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The Pharisees

MATTHEW. XIII,

Seck a Sign.

ment. They might say, 'It was nothing: we meant this important parable, in connection with the corno evil; we merely threw out a supposition, as one responding one-0. 29--see on Luke, 11. 21-26. A way of accounting for the miracle we witnessed: if charming little incident, given only in Luke, il 27. it will not stand, let it go; why make so much of it, 28, seems to have its proper place here. "And it and bear down with such severity for it? Jesus re- came to pass, as He spake these things, & certain plies. It was not nothing, and at the great day will woman of the company"-'out of the crowd' “lifted not be treated as nothing: Words, as the index of up her voice and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb the heart, however idle they may seem, will be taken that bare thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked." account of, whether good or bad, in estimating char. With true womanly feeling, she envies the mother of acter in the day of judgment.'

such a wonderful Teacher. And a higher and better 38-50. A SIGN DEMANDED, AND THE REPLY-HIs than she had said as much before her (see on Luke, MOTHER AND BRETHREN SEEK TO SPEAK WITI 1. 28). 42. How does our Lord, then, treat it? He is HIM, AND THE ANSWER. (=Luke, 11, 16, 24-36; Mark, far from condemning it. He only holds up as "blessed 3. 31-36; Luke, 8. 19-21.) A Sign demanded, and the rather" another class: "But he said, Yea rather. Reply (v. 38-45). The occasion of this Section was blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep manifestly the same with that of the preceding. 38. it"-in other words, the humblest real saint of God. Thep certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, How utterly alien is this sentiment from the teachsaying. Master-Teacher,' equivalent to 'Rabbi'-we ing of the Church of Rome, which would doubtless would see a sign from thee-*a sign from heaven" excommunicate any one of its members that dared to (Luke, 11. 16), something of an immediate and de talk in such a strain! cisive nature, to show, not that his miracles were real His Mother and Brethren Seek to Speak with Him. --that they seemed willing to concede-but that they and the Answer (v. 46-50). 46. While he yet talked to were from above, not from beneath. These were not the people, behold, his mother and his brethren (see on the same class with those who charged Him with ch. 13. 55, 56) stood without, desiring to speak with him being in league with Satan (as we see from Luke, 11,"and could not come at Him for the press” (Luke, 15, 16): but as the spirit of both was similar, the tone 8. 19). For what purpose these came, we learn from of severe rebuke is continued. 39. But he answered Mark, 3. 20. 21. In His zeal and ardour He seemed and said unto them-"when the people were gathered indifferent both to food and repose, and "they went thick together" (Luke, 11. 29), an evil and adulterous to lay hold of Him" as one "beside himself." Mark generation. This latter expression is best explained says graphically, “And the multitude sat about by Jeremiah, 3. 20, “Surely as a wife treacherously Him"--or 'around Him.' 47. Then one said unto him, departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treach- Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desirerously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord.” ing to speak with thee, &c. Absorbed in the awful For this was the relationship in which He stood to warnings He was pouring forth, He felt this to be an the covenant people-"I am married unto you" udseasonable interruption, fitted to dissipate the (Jeremiah, 3. 14). seeketh after a sign. In the eye of impression made upon the large audience-such an Jesus this class were but the spokesmen of their interruption as duty to the nearest relatives did not generation, the exponents of the reigning spirit of require Him to give way to. But instead of a direct unbelief. and there shall no sign be given to it, but the rebuke, He seizes on the incident to convey a sublime sign of the prophet Jonas: 40. For as Jonas was—"a sign lesson, expressed in a style of inimitable condescenunto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be sion. 49. And he stretched forth his hand toward his to this generation” (Luke, 11. 30). For as Jonas was disciples. How graphic is this! It is the language three days and three nights in the whale's belly (Jonah, evidently of an eye-witness and said, Behold my 1. 17), so shall the Son of man be three days and three mother and my brethren! 50. For whosoever shall do the nights in the heart of the earth. This was the second will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my public announcement of His resurrection three days brother, and sister, and mother:-9.d., "There stand after His death. (For the first, see John, 2. 19.) here the members of a family transcending and surJonah's case was analogous to this, as being a signal | viving this of earth: Filial subjection to the will of judgment of God: reversed in three days; and followed my Father in heaven is the indissoluble bond of by a glorious mission to the Gentiles. The expres | union between Me and all its members; and whoso. sion "in the heart of the earth," suggested by the ever enters this hallowed circle becomes to Me expression of Jonah with respect to the sea (2. 3, in brother, and sister, and mother! LXX.), means simply the grave, but this considered

