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make him two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say: Whosoever shall 16 swear by the temple, it is nothing ; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor. Ye fools, and 17 blind ! for whether is greater ? the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold ? And : Whosoever shall swear by the 18 altar, it is nothing ; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools, and blind ! for whether is great- 19 er ? the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift ? Whoso, 20 therefore, shall swear by the altar sweareth by it and by all so much from a religious as a cov- i. e. the oath by the temple is not etous and ambitious motive; for obligatory.The gold of the temple. they made a gain and a boast of Probably the money in the treasury godliness. There were two kinds is meant, not the ornaments, with of proselytes; Ist, the proselytes which the building was decorated. of righteousness, i. e. complete, He is a debtor, i. e. is bound to who embraced the Jewish religion fulfil his oath. Unusual sanctity in its full extent, and shared in all seems to have been attributed to the rites and privileges of Jews the gold in the temple treasury. It themselves; 2d, the proselytes of was corban, devoted. Mark vii. 11. the gate; foreigners who lived Our Lord showed the futility of the among the Jews, who were not cir- distinction, by intimating that the cumcised, yet conformed to some temple was greater than the gold of the Jewish laws and customs; which it consecrated. It has been they were admitted into the outer conjectured, that the Pharisees took division of the temple, called the advantage of the feeling of sacredcourt of the Gentiles. The Tal ness associated with this gold, to mudists speak against proselytes, obtain greater contributions from as injurious to the purity of their the people. religion. - Make him two-fold, fc. 18, 19. They also attributed peMany critics translate this clause, culiar sanctity to the offerings upon Ye make him a child of hell more the altar, as is supposed, from selfdeceitful than yourselves. The sim- ish considerations. Cor. ix. 13. ple idea is, that, by converting him, He is guilty. Rather, he is bound. they made him far worse than them- The same word which is translated selves, for he probably retained his in verse 16, he is a debtor. It was old errors, mixed with those of absurd to believe that the gift could his formal, hypocritical teachers. - be more sacred than the altar, for it Child of hell is an expression sig- derived all its sacredness from the nifying worthy of, or doomed to altar. hell, or the severest punishment;

20 - 22. Jesus would sweep away as the children of light means those their futile distinctions, and show who enjoy the light.

that the validity of an oath depend16, 17. Next he censures their ed, not on the particular thing by absurd and wicked distinctions re- which it was taken, whether gift, specting oaths, which they divided altar, gold, temple, or heaven,

but into great and small. See notes on upon its tacit reference to God. chap. v. 33 – 37. - It is nothing, Just so far as it was efficacious, by

ness.

ace.

21 things thereon; and whoso shall swear by the temple sweareth 22 by it and by him that dwelleth therein ; and he that shall swear

by heaven sweareth by the throne of God and by him that sit23 teth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypo

crites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin ; and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment,

mercy, and faith. These ought ye to have done, and not to 24 leave the other undone. Ye blind guides ! which strain at a 25 gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharappealing to objects consecrated to and the love of God.”—These ought the divine service, so far was it ob- ye to have done, fc. The moral duligatory, since it called God to wit- ties should have been discharged,

By him that dwelleth_there, whilst the ceremonial observances in. A visible symbol of the Divine should not have been neglected. presence, in the form of a cloud, He did not object to their scrupurested upon the mercy-seat of the lousness in tithes, provided they Holy of Holies. 1 Kings viii. 10, kept the spiritual commandments ; 11, 13. As God was the king of though, in reality, the two courses the Jews, the temple was hiş pal- of conduct could hardly be reconIn pursuance of the same

ciled in the same person. idea, he is described as sitting upon 24. Strain at a gnat. It is rea throne in heaven.

