« PreviousContinue »
Threatenings against those
who break Christ's commandments,
19 « Whosoever therefore shall break 20 For I say unto you, That except A. M.4031. An. Olymp. one of these least commandments, and your righteousness shall exceed the An. Olymp. CCI. S.
shall teach men so, he shall be called righteousness of the scribes and Pharithe least in the kingdom of heaven: but who sees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingsoever shall do and teach them, the same shall dom of heaven. be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 21 [ Ye have heard that it was said by
a James 2. 10.
o Rom. 9. 31. & 10. 3.
Or, to them.
thing that hath breath Praise, bbon tehalel, the Lord, change ing, the words of God, sets the holy precept aside, or ex
hé into n cheth, he would ruin the world.” (Because the plains away its force and meaning, shall be called least-shall command would then run, Let every thing that hath breath have no place in the kingdom of Christ here, nor in the PROPHANE the Lord.]
kingdom of glory above. That this is the meaning of these “ Should any one, in the words of Jerem. v. 10. They words, is evident enough from the following verse. lied AGAINST the Lord, 71712 beihovah, change a beth into Verse 20. Except your righteousness shall exceed] Fizioten, 3 caph, he would ruin the world.” [For then the words Unless your righteousness abound more—unless it take in, not would run, They lied like the Lord.]
only the letter, but the spirit and design of the moral and “ Should any one, in the words of Hosea v. 7. They' ritual precept; the one directing you how to walk so as to kave dealt treacherously, minua beihorah, AGAINST the Lord, please God; the other pointing out Christ, the great Atonechange ; beth into 3 caph, he would ruin the world.” (Forment, through and by which a sinner is enabled to do sothen the words would run, They have dealt treacherously ke more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, who only attended the Lord.]
to the letter of the Law, and had indeed made even that of “ Should any one, in the words of 1 Sam. ii. 2. There is no effect by their traditions—ye shall not enter into the kinga rone holy as the Lord, change 3 capā into 3 beth, he would | dom of heaven. This fully explains the meaning of the preruin the world.” [For then the words would mean, There, ceding verse. The old English word is rıhzpisnys, rightង no holiness in the Lord.]
wiseness, i. e. complete, thorough, excellent wisdom. For a full These examples fully prove, that the pesce xequence of our explanation of this verse, see Luke xviii. 10, &c. Lord, refers to the apices, points, or corners, that distinguish Verse 21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old , beth from ; caph; a cheth from i hé; and 7 resh from time] tous azxavors, to or by the ancients. By the ancients, we 7 daleth. For the Reader will at once perceive, how easily may understand those who lived before the Law, and those a 3 caph may be turned into a 3 beth; a n hé into a ni cheth; who lived under it; for murder was, in the most solemn and a 7 resh into a 7 daleth : and he will also see of what manner, forbidden before, as well as under the Law, Gen. ix. infinite consequence it is to write and print such letters 5, 6. correctly.
But it is very likely that our Lord refers here merely to Till all be fulfilled.] Or, accomplished. Though all traditions and glosses relative to the ancient Mosaic ordiearth and hell should join together to hinder the accom- nance; and such as, by their operation, rendered the priplishment of the great designs of the Most High; yet it mitive command of little or no effect. Murder from the shall be all in vain-even the sense of a single letter shall beginning has been punished with death; and it is, pronot be lost. The words of God which point out his designs, | bably, the only crime that should be punished with deuth. are as unchangeable as his nature itself
. Every sinner, who There is much reason to doubt, whether the punishment of perseveres in his iniquity, shall surely be punished with death, inflicted for any other crime, is not in itself murder, separation from God and the glory of his power; and every whatever the authority may be that has instituted it. GOD, soul that turns to God, through Christ, shall as surely be and the greatest legislators that have ever been in the unisaved, as that Jesus himself hath died.