CHAPTER XIII. as the most emphatic expression of real and total Ver. 1-62. JESUS TEACHES BY PARABLES. =Mark. entombment. The period during which He was to 4. 1-34; Luke, 8. 4-18; 13. 18-20.) Introduction (v. 1-3). lie in the grave is here expressed in round numbers, 1. The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by according to the Jewish way of speaking, which was the sea-side2. And great multitudes were gathered to regard any part of a day, however small, included together unto him, so that he went into a ship--the article within a period of days, as a full day. (See 1 Samuel, in the received text wants authority-and sat; and the 30. 12, 13; Esther, 4. 16; 5. 1: ch. 27. 63, 64; &c.) 41. The whole multitude stood on the shore, How graphic this men of Nineve shall rise in judgment with this genera- picture-po doubt from the pen of an eye-witness. tion, &c. The Ninevites, though heathens, repented himself impressed with the scene! It was "the same at a man's preaching; while they, God's covenant day" on which the foregoing solemn discourse was people, repented not at the preaching of the Son delivered, when His kindred thought Him “beside of God-whose supreme dignity is rather implied Himself” for His indifference to food and repose here than expressed. 42. The queen of the south shall that same day, retiring to the sea-shore of Galilee. rise up in the judgment with this generation, &c. The and there seating Himself, perhaps for coolness and queen of Sheba-a tract in Arabia, near the shores rest, the crowds again flock around Him, and He is of the Red Sea--came from a remote country, "south" fain to push off from them, in the boat usually kept of Judea, to hear the wisdom of a mere man, though in readiness for Him; yet only to begin, without waita gifted one, and was transported with wonder at ing to rest, & new course of teaching by parables to what she saw and heard (1 Kings, 10. 1-9). They, when the eager multitudes that lined the shore. To the a Greater than Solomon had come to them, despised parables of our Lord there is nothing in all language and rejected, slighted and slandered Him. 43-45. to be compared, for simplicity, grace, fulness, and When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, &c. On variety of spiritual teaching. They are adapted to

Beason for
MATTHEW, XIII.

Teaching in Parables. all classes and stages of advancement, being under-) parables-which our Lord, be it observed, did not stood by each according to the measure of his spiri-begin to do till His miracles were malignantly ascribed tual capacity. 3. And he spake many things unto them | to Satan. because they seeing, see not. They “saw," la panables, saying, &c. These parables are SEVEN in for the light shone on them as never light shone namber: and it is not a little remarkable that while before: but they saw not," for they closed their eyes. this is the sacred number, the first FOUR of them and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand. were spoken to the mixed maltitude, while the They "heard." for He taught them who "spake as remaining THREE were spoken to the Twelve in never man spake;" but they "heard not." for they private-thege divisions, four and three, being them- | took nothing in, apprehending not the soul-penetratselves notable in the symbolical arithmetic of Scrip- ing, life-giving words addressed to them. In Mark ture. Another thing remarkable in the structure of and Luke, what is here expressed as a human fact these parables is, that while the first of the Seven is represented as the fulfilment of a divine purpose that of the Sower-is of the nature of an Introduc- " that seeing they may see, and not perceive,” &c. tion to the whole, the remaining Six consist of three The explanation of this lies in the statement of the pairs-the second and Seventh, the Third and Fourth, foregoing verse-that, by a fixed law of the divine and the Fifth and Sixth, corresponding to each other: I administration, the duty men voluntarily refuse to each pair setting forth the same general truths, but I do, and in point of fact do not do, they at length bewith certain diversity of aspect. All this can come morally incapable of doing. 14. And in them is bardly be accidental.

