Matthew 19
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;
Matthew 19:1. Ἐτέλεσεν, κ.τ.λ., finished, etc.) All the discourses addressed to the people in Galilee have a great connection with each other, and form a perfect course.[851]—ΜΕΤῆΡΕΝ, he departed[852]) having concluded His perambulation through Galilee.[853]

[851] He was wont to break off nothing abruptly, but to bring all things to a complete conclusion; ch. Matthew 26:1.—V. g.

[852] “Migravit.” Cf. Gnomon and footnotes on ch. Matthew 13:53, where the same word occurs.—(I. B.)

[853] We may reasonably infer, from this departure, that the events which are recorded, Luke 13:31 to Luke 18:14 (for Jesus was not wont to stay long in Samaria), occurred in the space of those three days, of which mention occurs in Luke 13:32.—Harm., p. 421.

And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.
Matthew 19:2. Ἐκεῖ, there) In many places a number of cures were performed at once by our Lord.

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
Matthew 19:3.[854] Πᾶσαν, every) They wished to elicit from our Lord a universal negative, which they thought would be contrary to Moses.

[854] Πειράζοντες αὐτὸν, tempting Him) At the beginning of His career, His adversaries questioned the Saviour concerning several of the acts committed either by himself or His disciples. But when He had left nothing still remaining to be done for the defence of His own cause and that of His followers, they thenceforth refrained from objections and interrogatories of that kind, and the more for that very reason heaped upon Him general questions, unconnected with any immediate act of His, it being their purpose thereby to surprise Him when off His guard and unprepared.—Harm., p. 422.

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Matthew 19:4. Ὁ ποιήσας, He who made) sc. them; with this construction, He who made them in the beginning, made them male and female. ὁ ποιήσας, ἐποίησεν (He who made, made), is a striking example of Ploce.[855]—ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, at the beginning) In every discussion or interpretation recourse should be had to the origin of a Divine institution; see Matthew 19:8 and Acts 15:7.

[855] See Explanation of Technical Terms in Appendix.—(I. B.)

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Matthew 19:5. Εἶπεν, said) sc. GOD, by Adam.—ἕνεκεν τούτου, for this cause. In wedlock, the bond is natural and moral.—καταλείψει, κ.τ.λ., shall leave, etc.) Therefore already at that time the same woman could not be both wife and mother of the same man. Such is the commencement of the prohibited degrees. The conjugal relation, to which alone the paternal and maternal yield, is the closest of all ties.—πατέρα, father) Although neither Adam had yet become a father, nor Eve a mother.—τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ, to his wife) and thus also the wife to her husband. The husband is the head of the family.—ἔσονται, shall be) one flesh while they are in the flesh.—οἱ δύο, the two[856]) Thus also Mark 10:8; 1 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 5:31; the Samaritan[857] Pentateuch, the Septuagint, and the Syriac[858] version of Genesis.

[856] E. V. “They twain.”—(I. B.)

[857] The Samaritans reject all the Sacred Books of the Jews, except the Pentateuch. Of this they preserve copies in the ancient Hebrew characters; which, as there has been no friendly intercourse between them and the Jews since the Babylonish captivity, must unquestionably be the same that were in use before that event, though subject to such variations as are always occasioned by frequent transcribing. Although the Samaritan Pentateuch was known to and cited by Eusebius, Cyril of Alexandria, Procopius of Gaza, Diodorus of Tarsus, Jerome, Syncellus, and other ancient Fathers, it afterwards fell into oblivion for more than a thousand years, so that its very existence began to be questioned. Joseph Scaliger was the first who drew the attention of learned men to this valuable relic of antiquity; and M. Peiresc procured a copy from Egypt, which, together with the ship that brought it, was unfortunately captured by pirates. Archbishop Usher, however, procured six copies from the East; and Father Morinus printed the Samaritan Pentateuch, for the first time, in the Paris Polyglott (which was published in 1645, in ten volumes, large folio), from another copy, procured by the French Ambassador at Constantinople. For further particulars, see Hartwell Horne in voc.—(I. B.)

