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44 The LORD said unto my forth, ask him any more quis Lord, Sit thou

on my right tions. hand, till I make thine enemies

CHAPTER XXIII. thy footstool.

45 If David then call him THEN spake Jesus to the Lord, how is he his son ?

multitude, and to his disci46 And no man was able to ples, answer him a word; neither 2 Saying, The scribes and the durst any man, from that day Pharisees sit in Moses' seat : tween saperior and inferior was more cated them. The Messiah was indeed carefully observed. We apply the title to be a descendant of king David; but sir to inferiors and equals as well as in certain respects he was to be imto superiors; this would not accord mensely superior to David; he was to with Oriental notions. A king may in sustain a very peculiar relation to Jeour times address certain high officers hovah, and to possess such dignity as by the title My lords; in just the to have a participation in Jehovah's same manner as a person inferior to government. David, then, while conthem would address them. But in the templating the Messiah in this intiEast, such terms of respect and lionor mate relation to Jehovah, sharing in were given as expressions of superi- the honors of the divine gorernment, ority on the part of those to whom would behold a person iminensely suthey were given; and the superior did perior to himself, to whom the title not use them in application to one who my lord, given by David to the Meswas regarded as inferior or equal to siah, would be altogether appropriate, himself. There was, then, something while, at the same time, in another reremarkable in the fact, that David, spect, David would regard the Mesa most distinguished monarch, who siah as his son. The true solution of acknowledged no earthly superior, the difficulty appears to be, that the should, in speaking of the Messiah, Messiah was, “ according to the flesh" call him his lord, thus implying that (according to his human nature), "of the Messiah was to be his superior. the seed of David," was David's son And yet the Messiah was to be his (Rom. 1:3); and according to his spirson; and for a father to apply to his itual, divine nature, he was David's son a term expressing superiority, was lord. Even if the Pharisees had perquite different, in the customs of the ceived, that in some respects the Mes. Hebrews, from ordinary usage; so that siah was to be so greatly superior to it might well be regarded as a matter David as to be properly called David's of inquiry, how David could speak of lord, they might have declined sayhis son as being his lord.

ing so, through fear that Jesus, who 44. The Lord, &c. See Ps. 110: 1. claimed to be the Messiah, would make The words the Lord here, are, in the their reply a further occasion of prooriginal language of the psalm, Jeho- moting his own cause.

Ask him any ouh. || Sit thou on my right hand ; take more questions ; that is, more questions a station of the highest dignity, and of such a sort as they had recently become partaker of the honors of gov- been attempting to harass and entanernment. I make thy foes thy foot-gle him with Compare Mark 12: stool ; wholly subdue thine enemies, 35—37. Luke 20:41–44. and make thee wholly and finally victorious.

CHAPTER XXIII. 46. The Pharisees appear to have

2. In Moses' seat. Moses was the been thrown into a difficulty, from lawgiver and guide of the Hebrews, which an attentive examination of the and his instructions were to regupsalm referred to, might have extri- | late their opinions and conduct. The 3 All therefore whatsoever but they themselves will not they bid you observe, that ob- move them with one of their serve and do; but do not ye fingers. after their works: for they say, 5 But all their works they do and do not.

for to be seen of men: they 4 For they bind heavy bur- make broad their phylacteries, dens, and grievous to be borne, and enlarge the borders of their and lay them on men's shoulders; garments, scribes and Pharisees expounded the hibit the merciful promises of God. law of Moses, and thus were religious 5. To be seen of men. See 6:1, 2, teachers, and occupied a relation to 5, 16. || Phylacteries. In Deut. 6. the Jews similar to that which Moses 8, and 11: 18, the Hebrews were comonce held.

manded to keep the law of God in 3. All therefore, &c.; listen to their constant remembrance. This idea instructions, and carefully perform is enforced in the language “Thou what they enjoin. The public teachers shalt bind them [Moses' instructions] made known and enforced the laws for a sign upon thine hand, and they of Moses ; and so far as they commu

shall be as frontlets between thine nicated the precepts of Moses, their eyes." The Pharisees, regarding the instructions were to be heeded. But language rather than the spirit of the while their instructions, drawn from precept, placed pieces of parchment, the inspired volume, were to be sa- on which were written four passages credly regarded, their examples were of Scripture, namely, Ex. 13: 1-10, to be carefully avoided.

