ' -"- 

cease until the end comes ; the missionary work 
of the Church shall continue till the second com- 
big of Christ. — TiU til* Bon of man Im oome, re- 



duty to God and to the Church, is commanded 
by Christ, and sanctioned by the conduct of the 
Apostles and martyrs (as Polycarp and Cyprian). 
It often transfers to a wider field of usefulness. 
1— To *li4U not LftTO gOM, etc The Son of man 
^all overtake you while performing this duty. 
Before they finished their labors in Judea, the 
judgment impending over Jerusalem should come, 
anathe old economy be entirety set aside. This 
prophecy has, however, a typical or symbolical 




fere firel oF all to the destr 
since the last verse pointed 
more remote reference, how . . . 

Ver. 24. The same general .. .. 

different application, is found in Luke vi, 40; 

(ohn xiiL 16, Here it means they cannot expect 
letter treatment than He received, thus implying 
His sympathy. Notice the relation of Christ and 



different connection, but with 
cralapplicalioninMark iv. 12 ; Luke 
s clause refers to God's dealii^ ; the 
1, that ihall not b« known, 10 man's 
conduct in regard to what ts re- 
vealed. The course of thought is ; 
God designs to reveal His truth 
(' there is nothing covered,' etc). 
Vou are the agents in doing so, be 
bold therefore, for however you or 
others may hide it, there is nothing 
■ hid that shall not be known.' The 
injunction: 'fear not' has then a 
double support; fear not, for it ia 
your duty as my servants to proclaim 
the truth; fearnot, for however men 
treat it, your Masterwill set things 
in the true light A subordinate 
thoughtisi Beware of hypocrisy and 
holdmg back of the truth ; whicS will 
be delected hereafter. 

Ver. 27. Wh»t I taU ran in Uu 
dnrkneH, etc. A further incitement 
to boldness in preaching. Our Lord 
must first privately teach, so as to 
train His disciples 1 to them the duly 
of publishing the truth was commit- 
ted. The verse probably alludes 
both to the extei\sion of the gospel 
beyond the narrow limits of Pales- 
tine; and also to the future revela- 
tion by the Holy Spirit, in tho Mr, 
which was to be made known every- 
where by the Apostles. — Hovm- 
topi. From the flat roofs of the 
Eastern houses with a loud voice 
the greatest publicity could be ob- 
tained. The whole truth is to be 
publicly made known. 
Ver. 28. And bo not ifnid tt 
""P- them. Boldness and candor in 

speaking God's truth awaken deadW 
on of Jerusalem, opposition. Such opposeis, though they can kill 
that evenL The the body, an not tUe to kill tha aonl. The word 

' ' excluded, translated 'soul' sometimes means ' life,' and is 

■.nt, with a sometimes contrasted with ' spirit ' ; here where 
■ body ' and ' soul ' are contrasted and then joined 



IS including the whole man, it n 

IS we ordinarily use thai word, 1. 

mmaterial and immortal pan of n 



Chaps. X. 16-XI. t.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



lot 



Father ' (ver. 3i)). ' The humblest of God's crea- 
tures have their value in His eight : how much 
human beings. Kspcciallr Christians, but 

ill. thr iiiilnp.iva nf Tpaiia ' 



alMve all, thi 
The scope of 
'mraorlality 



25-31 is : A right sen 
the feeling thai W' 



perfectly safe in the keeping of our Father ; let 
us then not fear men, but liotdly and fully pro 
e havefrotn our Masterwhoalsi) 



the soul is not killed by the death of the body ; it 
b the higher part of our nature ; the eternal safety 
of the soul is infinitely more important than the 
present safety of the body. — Bat rmthor fekr Mm 
who ii ahla, etc God, not SaUn. We may ' be 
afraid of the latter, but are to 'fear' the former. 
Satan does not destroy ' in hell ' but before, so 
that men are punished there with him. — To de- 
ttnj both wnal uid body in halL God alone is the claim the truth 
dispenser of life and death, temporal and eternal, suffered from men. 
Hence reverence and awe, not fear and terror, are Ver. 3;. Erarr on«, without exception.— 
required, as the change of terms implies. The TlierafoTe points to the previous argument for 
change from ' kill ' to ' destroy ' ia also signili- fearing and trusting God. — ConfNf nu, lit,' con- 
cant. The latter implies not annihilation, but fess in me.' A peculiar mode of expression, 
continued punishment, affecting both the material meaning: 'shall make me the object of his ac- 
and the spiritual part of man (' both soul and knowledgment among and before men.' The 
body '). The place of such punishment is ' helL' idea of bein^ ' in Christ,' in vital union with Him. 
There is no other probable mlerpretation of the is also implied. Confession is the first act of 
passage. Such holy ' fear ' is not carnal fear, but faith ; but confessing Christ must not be con- 
Sets us free from that («.._- (.j ~;.i. — *.,.„ . 

Ver. 19 introduces, immediately after the com- 
mand to ' fear ' God, a lender description of His 
care, to call forth childlike trust. The two are 
joined by Christ, are Joined through and in Christ 
alone. He reveals God's power and care in har- 
mony ; He also harmonizes the corresponding fear 
and trust of the believer, which are therefore in- 
dissoluble—Two ipamnn, or 'little birds.'- 



founded with confessmg a particular creed about 
C hrist framed by men. — Hln will I tl*a oonf an. 
' 1 ' emphatic ; Christ Is the Supreme Judge, even 
in the presence of His heavenly Father, where 
He is the Advocate of His people (I John ii. i). 
The time is not indicated, but it will be publicly 

Ver. 33 solemnly repeats the same thought, 
applying it to those who deny Him before men. 
Alfoid : ' The Lord will not confess the confess- 
ing Judas, nor den^ the denying Peter ; the traitor 
who denied Him in acts is denied. The Apostle 
who confessed Him even to death will be con- 
fessed.' We 'confess' Christ by evety genuine 
and earnest testimony for Him ; we deny Him 
by every unchristian deed. 

Ver. 34. nUnk not, as you naturallv might. — 
To sand (lit, 'cast') naoa M tha aaitli. The 
immediate result (and purpose, too, since with 
God and Christ results are all purposes) was not 
peace, by external means. — I oiuaa not to aand 
pMoe, but It (word. He was revealed 'that He 
might destroy the works of the devil ' (i John lil. 
8); the inevitable result of His coming into a 
world lying under the wicked one, is strife. There 
is probably an allusion to His own sufferings and 
death, more fully brought out in ver. 38. He 
gave up His own life to the sword He sent. Yet 
the sword which Christ sends brings true peaces 
while the false peace, which men expect ('think 
not '), brings in eternal warfare. The ' peace on 
earth' of which the angels sang (Luke ii. 14) is 
not earthly peace, but God's peace among God's 
here used to express an insignilicant value, the chosen ones. 

birds being very plenty and destroyed in great Ver. 35. A quotation (or reminiscence) from 
numbers. — Hot ono of thorn. Too small to be Micah vii. 6, which contains the same general 
offered for sale except in pairs, yet God marks thought of wars and sorrows ushering in the 
the fall of one. — Tul on tha gTonnd, as 'birds kingdom of peace. The sword shall enter into 
do, when struck violently, or when frozen, wet the family. The conversion of individual mem- 
or starved.' Comp. Luke xii. 6: 'Not one oE bers to Christ will cause variance. Domestic 
them is forgotten before God.' peace, the highest earthlvpeace, is thus disturbed 

Ver. 30. Tlia TOiy halra of your head. The by peace with God through Christ. It is su^- 
most special providence, and the most absolute posed that the terms : A man (i. ^., ' a son ' in this 
preservation. No part of our life, of what char- case), a danghtor, a danghtar in law (or ' bride '), 
acteriies or adorns it shall be lost God, to be refer to those converted, 'because the youneer 
God, must know the very hairs of our head. The members and the female members of households 




Tar A ponny. Not the same word as in ch 
26 riarthing'), but 'assarion' [worth 1 
three farthings English, or a cent and a 
American), the tenth part of a Roman dr;i 
express an insignilicant v 



word ' your ' is emphatic, 
(or Christ's disciples : ' " 
head ate all numbered.' 



Of ' 



rtiuE a special c: 
lu the hairs of the 
s refers to all who 



motive was drawn from the relation to Christ, 
here from the relation to God : je an of mot* 
valM, I. t., in the sight of GoiC who is 'your 



nd because C 
iimself. 

Ver. 36. from the same prophecy, is a moi 
eneral statement of thfi same thought. — 
lan't toea. The idea here expressed is the r 
erse of that suted in ver. zi. 

Ver. 37. Ho titat loyatk, etc. Not to tot 



102 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XI. 2-19. 



these less, but Christ more. Connection : Love 
to Christ may divide family ties, but is su{x:rior 
to Tamil V affection ; because it is a love and de- 
votion aue only to a Divine being. This claim 
to supreme love, if made by others, would be ex- 
treme madness or intolerable presumption ; from 
the God -man it seems natural. — Hot worthy of 
-ma. No one is worthy of Christ ; but the love 
Christ gives creates the love Christ claims, and 
is the reward for all the trials and self-sacrifices 
here spoken of. Hence the saying is not harsh, 
though deemed *hard.* 

Ver. ^. TaJceth not hit crou, etc. We may 
supply m thought : as I shall carry my cross. 
The culprit bore his own cross to the place of 
crucifixion. The first allusion to the mode of the 
death, which must have startled the Apostles, 
even after what had been said. 

Ver. 39. He tliat findetk his life, shall lose (or 
'destroy') it, etc 'Life* is here used in two 
senses ; otherwise the paradoxical statement 
would have no meaning at all. (Comp. chap, 
xvi. 25, 26.) In both clauses it means, in the 
first instance, the outward, earthly life, with all 
its pleasures and comforts ; and m the second 
(* it ') the inward, spiritual life, beginning here in 
faith, and to be perfected in heaven. This is the 
climax, in setting forth Christ as the supreme 
object of our affection. It is not said, that we 
must lose the one life in order to gain the other ; 
nor that each one is called to make the sacrifice 
literallv. The meaning is : Christ must be loved 
more tnan life itself, or, * he that gains or saves 
his earthly life, saving it by unfaithfulness, shall 
lose his heavenly life ; but he that loses his tem- 
poral life by faithfulness, shall find eternal life.' 
The standard is not too high. He gave His life 
for uSf and therefore asks us to give our lives /or 
Him ; He gives His life to us^ so that we can give 
our lives both to and for Him, 

Ver. 4a He that reoelToth 70a, reoeiToth me. 
The concluding verses convey one appropriate 
thought, similar to that of vers. 24, 25 : Christ's 
disciples are identified with Him. Notwithstand- 
ing aJl the opposition and sundering of family ties, 
just set forth, Christ's people carry true peace 
with them, bearing Him and His blessing to all 
who receive them. The reception is not merely 
a welcome of the disciples to the house, but of 
their message to the heart. The language is not 



entirely figurative. Those who welcome the men, 
are most apt to welcome the truth they bear, and 
thus the Master they represent. — nib that re- 
oeiveth me, reoeiveth him that sent me, /. a, 
God. Receiving the servant of Christ is receiv- 
ing God. Comp. John xvii. 21, 2^^ xx. 21. Ap- 
plicable to all true Christians. 

Ver. 41. In the name of a prophet, i-ft* be- 
cause he is a prophet,' the original impl3ring an 
inward impulse of love toward the object. The 
prophet may be unworthy, but the love and the 
regard arise from the relation to Christ implied 
in his office. — A righteous man, /. ^., a Christian, 
one righteous through and in Christ ; the usual 
meaning among Christians when this Gospel was 
written. — Shall reeeive a prophet's reward — a 
righteous man's reward. The reward they re- 
ceive (not the reward they can give) on the prin- 
ciple of identification through love. 

Ver. 42. One of these liUle ones. Either the 
disciples, or children, who were present. The 
former is preferable. An allusion to their weak- 
ness in themselves as they went out on their mis- 
sion. — A cup of oold water only. The smallest 
kindness. — In the name of a disciple, ' because 
he is a disciple,' out of love to Christ His mas- 
ter. — Verily I say nnto yon. A solemn declara- 
tion that for such an act, he shall in no wise loee 
his reward. Not as before, the reward a disciple 
receives, but a reward due to himself, measured, 
not by our estimate of the act, but by God's. In 
His sight it mzy be more worthy than the gi'cat 
benefactions which the world applauds. — Thus 
those who went out to persecution, to cast a 
sword into the world, to be hated of all, and 
holding loosely to their lives for Christ's sake, 
bestowed blessings by their very presence, and 
He who numbered the hairs of tneir head, treas- 
ured up every act and look of kindness given 
them for their Master's sake. 

Chap, xi, I. This verse probably belongs to 
this section, since it is entirely disconnected from 
ver. 2. — He departed thence. He continued His 
own labors as before, the Apostles being merely 
helpers. * Thence,' /. e.^ from the place where 
the discourse was delivered, probably in the 
neighborhood of Capernaum. — In thdlr cities. 
This was probably the third circuit through Gal- 
ilee, although some suppose it to be that referred 
to in Luke viii. 1-3. 



Chapter XI. 2-ig. 

The Message from yohn the Baptist ; our Lord's Answer^ and the Subse- 

qucnt Discourse, 



2 " 
3 



NOW when John had ^ heard * in the prison the works of • \^^ ^• 
Christ, he sent two of his disciples.^ And said unto him, * j^fflT^IV; 
Art thou ^'he that should corae,^ or do we look for another? j^'/iA^"?; 

4 Jesus * answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again * ^ u^'^iJii."' 

5 those things which ye do hear and see: ^The blind receive imlj^p! 



XV- 30. 



* omit had 



^ by his disciples 
* And Jesus 



• cometh 

* tell John 



Chap. XI. 2-19.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 103 

their sight, and *the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the * i8.xwv.6. 
deaf hear,® the dead are raised up, and -^ the poor have the gos-f }\ w. i; 

6 pel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not g is. viii 14, 
be 'offended in me. xiu. ai, 57; 

. xxiv. 10 \ 

7 And as ihey departed, Jesus began to say unto the multi- «^- 31; 
tudes concerning John, What went ye out '* into the wilderness * L^kT "&.*' 

8 to see ? ^ 'A reed shaken with the wind ? But what went ye out « Eph. iv. 14. 
for ® to see ? A man clothed in soft raiment } ® behold, they 

9 that wear soft clothing^ are in kings' houses. But what went 

ye out for ® to see ? * A prophet ? ^^ yea, I say unto you, and * ^p*. »Jj^: 

10 more *^ than a prophet For ^ this is he, of whom it is written, ^"^« »• f^- * 
' Behold, I send my tnessenger before thy face, which ^^ shall ' mal. ul i •, 

1 1 prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you. Among 

them "• that are bom of women there hath not risen a greater "* Jobxiv. %. 
than John the Baptist : notwithstanding, he that is least ^^ in 

12 the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And" from the days '•^"'»««^'^ 
of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth 

13 violence, and the violent take it by force. " For all the prophets 

14 aud the law prophesied until John. And if ye wilP^ receive //, *> m*'- »^ .^i 

15 this is ** Elias, which was for to come.^^ ** He that hath ears to ?o-i3;Mark 

■' ' IX. 11-13 ; 

hear, let him hear. ^uke i. 17; 

' comp. Jobn 

16 But* whereunto shall 1 liken this generation.^ It is like^'chjlp.xm.9, 
unto children sitting in the markets,^' and calling^® unto their ^'2^;"^^' 

17 fellows. And saying,^* We have piped unto you, and ye have i^L'st":^^. 
not danced ; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not la- "l,,!^,"; 

18 mented.** For John came ''neither eating 'nor drinking, and xiii^9!^*"' 

19 they say, ' He hath a devil.^^ The Son of man came eating and ^ Lu^ke '\m.' 
drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous,^ and a wine- r cha*p.*m. 4. 
bibber, "a friend of "publicans and " sinners. But wisdom is / johnvii.ao. 

• •/•••ri iMioo xChap.ix. II. 

lustmed of her children.-® v chaps, v. ^s 

' 47 ; xviii. 

•and the ^ to behold, ^r gaze at ^ omit ior iJirk'?i.V& 

• raiment (in italics) *® But wherefore went ye out } To see a prophet } 16; Luke v. 

"much more " ^/«// For "who 3o;xt. i. 

" literally lesser " arc willing '^^ he is Elijah, that should come 

" market-places " who call " And say 

^ We piped unto you, and ye did not dance ; we wailea, and ye did not 

mourn ^ demon 

^ gluttonous man ^ And wisdom was justified by her works. 



Introductory Note. The sending out of the 
Twelve probablv called into open manifestation 
the opposition of the Pharisees : hence Matthew 
groups the events indicating this hostility, without 
regard to chronolo^cal order. The Twelve were 
not sent forth until after the period covered by 
chaps. xi.-xiiL The account of the message from 
John precedes, because the course of conduct 
which aroused hostility in the Pharisees had awak- 
ened hesitation on the part of John (or at least 
uf his disciples). 

Ver. 2. Vow i^«a John boazd in the prison 



(according to Josephus, the fortress of Machaenis, 
situated on tne border of Perea near the desert ; 
next to Jerusalem the strongest fortress of the 
Jews) the works of Chziit. According to Luke 
(viL 18), John's disciples had told him of such mir- 
acles as the raisii^ of the widow's son in Nain. 

* Christ,* or * the Christ' As Matthew uses this 
form nowhere else, it is likely that the disciples 
of John had thus spoken of our Lord, meaning : 
the one John announced as the Messiah. — Ho 
sent by his diidples. This is the correct reading. 

• Two ' is borrowed from Luke viL 19. 







104 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XI. a-19. 

Ver. 3. Art then Iw that oonuth.f'.t., the Mes- abundant on the lower banks of the Jordan. The 
tiah, or do VB look tor anothM'. Eiplanilions : meanine is not, simpljr, you did not go without a 
(i) John was temporarily in depression and doubt, motive, Out he whom you went to iee was DM B 
respecting the siow and unoatenutious mode of tickle, wavering character. Probably an aUDsion 
Christ's manifestation, and the true nature of his to John's doubt. 
jlOwere 
e instructed ; the 
opinion ot some of the Fathers. This saves 
John's orthodoxy at the expense of his moralitv 
There is no moie evidence of doubt : ' 
than in that of John. Besides the an; 
dressed to John. (3) John was prompiea ny im 
patient leai, and wished to call forth from Jesus a 
public declaration oC His Messiahship. But this 
would have been even worse than doubt. (4) John 
wished to leam with certainty whether this worker 
of miracles was the one he had baptiied. This is 
opposed bv the phrase ' works of the Christ ' (vei 
2). The first view is preferable. The Bible does 
not represent the saints as free from imperfect on 
and doubt. Elijah, the prototype of John, had his 
season of des|)ondency. John was at least disap- ^ V 
pointed, and may have sent this message, hoping 
for something to strengthen his own faith, hoping 
perhaps that he would be set free to see the com- 
ing of the kingdom of heaven, and that judgment 
would come upon the wicked ruler and court from 
whom he suffered ; and yet doubting because 
these hopes had not been realized long before. 

Ver. 4. Oo ud t«U John, •(& Our Lord ''i"'"" """■■ 

sends a message to John, but does not instruct 
his disciples. Ver. &. Bnt what : ' if it was not that, what 

Ver. 5. Hm blind MOsiv* their sight, or 'see was it,' etc — A man dothad In soft raliatiLtl 
again.' The word means this when applied to the An allusion to the coarseness of John's clothing 
blind. In other cases, ' to look up.' — The dead tl« (chap. iv. 3). — Behold. This is equivalent to, 'oh 
ralatd up. The raising of the daughter of Jairus no, such arc not found in the wilderness.' — la 
probably took place afterwards, but the miracle in kings' honSM ', not in kings' prisons. An allusion 
Nain certainly preceded. — Tht poorhaTs the goa- to the courtiers about Heroct Antipas. John was 
pal praaohtd to them. The ' poor ' in spirit are not a flatterer nor had he drawn back from hit 
included. This is the climax. Spiritual deliver- testimony to Jesus to escape from prison or from 
ance was the greatest miracle. The answer (com p. any selfish motive. Thus our Loi^ defends His 
Is. XXXV. 5; Fxi. 1) means: 'I do great things in forerunner from the suspicion of the multitude, 
physicalhealing, but my greatest work is the spir. Ver. 9. Toiee aprt^hatl To this the crowd 
iiual healing I brii^ : do not then expect some would answer ' yes ' (comp. ch. xxi. 26), But out 
wonderful temporal victory, but be content with Lord adds, Yaa, most certainly, I taj imto yoa, I 
the thought that I as Messiah am doing my ap- who can speak with authori^ on Ihesubject, and 
propriate and most glorious work.' The reference mugh mere than a prophet. John saw and pointed 
to the Old Testament prophecy would give John out Him whom the prophets only predicted, and 
both testimony and instruction. Even our Lord he was himself the subject of prophecy, 
answers doubt out of the Scriptures. Ver. 10. It U written. Malachi iii. i. The 

Ver. 6. And U«H«d ia ha, etc. This recalls last of the prophets had foretold ot John. HU 
Is. viii. 14. — Offnidad, i. /., 'made to stumble.' othce as forerunner of Christ made him greater 
This does not upbraid, but cautions, implying than them all. — Behold I sand my maasangar h»- 
that Christ knew best what to do in His king, toretlv'aea; etc. The original prophecy is : 'Be- 
dom. Result of the. message : we may well be- hold I send my messenger bdore my face,' etc. 
lieve that John was not taken away as a martyr to (The latter part of the verse contans a direct 
righteousness without having his faith restored, reference to the Messiah.) Here, and in Mark i 
Hisdisciples, after his death and burial, 'cameand 2, Luke vii. 27, It is changed into a promise <^ 
told Jesus' (MalL liv. ii). God /o Christ. Our Lord on His own authority 

Ver. 7. And as tbay dtpaitad. In Luke vii. (ver. 9; 'I say unto you'), applies the phrase,'my 
24-35, ■* '■'"' ^" almost exact parallel 10 vers, messenger,' to John, and the word ' thy ' to Him- 
7-19. The comment follows at once, to up- self, thus appropriating a pronoun referring to 
Sold the character of John, which might have God. Comp. His discourse on a previous oc^ 
....J ,...j sequence of his message, casion (John v. 17-47), i" which He rcfera tc '"' 



been undervalued in 



John appears from the fact that our Lord thus Ver. 11. VeiUr I say onto yon. Only Oa* 

appeals to a mixed crowd. — What want ja out could thus speak concerning the greatest 'bom 

into tha wUdemass. Comp. chap. iii. 1-5. — To of women.' — There hath net rlMm ; been raised 

behold, or 'gaze at.' As if at some curious spec- into prominence by God. — Bom of wMMtt. 

tacle. Popularity is very often due to curiosity. Among mankind in general. Christ was'born of 

even in the case of an earnest and faithful preach- a woman' (Gal. iv. 4), but this diffeis from the 

cr. — A road ihakan by tha wind t Reeds are phrase here used as ' Son of man ' does boa 



Chap. XI. 2-19-] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I05 

'men.* — Agfraater. No one, patriarch or proph- ing that he who has the discernment to under- 

et, king or priest, was greater ; for John was the stand will find the deeper meaning. Here it 

forerunner of Christ Relation to Christ is the su^ests : Christ meant more than that John was 

true measure of greatness. — Bat he that if least, Elijah, that he Himself was the Messiah. Then, 

lit Mess,' either less than John or less than as now, properly to understand the Scriptures 

others. The latter seems preferable, and is really was to know Christ. The comparison which fol- 

equivalent to ' least' — In the Wwgdwn of heaTen, lows intimates that few would ' receive ' the truth 

f. e^ the new dispensation of grace which Christ respecting John, or have ' ears to hear ' the glad 

introduces. Not ' in the preacmng of the kingdom news of the Messiah's presence. — If John wished 

of heaven.' John on the threshold of the king- our Lord to declare Himself, his wish was grant- 

dom, was in position the greatest of all Old Testa- ed, but the revelation was, as always, only to those 

ment prophets and saints, but the least Christian, who really sought to know Christ 

beine in the kingdom, is as to position (not per- Vers. 16-19 contain parallels and contrasts as 

Bonal merit) greater than he. Those ^orn of the in Hebrew poetry. In Luke the poetic form is 

Spirit are greater than the greatest bom of women, even more marked. 

Trie relation to Christ is still more intimate, and Ver. 16. This goneration, /. e.f the people then 

that determines the relative greatness. John is living in Judea. — Children, etc. These children 

regarded as still outside the kingdom into which are represented as idling in public places, fitting 

he may have afterwards entered. If Mess' be in the market-plaoef. 

understood as meaning Mess than John,' then the Ver. 17. One set of children is represented as 

reference is to relative position, 1. ^., one lower having invited another set to play, first in a mock 

in position or dignity in the kingdom of heaven is wedding and then in a mock funeral, but the 

greaterthan John, who occupied the highest place latter would not join them. Elxplanations : (i) 

m the old dispensation. But this is indennite. The children calling, represent John and Jesus, 

The Fathers referred 'He that is less' to Christ, but these two earnest preachers would not be 

but Christ is not in the kingdom (the kingdom is likened to idling, petulant children, and in that 

in Him), and such a comparison is scarcely ad- case the ' mourning ' ought to precede the ' piping.' 

missible after the application of prophecy made — (2) Those who will not plav represent the two 

in ver. la preachers, but this is opposea to the word ' fel- 

Ver. 12. And from the dayf of John the Bap- lows ' or ' companions ' in ver. 16, as well as to 
tift until now. A period of not much more than the parallel passage in Luke (vii. 32), where the 
a year, it is supposed. — The kingdom of heaven chilclren are spoken of as 'calling to one an* 
tur«r«UiYiolflnea, or *is assaulted by storm ' (in a other.' All the children were petulant (j) The 
good sense, referring to the excitement and earn- simplest view : The whole company of children 
est endeavor awakened in the brief period since represent the Jews, engaged in the childish pur- 
John appeared), and the violent (those making the suits of amusement and showing disagreement 
effort) tako it bj foroe (actuallv succeed in entering discontent, and petulance. With these ' children ' 
in). Although John belongea to the old economy, the children of wisdom are contrasted (Luke), 
the new (Mhe kingdom of heaven') was already on Ver. 18. For. An evidence of the petulant 
earth, and the first evidence of its coming was spirit (so ver. 19). — John oame neither eating 
the preaching of John and the excited interest nor drinking. He came as a prophet, and living 
it had aroused. This is in praise of Tohn, but in a peculiar manner, 'neither eating bread nor 
designed especially to convey the idea that a new drinking wine ' (Luke vii. 33) ; *his meat was lo- 
era nad already dawned, which deserved the en- custs and wild honey ' (chap. iiL 4). — And thoj 
deavor that had been aroused. Some, with less say, He hath a demon. A demon of melancholy ; 
ground, suppose John and Christ to be referred he is a fanatic 

to by ' the violent' The verse states a historical Ver. 19. The Son of man. Peculiarly appro- 
fact, suggesting that earnest endeavor is neces- priate here, where our Lord speaks of Himself, 
sary in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. as appearing in His exalted mission, eating and 

ver. 13. 7or. A proof of the coming in of drinking, like all other men ; going to places of 

the new era. — All the prophets and the law, i. ^., festivity, such as the wedding at Cana, the feast 

the whole Old Testament — Prophefied. Only at the house of Levi, identifying Himself with 

'prophesied.* * The law ' is also a prophecy, even men in their ordinary life. — Behold. Those 

its ceremonies point to Christ — XTntil John. In- who cried out against austerity objected also to a 

eluding him as the last of the series, still be- teacher of righteousness, who snowed himself 

longing to the old dispensation, but closing its thoroughly human in social life. — A winoUblMBar. 

prophecy, when he ushered in the Messiah. The Our l^rd used wine, as those about Him did. 

joining of John with the prophets is a further sup- There was nothing singular in His social habits 

port of his high position. as the Son of man. But the veneration which 

Ver. 14. And if 70 are willing to reoeiTe it had denounced asceticism in John, at once mag- 

The Tews expected that Elijah would rise from nitied this into a crime. — A friend of pnhlieanf 

the dead, hence many would not receive it The and finnerf . Thoroughly worldly people seek to 

popular notions on the whole subject of prophecy parry the claims of spiritual truth oy assailing its 

were incorrect ; for in the da^ of fulfilment our teachers, in childish petulance, with such contra- 

Lord thus prefaces an explanation. — Ho if Elijah, dictory accusations, extending their criticisms to 

etc Mai. iv. 5, applied to John before his birth dress, food, expression of countenance, cut of the 

by the angel Gabriel (Luke i. 17). Not the beard and parting of the hair. Much time has 

entire fulfilment of the prophecy, for Tohn him- been wasted in trying to satisfy those ' sitting in 

•elf (John i. 21) said he was not Elijah, and our the markets* and playing there. Those who hate 

Lord afterwards intimated that another coming the truth will hate its representatives and will 

of Elijah is to be expected (Matt. xvii. 11). never understand their principles, or be satisfied 

Ver. I c. Ha that hath oan to hear, etc. This with their practice. To our own Master we sUnd 

usually follows an important stitement, intimat- or fall.— And, or, 'and yet,* in opposition to this 



I06 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XI. 20-30. 

childish conduct, Wiidoni, the wisdom of God, the children of wisdom are childlike, in humility 

personified here as in the Book of Proverbs, waf and faith, and their * works ' correspond. The 

justified; not 'is,' nor * will be.' — By, or 'from,* result in their case has justified the wisdom of 

ner world. The common reading here is bor- God's method. Some, however, refer the clause 

rowed from Luke vii. 35 : * by all her children.' to the Jews, either in solemn irony (claiming to 

The general sense is the same ; here the reference have wisdom, their works should justify it), or 

is to the actiotu of these children of wisdom, implying that their contradictory judgments con- 

The judgments of the world are childish, those of futea each other and thus confirmed * wisdom.' 



Chapter XI. 20-30* 



Denunciation of yudpnent on tlu Cities of Galilee, followed by a striking 

Ascription of Praise and a tender Invitation, 



X. is- 



20 nr^HEN began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his «Luke 

2 1 X mighty works were done, because they repented not : " Woe h John i. ^ 
unto thee, Chorazin ! woe unto thee, * Bethsaida ! for if the ?.j ; Mali 
mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in * Tyre vi." 17! 

y . ^ «/ Jonah iii. 6. 

and Sidon, they would have repented long ago* in sackcloth 'V^'^p-Iv's; 

' * 00 Luke IV. aj, 

22 and ashes. But I say unto you. It shall be more tolerable for .^^^ ^^ 

23 Tyre and Sidon at ^ the day of judgment, than for you. And j^ \^'* ^*- 
thou, • Capernaum, -^ which art exalted unto heaven, shalt ^ be ^ ^^J^^j^^'^* 
brought down to hell : ^ for if the mighty works, which have ^l*^^',^' 
been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have re- J^pIlJ^ 

24 mained until this day. * But I say unto you, That it shall be ^ ctoi^iriL 
more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, Acux"i6." 
than for thee. 34; jc^*^ 

25 ^At that time^ Jesus * answered and said, I thank thee, O Jl' *"' ''• 
' Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because ^ thou hast hid * '^24^ I'tSrU 



these things from the wise and prudent, and hast "revealed^ 1. p«. vUi. a; 

26 them unto babes. Even so,® Father ; for ^ so it seemed good ® 16. 

., ., Ait«* Oil* 1 r ^ Chap). xxviiL 

27 m thy sight. ^'AU thmgs are^ delivered unto me of my i8;johnui. 
Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but^^ the Father; jyu. a; i* 

Cor. XV. »7. 

neither knoweth any man the Father, ''save the Son, and he to /Johnvii.a9; 

' ' ' viii. 19; X. 

whomsoever the Son will ^^ reveal him, \Kir^i \^' 

q John VII. 37. 

28 ^Come unto me, all j^ that labour and are ''heavy laden, and I ^^'^f;^'*^* 

29 will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and ' learn of me ; ' is^ phu!*ii. 
for I am 'meek and lowly in heart : and "ye shall find rest unto J,'./,^jih*n 

30 your souls. For ^ my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. / zech. ix. 9; 

a Cor. x. I : 

* in 2 Shalt thou be exalted unto heaven ? thou shalt go down ^ jcr.'Jf." ?&. 
unto hell, or Hades. ' season * that thou didst hide v 1 John ▼. s- 

* and reveal • yea ' or that * it was well-pleasing 

* were ^° save ^^ willeth to 

Contents. This section is a continuation of on the other, expanded into a thanksgiving, a dec- 

the preceding discourse. The comparison be- laration of His own exalted position, and a tender 

t ween the children of *this generation * and * wis- invitation. The connection with what precedes 

dom ' which is justified by her works, is, on the one is obvious, and also the relation of the two parts, 

hand, sharpened into a declaration of judgment The thoughts of vers. 21-24 were uttered again at 

against the unrepentant cities He had visited, and, the sending out of the Seventy (Luke x. 12-15), 



Chap. XI. 20-30.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 107 

— The authoritative tone of vers. 21-24, the dec- Ver. 23. Capemanxn, ihalt thou be exalted 
laration of what would have taken place, the unto heaven t The correct reading is a question 
positive statement of what will occur at the judg- anticipating a negative answer : Nay, thou shalt 
ment, form a contrast to the tenderness of vers, go down, etc. The place, as the centre of our 
2^-3a But both parts coincide with our Lord^s Lord's activity, enjoyed special piivileges. In 
cnaracter of holy love. The authority to invite wealth Capernaum could not be ci>mpared with 
involves the authority to denounce ; the willing- Sodom ; its lofty situation is uncertain, hence a ref- 
ness to bless implies the curse of those who would erence to this is doubtful. — Shalt go down unto 
not be blessed ; the praise of the Father's good heU, or Hades, the ' place of the dead,' not the 
pleasure befits the Son who reveals Him. place of future punishment. A figure of spirit- 
Lessons : In the sight of Christ, one rejecting ual destitution and desolation, as ' heaven ' repre- 
Him in the midst of light is worse than a hea- sented privilege. Nothing positive about* Hades' 
then ; offers of grace and threats of judgment can be inferred from this verse, though it cer« 
are proportionate ; faithful preaching makes the tainly hints at a disembodied state between death 
faithless hearer more guilty ; pride hardens even and the resurrection, which differs from ' hell,' 
more than impurity. The thought of persistent where both 'soul and body' are punished (x. 2S). 



sin leads our Lord to His Father, yet in thanks* Temporal judgments have been linked with the 
giving ; ' So it was well-pleasing,' tne comfort of spiritual degradation here predicted ; the very 
God's adopted children, taught them by the Only sites of these cities are disputed. — Sodom (com* 



Begotten ; the authoritv of the Son the security pare its history in Genesis, chaps. xiii.-xix.) was 

for our rest in Him ; tne declaration of His abil- the synonyme for wickedness. — Bemained until 

ity to bless followed by a declaration of His will- thia day. As it was the oldest city of importance 

ingness (see further on the verses). in Palestine, the language is the more striking. 

ver. 2a Then began he. Probably ' pointing Ver. 24. A future judgment is referred to, 

to a pause or change of manner of our Lord.' — since our Lord speaks of what shall take place 

To upbraid. Often used of men in a bad sense, with regard to Sodom, which had been so long 

here, implying moral disapproval and righteous destroyed. The inhabitants had not been anni- 

indignation. — Wherein moit of his mighty world hilatea. 

were done. Probably only the smallest part of Ver. 2^ At that leason. Probably imme- 

our Lord's miracles are detailed by the Evan- diately after the denunciation just recorded. — 

gelists (comp. John xxi. 25). We have no ac- Answered. Not necessarily to an oral question, 

count of any miracles in *Chorazin' and *Beth- nor even to the thoughts of the listeners. The 

saida' (ver. 21). — Beeauie they repented not ascription of praise seems rather an answer to 

The object of the miracles was to lead to repent- His Heavenly Father. — I thank thee, 'I fully 

ance. confess, thankfully acknowledge the justice of 

Ver. 21. The places of less importance come thy doincs.'-^0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, 

first. — CShoraiin. Mentioned only here and Luke Christ addresses God as His ' Father,' not as His 

X. 13. Probablv identical with the ruins of ' Lord.' There are four instances of such public 

Kerazeh. — Betheaida. A city of Galilee (John address of our Saviour to His Father; in each 

xii. 21); the home of Peter, of Andrew, and case resulting from deep emotion. Here the 

of Philip (John i. 44 ; xii. 21). Mark mentions cause was the impenitence of 'His own' peo- 

the name twice (vi. 45; viii. 22). In one in- pie. The term, 'Lord of heaven and earth,' is 

stance the reference to a place on the eastern peculiarly appropriate, since He was about to 

shore is obvious. Views : (i) The ancient view : mention another evidence of God's sovereignty, 

but one place, namely, on the western shore. — That thou didst hide these things, /. e., the 

This involved difficulty in explaining Mark vi. character and saving work of Christ, but indud- 

45. (2) The usual modem view : two places, ing the condemnation of the proud, the saving 

namely, ' Bethsaida of Galilee ' on the western of the humble, and the righteousness and mercy 

shore ; ' Bethsaida Julias ' on the eastern shore, of God as thereby displayed ; for the revelation 

(3) The latest and best view : One place situ- of all these things centres in the revelation of 

ated at the northern end of the lake on both Christ to the believing heart. God hides such 

sides of the inlet, hence partly in Galilee, and things only in just judgment, and the exercise of 

yet on the site of Bethsaida Julias and the His justice is rather a leaving of the sinner to 

eastern shore of the lake. So Dr. Thomson, the natural result of his sin. — The wise and pru- 

See notes on Mark vi. 45. — Tyre and Sidon. dent, according to a worldly estimate ; in this case. 

Ancient Gentile cities in existence at that time, Pharisees and proud Jews. Those most learned 

The corruption of these places had been spoken and sagacious in all earthly things often cannot 

of ages before by the prophets. — They would understand the simplest truths of Christianity. 

have repented. Our Lord claims knowledge of They are hid from them, by God indeed, but 

contingent spiritual events. — Long a^. Either, through their own pride. Merely intellectual 

the cities would have changed their character culture usually leads to pride, which is the ^reat- 

in ages past, or the present inhabitants would est hindrance in learning moral and religious 

have repented speedily. — In saekeloth and ash- truth. — Beveal them. These things are revealed 

ee. The symbol of mourning and repentance in general to men in the Gospel, but also, through 

(comp. Jonah iii. 5-9, on the repentance of Nin- this, revealed to individuals. — Unto babes. Those 

cveh). The costume of mourners resembled a despised by the world, because often ignorant of 

tack with holes for the arms, and it was usual to what it values, or considered ' babes,' because 

strew ashes upon the head. they believe like little children what their Heav- 

Ver. 22. But I say unto you, It shall be more enly Father reveals to them. 

tderaUe, etc An authoritative judgment as to Ver. 26. Tea, that it was well-pleasing in thy 

the measure of human responsibility. The final sight Praise for His * good pleasure * which 

decision in the day of juogment would be His involves His wisdom, prudence, and goodness, 

also. When men deny these qualities or wc cannot fu'ly 



Io8 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XII. 1-21. 

perceive them, we may still praise His 'good- am able^ as well as willing, to end ymt useless 

pleasure,' as our Master did. labor and remove the crushing burden. 

Ver. 27. All thingf , whether of judgment or Ver. 29. Tain my yoka upon yon. The Jews 

salvation, of hiding or revealing. — wore doUv- called the law a ^ yoke,^ Our Lord here refers to 

and nnto mo by my Father. ' All things were His rule, doctrine, and leadership. — And loom of 

by the Father brought into connection with, and mo. Either, take pattern from me, or as the con- 



subordination to the economy instituted by Christ.* text suggests, become my disciples. — For I 

His power as King extends over both, the lost mook and lowly in hoart, not in appearance 

and saved. — Andnoono knowoth thoSon bat tho merel^r, as the scribes. Humility is the first 

Fathor, etc This great mystery of Christ's power requisite in learning of God. The 'meek and 

over all things rests upon the greatest of myste- lowly ' One can teach us this first lesson. The 

ries, the person of Christ, the Son, as related to lowhness seems the greater from the language of 

the Father, a mystery thoroughly known (as the ver. 27. — And yo shall find root nnto yonr oonlo. 

Greek word means) only to the two parties, the Rest of soul is the true aim ; we must seek it, and 

Father and the Son. — And ho to whomooovor seek it from Christ 'Man is made for Christ, 

tho Son willoth to roroal it The Son is the and his heart is without rest, until it rests in 

Kevealer of this mystery, and about it all revela- Him.* 

tion centres, not only written revelation, but the Ver. 30. For my yoke if eaiy (wholesome) And 

revelation made to our hearts. This verse, the my bnrden if light The ' yoke * answers to those 

Genuineness of which is not disputed, contra- * laboring ; * the * burden ' to those * heavy laden.' 

icts the notion that the view of the Person of Christ does not promise freedom from labor and 

Christ presented in the fourth Gospel is differ- burdens, but promises that we shall be so changed 

ent from that of the three others. To know God as to find them 'wholesome * and light Christ 

men need a revelation from this lowly Saviour, indeed demands a righteousness exceeding that 

The same pride still refuses it John tne Baptist of the Scribes and Pharisees, and teaches us that 

had said this of Christ (John iii. 35), and now there is a depth of meaning in the law, which our 

Christ says it Himself in a discourse which began consciences did not perceive ; yet He says that 

in a defence of the Baptist. His yoke, His requirements, are wholesome, and 

Ver. 28. Come nnto mo. Christ now shows His burden, oftentimes a cross, is light! One 

first of all His willingness (comp. ver. 27) in this who goes to Christ to find rest for his soul, ob- 

invitation. — All ye \£aX labonr, etc, 'all the la- tains from Him peace of conscience and power 

boring and the burdened.* A figurative descrip- to obey. We go to Him as a teacher meek and 

tion of men seeking to become holy by external lowly m heart ; the first lesson learned is, to 

acts of righteousness. The immediate reference humbly and penitently take from Him what we 

is to the Tews struggling to obtain deliverance need. What He has done for us secures pardon, 

through the law, and oppressed by the yoke what He does in us gives power. The Teacher of 

placed upon them by the Fharisaical interpreta- the highest morality could only fulfil these proni- 

tion of it It is applicable to all men as subject ises by becoming an actual Saviour from sin ; 

to misery, actively and passively ; but most di- that He can and will save is the ground tone of 

rectly to those conscious of sin, striving to make the whole passage. Saved by Him, indeed, as 

themselves better, or sinking under a sense of Augustine says, the yoke is like the plumage of 

their guilt — And I will give yon root 'I* is the bird, — an easy weight enabling it to soar 

emphatic ; other teachers lay burdens on you, I heavenward. 



Chapter XII. 1-2 1. 



Tivo Sabbath-day Discussions ; Our Lord retires in consequetice of the Hos- 

tility of the Pharisees, 

a MARKii.aj- 

" A T that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the j8j^"»f«^- 
-/i. corn ; ^ and his disciples were a hungered,^ and * began to * j?^"*- """* 

2 pluck the ears of corn,^ and to eat. But when the Pharisees *" ^^\^' 
saw it, they said unto him, ^^ Behold, thy disciples do that which "|**j^„";; 

3 is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.* But he said unto /x.^e?** '^/ 
them, Have ye not read ^ what David did, when he was a hun- 6. "' "** 

4 gered,^ and * they that were with him ; How he entered into the ' sam^iri. i, 
house of God, and did eat ^ the shewbread, which was not lawful / Exod. xxv. 
for him to eat, neither for them which ^ were with him, ^but only xnv. s-s! 

- .,, , g Lev. XXIV. a. 

s for the priests t^ Or have ye not read '^ in the law, how that on a Num.xxvUi. 

* ^ </ Q,io;Coin|k 

* grain-fields * hungry * pluck ears of g[rain {a^jSin** 

* omit day • that ^ save for the priests alone ? vii! ai aj. 



Chap. XII. 1-21.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. IO9 

the sabbath days '* the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, 

6 and are blameless ? But I say unto you, • That in this place is ' ^"p.^ Vili 

7 one greater than the temple.® But if ye had known * what iAts ||i ? ; ^'^ 
meaneth, ' I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not / iui^X'b? 

8 have condemned the guiltless.® For the Son of man is Lord 
even of the sabbath day.^^ 

9 And when he was departed thence, he ** went ^^ into their syna- '".^J^^lukIi 

10 gogue: And, behold, there was a man which had /its hand ^ ^" 
* withered. ^^ And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on " J^^n v 3 

1 1 the sabbath days ? "^ that they might accuse him. And he said 
unto them. What man shall there be among ^^ you, that shall 
have one sheep, and if it ^* fall into a pit on the sabbath day, 

12 will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out ?^^ *How much then <»comp.ciMp. 
is a man better then a sheep ? Wherefore ^^ it is lawful to do 

13 well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man. Stretch 
forth thine hand. And he stretched // forth ; and it was re- 
stored whole, like ^^ as the other. 

14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council ^® against him, 

15 how they might destroy him. But when Jesus knew //, he 

' withdrew himself ^® from thence : and « great multitudes ^ fol- ^ JJf^"* ^* 

16 lowed him, and he healed them all. And ''charged them that ^Sjap .^j^^ , 

17 they should not make him known: That it might be f ulfilled '' jlf "Jf .* 4iV 

18 which was spoken by Esaias^ the prophet, saying, 'Behold J^lii^^aV" 
my servant, whom I have chosen ; ^ my beloved, ' in whom my J ^diiVul 
soul is well pleased : ** I will put my Spirit upon him, and he « c?pmp is. 

19 shall shew 23 judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor i" is- John 

20 cry ; neither shall any man ^ hear his voice in the streets. A 
bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not 

21 quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. •And in his » cpmp. i . 
name shall the Gentiles trust.^ 



' day 

* blameless 



* that which is greater than the temple is here 
w Lord of the Sabbath 



^^ And he departed thence and went 
"of "this 

^^ so then *' omit like 

^ And lesus knowing it withdrew 
** Isaiah ^ chose 



one 



S5 



hope 



" having a withered hand 
*• raise it up 
*• took counsel 
* many 
*• proclaim 



Chronology. Mark and Luke place the 
events of this section just before the cAoice of the 
Twehfi, which occurred during our Lord*s retire- 
ment The season of the year may have been 
April, at which time the barley would be ripe. 
It has been inferred from Luke^s account (vi. i : 
' second Sabbath after the first,') that the second 
Sabbath was in the second week after the pass- 
over ; but this is not even probable (see Luke). 
The supposition that a Passover intervened at 
this time, rests mainly on that phrase, which is 
rejected by many modem critics. It seems quite 



certain that the Sermon on the Mount had not 
yet been delivered ; also that the controversy in 
regard to the Sabbath had already begun (John 
V. 16) at Jerusalem. The connection of thought 
seems to nave occasioned the order of Matthew. 
The easy yoke of Christ and the burden laid 
upon the people by the Pharisees are strikingly 
illustrated by the conduct of the latter ; the sover- 
ei^ty He claimed (chap. xL 27) is exemplified by 
His words respecting the temple and the Sabbath. 
The Sabbath Controversy. The misun- 
derstanding of our Lord*s teachings in regard to 



no 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XII. i-2f . 



Sabbath observance arises mainly from overlook- 
mg the circumstances in which He spoke, (i) 
The observance of the Sabbath had been the 
great outward mark of distinction, while the Jews 
were in exile ; the strict observance of it after- 
wards became an expression of national Jewish 
feeling. As spirituality decreased, formality in- 
creased ; during our Lord's ministry the Fourth 
Commandment was made the basis of over refined 
distinctions and petty minutiae. Here then was 
the stronghold both of Jewish exclusiveness and 
Pharisaical formalism. To this our Lord must 
be antagonistic (2) The Sermon on the Mount 
was delivered after these Sabbath controversies. 
This is one reason for the omission of any ref- 
erence to the Fourth Commandment in that dis- 
course. (3) There is no evidence that the Fourth 
Commandment was abrogated, or that its require- 
ments were curtailed. Chir Lord's arguments are 
drawn either from Old Testament facts and prin- 
ciples, or from Jewish practice. He gave a spir- 
itual character to the whole Decalogue, and His 
opposition was to the unspiritual o^ervance of 
the Sabbath. To keep the Christian Sabbath as 
Christ would have us do it, also * exceeds the 
righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees.' 
(4) The two discussions, recorded by three Evan- 
gelists, point to the lawfulness and even duty of 
performing on the Sabbath, works of necessity 
(first Sabbath) and of mercy (second Sabbath). 
The accounts differ in a number of points : one 
Evangelist omitting an argument rendered prom- 
inent by another ; but the principles laid down 
are essentially the same. 

Ver. I. At that time, or * season.' Here used 
indefinitely. See Lukevi. i, as to the date. — 
nirongh tne grain fields. The grain was probably 
barlev, which ripens in April in that region and is 
usuallv harvested in May.— Hif dieciplM. Not the 
• Twefve ' exclusively, probably including most of 
them. — And began to pluck ears of ^rain. Per- 
mitted by the Mosaic law (Deut xxiii. 25). The 
word * began * hints that they were interrupted by 
the objection of the Pharisees. 

Ver. 2. But when the Fhariseei saw it. They 
were lying in wait for something as a ground of 
opposition. — They said unto him. Luke repre- 
sents the objection as made to the disciples, both 
were probably addressed. — That which it is not 
lawful to do on the Sahbath. It was lawful on 
other days, all admitted ; but the Pharisees 
claimed it was not lawful on the Sabbath. Pluck- 
ing grain on the Sabbath was construed by the 
Rabbins into a kind of harvesting. This depar- 
ture from their formal legalism was magnified by 
the Pharisees into a breaking of God's law. 

Ver. 3. Have ye not read what David did. 
AH three Evangelists record this main argument 
against the Pharisees. The case of David (i 
Sam. xxi. 1-6) was peculiarly in point The Phar- 
isees insisted that their mode of observing the 
Sabbath was needful, if a man would be a patriotic 
Jew and acceptable to God, but a model of Jewish 
piety had, according to the Scriptures, violated 
the law as they construed it. — Hungry, as His 
disciples had been. 

Ver. 4« The house of Ood. The tabernacle 
nt Nob. — The shew-bread. Twelve loaves were 
placed in rows upon a table in the holy place, as 
a symbol of the communion of God with men. 
Thev were renewed every seven days, on the 
Saboath, the o!d loaves being eaten by the 
priests. David probably came on the day the 



old loaves were taken away, /. r., on the Sab< 
bath ; which makes the case very appropriate. 
David did what was actually forbidden, yet hun- 
ger was a sufficient justification, much more 
might the constructive transgression of the disci- 
ples be justified bv their hunger. Principle : 
Works of necessity have always been permitted 
on the Sabbath. 

Ver. 5. The priests in the temple profane 
the Saboath and are blameless t Peculiar to 
Matthew. On the Sabbath the priests must 
change the shewbread, and offer double offerings. 
That construction of the law which condemned 
His disciples, would condemn this as a profana- 
tion, yet the priests were blameless. Works of 
necessity on the Sabbath are not only permitted, 
but may become a dtdy (see ver. 6). 

Ver. 6. That which is greater, not some one 
greater ; the comparison with the temple occa- 
sions this form, although the reference is un- 
doubtedly to Christ Himself. Argument : If the 
priests in the temple are authorized to profane 
the Sabbath (according to your view of what that 
means) in the performance of necessary duties, 
how much more can One who is the read temple 
of God on earth authorize His followers to do so ; 
or, if the former are blameless, so are these who 
have grown hungry in following Him who is 
greater than the temple. This * meek and lowly ' 
Teacher asserts this on His own authority. Works 
of necessity become a duty on the Saboath only 
when so declared by Christ, or as we follow 
Christ. 

Ver. 7. Bat if ye had known. They ought 
to have known, professing to interpret the Old 
Testament — I will have merey, etc Quoted 
before (chap. ix. 13), from Hosea vi. 6. Our 
Lord properly censures them, after defending his 
disciples. They did not recognize this greatci 
temple (ver. 6), nor accept the service which God 
had approved ; ' mercy and not sacrifice,' had 
they done so, they wonld not have oondemned the 
blameless (the same word as in ver. 5). 

Ver. 8. For the Son of man is Lord of the 
Sabbath. This crowning thought occurs in all 
three narratives. The emphasis rests on the 
word *Lord.* The term *Son of man* implies 
His Messiahship. The Jews admitted that the 
authority of the Messiah was greater than that of 
the law of the Sabbath, hence this declaration 
would serve to increase the hostility of the Phari- 
sees. Still the more prominent idea is this : as 
Son of man. Head and Representative of renewed 
humanity, our Lord is Lord of the Sabbath. As 
such He has the right to change the position of 
the day, but the language points to a perpetuity 
of the institution. It implies further mat a new 
air of liberty and love will be breathed into it, so 
that insteaa of being what it then was, a badge of 
narrow Jewish feeling and a field for endless 
hair-splitting about what was lawful and unlaw- 
ful, it becomes a type and foretaste of heaven, a 
day when we pet nearest our Lord, when we rise 
most with Him, when our truest humanity is 
furthered, because we are truly made like the 
* Son of man.' See, further, on Mark ii. 27. 
Lange : * Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, being 
Himself the personal sabbath : all that leads to 
Him and is done in Him, is Sabbath observ* 
ance ; all that leads from Him is Sabbath-break- 
ing.' 

V er. 9. And he departed thenoe. The miracle 
which follows, took place on another Sabbath 



Chap. XII. 1-21.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



Ill 



(sec Liike vL 6), probably the next one. — Went 
into thflir fynagoffoe. The synagogue of His 
opponents, probably in some important town in 
Gadilee. Luke savs He taught there, as seems to 
have been His habit. 

Ver. la A man liaying a withered hand. It 
was not only paralyzed, but dried up. According 
to Luke, the risht hand; the language used by 
Mark implies that this was the efirect of accident 
or disease. There is no evidence that the man 
was aware that the Pharisees wished to make use 
of him to accuse Jesus. — And they aaked liim, 
The other accounts tell us only of their * watch- 
ing* Him, to accuse Him, and lead us to infer 
that our Lord, knowing their thoughts, took the 
first active step by calling upon the man to ' stand 
forth,' and that then this questioning took place. 
— If it lawful to heal, etc. This (question was 
put that they might aeenae him, might find in 
His teaching and then in the act of mercy they 
expected would follow, the basis for a rormai 
charge before the local tribunal of which they 
were themselves members (see ver. 14). 

Ver. 1 1. Luke introduces the reply of this 
verse on another occasion. It was always ap- 
propriate under such circumstances. ,— What 
man, etc. Such an act of mercy to a beast was 
allowed and usual then ; but the Rabbins after- 
wards (perhaps on account of this reply) forbade 
anything more than to ' lay planks ' so that the 
ammal could come out of itself. 

Ver. 1 2. How much, then, ii a man better than 
a iheep t Some take this as an explanation : 
* Of how much more worth now is a man than a 
sheep ! * But it is better to regard it as a ques- 
tion. Our Lord recognizes the superiority of man, 
as well as the superior claims of humanity. — 
Wherefore it ii lawful, etc. (Comp. Mark and 
Luke.) Works of mercy on the Sabbath are 
lawful and right. Hypocrites care more for 
ceremonies than for their cattle, and more for 
their cattle than for suffering humanity. 

Ver. 13. Mark tells us, that 'they held their 
peace,' and both he and Luke descrioe our Lord 
as looking round upon them (with anger and 
grief). 'Hie manner in which the healing took 
place gave no legal ground for a charge on ac- 
count of His actions. He did not touch the 
man, or even command : be healed, but simply 
said: Streteh forth thine hand. The man had 
no power to do this, and as in the case of spirit-' 
oal healing, the act of stretching forth was both 
the effect and the evidence of Divine power. 
The man's faith was manifest in his attempt to 
obey, and that too in the midst of such an assem- 
bly. His act was a defiance of them, and yet it 
was not a forbidden act, so that they could not 
accuse either the Healer or the healea. 

Ver. 14. Then the Fhariaees took eoimael 
againat him. ' Held a council ' is almost too 
strong ; it was scarcely a formal meeting of the 
local tribunal, althougn the consultation was at- 
tended by its members. Mark says that 'the 
Herodians * (or court party) joined in the plot 
Some suppose that this was occasioned by the 
refusal of Jesus to see Herod (Luke ix. 9), but 
that probably occurred after this time. The hos- 
tility to Tohn would make them ready to oppose 
our Lord, and open to the suggestion of the Phar- 
isees, who were * filled with madness * (Luke vi. 
II). 

Ver. 15. Withdrew. Not froip fear, but to 
carry out His ministry without interruption from 



these plotters. — Many. 'Multitudes' is to be 
omitted. It is evident that our Lord did not 
wish to avoid the people. — He healed them all, 
I. r., all who needed healing, possibly, including 
spiritual healing also. This verse seems to refer 
to a definite occasion, and not to be a general 
description of frequent withdrawals, extending 
over a considerable period. The very detailed 
account of Mark (iii. 7-12) opposes the latter 
view. 

Ver. id And charged them, etc. Mark tells 
of the similar command ^iven to 'evil spirits.' 
This more general prohibition was probably given 
to prevent a rupture between His carnal follow- 
ers and the Pharisees, so early in His ministry. — > 
Xake him known, as the Messiah. 

Ver. 17. That it might be fulfilled, etc. 
While Mark details the occurrences, Matthew 
only declares that the retirement of our Lord 
was a fulfilment of prophecy, however contrary » 
to the popular notions aoout the Messiah. — laa- 
iah the prophet. (Chap. xlii. 1-4). A transla- 
tion from the Hebrew, made by the Evangelist 

Ver. iS. Behold my lervant. The Greek 
word means both 'son' and 'servant* Christ as 
Messiah was obedient as a * servant ' and dear as 
a ' Son.' The latter thought comes into promi- 
nence in the next clause : my beloved, etc Comp. 
the accounts of the baptism (chap. iii. 17) and 
the transfiguration (chap. xvii. 5). On the former 
occasion there was a direct fulfilment of the 
words : I will pnt my Spirit upon hint^He shall 
proclaim judgment to the Oentilee ; announce the 
final judgment to the Gentiles, presenting Himself 
as the judge* Many from Cientile regions were 
present at the time just spoken of (Mark iii. 8). 
Some understand the clause as a prediction that 
the gospel ('judgment ') should be preached to 
the Gentiles. But this is not exact, and obscures 
the contrast in the prophecy. The Messiah is the 
Judge and yet meek. 

Ver. 19. He shall not strive, nor ory, etc. Not 
a combatant nor a noisy declaimer in public 
places, but meek and retiring. (Those who refer 
'judgment' to the gospel, take this verse as de- 
scriptive of the means by which it was to be 
extended.) There is also a contrast with 'vic- 
tory ' in ver. 20. He preisents Himself as Judge 
ana yet is meek ; He is meek, does not strive, 
and yet shall be victor. The lessons are ob- 
vious. 

Ver. 20. A hmiBed reed, etc The reed is a 
hollow cylinder, so formed that its strength and 
usefulness are well-nigh lost, if it be bruised. 
It is also emblematic of feebleness, being easily 
bruised. The figure points to the state of the 
sinner as useless and weak, while the word 
' bruised ' suggests the idea of contrition. Our 
Lord will not reject feeble, marred but contrite, 
sinners. — aiwftVitig flax. Threads of flax were 
used as wicks. The smoking resulted not from 
the exhaustion of the oil, but from the fault of 
the wick. (Quenching it would be to throw it 
away altogether on account of its imperfection. 
Alford says of the two metaphors : 'A proverbial 
expression for, " He will not crush the contrite 
heart, nor extinguish the slightest spark of 
repentant feeling in the sinner.'" The former 
might also be referred to a contrite sinner, the 
latter to an imperfect believer. The Lord did not 
use harsh violent measures, but dealt tenderlv 
and gently with all such — Till he send fort& 
judgment nnto vietory, /. ^., till He cause His 



112 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XH. 22-50, 



judgment to end in victory, so that no further 
coimict will remain. ' Send forth ' indicates great 
power. The gentle mode, characteristic of our 
Lord personally was to be characteristic of His 
dealings through His militant people up to the 
day of final decision, when the Judge shall end 
the conflict in final, absolute victory. The lat- 
ter thought is lost, if 'judgment' is taken as 
meaning * the gospel.' 



Ver. 21. And in his name ihall OflntOat hope. 

On the ground of what His name, as the Messiah, 
implies. Those to whom He presented Himself 
as Judge would learn to trust Him in consequence 
of the gentle, patient dealing just spoken of, and 
more fully brought out in the original prophecy. 
Matthew here omits part of a verse m Isaiah 
and paraphrases the part he retains, but without 
any important variation in sense. 



Chapter XII. 22-50. 

Blasphemous Acaisation of the Pharisees ; they afterwards seek a Sign ; the 

nearest Relatives of Christ. 



22 *'nnHEN was brought unto him one possessed with a devil,^ * ^.^''^'Sip.^ 

A blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the jJfP"-**~ 

23 blind and dumb both spake ^ and saw. And all the people® 

24 were amazed and said, Is not this* *the Son of David? *But * See chap. ix. 
when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow ^ doth not ' ^'^^*i: 
cast out devils,^ but by^ Beelzebub^ the prince of the devils.^ '*• 

25 And Jesus ^'knew their thoughts, and 'said® unto them. Every ''j^ ****** 
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; and ' ^jyl'^iiji^j 

26 every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And " *7-«2 
if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself ; how shall 

27 then ^^ his kingdom stand } And if I by ^ Beelzebub ^ cast out 
devils,^ by^ whom do -^your children cast them out .^ therefore ^j^JP-j*^ 

28 they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils® by the 
Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto ^^ you. 

29 Or else,^^how can one enter into a strong man's house, and^^* «>» «4. 
spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man } and * then * '»• "•*• '*• 

30 he will spoil his house. • He that is not with me is against me ; ' cSIIiVmSJ 
and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.^ g;^; ^"** 

31 * Wherefore^* I say unto you, all manner of ^^ sin and bias- ^iirit-^o*!'' 
phemy shall be forgiven unto men : but ' the blasphemy against / ci'mp"**/**' 

32 the Holy Ghost ^® shall not be forgiven unto men.^'' And J°"^'^ 
"•whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall '"'Tim.i.xs. 
be forgiven him : but ' whosoever speaketh against the Holy 

Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nei- 

33 ther in the world to come.^® * Either make the tree good, and n see chap 
his fruit good ; or else make the tree corrupt, and his ^^ fruit 



^ or a demoniac 

« Is this 

' ^r in 

10 then shall 

*2 omit else 



^ that the dumb man spake ' multitudes 

* man ® demons 

8 or Beelzebul • And knowing their 



]i 



upon 



15 



every 



*• ^z;?// abroad 

" against the Spirit 



*" nor in that which is to come 



thoughts he said 
" Therefore 
" omit unto men 
"its 



Chap. XII. 22-50.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. II3 

34 corrupt : for the tree is known by his fruit.^ ^ O generation ^^ *seechap.i;i. 
of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things } ^iox out of /comp.Luko 

35 the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A^ good 
man out of the ^ good treasure of the heart ^ bringeth forth 
good things : and an 22 evil man out of the ^ evil treasure bringeth 

36 forth evil things. But ^ I say unto you, That every idle word 
that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day 

37 of judgment. For ^by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by ^ ?.o»"p- Ja« 
thy words thou shalt be condemned. 