[858] Considerable doubt exists as to the origin and date of the PESCHITO SYRIAC (or literal Syrian) VERSION of the Old Testament. It was printed for the first time in the Paris Polyglott. For an account of the various opinions entertained regarding the date and authorship of this celebrated Version (ranging over a period of more than a thousand years), and of the arguments by which they are supported, see Hartwell Horne in voc.—(I. B.)

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
Matthew 19:6. οὐκ ἔτι εἰσὶ, they are no more) They are now no longer two, as they were before.—δύο, two) We should not understand σάρκες, fleshes (carnes): for in Matthew 19:5 we find οἱ δύο (the two, they twain).—, that which (quod), not , those which (quae): for they are now one flesh.—συνέζευεξεν, hath joined together) hath made one.—ἄνθρωπος, man) see Matthew 19:3.—μὴ, κ.τ.λ., let not, etc.) The principle here involved admits of a widely extended application: what GOD hath separated, commanded, conceded, prohibited, blessed, praised, loosed, bound, etc., let not Man join together, prohibit, forbid, command, curse, blame, bind, loose, etc., not even in his own case; see Acts 10:15; Numbers 23:8; Romans 14:3; Romans 14:20.—χωριζέτω, put asunder) In every case of sexual connection, either God hath joined the two, or He hath not joined them: if He hath not joined them, their connection is unlawful; if He hath joined them, why are they separated?

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
Matthew 19:7. Δοῦναι, to give) St Mark (Mark 10:4) has γράψαι, to write. Moses employs both expressions.—βιβλίον ἀποστασίου, a writing of divorcement) the LXX. use the same phrase.—καὶ, and) sc. thus.

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
Matthew 19:8. Πρὸς, for, because of[859])—ἐπέτρεψεν, permitted) not ἐνετείλατο, enjoined, except in that sense in which St Mark (Mark 10:3) employs the word.—ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς, in the beginning) The origin of wedlock was recorded also by the same Moses, from whom our Lord demonstrates the matter.

[859] Τὴν σκληροκρδίαν, the hardness of heart) So great is the perversity of the human mind, that there are not a few things by which it ought to be put to the blush, as the jews ought to have been in the case of the writing of divorcement, but which it abuses to a preposterous clearing (justification) of itself.—V. g.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.
Matthew 19:9. Μὴ, not[860]) The word occurs with the same force in 1 John 5:16.—καὶ γαμήση, and shall marry) The criminality of the divorce is especially aggravated by a second marriage.

[860] Lachm. rends παρεκτὸς λόγου πορνείας with BD Orig. 3,647c, 648ac, 649b; “exceptâ causâ fornicationis” in c. CZ read μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, and so Tischend. Rec. Text reads the same, prefixing εἰ. Vulg. “nisi ob fornicationem,” which favours Rec. Text. “Nisi ob causam fornicationis” in ab seems a blending of the two readings, εἰ μὴ and λόγου.—ED.

Bengel reads ὃς ἄν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, whosoever shall put away his wife NOT for fornication; E. M. has εἰ μὴ ἐπὶ πορνωίᾳ, IF NOT (i e. except) for fornication. The meaning is the same. In his Apparatus Bengel writes, in loc—

μὴ) Comp. et al. edd. Aug. 1, 4, Bas. 1, Byz. Cypr. Gehl. Med. Mosc. Steph. omn. Wo. 2, et sedecim et viginti alii: nec obstat Cant. Colb. 8, L. Par. 6, Arab. Syr. εἱ μὴ. Er et al. edd. cum pauculis MSS.”—(I. B.)

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
Matthew 19:10. Τοῦ ἀνθρώπουμετὰ τῆς γυναικὸς, of the man—with the woman) The nouns are used generically.

