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28 But he said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
29 L'And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 33 8 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it f Matt. xii. 38.
g Matt. v. 15. Verse 28. Yea, rather, blessed. -Our all women. From this alone, however, Lord allows the blessedness of his mother. she derived none of those spiritual adShe bad been declared blessed by the vantages which come from hearing and spirit of prophecy, and he confirms that keeping the word of God; the pardon of sentence; but he speaks of a superior sin, the assistance of grace, spiritual felblessedness to hers, considered merely as lowship with God, and eternal life. These flowing from her having been his mother, are inseparably connected with those, – -the blessedness of hearing and keeping hearing, faith, and obedience; and the the word of God. This stands in direct blessedness which they impart is not only opposition to the extravagant notions of given to all who perform the condition, the blessedness which in subsequent ages but is infinitely higher and more valuable was superstitiously and idolatrously as than that which Mary derived from havcribed to the Virgin Mary. For if in ing brought forth the promised Seed. consequence of her having been the mo. What importance is thus stamped upon ther of Christ, she has been exalted to hearing the word of God, that is, paying the nearest place to God in heaven, if all due attention to understand it, and she has been invested, in fact, with the then receiving it in the simplicity of an very attributes of Deity, so as to be able entire faith; and keeping, that is, carefully to distribute blessings of every kind upon observing it as the rule of our whole conher worshippers, she has attained more duct,—that by which we are to order our than any one can attain by merely hear- inward frame and temper of mind, the ing and keeping the word of God. But words of our lips, and the actions of our superior blessedness is attached to this by life! our Lord ; from which we may conclude Verse 30. As Jonas was a sign, 8-c.that the blessedness of Mary consisted See the notes on Matt. xii. 40. in that satisfaction of her mind which Verse 31. The queen of the south.-See arose from the reflection that she was the the note on Matt. xii. 42. mother of Messiah, and in the distinction Verse 33. No man, when he hath lighted which was thus conferred upon her above a candle, &c.—This and the following
in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
See Matt. v. 15.
three verses are also portions of the sermon, darkness. This appears to be the conon the mount. See the notes on Matt. v.15, nexion of these passages, first delivered and vi. 22, 23. But the occasion was in the sermon on the mount, but now apdifferent, and they are here used, not so plied to a particular occasion; and the much as general truths, as adapted to the lesson they teach as to the inevitable and occasion and the previous discourse. Our necessary connexion between religious Lord had been reproving those who de- error and a bad state of heart is admoni. manded some greater sign than they had tory to all, and assuredly in direct opporeceived, and he reminds them, that he sition to modern opinion as to the innohad already placed clear and decisive evi- cence of error in matters of religion, and dence of the truth of his mission before the passiveness of the mind under evi
and as no man lights a lamp to put dence. Evidence no more produces conit in a secret place, or under a bushel ; but viction in matters where the affections on a lampstand, that they which come in have their strong aversions or desires, may see the light ; so he had performed than light falling upon the eye produces his illustrious works publicly before the vision. If vision is produced, there must whole nation. But then, as only a sound be not only light, but a fit condition of eye transmits the outward light within; the organ of seeing to receive it; and so and as a diseased or evil eye intercepts it, as to religious truth, if bad passions and leaves the body full of darkness; so and carnal affections, and other evils senhe teaches them that if the truth of bis sual or mental, be suffered to predomimission had not been received by any, nate, conviction will be arrested or its demonstrative evidence had been in- weakened, and the strongest light still tercepted by an ill-disposed and preju- leave us grovelling in darkness. A beaudiced mind, which, like a diseased eye ful passage follows, in which, however, shutting out the light of a lamp, would the critics can see only a tautology, which leave them in total moral darkness, and they have endeavoured by various means fatal error. Hence the solemn caution to remedy, but without satisfying them. which follows, Take heed therefore that selves. This is the confession of Koinoel, the light which is within thee be not dark- and others; some of whom, rather than
As to the scribes and Pharisees, suspect themselves, have suspected the indeed, for the most part, and especially passage to be a marginal gloss, although those who had wickedly invented the against all evidence. If thy whole body scandal that “he cast out devils by the therefore be full of light, having no part prince of devils,” their eye had always dark, the whole shall be full of light, as been evil, and had excluded all light on the when the bright shining of a candle, or subject of the divine mission of our lamp, doth give thee light. Nothing can Lord; but great numbers of the people be more obvious, or more striking, than had admitted the light, and for a time re- the meaning. The comparison is of the joiced to walk in it. They were, however, understanding, under the emblem of the in great danger lest the artifices of the chamber of vision behind the eye, to a Pharisees, and their wicked sophisms, room lighted by a bright lamp: if thes, operating upon Jewish and worldly pre- says our Lord, thy whole body be PATELPOF, judices, should lead them back to unbe- illuminated, by the transmission of the lief; and as to many this occurred. Thus rays of light through a sound eye; hartheir mental eye, at first single or sound, ing no part Okotelov, dark; then the whole became evil or diseased, and the light shall be fully and effectually enlightened, within them faded into total remediless to all purposes of comfort, and usefulness,
34 h The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
37 | And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him : and he went in, and sat down to meat.
