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Against all profane and
common swearing. A.M. 4031.
swear thyself, but a shalt perform unto || neither by Jerusalem ; for it is the A. M. 4031. A. D. 27. An. Olymp. the Lord thine oaths :
city of the great king.
An. Olymp. CCI. 3.
34 But I say unto you, "Swear not 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's head, because thou canst not make one hair throne:
white or black. 35 Nor by the earth ; for it is his footstool : 37 € But let your communication be, Yea,
a Deut. 23. 23.
- ch. 23. 16, 18, 22. James 5. 12. Isai. 66. 1.
d Ps. 48. 2. & 87.3.
Le Col. 4. 6. James 5. 12.
be justly considered adulterers and adultresses as long as they his grace reign in his temple as the place of his residence. live.
Let it be our constant care to seek and honour God in all his Verse 33. Thou shalt not forswear thyself ] They dishonour || works. the great God, and break this commandment, who use fre- Verse 36. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head] For these. quent oaths and imprecations, even in reference to things plain reasons : Ist. God commands thee not to do it. 2dly. that are true: and those who make vows and promises, which Thou hast nothing which is thy own, and thou shouldst not they either cannot perform, or do not design to fulfil, are pledge another's property. 3dly. It never did, and never can, not less criminal. Swearing in civil matters is become so answer any good purpose. And 4thly. being a breach of the frequent, that the dread and obligation of an oath are utterly law of God, it is the way to everlasting misery. lost in it. In certain places, where oaths are frequently ad- Verse 37. Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay] ministered, people have been known to kiss their thumb That is, a positive affirmation, or negation, according to your or pen, instead of the book, thinking thereby to avoid the knowledge of the matter concerning which you are called to sin of perjury; but this is a shocking imposition on their testify. Do not equivocate; mean what you assert, and adown souls. See the Notes on Deut. iv, 26. vi. 13.
here to your assertion. Hear what a heathen says on this Perform unto the Lord thine ouths] The morality of the subject : Jews on this point was truly execrable: they maintained, that Εχθρος γαρ μοι κεινος ομως αιδαο πυλησιν, , a man might swear with his lips, and annul it in the same Ος χετερον μεν κευθει ενα φρεσιν, αλλο δε βαζα. moment in his heart. Rab. Akiba is quoted as an example
Hom. II. ix. 312. of this kind of swearing. See Schoetgen.
“ He whose words agree not with his private thoughts, is as Verse 34. Swear not at all] Much has been said iv vindi- detestable to me as the gates of hell.” See on Josh. ii. at the end. cation of the propriety of swearing in civil cases before a See the subject of swearing particularly considered in the magistrate, and much has been said against it. The best note at the conclusion of Deut. chap. vi. way is to have as little to do as possible with oaths. An oath Whatsoever is more than these] That is, more than a bare will not bind a knare nor a liar; and an honest man needs affirmation, or negation, according to the requirements of none, for his character and conduct swear for him. On this Eternal Truth, cometh of evil; or, is of the wicked one—«x subject the advice of Epictetus is very good : “ Swear not at TOU Toinçou esov, i. e. the Devil, the father of superfluitics and all, if possible; if you cannot avoid, do it as little as you lies. One of Selden's MSS. and Gregory Nyssen, a comcan." Enchir. c. 44. See on Deut. iv. 26. vi. 13.
mentator of the fourth century, have ex tou 8oa Gonov asuv, is of Verse 34, 35. Neither by heaven, &c.] It was a custom the Deril. among the Scythians, when they wished to bind themselves That the Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing, in the most solemn manner, to swear by the king's throne; for which our Lord particularly reprehends them, and warns and if the king was at any time sick, they believed it was his disciples against; and that they swore by heaven, by occasioned by some one's having taken the oath falsely. earth, by Jerusalem, by their head, &c. the following exIlerod. l. iv.