38 Then certain of the scribes and of the^ Pharisees answered,^ ^i^MSrkviii*. 

39 saying, Master, ''we would see a sign from thee. But he an- ii.'leljohn 
swered and said unto them, 'An evil and ' adulterous genera- \'^)^:ll'' 
tion seeketh after a sign ; and there shall no sign be given to it, ' 3" l^'aikpr 

40 but the sign of the prophet Jonas : ^ For ** as Jonas ^ was three / mLvI viu 
days and three nights in the whale's belly ; ^ so shall the Son \ ' * *^ 
of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. * **"* *' '^' 

41 'The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment ^^ with this gene- » Jonah i. ». 
ration, and ^ shall condemn it : because ' they repented at the ^ j^MhTu/i. 
preaching of Jonas ; ^ and, behold, a ^ greater ^ than Jonas ^^ is ^ ^^^- ^* 

42 here. 'The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment ^^ 'iaSS»*'i? 
with this generation, and ''shall condemn it : for she came from '" 

the uttermost parts^ of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; 

43 and, behold, a greater^ than Solomon is here. When * the un- aLt;icKxLa4- 
clean spirit^ is gone out of a^ man, he walketh ^ through *dry ^p». ixiu. t; 

44 places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will 
return into my house from whence I came out ; and when he is 

45 come, he findeth // empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth 
he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked 

than himself, and they enter in and dwell there : and ^ the last c a Pet u. jo. 
siaU of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be 
also ^ unto this wicked generation. 

46 While he yet talked ^'^ to the people,^ behold, ^/lis mother and </ mark uL 
his 'brethren^ stood without, desiring^ to speak with ^® him. vUi. i^ai.,, 

/ Chap, xiiu 

47 Then one said unto him. Behold, thy mother and thy brethren 55; Mark vj. 

on 3 ' John VII. 

48 stand without, desiring^ to speak with*" thee. But he an- ?.5,'o;Acts 
swered and said unto him that told him. Who is my mother.^ i^J^5!Gal.L 

49 and who are my brethren > And he stretched forth his hand 
toward his disciples, and said. Behold my mother and my 

* for by the fruit the tree is known 21 y^ brood 

« the 28 his 2* omit of the heart 

^ And ^ omit of the ^ insert him 

*» Jonah the prophet 29 Jonah «> the belly of the whale 

•* stand up in the judgment ** more 

^ from the ends ** But the unclean spirit when he {or it) 

•* passeth •• Thus shall it be also ^ was yet speaking 

■* his mother and brethren *• seeking 

*^ to ^ 

VOL. I. 8 



19. 



114 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XII. 22-5a 

50 brethren! For -^whosoever shall 'do the will of my Father -^^p-.^" 
which ^ is in heaven, the same *^ is my brother, and sister, and ^*^- 
mother. 



vu. 



31. 



** who 



**he 



Introductory Note. These occurrences seem 
to have followed each other in immediate succes- 
sion. Luke places the last one (vers. 46- jo) after 
the parable of the sower, but Mark gives the 
same order as Matthew, ver. 46 is more definite 
as to time than Luke^s account, and that oc- 
currence was more likely to have been occasioned 
by the events here placed before it. The time 
was immediately after the events narrated in chap. 
xi. ; the occurrences intervening between this and 
the retirement just recorded, being the cAoi^e of 
the Twelve ; the Sermon on the Mount, the heal- 
ing of the centurion's servant (chap. viiL 5-13)1 
the message of John (chap, xi.) ; and some occur- 
rences mentioned by Luke only (vii. 36-viii. 3). 
The position serves to indicate the growing and 
bolder hostility of the Pharisees, which was an- 
swered by the bold and startling words of our 
Lord, awakening the anxiety for His safety among 
His relatives, wnich led to the interruption and 
discussion of vers. 46-50. Our Lord's stay in 
Galilee after this was neither continuous nor suc- 
cessful, for except the mission of the Twelve, 
little occurred there save repeated rejection and 
retirement Acceptance or rejection must fol- 
low such a presentation of Himself as Jesus here 
makes. 

Ver. 22. Then. Indefinite, here meaning * af- 
terwards,* — Wai brought. Such an one could 
not come alone. — One poflaass^, etc., or, *a de- 
moniac,' Uind and dumb. A different case from 
that mentioned in chap. ix. 32-34. The physical 
effect of the possession was similar, but more 
unfortunate ; the accusation of the Pharisees was 
similar, but more blasphemous. 

Ver. 23. The effect of such a remarkable 
miracle on the people was astonishment, and they 
asked : Ii thiB the 8<m of David 1 The original 
indicates an expectation or hope of a ntgative an- 
swer (see next verse) ; so that we must not attrib- 
ute to the multitude any strong spiritual convic- 
tion. 

Ver. 24. Bnt when the Fhariaees heard it. 
According to Luke, some who were present ; ac- 
cording to Mark, * the scribes which came down 
from Jerusalem,* probably sent to spy out his 
actions. A public declaration of war against our 
Lord on the part of the Pharisees, and an answer 
to the question of the people (ver. 23). The 
Pharisees admit the miracles, but explain them in 
another way as the work of Satan. Consistency 
required this explanation. — This man. ' This fel- 
low ' is too strong. * This,' in the question of the 
people, was an expression of surprise ; the word 
IS here taken up and turned against Jesus. — Bnt 
by Beelsebnb, the prince of demons. The word 
'devil,' is applied to but one person in the Scrip- 
tures, namely, Satan. On the word * BeeJzebub,* 
sec chap. x. 25. The sense * lord of dung,' implies 
coarse wit. The sense : lord of the habitation, re- 
ferring to rule over the possessed, agrees well with 
the phrase here added : *the prince of demons.' 
• Uy,' literally * in,' /. r., in intimate fellowship. 

Ver. 2c. And knowing their thoughts. He 
perceived not only that they opposed, but their 



very thoughts. Their words had been addressed, 
not to Him, but in reply to the multitudes (ver. 
23). The best authorities omit the word * Jesus.* 
— Every kingdom divided against itself. The 
assertion of the Pharisees assumed that there was 
'an organized kingdom of evil with a personal 
ruler.' Our Lord uses this assumption, as a ter- 
rible fact, which, however, proves the absurdity of 
the charge made against Himself. This organ- 
ized kingdom of darkness, because it is only evil, 
is racked with discords and hatred, but against 
the kingdom of God (ver. 28) it is a unit The 
point of the argument here is : not that discords 
are fatal, which is not alwa^'s the case, but that 
an organization which acts against itself, its own 
distinctive aims, must destroy itself. Their ac- 
cusation implied this. — The rest of the verse 
applies the same principle to the smaller organ- 
izations of a dty and a house. 

Ver. 26. And if Satan east out Satan. The 
accusation reduced to an absurdity, namely, that 
a person is divided against himself. A man 
might be at war within, but even then the out- 
ward acts would not necessarily be in opposition. 
Satan is utterly wicked, hence good and evil do 
not strive within him, and his fighting against 
himself is not to be imagined. This verse im- 
plies : that the Pharisees had called our Lord 
' Satan ; ' that Satan is a person ; that he has a 
kingdom ; while the whole argument assumes 
that this kingdom is in constant antagonism to 
the kingdom of God. This is brought out more 
fully afterwards. 

Ver. 27. By whom do yonr sons, /. /., disciples, 
east them out 1 ' If casting out devils is an evi- 
dence of a league with Satan, then this holds 
good against your scholars who profess to do it 
also.' — Therefore they shall be your jndges« 
They shall convict you of partiality. The argu- 
ment is valid, whether the Jewish exorcists cured 
or only pretended to do so. It is probable they 
did exercise some influence ; though to no great 
extent, else the wonder at Christ's power would 
not have been so great. Our Lord does not 
hint at any imposture ; in every age there has 
been something analogous and inexplicable, e, g,^ 
the Egyptian sorcerers. The existence of 'ae- 
moniacs' in those days, is proof that supernatural 
power, of itself y is no test of truth. 

Ver. 28. By the Spirit of Ood, t. ^., in union 
with the Spirit of God. The contrast with 
' Beelzebub ' points to a ' Person,* not an influ- 
ence. The alternative raised by the Pharisees 
is accepted, namely, such works of power are 
done either by God or Satan. Then having 
proved the absurdity of the latter explanation, our 
Lord declares that the agent is 'the Spirit of 
God.' — Then the kingdom of Ood is oome uj^wn 
you. 'The kingdom you profess to be waitmg 
for, has come upon you suddenly, before you ex- 
pected it, in spite of your opposition to me.' An 
assertion, that His power was not only Divine, but 
suflicient to prove Him the expected Messiah. 
This strong charge against them grows directly 
out of the falsity of theirs against Him. 



Chap. XII. 22-50.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. II5 

Vcr. 29. Or. The course of thought is, * If I in Mark iii. 29 : ' guilty of eternal sin.' The out- 
were noi the Messiah, stronger than Satan^ how ward manifestation of such a state will be * the 
could I thus spoil him ? ' — Spoil his goods. The blasphemy of the Holy Ghost' It is uncertain 
strong man represents Satan ; his ' house ' the whether such a state is possible ' in this world/ 
world where he has long reigned ; ' his goods,' the and we should beware 01 imputing it to any, but 

^ssed or the evil spirits possessing; them. — the impossibility of forgiveness is quite evident 

his house. The word 'spoil' here is stronger The inference from this view is, that all sin must 

t&an the one used in the last clause, indicating either be repented of and forgiven, or culminate 

a complete victory over Satan in this world. (here and hereafter) in the unpardoned and unpar- 

Ver. 3a He that is not with me. The oppo- donable state. 3. Many evangelical German ex- 
sition between the kinsrdom of Christ and the positors think that the dause contains a hint of 
kinedom of Satan is absolute ; it is impossible forgiveness in another world, /. ^., that all sins will 
to Be neutral. ' Neutrality ' is often the worst be forgiven, except those which terminate in this 
'hostilitv.' Since these two opposing kingdoms sin here or hereafter. This avoids a difficidty in re- 
exist, all moral beings must belong to one or gard to the future state of those to whom Christ 
the other. Our Lord has proved that He is has not been offered (infants, heathen, etc.), but 
the stronger, that He is the Messiah, working neither this passage, nor the other difficult ones 
miracles by the Spirit of God ; the alternative (i Pet iiu 19 ; iv. 6), gives sufficient ground for an- 
is therefore presented in a new form : Christ or nouncing it as taught in the word of God. It is 
Satan, The Pharisees decided for Satan, and at best only an inference based on a doubtful in- 
were consistent in their opposition. Sentimental terpretation of the first clause of verse 31, and 
admirers of Christ are simply inconsistent ene- the last clause of verse 32. The Scriptures are 
mies. wisely silent on the whole question. 

Ver. 31. Our Lord, who knew the thoughts Ver. 33. Either make the tree good, etc — The 

of His opposers, now explains the awful mean- law of God's creation is : good trees, good fruit ; 

ing of their enmity. — Therefore I say unto you. corrupt trees, evil fruit Tudge the tree by its 

A revelation on the authority of Christ — Everr fruit. My works are good, hence I am good ; the 

dn and blasphemy. Every sin up to and inclucl- blasphemous words of the Pharisees show their 

ing blasphemy, with the exception afterwards character. Some explain 'make' as meaning 

mentioned. ' Blasphemy,' the worst form of sin : 'exhibit,' 'represent,' but the application is the 

it is malicious evil-speaking against God. Even same. — For by the fruit the tree is known, 

this may be forgiven if repented of. — But the Comp. chap. viL 2a The mention of this gen- 

Uasphemy against the Spirit« The one excep- eral principle here favors the view that vers. 31, 32 

tioiL • The Spirit,' of course, means the ' Spirit are to be applied to a state. 

of God ' (ver. 28). See next verse. Ver. 34. Ye brood of vipers. Comp. chap. iii. 

Ver. 32. Whosoever speaketh a word, /. ^., in 7. The meek and lowly Saviour utters these 

passing, not as the result of a determined state words. The Pharisees were referred to, as the 

of hostility, against the Son of man, against Christ corrupt tree (ver. 33), a poisonous plant ; now as 

in the form of a servant* through ignorance of poisoning animals. There is probably an allu- 

His real glory, it shall be forgiven him. Even sion to the 'seed of the serpent' (Gen. iii. 15), 

this grcJAt sin can be pardoned. — But whosoever which is in constant antagonism to 'the seed of 

■pesieth The form indicates determined speak- the woman.' — How oan ye, etc. ? A moral im- 

ing, in the presence of light. — Against the Holy possibility, for out of the abundance, etc They 

Ghost. Not the Divine nature of Christ, but the had only spoken against Him ; but this proves 

third Person of the Trinity, as the Agent working their evil character. 

in the hearts of men, witnout whom neither for- Ver. 35. The thought of ver. 37, in another 
giveness nor holiness is possible. — Heither in figure ; words are represented as fruits. — The 
this world, nor in that whieh is to oome. 'World,' good treasure. The words: 'of the heart,' 
/. e^ aeon or age ; the present one before the final though not in the text, suggest the correct ex- 
coming of Christ, the future one dating from that planation. The contents of our hearts are known 
event, and lasting forever. The Jewish nation to Cxod alone and partially to ourselves, but our 
divided the two by the first coming of the Mes- unrestrained utterances show what is laid up there, 
siah. The meaning is: shall never be forgiven^ Ver. 36. And I say nnto yon. An authorita- 
Views of this sin : I. A particular sin, that of tive revelation, opposed to the common opinion 
deliberately, persistently, and maliciously, in the of men, yet preeminently reasonable. — Every 
presence of proper evidence, attributing tne works idle word, i, e^ morally useless. If ' the idle 
of Christ (whether of physic2d healing or spirit- word ' must be accounted for, much more the 
ual deliverance) to diaoolical agency, instead of wicked ones spoken on this occasion, 
acknowledging the Holy Spirit as the Agent Ver.;j7.F6rby thywordsthonihaltbejnstifled, 
(Comp. Mark iiL 36.) The accusation of the Phar- declared righteous, acquitted, not made righteous. 
isees, m this instance, ma^ have been such a sin. It The word never has the latter sense in the New 
is very different from ordinary and usual opposition Testament. The index of charact^ will be the 
to God and Christ, and also from ' grieving ' or ' re* words, not hypocritical ones, although even these 
sisting the Holy Ghost' It cannot be a mere de- speedily reveal their true character, but those 
nial of the Divinity of Christ Those who fear that coming from the heart (vers. ^^ 35). ' By ' here 
they have committed the unpardonable sin, give points to the true source. —This general principle, 
good evidence that they have not done so. 2. A far exceeding ' the righteousness of the scribes 
itale of determined, wilful opposition, in the pres- and Pharisees,' concludes this discourse. Its awful 
ence of light, to the power of the Holy Spirit, vir- statements challenge every one : Are you with 
tually a moral suicide, a killing of the conscience, Christ or against Him ; do your words, coming 
so that the human spirit is ateolutely insuscepti- from the heart, confess or deny Him. 
ble to the influences of the Holy Spirit Vers. Ver. 38. Then oertain of the seribes and Fhari- 
13-35 favor this view, as also the correct reading sees. ' Others ' (Luke xL 16) ; on the same occa- 



Il6 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XII. 22-50. 

sion, however. — XASter, or ' Teacher.' In this plAcef , /. e.^ unwatered, desert regions, such as 
instance the term was either a polite formality or demons inhabited according to the popular no- 
used in ironical doubt ( Luke :'temptine him '). — tion. Our Lord's words, while in one sense an 
We would see a d^ from thee. Lulce : ' from accommodation to this view, allude to the place 
heaven.' They intimated that the miracles of whither the demons go, without stating where it 
healing were not sufficient evidence ; might be is. The return into the man is against the view 
attributed to magic or diabolical art. ' A sign that the abode of the wicked is meant ; but a 
from heaven' they would regard as conclusive state of greater dissatisfaction and unrest is 
proof. They either denied that His miracles were plainly in£cated. 

'signs,' or that coming from Him, they could be Ver. 44. ICy house, «. e.y the demoniac — He 

signs 'from heaven.' Pharisaism admires mar- lixideth it Not in a state of moral purity, but 

vels of power more than miracles of mercy. empty of a good tenant ; swept of all that would 

Ver. 79L An evil and adnlterons geoieration. be forbidding to an evil spirit ; and garnished, set 

These Pharisees represent the great part of the in order, and adorned, but in a way inviting to 

Jewish people, who looked for a temporal De- the unclean spirit 

livercr, showing signs from heaven. Here, as in Ver. 45. Then, seeing this inviting residence. — 
the Old Testament, ' adulterous ' means unfaith- Seven other sidrits, etc To be understood indefi- 
ful to God, idolatrous. Their craving after a sign nitely, of a more complete and terrible posses- 
was a token of the same spirit of apostacy which sion ; there being no resistance to their entrance, 
made them join with heathen idolaters in crucify- — And the last state of that man is worse than 
ing Jesus. — Beeketh after, craves, demands as the first. Possibly a reference to some well- 
essential. Comp. I Cor. i. 22. — There shall no known case ; but the whole is applied directly to 
sign be given to it. ' No sign,' to confirm their the Jews : Thus shall it be also nnto this widced 
false views of the Messiah. — The sign of Jonah generation. Explanations: i. The i^r^ appli- 
the prophet One great sign would be given, cation to the Jews. The first possession, the 
typified m the history of Jonah, — the death and early idolatrous tendency of the Jews ; the going 
resurrection of Christ The sign of Messiahship, out, the result of the captivity m Babylon ; the 
like the Messiah Himself, was the reverse of their emptying, sweeping, and garnishing at their return 
expectations : not a sign ' from heaven,' but from (Pharisaism, a seeming reformation, but really an 
• the heart of the earth.' invitation to evil influences) ; the last state, the 

Ver. 40. In the bell^ of the whale, or ' great terrible and infatuated condition of the Jews after 
fish.* (Comp. Jonah 1. 17, chap, ii.) Probably they had rejected Christ 2. 6^^w^ra/ application 
a white shark, which reaches an immense size to the Jews. * A process of deterioration, with 
in the Mediterranean. Our Lord vouches for occasional vicissitudes and fluctuations, but result- 
the main fact — Bo shall the Son of man be ing in a state far worse than any that had gone 
three dajrs and three nights. In round num- before it' (J. A. Alexander). Both are true; 
bers according to the Jewish mode of reck- the former is probably the primary reference. 3. 
oning time. — In the heart of the earth. Either Application to the history of Christianity. The 
in * hades * or in the * grave.' The first sense Reformation, the casting out of the first evil 
accords better with the case of Jonah, although spirit of idolatry, permitted by Rome, the house 
nothing can be inferred from this respecting the * empty, swept, and gamishea : swept and gar- 
locality of the ' place of departed spirits.' Christ's nished by the decencies of civilization and dis- 
sepulchre was not strictly in the heart of the coveries of secular knowledge, but empty of liv- 
earth. * The sign of Jonah ' may be traced at ing and earnest faith * (Alford) ; the reposses- 
some length ; the following words of our Lord sion, the final development of the man of sin. 
suggest, that as Jonah emerged to preach repent- 4. An application to individuals ; external refor- 
ance to the Gentiles, so He rose to send the gos- mation without permanent spiritual results, lead- 
pel to all nations. ing to a ' worse state.* 

Ver. 41. The men of Hineveh shall rise, /'. ^., ver. 46. While he was yet speaking to the mnl- 

as witnesses, by their example. — In the jndg- titndes. This definite expression fixes the occa- 

ment, not ' in judgment' — With this generation, sion. — His mother and brethren. On the brethren 

/. ^., at the same time, not necessarily against of our Lord, see chap. xiii. 55. — Stood, * or were 

them, although this would be the result standing,' without. Either outside the crowd or 

Ver. 42. The queen of the south. The queen the house ; it is not certain that He was in a house, 
of Sheba (i Kings x. i), supposed to be Sabxa, They remained there unsuccessfully (Luke viii. 
in the southern part of Arabia. Joscphus rep- 19), seeking to speak with him. A sufficient mo- 
resents her as a queen of Ethiopia, and the Ab- tive should be looked for. It was probably affec- ' 
yssinians claim her as the ancestress of their tionate solicitude for His safety (see on Mark iii. 
kings. — From the ends of the earth- A common 21 ), in consequence of the open rupture with the 
Greek expression for a great distance. A stronger Pharisees ; also for His health, since He had not 
case than the last (ver. 41). The Ninevites re- time to eat (Mark iiL 20). It is uncertain whether 
pented under personal preaching ; but the queen His friends really thought He was beside Him- 
of Sheba was attracted from a great distance to self or only said so to screen Him (Mark iii. 21). 
hear the wisdom of Solomon. — More than. A They probably did not doubt Him, but mistook 
superior Person, a more important message, and their duty, and adopted a worldly policy, which 
greater wisdom. Yet the Jews were not attracted, though natural and prompted by genuine afiection 
did not even give heed. deserved the rebuke here implied. In any case 

Ver. 43. The figure in vers. 43-45 refers pri- the faith of Mary His mother must have grown 

marily to the Jewish people, but is applicable stronger before tne crucifixion. Luke (xi. 27, 28) 

also in the history of Christianity and to mdivid- places immediately after the discourse just nar- 

uals (see on ver. 4O. — When. The original in- rated, the exclamation of a woman, referring to 

dicates a supposed case. — Oone out. How, is His mother ('Blessed is the' womb,' etc),as if 

a]t(>gether inunatcrial. — Passeth through trj Mary's presence had occasioned it The response 



Chap. XIII. 1-52.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 11/ 

there recorded is similar in character to ver. 50 the will of His heavenly Father, but makes such 

of this chapter. a result the criterion. — He if my brot^r, and 

Ver. 47. Then one said unto him. We need sister, and mother. The term ' father ' is ex- 

not suppose that this unnamed person wished to eluded ; His * Father ' is * in heaven.' Our Lord 

interrupt the discourse, still less that he would loved His relatives, but all whom He teaches 

c^l attention to the humble relatives to prove ('His disciples') and saves ('do the will of my 

that Jesus was not the Messiah. Father '), whosoever they are, stand equally near 

Ver. 48. Who is my mother t and who are my Him. Christ loves His people with a love human 

brethren 1 Implying, not contempt nor careless- as well as Divine ; there can be no closer rela- 

ness, but that the family relation m His case was tionship to Him than that of real discipleship 

peculiar. He was more than man, or was not jus- which manifests itself in this obedience to His 

tified in thus speaking. Heavenly Father. Christ was * the Son of man ' 

Ver. 4a And he stretched forth his hand tow- as well as *the Son of Mary,' identified with 

aid his usciples. Mark iii. 33 : ' He looked round humanity in one sense, even more than with her. 

about on them which sat about him,' hence ' dis- Those who have not seen Jesus on earth, are here 

ciples ' in the wider sense. — Beh<^ my mother assured of His presence and affection in a way 

and my brethren, /, ^., these are as nearly allied that should be a constant stimulant to holiness, 

and as dear to me (see next verse). Brethren of Christ are brethren to each other. 

Ver. 5a For whosoever shall do the will of my The dearest and best of friends and relatives, so 

Father who is in heaven. Mere profession of often needlessly anxious about us, have no claims 

discipleship does not entitle to such a position, upon us superior to our duties to the gospel of 

Our Lord does not say how we are enabled to do the Kingdom. 



Chapter XIII. 1-52. 
The Seven Parables respecting the Kingdom of Heaven, 

Introductory Note. The Evangelist has The purpose of our Ixjrd in teaching by para- 

1'ust represented our Lord in opposition to the bles was twofold (vers. 10-17) • to reveal and to 

*harisees. (A few events probably intervened ; conceal the truth. To reveal to those who really 

see Luke xi-xiiL) Thus His claims as the Mes- sought the truth ; to conceal from those who did 

siah came out more fully. Instruction as to the not desire such knowledge ; thus rewarding the 

nature of His kingdom naturally followed ; but former, and punishing the latter. The purpose of 

in view of the opposition already encountered, concealing is plainly stated by our Lord Himself, 

the best method was by parables (see below, on and may have been in mercy, since it prevented 

^ftpurpose of the parables). a greater perverting of the truth to their condem- 

The parable has been variously defined. Al- nation. The Pharisees were plotting to kill Him ; 

ford : * a serious narration within the limits of His disciples required much more instruction be* 

probability, of a course of action pointing to some fore He could leave them ; hence a method in- 

moral or spiritual truth.' In the widest sense it volving this twofold purpose was not only gra- 

includes ail illustrations from analogy, but in the cious and just, but prudent also. The Old Tes- 

strict sense, it differs from a mere simile or meta^ tament parable, spoken by Nathan (2 Sam. xii. 

pk<n^f which is not a narration ; from di fable (two 1-6), also concealed and revealed ; it called forth 

fables occur in the Old Testament; Judg. iv. 8-1 5 ; from David an unprejudiced judgment on his 

2 Kings xiv. 9 ; but both are given as purely own conduct, and then produced conviction of 

human productions) which is not within the limits sin. This special purpose is also evident in a 

of probability, nor designed to teach spiritual few of our Lord's parables, e, g,, that spoken in 

tmtn ; from a myth which is told as the truth, the house of Simon (Luke viL 41, 42). 

while the desi^ of the parable is evident ; from Parables may be pressed too far ; the general 

a proverb^ which is briefer and which may not truth is always the central one ; others are usually 

contain a figure ; from an allegory, which is self- involved, but only as related to it Resemblances 

interpreting, the imaginary persons receiving which we discover at every point, although founded 

names, performing actions which declare the on analogies which God has created, are not to 

meaning, so that allegory is less natural than para- be placed on a level with what our Lord distinctly 

ble. (On Wpe, symbol, and allegory, as elements teaches. The uninspired lessons /r^^m the para- 

of the paraole, see LAxigt, Matthew^ pp. 234-235.) bles exceed in number the inspired lessons of the 

It is not necessary to suppose that our Lord's parables. The former include possible meanines, 

parables were always founded on fact, and Ren- the latter necessary ones. The former may be 

erally composed of real incidents. We indeed used to enforce truth revealed elsewhere, the lat- 

resort to fiction in teaching moral truth, because ter are revelations of truth. Seeking the many 

unaware of facts adapted to convey the same les- lessons makes us rich in spiritual knowledge, 

son ; while Christ's knowledge of course included grasping the necessary one makes us confident, 

such facts. It is, however, enough to say that The seven parables of this chapter seem to have 

Christ's parables (His figures also) are based been spoken on one occasion, and they relate to 

on analogies which He alone had wisdom to dis- one definite subject The natural and easy tran- 

cem, and authority to proclaim. His parables sition in the order, the advance in thought cannot 

give no warrant for new ones ; nor do they de- be accidental. They present the development of 

termine the propriety of our using fiction to the kingdom of heaven in its conflict with the 

spread or illustrate the truth. world, bringing out its lights and shadows. ' Ac* 



Il8 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIII. 1-23. 

cordingly, we cannot fail to trace in the parable mation ; in the parable of the pearl, the contrast 
of the sower a picture of the apostolic age ; in between Christianity and the acquisitions of mod> 
the parable of the tares, the ancient Catholic em secular culture ; and in the last parable, a pic- 
Church springing up in the midst of heresies ; in ture of the closing judgment' Lange. 
the parable m the mustard bush, resorted to by Other applications, however true, should never 
the birds of the air as if it were a tree, and loaded ignore the original one, out of which they grow, 
with their nests, a representation of the secular All, however, are always instructive and applica- 
state-Church under Constantine the Great ; in the ble. The history of the kingdom as a whole 
leaven that is mixed among the three measures finds its counterpart in the experience of each of 
of meal, the pervading and transforming influence its subjects, and in every penod of its develop- 
of Christiamty in the mediaeval Church, among ment They remain * like apples of gold in pic- 
the barbarous races of Europe ; in the parable of tures of silver,* the gospel to the poor, to chil- 
the treasure in the field, the period of the Refor- dren, and yet inexhaustible in meaning. 



Chapter XIII. 1-23. 



T/ie Parable of the Sowety and its interpretation ; Our Lord's sayings on His 

ttse of parables. 

1 T^HE same day ^ went Jesus out of " the house, and * sat by *• ^^^^ .^^\^ 

2 X the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered to- * ^^"{,17^^ 
gether unto him, ^ so that he went into a ship,^ and sat ; and ^ comjr Luke 

3 the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many ^' *' 
things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a^ sower went 

4 forth to sow ; And when * he sowed, some seeds fell by the way- 

5 side, and the fowls ^ came and devoured them up ® : Some ^ fell 
upon stony® places, where they had not much earth : and forth- 
with they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth : 

6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched ; and because 

7 they had no root, they withered away. And some^ fell among 

8 * thorns®; and the thorns sprung up ^^ and choked them: But «/Jer iv.3. 
other^ fell into^^ good ground, and brought forth ^^ fruit, some * vcr. 13; . 

9 *a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.^^ -^Who^* hath >|^ ^^ 
ears to hear,^^ let him hear. "• 's- 

10 And the disciples came, and said unto him. Why speakest 

11 thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto 

them, Because 'it is given unto you to know the mysteries of^^»p- »«• 

12 the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. * For who- * cj»p. my. 
soever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more^® iv. is; Luke 

*^ VIII. 18; XIX. 

abundance : but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken »^ J ««"p- 

John XV. a 

13 away even that^^ he hath. Therefore speak I to them in para- 
bles: because they 'seeing see^® not; and hearing they hear 1 jer.v.ai; 

14 not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the comp- !«.* 
prophecy of Esaias,^® which saith, *By hearing ye shall hear, and * isa. vi <^ 

10 ; John xtt 

^ On that day * boat • the * as xxviii, a6, 

' birds * omit up ' And others * the rocky *'* 

• upon the thorns *° grew up ^* upon ** yielded 

" some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty. ** He that 

** omit to hear *• omit more *' that which 

*• seeing they see *• Isaiah 



Chap. XIII. 1-230 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. IIQ 

shall not^ understand ; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not* 

1 5 perceive : For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears 
are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; lest at any 
time^^ they should see ^ with their eyes, and hear with their 
ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be 

# T 

1 6 converted,^ and I should heal them. But 'blessed are your "4; comp. 

ri •% rit f-'iT chap. xvL 

17 eyes, for they see : and your ears, for they hear. *" For verily I \. . 
say unto you. That many prophets and righteous fnen have ^ > **«'• »• »*>- 
desired to see those things which ye see,^ and have not seen * 

them; and to hear those t/Ungs which ye hear, and have not . 

18 heard ^ them. "Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower, -?<>; lJkr 

^ * vili. 11-15. 

19 When any one heareth the word of • the kingdom, and under- * ver 38^ 
standeth it not, then cometh ''the wicked^ one, and catch- ^^j ^»_«*- 
eth® away that which was^ sown in his heart. This is he 5j*J^.j\i''j 

20 which received seed^^ by the way-side. But® he that received Erfi.vi^i6; 
the seed^^ into^ stony places, the same is he^ that heareth J/^jSn*!*. 

21 the word, and anon* with joy receiveth it;* Yet hath he not I,*; WiS!** 
root in himself, but dureth'^ for a while: for ^ when tribulation '^' 

or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by ^ *he is ^ 2!\.***^* 

22 offended. He also ^ that received seed ^^ among the thorns is 

he^* that heareth the word ; and the care of '"this® world, and ^aTiin.iv.ia 
the * deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh ' ,'J}!^'^^^ 

23 unfruitful. But^ he that received seed^^ into** the good <=*»»? "*-»5- 
ground is he^ that heareth the word, and understandeth it; 

which also*^ beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some a hundred- 
fold, some sixty, some tliirty.^^ 



* shall in no wise 


" haply 


** perceive 


" turn again 


** omithzyt 


« behold 


*• did not see 


" did not hear 


« evil 


^ snatcheth 


•* hath been 


'* that was sown 


« And 


•• upon 


■* this is he 


^ forthwith 


■• receiveth it with 


py; 


•^ endureth 


" And he 


» the 


^ who verily. 







Contents. The occasion (ver. i); the scene the whole is fruitful. Historical application: 

(ver. 2); the first parable (vers. 3-9); the question i. The Jews (who failed to receive the word) ; 2. 

of the disciples (ver. 10); the twofold answer; The Greeks (shortlived in their devotion); 3. The 

(i) why He taught in parables (vers. 11-17); (2) Romans (choked by temporal power); 4. As we 

what He taught in this parable (vers. 18-23). hope, the Teutonic races (thus far the most fruit- 

The parable which begins the discourse refers ful). * The mvsteries of the kingdom of heaven: * 

primarily to the beginnings of Christianity. The i. Revealed oy Christ, as they are revealed in 

generous sowing of the Apostolic age ; though Christ; 2. Revealed to faith, concealed from un- 

the hearers differ, the sowing always the same ; belief; j. To one class God freely gives; to the 

with good seed, a full hand and a wide reach, other He denies, the responsibilitv is theirs; 4. 

— The four classes of hearers, the same in every Willingness to receive leads to abundance, un- 

age. The unfruitful hearers : the Jirsf class, willingness results in inability; 5. The new revela- 

careless, corrupt, utterly hardened; the second^ tion fulfils the Old Testament (vers. 14, 15), yet 

enthusiastic but fickle, full of feeling not of faith; far exceeds it in the privilege it bestows (vers. 16, 

the thirds earnest but legal, self>seeking, serious- 17). The lon^ng of the O. T. saints, the priv* 

minded worldlings — the worst of the three, ilege of Christians. 

though often awsdcening most hope. The first Ver. i. On that day. Probably, but not cer- 

have the faults of childhood; the second, of tainly, the same day. The interval was brief in 

youth; the third, of more mature years. The any case. Comp. however, Luke xL, xii. — Oat of 

good ground; broken up, deeply stirred, cleared the house. If a particular house is meant, that 

of thorns. The proportion of fruit varies, but in which * his mother and brethren ' sought Him 



120 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIII. 1-23. 



—Tba t»lrtU», the shore of the 



(chap. X 

X^ke of Galilee. 

Ver. z. OiMtmnltitwIai. Cotnp. Markiv, i; 
Luke vii. 4. — A boat. Comp. the previous occa- 
sion {Mark iii. 9), when ' he spake to his disciples 



variety in the (orm of the paiallel passages shom 

independence. 

Ver. 9. Ee that hAth, etc. Comp. chap. li. ic. 
A peculiarly appropriate ending to a parable. It 
here refers to the undentanding of the parable; 



small boat should wait on him, because of the parable itself, as our Lord shows, signiAed 

the crowd, lest Ihey should throng him.' The the outward hearing. The former would m this 
.. ___. ._ .^_ .1 — ■ j_. ._L__.u._ — e imply the latter. 



Ver. lo. Th« diMiplN, more than the Twelve 
(Mark iv. 10). Evidently this method of instruc- 
tion had not been used by our Lord to any great 
Client before this discourse. Mark and Luke 

Ver. II. BwmuM It ii ('hath been and is*) 
aiTon to yon. ' To you ' is emphatic. A gi/i <rf 
God, is here said to be bestowed on one clasa of 
hearers (you), and not bestowed on another 



a tha than, in order to hear Hi 
trom the boat, the licst four parables were spoken 
the other three, to the disciples in the house. 

Ver, 3. Kuij tUap. Out of the 'many, 
Matthew selects these parables; for this selec- 
tion we seek a reason (see note on the whole 
discourse). — Bahold, calling attention to what 
follows, not to some object in sight, which would 
have distraaed attention from the parable. — Dw 

wv«r, standing for the class; want forth, I. ^., as hearers (yoii., 

tisaal, pointing rather to a supposed case, than to (them). — To know. Without this gift there could 

•omething occurring before their eyes. not be proper knowledge of the truth to be con- 

Ver. 4. Bj tho wa;-tldo. The paths or roads veyed by the parable. T he two classes are, as in 

pass dose to the edge of the ploughed ground in this case, separated by their own choice. God's 

tinencloscd fields; or the reference may oe to the good pi— «■■'- 'i— ■■'■ — •- - 

path across the 6eld on which the sower walked tree chc 

as he sowed. In any t:ase the seed was exposed, terlM. 

and quickly picked up by the birds. scruiabl 

Ver. 5. Ujion Um row; piMM. Not full of unknown to man in his natural condition, before 

atones, but thin soil over locks. — Fortliwltll Uuy it is revealed to him by God. The mysterious* 

■pnng np, bOMoie, etc. The greater heat of the ness arises mainly from the sinful state of man; 

shallow soil would cause a rapid growth upwards, yet God for wise purposes often withholds the 

Ver. 6. Boorahad, or 'burnt.' The heat of revelation without which these things remain 

the sun, so necessary to vegetable life, did this; ' mysteries.' The great mystery is Chnst Himself 

but the effect must be connected with the cause : (l Tim. iii. t6), making peace between God and 

tkty hmd no root. Plants need both sunshine and man, between man and man (Jew and Gentile; 

moisture; thev get the lirst from their growth Eph. iii. 4-11). This was not fully revealed to 

above grouna, the second from their growth the Apostles until long after the death of Christ, 

below ground; the root however being the prin- although they already had clearer views than the 

dpal chaimcl of nourishment (comp. I^e : mass of the people. Where this gospel mystery 



Hence these witlwnd nrey. 







Ver. 7. Upon the thonis, I e., upon s 
there were roots of thorns, etc, not necessarily 
among thorn-bushes.— And tho thama mw np and 
Ohokod tham. The thorns were of raider growth. 
Both ideas are implied in the phrase 'sprung up.' 
Ver. 8. Good amnind. The proportion of the 
rvest is large, but not unexampled. 



has been preached, sin alone hides it from 
however much may remain not fully revealed to 
us. — Of tha HngJimi at huvan. These parables 
relate lu the kinedom of Christ as a whole. — It 
ii not givaa. They hear the parables as pai>i- 
bles, not as vehicles of spiritual truth. 

Vet. 12. Mark and Luke put this verse after 
the exposition of the parable of the sower. — For 
whoMtrar hath. Applied more generally in 
chap. iiv. 29. A rule of God's dealings with 
men, holding good even in the lower fonns of 
creation ; here to be applied to knowledge of 
spiritual things. The phrase : fitan him shall bo 
taken away ^C which ho haUi, points to a seem- 
ing or supposed knowledge. This twofold result 
is not arbitrary, but a necessary development, 
akin to what we perceive in every form of growth. 
To the disciples, with a desire for spiritualknowl- 
edge, an interpretation was given, and their 
knowledge grew through the outward and inward 
revelation ; the people, without this desire, did 
not bear the interpretation, consequently they 
had less and less spiritual apprehension of the 
truth they possessed as Jews, since they got fiw- 
ther away from Christ who alone fulfilled and 
explained that truth. 

Ver. 13. Tharaforo. According to the prind* 
pic just mentioned. — BeoatiM iMing thoj ••• 
not, etc. Here the reason is based on the char- 
acter of the persons concerned ; Mark and Luke 
emphasize the purpose, namely, that this state of 
ignorance should go on unchecked to work out its 
own results. The two thoughts can be distin- 
guished, but not divided. The paradoxical form 
" ■ " " merely externa] perception without con- 



was once exceedingly fertile. The remarkable sequent mental or moral results. 



Chap. XIII. 1-43] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 121 

Ver. 14. In them, lit, ' to them/ in the sense, Luke) and nateheth away. Almost during the act 

•in their care.' — Ii fulfilled. A stronger word of hearing. This is done through * birds,* passing 

than that commonly used; a complete fulfil- thouehtsr and desires ; the purpose being* lest they 

ment, which may or may not have been preceded should believe and be saved ' (Luke viiC 12). The 

by a partial one. — Iiaiah (vi. 9, 10). Quoted in immediate cause is hardness of the soil. — Thii if 

John zii. 40 ; Acts xxviii. 26, 27 ; comp. Ronu he that was sown by the way-tide, not, ' he which 

XL 8 ; referred to by Mark and Luke, but not for- received seed.* The form used throughout points, 

mally quoted. — By hearing, etc. The sense of not to the ground, but to the result of the sowing 

the original prophecy is given, but not its form, in the different cases as representing the different 

In Isaiah is a command ; here a strong predic- classes of hearers. Here there may sdso be a hint 

tion, indicating that judgment is a result of what that the loss of the seed is the loss of real life, 

is done by man as well as what is done to man. avoiding however the thought that Satan could 

Ver. 15. For thii people's heart A more really keep the word of God itself. This apparent 

exact quotation, but changed into a prediction. — mixing of metaphors should caution us against 

Waxed gross, become fat, carnal, losing its spirit- pressing the analogies too far. 

uallife.— Their ejres they have closed; apersis- Ver. 20. Forthwith reoeiveth it with joy. 

tent course of action. Lsst haply. What they The effect is immediate and apparently good ; 

would not do, was what they at length could not but beneath the surface easily stirred, is a soil 

do. The result of their own doin^ fulfilled God's harder than the trodden path. Great joy ¥rith- 

righteous judicial purpose, but the blame was out deep spiritual conviction or conflict 

theirs. The parables themselves betokened the Ver. 21. Tet hath he not root ia himself, 

existence of this state of things both as a result His apparent Christian life is rooted only in the 

and as a punishment. temporary excitement about him. — Endnreth for 

Ver. i& Bat Uessed are yonr eyes. * Your ' a while. The expression implies also : * is the crea- 

is emphatic ; * your eyes, blessed are they,* etc. ture of circumstances.* — Trihnlation, afflictions ; 

Ver. 17. Thai many prophets, etc. Over perseention, a special form of afiliction ; all aris- 
against the responsibility of the ignorant (vers, mg beeanse of the word, and intended to stren^h- 
IJ-15), prominence is given to the great and en, as the sunshine the plant ; but the plant with- 
unmerited privilege of the discijiles. They were out root is withered. — Forthwith (as in the re- 
permitted to see and know what had been denied ception of the word) he is offended, or * taketh 
even to inspired and good men who longed for offence and falleth.* Sentimental, superficial, 
such knowledge. — Bighteons men, not merely ac- changeful, one-sided professors of Christianity. 
cording to the law, but who longed for something The parable does not decide whether such have 
higher, with the anticipative faith here implied. — really been subjects of grace. 
Dedrsd to see those things which ye behold (a Ver. 22. The third class hold out longer, but 
stronger word,meaning * to gaze upon'), and did not are unfruitful, from a divided heart, in which evil 
see tlMm. The privilege of the disciples exceeded triumphs ; the thorns being hardier than the 
not only the privilege but even the desire of these wheat — The care of the world, not pure world 
good men of former times. Hence all was of grace, liness, which belongs to the first class, but anxie- 

Ver. 18. Hear ye therefore. ' Hear, in your ties about worldly things distracting persons 

hearts, ye who are so highly favored, the true of serious mind. — The deceitfnlness of riches, 

meaning of these parables. Our Lord's explana- Whether in the pursuit or possession of wealth, 

tion is to guide us in the interpretation of other A false expectation or a false confidence in regard 

parables. He does not say : it teaches this gen- to wealth will choke the word. Mark adds : * the 

eral principle, nor does He give a significance to lusts of other things,* other than those presented 

all Uie objects and actions which may be linked hy the word. — He hecometh nnfmitfnL Not- 

with sowing in a grain-field. withstanding the previous (and perhaps long con- 

Ver. 19. The word of the kingdom. This is tinned) promise of fruit 

the seed (comp. Mark iv. 14; Luke viiL 11); the Ver. 23. The good ground. This has been 

sower being Christ (ver. 37), Himself and His prepared. All is of divine grace, yet the verse 

ministers (i Cor. iiu 6). The spoken word is plamlv teaches that the persons referred to 

made most prominent, as this was almost the only actrveiy and willinglv accept and understand the 

means used m the Apostolic age, to which this par- truth ; the result being continued fruitf ulness. 

able primarily refers. — Understandeth it not. The degrees vary, since characters and capacities 

Active, personal apprehension is involved — Then and gifts vary. This class alone fulfils the pur- 

eometli the evil one (' Satan,* Mark ; ' the devil,* pose of the sower. 



Chapter XIII. 24-43. 



The Second y Third and Fourth Parables ; with the Interpretation of ths 

Secondy in the House, 

24 A NOTHER parable put he forth unto them,i saying, «The '^ngijji'''' 
r\ kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed 

25 good seed in his field : But while men slept, his enemy came 

^ set he before them 



122 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIII. 24-43 

26 and sowed tares among * the wheat, and went his way.* But 
when the blade was sprung * up, and brought forth fruit, then 

27 appeared the tares also. So ^ the servants of the householder 
came and said unto him. Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in 

2S thy field ? from ® whence then hath it tares ? He said unto 
them, An enemy hath done ^ this. The servants said ® unto him, 

29 Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up } But he said,^ 
Nay ; lest ^^ while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the 

30 wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: 
and in the time of ^^ harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye 
together^ first the tares, and bind them in bundles to bum 

them : * but gather the wheat into my bam. * chap.m. 11. 

3 1 Another parable put he forth unto them,^ saying, * The king- c makk it. 90 
dom of heaven is like to *'a grain of mustard seed, which a man .xjiui8,i9. 

a Chap. zvu. 

32 took, and sowed in his field : Which indeed is the least of ^* «o..? J^^*^ 

. . . . '"^' ^' 

all seeds : but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs,^* 

and becometh a tree, so that * the birds of the air ^^ come and * Comp. Ps. 

lodge in the branches thereof. 

33 Another parable spake he unto them; -^The kingdom of/Lukewii. 
heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in 

^ three measures of meal, till the whole was^^ leavened. ^ Cen xviu. 

34 *A11 these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in para- * ^^'^ »v- sst 

35 bles" ; and without a parable spake he not^® unto them : That 

it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, ^ ^^ j^^^.. 
i I will open my mouth in parables ; *I will utter things which ;jcorop.Rom. 
have been kept secret^® 'from the foundation of the world.^ iConu*^7* 

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into ^ the ' ^fliiSri. 
house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, "Declare^ f^'u. aeT* 

37 unto us "the parable of the tares of the field. He^ answered xvtr.*?"' * 
and said unto them,^ He that soweth the good seed is the Son ^u.^'m^ ° 

38 of man; The Afield is the world ; the ^ good seed^ are® the iPet.V. ». 
children^ of the kingdom ; but the 2* tares are '^the children* of »»v«».* 14-30; 

39 ' the wicked ^ one ; The ^ enemy that sowed them is the devil : «▼. 15. _ 

, oai .1 ir * Chap. Till. 

' the ^* harvest is *" the end of the world : and the reapers are , w ... 

/ John viiu 

40 the ^ angels. As therefore the tares 'are gathered ® and burned jfJ ^^fj^ 

41 in the fire ; so shall it be in ^the end of this^o world. ^The Son ^ wiii?;',,; 
of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of ^ ve«.'j^'49i 
his kingdom "all things that offend,^^ and them which** do J^^S^""' 

20; comp. 

* tares, also amidst ' went away * blade sprung * And i>an.xu. 13; 

• omit from ' did • say » saith , jlhn iv.l^* 
*<> lest haply 11 ins^r^ the " gather up " less than / Chap. xx=v. 
" greater than the " heaven " it was all «» irha xvi 
" in parables unto the multitudes ^* nothing w things hidden " 13. SvH*^;. 
* of the world in italics^ since the best authorities omit the phrase, 

** explain ^ And he » omit unto them ** And the 

2» insert these ^ sons ^ evil « omit the 

•'* insert up w the «* all stumbling blocks •> that 



Chap. XI 1 1. 24-43] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 123 

42 iniquity ; • And shall cast them into a ^ furnace of fire : there ** ^^- i°^^ 

43 shall be wailing® and gnashing of teeth. Then shall "the ^'/;:^.^^g 
righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. 
' Who^ hath ears to hear,^ let him hear, 

•• the weeping »* He that «* omtf to hear 



Dan. xii. 3. 
jc See ver. 9. 



Contents. — The three other parables spoken 
in public (vers. 24-33), ^^^^ ^he interpretation of 
the parable of the tares in private (vers. 36-43). 
The Evangelist inserts, as is his habit, a prophecy 
fulfilled by this method of instructing the multi- 
tudes (vers. 34, 35). — The parable of the tares fol- 
lows that of the sower ; the development of evil is 
soon apparent ; it was foretold to prevent discour- 
agement The third and fourth, setting forth the 
expansive and permeating power of the kingdom 
of heaven, were an assurance that the tares would 
not dispossess the wheat. — The historical appli- 
cation of the parable of the tares, is to the early 
days of Christianity, when evil tendencies, not yet 
rooted up, manifested themselves. It has an ap- 
plication for every succeeding age ; not however 
as a whole to individuals. Its various parts en- 
join : zeal in extending the gospel over the world, 
vigilance against Satan, patience in the midst of 
recognized evil, hope of final triumph for Christ's 
cause ; the final scene is impressive. The Son 
of man who here speaks will send forth the 
reapers at the end of the world. — The parables 
of the mustard-seed and of the leaven, form a 
pair : both pointing to the growth of Christianity 
from small oeginnings ; the former presenting its 
extensive power, in consequence of its inherent 
capacity for development ; the latter its intensive 
power, all the more pervasive because noiseless. 
The historical application of the one is to the rapid 
extension of Christianity in the early centuries; 
of the other, to its gradual and hidden effects on 
humanity, especially amons barbarous nations in 
the Dark Ages. The inouvidual application of 
the former is not prominent ; it encourages by 
showing that the beginnings of grace in the heart 
are small, and warms by asserting its rapid ex- 
tension. The parable of the leaven points 
directly to the niystery of regeneration transform- 
ing the soul. — For other lessons see comments. 

Ver. 24. Bet he before them. With the 
double purpose already spoken of; the word 
being often used in reference to food. — The king- 
dom of liMTen. The subject in all seven par- 
ables. Christ's reign in the new economy of sal- 
vation. — Ii likened, or ' made like.* Not * is like,' 
as in the succeeding parables. The speedy estab- 
lishment of the kingdom is implied ; hence this 
parable is referred to the first stage of Christi- 
anity. — Good teed, 1. ^., of a good kind and good 
of its kind ~ Hie Held. The * world ' (ver. 38) is 
'His ' though ' the devil ' works in it 

Ver. 25. But while men ilept, ^ ^., 'at night,' 
the opportune time for such an act of malice. 
No censure of the servants is expressed ; though 
their natural weakness may be implied. — Hii en- 
emy etme and lowed tarei also amidft the wheat. 
' Tares,' ' darnel ' or bastard wheat, looking like 
wheat, but with a fruit which is injurious in its 
effects. An act of malice not unexampled. — 
Went away. The hostile sowing required no 
further care; in the beginnings of evil Satan 
ciQiioeals himself. 




Tares or Zowan. 



Ver. 26. Then appeared the tarei also. After 
a time, and at a time of promise in the wheat 
the evil result of the mali- 
cious sowing is apparent. 

Vers, 27, 28. Simple 
life-like dialogue rcouir- 
ing little explanation. The 
servants in perplexity re- 
sort to the master, who 
checks their impatient 
zeal. 

Ver. 29. Lest haply 
while ye gather up, etc. 
The answer of a wise hus- 
bandman. The servants 
might distinguish the two, 
but their roots were inter- 
twined. Impatient zeal 
for purity in the Church 
has often rooted up the 
wheat. 

Ver. 31. A third para- 
ble^ also from agricultural 
experience. — A grain of 
mnstard-oeed. The plant 
crows wild, but was often 
found in the gardens of the Fews. In the fertile 
soil of Palestme it reached the height of several 
feet * A grain of mustard seed ' wis the prover- 
bial expression for the smallest thing conceivable 
(comp. chap. xvii. 20). — Took. Probably a hint 
that the small seed must be taken up carefully or 
it would be lost 

Ver. 32. LoM than all seeds, /. e.y those sown 
by the Jews. — Greater than the herhe. The lit- 
eral meaning leaves it uncertain whether the 
plant referred to was itself an herb. The main 
point is the rapid growth from a diminutive seed. 
— The birds of the heaven represent the external 
adherents of the kingdom, nations nominally 
Christian; oftentimes 'outward church form,' 
since the kingdom itself is not the Church 
organization. — Lodge in the hranohei tiiereof. 
Seeking shelter and remaining there. The per- 
manent external adhesion is thus indicated. 

Ver. 33. Leaven. In those days a piece of 
the leavened loaf was put amongst the new dough 
to cause fermentation. This illustrates the power 
of pervading and assimilating foreign substances. 
The figure is generally applied to evil influences, 
but here probably to gracious ones, see below. — 
A woman. There may be no significance in this 
part of the figure, though sonde find in it a refer- 
ence to the Church. — Took and hid. Two impor- 
tant points : ' took,' from without ; ' and hid,' 
f . e.y put it where it seemed lost in the larger 
mass. — Three meainrei of meal, probably the 
usual amount taken for one baking, an ephah 
(comp. Gen. xviii. 6 ; Judges vi. 19 ; i SanL i. 
24). A large mass is to be pervaded and assimi- 
lated by the small piece of leaven. ' Three ' is 
not necessarily significant, though referred by 
some to ' body, soul, and spirit,' by others to the 



124 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIII. 24-43. 



three sons of Noah ; the first not applicable his- 
torically, the second far-fetched. — Till it was all 
leavened. The length of time not indicated ; the 
transformation of the whole mass is the one fact 
stated. This influence triumphs. * Leaven ' 
therefore does not represent ctHI here, as is 
usually the case. The parables indeed afHrm a 
development of evil side by side with that of the 
kingdom, but the kingdom itself * is like leaven.* 
Leaven is used in a good sense (Lev. xxiiL 17) ; 
in household economy it has a wholesome influ- 
ence. The parable indicates that the influence is 
internal and noiseless, not dependent upon 
external organization so much as upon quiet 
personal agency and example, since the leaven 
transforms the dough lying next, until it is 'all 
leavened.* The last clause is not to be inter- 
preted absolutely, since an evil development is 
set forth in the second and seventh parables, and 
hinted at in the third. 

Ver. 34. And withoat a paraUe ipake he 
nothing nnto them. On that occasion ; probably 
true also of the subject of discourse, the kingdom 
of heaven. 

Ver. 35. That, 1. ^., * in order that.' — The 
prophet. From Ps. Ixxviii. 2, the author of which 
was Asaph, 'the seer' (2 Chron. xxix. 30), or 
prophet. The Psalm is historical, but the events 
It mentions have a reference to Christ (comp. 
I Cor. X. 6) II, where the same events are spoken 
of). 

Ver. 36. Into the honse. Probably His usual 
residence. The purpose was to explain the par- 
ables more fully and to add others for the benefit 
of Hia diaeiples that were about Him, with the 
Twelve ; Mark iv. la — The paraUe of the tares 
would be less likely to be understood by the 
multitudes. 

Ver. 37. The Bon of man. Christ Himself. 
Our Lord uses the present tense, but this does 
not forbid an application to later events, in which 
Christ is represented by those who preach 
Him. 

Ver. 38. The field is the world. * His field ' 
(ver. 24), hence some would limit this to the 
Church. But in that case the parable would not 
differ from the last of the series. The phrase 
can only mean the Church, as the Church is seek- 
ing to occupy the whole world. The gospel is 
good seed to be scattered everywhere ; the inter- 
twining of the roots suggests that the tares are in 
the Church also, as indeed ver. 41 plainly im- 
plies. — The sons of the kingdom — the sons of 
the evil one. The reference is to persons, who 
represent and embody the two opposmg influences 
and developments. In the world, and in the 
Church both as an organized body and as en- 
gaged in its missionary enterprises, there exist 
hide by side two such classes ; those made heirs 
of Christ's kingdom by Divine sowing and those 
who are of the seed ot the serpent. 

Ver. 39. The deyU is here represented as the 
author of evil in tht world (and m the Church as 
affected by the world). — The harvest, up to 
which time the tares are to be left, is the end of 
the world. The phrase may be rendered : ' the 



consummation of the age.* According to Jewish 
notions the coming of the Messiah was to be the 
end of the present age. Our Lord and His 
Apostles refer the Jewish phrase to the second 
coming of the Messiah. Our Lord does not 
interpret more fully the conversation of the ser- 
vants and the householder (vers. 27-29). Where 
He has been silent, controversy has been loudest. 
The application to the question of discipline 
has been hotly discussed from the fourth century 
until now. The parable assumes that earnest 
Christians will be zealous to remove impurities 
and offences (from the Church and the world 
as well) by forcible means. Without positively 
forbidding this which may at times be abso- 
lutely necessary, the whole drift of the parable 
enjoins caution and charity. Brute force, per- 
secution, whether civil (rooting out of the world) 
or ecclesiastical (rooting out of the Church) 
finds little warrant here, and has generally resulted 
in actually tearing up the wheat. As regards 
discipline ; when necessary, it is to be exercised 
with a prudential not a punitive purpose. The 
case is much simplified, when the Church is free, 
and not compelled by alliance with the State to 
allow wheat and tares to intertwine yet more 
closely. 

Ver. 40. The destruction of the wicked is 
first declared ; it is to take place at the end of 
the world, /. ^., of the present order of things. 

Ver. 41. The Bon (rfman. Christ Himself is 
Lord of angels and Ruler in this kingdom. — Ont 
of His kingdom. The angels sent forth by Christ 
will accomplish what men could not do, ought 
not to attempt to do, namely, remove sill evil 
from the Church and from the world, which will 
stand only so long as the purpose of the kingdom 
requires it. — All stnmhling-blooks, lit, ' scan- 
dals.' As punishment is spoken of, this must 
refer to persons, those who cause others to falL 
— And Uiem that do iniqnity. This class in- 
cludes the former and yet more. How long this 
gathering out will contmue is not stated 

Ver. 42. And shall oast them, etc As the 
tares were burned, this may be figurative, but it 
undoubtedly refers to intolerable suffering, result- 
ing not simply from the circumstances of the evil- 
doers in a future . state but from their character. 
— There shall he the weeping. Comp. chap. viii. 
12. These awful words must mean something 
positive and punitive. 

Ver. 43. Then shall the riffhteons shine forth. 
The gospel tells how men become •righteous.' 
As such they have a glorv, a light which is here 
obscured, but shall then burst forth, as Christ's 
glory shall appear. — In the kingdom of their 
Father. The righteous being God's adopted 
sons. He is * their Father.' This kingdom of 
final glory seems to be distinguished from the 
mediatorial kingdom of Christ spoken of through- 
out the chapter ; comp. i Cor. xv. 24.— -He thai 
hath ears, etc This conclusion befits the impor- 
tance of the parable. The prophecy respecting 
the destiny of all men deserves the attention ctt 
all men. Yet even on this point many have no 
ears to hear. 



Chap. XIII. 44-52. j THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 125 



Chapter XIII. 44-52. 

Tlu Three Parables spoken to the Disciples in the House ; the Conclusion 

of the Discourse, 

44 A GAIN,^ the kingdom of heaven ^ is like unto treasure hid ^ ^~^- "■ -• 
xi. in a field ; ^ the ^ which when a man hath found, he hideth,* 

and for joy thereof^ *goeth and selleth all that he hath, and 3 ver 46; 

« 1 1 /• 1 1 conip. Prov. 

buyeth that field. «»"• 23. 

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchantman,® 

46 seeking goodly pearls : Who, when he had found ^ ^ one pearl of c job xxviu 
gfreat price, * went ® and sold all that he had, and bought it. 

47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was 

48 cast into the sea and gathered of ** every kind : Which, when it d chap. xxii 
was full,® they drew to ^^ shore, and sat ^^ down, and ^ gathered 

49 the good into vessels, but cast the bad ^^ away. So shall it be 

at^* *the end of the world : the angels shall come forth, and * See vcr. 39 

50 -^ sever the wicked from among the just, ^ And shall cast them/chap. xxv. 
into the furnace of fire : there shall be wailing ^^ and gnash- ven 41. 

f &CC vcr* 4' 

ing of teeth. 

51 Jesus saith unto them,^® Have ye understood all these things } 

52 They say unto him. Yea, Lord.^^ Then said he ^^ unto them, 
Therefore every * scribe which is * instructed unto ^® the king- * ^^^p- ««"• 
dom of heaven, is like unto a man that is a householder, which^ ' ^'hap-«vui. 
bringeth forth out of his treasure ^things new and old. k cant.vH.ij 

* omit Again * a treasure hidden in the field ' omit the 

* which a man found and hid • in his joy he 

* a man that is a merchant ^ and having found ^ he went 

* filled " up on the " sitting " they 
" the bad they cast " in *• weeping 

*• omit Jesus saith unto them " omit Lord 

*• And he said ^* who hath been made a disciple for ^ who 

Contents. These three parables relate sion ; the man who had made this discovery used 

mainly to human effort in the development all the means in his power to possess himself of 

of the kingdom of heaven. The last one cor- the treasure. This suggests the general applica- 

responds to the second, while the fifth and sixth tion and lesson. Notice : He obtained the * treas- 

form a pair ; the transition of thought being easy ure,* worth more than he could pay, and also ' the 

and natural in every case. — TVie Hidden Treas' field,* which he could buy. In this result the 

ure (ver. 44), finding without seeking ; The parable differs from the next Many, therefore, 

Pearl of ^ecU frice (vers. 45, 46), seekmg and refer *the field' to the external Church, in which 

finding ; m botn cases, proper effort to appropri- a man may, as it were, stumble on the treasure of 

ate the valuable possession ; The Net cast into true religion ; he naturally possesses himself also 

the Sea (vers. 47-50), the Church and her efforts, of the means of grace, the external forms of the 

the mixed result and the final separation. Ap- Church. — We may aptly apply it historically to 

plication in the form of a comparison (vers. 51, the days of the Reformation, when true religion 

52). was sought and obtained at the cost of every- 

Ver. 44. A tretiiire hidden in tha field. It thing ; the discoverv of the treasure was appar- 

ti possible, but not probable, that our Lord refers entlv accidental, ana great joy attended it The 

to some case of * treasure trove,' which had lately fiela was doctrinal theology. In this, the treas- 

occurred. — In hie J07. Natural to those who ure had been hidden, but the reformers obtained 

find unexpectedly. The legality or morality of this also as a possession. 
the transaction does not enter into the discus- Ver. 45. Merohant seeking goodly pearli. 



126 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XI 1 1. 44-58. 

