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Christ begins to preach, S. Matthew. heals diverse diseases;
coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
14 That it might be fulfil led which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,e Galilee of the Gentiles :
16 The people which sat in darkness f saw great light; g and to them which sat in the region and shadow of deathh light is sprung up.
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; i
18 ¶ And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers.
e Jordan, the most considerable river of Judea. It issues from the small lake Phiala. It falls into the earth and runs about fifteen miles
under ground, whence it rises again in a cave at the foot of a mountain. In its course it flows through the lake Gennesareth, the sea of Galilee or
Tiberias, and thence southward, after a winding course of about 130 miles, it falls into the large bituminous lake Asphaltiles; called also the Dead sea, the Salt sea, and the sea of Sodom.
f Darkness, ignorance.
g Light, the divine instruction of Jesus.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,j and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, k and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, among the people.
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25 And there followed him
great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.
j Synagogue, a Jewish meeting house, or place of public worship.
k Gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus Christ.
1 Decapolis, a district of ten cities.
What it is to kill. S. Matthew. Call not thy brother fool.
from the law,
in no wise pass till all be fulfilled.
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall he in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, o shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.
19 Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, k and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 Ye have heard that it. was said by them of old time,m Thou shalt not kill; and, whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. n
k Commandments, the precepts of the moral law.
1 Pharisees, a Jewish sect, who in opinion of their own righteousness despised all others.
m Them of old time, the ancients. n Judgment, &c. To understand verses 21 and 22, it may be observed, that the Jews had two courts; one common, called the judgment, which consisted of 23 men; the sentence of this court on malefactors was strangling or beheading; the other was called the council or sanhedrim. This was the supreme court of the Jews; it consisted of 72 judges, by whom the highest crimes were tried, which this court, and this alone, punished with stoning; this, in their opinion, was a more terrible death than the former. The phrase bell-fire, at the close of verse 22, is not here supposed to mean the future punishment of the wicked; but a punishment by
death still more awful than the other two, i. e. being burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom. This valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, is where Moloch, the principal idol of the Ammonites was placed, in whose cruel worship children were burnt in sacrifice. Josiah destroyed this inhuman worship, or as it is said, 2 Kings xxiii. 10, he defiled Tophet, &c.; this he did by making it a receptacle for the filth of the city, to consume which, fires were kept continually burning. Hence it is a fit emblem to represent that future punishment of the wicked, mentioned in Mark ix. 43, &c.
o Raca. A silly, foolish fellow. p Fool. An impious, profane person. q Ought against thee, reason of complaint.
The law expounded.
26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
27 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye offend thee,r pluck it out, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne:
35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king.
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head; because thou canst not make one hair white or black:
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay; s for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.t
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, u turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
33 ¶ Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. Offend thee, be the occasion of thy sinning. 3
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you:
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans w the same?
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Of alms and prayer.
hypocrites b do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.c
TAKE heed that ye do not alms a before men, to be your seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
2 Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the
7 But when ye pray, use not
1 Of alms, 5 prayer, 14 forgive- vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shalt be heard for their much speaking.
ness. 19 Our treasure. 24 God and mammon.
Publicans, Roman tax-gatherers, who were noted for their oppression and injustice.
a Alms, your religious duties.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth ;
4 That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.
5 ¶ And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the gogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet; and, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
8 Be not ye, therefore, like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him.
b Hypocrites, deceitful persons, pretending to be very pious and devout, while destitute of holiness. Our Saviour probably meant the Scribes and Pharisees. See the Introduction for their character.
c Their reward; the applause of men, but the displeasure of God.