But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.
Matthew 19:11. Ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, κ.τ.λ., But He said unto them, etc.) To that universal, but less well-founded reason for not contracting matrimony, grounded on the inconvenience which the disciples inferred must arise from its indissolubility, our Lord opposes the legitimate, particular, and only good reason, viz. the being an eunuch,—i.e. the being exempted by any exceptional cause from the universal law of contracting matrimony.—οὐ πάντες, not all) Our Lord opposes these words to the universal proposition of His disciples (sc. οὐ συμφέρει γαμῆσαι, i.e. it is not expedient to marry), and they are equivalent to “none.”—Cf. Romans 3:9, οὐ πάντες, not at all [English version, “No, in no wise.”] The important exception is added.—ἀλλʼ οἷς δέδοται, save those to whom it is given.—τοῦτον, this) This pronoun refers also to what follows. Cf. the Epiphonema,[861] in Matthew 19:12, sc. Ὁ ΔΥΝΆΜΕΝΟς, Κ.Τ.Λ., He that is able, etc.; and γὰρ, for, is added at the commencement of the same verse.[862]

[861] EPIPHONEMA is an exclamation subjoined to the narration, or demonstration of an important subject. See Gnomon on Romans 1:15 in VOC αὕτω. It is a rhetorical term employed by Quinctilian. See in Append., explanation of Technical terms.—(I. B.)

[862] As in Matthew 1:18, where Tischend. and Rec. Text have μνηστευθείσης γὰρ τῆς μητρὸς, etc. (Lachm. omits γὰρ with BZ Vulg., Iren., etc.): the γὰρ, as here, beginning the Discussion (Tractatio) which answers to the Statement of Subject (Propositio or Thesis) immediately preceding.—ED.

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Matthew 19:12. Εἰσὶ, κ.τ.λ., there are, etc.) There are three kinds of eunuchs: the first and second of which are treated indirectly, the third directly, in this passage. For the two former are either produced thus by nature, or made thus by the hand of man: to the latter it is given from above, although they may have been endowed with a body capable of marriage. And these (the latter) can receive the saying concerning blessed eunuchism: whereas, of those (the former), it can only be said that they cannot receive the law concerning marriage; although they too may accidentally (per accidens) obtain blessed eunuchism.—ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, by men) by whose art they are castrated, that they may act as chamberlains, singers, etc., or that they may, on some other ground, be prevented from contracting marriage, of which they had been previously capable. For these, also, are included in a perfect enumeration.—εὐνούχισαν ἑαυτοὺς, have made themselves eunuchs) which they alone can do, to whom it is given. It is not in man’s power thus to make another an eunuch; see 1 Corinthians 7:7.—ἑαυτοὺς, themselves) sc. by a voluntary abstinence from marriage; sometimes having even relinquished a wife for the name of Christ (see Matthew 19:29), and adding exercises calculated to preserve chastity, and subdue the fires of nature.—διὰ, κ.τ.λ., for the kingdom of heaven’s sake) Not because they can only be saved by remaining unmarried, but that they may be able to devote themselves more entirely to the contemplation and propagation of Divine Truth; see 1 Corinthians 7:32; 1 Corinthians 9:12.—χωρείτω, let him receive) A precept not addressed to all, but only to those who are able to receive it. Not even all the Apostles seem to have been able to receive it; see 1 Corinthians 9:5.

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Matthew 19:13. Προσηνέχθη Αὐτῷ, were brought unto Him) sc. by the zeal of those who were older.[863] And the disciples blamed, not the little ones, but those who brought them.—ἵνα, κ.τ.λ., that, etc.) If they had asked for baptism, baptism would, without doubt, have also been given them.—οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ, but the disciples) The greater part of whom appear to have been unmarried: and unmarried men, unless they are humble-minded, are not so kind (minus comes) to infants, inasmuch as they remind them of their own former littleness: and the disciples who had left all, do not appear always to have sufficiently favoured the admission of others; at any rate, they certainly thought that the care of little children was inconsistent with their Master’s dignity. The humanity of Jesus, however, descends even to little children; cf. ch. Matthew 18:2-3, etc.—ἐπετίμων, rebuked) We ought not to be deterred by those who enjoin an unseasonable timidity,[864] cf. ch. Matthew 20:31.

[863] They were therefore in such a state as not yet to be able either to seek earnestly after, or understand anything, of their own accord.—V. g.