tracts, made by Dr. Lightfoot from their own writings, amply Who is there among the traders and people of this world testify: who obey this law ? A common swearer is constantly per- “ It was customary and usual among them to swear by the juring himself: such a person should never be trusted. When creatures. * If any swear by heaven, by earth, by the sun, &c. we make any promise contrary to the command of God, although the mind of the swearer be under these words, to swear laking, as a pledge of our sincerity, either God, or something by Him who created them, yet this is not an oath. belonging to him, we engage that which is not ours, without swear by some of the prophets, or by some of the books of the the Master's consent. God manifests his glory in heuven, as Scripture, although the sense of the swearer be to swear by Him upon his throne; he imprints the footsteps of his perfections that sent that prophet, or that gave that book, nevertheless this upon the earth, bis footstool; and shews, that his holiness and is not an oath, MAIMONDES.
Or, if any
Against revenge, and
resentment of injuries. yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is evil: 'but whosoever shall smite thee A. M.4031. An. Olymp. more than these cometh of evil. on thy right cheek, turn to him the An Olsnip.
38 Ye have heard that it hath other also. been said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, a tooth:
and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke 39 But I say unto you,
resist not also.
c Isai. 50. 6. Lam. 3. 30.
• Exod. 21. 94. Lev. 2-1. 20. Deut. 19. 21. Prov. 20. 22. & 24. 99.
Luka 6.29. Run. 12. 17, 19. 1 Cor. 6. 7. i Thess. 5. 15. 1 Pet. 3. 9.
“ If any adjure another by heaven or earth, he is not guilty. must not be too abundant in the practice. Against such perTALMUD.
mission, our Lord opposes his, Sweur OT AT ALL! He who They swore by heaven, nin ya Sipun hushshamayim, uses any oath, except what he is solemnly called by the maeen hu, ‘ By heaven, so it is.' BAB. BERAC.
gistrate to make, so far from being a Christian, he does not They swore by the TEMPLE. " When turtles and
deserve the reputation, either of decency or common sense. pigeons were sometimes sold at Jerusalem for a penny of gold, In some of our old elementary books for children, we have this Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel, said, in rion By this habi- good maxim : “Never swear : for he that swears will lie ; and tation, (that is, by thiş TEMPLE) I will not rest this night, un- he that lies will steal; and if so, what bad things will he not less they be sold for a penny of silver.' CHERITUTH, cap. i.
do !” ReadiNG NADE Easy. “ R. Zechariah ben Ketsab said, 117
Verse 38. An eye for an eye] Our Lord refers here to the TEMPLE, the hand of the woman departed not out of my hand.'- law of retaliation mentioned Exod. xxi. 24. (see the note there, R. Jochanan said, abg07 By the temple, it is in our hund, and on Levit. xxiv. 20.) which obliged the offender to suffer &c.' KETUBOTA and Bab. Kidushin,
the same injury he had committed. The Greeks and Romans “ Bara ben Budo swore by the temple, in the end of the had the same law. So strictly was it attended to at Athens, tract Cherithuth, and Rubban Simeon ben Gamaliel in the be- that if a man put out the eye of another who had but one, ginning, 587019 anus 711–And so was the cus«om in Israel. - the offender was condemned to lose both his eyes, as the loss Note this, so was the custom. Jucas. fol. 56.
of one would not be an equivalent misfortune. It seems that They swore by the city Jerusalem. R. Judah saith, · He the Jews had made this law (the execution of which belonged that saith, By JERUSALEM, suith nothing, unless with an intent to the civil magistrate) a ground for authorizing private repurpose he shull row towards Jerusalem. Where also, after two sentments, and all the excesses committed by a vindictive lines coming between those forms of swearing and vowing, spirit. Revenge was often carried to the utmost extremity,
, . Jerusalem, For Jerusalem, By Jerusalem. — The Temple, is often the case ainong those who are called Christians. For the Temple, By the Temple.-The Altar, For the Altar, Verse 39. Resist not evil] Or, the evil person. So, I am By the Altar.— The Lamb, For the Lamb, By the Lamb. fully persuaded, 16 trovnew ought to be translated. Our Lord's - The chambers of the Temple, for the chambers of the meaning is, “ Do not repel one outrage by another.” He that Temple, By the chumbers of the Temple.-The Word, For the does so, makes himself precisely what the other is, a wicked Word, By the Word.—The Sacrifices on fire, For the Sacrifices person. on fre, By the Sacrifices on fire.-The Dishes, For the Dishes,
Turn to him the other also.) That is, rather than avenge By the Dishes.-By all these things, that I will do this to thyself, be ready to suffer patiently a repetition of the same you.' Tosapht. ad NEDARIM.