verse, are of the same opinion. See Montesquieu, Blackstone, Verse 19. Whosoever-shull breuk one of these least com- and the Marquis Beccaria, and the arguments and testiinonies mendments) The Pharisees were remarkable for making lately produced by Sir Samuel Romilly, in his motion for the a distinction between weightier and lighter matters in the amendment of the criminal laws of this kingdom. It is Law, and between what has been called, in a corrupt part very remarkable, that the criminal code published by of the Christian Church, moral and venial sins. See on Joseph II. late Emperor of Germany, though it consists of chap. xxii. 36.
seventy-one capital crimes, has not death attached to any Whosoever skall break. What an awful consideration is of them. Even murder with an intention to rob, is punishthis! He who, by his mode of acting, speaking, or explain-led only with “ imprisonment for thirty years, to lie on the
Injurious words, and
harsh speeches censured.
A.M1. 4031. them of old time, Thou shalt not be in danger of the judgment: and A. M. 4031. An, Olymp. kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be whosoever shall say to his brother, An. Olymp. in danger of the judgment:
Raca", shall be in danger of the 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is council : but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, angry with his brother without a cause, shall shall be in danger of hell fire.
a Exod. 20. 13. Deut. 5. 17.-01 John 3. 15.
• That is, rain fellow. 2 Sam. 6. 20. — 4 Jam. 2. 20.
floor, to have no nourishment but bread and water, to be closely was punished by cutting out the tongue, and thrusting a chuined, and to be publicly whipped once a year, with less hot iron, of ten fingers' breadth, into the mouth of the than one hundred lashes.” See Colquhoun on the Police person who used it. Code of Gentoo Larus, chap. xv. sect. 2. of the City of London, p. 272.
Verse 22. Whosoever is angry with his brother without a Shall be in danger of hell_fire.] ενοχος εςαι εις την γέενναν του cause] o osya Sojeevos—sıxn, who is vuinly incensed. “ This trans- rugos, shall be liable to the hell of fire. Our Lord here allation is literal; and the very objectionable phrase, without ludes to the ralley of the son of Hinnom, sin u Ghi hinom. a cause, is left out, txn being more properly translated by || This place was near Jerusalem, and had been formerly that above." What our Lord seems here to prohibit, is not used for those abominable sacrifices, in which the idolatrous merely that miserable facility which some have of being || Jews had caused their children to pass through the fire to angry at every trifle, continually taking offence against their Molech. A particular place in this valley was called Tophet, best friends; but that anger which leads a man to commit from non tophet, the fire-stove, in which some suppose they outrages against another, thereby subjecting himself to that burnt their children alive to the above idol. See 2 Kings punishment which was to be inflicted on those who brake xxiii. 10. 2 Chron. xxviii. 3. Jer. vii. 31, 32. From the the
peace. Esxn, tuinly, or, as in the cornmon translation, circumstance of this valley having been the scene of those without a cause, is wanting in the famous Vatican MS. and || infernal sucrifices, the Jews, in our Saviour's time, used the two others, the Ethiopic, latter Arabic, Saxon, Vulgate, two || word for hell, the place of the damned. See the word apcopies of the old Itala, J. Martyr, Ptolomeus, Origen, Ter- plied in this sense by the Targum, on Ruth ii. 12. Psal. cxl. tullian, and by all the ancient copies quoted by St. Jeroin. 12. Gen. iii. 24. xv. 17. It is very probable, that our Lord It was probably a marginal gloss originally, which in pro- means no more here than this: If a man charge another cess of time crept into the text.
with apostacy from the Jewish religion, or rebellion against Shall be in danger of the judgment] Evoxos ésus, shall be God, and cannot prove his charge, then he is exposed to liable to the judgment. That is, to have the matter brought that punishment, (burning alive) which the other must have before a senate, composed of twenty-three magistrates, whose suffered, if the charge had been substantiated. There are business it was to judge in cases of murder and other capital three kinds of offences here, which exceed each other in crimes: It punished criminals by strangling or behending ; || their degrees of guilt. ist. Anger against a man, accombut Dr. Lightfoot supposes the judgment of God to be intend- panied with some injurious act. 2dly. Contempt, expressed ed. See at the end of this chapter.
