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121121     Judge not (μη κρινετε). The habit of censoriousness, sharp, unjust criticism. Our word critic is from this very word. It means to separate, distinguish, discriminate. That is necessary, but pre-judice (prejudgment) is unfair, captious criticism.

122122     The mote (το καρφος). Not dust, but a piece of dried wood or chaff, splinter (Weymouth, Moffatt), speck (Goodspeed), a very small particle that may irritate.
    The beam (την δοκον). A log on which planks in the house rest (so papyri), joist, rafter, plank (Moffatt), pole sticking out grotesquely. Probably a current proverb quoted by Jesus like our people in glass houses throwing stones. Tholuck quotes an Arabic proverb: "How seest thou the splinter in thy brother's eye, and seest not the cross-beam in thine eye?"

123123     Shalt thou see clearly (διαβλεψεις). Only here and Lu 6:42 and Mr 8:25 in the New Testament. Look through, penetrate in contrast to βλεπεις, to gaze at, in verse 3. Get the log out of your eye and you will see clearly how to help the brother get the splinter out (εκβαλειν) of his eye.

124124     That which is holy unto the dogs (το αγιον τοις κυσιν). It is not clear to what "the holy" refers, to ear-rings or to amulets, but that would not appeal to dogs. Trench (Sermon on the Mount, p. 136) says that the reference is to meat offered in sacrifice that must not be flung to dogs: "It is not that the dogs would not eat it, for it would be welcome to them; but that it would be a profanation to give it to them, thus to make it a skubalon, Ex 22:31 ." The yelping dogs would jump at it. Dogs are kin to wolves and infest the streets of oriental cities.
    Your pearls before the swine (τους μαργαριτας υμων εμπροσθεν των χοιρων). The word pearl we have in the name Margarita (Margaret). Pearls look a bit like peas or acorns and would deceive the hogs until they discovered the deception. The wild boars haunt the Jordan Valley still and are not far removed from bears as they trample with their feet and rend with their tusks those who have angered them.

125125     Loaf--stone (αρτον--λιθον). Some stones look like loaves of bread. So the devil suggested that Jesus make loaves out of stones (Mt 4:3 ).

126126     Fish--serpent (ιχθυν--οφιν). Fish, common article of food, and water-snakes could easily be substituted. Anacoluthon in this sentence in the Greek.

127127     How much more (ποσω μαλλον). Jesus is fond of the a fortiori argument.

128128     That men should do unto you (ινα ποιωσιν υμιν ο ανθρωπο). Luke (Lu 6:31 ) puts the Golden Rule parallel with Mt 5:42 . The negative form is in Tobit 4:15. It was used by Hillel, Philo, Isocrates, Confucius. "The Golden Rule is the distilled essence of that 'fulfilment' (5:17) which is taught in the sermon" (McNeile). Jesus puts it in positive form.

129129     By the narrow gate (δια της στενης πυλης). The Authorized Version "at the strait gate" misled those who did not distinguish between "strait" and "straight." The figure of the Two Ways had a wide circulation in Jewish and Christian writings (cf. De 30:19; Jer 21:8; Ps 1 ). See the Didache i-vi; Barnabas xviii-xx. "The narrow gate" is repeated in verse 14 and
    straitened the way (τεθλιμμενη η οδος) added. The way is "compressed," narrowed as in a defile between high rocks, a tight place like στενοχωρια in Ro 8:35 . "The way that leads to life involves straits and afflictions" (McNeile). Vincent quotes the Pinax or Tablet of Cebes, a contemporary of Socrates: "Seest thou not, then, a little door, and a way before the door, which is not much crowded, but very few travel it? This is the way that leadeth unto true culture." "The broad way" (ευρυχωρος) is in every city, town, village, with the glaring white lights that lure to destruction.