injury. But these exhortations belong to those principally They swore by their own heads. • One is bound to who are persecuted for righteousness' sake. Let such leave the sweur to his neighbour, and he saith, 70x9 und my 999 Vow judgment of their cause to Him for whose sake they suffer. (or swear) to me by the life of thy head, &c.' SANHEDR. | The Jews always thought, that every outrage should be résent
ed; and thus the spirit of hatred and strife was fostered. “ One of the holiest of their precepts relative to swearing
Verse 40. And if any man will sue thee at the law] Every was this: · Be not much in ouths, although one should swear where our blessed Lord shews the utmost disapprobation of such concerning things that are true : for in much swearing, it is litigations as tended to destroy brotherly kindness and charity. ami possible not to profunc.' Tract. Demar."--See Lightfoot’s | It is evident, he would have his followers to suitèr rather the Works, Vol. II. p. 149.
loss of all their property, than to have recourse to such modes They did not pretend to forbid all common swearing, but of redress at so great a risk. Having the mind averse from only what they term MUCH. A Jew inight swear, but he contentions, and preferring peace and concord to tunporain
and more evil returned than what had been received. This | ירושלס לירושלס בירושלם היכל להיכל בהיכל ,are added
Of borrowing and lending.
We must love our enemies, 41 And whosoever... shall compel || 43-4 Ye have heard that it hath A, M.4031. An. Olymp. thee to go a mile, go with him twain. been said, “Thou shalt love thy neigh- An. Olymp.
42 Give to him that asketh thee, and bour, and hate thine enemy. from him that would borrow of thee turn not 44 But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you, do good to them that
• Ch. 27. 32. Mark 15. 21.-- Deut. 15. 8, 10. Luke 6.30, 35.
Lev. 19. 18. — Deut. 23. 6. Ps. 41. 10.-_ Luke 6. 27, 35.
Rom. 12. 14, 20.
advantages, is most solemnly recommended to all Christians. he can ever receive from man. Revenge, at such an expence, We are great gainers when we lose only our money, or other is dear indeed. property, and risk not the loss of our souls, by losing the Verse 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that love of God and man.
would borrow] To give and lend freely to all who are in need, Coat] Xotwo, upper garment.— Cloke, fuation, under gar is a general precept from which we are only excused by our ment. What we call struit coat, and great coat. See
inability to perform it. Men are more or less obliged to it as Luke vi. 29,
they are more or less able, as the want is more or less pressing ; Verse 41. Shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.] as they are more or less burthened with common poor, or arraz:vok. This word is said to be derived from the Persians, with necessitous relatives. In all these matters, both prudence among whom the king's messengers, or posts, were called and charity must be consulted. That God, who makes use of Ayyagon, or Angari. This definition is given both by He- the beggar's hand to ask our charity, is the same from whom sychius and Suidas.