by the opprobrious epithet raka, or shallow brains. 3dly. Raca] mpan from the Hebrew po rak, to be empty. It | Hatred and mortal enmity, expressed by the term morch, or signifies a rain, empty, worthless fellow, shallow brains, a term apostate, where such apostacy could not be proved. Now, of great contempt. Such expressions were punished among proportioned to these three offences were three different dethe Gentoos by a heavy fine. See all the cases, Code of grees of punishment, each exceeding the other in its seveGentoo Laws, chap. xv. sect. 2.
rity, as the offences exceeded each other in their different The council) uvedenow, the famous council, known among | degrees of guilt. Ist. The judgment, the council of twentythe Jews by the name of Sunhedrin. It was composed of three, which could inflict the punishment of strangling. seventv-two elders, six chosen out of each tribe. This grand | 2dly. The Sunhedrin, or great council, which could inflict Sanhedrin not only received appeals from the inferior San-| the punishment of stoning. And 3dly. the being burnt alite hedrins, or court of twenty-three, mentioned above; but could in the valley of the son of Hinnom. This appears to be the alone take cognizance, in the first instance, of the highest meaning of our Lord. crimes, and alone inflict the punishment of stoning.
Now, if the above offences were to be so severely punishThou fool] Morch, probably from ne mnarah, to rebel, aed, which did not immediately affect the life of another, how rebel against God, apostate from all good. This term im- || much sorer must the punishment of murder be? ver. 21. plied, anong the Jews, the highest enormity, and most ag-|| And as there could not be a greater punishment inflicted than gravated guilt. Among the Gentoos, such an expression death, in the above terrific forms, and this was to be inflicted
A, D, 27.
injuries inculcated. 23 Thereforeif thou bring thy 25 Agree with thine adversary A. M. 4031. An. Olymp. gift to the altar, and there remem- quickly, whiles thou art in the An. Olymp.
berest that thy brother hath ought way with him ; lest at any time against thee;
the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy be cast into prison. brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no
a Ch. 8. 4. & 23. 19.- See Job 42. 8. ch. 18. 19. 1 Tim. 2. 8. 1 Pet. 3.7.
• Prov. 25. 8. Luke 12. 58, 59,- See Ps. 32. 6. Isai. 55. 6.
for minor crimes; then the punishment of murder must not not accept of any act of religious worship from us, while any only have death here, but a hell of fire in the eternal world, enmity subsists in our hearts toward any soul of man; or while attached to it. It seems that these different degrees of guilt, any subsists in our neighbour's heart towards us, which we and the punishment attached to each, had not been properly || have not used the proper means to remove. A religion, the distinguished among the Jews. Our Lord here calls their very essence of which is love, cannot suffer at its altars, a attention back to them, and gives them to understand, that in heart that is revengeful and uncharitable, or which does not the coming world there are different degrees of punishment use its utmost endeavours to revive love in the heart of anprepared for different degrees of vice; and that not only the other. The original word, dwgov, which we translate gift, is outward act of iniquity should be judged and punished by the used by the Rabbins in Hebrew letters 1917 doron, which Lord, but that injurious words, and evil passions should all meet signifies not only a gift, but a sacrifice offered to God. See their just recompence and reward. Murder is the most several proofs in Schoetgen. punishable of all crimes, according to the written Law, in Then come and offer thy gift.) Then, when either thy brorespect both of our neighbour and civil society. But He who ther is reconciled to thee, or thou hast done all in thy power sees the heart, and judges it by the eternal law, punishes as to effect this reconciliation. » My own obstinacy and immuch, a word, or a desire, if the hatred whence they proceed charitableness must render me utterly unfit to receive any good be complete and perfected. Dr. Lightfoot has some curious from God's hands, or to worship bim in an acceptable inanobservations on this passage in the preface to his Harmony of ner; but the wickedness of another, can be no hindrance to the Evangelists. See his works, Vol. II. and the conclusion me, when I have endeavoured earnestly to get it removed, of this chapter.
