Matthew 10 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Matthew 10
Pulpit Commentary
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Verse 1. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:7; Luke 9:1. The prayer (Matthew 9:38) is answered in the persons of those who were taught to pray. Christ establishes his new agency. And when he had called unto him. From the circle of the bystanders. His twelve disciples. Who had already been chosen to be specially with him (cf. Matthew 9:35, note; and Matthew 5:1). Twelve. To be heads of the tribes of the new Israel (Revelation 21:14; cf. James 1:1; Matthew 19:28). Observe that the office of the tribes of the covenant nation corresponded to the symbolism of the number 12 (3, Deity, x 4, world = Church). He gave them power; authority (Revised Version); ἐξουσίαν: the greater including the less. So Mark, but Luke expands to δύναμιν καὶ ἐξουσίαν. Against; over (Revised Version); simple genitive (so Mark). Unclean spirits (Matthew 4:24. note). Unclean. As belonging to the unholy, non-theocratic kingdom, the realm of darkness. "Hence also unclean animals (Matthew 8:31, sqq.; Revelation 18:2) and places (Matthew 12:43, sqq.) have a kind of natural relationship with such spirits" (Kubel). To cast them out. Their authority was to ex-send to this (ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτά, cf. Mark 3:15). And to heal. Probably connected, not with ὥστε, but with ἐξουσίαν (cf. Luke). Observe that nothing is said of their receiving authority to convert. This God himself keeps. But they can remove all hindrances other than those purely subjective and spiritual, whether the objective hindrances be intruding evil spirits affecting body and mind or only bodily diseases. All manner, etc. (Matthew 9:35, note).
Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
Verses 2-4. - THE NAMES OF THE AGENTS. Parallel passages: Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:13-16 (cf. Acts 1:13). This Commentary upon St. Luke deals so fully both with the list as a whole and with the separate names that it will not be necessary to say much here. Observe that the general agreement in arrangement points to some common basis underlying all four accounts; also that of these the one found in the Acts is the briefest, giving little more than the bare names; and that that found in our Gospel, on the contrary, is the fullest, containing, with two exceptions (vide infra), the details mentioned in one or other of the parallels, and adding two of its own. It mentions, in one instance or more, the parentage (Zebedee, Alphaeus), the relationship ("his brother... his brother"), the birthplace (Kerioth), the earlier occupation and religious standpoint ("publican... Zealot"), and, with a bare hint at the beginning (vide infra), but a clear statement at the end, the after-history ("first... who also betrayed him") of the apostles. The two omissions are the fact that our Lord added the names of Peter (parallels, but really given earlier, John 1:42) and Boanerges (Mark). Verse 2. - Now the names, In the parallels part of the word "names" is found as a verb, "whom also he named apostles;" i.e. the naming there refers, not to the individuals, but to their office. Is the form found in our Gospel an "accidental" rearrangement due to a reminiscence that the word "name" occurred in the earliest source, or is it possible that the two facts are connected, and that the individuals received a new name when they definitely entered on a new office? That they should have received a new name seems a priori not improbable, but the evidence is very slight. "Peter" is a clear case, for though the name was given earlier, it would receive a new application now, and perhaps was now again expressly given (cf. parallel passages); and other cases may be St. Matthew (vide Introduction, p. 21.) and possibly St. Bartholomew and St. Thaddaeus. Mark expressly says that the term "Boanerges" was given to the sons of Zebedee; but as there is no evidence that either St. James or St. John was afterwards known by this name, it need not have been a name in the same sense in which the others were. Observe the formal order of the first words of this verse (τῶν δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων τὰ ὀνόματα ἐστιν ταῦτα). Did the author of the Gospel take them from the heading of a section that already contained the names in order? If so the δέ would probably not have existed there, and it is worth noting that the original hand of D, the manuscript that is of special value for Palestinian tradition, omits it. Of the twelve (ver. 1, note) apostles (ver. 5, note) are these: The first. This, perhaps, refers to the order of call, Luke 5:1 (Nosgen), but more probably to the leading position that St. Peter held among the twelve. On this leadership, cf. the fragmentary excursus by Bishop Lightfoot, printed in 'Clement of Rome,' 2. 487 (1890). Simon. His Hebrew name was Simeon (שמעון, Acts 15:14, and 2 Peter 1:1, in the Received Text and Westcott and Herr margin), but his Gentile name (Matthew 3:1, note) was Simon, this good Greek name being chosen as almost identical in sound. It occurs frequently in the Palestinian Talmud (סימון). Who is called Peter. In common Christian parlance (Matthew 4:18; cf. Matthew 16:18).
Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
Verse 3. - Bartholomew. Nathanael (John 1:45, equivalent to Theodore) was so common a name (cf. Numbers 1:8; 1 Chronicles 2:14; 1 Chronicles 15:24; 1 Chronicles 26:4; 2 Chronicles 17:7; 2 Chronicles 35:9; Ezra 10:22; Nehemiah 12:21, 36), that for further identification a patronymic ("son of Tolmai," Ptolemy) was used, which in this case (as in the case of a Bartholomew mentioned in 'Pesikta Rabbathi,' § 22, p. 113, edit. Friedmann; cf. also Levy, s.v. תלמיון), superseded the proper name. Thomas. "As Thomas (Δίδυμος), ' the Twin,' is properly a surname, and this apostle must have had some other name, there seems no reason for doubting this very early tradition [Eusebius, 'Hist. Eccl.,' 1:13, and probably the Old Syriac of John 14:22, et al.] that he also was a Jude" (Bishop Lightfoot, 'Galatians,' p. 257, edit. 1869). The ' Clem. Hem.,' 2:1, give Eliezer as the name of the other brother. Matthew the publican (Introduction, p. 20.), James the son of Alphseus. (On the possibility of the name and the person being identical with the Clopas of John 19:25, cf. Bishop Lightfoot, 'Galatians,' p. 260.) And Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; and Thaddaeus (Revised Version); as also Mark, while Luke and Acts 1:13 read "Jude [the brother, Authorized Version, but better the son, Revised Version] of James," which was doubtless his proper name. If the word "Thaddaeus" (תּדּאי) was as seems likely (for Edersheim's connexion of it with todah, "praise," is based on what is apparently a mere play of words in Talm. Bob., 'Sanh.,' 43a), originally a pet-name (Sehosskind, "Bosom-child," Weiss, Nosgen) from תַּדֵּי, "the female breasts," it is intelligible that he or others would prefer the somewhat synonymous "Lebbseus" (לֵב, "heart"), which might mean "child of one's heart," but more probably "courageous," found in the "Western" text. The similarity of sound would help towards this, even if another derivation that seems possible, "the Fiery" (from לִבָּה, "kindle"), be the true one. In the latter case the appellation, "Jude the Zealot" (Old Latin), may rest on something more than a mistaken interpretation of the parallel passage in Luke. In Westcott and Herr, 'App.,' it is said that "this name [Lebbaeus] is apparently due to an early attempt to bring Levi (Δευείς) the publican (Luke 5:27) within the Twelve, it being assumed that his call was to apostleship just as in Mark 2:14 Δευείς is changed in Western texts to Ἰάκωβος, because τὸν τοῦ Ἁλφαίου follows, and it was assumed that the son of Halphseus elsewhere named as one of the Twelve must be meant. The difference between the two forms of the name would be inconsiderable in Aramaic, Lewi and Levi or Lebi or Lebbi; and Βεββαῖος might as easily represent Lebbi as Θαδδαῖος Τηαδδι.
Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Verse 4. - Simon the Canaanite. Simon the Cananaean (Revised Version); ὁ Καναναῖος (cf. Φαρισαῖος Σαδδουκαῖος, vide Bishop Lightfoot's 'Revision,' p. 138, edit. 1871) representing Kann'an or Kan-'an (קנאן), the Aramaic for "Zealot" (parallel passage in Luke 1; Acts 1:13), the name given to members of the extreme nationalist party founded about A.D. by Judas of Gamala, a city that appears to have lain near the east coast of the sea of Galilee (vide Schurer, 1. 2:225). And Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him; delivered him up (Revised Version margin), which seems more in accordance with παραδίδωμι, for, unlike "betray," and usually πμοδίδωμι, this does not in itself connote treachery.
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Verse 5a. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:7, 8; Luke 9:2. These twelve Jesus sent forth; ἀπέστειλεν (cf. John 17:18). Till now they had formed an inner circle of μαθηταί (Matthew 9:35, note), but now they begin their work of carrying Christ's message to others. "Ἀποστέλλω corresponds with the idea of our own words 'despatch' and ' envoy,' and conveys the accessory notions of a special commission, and so far of a delegated authority in the person sent" (Bishop Westcott, on John 20:21, Add. Note). Bengel suggests (on ver. 1) that the twelve were not all absent at once, but were sent out in relays; but Mark 6:30 is against this opinion (cf. also Luke 22:35). On the New Testament conception of the name and office of an apostle, cf. Bishop Lightfoot's classical note in 'Galatians' (pp. 92-101, edit. 1869). And commanded them, saying; charged them (Revised Version). Important as the charge is, its necessary subordination to the fact that they were sent is expressed by the very form of the sentence (ἀπέστειλεν... (παραγγείλας). Verses 5b - 42. - CHRIST'S COMMISSION TO HIS AGENTS. The connexion and development of thought in this important charge is exceedingly difficult to perceive, and has been understood in many ways. Perhaps that most generally accepted in this country is Alford's, according to which the charge is divided into three sections - the first (vers. 5-15) referring to the mission to the cities of Israel; the second (vers. 16-23) to the general mission of the apostles as developing itself, after the Lord should be taken from them, in preaching to Jews and Gentiles, ending with the close of the apostolic period in the narrower sense (ver. 23 referring primarily to the destruction of Jerusalem); the third (vers. 24-42) spoken directly of all the disciples of the Lord, concluding with the last great reward. But this threefold historical arrangement seems to be little more than fanciful, the basis of truth Underlying it probably being that the charge in its present form is due to the writer of the Gospel (nor to our Lord directly), who desired not only to record what our Lord said at the time of this mission, but also to incorporate other sayings of his that bore upon similar work, and thus to give such a summary of our Lord's utterances as would be of special use to preachers of the gospel, irrespective of place or time. Observe that ch. 5. - vii, referred to believers in their private capacity - laying stress on the relation that they were to hold to the religion of the day - while this chapter refers to them as representing Christ to the world. The original basis of the commission was addressed to men called to give their whole time to this work, but as the chapter stands it applies to all believers in their capacity of witnesses for Christ. The ministerial function of preaching committed to men selected for it is only an accentuation of one of the duties expected from all Christ's followers. The development of thought in the chapter appears to be as follows: -