[864] In the original, “intempestivam verecundiam,” lit. unseasonable bashfulness.—(I. B.)

Nay, but the desire of the little ones was the more enkindled thereby.—v. g.

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:14. Εἶπεν, κ.τ.λ., said, etc.) Previously He had defended the law of marriage; now he defends the rights of children.—ἄφετεκαἰ μὴ κωλύετε, permit—and do not prohibit) A most ample permission. The verb ἀφίημι, does not always mean to dismiss, but frequently, as here, to permit; see Mark 11:16.—τὰ παιδία, the little children) Haffenreffer renders it infantulos, little infants.—τοιούτων, of such) i.e., infants, sc. such infants, especially when they desire to come to Christ. τοιοῦτος, denotes substance combined with quality; see Acts 22:22. Grant that such are intended as are like infants, it follows of necessity, that much rather the infants themselves, who are such, have the kingdom of God, and both can and ought to receive it by coming to Christ. Many of those who then were infants, afterwards believed in Christ Jesus, when they had grown up.—ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν, the kingdom of heaven) He who seeks the kingdom of God must come to Jesus.

And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
Matthew 19:15. Ἐπιθεὶς αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας, having laid His hands upon them) as He had been asked to do in Matthew 19:13. The imposition of the hand, and more particularly of the hands, was employed for conferring on, and propagating to, human beings, especially children and ministers of the Gospel, bodily blessings and spiritual gifts; see Acts 9:12; Hebrews 6:2; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6. Our Lord is not said to have prayed, as He had been asked to do in Matthew 19:13, by those forsooth who were not fully aware of His oneness with the Father.

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Matthew 19:16. Ἰδοὺ, behold) sc. whilst Jesus is opening the kingdom of heaven, even to infants.—εἷς, one) From the rank to which he belonged, at length comes one.—Διδάσκαλε ἀγαθὲ, good Teacher) He that is good teaches well concerning that which is good; see John 7:12.—ποιήσω, shall I do?) the young man asks about doing; but belief goes before.—ζωὴν αἰώνιον, eternal life) Eternal life was known under the old dispensation, as we are assured in Hebrews 11:16; and it is explicitly called so in Daniel 12:2.

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Matthew 19:17. Τί, κ.τ.λ., why? etc.) He who [alone] is Good,[865] should be asked concerning that which is good.[866] For the rest, see Gnomon on Mark 10:18.—εἰ δὲ θέλεις, (but if thou wishest) as thou declarest. The expression εἰ θέλεις (if thou wishest) occurs again at Matthew 19:21.—τήρησον τὰς ἐντολὰς keep the commandments) Jesus refers those who feel secure to the law: He consoles the contrite with the Gospel.

[865] In the original, “Qui Bonus est, de bono interrogandus est,” where “Bonus” is used as a substantive (corresponding to the German “der Gute” employed by Bengel in rendering this verse), which has no equivalent in English: for though we speak of “the Evil One,” we cannot say “the Good One.” The passage might be paraphrased thus—“He who is personally and absolutely good, should be asked concerning that which is abstractly and relatively good.”—(I. B.)

[866] The reading is here meant, which the margin of both Editions prefers to the reading λέγειςΘεός, VIZ. ἐρωτᾶς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ; εἷς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός. Comp. the margin of the Vers. Germ. and Michaelis’ Einleitung, etc., T. i., p. m. 224.—E. B.

BDLabc, Vulg. Memph. Orig. 3,664bc, read τί με ἐρωτᾶς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ (D and Origen 3,664c omit τοῦ). Τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν is the reading of Rec. Text with Iren. 92, Hil. 703, 994ac (‘vocas’ for λέγεις). Origen 3,664cd, writes, Ὁ μὲν Ματθαῖος, ὡς περὶ ἀγαθοῦ ἔργου ἐρωτηθέντος τοῦ Σωτῆρος ἐν τῷ τί ἀγαθὸν ποιήσω; ἀνέγραψεν· ὁ δὲ Μάρκος καὶ Λουκᾶς φασὶ τὸν Σωτῆρα εἰρηκέναι, τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν; οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἶς ὁ Θεός. BDabc Vulg. Orig. Iren. 92 read εἷς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός (D omits . bc Vulg. Memph. add ὁ Θεος; evidently, as I think, a gloss of the Harmonies from Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19. Iren, adds “pater in cœlis”). Rec. Text, with Hil. 994, reads οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἶς ὁ Θεός. This is still more palpably a reading copied from the parallels in Mark and Luke.—ED.

