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The Scribes and Pharisees to be followed CHAP. XXIII. as far as they teach the doctrine of Moses.

The very important subjects of this chapter, have been so any thing by way of practical improvement. The explanaamply discussed in the notes, and applied so particularly to tion of the great command of the law, is particularly recomtheir spiritual uses, that it does not appear necessary to add mended to the Reader's notice. See on verses 36-40.

CHAPTER XXIII. The character of the Scribes and Pharisees, and directions to the people and the disciples to receive the Law from

them, but not to follow their bad example, 1–7. The disciples exhorted to humility, 8—12. Different woes pronounced against the Scribes and Pharisees for their intolerance, 13. rapacity, 14. false zeal, 15. superstition in oaths and tythes, 16—23. Ilypocrisy, 24–28. Their cruelty, 29-32. Their persecution of the Apostles, &c. Their destruction foretold, 33–36. Christ's lamentation orer Jerusalem, 37–39.

THEN spake Jesus to the multi- 4 For they bind heavy burdens and A.M. 4025 An. Olymp

tude, and to his disciples, grievous to be borne, and lay them on An. Olymp.

2 Saying, “The scribes and the Pha- men's shoulders ; but they themsclves risees sit in Moses' seat:

will not move them with one of their fingers. 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you

ob- 5 But d ail their works they do for to be seen serve, that observe and do; but do not ye after of men : * they make broad their phylacteries, their works : for they say, and do not.

and enlarge the borders of their garments,

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• Neh. 8. 4, 8. Mal. 2.7. Mark 12. 38. Luke 20. 45.- b Rom. 2. 19, &c.

« Luke 11. 46. Acts 15. 10. Gal. 6. 13.

Ch. 6. 1, 2, 5, 16. — Numb. 15. 58. Deut. 6. 8. & 22. 12. Prov. 3. S.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXIII.

nor revelation, to countenance them. In a word, like all their Verse 2. The scribes und the Pharisees sit in Moses' seal] || successors in spirit, to the present day, they were severe to Exabicas.—They sat there formerly by divine appointment; others, but very indulgent to themselves. they sit there now by divine permission. What our Lord Verse 5. All their works they do for to be seen of men] In says here, refers to their expounding the Scriptures, for it pointing out the corruptions of these men, our Lord gives us was the custom of the Jewish doctors to sit while they ex- the distinguishing characteristics of all false teachers, whether pounded the Law and Prophets, (chap. v. 1. Luke iv. 20—22.) || Jewish or Christian. and to stand up when they read them.

1. They live not according to the truths they preach; By the seat of Moses, we are to understand authority to || they say, und do not, ver. 3. teach the Law.-Moses was the great teacher of the Jewish 2. They are severe to others, point out the narrowest road people ; and the scribes, &c. are here represented as his suc- to heaven, and walk in the broad road themselves. They cessors.

bind on burthens, &c. ver. 4. Verse 3. All therefore whatsoever] That is, all those things 3. They affect to appear righteous, and are strict observers which they read out of the Law and Prophets, and all things of certain rites, &c. while destitute of the power of godliness. which they teach consistently with them. This must be ourThey make broad their phylacteries, &c. ver. 5. Lord's meaning; he could not have desired them to do every 4. They love worldly entertainments, go to feast wherever thing without restriction, which the Jewish doctors taught ; they are asked, and seek Church preferments. They love the because himself warns his disciples against their false teach-chief places at feusts, and chief seats in the synagogues, ver. 6. ing, and testifies that they had made the word of God of none 5. They love and seek public respect, and high titles; effect, by their traditions. See chap. xv. 6, &c. Besides, as salutations in the market-place, (for they are seldom in their our Lord speaks here in the past tensewhatsoever they have studies) and to be called of men, Rabbi_eminent teacher, commanded, ócu etwoiy, he may refer to the teaching of a though they have no title to it, either from the excellence or former period, when they taught the way of God in truth; or fruit of their teaching. When these marks are found in a were much less corrupted than they were now.