fulfilled--rather, 'is fulfilling,' or is receiving its fulfilFirst Parable: THE SOWER (v. 3-9, 18-23). This ment--the prophecy of Esaias, which saith (Isaiah, 6. Parable may be entitled, THE EFFECT OF THE WORD 9, 10-here quoted according to the LXX.), By hearing DEPENDENT ON THE STATE OF THE HEART. For ye shall hear, and shall not understand, &c. They were the exposition of this parable, see on Mark, 4. 1-9, thus judicially sealed up under the darkness and

obduracy which they deliberately preferred to the Beason for Teaching in Parables (v. 10-17). 10. And light and healing which Jesus brought nigh to them. the disciples came, and said unto him-"they that were | 16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, with Him, when they were alone" (Mark, 4. 10)-Why for they hear:-q.d., Happy ye, whose eyes and ears, peakest thou unto them in parables? Though before | voluntarily and gladly opened, are drinking in the thia He had couched some things in the parabolic light divine. 17. For verily I say unto you, That many form, for more vivid illustration, it would appear prophets and righteous men have desired-rather, covetthat He now, for the first time, formally employed ed, to see those things which ye see, and have not seen this method of teaching. 11. He answered and said them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have

to them, Because it is given unto you to know the not heard them. Not only were the disciples blessed systeries of the kingdom of heaven. The word "mys above the blinded just spoken of, but favoured above teries" in Scripture is not used in its classical sense the most honoured and the best that lived under of reügious secrets,' nor yet of things incompre- the old economy, who had but glimpses of the things hesable, or in their own nature difficult to be under of the new kingdom, just sufficient to kindle in stond' but in the sense of things of purely divine | them desires not to be fulfilled to any in their day. revelation,' and, usually, 'things darkly announced In Luke, 10. 23, 24, where the same saying is repeated under the ancient economy, and during all that period I on the return of the Seventy-the words, instead of darkly anderstood, but fully published under the "many prophets and righteous men," are " many Gospel a Corinthians, 2 6-10; Ephesians, 3. 3-6, 8, 9). | prophets and kings;" for several of the Old Testa

The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," then. ment saints were kings. mean those glorious Gospel truths which at that 1 Second and Seventh Parables, or First Pair: The time only the more advanced disciples could appre- WHEAT AND THE TARES, and THE GOOD AND BAD ciste, and they but partially. but to them it is not Fish (v. 24-30; 36-43; and 47-60). The subject of both given. (See on ch. 11. 85.) Parables serve the double | these Parables-which teach the same truth, with a purpose of revealing and concealing: presenting the slight diversity of aspect--is mysteries of the kingdom' to those who know and THE MIXED CHARACTER OF THE KINGDOM IN relish them, though in never so small a degree, in a ITS PRESENT STATE, AND THE FINAL ABSOLUTE dew and attractive light; but to those who are insen- SEPARATION OF THE TWO CLASSES.

hle to spiritual things yielding only, as so many The Tares and the Wheat (v. 24-30, 36-43). 24. Another tales, some temporary entertainment. 12. For who parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of beter hath-i.e., keeps; as a thing which he values, to heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his tall be given, and he shall have more abundance his field. Happily for us, these exquisite parables are, be will be rewarded by an increase of what he so with like charming simplicity and clearness, exnach prizes: but whosoever hath not-who lets this go pounded to us by the Great Preacher Himself. Acale unused, as a thing on which he sets no value cordingly, we pass to v. 36-38. Then Jesus sent tho fra ka shall be taken away even that he hath-or as multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples it is to Lake (8. 18), "what he seemeth to have," or came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the *thinketh he hath.' This is a principle of immense tares of the field, &c. In the parable of the Sower, importance, and, like other weighty sayings, appears "the seed is the word of God" (Luke, 8. 11). But here to have been uttered by our Lord on more than one that word has been received into the heart, and has occasion, and in different connections. (See on ch, converted him that received it into a new creature, A * 2) As a creat ethical principle, we see it in opera "child of the kingdom," according to that saying of tion everywhere, under the general law of habit; in James (1. 18). “Of His own will begat He us with the Virtue of which moral principles become stronger by word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits exercise, while by disuse, or the exercise of their con- of His creatures. It is worthy of notice that this traries, they wax weaker, and at length expire. The vast field of the world is here said to be Christ's ownEame principle reigns in the intellectual world, and "His field," says the parable. (See Psalm 2. 8.) 25. ered in the animal-if not in the vegetable also-as But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares the tsets of physiology sufficiently prove. Here, how- among the wheat, and went his way. 38. The tares are ste, it is viewed as a divine ordination, as a judicial the children of the wicked one. As this sowing could retribution in continual operation under the divine only be "while men slept," no blame seems intended. administration 13. Therefore speak I to them in and certainly none is charged upon "the servants;"