He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Matthew 19:18. Ποίας; which?) There was no need to ask which, as our Lord had said the [commandments] τας.[867]

[867] Thus indicating those pre-eminently so called, and implying the necessity of keeping all of them.—(I. B.)

Matthew 19:18-19. Οὐ φονεύσεις·—ἀγαπήσεις, κ.τ.λ., thou shalt not murder thou shalt love, etc.) Precepts negative and affirmative. The duties of the Second Table are more palpable than those of the First.

Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 19:19. Τίμα, honour) Honour implies somewhat in addition to love.—τὸν πατέρα, thy father) It may be supposed that the young man in question had transgressed this more than the negative commandments; on which ground it is placed last.—τὸν πλησίον, thy neighbour) The Jews were peculiarly deficient in the love of their neighbour.—ὡς σεαυτὸν, as thyself) The love wherewith God loveth us, is the standard of the love wherewith we ought to love one another. God loves Titius as He does Caius: therefore Caius ought to love Titius as he does Caius, i.e., as himself.[868] Yet the love of the godly, like that of God, is not without discrimination of the good and the bad.[869]

[868] He who is endued with this love will evince it even to the child of beggars: he who is not endued with it will prefer himself to all men whatsoever, even to the elect of God.—V. g.

[869] Matthew 19:20. ἐκ νεότητός μου, from my youth) The reading which omits these words, however less probable it be declared by the margin of both Editions, has nevertheless been subsequently received into the Vers. Germ., the reasons on both sides being regarded by Bengel in a different light from what they had been.—E. B.

BL Vulg. Cypr. Iren, omit the words. But Dabc Orig. 3,669d, Hilary 704, retain them (D omitting μου). The words are plainly, I think, interpolated through Harmonies from Mark 10:20, Luke 18:21.—ED.

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Matthew 19:21. Ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς, κ.τ.λ., Jesus said unto him, etc.) As the young man asks more, and binds himself to more, more is proposed to him.—τέλειος, perfect) He is perfect to whom nothing is wanting that he may enter into life eternal. As he urgently asks it, our Lord proposes to him the most glorious condition, the nearest to that of an apostle.—ὕπαγεκαὶ δεῦρο, ἀκολούθει Μοι, go—and come, follow Me) sc. immediately. It is a command, not a counsel;[870] necessary, not optional (cf. Matthew 19:24-25); but particular, not universal, accommodated to the idiosyncrasy of his soul, to whom it was addressed. For many followed Jesus, to whom He did not give this command. He may be perfect, who still possesses wealth; he may give all to the poor, who is very far from perfection.[871] Our Lord’s words laid an obligation on the man who offered himself ultroneously, and that so unreservedly; although to him, being as yet somewhat of a stranger, it was not expressly enjoined, but rather given in the form of advice to one seeking advice. In the case of others, who are not yet able to receive peculiar commands, a compensation is made by the leading of divine Providence.—πώλησον, κ.τ.λ., sell, etc.) If the Lord had said, Thou art rich, and art too fond of thy riches, the young man would have denied it: wherefore, instead of so doing, He demands immediately a direct proof[872] [of the contrary].—ἕξεις, κ.τ.λ., thou shalt have, etc.) A promise inserted in the command, and at once surely guaranteed: q.d. Thou shalt have, and thou shalt know that thou hast.[873]—θησαυρὸν, treasure) The inheritance is called treasure, in opposition to worldly goods. Dost thou wish to be rich? Seek this treasure.—ἀκολούθει Μοι, follow Me) Instruction in faith would not then be wanting.

