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The Pharisees and Sadducees

St. MATTHEW.

desire another sign.

end. These evils existed in the Christian as well as in the into a means of instruction.--Tue dulness of the disciples in Jewish Church ; but the Reformation, thank God! has liber- the present case, has been the means of affording us the fulle-t ated us from this endle:s system of uncertainty and absurdity, || instruction on a point of the utmost importance—the state of and the sun of righteousness shines now unclouded! The a sinful heart, and how the thoughts and passions conceived plantation, which God did not plant, in the course of his judg-in it, defile and pollute it; and how necessary it is to have the ments, he has now swept nearly away from the face of the fountain purified, that it may cease to send forth those streams earth. Babylon is fallen!

of death. 2. We wonder at the dulness of the disciples, when we 3. The case of the Canaanitish woman, is, in itself, a thoufind that they did not fully understand our Lord's ineaning, sand sermons. lier faith-her prayers--her perseverancein the very obvious parable about the blind leading the blind. her success—the honour she received from her Lord, &c. &c. But should we not be equally struck with their prying, in- How instructively, how powerfully do these speak and plead! quisitive temper? They did not understand, but they could What a profusion of light does this single case throw upon not rest till they did. They knew that their Lord could say the manner in which Christ sometimes exercises the faith and nothing that had not the most important meaning in it: this patience of his followers! They that seek shall find, is the meaning in the preceding parable, they had not apprehended, great lesson inculcated in this short history: God is ever the and therefore they wish to have it further explained by him- same. Reader, follow on after God-cry, pray, plead-all in self. Do we imitate their docility and eagerness to compre- Ilim is for thee !— Thou canst not perish, if thou continuest hend the truth of God? Christ presses every occurrence || 10 believe and pray. The Lord will help THEE.

CHAPTER XVI.

The Pharisees insidiously require our Lord to give them a sign, 1. They are severely rebuked for their hypocrisy

and wickedness, 2–5. The disciples are cautioned to beware of them and their destructive doctrine, 6–19. The different opinions formed by the people of Christ, 13, 14. Peter's confession, and our Lord's discourse on it, 15–20. He foretells his sufferings, and reproves Peter, 21–25. Teaches the necessity of self-denial, and shew's the reasons on which it is founded, 24–26. Speaks of a future judgment, 27. And promises the speedy opening of the glory of his own kingdom upon earth, 28.

THE « Pharisees also with the Sad-sired him that he would shew them "a

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a Ch. 12. 38. Mark 8. 11. Luke 11, 16. & 12. 54–56. 1 Cor. 1. 22.

John 6. 30. ch. 12. 58. Jolin 4. 48.

NOTES ON CHAP. XVI.

tion, with a design to restore and practise the pure worship Verse 1. The Pharisees also with the Sadducees] Though a of the Most High. That they were greatly degenerated in short account of these has been already given in the note on cur Lord's time, is sufficiently evident; but still we may learn ch. iii. 7. yet as one more detailed may be judged necessary, from their external purity and exactness, that their principles I think it proper to introduce it in this place.

in the beginning were holy. Our Lord testifies that they had The Pharisees were the most considerable sect among the cleansed the outside of the cup and platter, but within they Jews, for they had not only the Scribes and all the learned were full of abomination. They still kept up the outward men of the law of their party, but they also drew after them regulations of the institution, but they had utterly lost its the bulk of the people. When this sect arose is uncertain. i spirit; and hypocrisy was the only substitute now in their Josephus Antiq. B. V. ch. xiii. s. 9. speaks of them as existing power, for that spirit of piety, which I suppose, and not unabout 144 years before the Christian æra. They had their reasonably, characterized the origin of th sect. appellation of Pharisees from una parash, to separate, and As to their religious opinions, they still continued to credit were probably in their rise, the most holy people among the the Being of a God, they received the five books of Moses, the Jews, having separated themselves from the national corrup- writings of the prophets, and the hagiographa. The hagioThey could discern the signs

CHAP. XVI.

of fair and foul weather.

