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in hither, not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Friend. Rather, companion. The word does not imply friendship. He was speechless.' He had no excuse. So it will be with all hypocrites.

13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

'Cast him into outer darkness.' See note, Matt. viii. 12. This, without doubt, refers to the future punishment of the hypocrite. Matt. xxiii. 23-33; xxiv. 51.

14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Our Saviour often uses this expression. It was probably proverbial. The Jews had been called, but few of them had been chosen to life. The great mass of the nation were wicked, and showed by their lives that they were not chosen to salvation. The Gentiles also were called, invited to be saved, Isa. xlv. 22. Nation after nation has been called, or invited to be saved; but few have yet showed that they were real christians, the elect of God.

15 Then went the pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.

The pharisees and Herodians endeavoured to entangle Jesus. This narrative is also found in Mark xii. 13-17. Luke xx. 20 -26. See note Matt. iii. 7. To entangle,' means to ensnare, as birds are by a net, artfully to lay a plan for enticing, to beguile by proposing a question, and by leading, if possible, to an incautious answer. This was the kind proposed here to Jesus. In his talk.' The word 'his' is supplied here by the translators. It means in conversation, or by talking with him; not alluding to any thing that he had before said.

16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man; for thou regardest not the person of men.

The Herodians.' It is probable that they took their name from Herod the Great. The law of Moses was, that a stranger should not be set over the Jews as a king, Deut. xvii. 15. Herod, who had received the kingdom of Judea by appointment of the Romans, held that the law of Moses referred only to a voluntary choice of a king, and did not refer to a necessary submission,

where they had been overpowered by force. They supposed, therefore, that it was lawful in such cases to pay tribute to a foreign prince. This opinion was, however, extensively unpopular among the Jews. Hence the difficulty of the question. Whatever way he decided, they supposed he would be involved in difficulty. If he should say it was not lawful, the Herodians were ready to accuse him as being an enemy of Cæsar; if he said it was lawful, the pharisees were ready to accuse him to the people as being opposed to their rights. We know that thou art true.' A hypocritical compliment not believed by them, but artfully said, as compliments often are, to attempt to conceal their true design. Neither carest thou for any man.' That is, thou art an independent teacher, delivering thy sentiments without regard to the fear or favour of man. 'For thou regardest not the person of men.' Thou art not partial. Thou wilt decide acbias towards either party.

cording to truth, and not from ae person, is in the bible uni

To regard the person, or to respect

formly used to denote partiality; or being influenced in a decision, not by truth, but by previous attachment to a person, or one of the parties-by friendship, or bias, or prejudice, Lev. xix. 15. Deut. xvi. 19. 2 Sam. xiv. 14. Acts x. 34. James ii. 1,3, 9. 1 Pet. i. 17. Jude 16.

17 Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not?

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Tribute was the tax paid to the Roman government. Cæsar.' The Roman emperor. The name 'Cæsar,' after the time of Julius Cæsar, became common to all the emperors, as Pharaoh was the common name of all the kings of Egypt. The Cæsar who reigned at that time was Tiberius.

18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

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Tempt ye me. Try me, or endeavour to lead me into difficulty by an insidious question. Hypocrites.' Dissemblers. Professing to be candid inquirers, when your only object is to lead me into difficulty. Note, Matt. vi. 2.

19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.

The money in which the tribute was paid. This was a Roman coin. Their having that coin about them, and using it, was proof that they themselves held it lawful to pay the tribute; and their pretensions, therefore, were mere hypocrisy. A penny.'

See note on ch. xix. 2.

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

'This image. The likeness of the reigning prince was struck

on the coins.


Superscription.' The name and titles of the em

21 They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.

Cæsar's image and name on the coin proved that it was his. It was proper therefore to give it back to him when he called for it. But while this was done, he took occasion to charge them also to give to God what he claimed; that they should give him their hearts, lives, property, and influence, as his due.

22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

'They marvelled.' They had been foiled in their attempt. Though he had apparently decided in favour of the Herodians, yet his answer confounded both parties, and wholly prevented the use which they intended to make of it.