One who is making it his business to seek what God, and the other those whose destiny is de- 
is valuable, what is true and right scribed in vers. 49, 5a 

Ver. 46. One pearl of great price. Christ Ver. 491 8e?er the wieked from amonff tha 
Himself, not religion ; when this pearl becomes JQft. Comp. ver. 41. The phrase * sitting down,' 
ours, we have true religion. The seeker finds m ver. 48, and other minor points in the two par- 
and obtains the pearl in its purity. No mention ables, suggest that this mav occupv a pcrioa of 
is made of joy in this case, since this is more some length. In the paraole of tne tares, how- 
characteristic of those who make the discovery ever, the final separating process accounts for the 
without seeking. This parable has a historical command : ' Let both grow toother till the har- 
appHcation to the present age of investigation and vest ; ' here it is the main pomt. That narable 
discovery. True science seeks goodly pearls, emphasized the existence with evil side oy side 
and leads to the discovery of the one pearl of with good; this, the separation and destruction 
great price. The pride of science is hostile to all of the evil. 

truth, hence sometimes the * merchant * is too well Ver. 5a Repeats word for word the awful 

contented with the * goodly pearls * already found, language of ver. 42, giving great solemnity to the 

to look for the one pearl of great price. The two close of the discourse in parables. — The historic 

parables refer to two different classes of persons; col application is obviously to the closing period 

yet both make a discovery, both strive to make and scene of the Church militant 

the treasure their own at every cost The seeker Ver. 51. Have ye nndentoodl Atestofthdr 

is perhaps the superior character, and obtains the progress in the art of interpretation. They an* 

superior treasure. We may hope for a purer swered rightly, but the next verse suggests that 

Christianity as the result of intense and earnest they did not yet fully understand, 

investigation ; yet the whole discourse shows that Ver. ^2. Eyery leribe. Official expounder of 

side by side with this we must exp)ect an intense the Scnptures, applicable now to the Christian 

and earnest search in the interest of Satan^s king- ministry. — Hath been made a diadple, of Jesus, 

dom. the Teacher as well as King. — For the kiBgdom 

Ver. 47. A net, that was east into the lea. of heaven. Not simply for his own benefit but 

A drag-net or seine is meant Appropriate for for the advantage of this kin^donu — House- 

an audience largely made up of fishermen. The holder, whose duty it is to provide for those of 

parable resembles that of the tares ; that, how- the household. — Brin^th forth ont of hia treas- 

ever, represented the two developments of good ure. The * treasure ' is a constantly increasing 

and evil, side by side in the world (and in the knowledge of God's word, in the Bible, in 

church); this one is applicable rather to the nature, in experience. This he must use to in- 

missionary j^r/ of the Church. * The sea* is a struct others; he must not selfishly conceal it. 

Scriptural figure for *the nations* (Rev. xvii. 15 ; nor so set it forth that few can understand it — 

Is. viii. 7; Ps. Ixv. 7). — Gathered of every kind. Things new and old. Explanations: (i.) the 

This predicted result of Christian effort is suffi- law and the gospel ; (2.) things hitherto unknown 

ciently evident at all times. and those already known ; (3.) the old truths in 

Ver. 48. When it was filled. A caution new lights, new truths brought into proper accord 

u;ainst too hasty attempts at separating before the with the old ones. This is preferable. He who 

Church has finished her work. If fishermen stop forgets the old, will get hold of novelties, but 

to sort while drawing in their net, they catch bring few new things out of his treasure; he 

little, good or bad. — They drew np on the shore, who forgets the new, will find that his old meth- 

f. ^., the limit of the sea, the end of nations and ods have become anticjuated even to himself, and 

of time. The next verse shows that the work of others will discover it even sooner. Christ's 

discriminating is not committed to men, however methods of instruction give point to these words, 

successful or zealous in the work of gathering of for the old familiar occupations are here used 

every kind. — The good — the bad, /. ^., fiishes, to illustrate the truths of the new kinedom, and 

though other animals usually get into the net. yet the thoughts and even words of the Old 

There are but two classes, one the children of I'estament appear again and again throughout. 



Chapter XIII. 53-58. 
Christ rejected at Nazareth. 



53 A 

54 ^ 



ND it came to pass, ihat^ when Jesus had finished these 
parables, he departed thence. And •when he was come 



2 n Mark vi. 
1-6. 



into * his own country, * he taught them in their synagogue, inso- * ^Tj^^^** 
much that ** they were astonished, and said. Whence hath this man ^ fj**^P- *^- 
55 this wisdom, and these mighty works .^ *Is not this the carpen- ''^,8*"'* 
ter's son? is not his mother called Mary.^ and -^ his brethren, ' iv*^i^john 



56 James, and Joses,^ and Simon, and Judas } And his sisters, are/s<ie chap 

xii. 46. 

* offtit that ' And coming • Joseph 



Chap. XIII. 53-58] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 12/ 

they not all with us? Whence then hath this mapi all these 

57 things.^ And ^they were offended in him. But Jesus said ' ri*6.^*"^' 
unto them, *A prophet is not without honour, save in his own johnlv.'Jj! 

58 country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty S*"^; S*. 

works there* 'because of their unbelief. » chap. xviL 

20. 

^ there many mighty works 

Chronology, and relation to the account in * could do no mighty works * (Mark vL 5). Want 
Luke iv. 14-30. Views : (i.) Two distinct visits, of faith is always the great hindrance. 
That in Luke at the beginning of the Galilean The brothers of our Lord. Mention is 
ministry, and occasioning the removal to Caper- made fourteen or fifteen times in the New Tes- 
naum (Matt iv. 17). This one much later, after tament of the brothers of our Lord, named in 
the discourse in parables (chap. xiiL), the visit to ver. 55. In an ordinary history, this could only 
Gadara and the subsequent miracles (chaps, viii. mean that they were the younger children of 
iS-ix. 14). (2.) Different accounts of the same Joseph and Mary,or possibly the children of Joseph 
visit, which took place at the earlier period ; (3.) by a former marriage. The well-known terms, 
which took place at the later period. We prefer * cousin * and * kinsman,* would have been used 
(i), for the following reasons : He would prob- had the relationship been a different one. Not- 
ably visit His early home a second time ; a second withstanding this, three views have been held : 
rejection would be the result of a second visit (i.) That they were the children of Joseph and 
It seems unlikely that the visit, if there was but Mary ; the theory of Tertullian, Helvidius, and 
one, took place at the later period, yet Mark, who many of the best modem Protestant commen- 
ts chronologically most exact, agrees with Matthew tators. ( 2. ) That they were the children of Joseph 
in placing it about this time. Matthew and Mark by a former marriage ; the theory of Epiphanius, 
would scarcely omit to mention the attempt at and the ancient Greek Church. (3.) That they 
violence detailed by Luke, while the unbelief of were the children of Mary, the wife of Alphaeus 
the Nazarenes would express itself in much the (Clopas), the sister of our Lord's mother, and 
same way, and the answer of our Lord convey hence his cousins. This was the theory of 
the same thought The points of agreement and Jerome, adopted by the Roman Catholic Church, 
of difference are thus most satisfactorily accounted and by the older (and some modem) Protestant 
for. commentators. Lange modifies this view, by 

Ver. 53. He departed thenoe. The departure supposing that Alphaeus was the brother of 

was to Gadara (comp. chap. viii. 18 ; Mark vL Joseph, and that in consequence of his early 

35 ff.) ; a number of events intervening between death the children were adopted by Joseph, 

this and the second visit to Nazareth. i. The first view is the most natural one. 

Ver. 54. Into hii own oonntry. Nazareth as Objections : (a.) It denies the perpetual virginity 

the home of His parents and the place * where of Mary. But this is nowhere asserted, while 

he had been brought up' (Luke iv. 16). — ^Whenee Matt i. 2^ and Luke ii. 7, suggest the contrary. 

hath this man. As if to say : This is our towns- (b.) Gal. i. 19, seems to intimate that James, our 

man, what better schooling did he have than we ; Lord's brother, was an Apostle, while this view 

what his family is, we all know, etc involves the non-identity of this James with 

Ver. 55. The carpentar's ion. The word ren- James the son of Alphaeus, who undoubtedly 

dered * carpenter ' is sometimes applied to arti- was an Apostle. But the passage in Galatians 

sans in general, but it means strictly a worker in has, from the earliest times, been interpreted as 

wood. The question, though not contemptuous, not implying the Apostleship of our Lord's 

implies : He is one of us, no better than we are, brother. The identity of names in the list of 

etc — They knew His family, and mention the Apostles and in that of our Lord's brothers is, 

name of His mother and brothers, speaking also of itself, no proof of identity of persons ; the name 

of His sisters, who possibly still resided in Naza- of James especially being very common among the 

reth. On the brothers of our Lord, see the close Jews. Further, at a point in the history ajfter the 

of the section. choice of the Twelve (John vii. 5), His brethren 

Ver. 57. And they ware offended in him, did not believe on Him ; they are distinguished 

made to stumble. They were led into error and from the * Apostles' in Acts i. 14; i Cor. ix. 5, 

sin with regard to Him. — A prophet is not with- and by implication in Matt xii. 46-50. (r.) Our 

out honor, etc The rejection is accounted for Lord on the cross commended His mother to the 

by a proverbial expression, verified by human ex- care of John, which is regarded as strange, if she 

perience. * Familiarity breeds contempt,' *Dis- had other sons. But the spiritual nearness of 

tance lends enchantment to the view, are still John, and the probable kinship (see below, and 

more general expressions of the same prin- notes on John xix. 25) will account for this, 

ciple. 2. The view that they were the sons of Joseph 

Ver. 58. And ha did not there many mighty by a former marriage is not open to any great 

worka heeanse of their nnbelief. This unl^lief oojection, though supported by no positive evi- 

was inconsistent and criminal, for they acknowl- dence. It too, fails to identify ' James the son of 

edged His wisdom and power (ver. 54). Jesus Alphaeus' and 'James the Lord's brother.' 

does not force His love or blessings on us, and 3. The cousin-theory is beset with difficulties. 

His miracles were not mere displays of Almighty (^.) It assumes that two sisters had the same name 

Power. Where there was no faith, no moral (Mary), (b,) It does not account for * Simon' 

condition to justify such displays, there our Lord and 'Judas' who were our Lord's brothers. In* 



128 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIV. 1-13. 

<5ce d. the bet ter s up pofted reading ('Joseph,' rer. Tlw view that Mary had other children farnishes 

55) dcstroTS the ideotftr of name with Mark xr. an argument in fzrar of the historical character 

4or*Joses*). (r.) It is probable that 'Salome* of the Gospels. Had the story of the miracoloos 

and not *Mary' (John xjjl 25) was the sister of concepCion been a fiction, the Evangelists, to 

car Lord^s mother. The view of Lange is free ghre consistency to the tale, would have denied 

fro m som e of these difficulties, but assumes what that our Lord liad any brothers, instead of speak- 

is extremel V improbable, namely, that at least half ing of them without reserve. For a full presen- 

a docen children were adopted into the family of tation of all the views, see Lange's Comm^ Afaf" 

a poor carpenter. Besides it is a pure hypothesis. /*«tr, pp. 255-26a 



Chapter XIV. 1-13. 
T/tr Impression produced on Herod by Reports of our Lord's Works. 



I- AT th 

2 -r\ of j( 



that time^ * Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame^'^^Yuii* 

2 -^^ of Jesus, And said unto his servants. This is John the ^ LuC'iH. i. 
Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore 'mighty ifn' i^*^ 
works do shew forth themselves • in him. *" ^?Gad"ii^ 

3 For 'Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and 'put eW"!^;,, 
him in prison for Herodias* sake,* >'his brother Philip's wife, pwi.li 'i' 

4 For John said unto him, ^It is not lawful for thee to have her. »!**'" '* 

5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the ' JohSiu."^ 

6 multitude, because they counted^ him as *a prophet. But^Le/.x^u 
when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias * sei chap. 

7 danced before them,^ and pleased Herod. Whereupon he «^p- «»• 
promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would" 

8 ask. And she, ^ being before instructed of ® her mother, « Act$ xix. 33. 

9 said,® Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.^^ And 
the king was sorry : ^* nevertheless for the oath's sake,^ and 
them which sat with him at meat,^^ he commanded it to be 

10 given her}^ And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. 

11 And his head was brought in a charger,^ and given to the 

12 damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples 
came, and took up the body,^® and buried it, and^^ went and 
told Jesus. 

1 3 When ^8 Jesus heard of it}^ * he departed ^ thence by ship 21 * J°»»" ^- '- 
into a desert place apart : and when the people had heard ^ 
thereof they followed him on foot ^ out of ^ the cities. 

* season * heard the report concerning ' do these powers work 

^ for the sake of Herodias * held • in the midst 

' should • set on by • saith 

** upon a platter the head of John the Baptist. ^* grieved 

^' but because of his oaths *• omit at meat " omit her 

" upon a platter ^' corpse " him ; and they 

>* Now when ^* heard // ^ withdrew from 

•1 in a boat ** multitudes heard ^ by land, or on foot ** from 

Chronoixx;y. The chapter opens with an find their place between chaps, xiii. and xiv. The 
indefinite mark of time (' at that season,' ver. i) ; order of this chapter is chronological. The feed- 
but Luke ix. 10 shows that it was upon the re- ing of the five thousand, narrated by all four Evaii- 
tum of the Twelve. Hence chaps, ix. 35-38, x., gelists, forms a definite point of comparison. 



Chap. XIV. 1-130 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 129 

Contents. The section gives a fearful picture Ver. 5. And when he would have pat him to 

of the Herodian family, in their lust, ambition, death. At the instigation of Herodias ( Mark vi. 

and cruelty. No scene in history presents in lo, 20). — He fearod the mnltitade, etc The 

a single group more of the vices characteristic character of John also restrained him ; but the 

of corrupt courts : arbitrary imprisonment, dread political motive was needed to overbear the influ- 

of the multitude, adultery and incest, ill^al di- ence of Herodias. 

vorce, feasting and intoxication, voluptuous and Ver. 6. Herod's birth-day. Probably the anni- 

immodest dancing, lavish promises and foolish versary of his accession to power. The nobility 

oaths to the dancer, weak fear of court flatterers, of Galilee were at the feast (Mark vi. 21). The 

and the murder of a faithful reprover ; the pic- dancing seems to have taken place late in the ea- 

ture completed by the superstition of the mur- tertainment, when all were more or less intox- 

derer, who sees in the power of the Messiah only icated. — The daughter of HerodiaB. * Salome,* the 

a token that his victim has reappeared. The daughter of Herod Philip. She married her un- 

impression produced on the mind of Herod leads cle Philip the Tetrarch, and after his death her 

to the withdrawal mentioned in ver. ii. cousin Aristobulus. Comp. Mark vi. 22, — 

Ver. I. At that season. Quite inaefinite (sec Danced in the midst. She had been sent by her 
above). — Herod the tetrareh. Herod Antipas mother to gain an opportunity for killing John 
(a son of Herod the Great) now ruler in Galilee ; (Mark vU 21). The dance was a pantomime 
a light-minded, prodigal, and luxurious prince, probably of a voluptuous character, and was per- 
superstitlous and cunning (Mark viii. 15; Luke formed* in the midst,* with the intoxicated party 
xiii. 32). He was at Jerusalem when our Lord forming a circle about her. Such conduct was 
suffered, and showed utter heartlessness on that deemed immodest by Jews, Greeks, and Romans ; 
occasion. He died in Spain, a defeated and ban- in this case there was added a criminal purpose, 
Lshed man (see on ver. 3). * Tetrarch;* strictly and a sin against her own forsaken father. Pub- 
speaking, the ruler of the fourth part of a country, lie dancing (and often private dancing) calls forth 
but here used less exactly. — Heiurd the report oon- evil passions, even if not designed to ao so. 
eeming Jesus. Probably at Machaerus (where Ver. 7. The promise and oath of Herod show 
John had been imprisoned), which was remote his gratification, which Herodias had anticipated, 
from the scene of our Lord*s ministry. He first Mark adds : * unto the half of my kingdom.* 
heard of Him now, through the more extended Ver. 8. Being set on by her mother. Insti- 
labors of the Twelve. gated rather than instructed. She went out and 

Ver. 2. This is John the Baptist. Comp. consulted her mother, but the mother*s purpose 

Luke ix. 7-9. This does not imply a belief m had already been formed, and her answer (Mark 

the transmigration of souls, nor prove that Herod vi. 24) shows great vindictiveness and determina- 

was a Sadducee (although some infer this from tion, as does the demand, not for the death, but 

Mark viii. 15); it is the perplexed and terrified for the head of the Baptist — Upon a platter, 

utterance of a guilty conscience. — Therefore, etc. A large dish. This seems to have been added 

John had wrought no miracle (chap. x. 41), but by Salome herself, ' as a hideous jest, implying 

Herod supposed that the rising from the dead an intention to devour it * (J. A. Alexander), 

had resulted in higher powers. — Powers, or Ver. 9. And the kin^ was grieved. 'Grieved' 

'mighty works,* as in chap. xiii. 54, 58. Herod's rather than * sorry.' Disturbed rather than peni- 

desire to see our Lord was at best a patronizing tent The emotion was in keeping with his 

condescension to the gospel. character and feelings toward John, but was of 

Ver. 3. For Herod had laid hold on John, etc no avail ; compliance with the murderous request 

This imprisonment took place not long after our was the more criminal because he was * grieved-* 

Lord began His ministry (comp. chap. iv. 12; Herod is called *the king* by Mark also, al- 

Mark I 14; John iii. 24). — For the sake of though he did not really possess the title. — 

Herodias, his brother Fhilip*s wife. Herodias, But oeoause of Ids oaths. The oath was fool- 

the daughter of Aristobulus (the half-brother of ish, and was sinfully kept Better break our 

Herod Antipas), the wife of Herod Philip (not to word than God's Word. Herod was scrupulous 

be confounded with Philip the Tetrarch, Luke iii. on this point, and yet an adulterer and murderer, 

i), who was disinherited oy his father, Herod the — And them that sat with him. His courtiers 

Great, and lived as a private citizen. Herod An- were probably hostile to John. In 2a\y case the 

tipas was first married to a daughter of Aretas, fear of men, so powerful for evil, influenced 

kmg of Arabia (mentioned 2 Cor. xi. 32). Be- him. 

comins enamored of Herodias, his niece and sis- Ver. la And he sent, etc. If the feast took 

ter-in-law, he married her secretly, while her hus- place in Machaerus, the head was brought in 

band was still living, repudiating his own legal before the feast closed. Some however infer 

wife. Aretas made war against him in conse- from Mark's account that the messengers went 

quence, and having defeated him was prevented some distance, and hence that the &ast was 

by the Romans from dethroning him (a. d. 37). dven in a royal palace at Livias (not far from 

At the instigation of Herodias he went to Rome Machaerus), while others think the nobilitv of 

to compete for the kingly power bestowed on Galilee would more probably be invitea to 

Agrippa, but was banished by the Emperor Ca- Tiberias, the usual residence of Herod. But 

ligula to C3rprus. the words *give me here' (ver. 8), indicate 

Ver. 4. For John said ; not once but habitually, that the prison was not £ur ofi. 

as the original hints. John was a bold preacher Ver. 11. She brought it to her mothftr. 'A 

of righteousness and repentance, not 'a reed Jezebel was not wanting in the history of the 

shaken by the wind * (chap. xi. 7). His fidelity second Elijah.* The vmdictive adulteress was 

led to his imprisonment — It is not lawfuL The served by the immodest dancer ; the sixth and 

act of Herod was a crime against his brother, seventh commandment stand next each other, 

against his wife, and in itself incestuous, since He- Ver. 12. Took up the oorpee, and buried him, 

rodias was his niece (comp. Lev. xviil 16 ; xx. 21 ). is a literal rendering. — ^And they went, — probably 
VOL. I. 9 




I30 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIV. 14-21. 

John's disciples. — And tdd Jeitii. They would Not a * desert ' in the modern sense, but a thinly 
naturally go to Him, if proi>erly affected by the inhabited district ; in Gaulonitis near Bethsaida 
interview recorded in chap. xi. Others kept aloof Julias, on the easUrn shore of the lake of Tibe- 
and formed a new sect rias (see Luke ix. 10 ; John vi. i), in the domin- 
Ver. 13. Kow 'whim Iwam haazd it. This ions of Philip the Tetrarch. Our Lord would 
was not the only cause of the retirement (see avoid Herod as well as seek rest for His disci- 
Mark vL 31). The Twelve had returned and the pies. — They followed him. Comp. Mark vi. 331 
multitudes gave Him and them no rest Besides The popularity of our Lord continued — By land. 
this gathering of multitudes would make Herod This is the usual meaning of the Greek phrase, 
more suspicious. — Into a deiert plaoe apart, which is literally rendered : ' on foot' 



Chapter XIV. 14-21. 
The Feeding of the Five Thousand. 

14 • A ND Jesus* went^ forth, and saw a great multitude, and ".^.^J^l^, 

-^A. *was moved with compassion toward^ them, and he* j^hi'^fs- 

15 healed their sick. And when it was evening,^ his* disciples ihip?Sr%a 
came to him, saying, This is a desert place,^ and the time is ^3Si»p.chap. 
now® past; send the multitude^ away, that they may go into "'^*' 

16 the villages, and buy themselves victuals.*^ But Jesus said 

unto them, They need not depart ; ** ^ give ye them to eat. c ^p. 3 

17 And they say unto him, We have here but *'five loaves, and two ^^ ^ 

18 fishes. He said. Bring them hither to me.^ And he com- «• 

19 manded *^ the multitude ^ to sit down ** on the grass, and *^ took 

the five loaves, and the two fishes, and • looking up to heaven, * ^f V'jjl; 
■^he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves** to his disciples, -«^- .^ 

20 and the disciples to the multitude.® And they did all eat, and iJ^*^*^^: 
were filled : and they took up of the fragments that remained *^ J*."Luk?* 

21 twelve ^baskets full. And they that had eaten*® were about S}iJp.Sip. 
five thousand men, beside women and children. ^ sVdiapw 

XV. 9. 

J he * came ' he had compassion on 

* omit he * evening was come •the 

' The place is desert • already • multitudes 

*® food " They have no need to go " me them hither 

" bidding " recline 

*• he *• and breaking the loaves, he gave them 

" that which remained of the broken pieces " did eat 

Contents. The feeding of the Five Thou- failures. The four Evangelists could not write 

sand is the only miracle mentioned by all four as they have done, of a * myth,' a ' parable,* or 

Evangelists, ana the first occurrence fully nar- a 'symbol.* Either this was a miracle, or the 

rated by them all It also furnishes a definite Evangelists have wilfully falsified. The great 

chronological point for a harmony of the Gospels, lesson is : Christ the Bread of the world ; its 

It is in many respects the most incomprehensible t3rpe is the manna in the wilderness. Christ's 

of all the miracles. Various suggestions have people partake of Him to the nourishment of 

been made as to the mode of increase, as involving their souls. As in the miracle, the means may 

a higher order of nature ; an acceleration of the be visible, but the mode unknown ; of the fact 

natural process ; a removal of the ban of barren- we may be assured, and may assure others. — 

ness resting on our earthly bread, showing the Notice the contrast between the feast of the 

positive fulness which it contains when Christ's ' estates of Galilee ' at Herod's court, and this 

blessing descends upon it. It is safest to accept feast of the poor and sick multitudes in the wil- 

a supernatural increase without seeking to know demess. Our Lord gave freely in the wilderness : 

the method, and then to seek and accept the healed, taught, and fed all. — 'The Bible, so lit- 

spiritual lessons it teaches. The attempts to tie in bulk, like the five oarley loaves and the 

explain it as a natural event have been utter two fishes, what thousands upon thousands has 



Chap. XIV. 14-36.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. rjl 

it fed, and will it feed, in every age, in every Luke ix. 14); thus confusion was avoided and 

land of Christendom, to the world's end ! ' the distribution made easy. Such an arrange* 

Ver. 14. Htd oompaiiion on thmn. All had ment precluded deception. There was no dis- 

followed Him so far and were in a state of spirit- orderly running after * the loaves and fishes ' ; 

ual destitution ; many of them were sick. His Christ's blessings were received through those 

compassion manifested itself in healing their He commanded to impart them. — Looking up to 

■itk, and in giving them instruction (Mark vL heaven, he blessed; amd brealdng the loaves, he 

34). The approach of the Passover season (John gave tiiem. The description recalls the Last 

vi. 4), accounts for the greatness of the multitude ; Supper, of which this miracle is a premonition. 

many of them were probably on their way to The word 'bless' in the Bible means God's 

Jerusalem. favoring us, our asking favors of Him and our 

Ver. 15. Evening. Tht Jirst evening, 1. e., thanksgiving for such favors; the three senses are 

from three to six p. M. (ninth to twelfth hour of always more or less connected. The form of the 

the day) ; ver. 23 refers to the second evening, Greelc disconnects the * loaves ' from the word 

which began at six P. M. (the first watch of the ' bless.' The blessing was therefore mainly a 

night). — ^The time, lit, *hour,' is already past thanksgiving (comp. John : *when he had given 

Either the time of day is late, or the time for the thanks"), not simply a blessing of the loaves, 

evening meal is past. The disciples probably Thus the eucharistic reference oecomes promi- 

intemipted His discourse with this suggestion, nent — The loaves to hii disdplei. The disci- 

Our Lord had continued His work of teaching pies possibly received the broken loaves and fishes 

and healing, until He had an opportunity to show as they were^ the miraculous increase taking place 

how He could supply other wants. Those who as they distributed them. This points out the duty 

wait on Him shall be fed I John tells us He of the Twelve, and of the ministry in general ; 

* knew what he would do,' inserting a question but the accounts of the three other Evangelists 

our Lord put to Philip (who was probably the indicate a continuous giving on the part of our 

spokesman) to try him. (See John vi. 5-7.) Lord. 

Ver. 16. Give ye them to eat. Obedience Ver. 20. And were filled. Philip had said 

seemed impossible, but they did obey through that 200 pennyworth of bread would only give 

Christ's power providing the means for them, each a little, out now all had received enough. 

Duty is measured by Cl^ist's conunand, not by — Of the broken pieoes. The pieces they dis- 

our resources. tributed, pieeei, not the refuse. — Twelve baskete 

Ver. 17. We have here. Andrew said this; full. 'Baskets' such as travellers carried with 

a lad who was present had this small store of them. They may have belonged to the disciplesi 

food (John vL 8, 9). The disciples, though who collected the broken pieces. What was 

full of perplexity and doubt, tried to obey^ and gathered exceeded what was first given out 

sought food for the multitude. The loaves and Christ was no waster ; He enjoined (John vu 

fishes thus obtained, of which they said 'What 12) carefulness and economy at the close of His 

are they among so many,' were given by them most abundant bestowment These fragments 

to the people. — Pive loaves (' barley loaves ') were probably for the use of the Twelve, since 

and twt> fishes ('small fishes,* probably salt such miraculous increase was not the rule, but 

ones). Plain common food. the exception. This circumstance mentioned by 

Ver. 18. Bring me them hither. The store, all four Evangelists was designed to impress the 

so scanty, is first given to Christ ; thus it be- miracle upon the disciples (comp. chap. xvi. 9). 
comes valuable and sufficient Ver. 21. Five thousand men. All the Evan- 

Ver. 191 To reeline on the grass. ' Now there gelists mention the number of men. Matthew 

was much grass on the place/ John vi. 10. At alone adds : besides women and children. The 

that season it would be luxuriant, forming an latter classes were probably not numerous, and 

easy and convenient resting-place. They reclined would be fed apart from the men. On the effect 

in groups of hundreds and fifties (Mark vL 40 ; of the miracle, see John vi. 14, 1 5. 



Chapter XIV. 22-36. 
yesus walking on the Sea and healing in the Land of Gennesaret, 

22 • A ND straightway Jesus ^ constrained his^ disciples to get "^^^^johh 

-^j^ into a ship,* and to go before him unto the other side, ^* '5'*' 

23 while* he sent the multitudes away. And when^ he had sent 

the multitudes away, *he went up into a^ mountain apart to^Jj^kevi la; 
pray : and when the ^ evening was come, he was there alone. 

24 But the ship ' was now ^ in the midst of the sea, tossed with * 

25 waves: for the wind was contrary. And * in the fourth watch « comp. Mark 

1 he « the « boat < till 

* after • omit the ' already • distressed by the 



132 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIV. 22-36 

of the night Jesus ^ went ® unto them, walking on ^^ the sea. 
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, ^'they were '^^"^3^;"*^ 

troubled, saying, It is a spirit ;^^ and they cried out for fear. 
2j But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good 

28 cheer; it is I ; * be not afraid. And Peter answered him and ' ^*p- *''"• 
said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.^ 

29 And he said. Come. And when Peter was come down out of 

30 the ship, he ^2 walked on the water,^^ ^q go to^^ Jesus. But-^^^^^'P'^'- 
when he saw the wind boisterous,^^ he was afraid ; and begin- ^^,***p- 

31 ning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And imme- *rf,api^iv!\ 
diately ^® Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught ^' him, and «%r*'6jV 
said^* unto him, -^O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou LukeiVtV; 

32 doubt.? And when they were come ^^ into the ship,^ the wind ^X^'zXt 

33 ceased. Then^ they that were in the ship^ came and^^ ^wor- 3^. acJ^. 
shipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art *the Son of God. 4;'aCor.i. 

19 ; I John 

34 'And when they were erone ^ over, they came into ^ the land . »v. 15; v. 9. 

"f ^ "* t Mark vi. 53 

35 of^ *Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had^ -s^jcomp. 

•^ * John VI. 24, 

knowledge cf him, they sent out into all that country round ^'s-^^ ^uke 

36 about, and brought unto him 'all that were diseased ;2^ -^^^ / chip. iv. 14. 
•' besought him that they might only touch "* the hem ^ of his '^jf^o.*^***^* 

garment, and "p.s many as touched were made perfectly** "liIuw/iV 
whole. 

• came *^ upon *i an apparition '^ upon the waters 

" going down from the boat, Peter " come 

^* omi^ boi.sterou.s ^^ straightway " took hold of 

*® saith ^® gone up ^ And ^^ omit came and 

^^ passed ^ to ^4 unto «* got 

^ sick ^ border ^ omit perfectly 

I ■ r » 

Connection. Immediately after the miracu- they actually did, after the miracle. This accords 

lous feeding, the people wished to pFOclaim Jesus best with all the details as given by the three 

a king and were ready to take violent steps for Evangelists. ^TiU ha sent the mnltitndas away, 

that purpose (John vi 14, 15). The disciples They were in an excited condition; hence great 

were probably ready to join the people in an pruaence, perhaps an exercise of some constrain- 

enterprise, which would fulfil their remaining mg power was necessary. 

carnal expectations regarding the Messiahship of Ver. 23. He went up into the moantaixi apart 

their Master. Hence our Lx>rd dismissed them, to pray. The attempt to make Him a king was 

sending them where they would feel their need a temptation to be met by prayer. — Evwiinff. 

of His presence. Mark and John narrate this Here the second evening. Comp. ver. 15. — He 

occurrence, but the attempt of Peter (vers. 29-31) was there alone. Alone with His Father. Prayer 

is mentioned only by Matthew. succeeded and preceded His labors for men. 

Ver. 22. ConitrunedthediBeiples. See above. Ver. 24. But the boat was already in the 
— To go before him to the other tide. Mark: *to midst of the sea. When Jesus came to them, 
Bethsaida ; * John : * toward Capernaum.' Some they were * about twenty-five or thirty furlongs * 
understand by Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and from shorp (John vi. 19), 1. <., about the middle 
Philip, supposed to be on the western side of the of the lake. — Diitressed, or 'vexed,' by the 
lake ; Capernaum being the ultimate point to be waves. The storm had arisen after they started 
reached ; it Y(za in ' the land of Gennesaret * (ver. (John vi. 18). — For the wind was contrary. It 
74). But in that case they would have inquired is most probable that they put out into the lake, 
now He could join them, since there was then no and steering for (eastern) Bethsaida, were driven 
other boat there (John vi. 22), and the circuit by out into the middle of the lake by an easterly 
land was a long one. It is not certain that there wind. Their 'toiling in rowing' (Mark yi. 45) 
was a western ^e^hsai4a (see on chap. ](i. 21). seems far more natural, if they were trying to 
We therefore infer that He sent them to eastern meet the Lord at the appointed place. Had they 
Bethsaida, which was not far off (Luke uc 10), been steering for the western shore (as some sup- 
directing them to await Him there, so that they pose), they might have turned back and gone to 
would cross together to the opposite shore, whicn Him with a contrary (west) wind. 



Chap. XV. 1-20.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I33 

Ver. 25. In tlM fourth watch of tho ni^ht me. Comp. Ps. cvii. 27, 28. His faith, too weak 

Between three and six o'clock in the morning, to enable him to waJk to Christ, was strong 

Their danger had lasted nearly all night. De- enough to call to Christ. 

liverance is often long delayed, but while the Ver. 31. thou of little faith, wherefore didst 

Master prayed, the d&iples could not be lost, thoa doubt 1 Chirsostom : we need not fear the 

— He eame onto them. Mark adds : ' and would tempest, but only the weakness of our faith. 

have passed by them,* 1. ^., to try them. — Walk- Hence Christ does not calm the storm, but takes 

ing upon the lea. The main point here is His Peter by the hand. Trench : * Peter is here the 

coming over the sea to join the disciples. The nar- image of all the faithful of all ages, in the seasons 

rative implies an exercise of supernatural power, of their weakness and their fear.' 

Ver. 26u It if an appariticm. An unreal ap- Ver. 32. And when they were gone up into 

pearance of a real person. The word is not that the boat John (vL 21) speaks of the boat being 

usually rendered, 'spirit' — They cried out for immediately 'at the land whither they went/ 

fear. Matthew is an honest witness to tell of This was on the western side of the lake, and 

this superstitious fear. As he here discriminates we may eithei* suppose that the wind during the 

between *an apparition ' and a real bodily ap- night had driven them near that shore, or accept 

pearance of our Lord, he cannot mean the for- another miracle, 

mer when he writes of the resurrection of Christ Ver. 3^ They that were in the boat. Prob- 

Ver. 27. It if I. An assurance, throueh a liv- ably mariners and others exclusive of the disci- 

ing voice, of His bodily presence. — BenotiifMid. pies. The effect produced upon the latter is 

The presence of Christ always brings with it this declared in strong terms, Mark vi. ci, 52. — The 

cheering injunction. Son of Ood, lit., son of God. Prooably only a 

Ver. 28. And Peter answered. The silence recognition of His Messiahship, but the miracle 
of the other Evangelists is remarkable, but casts would exalt their notions respecting the Messiah. 
no doubt upon the truthfulness of Matthew's ac- For the first time men owned our Lord as the 
count The occurrence is strikingly in accord- Son of God. John the Baptist had done so by 
ance with Peter's impulsive character, ' almost a Divine commission (John i. 34 ; iiL 35, 36). 
rehearsal' of the subsequent denial. — If it be Ver. 34. And when they were passed over, 
thou. Not the language of doubt Peter's fault This points to ordinary, not miraculous sailing. — 
lay in the words : bid me, etc, which betray a To the land unto Gennesaret ' Gennesaret ' was 
desire to outdare the other disciples ; comp. the a fertile district, with a mild climate, on the west- 
boast : ' Though all should be offended,* etc ern shore of the lake (also called the Lake of 
(chap. xxvi. 33). Gennesaret). It is nearly four miles long and 

Ver. 2Q. And he said, oome. More of a per- half as broad. Modern name : El-Ghuweir. 
mission than a command, as the result proved. — Ver. 35. The men of that place. Not Caper- 
He walked upon the waters. Not necessarily naum, but a more retired spot. The people who 
very far ; and yet so long as he thus walked, it had been fed, came to that city ' seeking Jesus ' 
was through supernatural aid from Chfist The (John vi. 24) : it is implied that they found Him 
power was obtained and conditioned by faith in somewhere else. Mark's account suggests that 
Christ's power. So in our spiritual walk abov6 our Lord passed through other places on His 
the waves of this world wav to Capernaum. — Oot knowledge of Urn. 

Ver. 3a But when he saw the wind. ' Bois- Wnen morning came they would recognize Him, 
terous,' or * strong,' is omitted by the best author- as our Lord was personally well known in Galilee, 
ities. He was going against the wind. This Ver. 36. Only touch tiie border of his gar- 
favors the theory of their course, advanced in the ment. A woman had been thus healed in the 
notes on ver. 24. The other view would imply presence of a crowd (chap. ix. 20-22), so that 
that Jesus had walked past them and turned these people were not superstitious, but had 
towards them. — So long as Peter looked to strong faith. As our Lord was only passing 
Jesus only, he had by faith the power of Jesus to through, a greater number could be healed in 
rise above the waters, but when he looked at the this way. Christ's miracles were always per« 
waves, beeinning to doubt, he htgxti to sink, formed so as to show a connection between Him- 
Peter could swim (John xxL 7) ; yet in his terror self and the person cured, even though it were 
he seems to have lost even his natural attain- so slight a one as this touch. — This is the fourth 
roents. To be near Christ in person avails noth- general description of our Lord's ministry ; in 
ing, unless we are near Him by faith. Peter each case (iv. 24 ; ix. 35 ; xi. i, and here) alter a 
sinks without Christ ; clin^ng to his successors series of events grouped together without refer- 
instead of Christ, must be in vain. — Lord, save ence to accurate chronological order. 



Chapter XV. 1-20. 



The Discourse, in Public and to the Disciples, about eating with 

umvashed Hands. 

1 •T^HEN came^ to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were " ^^^ ^" 

2 X of Jerusalem,* saying, * Why do thy disciples transgress * ^Jj; \ g^ • 
the tradition of *the elders.^ *for they wash not their hands ^"Skeri^Vs 

* come ' from Jerusalem Pharisees and Scribes 



134 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XV. i-ia 

3 when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, 
Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by* your 

4 tradition ? For God commanded, saying,* * Honour thy father ' f *.^d«"V 
and ^ mother : and, He that curseth ^ father or mother, let him *^- 

5 die the death." But ye say, -^Whosoever shall say to its father / ^j[^*»- 
or Ais mother, // is sl gift,® by whatsoever^ thou mightest be ^ 

6 profited by me ; And ^^ ^honour not " his father or his mother,^ ' ' ^"^ ^- *• 
Ae shall be free,^ Thus have ye * made the commandment of * ^^ *" '' 

7 God of none effect by ^* your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did 

8 Esaias^ prophesy of you, saying, •This people draweth nigh ' **^"**-*^ 
unto me with their mouth, and ^^ honoureth me with tlietr lips ; 

9 but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship 

me, teaching/<7r * doctrines the commandments ^' of men. * col u. « 

ID And he called ^® the multitude, and said unto them. Hear, 

1 1 and understand : ' Not that which croeth ^® into the mouth ' ^omp. acu 

o X. 14, 15- 

defileth a*^ man: but that which cometh^^ out of the mouth, 

12 this defileth a® man. Then came his^ disciples, and said 
unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after 

13 they heard this saying? 22 But he answered and said. Every 
plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted,^^ "• shall be ** J'"** "• 

14 rooted up. Let them alone: "they be blind leaders of the ".^p*^^- 
blind.2* And Mf the blind lead^^ the blind, both shall fall into ,^^'Xi<^ 

15 the ditch.^ Then^ answered Peter and said unto him, 

16 '^ Declare unto us this^ parable. And Jesus® said, ^Are ye^J^}^.****^ 

17 also yet^ without understanding i Do not ye yet understand,* ^ ^^p* ^* 
that whatsoever entereth in at^^ the mouth goeth® into the 

18 belly, and is cast out into the draught .> But '^ those ^ things ''j^.*5-^ 
which proceed out of the mouth come forth from ^ the heart ; "* ^* 

19 and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed^ ' ^^^^ ' i!!!!^ p*V 
thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false wit- ^^5. 

20 ness,*^ blasphemies: These are the things which defile a^ 

man : but ' to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a » man. ' ,""" ™- ' 

• for the sake of * God said * insert thy 

• revileth, or speaketh evil of ' surely die 
' a gift to God • all that wherewith ^^ omit And 

** he shall not honour " omit or his mother " omit he shall be free 

" And ye have made void the word of God for the sake of " Isaiah 

^^ the best authorities omit draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and 

" teaching as their teachings precepts ^® insert to him 

" entereth * the ^ proceedeth 

^^ when they heard the saying took offence ? ^ planted not 

** they are blind guides ; the best authorities omit of the blind 

«» guide ^ the pit ^ And 

^ he ^ Even yet are ye also * Perceive ye not 

•* everything which goeth into •* passeth 

" out of •* come forth '* false witnessings 

Only Matthew and Mark narrate the events from heaven, followed the feeding of the five 
ff corded in this chapter. The discourse at Caper- thousand. The Passover, which was nigh at 
naum (John vi. 22-71), respecting the manna hand (John vi. 4), was not attended by our Lord 



Chap. XV. I-20.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 135 

( Tohn vii. I ). This chapter begins the story of tacked — For the sake of year tradiUon, 1. e,^ 

the last year of our Lord's ministry, which covers you break God's law, in order that you may keep 

half the Gospel (chaps, xiv.-xxviii.). The history your (human) tradition. Comp. Mark vii. 9. The 

of * the year of conflict * beeins with an account of direct command of God was set aside for tradi- 

a covert attack on our Lord. The Pharisees from tion by those who claimed to be the strictest 

Jerusalem (Mark iii. 22) began their open opposi- observers of the written law of God. 

tion some time before (chap. xii. 24ff.). Then Ver. 4. For Ood said (comp. Mark vii. 10), 

they expressed a blasphemously hostile opinion in the law of Moses. Our Lord assumes that 

respecting the miracles of our Lord ; now they God spoke through this law. The precepts cited 

remonstrate against the conduct of His disciples, are apt, since the Pharisees upheld traaition as 

The opposition now, though apparently less bit- delivered by the 'fathers.' — He thmt revileth, etc. 

ter, was really more dangerous. The interview Exod. xxi. 17. Our Lord quotes, not the promise 




ages) to be intolerant about little and belittling strong a term. — Sorely die. In the original He- 
questions, to be inconsistent, unrighteous (even brew : * dying he shall die ; * in the original Greek 
according to their own standard), and hypocrit- of this passage : ' let him end with death,' both 
ical. This ever recurring mistake of making equivalent to : * he shall surely die ; ' this pen- 
religion consist in ' meat and drink,' is further alty is to be inflicted upon him. 
rebuked in the saying to the multitude (vers. 10, Ver. 5. Bat ye say. God said one thing, ' ye 
11), while the offence taken by the Pharisees say' another, and though you quote traaition, 
(ver. 12) forms the basis of a declaration that it nas only your own authonty. — It is a gift to 
I'harisaism is not of God's planting and is to be Ood, all that, etc. ' That from which thou 
destroyed, defeating itself (vers. 13, 14). The mightest have been benefited by me, is an offer- 
exposition of the * parable ' shows the nature of ing to God.' The Rabbins taucht that by saying 
real defilement Moral purity or impurity is from * corban ' of his possessions (Mark vii. 1 1 ), a 
the heart, not from the fooa, still less from the man was absolved from the duty of caring for 
observance or neglect of the ceremonial * wash- his parents, yet the brief expression was not con- 
ing ' of the hands before eating bread. On this sidered sufficient to bind the party to devote his 
pomt the Lord's words (ver. 16) are still appli- property to religious uses, 
cable : * Even yet are ye also without under- Ver. 6. He shall not honor his father. The 
standing.' best authorities omit, * and.' * Ye say ; whoso- 

Ver. I. From Jerasalem Pharisees and scrihes. ever shall say, etc., he shall not honor his father.' 

Not * scribes and Pharisees,' but representatives The Pharisees directly deny the validity of the 

of the party of the Pharisees, including * scribes.' fifth commandment There are two other views. 

Possibly a formal deputation from the Sanhedrin both of them requiring the insertion of * and.' 

(•from Jerusalem'). They came apparently with One, that of the common version : 'Whosoever 

a definite and hostile purpose (comp. Mark vii. shall say, etc., and (in consequence) honor not, 

i), probably to aid the Galilean Pharisees, or, h€ shall be free,^ The other makes the last 

as is less likely, in consequence of the conduct clause the judgment of our Lord : * Ye say, who- 

of the disciples of our Lord at the recent Pass- soever shall^ say, etc, he is not bcund^ etc,^ and 

over feast in Jerusalem. (See ver. 2.) (I say that in consequence) he shall not honor 

Ver. 2. why do thr disciples transgress 1 his father.' The parallel passage in Mark favors 
They had seen them thus * transgress,' either the last view ; both views avoid the difficulty of 
at Jerusalem (Lange), or, as is more probable, putting so direct a denial in the mouth of the 
in Galilee (comp. Mark vii. 2). In reality a Pharisees ; but the true reading and grammatical 
cautious and artful attack upon Christ Himself, usage compel the adoption of the nrst view. «- 
— The tradition of the elders. Certain rules The words * or his mother' are also to be omitted, 
handed down by word of mouth from Moses and — And ye have made void. Not merely trans- 
the fathers of the nation (comp. Gal. i. 14). gressed, but rejected, the word of Ood. Some 
' Elders ' refers to the authors, not the uphold- ancient authorities read ' law,' others ' command- 
ers, of these traditional customs. 'The Jews ment,' but 'word' is better sustained, and is 
attached greater value to tradition than even to more forcible.' What God says is of itself a 
the written law, appealing in support of it to command, never to be rejected. — For the sake 
Deut. iv. 14 ; xvii. 10. More especially did they of year tradition (see ver. 3). Modem Pharisa- 
pay respect to the traditionary injunction of ism does the same. Church tradition leads to 
washing the hands before meals, to which it dogmas which deny God's direct commands. Its 
was thought Lev. xv. 11 referred' (Meyer). — upholders persecute not only for infractions of 
For they wash not their hands when they eat their interpretations of God's laws, but for dis- 
bread. Comp. the explanation in Mark vii. 3, 4. regard of precepts of their own making. Or at 
The washing referred to was not an act of clean- least, they constantly break Christ's law of love, 
liness, but a ceremonial washing, performed with through zeal for external things about which 
scrupulous care. * Rabbi Akiba, being impris- Christ gave no express command, 
oneo, and having water scarcely sufficient to Ver. 7. Te hypocrites. This word had not 
sustain life given him, preferred dying of thirst ouite so strong a sense then as now. It includes 
to eating without washing his hands' (Alford). those self-deceived. — Well did Isaiah prophesy 
The Pharisees assumed the authority of this tra- of yea. (Is. xxix. I^) * Well,* /. ^., aptly. Our 
dition. Our Lord opposes, not the custom, but Lord assumes that the prophecy properly referred 
the principle they assumed. Notice the belittling to the Jewish people then, while He does not 
influence of legalism. imply that this was its exclusive or even original 

Ver. 3. Why do ye alM transgress! The application, 

neglect is acknowledged, but the tradition at- Ver. 8. This people, etc. The briefer form is 



136 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XV. 1-20. 

now the csUblished reading. Early copyists crowd, warn their Master, as their opponents 

inserted the full form. — Their heart if far from were important personages. 

me. In the Hebrew: 'Their heart they have Ver. 13. Every plant This refers to the 

removed far from me.' Applicable first to the tecuhing and traditions of the Pharisees, although 

contemporaries of Isaiah, but descriptive of the the i)ersons became identified with their false 

unbelieving Jews in all ages, and, as our Lord doctrine. — Whieh my heavenly father planted 

declares, peculiarly * apt * at that time. not. The Pharisees claimed Divine authority for 

Ver. 9. In vain. This phrase (only implied their teaching ; our Lord declares by implica- 
in the original passage in Isaiah) refers to the tion that it was wholly human and as such should 
emftiness of sucn worship. It is both groundless be rooted np, taken away and destroyed, to make 
(without true principle) and fruitless (without room for a plant of His planting, the purer doc- 
proper results). ITie Hebrew means literally : trine of the kingdom. It was a declaration of a 
• their fearing of me has become a precept of purpose to oppose the Pharisees. To us it is a 
men, a thing taught' A rebuke of religion, rest- promise, with a terrible side indeed, but bidding 
ing only on human authority, but as applied to us take courage when we see false and corrupt 
the Pharisees in this case, showing that such religion flourishing ; it * shall be rooted up.' 
religion becomes positiuelv false, contrary to Ver. 14. Let them alone. His disciples arc 
God's commandments. — Alford : * The portion not to begin an attack upon the Pharisees. Error, 
of Isaiah from which this citation is made (chaps, if let alone, defeats and destroys itsell Let it 
zxiv.-xxxv.) sets forth, in alternate threatenings work out its self -destructive results ! — They are 
and promises, the punishment of the mere nom- Uind gnidei. They profess to be teachers, but 
inal Israel, and the salvation of the true Israel have themselves no spiritual sight. If then the 
of God. And, as so often in the prophetic word, blind guide the blind, those who follow such are 
its threats and promises are for all times of the of course blind also. — Both ehaU fall into the 
Church ; — the particular event then foretold pit, which lies in their path ; from the nature 
being but one fulfilment of those deeper and of the case a pit of destruction. Here the effect 
more general declarations of God, which shall on the persons is spoken oC Discussions and 
be ever having their successive illustrations in controversies are to be instituted by Christians 
His dealings with men.' with the sole purpose of saving men, the defeat 

Ver. 10. Then he ealled to him the mnltitnde. of false doctrine being left to its own self-destnic- 

Without answering the question about * washing tive tendency. — As Luke (vi. J9) in his report 

of hands,' He turns to the people, as if to say, of the Sermon on the Mount, gives the same fig- 

these hypocrites, though the zealous expounders ure in a different connection, we may infer that it 

of the law, cannot understand its real sense. became proverbial in our Lord's teachings. The 

Ver. 1 1. Sntereth. In this verse, and vers, general principle is obvious, but it admitted of 

17-19, a number of verbs of motion are used, the various applications. Here it is used to enforce 

exact force of which we seek to preserve in the a lesson of patience ; in Luke it is connected 

corrections of the common version. — Deflleth with instruction about harsh judgments. 

the man, /. ^., makes him common, impure or Ver. 1 5. Peter. He again acts as the spokes- 

f)rofane. The Mosaic law, by a variety of regu- man, hence * unto us.' — Declare, /. e,, * expound.' 

ations, kept up the distinction between pure and — The parable. That of ver. 11 (comp. Mark 

impure, to teach the importance of moral purity, vii. 17). The declaration in ver. 11, was a 'hard 

This purpose had been lost sight of, and the sajnng ' to those who were bom Jews, and hence 

external regulation not only made the main mat- Peter might have called it a * parable,' especially 

ter, but extended and exalted, so that ceremonial as our Lord had so often taught the deeper truths 

impurity was considered worse than moral im- in that form. Or the disciples, with their Jewish 

purity. Our Lord opposes only this perversion education, might have thought : this saying to 

of the Mosaic law. Lange : * What is here said which the Pharisees so much object is not to be 

concerning the going into and coming out of the taken literally, it must be a parable. The cen- 

mouth, applies to the whole series of Levitical sure of the next verse favors this explanation, 

and moral injunctions concerning purity. The Ver. 16. Even yet. After all the instruction 

statement was, in the first place, indeed intended received. — Are ye also. As well as the multi- 

as a justification of His disciples on the charge tude (ver. 10). — Without nnderetanding, literally 

brought against them by the Pharisees. But the ' unintelligent.' 

inference was obvious, that all these injunctions Ver. 17. Perceive ye not 1 The truth affirmed 

required to be fulfilled in a higher sense (although was one easy to be perceived by the spiritually 

this did not imply that the Lord denied their minded. — Into the draught, /. e., * drain, sink, or 

validity as Levitical ordinances). As a matter of privy.' The thought of the verse (especially 

course, when the svmbol would be completely when further explained by the words in Mark vii. 

fulfilled, its outwara representation must fall to 19: 'because it entereth not into his heart,') is 

the ground.' Pharisees in all ages have exalted that food affects the body noc the heart, that the 

the mere sign and symbol atove the reality, moral and spiritual state of man is not dependent 

Some people make their whole religion consist on the food or drink he uses, much less on cer- 

In not allowing certain meats and drinks to enter tain ceremonial observances in regard to these 

' into the mouth.' things. This verse indirectly opposes modem 

Ver. 12. Then eame the diidplei. After He materialism, 

went into the house (Mark vii. 17). — The Fhari- Ver. 18. Expresses in another form the same 

•eei when they heard the taying, took offence, thought, indicating plainly that the heart is un- 

Probably the saying in ver. 11, which seemed to affected by what goes into the mouth, while what 

be in opposition to the Levitical law. They were comes out of the mouth indicates what is in the 

ready to take offence from the effect of the pre- heart. 

yious discourse (vers. 3-9). The disciples, hear- Ver. 19. For out of the heart prooeed evil 

ing their disparaging and hostile remarks in the thonghta, /. ^., reasonings, purposes, not mere 



Chap. XV. 21-39.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. . 137 

notions. The criminality of acts proceeds from Ver. 2a These are the thing! which defile the 

the purpose ; for these acts man is responsible, man. Ceremonial impurity is insignificant com- 

The plural form indicates that these sins are pared with moral impurity. Yet Christians now 

common and notorious. Mark adds a number of are as slow to learn this as the disciples were, 
others. 



Chapter XV. 21-39. 

The Visit to the Borders of Tyre and Sidon: the Woman of Canaan; 
the Return to the Sea of Galilee ; the Feeding of the Four Thousand. 

21 "npHEN ^ Jesus went ^ thence, and departed ^ into the coasts * " ^^'^^^ ^*- 

22 X of * Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, ^ a woman of Canaan ^ * seechap.xi 
came out of the same coasts,^ and cried unto him,^ saying, ""^"J;.^"^ 
*'Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David ; my daughter «/ see chap. ix. 

23 is grievously * vexed ^ with a devil.® But he answered her not a ' see chap. ir. 
word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, ^ Send ^ ^**^* "• **» 

24 her away ; ^® for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, 

^^ I am ^^ not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, e chap. %. 5, 

25 Then came she^^ and * worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. * see chap. 

26 But ^^ he answered and said. It is not meet to take the chil- 

27 dren's bread, and to cast // to dogs.^* And she said, Truth,^^ 

Lord : yet ^* the dogs eat of *the crumbs which fall from their « Lukexri.ai. 

28 masters* table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O 
woman, *great is thy faith : *be it ^^ unto thee even as thou wilt *scechap.tx. 
'And her daughter was made whole ^® from that very ^ hour. / ciup. ix. aa. 

29 ""And Jesus departed from^ thence, and came *nigh unto^ "'Mik^.si 
the sea of Galilee; and^ went up into a^ mountain, and sat «aSp.ir.i& 

30 down ^ there. And great multitudes came unto him ^ having • ^ *^ 
with them those that were *lame,^ *^ blind, *dumb, ** maimed, '^ gfilfirk 
and many others, and ^ cast them down at Jesus' ^ feet ; and ^^* 

3 1 he healed them : Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when 
they saw ^ the dumb to speak,® ^ the maimed to be ^ whole, ^ the 

lame to walk,^^ and ^ the blind to see : ^ and * they glorified q sce chap, 
'"the God of Israel. r\ii3aai.%% 

32 * Then * Jesus called his disciples unto himP and said, I have acuxULiJ^ 
compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me ^^j gj^p- 

i4-ai 

* And * went out • withdrew 

* parts * a Canaanitish woman * from those borders 
^ omit unto him * possessed * demon 

'® Dismiss her, or^ let her depart ^^ was 

" But she came " And ** and cast it to the dogs 

" Yea *• for even " insert done 

" was healed *• omit very * omit from 

" beside « and he « the 

** omit^own * there came unto him great multitudes 

^ the lame " insert they " his 

*• speaking * omit to be »* and the lame walking 

^ seeing ^ unto him his disciples 



XVtll. 

ix 



138 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XV. 21-39. 

now three days,^ and have nothing to eat : and I will not ^ 

33 send them away fasting, lest^ they faint in the way. And his^ 
disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread ^ 

34 in the wilderness,^ as to fill so great a multitude ? And Jesus 
saith unto them, How many loaves have ye ? And they said, 

35 ' Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded® the mul- ' scc chap 

XVI. 10. 

36 titude to sit down ^ on the ground.*^ And *2 he took the seven 

loaves and the fishes, and •* gave thanks, and brake thein}^ and u chap. xxvi 
gave to his^ disciples, and the disciples to the multitude, xxii. 17,19; 

37 And they did all cat, and were filled : and they took up of the 23 ;.. Acta 

xxvii> 315 ' 

38 broken meat that was left** seven baskets full. And they that Romxiv.6; 

. , - . .1 Cor. X. 30 ; 

did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. »• 24; 

cotnp. chap. 

39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship,^^ and came »^- '9- 
into the coasts of " Magdala.*® v josh. xix. 

38; conm. 

•* now three days they continue with me ^ am unwilling to ^^ ^"** 

^ lest haply ^ many loaves ** a desert place 

• giving commandment to *° recline 

<i ( , ) instead o/(.) *« ^,^// And 

*• having ^iven thanks, he brake, 

** that which remained of the broken pieces ** entered into the boat 

*• borders of Magadan {according to the best authorities). 

Contents. The order is chronological (comp. /. ^., a heathen hy religion, * a S)nro-Phoenician by 
Mark vii. 24-viii. 10 ; especially the miracle pc- nation.' The Phoenicians were the descendants 
culiar to that Gospel). This visit of our Lord of the remnant of the old Canaanites. — Came 
to Gentile regions followed an attack from the out Probably from a distance. — Son of David. 
Pharisees. (Comp. the course of Paul ; Acts She knew and probably shared in the Messianic 
xiiL 46.) The interview with the heathen woman hopes of the Tews. At least she had heard of 
is striking and prophetic. The Jews reject the our Lord, and believed that He could help her. 
blessing ; the Gentiles seek it with longing desire. Her request : Have mercy on me, exhibits her 
The heathen world had been prepared tor Him faith, far more than the title she used, — Chiev- 
who was 'a light to lighten the Gentiles.' The onsly posaeued with a demon, lit., 'badly demon- 
incident waa timelv. It prepared the Apostles ized.' Such possessions were therefore not con- 
for Uieir universal mission, and also for the fined to the Jews. 

prophecy (chap. xvL 21) of His death at Jem- Ver. 23. But he anawered her not a word, 
salem. They must see the faith of the Gentiles, (Vers. 21-2^, peculiar to Matthew.) By this 
before they could learn the faithlessness of the unwonted silence our Lord would try her faith ; 
Jews. — On the second miracle of feeding the and prove it to His disciples. They were Jews, 
multitudes, comp. the account of the first (chap, and must learn to intercede for a heathen woman, 
xiv. 15-21). Four Evangelists tell of the first; before they could carry the gospel to the Gen- 
two of the second. The six accounts emphasize tiles. — Bimiii her. They did not mean : refuse 
one thought : Christ the Bread of Life, sufficient her request (see ver. 24). — For ahe erieth after 
for all. iu. Arousing public attention which they knew 

Ver. 21. And Jeios withdrew. Partly in con- the Lord would avoid. Their language was not 

sequence of the hostility of the Pharisees ; partly selfish, but a recognition of the woman s importu- 

to seek retirement (Mark vii. 24) ; He designed nate earnestness, perhaps of her faith, 

also, to signify, through the incident which was to Ver. 24. I waa not lent, etc His personal 

follow, the future admission of the Gentiles into mission was only to the Jews, as their previous 

His kingdom. — Into the parta. Mark vii. 24: mission had been (chap. x. 5, 6). The exceptions 

' borders.' He may not have passed much be- all pointed to the future spiritual significance of 

yond the frontier. — T^re and Sidon. Phoenicia, the phrase: honae of IsraeL This answer might 

nere named from its chief cities, was north of suggest to the disciples : ' Is not such a one 

upper Galilee, and inhabited by Gentiles. The really a daughter of the spiritual Israel, though a 

Jewish world was closing against our Lord ; the woman of Canaan.' It was not a refusal, but a 

Gentile world was not yet open. He sought postponement, to educate her faith and train the 

seclusion near the border line, but ' He could not disciples for their world-wide mission, 

be hid* (Mark vii. 24). The heathen mother Ver. 25. But ahe came. Perhaps into the 

found Him : she was a type of the longing, suffer- house (Mark vii. 24), but more probably to where 

ing Gentile world. He waited for her in the way. Her faith was 

ver. 22. A Canaanitiah woman. Her race, more manifest, as the Lord gave her opportunity, 

not her country, is thus noted. Mark, ' a Greek,' — Lord. Reverential address. — Help me. A 



Chap. XV. 21-39.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW, 139 

touch of nature in the mother's prayer ! Mater- number fed, the amount of provision present, the 
nal love remains even in heathemsm ; often lead- fragments gathered, even the kind of baskets 
ing to Christ ^ used, a different word being found here, and also 

Ver. 26. It if not meet. The reply is not in the question of our Lord about the two 
harsh, nor is it a refusal (Mark: *Let the chil- miracles (chap. xvi. 9, 10 ; Mark viiL 19, 20). 
dren first be fed'). It calls forth the woman's Ver. 32. And Jem eallad nnto him hia dii- 

faith, and convinces the disciples that it is eiplet. Our Lord Himself takes the first step 
•proper* to bless this heathen woman. — To take (comp. chap. xiv. 15). This case was more ur- 

(lit, 'to take away') the children*! bread. All gent; the crowd was not composed of those on 

present understood this as referring to the bless- the way to the Passover, and had been three days 

mp provided for the Jews. — To the dogi, lit., with Him. — Three days. The third day was 

Mittle dogs.' A reference to the large savage passing; so they were hungry and destitute of 

dogs so common in the East, would be very con- provisions, but not vet in actual distress. — Faint 

temptuous ; household dogs are meant ; a sense in tho way, u ^., because exhausted from the 

the woman skilfully used. want of food on their way home in that moun- 

Ver. 27. Tea, Lord. She accepts the Lord's tainous region. The Lord's compassion was 
word and makes an argument of it. — For even, called out bv their physical want, which, how- 
not ' yet,' the dogs. Not as one of the children ; ever, resulted from their desire to be near Him. 
but as a humble dependent, she asks only what Ver. 33. Whenoe ahould we have so manj 
falls to such : the enunbe. Possibly a reference loavei. rhe Question may seem strange after 
to the pieces of bread on which, according to the the miraculous leeding of the five thousand. But 
ancient usage, the hands were wiped ; out the it was not so strange as their subsequent reason- 
usual sense is more natural. ' She was, as it were, ing about the leaven of the Pharisees and Saddu- 
under the edge of the table, close on the confines cees (chap. xvL 6-12). Our own forgetfulness 
of Israel's feast' (Alford.) — The woman had and unbelief should make us wonder less at the 
been earnest in gaining a hearing at all. Her Mittle faith' of the disciples. In the previous 
answer shows a quickness of mind, approaching case the disciples emphasized the aAount of 
wit, humility also, joined with true wisdom ; in bread needed (* two hundred pennyworth ') ; in 
her persevering faith she saw the mind of Christ this, the fact that thev are in a deiert jdace. — 
even in the seemingly repulsive figure. FilL The long fast called for plentiful provision. 