1. The external conditions of conveying Christ's message, with special reference to the immediate occasion (vers. 5b - 15).

2. The internal conditions (vers. 16-39).

(1) Vers. 16-23: Though surrounded by enemies, you must conduct yourselves with calmness (ver. 19); with endurance (ver. 22); with wisdom (ver. 23).

(2) Vers. 24-33: Remembering that fellowship with me in suffering is essential to fellowship with me in glory.

(3) Vers. 34-39: Such fellowship with me will cost separation from the dearest on earth, yet its reward is great. 3. Final encouragement (vers. 40-42). Verses 5b - 15. - The external conditions of conveying Christ's message, with special reference to the immediate occasion. Our Lord points out

(a) the sphere of their work (vers. 5b, 6);

(b) the substance of their message (ver. 7);

(c) its accompanying signs (ver. 8);

(d) the external means and methods that they should employ (vers. 9-15). Verse 5b. - Matthew only. The sphere of their work. The reasons for the limitation here expressly enforced are:

(1) That it was only right that the proclamation of the coming of Messiah should be thoroughly made to the Jews first. Had they accepted it, they would have become the great factors in the evangelization of the Gentiles (cf. Romans 11:12, 15); as they rejected it, it was necessary that the offer should, apart from them, be made to others (Acts 28:28).

(2) The apostles were as yet in no fit state spiritually to carry the message beyond their own nation, and the facts which they were in a position to proclaim might, when proclaimed alone, have proved a stumbling-block to the after-acceptance by Gentiles and Samaritaus of a fuller and therefore truer message (cf. Matthew 28:18, sqq.; Acts 1:8). Therefore they are now bid perform their present duty without turning away from it, and, as we may add, will-out anticipating their entrance upon a wider sphere. Saying, Go not. This would be outside your course (ἀπέλθητε). In the Greek, however, the following words receive the emphasis. Into the (any, Revised Version) way of the Gentiles (εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν).

(1) These words are generally understood to mean "into any road that would lead to Gentile lands or districts." So Tyndale, "Go not into the wayes that leade to the gentyls." (For this genitive of direction, cf. Matthew 4:15; Jeremiah 2:18, and perhaps, Judith 5:14.)

(2) Weiss, 'Matthaus-ev.,' takes them as equivalent to "into any street in a heathen land," making the genitives, ἐθνῶν and Σαμαρειτῶν, both possessive. There are serious objections to these two interpretations; to the first, that the genitives are then used in different senses; to the second, that it suggests something altogether outside the Israelitish border.