23 The same day came to him the sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

For the conversation of Jesus with the sadducees respecting the resurrection, see also Mark xii. 18-27. Luke xx. 27-38. For an account of the sadducees see note, Matt. iii. 7. 'No resurrection. The resurrection literally means the raising up the body to life after it is dead, John xi. 24; v. 29. 1 Cor. xv. 12. But the sadducees not only denied this, but also a future state at all; and the separate existence of the soul after death, as well as the existence of angels and spirits, Acts xxiii. 8. These doctrines have commonly stood or fallen together, but the answer of our Saviour more distinctly refers to the separate existence of the soul, and to a future state of rewards and punishments, than to the resurrection of the body.

24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.

'Moses said,' &c. See Deut. xxv. 5, 6. This law was given by Moses in order to keep the families and tribes of the Israelites distinct, and to perpetuate them. 'Raise up seed unto his brother.' That is, the children shall be reckoned in the genealogy of the deceased brother; or, to all civil purposes, shall be considered as his.

25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and,


having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

'There were with us seven brethren.' It is probable that they stated a case as difficult as possible; and though no such case might have occurred, yet it was supposable, and in their view it presented a great difficulty.

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

The scriptures,' here mean the books of the Old Testament. By appealing to them, he showed that the doctrine of the future state was there, and that the sadducees should have believed it as it was, and not have added the absurd doctrine to it that men must live there as they do here. The way in which the enemies of the truth attempt to make a doctrine of the bible ridiculous, is by adding to it, and then calling it absurd. He produced a passage from the books of Moses, ver. 32, because they had also appealed to his writings, ver. 24. Other places of the Old Testament asserted it more clearly, Dan. xii. 2. Isa. xxvi. 19; but he wished to meet them on their own ground. Nor the power of God.' They probably denied, as many have done since, that God could gather the scattered dust of the dead, and remould it into a body, opposing reason to revelation, and supposing that infinite power could not reorganize a body that it had first organized, and raise a body from its own dust which it had at first raised from nothing.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

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Neither marry,' &c. This was a full answer to the objections of the sadducees. 'But are as the angels of God.' That is, in the manner of their intercourse; and the mode of their existence. Luke adds, that they shall be equal to the angels. That is, they shall be elevated above the circumstances of mortality, and live in a manner, and in a kind of intercourse equal to the angels. He also adds, neither do they die any more, but are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection, or being accounted worthy to be raised up to life, and therefore sons of God raised up to him.

31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the

God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

As touching,' &c. That is, in proof that the dead are raised. The passage which he quotes is recorded in Ex. iii. 6, 15. This was at the burning bush. (Mark and Luke.) Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had been long dead when Moses spoke this: Abraham 329 years, Isaac 224, and Jacob 198. Yet God spake then as being still their God. They must, therefore, be still somewhere living; for God is not the God of the dead. Luke adds, all live unto him. That is, all the righteous dead: all of whom he can be properly called their God, live unto his glory, are blessed by him, and live for his honour. This passage proves that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had an existence then, or that their souls were alive. This the sadducees denied, Acts xxiii. 8. And this was the main point in dispute. If this was admittedthen it would easily follow that the bodies of the dead would be raised.

34 But when the pharisees had heard that he had put the sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

Jesus converses with a pharisee respecting the law. See also Mark xii. 28-34. The pharisees would rejoice that the sadducees had been confounded, but they would not be the less desirous to involve Jesus in difficulty. They therefore endeavoured, probably, to find the most difficult question in dispute among themselves, and proposed it to him to perplex him.

35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

6 A lawyer.' One learned or skilled in the law of Moses. Mark calls him one of the scribes. This means the same thing. He had heard Jesus reasoning with the sadducees, and perceived that he answered them well; and he thought Jesus to be better qualified to hold a debate with him. (Mark.) Tempting him.' Trying him. Proposing a question to try his knowledge of the


36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

'Which is the great commandment? That is, the greatest commandment. The Jews then divided the law into greater and smaller commandments. Which was of the greatest importance they had not determined. Some held that it was the law respecting sacrifice; others, that respecting circumcision; others, that

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