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2 He answered and said unto them, il 3 And in the morning, It will be AM, 1982 An. Olymp. When it is evening, ye say, 'It will be foul weather to day : for the sky is An. Olymp.

fair weather: for the sky is red. red and lowring. O ye hypocrites,

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zrapha or holy writings, from @yoos holy, and yqezow I write, dead upwards of thirty years, such a sect could not exist in included the twelve following books,—Psalms, Proverbs, Job, reference to him, and yet all allow that they derived their Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Da-origin from Herod the Great. niel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. These, among the Our Lord says, Mark viii. 3. that they had the learen of Jews, occupied a middle place between the Law and the Pro-Herod, i. e. a bad doctrine, which they received from him. pkets, as divinely inspired. The Pharisees believed in a con- What this was may be easily discovered: 1. Hernd subjected fused way, in the resurrection, though they received the himself and his people to the dominion of the Romans, in Pythagorean doctrine of the metempsychosis or transmigration opposition to that law, Deut. xvii. 15. Thou shalt not set a of souls. Those, however, who were notoriously wicked, they king over thee-which is not thy brother, i.e. one out of the consigned on their death, immediately to hell, without the twelve tribes. 2. He built temples, set up images, and joined benefit of transmigration, or the hope of future redemption. in heathenish worship, though he professed the Jewish reliThey held also the predestinarian doctrine of necessity, and gion; and this was in opposition to all the law and the prothe government of the world by fate; and yet, inconsistently phets. From this we may learn, that the Ilerodinns were allowed some degree of liberty to the human will. See such as, first, held it lawful to transfer the divine government Prideaur.

to a heathen ruler; and, secondly, to conform occasionally to The SADDUCEES had their origin and name from one Sadoc, heathenish rites in their religious worship. In short, they a disciple of Antigonus of Socho, president of the Sanhedrin, appear to have been persons who trimmed between God and and teacher of the low in one of the great divinity schools in the world—who endeavoured to reconcile his service with Jerusalem, about 264 years before the incarnation.

that of inammon,-and who were religious just as far as it This Antigonus having often in his lectures informed his tended to secure their secular interests. It is probable that scholars, that they should not serve God through expectation this sect was at last so blended with, that it became lost in, of a reward, but through love and filial reverence only; || the sect of the Sadducees; for the persons who are called Sadoc inferred frorn this teaching, that there were neither | Herodians, Mark viii. 15. are stiled Sadducees in ver. 6. of this rewards nor punishments after this life, and by consequence, chapter. See Prideaux, Con. vol. iii. p. 516, &c. and Josephus that there was no resurrection of the dead, nor angel, nor Antiq. B. xv. c. viii. s. j. and x. s. iii. But it is very likely spirit in the invisible world, and that man is to be rewarded that the Herodians, mentioned c. xxii. 10. were courtiers or or punished here, for the good or evil he does.

servunts of Herod king of Galilee. See the note there. They received only the five books of Moses, and rejected Skew them a sign] These sects, however opposed among all unwritten traditions. From every account we have of themselves, most cordially unite in their opposition to Christ this sect, it plainly appears they were a kind of mongrel and his truth. That the kingdom of Satan may not fall, all deists, and professed materialists. See Prideaux, and the his subjects must fight against the doctrine and maxims of the authors he quotes, Connect. vol. iii. p. 95. and 471, &c. and kingdom of Christ. See the note on ch. iii. 7.

Tempting-him] Feigning a desire to have his doctrine In chap. xxii. 16. we shall meet with a third sect, called fully proved to them, that they might credit it, and become Herodians, of whom a few words may be spoken here. It is his disciples; but having no other design than to betray and allowed on all hands, that these did not exist before the time | ruin him. of Herod the Great, who died only three years after the in- Verse 2. When it is evening] There are certain signs of fair carnation of our Lord. What the opinions of these were, is and foul weather, which ye are in the constant habit of obnot agreed among the learned. Many of the primitive serving, and which do not fail.— The signs of the times the fathers believed that their distinguishing doctrine was, that doctrine which I preach, and the miracles which I work they held Herod to be the Messiah ; but it is not likely that among you, are as sure signs that the day spring from on such an opinion could prevail in our Saviour's time, thirty high has visited you

Salvation ; but if ye refuse to years after Herod's death, when not one characteristic of hear, and continue in darkness, the red and gloomy cloud of Messiahship had appeared in him during his life. Others vindictive Justice shall pour out such a storm of wrath upon suppose that they were Herod's courtiers, who flattered the you, as shall sweep you from the face of the earth. passions of their master; and being endowed with a convenient Verse 3. The sky is red and louring.] The signs of fair and conscience, changed with the times; but as Herod was now foul weather, were observed in a similar manner among

for your

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But would not discern the signs of the Sr. MATTHEW. times. Unbelief of the disciples.