Ver. 28. Great ia thy faith. The greatest Comp. Mark viii. 4, where the same word is 

faith had been shown by Gentiles (comp. chap, translated * satisfy ' in the common version, 
viii. 10); and of this woman's characteristics, Ver. 34. How many loaves have ye 1 In the 

'faith' was not only the crown, but the source. — other case a lad had the provisions; here the 

And her daughter was healed fhnn that honr. disciples themselves. The loaves were seven in 

Mark (vil 30) describes her return home. As in this case, five in the other, the number of little 

the case ot the Gentile centurion, the cure was fishes is not specified. 

performed at a distance. The intermediate link Ver. 3^. And giving oommandment. Theoor- 

in both cases was strong faith combined with rect reading joins this verse closely with ver. 36. 

affection for the person healed. A hint is thus In the other case the disciples arranged the mul* 

given in regard to intercessory praver. titude (Luke ix. 14; John vi. 10). — On, the 

Ver. 29. Departed thenoe. (Mark viii. 31 is gronnd, not ' on the grass ' (chap. xiv. 19) ; they 

fuller.) He probably made a circuit, passing were * in a wilderness (ver. 33), a desolate region, 

southeastward, througn the northern part of the in this case. 

Decapolis at the foot of the Lebanon ran^e, Vers. 36, 37. The mode of distribution (and 

reaching the mountainous (and solitarv) distnct the miracle itself) was precisely the same. — 

on the eastern shore of the Sea of Oaluee. — And That whieh remained of the broken pieoes. seven 

sat there. To obtain here the rest He had baskets fnlL In the other case * twelve. The 

sought in * the parts of Tyre and Sidon.* word rendered 'baskets ' is a different one (prob- 

ver. 30. Gnat mnltitndes. Even in this re- ably larger ones are meant), and the same differ* 

tired place He was not allowed to rest long, ence is observed in chap. xvi. 9, la 
The crowds came having with them, /. e.^ bringing Ver. ^8. Fonr thoosand, instead of ' five thou* 

with them, a great variety of afflicted ones. — sand.' In this case the material miracle seems 

Dnmb. Mark mentions one case in particular (vii. not to have been so great, as respects the number 

32-35). — Maimed. The first mention of this class, fed and the fragments remaining. All these va- 

/. e.i those wounded or diseased in hand or foot ; riations, which show no gradation between the 

our word ' maimed ' implies a loss of the member, miracles, and betray no special design, prove 

— Cast than down. ThXs may refer to the rude- that the Evangelists give true accounts of two 

ness of these mountaineers, or to their haste, or to distinct miracles. 

their confidence ; probably the three explanations Ver. 39. Into the boat Probably one await- 

are to be combined. ing Him. — Into the borders of Kagadan, accord- 

Ver. 31. Wondered. Comp. Mark vii. 37. ing to the best authorities. ('Magdalan' is also 

The people had probably heard of, but never found.) Mark : * Into the parts of Dalmanutha.' 

witnessec^ His power. — Ine dnmb speaking, etc This was probably a village not far from Maga- 

This is the form of the original. — Oiey glorified dan. Our Lord, pursued by the hostility of the 

the Ood <tf IsraeL Thev were not heathen, but Jews and seeking retirement, landed at an ob- 

Tews. Yet living on tne borders, they seem to scure locality between the two places. The site 

have been affected by heathen nations, and half of Magdala (Magadan), now called Madschel 

recognized other gods. (* Migdol,* Josh. xix. 38), is north of Tiberias and 

Veis. 32-38. This miracle is not identical directly east of Cana, on the w^j/^/i shore of the 

with that described in chap, xiv, 15-21. The lake, since the next voyage (chap. xvi. 5 ; Mark 

drcnmstances vary in every possible respect : the viii. 13) was across the lake to the eastern side. 



I40 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVI. 1-12 

Chapter XVI. 1-12. 

Tlie yavs seek a Sign^ and our Lord warns His Disciples against 

their Doctrine, 

1 *" I ^HE Pharisees also with the Sadducees^ came, and tempt- ** JJ.^""^^* 

X ing ^ * desired ^ him that he would shew * them a sign * ^Tj^**' 

2 from heaven. He^ answered and said unto them, *^ When it is ' ^^^^ 
evening, ye say, // will be^ fair weather : for the sky ^ is red. 

3 And in the morning, // will be^ foul weather to-day: for the 

sky '^ is red and lowering. O ye hypocrites,^ **ye can® discern ^'Lukexii.sis. 
the face of the sky ;^ but can ye not^^ discertt the signs of the 

4 times ? ^^ 'A wicked ^^ and adulterous generation seeketh after * chap. xi. 
a sign ; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign 

of the prophet Jonas.^^ And he left them, and departed. 

5 And when his disciples were come to the other side, they 

6 haa forgotten " to take bread. Then ^^ Jesus said unto them, 

Take heed and -^beware of ^the leaven of the Pharisees and of /ye«:- ««..? 

Luke XII. t. 

7 the ^* Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, e '.^^^;^ 

8 // is because we have taken ^^ no bread. Which when Jesus 
perceived, he^® said unto them,^® *0 ye of little faith, why *seeci«p.vi 
reason ye*^ among yourselves, because ye have brought noj^p-^-^*^ 

9 bread ? * Do ye not yet understand,^^ neither remember * the ^ ^' ^^ 
five loaves of the five thousand, and how many ' baskets ye took Ji'/J?*^^^. 

10 up.? Neither ""the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how Jjij^jj; 

11 many * baskets ye took up.? How is it that ye do not under- ,„'fe„p.xy. 
stand 2^ that I spake //^ not to you concerning bread,^ that ye « cSS^xr. 
should beware^ of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the^^ Juf.g,^; 

12 Sadducees.?^ Then understood they how* that he bade them "*'^* 
not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine ^ of the 
Pharisees and of the^® Sadducees. 

* And the Pharisees and Sadducees * or trying • asked 
*to shew * But he ® omit It will be 

' heaven • the best authorities omit O ye hypocrites 

• ye know how to " ye can not ^* (•) instead of {}) 
*• An evil ^' of Jonah 

^* And the disciples coming to the other side forgot 

" And " omit of the " took 

** And Jesus knowing it, said ^' omit unto them 

* do ye reason " perceive ^ omit it 

« ( ? ) instead o/(,) «* But beware ^ (.) instead of (?) 

*• omit how ^ teaching 

Contents. In consequence of the opposition then withdraws to the eastern side of the sea 

of Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem (chap. (ver. 5), not far from Bethsaida (Mark viil 22). 

xv. I, 21), our Lord had withcuawn to heathen The connection of events shows the reason for 

and unfrequented regions. On His return, He these repeated voyages, which seem purposeless 

lands at a retired locality in Galilee ; the Phar- to many readers. Uaiilee being almost completely 

isees seek Him, on this occasion in company closed to Him, it was time for the decided con- 

with the Sadducees, tempting Him again. He fessions (vers. 13-20) and revelation (vers. 21- 



Chap. XVI. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 141 

28) which follow. On the way the unbelief and way (Mark viii. 22), at a time when our Lord was 

ignorance of the Twelve were manifested (vers, avoiding public notice, may have been for the 

7 ff.); instruction was given them which would purpose of obtaining a supply, 

separate them more decidedly from the Jews Ver. 6. Th9 leaTon of the PharisoM and Sad- 

( vers. 6, 12). It is one of the Twelve that tells dooMS. * Leaven ;' figure for a permeating spirit- 

of their wesLkness at this important crisis. — Our ual influence, generally an evil one (comp. now- 

Lord visited Galilee but once more, and then to ever chap. xiii. ^3)' Their want of bread made 

take leave of it (comp. chaps, xvii. 22; xix. i). the illustration apt They were now withdraw- 

Ver. I. And Saddnoeds. First mention of ing, both bodily and spiritually, from the Jews ; 

them, in antagonism to Christ. Opposed to each hence there is probably a reference to Exod. xii. 

other, these two parties united against our Lord ; 15-17 ; comp. I Cor. v. 7. The two opposing 

opposition to the truth overbears other antago- sects are here connected (comp. ver. i) ; Mark, 

nisms. Extremes of error consistently meet in however (viii. 15), substitutes * the leaven of 

opposing our Lord's people and cause. — Tempt- Herod.* The Sadducees had already Joined the 

ing, or 'trying' Him, putting Him to the proof. Pharisees in opposing Christ, and Herod may 

But He never responded to doubt and disbelief ; have been in some alliance with them. Politi- 

only to faith. To accede to their wish, would cians often coquet with religious parties, 

foster their carnal hopes, — A sign from heaven. Ver. 7. And they reasoned among themaelyef. 

Comp. chap. xii. 38. It was the common belief In their own hearts and then with each other ; 

that visible signs from heaven would attend the not in dispute, but in earnest conversation. — It 

Advent of the Messiah. Their request implied if because we took no bread. An unspiritual but 




reparation 

self-righteousness tend to superstition. from the whole nation, and separate' provision for 

Ver. 2. When it if evening, ye say, Fair their wants, which they had forgotten. (General 

weather, etc In answer to their demand fur a anxiety about worldly things would follow. 

* sign from heaven,' our Lord cites two weather Ver. 8. And Jesus knowing it said. This 

'signs,' such as all men look for, 'in the face of avoids the incorrect notion, that He took some 

the heaven.' These signs (cited, not given by our time to discover it •— ye of little faith. Words 

Lord) hold good in other reeions. The design applied to them before (chap. viii. 26 ; xiv. 31) 

was to rebuke their carnal and sensuous expecta- on occasions of great weakness. After such mira* 

tions (see ver. ^). cles their cares were unbelieving. 

Ver. 3. Symbolical meaning (not to be pressed): Ver. 5. Do ye not yet perMive. Mark (viii. 

' The red at even of the Old Testament betokened I7» 18) is more full. Besides want of faith, they 

fair weather at hand. Similarly, the red sky at had shown great want of perception, 

the commencement of the New Testament, indi- Ver. la Baskets. A different word in the 

cated the storm about to descend upon Israel, original from that used in ver. 9, but the same 

But they were incapable of understanding either one we find in the account of the miracle (chap, 

one or other of these signs.' (Lange's Comm.) xv. 37). This difference incidentally confirms 

— Te ean not. Not a question, but an assertion, the truthfulness of the account. 

— The signs of the times, /. ^., the fulfilment of Ver. 11. How is it that ye do not pereeive, 
prophecy ; the miracles performed before them, etc. The recent instruction (chap. xv. 19, 20) 
showing that the Messiah had come. The Jews, that eating did not defile a man, should have 
with the promise of the Messiah, ought to have prevented the surmise about not eating bread 
been as quick in discerning the signs of His com- with the Pharisees and Sadducees ; the miracles 
ing, as those of the weather. Proverbially so should have shown them that lack of earthly 
keen to discern the signs of the times as affecting bread was not referred to. Mark stops at this 
trade, etc, they have alwavs shown lack of point in the narrative. 

spiritual discernment. But all men are naturally Ver. 12. But beware. This is the correct 

slow in discovering the spiritual significance of reading. — The teaching of the Fhariseei Ukd 

passing events. Sadducees. Comp. Luke xii. i. The leaven of 

Ver. 4. Comp. chap. xii. 39 (exactly the same the Pharisees is 'hypocrisy.' But the Sadducees, 

words). The audience may have been in part the * liberal Tews ' of that age, went to the other 

the same, hence no explanation is added here. — extreme. The reference is, therefore, not to what 

And he left them anld departed. Abruptly it they taught in common, but to the mode and 

would seem. As events proved, He now gave spirit of their teaching. In both cases hypocrisy ; 

them up to their blindness, but with pajn at their in the Pharisees hypocritical formalism, in the 

unbelief. See on Mark viii. 12 : *And he sighed Sadducees hypocritical liberalism. These two 

deeply in his spirit.' apparently antagonistic tendencies have been 

Ver. 5. And the disei|ilei coming to the other practically united ever since in opposing Christ, 
side. To the eastern shore. It is improbable that Without Him strict morality ('Pharisees') and 
this conversation took place during the voyage free inquiry ('Sadducees') inevitably become hyp 
(^e below). — Forgot to take bread. Provisions ocritical. Comp. on Mark viii. 15. — The em- 
were not indispensable for so short a voyage, phasis here laid on false ' teaching ' is suggestive. 
The original suggests that the neglect occurred Principles, tendencies, ' teachings,' are most per- 
after they landeoT They had but one loaf in the meating, and if evil, most dangerous. To those 
boat (Mark viii. 14), ana started on a land jour- who after all the lessons of history, and of ex- 
ney to Cesarea Philippi (ver. 13), through a perience, fail to see this, we may applv the words 
region comparatively desolate, without qiiaking of our Lord : ' How is it that ye ao not per* 
provision for it. The visit to B^thsaidi^ on the ceive ? ' 



142 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVI. 13-28. 

Chapter XVI. 13-28. 

The Discourse of our Lord with His Disciples^ in which He calls forth Petet^s 
Confession and predicts His own Passion and the Sufferings of His FoU 
lowers, 

13 •\T /"HEN^ Jesus came into the coasts ^ of Cesarea Philippi, *,^*l1?", 
V V he asked his disciples, saying, Whom ^ do men say that ^aJ^SJ.t; 

MarK vi. 14 ; 



Vhl- 



14 I, the Son of man, am?* And they said, Some say that thou Jj^e 
art *John^ the Baptist ; some, ^ Elias ; ^ and others, Jeremias,^ ^ Luke S.'l| 

15 or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom^ say Si?f »; ^ 

16 ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said. Thou ^z vc" '^V 

17 art *• the Christ, 'the Son of -^ the living God. And Jesus an- # coi?p!xhIJ. 
swered and said unto him, 'Blessed art thou, * Simon Bar-jona:/p».xiii.aj 

chap. XXVI. 

for ' flesh and blood hath not revealed // ® unto thee, but my 63 : Actexir. 

, >5» «The9«. 

18 Father which ^ is in heaven. And I say also® unto thee, j- 9; Heb. 
that thou art Peter, and ' upon this rock I will build my ^^,^*^***'^ 
church; and ""the gates of helP^ shall not prevail against it. * J9|»n^|^^*»i 

19 And I will give unto thee * the keys of the kingdom of ' ^V*o^^| 
heaven : and "" whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be Jj! ^. u; 
bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth ^Ycor iii© 

20 shall be loosed in heaven. ''Then charged he his disciples L^iSmJSi 
that they should tell no man that he was Jesus *the^^ Christ ii*u.xxii.a»; 

21 From that time forth ^^ 'began Jesus to shew unto his disci- iiL/.** 
pies, how ^^ that *" he must go unto Jerusalem, and * suffer many *x^.^8; *** 
things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, / if ark viu. ' 

• 30 » Lokc ix. 

22 and be raised again ' the third day.^* Then ^* Peter took him, «« 

^ ' q Mark n\\. 

and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee. Lord : this j^-| 

23 shall not ^* be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, ;»7' 
Get thee behind me, Satan : thou art* an offence ^^ unto me : ^ ^^^ ^^. 
for thou "savourest^® not the things that be of ^^ God, but those ^ ch^^.*i;. 

24 that be of ^ men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any ^J; """'* 
f«a« *^ will ^ come after me, let him deny himself, and "'take *xu^ »!"**• 

25 up his cross, and * follow me. For ^^ whosoever will ^i save his "s-.ThUjfiV. 
life shall lose it : and whosoever will ^ lose his life for my sake w'See chap. 

X 38 

26 shall find it. For what is a man ^ profited, if he shall gain the x John riu. 
whole world, and lose his own soul?^* or what* shall a man j-sw chip. x. 

27 give in exchange for his soul ? ^ For * the Son of man shall « <?omp. p$. 

xlix. 7* 8 
, »• • • • . /iDan.viLu; 

* Now when ' parts ' who chaps., xix. 

* according to the best authorities that the son of man is ? SvT^L'**' 

* some w» Jol^n • Elijah ^ Jeremiah Act* i. « , 

* revealed it not • also say ^* Hades » ^*"' ** 
" he is the " omit forth » omit how ^ K^n tS'^i 
^* the third day he raised up " And Zech. xiv. $ ' 
*« never " a stumbling-block *• mindest f^^P ^^ 
^* the things of * one "would \i\h\ 

« shall « shall a man be " forfeit his life » life 2'rhe«.i. ^ 



-IX. I ; 

UKSix. 23 



Chap. XVI. 13-23.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 143 

come in the glory of his Father ' with his angels ; and * then ' jf;".;^"" 

28 he shall reward * every man according to his works.^ Verily J^'j™?- 
I say unto you. There be some standing here,*^ which shall ''^'f Hcb"ii. 
not*° ''taste of death,' till they see the Son of man-'' coming in ,timp 
his kingdom. SiTwi"' 

V doing ' / 1^ »"' 




CoHTEHTS. The confession (ver. 16), and the 
revelation (vcr. 11), constiiuie an epoch in the 
Iriining of the Apostles. Despite theit Utile 
faith and want of understanding, they cling to 
lliro u the Christ of God. He calls for a con- 
fession of this. Peter, the usual spokesman, makes 
it. Then He reveals His passion and (he suffer- 
ings of His people with Him and for His sake. 
This revelation was at drat rejected, never re- 
ceived by the disciples in its full force until it be- 
came I tact. The important statement regarding 
the foundation of His Church (ver. iS) is not, 
as many suppose, the central thought. It is how- 
ever appropriately introduced here, where (he fiw- 
feiiioH of the Church [lutivtly with the mouth, 
and ptairotly through sufTering for His sake) is 
nude to centre about His Pastwn, the ground 
and motive for that confession. These events 
occurred in the neighborhood of Cesarea Thi- 
lippi.and on the way thither (he miracle recorded 
by Mark (viii. z3-l6], was performed in Bcth- 
saida Julias. On the very edge of the Jewish 
territory, these great revelations were made. The 
hostility of the Jews had banished Him (hither, 
but its ultimate effect would be to banish them 
from the Land of Promise. 



Ver. 13. nuMrUof CMUtftFUIippL Mark: 

'villages.' Piobably not the city itself, but re- 
tired localities in the neighborhood, better adapted 
for private intercourse. TTie dty was situated at 
the foot of Mount Hermon, and formerly bore 
the name Pancru. Philip the Tetrarch beautified 
i(, and called it Cesarea; his name (PhilippI) 
being commonly added to distinguish it from 
Cesarea on the sea-coast (where Paul was after- 
wards imprisoned). The name was changed to 
Nenmiat by Agrippa H., but (he village which 
now marks the site is called Sanui. — Ha uktd 
bii diwiplM. While ' in the way ' (Mark viii. 27), 
not to that region but from some retired spot, 
where He had been praying (Luke ii. iS). — 
Wha do mmMj Uut tlw Boa at mftniiT The 
common reading is an alteration to bring out 
more fully the implied though! : ' I am the Son 
of man, the Messiah.' 

Ver. 14. Soma laj. The people had never 
been fully convinced that He was (he Messiah. 
In the presence of opposition (hey only held th^ 
He was a remarkable personage. — Jolu the Bu- 
tUt. Herod'sopinion, seechap. xiv. a.— EUjtt. 
The forerunner of the Messiah. — Jeruaiah, etc. 
Some really believed that the old prophets would 



144 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVI. 13-28. 

reappear in another fomv. As His preaching be- long before (John i. 42), but is now solemnly be- 
came more denunciatory, they would think of stowed. It is a masculine form of the Greek 
Jeremiah. The whole verse shows the change in word meaning * rock.' In the dialect of the 
popular opinion throughout Galilee. country the same word may have been used in 

Ver. 15. But who uy ye, etc. The question both cases, 

docs not imply that they doubted His Messiah- Explanations : i. The phrase refers to /V/<t, 

ship, but is a demand for a decided expression as but as a confessor ^ as in Christ, representing the 

to what He was as the Messiah. This is the main other Apostles. This explains both the resem- 

point in Peter*s reply. blance and the difference of the words : * Petros * 

Ver. 16. Simon Potor; answering for the others and 'petra; ' it is on the whole preferable. From 
IS well as for himself. — TI1011 trt uo Chriit ('the personal qualities he was the first among equals, 
Messiah*), tho Son of tho liTing God. Peter's and as he had represented the Apostles in the 
reply is a decided, solemn, profound confession, confession, so now in the Lord's declaration. He 
that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God in was also the first to preach on the day of Pen- 
a specific sense. This specific sense is clearly tecost, when the Church was fully established, 
vindicated: (i.) by the presence of the article, and first to preach to the Gentiles. When he 
which otherwise might have been omitted : (7.) was disobedient and dissuading, censure was pro- 
by the addition of the phrase itself, otherwise un- nounced upon him (vers. 22, 23); hence only con- 
necessary, since the confession of His Messiah- fcssing Peter is meant. The other Apostles are 
•hip includes all lower ideas ; (3.) from the word included ; since what is addressed to Peter in the 

* living,* which is not opposed to dead idols, but next verse is afterwards repeated to all the Apos- 
indicates that God is the source of all life, and ties (chap, xviii. 18), to which some add Eph. ii. 
that His Son b the fountain of life to men ; (4) 20 ; Rev. xxi. 14. — 2. The Romanisi vino : Peter 
from the declaration that God had revealed this Is referred to, but as the ofiicial head of the 
to Peter, since men of themselves readily form Twelve; as such the Bishop of Rome is his sue- 
lower conceptions of Christ. This is the germ cessor. Were this correct, Mark and Luke 
of the true and full statement respecting the Di- would not have failed to record the saying in 
vine Human Person of Clurist. The germ itself their accounts of this interview. Further objec- 
wis a revelation, and its development was through tiona: (i.) It obliterates the distinction between 
subsequent revelation to the Apostles. The doc- petros and petra ; (2.) it is inconsistent with the 
trine 01 Christ's Person is not tho result of hu- true nature of the architectural figure ; the foun- 
min speculation, but a truth revealed by the dation of a building is one and abiding, and not 
Father of our Lord respecting His only Begotten constantly renewed and changed ; (3.) it con- 
Son. As at the beginning of His mmistry our founds priority of time ^nth permanent supe- 
Lord received an attestation from man (John the riority of rank ; (4.) it confounds the apostolate. 
Baptist) preceding the attestation of His Son- which, strictly speaking, is not transferable but 
ship from heaven (chap. iii. 17), so at this turning- confined to the original personal disciples of 
point a confession from man precedes the re- Christ and inspired organs of the Hoi v Spirit, with 
newed attestation from heaven on the mount of the post-apostolic episcopate; (5.) it involves 
Transfiguration (chap. xvii. 5). an injustice to the other Apostles, who, as a body, 

Ver. 17. BloMOd trt thon. An answering con- are expressly called the foundation, or foundation 
fession of Peter as an object of the Divine stones of the Church; (6.) it contradicts the whole 
favor, a subject of Divine grace (comp. Rom. x. spirit of Peter's epistles, which is strongly anti- 
9). — Simoii Bar Jona, son of Jonah. His human hierarchical, and disclaims any superiority over 
name and paternity are introduced, probably with his * fellow-presbyters ; ' (7.) finally, it rests on 
an allusion to the title : Son of man (ver. 13) ; assumptions, unprovcn either exegetically or his- 
there is a similarity in the phrases in the Ian- torically, namely, the transferability of Peter's 
cuage then spoken. Simon confesses his belief primacy, and its actual transfer to the bishop, not 
m the higher title of Christ ; our Lord refers to of Jerusalem nor of Antioch (where Peter cer- 
Simon's higher name, Peter. — For flofh and tainly was), but of Rome exclusively. Comp. 
Idood roToalod it not unto thoe. The knowledge the note in Schaff's History of the Apostolic 
was not from any human source (comp. Gal. i. Churchy p. 374 ff. — -3. The ultra Protestant 
16). — But my Father who if in heaven. The ^iew: Peter's confession alone is referred to. 
real knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son Only partially correct. Objections : (i.) *This' 
of the living God, is and must be a matter of can scarcely refer to something so remote as the 
Divine revelation. Men may, of themselves, confession : on this theory the clause ' thou art 
hold such a doctrine as part of a creed, but a be- Peter,' has no force whatever, and our Lord is 
lief that influences heart and life is the result of represented as making a play on words almost 
a Divine revelation made in us. Peter's confes- meaningless; (2.) the Church is founded on 
sion was based on such a belief. For the trials living persons, not on abstract doctrines and con- 
oi faith before them during the remainder of our fessions ; (3.) the whole context is against it : the 
Lord's earthly life the disciples needed a knowl- confession about the Person of Christ, the sol- 
edge of His Person far above the carnal no- emn utterance of Peter's usual name (ver. 17), 
tions of the Messiah ; the reply of Peter shows the personal statement of ver. 19^ Most later 
that they had it, and our Lord tells whence it Protestant commentators reject it. — 4. Christ 
came. means His own Person. So Augustine (in later 

Ver. 18. And I also lay nnto thoe. In answer years) and many excellent commentators. This 

to thy confession. The meaning of our Lord's view claims \^2X petros means a stone and petra a 

words has been angrily discussed, and misappre- rock, so that Peter is a living stone from Christ 

bended by Romanists and Protestants alike. — the true rock, and whosoever would become a 

Thon art Peter (* petros'), and upon thia rook living stone, a 'petros,' must make this true con- 

(* petra') I w£U bnild my ehureh. The name fession of Christ, the Rock, on whom as God 

* Peter 'had been prophetically given to Simon and man the Church will be built. Objections: 



Chap. XVI. 13-28.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I45 

(i.)The distinction between the words may not (Cornelius) to the Church; and first excluded 

have existed in the language used by our Lord ; (Ananias and Sapphira; Simon Magus). This 

(2.) *this' is made to reter to something not promise in its full sense does not extena beyond 

stated, we are forced to insert in the narrative, the Apostles, who needed special power for their 

that our Lord pointed to Himself. (3.) Our Lord foundation work ; for the keys are not the keys 

is usually represented, not as the foundation, but of the Church but * of the kingdom of heaven.' 

as the Builder and Master of |he spiritual tem- It is applicable to the Christian ministry, only m 

pie, into which living stones are built, the first the subordinate sense of proclaiming the word 

ones laid (the Apostles) being the foundation, and exercising prudential (not punitive) disci- 

This view, moreover, avails nothing against the pline. — And whAtsoeTer thou ihalt bind, etc. 

assumptions of the Papal interpretation. Jewish usage would explain : * bind ' and * loose,' 

My Crhureh. This word occurs only twice in as univalent to forbid and permit ; the reference 

the Gospels (here and chap, xviii. 17). The therefore is to the power of legislation in the 

Greek word, meaning *an assembly called out' Church (*on earth') in the case of the Apostles, 

(with a technical sense in classical Greek), was Peter being their representative ; this was in ac- 

used to translate the Hebrew expression : ArtArt/, cordance with heavenly design (*in heaven'). 

* congregation.' While it usually means a local Things are probably referred to here ; in the pre- 
congregation, it must be taken here in a gen- vious clause /^rj^/fj (admitted or excluded). The 
eral sense. It refers to a congregation distinct power seems to he judicial also (comp. chap, 
from the Jewish (*my church ) ; the first inti- xviii. 17, 18). This promise also is, in its full 
mation of such a separation. Its formation is sense, applicable only to the Apostles. Most of 
only predicted ('I will build'). It is not the the difficulties connected with the interpretation 
precise equivalent of * the kingdom of heaven,' of this passage are obviated by considering that 
so often spoken of before this time by our Lord, the full gospel could not be preached until after 
' The kingdom of heaven ' is the new aispensation the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of our 
of grace from heaven of which our Lord was Lord ; the Apostles, who had to lay the foun- 
Ruler and Dispenser ; His Church was to be an dation and be the foundation, must therefore 
organized and visible congregation of the faith- have knowledge and authority which no one after 
ful, manifesting and extending by its worship and them needs or can rightly claim. The foundation 
ministry that kingdom. The next verse points to thus laid, the Churcn enters upon a conflict in 
such a visible organization, as does the fact that which final victory, though long delayed, is as- 
cou/essini^ Apostles are spoken of as the founda- sured. Church authorities must indeed legislate 
tion. The Jewish idea was that it was to be a and exercise judicial power, etc., but not as hav- 

* temporal power,' a State, as the Papal theory ing final and supreme power nor with any assur- 
allows. This Church is represented as one edi« ance of infallibility. For such binding and loos- 
fice having one Builder, one foundation, one plan, ing on earth they may implore, but cannot assert, 
and hence with a continuity in its history and de« heavenly direction and sanction. 

velopment, but the New Testament nowhere Ver. 20. That they ihonld tell no man. Until 
prophesies or enjoins its external uniformity. The our Lord Himself announced His Messiahship 
Sacraments and the ministry are directly insti- before the Sanhedrin (chap. xxvi. 64), the Chris- 
tuted, but little else. Outward form is required, tian acknowledgment was to be kept separate 
to prevent anarchy, but the history of the Apos- from the carnal expectations of the Jews, 
tolic Church implies that this outward form may Ver. 21. From that time began Jeiiu. The 
be modified by ecclesiastical enactment which, confession prepared them for the revelation. We 
however useful, cannot be of eaual authority infer that He spoke often and familiarly on this 
with the direct institutions of Christ and his topic, to prepare them for their own trials, and to 
Apostles. Uniformity as the free expression of impress upon them the truth they deemed so 
internal unity, is a great blessing; but it has gen* strange. (Comp. chap. xvii. 22, 23 ; xx. 17-19, 
crally been the result of ecclesiastical or civil and the parallel passages in Mark and Luke), 
tyranny. Visible unity is the end rather than the — He mnst go. The necessity of His sufferings 
mcaiu, of the growth of Christ's Church. Es^ was revealed : not in all its bearings, since after 
scntial unity is maintained, in the confession of His resurrection He must still ask : ' Ought not 
the Personal Christ, by believing persons, in the Christ to have suffered,' etc. (Luke xxiv. 26.) — 
participation of the divinely instituted Sacra« Unto Jerosalem. Peculiar to Matthew ; m keep- 
ments, in the preaching of the Word by an or< ing with the character of his Gospel. — Soffer 
dained ministry. All these essentials centre in many things. His sufferings included more than 
Christ — And the gatee of hell, or * hades.' An the outward persecutions. — Of the elden, etc. 
oriental phrase for * the power of the kingdom These classes represented the whole Jewish na- 
of death.' The figure is that of a strong castle, tion. Christ did not reject the covenant people ; 
— Shall not prevaU against it. The Old Testa- they rejected Him. — And be killed. A startling 
ment organization would perish b^ violence ; but announcement to the disciples, and vet Daniel 
noadversepowershall prevail against this Church, (ix. 26) and Isaiah (liii. 4-10) had foretold it 
The particular reference is to the spiritual victory *The cross' is the necessary climax of His suf- 
of life over death. The Romanists give this a erings. — The third day be railed np. — * Accord- 
more temporal sense, in keeping with the erro- ing to the Scriptures.' (i Cor. xv. 4.) Despite 
neous view of the first part of the verse. this plain announcement, they were full of doubt 

Ver. 10. Unto thee. To Peter, who is ad- and despondency after His death, 

dressed throughout; but as chap, xviii. 18 in- Ver. 22. Thmi Peter took him. — Either laid 

eludes the other Apostles in the second promise hold on Him to interrupt Him, or took Him 

of this verse, they are probably included here aside. The explanation, ' took by the hand,' for 

also. — The keys of the kingaom of heaTen. friendly entreatv. is unwarranted. — And began to 

Power to open and shut. Peter fiirst admitted rebnke him. He did not proceed far in this chid- 

Jews (on the day of Pentecost) and Gentiles ing. — Be it far from thM, Lord, lit, ' propitious 
VOL. I. 10 



146 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVI. is-tS. 

to thee,* equivalent either to, God be favorable Ver. 26. What ihall a man be profited. In 

to thee, or spare thyself. — Thie ikall never be to view of this saving and losing. — Forfeit hie life, 

thee. — An over-confident declaration, betraying Same word as in ver. 25. The variation in the 

pride as well as opposition to the purpose of common version is unfortunate. It has the double 

God (*must go,* ver. 21) revealed by our Lord, meaning Mife* and 'soul.' But here Mife' in the 

Peter was bold as confessor and as opposer, was higher sense is meant, not * soul * in distinction 

impulsive, perhaps vain and ambitious. More- from * body.' It is plainly implied that gaining 

over Satan is most busy in seducing us when we the world m a selfish manner involves the loss of 

have been most highly exalted and favored by true life, that such a gain is really only an appar- 

Christ. ent gain of the worl(^ while the loss is real, ir- 

Ver. 23. Bat he turned. Not turned from reparable, irretrievable. The usual inferences, 

Peter, but turned round. — Said nnto Peter. In based on the sense * soul,* are true enough, but not 

the presence of all the disciples (Mark viii. 33), suggested here. (See further on Mark viii. ;^7.) 

whom Peter again represented to a ce^ain ex- Ver. 27. For. The reason this transaction is 

tent — Get th^ behind me, ' avaunt,' ' begone.' so unprofitable is now given. — The Son of man, 

Comp. chap. iv. 10, where the same words are ad- who now in humble form asks to be followed on 

dressed to Satan himself. — Satan. The mean- the path of suffering. — ttiaU oome in the glory of 

ing * adversary ' is tpo weak. There was a Satanic hii Father. Through suffering to glory. He 

influence at work in Peter, thqugh he was not spoke first of His own sorrows, then of His peo- 

consciuus of it. ' Has Satan come again ? ' The pie's ; now He predicts glory and triumph ; 

Apostle himself was no doubt starred. — Then their's also, because His. In this second com- 

art a itnmhling-hloek nnto me, or ' stone of stum- ing, afterwards more fully spoken of (chaps, xxiv., 

bling.* Perhaps a further allusion to Peter's xxv.). He shall appear as Judge of all, in the 

name. Comp. his own words (i Peter ii. 7), in glory of God the Father, and the attendants shall 

which the same contrast is found. Not without be nil angele. Both a threatening and a prom- 

a caution for those claiming to be the successors ise in view of the judgment which it involves. — 

of Peter.— Then mindeit not the thLngtof God, Unto every man according to his doing. His 

i, e., as represented by Christ, not regarding whole character and conduct This depends upon 

God's purpose in the foretold death. — The the effort either to save the lower life or gain the 

things of men, /'. e., he had carnal views, ex- higher. This * doing ' results from faith or unbe- 

pected the temporal exaltation of the Messiah, lief. 

Human nature is h^re represented as opposed to Ver. 28. Verily I lay nnto yon. Solemn pref- 

God, and under the influence of Satan. — A re- ace. — There be some of them that stand here, 

buke for all who have a sentimental admiration The Twelve and the people about (Mark viii. 34). 

for Jesus of Nazareth, but stumble at the cross, — Who shall in no vise taste of death. Death 

which belongs to ' the things of God.' is represented under the figure of a bitter cup. 

Ver. 24. unto Ids dlMiples. To others also Some of those present should be still alive when 

whom He called about Him (Mark viii. 34; Luke the event referred to in the next clause should 

ix. 23: * to all'}. — If anyone wonldoome after uke place, though they should afterwards die. 

me. A general statement, involving on this oc- — The Son of man oonung in his kingdom. Not 

casion the question, will you follow me even to the * coming* in ver. 27. (i.) That was *in the 

the death, which, I have assured you, must glory of His Father,' this ' in His kingdom,' or a 

come. Unliko worldly leaders, Christ declares commg of the kingdom of God *with power' 

the darker side of His service; He asks for (Mark ix. i, comp. Luke ix. 27); (2.) So definite 

willing followers. A religion of Jor^e cannot be a prediction of the final coming is inconsistent 

Christ's religion. — Deny himself. Let him re- with chap. xxiv. 36: *But of that day and hour 

nounce self as the object of supreme regard ; knoweth no one,' etc Nor is it the transfigura- 

this involves the relinquishment of all that in* tion, which was a temporary revelation, but the 

terferes with the higher object. — Tahe np his establishment of the new dispensation, which 

eross. The person to be crucified bore his own was the coming of the kingdom of God with 

cross ; the death was a painful and shameful one. power. The more precise reference may be (i.) 

The reference is to readmess to endure iox Christ, to the coming of our Lord after the resurrection ; 

even death in its worst form. It includes of but all of them except Judas lived to see that, 

course all minor forms of endurance* Comp. and it is implied that some would die ; (2.) to the 

Luke ix. 23, where * daily ' is added, dlontinuous day of Pentecost, but this is open to the same ob- 

cross-bearing is implied neTC. — Follow me. Here jection ; (3.) to the destruction of Jemsalem^ which 

in the path of suffering, ^t a]sQ in the path of ended the old dispensation. Chap. x. 23 refers to 

holiness and in the ps^th to glory, as the following this, and chap. xxv. supports the same view, 

verses suggest That event was of awful significance. In view 

Ver. 25, For whosoever wonld save his life, of the circumstances, the hostility of the Jews 

etc Comp- the same thought in chap. x. 39. now manifest, the prediction tnat Jerusalem 

Whoever makes the lower lif^ the supreme mo- would be the place of His sufferings, the an- 

tive shall Ipse the higher life, and whoever, mak- nouncement of His Church as distinguished from 

ing Christ supreme, shall lose ev^n life for His the old economy to be abrogated fully in the ruin 

sake shall find it in the highest, truest sense, of that city, it seems clear that if one event be re- 

Th^ contrast throughout the pas9aee is not be- ferred to, it is this, which was in so many respects 

tween body and soul, but earthly li^ in all forms ' a type and earnest of the final coming of Christ ' 

with true heavenly life here and hereafter. Life, (Alford). (4.) A wider view refers it * to a grad- 

worldly, selfish, fleshly, is opposed to life eternal, ual or progressive change, the institution of 

Christian and spiritual. ' The fear of death sub- Christ's Kingdom in the hearts of men and in 

jects to the bondage of death (Heb. ii. i^) ; while society at large ' (J. A. Alexander), extending from 

readiness to suffer a holy death for Christ's sake the day of Pentecost to the cles.truction of Jeru- 

opens up before us true life.' aalem. 



Chap. XVII. 1-13.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW 147 

Chapter XVII. 1-13. 
The Transfiguration, 

1 • A ND after six days Jesus taketh ^ * Peter, Jaraes,^ and John "ig^^'i^iJ 

/a his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain ^ ciiS?^ 

2 apart,^ And* was transfigured before them: and his face did 37»Markv. 
shine as the sun, and his raiment was^ white as the light. 

3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias * talking 

4 with him. Then*^ answered Peter,^ and said unto Jesus, Lord, ^ see chap. xi. 
it is good for us to be here : if thou wilt, ''let us make** here ^^i^y^ . 
three tabernacles ; ® one for thee, and one for Moses, and one ^"*'* '* "• 

5 for Elias.^ While he yet spake,^^ behold, a bright cloud over- 
shadowed them: and behold *a voice out of the cloud, which #aPet. 1 17 
said, -^This is my beloved Son, in whom I am^^ well pleased ;/seechap.iu. 

6 hear ye him. And when ^ the disciples heard //, they fell on g a Pet. i is. 

7 their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and * touched a Dan. viu. 

8 them, and said. Arise, and ' be not afraid. And when they had x. *io, iV 
lifted ^2 up their eyes, they saw no man,^*^ save Jesus only, 27- 

9 * And as they came ^* down from the mountain, Jesus * mark ix. 9 
charged ^* them, saying, ' Tell the vision to no man,^^ until the / sie chap 

10 Son of man be risen again ^^ from the dead. And his disciples 

asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes "•that Elias® must *• ?«« c^^p. 

1 1 first come "i And Jesus ^'^ answered and said unto them,^® Elias® 

12 truly shall first come,^*and * restore^ all things. But I say i» .comp. Mai. 
unto you, that Elias® is come already, and they knew him not, i i6,'i7- 
but "have done unto^^ him whatsoever they listed. ^Like- ''^^ "''''• 

13 wise ^ shall also the Son of man ^suffer of them. Then the '^dSJ/'im.* 
disciples understood^ that he spake unto them of John the 
Baptist. 

* insert with him • and James • ( : ) instead of d) ^ And he 

• earments became • Elijah ^ And Peter answered 

* I will make, dut many authorities read, let us make 

• Or booths " was yet speaking " was 
" And lifting " one ** were coming 
" commanded ^^ omit again " he " omit unto them 
*• indeed cometh * shall restore, or establish anew •* did with 
** Thus " the Son of man also ^ understood the disciples 



21. 



Contents. After our Lord's prediction of fitted to be the scene of a secret revelation. 

His sufferings and hint of His glory (chap. xvi. Mount Panium and a mountain near the lake, 

21-28), three chosen disciples receive a super- have also been suggested, but with less reason, 

natural testimony and pledse of that glory. But The TransftguratioMt, a Sabbath revelation 

the primary purpose probably was to give to our (' after six days ^) ; an earnest of the resurrection. 

Lord, at this crisis, consolation from His Father, a prophecy of Sabbath rest and privilege. — 

who by an attesting voice ushered in the suffer- Three witnesses, three accounts ; the same human 

ings as He had done the successes. The scene company in Gethsemane, but a different heavenly 

of the transfiguration according to tradition was visitant — Our Lord's iiiherent glory burst forth. 

Mount Tabor, in Galilee ; but it was more jprob- an anticipation and prophecy of His future glory, 

ably Ifermon, which was near Cesarea Pfauippi, — Moses and Elijah : the one had represented 

an uninhabited and lofty mountain* and better Christ's sufferings in type, the other in prophecy ; 




14S 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVII. i-i». 



inviaJblc world, as well as of the fulure ktngdo 
of glory. — Peter's proposal ; an eipression of 
fear and perpleiity. and yet of enlitude for 
privilege ; like privilege often produces like de- 
■ire to rest before the time. — The dark cloud 
Mount Sinai ; the bright cloud on the Mount 1 
TiansGguralion. — The attesting voice, now 
command to hear Him, as He went to death. - 
Jesus only ; the new covenant established 






:c will V 



1 crucify the preacher of sal- 



Ver. I. After lis d*7f, Luke: 'about an 
eight days,' i. /., 'about a week.' — PBter ud 
3»10M ud John hit brather. His cotnpanions in 
Geihsemane (chap. iivi. 35 ; Mark liv. 37), Peter 
the leader, James the first 10 suffer martyrdom, 
and John the beloved disciple who lingered 
longest onearth. — Ahighmoimtuii&put. The 
own evidence, the Master's authority proclaimed transfiguration probably took place in the ai^Al 
as Euliicient. — When Christ should come forth 1. Jesus had gone up into the mountain to pray 
from the grave, (he truth about Him could come (Luke ix. z8), which He usuallydid at night (Luke 
out from secresy (ver. g). Elijah had appeared ; vL 12 ; xxi. 37 ; xxii. 39 ; Matt. xiv. 23, 24}. 2 
the true fulfilment of prophecy was in the com- The Apostles were heavy with sleep. 3. Thej 
ing of John the Baptist ; what was done to biro did not descend till the neil day {Luke ix. 37) 




4. The transfigaration itself could be seen to 
better advantage at night than in daylight On 
Mount Hcrmon snow would be visible, adding a 
natural splendor to the scene. 

Ver. 2. And he wu truuBgorad btfora than, 
as witnesses. Peter afterwards mentions it (i Pet. 
i. i6-i8)andjohnalludcstoit IJohni. 14). The 
change in His appearance took place while He 
was praying (Lute ix. *9). — His ttM did iliina 
u Uw inov, aod hii gsrsunt* bHune white u 
ths Udt. Mark : ' And his garments became 
glistening, exceeding white ; such as no fuller on 
earth can so whiten them.' Luke ; ' The fashion 
of his countenance was altered, and his raiment 
became white and daiiling.' No explanation is 
possible that denies the supernatural element. 
Our Loiil's inherent glory burst forth ; added to 
this there was an external heavenly illumination 
affecting His garments and surrounding Moses 
and El^ah, teaching its highest manifestation in 
tbe luminous cloud spoken of in ver. ^ 



The second stage of the 
— Thara ftpptiirad nnto 
re really present It was 
iiui * vmiuii, M IS iiiain from the account of 
Luke. — Komi and Elijali. The two chief rep- 
resenuiives of the Old Tcstatrenl (the law and 
the prophets). Both were forerunners of the Mes- 
siah, and had also fasted forty days. They came 
from the invisible world, appearing 'in glory' 
(Luke ix. 31), in a glorified form. They were rcc- 



was about to accomplish at Jerusalem' (Luke). 
Even on the mount of transfiguration the cross 
is in the foreground, and these Old Testament 
saints were probably then instructed in regard 
to iL The appearance of these two persons has 
been connected by some with the manner of their 
departure from earth. But this point cannot he 
pressed. Mark's account seems to give a ccrlain 
prominence to Elijah (' Elijah with Hoses '). 



Chap. XVII. 1-21.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I49 

Vcr. 4. Lord, it is good for us to be here, etc. Ver. 7. Came and touched them. Comp. sim- 

Luke, * not knowing what he saith/ to which ilar occurrences, Isa. vi. 5-7 ; Dan. x. 9, 10 ; Rev. 

Mark adds : * for they became sore afraid.' He L 17. 

wished to remain there, and perhaps to detain Ver. 8. Save Jeiiu only. Without Moses and 

Moses and Elijah, since they were about to de- Elijah. The hour of glory was over, and the Lord 

part (Luke ix. 33). The glory was so dazzling, now in His usual lowliness, resumed His inter- 

the privilege seemed so great, the companionship course with them, and returned to the labors of 

so choice, that he would cling to the enjoyment, His ministry, which were awaiting Him at the 

and let the toils and duties of the future go. — foot of the mount. The sufficiency of His author- 

I will make. The other accounts (and the com- ity is implied, in view of the command of ver. 5. 

mon reading here) have : Met us make/ *IMn- Ver. 9. Aa they were coming down. Thia 

dicates ardent, self-confident feeling. — Three tab- would require some time. — Commanded them, 

omadei, or ' booths.* Peter speaks of a * tab- A special prohibition. — Tell the viaion to no one. 

cmacle * (2 Pet. i. 13, 14) just before referring to * Vision * does not imply that the occurrence was 

this event. — One for tiiee, etc. Lange : * That a kind of dream, or like the visions seen by the 

form of anti-christian error which appeals to the prophets. The narrative itself forbids this ; the 

authority of Peter has given rise to the erec- other accounts use the phrase : * What things 

tion of three tabernacles (Moses: the Greek they had seen.* — Until the Son of manberiaoi 

Church ; Elijah : the Roman Church ; Christ : the from the dead. It was too soon to tell of it ; 

Evangelical Church).* This analogy is not to even the three understood very little (Mark ix. 

be pressed. Peter, in his inconsiderateness, may 10). This injunction would also serve to im- 

have thought of inaugurating a new communion, press the occurrence on their minds ; discussion 

with Christ for its centre, Moses its lawgiver, and of it during the intervening period of persecu- 

Elijah its zealot, thus amalgamating externally tion would occasion doubts or carnal expecta- 

the Old and New Testaments. tions. Besides it involved new light concerning 

Ver. c. Behold, a hright clond. ' A sign from the state of the dead, which could not be received 

heaven granted to the Apostles, though refused until the resurrection of Christ The necessity 

to the Jewish leaders. A luminous cloud, not for concealment then ceased, 

dark like that on Sinai. It was analogous to the Ver. 10. Why then 1 The connection with what 

pillar of cloud by day and fire by night in the precedes is, according to Alford : ' If this was 

wilderness and to the Shekinah of the Old Tes- not the coming of Elijah, was he yet to comef If 

lament ; a symbol of the glory resting on the it was, how was it so secret and so short ? * 

New Testament Church, separating between the Ver. ii. Elijah indeed cometh. Our Lord con* 

holy and the unholy, and a type of the splendor firms the view, that Elijah should come (Mai; 

of the New Jerusalem. Comp. ' in the clouds : ' iv. 5). — Shall restore or ' establish anew,' aU 

chap. xxiv. 30 ; Mark xiii. 26 ; Luke xxi. 27. — things. Comp. Mai. iv. 6. The actual work of 

(hrershadowed them, /'. e.y our Lord, Moses, and restoration was however the work of the Mes- 

Elijah, since the voice came from * out of the siah, for which Elijah should prepare the way 

cloud.' A bright cloud could render them in- (comp. Luke iii. 4 ; Actsiii. 21). 

visible as readily as a dark one. —And behold a Ver. 12. Bijah is oome already. Comp. chap, 

▼oioe, etc. The'culmination. The * visible pres- xi. 14. The prophecy of Malachi had been ful- 

ence * of God was followed by an ' audible pres- filled in John the Baptist, so far as the first com- 

ence,' giving a solemn attestation to the Messiah ing of the Messiah was concerned. — They knew 

and Son of God, at a time when His rejection him not. They recognized, neither John the fore- 

by the chosen people had begun and His death runner of the Messiah, nor the Messiah himself, 

been foretold to His disciples. — Hear ye him. Like persecution followed like unbelief. 

Obey Him, as well as listen to Him. Hear Nintj Ver. 13. He spake unto them of John the 

more than law or prophecy (Moses and Elijah). Baptist. — Our Lord referred to John, but this 

Their remaining carnal Messianic hopes were does not exhaust the meaning of the prophecy in 

thus opposed. MalachL The passages bearing on the subject 

Ver. 6. And when the disciples heard it, etc. indicate strongly another appearance of Elijah 

Vers. 6, 7, peculiar to Matthew. The fear began (whether the same person or not is of course un- 

when the cloud overshadowed the Lord and the known to us) before the second coming of Christ, 

two Old Testament saints (comp. Luke ix. 34), to do a similar preparatory work. In every great 

but culminated at this visible and audible mani- spiritual movement there must be one who pre- 

fesution of the Father's presence. cedes * in the spirit and power of Elijah.' 



Chapter XVII. 14-21. 
The possessed Lunatic {epileptic) Boy. 



14 rt A ND when they were come to the multitude, there came * ^3\|**^,;j 

/jk. to him a certain ^ man, kneeling down ^ to him, and say- "* ^^^* 

15 ing, Lord, have mercy on my son ; for *he is lunatic,* and sore * Chap.i.r.a4 

' omit certain " omit down • or epileptic 



ISO THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVII. 14-21. 

vexed : * for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the 

16 water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could 

17 not cure him. Then* Jesus answered and said, O faithless^ 

and * perverse generation, how long shall I be with you } how c phu h 15. 

18 long shall I ^ suffer^ you.? bring him hither to me. And Jesus d Act* xviii. 
rebuked the devil ; ® and he departed out of * him : and the ii.'i ' 

19 child ^^ was cured from that very ^* hour. Then came the dis- 
ciples to Jesus • apart, and said. Why could not we cast him ^^ «. as. 

20 out ? And Jesus said^^ unto them, -^Because of your unbelief:^* «-4o. 

'if Chap, uu 

for ^ verily I say unto you, * If ye have faith as • a grain of mus- » j^j* y ^ 
tard seed, ye shall say unto *this mountain. Remove hence to J^hll'**'1dt* 
yonder place ; and it shall remove : and nothing shall be impos- ^ y;^ ^. 

21 sible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer i^-"^ ;'^^* 
and fasting.^* 

* suffereth grievously ' And • unbelieving 

' bear with * him • the demon went out from 

^^ boy *^ tf///// very ^'^ it ^* he saith 

" little taitn ^* M^ best authorities omit \tr, 21. 



Contents. All three Evangelists place this Ver. 16. Tliy diidplet. Including the nine 

miracle immediately after the transfiguration Apostles. 

(Luke : 'the next day '). This ' may be regarded Ver. 17. Ounbelieyiiig and perverse generation. 
as one of the evidences of the genuineness and The failure to cure, the catechizing of the scribes, 
authenticity of the narrative, and against the and the effect produced on the people, proved 
mythical hypothesis.' Meyer. Lesson : On earth that all present were unbelieving and liable to be 
we may not rest on the mount of spiritual delighti led astrav. But the term 'generation * requires 
but must go down into the valley of duty ( Ra- a still wioer reference to the race and generation, 
phael has grouped the two events in his master- whom this company represented. — How long 
piece). The subject of this miracle had all the shall I be with yon 1 An expression of displeas- 
8\inptoms of epilepsy and was also possessed, ure. He would not long remain on earth and bear 
The inability of the disciples to cure him, the with their unbelief and perversity. Less prob- 
questionings of the scribes (mentioned by Mark) ably, it means that the disciples soon could not 
and the faith of the father, all give additional in- have Him to come thus personally to supply 
terest to the occurrence. Thus the training of the their lack of faith and power. — To me, empha- 
Twelve, now the all-important matter, was car- sizing His power, despite the failure of the dis- 
ried on. The nine disciples in the valley had ciples. Mark (ix. 20-25) narrates a fearful par- 
ventured without sufficient faith into a conflict oxysm in the lad when brought to Jesus; a 
widi Satan and the scribes. The Master came to description of his case from the father with a 
their aid* to enforce the needed lesson. The new entreaty ; the challenge given by our Lord 
people, on whom the failure of the disciples had to his faith, and his humble, tearful answer ; the 
produced an effect, now wondered again (Luke movement of the crowd excited by the previous 
IX. 43), but the current of hostility was not failure and controversy ; the language addressed 
checked. — Mark is fuller and independent in his to the evil spirit, 
account. Ver. 18. And the demon went out from him. 

Ver. 14. iTw^Aliiig to him. An act of hom- Mark describes the process. The lad lay as is 

age, not necessarily of worship. The scribes usual after a very severe epileptic fit. But an 

were questioning with the disciples ; the multi- entire cure followed. The multitude marvelled 

tude were amazed and ran to Him (Mark ix. 14- (Luke ix. 43), but probably did not believe. 

17). The failure of the disciples (ver. 16) had Ver. 19. To Jesus apart In a ' house* (Mark 

probably occasioned a denial of Christ's author- ix. 28). 

ity on the part of the scribes. Hence the agita- Ver. 20. Because of yonr little faith. A men- 
tion of the crowd. eral answer, the specific one is recorded by Mark 

Ver. 15. For he is Innatio, or ' epileptic' The (and in ver. 21, which is to be omitted). The 

former phrase is more correct etymologically, the attempt showed some faith, the failure ' little 

latter best defines the disease in this case, since faith.' The revelation of our Lord's death may 

all the symptoms are those of epilepsy. In chap, have caused despondency and doubt. — As a 

iv. 24, ' lunatics * are distinguished from those grain of mustard seed, bmall, yet living (chap. 

* possessed.' Many of those possessed had symp- xiii. 3^), and capable of rapid increase, while 

toms altogether different. The peculiar difficulty their &th had decreased. — Ye shall say unto 

In this case was the combination of this posses- fhis mountain. Probably pointing to one in sight. 

«ion and epilepsy. The lad was an only son Comp. chap. xxi. 21. This promise of power to 

(Luke Ix. 30). remove the most formidable obstacles, is misun- 



Chap. XVII. 22-27.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 151 

derstood, only when power over material things of the later ones (cursives), some very ancient 

is deemed greater than spiritual power. — Voth- versions, omit this verse, and there are other 

lag shall be ImpotiiWe unto you. The statement reasons for doubting its genuineness. If retained : 

is limited by the preceding part of the verse. ' Ilowbeit * should be changed to ' but.' See 

Comp. chap. xxi. 22. notes on Mark ix. 29^ where the passage is to be 

Ver. 21. The two oldest mantiscripts, the best retained. 



Chapter JCVlt. 22-27. 

Tlie Second Prediction of our Lords Sufferings ; the Temple Tribute. 

22 • A ND while they abode ^ in Galilee, JesUs said unto them, ""j^^. lu*^ 
./i.* The Son of man shall be betrayed ^ into the hands of^Q;S?^^xyL 



31. 



23 men: ^And they shdll kill hitn, and the third day he shall be 
raised again.^ And they were exceeding sorry. 

24 And* when they were come* to Capernaum, they that re- c Mark u. 33. 
ceived * tribute money ^ came to Peter, and said. Doth not your d Exod. xxx. 

25 master pay tribute }^ He saith, Yes. And when he was come* ii* "*"""* 
into the house, Jesus prevented * him, saying, * What thinkest #chap8.xviiu 

* ' I* • jnri, aft, 

thou, Simon ? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom ^ 

26 or -^tribute? of® their own children,® or of ® strangers .^ Peter /chap.x«L 
saith unto him,^^ Of® strangers.^^ Jesus saith ^ unto him. Then ''* *'* 

27 are the children ^ free. Notwithstanding,^* lest we should ^of- e chaps. r., 
fend them,^ go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up ^%rMvk 

* ix. 43* 43| 4Si 

the fish that first cometh up ; and when thou hast opened his 47.il«a« 
mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money : ^^ that take, and give "^^^H ^^' 
unto them for me and thee. 



* were abidine • delivered up ■ ul> * came 

* the half-shekel ^ spake first unto 

^ the kings of the earth, from whom do they receive toll " from 

* their sons *® And when he said " (» ) instead ol ( . ) ^* said 
*• surely then the sons are " But 

*' cause them to stumble *• shekel 

Contents. The definite details as to time hopes. The strife as to who should be greatest, 

and place show that our Lord repeated His pre- which followed (chap, xviii. i), shows that their 

diction of His sofferings (chap. xvi. 21-23). Our views were still incorrect; Mark and Luke speak 

Lord now left Uie foot of the mount and passed of their failure to understand. Men are still slow 

through Galilee (Mark ix. 30) ; the preoiction to learn the meaning of the death and resurrec- 

was made while the people were still wondering tion of our Lord. 

(Luke UL 43). We inter that they passed di- Ver. 24. Captmanm. His usual residence, 

rectly from Mount Hermon into Galilee ; on the hence the place where the temple tax would be 

way our Lord made this declaration; reachmg collected from Him. — Thuj toat reoeivad the 

Capernaum, the question about tribute was put half-ihiakal, which every male Jew above twenty 

Both incidents belong together in the education years of age paid (in addition to the tithes) for 

of the Apostles for the events which were so the support of the temple. Not a Roman Ux, 

soon to come. This was the last visit to Galilee, although changed into this after the destruction 

the last miracle there. It is unlikely that a visit of Jerusalem. The receivers were not publicans, 

to Jerusalem (at the Feast of Tabernacles, John but those acting for the Jewish authorities. The 

vil 2-14) intervened. value of a shekel is vanously estimated from 50 

Ver. 22. T]i07 www aUding in Galilee. The to 70 cents (zr. yi, to 31. ). — Doth not your maa- 

first prophecy did not take place in Galilee (chap, ter 1 They expected an affirmative answer. The 

xvi. 13, 21). — ]>eUT«r8d up, etc The Son of temple tax was obligatory; see Exod. xxx. 13 ff. 

God would be left to the power of men ; a new (comp. 2 Chron. xxiv. 5, 6). Josephus implies the 

feature in the prediction. same obligation. 

Ver. 23. They w«re ezoeeding lorry. No re- Ver. 25. Jeans spake flnt to him, anticipated 

monstrance now, but sorrow, partly from natural his statement by superhuman knowledge of what 

affection, partly from the dashing ci their false had occurred. — Tdl or tribute. Duties or taxes. 



152 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVUL 1-14. 

- From their mbi, or from itraagcn, L e^ those exact amount needed). To explain this as mean- 
no^ of their household. ing the value of the fish is frivolous ; no single 

Ver. 2d. BvnUj thm tb* mbi ara fret. Peter fish thus caught had such a value. The piece of 

had lately confe:>sed that Jesus was * the Son of money was in the mouth of the fish. Our Lord 

the living God ; ' and vet now so readily admits here exhibits miraculous power, in drawing by the 

the obligation to pay the temple-tax. The real force of His will this fish to that place at that 

Temple need not pay tribute to that which fore- time, as well as foreknowledge of the event. The 

shadowed it. The sa}'ing does not refer to taxes two coincide in Divine operations. This miracle 

to the State (see chap. xxii. 19), nor imply that was not a freak of power, but had a definite and 

the clergy should be exempt from taxation, proper motive ; the mone^ was provided in a way 

Christians' are free, not from the duties of citi- that asserted Christ's dignity to Peter, and yet 

lens, but from the )'oke of legality the priest- gave no offense. The fisherman must resume nis 

hood would put upon them. old occupation to discharge the debt he had so 

Ver. 27. But Mft we should eauo thorn to readily acknowledged. Our Lord's position, not 

■tnmhlo. Some * little ones ' might thus be made his poverty, called for this provision. — For mo 

to stumble (see chap, xviii. 6 ff.) ; the time was and thoo. Not 'for us.* A distinction kept up 

not ripe for asserting this f re^om ; our Lord throughout the Gospels (comp. John xx. 17). Our 

was still ' under the law 'for us. — Thou ihalt Lord^ humility ancl glory both appear here. 
find a ahokol (a ' stater* *= to four drachmas, the 



Chapter XVIII. 1-14. 
Discourse respect vi^" the Greater in the Kingdom of Heaven, 

1 " A T the same time^ came the disciples unto Jesus, saying,. '»^*^^«'f^»j'^j3 

2 xJL Who* is the greatest * in the kingdom of heaven } And chap.^t^vii 
Jesus* called a little child unto him,^ and set him in the ''^ 

3 midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be 
converted,® and * become as little children, ye shall not ^ enter * ^^^/'^^j'^*^ 

4 into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall hum- iJA i-"»^f 
ble himself as this little child, the same is greatest ^ in the king- J^'Jp- ' ^*=^ 

5 dom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child 

6 in my name receiveth me. But * whoso shall ** off end one of '^Majkix.42: 

J Luke XVII. 2. 

these little ones which believe in me,®* it were better^ for him ''Jj-i^iJlfP 
that a millstone were ^^ hanged about his neck, and tliat he were ' ^uf. 4"*' 

7 drowned ^^ in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world be- 
cause of offences !^/for it must needs be that offences ^ come ; /Lukexvii. i. 
^but woe to that man by^^ whom the offence^* cometh ! ^ P*p **^' 

8 * Wherefore ^^ if thy hand or thy foot ^offend thee,^« cut them ^' * Skix ^4°3; 
ofif, and cast them ^^ from thee : it is better '® for thee to enter ^^' 

into life halt or» maimed,^^ rather than having two hands or two « sce chap. 