11–16, and Deut. 6:4–9, 11: 13— 4. Heidy burdens, &c. The scribes 21, on the back part of the left hand and Pharisees were exceedingly strict and on the forehead, between the and harsh in enforcing the precepts of eyes. These pieces of parchment Moses, and the additions which had were rolled up in a peculiar shape, been made from time to time to his were enclosed in a leather bag, and laws, and their strictness had respect were bound on the hand and forehead rather to outward ceremonial obser- by a leather thong. They superstivances, than to piety of heart. But tiously regarded these pieces of parchstrenuous as they were in enforcing ment as amulets or charms, and as a rigid obedience, they were very having power to ward off evil, espelittle concerned about rendering a cially evil spirits. These were the personal obedience to their own pre- phylacteries; and those which the cepts. While they imposed heavy Pharisees wore, they made, for a show burdens on others, they kept them- of piety, uncommonly large. Il Bor. selves from such burdensome obedi- ders of their garments. In Num. 15: ence; so that, while others were loaded 32-41, is an account of a man's hav, with burdens that required all their ing violated the Sabbath, and hav. strength, they would not take a bur ing been put to death in consequence den that could be moved with their of it. Immediately upon this event, finger; nor did they present those the people were commanded to have cheering encouragements which were fringes on the borders of their garneeded, and which the Old Testament ments with a blue riband, as a means afforded to those who truly desired to of reminding them of the Lord's serve God. Having loaded the people statutes, and of their being distin. with intolerable burdens of ceremonial guished from the heathen. To atobservances, and pushed very harshly tract the notice of the people, and to and unrelentingly the claims of reli- gain reputation for piety, the Phargion, they presented none of its mild isees made these fringes uncommonly features, and knew not how to ex- | large.

go in.

names.

6 And love the uppermost among you, shall be your serrooms at feasts, and the chief vant. seats in the synagogues,

12

And whosoever shall 7 And greetings in the mar- exalt himself, shall be abased; kets, and to be called of men, and he that shall humble himRabbi, Rabbi.

self, shall be exalted. 8 But be not ye called Rab- 13 But woe unto you, scribes bi: for one is your Master, even and Pharisees, hypocrites! for Christ, and all ye are brethren. ye shut up the kingdom of heav

9 And call no man your fa- en against men: for ye neither ther

upon the earth: for one go in yourselves, neither suffer is your Father, which is in ye them that are entering to heaven. 10 Neither be

ye

called mas- 14 Woe unto you, scribes ters: for one is your Master, and Pharisees, hypocrites! for even Christ.

ye devour widows' houses, and 11 But he that is greatest for a pretence make long pray6. Uppermost rooms. The word Messiah is your guide and teacher; it rooms does not convey, at the present is not suitable for you to seek those time, the precise idea of the original. distinctions and honors which, among Reference was not made by our Sa- men, are usually designated by such viour to the different apartments of a

Let men be taught to regard house, but to the different parts of the the Messiah as the great leader; and couches on which the people reclined do you claim no ambitious preferences. at their feasts. These couches were 11. Your serdant. Humility and composed of two sides, and a part at the spirit of usefulness compose the one end connecting the sides; this true dignity to which you ought to upper part was the most honorable aspire. Let greatness be shown among position. This chief part of the couch you, by your cherishing deep humility is what is here meant. || Chief seats. and regard for the good of others. The seats in the synagogues, nearest || Shall be ; that is, let him be. Comthe spot where the sacred books were

pare 20: 25-28. kept, were regarded as the most 12. Compare Prov. 16: 18. James honorable.

4: 6. 1 Pet. 5:5, 6. 7. Greetings; salutations. || Mar- 13. Hypocrites ; dissemblers, having kets ; chief places of concourse. || Rab- a mere show of piety. || Ye shut up, bi. The scribes and Pharisees, being &c. Instead of helping men to attain the religious teachers of the people, the blessings of the new dispensation, assumed to themselves titles of respect or of the gospel, as religious teachers and dignity. Rabbi means, literally, ought to do, you hinder them from atgreat, that is, great teacher. Compare taining those blessings. You prevent Mark 12:38, 39. Luke 20: 46. the people from rightly judging of my

8. Christ; the Messiah. This word instructions and seeking the blessings is bere not a proper name, but a title which I can bestow. Thus you proof office.

duce the same effect, as if the keys of 9. Call no man your futher; exer- God's house were in your hand, and cise a childlike reliance on no man as you would keep the door locked, and your ultimate and deciding authority. prevent adınission. Only God is worthy thus to be con- 14. Dedour widoros' houses. The fided in.

word houses is here used for posses10. Masters; teachers, guides. The sions, property. Widows, under the

er : therefore ye shall receive the nothing; but whosoever shall greater damnation.

swear by the gold of the temple, 15 Woe unto you, scribes he is a debtor. and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for 17 Ye fools, and blind! for ye compass sea and land to whether is greater, the gold, or make one proselyte; and when the temple that sanctifieth the he is made, ye make him two- gold ? fold more the child of hell than 18 And, Whosoever shall yourselves.

swear by the altar, it is nothing; 16 Woe unto you, ye blind but whosoever sweareth by the guides! which say, Whosoever gift that is upon it, he is guilty. shall swear by the temple, it is 19 Ye fools and blind! for influence of the Pharisees'instructions, he became doubly worse than they. would give them, as an act of piety, 16. Swear by the temple. It was portions of their property, and at death customary among the Jews to swear would bequeath property to them. by a variety of objects; and the PharThus the Pharisees secured to them- isees made a distinction of oaths into selves, as a pious gift, what the wid- great and small. Those oaths which ows and their families ought justly to they called small, might be violated have retained. || Make long prayer. (so they taught) without guilt. See They reinained a long time in the at- on 5:33. They were careful, in these titude of prayer, making repetitions distinctions, to have much regard to and long pauses, so as to attract atten- what might contribute to their own tion. But such cruelty, concealed wealth or consequence. This is probunder such a garb, would meet with | ably alluded to in this verse. It is a terrible doom.