ye can discern the face of the sky; || 7 And they reasoned among them. 1.M. 1632. An. Olymp. but can ye not discern the signs of selves, saying, It is because we have an Olymp. the times ?

taken no bread. 4 * A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh 8 Which, when Jesus perceived, he said unto after a sign ; and there shall no sign be given them, Oye of little faith, why reason ye unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And among yourselves, because ye have brought he left them, and departed.

no bread? 5. And when his disciples were come to the 9 Do ye not yet understand, neither rememother side, they had forgotten to take bread. ber the five loaves of the five thousand, and how

6 Then Jesus said unto them, “Take heed and many baskets ye took up ? beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the 10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thouSadducees.

sand, and how

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many baskets

• Cli, 12. 39.- Mark 8. 14.-Luke 12. 1.

& Ch. 14. 17. Jolin 6.9,

Ch. 15. 34.

the Romans, and indeed among most other people. Many particular creed has a greater influence on his tempers and treatises have been written on the subject : thus a Poet. conduct than most are aware of. Pride, hypocrisy, and worldly

mindedness, which constituted the learen of the Pharisees and Cæruleus pluviam denunciant, igneus euros.

Sadducees, ruin the major part of the world. Sin MACU LE incipient rutilo immiscerier ,

Verse 7. They reasoned) For, as Lightfoot observes, the Omnia tunc pariter VENTO NIMBESQUE videbis Fervere.

Vurg, Geor. i. 1. 453.

term learen was very rarely used among the Jews, to signify

doctrine, and therefore the disciples did not immediately apIf fiery red, bis glowing globe descends,

prehend bis meaning. In what a lamentable state of blindHigh reinds and furious tempests he portends : pess is the human mind! Bodily wants are perceived with But if his cheeks are swoln with livid blue,

the utmost readiness, and a supply is songhit with all speed. He bodes zet wenther, by his watery hue;

But the necessities of the soul are rarely discovered, though If dusky spots are varied on his brow,

they are more pressing than those of the body, and the supply And streak'd with red a troubled colour show,

of them of infinitely more importance. That sullen mixture, shall at once declare,

Verse 8. When Jesus perceired, he said) AUTONG, mto them, is Wind, rain, and storms, and elemental war.”

wanting in BDKLMs. and twenty others; one of the Syriac, DRYDEN.

the Armenian, Æthiopic, Vulgate, and most of the Itala ; also Verse 4. Wicked and adulterous generation] The Jewish in Origen, Theophylact, and Lucifer Calaritamas. Mill appeople are represented in the Sacred Writings, as married to proves of the omission, and Griesbach has left it out of the text. the most ligh; but like a disloyal wife, forsaking their true O ye of little faith] There are degrees in faith, as well as husband, and uniting themselves to Satan and sin. Seeketh in the other graces of the spirit. Little faith may be the after a sign, omuz ov 1 %ntes, steketh sign npon sign, or, still seed of greut faith, and therefore is not to be despised. But another sign. Our blessed Lord had already wrought miracles many who should be strong in faith, have but a small measufficient to demonstrate both his divine mission, and his di- | sure of it, because they either give way to sin, or are not vinity'; only one was farther necessary to take away the careful to improve what God has already given. scandal of his cross and death, to fulfil the Scriptures, and to Verses 9 and 10. Do ye not yet understandthe fire loaves establish the Christian religion; and that was, bis resurrection | -neither the seven.--See the notes on chap. xiv. 14, &c. from the dead, which he here states, was typified in the case How astonishing is it that these men should have any fear of of Jonah.

lacking bread, after having seen the two miracles which our Verse 5. Come to the other side) Viz. the coast of Bethsaida, blessed Lord alludes to above! Though men quickly perby which our Lord passed, going to Cæsarea, for he was now ceive their bodily wants, and are querulous enough till they on his journey thither. See ver. 13. and Mark viii. 22, 27. get them supplied, yet they as quickly forget the mercy

Verse 6. Beware of the leaven) What the leaven of Phari- || which they had received, and thus God gets few returns of sees and Sadducees was, has been already explained, see gratitude for his kindnesses. To make men, therefore, deeply ver. 1. Bad doctrines aet in the soul, as leaven does in meal; || sensible of his favours, he is induced to suffer them often to they assimilate the whole spirit to their own nature. A man's || be in want, and then to supply them in such a way, as to Leaven of the Scribes and Pharisees.

CHAP. XVI,

Peter's confession of Christ.