[870] As opposed to the Romish doctrine of “counsels of perfection,” on which they build the notion of works of ‘supererogation’: quoting this instance in support of their theory.—ED.

[871] Zaccheus, as recorded Luke 19:8, when distributing one half of his goods to the poor, obtained the Lord’s commendation. [He was not required to give all that he had to the poor: nay, what he did give was voluntarily, not by command.—ED.]—V. g.

[872] In the original the words are, “ipsum statim documentum postulat:” lit. “he demands the very proof.”—(I. B.)

[873] For already now, in this life, those things which are needful are freely held out to believers from this treasure, Matthew 19:29.—V. g.

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Matthew 19:22. Λυπούμενος, grieved) sc. because he could not at the same time both retain his wealth and follow Jesus. Obedience would have absorbed grief.—κτήματα, possessions) sc. immoveable goods; cf. sell in Matthew 19:21. These are referred to in the lands spoken of in Matthew 19:29.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:23. Δυσκόλως, with difficulty) This young man, when he had his foot already on the threshold, withdrew it on account of his riches. It is difficult for a rich man to relinquish all things.[874]

[874] Nay, it is not even readily that he thinks of the subject of obtaining eternal life at all.—V. g.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Matthew 19:24. Κάμηλον, a camel) i.e. the animal of that name; cf. ch. Matthew 23:24. It is not a rope[875] that is compared to a thread, but the eye of a needle to a gate.

[875] Bengel alludes to a reading which is evidently corrupt, and an interpretation which is manifestly erroneous. “Some ancient and modern commentators,” says Bloomfield, “would read κάμιλον, a cable, rope; or take κάμηλον in that sense. But for the former there is little or no manuscript authority, and for the latter, no support from the usus loquendi.” For interesting illustrations of the subject, too long to insert, see Kitto, and Wordsworth, in loc.—(I. B.)

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
Matthew 19:25. Ἀκούσαντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ, κ.τ.λ., but when His disciples heard it, etc.) Scripture everywhere shows a middle path between excessive confidence and excessive timidity. See Matthew 19:26; Matthew 19:28; Matthew 19:30; 1 Peter 5:7, compared with 6, 8.—τίς ἄρα, κ.τ.λ., who then, etc.) The disciples were anxious, either for themselves, lest other obstacles should equally impede them, or because they entertained the hope of acquiring wealth (see Matthew 19:27), or else for others: which fear is far more laudable. Cf. Revelation 5:4.

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26. Ἑμβλέψας, having looked upon) in order to fix the thoughts of the terrified disciples. Jesus taught many things even by His look and by the expression of His countenance. This look first moved Matthew, once a publican.—εἶπεν, said) with the greatest sweetness.—ἀδύνατον, impossible) more even than morally impossible.—πάντα, all things) Therefore even this. The Divine omnipotence is seen, not only in the kingdom of nature, but in those also of grace and glory. That power is more than human by which the human heart is led away from earthly things. The cause of the rich may be pleaded with the greatest, effect by the poor and the scrupulous.[876]—δυνατά, possible) as each of the elect will know.

[876] In the original, “timoratos.” In illustration and explanation of this barbarous word, the following extract will not be unwelcome:—

“TIMORATUS. Wippo de Vita Chunradi Salici, p. 428: In Dei seruitio Timorata, in orationibus et eleemosynis assidua. Gesta Innocentii iii. p. 77: Deuotus et timoratus. Ditmarns lib. 2: Filiam bene Timoratam, etc. Humiliter et Timorate, apud eumdem lib. 3. Fulbertus Carnot. Epist. 40: Haerebam timorate suspensus et expectans, etc. Occurrit non semel: Gallis Timoré, Dei timidus et a lenibus culpis auersus. Timoratus et totus plenus Deo, in Chronico Noualic. apud Murator, to. 2, part. 2, col. 735. Adde p. 2 de Imit. Christi, c. 10, n. 3, etc.” GLOSSARIUM MANUALE AD SCRIPTORES MEDIÆ ET INFIME LATINITATIS ex magnis Glossariis CABOLI DU FRESNE, DOMINI DU CANGE, et CARPENTARII in compendium redactum multisque verbis et dicendi formulis auctum.—Tom. 6, p. 563, b.—(I. B.)

