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57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

58 I'When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him ; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.

59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last * mite.

CHAPTER XIII.

1 Christ preacheth repentance upon the punishment of the Galileans, and others. 6 The

fruitless fig tree may not stand. 11 He healeth the crooked woman : 18 sheweth the powerful working of the word in the hearts of his chosen, by the parable of the grain of mustard seed, and of leaven : 24 exhorteth to enter in at the strait gate, 31 and reproveth Herod and Jerusalem.

1 THERE were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

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Verse 58. When thou goest with thine acceptable time ” spoken of by the pro. adversary, &c.—See the notes on Matt. v. phet, and “the day of salvation.” For 25, 26, where the explanation of the terms their diligent attention to matters of so and allusions of the parable will be found; little comparative moment as the kind of but it was here spoken on a different ocweather which should come on the mor- casion. It was, in fact, an exhortation to row, and their carelessness to a subject of the Jews to be reconciled to their offendthe highest import, they are here reproved ed and rejected Saviour whilst th as hypocrites, persons pretending to have of grace and salvation continued, drawn extraordinary desires for the appearance from the prudence of a debtor comproof Messiah, and yet neglecting to investi. mising matters with his creditor on the gate the signs of his coming.

way to the magistrate, as the only means Verse 57. Yea, and why even of your- of escaping the harsh punishments inselves ?—Independent of signs and won- Alicted in those days upon debtors, such ders, why do ye not of yourselves, from as perpetual imprisonment till the debt comparing in your minds the doctrines was paid, with various torments. This I teach with those of your own scriptures,

is another instance of the same parable judge what is right, discern its con nity being spoken at different times, and to with all the principles of former revela- illustrate different morals. tions, and mark the extent and depth into which they are carried by my teach

CHAPTER XIII. Verse 1. The Galiing, and acknowledge that it is from God? læans, whose blood, &c.-As this incident In our translation the paragraph mark is not mentioned by Josephus, it is imconnects this verse with what follows, in- possible to ascertain the occasion of this stead of the preceding verscs, to which it slaughter. Pilate was a severe and cruel undoubtedly belongs

governor, auerlıklos, as Philo describes

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilæans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they suffered such things?

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem ?

5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard ; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

Or, dobtors.

him, and ready to take severe and indis- the punishment of sin; but he discountecriminate revenge when there was any nances the notion that they were sinners approach to tumult. Such turbulent more than other inhabitants of Jerusalem, commotions did in fact frequently take and that external sufferings are to be taplace at the great feasts at Jerusalem, ken as the comparative measure of moral and especially the passovers; and it is guilt ; and further, on these circumstannot unlikely that in one of these Pilate ces he grounds the solemn warning, Etfell upon a body of Galileans. The place cept ye repent, ye shall all likewise perisk. of the slaughter must have been Jerusa. This threat has in it the nature of a prelem, and in the precints of the temple ; diction ; for great numbers of impenitent because their blood is said to have been Jews, at the siege of Jerusalem, perished mingled with their sacrifices, that is, with in a similar manner. The temple was the blood of their sacrifices. The conclu- often the seat of conflict, and the sacred sion to which the Jews probably had places were drenched with the blood of come was, that on account of this cala- the priests, and those who had come mity being permitted to overtake them, to offer sacrifices; whilst the fall they were in a peculiar sense sinners, of the tower of Siloam, one of the sinners above others. They did not infer towers of the city walls, near the fountain this from their tumultuous disposition; of Siloam, upon the eighteen victims, for to oppose the Roman authority was, might be considered as emblematical of in the estimation of the Jews, a virtue the fall of those towers and walls of their rather than a crime: but, as we may col- city, amidst the ruins of which the Jews lect from the other example of the falling perished. The parable which follows of the tower of Siloam, adduced by our urges still further the necessity of immeLord, it was the rece ed ion that diate repentance. great calamities marked out the sufferers Verses 6, 7. A fig tree planted in his rineas special objects of the divine displea- yard.—The union of vines and fig trees sure, and therefore as eminently sinners. in the same garden or plot of ground apOur Lord corrects this uncharitable and pears to have been quite customary; and pernicious error. He does not deny that one of the most beautiful images of rural the suffering parties were sinners, or that tranquillity and prosperity is that of men all calamity is generally to be considered “sitting under their vines and fig-trees,"

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground ?

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

9 And if it bear fruit, well : and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

none making them afraid. Many of they were used in the cultivation of figtheir orchards were planted with vines trees in enclosures, as appears from the and fig trees in alternate rows.

classical quotations adduced by Wetstein, Came and sought fruit thereon.— The then the meaning of our Lord is, that proprietor did this for three years, reckon- it should be dug about and manured for ing, no doubt, from the time when it had another season; but still the words imbecome mature, or capable of bearing fruit. ply something extraordinary in the care The fig-tree is said not to bring forth edible and attention which were to be bestowed fruit until it has been planted three years; upon it. but if so, there can be no allusion to this, Verse 9. If it bear fruit, well.—The well since the planter well enough knew that is supplied by the translators, but it proit would be useless to seek fruit upon it perly and emphatically fills up the sense. the first or second year, and yet he is re- Similar ellipses occur in the best Greek presented as having gone three years, writers, as Kypke and Wetstein have seeking fruit. The three years, therefore, shown. Euthymius supplies the ellipse mark his care not to condemn a tree to by eu exel. As to the meaning of the pathe axe which might become fruitful; rable, nothing can be more obvious, or for the easterns are peculiarly careful of more instructive. The fig-tree certainly their fruit-trees, on which they depend represents the Jewish nation, planted by for food more than we; and also his pa- the hand of God himself, and favoured tience in waiting until the case became with special culture in his own vinehopeless.