man who professes to be a minister of Christ, charity itself Verse 4. They bind heavy burdens] They are now so cor- will assert, he is a thief and a robberhe has climbed over the rupt, that they have added to the ceremonies of the Law, wall of the sheep-fold, or broken it down, in order to get in. others of their own invention, which are not only burden- Phylacteries] Φυλακτηρια from φυλασσω, to keep or preservc. some and oppressive, but have neither reason, expediency,|| These were small slips of parchment or vellum, on which

The pride and ostentation of

ST. MATTHEW. the Scribes and Pharisees reproved. 6 * And love the uppermost rooms 7 And greetings in the markets, and A. l. 165.

An. Olymp. An. Olymp. at feasts, and the chief seats in the to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

CCII.1. CCII. 1. synagogues,

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for

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· Mark 12. 38, 39. Luke 11. 43. & 20. 46. 3 Jolm 9.

Jam. 3. 1. See 2 Cor. 1.24. 1 Pet. 5. 3.

certain portions of the Law were written. The Jews tied commanded (Num. xv. 38 & 39.) the children of Israel to put these about their foreheads and arms, for three different pur- fringes to the borders of their garments, that when they poses.--1. To put them in mind of those precepts which looked upon even these distinct threads, they might remember they should constantly observe. 2. To procure them reve- not ouly the Law in general, but also the very minutiæ, or rence and respect in the sight of the heathen. And 3. To | smaller parts of all the precepts, rites, and ceremonies, belongact as amulets or charms, to drive away evil spirits.

ing to it. As these hypocrites were destitute of all the life The first use of these phylacteries, is evident from their name. and power of religion within, they endeavoured to supply its

The second use appears from what is said on the subject place by phylacteries and fringes without. See the note oa from the Gemara, Beracoth, chap. i. quoted by Kypke. Exod. xiii. 9. Whence is it proved that phylacteries (rbon, tephilin) are Verse 7. To be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.] 37 37, the strength of Israel ?--Ans. From what is written, Deut. ' i. e. My Teacher ! my Teacher ! The second Rabbi is xxviii. 10. All the people of the earth shall see that thou art omitted by several excellent MSS., by most of the ancient called by the name (of 1174 Jehovah;] and they shall be afraid Versions, and by some of the Fathers. Griesbach has left it of thee.

in the text, with the note of doubtfulness, The third use of them appears from the Targum, on There are three words used among the Jews as titles of ('ant. viii. 3. His left hand is under my head, &c. “ The con- diguity, wliich they apply to their doctors-Rabh, Rabbi, gregation of Israel hath said, I am elect above all people, and Rabban; each of these terms has its particular meaning: because I bind my phylacteries on my left band, and on my Rabban implies much more than Rabbi, and Rabbi much head, and the scroll is fixed to the right side of my gate, the more than Rabh. They may be considered as three degrees third part of which looks to my bed-chamber, that DÆMONS of comparison; Rabh, great, Rabbi, greater, and Rabban, greatmay not be permitted to INJURE me.

est. These Rabbis were looked up to as infallible oracles in An original plıylactery lies now before me. It is a piece religious matters, and usurped not only the place of the Law, of fine vellum, about eighteen inches long, and an inch and but of God himself. quarter broad. It is divided into four unequal compart- Verse 8. But he not ye called Rabbi] As our Lord proments : in the first is written, in a very. fair character, with bably spoke in Hebrew, the latter word Rabbi, in this verse, many apices, after the mode of the German Jews, the first must have been in the plural ; but as the contracted form of ten verses of Exod. xiii. ; in the second compartment is writ- the plural sounds almost exactly like the singular, the Greek ten, from the eleventh to the sixteenth verse of the same | writer would naturally express them both in the same letters. chapter inclusive; in the third, from the fourth to the ninth None of the prophets had ever received this title, nor any verse inclusive, of Deut. vi. beginning with, Hear, () Israel, of the Jewish doctors before the time of Hillel and Shammai, &c.; in the fourth, from the thirteenth to the twenty-first which was about the time of our Lord; and as disputes on verse inclusive, of Deut. xi.