(3) Is not a third interpretation possible - to consider flint our Lord had in his mind the parts of towns, otherwise Jewish, which were inhabited by heathen, just as, in the days of Omri and Ahab, such parts were assigned to Syrians in Samaria, and to Israelites in Damascus, or in modern times to Jews in Christian towns? We have not, indeed, direct evidence of Gentiles, during the time of our Lord, thus living in separate streets, but with the Jewish aversion to even letting them houses and to having more to do with them than possible (cf. Schurer, II. 1:51-56), it would seem probable that, without any formal arrangement being made, the result would be separation of this kind. It is true that ὁδός is not used elsewhere in this sense in the New Testament, but a comparison of passages in the LXX. seems to justify our so interpreting it. For חוּצות, in 1 Kings 20:34, means such streets, and the LXX. for this is ἐξόδους (ἔξοδον, Luke), yet חוּצות, in the sense of "streets," is often elsewhere rendered by ὁδοί (Jeremiah 5:1; Jeremiah 7:17; Ezekiel 11:6; Nahum 2:4; Nahum 3:10). Compare especially 2 Samuel 1:20, "in the streets of Ascalon," where, for the common text, ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις Ασκάλωνος, Lucian's reads, ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς Ἀσκάλωνος. The expression thus means - Go not off into any quarter (of such towns as you may come across) inhabited by Gentiles, and (both in complete parallelism and with perfect accuracy, for Samaritans dwelt alone) into any city of Samaritans enter ye not. And into any city. In the Greek both clauses are in the same order, the verb coming last. It will be noticed that the Revised Version has transposed both for the sake of uniformity. Of the Samaritans. By descent, a mixed race, from the intermingling of the remnants of the Israelitish population more especially with the heathen colonists introduced by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:24, sqq.); by religion, so far Israelite as to have accepted the Pentateuch, and to have maintained the observance of circumcision, the sabbath, and the annual festivals. Both sides of their connexion with Israel seem to have contributed to their being placed by the Mishna between Jews and Gentiles (cf. further, Schurer, II. 1:5, sqq.). Enter ye not. A slight turning away would sometimes bring them to Gentile quarters; but into a Samaritan town they would have definitely and purposely to enter. Observe that our Lord himself so far extended his own practice as not to refuse to take the opportunity of preaching to a Samaritan woman when it presented itself, and further followed up the work thus begun by continuing two days in her village (John 4:40). But the nature of the exception proves the rule.
But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Verse 6. - But go. On your daily journeying (πορέεσθε, present). Rather. With conscious preference. To the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Thus also he describes his own mission (Matthew 15:24). The words recall Jeremiah 50:6 (27:6, LXX.), "My people hath been lost sheep." Observe that our Lord implies a special relation of Israel to God (for the house has its owner) which was lacking in the case of all other nations. Yet, their proper teachers having proved faithless, they were now as shepherdless as these (Matthew 9:36). Lost. Notice here the basis of the parable related in Luke 15:4-7; cf. Matthew 18:12, 13 (ver. 11 of the Received Text is a gloss), where the term "wandering" is not so strong (Bengel).
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Verse 7. - Parallel passages: Luke 9:2 (the twelve); 10:9 (the seventy; observe that the substance of the proclamation was to be the same). And as ye go. For your journey is not to one place, but many. Preach. Aloud and publicly. Saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. That which men had so long been desiring (vide Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17) was now near. But had it not come (Matthew 12:28; Matthew 11:12)? Not in full realization. But its near realization was then a possibility, and was only not brought about because, as a nation, they rejected him who introduced it.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Verse 8. - We have here the details of the orders summarized in ver. 1. The details are not given in Luke 9:1, 2 or Luke 10:9. Heal the sick, etc. According to the true order of these commands, solely physical ills are mentioned first in their partial (sick) and in their final effect (dead); then physical and ceremonial pollution (lepers), which forms a transition to the mention of ills primarily spiritual, even though they ultimately affect the body (devils). On the good that might be expected from their performing these miracles, cf. Thomas Scott (in Ford), "Men will never believe that we really intend the good of their souls, if they do not find that we endeavour to do them good, disinterestedly, in temporal things (John 4:15)." Freely (vide infra) ye have (omit "have," with Revised Version) received. Blessings of the kingdom, but especially authority and power for this work (ver. 1). Freely give. All that is needed to carry that authority into effect - whatever toil and energy in soul and body the occasion may demand. The clause comes in Matthew only, but comp. Acts 20:35. Observe, Christ's recognition of the tendency of human nature to traffic in the holiest things. Did Judas take the warning at all to heart? (For the thought, cf. Wisd. 7:13; Leviticus 25:37, 38.) Freely. Gratuitously (δωρεάν); comp. Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17; Romans 3:24 (on God's side); 2 Corinthians 11:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:8 (on man's side).
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
Verses 9, 10a. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3 (the twelve); 10:4 (the seventy); cf. also our Lord's reference in Luke 22:35 to the mission of the twelve. Provide; get you (Revised Version, Authorized Version margin). There is no connotation of foresight in the word itself, but only of acquisition. Observe that the apostles are not forbidden to take what they already have. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.,' shows that travellers ordinarily took with them a staff, a purse, shoes, a wallet, and sometimes a book of the Law. Neither gold, nor silver, nor brass. The brass would be the copper coinage of the Herods (examples are figured in Smith's 'Dict. of Bible,' 2. p. 413), which alone might be struck by them; or some of the Greek imperial coins, especially those struck at Antioch. The silver, either Greek imperial tetradrachms or Roman denarii of a quarter their weight, didrachms having fallen into disuse; only certain free cities were allowed to coin silver. The gold, as Palestine was a subject province, must have been coined at Rome, for she retained the coining of gold entirely in her own hands (cf. Madden's 'Coins of the Jews,' pp. 107, 290, ft., edit. 1881; and It. S. Peele, in Smith's 'Dict. of Bible,' s.vv. "Money," "Stater;" further, see ver. 29). In your purses; literally, girdles, which in the East often serve as purses. This prohibition may have been suggested by the last words of ver. 8, but can hardly refer to them. It seems to regard the journey only (cf. parallel passages). Nor scrip; no wallet (Revised Version). At the present time, "all shepherds have them, and they are the farmer's universal vade-mecum. They are merely the skins of kids stripped off whole, and tanned by a very simple process" (Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' p. 345, edit. 1887, where a picture of one is given). But they might be made even of fish-skin (Mishna, 'Kelim,' 24:11). Because of 1 Samuel 17:40, an haggada says that David's money was stamped with a staff and wallet on one side, and a tower on the other ('B'resh..R.,' § 39, in Levy, s.v. תרמיל). For your journey. The clause is to be joined with "scrip" only. Neither two coats. A second for sabbaths and festivals. For the rabbinic rule insisted upon a different coat for these days from that ordinarily worn. To the objection of poor disciples, that they had but one garment for sabbath and week-day alike, R. Samlai said that they must at least change the way in which they wore it (Talm. Jeremiah. 'Pea.,' 8:7 [S], in Hamburger, 'Realencycl.,' 2. p. 642. Neither shoes. The parallel passage, Mark 6:9, has. "but to go shod with sandals" (Revised Version). This is, perhaps, a case of verbal inaccuracy, but as it is impossible to suppose that our Lord can have wished his disciples to go without the ordinary protection to the feet, or that the author of this Gospel, accustomed, on any theory, to Eastern modes of life, can have intended to credit him with such a wish, some other explanation of the verbal discrepancy must be looked for. The true explanation is probably this - The rabbis insisted so strongly on a man never appearing barefooted: "Let a man sell the beams of his house and buy shoes for his feet" (Talm. Bab., 'Sabb.,' 129a), that it is very possible that a second pair was often carried in ease of need. it is this that our Lord forbids. On the other hand, Jews did not carry one pair for sabbath and another for week-days (Talm. Jeremiah, 'Sabb.,' 6:2). Some commentators escape the difficulty by distinguishing between "shoes" and "sandals;" but it is very doubtful if the usage of the words is always so exact that one term excludes the other. Nor yet staves; nor staff (Revised Version). The plural, both here (Stephen) and in Luke 9:3 (Received Text), is a clumsy attempt to harmonize with Mark 6.8, where our Lord bids the twelve take nothing "save a staff only." The difference between the two reports of our Lord's words has been magnified by many commentators into a contradiction. But this is not the true state of the case. For it would be so extraordinary and apparently so useless an order to forbid their having a staff, that it is hard to suppose this to have been the meaning of his words as reported here. His thought in vers. 9, 10 is rather that they were to make no preparation, for their wants should be supplied, and that even if they had not a staff they were not to take the trouble to procure one. St. Mark's account only so far differs that he assumes that they will st least have a staff already. Observe, however, that no stress can be placed on the difference of the verbs here and in Mark, for in this respect Mark and Luke agree. Verses 10b. - For the workman; labourer (Revised