yard, in order that it might yield the Why cumbereth it the ground ?–More fruits of religion and piety. Nor does literally, Why does it make the ground there seem any good reason why the idle? that is, to cease from bearing three years, in which he is coming seekfruit; which it would do, if the same ing fruit, should not have respect to the space were occupied by a good tree. Why three years of our Lord's public minisdoes it uselessly take up room ? Cut it try, although some would take them for down, and plant another tree. The word an indefinite time. Certainly, as “where is rare in heathen authors, and is used much is given much is required,” the but four times in the LXX. St. Paul, privilege of our Lord's great and attested however, employs it six times; but ministry laid the nation under additional chiefly in figurative applications. It is obligation to bring forth the fruits of from κατα and αργος, , that is, aepyos, ceas righteousness, and these were actually in a ing from labour.

proportionate measure required from Verse 8. Till I shall dig about it and them. The three years' delay before the dung it.That these means were not ne- sentence was pronounced, shows the cessary to produce fertility in fig-trees, is calm and patient manner in which God evident from their growing and bearing governs the world; for he is “slow to fruit often by the waysides; and there- anger, though great in power.” The vinefore these words of the vine-dresser denote dresser represents our great Mediator. the application of extraordinary means of By his intercessions a longer space was conquering the barrenness. If, however, obtained for the Jewish nation, and mul

10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.

11 | And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.

13 And he laid his hands on her : and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work : in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering ? tiplied means of salvation by the effusions ness will bring “ the axe to the root of of the Spirit, and the preaching of the the tree.” These things were not spoken apostles; so the final execution of the to the Jews only, but to us. sentence could no more be questioned on Verse 11. A spirit of infirmity - That the ground either of justice or mercy, is, an evil spirit producing infirmity, for than the cutting down of a fig-tree, after this follows from what is stated verse 16, a delay of four years from the period of “This woman, whom Satan bath bound;" maturity, and the use of all means to so that the aveUMA apdevelas is not, as some render it fruitful. In this parable the pretend, a Hebrew idiom for the disease. Jews were solemnly warned of the neces- She had been contracted or bent double sity of instant repentance; and both the by Satan ; and, at the healing touch of long-suffering and righteousness of God our Lord, she was made straight, stood upin his dealings with them were illus- right, and glorified God. This is a fine trated. If this be the natural and ob- emblem of his raising the souls of men vious primary sense of the parable, the bent to earth, and fixed only on worldly pious use which has often been made of pursuits, inspiring them with heavenly it in sermons to rouse both nations and affections, teaching them to look upward, individuals to a sense of the necessity of and thus to glorify God. On our Lord's IMMEDIATE REPENTANCE, may be fully healing on the sabbath-day, see the notes justified against the cavils of some com- on Matt. xii. 1-12. mentators. The PRINCIPLES involved in Verso 15. Thou hypocrite. This affecthe parable are doubtless those on which tation of regard to the sabbath, to the Almighty God acts in the case of all, neglect of the exercise of mercy when who like the Jews are favoured with pe- they had no interest at stake, and yet culiar religious advantages. Towards practising it when their property was conthem he will exercise “ long-suffering; cerned, as in the case of the care they all will find a pleading, pitying Interces- took of their beasts on the sabbath, was sor; but mercy has its limit, mediation manifest hypocrisy, as being done under its boundary; and persevering unfruitful- the influence of mercenary motives.

THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE

ROMANS.

CHAPTER I.

1 Paul commendeth his calling to the Romans, 9 and his desire to come to them. 16 What

his gospel is, and the righteousness which it sheweth. 18 God is angry with all manner of sin. 21 What were the sins of the Gentiles. I Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

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CHAPTER I. Verse 1. Paul. — The horrence, as a condition of degradation Jews did not scruple to take Greek He would not, therefore, as Macknight or Roman names, or to alter their own so assumes, use it as “ a name of honour.” as to be like them. Some hold that he Called to be an apostle.—St. Paul in took the name of Paul upon the conver- his epistle not only asserts his apostlesion of Sergius Paulus the Roman go- ship, as do other apostles in their episvernor, Acts xiii. 12.

tles, but usually with some emphatic A servant.-Aoudos does not always addition. His general formula is, “by mean a slave; but sometimes, as with us, the will of God :" here it is, called to be a servant. So the master in the para- un apostle, that is, called specially, not ble is represented as ordering the ser- when the twelve were called, nor in the vant, dovros, indebted to him, to be sold same manner; but in a manner so remarkto pay the debt; which would have been able, so miraculous indeed, called by our of no advantage had he been already Lord himself in his glory, as to stamp the absolute property of his lord. It is his mission with the strongest authority. not therefore, as some suppose, in the It was the more necessary for St. Paul oriental sense that St. Paul calls himself to keep his apostolic character and authe doulos of Jesus Christ, and that thority prominently before the churches, Christians are called dovou; and it is not because the corrupting teachers of the without reason that the translation, “Paul, perpetual obligation of Judaism, and a SLAVE of Jesus Christ," would sound those who wished to bring the Gentile offensively. Not that all Christians are believers under the yoke of the law, ennot the absolute property of Christ as deavoured to lower the authority of this purchased by him ; but they are his also great champion of Gentile liberty, and by rational and affectionate choice; and probably because he was not of the orithere is a manliness and a freeness in ginal number of the apostles chosen the spirit in which they serve him, which during the life of our Lord. That his is inconsistent with the idea of slavery. apostleship was sometimes questioned Indeed, St. Paul, being a Jew, was by these perverse men, is certain ; and not likely to use the term slave in the on what other ground, it is difficult to oriental sense ; for no Hebrew was allowed conceive. to be held in perpetual bondage, which Separated unto the gospel of God.was a state regarded with the utmost ab. Here too he has respect to his vocation

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