130130     False prophets (των ψευδοπροφητων). There were false prophets in the time of the Old Testament prophets. Jesus will predict "false Messiahs and false prophets" (Mt 24:24 ) who will lead many astray. They came in due time posing as angels of light like Satan, Judaizers (2Co 11:13ff .) and Gnostics (1Jo 4:1; 1Ti 4:1 ). Already false prophets were on hand when Jesus spoke on this occasion (cf. Ac 13:6; 2Pe 2:1 ). In outward appearance they look like sheep in the sheep's clothing which they wear, but within they are "ravening wolves" (λυκο αρπαγες), greedy for power, gain, self. It is a tragedy that such men and women reappear through the ages and always find victims. Wolves are more dangerous than dogs and hogs.

131131     By their fruits ye shall know them (απο των καρπων αυτων επιγνωσεσθε). From their fruits you will recognize them." The verb "know " (γινωσκω) has επ added, fully know. The illustrations from the trees and vines have many parallels in ancient writers.

132132    See on Mt 7:16 .

133133     Not--but (ου--αλλ'). Sharp contrast between the mere talker and the doer of God's will.

134134     Did we not prophesy in thy name? (ου τω σω ονοματ επροφητευσαμεν;). The use of ου in the question expects the affirmative answer. They claim to have prophesied (preached) in Christ's name and to have done many miracles. But Jesus will tear off the sheepskin and lay bare the ravening wolf. "I never knew you" (ουδεποτε εγνων υμας). "I was never acquainted with you" (experimental knowledge). Success, as the world counts it, is not a criterion of one's knowledge of Christ and relation to him. "I will profess unto them" (ομολογησω αυτοις), the very word used of profession of Christ before men (Mt 10:32 ). This word Jesus will use for public and open announcement of their doom.

135135     And doeth them (κα ποιε αυτους). That is the point in the parable of the wise builder, "who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock" (Lu 6:48 ).

136136     Was founded (τεθεμελιωτο). Past perfect indicative passive state of completion in the past. It had been built upon the rock and it stood. No augment.

137137     And doeth them not (κα μη ποιων αυτους). The foolish builder put his house on the sands that could not hold in the storm. One is reminded of the words of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon in 5:19 about the one "who does and teaches." Hearing sermons is a dangerous business if one does not put them into practice.

138138     The multitudes were astonished (εξεπλησσοντο ο οχλο). They listened spell-bound to the end and were left amazed. Note the imperfect tense, a buzz of astonishment. The verb means literally "were struck out of themselves."

139139     And not as their scribes (κα ουχ ως ο γραμματεις αυτων). They had heard many sermons before from the regular rabbis in the synagogues. We have specimens of these discourses preserved in the Mishna and Gemara, the Jewish Talmud when both were completed, the driest, dullest collection of disjounted comments upon every conceivable problem in the history of mankind. The scribes quoted the rabbis before them and were afraid to express an idea without bolstering it up by some predecessor. Jesus spoke with the authority of truth, the reality and freshness of the morning light, and the power of God's Spirit. This sermon which made such a profound impression ended with the tragedy of the fall of the house on the sand like the crash of a giant oak in the forest. There was no smoothing over the outcome.

140140     If thou wilt (εαν θεληις). The leper knew that Jesus had the power to heal him. His doubt was about his willingness. "Men more easily believe in miraculous power than in miraculous love" (Bruce). This is a condition of the third class (undetermined, but with prospect of being determined), a hopeful doubt at any rate. Jesus accepted his challenge by "I will." The command to "tell no one" was to suppress excitement and prevent hostility.

141141     Unto him (αυτω). Dative in spite of the genitive absolute εισελθοντος αυτου as in verse 1, a not infrequent Greek idiom, especially in the koine.

142142     Grievously tormented (δεινως βασανιζομενος). Participle present passive from root βασανος (see on Mt 4:24 ). The boy (παις), slave (δουλος, Lu 7:2 ), was a bedridden (βεβλητα, perfect passive indicative of βαλλω) paralytic.