9 feet to be cast into everlasting^ fire. *And if thine eye ^ chap.v.iq; 
** offend thee,^^ pluck it out, and cast // from thee : it is better ^® 

for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two 
10 eyes to be cast into 'hell fire.^^ Take heed ^ that ye despise 'Scechap v 
not one of "* these little ones; for I say unto you, That in '"v^r*^/;^;' 
heaven "their angels^ do always behold the face of my Father xhkq.^*^^'* 

M Actsxii. 15; 

1 In that hour * then * the greater co^p. Ps. 

* he » to him a little child « turn ""^- ^^' 
' in no wise • cause one of these .... to offend {or stumble) 

• is profitable " a great millstone be " he be sunk 

** or stumbling-blocks " through " or stumbling-block 

** And ^* causeth thee to offend " it 

** good *' maimed or halt ^ the eternal 

^* the hell of fire ^ See ^ their angels in heaven 



Chap. XVIII. 1-14] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. IS3 

1 1 which ^ is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save 

12 that which was lost.^ ^'How think ye ? '^ if a man have a hun- ^ ^i.^j**** 
dred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave ^ xv.™^/.^"^ 
the ninety and nine, and goeth into ^ the mountains, and seek- 

1 3 eth ^ that which is gone ^ astray ? And if so be that he find 
it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep^ than 

14 of *^ the ninety and nine which went not^^ astray. Even so it 
is not the will of your Father which '^ is in heaven, that one 
of "* these little ones should perish. 

** who ^ the best authorities omit ver. 1 1 ** go unto 

^ seek ^ goeth ^ over it more ^ over 

•* have not gone 



Contents. The whole chapter forms one dis- not denied, but the ambitious question, opposed 

course, delivered upon one occasion, after the to the humility which is essential, should raise a 

return to Capernaum, probably immediately sue- doubt 

ceeding the miracle just mentioned. Two dis- Ver. 4. HunUa himself M this little child. 

tinct topics are spoken of : t\it first, the nature of Not humble himself as this little child has done, 

true greatness (ver. 1-14), called forth by the but become humble as this little child is in this 

question of the disciples (vers, i) ; the second^ company. The absolute innocence of children is 

Christian discipline and forgiveness. The latter not implied, but simply this : * The real greatness 

points to the founding of the Christian Church, of the child consists in its perfect contentment 

distinct from the Jewish theocracy. The ques- with its littleness and dependence.' This is nec- 

tion of the disciples mav have recognized this essary for entrance to the kingdom ; our great* 

purpose of the Master (so plainly indicated in ness there is measured by our humility. The an- 

chaps. xvi., xvii.) and not have been entirely ow swer virtually forbids the putting of such a ques- 

ing to carnal views of the kingdom 'of heaven, tion, and is then expanded into a discourse siDout 

But at all events they needed to learn what was * the dignity of Christ's little ones.' 
necessary to enter that kingdom, before they Ver. 5. And whoso shall receive one inch child. 

could understand who would be the greatest in The consequence and evidence of humility ; still 

it The disciples had not understood our Lord's more prominent in the other accounts. This 

previous saying (chap. xvi. 18) as conferring any primary reference is to children in vears, but the 

primacy upon Peter. context (comp. vers. 6, 9) extends it to children 

Ver. I. In that hour. As Peter returned from in spirit The general application is to those 

paying the temple tax. According to Mark (ix. apparently small, those needing and receiving in* 

33), our Lord nrst asked them about their dis- struction, forbidding pride and a hierarchical 

pute on this subject * in the way,* probably to spirit on the part of Christ's disciples. * Shall 

Capemaunu Hence the declaration : * surely receive,' 1. e,, into spiritual fellowship. This im- 

then the sons are free ' (chap. xviL 26), could not plies that little children can be Christians and 

have occasioned this discourse. Nor did they members of Christ's Church. — In my name, 1. ^., 

answer His c]uestion (Mark ix. 34) ; His knowl- on the ground of my name; referring either to 

edge of their thoughts (Luke ix. 47) probably those who receive, or to those who were received, 

shamed them. An indication of the moral probably to both. — Seceiveth me, since the ' lit- 

power of His Person. — Who then, etc 'Then* tie one' represents Christ. Mark and Luke in- 

hints at a previous discussion. — The greater, sert here a remark of John's, about one who cast 

Priority, not primacy. This gives room for a out devils in Christ's name, without following 

more general discussion. with them. The hierarchical spirit manifested in 

Ver. 2. A little child, probably a little boy. forbidding him was rebuked in part by what fol- 

An untrustworthy tradition says it was the mar- lows. 

tyr Ignatius. — Set him in the midst of them. Ver. 6. Canse to offend, or 'stumble.' By 

He took the child in His arms (Mark). The pride, to cause others to fall into unbelief (the 

whole transaction would of itself show the child's oppK>site of 'receiving'); not a mere wounding 

* submission and trustfulness.' of over sensitive feelmgs, or offending a morbid 

Ver. 3. &Loept ye turn. As the context shows, and incorrect sense of right Such an applica- 

retum from this path of ambition to childlike hu- tion would destroy all right as well as all hope. 

mility ; not implying that they had never been A warning in regard to our treatment of humole 

converted. Conversion shoula follow every fall. Christians, especially of Christian children. — 

The wider application is to the absolute neces- One of these little onea which believe in me. The 

sity of conversion (turning ourselves to Crod) in weak, unpretending, outwardly insignificant, the 

entering the kingdom of heaven. The necessity children, the poor, the ignorant, and the weak- 

of regeneration, of which true conversion is a minded are all included. Only he who feeds the 

manifestation, is declared in John (iii. 37). — And lambs can feed the sheep (Jonn xx. 15). — It if 

become as little children. In what respect is profitable for him that (to this end). This would be 

shown in ver. 4. — Ye shall in no wise enter. * In- the purpose subserved by such conduct — A^great 

stead of discussing who shall be greater, you need millstone. The large stone used in a mill driven 

to inquire whether you have entered it' This is by asses. ^He be funk ia the depth of the 1 



154 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVIII. 1-35. 

Capital punishment by drowning was common worship. — Do always behold. An allusion to 

among tne Greeks and Romans, prol^ably not the fact that the ministers of eastern kings had 

among the Jews. — The profit of dominating over access to them ; suggesting that these angels 

the conscience, is a burden about the neck of the were not actively employed, * as if God were 

offender which involves his destructibn. A Warn- through them alwa)'s looking upon the little 

ing both to individual and ecclesiastical bodies, ones.* The general sense is : God*s highest an- 

The principle proved true in the case of the Jew- gels represent the least subjects of His kingdom, 

ish hierarchy. * Christ Himself) as the Great Advocate and In- 

Ver. 7. woe unto the world, etc False dis- tercessor, is the central point of their angelic 

ciples, causing Christ's humble followers to stum- guardianship.' 

ble, laying burdens on thb conscience, cause sin^ Ver. i ii This verse is omitted in the most an- 
brin^ woe on the world. — For it miiflt needs be, cient manuscripts. It seemed apt at this point, 
in view of the existence of sin. -^Bnt woe to both in view of what follows, and as a reason for 
that man. If the world receives woe from the the admonition in ver. 10, presenting Christ's 
offences, much more he who causes them. There conduct in contrast to this * despising.* He came 
is an inevitable connection between guilt and to save those altogether lost, such contempt re- 
judgment A reference to tiidas is possible, but pels those Who are apparently on the path of sal- 
the general application is obvious : whatever the Vation. 

necessity of offences from the actual state of Ver. 12. How think ye. This parable (with 

things in the world, and from the permissive plan a similar one) was spoken on a later occasion to 

of God, those who lay stumbling-blocks in the a different audience (Luke xv. 4-7). Here it is 

way of Christ's little ones are responsible and a lesson for the disciples (the under-shepherds), 

shall be punished. showing them their duty : there it is a rebuke for 

Ver. 8. And. The connection is : In view of the Pharisees, who objected to this seeking and 

this woe, remove all causes of offence in thyself! saving on the part of the good Shepherd. 

Comp. chap. V. 29, 30. Here the reference is Ver. 13. The ninety and nine which have not 

more general, namely, to whatever in us, how- fprnt astray. Either the unfallen beings in other 

ever dear or necessary, which would lead us as- worlds j whom Christ in a certain sense left, to 

tray, sever our fellowship with Christ Special save the * one ' in this lost world, or those who 

application (not to be pressed) : the hand denotes think they are not lost and who cannot be saved 

aptitude for ^T;zYr»i»^«/, the foot for ^jr^yfiV^if, the as long as they think sa The former meaning 

eye for knaivledge^ all in ecclesiastical matters, seems more appropriate here, the latter in Luke. 

The context suggests that all these members The general lesson is : The good Shepherd's spe- 

(representing talents, etc.) should be used, not cial care was for those in greatest need, so should 

tor purposes of pride, but to the edification of yours be ; even if the needy be but the smallest 

the Uttle ones. fraction of those Committed to your care. 

Ver. 9. The hell of fire. The only variation Ver. 14. The will of yonr Father. In ver. 10 

between this verse and the last and a suggestive where the dignity of the little ones is asserted, oui 

one (comp. the more detailed form in Idark ix. Lord says ' my Father ; ' here where the duty is 

43-48). Certain and awful future punishment is enforced by God's gracious will, * your Father.' 

threatened in cases where some darling sin (or One of these little Ones, as above, weak, humble, 

cause of sin) is preferred to Christ believers : God will not that a single one of them 

Ver. I a See. Little ones are made to offend perish, reach the final state of the lost ' Little 

through contempt or disregard for them in their ones ' cannot refer to all mankind ; here as 

littleness. — These little ones. A direct address throughout, it includes children. It warrants the 

to the disciples in view of their question : Who belief that children, dying in childhood, are all 

shall be the greater? * Little ones/ not Christians sanfed. The parable shows that it cannot be on 

in general, nor even truly humble ChristianSj but the ground of their innocence, but because the 

rather weak, growing Cfhristians, including chil- Son of man came to save them. As a child is 

dren, who may and ought to be Christians. — ^ trustful, going to the arms opened to receive it, 

Iheir angels in heaven. They are not to be de- so we may well believe that at death that trust- 

spised, since they enjoy angelic guardianship, fulness places it in the artns of Jesus, who saves 

Both the words and form are against the explana- it, its infantile trustfulness expanding under the 

tion: 'their spirits after death.' The incorrect impulse of a higher state of existence, into a 

order of the common version encourages this livmc faith, no less real and justifying than that 

view, which is a reaction from the Romish angel- of adults. 



Chapter XVIII. 15-35. 

Discipline and Forgiveness in the Christian Communion ; the Parable of the 

Forgiven but Unforgiving Servant, 

15 • Tl /rOREOVER 1 if thy brother shall trespass against thee,^ •L"^*'^^*-'- 

IVx * go and tell ^ him his fault between thee and him alone : * ^Ir^hJ^; -5; 

16 if he shall * hear thee, thou hast * gained thy brother. But if he ^ /Jfor. u. 19- 

aa ; i Pet. 

^ And " brother sin ■ go shew * omit shall iii. i 



Chap. XVI I L 15-35] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 1 55 

will not hear tliee^ thtn^ take with thee one or two more, that 

^ in ^ the mouth of two or three witnesses® every word may be '^ J?^;<Sf! 

17 established. And if he shall neglect ® to hear them, 'tell it unto Sll;,i**joha 
the church ; ^^ but if he neglect » to hear the church,^^ -^ let him TiL.'JJij 

18 be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.^ Verily I say tc^^i&t, 
unto you, ^ Whatsoever ^* ye shall bind on earth shall be bound / cimp.* j; 
in heaven; and whatsoever ^^ ye shall loose on earth shall be 14* 15"* 

19 loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you. That if two of you xvi. 19. 
shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, * see chap. 

• it shall be done for them of my Father which ^* is in heaven. 

20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, 
there am I in the midst of them. 

21 Then came teter to him, and said,^^ Lord, how oft 'shall my 1 ver. 1$. 
brother sin against tne, and I forgive him .> till ^^ seVen times } 

22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, * Until seven times : *conip.Luke 

23 but. Until ' seventy times seven. ^^ Therefore is the kingdom of / SS*. fc.«4. 
heaven likened unto a certain king,^® which ^* would "• take ac- m chap. xxv, 

24 count of ^^ his servants^ And when he had begun to reckon, 
one was brought unto him, which ^* owed him ten thousand tal- • 

25 ents. But forasmuch as he had not ^ to pay, his lord com- 
manded him " to be sold, and his wife, and ^ children, and all « ^">- "»• 

26 that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore ^ J'^ing, j^. 
fell down, and ^ worshipped him, saying. Lord, have patience J; ^^ "' 

27 with me, and I will pay thee all. Then^^ the lord of that ser-' ^'*' 
vant was ® moved with compassion, and loosed ® him, and f or- 

28 gave him the debt.^ But the same^ servant went out, and 
found one of his fellow servants, which ^* owed him a hundred 

^ pence ; and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, q chape. xx. 

29 saying, Pay me that ^ thou owest. And ^ his fellow servant fell 19; Mirk w. 
down at his feet,^ and besought him, saying, Have patience with xiv.ssLSi 

30 me, and I will pay thee all.® And he would not: but went ssixxlM-. 

John VI. 7; 

31 and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.** So jf*^» *^* 
when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very '* 

sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 

32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto ® him, 
O ® thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because 

33 thou desiredst** me: ''Shouldest not thou also have had com-rComp. i 

Jolin V9,xu 

• he hear tfue not • omit then ' at 

• two witnesses or three • he refuse " or congregation 
** insert also ^"^ the heathen and the publican 

" what things soever " who " Peter, and said to him 

" until " ^r seventy times and seven " a man M^/ /> a king 

" make a reckoning with * not wherewith ^ And 

« being » released " loan « that 

^ Pay whatever *^ so *" omit at his feet 

* omit all ** that which was due •* exceeding 

^ called him unto him, and saith to ^ omit O ** besouf^htest 




IS6 THE GOSPEL ACCORDINQ TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XVIII. 15-35. 

passion * on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity ^ on thee ? 

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, 

35 till he should pay all that was due unto him.^ 'So likewise* Mark xi.a6 
shall ^ my heavenly Father do also^ unto you, if ye from your »$ 
hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.^ 



•* mercy 
** omi/ also 



•• OMt/ unto him '^ shall also 

^ forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts. 



Contents. Vers. 1-14 forbade offences against 
the humble. This section teaches how the humble 
should deal with offences: (i.) as regards the 
Christian assembly (vers. 15-20) ; (2.) as regards 
his own spirit (vers. 21-35). ^^ Lord seems to 
say : you nave taken * the keys ' into your hands 
too soon, and used them improperly (see Mark 
ix. 58, 59 ; Luke ix. 49, 50). After the caution, 
however, came the renewed declaration of au- 
thority (ver. 18) ; Peter asked a question (ver. 21) 
which showed his fuller apprehension of the 
Christian rule of forgiveness, and called forth 
clearer instruction. The closing parable (vers. 
23-35) contains truth, the easiest to perceive ^ the 
hardest to receive^ of any practical lesson in the 
New Testament ; it is based on God*s full and 
free forgiveness. 

Ver. 15. And if thy brother. A Christian 
brother. — Sin. The omission of ' against thee * 
extends the precept. The passage, however, does 
not extend the power of the Church over all 
sins (since the rebuke against a hierarchical spirit 
forbids this), nor warrant meddlesome interfer- 
ence and rebuke. Our disapproval does not 
prove that the ' brother ' has sinned The first 
step is to be in private. — Shew, not simply * tell,* 
but convince him of his fault. — Between thee and 
him alone. Privacy is for his sake, and as a fact 
this rebuke is the more difficult one. — Then hast 
gained thy brother. Regained him for God, by 
inducing repentance : regained him for thyself, 
by renaming his love and fellowship, which is 
disturbed by his sin whether an offence against 
the reprover or not Proclaiming his fault is 
dangerous for him, encouraging him in his sins ; 
and for us, fostering our worst passions. 

Ver. 16. The next step is less private, but in- 
tended to prevent publicity. — One or two more 
as witnesses. The offence must be grave enough 
to warrant this step. — Or three, parenthetical, 
implying that the offending party may be a wit- 
ness against himself. — E^blished. It is as- 
sumed, not that both are in the wrong, but that 
the two witnesses, on hearing the facts, pro- 
nounce against the party to whom they go. 

Ver. 17. If he refose to hear them. Does not 
acknowledge his wrong under their influence. — 
The public step follows : Tell it unto the ohnreh, 
u ^., the particular Christian congregation. — If 
he refose to hear the ehnreh also. The admoni- 
tion and entreaty of the Church is to be used as 
a means of regaining the brother. — Let him be 
onto thee as tiie heathen and the publican, /. ^., 
as outside the Christian fellowship, though in a 
Christian, not a Jewish spirit A man of high 
spirituality would be won by the first step, a luke- 
warm Christian by the second or third ; when all 
fail, it is not distinctly commanded that the 
Church should pronounce him no Christian. His 
character has proved itself so far unchristian 



that the person injured cannot have fellowship 
with him. The next verse, however, hints at 
formal acts of discipline on the part of the 
Church. 

Ver. 18. What thingf loever ye shall bind, 
etc What was said to Peter (chap. xvi. 19) is 
here addressed to the Twelve, with the solemn in- 
troduction : * Verily I say unto you.' A general 
application, to the organized Church, as well as 
to the Apostles, is possible. But the government 
is committed to our Lord ; such an application 
without limitation has led to the greatest errors 
and crimes, and we may interpret His spoken 
words by His Providence. This verse then, in its 
full meaning, refers to the special power and wis- 
dom given to the Apostles by means of which 
their foundation work * on earth ' corresponded 
to God's designs * in heaven.' Vers. 19, 20, show 
the means by which the power of the Church may 
rise toward this Apostolic height Were these 
conditions (agreement in prayer, and the presence 
of Christ) wanting in the case of the Apostles, 
even the promise of this verse would be in- 
valid. 

Ver. 19. If two of yon. ' Two ' could still 
constitute a fellowship. — Shall agree on earth. 
This agreement could only be wrought by the 
Holy Spirit, selfish ends being excluded from the 
nature of the case. An encouragement to united 
prayer. 

Ver. 20. For. The ground of the promised 
answer is not human agreement, but the presence 
of Christ — Where two or three. The order 
gives an intimation of increase. — In my name, 
/. e., as a Christian community, or church, al- 
though the application to Christian assemblies 
is a natural consequence. — There am I in the 
midst of them. Agreement in prayer had the 
promise of an answer; unity in the name of 
Jesus that of Christ's presence. The marks of 
a true Church : not size, success, nor succession, 
but an inward life of prayer and an outward life 
of confession (*in my name '). When ecclesias- 
ticism abuses the authority indicated in vers. 17, 
18, the two or three (agreeing in prayer and con- 
scious of the presence of Christ) are assured 
that they are still Christ's people. This passage, 
despite the abuse of it, remains a justification of 
Protestantism. 

Ver. 21. Then came Peter, etc. The question 
was a moral fruit of the previous discourse. — 
How oft. The Rabbins said, three times ; Peter 
increased the number to the sacred one of 
seven. 

Ver. 22. Until leventy timet seven. It is 
doubtful whether the original means 490 or 77. 
But in either case it is a symbolical expression 
for never-ending forgiveness. Love is not to be 
limited by the multiplication table. 
Ver. 23. Therefore. Because this readiness 



Chap. XIX. 1-12.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 1 57 

of forgiveness is the Christian principle. — A servant * went out ' may be significant, since it is 

man tluit is a Uxig. Perhaps in antithesis to the true that when we * go out ' from, forsake the 

heavenly king, what is true of the former is much presence of, our forgiving Lord, we become un- 

more true of the latter. — Would, 'desired to,* forgiving. Only when near Him are we like 

make a reckoning with his lervants, represented Him. 

as stewards over his property, or collectors of Ver. 29. Fell down and besought him. As he 
his revenues. The special application is to those had done his greater creditor. — I will pay thee. 
enjoying high trusts in the Church. The final The best authorities omit *all.* This mav hint 
reckoning will be at the final judgment, but there that we are far more ready to promise Gocf (ver. 
is also a continual reckoning which God's justice 26) than men, all we owe, though the first prom- 
makes respecting the conduct of men. ise cannot be fulfilled. 

Ver. 24. But when he had begim. With one Ver. 30. And he would not, etc. Entreaty did 
foremost among the servants. — Ten thousand not move him, his idea of justice must be car- 
talents = ;f 2,437,500, $11,700,000, if we under- ried out. Bitter controversy, unforgiving acts of 
stand Attic talents of silver. The Syrian talent discipline, are defended with 'justice* as the 
was much smaller, but a talent of goid would, of plea. 

course, be of much greater value. It signifies a Ver. 31. 80 when his fellow-servants, etc Not 

debt which no one man could discharge, though a warrant for complaints to God against the un- 

he might incur it. forgiving. The fellow-servants were ezoeeding 

Ver. 2 J. To be sold, etc. The Mosaic law sorry, not * angry ; * the sorrowful cries of God*s 

permitted something of this kind (Exod. xxii. 3 ; people in a world of persecution and oppression 

Lev. XXV. 39 ; 2 Kings iv. i). But verse 34 favors are heard. 

a reference to the severer customs of Oriental Ver. 33. Shouldest not thoul The duty of 

despots. — And payment to be made. As far as forgiveness is obvious, yet so imperfectly per- 

possible, however insufficient. In the ordinary formed. 

course of God's dealings, strict justice is not Ver. 34. To the tormentors. Not simply * jail- 
only insisted upon, but begins its work. ers' but those who (among the ancient Romans) 

Ver. 26. I will pay Uiee all. In fear and sought by legal tortures to find out whether the 

terror he makes a promise he could not fulfil, debtor had any concealed hoard. It adds the 

The special application is to one convicted of sin thought of actual punishment. — Till he should 

and fearing God's wrath, promising a self-right- pay. This condition * is the strongest possible 

eous obedience, which he hopes will in some way way of expressing the eternal duration of his 

be a payment in full. punishment * (Trench). The debt incurred by 

Ver. 27. Forgave him the loan. It was the sin cannot decrease, but increases even in a state 

lord's money entrusted to him, not an ordinary of punishment ; the original debt, according to 

debt. The mercy in its greatness, fulness, and the parable, is so great that no human being can 

freeness is the single point ; the ground of it is discnarge it. The passage opposes both the doc- 

not stated. trine of purgatory and that of the final restora- 

Ver. 28. An hundred pence (denarUs) = £^ tion of unbelievers, 
or $1^ A comparatively small sum. The trans- Ver. 35. So shall also, etc. It is an overstrain- 
p-essions of our fellowmen against us are trifling ing of the parable to infer that God revokes His 
m comparison to our sin against God. — Took pardon. The character of the servant is not 
him by the throat. Allowed by the Roman law. that of one actually forgiven, since with pardon 
An unforgiving spirit is quick to apply the harsh- from God power from God is inseparably joined, 
est legal measures. — Pay whatever thou owest. Where the moral conditions of a Christian life 
His own debt fully forgiven, yet he insists : He fail, the man who fancies he has been pardoned 
who owes must pay I The payment of * a just is actually more guilty that before. Yet the warn- 
debt,* is demanded ; the worst crimes have been ing is one neededf and efficient in practical Chris- 
committed under plea of 'justice.* That the tianity. 



Chapter XIX. 1-12. 
Discourse about Divorce^ in reply to the Pharisees. 

1 A ND it came to pass, that^ when Jesus had^ finished these 

-tJL sayings, " he departed from * Galilee, and came * into the ** Jf^"* * '" 

2 coasts^ of Judea beyond* Jordan; And** great multitudes fol-*^*****^" 
lowed him ; and he healed them there. ' STfi^u! 

3 The Pharisees also came unto him,^ tempting him, and say- Joj ]t^, ** 
ing unto him,® * Is it lawful for a man ^ to put away his wife for 

4 every cause .^ And he answered and said unto them,® -^ Have ye 
not read, that he which ^ made them at® the beginning made 



d Chap. lii. 



V. 2. 



* omit that ' omit had • borders * insert the 

* And there came unto him Pharisees • omit unto them 

' for a man who • from 



158 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIX. 1-12 

5 them male and female, And said, ^ For this cause shall a man^gj^l? j',^ 
leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife : and * they * wai. u. i|. 

6 twain shall be ^^ one flesh ? Wherefore ^^ they are no more 
twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath ^^ joined to- 

7 gether, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, • Why 

did * Moses then^^ command to give a writing of divorce-*^"* "•^• 

8 ment, and to ^^ put her away ? He saith unto them, Moses be- 
cause ^* of * the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put * Mark xvi. 
away your wives: but from the beginning it was not'® so. 

9 ' And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, ex- ' sec chap, r 
cept it be ^^ for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth 
adultery : and *" whoso ^® marrieth her which '® is put away doth »« » Cor. vu 

10 commit^ adultery. His ^^ disciples say unto him. If the case 

1 1 of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But 

he said unto them, * All men cannot receive this saying, ^ save^ "i,^®"^ ""^ ' 

12 they to whom ''it is given. F'or there are some^ eunuchs, ** xx.'^?.*^*'*^ 

which® were so born from their mother's womb ; and there are ^ ti*!^^ 

some ^ eunuchs, * which ® were made eunuchs of ^ men : and ^ 2 King* xx 

18. 

there be^ eunuchs, ''which® have^ made themselves eunuchs '' * ^'°^- ^" 
for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive 
iV, let him receive it. 



^^ the twain shall becoi 


me 


" so that 


" omit hath 


" then did Moses 


'♦ omit to 


»« for 


** hath not been 


*' omit it be 


" he that 




" when she 


* committeth 


" The 


22 but 


^ omit some 


« by 


* are 




^ omit have 



Chronology. Shortly after the discourse re- Herod Antipas, and extended from the Amon on 

corded in chap, xviii. our Lord finally left Galilee, the south to Pella on the north ; or from the 

passing toward Jerusalem. This chapter (comp. head of the Dead Sea to a point nearly opposite 

Mark x.) takes up the history after an interval of the boundary between Samaria and Galilee. The 

some length, omitting a number of events which name was also given to the territory between the 

are recorcusd by Luke and John. Intervening oc- Amon and the sources of Jordan, and sometimes 

currences (Robinson) : the sending out of the included the whole eastern part of the Jordan 

Seventy (Luke x. 1-16) ; the final departure from valley down to the Elamitic Gulf. The breadth 

Gadilee, passing through Samaria (Luke ix. 51- of the district in all three senses was not v^ry 

c6; John vii. 2-10) ; the healing of the ten lepers great. The Christians of Jerusalem sought ret- 

(Luke xvii. 11-19) ; the public teaching of Jesus uge in Perea (in Pella) just before the destruction 

at the feast of Tabernacles (John vii. 11-53) J ^ *hat city. Some identify this visit with the re- 

the account of the woman taken in adultery tirement to Bethabara, or Bethany, beyond Jor- 

Jfohn viii. i) ; the reproof of the unbelieving dan (John x. 40) immediately before the raising 

ews, and the escape from their hands (John viii. of Lazarus ; we place it after that event and the 

12-50) ; the instruction of the lawyer, and the retirement to Epnraim (John xi. 54). 

parable of the good Samaritan (Luke x. 28-^7) ; Ver. 2. Oreat mnltitades. Comp. Mark x. i : 

the incidents in the house of Martha and Mary ' And the people resort to him again, and, as he 

(Luke X. 38-42) ; the return of the Seventy (Luke was wont, he taught them again.* The harmon- 

X. 17-24), which should probably be placed ear- ists insert here the record of Luke, chap, xiil 22- 

lier ; then in regular order the events narrated xviiL 1-14 ; consisting mainly of parables appro- 

in John ix.-xi ; ' Ephraim ' (John xi. 54) being priate to the advanced stage of our Lord's minis- 

in Perea, and this chapter taking up the history try. This assumes that He was already on the way 

at that point Lange, without sufficient reason, toward Jerusalem, when the Pharisees came. 

refers vers, i, 2, to a previous journey along the Ver. %. .Came unto him Pharisees. Even in 

borders between Samaria and Perea. At all remote Perea, almost the only remaining field of 

events ver. 3 belongs to the visit to Perea just labor, Christ's opposers sought Him. — Tempting 

before the last Passover. him, or, 'trying Him.' — It is lawful, etc. A 

Ver. I. Tho borders of Jndoa, beyond tbe Jor- matter of dispute between the schools of Hillel 

dan, I. e.<, on the east side. Perea proper is prob- and Shammai. Herod Antrpas, in whose domin- 

ably meant This was part of the territory of ions Christ now was, had imprisoned John the 



Chap. XIX. i-isO THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 159 

Baptist for too free an utterance on this point. — Ver. 9. And I say unto yon. Spoken in the 

For every canse. — The school of Hillel held house (Sfark x. 10, 11). — ^coept for fomiMtion. 

that almost any charge on the part of a husband This one ground for divorce, mentioned as a 

would justify ciivorce. They wished not only to matter of course, makes no exception to the rule 

entangle Him in their party disputes but also to laid down in vers. 5, 6 ; this offence is in direct 

place Him in opF>osition to the law of Moses (ver. antagonism to the idea of marriage. The Church 

7). An affirmative answer would probably have of Rome denies the validity even of this ground, 

called forth the charge of lax morality. AH sins of unchastity are sins against the mar- 

Ver. 4. Have ye not read, etc. An implied riage tie (comp. chap. v. 27-32), loosening it in 

rebuke for their misunderstanding of the Scrip- spirit, but this 2^ct of sin is the only ground for 

ture teaching on this point. — He who made them, dissolving it in farm, — The woman referred to 

etc. The historical truth of the narrative in is one divorced on improper ^roqnds. Divorce 

Genesis i., ii. is assumed as the basis of an im- laws should be framec} in the light of ver. 8 ; not 

portant argument. The creation of man is af- to facilitate^ but to regulate^ a matter arising 

finned. — Kale and female (Gen. i. 27). The solely from the .sinfuln^s of n^ankind. The 

question of the Pharisees is answered by what elevation of women from a condition of slavery 

God <//</, in the original creation of n^s^n, institut- has been the resqlt of Christ*s teaching in regard 

ing the sexual relation, and marriage as an in-, to marriage; vet some women, thus elevated, 

dissoluble union between one man sind one have ad vocatea divorce ' for any cause.' 

woman. Ver. 10. If the ease. The whole theory of 

Ver. 5. And said (Gen. ii. 24). Either said by n\arriage just announced is referred to. The 

Adam before the fall, and here cited as said by low views then held may be inferred from what 

God through Adam as the representative of the the disciples aaic} : it ii Aot good to marry ; the 

race, or bv Moses, and cited as an inspired utter- ideal seemed so high, that its application seemed 

ance. — For this eauM. Comp. Eph. v. 31, where almost impossible. 

the passage is applied also to Christ and the Ver. 11. All men ean not receive, or, 'not all 

Church. God says, Christ savs, that the rela- can receive,' this saying. This high ideal can be 

tionship between a man and nis wife is closer, understood and put into practice onlv by those 

higher, and stronger, than even that between who get illun^ins^tion and power from C/od. As a 

children and parents. Notice : it is the man who rule, the less Christianity, the lower the ideal of 

leaves his parents. — The twain shall beoome onq marriage, the more numerous the sins against 

flesh. 'Unity of soul and spirit,' is not men- this state. 

tioned. The absence of it, however great a source Ver. 12. For there ar^ Assuming that the 

of unhappiness, is not a ground of divorce. The married state is the normal one, three classes are 

essential bond is the fact that the twain, by mar- here mentioned who should (or may) remain in 

riage, 'became one flesh,' one man within the lin^- celibacy : (i.) those who from natunu incapacity 

its of their united life in the flesh, for this world, or inaptitude, have no desure to marry ; (2.) those 

The one cause of divorce (ver. 9) is incompatible who have been mutilated, a class very common 

with the unity as 'one flesh.' once and not unknown now ; (3.) those who ab- 

Ver. 6. What therefore Ood joined together, stain fron\ marriage, whether for the first or sec- 

etc Our Lord's conclusion. The sentence forms ond time, to work the better for Christ's cause, 

a proper part of every Christian marriage cere- The first case has no moral quality, the second im- 

mony. It is Christ's protection of this holy re- plies misfortune, the third has a moral value. ^ But 

lation. It also implies a warning against hasty it is not set forth here as a law for the ministry, 

marriages, against ignorance and forgetfulness of nor is there any superior merit in celibacy. The 

the fact that it is God who forms the indissoluble figurative exposition which understands by the 

tie. second and third classes those who remain un- 

Ver. 7. Why then did Moses eommand 1 Deut married from moral considerations, or sacrifice, 

xxiv. 1-4 (comp. chap. v. 31) had been trans- when married, their conjugal enjoyments to their 

formed into a command that divorces should take spiritual calling, is forced and incorrect, since all 

place. Christians are bound to the latter course and ex- 

Ver. 8. Suffered yon. The Mosaic regula- ceptional cases are here spoken of. — He that is 
tions were merely permissive, Rowing out of aUe to receive it. This does not imply a superior- 
their sinfulness, especially their disposition to be ity in those who can receive it, but simply that 
harsh toward their wives. — But from the begin- such a sacrifice would be expected from some of 
ning it hath not been so. In the original state in His disciples. — On the whole subject of mar- 
Paradise. Polygamy appears first (Gen. iv. 19) in riage and celibacy, comp. Schafifs History of tki 
conjunction with murder, and in tl^e line of Cain. Apostolic Churchy f 112, pp. 448-454. 



Chapter XIX. 13-15. 
The bringing of Children to yesns. 



13 " T^HEN were there ^ brought unto him little children, that * .^6^«L';;^ 

-1- he should put^A/j hands on them, and pray: and the '^"••s-i; 

14 disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, *Sufifer little » chil-^JJ^^P *^"' 

* ojnit there •lay • the little 



l6o THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XIX. 13-26. 

dren, and forbid them not, to come unto me ; for of such is * 

15 the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and 

departed thence. 

* to such belongeth 

This incident seems to be in proper chrono- 1-14, the reference is to children in spirit (comp. 

logical position. Luke*s account at this point Mark x. i q ; Luke xviii. 17), but not to the ex- 

acain becomes parallel to that of Matthew and elusion of actual children, who probably form 

Mark. the majority in the kingdom of heaven. Les- 

VeV. 13. TlMn wen Imaght unto him ; prob- sons : i. Since ' to such belongeth the kingdom 
ably by their parents. An encouragement to of heaven,* the earlier children become Chris- 
parents to bring even ' infants * to Christ, since, tians the better : 2. Since they are to come (or 
according to Luke, such were amon^ the little be brought) to Christ, who is a Saviour, the doc- 
children. Thus the doubts of the disciples about trine of universal depravity is not denied here, 
the marriage state were answered. ^~ Lay his 3. They may be * forbidden,* both by neglect and 
haadf on tliem. A recognition of Christ's power miudicious teaching : {a,) by not being taueht of 
to bless, since He healed by laying on His Christ, through word and example ; (^.) by being 
hands. — And the diioiplei relinked them. They taught legalism, /. <r., ' Be good, or God will not 
were engaged in an interesting discussion about love you,^ instead of this : Christ loves you, 
marriage, etc. Abstract theories about house- therefore go to Him in order to be good. 4. As 
hold relations should not stand between the Lord they were brought^ and were actually blessed by 
and little children. Christ (Mark x. 16) ; through the faith of parents 

Ver. 14. Suffer the little ehUdren, etc. The a seed of faith may exist in the heart of a child, 

natural impulse would be to bring children to so that the infant members of a Christian family 

Him, do not check it. — Forbid them not, as the ought to be Christian children, and their educa- 

disciples did, and many since then. — To aneh be- tion conducted in the confident expectation that 

Umgeth the kingdom of heaven. As in chap, xviii. they will sliow the fruits of faith. 



Chapter XIX. 16-26. 
The Rich Young Man and the Discourse of our Lord on Riches, 

16 • A ND, behold, one came and said unto him,^ * Good^ Master, * .^^7*lokb 

-Tjl what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life } 3 cornVtuke 

17 And he said unto him. Why callest thou me good.^ there is '^ 's-^s^ 
none good but one, tltat is, God : ^ but c if thou wilt* enter into ' \uCax.'X\ 

18 life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which } ,9^^ ' 
Jesus said, ''Thou shalt do no murder,^ Thou shalt not commit -i6TDeut' 
adultery. Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false wit- Rom.xiii.g' 

10 ness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, *Thou shalt love chaoxxii. ' 

, 3'^; Luke ix- 

2u thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him. All 27,30-37.; 

, ./ o ' Rom. XIU.9: 

these things have I kept from my youth up :^ what lack I yet } ^/^ .y-gM-. 

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt* be -^perfect, go ^;i^^ ^sell/^eechap. v. 
that thou hast,* and give to the poor, and thou shalt have ^ „"^*comp* 

22 * treasure in heaven : and come and^ follow me. But when the ii"34,%^^' 
young man heard that ® saying, he went away sorrowful : for "* ^^*^''' '"^ 
he ^® had great possessions. 

23 Then said Jesus ^^ unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, 

'That a rich man shall hardly enter ^^ into the kingdom of 'xn?. aa^'^ 

24 heaven. *And again I say unto you, It is easier for 'a camel MaT'x. a4. 

/ Chap, xxiii 

' came to him and said ^ The best authorities omit Good '"*■ 

' The best authorities r/^wTWhy askest thou me of that which is good ? One 
there is who is good * wouldest * not kill 

• omit from my youth up ^ omit and * thy goods • this 

'<* was one that ** And Jesus said ** enter hardly 




Chap. XIX. 16-26.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 161 

to go through the eye of a needle,^^ than for a rich man to en- 

25 ter into the kingdom of God. When his^* disciples heard 
//, they were exceedingly amazed,*^ saying, Who then can be 

26 saved ? But Jesus beheld them}^ and said unto ^^ them, *" With "' ^"- «^.ll 

^ ' '14; Job xiu. 

men this is impossible ; but with God all things are possible. 36- Luke* i! 

>' a needle's eye ^* And when the ^* astonished exceedingly 

" And Jesus looked upon them " to 

Contents. This section is in its proper chro- keep the commandments. The possibility of do- 

nological position. Our Lord ' departed thence ' ing this perfectly had just been denied. Our 

(ver. 15), out on the way (Mark x. 17) He was Lord therefore seeks to show the youn^ man how 

met by this 'ruler' (Luke xviii. 18). Our Lord much he falls short of such a Iceepmg of the 

first presented the high ideal of marriage, the commandments. What follows shows that his 

closest human tie, with a hint that even this must obedience, however strict, did not recognize God 

be subordinate to the claims of His kingdom; as the supreme good. 

then the position of children, next in order of Ver. 18. Wliiohl That is, of what kind. — 

intimacy ; now comes the relation to earthly pos* Then ihalt not kill, etc. Those commandments 

sessions, which men value next (though through involving duties toward our fellow men are cited, 

the influence of sin sometimes most ot all) • Our so as to meet the young man on his own 

Lord meets the young ruler, whom he loved, on ground. 

his ground, leads him to a recognition of the idol Ver. 19. Honour thy father and thy mother, 

that prevents him from entering the kingdom. — This commandment connects the two classes of 

Going away sorrowful is not entering into life. — duties enjoined in the Decalogue, but is here pre- 

Riches arc a hindrance so great, that just here sented as involving duty to man. Hence the 

comes in the declaration of God's saving omnipo- position it occupies m all three accounts. — Thou 

tence. — Our Lord speaks the truth to rich and thalt love thy neighboor aa thyself. A summing 

poor alike. There is no word here that points to up of our duties to men, taken from Lev. xiv. 18. 

a 'community of goods,' though this was the oc- Comp. Mark xii. 28 ff. 

casion, were that doctrine correct. The giving Ver. 20. All these have I kept. Externally 

up of wealth when it is an idol, the crucifixion to moral, perhaps self-righteous, he yet felt that he 

the world, here enjoined, have a moral quality, lacked something. Peace of conscience had not 

There is none in a forced equality of posses- been attained by his keeping of ^ all these.' He 

sions, nor involuntary poverty with the hope of had yet to learn how much he lacked of even 

winning heaven. Agrarianism, no less than avar- comprehending the spirituality of the law. 

ice, makes wealth the chief good ; trusting in Ver. 21. If then wonldest be perfect. Mark 

poverty, no less than trusting in riches, fosters and Luke : * one thing thou lackest.' One duty 

pride. still remained to make his obedience complete, 

Ver. 16. Behold. The circumstance was re- judged from his own point of view. Not that he 

markable in view of the opposition of the Phar- had done all except this one duty, but a/^j/ is pro- 

isees. — One eame. This young ruler, who ran posed, to prove that the whole obedience lacked 

and kneeled to Christ (Mark x. 17), was an hon- the proper motive. — Sell all thy goods. In his 

est, earnest seeker after truth and life, with some case love of his possessions was the great hin- 

admiration for, and confidence in, Jesus a^ a hu- drance ; in another it might have been something 

man teacher. But he was in error, as honest and else. All we have belongs to Chnst, but this 

earnest seekers may be. — What good thing, etc command is not to be literally obeyed by every 

Whether a Pharisee or not, he thought to earn one. The gospel is here put m a legal form to 

eternal life. Hence the passage must not be reach the conscience of the young man ; the 

wrested in favor of legalism. * treasure in heaven ' is not bought by voluntary 

Ver. 17. Why askest then me of that whieh poverty. (Comp. chaps, v. 12 ; vi. 20.) — C<mie, 

is good 1 One there it who is good. The com- fbllow me. The final test. Whenever property 

mon version follows a reading corrected to con- interferes with following Christ, it must oe given 

form with the other two. The variety sheds up; and he who would be a Christian must be 

light on the whole conversation. Eitner two ready to relinquish it for Christ's sake, not to 

questions and answers occurred, or Matthew win salvation nor to buy a superior place in 

gives this form to bring out the true sense, heaven. 

There is but one good Beinjs^ and one good thing, Ver. 22. He went away sorrowful. Not un- 
namely, God Himself. — What the young ruler affected, he yet went away. Nothing further is 
needed was not to do some good work or to learn known of him. As Jesus ' loved him, and there- 
some speculative morality, but to acknowledge fore taught him his duty, that love may have fol- 
God as the Supreme Goo<l and act accordingly, lowed him and led him to a right decision. But 
This strikes at his sin, the love of riches. It the silence about his future course hints, that 
does not mean : * ask God ; read His command- whatever light and love one receives, the decision 
ments, do not ask me-^ The other accounts pre- is to be made by the man himself. — Our Lord's 
sent this alternative : Christ either claims that comments on ' riches ' show that this young roan's 
He is Himself God, or denies His own perfect pride was intrenched in his wealth ; a part of it 
goodness. The answer rebukes the error of the ne might have been willing to pay for * eternal 
question, that eternal life can be won by good life ; ' but being his idol, it must l>e entirely relin- 
works. — But if thpn wonldest enter into Ufe, quished before he could enter the kingdom oi 

11 



l62 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chaps. XIX. 27-XX. 16. 

heaven. The hindrance is often removed by saying occurs about an elephant 'The camel 

God*s Providence. was more familiar to the hearers of the Saviour 

Ver. 21. A lioh maa ihAll enter hizdly, /. e., than the elephant, and on account of the hump 

' with difficulty/ into the JHtig^wm of heeven. on its back, it was especially adapted to symbol- 

Comp. Mark x. 24 : ' them that trust in riches.' ize earthly wealth as a heavy load and serious 

Yet such trust is the natural result of possession, impediment to entrance through the narrow gate 

or of even the strong desire to possess. of the kingdom of heaven.* 

Ver. 24. Seiier for a eemel, etc A strong Ver. 25. Who then eanbe saved 1 Since all 
declaration of impossibility (comp. ver. 26). This may have some possessions, and naturally love to 
has been weakened in two ways: (i.) by the have more. Their temporal views of the king- 
change of a single letter (in some manuscripts), dom were also mixed with their question, 
of the original, altering ' camel * into ' rope ; ' Ver. 26. Loolrod upon them. To give force 
(2.) by explaining the eye of a needle to mean to this profound statement, and perhaps in kindly 
the small gate for foot pasrengers at the entrance sympathy with their weakness and want of un- 
to cities. The first is incorrect, the second un- derstandm^. — With men this is impoesihle. Not 
certain and unnecessary. The literal sense is not only in their judgment, but with their power. — 
too strong, as both tne context and abundant With Ood all th&gs are possihle. God's grace 
facts show. Our Lord had already spoken of a not only can, but does, save some who are rich 
'camel* as a figure for something very large in spite of all the hindrances their wealth occa- 
(chap. xxiii. 24) ; and in the Talmud the same sions. 



Chapter XIX. 27-XX. 16. 

TAe Reward promised to the Apostles and the Parable of the Laborers, ilhts- 

trating the Nature of titat Reward (of Free Grace), 

27 T^HEN answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, "we have '^ i'jo^^ luIcr^ 

A forsaken^ all, and followed thee ; what shall we have there- chip.l^^ao' 

28 fore ?^ And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That " 

ye which have ^ followed me, in the * regeneration ^ when the * Rom "'vUi* 
Son of man shall sit in* the throne of his glory, ''ye also shall c sw^chap. 
sit upon twelve thrones, * judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ,/ Liu^'x 



XXII. 



29 And every one that hath forsaken ^ houses, or brethren, or sis- 2°.' 
ters, or father, or mother, or wife,® or children, or lands, for my ' ' 
name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit ever-/chap.xx.i6; 

30 lasting life. But -^ many that ar^ first shall be last; and ^ the Luke xiii. ' 
last shall be first.^ ^comp.chap. 

XXI. 31, 32. 

XX. I. For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a 
householder, which® went out early in the morning to hire 

2 labourers into *his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the * ^p- «*» 
labourers for* a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard, /see chap. 

3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing '""'* "" 

4 idle in the marketplace,^ And said unto them ; ^^ Go ye also 
into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And 

5 they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and 

6 ninth hour, and did likewise. And * about the eleventh hour^^ k comp. t 
he went out, and found others standing idle,^^ and saith unto 

7 them. Why stand ye here all the day idle } They say unto him, 
Because no man hath ^ hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye 

' Lo, we left * what then shall we have ? • omit have * on 

' that left • the best authorities omit or wife 

' But many shall be last that arc first ; and first that are last ^ who 

• in the market-place idle " to them he said " hour 

*- omit idle " omit hath 



Chaps. XIX. 27-XX. 16.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 163 

also into the vineyard ; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye 

8 receive.^* So ^^ ' when even was come, the lord of the vineyard ' !>▼• »x. «j- 

saith unto ""his steward, Call the labourers, and give ^® them their *« Luke viu. 

3. 

9 hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they 
came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received 

10 every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed 
that they should have received ^^ more ; and they likewise re- 

1 1 ceived every man a penny. And when they had ^® received //, 

12 they murmured against the goodman of the house,^* Saying, 
These last have wrought but one ^ hour, and thou hast made 

them equal unto us, which have borne ^^ the burden and" heat ^LukeaLss? 

^ ' Ja*. u II. 

13 of the day.^ But he answered one of them, and said,^ * Friend, o chaj*. xxH. 

1. 1 1 ' \ e ia;xxvi. 50. 

I do thee no wrong : didst not thou agree with me for a penny ? 

14 Take ^ that thine is^ and go thy way : I will^^ give unto this P chap.xxy 

15 last, even as unto thee. « Is it not lawful for me to do what I yCorap.Rom 
will with mine own } '' Is ^ thine eye evil, because I am good } r Dcut.xv!9.; 

^ see chap. vi. 

16 So 'the last shall be first, and the first last : for many be called, ^ »^ ^^ 
but few chosen.^ »»» 3* 

" the best authorities omit and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive 
** And " pay ^^ would receive *' omit had 

*• householder * last spent one ^* who bore 

** the burden of the day and the scorching heat 
** answered and to one of them ** Take up that which is thine 

** but I will, or, it is my will to *• Or is 

^ the best authorities omit {though many insert) for many be called, but few 
chosen. 

The direct reply to Peter's question is found find a secondary and partial fulfilment of the 

in all three accounts ; the parable is peculiar to promise in the high position of the Apostles in 

Matthew. It loses most of its seeming difficul- the Church. — When the Son of man ahidl tit. 

ties, when connected with the previous conversa- A definite period, when our Lord shall appear 

tion. The question of Peter had reference to a on tlie throne of his glory, the throne which be- 

pre'eminent reward, and after the promise to them longs to, results from, and manifests His glory, 

(which is changed immediately into a promise to as conqueror, ruler, and judge. — Upon twolvt 

all ) this parable teaches that this reward is of thrones. Christ will take His seat upon His own 

free grace, and that the Apostles themselves, throne ; the Twelve will be promoted to thrones 

though first called and first to forsake all, should prepared for them. Whether Matthias or Paul 

not on that account expect a preeminent reward, takes the place of Judas among the Twelve is dis- 

Self-sacrifice for Christ, not priority in time, is puted. It is therefore difficult to press a literal 

the ground of preeminence. Chap. xix. 30, in- meaning upon the promise. — Jndgiiig. This re- 

troduces a statement to be illustrated (* But fers more to their high position, than to acts of 

many,' etc.) ; chap. xx. 16, repeats it as enforced judging. — The twelve tiiboi of Imel. Scarcely 

(*Sothe last,' etc.). the Jewish nation, since our Lord had already 

Ver. 27. Lo, we loft alL Whatever they had, told them that His Church was to be distinct 

and not all of them were poor, they left. — What from this. Probably Christ's people, among 

then shall we have. ' We ' in contrast to this whom the Apostles shall occupy the most exalted 

young man who did not stand the test. The an- position at His return. 

swer indicates a little self-righteous boasting in Ver. 29. And every one. The promise is of 

the question ; the parable would oppose any rem- general application. — Honsei. ' Homes,' house- 

nant of a mercenary spirit lurking in it rreem- hold ties, rather than * possessions,' which are 

inence was probably anticipated oy Peter, and is mentioned afterwards. — Brethren, etc * The 

promised in the next verse. family relations are mentioned in the order in 

Ver. 28. Ye, ». ^., the Apostles. — In the re- which they would be left.* — 'Wife* is to be 

generation, or * renovation * (only here and Tit. omitted both here and in Mark x. 29, but is 

lii. 5). Joined with what follows, which tells found in Luke xviil 29. — ^For mj name't sake. 

* when * this will be, and shows that it means the Mark adds : ' and the gospel's.* Out of love to 

accomplishment of the spiritual renovation of the Christ and to advance His cause. The motive is 

world (comp. Rev. xxi. 5 ; Acts iii. 21). As this everything ; self-denial to buy God*s favor is no 

Vf ill be the final stage of a continuous work, we self-deniaJ. — Hnndred-fold. Mark a'Ids : ' now 



l64 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. LChaps. XIX. 27-XX. 16. 

in this time.* Abundant compensation will be cnth hour laborers are accepted, but they were 
given even in this life. I^nge : * Believers are mainly those who had no opportunity at an ear- 
to find a new and eternal home and country, new lier period. 

and eternal relationships, and new and eternal Ver. 8. Hia steward. Christ, the overseer of 

possessions, of which the blessings enjoyed by the house of God, entrusted with the whole econ- 

them on earth are to be the earnest and foretaste, omy of salvation including the distribution of 

All these promises are summed up in that of the final reward (Heb. iii. 6 ; John v. 27 ; Rev. 

being made heirs of eternal life (Rom. viii.).* ii. 7, 10, 17, 28, etc). It was the Jewish custom 

Comp. Mark x. 29, 30. to pay laborers at the close of the day. 

Ver. 30. But many ihall be last that are first, ; Ver. 9. They received every man a penny, or 

and first that are last. A general truth in pro- 'shilling.' More than thev expected. God does 

verbial form ; here a caution against trusting not measure His reward oy the length of man's 

to appearances or to the permanence of present life, but by the fidelity of his services, for the 

circumstances an(^ conditions. The promise must labor is not to earn the reward but to prepare 

be accompanied by a caution, especially in view for it 

of the coming apostasy of Judas. The Twelve Ver. 12. These last spent one honr, etc. A well- 
also were liable to mistake priority in time of grounded complaint, if salvation were of works, 
calling for priority in position, — a treauent mis- Ver. 13. Didst then not agree with me! The 
take m every human society, but douoly » mis- legal claim is answered in a legal way. 
take where God's free grace is concemecl. Ver. 14. Go thy way. This does not neces- 
Chap. XX, Ver. i. A man that is a honse- saril^ imply that the first were finally rejected, 
holder. The * householder * signifies God ; the receiving only the temporal good they bargained 
*vine}'ard' the kingdom of heaven (comp. Is. v. for. — I will give, *it is my will or pleasure to 
1-7; Cant. viii. 12); the 'steward* (ver. 8) give.* The ground is the wish of the house- 
Christ; the 'twelfth hour* of the day, or the holder, 

evening, the coming of Christ ; the other * hours,* Ver. 15. Or is thine eye evil. Envy was the 

the different periods of calling into service. — real jnotive, and the envy was occasioned by the 

Laboorers. Specially the Apostles, yet including kindness of the householder : because I am good, 

all Christians. or ' kind.' 

Ver. 2. For a penny, or * shilling ' (<//'«<7rwj). Ver. 16. The proverbial expression of chap. 
Between 14 and 15 cents, the usual pay for a xix. 30, recurs with a different order. The para- 
day*s labor. Explanations i The general idea is ble, therefore, illustrates the truth that the order 
of reward, but \yith a spepal reference to tem- in the calling of individuals and nations will in 
poral rewards, which may be received while eter- many (not all) cases be reversed in their final posi- 
nal life is lost Inconsistent with ^he dignity of tion m heaven. An encouragement to those called 
the parable ; and inapplicable to the Apostles, late in life ; a solemn warning to those called 
Besides the penny was paid at the close of the early, urging them to be humble, and ever mind- 
day, I. e.t at the end of man's life or the day of ful of their unworthiness before God, lest they 
final account, just when the temporal reward be overtaken by others or forfeit their reward 
ceases. Eternal salvation is meant ; for while altogether, The admonition was intended, first, 
the idea of reward is present, the whole drift of for the Apostles, especially for Peter, whose 
the parable teaches us that God's grace is free question called forth this parable ; then for Jew- 
(ver. 15). The mercenary spirit of the first la- ish Christians generally, in their feelings to the 
borers has a primary reference to the Jews and Gentile converts, and in their legal tendency ; 
their prejudice against the Gentiles. This en- and lastly, for all Christians who enjoy special 
vious disposition is thus rebuked. The Gentile spiritual privileges and the great blessing of an 
converts went to work as soon as they were early acouaintance with the Saviour. — ' Many 
called, without a definite agreement as to price, are calleo, but few are chosen.* This is to be 
trusting in the justice and mercy of the house- omitted, though found in many authorities. If 
holder. They ar^ ponunended, and to them was genuine, it means, many are called to be heirs of 
given far more than they could ask or deserve, salvation, yet few chosen to be preeminent. Free 
— Those first called represent nationally the grace wi'M/Vi the Church is thus indicated. — An 
Jews, called with a definite covenant ; indrvidu' exclusive meaning is not to be pressed upon the 
ally^ those called in early life and who have spent various times of hiring, which show the repeated 
their days in God's service. Such are warned call. At these quarters of the natural day, labor- 
against Doasting, or claiming of higher reward ers would be waiting. Special applications : The 
than those called aftepvards ; a necessary caui morning, the age from Adam to Noah ; the third 
tion. hour, from Noah to Abraham ; the sixth hour, 
Ver. 3. Third hour. About nine o'clock in from Abraham to Moses ; the ninth hour, from 
the morning, when the market-place would be Moses to Christ, and the eleventh hour, from 
full. — Idle. *The greatest man of business on Christ to the end of the world. The different 
the market-place of the world is a mere idle ages in the life of individuals : childhood, youth, 
gazer' (Stier). On the special interpretations of manhood, old age, and the years of decrepitude, 
the different hours, see the close of the sec- Lange : the first laborers, Jewish Christians gen- 
tion. erally, who were characterized by a mercenary 
Ver. 4. Whatsoever is right I will give yon. spirit ; the Apostles are included as a warning to 
The wages promised indefinite ; the correct read- them ; the second class, * standing in the market- 
ing in ver. 7 omits all protnise o^ reward. The place,* the Jewish proselytes ; those hired at the 
parable illustrates the truth that salvation is of sixth and ninth hour, the Gentile races ; ' the 
gface. eleventh hour * laborers, the fruits of missionary 
Ycr. 7. Because no m|ui hired ns. The elev- labors in latter days. 



Chap. XX. 17-34] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 165 



Chapter XX. 17-34. 

Further Revelation respecting His Sufferings ; the Ambitious Request of the 
Mother of yames and yohn ; the Healing of two Blind Men near ycr- 
icho, 

17 ** A ND Jesus ^ going up to Jerusalem took^ the twelve disci- "^j^'^I^YiiKJ 

18 -t\ples apart in the way, and^ said unto them, Behold, *we ^ s]^*"Jhi|J* 
go up to Jerusalem ; and the Son of man shall be betrayed* »vi.ax. 
unto fhe chief priests and unto the ^ scribes, and they shall con- 

19 demn him to death. And ^ shall deliver him to® the Gentiles ** to r chap. xxvh. 
mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him : ^ and * the third day Actsii. li 
he shall rise agam.** «6-3i. 

20 • Then came to him the mother of ^ Zebedee's children ^ with * markx. 35 

-45. 

her sons, ^ worshipping ///;;z, and desiring a certain thing ^^ of /^p-^«'- 

21 him. And he said unto her, What wilt ^Mhou ? She saith unto ^"* »• 
him. Grant ^^ that these my two sons * may sit, the ^ one on thy h comp.chap 

22 right hand, and the other ^^ on the left,^* in thy kingdom. But 
Jesus answered and said. Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye 

able • to drink of *^ the cup that I shall drink of,^* and to be » chap. xxvi. 
baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.^^^ They xviii'ii;. 

23 say unto him, We are able. And ^® he saith unto them, * Ye »«• ' . 
shall drink indeed of my cup,^® and be baptized with the bap- ?"•«•' ^«^- 
tism that I am baptized with : ^^ but to sit on my right hand. 



and on my left,^*^ is not mine to give, 'but // sliall be given to /Comp.chap. 

24 them 2^ for whom '"it is ^ prepared of my Father. And when ^ ^*»p- «»▼• 
the ten heard it^ they were tnoved with indignation against ^* 

25 the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, 

" Ye know that the princes ^ of the Gentiles * exercise domin- * SIlS's^";'!* 
ion ^ over them, and they that are great *^ exercise authority '* ^*'' ^* ^' 

26 upon 28 them. ^ But it shall not be so ^ among you : but who- p chap. xxin 
soever will be^ great among you, let him be** your ^ minister ; \^'^^^ 

27 And whosoever will be chief® among you, let him be'^ your ^ % **' ""* 

28 •■ servant : Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered r chap. xxH. 
unto, but *to minister, and 'to give his life a ransom for * John xni. 4, 

13-15; PhiL 

" many. n. 7. 

t Is. liii. 10, 
Dan. ix. 26; 

* as Jesus was * he took « and in the way he * delivered m^", Tim!* 
•<?//«/ the 'unto ^^w//him ^ be raised up iLi;*!*!!!!. 

• the sons of Zebedee ^^ asking somewhat " wouldest h; « ^c'- »• 
" command " and one " thy left hand " omit of » iv/i?h. ,,, 
^' am to drink } u ; chap. 
1^ the best authorities omtt^xA to be baptized with the baptism that I am ^j^- j?*;^ 

baptized with ? " omit And *• my cup indeed ye shall drink : u. 23. * 

» /y left hand " ^ ^ yj,^ fJ^^^ af I,ath been 

'^ of it '* sore displeased concerning '• rulers 

^ lordship ^ their great ones ** over 

® Not so shall it be *> would become •* shall be ■* would be first 



l66 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XX. 17-34 

29 • And as they departed ^ from Jericho, a great multitude fol- *' iJj^^Luiclf 

30 lowed him. And, behold, * two blind men sitting by the way ^oJjJjp^SjiJ; 
side, when they heard that Jesus passed^ by, cried out, saying, "^t-s" 

31 Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.^ And the 
multitude rebuked them, because* they should hold their 
peace : but they cried the more, saying. Have mercy on us, O 

32 Lord, thou Son of David.^ And Jesus stood still, and called 

33 them, and said. What will ye that I shall ^ do unto you ? They 

34 say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. So Jesus 
had compassion on thetn, and ^ ^ touched their eyes : and im- 
mediately their eyes received^ sight, and they*^ followed 
him. 

■• went out ^ was passing 

^ Lord, have mercy on us, thou Son of David ! •* that 

^ omit shall ^ And Jesus being moved with compassion 

■• they received their sight ^ omit they 



Chronology. The final journey to Jerusalem the disciples did not understand the prediction as 

begins. The approach of His death calls for a a whole (Luke xviii. 34), plain as it is to us. 

third prediction to the Twelve, more specific in Ver. 20. The moUier of the ions of Zebedee. 

its details. The crucifixion is mentioned only in Salome, according to an ancient tradition, the 

Matthew's account On the way from Perea daughter of Joseph by a previous marriage ; more 

(see note at the beginning of chap, xix.) to Jer- probably the sister ot Mary the mother of Jesus, 

icho, Salome, the wife of Zebedee, prefers an Comp. J[ohn xix. 25, and notes on chap. iv. 21 ; 

ambitious reauest in behalf of her two sons. x. 2 ; xiii. 55. The request was suggested by her 

This was probably occasioned by the prediction, sons (comp. Mark x. 35), James and John, who 

and leads to further instruction. Reaching Jer- were called Boanerges (Mark iii. 17) and had 

icho about a week before the Passover, our lird been with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration 

performed the miracle mentioned in vers. 30-34. (chap. xvii. i). — Wonhipping him, 1.^., saluting 

Matthew mentions two blind men, Mark and Him with reverence, as was usual in asking favor 

Luke but one, the former giving his name. Mat- of a king. — Aikiiig somewhat. She asked a 

thew and Mark say that the miracle occurred as favor but did not at once tell what it was, proba- 

they went out ot Jericho ; Luke * as He was bly because doubtful of the propriety of the re- 

come nigh unto Jericho.' He also narrates the quest. 

interview with Zaccheus and the parable of the Ver. 21. One on thy right hand, and one on 
ten pounds, as following this miracle and imme- thy left hand in thy kingdom. The highest places 
diately preceding the journey to Jerusalem. Ac- of honor, implying special authority also, as is 
cepting Luke*s order, we suppose that our Lord indicated by the answer (ver. 25). The request 
remained for a day at Jericho, and that the heal- was based upon ignorance (comp. ver. 22), and 
ine occurred during some excursion into the prompted by ambition (comp. vers. 25-27), how- 
neighborhood, ever natural it may have been. 

Ver. 17. And as Jesns was going np to Jem- Ver. 22. Te know not what ye ask. Addressed 

salem. Mark (x. 32) is more graphic He hast- to James and John, who had prompted their 

ened before them, arousing their amazement and mother. The request could scarcely have been 

fear. — He took the twelve disciples apart. Re- occasioned by jealousy of Peter. Had he been 

ferred, incorrectly, by some to the retirement to appointed * primate,* tnis would have been an op- 

Ephraim (John xi. 54). portunity for upholding him in that position. 