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
Matthew 19:27. Εἷπεν, said) in all simplicity.—ἡμεῖς, we) not like that rich man.—πάντα, all things) His few things are as much all to the workman, as his many things to the satrap.—τί ἄρα ἔσται ἡμῖν; what therefore shall there be for us?) Our Lord replies by ἑκατονταπλασίονα λήψεται, he shall receive an hundredfold, in Matthew 19:29, and δώσω, κ.τ.λ., I will give, etc., in ch. Matthew 20:4; Matthew 20:2; Matthew 20:7, etc.—ἡμῖν, for us) sc. in the kingdom of God.

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:28. Ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, κ.τ.λ., but Jesus said unto them, etc.) Peter had joined together we have left all, and we have followed Thee. Our Lord replies to these things separately; for the latter (Matthew 19:28) was peculiar to the apostles; the former (Matthew 19:29) common to them with others. See Psalm 45:10-11.—ὑμεῖςκαὶ ὑμεῖς, ye—ye also) sc. you Twelve.—ἐν τῇ παλιγγενεσίᾳ, in the regeneration) This is to be construed with the following, not the preceding words: for the following after Jesus is usually mentioned alone, without this addition: by which the time of the session, which is immediately spoken of, is suitably marked. There will be a new creation, over which the second Adam will preside, when the whole microcosm of human nature, by means of the resurrection, and also the macrocosm of the universe, will be born again (genesin iteratam habebit). Cf. Acts 3:21; Revelation 21:5; Matthew 26:29.—Regeneration (παλιγγενεσία) and renovation (ἀνακαίνωσις) are joined together in Titus 3:5.—Then we shall be sons; see Luke 20:36; Romans 8:23; 1 John 3:2.—καθίσεσθε, ye shall sit) The middle voice is used in the case of the disciples, the active, καθίσῃ, in that of the Lord. At the beginning of the judgment the disciples will stand; see Luke 21:36; 2 Corinthians 5:10; afterwards, having been absolved from all charges against them, they will sit with Him; see 1 Corinthians 6:2.—θρόνους, thrones) Another has taken the throne of Judas; see Acts 1:20. Concerning the thrones, cf. Revelation 20:4.—κρίνοντες, judging) In the time of the Judges there was a theocracy, concerning which see my exposition of the Apocalypse, p. 553. Thus, in the first millennium, restored Israel, its enemies having been destroyed, will have judges again; see Isaiah 1:26. The promise, however, given to the apostles, refers to a still more distant period.—δώδεκα, twelve) The number of princes in Numbers 8:2, etc., and of apostles in Revelation 21:12; Revelation 21:14, corresponds with that of the tribes of Israel.—φυλὰς, κ.τ.λ., tribes, etc.) to which the apostles had, in the first instance, been sent.