143143     I will come and heal him (εγω ελθων θεραπευσω αυτον). Future indicative, not deliberative subjunctive in question (McNeile). The word here for heal (θεραπευσω) means first to serve, give medical attention, then cure, restore to health. The centurion uses the more definite word for healing (ιαθησετα 8:8) as Matthew does in 8:13 (ιαθη). Luke (Lu 9:11 ), like a physician, says that Jesus healed (ιατο) those in need of treatment (θεραπειας), but the distinction is not always observed. In Ac 28:8 Luke uses ιασατο of the miraculous healings in Malta by Paul while he employs εθεραπευοντο (Ac 28:9 ) apparently of the practice of Luke the physician (so W. M. Ramsay). Matthew represents the centurion himself as speaking to Jesus while Luke has it that two committees from the centurion brought the messages, apparently a more detailed narrative. What one does through others he does himself as Pilate "scourged Jesus" (had him scourged).

144144     For I also am a man under authority (κα γαρ εγω ανθρωπος υπο εξουσιαν). "Also" is in the text, though the κα here may mean "even," even I in my subordinate position have soldiers under me. As a military man he had learned obedience to his superiors and so expected obedience to his commands, instant obedience (aorist imperatives and aoristic present indicatives). Hence his faith in Christ's power over the illness of the boy even without coming. Jesus had only to speak with a word (8:8), say the word, and it would be done.

145145     So great faith (τοσαυτην πιστιν). In a Roman centurion and greater than in any of the Jews. In like manner Jesus marvelled at the great faith of the Canaanitish woman (Mt 15:28 ).

146146     Sit down (ανακλιθησοντα). Recline at table on couches as Jews and Romans did. Hence Leonardo da Vinci's famous picture of the Last Supper is an anachronism with all seated at table in modern style.

147147     The sons of the kingdom (ο υιο της βασιλειας). A favourite Hebrew idiom like "son of hell" (Mt 23:15 ), "sons of this age" (Lu 16:8 ). The Jews felt that they had a natural right to the privileges of the kingdom because of descent from Abraham (Mt 3:9 ). But mere natural birth did not bring spiritual sonship as the Baptist had taught before Jesus did.
    Into the outer darkness (εις το σκοτος το εξωτερον). Comparative adjective like our "further out," the darkness outside the limits of the lighted palace, one of the figures for hell or punishment (Mt 23:13; 25:30 ). The repeated article makes it bolder and more impressive, "the darkness the outside," there where the wailing and gnashing of teeth is heard in the thick blackness of night.

148148     Lying sick of a fever (βιβλημενην κα πυρεσσουσαν). Two participles, bedridden (perfect passive of βαλλω) and burning with fever (present active). How long the fever had had her we have no means of knowing, possibly a sudden and severe attack (Mr 1:30 ), as they tell Jesus about her on reaching the house of Peter. We are not told what kind of fever it was. Fever itself was considered a disease. "Fever" is from German feuer (fire) like the Greek πυρ.

149149     Touched her hand (ηψατο της χειρος αυτης). In loving sympathy as the Great Physician and like any good doctor today.
    Ministered (διηκονε). "Began to minister" (conative imperfect) at once to Jesus at table in gratitude and love.

150150     When even was come (οψιας γενομενης). Genitive absolute. A beautiful sunset scene at the close of the Sabbath day (Mr 1:21 ). Then the crowds came as Jesus stood in the door of Peter's house (Mr 1:33; Mt 8:14 ) as all the city gathered there with the sick, "all those who had it bad" (see on Mt 4:24 ) and he healed them "with a word" (λογω). It was a never to be forgotten memory for those who saw it.