Ver. 18. We go np to Jemsalem. On the when John saw the crucified thieves on the rieht 

journey to death which He had previously pre- and left hand of his d)nng Lord, he knew what 

dieted (chap. xvi. 21). — Delivered unto the chief he had asked. — To drink the cup! A frequent 

priests. More detailed than chap. xviL 22 : ' into Scriptural figure for the Providential portion as- 

the hands of men.' A double betrayal is implied : signed to any one ; especially for a sulfering lot. 

first by His professed friends to His declared It refers to inward anguish here. — *With the 

enemies ; then by His own people to the Gen- baptism,' etc. Omitted by the best authorities, 

tiles. — They shall condmnn him to death. A ref- It occurs in Mark, referring to the outward per- 

erence to the judicial condemnation on the part secutions. — We are able. They were not the 

of the Sanhedrin (chap. xxviL i ). least courageous of the Twelve (comp. John xviii. 

Ver. 19. And shall deliver him unto theOen- 15), but they also forsook Him and fied (chap. 

tiles. Comp. chap, xxvii. 2 ff. — To mock, and to xxvi. 56) in the hour of trial. 

seonrge, and to cmeify. Mark and Luke add : Ver. 23. My cap indeed ye shall drink. James 

* spit upon.' Fulfilled in every detail. — And the was the first martyr among the Twelve ; John 

third diay he shall he raised np. This is added died a natural death at an advanced age, but in 

as before. The request of Salome indicates that a spiritual sense his was the longest mar^dom. 



Chap. XXI. i-ii.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 167 

— Is not mine, etc Either, it is not a boon to could bear it, they were taught this central truth 
be gained by solicitation ; or, it is not in my power, of the gospel, to which they gave such promi- 
but it will be assigned to those for whom it has nence, after the Holy Ghost came upon them, 
been prepared, according * to the eternal predes- This tender rebuke of their ambition bases the 
tination of eternal positions in the kingdom of cardinal erace of humility upon the cardinal dor- 
God.* Yet these two might occupy the position, trine of the Atonement 

Christ affirms that His will as Ruler in His king- Ver. 20. And ai they went ont of Jerieho. 

dom accjrds with the eternal purpose of God ; Comp. Mark x. 46 ; Luke xviii. 35. Probably 

a purpose which forbade their ambitious solicita- after the conversation just mentioned our Lord 

tion, because its individual objects were as yet entered Jericho, and meeting a multitude there 

concealed. passed out of the city with them and returned 

Ver. 24. The ten, including Matthew who writes again to encounter Zaccheus (Luke xix. 2-10). 

the account. A proof of humility and truthful- On this excursion He passed the blind men. He 

ness. — They were sore displeased oonoeming. left Jericho for Bethany on noon of Friday (8th 

This displeasure was no more praiseworthy than of Nisan), a week before the crucifixicm. On 

the ambition of the two, and was speedily dis- Saturday He was in Bethany (John xii. ij. Jer- 

countenanced (comp. Mark x. 41, 42). icho was in the tribe of Benjamin on the borders 

Ver. 25. The rolers of the Gentiles, /. ^., 'sec- of Ephraim, about two hours journey from the 

ular princes.' The Jewish form of government, Jordan, and the road thence to Jerusalem was 

as ordained by God, was designed to exclude tyr- difficult and dangerous (Luke x. 30-J4). The 

anny. — Exercise lordship, lord it, over thmn, district was a blooming oasis in the midst of an 

I. e.j exercise tyrannical and arbitrary power. — extended sandy plain, watered and fruitful, rich 

Th^ great ones. Either conquerors and usurp- in palms, roses, and balsam : hence probably the 

ers, or the officers of state. name ('the fragrant city '). Built by the Canaan- 

Ver. 26. Bnt not so shall it be amon^ yoo. ites, and destroyed by Toshua (Josh. vL 26), it 
To maintain superiority of rank by force is not was rebuilt and fortined at a later day, and be- 
Christian, even if encouraged by ecclesiastical or- came the seat of a school of the prophets. Her- 
ganizations. It is worst of all in such organiza- od the Great beautified it, and it was one of the 
tions, for freedom in the Christian communion is most pleasant places in the land. In the twelfth 
necessary to true civil freedom. — But whosoever century scarcely a vestige of the place remained, 
wonld beoome ^at among yon, 1. ^., great in the there is now on the site a wretched vill^e, Richa 
next life, let hun be yonr minister, /. ^., in this or Ericha, with about 200 inhabitants. Kobinson, 
life. Deep humility manifesting itself in a ser- however, locates the old Jericho in the neighbor- 
vice of love is the measure of Christian great- hood of the fountain of Elisha (two miles north- 
ness, actually constituting it here, but acknowl- west of Richa). 

edged hereafter. This does not forbid official Ver. 36. tWo blind men. Mark and Luke 

orders in the Church, but real greatness is inde- mention but one ('blind Bartimeus, the son of 

pendent of such orders. However necessary, Timeus'), probably a well-known person, and 

they are intended to advance the liberty of the hence especially mentioned. — Lord, have merey 

Church. Office in the Church is to be a ser- on ns, thou Son of David, the better supported 

vice. order. 

Ver. 28. Even as the Bon of man. What He Ver. 31. That they should hold their peaee. 
asked of them was what He did Himself. — The multitude did not object to the title, * son of 
Came. His appearing in the world was not to he David' (comp. chap. xxi. 9), but thought the cry 
ministered nnto, not to be personally served by would annoy our Lord. — Bnt they cried the 
others, nor to exercise an external authority for more. In persistent faith. 
His own external interest, bnt to minister, to Ver. 32. And Jesns stood stilL He now a1- 
serve others, as His whole ministry showed, lows Himself to be publicly called : ' Son^ of 
Christ's exampU enforces the lesson of humility, David ; ' comp. His previous conduct in a similar 
but a deeper truth is now for the first time de- case (chap. ix. 27, 28). Mark adds that those 
clared. —And to give his life. The crowning act about the Wind man said : * Be of good courage, 
of His ministering to others. — A ransom for rise; He calleth thee/ showing that they too re- 
many. ' Ransom * may mean only the pajrment sponded to the Lord's compassion. 




propitiation* (Prov. xiii. saved thee.' The question ot ver. 32 

8), and the word translated * for * means * in the signed to call forth an expression of this faith. — 

place of,' this passage affirms that our Lord's ' Thousands have read this simple and touching 

death was vicarious ; oy His death as a ransom- story as a truthful history of their own spiritual 

price the ' many ' are to be redeemed from the blindness, and its removal through the abounding 

guilt and power of sin. As soon as the disciples grace of Jesus Christ* (J. J. Owen). 



Chapter XXI. i-iL 
The Public Entry into Jerusalem. 



I « A ND 

-nLto^ 



, <t Mark xi. i 

ND when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come -»o; loki 
Bethphasre, unto^ *the mount of Olives, then sent * chaps. «iY. 

, fl ^ John viii. 

* came unto * to i;Actsi. la 



i68 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXI. x-ii. 

2 Jesus ^ two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village * 
over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and 

3 a colt with her : loose iheniy and bring thein unto me. And if 
any man ^ say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath 

4 need of them ; and straightway he will send them. ""All this ^ J^^"** *" ** 
was done,^ that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the 

5 prophet, saying, ** Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy ''|^^Jx»«'i 
King cometh unto ^ thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and ^ 

6 a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as 

7 Jesus commanded ^ them, And brought the ass, and the colt, 
and put on them their clothes,^ and they set ///;// ^^ thereon. 

8 And a very great ^^ multitude • spread their garments in the * « Kings \^ 
way ; others cut down ^ branches from the trees, and strewed 

9 thtfti ^* in the way. And the multitudes that went before,^* and 
that followed, cried saying, Hosanna to the Son of David : 
•^Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ;^^ Hosanna / psa. cxviii. 

ID ^in the highest.^^ And when he was come into Jerusalem, all ^Lukeii. 14 
II the city was moved,^^ saying, Who is this.^ And the n^ul- * ver^^|6'^ 
titude ^" said, This is Jesus * the prophet of ^^ • Nazareth of Gal- V^S^^ \!\y\ 
ilee *''• '^•' '^• 

**^^' 14 ; vii. 401 

ix. 17. 

• Jesus sent * insert that is * any one « See chap ii. 

• Now this hath come to pass ' insert upon ** appointed ^^' 

• garments " ^g sat ^^ most of the 
*' omit down " spread them ^* insert him 
" substitute (!) " stirred '• multitudes 
^^ the prophet, Jesus, from 

Chronology. The date of the public entry His death. A remarkable contrast to the proces- 
into Jerusalem (narrated by all four Evangelists) sion to Golgotha (Luke xviii. 26 ff.), both strictly 
was Sunday, the lotA a/ tie month Nisan, We in keeping with the purpose of His mission, *to 
hold that our Lord ate the Passover at the usual give His life a ransom for many.' 
time (see on chap. xxvL 17), and was crucified on Ver. i. Bethphage ('house of figs'). Mark 
Friday. Reckomng back from this date, we infer and Luke add : * and Bethany ' (* house of dates *). 
that He left Tericho on Friday, the 8th of Nisan, The two places were probably near each other, 
reached Bethany the next day ('six days before but of the former no trace remains. Bethphage 
the passover ;* John xiL i). On the evening of was probably nearer to Jerusalem. Some sup- 
that day, after the Sabbath had ended, the anomt- pose that Bethany lay off the road from Jericho 
ing by Mary in the house of Simon the leper to Jerusalem, and our Lord having turned aside 
took place (see John xii. 2). On the reasons for to visit it, now returned to Bethphage on the di • 
preferring this date, see on chap. xxvi. ; comp. rect route. — The mount of Olivea. This lay be- 
Mark xiv. 3-0. Johii explicitly says (xii. 12) that tween Bethphage and Jerusalem, about *a Sab- 
the entry took place * the next day.* The date is bath day's journey' from the city (Acts i. 12). 
significant, for on the loth of Nisan the Paschal There were three roads to the city, a winding 
lamb was selected (Exod. xii. 3), being kept until northern one, a steep footpath directly over the 
the 14th. summit, and a southern road, usually taken by 

This public entry was intentional, not acci- horsemen and caravans. The usual opinion has 

dental, nor caused by the zeal of His followers, selected the middle road as that taken by our 

as is evident from all the details, from the proph- Lord on this occasion, but the view that He 

ccy cited, and from the reply to the Pharisees passed over the southern or main road, accords 

(Luke xix. 40 : 'If these should hold their peace best with the various accounts of the procession 

the stones would immediately cry out '). It pre- and its incidents. See on Luke xix. 41. The 

pared the way for His sufferings by a public hill is about seven hundred feet high, overlooking 

avowal of His mission, was a temporary assump- every part of Jerusalem, which lies west of it, 

tion of His rightful royal prerogative, to hasten separated from it by the valley of the Kidron 

a decision in Jerusalem. A merciful measure to (* brook Cedron,* John xviii. i ). The Garden of 

believing hearts, one of judgment to His enemies. Gethsemane is on the west side of the Mount 

A glimpse of glorv given to men, but only in- The temple was in the foreground as one looked 

creasing the hatrea of the rulers, and hastening down on the city from this elevation. — Then 



Chap. XXI. i-ii.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. l6g 

Jeiixs sent two dlBoiples. Their names are not with the owners, which was virtually predicted by 

given. * The sending of the two disciples proves our Lord. 

the deliberate intention of Jesus to give a certain Ver. 7. Put on them their gannents. Upper 

solemnity to this scene. Till then He had with- garments, to serve as a saddle. — And he tat 

drawn from popular expressions of homage ; but tiiereon, lit., ' on them,' the animals, not the 

once at least He wished to show Himself as King clothes. He rode on the colt (Mark and Luke), 

Messiah to His people. It was a last call ad- but the plural here is justified by the usage of 

dressed by Him to the population of Jerusalem, the Greek language. It suggests moreover that 

This course, besides, could no longer compromise this unbroken colt remained quiet because the 

His work. He knew that in any case death mother was with it, thus affording an incidental 

awaited Him in the capital.' (Godet.) evidence of truthfulness. Some suppose that the 

Ver. 2. Into the villaffe. Bethphage ; not mother represents the Old Theocracy running 

Bethany, from which He had just come. — An idly by the side of the young Church, but this 

au tieo, and a colt with her. More particular analogy is forced, since the mother went along to 

than Mark and Luke, who mention only the colt, keep the colt quiet. 

The more literal fulfilment of the prophecy is Ver. 8. Most of the mnltitode. Some (proba- 

thus shown. The unbroken animal would be bly the greater number, as it would seem from 

quieter if the mother was with him. — Loose ver. 1 1 ) had come from Galilee and accompanied 

uiem. This act was to be significant of Chrisl^s the Lord from Jericho, others had come out from 

royal prerogative. Yet in His exercise of power Jerusalem (Jonn xii, 12), now crowded on ac- 

the willingness of men concurs. count of the Passover. * It is probable that most 

Ver. 3. If any one say anght, etc. t'robably of the latter were pilgrims, not inhabitants of the 
a prediction, as well as a measure of prudence, city, and are spoken of by John as * people that 
Both Mark and Luke give it in substance. — The were come to the feast," The priests, and scribes. 
Lord hath need of them. The tone is still royal, and Pharisees, stood as angry or contemptuous 
whether * the Lord * here means ' Jehovah,' or spectators, and not only reused to join m the 
simply 'the Master.' In the former case the rejoicings and hosannas, but bade nim rebuke 
animals would be claimed for religious purposes^ His disciples^ and command them to be silent 
by Divine authority; in the latter for the well- (Luke xix. 39).* Andrews. — Spread their gar- 
known prophet. The two meanings coincided in ments. ' Oriental mark of honor at the reception 
our Lord's intention, whatever the owner would of kings, on their entrance into cities : 2 Kings 
understand. ix. 13." (Lange.) — Others cnt branches. For 

Ver. 4. Now this hath come to pass. Of this the same purpose. Probably palm branches 

Divine purpose the disciples had no idea at the (John xii. 13); significant of joy and victory, 

tsne (John xii. 16). Lange : * The occasion and Ver. 9. And the mnltitndes that went oefore 

need of the moment was the obvious motive, him, etc In responsive chorus. Such * antiph- 

But to the Spirit of God these historical occa- onies * were common in Jewish worship, especially 

sions were arranged coincidences with the pro- in the recitation of the Psalms. Those going be- 

phetical word. Christ was in need of the foal fore had probably come from Jerusalem to meet 

of the ass, inasmuch as He could not make His Him. Stanley : * Two vast streams of people 

entrance on foot in the midst of a festal process met on that day. The one poured out from the 

sion. He must not be lost in the crowd ; it city, and, as they came through the gardens 

was necessary that He should take a prominent whose clusters of palm rose on the southeast- 

{>osition, ana appear preeminent. But if He em comer of Olivet, they cut down the long 
)ecame conspicuous, it must be in the most branches, as was their wont at the feast of Taber- 
humble and peaceable fashion : hence the choice nacles, and moved upward toward Bethany with 
of the ass. The dignity of the procession re- loud shouts of welcome. From Bethany streamed 
quired the ass's colt, and this made the history forth the crowds who had assembled there the 
all the more symbolical. But it could not be previous night. The road soon loses si^ht of 
concealed from the Spirit of Christ that here Bethany. .... The two streams met midwav. 
again the plain historical necessity coincided with Half ot the vast mass, turning round preceded ; 
the symbolically significant fulfilment of a pro- the other half followed. Gradually the long pro- 
phetical word.* Matthew was present, but only cession swept up over the ridge where first be- 
when afterwards inspired did he know what it gins " the aescent of the Mount of Olives " to- 
meant, ward Jerusalem. At this point the first view is 
Ver. 5. Tell ye the daughter of Zion. From caught of the southeastern comer of the city. 
Is. Ixii. II. — Behold thy king oometh, etc. The temple and the more northem portions are 
From Zech. ix. 9. Both prophecies were referred hid by the slope of Olivet on the right ; what is 

to the Messiah by the Jews. Our Lord was to seen is only Mount Zion It was at this 

enter Jerusalem in a prominent position, not lost precise pomt (may it not have been from the 
in the crowd thronging to the Passover feast ; sight thus opening upon them ?) that the shout of 
He chooses to ride upon the foal of an ass, not tnumph burst forth from the multitude i " Ho- 
on a horse, the symbol of pride. But He thus ful- sanna to the Son of David ! Blessed is He that 
filled a prophetic announcement, in which the cometh in the name of the Lord I " A few mo- 
Messiah is represented as the king entering Jeru- ments and the path mounts again ; it climbs a 
salem, and yet as lowly, the meekness symbol- rugged ascent ; it reaches a led^e of smooth 
ized by llis riding upon an ass's colt The Fa- rock, and in an instant the whole city bursts into 
ihers allegorized the incident, regarding the colt view.' Here He * wept over it' — Eosanna. 
as a symbol of the Gentiles, untamed and unclean The Greek form of a Hebrew word found in 
before Christ sat upon them and sanctified them, Ps. cxviii. 25, meaning : * Save now,' or * give thy 
the mother representing Judaism under the yoke salvation.' Used as a congratulatory expression, 
of the law. here applied in the highest sense to the Messiah : 
Ver. 6. Mark and Luke tell of the dialogue the Bon of David. — Blesied is he that oometh. 



I70 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXI. 12-22. 

2tc. The greeting to the pilgrims at their en- this occurrence. The question indicates a discus- 
trance to Jerusalem on festival occasions (Ps. sion of His character rather than ignorance of 
cxviii. 26), and a part of the Passover hymn (Ps. His person. The effect on the Pharisees is men- 
cxv.-C3cviii.) — HOMUina in the higheit, i. e.. May tioned in Luke xix. 39, 40 ; John xii. 19. 
our Hosanna be ratified in heaven. Other ex- Ver. 11. The prophet Jesus from Naiarethof 
clamations are mentioned by Mark and Luke, Oalilee. The Galileans may have spoken of him 
since in such a multitude thev would differ. The with some pride as a well known prophet, but 
crowd with enthusiasm thus nail Him as the Mes- they do not now declare that He is the Messiah, 
siah, probablv cherishing political hopes. The question * who is this ? ' may have dampened 
Ver. 10. All the dty was moved. Excited by their enthusiasm. 



Chapter XXI. 12-22. 
The Cleansing of the Temple and the Curse of the Barren Fig Tree. 



12 ** A ND Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all ".^ts^LvKi 

.^^^ them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew 
the tables of the * money changers, and the seats of them that b comp. ex. 

XXX* I % • 

13 sold^doves,^ And said ^ unto them, It is written, ** My house ^ Lev. i.14; 

V 7; xii. 8 

shall be called the^ house of prayer: but 'ye have made* it a ^;sA.ivi 7. 

*•''•' rf JBR. VII. II 

14 den of thieves.^ And the blind and the lame came to him ^ in 

15 the temple ; and he healed them. And^ when the chief priests 
and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the chil- 
dren® crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of 

16 David ; they were sore displeased, And said unto him, Hearest 
thou what these say ? ® And Jesus saith unto them. Yea ; 

have ^^ ye never read, -^ Out of the mouth of ^ babes and suck- ^ ehV'xi '5 

17 lings thou hast perfected ^^ praise.? And he left them, and 

* went ^ out of the city into * Bethany : and he lodged ^^ there. * chlp^ t^ 

18 *Now in the morning, as he returned into ^* the city, he hun- \'l i^'izT 

19 gered. And when he saw a ^ fig tree in the way,^^ he came to 29" «iV5o; 
it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said ^ unto is; xii. 1 * 
it. Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward ^^ for ever. 'And '2-m. 

^ , / Mark XI. 

20 presently ^® the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples 20-24 
saw //, they marvelled, saying. How soon is the fig tree ^^ with- 

2 1 ered away ! Jesus ^ answered and said unto them, "* Verily I say ^ ^^^^ ^^.j. 
unto you. If ye have faith, and "doubt not, ye shall not only do « Rom.iv.20; 
this whieh is done ^^ to the fig tree, but also if 22 ye shall say J** » ^ 
unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast ^ into 

22 the sea ; it shall be done. And ^ all things, whatsoever ye shall o see chap. 
ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. ^" ' 

* the doves * he saith 'a * make * robbers 

* And there came unto him blind and lame ^ But 

* insert that were • are saying ? ><> did *^ prepared 
" went forth " Bethany, and lodged " was returning to 

" a single " by the way side 

" No more shall there be fruit from thee ^^ immediately 

*• How immediately the fig tree is ^ And Jesus 

** what is dom *^ even if ^ taken and cast 



Chap. XXI. 12-22.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 171 

Contents. The cleansing of the temple and place of Jehovah ; a figure of the human form ; 

the ciu^ing of the barren fig tree were closely a symbol of heaven ; a n^ure of the Jewish theoc- 

connected. According to the fuller account of racy. But its highest significance was as a type 

Mark, on the day of His triumphal entry our of the body of Christ (John ii. 21). In this view 

Lord looked rouna about the temple, passed out it was none the less the dwelling-place of Jeho* 

to Bethany and lodged there. The next day vah. 

(Monday), on His way to Jerusalem, He pro- TYi^ court 0/ the Gentiles^ the scene of the in- 
nounced the curse on the barren fig tree, after- cident we are about to consider, did not exist in 
wards cleansing the temple. The discourse about the first or second temple. Owing to the ad- 
the fig tree took place the next morning (Tues- vancement of proselytism and the fact that de- 
day). The order of Matthew, in accordance with vout Gentiles (' proselytes of the gate ') brought 
his habit and purpose, points out more emphat- gifts to the temple, it grew in importance. — See 
ically the unbelief of the chief priests and scribes the Bible Dictionaries, 
(ver. 15), as represented by the fig tree. Ver. 12. Axid Jeini went into the temple of 

The Temple was built on Mount Moriah, the God. On the day of His entry. He had entered it 
top of which was enlarged by building walls from and 'looked round ' (Mark xi. ii), as if to take 
the valley (of Jehosapnat) and filling in. The formal possession of it This entrance was on 
first edifice was erected by Solomon, in seven Monday to purify it ; on Tuesday He took final 
years (B. C. 1005), destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar leave of it (chap. xxiv. 1). This was a fulfilment 
(B. C. 584). The second by Zerubbabel, seventy of the prophecy of Haggai (ii. 9) : ' The glory of 
years afterwards, on the same site. It was in- this latter house shall be greater than of the 
tenor to the first, not in size but in magnificence ; former.' — Cait ont, from the court of the Gen- 
the ark had been burnt with the first temple, and tiles. — Bold and bought. A market was held 
the Shekinah (or visible Glory) did not return, there, for the sale of animals and those things 
(Its real return was the visit of Christ) This necessary for the temple service. Not the less a 
building was freouently desolated and profaned, desecration because so great a convenience. — 
last of all by the Romans under Herod the Great, Monej changexe. The temple tribute must be 
who, to gain favor with the Jews, afterwards re- paid in Jewish coin (Exod. xxx. 13), while Roman 
stored it and rendered it more magnificent in money was at that time the currency of Palestine; 
some respects than before. ^ The word * temple ' The agents for collecting this tribute (chap. xviL 
was applied to the whole inclosure, which was 24) probably found it more convenient to ex- 
square in form. Inside its high wall were the change money at Jerusalem, and may have them- 
'porches,' or covered walks. Of these there selves been the ' money changers.' — The seats, or 
were two rows ; on the south side three. Solo- ' stands.' — The doves. Needed for offerings by 
mon's porch was on the east side towards the the poor and at the purification of women. — No 
Mount of Olives, and so was the * Beautiful resistance seems to have been offered. The traf- 
Gate,' a magnificent entrance to the inclosure, fickers were doubtless awed by the superhuman 
directly facing the entrance to the temple proper, authority and dignity of our Lord. 
A second wall within the first divided the more Ver. 13. It u written. The first clause is 
sacred part of the inclosure from that into which from Is. Ivi. 7 ; the second from Ter. viL 7. -^ 
Gentiles might enter : hence the outer court was Te make it a den of robben. What thev did 
called the court of the Gentiles, This was largest here was a sign of the general venality ana cor- 
on the south side. The more sacred inclosure ruption, a desecration of a place of worship for 
was an oblong square ; the part nearest the purposes of gain, ill-gotten often enough. Isaiah 
Beautiful Gate was called the court of the women, adds, 'for all nations ' (which Mark retains), al- 
and here the Jews commonly worshipped. On luding to the extension of God's blessings to the 
the western side of this court was a nigh wall, Gentiles. This driving of bargains in the place 
beyond this the court of the Israelites, entered where the Gentiles could come and pray, ¥ras a 
after an ascent of fifteen steps by the Gate Nica- robbery, a contemptuous disregard of the rights 
HOT, All around this court were rooms for the and privileges of the Gentiles. — At the begin- 
use of the Levites, and within it, separated from ning of His ministry (at the first Passover) our 
it by a low wall, was the court of the priests. At Lord had performed a similar cleansing, narrated 
the eastern end of this court stood the altar of by John (li. 13-17). Such a cleansing was ap- 
bumt offering and the lavcr, and here the daily propriate both at the beginning and the close of 
service of the temple was performed. Within Christ's ministry. In the first case it was more 
this court was the temple itself. In front of it the act of a reformer ; here it assumes a Mes- 
was an elevated porch, and by the entrance, on sianic character. In both we find power, holy 
the east side, stocxi the pillars Jachin and Boaz. zeal for the honor of the Lord of the temple ; 
The I/oly place, a room sixty feet long and thirty hence an outbreak of passion is inconceivable, 
broad, contained the golden candlestick, the table Ver. 14. Blind and lame. 'A house of prayer * 
of shew-bread and the altar of incense. Beyond becomes a house of mercy. The making it ' a 
this was the I/oly of Holies, a square apartment, den of robbers ' was unmerciful, 
separated from the Holy Place by a costly veil. Ver. 15. Wondeifnl things. Including all His 
Into this the High Priest entered once a year doings, especially this driving out of the traders. 
White marble was the material chiefly used in — And the ebUdren that were eryingin thetem- 
the whole structure, and gold and silver plating nle. The Hosannas of the day of entry were 
was frequent in the more sacred parts of the kept up by the children, probaoly only by the 
edifice. Elevated as it was, and dazzling to the children. 

eye, as one came over ' the mountains of Jeru- Ver. 16. Heareit tlum what theee are saying 1 

salem,' it could not fail to produce a powerful They seem to complain that children express a 

impression. Designed to convey a spiritual les- religious sentiment, and contemptuously hint that 

son, it too often only awakened pride. It has only children call Him Messiah. Bigotry can al- 

been regarded as the symbol of the dwelling- ways find some trifle on which to ground its ob- 



172 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXI. 12-461 

jections. — Bid ye nerer readi A pointed rebuke, thee, etc Peter (Mark xi. 21) calls this a curs- 

for He quotes from the Book it was their busi- ing of the tree, /. ^., a condemning to destruction, 

ness to read. — Out of the month of babes, etc A miracle of punishment, both a parable and 

From Ps. viii. 2, which speaks of the great God prophecy in action : a * parable,' teaching that 

being glorified by His insignificant creatures, al- false professors will be judged ; a * prophecy * in 

though we find m it a typical reference to the its particular application to the Jews. There is 

Messiah. Lange : I. The praise of the Messiah no evidence that this affected private property. 

is the praise of God. 2. The praise of children The miracle is a proof of goodness and severity. 

is a praise which God Himself has prepared for (In the Old Testament the fig tree appears as a 

Himself, the miraculous energy of His Spirit, symbol of evil.) — And immediately tiie fig tree 

LThe scribes might fill up the rest : Thou withered away. On Tuesday morning it was 

t prepared praise — *on account 0/ Thine ad' found to be 'dried up from the roots' (Mark xi. 

versarics to bring to silence the enemy and the ac- 20). The application to the Jewish people is un- 

tuser, mistakable. Both the actual desolation of the 

Ver. 17. And he left them, etc On Monday land and the judgment on the people are pre- 

evening (see Introductory note). — Bethany was figured. The curse was for falsehood as well as 

His stronghold. barrenness. The true fruit of any people before 

Ver. 18. Now in the morning. On Monday the Incarnation would have been to own that 

momine. To give point to the incident, Matthew they had no fruit, that without Christ thev could 

unites Uie two morning walks from Bethany (on do nothing. The Gentiles owned this ; out the 

Monday and J'uesday). — He hungered. An ac- Jews boasted of their law, temple, worship, cere- 

tual physical want ; it may have iJen occasioned monies, prerogatives, and good works, thus re- 

by His leaving Bethany very early in His zeal to sembling the fig tree with pretensions, deceitful 

purify the temple where He had seen the abuses leaves without fruit Their condemnation was, 

as He looked about on the previous evening, not that they were sick, but that, being sick, they 

Human want and Divine power are exhibited counted themselves whole (condensed from 

simultaneously. On Sunday* He entered Jeru- Trench and Witsius). 

salem amid nosannas, on Monday in hunger. Ver. 21. If ye have faith. Com p. chap. xvii. 

This hunger may symbolize His longings for 20 ; l^Iark xi. 22. Such faith also could perhaps 

some better fruit from His chosen people. exist only in Christ Himself, but as it was ap- 

Ver. 19. A single (lit, 'one') fig tree. A sol- proximated by the disciples their power would 

itary one. — By the way side, where it was cus- correspond. — To this mountain. Either the 

tomary to plant such trees, as the dust was Mount of Olives, the size and exceeding difficulty 

thougnt to help the productiveness. — But leaves being thus emphasized, or the mount on whicn 

ally. Mark adds : * for the time of figs was not the temple stood. The latter reference suggests 

yet.* The usual explanation is that the fruit of that they in their faith should bring about the 

the fig tree precedes the leaf, hence it promised destruction of the Jewish theocracy. Punitive 

fruit A recent traveller in Palestine (T. W. power is sjjoken of; hence the faith required 

Chambers) says this is not the case, and gives the forbids arbitrariness and aho an unforgiving 

following explanation :* The tree bears two crops, spirit (com p. Mark xi. 25, 26, where the latter 

an early ripe fig which is crude and without flavor thought is brought out). This promise has a 

and valueless, and a later fig which is full of spiritual application to all believers, but gives no 

sweetness and flavor, and highly esteemed. All encouragement to fanatical attempts at working 

trees bear the first, only good ones have the sec- miracles. 

ond. Now the tree our Lord saw iiad not the Ver. 22. And all things, etc. Mark: 'there- 
second, for the time of that had not yet come, fore,' showing that the primary application, so 
but it had not even the first, for it had nothing far as miraculous power is concerned, was to the 
but leaves, and the lack of the first was sure evi- Twelve. As applied to all Christians, it is of 
dence that the second would also be wanting.* course confined to prayers of faith (vers. 21 and 
The solitary tree was a figure of Israel set by it- 22), implying agreement with the will of God, 
self ; the leaves represented the hypocritical pre- and excluding the abuse of this promise. Christ 
tensions to sanctity, the barrenness the lack of defines believing and effective prayer to be 
real holiness. Applicable to false professors in prayer in His name (John xiv. 13 ; xv. 16; xvi. 
every age. — Ko more shall there be fmit from 24). 



Chapter XXI. 23-46. 
The Attack of the High Priests and Elders, our Lord's Victorious Reply, 

23 * A ND when he was come into the temple, the chief priests " ^^J'^^'f *•• 

-^jL and the elders of the people came unto him as he was \l^^ ^^' * 
teaching, and said, *By what authority doest thou these things > ^ -i^^P' ^"""^ 

24 and who gave thee this authority } And Jesus answered and 
said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell 
me, I in like wise ^ will tell you by what authority I do these 

^ I also 



Chap. XXI. 23-46.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 173 

25 things. The baptism of John, whence was it ? from heaven, or 
of 2 men ? And they reasoned with ^ themselves, saying. If we 
shall say. From heaven ; he will say unto us. Why did ye not 

26 then believe him > But if we shall say, Of ^ men ; ^ we fear the c ver. 46; 

27 people ;* for all hold John as ^'a prophet. And they answered rfsST'^SaJl 
Jesus, and said. We cannot tell.^ And he ® said unto them, *** * 

28 Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. • But # See chap, 
what think ye ? A certain'^ man had two sons ; and he came to 

the first, and said, Son,® go work to-day in my® -^vineyard. /vcr 33; 

29 He ^® answered and said, I will not ; but afterward he ^ re- ^ ver 3"' *' 

30 pented, and went. And he came to the second, and said like- 3 ; « cor! 
wise. And he answered and said, I go}^ sir ; and went not. Hcbvii ai! 

3 1 Whether of them ^ twain did the will of his father } They say 
unto him,^^ The first. Jesus saith unto them. Verily I say unto 

you, That * the publicans and • the harlots go into the kingdom * ^'"^« ^» 

32 of God before you.^** For John came unto you *in the way of * It^*"^** *' 
righteousness, and ye believed him not ; but ^ the publicans and ^^!^\^^ 
the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen iV, ^re- 'L"^**" '* 
pented not ^^ afterward, that ye might believe him. 

33 Hear another parable: '"There was a certain householder, '*,-,jrLuKi 
which ^® planted " a vineyard, and * hedged it round about,^^ and «?^ kSLs; 
« digged a wine-press in it, and *^ built a tower, and ** let it out y\r\l'^'^ 

34 to husbandmen, and ^ went into a far ^® country: And when the / cini.'vui 
time ^® of the fruit ^ drew near, he sent his servants to the hus- q chap. »v 

35 bandmen, ''that they might ^i receive the fruits of it.^^ And the comp/Luke 
husbandmen took his servants, and 'beat one, and ' killed an-'-^nt- viii. 

36 other, and "stoned another. Again, •'he sent other servants '««*>•» 36; 

37 more than the first : and they did unto them likewise.^ But ^ gSi'^jdi! 
last of all^ he sent unto them his son, saying, They will rever- Jy'^'xh^. 

38 ence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they riaV***"*^ 
said among themselves, ^ This is the heir ; come, let us kill * l^' "*^' 

39 him, and let us seize on ^ his inheritance. And they caught » " °"'^ "«• 
him, and 'cast him^ out of the vineyard, and slew Aim, xutb,^'*' 

4.0 When the lord therefore ^ of the vineyard cometh,® what will 
41 he do unto those husbandmen.^ They say unto him. He will 

miserably destroy those wicked*^ men, and*' will let out Ais^ x^iijH^ ^ 

XJtVllia SS * 

vineyard unto other husbandmen, which ^^ shall render him the oimp. chip 



XIU. 
12. 



viii. II, la. 



* from • among * multitude 

' We know not * He also ' omtf certain * Child 

» the 10 And he " wt7/j^o " the 

'* oMtf unto him " before you into the kingdom of God 

'* when ye saw it, did not even repent 

*® a man //ta/ was a householder who " set a hed^e about it 

" another ^* season *> fruits ** to 

^^ his fruits '•* (Jealt with them in like manner " afterward 

^ and keep ^ tooly ^ cast him forth 

** therefore the lord ** snail come ^ miserable •* who 



174 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXI. 23-46 

42 fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never 

read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, * ^l^zrAcl 
the same is become® the head of the corner : this is the Lord's j-^*^'' * ^*'^' 

43 doing,®* and it is marvellous in our eyes i Therefore say I unto 
you, ^ The kingdom of God shall be taken ^ from you, and 

44 given ^ to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And 

* whosoever shall fall * on this stone shall be broken : but on " ,^5: 7' i4{: 

45 whomsoever it shall fall, * it will grind him to powder.^ And s Am^ ix. 9. 
when the chief priests and* Pharisees had® heard his parables, ^ Mark «. 18; 

46 they perceived that he spake of them. But^ ^'when they i'j.^^john"' 
sought to lay hands *^ on him, they ** feared the multitude,*^ be- ^ ver^uVi 
cause ** they took him for a prophet. 

•^ was made ■• or this head of the corner was from the Lord 

•* taken away '* shall be eiven ••he that falleth 

^ scatter him as chaff •* and the ^ omit had 

*o And *' hold *« multitudes « since 



se« 
ver. 26. 



Time. Tuesday^ in the temple, after the dis- their (questioning. Such a defeat increased their 

course about the n^ tree. The events recorded opposition. 

in chaps, xxii., xxiii., took place on the same Ver. 2S. But what think ye. Peculiar to 

day ; tne discourse in chaps, xxiv., xxvi., was de- Matthew. This parable assumes the conceal- 

livered in the evening as our Lord returned from ment and falsity of their real opinion. Spoken 

Jerusalem to Bethany (on the Mount of Olives), in love, as an mvitation and warning, it led to 

Contents. The assault of the high priests greater enmity. — Two soni. The two classes 

Quickly repelled by the question about the Bap- represented are mentioned in ver. 3. — Child. Af- 

tist (vers. 23-27) : two parables directed against fectionate address. — Go work to-day in the vine- 

them (vers. 28-32; 33-44); their continued hos- yazd. God asks His people to labor every day 

tility (vers. 45, 46). A third parable (chap, xxii m the work He appoints to them, but a special 

I-14), which might be included in this section, work is here meant, namely, ' belief ; * see ver. 

b placed by itself, because peculiar to Matthew 32 ; comp. John vi. 29 : ' This is the work of 

and probably uttered later (see vers. 45, 46). God, that ye believe on Him, whom He hath 

Ver. 23. Into the temple, probably the ' court sent.' 

of the Israelites.' — The ehief piiotts and the Ver. 29. Bepented, ' changed his mind ; ' the 

elden of the people. Mark and Luke add : ' the application refers to genuine repentance, 

scribes.' Perhaps a formal delegation from the Ver. 30. I will go, lir. I, in contrast with this 

Sanhedrin. — By what anthority doett thon these one who refiises ; an expression of pride. The 

thiagil Referring both to His teaching there, answer was hypocritical, since it is not added 

and to His cleansmg of the temple on the pre- that he changed his mind, but simply went not. 

vious day. lliey were the proper persons to Ver. 31. The pnhlieans were already entering, 

challenge His authority. — tsA who gave thee, having listened to John's preaching of repent- 

etc. ' Even if you assume to be a prophet, who ance, and being disposed to follow Christ. — Go 

sent you ? ' A hint at the old charge of Satanic before yon. This does not imply that the rulers 

power. would follow ; though it invites them to do so. 

Ver. 24. I also, etc. Our Lord places His Ver. 32. In the way of righteousness. In the 

authority and that of John together. If they way of repentance, turning to that righteousness 

were incompetent to decide in the one case, they of life (which the Pharisees professed to esteem); 

were in the other. The opportunity to dedde perhaps with an allusion to Christ Himself as 

aright was given them, but they refused it the Way (John xiv. 6). — Did not even repent 

Ver. 25. The baptlim of John. As represent- afterwaxd. Even after seeing the repentance of 
ing his wnole ministry. — And they reasoned, con- these cla.sses, you did not profit by it Remark- 
suited, so as to agree upon the answer. able cases of conversion are designed to be 

Ver. 26. From men. This they evidently be- means of influencing others. — In the parable 

lieved. — We fear the mnltitnde. Demagogues the refusing yet repenting son is put first oecause 

who lead ' the multitude ' astray ' fear the multi- it suited the application to the publicans who 

tude.' * went before.' In the more general application 

Ver. 27. We know not. A falsehood ; as there is no such priority. The proud and hypo- 

vers. 25, 26, show. — Neither tell I you, etc critical arc always harder to influence than open 

Christ answers their thought : we wUl not tell, sinners. 

This refusal is similar to that made when a si^ Ver. 33. Hear another parable. Spoken to the 

from heaven was demanded (chap. xii. 38 ft), chief pnests and elders, so embittered by the re- 

The answer assumes their proven and confessed suit of their attack. This parable points out 

incompetency to decide on the authority of a the crime to which their enmity was leading 

prophet, and consequently His superiority to them, though still spoken in love. 'I have not 



Chap. XXI. 23-46.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



'75 



done wilh you yel ; t have still another word of emphasiied. — Bigg«d ■ wine-prtu. Mark : 

warning and icbulte' (Trench). — Tb«n wu ft 'digged a pit tor the wine-press.' The Conner 

man that wu a haoiehaldaT, or as in chap. xx. 1 : was a receptacle into which the juice Sowed, and 

a human householder. — Plantod a Tlnayaid ; the where it was kept cool ; the latter, the place 

most valuable plantation, but requiring the moit where the grapes were trodden ouL Thia seemi 

constant labor and care ; an apt figure of the to be added to complete the description. Some 

theocracy (Is. v. 1-7, iiL 14 ; Cant. li. 15), here suppose it represents the altar of the Old Tuta- 

representing the Jewish people, as the GltfTesta- ment economy, others the prophetic inHtitution. 

ment kingdom of God. A secondary application — Bnilt a tovsr. For the watchman who piarded 

to the eilemil Church in later limes is required the vineyard against depredations. In the time 

by ver. 43, where the vineyard (' the kingdom of of the vintage, used for recreation, no doubt, as 

God ') is represented as passing over to others, in European countries. Such towers are still 

~ ' a Iwdgs abant it. Probably a hedge of common in the East, and are of considerable 

-— ^'- " '■-''—' .tedHis heigl ■ ■ ■ 



thorns, possibly a wait. God had separai 



leight. A shed or scaHold a 









. , , imp. Eph. made by God for the protection and prosperity 

14I and by external marks of distmction. of His people, especially the Old Testament 
"orship and care are plainly Church. — Lat it ont to nn' ' ' '' 




[or a part of the fruit, as is indicated by com- 
|)arine ver. 34 ('his fruits') with Luke xx. 10 
(> of (he fruit of the vineyard '). The parable of 
the laborers also (chap. xx. t-16) introduces the 
idea of reward. It has pleased God that in His 
kingdom of grair^ laborers should receive a re- 
ward, 'of grace' (comi>. i Cor. iii. 8; i Tim. 
t). 6). The ' husbandmen ' represent the rulers 
of the Jews (ver. 45), but the people as individ- 
uals ire included (ver. 43)- The vineyard is the 
people as a chosen nation. — And vant iBtO tn- 
othar oonntiy, not ' far country.' there being no 
reference to distance. The peculiar presence of 
God, necessary at the institution of the Theoc- 
racy (Mount Sinai, etc.], ceased, though His 
tpiritual care did not. A period of human de- 
velopment followed. The same is true, in a sec- 
ondary application, of the Church since the 



Apostolic times. Luke adds; 'for a long time,' 
and these developments require time. 

Ver. 34. The Huon of Ui« fniltt. Probably 
no definite time is here represented. God ex- 
pects fruit after such careful preparation ; His 
people, especially those in official stations, are 
responsible for the trust committed to them. — 
Hb Mnt hii MTTanta; the prophets of the Old 
Testament, calling for the fruits of righteousness 
from the Jewish people. 

Ver. 35. Took hli Mrvftstt, sad bMt ow, etc. 
The maltreatment of the servants appears in the 
history of the prophets (Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah); 
comp. Neh. ix. a6 ; Mall, iiiii. 29-31, 34, 37 ; 
I Thess. ii. 15; Heb. a. 36-38] Rev. xvL 6: 
zviii. 24. God's messengers have often suHered 
since at the hands of tt^ official personages in 
the external Church. 



r;6 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXI. 23-46 



Ver. 36. Again, etc The second sending Ver. 42. The stone, etc From Ps. cxviii. 22. 

probably does not refer to any definite time, but The * Hosannas * at our Lord's entry to Jerusalem 

sets forth God's long-suffering. — In Mark's ac- were taken from the same Psalm. The original 

count the climax is the killing of a servant, here reference of the passage is doubtful, whether to 

the stoning. The former respects the actual suf- David or to Zerubbabel (Zech. iii. 8, 9 j iv. 7) ; 

fering of the servants, the latter the hostility of but it is properly applied to the Messiah. Com- 

the husbandmen. pare Is. xxviii. 16, which Peter cites in connec- 

Ver. 37. His Son. Comp. Mark xii. 6: *a tion with it (i Pet ii. 6, 7 ; comp. Rom. ix. 33). 

l)eloved son,* Luke xx. 13: *my beloved son.* — The hnilders rejected. The rulers of the Tews 

The sending of * His son,* whose superiority to the (* the husbandmen *), whose duty it was to build 

prophets is so distinctly marked, is the last and up the spiritual temple, now adaressed in rebuke 

crowning act of God's mercy ; to reject Him was and warning. — The head of the comer. The 

therefore to fill up the measure of human sin and most important foundation stone, joining two 

guilt ' The Son appears here, not in I lis char- walls. A reference to the union of Jews and 

acter of Redeemer, but in that of a preacher, — Gentiles in Christ (as in Eph. iL 19-22) may be 

a messenger demanding the fruits of the vine- included, but the main thought is, that the Mes- 

yard,' (Alford.) Hence this is the real answer siah, even if rejected by the * Duilders,' should bc- 

to their challenge of His authority (ver. 23). — come the corner-stone of the real temple of God. 

Ther will reverence my son. This implies that This involves the important idea, that the * build- 

Goa is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet ers ' would be themselves rejected : the parable 

iii. 9). left the Son dead outside of the vineyard, this 

Ver. 38. This is the heir. * Heir ' in virtue of citation, representing Him as victor and avenger 
Hi^ human nature, Heb. i. 1,2. — Keep his in- (ver. 44), points to the resurrection. — This head 
heritanee. Not * seize.* An expression of folly of the comer was from the Lord, etc. * This ' 
(in addition to the wicked resolve), as though the must grammatically refer either to ' head ' or 
death of the heir would permit them to hold the * comer.* Others understand it as * this thing,' 
possession, while the householder lived. This this exaltation of the despised one. 
assumes an unwilling conviction of the Messiah- Ver. 43. Therefore. The parable is taken up 
ship of Jesus, on the part of the rulers. Up to again. Because this word of God applies to you, 
this point the parable was History, here it be- this interpretation also applies to you. — ^The long- 
comes Prophecy. In the attempt to maintain dom of Ood shall be taken away from yon. The 
their own authority, which He had challenged, * vineyard ' means the * kingdom of God * in all 
by putting Him to death, they foolishly defied ages, not exclusively the Jewish people. — To a 
God. Some of them might have thought, if we nation hringing fortn the froits thereof. Not to 
try to kill Him, He will save himself, if He is the Gentiles as such, but to the spiritual Israel 
the Messiah (comp. the taunt during the crucifix- (con\p. i Cor. x. 18 ; Gal. iv. 29), to be consti- 
ion, chap, xxvii. 40) ; but this prophetic word tuted mainly from the Gentiles. Strikingly ful- 
should have banished that thought. filled in the first century, but secondary fulfil- 

Ver. 39. Cast him forth ont of the vineyard, ments are constantly taking place. Privilege 

This refers either to the excommunication which abused ever leads to this result 

preceded death, or to the crucifixion outside the Ver. 44. And ha that falleth on this stone, 1. e., 

gates of Jerusalem ; perhaps to both, the latter the comer-stone, Christ (ver. 42). This verse 

being a result of the former. Mark inverts the expands the clause : * He will miserably destroy 

order. — And slew him. Our Lord here recog- these miserable men,* adding the thought that 

nizes the fixed purpose of the rulers to kill Him. Christ Himself is the Judge, whose commg will 

Yet there is still love in the waming. result in a twofold punishment. — WUl he broken, 

Ver. 40. When therefore the lord, etc The ProbabI}r a reference to Is. viii. 14, 1 5. He who 

question is asked, that they may be wamed and runs against or falls over the comer-stone, mak- 

condemned out of their own mouth. Matthew is ing Christ a spiritual offence or stumbling-block 

fuller here than Mark and Luke. (comp. i Pet ii. 8), will be bmised. This is the 

Ver. 41. They say nnto him, 1. ^., the rulers, punishment of the active enemy of the passive 

Probably the people joined in the answer, as the Christ. — On whomsoever it shall fall, it will 

K arable was spoken to them also (Luke xx. 9) scatter kim as chaff . When Christ is the active 
lark and Luke seem to put these words in the Judge this utter destruction will be the full pun- 
mouth of our Lord. — He will miseraUy destroy ishment of His enemies. Repentance may inter- 
thOM miserahle men. The order and repetition vene and avert this final result There is a refer- 



of the original might be thus reproduced^ 'these ence here to Dan. ii. ^4, 35, 44, the stone in that 

prophecy being identified with that mentioned in 
ers, whether wittingly or unwittingly, condemn Ps. cxviii., Is. viii., and with Christ Himself. 



wretches will he wretchedly destroy.* The rul- 



themselves. — To other hnshandmen. An uncon- In addition to the striking fulfilment in the case 
scions prophecy, if they did not yet understand <rf the Jewish mlers, there is an obvious applica- 
the parable ; daring hypocrisy, if they did. The tion to all who oppose Christ, who take offence 
destruction of the husoandmen points to the de- at Him as the comer-stone, 
struction of Jerusalem, which is therefore the Vers. 45, 46. They now perceived, if not be- 
coming of the Lord of the vineyard (ver. 40). fore, that the parable referred to them ; their de- 
In that case the heir who was Killed becomes termination to kill Him became fixed (see Mark 
Himself *the lord of the vineyard ;* comp. what xii. 12; Luke xx. 19). Avoiding open violence 
follows with Peter*s citation of the same pas- because the multitude held him for a prophet, 
sage shortly after the day of Pentecost (Acts iii. they welcomed treachery and at last carried the 
10). multitude with them. 



Chap. XXII. 1-14.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 177 

Chapter XXII. 1-14. 

The Parable of the Marriage of the King^s Son, 

1 A ND Jesus * answered and spake unto them again by para- * ^c<**p-«*- 

2 -t\ bles, and said,^ ^ The kingdom of heaven is like ^ unto a * ^?ji^!" 

3 certain king,* which* made a marriage^ for his son, And *sent ^ ^^^^' 
forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wed- 

4 ding :^ and they would not come. Again, ^'he sent forth other </chap. xzi 
servants, saying, Tell them which * are bidden, Behold, I have 
prepared ^ my dinner : ' my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and • i*rov. iz a. 

5 all things are ready: come unto® the marriage.^ But they 
made light of iV, and went their ways, one to his ^ farm, another 

6 to his merchandise : And the remnant took ^® his servants, and 

7 entreated them spitefully ,^^ and -^ slew them. But when the king /see chap, 
heard thereof he was wroth : ^^ and he sent forth ^* his armies, 

and destroyed those murderers, and burned up^* their city. 

8 Then saith he to his servants. The wedding is ready, but they 

which ^ were bidden were not ^ worthy. Go ye therefore into ^ e chan. x. n, 

i . »?} Acts 

*the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the mar- ^^^^^^ 

10 riage.^ So ^^ those servants went out into the highways, and * j^'.*'^^^ 
gathered together all as many as they found, * both bad and , l^^ ^^ 

1 1 good : and the wedding was furnished ^" with guests. And ^ ^^ ^'* 
when the king came in to see ^^ the guests, he saw there * a * ^"p-^* „ 

12 man which* had not on a wedding garment : And he saith unto 

him, ' Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding ' ^ ,3.*^***^ 

13 garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king ^ to 

the "• servants,^^ Bind him hand and foot, and take him away,^ m see chap, 
and * cast him ^ into outer darkness ; "there shall be weeping « s«e chap. 

14 and gnashing of teeth For many are * called, but few are^**^^"- »^ 
® chosen 

^ again in parables unto them, sayine ' likened 

• a man that was a king * who • marriage-feast 

• that ^ made reaay 'to • his own 
*® rest laid hold on ** treated them shamefully 

" And the king was wroth " omit forth ^* omit up 

" insert the partings of *• And " filled ** But 

" look upon 20 the king said '^ attendants 

" omit and take him away ^ cast him out ** omit are 

Contents. Mark states (xii. 12) that, after by an exclamation of one who sat at meat with 

the parable of the wicked husbandmen the rulers Him. The one was a supper, given by a man of 

'left Him and went their way ; ' hence this para- wealth ; this a marriage feast given Dv a king; 

ble (peculiar to Matthew) was not spoken directly In the former case the infinite goodness and 

to the rulers. Ver. i, however, indicates that it ^race of the Lord is brought out, here judgment 

was aimed at their thoughts and designs. The is made prominent The two-fold invitation : I. 

parable in Luke xiv. iJ-24 (*the great supper') Preparatory (through the centuries of Jewish his- 

resembles this one which is properly called, ' the tory). 2. Peremptory, at the time of the wedding 

marriage of the king's son,' but with essential dif- (when the New Dispensation was ushered in), 

ferences. The former was delivered in Perca, The two-fold rejection : i . by indifference (ver. 

at the house of a Pharisee, and was occasioned 5), 2. by persecution (ver. 6). The two-fold pun- 
VOL L 12 



178 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXII. 1-14. 

ishment : I. on the persons ; 2. on the place of The application is, primarily, to the irreligious 

the persecutors. The invitation to the Gentiles : and careless Jewish people ; then to all such in 

I. without any preliminary (ver. 9) ; 2. universal any age. 

(vcr. 10). Tne two-fold sifting : i. through the Ver. 6. But the rest Representing the fanat- 

invitation; 2. at the feast itself (vers. 11-14). — ical rulers of the Jews, the Pharisees. — TrMited 

The excuses of indifference (ver. 5), the speech- them •hmmefolly and ilew them. Literally ful- 

lessness of self-righteous profession. — The wed- filled, in case of the Apostles and Evangelists, 

ding feast implies the offer of the wedding gar- Indifference often passes into hostility, as the 

ment more consistent attitude. 

Ver. I. Answered. See above. — Again in par- Ver. 7. He sent his annies. The Roman ar- 
ables ; not necessarily, in a number of parables, mies which destroyed Jerusalem were the uncon- 
but in parabolic discourse. scious instruments of God's (the king's) wrath. 

Ver. 2. A man that was a king. Evidently Comp. Is. x. 5 ; xiii. 5 ; Jer. xxv. 9 ; Joel ii. 25. 

God : the householder of the former parable. — — Destroyed those mnrderers. Both the indiffer- 

A marriage feast for his son. The word includes ent and hostile, alike guilty. — Burned their eity. 

any great feast, but here a marriage feast is Jerusalem is meant, no longer His^ but 'dieir 

meant, since the word * son ' must not be thrown cit>'.* The destruction precedes the invitation to 

into the background. It was Christ's marriage, the Gentiles (vers. 8-10). The final rejection of 

f. ^., with His covenant people, according to the the Jews and the substitution of the Gentiles took 

imagery of the Old Testament (Is. liv. 5 ; Ezek. place at the destruction of Jerusalem, although 

xvi. 4 ; Hos. ii. 19, 20 ; Song of Solomon through- the gospel had been proclaimed to the Gentiles 

out; comp. Ps. xlv.). See, also, in the New for forty years before. 

Testament (Eph. v. 25 ; Rev. xxi. 9:) where the Ver. 8. Hot worthy. Compare Paul's lan- 

Church is the Bride, and this marriage feast is guage to the Jews at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 

the union of Christ and His Church in glory, xiii. 46) : * judge yourselves unworthy of evcr- 

The union of the Divine and human natures of lasting life.' 

Christ underlies the other union, but is not Ver. 9. The partings of the highways. Places 

prominent here. Believers, as indi\iduals, are where streets meet, public squares, etc., in the 

suests, the Church as an ideal whole is the king's city, God's world, not Jerusalem. Some 

Bride. refer it to the outlets of country-roads, of high- 

Ver. 3. His servants. In this prophetic para- ways, in the English sense, applving it to the 

ble, not the prophets but the first messengers of going out into the distant world to invite the 

the gospel. — To eall them that were bidden. The Gentiles. In Luke xiv. 23, where 'hedges' is 

Oriental custom was to invite twice : first to the added, the latter meaning is evident. 

feast generally (' bidden '), then to the beginning Ver. la And those servants. Including all 

of the feast itself (' call '). Those ' bidden ' were gospel messengers ever since. — Both bad and 

the Jews. The second invitation was a summons good. All kinds of people, without regard to 

to expected guests, rather than an invitation, their apparent moral character. The acceptance 

The first servants, whose message was rejected, of the mvitation was (and is) the great concern 

were John the Baptist, Christ, and His disciples of the king's servants. — And the wedding was 

up to this time. filled with gnests. The Jews, by their rejection 

Ver. 4. Other servants, with a plainer mes- of the gospel, did not frustrate the grace of God. 
sage, probably the Apostles and Evangelists, as Besides the remarkable fulfilment in the early 
they proclaimed the full gospel to the Jews from Christian centuries, there is a reference to the 
the day of Pentecost. — I have made ready my Church as gathered ever since from all parts of 
dinner (not ' supper,' Luke xiv. 16). The series the world, of ' bad and good,' and containing 
of wedding feasts began with a dinner, preced- some without * a wedding garment.' 
ing the actual marriage. It refers to the begin- Ver. 11. To look npon tiie gnests. The Phar- 
ning of privileges, which culminate in * the mar- isees and all legalists think the opening of the 
riage supper of the Lamb.' Although the guests doors leads to unrighteousness, there follows 
were the subjects of the King, whom He might therefore a hint of the gospel method of right- 
constrain, He invites them even with urgency, to eousness. The coming m judgment (comp. 
become guests and friends. — My oxen and my Zeph. i. 7, 8) is represented as taking place at 
fatlings. Probably a figurative allusion to the the feast, and hence not only without terror but 
slaying of the sacrifice, as meat for the feast, an occasion of joy, for the properly clothed 
Thi^ thought of Christ as slain is necessarily in- guests. God, not man, is to finally discriminate 
eluded, when a distinctly evangelical sense is put between the guests. — Had not on a wedding gar- 
upon the phrase : all thmgs are ready. The con- ment. Each guest should and could have one. 
nection of the two clauses suggests a meaning The character of the guests (ver. 10) indicates 
which may now be profitably used in inviting to that the king himself provided the wedding 
the Lord's Supper. garments. The lesson is not that each guest 

Ver. 5. But they made Ught of it. All had should take pains to provide himself with the 
a guilty contempt for the invitation which was proper habit. The gift of the wedding garment 
manifested however in two distinct forms : Some accords far better with the Scripture doctrines of 
went away, in indifferent worldliness ; others be- grace. On the other view poverty would have 
came persecutors of the messengers (ver. 6). been a valid excuse, yet the man was ' speech- 
Many refer ' made light of it ' to tne indifferent less.' * The wedding garment ' is not faith ; that 
class alone, but the other view is more grammat- is the putting on of the garment ; it is ' right- 
ical. All modes of rejecting the gospel, even eousness,' given of God in Christ ; to be distin- 
persecution, are really making light of it. — One guished but not divided, as imputed and in- 
to his own farm. ' His own,' in a selfish spirit wrought Other views : (i.) Charity or holiness; 
— His merchandise. Worldliness is here repre- this leads to legalism bv throwing the gospel 
eented by the two leading occupations of men. basis of holiness mto the background. (2.) Christ 



Chap. XXII. 15-46.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 179 

Himself ; a less exact statement of our inter' bly to angels, as ministers of judgment. — Bind 

pretation. (5.) Baptism ; this is not justified by him hand and foot. For secure transfer to his 

the parable nor by the general tenor of Scrip- place of punishment The best authorities omit, 

ture. * and take him away ' — Oater darkneu. See chap 

Ver. 12. Friend. The word used in chap. xx. viii. 12. There the fate of *the children of the 

13, and addressed to Jfudas (chap. xxvi. 50). It kingdom ' is referred to ; here of a Gentile, who 

means ' companion,' without implying friendship, entered in, despising the King ; their punishment 

—How eamoft thon? It was a bold intrusion, is the same; their sin was the same, the sin of 

a despising of the king, to appear in his own pride. 

ordinary dress. This points to the pride of self- Ver 14. For many are ealled. A proverbial 

righteousness. Some think it indicates lawless- expression ; see chap. xx. 16. Here the applica- 

ness or hypocrisy. — He wai speeohleis. There tion is more general. The ' called ' are all those 

can be no excuse for failure to have on the wed- invited, both Jews and Gentiles. — But fewehoeen. 

ding garment, to be righteous through and in The general sense is : Few pass safely throueh 

Christ Jesus. the two stages of sifting. The one man in the 

Ver. 15. The attendants. A different word parable therefore stands for a large class. It is 

from that used before, referring not to the ' ser- implied that the guests who stand the test are 

vants ' who invited, nor to the guests, but proba- ' chosen ' by God. 



Chapter XXII. 15-46. 

TArfe Cunning Assaults overcome by our Lord; His Question^ which silences 

His Enemies, 

15 "T^HEN went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they '•j^.J^J^lum 

16 JL might entangle^ him in his talk.* And they sent out "•'o-s* 
unto 3 him their disciples with * the Herodians, saying, * Master, * JJj*,"V *• 
we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in JJJJP ^^^^ 
truth, neither carest thou for any man:^*iox thou regardest ^j*J,^y'* 

17 not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou.? 9. Jude 16 

18 Is it lawful to give tribute unto -^ Cesar, or not? But Jesus '?*p '^^ 
perceived their wickedness, and said. Why tempt ye me, ye uri " '* 

19 hypocrites } Shew me the 'tribute money. And they brought 

20 unto him ^ a penny. And he saith unto them. Whose is this ^ ^^p- 

21 image and superscription } They say unto him, Cesar's. Then 

saith he unto them, * Render therefore unto Cesar the things * ^™°* ^^ ^• 
which are Cesar's ; and unto God the things that are God's. 

22 When they had heard these wordsl* they marvelled, and Meft «Markxii.ia. 

, . ' , . k Chap«. m. 

mm, and went their way. 7; ^ t.6, 

23 The same^ day came to him the ^ * Sadduciees, ' which say® 34*;AitoiT! 

24 that there is no resurrection, and* asked him, Sa}dng, "• Master, / Acu'xxiiLa. 
Moses said, " If a man die, having no children, his brother shall 3^.? <*»!> 

25 marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there JJi^j.^. 
were with us seven brethren : and the first, when he had mar- JJV'Jfiii.^gj 
ried a wife, deceased,^^ and, having no issue,^^ left his wife unto ^ dSJt.^m* 

26 his brother : Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the * 

27 seventh. And last of all the woman died also.^ Therefore in 

28 the resurrection,^* whose wife shall she be of the seven } for 

* ensnare * in speech ■ send to 

* and carest not for any one • And when they heard it 

* On that ^ omit the • saying • resurrection : and they 
" married and deceased ** seed " omit also 

'* In the resurrection therefore 



5 ; Acts vii 
3a. 



180 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXII. 15-46. 

29 they all had her. Jesus ^* answered and said unto them, Ye do 

30 err, ^ not knowing the Scriptures, nor '' the power of God. For J Vein's. ?' 
in the resurrection they neither ' marry, nor ^ are given in mar- ^ ^^l^J^'^ 

31 riage, but are as the ^^ angels of God ^^ in heaven. But as^" xvu.27. 
touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that 

32 which was spoken unto you by God, saying, '"I am the God of ,, exod 
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob ? God 

33 is not the God "^ of the dead, but of the living. And when the 
multitude ^^ heard t/iis,^ * they were astonished at his doc- * see chap. 

. «| vii 28. 

trme.*^^ 

34 'But when^ the Pharisees had heard ^3 that he had put the ' mark xii. 