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Matthew 19:29. Καὶ πᾶς, and every one) Not only apostles, to whom Peters question ought not to have referred exclusively. See 2 Timothy 4:8.—ἀφῆκεν, hath relinquished) If the Lord so command (as in Matthew 4:19), or thus guide by various means.—οἰκίας, houses[877]) This is placed first; cf. concerning it, Matthew 19:21; Matthew 19:27.—St Matthew, in the present instance, and St Mark, in Matthew 10:29, maintain the order of affection in the enumeration of relations, mentioning them by pairs in an ascending scale, lands being placed last; whereas St Luke, in Matthew 18:29, follows the order of time.—ἤ γυναῖκα, or wife) i.e. without breaking the law of Moses; see Matthew 19:9. The singular number of this word (i.e. wife) should be remarked, as an argument against polygamy; for those things of which there can be more than one, brothers, etc., are put in the plural number in this passage. In like manner in Mark 10:29, οἰκία, a house, is also put in the singular number. A man may, indeed, have more than one house, though such is the case of few; but no one dwells in two at the same time, so as to be able to leave them both at once.—ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνοματός ΜΟΥ, on account of My name) sc. on account of confessing and preaching the name of Christ.—ἑκατονταπλασίονα, an hundredfold) i.e. of the same things which are enumerated in this verse; cf. Mark 10:30.—λήψεται, shall receive) sc. in this life: for the future life is an hundredfold, nay, a thousandfold more productive in its returns; see Luke 19:16-17. He shall receive them, however, not as civil or personal possessions; yet he truly shall receive them, as far as the believer needs to do so, and he does so in the person of others, to whom, as a believer, he would especially wish them to belong; cf. Matthew 5:5 : Acts 4:35; 1 Corinthians 3:22.—The ungodly are usurpers; the right of possession belongs to God and His heirs; they receive as much as is expedient for them. The word λήψεται (shall receive) agrees rather with the notion of hire or wages: but κληρονομήσει (shall inherit) implies something far more abundant. Scripture speaks more expressly and copiously of temporal punishments than of temporal rewards, and of eternal rewards than of eternal punishments.—ζωὴν, life) see Matthew 19:16-17.

[877] Beng., in his Appar. Crit. on this passage, p. 482, had considered the singular, οἰκίαν, had been derived from the parallel passages in the other Gospels. Hence also in the Gnomon (Ed. ii., p. 128) he preferred the plural number. But in the smaller Ed. of N. T. Gr., A.D. 1753, he changed his opinion, and gave the superiority to the singular, οἰκίαν, by appending the sign β, and with this the Germ. vers. of the passage subsequently corresponds. In this view, the observation in the Gnomon which immediately follows, has the more force.—E. B.

Tischend, reads ἢ οἰκίας after ἤ ἀηροὺς, with CL Memph., MSS. of Vulg. Origen 1,283c; 3,689a. Lachm., as Rec. Text, reads οἰκίας ἢ before ἀδελφοὺς with BD. The oldest MS. of Vulg. (Amiatinus) reads the sing. ‘domum,’ and puts it before “vel fratres aut sorores.” abcd Hil. also read domum.’ Irenaeus, “agros aut domos aut parentes (ἢ γονεῖς) aut fratres aut filios.” The ἢ οἰκίαν first in the enumeration is probably drawn from Mark 8:29 and Luke 18:29.—ED.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
Matthew 19:30. Πολλοὶ δὲ, but many) in opposition to πᾶς, (every one), in Matthew 19:29. Perhaps also it is hinted that the young man in question would return again, and from being one of the last, become one of the first.—πρῶτοι, first) In the first clause of the verse this word is the subject, as is clear from its attributive, πολλοὶ (many), which absorbs the article; in the latter clause it is the predicate: in ch. Matthew 20:16 the opposite is the case. In the present instance, therefore (since the greatest emphasis is placed on the last clause), the apophthegm is propounded rather by way off encouragement, as in Mark 10:31; whereas in Matthew 20:16 and Luke 13:30, by way of warning. In both cases the assertions are modified by the addition of the attributive πολλὸι, (many), which applies especially to the worse class; for the better contains but few. The “first” and “last” differ; either, (1), in kind, so that the former means those who are saved, the latter those who are lost; or, (2), (which is preferable) in degree, so that the “last” may mean those who are also saved, but who obtain a station far inferior to that of the “first.” F. S. Loefler (p. 106), in his exposition of the following parable, supposes ὡς (as) to be understood here, so as to produce the following meaning; The First shall be AS the Last; and the Last AS the First. Nor is the idea of such an ellipsis in itself objectionable: but this interpretation is irreconcileable with the context in the parallel passages, of St Mark who does not give the subsequent parable, and of St Luke who records this saying when uttered on another occasion. Our Lord intimates particularly the change of relative condition which was to occur between the Jews and the Gentiles.—Cf. ch. Matthew 8:10-12; Luke 13:28-30 (taken in connection with ib. Matthew 19:23-27), and Romans 9:30-31.

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

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