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11 How is it that ye do not under- || 14 And they said, "Some say that 4,21,4032 An. Olymp. stand that I spake it not to you con- thou art John the Baptist : some Elias; An. Olymp.

cerning bread, that ye should beware and others, Jeremias, or one of the of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sad- prophets. ducees?

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that 12 Then understood they how that he bade I am ? them not beware of the leaven of bread, but 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Thou art 'the Christ, the Son of the living Sadducees.

God. 13 When Jesus came into the coasts of 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Cæsarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona : for flesh * Whom do men say that I the Son of man and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but am?

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prove that their supply has come immediately from the hand | Some, John the Baptist, 8c. By this and other passages we of their bountiful Father.

learn, that the Pharisaic doctrine of the Metempsychosis, or Verse 11. How is it that ye do not understand] We are transmigration of souls, was pretty general; for it was upon not deficient in spiricual knowledge, because we have not had this ground that they believed that the soul of the Baptist, or sufficient opportunities of acquainting ourselves with God; | of Elijah, Jeremiah, or some of the Prophets, had come to a but because we did not improve the advantages we had. new life in the body of Jesus. How deep and ruinous must our ignorance be, if God did Verse 16. Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.) not give line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little Every word here is emphatic- a most concise, and yet comand there a little! They now perceived that he warned them prehensive confession of faith. against the superstition of the Pharisees, which produced The Christ, or Messiah, points out his divinity, and shews hypocrisy, pride, envy, &c. and the false doctrine of the his office--the Son—designates his person : on this account it Sadducees, which denied the existence of a spiritual world, is, that both are joined together so frequently in the New Cothe immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, venant. Of the living God-Tou rov, TOU SWITOs, literally of and the providence of God.

God, the Living One. The C. Bezæ has for Tou Swytos the Verse 13. Cæsarea Philippi] A city, in the tribe of Nap- Liring One; TOU OW (Ortos, the Saviour, and the Cant. Dei Salthali, near to mount Libanus, in the province of Ituren. Its | zatoris, Of God the Saviour. ancient name was Dan, Gen. xiv. 14. afterwards it was called Living-a character applied to the Supreme Bting, not Lais, Judg. xviii. 7. But Philip the tetrarch, having re-only to distinguish him from the dead idols of Paganism, but built and beautified it, gave it the name of Cæsarea, in honour also to point him out as the source of life, present, spiritual, of Tiberius Cæsar, the reigning emperor: but to distinguish it and eternal. Probably there is an allusion here to the great from another Cæsarea, which was on the coast of the Mediter- name nini Yeve, or Yehovah; which properly signifies being ranean Sea, and to perpetuate the fame of him who rebuilt it, or existence. it was called Cæsarea Philippi, or Cæsarea of Philip.

Verse 17. Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona] Or Simon, son of When Jesus came] En@w de o Insous--when Jesus was coming. Jonah; so Bar-jonah should be translated, and so it is rendered Not, when Jesus came, or was come, for Mark expressly men- by our Lord, John i. 43. Flesh and bloodi. e. man:-no human tions that it happened ty tn odw, in the way to Cesarea Philippi, being hath revealed this; and though the text is literal enough, chap. viii. 27. and he is Matthew's best interpreter.--WAKE- yet every body should know that this is a Hebrew periphrasis

for man; and the literal translation of it here, and in Gal. i. 16. Whom do men say] He asked his disciples this question, has misled thousands, who suppose that flesh and blood, signify hot because he was ignorant what the people thought carnal reason, as it is termed : or the unregenerate principle in and spoke of him; but to have the opportunity in getting Is it not evident from our Lord's observation, that it an express declaration of their faith from themselves, to requires an express revelation of God in a man's soul, to givę confirm and strengthen them in it: but see on Luke ix. 20; him a saving acquaintance with Jesus Christ; and that not

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The church founded on this

Sr. MATTHEW.

confession. Of binding and loosing.

18 And I say also unto thee, That 19 “And I will give unto thee the A.M. 4032. a thou art Peter, and upon this rock keys of the kingdom of heaven: and An. Oiymp.

I will build my church; and the whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever

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• John 1. 42. Eph. 2. 20. Rev. 21. 14.- - Job 38. 17. Ps. 9. 13.

& 107. 18. Isai. 38. 10.

d Ch. 18. 18. John 20. 23.

even the miracles of our Lord, wrought before the eyes, will vomit out her Devil and all his angels to fight against Christ effect this ? the durkness must be removed from the heart by, and his saints, ruin and discomfiture must be the consequence the Holy Spirit, before a man can become wise unto salvation. on their part; as the arm of the Omnipotent must prevail.

