Mt 19:1-12. Final Departure
from Galilee—Divorce. ( =
Mr 10:1-12; Lu 9:51).
Farewell to Galilee (Mt 19:1, 2).
1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had
finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee—This marks a
very solemn period in our Lord's public ministry. So slightly is it
touched here, and in the corresponding passage of Mark (Mr 10:1), that few readers probably note it as
the Redeemer's Farewell to Galilee, which however it was. See on
the sublime statement of Luke (Lu 9:51), which relates to the same transition
stage in the progress of our Lord's work.
and came into the coasts—or,
of Judea beyond Jordan—that is, to the
further, or east side of the Jordan, into Perea, the dominions of Herod
Antipas. But though one might conclude from our Evangelist that our
Lord went straight from the one region to the other, we know from the
other Gospels that a considerable time elapsed between the departure
from the one and the arrival at the other, during which many of the
most important events in our Lord's public life occurred—probably
a large part of what is recorded in Lu 9:51, onward to Lu 18:15, and part of Joh 7:2-11:54.
2. And great multitudes followed him; and he
healed them there—Mark says further (Mr 10:1), that "as He was wont, He taught them
there." What we now have on the subject of divorce is some of that
Divorce (Mt 19:3-12).
3. Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for
every cause?—Two rival schools (as we saw on Mt 5:31) were divided on this question—a delicate
one, as De Wette pertinently remarks, in
the dominions of Herod Antipas.
4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not
read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and
female—or better, perhaps, "He that made them made them from
the beginning a male and a female."
5. And said, For this cause—to follow
out this divine appointment.
shall a man leave father and mother, and shall
cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?—Jesus
here sends them back to the original constitution of man as one pair, a
male and a female; to their marriage, as such, by divine appointment;
and to the purpose of God, expressed by the sacred historian, that in
all time one man and one woman should by marriage become one
flesh—so to continue as long as both are in the flesh. This being
God's constitution, let not man break it up by causeless
7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command
to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8. He saith unto them, Moses—as a civil
because of—or "having respect to."
the hardness of your hearts—looking to
your low moral state, and your inability to endure the strictness of
the original law.
suffered you to put away your
wives—tolerated a relaxation of the strictness of the
marriage bond—not as approving of it, but to prevent still
But from the beginning it was not
so—This is repeated, in order to impress upon His audience
the temporary and purely civil character of this Mosaic relaxation.
9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away
his wife, except, &c.—See on Mt
10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the
man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry—that is, "In
this view of marriage, surely it must prove a snare rather than a
blessing, and had better be avoided altogether."
11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive
this saying, save they to whom it is given—that is, "That the
unmarried state is better, is a saying not for everyone, and indeed
only for such as it is divinely intended for." But who are these? they
would naturally ask; and this our Lord proceeds to tell them in three
12. For there are some eunuchs which were so born
from their mother's womb—persons constitutionally either
incapable of or indisposed to marriage.
and there are some eunuchs which were made
eunuchs of men—persons rendered incapable by others.
and there be eunuchs which have made themselves
eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake—persons who, to do
God's work better, deliberately choose this state. Such was Paul (1Co 7:7).
He that is able to receive it, let him receive
it—"He who feels this to be his proper vocation, let him
embrace it"; which, of course, is as much as to say—"he only."
Thus, all are left free in this matter.
Mt 19:13-15. Little Children
Brought to Christ. ( = Mr 10:13-16; Lu
For the exposition, see on Lu
Mt 19:16-30. The Rich Young
Ruler. ( = Mr 10:17-31; Lu 18:18-30).
For the exposition, see on Lu