several subjects had run high between these two schools, the These passages seem to be chosen in vindication of the use people were of course divided; some acknowledging Hillel as of the phylactery itself, as the Reader will see on consulting Rabbi, --infallible teacher, and others giving this title to them : Bind them for a sign upon thy hand—and for front- Shammai The Pharisees, who always sought the honour Lets between thy eyes—write them upon the posts of thy that comes from men, assumed the title, and got their folHOUSE, and upon thy Gates; all which commands the Jews lowers to address them by it. See on chap. xix. 3. took in the most literal sense.

One is your Master] Instead of xabwyntns, guide, or leader, Even the phylactery became an important appendage to a (the common reading here, and which occurs in verse 10.) Pharisee's character, insomuch, that some of them wore them the famous Vatican MS., upwards of fifty others, and most very broad, either that they might have the more written of the ancient Versions, read dodaoxanos, master. The most on them, or, that the characters being larger, they might be emivent critics approve of this reading ; and independanuy the more visible, and that they might hereby acquire greater of the very respectable authority by which it is supported, it esteem among the common people, as being more than or- is evident that this reading is more consistent with the condinarily religious. — For the same reason, they wore the text than the other,--Be not ye called masters, for one is fringes of their garments of an unusual length. Moses had

is your Master

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Humility recommended.

CHAP. XXIII. Woes against the Scribes and Pharisees. one is your Master, even Christ; and be abased ; and he that shall humble A. M. 4033. An. Olymp. all ye are brethren.

himself shall be exalted.

Au. Olymp. 9 And call no man your father upon

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13 But "woe unto you, scribes the earth : * for one is your Father, which is in and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the heaven.

kingdom of heaven against men : for ye

neither 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are your Master, even Christ.

entering, to go in. 11 But bhe that is greatest among you shall 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, be your servant.

hypocrites ! for ye devour widows' houses, 12 · And whosoever shall exalt himself shall and for a pretence make long prayer : there

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Mal. 1.6.-_ch. 20. 26, 27.--- - Job 42. 29. Prov. 15. 33. & 29. 23.

Lake 14. 11. & 18. 14. Jami. 4. 6. i Pei. 3. 5. d Luke 11. 52.

e Mark 12. 40. Luke 20. 47. 2Tim. 3. 6. Tit. 1. 11.

Eren Christ] Griesbach has left this out of the text, because arrive at the bighest degree of dignity in the sight of God, it is wanting in many of the most excellent MSS., Versions, is, by being willing to become the servant of all. Nothing is and Fathers. Mill and Bengel approve of the omission. more hateful in his sight than pride ; to bring it into everIt might have been brought into this verse from verse 10. lasting contempt, God was manifest in the flesh. He who Our Lord probably alludes to Isai. liv. 13. All thy children was in the likeness of God, took upon him the form of a skall be taught of the Lord.

servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and humbled Ye are brethren.] No one among you is higher than another, himself unto death. After this, can God look upon any or can possibly hare from me any jurisdiction over the rest. proud man without abasing him? Spiritual lordship and Ye are, in this respect, perfectly equal.

domination, ecclesiastical luxury, pomp, and pride, must be an Verse 9. Call no man your father] Our Lord probably abhorrence in the sight of that God who gave the above adalludes to the AB, or father of the Sanhedrin, who was the vices to his followers. rert after the Nasi, or president. Sce on chap. xx. 21. By Another lesson, which our blessed Lord teaches here, is, which he gives his disciples to understand, that he would that no man is implicitly to receive the sayings, doctrines, bare no second after himself, established in his Church, of and decisions of any man, or number of men, in the things which he alone was the head; and that a perfect equality must which concern the interests of his immortal soul. Christ, his subsist among them.