35 Sadducees to silence, they ^ were gathered together. Then^^ 

"one of them, which was^^^a lawyer, asked ///;;/ a qiicstiotiy Luke x. 25- 

36 tempting him, and saying,^^ Master, which is the great com- «' ^"'^^ ^" 
%7 mandment^in the law .? Jesus ^ said unto him, ""Thou shalt ^'- ^'5.*^^ 

•'» -^ ' 5a. XIV 3; 

love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, .^ okut vi. 

38 and with all thy mind. This is the first and great ^ command- ^7.ev. xix. 

39 ment. And the second is like unto it,^^ ^Thou shalt love thy chap.^'xtx 

40 neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang32 ''y 
*' all the law 23 and the prophets. \i 

^ *■ g Mark x.i. 

41 ' While ^ the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked JfJ^Vxx 

42 them. Saying, What think ye of ^ Christ.^ whose son is he.^ ^5.4^. 

43 They say unto him, ** The son of David. He saith unto them, « 

44 How then doth David * in spirit ^ call him Lord, saying, ^ The 'v. 2*: com^. 

■ ' , T 1 r*' 1 .^ o 2Sam. xxiu. 

Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I ?,, 

*»*■ * A SA CX- ] f 

45 make thine enemies thy footstool } ^ If David then call ^ him acu ji. 3.4, 

46 Lord, how is he his son ? ^'And no man ^ was able to answer ^ \^^^ 
him a word, ^ neither durst 2iny man from that day forth ask ^ i;"^';^*;^^ 



34« 



him any more qnesiiofis. Luke xx. 40. 

** But Jesus *** omit the *• omit of God *' omit as 

" the God *» multitudes » j^ 21 teaching 

^ omit when ^8 hearing 2* omit thev ^ And 

^^ omit which was ^ omit anci saying 

** what commandment is great ® And he ^ great and first 

•* And a second like unto it is this *"^ doth hang ^ the whole law 

•* Now while " insert the '^ in the Spirit 

•**' put thine enemies underneath thy feet '^ calleth ^ one 

Contents, The defeated and embittered The victory won on the great theological battle- 
Pharisees send the Herodians to ensnare our ground, — the doctrine of the Person of Christ 
Lord with a political Question. The reply sends Vers. 15-22. The Attack of the Young 
them away m astonishment (vers. 15-21). The Pharisees and the Herodians, attempting to 
Sadducees now appear with a flippant question, involve Him in political difficulty, 
probably intended to provoke a new conflict with Ver. 15. Then went the Phariseds. The main 
the Pharisees. The answer produces new aston- clement, no doubt, in the deputation which had 
ishment (vers. 23-33). On the final question of assailed Him. — Ensnare him in speech. This 
the Pharisees, see note on vers. 34, 35. Our Lord mode of attack was adopted in view of the com- 
now puts a question, which the Pharisees cannot plcte failure of the last attempt, and was the 
answer, and thus all His enemies arc silenced. — most artful of all. 

The three assaults, and the final victory, i. The Ver. 16. Their disciples with the Herodians. 

assault of cunning, a political dilemma. 2. The A political party supporting the Roman rule, 

assault of the scoffers. 3. The theological assault. These two classes were antagonistic, yet they 



Chap. XXII. 15-46.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



181 



united in opposition to Christ Luke (xx. 20) 
is more detailed in his account, calling the depu- 
tation * spies ' of the rulers. This part was prob- 
ably assigned to ' their disciples/ as young and 
unknown persons, who were accompanied by the 
Herodians. The dispute al)out tribute, however 
natural between these two classes, was made for 
the occasion. — Master, we know, etc This was 
true, but not truth fully spoken. *The devil 
never lies so foully as when he speaks the truth.' 

— Teaehest the way of Ood, i. e., the true doc- 
trine, in truth. This was certainly hypocritical, 
for both the Pharisees and Herod condemned 
this Teacher of the truth. — And carest not fox 
any one. His independence and sincerity had 
just been demonstrated, but their acknowledg- 
ment of these peculiarities was to tempt Him : 
as if one party would say. You do not care for 
the Roman authorities ; the other, You do not 
care for the authority of the Pharisees and Jew- 
ish rulers. — Thou regardest not the person of 
men. Comp. Lev. xix. 15; Jude 16; Deut xvi. 
19 ; 2 Sam. xiv. 14 ; Acts x. 34 ; James ii. 1,3, 
9; I Pet. i. 17. 

Ver. 17. I^ it lawful. According to Jewish 
law. — Tribute, the poll-tax which had been lev- 
ied since Judea became a province of Rome. — ^ 
Cesar, the Roman Emperor, at that time. Ti- 
berius. To say Yes, would alienate the people, 
who hated the Roman yoke ; to say No, would 
have given good ground for accusing Him to the 
Roman authorities. Themselves regarding * the 
person of men,* the Pharisees did not avow their 
own belief, that it was not lawful. Their motive 
now was not their usual hostility to Rome, but 
hatred of Christ. They afterwards actually ac- 
cused Him of forbidding to pay tribute (Luke 
xxiii. 2), and the chief priests, despite their Phar- 
isaism, from the same hatred of Him, cried out : 
• We have no king but Cesar* (John xix. 15). 

Ver. 18. Their wickedness. As just explained. 

— Hypocrites. They were such, both m their 
flattering address (ver. 16) and in their cunning 
question (ver. 17). Men may rightly carry their 
religious convictions into politics, and religious 
questions may become political ones ; but when 
this is the case hypocrisy flourishes. 

Ver. 19. The tribute money. The Roman coin 
in which the poll-tax was paid. Mark and Luke 
intimate that He called for a penny, /. ^., a Ro- 
man denarius. See chap. xx. 2. 

Ver. 20. Whose is this image. The likeness 
of the ruler at the date of the coin. — Superscrip- 
tion. The name, etc., on the coin. 




Roman D«nariut. 

Ver. 21. Cesar's. Imperial money was cur- 
rent among them. * Wherever anv king*s money 
is current, there that king is lora ; ' is reported 
•as a Rabbinical saying. The standard currency 
is an indication or symbol of the civil authority ; 
the right to coin has usually implied the right to 
exact tribute. — Bender therefore unto Cesar, etc 
Render to * the powers that be,* the service due 
them. Comp. Rom. xiii. 1-7. Obedience to this 
precept would have sparea Jerusalem, but the 



subtlest snare they devised for our Lord became 
their own destruction. — Unto Ood the things 
that are Ood*s. Religious duties are to be ren- 
dered to God. Possibly a hint that in denying 
Him, they denied the honor due to God, and also 
a reference to man as bearing the image of God, 
so that political and religious duties are distin- 
guished, but not divided. The Jews themselves 
were under tribute to Cesar, because they had 
not rendered God His dues. Real religion makes 
men better citizens, since it enjoins a religious 
fulfilment of political obligations. The few ex- 
ceptional cases that arise are to be decided by 
the principle of Acts v. 29. Under a free gov- 
erment, this religious fulfllmcnt of political du- 
ties is essential to preser\'e the State against 
anarchy. — This answer settles in principle, 
though not in detail, the relations of Church and 
State. Both are of Divine origin and authority : 
the one for the temporal, the other for the eternal 
welfare of men. They ought to be kept distinct 
and independent in their respective spheres, 
without mixture and confusion, and yet without 
antagonism, but rather in friendly relation in view 
of their common origin in God, and their com- 
mon end and completion in *the kingdom of 
glory * where God shall be all in all. 

Ver. 22. They marvelled. Probably both con- 
founded and impressed. 

Vers. 23-33. The Assault OF THE Sadducees. 

Ver. 23. Sadducees. See note on chap. iii. 5. 
— Sasring, the correct reading points to wnat was 
said at that time. — There is no resurreetlQn. 
Comp. Acts xxiii. 8, where their views are shown 
to include a denial of the immortality of the soul 
as well as of the resurrection of the body. They 
correspond to the Skeptics and Epicureans 
among the Greek philosophers. — ijid they 
asked him. A scofling miestion, in ridicule of 
the doctrine and of Christ Himself. This sneering 
spirit is prominent in Sadducees of every age. 
Afterwards they became earnest enough. It is 
I>ossible they hoped for an answer that mi^ht 
show sympathy with them. Errorists often thmk 
that opposition to their opponents is agreement 
with them. But truth must always oppose two 
contrary errors. In this case first the Pharisees, 
then their antagonists the Sadducees. 

Ver. 24. Hoses said. Deut. xxv. 5, freely 
quoted ; comp. the regulations added in that 
cnapter. Such a marriage was called a Levirate 
marriage. The object was to preserve families, 
a matter of great importance in the Jewish econ- 
omy. See chap. i. — Seed to his brother. The 
first-bom son would be registered as the son of 
the dead brother. 

Ver. 25. There were with us. Probably a 
purely fictitious case, notwithstanding this state- 
ment. 

Ver. 26. Unto the seventh, lit, ' the seven.' 

Ver. 28. In the resurrection, /. ^., in the state 
after the resurrection. — Whose wife shall she be 
of the seven t The point of the entangling ques- 
tion is now evident They had quoted the law 
of Moses and then given an example of obedience 
to it, to prove the absurdity of the doctrine oi 
the resurrection. Our Lord at once rebukes and 
denies their false assumption, in regard to human 
relations in the future state. 

Ver. 29. Ye do err. How, is immediately 
added. — Hot knowing the Soripturee. < In that 
ye do not understand the Scriptures,' i, e,, the 
Old Testament, which they professed to hold 



l82 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXH. 15-46 



lice from tradition. That Scripture plainly im- 
plies the resurrection. — Vor the pov«r of Ood. 
His power to raise the dead. Modem Sadducism 
usually knows the meaning of the Scriptures, but 
denies ' the power of G<xi/ in this as in many 
other things. 

Ver. 30. VeiUier many, spoken of the man ; 
nor are given in marriage, of the woman, since 
the father gave away the Bride in marriage. This 
relation is not to be reestablished in the state 
after the resurrection, because those raised up 
are aa angela in heaven. Comp. especially the 
fuller answer in Luke xx. 35, 36. There the im- 
mortality is brought out ; as there is no death 
there, there will be no birth there. Personal in- 
tercourse doubtless remains, but the Jews looked 
at marriage more in its physical relations. Equal- 
ity with angels in mode of existence is affirmed, 
but the redeemed are distinguished from them. 
This answer opposes another error of the Sad- 
ducees, a denial of the existence of angels. 

Ver. ji. But tonohing tlie rerarreotion of the 
dead. Proof that the doctrine was implied in the 
writings of Moses. Luke xx. 37 is against the view 
that our Lord only makes an authoritative state- 
ment without really basing His proof on the pas- 
sage quoted. — Spoken nnto yon hy Ood. Christ 
assumes the truth of the book of Exodus. The 
Sadducees are said to have doubted the authority 
of the prophetical books. The proof is drawn 
from the Pentateuch, which they acknowledged. 

Ver. ^2. I am the Ood of Abraham, etc. Exod. 
iiL 6. Spoken to Moses from the burning bush. 
The name given by Jehovah to Himself, setting 
forth His self -existence and eternity (Exod. ih. 
14, 15), supports the doctrine of our immortality, 
body and soul. God continues I* I am,' not * I 
was') in covenant relation to Abraham, Isaac, 
and Jacob (' the God of Abraham,' etc.). As 
these patriarchs had in their bodies the sign of 
this covenant, the body is included in whatever 
promise is involved. — Ood ii not the Ood of 
the dead, bnt of the living. This saying added 
by our Lord may be thus expanded : This per- 
sonal, living God is the God of living persons. 
He calls Himself the continuing covenant God 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacol^ therefore the 
statement of Moses involves the truth, that after 
their death Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are still 
living. This is Christ's authoritative exposition 
of the previous revelation. — The Bible treats 
man as a unit, and while it implies the separation 
of body and soul after death until the resurrec- 
tion, plainly intimates that the blessedness of the 
future state will be incomplete until body and 
soul are reunited (comp. especially Rom. viii. 1 1, 
23). Only then will we be like Christ, who has 
a glorified body (Phil. iiL 21, etc). Our Lord's 
answer (comp. Luke xx. 32 : * for all live to 
Him') may be used as an argument against the 
unconscious state of the soul between death and 
the resurrection. 

Vers. 33. The mnltitndei. The Question was 
put publicly. The Sadducees hoped for an evil 
effect on the multitudes, but they were aftoidshed, 
as they might well be, at Ui teadiinff, which 
confounded them, maintaining the authority of 
the law, yet shedding new light upon it. 

Vers. 34-40. The Last Question of the 
Pharisees. 

Ver. 34. Bnt the Pharisees hearing. Even 
their gratification at the defeat of their usual op- 
ponents, the Sadducees (Mark xiL 28 ; Luke 



39), did not diminish their enmity. Hence a re- 
newal of the assault 

Ver. 35. Then one of them, a lawyer, an ex- 
pounder of the law, 'one of the scribes' (Mark). 
Luke x. 25-37 refers to another though similar 
occurrence. — Tempting him. The statements of 
Mark (xii. 28) and Luke (xx. 39), do not indicate 
any specially hostile purpose on the part of this 
'lawyer.' Such a purpose seems to be out of 
keepmg with the hearty response of the * scribe ' 
and our Lord's commendatory words to him 
(Mark xii. 32-44). We infer that this man, an 
intelligent Pharisee, a student of the law, was 
pleased with our Lord's previous interpretation. 
But though personally better than his party, he 
was, perhaps unconsciously', their tool, in putting 
the tempting question. The great difficulty is, 
in discovering how it could be a * tempting * ques- 
tion. Explanations : (i.) Matthew classes it with 
the attacks, because it was put at that time, not 
because it was a temptation. This is contrary 
both to the Evangelist's words, and to his habits 
as a writer. (2.) The lawyer only desired, by 
this test, to have his favoraole impressions con- 
firmed. But the previous answer had fully sus- 
tained the law. (3.) The temptation lay in the 
distinction of the great and small commandments 
(see ver. 36). As this was a disputed point, any 
answer would place our Lord in opposition to 
some party. This makes the attack very weak. 
(4-) The question was designed to draw forth in 
response, the first commandment : * Thou shalt 
have no other Gods before me,* so that this might 
be used against His claim to be the Son of God« 
This design was defeated by His adding the sec- 
ond table of the law (ver. 39) as like the first : 

* As the second commandment is subordinate to 
the first, and yet like unto it, so the Son of man is 
subordinate to the Father, and yet like unto Him * 
(Lange). This explanation is most satisfactory. 
The answer thus prepares the way for His trium- 
phant counter-question (vers. 42-45). The seem- 
ingly innocent question becomes the greatest temp- 
tation. They expected by His answer, either to 
disprove His Messiahship, or to find in His own 
words a basis for the charge of blasphemy in 
makinp Himself the Son of God. This charge 
they did bring forward in the council (chap. xxvi. 
63-06], and before Pilate (John xix. 7), and it was 
probably in their thoughts when they put this 
question a few days before. 

Ver. 36. What commandment is great in the 
law 1 /. ^., the Mosaic law. Not merely greater 
than the rest, but * great,' as including the rest 
Comp. vers. 38, 40. If there was a reference to 
the disputes of the Rabbins about great and 
small commandments, the meaning would be : 

* What kind of a commandment is great in the 
law ? ' but this sense, though literally correct, does 
not suit the answer so well. 

Ver. 37. Thon ihalt love the Lord thy Ood, 
etc. Quoted from the Septuagint version of 
Deut. vi. 5. — With all thy heart, literally, * in 
all thy heart.* The whole is a demand for su- 
preme affection. If we distinguish between the 
phrases, the first refers to * the whole energy of 
the reason and the intellect ; ' tonl, * the whole en- 
ergy of sentiment and passion ; ' mind, ' the whole 
energy of thought and will in its manifestation.* 
To tnis Mark adds : * with all thy strength,' 
which refers more especially to the manifesta* 
tions of thought and will. 

Ver. 38. &is is the great and flnt command- 



Chap. XXII. 15-46.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 183 

BMZit ' Great ' as embracing all the others ; edged interpreters of the Old Testament. Our 

first ' as preceding the other table in the Deca- Lord would prove the insufficiency of their inter- 

logue. Our Lord here declares the unity of the pretation on a point which they rightly deemed 

first table of the law, its absolute greatness, of most importance. What they thought of Him, 

Hence no part of this table (the first nve com- He does not ask them. Since He has been 

mandments) can be regarded as abrogated. This abundantly proven to be ' the Christ/ the ques- 

' unqualified surrender of our whole being to God ' tion comes to us in this form, as an all-important 

is to be the aim of our strivings after holiness, one. One answer only can be correct. — Whote 

God's essential perfections and His manifested Son ii he. Not merely a genealogical question, 

grace alike demand this. as our Lord shows. — llie Son of Dayid. A com- 

Ver. 39. And a Mcond like nnto it ii this, mon title applied to the Messiah. A correct an- 

Our Lord thus exalts the second table to an swer, but mcomplete. This incompleteness is 

equality with the first God's moral law has then proven. On this one-sided view of the 

unity : though one table is * great and first,* the Messiah, as a descendant of David, the king and 

' second ' is * like unto it.' Pharisaism puts the warrior, their false political false hopes had been 

second in a lower place, thinking that seeming based. 

service of God can atone for want of charity to Ver. 4^ How then doth David in the Spirit, 

men. But supreme love to God is to manifest t\ /., by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost ; comp. 

itself in love to men. Alike binding, the two are Mark xii. 36: 'by the Holy Ghost' — Call him 

correspondent, not contradictory. The mistake Lord. Solemnly designate Him thus, implying 

of humanitarianism is making the 'second' *the superiority. 

great and first ' commandment. — Thon ihalt lore Ver. 44. The Lord (Jehovah) said to my Lord. 

tky neighbour aa thyielf. From Lev. xix. 18. From Ps. ex. i, entitled, *a Psalm of David,' 

' Man ought to love his neighbor, I. not as he probably written after the prophetic address of 

does love himself, but as he ou^A/ to love himself; Nathan, 2 Sam. vii. 12. It is quoted frequently 

2. not in the same degree, but after the same in the New Testament as referring to Christ 

manner, /. ^., freely and readily, sincerely and un- The Jews referred it to the Messiah, since no ob- 

feignedly, tenderly and compassionately, con- jection was raised at this point ' My lord ' im- 

stantly and perseveringly ' (W. Burkitt). Cases plies superiority, not only to David himself, but 

arise where man ought to love his neighbor more to his own royal race ana the people of Israel, or 

than his life, physical life, and has done so, sacri- the inquiry would not cause perplexity. — fit 

ficing it for his fellows, his country, and the thon at my right hand (the place of honor and 

church, in imitation of the example of Christ and trust and power), till I pnt tmne enemiei under- 

the martyrs. neath thy feet (until He is complete victor). 

Ver. 4a Doth hang. Like a door on its This refers to an exaltation, exceeding any at- 
hinges. The * cardinal precepts have a com- tainable by a mere man ; and to a triumph be- 
mon principle. — The whole law, /. ^., all the yond any political one. The latter thought op- 
Mosaic economy, and the prophets, the subse- poses the false hopes of the Jews, while the 
quent revelations of God. Between the law, whole passage shows the superhuman exaltation 
which they used as a snare, and the prophets, of the Messiah. 

who foretold of Christ, there was no contradic- Ver. 45. How if he his lont The solution 

tion. On the response of the scribe, see Mark is not given here ; but plainly preached bv the 

xii. 32-34. Apostles from the day of Pentecost : the Mes- 

Vers. 41-46. The Final Encounter, in which siah was Son of David according to the flesh, 

our Lord by His question respecting the Mes- yet the preexistent eternal Son of God : the 

siah, puts an end to further attempts to * ensnare God-man (comp. Rom. i. x, 4). If the Pharisees 

Him bv a word.' Mark and Luke say : ' No were i^orant of this soiution, it was their own 

man after that ' (1. f., the encounter of vers. 74- fault, since the Old Testament plainly pointed to 

40) ' durst ask Him any c^uestion,' while Mat- it. Probably they were not ignorant (The words 

thew, in accordance with his rubrical habits, re- of Caiaphas, chap. xxvi. 63, indicate knowledge 

serves this remark until after this encounter. on this point.) Our Lord's claims involved this : 

Ver. 41. Vow while the PhariMes were gath- He had been called the * Son of David ; ' He had 

ered together. Probably as they gathered after claimed to be the Son of God some time before 

the last attack. — Jeans aiked them. Fuller and (John x. 24-^8), and they afterwards accused 

more exact than Mark and Luke, who seem to Him of so aomg. They at least knew what His 

imply that the question was put concerning the solution was, and that He claimed to be both 

scribes. This probably took place while His au- • Son of David ' and * Lord.' 
dience was changing : the Pharisees were about Ver. 46. And no one was aUe, etc They left 

to withdraw, no longer daring to question Him ; Him. Pharisaical Judaism and Christ parted 

and 'the multitude' (Mark xii. 37) beginning to company forever at this point. Henceforth they 

take the vacated places. Comp. chap, xxiii. sought to kill Him by treachery. The next chap- 

which was addressed * to the multitudes ' and * to ter shows the character of those who cherished 

His disciples ' (ver. i). such hostilitv against One who claimed to be the 

Ver. 42. What thiak ye of the Christ t ' The Son of Goci, their own Messiah, and who had 

Messiah.' The Pharisees included the acknowl- proved His claims to be well grounded. 



I84 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIII. 1-39. 

Chapter XXIII. 1-39. 

Discourse against the Scribes and Pharisees , concluding with a Lamentation 

over yerusalem. 

1 ^ TPHEN spake Jesus to the multitude,^ and to his disciples, "j^J^JlJJJb 

2 X Saying, *The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' ^'g;^^/^;^ 

3 seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe,^ that ob- Neh^iui'!* 
serve and do ; ^ but do not ye after their works : ^^ for they say, ^ ,3!™ " '^ 

4 and do not. For *** they bind heavy burdens and grievous to "«"-40 
be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders ; but they themselves 

5 will not move them with one of their fingers.*^ But all their 

works they do for ^ • to be seen of men : they ^ make broad * chap vi. i, 
•^ their phylacteries, and enlarge ''the borders of their garments, /Kxod.^xiii. 

6 And *love the uppermost rooms ^ at feasts, and ' the chief seats sj "• »» 

*^* g Num. XV. 

7 in the synagogues. And ' greetings in the markets,^ and to be 38..; Dcut.^ 

8 called of men, * Rabbi, Rabbi. ^^ * But be not ye called Rabbi : ^ ^,^XLiv'°; 
for one is your ' Master, even Christ ; ^^ and all ye are brethren. ,. l^^j^^ ^^ ^^ 

9 And call no man^^yowx father upon ^^ the earth: for "* one is * {^^."[[i.^V; 

10 your Father, which " is in heaven. Neither be ye called mas- / §ce"chap.'^' 

1 1 ters : ^* for one is your Master,^® even Christ.^^ But "he that is »,*Mai?^. 6 -, 

12 greatest ^® among you shall be your servant. And ** whosoever viLTi."^*^* 
shall exalt himself shall be abased ; ^® and he that ^ shall hum- " x^26.^^' 
ble himself shall be exalted. ii;xvm. I4; 

, , - _. comp.Ezek. 

13 But woe unto you, scnbes and Phansees, hypocrites ! ''for ^^ ilV^* 
ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men : for ye neither 

go in yourselves^ neither suffer ye them that are entering to 

14 go in. Woe ^ unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for 

• ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long ^ g^ y^^^^ 
prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Luke^xxU:, 

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye whicjTis'tS 
compass sea and land to make one ''proselyte ; and when he is r AciT^f*^^; 
made,2* ye make him two-fold more the child '^ of hell than I3. ^ ' *"* 
yourselves. 

16 Woe unto you, *ye blind guides, which ^ say, 'Whosoever shall * sec chap 

XV. XA' 

swear by the temple, it is nothing ; but whosoever shall swear / comp. chap. 

17 by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind : 

for whether is greater, the gold, or • the temple that sanctifieth ^ « ^^^- ^^ 

m 

* multitudes * omt't observe * t^es^ do and observe 

* Yea * with their finger. • omit for ' for they 

• chief place • the salutations in the market-places 

^^ omit second Rabbi " omil even Christ " call not any 

" on " even he who " leaders *• leader 

" the Christ " the greater " humbled * whosoever 

'* because *^ ye go not in yourselves 

*• yer. 14 is to de omitted, some authorities insert it after ver. 12. 

'* become so ^ a son *• who ^ hath sanctified 



Chap. XXIII. 1-39.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 185 

18 the gold ? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is noth- 
ing ; but whosoever sweareth by ** the gift that is upon it, he is » chmp. v. sj 

19 guilty.® Ye fools and blind :® for whether is greater, the gift, 

20 or •* the altar that sanctifieth the gif t .^ Whoso therefore shall » Exod. xxa 
swear ^ by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. 

21 And whoso shall swear ^^ by the temple, sweareth by it, and by 

22 *him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear ^^ by j^ iKmgsviu 
heaven, sweareth by*' the throne of God, and by him that sit- s;'cmu.i4; 

' ' y See chap. V 

teth thereon. 34. 

23 * Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye » Luke xi. 4a 
pay tithe of ^ mint and anise ^ and cummin,^ and have omit- 
ted^ the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy,* and 

faith : *■ these ought ye to have done, and not to leave ^ the * p»"p- « 

^ J ' Sam. XT. aj 

24 Other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a * gnat, and 
swallow * a ^ camel. * chap. xix. 

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for *ye ^ Lukexi. s* 
make clean ^ the outside of ''the cup and of the platter,*^ but «'MkTkvu.4. 

26 within they are full oi^ extortion and excess. Thou blind 
Pharisee, * cleanse first that which is within *^ the cup and plat- 
ter,*^ that the outside of them ** may be ^ clean also. 

27 ' Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! « for ye • Luke xi. 44. 
arc like unto-^whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful /^cu™"- a- 
outward,*® but are within ^'^ full of dead mefis bones, and of ^ all ^ ^"™^- *»*• 

28 uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous 
unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 

29 *Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! * because*® * Lukexi.4» 
ye build the tombs *® of the prophets, and garnish the sepul- 

30 chres ^ of the righteous. And say, If we had been in the days 
of our fathers, we would ^^ not have been partakers with them 

3 1 in the blood of the prophets. * Wherefore ye be witnesses ,. ^^ ^j. ^^ 
unto ^^ yourselves, that ye are * the children ^ of them which ^ ^^ g^„ 

32 killed " the prophets. * Fill ye up then the measure of your ^i'fj.^**' 

33 fathers. Ye serpents, ^ye generation ^ of vipers, how can ^ ye ' ^ <*»?•"*■ 

34 escape the damnation *" of hell } *" Wherefore,^ behold, I send ^^l^S.^^ 
unto you prophets, and wise men, and " scribes : and ^ ^sotne of n Hhap. xiu 
them ye shall ^ kill and crucify ; and ^ some of them shall ye <, ^ chap. 

^ scourge in your synagogues, and « persecute tlum ^^ from city / s^dJip.* 

a Chap. X. a] 

» a debtor » Ye blind 

*^ He therefore that sweareth ** And he that sweareth 

■^ ye tithe the •* the dill » •* the cummin 

*5 left undone ** and mercy ^ have left 

^ who strain out the ** the ^ cleanse *^ and the dish 

*^ from *• the inside of ** thereof ^ become 

♦'^ outwardly indeed appear beautiful *^ inwardly are *• for 

*' sepulchres ^ tombs ** should *•* So then ye witness to 

" sons " that slew •* ye brood " shall ^ judgment 

'• Therefore •• omit and * shall ye •' omit them 



l86 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIH. 1-39. 

35 to city : That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed 

upon the earth, from the blood of righteous ''Abel ^ unto the '' ^Heb.' il 
blood of * Zacharias son of Barachias,^ ' whom ye slew between , &,mp.zcch. 

36 •* the temple •*and • the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these / i'chron 
things shall come upon this generation. »^nUvi. 

37 •* O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, iAou * that killest ^ the prophets, xx^^' fl*^ 
and stonest** them which *^ are sent unto thee,® how often would v Exod*'x?.*6, 
I have gathered thy children together, ^ even as a hen gath- xyi'. 14 \^ 

38 ereth her chickens ' under Iter wings, and ye would not ! Be- » comp. 

o ^ Luke xiii. 

39 hold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ^^^^s^.^^ 
Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, *• Blessed is he ^- "J «> 
that cometh in the name of the Lord. ■^V^/'^^"'- 

•* Abel the righteous ^ Zachariah son of Barachiah « Psa. cxviU. 

•* sanctuary •* Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth *^ 

•• stoneth ^ that ^ her 

Contents. This discourse (peculiar to Mat- 25, 26) ; for external appearance of sanctity 
thew) was delivered on Tuesday preceding the joined with spiritual deadness and iniquity (vers, 
crucifixion, although similar sayings (found in 27, 28) ; for exalting themselves above their per- 
Luke xi., xiii.) were uttered on a previous occa- secuting fathers, in word and act, when they were 
sion. The intercourse with the Pharisees had themselves persecutors, even now preparing to 
been used by our Lord as a means of warning fill up the measure of Jewish iniquity and uncon- 
them. The warning had been unheeded ; the in- sciously to bear its fearful penalty (vers. 29, 36). 
tercourse had ceased ; the crisis of their medi- Last of all comes a tender lamentation over 
tated crime was approaching. Our Lord there- Jerusalem, predicting its future desolation, yet 
fore turns ' to the multitudes and to his disciples ' breathing a nope for the distant future (vers, yj- 
(ver. i), and without passion or personal bitter- 39). This was Chrisfs last public discourse. 
ness denounces these His enemies. Those who The ' multitudes ' saw Him next, when *■ He came 
find this discourse too severe forget that God has forth wearing the crown of thorns, and the pur- 
revealed Himself in Christ as Holy Love. This pie robe * (John xix. 0. 

awful seventy proves Christ's divine mission and Ver. i. To the multitQdei, and to his ditdplet. 
character no less than His tender invitations to Luke (xx. 45) : *then in the audience of all the 
the sinner to come to Him. Indeed, it is a part people, he said to his disciples.' His disciples 
of His mercy, since it warns His sheep against were probably close about Him, the people gath- 
the coming of the wolf, guards us against the ering about them ; vers. 8-12 appear to be ad- 
Pharisaism of our own hearts, which is so quick dressed especially to His disciples. 
to rise against Him who redeemed us. Only Ver. 2. The scribes and the Pharisees. Joined 
One who knew Himself to be free from sin and together, because the scribes were mostly Phari- 
clothed with Divine authority and power should sees. Study of the Scriptures would be of com- 
er could utter such a discourse. The Sadducees paratively little interest to the indifferent Sad- 
arc not mentioned ; they were not earnest enough ducees. Theologians, from the nature of their 
to oppose Him with bitterness. Moreover the pursuits, are in more danger of becoming Phari- 
Pharisees were still the leaders of the people and sees than Sadducees. — Sit in Mosei* teat, as 
while Christ lived. His greatest foes. judges and expounders of the law. As a law- 

The discourse begins with a description of the giver Moses spoke in the name of God ; as judge 

scribes and Pharisees (vers. 2-7), which defines and administrator he had successors, witn au- 

and respects their official position, but reproves thority to explain what he meant, but not to legis- 

their inconsistency, disclosing their true motive, late. Under Roman rule, the function of the 

namely, the praise of men. Then follows a prac- Sanhedrin, composed mainly of Pharisees, was 

tical application, enjoining an opposite course of limited to this. 

conduct, calling for humility over against the Ver 5. All things therefore whatsoever they 
pride which is the root of Pharisaism (vers. S- hid yon, these do and observe. Their official 
12). The more particular and terrible reproof position and authority are respected, because the 
follows (vers. 13-36), containing seven (or with law was still an element in their teaching. The 
the doubtful ver. 14, eight) woes against them as office did not sanctify the officer. Men's official 
•hypocrites* (the inevitable result of pride) : for utterances are often vastly superior to their lives 
hindering men from entering the kingdom of The verse has a special application to the Jews, 
heaven (ver. 13) ; [for usine religion as a doak still under the Mosaic law, but a wider one m the 
for covetousness (ver. 14) ; J for proselyting zeal Christian dispensation. There is always a ten- 
which ruined the proselytes (ver. 15) ; for mis- dency to Pharisaism in public, especially hierar- 
Euidingthepeopleby their casuistry (vers. 16-22); chicau teachers. The extremes of slavish sub- 
tor sacrificing the great matters of religion to jection and of revolution, in both church and 
minor points of legalism (vers. 2^, 24) ; for ex- state, are here forbidden, 
temal purity joined with spiritual impurity (vers. Ver. 4. Yea fhey hind, etc They so presented 



Chak XXIII. 1-39.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



187 



the correct law ai to make its precepts bM,Tj covenant. The tassels themselves signified flow- 
budMU, like loads, packs on beasts of burden era, or biids ; probably pomegranates, and these 
(comp. Acts XV. 16). The reference is not sim- crimson, and not blue, as the ribbons were. 
ply to the traditions they added, but also to the Thus they were remembranceis that fidclil; to 
mode of presenting the taw itself, as demanding (he covenant should flourish ; or they were to- 
a servile obedience in minute details irrespective kens that the flower of life was love, and that 
of the spirit of the commandment. Imposing love must spring from faithfulness to the cove- 
such burdens, they did not in the least lighten nant.' But the Pharisees, however significant 
them by spiritual precept or example. Lange : their ritualism, murdered Him to whom i' 



pointed. It is a short step from religious page- 
antiy to religious pride. Canstein : ' Pharisaic 
folly ; elegant Bibles and books of prayer, and 



fMiti. The place 
ipper table (which 
isidered most hon. 



Ver. 6. Tlte ehi«f plana 
□n the middle couch at th 
joined the other two) was 1 
orable. — Ghiof «Mti In tlia mmgagaM. The 
places nearest the reading desk, where the eld- 
ers saL Being in such places (at feasts, in lyna- 
:lsewhere) is not tebnked, battmi^ 



' A fourfold rebuke : I. t^ey make 
den ; z. an intolerable burden ; 3. they lay it 
npon the shoulders of others ; 4. they leave it 
untouched themselves, 1. t., they have no idea 
of fulfilling these precepts in spirit and in truth.' 
Ver. 5. Bnt all Uuir work*. Their extensive 
routine of duty wras not realty religious, but per- 
formed with this motive : to be Hon of num. 
SelC-ri^hleousness rests on pride, and, inevitably 
becommg exhibitional, betrays its origin. — For 
tha7 maks broad thair phrlaateriN. Small slips 
of parchment, on which passages from the 
law were written, usually worn at time of 
prayer on the left arm and the" forehead. 
(The custom was derived from a literal un- 
derstanding of Eiud, xiii. 16, and the pas- 
sages inscribed were four in number : Exod. 
xiiT 2-10; xiii. 11-31; Deut.vi.4-9; xL 18- 
ai.) The name, from the Greek word mean- 
ing to ' guard,' was probably suggested l)y the 
command of Exud. xiii. 10, wliere this word 
occurs. Afterwards the idea of a charm or 
amulet guarding from danger naturally came 
in. Making them broad probably refers to 
the case in which the parchment was kept 
The latter was of a prescribed siie as mdeed 
nearly everything connected with the t use 
had been made a matter of Kabbiiucal rule 
As our Lord does not condemn the practice 
itself, but only its abuse, ii has been inferred 
that He Himself used phylacteries but Ihaa 
cannot be proven. It is said that the Phar 
isees wore them constantlj^ but the common 
people only at prayers. The accompanymg 



was made into a littie knot of peculiar shape 
(like the Hebrew letter Korf) near the bend 
of the arm, and then wound in a spiral line 
round the arm and to the end of the middle 
finger. The minute regulations in regard to 

phylacteries form a curious confirmation of phy met* «i 
the belittling tendency of formalism Similar 

external badges of professed religious feeling to be there. Pharisaism maj- now show itself In 

have been used in all ages, from (he same mo- taking the lowest place, if this is done in a sUvIlh 

fives and with the same tendency, — Enlarge obedience to the letter of Che gospel, or from a 

tlw bardaii of theiT nrmanti. ' Of their gar- desire to be invited to go up higher, 

menls ' is not found in the correct text, but is Ver. 7. The lalntaUimi in th* market fiaaM. 

necessarily understood. In Numb. xv. 38, the The places of public resort, where their impor- 

Israelites were bidden to wear fringes about their Cance would be recognized. Salutations of cour- 

ouler garment, fastened to it with a blue ribbon, tesy and kindness in public places are certainly 

to distinguish them from othei nations, and to not forbidden. In these days Pharisaical prilM 

remind them of their duty to obey the law. The may deaire some other form of public recogni- 

nsage may have existed before that passage at- tjon. —EabW, literally, ' my master.' The three 

tached asvmbolical meaning to it. The fringe degrees in the titles given to teachers were: 

may have been the ordinary mode of preventing ' Rab,' master, doctor; 'Rabbi,' my master; 

the edge of (he robe from unravelling, and the ' Rabboni,' my great master, 

blue ribbon was useful in strengthening (he Ver. 8. Bnt be not 7a eallad Babtd. But thia 

border. The Pharisees, as sticklers for (he rigid prohibition includes all the manifestation* of 

' ' ' f, made these fringes larger religious pride spoken of, since Jl prohilrils 

- ' ' '' e pride itself. — For <ne U yenr MifUtf o- 




observanr.e 'if the law, made these fringes 

than otheis. All these external badges naa inc pnae iise^i. — car obd i» jvor ■—j t * ui, 

proper symbolical meanings. Lange : ' Blue was > Teacher.' The word ' Christ * is to be oimtted 

the symbolical color of heaven, the color of God, here. Because One is our Teacher, all are our 

of His covenant, and of faithfulness to that brethren: hence the prohibition ■ against loving 



I88 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW [Chap. XXIII. 1-39 

and in any religious matter, using such titles, sig- and by both example and false teaching, keeping 

ni£3ring dominion over the faith of others ' (Al- back the people who even now were disposed to 

, ford). A literal and particular application of the enter. This is the chief sin of Pharisaism : by 

precept should be made with caution. Such ap- outward ceremonies and false self-righteous teach- 

plications may spring from the very pride here ing, obscuring the simple gospel of Christ, thus 

torbidden. So long as teachers are necessary in shutting the door of the kingdom of heaven in 

the Church, titles are necessary ; but none wnich men's faces. The other verses set forth various 

imply the right to lord it over the faith of others, manifestations of their wicked example and pre- 

.Not the title, but the spirit which claims author- cept. 

ity in teaching, is forbidden. In any case our Ver. 14. This verse, though misplaced, is a 

addressing others by the usual title is not forbid- part of the word of God (Mark xii. 40; Luke 

den ; prioe taking the form of want of courtesy xx. 47). — Ye devour widows* hooBes, /'. e., seize 



cannot find^helter here. upon the property of the unprotected, here rep- 

father is not meant. Nor are titles of respect to the force ot * and ' is best represented thus. — For 



Ver. g. Your father upon earth. A natural resented by a particular class. — Even while, 



the aged forbidden. Stephen (Acts vii. 2) began a pretence ye make long prayer. — The guilt was 

his defence : ' Brethren and fathers,' and Paul too thus aggravated and the greater damnation, or 

calls himself the spiritual father of the Corin- * condemnation,' is threatened. There are man^ 

thians (i Cor. iv. 15)^ speaks of Timothy as his ways of swindling the defenceless, but to do it 

son in the faith (i Tim. i. 2; comp. Tit i. 4; i with pretended piety, is worst of all. Priestly 

Pet. V. 17). It rather forbids honoring any one as Pharisaism very early showed itself in securing 

an absolute spiritual authority, because this op- legacies, so that the widows were left destitute, 

poses the authority of our Father in heaven, nor has this form of sin altogether ceased. 
Compare the Papal usage in all its forms of Ver. 15. Ye compaas sea and land, /'. r., spare 

priesthood from the one Father {Pa/a) claiming no effort, to make one proseljrte. Among the 

infallibility, to the parish priest, or * Father,' claim- Jf^'s there were two kinds of proselytes, i. 

ing infallitility derived from that source. Those who embraced the Jewish religion, con- 

ver. la Leaders. Higher than * Rabbi,' lead- forming to all its requirements, * proselvtes of 
ers of sects, etc. — For one is your leader, even righteousness.' 2. Those who approved of it, 
the Christ. Hence the disciples were and ought accepting some of its rites, without being circum- 
to be called Christians, not by any human name cised, 'proselytes of the gate.' The former class 
(comp. I Cor. i. 12). As vers. 9 and 10 refer is probably referred to here. Shutting the king- 
distinctly to the Father and the Son, some have dom of heaven in the faces of their own people 
referred ver. 8 to the Holy Ghost; in order to (ver. 13), the Pharisees yet sought proselytes 
find here a hint of the Tnnity. A possible, but among the heathen. Real missionary effort 'was 
improbable, interpretation. contrary to the spirit of the Pharisees, indicating 

Ver. II. Ihe ^ater among yon shall he your too hign an estimate of the Gentiles. Judaism 

mraat (or * minister,' as the word is translated was designed to diffuse certain religious ideas 

in chap. xx. 26). Not, * shall be called.' The throughout the world, not to convert the world 

Pope, whose usual title is a violation of ver. 9, is to Judaism. A proselj-te of righteousness was 

called : * Servant of servants.' * The greater really * neither a sincere heathen nor a sincere 

among you,' implies a difference among Chris- Jew.' The law could only proselyte, it could not 

tians, but not that one is the 'greatest' The convert. — Two-fold more a son of hell than yoor^ 

greater have always been those who ministered. selyes. * Proselytes ' generally become more cx- 

Ver. 12. And whosoever shall exalt himself, treme than their teachers. In this case they 
etc A universal rule of God's dealings, includ- would become Pharisees, rather than Jews, lack- 
ing both worlds in its scope. Here it points to ing even the remnant of good in their teachers. 
the speedy humiliation of the Pharisees. The The usual result of sectarian zeal ; for men are 
possession of humility is the first requisite in en- more easily perverted than converted ; perverts 
tering the kingdom of heaven (chap, xviii. 3, 4) are more violently zealous than converts ; able to 
and the absence of it made the Pharisees the receive only the external forms, they attach to 
murderers of the King. these the greater importance. 

Vers. 13-ff. The woes. Lange compares these Ver. 16. Ye blind guides. Wilfully blind, self- 

wots and the beatitudes in the Sermon on the deluded (* fools and blind,' ver. 17), they per- 

Mount This comparison follows the order of sisted in leading others astray. The method 

some ancient manuscripts, in placing ver. 14 be- here spoken of is that of arbitrary distinctions 

forever. 15. The best authorities leave out verse in regard to oaths, perverting religion and moral- 

.14 altogether. It was probably inserted from ity. — Who say. Thus they taught. — By the 

Mark xu. 40, and Luke xx. 47. The variation in temple. A common oath, comp. chap. v. 34-37, 

the order confirms this suspicion. If retained, where kindred oaths are referred to, and all 

vet. i^ should come first, as the main charge swearing forbidden. — It is nothing, i. ^., not 

including all the others. The omission leaves binding ; like the ' mental reservation ' allowed 

seven woes, a significant number. and taught by the Jesuits. — By the gold of the 

Ver. 13. Woe nnto you. This repeated for- temple. Either the gold which adorned it, or the 
mula is followed in each case by a reason, de- gold in its treasury. — He is a debtor. This they 
rived from evil character and conduct Sin re- regarded as a binding oath. Whatever their 
suits in ' woe.' — Becanse ye shut up the king^ reason may have been, the Pharisees thus put 
dom of heaveiii here represented as a wedding the gold above the temple. A sign of covetous- 
hall, or palace, with open doors. — Against men; ness, and of a tendency to exalt church oma- 
in their face. This was especially done by so ments above the house of God itself, 
perverting the Scriptures as to prevent others Ver. 17. Fools and blind. The distinction was 
from recognizing Christ, the * Way,' the * Door.' foolish and false, revealing the character of those 
Their sin was two-fold : not entering themselves ; making it. — The temple tiiat hath sanctifled the 



Chap. XXIII, 1-39.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



IS< 



folL Any sanctity in the gold came from Ihe traced back to God Himself. — Thit dvaUaA 

temple, and the sanclinr of tnc temple came from tlienin. God came into the temple of Solomon 

God. No inanimate thing can witness an oalh. nith visible glory (1 Kings viii. 11, 12) ; nothing 

Hence vers, io-m declare that everv oath b an is affirmed or denied in regard to the second tern- 

oath by God. Pharisees reversed Che order of pie. The Pharisees professed to teach 'on matters 

the hallowed things. Their casuistry is rebuked, pertaining to God, and forgot Ihe meaning of 

but neither of the oaths is sanctioned. these very things. 

Vet. 18. ne »lUr ; in the temple, the only Ver. 22. By hsftvea, the great temple of God, 
authorized one. — ThtfpH. The offering placed hallowed by the presence of God enthroned there, 
upon it. The order of hallowed things is again The sum of (he whole is : Every oath is t^ God ; 
1 . — .«i Since ail are holy, our Lord hence make no distinctions between oaths; 



declares that no oath can. distinguish between 
them (ver. ao). 

Ver. 19. r» 
better supported. 

Ver. 11. By th» tampb. This oalh, which 
they did not consider bmding (ver. 16), is now 



swear nol at all ' (chap. v. 34). These v 
really refer, not only to sweanng, but lo trdthful- 
The briefer reading is ness, in word and act ; they forbid those false 
distinctions used to palliate the crime of lying. 

Ver. 13. For 7a titha ths mint, and th« dlD 
and tlie onnunia. In Lev. xiviL 30, the Israeliteit ' 





were bidden lo pay a tithe 'tenth part) of the 
fruits of the field and of the lret», as an offering 
to the Lord. Other demands were made (Num. 
xviii. 21 ; DcuL xii. 6; liv. 2Z-23J, exacting in 
all nearly one third of the income of each Jew. 
Il was doubtful whether the tithe of produce ap- 
plied to the smallest garden herbs, yel the Phar- 
isees, in their over-scrupulousness^>aid liihe of 
'these herbs of small value.' ('The cummin' 
resembles fennel.) — latt nndooa tlk* vslglitiar 
uattan. A striking and distinctive feature of 
Pharisaism. Scrupulous attention to some reg- 
ulation of dress, of meat and drink, of outward 
observance, is often joined with an ulter neglect 
of humility, faith, and charity. — Of tha Ixv. 
Comp. Micah vi. S ; Hosea xii. G ; Is. i. 17. — 
Judimant, care for the right ; and tnarey, care 
for iS^se who are wrong ; faith, in the Old Tea- 
lament, fidelity lo God. and trust in God ; the 
New Testament idea is similar but more full.— 
Utaia ye ought, etc. First, the ' weightier mat- 
ters ; ' (hen the lesser ones can be done in the 
right spirit. Our Lord does nol decide the ques- 
tion of minute tithes, but teaches that if, having 
fulfilled Ihe great duties, their consciences led 
them to this, not to leave it undone. Faithful- 
ness in what is great, never leads to neglect of 
what is [east, but attention first of all to what 
b least, leads to neglect of what is great 
Ver. 24. Btraia out the gnat, ^ /., to filter 



•The 



so as lo avoid swallowing a gnat. The 
ion version may have been intended 10 ex- 
this, but more probably contains a misprint 



41, 42). The same custom obuina among the 
Buddhists. — And awallow tha samal, e. 1., in- 
dulge In Ihe greatest impurities. The camel 
was one of the largest (rf Ihe impure animals 
forbidden for food, (Lev. iL 4 1 il did not di- 
vide the hoof.) Besides to swallow it would 
be to eat blood and what was straggled. What 
was impossible literally, is only too possible ftgn- 
ralively. The reality of Pharisaic sin exceeds Ihe 

Ver. 25. T« Blaansa tha ontalda of tha eq 
and of tha dlih. The ' cup ' and ' dish ' refer to 
drink and meat Ihe enjoyment of life. Thejr 
would give a formal legal purity to sinful gratifica- 
tion. On the Pharisaical washings of pots and 
cups, see Mark vii. 8. ~ Bat vlULbi Uuj ixt tvJl 
from axtoTtton and aioaaa, ' From,' 1. 1., in con- 
sequence of, by means of, more fully explained, 
the means for their gratification came 'firom ra- 
pacity;' the mode despite its outward legality 
was 'excess.' Men often fancy themselves re- 
ligious, because they conform to some standard 
of outward morality ; while they really gain theii 
wealth by wrong-doing, and spend it in setf-grali- 



igo THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIII. 1-39. 

Ver. 26. Thou blind Fhariiee. ' Blind,* fail- spoken. To leave them now to show their true 

ing to see that the great matter should come spirit was an act of mercy to others. — The meai- 

first — Claanie first. Begin with inward purity, nre of yonr fathien. The measure of their 

— That the ontsida thereof may become dean guilt 

&I10. Outward morality is very important, but it Ver. 33. Ye serpenta, ye brood of vipers, etc. 

naturally follows purity of heart The former Comp. the similar language of John the Baptist 

without the latter is not real morality. (chap. iii. 7). That was the first, and this the 

Ver. 27. Whited sepniohres. On the 15th of last recorded address to the unchanged Pharisees. 

Adar, before the Passover, the Jews whitewashed John had said : * who hath warned you to flee 

all spots where graves were situated. This was from the wrath to come,' our Lord speaks to 

done to prevent the passage over them, which them, as obdurate : how shall ye escape the jndg- 

occasioned Levitical defilement (Num. xix. 16 ; ment of hell, i. ^., the judgment which condemns 

comp. Ezek. xxxix. 15, from which passage the to hell. Our Lord speaks as Judge, 

custom is derived). — Oatwardly indeed appear Ver. 34. Therefore behold I send nnto yon. 

baantifnl. Beside the * whitening,* much care Comp. Luke xi. 49. ' Therefore also said the 

was bestowed upon sepulchres by the wealthy wisdom of God, I will send them.* Here Christ, 

Jews. — Fnll of dead men's bones, etc Comp. having already spoken as Judge, says, ' I send.' 

the proper sanitary regulation of Mosaic law con- He is * the wisdom of God.' * Therefore ; ' be- 

ceming dead bodies (Num. v. 2, vi. 6). cause they were determined to go on in the way 

Ver. 28. But inwardly ye are fnll of hypoo- of their fathers, and were to be left to do so. 

risy and iniqnity. * Your heart is not a temple The sending of messengers of salvation, the mul- 

of the living God, but a grave of pestilent cor- ti plication of privileges, hastens the doom of the 

ruption : not a heaven, but a hell. And your re- hardened. A fact in history as well as a dcclara- 

ligion 13 but the whitewash — hardly skin-deep * tion of God's word. — Prophets, and wise men, 

( Alford). ^ * Hypocrisy * is the whitewash. * In- and scribes. Names applied to the Old Testa- 

iquity,* literally * lawlessness ; * their outward ment messenger's and teachers ; here applied to 

righteousness was put on, their hearts were really New Testament messengers, whom Christ as 

opposed to God's law. As in the case of the Head of the Church would send. From Luke 

sepulchres, such persons are not only impure xi. 49, we infer that there is also a reference to 2 

themselves but contaminate others; the more Chron. xxiv. 19. The Old Testament teachers 

easily from the false outward appearance. had been treated in the same way, and the pre- 

Ver. 29. For ye bnild the sepniohres of the diction indicates that they too had been sent by 

pnmhets. (Comp. Luke xi. 47, 48). According Christ ' Prophets * probably refers to Apostles; 

to tne universal custom of building monuments * wise men * to those specially endowed by the 

to ancient and celebrated persons. — And garnish Holv Ghost, like Stephen; ana ' scribes ' to those 

the tombs of the righteons, those considered es- mignty in the Scriptures such as Apollos. But 

pedally saintly. *The prophets,* the higher there is no necessary distinction, for Paul be- 

dass, are represented as lying for a long time in longed to all three classes. On the treatment of 

unknown, perhaps dishonored, graves. The so- the Christian messengers, see Acts v. 40 ; xxiii. 

called ' tombs of the prophets 'are still pointed 19; xxvu 11. 

out near the Mount of Olives on the road from Ver. 35. That upon yon may come. The re- 
Jerusalem to Bethany. suit would be further guilt, filling up the cup of 

Ver. 3a And say. By the act of building the iniquity ; the end wo.uld be judgment. The in- 

tombs, and also in word. — If we had been in the evitableness, suddenness, power, and grandeur of 

days of our fathers, etc. Their 'fathers' by the judgment is intimated. — All the righteons 

natural lineage. The moral relationship they blood, /'. ^., the punishment for it Comp. Sam. 

denv, but our Lord affirms it (ver. 31). iv. 13 ; 2 Kings xxi. 16, and especially Rev. xviii. 

Ver. 31. 80 then. 'You acknowledge the 24. — The blood of Abel the righteons. The first 

sins of your fathers, but h3rpocritically deny your one slain in consequence of the strife between un- 

own, adding hypocrisy to impiety.* — Ye witness righteousness and holiness. * The blood of Abel ' 

to yourselves, your own consciences condemning (Gen. iv. 10 ; Heb. xii. 24 ; comp. Rev. vi. 10), 

you, that ye are the sons (morally as well as nat- was a symbol of avenging justice, and even the 

turally) of them that slew the prophets. Some blood of Christ has a condemning office. — Zach- 

find here an allusion to a Jewish proverb : ' One ariah, the son of Baraohiah. Probably the per- 

kills him, and another digs his grave ' (comp. son of that name, whose death under such cir- 

Luke xi. 47), asserting complicitv in guilt ; but cumstances is mentioned in 2 Chron. xxiv. 20-22. 

our Lord assumes that evil moral characteristics Two difficulties present themselves : i. This per- 

are hereditary ; therefore those whose conduct son is said to be the son of * Jehoiada,* not of 

did not oppose the false principles and crimes of ' Barachiah.' But as Jehoiada died at the age of 

their forefathers, were partakers in their guilt ijo (2 Chron. xxiv. 15), and Zachariah was spe- 

(vers. 32, 35, 36). Doing this in appearance cially called to be a prophet after his death, the 

only, the Pharisees showed that they had no true latter was probably a grandson of the former, 

conception of either their own condition, or the Matthew, with his usual exactness, inserting the 

crime of their fathers. Possibly attributing such name of the father. Possibly Jehoiada was also 

violence to the barbarity of ancient times, they called Barachiah. Some think the father's name 

failed to see that these persecutions sprang from an insertion by later copjists, who supposed the 

the same hatred of real righteousness which pro- reference was to Zachariah the prophet, whose 

duced their hypocritical service. A common mis- father's name was Barachiah (Zech. i. i). 2. This 

take. was not the last Old Testament martyr ; Urijah 

Ver. 32. Pill ye np then. Not irony, but a was murdered afterwards (Jcr. xxvi. 23). But 

terrible prediction, and a judicial consignment of the book of 2 Chron. stood last in the Hebrew 

them to their own ways. Every merciful means Bible, and the case of Zachariah was a marked 

of influence had been used before this was one in view of the place * between the sanctuary 



Chap. XXIV. 1-51.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I91 

and the altar/ and of his death-cry : ' The Lord Lord speaks of His own merciful desires in the 

seeth and will avenge it' As regards the ap- past, in the Old Testament times and in His 

plication to other persons, we either have no ministry on earth. A hint that He had often 

trustworthy record of their martyrdom (^.^., Zech- visited Jerusalem, as we learn from the Gospel of 

ariah the prophet, Zacharias the father of John John. — Tliy ehildren, thy inhabitants, ancf in a 

the Baptist), or the death took place after this certain sense all the Jewish people — At a hm 

discourse. Our Lord distinctly refers to what To protect from impending destruction. The 

occurred in past generations. — Te 1I0W, i. r., impending destruction was from the ' eagle,' the 

your nation. In their present conduct they were standard of the Roman armies. Comp. Deut. 

partakers of the same sin. — Between the fane- xxxiL 11 (where the Lord compares His own 

tnary, /'. /., the temple proper, and the altar, dealing to that of an eagle) ; Ps. xvii. 8 ; xzxvi 

which stood in front of it. 7 ; Iviu I ; IxL 4 ; Is. xzxL 5. Malachi iv. 2 ; 

Ver. 36. All theee things shall oome npon this and chap. xxiv. 28. The figure of a hen was ap- 

generation. Referring to the fearful calamities plied by the Rabbins to the Shekinah, gathering 

to come upon the Jewish people culminating in the proselytes under the shadow of its wines. — 

the destruction of Jerusalem, about forty years Bnt ye wonld not. The matter was dedde^ and 

afterwards. The punishment was a national one, that by the free-will of the people themselves, 

to be executed in tnis world upon that generation. As a whole the city had rejected, and would yet 

'as the last in a progressive series of such hypo- more cruellv reject Him ; though many individu- 

crites and persecutors.' National judgments are als might oe saved. Here, as throughout the 

often thus delayed and suddenly executed. But Scriptures, man's freedom and responsibility are 

the individuals of the last generation received no assumed, and directly combined with the fact 

more than their just due, nor of the former less : of God's sovereignty manifesting itself in pur- 

since another world completes the individual poses which He predicts and which must be f ul- 

punishment The Jews were the nation chosen nlled. To deny the former would be to despise 

for the manifestation of God's mercy, and having our Lord's tears over Jerusalem ; to forget the 

repeatedly rejected Him and His messengers, latter would be to doubt His power to save unto 

this generation which rejected His Son beoune the uttermost 
the vessels of His wrath. Ver. 38. Tonr honie, the temple, which b no 

Vers. 37-59. Luke (xiii. 34, 3O inserts this longer God's house, but yours. Desolate, a spirit- 
lamentation at an earlier point of the history. It ual ruin to be followed bv temporal ruin. Our 
was probably uttered twice, if but once, on this Lord shortly afterwards (chap. xxiv. i ) left the 
occasion, when it was peculiarly fitting. Comp. temple, as a sign that this had taken place, 
also Luke xix. 41-44, wnere we find another lam- Ver, 30. Te ehaU not lee me heneeforth. A 
entation over the city on His triumphant progress solemn declaration of His withdrawal from His 

towards it. ministry among them. After this He taught only 

„ _ ^ p -» . etc This re- 




Jews (comp. 
^-^2.} — wenea u ne that eometk, 
the one case, that of the blind misleadeii ; in the etc. Our Lord had been thus greeted by His fol- 
other, that of the misled people. — That IdlleUi lowers as He entered the city (chap. xxi. 9), but 
the presets. Habitually does so. The crimes Jerusalem said : ' Who is this.' The heavy judg- 
against God's messengers in every age are in- ments would inevitably come, but hope still re- 
eluded. — Hov often mild I haTe gathered. Our mains. 



Chapter XXIV. 1-5 1. 

Tlie final Departure from tlu Temple; the private Discourse on the Mount of 

Olives. 

1 • A ND Jesus * went out, and departed from the temple : ^ and * ^.^"^^^iJ^t^ 

XI. his disciples came to him for ^ to shew him the buildings ^ SSiijCiLp. 

2 of the temple. And Jesus* said unto them, See ye not all "***^* 
these things } verily I say unto you, * There shall not be left '^Lukexu.44. 
here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 

3 And as he sat upon ** the mount of Olives, the disciples came ^ g^ ^^^^ 
unto him privately, saying. Tell us, when shall these things be ? , gj: Vhap. 
and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of • the end of the/ JS^^ox.s; 

4 world } And Jesus answered and said unto them ^ Take heed * c?l ii^" \) 

5 that no man deceive you. For ^ many shall come in my name, \ ; T}^ 

liL 7. 

* went out from the temple and was departing * omit for ^ J^.m^A ; 



• But he answered and * See 



xuu. a I, s> 



i Chron. xv. 
6 
s xix. a 



192 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIV. 1-51 

6 saying, I am Christ ;^ * and shall deceive many. And ye shall * ver. n 
hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye *be® not '^i^c"-'*-* 
troubled : for all ^ these things must ® come to pass, but the 

7 end is not yet. For * nation shall rise against nation, and « 
'kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be "* famines, and « Acisxi.28 

8 pestilences,® and earthquakes, in divers places. All these ^^ " ^*=^* "• *♦ 

9 are the beginning of * sorrows.^^ Then ^ shall they deliver you '^ ^,'|*p * *' 
up*^ to be afflicted,i2 ^nd « shall kill you : and '" ye shall be hated ^ jd,^„i;,r,. 

ID of alP8 nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be '' /^*'"*^*^ 
'offended, and shall betray^* one another, and shall hate one ' x"i. 27.^" 

1 1 another. And many ' false prophets shall rise, ** and shall de- chlp^^Cu?* 

12 ceive many. And because iniquity shall abound,^ the love of «Ver. 5. 

13 many^' shall wax cold. "But he that shall endure ^"^ unto the «; sce* dw" 

iv. 23. 

14 end, the same shall be saved. And this "'erospcl of the kiner- -^-p'l i.^j 
dom ' shall be preached in ^ all the ^® world ' for a witness ^^ unto >y 5 ; Acti 

XI. a8;Rom 

all ^^ nations : and then shall the end come. ^: »'^' i^«y 

' 111. 10; XVI. 

15 When ye therefore shall see*^ the abomination of desolation, 'l 

■' •' ' « Chaps. VIM 

* spoken 2^ of by Daniel the prophet, stand ^ in the holy place ^ ija^ -^ 27., 

16 * (whoso readeth, let him understand,^) Then let them which be ^V.^'' *"• 

17 in Judea flee into 2* the mountains : ^ Let him which 25 is ^^ on * ii^Tj^t'" 
the house-top not come ^ down to take any thing ^7 out of his ' \f!^'' *'" 

18 house : Neither ^^ let him which is in the field return 2^ back to '^comp.*/^' 

19 take his 'clothes.^ And^^ ^ woe unto them that are with child, a wxi.'^ai 
20. and to them that give suck in those days ! But^ pray ye that e chap. v.'^a 

your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.^ 29. 

21 For then shall be ^ great tribulation, such as was not since ^ ^ J^J"^^" '• 
the beginning of the world to this time,^ no, nor ever shall be. 

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no 

flesh be ^ saved : but for * the elect's sake those days shall be * X^h^l^l^i 

23 shortened. *Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is /Lukexviiaj. 

24 Christ,^or there; believe /V not. For there shall arise false Christs, 

and * false prophets, and ' shall shew^grcat signs and wonders ; f^^j'^^^ji": 

* insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive ^ the very ?.» ^'^^ 
^S, 26 elect.^ Behold, I have told you before.^ Wherefore^ if f^^ivil'ii!' 

they shall say unto you. Behold, " he is in the desert ; ^ go not J^'Acuxxi-ja; 
27 forth: behold, he is in the secret*^ chambers; believe // not 

• the Christ • take heed, be ' omit all ^ must needs 

• The best authorities omit and pestilences ^° But all these things 
** travail " unto tribulation ^' all the " deliver up 

1* be multiplied *• the many ^' endureth '* the whole 

*• testimony * therefore ye see " which was spoken 

^ standing '* let him that readeth understand ^* unto 

« that ^ go ^ the things ^ and 

» not return ~ cloak " But '-^ And 

»• on a Sabbath : ** hath not been from ^ until now 

•• had been shortened, no flesh would have been 

^ so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect '* beforehand 

^ If therefore ^ wilderness *^ inner 



Chap. XXIV. 1-51.] THP: GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 1 93 

^ For as the lightning cometh out of ^^ the east, and shineth ^ ' ^'J^* *^'* 
even unto the west ; so shall also the coming of the Son of ^ Luk« «▼«• 

' ^ 37; comp. 