markable that this error, which was 23. Pay tithe, i. e. a tenth part.— at first merely a blunder in printMint. Sweet-scented, garden mint, ing, should have been so long peror spearmint. It was strewed by petuated. The correct reading is, the Jews on the floors of their strain out a gnat. It was the cusdwellings. — Anise. A mistake of tom in the east, where insects the translators for dill, an aromatic abound, to strain or filter wine plant used by perfumers. - Cum- through a cloth or sieve. The min. An herb resembling fennel, Jews did it, partly from fear of swalwith aromatic seeds of a hot and bit- lowing any creature that was unter taste. — The Scribes and Phari- clean in the eye of the law, as well sees were not satisfied with paying as from motives of cleanliness. the usual tithes for the support of What is here called gnat is said by the Levites and the poor, and for some to be a small animalcule bred the service of the temple, Numb. in the liquor. The camel was the xviii. 20 – 24 ; Deut. xiv. 22-24, largest animal, with which the Jews 28, 29, but they paid also a tenth were much acquainted. - Hence, part of the small herbs. Have the smallest insect and the greatest omilted. Same word as is rendered animal are employed to make the below, leave undone. Judgment, antithesis stronger. The phrase is mercy, and faith. Mic. vi. 8. A proverbial, and is similar to more approved translation is, justice, found among the Arabians : humanity, and fidelity, the great so eats an elephant, and is strangled cial virtues, unless by faith we un with a gnat.” Jesus places, in derstand man's duties to God. Luke, bold relief, their inconsistency, in xi. 42, has recorded it, “judgment carefully observing the little points

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isees, hypocrites ! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and ex

Thou blind Pharisee! cleanse first that which is within 26 the and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are 27 like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous 28 unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! because ye 29 build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of

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of ceremonial usage, and trampling their quality from the fountain out under foot the first moral principles of which they flow. of religion.

27, 28. Whited sepulchres. Tombs 25, 26. Woe unto you. See note are said to have been annually on chap. xi. 21. The repetition of whitewashed, that they might be this phrase of condemnation car seen and shunned; for it was an ries with it an awful weight and unclean act, according to the law, to solemnity. As he begins sentence touch them. Numb. xix. 16. Their after sentence with this word, it whiteness, contrasted with the green must have sounded in their ears herbage or groves, must have poslike the first thunderings of those sessed a degree of beauty, but withjudgments, which were soon to roll in there was death and corruption. over their nation. - Make clean the So it was with these hypocrites. outside. They were attentive to Precise in the observance of forms, the washings and purifications of sanctimonious in their deportment, the law, but neglected that moral zealous for the law, they were yet and inward purity, without which, chargeable with the grossest imall forms were but a cheat and a moralities and stained with the foullie. Сир. - Platter. The vessels est crimes. Luke xi. 44. for drink and food respectively. - 29, 30. Because ye build. They Within they are full of extortion and were blamed, not because they paid

Instead of excess, Gries- marks of respect to the venerable bach reads injustice, which would dead, but because they did it hypbe more consonant to the known ocritically ; because, whilst they character of the Pharisees. How- thus honored the prophets and the ever scrupulously their vessels were righteous, they yet were ready to' washed, they were yet filled with imitate their persecutors. Garfood procured by extortion and in- nish the sepulchres, &c. It was justice, and therefore most foul and customary, both among the Jews unclean. Cleanse first, fc. See and Gentiles, to show their reverthat their contents are the fruits of

for the dead by building honesty and justice, and they will or beautifying their tombs. The be truly clean. Purify the heart, Scribes and Pharisees pretended a and the conduct cannot be other respect for the martyred prophets, wise than pure, for streams take which they did not feel, for it was

excess.

ence

30 the righteous, and say: If we had been in the days of our

fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the 31 blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye

be witnesses unto yourselves that ye are the children of them which killed the 32 prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers ! how can ye escape

the 34 damnation of hell ? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you

prophets, and wise men, and scribes ; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge in

was

wholly inconsistent with their real their amendment, indignant at their character. They adorned indeed hypocrisy, he says, Go on and fill their tombs, but they violated their up the measure of the sins of your instructions. Even after the time fathers. A prediction is here exof Christ, there were many tombs pressed in the imperative mode, i. e. of the ancient worthies still to be you will go on. found in Judea, which had been 33. Ye generation of vipers. Beterected or rebuilt long after their ter, brood of vipers. They posdeath. - Partakers with them in the sessed the venom and malignity blood of the prophets. Yet, at the of the most noxious reptiles. See same time they were indulging in a note on chap. iii. 7. How then worse spirit than that of their per could they escape the severest punsecuting forefathers, and desiring ishment ? The seeming harshness and plotting the death of him, who of this language is, perhaps, partly

greater than the prophets. attributable to the oriental highly They professed to honor the de- figurative mode of speech, which parted messengers of God, while delights in the boldest metaphors, they were ready to kill the Messiah, most startling paradoxes, and stronghis Son.

