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bandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 And they
13 And they send unto him certain of the pharisees and of the herodians, to catch him in his words. 14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth : Is it lawful to give tribute to Cesar, or not? 15 Shall we give, or shall we not give ? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription ? And they said unto him, Cesar's. 17 And Jesus answering, said unto them, Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
See Matt. xxii. 15-22.
18 | Then coine unto him the sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying, 19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed. 21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed : and the third likewise. 22 And the seven had her, and left no seed : last of all the woman died also. 23 In the resurrection, therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them ? for the seven had her to wife. 24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do yé not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God ? 25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage ; but are as the angels which are in heaven. 26 And as touching the dead, that they rise : have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 2.7 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. See this passage fully explained in Matt. xxii. 23–33.
Are as the angels." That is, as the angels in respect to connexions and relations. This passage teaches that the peculiar relation of marriage will not exist. It does not affirm, nowever, that there will be no recognition of each other as having existed in this near and dear relation. 'How in the bush. At the burning bush. See Exodus iii. 6. In that part of the book of Exodus which contains the account of the burning bush. When there were no chapters and verses, this was the easiest way of quoting a book of the Old Testament, by the subject, and in this way it was often done by the Jews.
28 | And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all ?
See Matt. xxii. 34–40. 'Perceiving that he had answered them well. That is, with wisdom, and with a proper understanding of the law. This question seems to have been one of the very
information. Jesus answered it in the spirit of kindness, and
for commended the conduct of the man.
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord :
Hear, O Israel.' This was said to call the attention of the Jews to the great importance of the truth about to be proclaimed. See Deut. vi. 4, 5. "The Lord our God,' &c. Literally, Jehovah, our God, is one Jehovah. The other nations worshipped many gods, but the God of the Jews was one, and one only, Jehovah was undivided; and this great truth it was the design of the separation of the Jewish people from other nations to keep in mind. This was the peculiar truth which was communicated to the Jews, and this they were required to keep and remember for
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength : this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
• And thou shalt love,' &c. If Jehovah was the only God, then they ought not to love any other being supremely. Then they might not bow down before any idol. They were required to love God above all other beings or things, and with all the faculties of their minds.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth : for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
This answer of the scribe is not found in Matthew. 'Is more than all.' Is of more importance and value. ' Discreetly.' Wisely, according to truth. 'Not far from the kingdom of God.' This shows that a proper understanding of the Old Testament, of its laws and requirements, would lead a man to christianity, would
prepare his mind for it, and fit him at once to embrace it when presented. One system is grafted on the other, agreeably to Gal. iii. 24. No man-durst ask him any question. That is, no one of the scribes, the pharisees, or the sadducees, durst ask him a question for the purpose of tempting him, or entangling him. He had completely silenced them.
35 | And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David ? 36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. 37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son ? And the common people heard him gladly.
See Matt. xxii. 41–46. "The common people heard him gladly.'. The rich and the mighty were too proud to listen to his instructions. So it is still. This is not the fault of the gospel. It would bless the rich and the mighty as well as the poor, if they came with like humble hearts. God knows no distinctions of men in conferring his favours; and wherever there is a poor, contrite, and humble spirit, clothed in rags or in purple, on a throne or a dunghill, there he confers the blessings of salvation.
38 | And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the market-places, 39 And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts :
'In his doctrine.' In his teaching, for so it should be rendered. * Beware of the scribes. Be on your guard. Be cautious about hearing them or following them. • Which love to go in long clothing. In long flowing, robes, as significant of their consequence, leisure, and learning. Salutations,' &c. See Matt. xxiii. 6, 7.
40 Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers : these shall receive greater damna tion.
"Which devour widows' houses.' Which devour the families of widows, or the means of supporting their families. This they did under pretence of aiding them, and counselling them in the knowledge of the law, and in the management of their estates. They took advantage of their ignorance and unprotected state, and extorted large sums from them. No wonder that our Sao viour denounced them so sharply! If there is any sin of pecu liar enormity, it is thus taking advantage of the circumstances of
the needy and the helpless, and wronging them out of the pittance on which they have to support their families. “For a pre tence.' For show, or pretending great devotion.
41 | And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury : and many that were rich cast in much.
• The treasury. This was in the court of the women. See Matt. xxi. 12. In that court there were fixed a number of chests or coffers, made with a large open mouth, in the shape of a trumpet, for the purpose of receiving the offerings of the people.
42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
'Two mites.' The word translated 'mite' denotes a small coin made of brass, the smallest in use among the Jews. It was in value about three fourths of an English farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury :
* This poor widow hath cast more in,' &c. That is, more in proportion to her means, and therefore more that was acceptable to God, as it showed more love to the sacred cause, more self-denial, and of course more sincerity in what she did. This is the rule by which God will reward us. Compare 2 Cor. viii. 12.
44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
Of their abundance.' Of their superfluous store. They have given what they did not need; and in doing it they have shown no self-denial. She, of her want.' Of her poverty. 'All her living. All that she had to live on. She trusted in God to supply her wants, and devoted her little property entirely to him.
Very few practise self-denial for charity. Most give of their abundance, that is, what they can spare without feeling it. Among all the tho’bands who give to these objects, how few deny themselves of one comfort, even the least, that they may advance the kingdom of Christ !
CHAPTER XIII. 1 AND as he went out of the temple, one of his disci ples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones, and what buildings are here! 2 And Jesus answering