151151     Himself took our infirmities and bare our diseases (αυτος τας ασθενειας ελαβεν κα τας νοσους εβαστασεν). A quotation from Isa 53:4 . It is not clear in what sense Matthew applies the words in Isaiah whether in the precise sense of the Hebrew or in an independent manner. Moffatt translates it: "He took away our sicknesses, and bore the burden of our diseases." Goodspeed puts it: "He took our sickness and carried away our diseases." Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 102f.) thinks that Matthew has made a free interpretation of the Hebrew, has discarded the translation of the Septuagint, and has transposed the two Hebrew verbs so that Matthew means: "He took upon himself our pains, and bore our diseases." Plummer holds that "It is impossible, and also unnecessary, to understand what the Evangelist understood by 'took ' (ελαβεν) and 'bare' (εβαστασεν). It at least must mean that Christ removed their sufferings from the sufferers. He can hardly have meant that the diseases were transferred to Christ." Βασταζω occurs freely in the papyri with the sense of lift, carry, endure, carry away (the commonest meaning, Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary), pilfer. In Mt 3:11 we have the common vernacular use to take off sandals. The Attic Greek did not use it in the sense of carrying off. "This passage is the cornerstone of the faith-cure theory, which claims that the atonement of Christ includes provision for bodily no less than for spiritual healing, and therefore insists on translating 'took away'" (Vincent). We have seen that the word βασταζω will possibly allow that meaning, but I agree with McNeile: "The passage, as Mt. employs it, has no bearing on the doctrine of the atonement." But Jesus does show his sympathy with us. "Christ's sympathy with the sufferers was so intense that he really felt their weaknesses and pains." In our burdens Jesus steps under the load with us and helps us to carry on.

152152     A scribe (εις γραμματευς). One (εις)="a," indefinite article. Already a disciple as shown by "another of the disciples" (ετερος των μαθητων) in 8:21. He calls Jesus "Teacher" (διδασκαλε), but he seems to be a "bumptious" brother full of self-confidence and self-complacency. "Even one of that most unimpressionable class, in spirit and tendency utterly opposed to the ways of Jesus" (Bruce). Yet Jesus deals gently with him.

153153     Holes (φωλεους). A lurking hole, burrow.
    Nests (κατασκηνωσεις). "Roosts, i.e. leafy, σκηνα for settling at night (tabernacula, habitacula), not nests" (McNeile). In the Septuagint it is used of God tabernacling in the Sanctuary. The verb (κατασκηνοω) is there used of birds (Ps 103:12 ).

    The Son of man (θο υιος του ανθρωπου). This remarkable expression, applied to himself by Jesus so often, appears here for the first time. There is a considerable modern literature devoted to it. "It means much for the Speaker, who has chosen it deliberately, in connection with private reflections, at whose nature we can only guess, by study of the many occasions on which the name is used" (Bruce). Often it means the Representative Man. It may sometimes stand for the Aramaic barnasha, the man, but in most instances that idea will not suit. Jesus uses it as a concealed Messianic title. It is possible that this scribe would not understand the phrase at all. Bruce thinks that here Jesus means "the unprivileged Man," worse off than the foxes and the birds. Jesus spoke Greek as well as Aramaic. It is inconceivable that the Gospels should never call Jesus "the Son of man" and always credit it to him as his own words if he did not so term himself, about eighty times in all, thirty-three in Matthew. Jesus in his early ministry, except at the very start in Joh 4 , abstains from calling himself Messiah. This term suited his purpose exactly to get the people used to his special claim as Messiah when he is ready to make it openly.

154154     And bury my father (κα θαψα τον πατερα μου). The first man was an enthusiast. This one is overcautious. It is by no means certain that the father was dead. Tobit urged his son Tobias to be sure to bury him: "Son, when I am dead, bury me" (Tobit 4:3). The probability is that this disciple means that, after his father is dead and buried, he will then be free to follow Jesus. "At the present day, an Oriental, with his father sitting by his side, has been known to say respecting his future projects: 'But I must first bury my father!'" (Plummer). Jesus wanted first things first. But even if his father was not actually dead, service to Christ comes first.

155155     Leave the dead to bury their own dead (αφες τους νεκρους θαψα τους εαυτων νεκρους). The spiritually dead are always on hand to bury the physically dead, if one's real duty is with Jesus. Chrysostom says that, while it is a good deed to bury the dead, it is a better one to preach Christ.