Parables of the Tares and the Wheat, MATTHEW, XIII.

and the Good and Bad Fish. it is probably just the dress of the parable. 39. The do is niquity. The former class, as the worst, are men enemy that sowed them is the devil-emphatically "His tioned first. 42. And shall cast them into a furnace enemy" (n. 25). See Genesis, 3. 16; 1 John, 3. 8. By rather, 'the furnace' of fire: there shall be wailing and "tares" is meant, not what in our husbandry is so gnashing of teeth. What terrific strength of language called, but some noxious plant, probably darnel, the "casting" or "flinging" expressive of indigna. "The tares are the children of the wicked one;" and tion, abhorence, contempt (cf. Psalm 9. 17 : Daniel, by their being sown "among the wheat” is meant 12. 2): "the furnace of fire" denoting the fierceness of their being deposited within the territory of the the torment: the "wailing" signifying the anguish visible Church. As they resemble the children of the this canses; while the "gnashing of teeth" is a graphic kingdom, so they are produced, it seems, by a similar way of expressing the despair in which its remedilessprocess of " sowing"-the seeds of evil being scattered ness issues (see on ch. 8. 12)! 43. Then shall the rightand lodging in the soil of those hearts upon which eons shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father falls the seed of the word. The enemy, after sowing -as if they had been under a clond during their his "tares," "went his way"-his dark work soon present association with ungodly pretenders to their done, but taking time to develop its true character. character, and claimants of their privileges, and ob26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought structors of their course. Who hath ears to hear, let forth fruit, then appeared the tares also-the growth in him hear. (See on Mark, 4. 9.) both cases running parallel, as antagonistic principles The Good and Bad Fish (v. 47.50). The object of are seen to do. 27. So the servants of the householder this brief parable is the same with that of the Tares came-1.e., Christ's ministers-and said unto him, Sir, and Wheat. But as its details are fewer, so its didst not thou sow good seed in thy field! from whence teaching is less rich and varied. 47. Again, the kingthen hath it tares ! This well expresses the surprise, dom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the disappointment, and anxiety of Christ's faithful ser- sea, and gathered of every kind. The word here rendered vants and people, at the discovery of "false brethren" "net" signifies, a large drag-net, which draws every. among the members of the Church. 28. He said unto thing after it, suffering nothing to escape, as disthem, An enemy hath done this. Kind words these tinguished from 'a casting-net,' Mark, 1. 16, 18. The from & good Husbandman, honourably clearing His far-reaching efficacy of the Gospel is thus denoted. faithful servants of the wrong done to His field. This Gospel net "gathered of every kind," meaning The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go every variety of character. 48. Which, when it was and gather them up ? Cf. with this the question of full, they drew to shore--for the separation will not be James and John (Luke, 9. 54), "Lord, wilt thou that made till the number of the elect is accomplishedwe command fire to come down from heaven and con and sat down-expressing the deliberateness with sume" those Samaritans? In this kind of zeal there which the judicial separation will at length be made is usually a large mixture of carnal heat. (See James, --and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad 1. 20.) 29. But he said, Nay- It will be done in due away-lit., 'the rotten,' but here meaning, 'the foul' time, but not now, nor is it your business.' lest, | or 'worthless' fish: corresponding to the "tares" of while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat | the other parable. 49. So shall it be at the end of with them. Nothing could more clearly or forcibly world, &c. See on v. 42. We have said that each of teach the difficulty of distinguishing the two classes, these two parables holds forth the same truth under and the high probability that in the attempt to do a slight diversity of aspect. What is that diversity? so these will be confounded. 30. 39. Let both grow First, the bad, in the former parable, are represented together-i.e.. in the visible Church-until the harvest as vile seed sown amongst the wheat by the enemy -till the one have ripened for full salvation, the of souls; in the latter, as foul fish drawn forth out ct other for destruction. The harvest is the end of the the great sea of human beings by the Gospel net world-the period of Christ's second coming, and of itself. Both are important truths-that the Gospel the judicial separation of the righteous and the | draws within its pale,and into the communion of the wicked. Till then, no attempt is to be made to effect visible Church, multitudes who are Christians only such separation. But to stretch this so far as to in name; and that the injury thus done to the Church justify allowing openly scandalous persons to remain I on earth is to be traced to the wicked one. But in the communion of the Church, is to wrest the | further, while the former parable gives chief prorniteaching of this parable to other than its proper de nence to the present mixture of good and bad, in the sign, and go in the teeth of apostolic injunctions latter, the prominence is given to the future separa(1 Corinthians, 6.). and in the time of harvest I will say | tion of the two classes. to the reapers. And the reapers are the angels. But Third and Fourth Parables, or Second Pair: THE whose angels are they? "The Son of man shall send | MUSTARD SEED and THE LEAVEN (v. 31-33). The forth His angels" (v. 41). Cf. 1 Peter, 3. 22—" Who is subject of both these parables, as of the first pair, is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; the same, but under a slight diversity of aspect, angels and authorities and powers being made sub- | namely, ject unto Him." Gather ye together first the tares, and

