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hideth, and for joy thereof goeth of the world: the angels shall and selleth all that he hath, and come forth, and sever the wickbuyeth that field.

ed from among the just : 45 Again : The kingdom of 50 And shall cast them inheaven is like unto a merchant- to the furnace of fire: there man, seeking goodly pearls; shall be wailing and gnashing

he of

one pearl of great price, went 51 Jesus saith unto them,

and sold all that he had, and Have ye understood all these bought it.

things ? They say unto him, 47 Again : The kingdom of Yea, Lord. heaven is like unto a net, that 52 Then said he unto them, was cast into the sea, and gath- Therefore every scribe which is ered of every kind :

instructed unto the kingdom of 48 Which, when it was full, heaven, is like unto a man that they drew to shore, and sat is a householder, which bringdown, and gathered the good eth forth out of his treasure into vessels, but cast the bad things new and old. away.

53 And it came 49 So shall it be at the end that when Jesus had finished

to pass,

They are preferable to all other ob- the Jews was a person skilled in the jects of regard. Nothing should be Jewish law, and thus qualified to be a allowed to stand in the way of our religious teacher. The Saviour used acquiring them. All things else the word here in the general sense of ought to be sacrificed for their sake. religious teacher, with principal ref

45, 46. The same thought is en- erence to those instructed by himself. forced in these verses as in the pre- | || Instructed unto the kingdom of heuvceding. Every thing ought to be en; taught in respect to the Messiah's given up rather than not to acquire dispensation, or, as we say, the gosthe blessings which the Saviour pro- pel, the religion introduced by the poses.

Saviour. ll Householder; head of a 47–50. The object of the simili. family. || Things new and old. The tude in these verses is substantially Saviour compared a religious teacher the same as in verses 37-43; name. to a head of a family. The head of a ly, the Messiah's dispensation has family provides for the wants of the principal respect to men's condition family, and those wants require vain another world; and the blessings rious articles of food, for instance, which he bestows will be given to new articles as well as old, served up the truly righteous, while the wicked according as the welfare of the famwill be condemned to misery. Underily shall demand. So the religious the dispensation of the Messiah on teacher, appointed and qualified to earth, the good and the bad are min promote the spiritual welfare of men, gled together in society; but there should communicate instruction on will be a separation according to the the various topics connected with recharacter of each. The parable here, ligious improvement, and adapted to it will be perceived, occupies vs. 47, their various states as to subject and 48; the Saviour explains it in vs. 49, manner of teaching. There should 50.

be a mixture of new thoughts and 52. Every scribe. A scribe among old ones; common topics ought to be these parables, he departed not all with us? Whence then thence.

hath this man all these things ? 54 And when he was come 57 And they were offended into his own country, he taught in him. But Jesus said unto them in their synagogue, inso- them, A prophet is not without much that they were astonished, honor, save in his own country, and said, Whence hath this man and in his own house. this wisdom, and these mighty

58 And he did not many works?

mighty works there, because of 55 Is not this the carpenter's their unbelief. son ? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James,

CHAPTER XIV. and Joses, and Simon, and AT that time, Herod the ter

56 And his sisters, are they Jesus; treated, sometimes in this way and through ill-will from various causes, sometimes in that; and without any were induced to reject his claim to affectation of novelty or originality, be the Messiah. His appearance and unusual subjects should sometimes be outward circumstances did not corpresented, and variety be sought in respond to what they thought should order to impress the mind with what belong to such an object of distinction ever truths may appear to be de- as the Messiah, so that they were manded by the spiritual welfare of stumbled in respect to him. | In his the people.

oron country; his native place, place 54. His own country; more strictly, of residence. For the parallel passage, the town in which he was brought up, see Mark 6:1–6. Nazareth. || He taught them in their

Notice, 1. The power of prejudice. synagogue. Mark informs us (6: 2) that this occurred on the Sabbath.

vs. 54–57. 55. Carpenter's son. Mark

2. The importance of being candid

says (6:3), Is not this the carpenter? Jesus in judging, especially of religious probably wrought at the occupation matters. Let us yield to evidence. of his reputed father, Joseph. || His It is no mark of strength of mind, to brethren. See on 1: 25.

persist obstinately in our preconceived 56. Whence then, &c. Such un

notions. common powers as he manifested

3. The disastrous influence of un proved him to be no common person.

belief in hindering the bestowal of And yet such was the family to which blessings on our souls. v. 58. he belonged, and such the outward

How inexcusable in us, to refuse circumstances of himself, that they his having been sent from God, and

belief in Jesus Christ! Evidence of knew not how to account for his being of his religion's being true, has been so intelligent, and endowed with such ability for “ mighty works.”

accumulating age after age, and has 57. They were offended in him. To been increasing in variety and power. be offended in respect to any one, is, The efforts of infidelity have served in scriptural use, to be induced to do to show the firmness of the Christian's

foundation. wrong in respect to him, to commit sin in reference to him, to reject him.

