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called masters; for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is 11 greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt 12 himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. -But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for 13 ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for


in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto 14

neither go

the imperfections of earth, but in more necessary to our being his the heights of heaven, for one upon real disciples, and entering into the whom you may fully rely. Of deep and pure life of his religion. course there is no prohibition here Covet humility ; beautiful is “the of children paying respect to their ornament of a meek and quiet parents. It is not a little remarka- spirit, which is in the sight of God ble, that the head of the dominant of great price." church of Christendom, in his some 13. This and the next verse are times greater than imperial authori- transposed by Griesbach, and many ty, has in all ages been called by other trustworthy scholars. - But that very title which is here forbid- woe unto you. Rather, alas for you. den, Papa, Pope, Father. So little See note on Mat. xi. 21. It is conhas the doctrine of Christ been ad genial to our ideas of Jesus' charachered to, by the great mass of his ter, to believe that an unutterable disciples !

pity mingled with his most search10. Masters. Leaders, guides. ing rebukes. He wounded not to This was a third title of honor as inflict pain, but to heal. To use sumed by the Scribes and Phari the language of Wakefield: “Woe sees, as we learn from the Rabbini

unto you is an exclamation better cal writers. Because their epithets suited to the enthusiasts of modern encouraged pride and spiritual tyr times, who denounce damnation anny on one side, and subservien- against all but their own sects, than cy and superstition on the other, to the benevolent Saviour of manthey were to be wholly discontin- kind.” Mat. xxiv. 19.—Scribes and ued among the equal children of a Pharisees. See note on Mat. ii. 7. common Father, and the equal disci- -Shut up the kingdom of heaven ples of a common Master. In the against men. Or, in their faces as bright light of these verses, what be- it were. The figure is taken from comes of the doctrines of infallibili shutting and locking a door against ty and divine right vested in any those who were entering it. In acman, or body of men? what becomes cordance with this, they are desof ecclesiastical usurpations and cribed in Luke xi. 52, as having exclusiveness ? They disappear "taken away the key.” They had like mists before the morning sun. done so by their example, instruc

11, 12. He now points out the tions, and authority, and thrown true and royal road to greatness, all possible obstacles in the path that of usefulness and humility. of the Gospel.-Neither suffer ye See note on Mat. xviii. 4.--Abased then, &c. They were not -humble. Words from the same tent with remaining outside themGreek verb, which would be more selves, but they endeavored to preproperly translated alike. Jesus vent all others from going in. This preaches no doctrine more often churlish conduct reminds us of the than this of Humility, and none is fable of the dog in the manger.



you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses,

and for a pretence make long prayer; therefore ye shall receive the 15 greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he is

made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves. 16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say: Whosoever shall swear by

the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of 17 the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools, and blind! for whether is great18 er? the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold ? And: Whoso14. Devour widows' houses. Or, --Make him two-fold, &c. Many

They were furthermore critics translate this clause, Ye make guilty of avarice, and, under the him a child of hell more deceitful mask of great sanctity, they hesi- than yourselves. The simple idea tated not to defraud those who were is, that by converting him they peculiarly helpless and exposed, made him far worse than themand who were taken in by their selves, for he probably retained his fair-seeming goodness.-Long pray- old errors, mixed with those of er. Nine hours were daily spent his formal, hypocritical teachers.-by some in devotion. See note on Child of hell is an expression sigMat. vi. 7. For such mingled hy- pifying worthy of, or doomed to pocrisy, covetousness, and oppres- hell, or the severest punishment; as sion, they would be doomed to a the children of light means those severe punishment.