though without effect. Verse 23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift] Evil must be Verse 25. Agree with thine adversary quickly! Adversary, nipped in the bud. An unkind thought of another may be avoidixos, properly a plaintiff in law-a perfect law term. the foundation of that which leads to actual murder. A Our Lord enforces the exhortation given in the preceding Christian, properly speaking, cannot be an enemy to any verses from the consideration of what was deemed prudent in man ;. nor is he to consider any man bis enemy, without the ordinary law-suits. In such cases, men should make up fullest evidence : for surmises to the prejudice of another, can matters with the utmost speed, as running through the whole never rest in the bosom of him who has the love of God in his course of a law-suit, must not only be vexatious, but be attended heart, for to him all men are brethren. He sees all men as with great expense; and in the end, though the loser may children of God, and members of Christ, or at least capable | be ruined, yet the gainer has nothing. A good use of this of becoming such. If a tender forgiving spirit was required, very prudential advice of our Lord is this: Thou art a sinner, een in a Jerv, when he approached God’s altar with a bullock God hath a controversy with thee. There is but a step beof a lamb, how much more necessary is this in a man who tween thee and death. Now is the accepted tiine. Thou art professes to be a follower of the Lamb of God; especially invited to return to God by Christ Jesus. Corne immediately when he receives the symbols of that Sacrifice which was at bis call, and he will save thy soul. Delay not! Eternity is offered for the life of the world, in what is commonly called at hand; and if thou die in thy sins, where God is thou shalt the sacrament of the Lord's supper?
Verse 24. Leuve there thy gift before the altar] This is as Those who make the adversary, God; the judge, Christ; much as to say, “ Do not attempt to bring any offering to the officer, Death; and the prison, lleil, abuse the passage, God whilst thou art in a spirit of enm ty ayainst any person, and highly dishonour God. or hast any difference with thy neighbour, which thou hast Verse 26. The uttermost furthing.) Kod arany. The Rabbins nut used thy diligenre to get ac'justed.” It is our duty and have this Greek word corrupted into ouwv77p kordientes; interest, both to bring our gist, and offer it too; but God will and promp, kontrik, and say, that two mona prutoth make .
A M. 4031.
A, D. 27. An. Olymp
Impuře thoughts, fc. condemned. St. MATTHEW.
The offending eye, hand, fc. means come out thence, till thou hast || mitted adultery with her already in A. M. 4031. An. Olymp. paid the uttermost farthing.
d offend by them of old time, « Thou shalt not committhee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for adultery:
it is profitable for thee that one of thy members 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever "look- should perish, and not that thy whole body eth on a woman, to lust after her, hath com- should be cast into hell.
* Exod. 20. 14. Deut. 5. 18.
Sce Gen. 34, 2.
Lb Job 31. 1. Prov. 6. 25. 2 Sam. 11. 2.
Ch. 18. 8, 9. Mark 9. 43-47.- Or, do cause thee to offend.
e See ch, 19. 12. Rom. 8. 13. 1 Cor. 9. 27 Col. 3. 5.
a kontarik, which is exactly the same with those words in phelius, on this verse, says, ero de pesos hoc loco, est turpi cupidiMark xii. 42. A:TTa dvo, o Esti xodzavins, two mites, which are tate mulieris potiundæ flugrare. In all these cases, our blessed one furihing. Hence it appears, that the 2:7TOY lepton was Lord points ont the spirituality of the Law; which was a the same as the prutah. The weight of the prutah was half matter to which the Jews paid 'very little attention. Indeed a barley corn, and it was the smallest coin among the Jews, it is the property of a Pharisee to abstain only from the as the kodrantes or farthing, was the smallest coin among the outward crime. Men are very often less inquisitive to know Romans. If the matter issue in law, strict justice will be how far the will of God extends, that they may please him done, and your creditor be allowed the fulness of his just in performing it, than they are to know how far they may claim; but if, while you are on the way, going to the ma- satisfy their lusts without destroying their bodies and souls gistrate, you come to a friendly agreement with him, he will utterly, by an open violation of his law. relax in his claims, take a part for the whole, and the com- Hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.] It position be in the end, both to his and your profit.