Verse 18. Thou art Peter] This was the same as if he had Verse 19. The keys of the kingdom] By the kingdom of said, I acknowledge thee for one of my disciplesfor this name heuven, we may consider the true Church, that house of God was given him by our Lord when he first called him to the to be meant, and by the keys, the power of admitting into that Apostleship. See John i. 42.

house, or of preventing any improper person from coming in Peter, astęos, signifies a rock, and our Lord, whose constant In other words, the doctrine of salvation, and the full declaracustom it was to rise to heavenly things through the mediumtion of the way in which God will save sinners: and who they of earthly, takes occasion from the name, the metaphorical are that shall be finally excluded from heaven; and on what meaning of which was strength and stability, to point out the account. When the Jews made a man a Doctor of the Law, solidity of the confession, and the stability of that cause which they put into his hand the key of the closet in the temple, should be founded on the Christ, the Son of the Living where the sacred books were kept, and also tablets to write God.

upon; signifying by this, that they gave him authority to Upon this very rock, itu tauta in Tirga—this true confession teach, and to explain the Scriptures to the people.—Martin. of thine—that I am the Messiah, that am come to reveal and This prophetic declaration of our Lord, was literally fulcommunicate the living God, that the dead lost world may filled to Peter, as he was made the first instrument of openbe saved-upon this very rock, myself, thus confessed (al-ing, i. e. preaching the doctrines of the kingdom of heaven luding probably to Psal. cxviii. 22. The Stone which the to the Jews, Acts ii. 41. and to the Gentiles, Acts x. 44–47. builders rejected, is become the HEAD-STONE of the CORNER: | xi. 1. xv. 7. and to Isai. xxviii. 16. Behold I lay a Stone in Zion for a Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth] This mode of expresFOUNDATION)—will I build my Church, pou tnv xxxandrar, my sion was frequent among the Jews: they considered that every assembly, or congregation, i. e. of persons who are made par- thing that was done upon earth according to the order of God, takers of this precious faith. That Peter is not designed in was at the same time done in heaven: hence they were acour Lord's words, must be evident to all who are not blinded customed to say, that when the priest, on the day of atone. by prejudice. Peter was only one of the builders in this ment, offered the two goats upon earth, the same were offered sacred edifice, Eph. ii. 20. who, himself tells us, (with the rest in heaven. As one goat therefore is permitted to escape on of the believers) was built on this living foundation stone : earth, one is permitted to escape in heaven: and when the 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5. therefore Jesus Christ did not say, on thee, | priest casts the lots on earth, the priest also casts the lots in Peter, will I build my Church, but changes immediately the heaven. See Sohar. Levit. fol. 26. and see Lightfoot and expression, and says, upon that very rock, el TAUTN TN TETga, Schoetgen. These words will receive considerable light from to shew that he neither addressed Peter, nor any other of the Levit. xiii. 3. & 23. The priest shall look upon him (the leper) Apostles. So, the supremacy of Peter, and the infallibility of and pronounce him unclean. Heb. inx xDu vetimè otho, he the Church of Rome, must be sought in some other Scripture, shall pollute him, i. e. shall declare him polluted from the evifor they certainly are not to be found in this. On the mean- dences mentioned before, and in ver. 23. The priest shall proing of the word Church, see at the conclusion of this chapter. nounce him clean joan 1970 vetiharo hacohen, the priest shall

The gates of Hell, mua. Adou, i. e. the machinations and cleanse him, i.e. declare he is clean from the evidences mentionpowers of the invisible world. In ancient times the gates ofed in the verse. In the one case the priest declared the perfortified cities were used to hold councils in; and were son, infected with the leprosy, and unfit for civil society: and usually places of great strength. Our Lord's expression in the other, that the suspected person was clean, and inight means, that neither the plots, stratagems, nor strength of Satan safely associate with his fellows in civil or religious assemblies. and his angels, should ever so far prevail as to destroy the The disciples of our Lord, from having the keys, i.e. the true sacred truths in the above confession. Sometimes the gates knowledge of the doctrine of the kingdom of heaven, should are taken for the troops which issue out from them—we may be able at all times to distinguish between the clean and the firmly believe, that though hell should open her gates, and unclean, and pronounce infallible judgment: and this binding

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