who enjoy the light. 15. Compass sea and land. A 16, 17. Next he censures their proverbial phrase, signifying that absurd and wicked distinctions rethey left no effort untried, or, as we specting oaths, which they divided say, no stone- unturned, to gain into great and small. See notes on proselytes to Judaism, or, more like- chap. v. 33–37.-It is nothing, i. e. ly, to Pbarisaism, doing it not so the oath by the temple is not oblimuch from a religious as a covet- gatory.-The gold of the temple. ous and ambitious motive; for Probably the money in the treasury they made a gain and a boast of is meant, not the ornaments with godliness. There were two kinds which the building was decorated. of proselytes; lst, the proselytes -He is a debtor, i. e. is bound to fulof righteousness, i. e. complete, fil his oath. Unusual sanctity seems who embraced the Jewish religion to have been attributed to the gold in its full extent, and shared in all in the temple treasury. It was corthe rites and privileges of Jews ban, devoted. Mark vii. 11. Our themselves; 2d, the proselytes of Lord showed the idleness of their the gate; foreigners who lived distinction by intiniating that the among the Jews, who were not cir- temple was greater than the gold cumcised, yet conformed to some which it consecrated. It has been of the Jewish laws and customs; conjectured that the Pharisees took they were admitied into the outer advantage of the feeling of sacreddivision of the temple, called the ness associated with this gold, to court of the Gentiles. The Talmud- obtain greater contributions from ists speak against proselytes as in- the people, jurious to the purity of their religion, 18, 19. They also attributed pe

ever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools, and blind! for 19 whether is greater? the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso, therefore, shall swear by the altar sweareth by it and by all 20 things thereon; and whoso shall swear by the temple sweareth by it 21 and by himn that dwelleth therein; and he that shall swear by heaven 22 sweareth by the throne of God and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe 23 unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin; and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judginent, mercy, and faith. These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides! which strain at 24

culiar sanctity to the offerings upon translators for dill, an aromatic the altar, as is supposed from selfish plant used by perfumers.-Cumconsiderations. I Cor. ix. 13.He min. An herb resembling fennel, is guilty. Rather, he is bound. with aromatic seeds of a hot and The same word which is translated bitter taste.-The Scribes and Pharin verse 16, he is a debtor. It was isees were not satisfied with paying absurd to believe that the gift could the usual tithes for the support of be more sacred than the altar, for it the Levites and the poor, and for derived all the sacredness it had the service of the temple, Numb. from the altar.

xviii. 20—24, Deut. xiv. 22–24, 28, 20-22. Jesus would sweep away 29, but they paid also a tenth part their idle distinctions, and show of the small herbs.-Have omitted. that the validity of an oath depend- Same word as is rendered below, ed not on the particular thing by leave undone.- Judgment, mercy, and which it was taken, whether gift, faith. Mic. vi. 8. A more approvaltar, gold, temple, or heaven, buted translation is, justice, humanity, upon its tacit reference to God. and fidelity, the great social virJust so far as it was efficacious tues, unless by faith we understand from appealing to objects conse man's duties to God. Luke, xi. 42, crated to the divine service, so far has recorded it, “judgment and the was it obligatory, since it called love of God.”—These ought ye to God to witness.- By him that dwell- have done, &c. The moral duties eth therein. A visible symbol of should have been discharged, whilst the Divine presence, in the form of the ceremonial observances should a cloud, rested upon the mercy-seat not have been neglected. He did of the Holy of Holies. 1 Kings not object to their scrupulousness viii. 10, 11, 13. As God was the in tithes, provided they kept the king of the Jews, the temple was spiritual commandments; though his palace. In pursuance of the in reality the two courses of consame idea he is described as sitting duct could hardly be reconciled in upon a throne in heaven.

the same person. 23. Pay tithe, i. e. a tenth part. 24. Strain at a gnat. It is reMint. Sweet-scented, garden mint, markable that this error, which was or spearmint. It was strewed by the at first merely a blunder in printJews on the floors of their dwell- ing, should have been so long perings.-Anise. A mistake of the petuated. The correct reading is,

25 a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,

hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the plat26 ter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind

Pharisee! cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that 27 the outside of them may be clean also.. Woe unto you, scribes and

Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are like unto wbited sepulchres, which

indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's 28 bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear

righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


strain out a gnat. It was the cus and inward purity without which tom in the east, where insects all forms were but a cheat and abound, to strain or filter wine lie. - Cup-platter. The vessels through a cloth or sieve. The for drink and food respectively.Jews did it, partly from fear of swal- Within they are full of extortion and lowing any creature that was un