THE GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM, FROM THE bind them in bundles to burn them-"in the fire" (v. 40) SMALLEST BEGINNINGS TO ULTIMATE UNIVER-but gather the wheat into my barn. Christ, as the SALITY. Judge, will separate the two classes (as in ch. 25. 32. The Mustard Seed (v. 31, 32). 31. Another parable ont It will be observed that the tares are burned before he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like the wheat is housed; in the exposition of the parable to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed (v. 41, 43) the same order is observed; and the same in his field: 32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds in ch. 25. 46--as if, in some literal sense, “with thine not absolutely, but popularly and proverbially, as in eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the Luke, 17. 6, “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard wicked" (Psalm 91. 8). 41. The Son of man shall send seed," i.e., 'never so little faith.' but when it is grown. forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom it is the greatest among herbs-not absolutely, but in

to which they never really belonged. They usurped relation to the small size of the seed, and in warm their place and name and outward privileges; but latitudes proverbially great. and becometh a tree, so "the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches sinners (abide) in the congregation of the righteous" thereof. This is added, no doubt, to express the am(Psalm 1. 6). all things that offend-all those who have plitude of the tree. But as this seed has a hot, fiery proved a stumbling-block to others, and them which vigour, gives out its best virtues when bruised, and

Parable of the Learen.

MATTIILW, XIII. How Jesus was Regarded by His Relatives is grateful to the taste of birds, which are accord. | missal of the mixed audience, He and the Twelve indy attracted to its branches both for shelter and were alone (v. 36, &c.). Have ye understood all these food, is it straining the parable, asks TRENCH, to things They say unto him, Yea, Lord. 52. Then said soppose that, besides the wonderful proroth of His he unto them, Therefore-or as we should say, Well, kingdom, our Lord selected this seed to illustrate then, every scribe-or Christian teacher: here so called further the shelter, repose, and blessedness it is destined from that well-known class among the Jews. (See ch. to afford to the nations of the world?