Version); thus connecting the utterance closely with Matthew 9:37, 38. Is worthy of his meat. The disciples may therefore expect that it will be provided for them by those to whom they minister (Luke 10:7, of the seventy), and indirectly by the Master whom they serve (Matthew 9:38). Meat; food (Revised Version). In all but most highly organized systems of society, this is an important (frequently the most important) part of the day labourer's wages. Hence not unnaturally "wages" is found in the form of the sayings given by St. Luke (Luke 10:7) and St. Paul (1 Timothy 5:18). Probably our Lord's words became a current proverb in Christian circles, the original word "food" being modified to suit the more general circumstances of life. Clem. Romans, § 31, recalls the Matthaean form, "The good workman receiveth the bread of his work with boldness." Epiphanius gives a kind of confla-tion, containing the further thought that if the workman receives his food he must be content: "The workman is worthy of his hire, and sufficient to him that works is his food." Resch ('Agrapha,' pp. 97, 140) connects this form of the saying with the practice of giving only food to the travelling "apostles" and prophets of the sub-apostolic age ('Did.,' § 11.). Professor Marshall (Expositor, IV. 2:76) suggests that if our Lord's original word was צֵידָה, it would explain the origin of both Matthew and Luke; but it seems very doubtful it' it really ever means "wages." Two patristic remarks are worth quoting: the first from Origen ('Cram. Cat.'), "In saying τροφήν, ('food') he forbade τρυφήν ('luxury');" the second from St. Gregory the Great (in Ford), "Priests ought to consider how criminal and punishable a thing it is to receive the fruit of labour, without labour."
Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.
And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.
Verse 11. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:10; Luke 9:4 (the twelve); 10:5-8 (the seventy). Matthew alone mentions the command to inquire who is worthy. And into whatsoever city or town; village (Revised Version); cf. Matthew 9:35, note. Ye shall enter, inquire; search out (Revised Version). Much more is implied than merely asking some chance passer-by (cf. Matthew 2:8). Who in it is worthy; i.e. equivalent by moral rate (ἄξιος) - in this case to the privilege of your lodging with him; elsewhere to the offer of peace (ver. 13), to the favour of an invitation (Matthew 22:8), to walking with Christ clothed in white (Revelation 3:47, to punishment (Revelation 16:6). And there abide till ye go thence; go forth (Revised Version); i.e. finally (ver. 14). The object of this command, which was reckoned so important as to be recorded in all three parallel passages (vide supra), is to prevent; partly favouritism and rivalry, partly waste of time. For "when a stranger arrives in a village or an encampment, the neighbours, one after another, must invite him to eat with them. There is a strict etiquette about it, involving much ostentation and hypocrisy; and a failure in the due observance of this system of hospitality is violently resented, and often leads to alienations and feuds among neighbours. It also consumes much time, causes unusual distraction of mind, leads to levity, and every way counteracts the success of a spiritual mission" (Thomson, 'Land and the Book,' p. 347); cf. St. Luke's "Go not from house to house" (Luke 10:7). It is, on the other hand, quite unnecessary to see here, with Meyer and Weiss, a prohibition to go to the synagogues or indeed to anywhere else where they could gain a hearing during their stay. Our Lord is referring only to lodging and food (Luke 10:7).
And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Verses 12, 13. - Parallel passage: Luke 10:5, 6 (the seventy). Your very entrance is to be an occasion of imparting spiritual blessing if the house be receptive of it. Verse 12. - And when ye come; and as ye enter (Revised Version), synchronous with the moment of your entrance (cf. Luke 17:12). Into an house; the house (Revised Version); i.e. of him who is worthy. Salute it. With the usual greeting of "Peace" (Judges 18:15; 1 Samuel 25:5, 6). Observe that Christ practised what he preached (John 20:19 [Luke 24:3]).
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
Verse 13. - And if the house. Not the householder alone (ver. 11), but he and his family as a whole. Be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. It is tempting to see in these words a promise that your activity shall at least issue in increased blessing on yourselves, but it can hardly be pressed so far. It rather means that failure to impart blessing shall not bring spiritual loss to yourselves. "The dove returned to the ark again when it found the earth under water" (cf. Gurnall, in Ford).
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Verses 14, 15. - If rejected, bear your solemn witness to the fact, for to reject you brings awful consequences. Verse 14. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5 (the twelve); 10:10, 11 (the seventy). And whosoever shall not receive you - on your formal request as heralds of the kingdom - nor hear your words (Matthew 7:24, note), when (as, Revised Version, ver. 12, note) ye depart (go forth, Revised Version) out cf. At the moment of going out (cf. ver. 12), ἐξερχόμενοι ἔξω (Matthew 21:17; Acts 16:13), in this case finally. That house or (thai, Revised Version) city. "The house," rightly further defined by "that" in English, comes in Matthew only; "that city" comes also in the parallel passage, Luke 9:5 (cf. the parallel passages, Mark 6:11; Luke 10:10), and therefore belongs to the source used by St. Matthew. Shake off the dust of ("ell;" ἐκ, Westcott and Herr, margin) your feet. Treating it as a heathen place, whose pollution must be shaken off. For the very dust from a heathen land was to be reckoned as polluting, since, as Rashi says on Talm. Bab., 'Sabb.,' 15b (cf. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.,' in loc.), "It may be doubted, of all the dust of a heathen land, whether it were not from the sepulchre of the dead." (For the apostolic fulfilment of our Lord's injunction cf. Acts 13:51 and Acts 18:6; see also Nehemiah 5:13.)
Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Verse 15. - Parallel passage: Luke 10:12 (the seventy). Similar words are used by our Lord in his apostrophe of Capernaum (Matthew 11:24, where see note). The combination in Luke 10:11 and 12-15 of both the contexts is an instructive warning against accepting the present position of our Lord's sayings as the final indication of the occasion upon which they were delivered. Verily. (For the idea of acquiescence that always underlies this word - even in the case of so solemn a matter as the present - comp. Matthew 5:18, note.) I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha. Whose inhabitants were the typical example of the worst of sinners (Deuteronomy 32:32; Isaiah 1:10; Ezekiel 16:46; Revelation 11:8). "The men of Sodom have no part in the world to come" (Mishna, 'Sanh.,' 10:3). In the day of judgment. Luke has "in that day;" cf, Matthew 7:22. In the only two passages in the LXX. (Proverbs 6:34; Isaiah 34:8) where, as it seems, our phrase occurs, it refers, not to the judgment of all, good and bad alike, but to that of the wicked alone. So also in 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:7; and possibly also in Matthew 12:36, but not in 1 John 4:17 (the only passage where it is not anarthrous). Than for that city. Observe that this verse implies that the wicked dead are still in existence, and are waiting for their final judgment; also that in the judgment of the wicked there will be degrees of punishment.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Verses 16-39. - The internal conditions of conveying Christ's message. The subdivisions of this section are after ver. 23 and ver. 33 (cf. ver. 5b, note). Verses 16-23. - You will be in the midst; of foes, and simplicity must be accompanied by prudence (ver. 16, a summary of all); you will be ill-treated publicly (vers. 17, 18), but must conduct yourselves with calm faith that you will be guided in your defence (vers. 19, 20), with endurance of family and universal enmity. (vers. 21, 22), with common sense in avoiding unnecessary danger, for wherever you go you will find work to be done (ver. 23). Verse 16-16a, parallel passage: Luke 10:3 (the seventy); 16b, Matthew only. Behold. He calls their attention. I send you forth. I (ἐγω), with the full consciousness of all that will befall you; I, whose message you will carry, whose character you will represent. In this I lies the germ of vers. 40-42. As sheep in the midst of wolves. The 'Midrash' on Esther 8:2 (Parasha 10.) uses the same phrase of the position of Israel amidst a hostile world (cf. Edersheim, 'Life,' 1:645), adding, "How great is that Shepherd who delivers them and vanquishes the wolves?" 'Clem. Romans,' it. § 5, has an interesting addition, "The Lord saith, Ye shall be as lambs in the midst of wolves. But Peter answered and said unto him, What then, if the wolves should tear the lambs? Jesus saith unto Peter, Let not the lambs fear the wolves after they [the lambs] are dead." Be ye therefore. Prove yourselves to he (γίνεσθε). Wise. Prudent (φρόνιμοι). As serpents. אָ,with Ignat., 'Polyc.,' § 2, has the singular, perhaps taking it generically, or perhaps not without reference to the phrase in Genesis 3:1, "The serpent was more subtle," etc. (ὁ δὲ ὄφις η΅ν φρονιμώτατος κ.τ.λ.). The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent in the quickness of its perception of danger and the rapidity with which it escapes from it. Kubel gives Matthew 22:23, sqq., 34, sqq.; John 2:24; John 11:9, 10, as examples of this proper prudence in the case of our Lord. And harmless as doves. Harmless; rather, simple, with Revised Version margin, for ἀκέραιος is literally "unmixed, unadulterated" (cf Bishop Lightfoot, on Philippians 2:15), and emphasizes the idea of simplicity of character. It is thus not active, but passive. Comp. 'Shir. R.' (Song of Solomon 2:14), "With me they [Israel] are simple [תמימים; cf. the 'Etz Ya'akob, which refers to Hosea 7:11 as doves, but among the nations of the world they are subtle as serpents" (cf. Matthew 3:16, note).
But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Verse 17. - Vers. 17-22 are remarkable as being practically identical with Mark 13:9-13, to which the parallels are Luke 21:12-19 and Matthew 24:9-14. It is hard to resist the conclusion that St. Matthew