Instead of excess, Griesclean in the eye of the law, as well bach reads injustice, which would as from motives of cleanliness, be more consonant to the known What is here called gnat is said by character of the Pharisees. Howsorne to be a small animalcule bred ever scrupulously their vessels were in the liquor. The camel was the washed, they were yet filled with largest animal with which the Jews food procured by extortion and inwere much acquainted. Hence justice, and therefore most foul and the smallest insect and the greatest unclean.-Cleanse first, &c. Sec animal are employed to make the that their contents are the fruits of antithesis stronger. The phrase is honesty and justice, and they will proverbial, and is similar to one be truly clean. Purify the heart, found among the Arabians: “He and the conduct cannot be othereats an elephant, and is strangled wise than pure, for streams take with a gnat.” Jesus places in bold their character from the fountain relief their inconsistency in care out of which they flow. fully observing the little points of 27, 28. Whited sepulchres. Tombs ceremonial usage, and trampling are said to have been annually under foot the first moral principles whitewashed, that they might be of religion.

seen and shunned; for it was an 25, 26. Woe unto you. See note unclean act, according to the law, to on chap. xi. 21. The repetition of touch them. Numb. xix. 16. Their this phrase of condemnation car whiteness, contrasted with the green ried with it an awful weight and herbage or groves, must have possolemnity. As he begins sentence sessed a degree of beauty, but withafter sentence with this word, it in there was death and corruption. must have sounded in their ears So it was with these hypocrites. like the first thunderings of those Precise in the observance of forms, judgments which were soon to roll sanctimonious in their deportment, over their nation.-Make clean the zealous for the law, they were yet outside. They were attentive to chargeable with the grossest imthe washings and purifications of moralities and stained with the foulthe law, but neglected that moral est crimes. Luke xi. 44.

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build 29 the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say: If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would 30 not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves that ye are the children 31 of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of 32

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye 33

your fathers.

29, 30. Because ye build. They were witnesses to themselves, they were blamed, not because they were conscious in their own hearts, paid marks of respect to the that they were, in feelings and movenerable dead, but because they tives likewise, children of those did it hypocritically; because, whilst bloody ancestors. they thus honored the prophets and 32. Fil ye up then, &c. The last the righteous, they yet were ready verse may be regarded as parento imitate their persecutors.Gar- thetical, and this one to be a connish the sepulchres, &c. It was clusion drawn from the 30th. They customary, both among the Jews pretended, that, if they had lived in and Gentiles, to show their rever the days of yore, they should not ence for the dead by building have been guilty of the barbarities or beautifying their tombs. The of those periods; but they would Scribes and Pharisees pretended a go on, and in time fully equal the respect for the martyred prophets most wicked age. Despairing of which they did not feel, for it was their amendment, indignant at their wholly inconsistent with their real hypocrisy, he says, Go on and fill character. They adorned indeed up the measure of the sins of your their tombs, but they violated their fathers. A prediction is here exinstructions. Even after the time pressed in the imperative mode, i. e. of Christ, there were many tombs you will go on. of the ancient worthies still to be 33. Ye generation of vipers. Betfound in Judea, which had been ter, brood of vipers. They. poserected or rebuilt long after their sessed the venom and malignity death.—Partakers with them in the of the most noxious reptiles. See blood of the prophets. Yet at the note on chap. iii. 7. 'How then same time they were indulging in a could they escape the severest punworse spirit than that of their per- ishment? The seeming harshness secuting forefathers, and desiring of this language is perhaps partly and plotting the death of him who attributable to the oriental highly was greater than the prophets. figurative mode of speech, which They professed to honor the de- delights in the boldest metaphors, parted messengers of God, but they most startling paradoxes, and were ready to kill the Messiah, his strongest hyperboles. Jesus spoke Son.

in the usual style. But until we 31. Ye are the children of them, possess his knowledge of mankind, &c. They acknowledged that they and his authority from God, we are were children by natural descent forbidden to judge our fellows and of those who had slain the prophets pronounce their condemnation.of God. But, more than that, they Hell, i. e. Gehenna, or the valley of

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