nothing; it has no force; the oath is 15. Ye compass sea and land ; a not binding. || The gold of the temple ; proverbial expression, meaning, Ye the golden ornaments or utensils of make untiring efforts. It resembles the temple, or the money contained in our expression, You leave no stone the treasury, gathered from the yearly unturned. || To make one proselyte; tax for the support of the temple (see to gain even one to your party. The 17 : 24), from the payment of vows, Pharisees were bent on increasing the and from voluntary donations. Ar number of their followers, and spared oath by this money was, probably, rep, no pains to secure that object. | The resented as binding a person, through child of hell. This expression means, a supposition of some uncommon sancaccording to the Hebrew manner of tity pertaining to such money. By speaking, a person exposed to or de- making these impressions on the peoserving of hell

. || Twofold more than ple, the Pharisees, doubtless, greatyourselves; twice as wicked as your- ly increased the wealth of the temple. selves. Your manner of conducting || He is a debtor ; he is bound to fulfil towards him does him no good, but his oath. makes him doubly worse than your- 17. Sanctifieth; canseth it to be reselves. This effect was doubtless garded as sacred, inasmuch as it was produced by the Pharisees' being more devoted to sacred purposes; just as anxious for an external union to their we might regard money devoted to the party of a person from among the spread of the gospel as sacred. heathen, than for his real benefit. 18. By the gift that is upon it. The His former heathen notions were not Pharisees represented oblations and corrected; he imbibed new errors; sacrifices as peculiarly sacred and acand a most corrupt example was set ceptable to God. || He is guilty. The him by his teachers. No wonder ordinary meaning of the word guilty whether is greater, the gift, or 23 Woe unto you, scribes the altar that sanctifieth the gift? and Pharisees, hypocrites! for

20 Whoso, therefore, shall ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, swear by the altar, sweareth by and cumin, and have omitted it, and by all things thereon. the weightier matters of the

21 And whoso shall swear law, judgment, mercy, and faith : by the temple, sweareth by it, these ought ye to have done, and by him that dwelleth therein. and not to leave the other un

22 And he that shall swear done. by heaven, sweareth by the 24 Ye blind guides, which throne of God, and by him that strain at a gnat, and swallow sitteth thereon.

a camel. is not applicable here. The idea is port of the priests and Levites, and as not, that a person would be criminul, an offering to God. See Lev. 27 : 30. but that he would be bound, that is, to Num. 18: 21. Deut. 14: 22. This fulfil his oath. The word in the ori- tithing of their property, the Phariginal is the same as the one translated sees carried to so great an extent of he is a debtor, in the 16th verse. exactness, as to pay and enjoin the

20—22. Jesus showed the utter tithe of the very smallest herbs, as futility of the distinction which the mint, &c. But while they were scruPharisees made between oaths. 5: 34, pulously exact in this matter, they &c. An oath by the altar, he de- neglected the moral injunctions of the clared to be of the same force as an law; thus having a mere show, while oath by an offering on the altar; inas- the reality of piety was neglected. much as an oath by the altar contained | || Judgment ; integrity, equity. || Merin it a reference to the use of the al- | cy; kindness. || Fuith ; faithfulness tar, and to whatever might be on it. to one's duties, or piety towards God. If a person swore by the temple, his | These ought ye, &c. This latter oath contained a recognition of Him class of duties, the moral duties, ought to whom the temple had been dedi- to have been mostly regarded, while, cated; and was, therefore, of the same at the same time, the other matters force as an oath in which the name ought not to have been neglected. of God was distinctly introduced. The Saviour did not censure the Just so an oath by heaven was by no Pharisees for their great care in remeans inferior to an oath in which spect to tithing, but for preferring that His name was mentioned who sitteth to the exercise of moral virtues, and on the heaven as his throne. In truth, for neglecting the moral injunctions, the form of words in which an oath while they professed and showed so was couched, did not impart the obli- strict a regard to these outward ob gation to observe the oath; a simple servances. declaration which a person might 24. Strain at a gnat, &c. A promake, ought to be just as true, and as verbial expression, intimating that binding, as if it was accompanied with while they were exceedingly precise an oath. But if he had used an oath about trifles, they were regardless with an implied intention of binding about truly important things : while himself more strongly, the oath could they were scrupulous in avoiding little not be innocently disregarded because faults, without scruple they indulged the name of God was not expressly in great ones.

The Jews were in the mentioned.

habit of straining their wine, lest some 23. Tithe ; the tenth part. The small insect might be in it, either Hebrews were required to pay a tenth having fallen into it, or having been part of all their income for the sup- bred in it, as is often the case in vine

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