38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 i And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye
Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also ?
and safety, as when a lamp enlightens reference to cleanliness, but superstition, thee, in aompany, by its bright or sparkling our Lord did not sanction the practice by flame. Here surely is no tautology. The his example. At this the Pharisee won. promise simply is, that if we keep our dered, having been accustomed to assominds honestly open to conviction, we ciate this act with his idea of superior shall be as fully illuminated with truth, sanctity. as a room is filled with the light of a Verse 39. Now do ye Pharisees make brilliant and well-trimmed lamp.
clean. &c.—The ruv, now, here signifies Verse 37. A certain Pharisee.- This at the present time, at your meals; as, Now man was probably impressed with what you are particular as to cleansing the he heard, and might invite our Lord to body from supposed defilement, which is dine, out of a friendly feeling. Many but as the outside of the cup or dish, and Pharisees, however, appear to have been you rest there. Your purifications go present with malicious design, which not beyond the exterior, but your inward gave occasion to our Lord to address to part is full of ravening, plunder; that is, them, in the hearing and for the benefit the desire of plunder, extortion, oppresof his host, and probably many others sion, and covetousness, the great vices not of this deceitful sect, the reproofs of the sect, and wickedness of various which follow.
kinds. Verse 38. That he had not first washed. Verse 40. Ye fools.-A term not of an-See the note on Mark vii. 4. They gry reproach, but of a reproving descripwondered that he had not first washed or tion; a poves, men without discernment baptized. This means the washing or and understanding, although professed baptizing the hands up to the elbow, doctors of the law. which might be either by immersing them, Did not he that made that which is with. or having water poured over them by the out, &c.—Some take nomoas in the sense attendants. As this was not done with of purifics; and so the sense will be, Who
41 But rather give alms of such things · as ye have ; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
* Or, as you are able.
ever washes a cup or platter, but washes nor does he ever teach that almsgiving the inside as well as the outside ?” And, alone can make us stand clear and acindeed, molew may answer to the Hebrew cepted with God, however righteously we nwy, to beautify and cleanse; but the may have become possessed of what we interpretation is frigid, and is scarcely give. Dr. Owen's interpretation is ingeallowed by the tense of the verb. The nious : “Ας το εξωθεν plainly relates to TO etwbev is better understood of the body, the body, and to εσωθεν to the mind; εο and to power of the mind. Indeed, in I am apt to think that ta evovia must any other view, the force of the charge of here mean right inward principles, and want of discernment, in these pretended that the sense of the whole is to this purwise men, is not apparent. There must pose : tim, contrary to what you now do, be implied in it the want of attention to purify your hearts, rectify your disposisome obvious truth which ought to have tions, make clean all within, give alms been kept before them; and that truth from right motives, and, behold, all things the words of our Lord, rightly interpreted, are clean to you.” This would be paralexpress : Did not he that made the out
leled by the sentiment of St. Paul, “ To ward man, the body, also make the inward the pure all things are pure." But the man, the soul ?