we ourselves beg our daily bread : and dare we refuse him! The Persian messengers had the royal authority for pressLet us shew at least mildness and compassion, when we can ing horses, ships, and even men to assist them in the business | do no more: and if we cannot or will not relieve a poor man, on which they were einployed. These Angari are now term- | let us never give him an ill word nor an ill look. If we do ed Chappars, and serve to carry dispatches between the court
not relicve him, we have no right to insult him. and the provinces. When a chappar sets out, the master of the horse funishes him with a single horst, and when that is joins together, and which he sets on equal footing. A rich
To give and to lend, are two duties of charity which Christ Weary, he dismounts the first man he meets, and takes his
man is one of God's stewards: God has given him money horse. There is no pardon for a traveller that refuses to let for the poor, and he cannot deny it without an act of injusa chappar have his horse, nor for any other who should deny | tice. But no man, from what is called a principle of charity him the best horse in his stable. See Sir J. Chardin's and Hanway's travels. For pressing post horses, &c. the Persian creditors. Generosity is godlike, but Justice has ever, both in
or generosity, should give that in alms, which belongs to his term is vä, s djśww Sukhreh geriften. I find no Persian Law and Gospel, the first claim. word exactly of the sound and signification of Ayyazos; but A lown is often more beneficial than an absolute gift: first, the Arabic achuret signifies spurring a horse, attacking, because it flatters less the vanity of him who lends : secondly, plundering, &c. The Greek word itself is preserved among it spares more the shame of him who is in real want ; and the Rabbins in Hebrew characters, 998 angarin, and it has thirdly, it gives less encouragement to the idleness of him precisely the same meaning: viz. to be compelled by vio- who may not be very honest. However, no advantage should Jence, to do any particular service, especially of the public be taken of the necessities of the borrower : he who does so, kind, by the king's authority. Lightfoot gives several in- is at least, half a murderer. The lending which our Lord stances of this in his Horæ Talmudicæ.
here inculcates, is that which requires no more than the reWe are here exhorted to patience and forgiveness : storation of the principal in a convenient time : otherwise to
First, when we receive in our persons all sorts of insults live upon trust, is the sure way to pay double. and affronts, ver. 39.
Verse 43. Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enea Sccondly, When we are despoiled of our goods, ver. 10. my.) Instead of #noloy neighbour, the Codex Gravii, a MS.
Thirdly, When our bodies are forced to undergo all kinds of the eleventh century, reads conoy friend. Thou shalt love of toils, vexations, and torments, ver. 41. The way to im- | thy friend, and hate thine enemy. This was certainly the prove the injustice of inan to our own advantage, is to exer- meaning which the Jews put on it: for neighbour, with them, cise under it meekness, gentleness, and longsuffering, without | implied those of the Jewish race, and all others were consiwhich disposition of mind, no man can either be happy here dered by them as natural enemies. Besides, it is evident that or hereafter; for he that avenges himself, must lose the mind nànsion among the Hellenistic Jews, meant friend merely: of Christ, and thus suffer an injury 10,000 times greater than Christ uses it precisely in this sense in Luke 8. 36. in answer te
and pray for them which
despitefully use and persecute us.
A. D. 27. An. Olymp.
A. M. 4031. hate you,
and * for them which de- and sendeth rain on the just and on A. D. 27.
pray An. Oiyinp. spitefully use you, and persecute you; the unjust.
45 That ye may be the children of 46 ‘For if ye love them which love your Father which is in heaven : for "he mak- you, what reward have ye? do not even the eth his sun to rise on the evil and on the good; publicans the same?
the question asked by a certain lawyer, ver. 29. Who of the Pray for them which despitefully use you] Etnolortwy, from three was neighbour (andry friend) to him who fell among Eto against, and Agns Mars, the heathen god of war. Thiose the thieves? He who shewed him mercy; i.e. he who acted who are making continual war upon you, and constantly herkthe friendly part. In Hebrew, reang signifies friend, which rassing and calumniating you. Pray for them— This is another word is translated intoor by the LXX. in more than one | exquisitely reasonable precept. I cannot change that wicked hundred places. Among the Greeks it was a very compre
man's heart; and while it is unchanged he will continue to harass bensive term, and signified every man, not even an enemy ex
me: God alone can change it: 'then I must implore him to do cepted, as Raphelius on this verse, has shewn from Polybius. that which will at once secure the poor man's salvation, and The Jews thought themselves authorized to kill any Jew who
contribute so much to my own peace. apostatized, and though they could not do injury to the Gen- And persecute you] Abwxoytwy, those who
hard on, and tiles, in whose country they sojourned, yet they were bouud pursue you with hatred and malice, accompanied with repeatto suffer them to perish, if they saw them in danger of death. ed acts of enmity. llear their own words : " A Jew sees a Gentile fall into the In this verse our Lord shews us that a man may be our sea, let him by no means lift him out; for it is written, Thou enemy in three different ways, shalt not rise up against the blood of thy neighbour :-but this First, in his heart, by hatred. is not thy neighbour." Maimon. This shews, that by neigh- Secondly, in his words, by cursing or using direful imprebour they understood a Jew; one who was of the same blood cations (xaraqWpEvou) against us. and religion with themselves.