is the earnest wish or desire of the soul, which in a variety This text has been considered a proper foundation on which of cases, constitutes the good or evil of an act. If a man to build not only the doctrine of a purgatory, but also that of earnestly wish to commit an evil, but cannot, because God universal restoration. But the most unwarrantable violence puts time, place, and opportunity out of his power; he is fully must be used before it can be pressed into the service of either chargeable with the iniquity of the act, by that God who of the above antiscriptural doctrines. At the most, the text can searches and judges the heart. So, if a man earnestly wish only be considered as a metaphorical representation of the to do some kindness, which it is out of his power to perprocedure of the great Judge; and let it ever be remem- form, the act is considered as his; because God, in this case, bered, that by the general consent of all (except the basely as in that above, takes the will for the deed. If voluntary interested) no metaphor is ever to be produced in proof of and deliberate looks and desires make adulterers and adulterany doctrine. In the things that concern our eternal salva- | esses, how many persons are there whose whole life is one tion, we need the most pointed and express evidence on which continued crime? whose eyes being full of adultery, they cunto establish the faith of our souls.
not cease from sin. 2 Pet. ii. 14. Many would abhor to comVerse 27. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old] mit one external act before the eyes of men, in a temple of By the ancients, tous cexauus is omitted by nearly a hundred stone; and yet they are not afraid to commit a multitude of MSS. and some of them of the very greatest antiquity and such acts in the temple of their hearts, and in the sight of authority; also by the Coptic, Æthiopic, Armeniun, Gothic, | God! and Slavoniun versions; by four copies of the old Itala; and Verse 29. And if thy right eye offend thee] The right eye by Origen, Cyril, Theophyluct, Euthymius and Hilary. On and the right hand are used here to point out those sins this authority Wetstein and Griesbach have left it out of the which appear most pleasing and profitable to us; from which
we must be separated, if we desire ever to see the kingdom Verse 28. Whosoerer looketh on a woman, to lust after her] of God. ETIBU METOU QUtny, earnestly to covet her. The verb sidup?w, is Offend thee] Exavdanos. Te fait broncher, cause thee to undoubtedly used here by our Lord, in the sense of coveting stumble, French Bible. Exavdaangez is explained by Suidas, through the intluence of impure desire. The word is used in " that piece of wood in a trap, or pit for wild beasts, which precisely the same sense, on the same subject, by Herodotus, being trodden upon by them, causes them to fall into the book the first, near the end. I will give the passage, but I trap or pit.” The word in Suidus appears to be compounddare not translate il. To the learned Reader it will justify ed of craydarov a stumbling block, or something that causes a my translation, and the unlearned must take my word. man to trip, and raięce private or hidden. Thus then the Της ΕΠΙΘΥΜΗΣΕΙ γυναικος Μασσαγετης ανης, μισγεται αδεως. Ra-right eye may be considered the darling idol; the right hand,
Of lawful and
4.M. 4031, A.D. 97.
A D. 27.
20 And if thy right hand offend 32 But I say unto you, That who. A.M. 4031, An. Olymp. thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: | soever shall put away his wife, saving An. Olymp.
for it is profitable for thee that one of for the cause of fornication, causeth thy members should perish, and not that thy her to compmit adultery: and whosoever shall whole body should be cast into hell.
marry her that is divorced, committeth adul. 31. It hath been said, “Whosoever shall put tery. away his wife, let him give her a writing of 33 | Again, ye have heard that it hath been divorcement:
said by them of old time, « Thou shalt not for
• Deut. 94.1. Jer. 3. 1. See ch. 19. S, &c. Mark 10. 2, &c.