23. 34.) which is instructed unto the kingdom of heavenThe Learen (r. 33). 33. Another parable spake he unto himself taught in the mysteries of the Gospel which them: The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which he has to teach to others, is like unto a man that is an a eman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the householder which bringeth forth-' turneth' or 'dealeth whole was leavened. This parable, while it teaches the out-out of his treasure-his store of divine truth, same general truth as the foregoing one, holds forth, things new and old-old truths in ever new forms, perhaps, rather the inward growth of the kingdom, aspects, applications, and with ever new illustrations. while the Mustard Seed" seems to point chiefly to | 63-68. How JESUS WAS REGARDED BY HIS RELAthe outerard, It being a woman's work to knead, it TIVES. =Mark, 6. 1-6; Luke, 4. 16-30.) 53. And it sms a refinement to say that “the woman" here re came to pass, that, when Jesus had finished these parables, presents the Church, as the instrument of depositing he departed thence. 54. And when he was come into his the leaven. Nor does it yield much satisfaction to own country-i.e., Nazareth; as is plain from Mark, understand the "three measures of meal" of that 6.1. See on John, 4. 43, where also the same phrase threefold division of our nature into "spirit, soul, occurs. This, according to the majority of Harmonand body," alluded to in 1 Thessalonians, 6. 23, or of ists, was the second of two visits which our Lord paid the threefold partition of the world among the three to Nazareth during His public ministry; but in our sons of Noah (Genesis, 10. 32), as some do. It yields view it was His first and only visit to it. See on ch. more real satisfaction to see in this brief parable just 4. 13; and for the reasons, see on Luke, 4. 16-30. Whence the all-netrating and assimilating quality of the hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Gospel. by virtue of which it will yet mould all insti. 'these miracles. These surely are not like the ques. tations and tribes of men, and exhibit over the whole | tions of people who had asked precisely the same earth one "Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ." questions before, who from astonishment had pro34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in ceeded to rage, and in their rage had hurried Him murables, and without a parable spake he not unto them out of the synagogue, and away to the brow of the hill

, on this occasion ; refraining not only from all whereon their city was built, to thrust Him down akoi discourse, but even from all interpretation of headlong, and who had been foiled even in that object these parabies to the mixed multitude. 35. That it by His passing through the midst of them, and going might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, say. His way. But see on Luke, 4. 16, &c. 55. Is not this bg Psalm 78. 2, nearly as in LX.), I will open my the carpenter's son? In Mark (6. 3) the question is, mata in parables, &c. Though the Psalm seems to "Is not this the carpenter?' In all likelihood, our otain only a summary of Israelitish history, the Lord, during His stay under the roof of His earthly Pralmist himself calls it "a parable," and "dark say parents, wrought along with His legal father. is not imgs from of old”-as containing, underneath the his his mother called Mary!- Do we not know all about tory, truths for all time, not fully brought to light till His parentage? Has He not grown up in the midst the Gospel-day.

of us? Are not all His relatives our own townsfolk? HA and Srzth Parables, or Third Pair: THE HID- Whence, then, such wisdom and such miracles?' DE TELASURE and THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE These particulars of our Lord's human history con1.449. The subject of this last Pair, as of the two stitute the most valuable testimony, first, to His forma, is the same, but also under a slight diversity true and real humanity-for they prove that during of spect: namely.

all His first thirty years His townsmen had disTIE PRICELESS VALUE OF THE BLESSINGS OF covered nothing about Him different from other THE KINGDOM. And while the one parable repre- men; secondly, to the divine character of His mission sents the Kingdom as fonend without seeking, the other - for these Nazarenes proclaim both the unparalleled bolda forth the Kingdom as sought and found.

character of His teaching and the reality and glory of The Hidden Treasure (v. 44). 44. Again, the kingdom His miracles, as transcending human ability; and,

heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field-no uncom- thirdly, to His wonderful humility and self-denialbna thing in unsettled and half-civilized countries, in that when He was such as they now saw Him to Eten Bow as well as in ancient times, when there be, He yet never gave any indications of it for thirty w do other way of securing it from the rapacity of years, because "His hour was not yet come." and Techbours or marauders, (Jeremiah, 41. 8: Job, 3. 21: his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas ? Forerbs, 2 4) the which when a man hath found - 56. And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence 2. tbexpectedly found-he hideth, and for joy thereo: then ha

hideth, and for joy thereo: then hath this (man all these things? An exceedingly - perceiving what & treasure he had lighted on, difficult question here arises - What were these prezing the worth of all he possessed, goeth and selleth * brethren" and "sisters" to Jesus? Were they, First,

