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33 | 8 Another parable spake he unto them ; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which, a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
34 “ All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables ; and without a parable spake he not unto them :
35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 'I will open my mouth in parables ; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Luke xiii. 20. • The word in the Greek is, a measure containing about a peck and a half, wanting a little more than a pint. h Mark iv. 33.
i Psalm lxxviii. 2.
ples, in their great work of planting the of morals, a more liberal benevolence, gospel. However small and discouraging kindlier feelings, manliness of intellect, the commencement of their work in any and an ameliorated state of the social af. place might be, they planted a seed which fections. Let this encourage the exercontained within itself the capacity of tions of the disciples of Christ. The elelarge and wonderful increase. So it has ments of these mighty changes are not proved in every land, and in every heart, often brought into the calculations of the where it has been in truth received and philosopher or the statesman ; but they diligently cultivated.
are silently placed amidst the thoughts Verse 33. Like leaven. The former and consciences of men, and exert there parable was designed to illustrate the a growing influence. Far off may be the public and visible growth of Christ's reli- desirable consummation ; but the leaven gion; this, its secret and powerful opera- is silently at work ; and the vast mass tion in the soul of man, and in the moral of the human race shall be ultimately state of society. Its influence is invisible, brought under its influence. often slow; but it exerts a secret activity, Three measures of meal.—The catoy, or conveying its own properties progres- measure, was about a peck and a half, sively, until, like the measures of meal, English ; and three measures were pro. the whole mass is leavened. This must bably the quantity usually leavened at become matter of personal experience, one time for domestic use. that no principle of action, no affection of Verse 35. That it might be fulfilled, 8c. the soul, no temper, no thought, word, or -This quotation is from Psalm lxxviii. action shall escape that influence of the 2; an inspired ode, which is attributed to gospel, the effect of which, when not wil. Asaph, who is called, 2 Chron. xxix. 30, fully counteracted, is to assimilate every "Asaph the seer,” or prophet. The subject thing to its own charity and purity. In of this Psalm is the history of God's deal. the world the process, from the vastness ings with the Jews, until he raised up of the mass, will be slow; and yet, what David to be their shepherd; and as this reflecting mind can fail to remark with history is that of a typical people and a joy, that, wherever the great truths of our typical king, it looks forward to the divine religion are fully and faithfully Christian dispensation, and to Christ the preached, how certainly, and often indeed King of his church, appointed as the rapidly, do great moral changes in the great Shepherd to feed and rule it. To state of society follow ?–a higher stand- the future state of that church, through ard of judging as to right and wrong, a its varied history, until Christ the true stricter regard to justice, a corrected state David should fully establish his dominion
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house : and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil ; 'the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
44 q Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth,
j Joel iii. 13; Rev. xiv. 15. • Or, scandals
k Dan. xii. 3.
in the world, the preceding parables, ed, directly refutes it. What Asaph calls spoken by our Lord, also manifestly a parable,” and “dark sayings,” could refer; and as Asaph spoke of the same have no application to the Psalm, which, subjects under these types, so Christ literally taken, is no more than a plain under the veil of parables. Asaph was in historical narrative, unless he considered this respect himself a type of Christ : each himself as speaking of Messiah and his uttered his parables and enigmatical kingdom under the typical veil of the sayings, and revealed things kept secret Jewish nation, and its most illustrious from ancient times. In this respect also sovereign, and as speaking also in MesChrist answered to the typical Asaph; siah's person. This consideration alone and as the latter was appointed by the sufficiently determines the prophetic chaSpirit of inspiration to be Messiah’s type racter of the Psalm referred to by the A8 A TEACHER, so his shadowy ministry evangelist, and that there was a real fulwas directly fulfilled in Christ when he filment of a pre-indication of the character uttered his parables on the same subjects; of our Lord's teaching in that of Asaph. but with more obvious reference to his The quotation of St. Matthew a little own church and future glorious reign. varies both from the Hebrew and the Here then is another instance, to explain Septuagint, but perfectly agrees in sense. which, the theory of accommodation has Verse 44. He hideth, &c.—Replaces it been called in, but which, when examin- in its foriner state of concealment; and
and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
45 | Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls :
46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
47 | Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he Verse 47. A net cast into the sea, 80.hath, and buyeth that field, by which, The import of this parable is similar to according to Jewish notions, he would that of the wheat and tares, though someacquire a right to the treasure: at least what more general in its application. Its in the Mischna it is laid down, “that allusion to the occupation of those of the whoever buys anything of his neighbour, apostles who were fishermen would render if money be found in the article bought, it the more striking to them, though it it belongs to the purchaser.” On the is obvious to all. The large nets of the exact morality of the case, the parable fishermen enclose both bad and good determines nothing ; its object being sim- kinds of fish when used in waters where ply to show that when men are brought fish of these opposite qualities abound; to set a proper value upon the great trea- and the separation of the noxious from sure of salvation, they will make all the the edible species followed immediately sacrifices which Christ requires of them, upon bringing the produce of the nets to though it be to “ leave all, and follow shore, which represents, says our Lord, him,” in order to attain it.