Spirit, and his word are the only infallible teachers. Every man Verse 10. Neither be ye called masters] Ka@ryngos, leaders who wishes to save his soul, must search the Scriptures; by God is in all these respects jealous of his honour. To him prayer and faith.—Reader, take counsel with the pious; hear alone it belongs to guide and lead his Church, as well as the discourses of the wise and holy : but let the book of God to govern and defend it. Jesus is the sole teacher of right- ultimately fix thy creed. cousness. It is he alone (who is the word, light, and eternal Verses 14 and 13. Woe unto you, scribes] I think the fourtruth;) that can illuminate every created mind; and who as teenth and thirteenth verses should be transposed. This transSariour and Redeemer, speaks to every heart by his Spirit.. position is authorised by some of the best MSS., Versions,

Though the title of Rabbi, mentioned above, was com- and Fathers. The fourteenth is wanting in the BDL., and in paratively recent in the time of our Lord, yet it was in great many others of inferior note, as well as in several of the Ver. vogue, as were the othersfather and master, mentioned in sions. Griesbach had left it out of the text, in his first edition ; this and the following verse; some bad all three titles, for thus I hesitated, and left it in, thus transposed. I am happy to in Bub. Maccoth, fol. 24.“ it is feigned,” says Dr. Lightfoot, | find that a more extensive collation of MSS., &c. has afforded " that when king Jehosaphat saw a disciple of the wise men, | proof to that eminent critic, that it should be restored to its he rose up out of his throne, and embraced him, and said, | place. In his second edition, he has transposed the two, just ay ng 37 437 438 '98, Abbi Abbi, Rabbi Rabbi, Mori Mori, | as I had done. The fifteenth reads best after the thirteenth. Father Father! Rabbi Rabbi! Master Master ! Here then

Verse 14. Ye detour widows' houses] On this subject I are the three titles, which in the 7th, 9th and 10th verses, our am in possession of nothing better than the following note, blessed Lord condemns; and these were titles that the Jewish of Dr. Whitby. doctors greatly affected.

“ This sect,” says Josephus, (Ant. I. xvii. ch. 3.) preVerse 11. Your servant.] Avarovos, deacon. See on chap. xx. 26. | tended to a more exact knowledge of the Law, on which Verse 12. Whosoever shall exalt himself, &c.] The way to l account the women were subject to them, as pretending to

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Woes against the Scribes and Pharisees. St. MATTHEW.

Profane swearing censured. 4. 11,4093. fore ye shall receive the greater dam- | 17 Ye fools and blind : for whether A, M. 4058. An. Olymp. nation.

is greater, the gold, for the temple An. Oly inp. 15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pha- that sanctifieth the gold? risees, hypocrites ! for ye compass sea and land 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye is nothing ; but whosoever sweareth by the gift make hiin twofold more the child of hell than that is upon it, he is guilty. yourselves.

19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, 16 Woe unto you, ^ ye blind guides, which the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?. say,

• Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it 20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, is nothing ; but whosoever shall swear by the sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. gold of the temple, he is a debtor !

21 And whoso shall swear by the temple,

;

. Ch. 15. 14. ver. 24.

<b ch. 5. 33, 34.-- Exod. 30. 29.

• Or, debtor, or, bound.

Le Exod. 29. 37.

be dear to God. And when Alerandra obtained the govern- to their sect. These we may suppose were principally sought ment, (Jewish war, b. i. ch. 4.) they insinuated themselves into for among the Gentiles, for the bulk of the Jewishi nation was her favour, as being the exactest sect of the Jews, and the most already on the side of the Pharisees. exact interpreters of the Lure, and abusing her simplicity, did as Proselyte] Ngonautos, a stranger, or foreigner ; one who is they listed, remove and dispose, bind and loose, and even cut off | come from his own people and country, to sojourn with another. men. They were in vogue for their long prayers, which they See the different kinds of proselytes explained in the note on continued sometimes three hours ; that perhaps they sold them,