(1) has incorporated into the present address of our Lord's on missionary work warnings actually given in his great address at Jerusalem on the fall of the city and the end of the world; and

(2) to some extent repeats these warnings in their proper place. (For the further parallel of vers. 19, 20 to Luke 12:11, 12, vide in loc.; cf. also the note on "and they will scourge," in this verse.) But beware. Apparently in contrast to being only "dove-like"; but it is no wonder that the connexion with ver. 16 should be rather harsh if the passage be really taken from a later speech ("But take ye heed," etc., Mark 13:9). Of men. Generically (τῶν ἀνθρώπων), regarded as one hostile body (cf. Meyer). The culminating point of that opposition to God which is innate in fallen humanity is found in the deification of the Roman emperors (cf. Bishop Westcott's essay on the Two Empires, § 3, in his Epistles of St. John). For they will deliver you up to the (omit "the," with the Revised Version) councils (εἰς συνέδρια, Matthew 5:22, note); "Synedria, uhi proceres conveniunt; synagogae, ubi etiam populus" (Bengel). And they will scourge you in their synagogues (the order of the words is reversed in the Revised Version). With this compare Matthew 23:34, where our Lord says, "Therefore, behold, I send [ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἀποστέλλω: cf. ver. 16, note] unto you prophets.., and some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues, and (cf. ver. 23, infra) persecute from city to city." Is our present passage a reminiscence of this also? For the fulfilment of this prophecy cf. Acts 22:19 (26:11). Farrar ('St. Paul,' 1. App. 11.) thus summarizes the enactments on Jewish scourging as recorded in the Mishna ('Makkoth'): "Even a single Jewish scourging might well entitle any man to be regarded as a martyr. Thirty-nine blows were inflicted, unless, indeed, it was found that the strength of the patient was too much exhausted to admit of his receiving the full number. Both of his bands were tied to what is sometimes called a column. but which was in reality a stake a cubit and a half high. The public officer then tore down his robe until his breast was laid bare. The executioner stood on a stone behind the criminal. The scourge consisted of two thongs, one of which was composed of four strands of calf's skin, and one or two strands of ass's skin, which passed through a hole in a handle. The executioner, who was ordinarily the Chazzan of the synagogue, could thus shorten or lengthen them at will, so as not to strike too low. The prisoner bent to receive the blows, which were inflicted with one hand, but with all the force of the striker, thirteen on the breast, thirteen on the right and thirteen on the left shoulder. While the punishment was going on, the chief judge read aloud Deuteronomy 28:58, 59, 'If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God; then the Lord will make thy plagues ["strokes"] wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed.' He then read Deuteronomy 29:9, 'Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all ye do;' and lastly, Psalm 78:38, 39, 'But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away. and did not stir up all his wrath.' If the punishment was not over by the time that these three passages were read, they were again repeated, and so timed as to end exactly with the punishment itself Meanwhile a second judge numbered the blows, and a third before each blow exclaimed, 'Hakkehu ('strike him') The severity of the pain may best be estimated by the brief addition, ' If the criminal die under the infliction, the executioner is not accounted guilty unless he gives by mistake a single blow too many, in which case he is banished.'"
And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Verse 18. - And; yea and (Revised Version); καὶ... δέ. Ye shall be brought. Transposed in the Revised Version with the following words, because the stress of Christ's saying lies, not on his followers being brought to trial, but on the high position of their judges. This marks both the extreme importance that their enemies will attach to them, and the lengths to which these will go. Before governors; i.e., probably, representatives of others in supreme power. Such were Felix and Festus, the praetors at Philippi (hardly the politarchs at Thessalonica, for this was a free city), and Gallio at Corinth. But perhaps ἡγεμών is here used in the narrower sense of procurator, in which case of the above names only the first two ought to be mentioned, for Gallio was a proconsul (ἀνθύπατος). And kings. The supreme authorities themselves. So especially Nero (2 Timothy 4:16), and even Herod Agrippa II. (Acts 25:13, sqq.), for he was autocratic in his kingdom, save that he owed allegiance to the power that gave it to him. For my sake (Matthew 5:11, note). St. Peter ("for the Lord's sake... king... governors," 1 Peter 2:13, 14) possibly refers to this utterance, but by using the singular, "king," recalls more definitely the one political organization with which his readers would be brought into contact in Asia Minor, the Roman emperor and his representatives. For a testimony against (to, Revised Version) them and (to, Revised Version) the Gentiles. Them. Not the Jews (Bengel, Meyer, and perhaps also the Revised Version), but the governors and kings. For (a) the parallel passage, Mark 13:9, omits "the Gentiles;" (b) the parallel passage, ch. 24:14 (vide supra), runs, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world [possibly, too, the word employed, οἰκουμένη, has special reference to the Roman empire] for a testimony unto all the Gentiles." Both passages show that the Lord is not here thinking of the Jews, but only of the Gentiles and rulers from among them. Against; to. A witness to these Gentile rulers of what the gospel really does for men, and of their consequent responsibility; cf. Matthew 8:4, note; also the parallel passage, Luke 21:13. Eusebius, referring to out' Lord's words, gives a striking illustration in his 'Mart. Pal.,' 6.
But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Verses 19, 20. - For these two verses, compare (besides Mark 13:11; Luke 21:15; vide supra, ver. 17) Luke 12:11, 12, with which there is doubtless a common basis. As the two verses do not seem to have in Luke 12. a very close connexion with their context, it is probable that there also, as here, they are taken from a speech of later date. But when they deliver you up, take no thought; be not anxious (Revised Version); Matthew 6:25, note. So also Luke 12:2; but Luke 21:14 goes further, and forbids the disciples to "meditate beforehand how to answer." Bengel says here, Usa, non curandi, cura sit. How or what. The general direction or the actual matter. Ye shall speak - i.e. in defence, as defined in Luke 12:11; Luke 21:14 - for it shall be given you in that same (omit "same," with the Revised Version) hour what ye shall speak. And if in similar extraordinary circumstances, the Christian may expect similar extraordinary help. The omission of this clause by some Western authorities is probably due to the fact that the next verse also begins with "for," and contains a promise that much resembles this. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you (cf. Genesis 41:38). Observe:

(1) The thoughtful reminder, "your Father," whose children you have become (Matthew 5:16, note), and whose protection you may look for.

(2) It is not said that the Father, but that the Spirit speaks (cf. Acts 4:8; Acts 13:9; and, for Christ speaking, 2 Corinthians 13:3).

(3) The phrase is quite compatible with, but would hardly have then been understood as expressing, the personality of the Holy Spirit.

(4) Though the promise would doubtless hold good, and that in a special degree, for the most important of all "defences," the writing of Holy Scripture, yet even there it did not preclude the use of human means (Luke 1:3).
For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Verse 21. - The persecutors shall be found among those most closely connected with you by blood and natural affection. Observe that our Lord does not mention this until he has reminded them that they are connected by still deeper family ties with One above. The thought and partly the language of vers. 21, 22 comes in 4 Esdr. 6:24, 25, "Et erit in illo tempore debellabunt amici amicos ut inimici... et erit, omnis qui dcrelictus fuerit ex omnibus istis quibus praedixi tibi, ipse salvabitur et videbit salu-tare meum et finem saeculi mei. [5. 1. vestri]." The author is speaking of the signs of the cud of the world. It seems probable that he was acquainted with some form of the original discourse of our Lord in Mark 13:12, 13 (see ver. 17, note). (For other references somewhat similar cf. Schurer, II. 2:155.) And (δέ). In contrast to the preceding encouragement (Kubel). The brother. The omission of the article by the Revised Version throughout this verse is justified, not only by grammar, but also by the consideration that it thus becomes less possible to interpret the phrase of a false "brother" in the Church. And the father the child. Philip It. of Spain is reported to have said of the Protestants, "If it were my own son, I would bring the faggot." And the children shall rise up against their parents. The verb (ἐπαναστήσονται) is perhaps a reminiscence of Micah 7:6, other words of which arc quoted below (ver. 35). The plural suggests the plurality of cases. And cause them to be put to death; put them to death (Revised Version margin); but perhaps through the agency of others. Observe that more direct cruelty is predicated of the children than of the brothers and fathers. Past kindness received will go for nothing.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
Verse 22. - And ye shall be hated. For no little time (ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι). "Suffering sometimes becomes as a reward for debug. You read of the heifers which brought home the ark out of the Philistines' country, that, when they brought the ark home, the Israelites took the heifers and offered them up to God, as a sacrifice (1 Samuel 6:14). 'Why so?' saith one. 'It is an ill requital to the heifers.' No; the heifers could not have so high an honour put upon them (Philippians 1:29; Acts 9:16; Acts 21:13)" (Wm. Bridge, in Ford). Of all men (ver. 17, note). As with the old Israel, so also with the new (cf. Kubel). For my name's sake (Matthew 6:9, note). But he that endureth to the end (Revised Version adds, the same) shall be saved (so Matthew 24:13). The emphatic insertion of οῦτος points out both the absolute necessity of endurance and the certainty of blessing to him who shows it (cf. 2 Timothy 2:11). To the end (εἰς τέλος); i.e. not to the end of the time during which persecution shall last (εἰς τὸ τέλος), but to completeness in the endurance required (cf. John 13:1 [Bishop Westcott's note]; 1 Thessalonians 2:16). Shall be saved. In the fullest sense (cf. the parallel passage, Luke 21:19).
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Verse 23. - Matthew only; but even this verse is not free from what appear to be reminiscences of the words recorded in Matthew 24:14, 16). But when they persecute you in this city. Act wisely (ver. 16); flee to another city; you will find work there. Flee ye (cf. Matthew 23:34, and supra, ver. 17, note) into another; into the next (Revised Version); εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν. There are occasions when the duty is rather to spread the message than to seal it with death or to have one's lips closed by imprisonment. But only "he that is spiritual" (1 Corinthians 2:15) will be able to understand which course of action the special circumstances require. Our Lord's example (Matthew 12:15) was followed by Christians in the earliest (Acts 8:1; Acts 9:25, 30; Acts 14:6; Acts 17:10, 14) and in later times (e.g. Polycarp, n.y. 155; Dionysius of Alexandria, A.D. 249-251; Cyprian, A.D. 250; Athanasius, A.D. 340). Codex Bezae and some Western authorities, including Tatian's 'Diatess.,' add, "And if out of this they persecute you, flee into another;" but this is a not unnatural gloss upon the true text. For verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over; through (Revised Version); οὐ μὴ τετέσητε: literally, hare completed, like the harvest (Ruth 2:23). The cities of Israel (cf. ver. 6) till the Son of man (Matthew 8:20, note) be come. The mere fact that there was no persecution of the kind just spoken of until after our Lord's death in itself refutes the opinion (found, perhaps, in Tatian's 'Diatess.,' "Donee venero ad yes;" vide Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 270) that these words refer to his rejoining his disciples on their mission (Matthew 11:1; cf. Luke 10:1). They may, perhaps, refer to his coming in the fall of Jerusalem, but rather look forward to h is complete return in his second advent, as apparently Agathangelus, in Resch, loc. cit. (cf. also p. 404), understands them. The cities of Israel are named because work among the Jews lay at the basis of the commission. If an exact fulfilment of the words is demanded, it is perhaps to be seen in the fact that there will be some Jews unconverted until the Lord's return.
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
Verses 24-33. - Fellowship with me in suffering is essential to fellowship with me in glory.