. bas be kath, and buyeth that field-in which case, by His full brothers and sisters? or, Secondiy, Were they di law, the treasure would become his own. his step-brothers and step-sisters, children of Joseph

The Pearl of Great Price (v. 45, 46). 45. Again, the by a former marriage? or, Thirdly, Were they His watoa of heaven is like unto a merchantman, seeking cousins, according to a commor way of speaking tady pearls: 46. Who, when he had found one pearl of among the Jews respecting persons of collateral great price, went and sold all that he had, and bonght it. descent? On this subject an immense deal has been Ise one pearl of great price, instead of being found written; nor are opinions yet by any means agreed. Dy accident, as in the former case, is found by one For the second opinion there is no ground but &

ness it is to seek for such, and who finds it vague tradition, arising probably from the wish for est in the way of searching for such treasures. But sorne such explanation. The first opinion undoubt. In both cases the surpassing value of the treasure is edly suits the text best in all the places where the tuke recognized, and in both all is parted with for parties are certainly referred to (ch. 12. 46; and its 1. 51. Jerus caith unto them-i.e., to the Twelve. He parallels, Mark. 3. 31, and Luke, 8. 19; our present

and spoken the first four in the hearing of the mixed passage, and its parallel, Mark, 6. 3; John, 2. 12; 7. 3, mwitude: the last three He reserved till, on the dis 6, 10; Acts, 1. 14). But, in addition to other objec

Hrots Opinion of Christ.
MATTHEW, XIV, XV.

On Ceremonial Pollutions tions, many of the best interpreters, thinking it in after that Passover which was nigh at hand when the last degree improbable that our Lord, when hang- our Lord fed the five thousand (John, 6. 4)--the third ing on the cross, would have committed His mother Passover, as we take it, since His public ministry to John if He had had full brothers of His own then began, but which He did not keep at Jerusalem for alive, prefer the third opinion; although, on the other the reason mentioned in John, 7. 1. 1. Then came to hand, it is not to be doubted that our Lord might Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of-or 'from have good reasons for entrusting the guardianship of Jerusalem. Mark says they "came from" it: a deputaHis doubly widowed mother to the beloved disciple tion probably sent from the capital expressly to watch in preference even to full brothers of His own. Him. As He had not come to them at the last Pass. Thus dubiously we prefer to leave this vexed ques. over, which they had reckoned on, they now come to tion, encompassed as it is with difficulties. As to Him. "And," says Mark, "when they saw some of the names here mentioned, the first of them, “JAMES," His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, is afterwards called "the Lord's brother" (see on with unwashen hands" - hands not ceremonially Galatians, 1. 19), but is perhaps not to be confounded cleansed by washing-"they found fault. For the with "James the son of Alpheus," one of the Twelve, Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their though many think their identity beyond dispute. hands oft" -lit., 'in' or with the fist;' i.e., probably. This question also is one of considerable difficulty, washing the one hand by the use of the other and not without importance: since the James who though some understand it, with our version, in the occupies so prominent a place in the Church of Jeru- sense of 'diligently,' 'sedulously'-"eat not, holding salem, in the latter part of the Acts, was apparently the tradition of the elders;" acting religiously accordthe apostle, but is by many regarded as "the Lord's ing to the custom handed down to them. "And brother," while others think their identity best suits when they come from the market"-'And after marall the statements. The second of those here named, ket: after any common business, or attending a court "JOSE" (or Joseph), who must not be confounded of justice, where the Jews, as WEBSTER & WILKIN. with "Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed SON remark, after their subjection to the Romans, Justus" (Acts. 1. 23); and the third here named, were especially exposed to intercourse and contact *SIMON," is not to be confounded with Simon the with heathens-"except they wash, they eat not Kananite or Zealot (see on ch. 10. 4). These three are | And many other things there be, which they have nowhere else mentioned in the New Testament. The received to hold, as the washing of cups and pots, fourth and last-named, "JUDAS," can hardly be iden- brazen vessels and tables"-rather, couches,' such tical with the apostle of that name-though the | as were used at meals, which probably were merely brothers of both were of the name of "James"-nor sprinkled for ceremonial purposes. "Then the Phari. (unless the two be identical, was this Judas) with sees and scribes asked Him," saying, 2. Why do thy the author of the catholic Epistle so called. 58. And disciples transgress the tradition of the elders ! for they he did not many mighty works there, because of their un wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3. But he belief-save that He laid His hands on a few sick answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress folk, and healed them" (Mark. 6. 6). See on Luke, the commandment of God by your tradition The charge 4. 16-30.