28 man be.** ^ For *^ wheresoever the carcass is, there will the J®** '^«'«- 
eagles be gathered together. J u!''xhi 10 

29 Immediately*® after « the tribulation of those days shall *'the SiJiLSiu. 
sun *^ be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and J' iJf! "••. 
*the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens li\ compl' 

30 shall be shaken : And then ' shall appear " the sign of the Son of ^i?°*9 ;***' 
man in heaven : and then • shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, rS^vi: !f I 
and " they shall see the Son of man coming in *® the clouds of * Rev. vj. 13. 

31 heaven' with power and great glory. And*' he shall send *^ his « ver.'^ 
angels with a great sound of ' a trumpet, ^ and they shall « sce d»ap 
gather together * his elect from * the four winds, ' from one end '^^i^^iSJ*- 
of heaven to the other. j*; '• ... 

y Chap. xiii. 

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree:^^ When his branch is^pJcor. xv. 
yet^ tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer^ is JVie.^***" 

33 nigh: So likewise ye," when ye shall ^ see all these things, jSSiiy^i."*; 

34 know that it is near, ^ eveft ^ at the doors. * Verily I say unto c d^uLYv! j'i. 
you. This generation shall not pass,^" till all these things be f ul- "^ k^\Z'^ 

35 filled.^ -^Heaven and earth shall pass away, but ^ my words ' x^. al. **' 

36 shall not pass away. * But of that day and hour knoweth no u. u.* 6- 
man, no, not^® the angels of heaven,®^ * but my^^ Father only, e p». jxii. 

37 * But as the days of Noe ^ were, so shall also the coming of the .8* . 

^^ n Acts 1. 7. 

38 Son of man be.** * For as in the ^ days that were before the {Zcch.mj. 

*^ ^ k Luke XVII. 

flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in mar- '^» *'• 

39 riage, until the day that Noe ® entered into the ark. And knew 

not until the flood came, and took them all away ; so shall also ' 3^^** ^"^ 

40 the coming of the Son of man be.** 'Then shall two ^ be in the '"si;"^* ''^'- 

41 field ; the one shall be taken, and the other* left. **Two wometi * u. iivu.' a! 
sfiall be grinding " at the mill ; the one shall be taken, and the * c»Si«.^OT. 

42 other* left. ^ Watch therefore ; ' for ye know not what hour * iJ^^MLiie 

43 your Lord doth come.^ * But know this, that if the good-man ® wi 3V;. i 
of the house had known in what watch *" the thief would come ® Coi! iv. > | 
he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house 6,10; xPct. 

' V. 8; Rev. 

44 to be 'broken up.^ 'Therefore be ye also" ready : for in such w»a.3;xvL 

45 an hour as "^^ ye think not the Son of man cometh. • Who then is ^ ^"*p- ^- 
a®^** faithful and' wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler ^ J rxhlSH?' 

2 ; a Pet. iii. 

*^ forth from ** is seen ** so shall be the coming of the Son of man j^jjj-*^" *"' 
** omit For *• But immediately *' the sun shall *® on , Chap!*vL*i9. 

*• send forth w a trumpet of great sound ' Luke xii. 40 

*i from the fig tree learn the parable " now become * ,^^^' """• 

*• the summer ** So ye also " omit shall *• he is nigh » Comp. Luke 

•^ pass away ** done •• no one, not even „*"cJJ'i*v a 

^ The best authorities insert Tithhtr i\\^ Son "the •* Noah* iieb. iii.'s- 

•• those •♦ two men * one is taken, and one is ^ s«e chap 

•• on what day ^ cometh « master • was coming **^' * 

'® broken through ^* in an hour that ^* set 

VOL. L 13 



194 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIV. 1-5:. 

46 over his household, to give them meat ^ in due season i ^ Blessed j^ rcv.xvL is. 
is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 

47 Verily I say unto you, that ' he shall make him ruler •* over all ' ^."''• 

48 his goods. But and '* if that evil ser\'ant shall say in his heart, 

49 My lord "delayeth his coming ; '^ And shall begin to smite /ns "'' " ^p- "^• 

50 fellow servants, and to ™ eat and drink with the drunken ; The 

lord of that servant shall come * in a day when he looketh not * * p*-** •»• "• 

5 1 for //i;//,'® and in an hour that he is not aware of,*^ And shall 
cut him asunder, and appoint Aim ^^ his portion with the hypo- 
crites : ' there shall bc^ weeping and gnashing of teeth. ^ %? J^jy^p 

'• their meat,^r food '* will set him '* om// and 

" to come ^ beat his '• shall 

'• expecteth not ^ when he knoweth not " omif him *^ inserf the 



Order of events. After the last public dis- future events. Lange regards both chapters as 

course (chap, xxiii.) our Lord did not at once exhibiting *the judgments of His coming in a 

leave the temple, but (Mark xii. 41-44 ; Luke series of cycles, each of which depicts the whole 

xxi. 1-4) sat quietly in the court of the women, futurity, but in such a manner that with every 

looking at those casting in their gifts, to find an new cycle the scene seems to approximate to, 

opportunity for praising one act of real religion and more closely resemble, the final catastro- 

amidst all the hypocrisy He had just denounced, phe.' 

(Reformers may nnd a lesson here.) In perfect Ver. i. From the temple, /. ^m the exclusively 

guietude of spirit, not in haste nor anger, He Jewish part, inclosed from the court of the Gen- 

nally forsook * His own * who received Him tiles. He never returned, and henceforth the 

not As He was finally * departing ' (ver. i ), temple was virtually desolate. The Apostles re- 

His disciples pointed out the magnificence of the turned, holding out mercy still ; the last rejec- 

various structures composing the temple. This tion recorded is that of Paul (Acts xxi. 27 ff.^, 

brought out a prediction of its entire destruction, who was even accused of polluting it. — Was de- 

Passing out toward Bethany, He paused upon parting. He lingered for a time. — His disciples, 

the Mount of Olives, looking towards the temple, Mark (xiii. i) : * one of his disciples.' — To shew 

as if still moved with compassion. |iis disciples his^ the buildings of the temple, /. f., all the 

(or more exactly four of them) inquired of Him, structures in the inclosure (see note on p. 171), 

as to the time a/id signs of His coming. Chap, especially the stones (comp. Mark and Luke), as 

xxiv, is the answer, not yet fully understood. His answer (ver. 2) indicates. The immense 

Chap. XXV. was spoken on the same occasion. stones (some of them forty-five cubits long, five 

Contents. This chapter refers both /■(? M^ high, and six broad) could be best seen from the 

destruction of Jerusalem and to the second coming court of the Gentiles ; so also the great number 

of Christy one prophecy respecting two analogous of outer structures, some of them still in process 

events. This we may call the panoramic view of of erection. The latter fact gives additional 

the prophecy, and it may be applied to other pas- point to the prediction. 

sages (in Revelation and elsewhere). Reasons : Ver. 2. All these things 1 Mark xiii. 2 : ' these 

I. An exclusive reference to either the destruc- great buildings.' — Verily I say unto you, etc 

tion of Jerusalem or the second coming of Christ This prophecy was uttered in a time of profound 

involves insuperable difficulties. 2, The disdples peace, when the possibility of the destruction of 

asked about ooth, joining them in time (ver. 3). such a magnificent work of art and sanctuary of 

The answer therefore refers to both, joining them religion seemed very unlikelv ; but was literally 

in character, not necessarily in time. The disci- fulfilled forty jrears afterwarcis ; and that, too, in 

pies needed instruction on Doth points, for imme- express violation of the orders of Titus, who 

diate and more remote guidance. 3. The pre- wished to save it 

ceding discourse plainly points to the destruction Ver. 3. The mount of Olives. Opposite the 
of Jerusalem, but chap. xxv. and vers. 42-ji of temple. The siege of Jerusalem began from 
this chapter, apply exclusively to the Chnstian this place, and at the same season of the 
dispensation. Great care is necessary in decid- year. It was from the side of this mount, that 
ing what refers to each of the two sets of our Lord two days before had prophesied the 
events (or, how far the analogy holds good). Al- destruction of Jerusalem (Luke xix. 43, 44). — 
ford and others seem correct in holding, that the The disciples. Mark (xiii. 3) : * Peter, and James, 
two interpretations run parallel as far as ver. 28, and John, and Andrew,' the four fishermen first 
the iud^ient upon the Jewish Church being the called and first named in all the lists, the con- 
predominant thought ; after that the Lord's sec- fidential disciples. — When shall these things be 1 
ond coming is prominent, until in the close of The desolation and destruction just prophesied, 
the chapter it is exclusively treated of. Concern- — The tigu of thy ooming *^d of the end of the 
ing this nothing definite as to time is made world 1 They identified these, and joined them 
known (see ver. j6), and the part that Jerusalem with the destruction of Jerusalem. As these 
will sustain is and must be unknown, since proph- disciples had been told most fully of His death 
ecy is rarely designed to enable us to foretell (comp. chap. xvii. 9 ff.), they probably mean a 



Chap. XXIV. 1-5 1.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 195 

coming {parousia^ appearance) after death, to in the last times. — Hated of all the natioDf. 

usher m the end of the world, 1. ^., the end of the (Mark and Luke : * of all men ; ' conip. chap. x. 

former dispensation of things, not the destruc- 22). The Roman historian Tacitus speaks of 

tion of the world. Being Jews, they would not the early Christians as a hated race of men. But 

think of the destruction of the holy city without to be universally abhorred is not a proof of being 

a personal presence of the Messiah in its stead, a Christian. It must be for my name*8 take. This 

As the two events were blended in their minds, hatred has not ceased ; it will probably manifest 

they are not sharply distinguished in the an- itself anew in startling form. 

swer. Ver. 10. Then shall many be offended, or ' fall 

Ver. 4. See that no man deceive yon. The away.' The Apostles understood this of the 

admonition is prophetic, intimating the perplex- first century ; see the repeated warnings against 

ity of the whole supject A caution to Christians apostasy in the Epistles. The fulfilment will 

regarding specific teaching about these unfulfilled culminate in the last days. — Deliver up one an- 

predictions. other, /. e.y to tribunals, to heathen magistrates, 

Ver. 5. Ck>me in my name, as the Messiah, as was the case in Apostolic times. A natural 
The Messianic hopes of the Jews were at fever- development of apostasy, then, and to be re- 
heat, as the destruction of their holy city drew peated before 'the end 'comes. — Hate one an- 
near ; many enthusiasts appeared as seducers of other. Whenever apostasy occurs, this recurs, 
the people, and awakened false expectations. It since this is the opposite of Christian love. The 
is not known that they claimed the authority of Great Apostasy (2 Thess. iL 3) will thus manifest 
the Christian Messiah. The prophecy goes be- itself. 

yond this, and intimates that Christians would Ver. 11. Many false prophets. In the Apos- 

I3C in danger of supposing some other person to tolic times such teachers appeared ; Judaizing 

be the Lord Himself. In later times fanaticism first proclaiming strict adherence to the law, 

among Christians has taken this direction, e, ^., and afterwards a kind of antinomianism, or ' law- 

the Anabaptists in the sixteenth century. — De- lessness.' Comp. the later Epistles. The same 

oeive many. An overweening desire to under- moral phenomena will mark an analogous pe- 

stand this prophecy in its final application, com- riod. 

bined with too material conceptions of the Sec- Ver. 12. Because iniquity (or ' lawlessness *) 

ond Advent, fosters such deception. shall be mnltiidied. A homble state of immo- 

Ver. 6. Of wars and nunonrs of wars. The rality prevailecl in the first century, and the false 
primary reference is to the threats of war teacners endeavored to join it with Christian 
against the Jews before the campaign which profession ; the inevitable result was a coldness, 
ended in the destruction of Jerusalem. During a dying out of Christian love. — The love ol tha 
this period there were unusual commotions many (the mass) shall wax oold. So far as we 
among the Jews in all countries, and in Rome know, this was not literally fulfilled in the first 
toa It is also a prediction of unexampled con- century. We infer that the entire fulfilment will 
vulsions before the second coming of Christ come in with the great Apostasv (2 Thess, iL 
As wars have been well-nigh continuous, some- 3-8). The principle is : wickedness destroys 
thing greater than ordinary war is probably love ; immorality eats out the heart of Christian- 
meant. — Be not troubled. Be watchful (ver. 5), ity. 

but be not disturbed. There will be nothing Ver. 13. Unto the end. The Christians were 

even in the last days to terrify the Lord*s people, saved from the horrors attending the destruction 

— The end is not yet, 1. ^., tnis state of commo- of Jerusalem. But the principle is a general one. 

lion is to continue. For the individual, ' the end * is the day of his 

Ver. 7. Kation shall rise against nation, etc. death ; for the Church, it is the Advent of Christ, 

Primarily, national uprisings of the Jews ; then, the end of all things. The last sense is the more 

wars of races, political revolutions, migrations, important one, giving character to the others, 

etc. Even the times preceding the dissolution of Over against the apostasy of *the many* (ver. 12) 

the Roman Empire have not exhausted this pre- we have the faithtulness of the few, m spite of 

diction. — Famines, and earthqnakes in divers false teaching (ver. 11), in spite of prevailing 

plaees. A famine is prophesied in Acts xi. 28 ; wickedness (ver. 12), an endurance in love, 

others are mentioned by Latin historians. Five Ver. 14. This gospel of the kingdom, etc. 

great earthquakes occurred in thirteen years. The preaching of the gospel throughout the Ro- 

The best authorities omit : * and pestilences.' man world preceded the end of the Jewish state ; 

See Luke xxL 11, from which it is taken. As the promulgation of the gospel throughout the 

regards the wider fulfilment : * The passage whole world will be the sign of the end of this 

combines in one view the whole of the various world. — For a testimony nnto all the nations. To 

social, physical, and climatic crises of develop- them, if they accept ; against them, if they reject 

ment in the whole New Testament dispensation ' it. It is not revealed here, which result will 

(Lange). preponderate. If the former, this is a cheering 

Ver. 8. The bejfinning of travail, i. e,y birth note in a doleful prophecy ; if the latter, this is 

pangs. The physical woes are the basis of the the saddest part of the prophecy. In either 

greater succeeding moral woes. * The death- case, the duty of sending the gospel everywhere 

throes of the Jewish state precede the " regener- remains. Tne universal extension of missions, 

ation " of the universal Christian Church, as the no less than the great apostasy, is a sign of the 

death-throes of this world the new heavens and ai)proach of our Redeemer. This prediction 

new earth ' ( Alford). stimulated the Apostles and should stimulate 

Ver. p. Then, /. e.<, 'during this time,' not us. 

'after this.* See Luke xxL I2. — They shall Vers. 15-22. These verses certainlv refer to 

deliver yon np, etc Soon literally fulfilled. But the destruction of Jerusalem. Anotner fulfil- 

it may now be referred to the spirit of persecu- ment is probable, in accordance with the parallel 

tion, always latent in the world and to break out lines of prophecy we have traced in the preced- 



196 



THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIV. 1-51. 



Ing leclion (vera, J-mI- 

the details arc so minute, wc niu^^i ik tauEiuus 1 

applying it to the final catastrophe. 

Ver. 15. WIlMl tlitMtar* ya M*. This direi 
address points to a speed; fulfilment, whalevi 
may be the ulterior reference. ' Therefore ' taki 



Bat precisely because Mount of Olives, 'the holy place,' in a higher 
we must be cautious in Christian sense, where our Lord was now teach- 
ing and whence He ascended. The other view 
of internal desecration refers the phrase to the 
temple. — I«t him thmt rawUth nndmUnd. A 
remark of the Kvangelist, probably with a refer- 
ence to the words of the angel to Daniel (ix. 25) : 
' know therefore and understand.' Such an in- 
sertion is very unusual, but seems to have been 
occasioned by the near approach of the events at 
the date of the writing of this gospel. In the 
correct reading of Mark xiii. 14, there is no 
direct reference to Daniel, and hence the reader 
of the Gospel, not of the prophecy, is meant. 
Such an understanding was very important for 
the early Christians. An ultenor reference to 
'the man of sin ' (2 Thess. ii. 4), is probable. It 
will be understood by Christians when necessary 
for their safety. 

Vet. 16. 71m nnto Uio moimUini. The Chris- 
tians in Judea accordingly fled to Pella, over the 
mountains in Perea, and were safe in all those 
daj-s of hoiTOr- 

Ver. 17. On the hooM-tap. The flat roots of 
eastern dwellings were a favorite place of resort. 
— Hot go down. Some suppose this is a com- 
mand to flee along the house-tops or to go down 
bv the outer stairs as a quicker way. What is 
dijtinctly forbidden is to go down to take ths 
up the thought of ver. 9, where their personal tlUugt oat of Lil homo. Extreme haste is en- 
had been spoken of. — The abomlna- joined; and being hindered bj 




tioa of desolation whieh vu ipoksiL of by (l. 

'through') Daniel the prophet (Dan. ii. 37). The probably 
phr '— - ■-<-— ^---■— - ■ 



1 alius 



I by motives of self 
.irohibited. There i; 
the flight of Lot fron 



kodom (comp. Luke xvii. 32). 

Ver. 19. Woe unto theu, etc. Natural affec- 
tion is not forbidden, and this verse expresses 
for mothers who were thus delayed. 
Pr«J yo. The trying events were 



the desolator,' the coming of which to the sanc- 
tuary (where the sacrifice is offered) is prophe- 
sied. Most of the Jews applied the original 
prophecy lo the desecration of the temple by 

Antiochus Epiphanea (comp. I Mace i, 54I, who distinctly predicted, yet prayer 
Kt up there an idol statue of Jupiter. Our Lord tinctiv enjoined. — Bot in the winter, which 
points to a fulfilment, then future. The favorite would not only make it more disagreeable, but 
mteipretation refers it to the Roman eagles, so might prevent their fleeing far enough. — On 
hateful lo the Jews, and worshipped as idols by » Sabbath. On the Jewish Sabbath, On that 
the soldiers, the standards of those who deso- day the gates of the cities were usually closed 
lated the temple. This is favored 
by the addition in Luke's account 

(xii. 3d] : when ye shall see Jeru- -~ 

■alem compassed with armies.' ~-^~ 

Others refer it to some desecra- '^ 

tion of the temple by the Jewish ... - ■■ - -. 

Zealots under the pretence of de- - . . .^ 

fending It, which occurred at the '" 

same time with the approach of 
the first Roman army (under Ces- 
lius, A. D. 66] against Jerusalem. 
This makes Luke's account refer 
to an external sign, and those of 
Matthew and Mark to the inlernal 
sign, an abomination committed 
by the lews themselves, which 
should fill up the cup o{ their in- 
iquity. But it is not certain that 
such a desecration by the Zealots 
took place just at that time, and 
the sign for their flight (ver. 16) 
was lo be a definite and marked 
one. — Is the hoi; pUiia, Mark : 
' where it ought not ; ' Jerusalem 
was'the holy city' (chap. iv. 5]. 
The near approach of the Roman army is prob- (Neh. liii. 19-22). besides travelling on that da 
ably meant. The Roman eagles, rising on the would expose them still more 10 Jewish fanat 
heights over against the temple, were the sign of dsm. The Jewish Christians, up 10 the time c 
t'.ie fall of the city. In fact they stood on the the destruction of Jerusalem, oteerved the Je» 




Chap. XXIV. I-5I.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. I97 

ish Sabbath, and might scruple to travel more Ver. 23. Then, Sufficiently indefinite to favor 

than the Sabbath day's journey (about an English any or all of the interpretations of the passage, 

mile). Our Lord's anxiety is not for the obser- During the subsequent period, is exact enough, 

vance of the Jewish Sabbath, but for His people. — If any man shall tay to yon, etc. This indi- 

Ver. 21. Groat tribulation, etc Josephus, cates that the disciples then expected that the 

a Tew by birth and education, but a Roman in second Advent would immediately follow ; and 

religion and sympathies, in describing the siege of was first of all a caution against impostors. But 




gan at the time of the Passover feast, when the furnishes no argument against the visible per- 

city was crowded. Internal dissensions combined sonal coming of Christ, which seems to be taken 

with scarcity of food to multiply the horrors, for granted throughout 

One woman of rank, named Mary, too, killed and Ver. 24. FaUo ChriBts. While this may refer 
roasted her own babe (comp. Deut. xxviiL 53, to the impostors of the first century, it now points 
56, 57), and was discovered only by those who to * Anticnrist,' or the many 'antichrists* (i John 
sought to rob her of food ; yet even they shrank ii. 18), constantly arising. — FiUso prophets. Such 
back at the sight. The resistance to the Romans arose among tne Jews, but have arisen ever 
was fanatical, despite the bloody discord within since. — Shorvr great signs and wonders, in ap- 
the city. When at last it was successfully stormed pearance probably, but this cannot be insisted 
by Titus, the rage of the Roman soldiers, raised upon. See 2 Thess. ii. 9-12. — So as (the tenden- 
to the utmost by the stubborn resistance, was per- cy and purpose) to deoeiye, if possible, implying 
mitted to wreak itself unchecked upon the in- that it is not, even the eleot. Others will be de- 
habitants. The sword made the whole city run ceived, led astray from our Lord, the real Mes- 
with blood ; while crucifixions by way of jest siah and true Prophet. It indicates that a period 
were very frequent. Eleven hundred thousand will come, when the * deceivableness of unright- 
persons perished, the remainder were sold into eousness ' shall be augmented, 
slavery, or distributed throughout the Roman Ver. 25. Told yon before hand. (Mark xiiL 
provinces to be destroyed by wild beasts. Thus 23; *But take ye heed.') A warning which can 
the prophecy of Luke xxi. 24 was literally ful- scarcely have been exhausted in the first cen* 
fiUeo. Vet the Roman leader who conducted tury. 

these operations was one of the most excellent Ver. 26. Behold, he is in the wilderness, 

among the heathen. — Kor ever shall be. This whither the impostors led their followers (Acts 

seems to indicate that nothing analogous will oc- xxi. 38). — Behold, he is in the inner chambers, 

cur again. But ver. 22 is so closely connected teaching in private, proposing some scheme of 

with this verse, that a double reference is prob- deliverance. But ver. 27 points so unmistakably 

able even in vers. 15-21, which were most strik- to the last days also, that we understand this 

incly fulfilled in the first century. The final ap- caution as referring to all teachers who assert 

plication would be to a sudden catastrophe before that the kingdom of heaven is in a given locality, 

the coming of our Lord, which His people will or in some narrow form, and who therefore set 

be enabled to avoid, by recognizing the appear- forth some contracted conception of the second 

ance of the signs He has given. Still these Advent The caution then is against enthusiasm, 

verses, of themselves, shed little light as yet on superstition, and fanaticism, in the days of the 

the subject of the last days. The final catas- waiting Church. 

trophe IS more plainly inaicated in the subse- Ver. 27. For as the lightning, etc. At this 

quent part of the chapter. point we must accept a direct reference to the 

Ver. 22. Exoept those days had been short- end of the world. The destruction of Jerusalem 

ened, etc (A prophetic past tense.) Various was sudden, but here the ulterior sense, which 

causes did combine to shorten the siege of Jeru- was never absent, becomes the prominent one. — 

salem, so that the Christians in the neighboring From the east A literal explanation of this 

place of refuge were not so much exposed. These phrase is forbidden by the nature of the case, 

causes were : (i) Herod Agrippa had begun to The sense is Christ's coming will be sudden and 

fortify the walls of Jerusalem against any attack, all-pervading, unmistakable and fearful ; visible 

but was stopped by orders from Claudius about too, we infer ; glorious and purifying also, like 

42 or 43. (2.) The Jews being divided into fac- the lightning. Only a Personal coming will fulfil 

tions, had totally neglected any preparations this prediction. 

against the siege. (^.) The magazines of com Ver. 28. Wheresoever the eareass is, there 

and provision were just burned before the ar- will the eagles be gathered together. In Luke 

rival of Titus. (4.) Titus arrived suddenly, and xvii. 37, this figure is the answer to the question 

the Jews voluntarily abandoned parts of the for- of the disciples ; * Where Lord ? * referring to the 

tification. (5.) Titus himself confessed that he times of judgment. We therefore apply the 

owed his victory to God, who took the fortifica- metaphor to the necessity, inevitableness, and 

tions of the Jews. (6.) It was not the original universality (* wheresoever ') of judgment. The 

intention to storm the place, but events at ' carcass ' represents moral corruption ; the ' ea- 

Rome made it necessary that Titus should hasten gles,' God's means of certain punishment when 

back, and he therefore adopted this method of the time is ripe. The context points to two spe- 

shortening the siege. — But the strong language cial occasions : i. The destruction of Jerusalem 

of the verse and the prophecy of Daniel (chap, when the Roman ' eagles * appeared as ministers 

xii. I ) which is here alluded to, point to a prov- of vengeance ; 2. the last days when the cup of 

identia interposition in the great days of tribu- the world's iniquity shall be full and God's swift 

lation which are to come in the fast times. The messengers of judgment ('the angels') shall 

shortening of the days will be the hastening of come. Yet the principle is of universal applica- 

the Lord's coming. tion, and has been again and again exemplified 



198 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXIV. 1-51. 

in God*s dealings. This verse answers the cry This points to some unmistakable appearance pre- 

of the waiting Church : ' How long, O Lord ' ceding the personal manifestation of ChrisL 

(Rev. vi 10). Something like the Star of the wise men, some 

Vers. 29 n. Referring to the * last times ' ex- suppose ; the Fathers thought, a sign of the cross 
clusively. Up to this point our Lord, in answer- in the heavens; a luminous appearance visible 
ing a twofold question, has given a two-fold to all, itself a glory like the Shekinah of old, is 
answer, /. e., spoken of two distinct events as the view of many. The important matter is to 
analogous. The instruction in regard to the recognize it when it comes, not to know in ad- 
minor and near event (the destruction of Jeru- vance what it will be. — All the tribM of tha 
Bsdem) was necessary, but now the greater and earth monrn. All races and peoples shall join 
more remote event becomes the sole subject, in one chorus, first of great and solemn lamenta- 
(Ver. 34 presents a possible exception.) tion ; not necessarily of real penitence, though 

Ver. 29. Bat immediately, suddenly after a that is not excluded, but rather of terror, occa- 

slow development, rather than immediately fol- sioned by the events which have occurred and the 

lowing, or unexpectedly. Ver. 36 shows that foreboding of what is to follow. Comp. Rev. i. 

our Lord did not intend to define the length of 7 ; also Zech. xii. ia-14, where the families of 

the interval, or to encourage us to define it. — Israel are represented as mourning. — And thay 

iUfter the tribulation ol thoae days, not the tribu- shall tee the Son of man coming. This coming 

lation attending the destruction of Jerusalem, is evidently that referred to in i Thess. iv. 16^ at 

but the period of trial which belongs to the Mast the first resurrection (Rev. xx. 5, 6) ; a compar- 

times,* for the following reasons : i. In Luke xxi. ison with Rev. xix. 1 1 ff. suggests that this Ad- 

24, the period of Jewish dispersion and the ful- vent precedes the millennium, but ui>on that point 

filling of * the times of the Gentiles ' is put be- there has been much dispute. Certainly nothing 

fore this prediction, while the expression in Mark is said here of the general judgment, but only of 

xiii. 24, also permits the supposition of a long the gathering of Christ's people (ver. 31). — (hi 

interval. 2. The reference to the destruction of the clouds of heaven. * In like manner ' as He 

Jerusalem is attended with the greatest difficul- ascended (Acts i. 9, 11). — With power and great 

ties. It takes all the expressions of vers. 29-31 glory, manifested in the estabhshmcnt of His 

in a figurative sense, but the figure exceeds any kingdom on the earth. Some prefer to regard 

reality that occurred in those days. The interval this coming as the beginning of a series of judg- 

between the horrors of the siege and the actual ments afterwards set forth in vers. 45-51 ; chap. 

destruction itself was too short to allow of any xxv., covering the period symbolically set forth 

events worthy of such a figurative representation in' the term * thousand years * in Rev. xx. 5, 6 ; 

as we find here. 3. To refer it to a merely /tot/- but with the exception of the final judgment, all 

idcntiai coming of Christ in judging and purify- these are represented as occurring before this 

in^ nominal Christendom, is not at all in keeping coming of the Lord. The safest opinion is, that 

with the specific character of the representation, a Personal coming of Christ is here meant, to 

— Tlie ran shall be darkened. A reference to the take place after the times of the Gentiles are ful- 

events attending the destruction of Jerusalem filled (Luke xxi. 24), and to be preceded by great 

seems impossible. So long as the prophecy is catastrophes. 

not yet fulfilled, its exact meaning cannot be in- Ver. 31. Send forth his angels with a great 
sisteid upon. Two views : (i.) Visible phenomena soond of a trompet. According to i Thess. iv. 
in the heavens at the visible appearance of 16, the angels and trumpets are distinguished, 
Christ ; in which sense the rest of the verse the latter coming first. The trumpet, used to 
needs little explanation except to determine the call assemblies together, refers to some means 
difference between * the stars * and * the powers employed in connection with the actual * angels * 
of the heavens.* The former may mean meteors to gather Christ's people together. This sound 
and the latter the host of stars, or better, the of the trumpet is to be distinguished from the 
former the stars in general, the latter the greater great Trumpet of the Judgment day (i Cor. xv. 
heavenly bodies that affect the earth (the solar 52: * the last trump'), since both this verse and 
system). This view suggests also the possibility vers. 40, 41, point to a gathering out from the 
of actual changes in the physical universe to pre- world, while at the great Judgment all are col- 
pare for ' the new heavens and the new earth.' — lected. — And they shall gauier together his 
(2.) Spiritual events to occur at the same time, elect, the individual believers, over against the 
we add the most plausible interpretations of this organizations which contain or conceal them. A 
character : * The sun shall be darkened,' 1. ^., the gathering, either of living and raised believers 
knowledge of Christ, the Sun of the Church and into one place, or of the saints hitherto scattered 
the world shall be obscured ; the moon shall not among the nations into one organization. It is 
give her light : the reflected light of science, impli^ that before that time no one organization 
which derives its excellence only from Christ, the will include all true believers. A lesson against 
true Sun, shall cease to guide (or it may refer to sectarian bigotry wherever found, 
heresy and unbelief in the Church, for that leaves Ver. 32. Kow from the fig tree learn the par- 
her merely a scientific or temporal organization) ; able, namely, what follows. — Pntteth forth 
the stars shall fall from heaven; the leaders and leaves, or *its leaves.' The blossoms precede 
teachers of the Church shall become apostates : the leaves, and when the leaves come, the fruit 
the powers of the heavens (the greater heavenly season is near. Comp. chap. xxi. 19. The cursing 
bodies) shall he shaken : the influences which rule of the barren fig tree may be in mind even here, 
human society shall be disturbed. Others refer Alford : * As that, in its judicial unfruitfulness, 
the whole to the fall of heathenism with its wor- emblematized the Jewish people, so here the put- 
ship of Nature (sun, moon, and stars), but this is ting forth of the fig tree from its state of winter 
less probable, since terrifying occurrences seem dryness, symbolizes the future reviviscence of 
to be meant (see Luke xxi. 25, 26). that race.' 

Ver. 30. The sign of the Bon of Kan in heaven. Ver. 33. So ye also. Addressed to the disci- 



Chap. XXIV. 1-51.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 



199 



pics, as representing all Christians. It does not 
mean that they should live to see what He had 

Credicted ; two of the four certainly died even 
efore the destruction of Jerusalem. — All these 
thingt, i. e.y the signs mentioned, culminating in 
those predicted in ver. 30. — Know that he if 
ni^h. — Christ Himself, since they had asked of 
His coming (ver. 3). 
Ver. 34. This generation. Explanations, (i.) 

• Generation * in the literal sense, the reference 
being to the destruction of Jerusalem. This is 
opposed by ver. 36, nor is it allowable to accept 
a double sense in general, and confine this phrase 
to a single sense. (2.) ' Generation ' in the sense 
of ' race,' as often, {a) Applied to the Jewish na* 
tion, meaning that the Jewish people shall remain 
until the fulfilment of all these things, and that 
one of the signs of the final fulfilment, will be 
a sudden greening of that withered race. This 
is the most striking and natural view, {b) Ap- 
plied to the spiritual Israel, the generation of 
true believers. The single advantage of this is 
that it extends * ye,' in ver. 33, to the whole body 
of believers ; but that would be easily so under- 
stood without this. — Till all these things, includ- 
ing apparently both the signs and the coming. — 
Be done, literally, * become.* The idea of actual 
occurrence is the propiinent one, not that of ful* 
filment. 

Ver. 35. Heaven and earth shall pass away. 
Not merely a strong asseveration (sooner shall 
heaven ana earth pass away), but also a plain 
declaration that they shall pass away. Comp. 
Ps. cii. 26 ; Is. li. 6. The time is not indicated. 
— Bat my words shall not pass away. Scoffers 
imply : Heaven and earth cannot pass away 
(comp. 2 Pet. iii. 34), but Christ's words are los- 
ing their force. * Of this we wait the proofl* 

* Not pass away ' means more than * not remain 
unfulfilled ; ' the words of Christ will abide as 
true in the hearts of all His people who look for 
and haste unto His coming. It is implied that 
some time will elapse. 

Ver. if*- But of that day and hoar knoweth 
no one, not even the angels of heaven. The best 
authorities add : neither the Son, as in Mark 
xiii. 32. This is implied also in the phrase : bat 
the Father only. Christ did not know the day 
and hour of His fiiture coming, since ver. 37 
shows that this is referred to. The explanations, 
that Christ did not know this * officially,* or the 
sense : did not choose to tell the disciples, are 
make-shifts. This seems to be a voluntary self- 
humiliation in knowledge, a part of Christ's emp- 
tying of Himself (Phil. ii. 0). Christ could, of 
course, not lay aside, in the incarnation the meta- 
physical attributes of His Divine nature, such as 
eternity, but He could, by an act of His will, 
limit His attributes of power and His knowledge 
and refrain from their use as far as it was neces- 
sary for His humiliation. His voluntarily not 
knowing, or * sacred unwillingness to know,* the 
day of judgment during the days of His flesh, 
is a warning against chronological curiosity and 
mathematical calculation in the exposition of 
Scripture prophecy. We cannot know more 
than Christ Himself chose to know in the state 
of His humiliation. 

Ver. 37. Bat as the days of Koah were. The 
second coming of Christ will be sudden and unex- 
pected. Our Lord assumes, that there was a flood 
sent in judgment in the days of Noah. He endorses 
the history contained in the book of Genesis. 



Ver. 38. They were eating and drinking, seek- 
ing their enjoyment, not expecting the catas- 
trophe. (As they were * drinking,* it would seem 
that wine was made before the flood.) The verse 
does not at all imply that Christ's people are to 
cease their ordinary employments, in expectation 
of the coming of Christ. Absorption in theso 
things is censured. 

Ver. 39. Knew not Even after Noah was 
in the ark, their unbelief continued ; so men will 
persist in unbelief, despite the fear mentioned in 
Luke xxi. 24, 25 ; will at least go on as if uncon- 
cerned. 

Ver. 40. Then shall two men be in the field. 
Until that time Christ's people are to be in com- 
panionship with the world. — One is taken, /. ^., 
gathered as one of the elect (ver. 31). The one 
' taken * is the blessed one. There is no direct 
allusion to death. This differs from the event 
referred to in vers. 16-18, where voluntary flight is 
commanded, and from the judgment (chap. xxv. 
31 ff.) where all are gathered. 

Ver. 41. Two women shall be grinding at the 
milL The employment of female slaves. Exod. 
xi. 5 ; Is. xlvii. 2, etc. Women in the East,one 
or two together, turn the handmills, having the 
upper millstone in their hands, and turning it 
round on the nether one, which is fixed. 

Ver. 42. Wateh therefore. In view of the 
suddenness and unexpectedness of this comins, 
* watch.* Mark : * watch and pray.' Not, be ju- 
ways expecting what will come unexpectedly, nor 
be seeking to know what cannot be known, but 
l)e always in the state of readiness, because of 
the uncertainty. 

Ver. 43. If the master of the hoase had known, 
etc. Comp. Obad. 5 ; i Thess. v. i-io ; 2 Pet. 
iii. 10 ; Rev. iii. 3 ; xvi. 15. The idea of surprise 
is the main one, as throughout these verses. 
Watchfulness under uncertainty is constant. The 
figure has a further application to the hour of 
death, when for the individual the Lord comes ; 
and to great catastrophes of judgment upon na- 
tions. 

Ver. 44. Therefore be ye also ready. Comp. 
Luke xxi. 34, 36. To be ready at all is to be 
ready always. The caution of this passage is 
not a threatening for the Lord's people. He 
does not rule them by terror ; those ready find 
Him a Friend ; only those not ready fina His 
coming as uncomfortable as that of a thief. 

Vers. 45-51. A parable, though not distinctly 
marked as such in its form. Comp. the parallel 
account in Mark xiii. 34-36; and similar lan- 
guage on another occasion in Luke xii. 35-46. 
Such repetitions are not unusual. This passage, 
closely connected with the second Advent, con- 
tains instruction for the Church, while waiting 
for that event. It applies primarily to the Apos- 
tles (on the former occasion mentioned by Luke, 
it was called forth by Peter), and thus to all of- 
ficers in the Church ; but has an important les- 
son for all Christians. The contrast is between 
the faithful and the unfaithful servant, with a 
more extended reference to the latter. 

Ver. 45. Who then is 1 A personal question 
for every believer, but not a discouraging one. — 
The f aitnfal and wise servant ' Wise * (or pru- 
dent), because * faithful * in Christ's service. 
Faithfulness alone is success. — Whom his Lord 
set over his hoas^oU. Mark's account (xiii. 34) 
represents a number of servants left by the 
master, each with his appointed work. Here one 



200 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXV. 1-13. 

servant is placed over the whole, as a steward, fests itself in such conduct : censure of others. 

Ministers of Christ are referred to, since these are pride toward others, despotism over others, who 

elsewhere represented as *set' by Him in the are * fellow-servants.' — Sludl eat and drink with 

Church (i Cor. iv. i, 2 ; xii 28 ; i Thess. v. 12, the dmnken. To show laxity of conduct toward 

13), but for a specific purpose : to give them their the evil members of the household, and to in- 

meat (or *food*), namely, that provided by the vite the world to help him revel. Beating the fel- 

Lord, and adapted and necessary for them, in due low-servants leads to worldliness and immoral- 

■eaaon. The food is God's word, which is to be ity. 

rightly divided (2 Tim. ii. 15). Ruling is in- Ver. 50. The lord of that servant Christ is 

eluded only as far as essential for the purposes of still * lord ' of the unfaithful and sinful servant — 

teaching. It is the ' faithful servant ' whom the Shall oeme. Doubt of His coming does not hin- 

Lord has set over the household. der it — In a day, etc. The unexpected, sudden 

Ver. 47. He will set him over all his goods, coming is again brought forward. To the un- 

The servant, faithful up to the unexpected ar- faithful our Lord often comes suddenly in this 

rival of his lord, is rewarded, and is called world, to correct while hope of amendment re- 

* blessed* (ver. 47). The reward is promotion to mains, but ver. 51 refers to something final. Be- 

be possessor of the full inheritance. Comp. Rom. fore the Second Advent, when the whole Church 

viii. 17 ; also chap. xxv. 2t ; Rev. ii. 26 ; iii. 21. shall be tried as to faithfulness, the coming to in- 

Alford : ' Each faithful servant shall be over all dividuals is at death 

his master's goods. That promotion shall not Ver. 51. And shall oat him asnnder. An an- 

be like earthly promotion, wherein the eminence cient mode of punishment among the Israelites 

of one excludes that of another, but rather like (i Sam. xv. 33; 2 Sam. xii. ;3i). Extreme pun- 

the diffusion of love, in which, the more each ishment is here meant, but tne peculiar expres- 

has, the more there is for all.' sion indicates something further, a fearful separa- 

Ver. 48. Bat if that evil servant The form ting of the conscience and the conduct, so that 

is changed from that in ver. 45, as if to intimate the condemning power of the former is a constant 

that such cases would readily occur, without need scourge against the continued evil of the latter. 

of special inquiry. The verse is a caution to the This will be a terrible clement of future retribu- 

faithful to persevere, and a warning to those who tion. — Appoint his portion with the hypocrites, 

intrude into the ministry. — Shall say, not openly. Such a servant is not necessarily a mere hypo- 

for the official position forbids that ; but in his crite, but his conduct deserves and will receive 

hetrt, and in his conduct (ver. 49). — My lord do- the punishment allotted to h>'pocrites. Unfaith- 

layeth to oome. This implies that a long delay fulness, especially in the ministr)', will suffer the 

would occur. The servant began well, and still worst punishment : the faithful servant was also 

recognizes Christ as His Lord (* my lord '). The * wise ' (ver. 45), the evil servant is most unwise. — 

spring of all his evil conduct was unbelief ; Weeping and gnashing of teeth. Comp. chaps, 

whether the Lord came sooner or later, his duty xiii. 42, 50 ; xxv. 30, 41, 46. The future punish- 

remained the same. ment is of the same character for all, even though 

Ver. 49. Beat his fellow-servants. The faith- there be degrees of it This picture of judgment 

ful ones, since the others would join with him. on rulers of the Church comes first. The his- 

Hc plays the lord over God's heritage (i Pet. v. tory of ecclesiastical despotism in every age, and 

^), aousing instead of nourishing the household on the smaller as well as the largest scale, abun- 

(ver. 45). Unfaithfulness to Christ, speedily mani- dantly shows how needful the warning has been. 



Chapter XXV. 1-13. 
The Parable of the Ten Virgins, 

1 'T^HEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto " ten ** \^^^ "* 

JL virgins, which ^ took their lamps, and went forth to meet * johSiH'jQ! 

2 * the bridegroom. And five of them were ^ wise,^ and five were ^Z'^^ ^ ' 

3 foolish.^ They that were foolish took their lamps, and took * '^ ^^^j*p- ^"^ 

4 no oil with them : But the wise took oil in their vessels with ''**''• ^s- 

5 their lamps. While ^ the bridegroom ^ tarried, they all slum- ^ ^^^^ ^^j^. 

6 bered and 'slept. And** at midnight there was a cry^ made, '♦*• 

€ \ Thcs#. V 

Behold, the bridegroom cometh;® go ye out^ to meet him. 6. 

7 8 Then all those virgins arose, and -^trimmed their lamps. And ^^^ ^^^^^ 
the foolish said unto the wise. Give us of your oil ; for our »'• 35 

9 lamps are gone ^^ out. But the wise answered, saying. Not so : 

* that * foolish • wise 

* For the foolish, when they took their lamps, took 

* Now while • But ' a cry is * the best authorities omit cometh 

* come ye forth ^^ going 



Chap. XXV. i- 13.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 20I 

lest there be not " enough for us and you : but ^^ go ye rather 
10 to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they 

went^ to buy, the bridegroom came; and ^they that were^^"^"'^* 
ready went in with him to * the marriage : ^* and * the door was * ^^' **"* 



II shut. Afterward came^^ also the other virgins, saying, 'Lord, ' 2y,*^cS!!p. 

\2 Lord, open to us. But he answered and said. Verily I say unto J, p*"^" 

1 3 you, * I know you not. ' Watch therefore ; for ye know neither^® as. ^' ^* 

the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.^^ 4^'^* "*^ 

*^ Peradventure there will not be ^* omit but ^ went away 

** marriage-feast ** come *• not 

" the best authorities omit wherein the Son of man cometh 

The Parable of the Ten Virgins. Closely the bridegroom was coming from a distance, be- 

joined to the preceding ^ne. Its leading idea is fore the wedding ; that the virgins went out to 

the readiness of the Church for the coming of the meet him to attend him to the wedding at the 

Lx)rd. See the closing exhortation (ver. 13). The house of the bride, where the marriage was to 

last parable applies mainly to rulers, this to the take place. Christ, the Bridegroom, comes from 

whole Church. Interpreters differ as to the exact a distance, the bride is the Church ; but she is 

time referred to in this and the following parable, not mentioned here, while the ' virgins ' repre- 

Both distinctly point to the coming of Christ,and sent the individuals making up the Cnurch, as do 

not to the destruction of Jerusalem ; but is that the guests in the parable of the wedding oi the 

comine immediately followed by the judgment king^ son (chap. xxii. 1-14). Other views refer 

described in vers. 31-46 ? Some hold that a this to the procession, after the wedding, to the 

thousand years will intervene, during which Christ bridegroom's house, where the closing festivities 

will personally reign on the earth. This is the were held. This accords with Eastern customs, 

' pre-millenial ' view. The other view is that the but is far less appropriate. 
Second Advent will immediately precede the judg- Ver. 2. And five of them were fooUih, etc 

ment. The numerous intimations that the com- This equal division may have a meaning. The 

ing of Christ will be preceded by apostasy and correct order is transposed in the common version, 
catastrophes, when joined with a literal interpre- Vers. 3, 4. For tiie fooliih. The insertion of 

tation of the prophecy about the ' thousand ' for * introduces this as an evidence of their folly, 

years * in Rev. xx 4-7, oppose the view that this — Bat the wise, provided themselves with oil 

f>eriod will precede the * coming * spoken of in the in the proper vessels. Explanations: (i.) The 
ast chapter, and alluded to in this parable. The lamps refer to the outward Christian appNcarance, 
passage in Revelation cannot be discussed here, the oil to inward spiritual life, the mce of God 
The *pre*milleniar interpretation of this parable in the heart This we prefer. (2.I The lampts 
involves a number of difficulties. At the same represent the human heart, supplied with the oil 
time, the main point, respecting the position of of the Spirit, the vessels being the whole human 
the Advent of Christ, is more and more accepted, nature. (3.) The lamps mean * faith' the oil 
Certainty here is impossible, perhaps undesirable, 'works,* (4.) the lamps 'works,* the oil 'faith.* 
All calculations or definite explanations about the The latter two are far-fetched, 
lime and order of these last things, are discour- Ver. 5. How while the bridegroom tarried; as 
aged by the whole scope of this discourse. The they were waiting for him ; an allusion to the 
parable is peculiar to Matthew; in Luke xii. 36^ delay of the Lord — All ilnmbered and dept. 
the sudden return of the Lord to His servants Sleep overcame them, even while trying to keep 
(chap. xxiv. 46-51 ), is spoken of as a return ' from awake. This probably refers to a gradual forget- 
the wedding ; * here it is followed by the same fulness of, or ceasing to expect at once, the com- 
thought expanded into a parable. ing of Christ. It indicates an unconscious giving 
Ver. I. ' Tlien At the period spoken of in the way to the influence of the world. Christ's com- 
last chapter. The judgment upon those in office, ing will be unexpected by all, even by those who 
having a more direct application to the Apostles, make calculations about it 
is mentioned before the jud^ent upon the peo- Ver. 6. But at midnight. At a late, dark sea- 
pie. But it is not necessanly prior in time. — son, the most unsuitable too for the foolish vir- 
ion. The number of completion among the Jews; gins to make good their lack. — A ery is made, 
this number may have been usual in wedding pro- Behold the bridegroom ! This was usual. A sisn 
cessions. — Virginf, as representing separation of the coming of Christ (chap. xxiv. 30). rot 
from the world, if any special significance is to be the individual, that cry may come at any time, 
sought. To carry out the apt figure of a wed- Ver. 7. AitMe, and trimmed their lampa, 1. tf., 
ding, this class of persons must be introduced. — trimmed the wick and put on fresh oil, so as to 
Took their lampe. Each had a lamp for herself, make a brilliant flame. * All ' did this ; the fool 
probably a torch made by winding rags about a ish virgins were not lacking in effort But mere 
piece of iron, and fastening it to a thick wooden trimming does little good, if there is no oil 
staff. The oil was poured on the wick, the ves- Ver. 8. For our Umpe are going ont, not 'have 
sel containing the oil not forming a part of the gone out' The trimming of the wick made this 
torch or lamp (ver. 4). — And went forth to meet apparent. Merely outward Christian appearance 
the bridegroom. The best explanation is : that will show its insufficiency in the midnight when 



202 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXV. 1-30. 

the Bridegroom comes, yet even then be only lows. Some of the advocates of the pre-millcn- 
' going out.' — This natural rec^uest represents ial view suppose that this refusal excludes only 
wnat will occur in various forms m the hour here from the millenium, not from the ultimate king- 
prefigured, dom of glory in heaven, finding a difference be- 

Ver. 9. Feradyentnre. This was a refusal, tween the phrase here and in chap. vii. 23. They 
though not in form. ' Not so ' is a correct para- refer the parable, not to the final judgment, but 
phrase. The reply is not selfish, even in the figure, to the coming of the Lord to His personal reign. 
tor it is affirmed : there irfTl not be enough. To On this view the lesson respects the blessedness 
have divided the oil would have entirely defeated of endurance unto the end, of keeping the light 
the purpose of the procession. In that hour each bright for the coming of the Bridegroom, however 
must stand for himself, each having for himself delayed. The ten virgins represent Gentile con- 
the oil of grace to mabo Lio lamp bum brightly, gregations accompanying the Bride, the Jewish 
The briglnness of the outward life, moreover, is Church. Nor are any of them hypocrites, but 
to be a part of the glory of that hour. — Oo ye all faithful souls bearing their lamps ; the foolish 
rather to them that w&L This probably refers to ones, however, making no provision for the supply 
the means of grace ; the Scriptures, prayer, the of the oil of the Spirit, but trusting that the light 
ministry. Some even find here an argument for a once burning, would ever bum, neglecting watch- 
set and a paid ministry. fulness and praver. As it was, their lamps were 

Ver. la And while they went away to hay. only going out (ver. 8), and their effort was too 

They kept up their endeavor to the very last (see late /or that tinu. At the general judgment, 

ver. II), but probably did not get a supply of oil such will be judged in common with the rest of 

at that late hour. — They that were ready (/. e,y the dead. To all this it may be objected that the 

the wise virgins) went in with him to the mar- final judgment has already been spoken of in 

riage feait ; comp. Rev. xxix. 7-9 ; xxL 2. — Aod chap. xxiv. 51, and that the exhortation of ver. 13 

the door waa shnt. No more entrance to the loses its emphasis, if there is another day of 

f^t. The case of those without (* outer dark- grace for these. 

ness ; ' comp. chap. viii. 12) was finally decided. Ver. 13. Wateh therefore. The same admoni- 

Ver. 1 1. Afterward oome alio the other vir- tion as in chap. xxiv. 42, 44. ' Wherein the Son 

Bina. The story is carried to its conclusion ; the of man cometh ' is omitted by the best authori- 

U>olish virgins aid not lack persistent efibrt We ties. This makes the exhortation more general. 

may understand the verse as a mere carrying out The coming of our Lord, in so far as individuals 

of the story, or as showing the persistent appeals are concemed, is the day of death. Then the 

of the seff-deceived, without regard to time, door is shut : the door of repentance, of hope, 

Comp. chap. vii. 22. The more Hteral applica- of salvation, shut by Him that shutteth and none 

tk>n IS given below. can open, ' watch therefore,' that the Christian 

Ver. 12. I know yon not. Comp. chap. vii. profession is supplied by the oil of the Spirit, so 

23. The refusal is definite and apparently final, that His sudden unexpected coming may not find 

and b the basis for the exhortation which fol- us without oil for our lamps. 



Chapter XXV. 14-30. 
The Parable of the Talents. 



111. 

xxi. 
xviii 



14 " TTOR ^the kingdom of fieaven ^ w as ^ a man ^ travelling into a " ^TI^-^"!'* 

JL far^ country, zvho^ called his own servants, and delivered * u^^'xw 

1 5 unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five ^talents, to an- ^ J:*hap. 
other two, and ^ to another one ; * to every man ^ according to ,/ c»«p 

16 *his several ability ; and straightway * took ^ his journey. Then ^ e Rom xii 6; 
he that had® received the five talents went and traded with the Ii;*Eph.'iv. 

17 same,^^ and mside them ^^ other five talents. And likewise he ^ 

18 that had received tv/o, he also^^ gained other two. But he that 
had • received ^ one went " and digged in the earth, and hid his 

19 lord's money. After ^^ a long time the lord of those servants 

20 cometh, and ^ reckoneth with them. And so ^® he that had ® re- / ^'»«p- *^>ii 
ceived ^ five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, 

Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have 

* For // is * as w^en • going into another * omit who '^ omit and 

• each ' and he went on * straightway ^ omit had 
*° them ** omit them *^ In like manner he that received the two 
^' insert the ** went away " Now after *• omit so 



Chap. XXV. 14-30.] THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. 203 

21 gained beside them five talents more.^^ His lord said unto him, 

Well done, thou ^^ good and faithful servant : ^ thou hast been^®^ LSteivl. 
faithful over a few things, * I will make thee ruler ^^ over many ^ g^p. „i^. 

22 things : enter thou ^® into the joy of thy lord. He also that had® '*^' 
received ^^ two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst 
unto me two talents : behold, I have gained two other ^ talents 

23 beside them.^ His lord said unto him, Well done, good and 
faithful servant : thou hast been ^® faithful over a few things, * I 
will make thee ruler ^ over many things : enter thou ^^ into the 

24 joy of thy lord. Then he which ^ had received the one talent 
came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art *a hard man,' 3. 
reaping where thou hast not sown,^and * gathering where thou^^^^JUf-^^*- 

25 hast not strewed : ^ And I was ^ afraid, and went^ and hid thy 

26 talent in the earth : lo, tJure 'thou hast that is thine.28 His 29 '^^^^p-**-'* 
lord answered and said unto him. Thou wicked and '"slothful ser- **,^°^ ^*- 
vant, thou knewest^ that I reap where I sowed not, and gather 

27 where I have not strewed :'^ Thou oughtest therefore to have put 
my money to the exchangers,^ and then ^ at my coming I 

28 should have received ^ mine own with usury.^ Take ^ there- 
fore the talent from him, and give it unto him which ^ hath ^^ 

29 ten talents. " For unto every one that hath shall be given, and * ^. ""^^ 
he shall have abundance : but from him that hath not shall be xS^Js.*^^* 

30 taken away even that which he hath.^ And * cast ye ® the "^ ^. 1^^' 
^ unprofitable servant into outer darkness : * there shall be weep-^ lo" ^ *^ 
ing and gnashing of teeth. 

" gained other five talents '* omit thou ^^ wast * set thee 

^^ other two " omit beside them *' And he also that 

'* didst not sow ** didst not scatter ^o being " I went away 

^ lo, thou hast thine own " But his •^ knewest thou 

** I did not scatter .' " bankers •* omit then 

•* received back •* interest •• Take ye away 

^ that * even that which he hath shall be taken away •• insert out 

Contents. The close connection of this para- ready for the return of the Lord. The trust in 
ble with the last is indicated by its opening words, the one case is the same for each servant, here 
The time is the same, but the two can readily be according to ability ; there is a difference in the 
distinguished : ' The virgins were represented as number of servants, and in the purpose of the 
waiting for the Lord, we have here the servants Lord's absence ; the behavior of the wicked ser- 
working for Him. There the inward spiritual vant is not described in identical terms : the par- 
rest of the Christian was described ; here nis ex- able in Luke applies to official persons; this to all, 
temal activity. There, by the end of the foolish even nominal, Christians. 

virgins, we arc warned against declensions and Ver. 14. For it is. The events illustrated in 

delays, in the inward spiritual life ; here against the previous parable, ' The kingdom of heaven ' 

sluggishness and sloth in our outward vocation is not specific enough. The omission of ' the Son 

andwork * (Trench). * There, the foolish virgins of man,* etc (ver. 13) forbids our suppljring • he 

failed yrewf thinking their part too easy — here the is.' — Ai when a man ^oing into anothmr country, 

wicked servant fails /r&m thinking his too hard"* 'going abroad' Here Christ is represented as a 

(Alford). This paraSle must also be distinguished man of wealth ; in Luke as a nobleman gone to 

from that of the ten pounds (mina) ; Luke xix. receive a kingdom. — HiB own wryanti, the pro- 

2-27. They were uttered on different occasions fessed followers of Christ, not merely the min- 

(this on the Mount of Olives just before the cm- btry. — And doliverod unto them his goodf. The 

cifixion, that in Jericho the week previous) ; with spiritual blessings which are ' his ; ' more general 

a different purpose ; that to warn against the idea than chap. xxiv. 45, where the office of the min- 

of the speedy coming of the kingdom of God in a istry is plainly referred to. 

temporal sense, this to exhort disciples to be Ver. 15. 7iyetal«nti — two — ono. In Lukt 



204 THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW. [Chap. XXV. 14-30. 

the trust is the same for each servant. So great tion for the same faithfulness ; the amount wzr 

a sum as even a single * talent ' (comp. chap, xviii. smaller, but the trust was smaller, the reward was 

24) constituted a very valuable trust The * pound * the same also. In spiritual things faithfulness is 

(of much smaller value) is an official gift ; the success. 

' talents,' gifts of the Spirit in different degrees. Ver. 24. Lord, I knew thee that thoa art a 
The greater value of the talent suggests the su- luud man. A common excuse : the master is 
periority of spiritual endowments to merely of- hard and selfish. Men represent God as demand- 
ncial ones. This parable has led to the use of the ing from them what they cannot perform. In the 
word ' talent ' to denote natural endowments also, parable, and in reality, the excuse is inconsistent 
— Aoooiding to his sereral ability. Here natural and self-convicting. — Beaping where thou didst 
' talents * are referred to. Even spiritual gifts are not sow. * TAts is man's //>, to encourage him- 
regulated by personal susceptibility and capacity, self in idleness ' (Alford). — Didst not scatter. 
The * abilitv * is as really but less airectly the gift A repetition of the former thought, the sowing 
of God. Sufficiently our own to occasion strict being represented as a scattering to bring into con- 
responsibility, such 'ability* is not enough our trast the gathering into the barn. A reference to 
own to warrant pride. It is here, moreover, ca- * winnowing ' is less satisfactory, 
pacity for ' spiritual ' gifts. — Went on his jonmej^. Ver. 25. I was afraid. Both true and false. 
The order of the parable is that demanded by its He had a fear of his lord's punishment, but that 
form; but the Ascension (the departure^ pre- did not make him idle. Being afraid of God, is an 
ceded the day of Pentecost (the distribution of excuse not a reason, for men's misimprovement 
gifts). This should caution us against theo- of His gifts. The insolent speech shows that the 
ries about the order of events at the coming of servant did not really regard his master as * hard.* 
Christ 'Straightway,' owing to a change of — Thou hast thine own. — The interest of the 
reading, must be placed in ver. 16. money, the profit of his own time and labor, due 

Vers. 16, 17. The Lord's absence represents to the lord, should have been added, before this 
In general the period between the Ascension and could be true. Such a closing of accounts with 
the second coming of the Lord ; in the case of in- God, is an eternal breach with Ilim. 
dividuals, the day of death terminates the period Ver. 26. Wicked because slothfoL Neglect is 
of activity. — Straightway (see ver. 15). Each also wickedness. — Knewest thou. A question, 
faithful servant began his activity at once ; and Granting that this were the case ; comp. Luke 
each gained a sum equal to that intrusted to him. xix. 22 : * Out of thine own mouth will I con- 
In the other parable, the sift is the same, the demn thee.' 

nin varied. Success in omcial position varies ; Ver. 27. Thou oughtest therefore to have nut. 

out the blessing from faithful use of God's spirit- Lit. * thrown,' 1. ^., thrown on the money-table, 

ual gifts is in direct proportion to those gifts. As which required no exertion. — My money. The 

applied to us, the talents maybe constantly ^^'/r, trust demanded this. — To the hankers; the 

as well as constantly gaining, Greek word has the same etymology as the Eng- 

Ver. 18. Went away, in carelessness. — Digged lish one. These probably represent stronger 
In the earth and Idd lus lord's money. — Not an spiritual characters who would have quickened 
active Ul-doer, like the wicked servant of chap, his spirituality. If the * talents ' be understood 
xxiv. 48, but simply neglectful of the blessing as including temporal trusts, such as money, then 
civen him. He buried his spiritual gift in what ' religious and charitable societies,' as Alford sug- 
18 earthly, fleshly ; ' the napkin ' in the other par- gests, fulfil this office. — Mine own with interest, 
able means idleness in office. The man with the It is implied that the duty, profit, and pleasure of 
one (spiritual) talent is negligent, not because he the servant should have been in gaining for the 
has little natural capacity, but from envy, or master. The theory of Christianity is, that labor- 
false ideas of human inability (ver. 24), etc. The ing for Christ is not a matter of bargain, but of 
one talent may represent the general influences of loving, interested service. When the servant 
the Spirit of God. In our history as Christians, came with a false plea of returning to the master 
this one may be changed to five. what was justly his, he was condemned on his 

Ver. 19. JTow after a long time. Long in the own showing. Those who treat the service of 

history of the whole Church, and long enough in Christ as a bargain, will be justly condemned, 

the case of individuals, to allow them to make Ver. 28. TiUce ye away therefore the talent 

eood use of the trust. — Beokoneth with them, from him. This command will be given, whether 

The pre-millenial view places this reckoning at the latter be a spiritual or temporal gift. — Give 

the Second Advent, the general judgment occur- it unto him that hath the ten talents. Comp. 

ring later. Nothing is said of judgment outside Luke xix. 25, where this command is questioned. 

the Church, yet the wicked servant represents one This act of judgment on the slothful servant be- 

who is not of Christ's people. comes an act of mercy to the faithful one. 

Ver. 20. I have gained. In addition to and Ver. 29. For unto every one that hath shall 

through the talents entrusted. Spiritual gifts are he given. The expression is well-nigh proverbial. 

the means of increasing spirituality, yet human Comp. chap. xiii. 12, where it is applied to spirit- 

e£fort and responsibility enters. ual knowledge (through parables) ; here it refers 

Ver. 21. I will set thee over many things. In to the whole spiritual life. It is not a law for 

the kingdom of glory; or on the other theory, conduct between man and man, but of God's 

during the millemum. — Into the joy of thy Lord, dealings in providence and grace. He is the 

In Luke the official position is recognized in the owner, and we the trustees, obligated to serve 

rule over * ten cities,' etc. ; here the reward has a Him moreover. The principle is not arbitrary, 

reference to the personal spiritual life. * The joy ;* for the trust is proportioned to ' abi