(1) Fellowship in suffering (vers. 21-31).

(2) The result of confessing or of denying Christ (vers. 32, 33).

(1) Fellowship in suffering (vers. 24-31).

(a) You must not expect better treatment than your Master (vers 21, 25).

(b) But opponents are not to be feared (vers. 26-28), because

(α) they are powerless to really injure (vers. 26-28a);

(β) there is a greater Object of fear (ver. 28b).

(γ) Who cares minutely for all his creatures, and much more for you (vers. 29-31). Verses 24, 25. - Matthew only; but comp. John 13:16 and John 15:18-21; the latter passage is a commentary. In Luke 6:40 there is close verbal similarity, but the thought is completely different. For there our Lord means that a disciple shall not escape the moral loss that his teacher incurs; on the contrary, when fully instructed, he shall be as his teacher is, in the same evil state. But here he is giving encouragement - whatever treatment a disciple receives he is, if his Teacher received it also, not to count it a strange thing (1 Peter 4:12). Verse 24. - The (a, Revised Version) disciple. The absence of the article lays more stress on the man's position as disciple. Is not above. The emphasis of the sentence is upon the denial of such a possibility (οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ μαθητής). His master; teacher (Revised Version margin); διδάσκαλον. Nor the (a, Revised Version) servant (bondservant, Revised Version margin) above his lord.
It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
Verse 25. - It is enough (ἀρκετόν); Matthew 6:34, note. It will quite content him; it is sufficient for his aims and wishes (Hebrews 13:5: John 14:8). So Talm. Bab., 'Berach.,' 58b, R. Ula comforts Rub Hisda for the desolation of a friend's house which he formerly knew in its prosperity, by reminding him that the temple too is in ruins, and "It is sufficient for the servant that he be as his master (דיו לעבד שיהא כרבו)." For the disciple. Here (unlike ver. 24) pictured before the mind. That he be. Eventually (ἵνα γένηται). (For the weakened relic force of ἵνα here, cf. Ellicott on 1 Corinthians 4:3.) As his master, and the servant as his lord. That the pronoun was added to "lord" in ver. 24 was perhaps due to the unconscious desire on the part of the reporter to, avoid any possible ambiguity arising from the familiar phrase ὁ κύριος: in these two clauses the insertion of the pronoun is rather due to the fact that "disciple" and "servant" are both defined by the article. If they have called. A typical example of the treatment his disciples will sometimes receive - complete rejection of their message, with deliberate accusation of the worst of crimes. Observe that it is implied that the opprobrious term had already been used of our Lord, although St. Matthew has not yet related it (Matthew 12:24). (On Matthew 9:34, cf. note there.) Called. By no mere chance expression, but by purposely giving him the title (ἐπεκάλεσαν); cf. Hebrews 11:16. The master of the house. Hebrews 3:2-6 may be compared, even though not Christ but God is there probably spoken of as the owner of the house. Beelzebub; "Gr. Beel-zebul; and so elsewhere" (Revised Version margin). The original meaning of the title was probably "Lord of flies" (zebub, 2 Kings 1:3), or possibly "of bees" (zebul, equivalent to zebar, cf. Neubauer, 'Stud. Bibl.,' 1st series, p. 55); but there cannot but be here a play upon the sense, "Lord of the dwelling" (zebul, e.g. Isaiah 63:15), and probably a further reference to the similar sound zebel, Neo-Hebr. for "dung" (cf 2 Kings 17:12, and Wetstein's curious note in Delitzsch, on REFERENCE_WORK:Keil & DelitzschJob 30:12).
Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Verse 26. - Vers. 26-33, parallel passage: Luke 12:2-9, where it follows the warning against the leaven of the Pharisees. A similar saying to ver. 26 (parallel passage: Luke 12:2) is also found in Mark 4:22 (parallel passage: Luke 8:17). Though the two sayings are probably distinct, yet it is very possible that one may have been modified from the other in being reported. Fear them not therefore. These words are in Matthew only. Therefore. Since the Master bore such treatment. For. Hardly - Fear them not, for your secret disloyalty wilt one day be known; but - Fear them not so as to conceal your faith and principles, for these are of supreme importance; inner character is everything. This connexion seems to be more close than to read into the words a reference to the ultimate success of the gospel or to the unreality of those things that now terrify you. There is nothing. Even your own relation to me (cf. ver. 32). Covered, that shall not be revealed; uncovered. The cloak over it shall be drawn back. And hid, that shall not be known. It shall not only be stripped of its disguise, but also itself be brought out to light and its true character perceived.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
Verse 27. - The parallel passage, Luke 12:3, is verbally similar, but of reverse meaning. In Matthew it is a charge to the disciples to proclaim publicly what Christ tells them privately; in Luke it is a statement that what they say privately shall be proclaimed publicly. St. Luke gives only another side of the preceding verse; St. Matthew, a fresh point. The connexion with ver. 26 is - Do not cover up your relation to me, but say out bravely the message that I give you. What I tell you. There is no limitation to the time. Those who believe in the present life of Christ and in the reality of present communications from him cannot fail to see here both the true source of their messages as preachers and the necessity of faithfulness to those messages. Observe that the stress is not upon the personality of the Speaker, but upon the communication (λέγω, not ἐγὼ λέγω). In (the, Revised Version) darkness... in (the, Revised Version) light. Both are pictured to the mind. And what ye hear in the ear (εἰς τὸ οϋς). Possibly a reference to the habit of Jewish rabbis sometimes whispering their teaching in the ear of an "interpreter," who repeated it aloud for all to hear (cf. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.'), but more probably only the common figure of speech for secret instruction; cf. Talm. Bab., 'Berach.,' 22a, "Nahum of Gamzo, whispered it to. R. Akiba, and R. Akiba whispered it to Ben Azai, and Ben Azai went out and taught it to his disciples in the street." Compare also the Old Testament phrase, "uncover the ear" (1 Samuel 9:15, used of God; 1 Samuel 20:2,12, 13, used of man). That preach ye; proclaim (Revised Version); κηρύξατε. Upon the house-tops. Lightfoot ('Hor. Hebr.') thinks that this is an allusion to the minister of a synagogue blowing a trumpet on the roof of a high house to announce the sabbath; but that was a mere signal of a fact (σαλπίζω), not the articulate expression of a communication (κηρύσσω). The phrase much more probably alludes to the fact that the roofs in Eastern cities are the common place for conversation, and to the rapidity with which an announcement there made spreads throughout the town.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Verse 28. - And. Restating ver. 26a from a different point of view. Fear not; be not afraid of (Revised Version); μὴ φοβηθῆτε ἀπό. So Westcott and Herr, with B (sic) and two or three other authorities. The Revised Version (cf. Authorized Version parallel passage, Luke 12:4) expresses the greater difference from vers. 26 and 28b (φοβηθῆτε ἀπό with genitive, a Hebraism expressing avoidance, shrinking, cowardly dreas; φοβηθῆτε with accusative, concert-tration of regard) at the expense of the lesser (φοβηθῆτε, general command, or perhaps "never once fear;" φοβεῖσθε, "ever fear," habit). Them which kill the body. So R. Akiba refused to give up studying and teaching the Law when it was forbidden on pain of death (Talm. Bab., 'Berach.,' 61b). But are not able to kill the soul (Matthew 6:25, note). But rather fear. Always (φοβεῖσθε). Fear; yes, but the right object (φοβεῖσθε δὲ μᾶλλον, not μᾶλλον δὲ φοβεῖσθε), and that intensely (-vide supra). Him which is able (τὸν δυνάμενον). Mere power; but in the parallel passage in Luke, authority. The reference is, of course, to God (cf. James 4:12). To destroy (ἀπολέσαι). The class of words to which this belongs denotes "utter and hopeless ruin; but they convey no idea whether the ruined object ceases to exist or continues a worthless existence" (Professor Agar Beet, in Expositor, IV. 1:28). Professor Marshall, in Expositor, IV. 3:283, thinks Luke's variant, "to cast," indicates that our Lord originally used an Aramaic word that properly meant "to set on fire." Both soul and body in hell (Matthew 5:22, note).
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Verse 29. - Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? The form of the saying in Luke 12:6 is practically equivalent ("Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings?"); for sparrows are so common and cheap that if a man buys two farthings' worth he gets one thrown in. "At the present day the markets of Jerusalem and Jaffa are attended by many 'f owlets,' who offer for sale long strings of little birds of various species, chiefly sparrows, wagtails, and larks. These are also frequently sold ready plucked, trussed in rows of about a dozen on slender wooden skewers, and are cooked and eaten like kabobs" (Tristram, in Smith's 'Dict. of Bible,' 3:1366, where is added an into-resting account of the various methods of catching them). A farthing (ἀσσαρίου). This might either be one of the coins of the Herods (ver. 9, note), or, as it seems, a "second brass" Antiochene as (cf. Madden, 'Coins of the Jews,' p. 301, etc.). And one of them shall not fall - and not one of them shall fall (Revised Version, more idiomatically) - on the ground. Dead. In the parallel passage in Luke, more generally, "Not one of them is forgotten in the sight of God," even in life. Origen and Chrysostom read, "fall into the snare" (cf. Ames 3:5). Without (ἄνευ). Ξωρίς would deny merely physical connexion (cf. John 15:5), and the sentence would then imply that God causes their death; ἄνευ is only negative, and the sentence implies that their death is not outside of his knowledge and care. In Amos 3:5 the thought is that for every event there is a cause; here that every event is taken notice of by God. Sennacherib's boast (Isaiah 36:10) contained a truth other than he intended. Your Father. For this and nothing less is God's relation to you. There is a Talmudic tale told in various forms, of which the earliest seems to be that R. Simon ben Jochai, after hiding thirteen years in a cave, saw from the entrance of it a fowler snaring birds, but that these could not be taken if the Divine voice (Bath Qol) said, "Released" (dimus,' dimissus). "A bird," said the rabbi, "perishes not without God, much less a man," and he returned to the city (Talm. Jeremiah, 'Shebiith,' 9:1).
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Verse 30. - But the very hairs of your head. "Your" emphatic, in contrast to the care bestowed on sparrows. (For the thought, compare not only the parallel passage, Luke 12:7, but also Luke 21:18; Acts 27:34.) Are all numbered. Perhaps long since (ἠριθμημέναι εἰσίν). When Job complained the Lord answered him, "Many hairs have! made on man, and for every single hair its own pit, that not two hairs should draw their sustenance from one pit... shall I make no mistake about this, and vet make a mistake in thy name and spell it not Ijob (Job, איוב), but Ojeb (enemy, אויב)?" (Talm. Bab., 'Baba Bathra,' 16a).
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Verse 31. - The minuteness of this care forbids you to fear; it is clear from it that you are worth more than even many sparrows. Fear ye (the Revised Version omits ye) not. The absence of ὑμεῖς lays all the more stress on the verb. Therefore. As the hairs of your head are all numbered; the following words are thus epexegetic. Ye. Emphatic here; ye who are God's sons. The thought is stronger than even that of the "faithful Creator," in 1 Peter 4:19. Are of more value than many sparrows. So, too, any man than a sheep (Matthew 12:12).
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Verses 32, 33. -