• Ch. 19. 9. Luke 16. 18. Rom.7.3. 1 Cor. 7. 10, 11. ch. 23. 16.
• Exod. 20.7. Lev. 19. 12. Nuin. 30. 2. Deut. 5. 11.
the profitable employment, pursued on sinful principles; these A writing of divorcement] The following is the combeconie snares and traps to the soul, by which it falls into the mon form of such a writing. See Maimonides and Lightpit of perdition.
foot. Verses 29, 30. Pluck it out-cut it off'] We must shut “ On the day of the week A. in the month B. in the year our senses against dangerous objects, to avoid the occasions C. from the beginning of the world, according to the comof sin, and deprive ourselves of all that is most dear and mon computation in the province of D. I, N. the son of N. profitable to us, in order to save our souls, wlien we find by whatever name I am called, of the city E: with entire that these dear and profitable things, however innocent in consent of mind, and without any compulsion, have dithemselves, cause us to sin against God.
vorced, dismissed, and expelled thee--thee, I say, M. the It is proftable for thee that one of thy members] Men often daughter of M. by whatever name thou art called, of the part with some members of the body, at the discretion of a city E. who wast heretofore my wife : but now I have dissurgeon, that they may preserve the trunk, and die a little missed thee—thee, I say, M. the daughter of M, by whatlater; and yet they will not deprive themselves of a look, a ever name thou art called, of the city E. so as to be free, and touch, a small pleasure, which endanger the eternal death of at thine own disposal, to marry whomsoever thou pleasest, the soul. It is not enough to shut the eye, or stop the hand; without hindrance from any one, from this day for ever. the one must be plucked out, and the other cut off. Neither | Thou art therefore free for any man. Let this be thy bill of is this enough, we must cast them both from us. Not one divorce from me, a writing of separation and expulsion, ac, moment's truce with an evil passion, or a sinful appetite. Ifcording to the law of Moses and Israel. Fou indulge them, they will gain strength, and you shall lae
RCUBEN, son of Jacob, Witness. ruiped. The Rabbins have a saying similar to this: " It is
*Eliezar, son of Gilead,. Witness." lätter for thee to be scorched with a little fire in this world, God permitted this evil to prevent a greater; and, perthan to be burned with a devouring fire in the world to baps, to typify his repudiating the Jews, who were his first come.'
spouse. Verse 31. Whosoever shall put away his wife] The Jewish Verse 32. Saving for the cause of fornication] Aoyou Togueid;, do-tors gave great licence in the matter of divorce. Among on account of whoredom. As fornication signifies no more than them, a man might divorce his wife if she displeased him even the unlawful connection of unmarried persodis, it cannot be in the dressing of his victuals!
used here with propriety, when speaking of those who are Rabbi Akiba said, " If any man saw a woman handsomer married. I have therefore translated inyou togveszs, on account than his own wife, he might put his wife away; because it is of whoredom. It does not appear that there is any other case in said in the Law, If she find not favour in his eyes.” Deut. which Jesus Christ admits of divorce. A real Christian onght IT, I.
rather to beg of God the grace to bear patiently and quietly Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, in his life, tells the imperfections of his wife, than to think of the means of Us, with the utmost coolness and indifference, “ About this being parted from her. “ But divorce was allowed by Moses ;" time I put away iny wife, who had borne me three children, yes, for the hardness of their hearts it was permitted: but not being pleased with her manners."
what was permitted to an uncircumcised heart among the These two cases are sufficient to shew, to what a scandalous | Jews, should not serve for a rule to a heart in which the and criminal excess this matter was carried among the Jews. love of God has been shed abroad by the Holy Spirit. Those However, it was allowed by the school of Shammai, that no who form a matrimonial connection in the fear and love of liian was to put away his wife unless for adultery. The school God, and under his direction, will never need a divorce. gave inuch greater licence.
But those who marry as passion or money lead the way, may