Exod. xii. 43. as do the Roman priests their masses, or pretended others The child of hell] A Hebraism for an excessively wicked should be more acceptable to God for them; and to might person, such as might claim hell for his mother, and the Devil spoil devout widows by the gifts or salaries they expected for his father. from them. Now, this being only a hypocritical pretence of Teco-fold--the child of] The Greek word d. 2otipov, which piety, must be hateful to God, and so deserve a greater con has generally been translated twofold, KYPKE has demondemnation.”

strated to mean more deceitful. Ardois is used by the best Long prayer] For proofs of long prayers and vain repetitions Greek writers for simple, sincere, azdótus for simplicity, sincerity; among Jews, Mohammedans, and Heathens, see the notes on chap. so donlods, deceitful, dissembling, and domain, hypocri y, frau:luvi. 7.

lence, and 8: 20 Tepsv, more fraudulent, more deceitful, more Verse 13. Ye shut up the kingdom) As a key by opening a hypocritical. See also Suidas in Author. lock gives entrance into a house, &c. so knowledge of the Dr. Lightfoot, and others observe, that the proselytes were sacred testimonies, manifested in expounding them to the considered by the Jewish nation, as the scabs of the Church, people, may be said to open the way into the kingdom of and hindered the coming of the Messiah ; and Justin Martyr heaven. But where men who are termed teachers are desti- observes, that “ the proselytes did not only disbelieve Christ's lute of this knowledge themselves, they may be said to shut doctrine, but were abundantly more blasphemous against him this kingdom ; because they occupy the place of those who than the Jews themselves, endeavouring to torment and cut off should teuch, and thus prevent the people from acquiring the Christians wherever they could ; they being in this, the heavenly knowledge.

instruments of the Scribes and Pharisees.In ancient times the Rabbins carried a key, which was the Verse 16. Whosoever shull siceur by the gold] The covetous symbol or emblem of knowledge. Hence it is written in man, says one, still gives preference to the object of his lust; Semachoth, ch. viii. “ When Rab. Samuel the little died, his gold has still the first place in his heart. A man is to be key and his tablets were hung on his tomb, because he died suspected when he recommends those good works most, froin childless." See Schoetgen.

which he receives most advantage. The kingdom of heuven here means the Gospel of Christ; Is bound thereby, i.e. to fulfill his oath. the Pharisees woull not receive it themselves, and hindered Verse 20. Whoso-shall swear by the altar] As an o3th the common people as far as they could.

always supposes a person who witnesses it, and will punish Verse 15. Compass sea and land] A proverbial expression, perjury; therefore whether they swore by the temple, or the similar to ours, You leave no stone unturned ; intimating that gold, (ver. 16.) or by the altar, or the gift laid on it, (ver. 18.) they did all in their power to gain converts, not to God, but the oath necessarily supposed the God of the temple of the

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Against profane swearing,

CHAP. XXIII.

hypocrisy, and superstition. A. M. 1038. sweareth by it, and by · him that||and cummin, and have omitted the A.M.E. An. Olymp. dwelleth therein.

weightier matlers of the law, judg. An, Wymp. 22 And he that shall swear by hea ment, mercy, and faith : these ought ven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by || ye to have done, and not to leave the other him that sitteth thereon.

undone. 23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hy- l. 24 Ye blind guides,

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, pocrites! ‘for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and swallow a camel.

• 1 Kings 8. 13. 9 Chron. 6. 9. Ps. 26. 8. & 132. 11.---bch. 5. 34.