(2) The result of confessing and of denying Christ. (Cf. ver. 24, note.) Verse 32. - Whosoever; every one... who (Revised Version); Matthew 7:24, note. Therefore. Summing up the thought of vers. 24-31, that he who suffers with Christ is only receiving such treatment as he ought to expect, and is never forgotten. Shall confess me (ὁμολογήσει ἐν ἐμοί). Ὁμολογεῖν ἐν occurs only in this verse (twice) and in the parallel passage, Luke 12:8 (cf. Bishop Westcott, on 1 John 2:23). Though the exact phrase is doubtless due to Hebrew influence (cf. Ewald, § 217, f. 2), yet its choice here is determined by an instinctive feeling that it expresses the union of him who confesses with him who is confessed, while the plain accusative makes no such implication, but only sums up the confession. Bishop Westcott ('Canon,' p. 275, edit. 1870) quotes Heracleon's comment on Luke 12:8. "With good reason Christ says of those who confess him in me (ὁμολογήσει ἐν ἐμοί), but of those who deny him me (ἀρνήσηταί με) only. For these even it' they confess him with their voice deny him, since they confess him not in their action. But they alone make confession in him who live in the confession and action that accords with him; in whom also he makes confession, having himself embraced them, and being held first by them" (Clem. Alex., 'Strom.,' 4:9, Fragment 50 in Sir. A. E. Brooke's edition of Heraeleon). Before men (τῶν ἀνθρώπων); ver. 17, note, and Matthew 6:1, note. Him. Not in any position of emphasis in the Greek. Will I confess also (cf. Revelation 3:5) before my Father. Not merely "the Father," but him who is in the closest relationship to me; the thought is of salvation as well as of creation. Which is in heaven. In nature, love; in position, majesty and omnipotence.
But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
Verse 33. - Besides the parallel passage, Luke 12:9, cf. the similar thought in Mark 8:38 (parallel passages: Luke 9:26; Matthew 16:27). But whosoever shall deny me before men. Kubel compares St. Peter's words, "I know not the man" (Matthew 26:74). Him will I also deny. The emphasis is on "deny" (cf. 2 Timothy 2:12; Ign., 'Smyrn.,' § 5). Before my Father which is in heaven.
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
Verses 34-39. - Fellowship with me will involve separation from the dearest upon earth, yet the reward is great. (Cf. ver. 5, note.) The progress of thought in these verses seems to be as follows: Do not be surprised at the contradiction that appears between my teaching and the immediate result; I allowed for this when I began my work (ver. 34). There will, indeed, be separation in the closest earthly ties (vers. 35, 36). But my claims are paramount (vers. 37, 38). And on your relation to them depends everything hereafter (ver. 39). Verse 34. - Parallel passage: Luke 12:51. Think not. Christ here removes another mistaken opinion (Matthew 5:17, note). There the mistake was about his relation to the Law; here about the immediate result of his coming. The Prince of Peace did not come to cast in peace as something from outside. It would show itself eventually, but from within outwards. That which he cast from without was fire (Luke 12:49), a sword (infra). Chrysostom ('Hem.,' 35.) points out, among other illustrations, that the confusion of tongues at the Tower of Babel was better than the peace which preceded it, and itself produced a better peace. That I am come; that I came (Revised Version); cf. further, Matthew 5:17, note. To send peace (βαλεῖν εἰρήνην). The verb was probably chosen because in the other form of the utterance Christ had already said πῦρ βαλεῖν, where the figure is of throwing a firebrand (Luke 12:49). By a natural transition, that phrase led to the thought of "throwing" peace or a sword. St. Luke, on the contrary, softened the metaphor to δοῦναι. On (the, Revised Version) earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
Verse 35. - Parallel passage: Luke 12:53 (cf. supra, vers. 21, 22). For I am come; I came (Revised Version). Notice the threefold η΅λθον. Christ would leave in his hearers' minds no room for thinking that he was ignorant of what the immediate result of his coming would be. To. A mere infinitive, not even with τοῦ, much less ἵνα with subject. The result is not in any sense the final cause of his coming. Set a man at variance against (διχάσαι... κατὰ). By the preposition is implied enmity, by the verb complete severance. For relation to God is the great line of cleavage, and that not only in God's sight, but in outcome of character. His father. From this word till the end of ver. 36 our Lord adopts Micah's (Micah 7:6) description of a general time of distrust for his own picture of the discord introduced by his coming. The wording is hardly taken from the LXX.
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
Verse 36. - No parallel passage in the Gospels. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household (καὶ ἐχθροὶ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οἱ οἰκιακοὶ αὐτοῦ). Ἐχθροί ισ predicate. His very household (not to be limited to servants) turns against him.
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Verses 37, 38. - Parallel passage: Luke 14:26, 27, where the saying is spoken to the multitudes - presumably its original occasion. Ver 37: A man must place me before his nearest tics. Ver. 38: Yea, must receive his cross (however it is brought to him), and with it follow after me. Observe the shadow of the cross upon our Lord's mind. Verse 37. - He that loveth. Natural and spontaneous love (ὁ φιλῶν), father... mother... son... daughter. No mention of wife, brothers, sisters, as in the parallel passage in Luke, perhaps because not mentioned in our vers. 35, 36. Is not worthy of me. And of all that I can be to him. Observe Christ's consciousness of his own worth. And he that loveth son, etc. A separate clause, because of the difference between the love of child to parent and that of parent to child. The latter is the stronger. The clause is omitted in B*, D, and two or three lesser authorities, but probably through homoioteleuton.
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Verse 38. - Besides the parallel passage, Luke 14:27 (vide supra), cf. also (for vers. 38, 39) Matthew 16:24, 25 (parallel passages: Mark 8:34, 35; Luke 9:23, 24). .and he that taketh not; doth not take (Revised Version), which calls attention to the change to the more definite mode of expression (ο{ς... λαμβάνει). Taketh. Receives in submission when given him; contrast ἀράτω, "take up from the ground" (Matthew 16:24), and βαστάζει, "bear" (Luke 14:27). His cross. A reference to the custom (vide Meyer) of criminals carrying their cross before they were crucified upon it. If, therefore, the figure may be pressed, the reference here is to the bearing of trials, even though they are such as point forward to greater trials in the future. Observe the torture and the ignominy of the trials that Christ expects his followers to be prepared for. And followeth after me. For Christ's journey ended in nothing less. Is not worthy of me. "And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy of himself" (Wisd. 3:5). Compare the reply of St. Thomas Aquinas to our Lord in vision after he had completed his "Summa:" "Thoma, bene scripsisti de me; Quam reci-pies a Me pro rue labore mercedem? Domine, non nisi Te" (Archbishop Vaughan's 'Life of St. Thomas,' frontispiece).