Thirdly, in his actions, by continually harassing and abusVerse 44. Love your enemies] This is the most sublime ing us. piece of morality ever given to man. Has it appeared unreu- Ile shews us also how we are to behave to those. sonable and absurd to some? It has. And why? Because The hatred of the first, we are to meet with love. it is natural to man to avenge himself, and plague those who The cursings or evil words of the second, we are to meet plague him; and he will ever find abundant excuse for his with good words and blessings. conduct, in the repeated evils he receives from others; for And the repeated injurious acts of the third, we are to meet men are naturally hostile to each other. Jesus Christ designs with continual prayer to God for the man's salvation. to make men happy. Now he is necessarily miserable who Verse 45. That ye may be the children of your Father] Inkates another. Our Lord prohibits that only, which, from stead of usor children, some MSS. the latter Persic version, and its nature, is opposed to man's happiness. This is therefore several of the primitive Fathers, read joros, that ye may be one of the most reasonable precepts in the universe But like to, or resemble your Father who is in heaven. This is who can obey it? None but he who has the mind of Christ. certainly our Lord's meaning. As a man's child is called his, But I have it not. Seek it from God; it is that kingdom of | because a partaker of his own nature, so a holy person is said kearen which Christ came to establish upon earth. See on to be a child of God, because he is a partaker of the divine chap. iii. 2. This one precept is a sufficient proof of the ho- | nature. liness of the Gospel, and of the truth of the Christian religion. He maketh his sun to rise on the evil]
“ There is nothing Every false religion flatters man, and accommodates itself to his greater than to imitate God in doing good to our enemies. pride and his pussions:* None but God could have imposed a All the creatures of God pronounce the sentence of condemnsoke so contrary to self-love; and nothing but the supreme | ation on the revengeful: and this sentence is written by the eternal love, can enable men to practise a precept so insup- rays of the sun, and with the drops of rain, and indeed by all portable to corrupt nature.
the natural good things, the use of which God freely gives to · Bless them that curse you] Evagyott, give them good words, his enemies.” If God had not loved us while we were his for their bad words. See the note on Gen. ii. 3.
enemies, we could never have become his children: and we Do good to them that hate you] Give your enemy every shall cease to be such, as soon as we cease to imitate him. proof that you love him. We must not love in tongue, but Verse 46. For if ye love them which love you] He who in deed and in truth.
loves only his friends, does nothing for God's sake. He who
We niust resemble
our heavenly Father.
47 And if ye salute your brethren 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even Ar. Olymp. only, what do ye more than others? Was your Father, which is in heaven, An. Olynp.
do not even the publicans so? is perfect.
'loves for the sake of pleasure or interest, pays himself. God has civilities of a common salutation to those of their own religino enemy which he hates but sin; we should bave no other. ous party. Juvenal when he satirizes the Jews of the aposto
The publicans) That is, tar-gatherers, Tilavar, from Tidos a lic age for their religious opinions, and represents them as untar, and wspueseI buy or farm. A farmer or collector of the friendly, and even malevolent to other people; Sát. xiv. and tares or public revenues. Of these there were two classes; the when he mentions their refusing to shew travellers the way, Superior, who were Romans of the equestrian order; and the Non monstrare vias, &c. or to point out to them where they Inferior, those mentioned in the Gospels, who it appears were might find water to drink when thirsty with journeying, takes mostly Jers.