Ps. 11. 4. Acts 7. 49.-- Luke 11. 42. Gr. ümber, dill.

e 1 Sam. 15. 92. Hos. 6. 6. Mic. 6. 8. ch. 9. 13. & 12. 7.

altar and of the gifts who witnessed the oaths, and would | But all this was common swearing; and whether the subject even in their erempt cases, punish the perjury.

was true or fulse, the oath was unlawful. A common swearer is Verse 21. Whoso shall swear by the temple] Perhaps it is worthy of no credit, when, even in the most solemn manner, to this custom of swearing by the temple, that Martial al- he takes an oath before a magistrate : he is so accustomed ludes, lib. xi. epist. 95.

to stake his truth, perhaps even his soul, to things whether Ecce negas, jurasque mihi per templa Tonantis; ; true or false, that an oath cannot bind himn : and indeed Non credo : jura, Verpe, per Anchialum.

is as little respected by himself, as it is by- his neighbour. * Behold, thou deniest and swearest to me by the temples of Common swearing and the shocking frequency and multipli. Jupiter; I will not credit thee : swear, O Jew, by the tem- || cation of oaths in civil cases, have destroyed all respect for ple of Jehovah.” This word probably comes from a boon an oath; so that men seldom feel themselves bound by it ; keical Yah, the temple of Jehovah. This seems a better deriv- and thus it is useless in many cases to require it as a confirmation than Sunsa on sx in chai Elohim, as God liveth, |ation, in order to end strife or ascertain truth. See the note though the sound of the latter is nearer to the Latin.

on chap. y. 37: By him that dwelleth therein.] The common reading is

Verse 23. Ye pay tithe of mint, &c.] They were reAZTOIXOUUTI, dwelleth or inhabitEth, but ratounsavti, dweltmarkably scrupulous in the performance of all the rites and or did inhabit, is the reading of CDEFGHKLM. cighty- || ceremonies of religion, but totally neglected the soul, spirit, sir others : this reading has been adopted in the editions of and practice of godliness. Complutum, Colineus, Bengel , and Griesbach. The import-all mankind. Mercy-to the distressed and miserable. And

Judgment] Acting according to justice and equity, towards ance of this reading may be perceived by the following considerations. In the first Jewish temple, God had graciously faith in God, as the fountain of all righteousness, mercy, and condescended to manifest himself-he is constantly repre

truth. The Scribes and Pharisees neither begun nor ended sented as dwelling between the cherubim, the two figures that their works in God; nor had they any respect unto his name stood at each end of the ark of the covenant; between whom, in doing them. They did them to be seen of men, and they on the mercy seat, the lid of the ark, a splendor or glory

had their reward-luman appluuse. was exhibited, which was the symbol and proof of the divine

These ought ye to have done, &c.] Our Lord did not object presence. This the Jews called 1930 Shekinah, the habitation to their paying tithe even of common pot-herbs—this did not of Jehovah. Now the Jews unanimously acknowledge that affect the spirit of religion : but while they did this and such fire things were wanting in the second temple, which were like to the utter veglect of justice, mercy, and faith, they found in the first, viz. 1. the ark; 2. the holy spirit of pro-shewed that they had no religion, and knew nothing of its phecy; 3. the Urim and Thummim; 4. the sacred fire; and nature. 3. the agugu Shekinah. As the Lord had long before this Verse 24. Blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow time abandoned the Jewish temple, and had now made the camel.] This clause should be thns translated, Ye strain human nature of Jesus the Shekinah, (see John i. 14. the out the gnat, but ye swallow down the camel. In the common Logos was made flesh, foxwory, and made his tabernacle-translation, Ye strain at a gnat, conveys no sense. Indeed made the Shekinah-among us) our Lord could not, with any it is likely to have been at first an error of the press, at for propriety, say that the Supreme Being did now inhabit the out, which, on examination, I find escaped in the edition of temple ; and therefore used a word that hinted to them that 1611; and has been regularly continued since. There is now God had forsaken their temple, and consequently the whole before me, “ The newe Testament, (both in Englyshe and in of that service which was performed in it; and had now open- || Laten) of Mayster Erasmus translacion, imprynted by Wyled the new and living way to the holiest by the Messiah. | lyam Powell, dwellynge in Flete strele : the yere of our

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