is retorted with startling power: The tradition they CHAPTER XIV.

transgress is but man's, and is itself the occasion of Ver. 1-12. HEROD THINKS JESUS A RESURREC heavy transgression, undermining the anthority of TION OF THE MURDERED BAPTIST-ACCOUNT OF God's law.' 4. For God commanded, saying (Exodus, HIS IMPRISONMENT AND DEATH. (=Mark, 6. 14-29: 20.12; &c.), Honour thy father and mother: and (Exodus, Luke, 9. 7-9.) The time of this alarm of Herod Anti- 21. 17; &c.), He that curseth father or mother, let him die pas appears to have been during the mission of the the death. 5. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his Twelve, and shortly after the Baptist-who had lainfather or his mother. It is a gift-or simply, 'A gift! in prison for probably more than a year-had been In Mark it is, “Corban!" i.e., An oblation !' meaning. cruelly put to death.

any unbloody offering or gift dedicated to sacred Herod's Theory of the Works of Christ (v. 1, 2). 1. At uses. by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by ine; that time Herod the tetrarch-Herod Antipas, one of 6. And honour not his father or his mother, the shall be the three sons of Herod the Great, and own brother freel.--.d., 'It is true, father-mother-that by giving of Archelaus (ch. 2. 22), who ruled as Ethnarch over to thee this, which I now present, thou mightest be Galilee and Perea. heard of the fame of Jesus-"for profited by me; but I have gifted it to pious uses, and His name was spread abroad" (Mark, 6. 14). 2. And therefore, at whatever cost to thee, I am not now at said unto his servants-his counsellors or court-mini. ( liberty to alienate any portion of it.' "And,” it is sters, This is John the Baptist: he is risen from the added in Mark, “ye suffer him no more to do aught dead, &c. The murdered prophet haunted his guilty for his father or his mother." To dedicate property breast like a spectre, and seemed to him alive again to God is indeed lawful and laudable, but not at the and clothed with unearthly powers in the person of expense of filial duty. Thus have ye made the commandJesus.

ment of God of none effect-cancelled' or 'nullified' it Account of the Baptist's Imprisonment and Death |-by your tradition. 7. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias (9. 3-12). For the exposition of this portion, see on prophecy of you, saying (Isaiah, 29. 13). 8. This people Mark. 6. 17-20.

draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, &c. By putting 12-21. HEARING OF THE BAPTIST'S DEATH, JESUS the commandments of men on a level with the divine CROSSES THE LAKE WITH THE TWELVE, AND requirements, their whole worship was rendered raun MIRACULOUSLY FEEDS FIVE THOUSAND. (=Mark, -a principle of deep moment in the service of God. 6. 30-44; Luke, 9. 10-17; John. 6. 1-14.) For the exposi-"For," it is added in Mark, 7. 8, "laying aside the tion of this Section-one of the very few where all the I commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men. four Evangelists run parallel-see on Mark, 6. 30-44. as the washing of pots and cups; and many other such

22-36. JESUS CROSSES TO THE WESTERN SIDE OF like things ye do." The drivelling nature of their THE LAKE WALKING ON THE SEA-INCIDENTS ON multitudinous observances is here pointedly exLANDING. (=Mark. 6. 45; John, 6. 16-24.) For the posed, in contrast with the manly observance of the exposition, see on John, 6. 16-24.

commandment of God;" and when our Lord says. • CHAPTER XV.

* Many other such like things ye do," it is implied Ver. 1-30. DISCOURSE ON CEREMONIAL POLLU- that He had but given a specimen of the hideous TION. =Mark, 7. 1 23.) The time of this Section was I treatment which the divine law received, and the

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