what will take place at the end of the Verses 45, 46. Goodly pearls.—This world. Then the angels shall come forth ; parable appears not to differ in import angels, as in the parable of the tares, not from the preceding ; only the variation in men; and for the same reason,-and serer the metaphor serves to impress us the the wicked from the just. See note on verse more deeply with the unrivalled value of 30. Thus, though by the ministration of the blessings of the gospel, and the neces- Christ's servants a visible mixed church sity of taking every means to secure a only is formed, this will not remain its perpersonal interest in them. In the one manent character. In eternity the sepathey are compared to a treasure, gene- ration will be complete and final. On all rally; in the other to a pearl of great price, these parables it may be remarked, that of the highest value, πολυτιμος μαργαριτης. the leading parts only are intended to be Pearls were favourite stones in the east, significant, the rest belonging to the and estimated at a high value; and the ornament or filling up of the narrative; adjacent coasts of the Red Sea made this and he who endeavours to bring forced article of traffic familiar to the Jews. and far-fetched meanings out of parables Their value, like that of other precious will generally mistake a perverted ingestones, rose with their size, perfectness, nuity for the intention and mind of God. and beauty. This was the goodLIEST This ought to operate as a sufficient caution; among goodly pearls, and of such value and an illustration or two of this absurd as well to repay the man who should sell manner of treating parables will show that his whole estate to purchase it. The caution is not unnecessary. One eminent moral is obvious. Possessed of what this commentator has thus interpreted the pearl represents, every man is beyond parable of the leaven: “By the woman calculation wealthy; and without it the who leavened the meal is meant the wismost opulent are poor indeed!
dom of God; by the leaven, the doctrine
48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
of the gospel; by the three measures of intimated that he was training them up, meal, the three faculties of the soul, rea- and specially qualifying them, to fulfil the son, anger, and concupiscence, which office of public teachers of his religion to three faculties are made conformable to the world; and thus urged upon them the doctrine of the gospel by the wisdom the duty of paying the most careful attenof God!” And a modern expositor is tion to his doctrine. Instructed unto the not greatly inferior to the foregoing ; who, kingdom of heaven, signifies made thoroughin his remarks on the parable of the casting ly acquainted with the doctrines, eviof the net into the sea, compares the gospel dences, and practical ends of the gospel; to a net,“for its meanness in the esteem of which can only be attained by diligent men, and being of no account in the eyes attention, personal experience of its truth of the world ; and yet, like a net, it is a and power, and earnest prayer for divine piece of curious workmanship, in which illnmination. Such a qualified teacher the manifold wisdom of God is displayed,” is compared to a householder, or master of &c. Both these examples are taken from a family, who has laid up in his treasury the works of grave and learned men ! or storehouse those fruits of the earth,
Verse 50. And shall cast them into a and other provision necessary for their furnace of fire.—This is an allusion to daily use, which, according to Jewish the eastern punishment of burning manners, it was requisite for him daily to
whilst the wailing and gnashing of dispense to the whole family. teeth, not merely before they are cast in, Things new and old.--A phrase which but whilst there, ekel, seems to indicate the denotes great abundance, and is used in continuance of their existence in a state reference to the laying up of the produce of misery.
of the new year with that of the old, that Verse 52. Erery scribe which is in- the supply might never fail. Thus it is structed, 8c — The scribes, as before promised, Levit. xxvi. 9, 10 : “ For I will stated, were distinguished by their skill have respect unto you,and make you fruitin the Jewish laws and religion, and were ful; and ye shall eat old store, and bring t'bus qualified for their profession as pub- forth the old because of the new," that is, lic teachers. Our Lord, by giving the to make room for it. So Maimonides : appellation scribes, to those to whom he Behold, in it are all sorts of fruits, new had exclusively addressed several of the and old.” That under this allusion foregoing parables, and favoured them in ministers are taught to administer the private with the interpretation of others, doctrines both of the law and the Gospel.,
53 | And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
54 ' And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 " Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary ? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
the old covenant and the new, as some combines the old with the new, or the commentators will have it, is probably acknowledged principles of the word of mere conceit, considered as an exposition God with their developement into all the of our Lord's meaning, though an impor- particulars of faith, consolation, counsel, tant part of every minister's duty. But and duty. our Lord manifestly intended to inculcate, Verse 54. Into his own country.-Tc that those who teach others should pos- Nazareth, where he had been brought up; sess a FULNESS of knowledge themselves which is so called in opposition to Caperon the great subjects of their ministry; naum, which was the place of his usual that they also, like the householder, abode. should be always gathering in new FRUITS Verse 55. Is not this the carpenter's son ?TO THE OLD; that the storehouse of their The word here translated carpenter,TEKTæv, minds should never be scanty ; and that signifies a worker in iron, stone, or wood, the same discrimination is necessary to a that is, an artificer ; but when used alone, minister as to a householder, in providing without an adjective, in scripture, it uniand bringing forth the food which is formly signifies a carpenter. Early tradisuitable to the ages and circumstances of tion assigns this trade to Joseph; and the family. The new things do not, how- as it was the constant rule among the ever, mean NOVELTIES in kind; but, as Jews of all ranks to teach their sons some the fruits laid up in the storehouse of the trade, our Lord might learn that of his householder were fruits of the same kind, reputed father. This, however, is by no reaped from the same fields, or gathered means certain ; for, as both Joseph and from the same trees, so the new things Mary knew him to be the promised Meswhich “a scribe well instructed” is to siah, from the revelations of the angel and collect and distribute, are new impressions his extraordinary birth, this might not be and views of the same truths, and a stronger required from him, though he was “subperception of their application to the varied ject” to them during his infancy and cases of men. These are given to him as the youth. It may, however, be fairly col. result of recent meditation and earnest lected from the manner in which this prayer, and possess a freshness and a question was put, and from the other power which render their ministration references made by the people of Nazareth influential upon himself and others. The to his family, that they were in a lowly truths which form the true food of the condition. He taught in the synagogues soul are few in their general principles, of this city; the people acknowledged, but infinitely deep and rich ; and all suc- even with astonishment, the depth of his cessful and well-directed ministerial study wisdom, and the might of his works ; and brings them forth into clearer light, yet, because he was the son of a carpenter, beauty, and acceptableness, and thus and his brethren and sisters were inhabit