est hyperboles. Jesus spoke in the 31. Ye are the children of them, usual style. But until we possess fc. They acknowledged that they his knowledge of mankind, and his were children, by natural descent, authority from God, we are forbidof those, who had slain the prophets den to judge our fellows and proof God. But, more than that, they nounce their condemnation. Hell, were witnesses to themselves, they i. e. Gehenna, or the valley of were conscious in their own hearts, Hinnom, near Jerusalem, where the that they were,

in feelings and mo filth of the city and the bodies of tives likewise, children of those malefactors were thrown, to be conbloody ancestors.

sumed by fire and worms. Hence 32. Fill ye up then, fc. The last it was used as a figure for a keen verse may be regarded as paren- and terrible punishment. thetical, and this one to be a con 34. Wherefore. The effect, rather clusion drawn from the 30th. They than the design of the teachers' bepretended, that, if they had lived in ing sent, is here expressed.— I send the days of yore, they should not has the sense of the future. I will have been guilty of the barbarities send. — Prophets, and wise men, and of those periods ; but they would scribes. The Saviour applies Jewgo on, and in time fully equal the ish titles to his Apostles, Evangemost wicked age. Despairing of lists, and disciples. — Ye shall kill

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your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city ; that 35 upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall 36 come upon this generation.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and 37 and crucify, fc. These predictions the prophet, the son of Barachias, were literally fulfilled in the early wrote his name instead of that of history of Christianity, as recorded Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada, the in the Acts of the Apostles and murdered priest. This supposition Epistles. Stephen stoned. may derive some additional strength, James was killed by the sword. from the fact that Jerome found JeSome of the other Apostles were hoiada in a Hebrew Gospel of the imprisoned, scourged, and driven Nazarenes.-Between the temple and from city to city; and, at least, the altar. This circumstance apfour of the Twelve, according to tra- pears to harmonize with the acdition, were crucified.

count of the death of Zechariah, in 35. That expresses the conse- Chronicles. The guilt of the crime quence, rather than the design. You was increased, if possible, by the have reached such a pitch of in- sacred place, in which it was comfatuation and wickedness, that the mitted. accumulated judgments of Heaven 36. All these things shall come upwill eventually fall upon you for the on this generation. As much as to slaughter of so many wise and good say, that the nation had sunk to

A figurative expression, de- such a state of degradation and scribing their coming woes. They wickedness, that it would be visitwould be so overwhelming, as to ed with judgments so overwhelmseem sufficient for all the crimes ing, as would seem to suffice for that had been committed, from the the crimes of all preceding ages. creation of the world. — Upon the Josephus, one of their countrymen, earth, i. e. the land of Judea. an opposer of the Gospel, bears imRighteous Abel. Gen. iv. 8.-Zach- portant, because impartial, testimoarias, son of Barachias. He is ny to their abandoned condition. probably the prophet whose death He says, that they had carefully is related, 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21. imitated, and even exceeded, all the The only material objection is, that most atrocious deeds of their anceshe is called the son of Jehoiada. tors. Though, at the time Jesus Luke does not mention the name of spoke, his predictions must have his father. As a solution of the seemed highly improbable, yet that difficulty, we may conjecture that generation had not all passed off the father of Zechariah had two the stage, before all the vials of names, as was frequently the case wrath were poured out upon their among the Jews, Barachias and Je- doomed city and country. hoiada. Thus Matthew is called 37. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. How Levi; Lebbeus, Thaddeus; and Si- natural and expressive of deep emomon, Cephas. Or, it is not wholly tion is this repetition of the word ! improbable, that some early tran- Can any reader fail to see, that scriber, thinking only of Zechariah every page of the Gospels has some

men.

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