He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Verse 39. - Besides Matthew 16:25 and parallel passages (vide supra), cf. also Luke 17:33 and even John 12:25. Observe that in our chapter vers. 37, 38 arc equivalent to Luke 14:26, 27; vers. 38, 39 to Luke 9:23, 24; ver. 39 to Luke 17:33. A comparison of the various passages leads to the inference that the original occasion of vers. 37, 38 was that of Luke 14:26, 27, and the original occasion of ver. 39 was that of Matthew 16:25. Thus our passage is a compendium, and Matthew 16:25 is either a modification by our Lord of an earlier thought, or, more probably, another "setting" of the utterance in place of something that corresponded to it. Luke 17:33, on the other hand, may be a modification by our Lord, or an insertion made in the process of the composition of the Gospel. He that findeth; found (Revised Version margin); ὁ εὑρών: but unnecessarily, the statement is timeless, and the inherent thought of completion is contained also in our present tense. Findeth; after expenditure of trouble, and so Matthew 16:25 with parallel passages, "wish to save," and Luke 17:33, "seek to gain." Observe also the idea of acquiring for personal use common both to εὑρίσκειν and περιποιεῖσθαι (Luke). The phrase, "find the soul," occurs only here (twice) and Matthew 16:25b; cf. Hebrews 10:39. His life (Matthew 6:25, note). As the full develop-merit of personality in true independence and energy is the aim and the promise for hereafter, so its shrinking and weakening by sin ends in loss of moral independence and mental worth. Shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He shall acquire that personality of his with all its inherent germs of power fully developed (cf. Luke 21:19; Hebrews 10:39; cf. also the apocryphal legion, Σώζου σὺ καὶ ἡ ψυχή σου, Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 145). In Talm. Bab., 'Tamid,' 32a, Alexander the Great asks "the elders of the south" ten questions, among them," What shall a man do that he may live?" They answer, "Let him put himself to death." "What shall a man do that he may die?" "Let him make himself alive." But though there is so much verbal similarity, it may be doubted whether Rashi is not right in explaining the passage as a merely worldly wise warning against provoking the envy of others by pride and ostentation.
He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Verses 40-42. - Final encouragement. The evangelist takes the main idea of these verses from our Lord's words to the seventy (Luke 10:16), but moulds it in the form of his later saying, Matthew 18:5 (cf. especially the parallel passage, Luke 9:48, also Mark 9:37). He further adds (ver. 42) other words also spoken later (Mark 9:41; cf. ver. 42 there with our Matthew 18:6). In these verses the discourse returns to the immediate occasion, the mission of the disciples. Christ shows his personal interest in their work; his messengers' cause is his. He says, "I reckon treatment of you as treatment of me; ay, and he that sent me reckons it as treatment of himself" (ver. 40). This principle as to the treatment of representatives holds good throughout. Not every one can be a prophet, but those who help him shall share his reward. Not every one shall acquire the technical name of "righteous," but those who help such a man shall share his reward (ver. 4l); even the smallest kindnesses shall not be unrewarded (ver. 42). Verse 40. - He that receiveth you receiveth me. "A man's messenger is as himself" (Mishna, 'Berach.,' 5:5). Yet, as Bengel says, "Non mode tantundem est, ac si me reciperet. sed severn me recipit." Ford quotes from Tertullian ('De Orat.,' § 26), "A brother that hath entered into thine house, dismiss not without prayer. 'Thou hast seen,' saith he, 'thy brother; thou hast seen thy Lord.'" The same legion is found twice in Clem. Alex. (cf. Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 296). (For an extension of the thought to bishops, cf. Ign., ' Ephesians,' § 6.)
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
Verse 41. - Matthew only. The whole verso recalls Jewish Christianity; it was hardly likely to have been remembered outside Jewish Christian circles. He that receiveth a prophet. One upon whom the mantle of the old prophets might in any sense he said to have fallen. The saying was probably recorded with special thought of the Christian peripatetic "prophets," who are brought before us so vividly in the 'Didache.' In the name of a prophet (εἰς ὄνομα προφήτου). In late Hebrew and in Aramaic the word for "name" passed into little more than a preposition, just as the word for "face "had already passed (and so the Greek, ἐν ὀνόματι, Mark 9:41). Here, however, this is hardly the case, the word appearing to retain its idea of both name and corresponding position. The preposition may mean either receive him into the position of a prophet, i.e. into the treatment with which a prophet should be received; or, simply, receive him at the rank and standing of a prophet (Acts 7:53). Anyhow, it is in contrast to receiving him out of mere human compassion or ordinary friendliness. The reception is to have regard to that which the name implies, for the sake of the cause that the prophet represents. Shall receive a prophet's reward; i.e. shall share in the reward of that work in which by his kindness to the prophet he so tar takes part. Thus the widow of Sarepta shared in the blessing given to Elijah (1 Kings 17:10; cf. also 2 Kings 4:8, sqq.). (On reward, see Matthew 5:12, note.) Observe that not the action, but the motive for the action, is made all-important. It is a matter of faith, not of works (cf Nosgen). And he that receiveth a righteous man. A righteous man; i.e. one who is punctilious in performing all the details of the revealed will of God (Matthew 1:19, note; Acts 22:14; James 5:6). This word also is used in a quasi-Jewish sense, and points back to the time when Jewish Christians performed, not only the law as expounded in the sermon on the mount, but also those external rites and observances which had been commanded them as Jews (Acts 21:20). Among such Jewish Christians some would he especially noticeable for their regard to these things (e.g. James the "Just," or "Righteous"), and it is to one of these that the epithet here refers.
And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Verse 42. - Parallel passage: Mark 9:41, where it will be observed that the following verse is parallel to Matthew 18:6 and Luke 17:2 (cf. supra, ver. 40). One of these little ones... a disciple. It is evident, from a comparison of ver. 41, that the two titles refer to one and the same person. Christ, using his own term, calls his followers "little ones;" using the term of others, he calls them "disciples." Little ones. Partly a word of personal endearment (cf. Matthew 25:40); partly a comparison with those mentioned in ver. 41. He is now speaking of one who is not distinguished from other believers by the reception of extraordinary Divine gifts, or by special zeal and holiness, but is only an ordinary disciple. In Matthew 18:6 the term is used directly of children, but in Luke 17:2, and probably in Mark 9:41, 42, it is used metaphorically. A cup of cold water only. Observe that "if the ' cup of cold water' is not to lose its reward, it must be proffered when he who gives it has nothing better to give" (H. Melvill, in Exell, on ver. 41). In the name of a disciple (ver. 41, note). Verily I say unto you, He shall in no wise lose his reward (cf. Hebrews 6:10). Lose (ἀπολέσῃ). Does the Western reading, "His reward shall in no wise perish," indicate the unending duration of heavenly bliss, or is ἀπόληται, there a synonym for the πταίσῃ of Ecclus. 2:8? Observe that if the original Aramaic were יֵיבַד אגריה, it might be understood in either way (cf. references in Levy, 'Chald. Worterb.,' s.v. אבד).

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