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Verse 17. Tell it unto the Church. See Barnes "Mt 16:18".

The church may here mean the whole assembly of believers; or it may mean those who are authorized to try such cases—the representatives of the church, or those who act for them. In the Jewish synagogue there was a bench of elders, before whom trials of this kind were brought. It was to be brought to the church, in order that he might be admonished, entreated, and, if possible, reformed. This was, and is always to be, the first business in disciplining an offending brother.

If he neglect to hear the Church, let him be, etc. The Jews gave the name heathen or Gentile to all other nations but themselves. With them they had no religious intercourse or communion.

Publican. See Barnes "Mt 5:47".

Publicans were men of abandoned character, and the Jews would have no intercourse with them. The meaning of this is, cease to have religious intercourse with him, to acknowledge him as a brother. Regard him as obstinate, self-willed, and guilty. It does not mean that we should cease to show kindness to him, and aid him in affliction or trial; for this is required towards all men; but it means that we should disown him as a Christian brother, and treat him as we do other men not connected with the church. This should not be done till all these steps are taken. This is the only way of kindness. This is the only way to preserve peace and purity in the church.

{o} "let him be unto" Ro 16:17; 1 Co 5:3-5; 2 Th 3:6,14

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