no notice of their not saluting those of another nation; yet Thiş class of men was detestable among the Romans, the there is no reason to believe, from these words of Christ, that Greeks, and the Jews, for their intolerable rapacity and ava- many of them at least would not, and that even a Jewish pubrice. They were abhorred in an especial manner by the Jews, lican received no salutations from one of his own nation, exto whom the Roman government was odious: these assisting cepting brother publicans. in collecting the Roman tribute were considered as betrayers
“ Nor shall we wonder at this, or think it requisite to supof the liberties of their country, and abettors of those who pose the word we translate salute (womta Sopeces) and which cerenslaved it. They were something like the tythe farmers in a stainly, sometimes at least, signifies nothing more than making certain Country-a principal cause of the public burtlens and use of some friendly words upon meeting with people, must discontent. One quotation, of the many produced by Kypke, here signify something more particular, since we find some will amply shew in what detestation they were held among of the present inhabitants of the East seem to want this admothe Greeks.
nition of our Lord. “ When the Arabs salute one another," Theocritus being asked, Which of the wild beasts were the according to Niebuhr, “it is generally in these terms, Salâm most cruel? answered, Ey uży tous opstvy, Upxtob xec 2 EOYTES• xy daleikum, Peace be with you ; in speaking which words they TURST702:619, TEANNAI XCO ouxoarrub. Bears and lions in the lay the right hand on the heart. The answer is, Aleikum esmountains; and Tax-GATHERERs and calumniators, in cities. salâm, With you be peace. Aged people are inclined to add
Verse 47. And if ye salute your brethren only) Instead of to these words, Ard the mercy and blessing of God. The Mow!.Pous brethren, upwards of one hundred MSS. and several hammedans of Egypt and Syria never salute a Christian in of them of great authority and antiquity, have pirous friends. this inanner; they content themselves with saying to them, The Armenian, Slavonic, and Gothic versions, with the latter Good day to youl; or, Friend how do you do? The Arabs of Syriac, and some of the primitive Fathers, agree in this read- Yemen, who seldom see any Christians, are not so zealous but ing. I scarcely know which to prefer; as brother is more that sometimes they will give them the Sulâm aleikum." conformable to the Jewish mode of address, it should be re- Presently after he says: “ For a long time I thought the tained in the text: the other reading however, tends to con- Mohammedan custom of saluting Christians, in a different firm that of the Coder Grarii on ver. 43.
manner from that made use of to those of their own profesOn the subject of giving and receiving salutations in Asi- sion, was an effect of their pride and religious bigotry. I saatic countries, Mr. Harmer, Observat. vol. ii. p. 327, &c. edit. luted them sometimes with the Salâm aleikum, and I had 1808. has collected much valuable information : the following often only the common answer. At length I observed in Natoextract will be sufficient to elucidate our Lord's meaning.
lia, that the Christians themselves might probably be the cause, “Dr. Doddridge snpposes that the salutation our Lord re
that Mohamniedans did not make the same return to their fers to, Matt. v. 47. If ye salute your brethren only, what do civilities that they did to those of their own religion. For the ye more than others ? do not even the publicans so? means em- Greek merchants, with whom I travelled in that country, did bracing, though it is a different word. I would observe, that not seem pleased with my saluting Mohammedans in the Moit is made use of in the Septuagint to express that action of hammedan manner. And when they were not known to be endearment; and which is made use of by an apocryphal Christians, by those Turks whom they met with in their jourwriter, (Ecclus. xxx. 19.) whereas, the word we translate sa- | neying, (it being allowed Christian travellers, in those prolute, is of a much more general nature: this, I apprehend, vinces, to wear a white turban, Christians in common being arose from his being struck with the thonght, that it could obliged to wear the sash of their turbans, white striped with never be necessary to caution his disciples, not to restrain the blue, that banditti might take them at a distance for Turks,