And thus the reproof sense of the ancient commentators, adoptcomes home to them in all its force. ed by Grotius, Rosenmuller, and Schleus. They were scrupulously careful to purify ner, is to be preferred, But gire alms acthe body, as a religious act, out of re- cording to your ability, or substance, kala spect to God, its maker, and their rela- being understood before ta evovla. This tion to him as creatures ; and they there- agrees with the Syriac version, and is confore stood condemned by that very act, firmed by the reason of the case ; for he for neglecting the purification of the soul, who gives acceptable alms must not only which was equally God's workmanship, give what is his own, not spoil and roband the higher and nobler part of man's bery, but he must give in proportion as nature. Every true religious act of puri. God hath prospered him. fication must therefore begin at the And, behold, all things are clean unto heart.
you.—The Jews use the word 72 1, which Verse 41. But rather give alms of such signifies to be clean, for giving alms. The things as ye have.—The phrase ta evovra, Arabic and Syriac word for alms has this rendered by us of such things as ye have, sense also ; and it is upon this double has occasioned a good deal of discussion meaning that our Lord's remark is from its ambiguity. It has been render. founded. Not that he confines himself to ed the things which are in them ; give that almsgiving merely; for we know that he which the dishes contain in alms, rather attached no greater importance to that, than be solicitous about cleansing the than to any other moral duty. It is also outside of them: but, not to urge that to be well remembered, that he never seour Lord is only speaking figuratively in parates one duty from another, as if any the preceding verse, of the cleansing of single duty would be rightly performed cups and platters, the sense thus given to unless all others were performed also. the passage is directly contrary to Christ's The contrary is his doctrine; for he rewhole doctrine; for it makes him say that gards no outward act but as it expresses giving alms of that luxury which is ob- a right state of the heart, both to God tained by extortion and rapine would and our neighbour; and when the heart cleanse the remainder. Our Lord never is thus right, it must bring forth “ good thus sanctifies robbery and hypocrisy; things out of its good treasure," or, in
42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
43 * Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.
45 9 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.
46 ' And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers ! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
other words, it must practise universal ferent. It is there taken from the painted holiness. Almsgiving is therefore addu- and ornamented sepulchres, which are conced by our Lord as one branch of prac- trasted with the corruption within. Both tical piety; not exclusive of, but a speci- similitudes are striking, but they are dismen of, all other duties; and he teaches tinct, and convey a different sense. The that those who lead a godly and charitable former contrasts the rottenness within life need be under no anxiety, as to bodily with the beautiful appearance without : purifications and baptisms, but that to the other refers to the manner in which them all things are clean, so that by no. the Pharisees succeeded in hiding their thing but by sin can they be defiled be- real character; so that, as men coming fore God. The giving of alms was pro- unawares upon an unapparent grave bably selected as an instance of practical were, according to Jewish notions, depiety, because the discourse concerned filed; those who, not being acquainted the washing of hands before meat; and with the real wickedness of the Pharisees, the hands being the members employed were drawn into an acquaintance with in the distribution of alms, Christ shows them, which speedily seduced and corthem a more excellent way of purifying rupted them also. their hands, than by unnecessarily and Verse 45. One of the lawyers.-Some superstitiously laving them with water. have argued from this apparent dictinc
Verse 42. Ye tithe mint and rue.- tion between the scribes and Pharisees Matthew says, “Mint, anise, and cum- and the lawyers, voukol, that the latter min;" which variation, and others in these were private teachers of the law, the woes pronounced against the Pharisees, scribes the public expounders ; or that though in substance the same as those the scribes were of the sect of the Pharirecorded by St. Matthew, were uttered sees, the lawyers of the sect of the Sadon a different occasion, and at a different ducees; or that the scribes were interpretplace. See the note on Matt. xxiii. 23. ers of the law, the lawyers of the tradi
Verse 43. Ye love the uppermost seats, tions. But the comparison of this with &c.—See notes on Matt. xxiii. 6, 7. the former verse will show that the
Verse 44. As graves that appear not.- scribes and lawyers are the same class. The metaphor in Matthew xxiii. 27 is dif- Previously, our Lord had only pro