156156     But he was asleep (αυτος δε εκαθευδεν). Imperfect, was sleeping. Picturesque scene. The Sea of Galilee is 680 feet below the Mediterranean Sea. These sudden squalls come down from the summit of Hermon with terrific force (σεισμος μεγας) like an earthquake. Mark (Mr 4:37 ) and Luke (Lu 8:23 ) term it a whirlwind (λαιλαπς) in furious gusts.

157157     Save, Lord; we perish (Κυριε, σωσον, απολλυμεθα). More exactly, "Lord, save us at once (aorist), we are perishing (present linear)."

158158     Even the winds and the sea obey him (Κα ο ανημο κα η θαλασσα αυτω υπακουουσιν). A nature miracle. Even a sudden drop in the wind would not at once calm the sea. "J. Weiss explains that by 'an astonishing coincidence' the storm happened to lull at the moment that Jesus spoke!" (McNeile). Some minds are easily satisfied by their own stupidities.

159159     The country of the Gadarenes (τεν χωραν των Γαδαρηνων). This is the correct text in Matthew while in Mr 5:1 and Lu 8:26 it is "the country of the Gerasenes." Dr. Thomson discovered by the lake the ruins of Khersa (Gerasa). This village is in the district of the city of Gadara some miles southeastward so that it can be called after Gerasa or Gadara. So Matthew speaks of "two demoniacs" while Mark and Luke mention only one, the leading one. " The tombs " (των μνημειων) were chambers cut into the mountain side common enough in Palestine then and now. On the eastern side of the lake the precipitous cliffs are of limestone formation and full of caves. It is one of the proofs that one is a maniac that he haunts the tombs. People shunned the region as dangerous because of the madmen.

160160     Thou Son of God (υιε του θεου). The recognition of Jesus by the demons is surprising. The whole subject of demonology is difficult. Some hold that it is merely the ancient way of describing disease. But that does not explain the situation here. Jesus is represented as treating the demons as real existences separate from the human personality. Missionaries in China today claim that they have seen demons cast out. The devil knew Jesus clearly and it is not strange that Jesus was recognized by the devil's agents. They know that there is nothing in common between them and the Son of God (ημιν κα σο, ethical dative) and they fear torment "before the time" (προ καιρου). Usually τα δαιμονια is the word in the New Testament for demons, but in 8:31 we have ο δαιμονες (the only example in the N.T.). Δαιμονιον is a diminutive of δαιμων. In Homer δαιμων is used synonymously with θεος and θεα. Hesiod employed δαιμων of men of the golden age as tutelary deities. Homer has the adjective δαιμονιος usually in an evil sense. Empedocles considered the demons both bad and good. They were thus used to relieve the gods and goddesses of much rascality. Grote (History of Greece) notes that the Christians were thus by pagan usage justified in calling idolatry the worship of demons. See 1Co 10:20f.; 1Ti 4:1; Re 9:20; 16:13f . In the Gospels demons are the same as unclean spirits (Mr 5:12,15; 3:22,30; Lu 4:33 ). The demons are disturbers (Vincent) of the whole life of man (Mr 5:2f.; 7:25; Mt 12:45; Lu 13:11,16 ).

161161     Rushed down the steep (ωρμησεν κατα του κρημνου). Down from the cliff (ablative case) into the sea. Constative aorist tense. The influence of mind on matter is now understood better than formerly, but we have the mastery of the mind of the Master on the minds of the maniacs, the power of Christ over the demons, over the herd of hogs. Difficulties in plenty exist for those who see only folk-lore and legend, but plain enough if we take Jesus to be really Lord and Saviour. The incidental destruction of the hogs need not trouble us when we are so familiar with nature's tragedies which we cannot comprehend.

162162     That he would depart (οπως μεταβη). The whole city was excited over the destruction of the hogs and begged Jesus to leave, forgetful of the healing of the demoniacs in their concern over the loss of property. They cared more for hogs than for human souls, as often happens today.


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