CHAPTER XIV. In him means in respect to him. The inhabitants of Nazareth, by reason of

1. Herod the tetrarch. This was the low state of Jesus' family, and Herod Antipas, son of Herod the 2 And said unto his servants, sake, his brother Philip's wife. This is John the Baptist; he is 4 For John said unto him, risen from the dead ; and there- It is not lawful for thee to have fore mighty works do show forth her. themselves in him.

5 And when he would have 3 For Herod had laid hold put him to death, he feared the on John, and bound him, and multitude, because they counted put him in prison for Herodias' him as a prophet. Great, and own brother to Archelaus. prison. Josephus, the Jewish histo2:22. After the death of his father, rian, relates that John was imprisoned he was appointed to the government in the castle of Machaerus, a town in of Galilee and Perea, that is, the south- Perea, the southern part of the region ern part of the country on the east east of the Jordan. || For Herodias' of the Jordan. He had the title of sake, his brother Philip's wife. The tetrarch. Luke 3:1, 19. 9:7. This Philip here mentioned was not the word originally meant a ruler of a tetrarch of Iturea, mentioned by Luke fourth purt, of a kingdom, for instance; (3:1), but another person, an obscure but it had lost its original signification, son of Herod the Great, who was in and was applied, as occasion required, private life, having been disinheritlike any other general name of office. ed by his father. He is also named On account of Herod's being a ruler, Herod by Josephus. Herodias was a the name king is also applied to him granddaughter of Herod the Great, in the 9th verse, and in Mark 6: 14. and was married to her uncle Philip.

2. His servants. A king's officers She was afterwards induced to abanand courtiers are sometimes called his don Philip and become the wife of his servants. || This is John the Baptist. brother, Herod Antipas. To prepare Herod had a great respect for John the way for this illegal marriage, Herod the Baptist, as an eminently holy man. the tetrarch divorced his former wife, See Mark 6 : 20. But in an evil hour who was a daughter of Aretas, king he had ordered him to be put to death. of Arabia Petrea. Thus there was His conscience, doubtless, made him an unusual complication of guilt in ever after uneasy; and the reports this transaction. Besides the consewhich he now heard respecting Jesus quences here related by Matthew, a as an eminent religious teacher, and as bloody war was also provoked between performing signal miracles, brought Herod and Aretas. his crime afresh to remembrance. 4. It is not lawful. John had not There were prevalent, also, among scrupled to declare Herod’s conduct the Jews, some vague opinions con- as guilty. It is possible that Herod, cerning the resurrection of some dis- after he had accomplished his designs, tinguished prophets, in order to assist consulted John with reference to the in the establishment of the Messiah's marriage, so as to obtain some favorareign. These opinions seem to have ble remark from him that might avail excited in his mind the thought that to prevent the censures of the people. John had been raised from the dead, In some way, it happened that John and that he was now endued with had occasion to express an opinion greater power than before. Compare as to the lawfulness of Herod's proMark 6 : 14–16. Luke 9:7-9. ceedings.

3. Matthew having alluded to the 5. When he would have put him to death of John the Baptist, which had death ; when, or though, he desired to taken place some time before, but put him to death. Ì He feared the which he had not yet mentioned, pro- multitude. He had reason to appreceeded to relate the circumstances hend, from the reverence which the attending that event. Put him in people cherished for John, that they

was

So con

6 But when Herod's birth- and them which sat with him at day was kept, the daughter of meat, he commanded it to be Herodias danced before them, given her. and pleased Herod.

10 And he sent, and behead7 Whereupon he promised, ed John in the prison. with an oath, to give her what. 11 And his head was brought soever she would ask.

in a charger, and given to the 8 And she, being before in- damsel : and she brought it to structed of her mother, said, her mother. Give me here John Baptist's 12 And his disciples came, head in a charger.

and took up the body, and 9 And the king was sorry : buried it, and went and told nevertheless, for the oath's sake, Jesus. might be excited to seditious move- this entertainment, not in Galilee, but ments, if violence exercised in the town of Machaerus. It was towards him.

customary for rulers to have palaces 6. The daughter of Herodias ; Sa- in different parts of their country for lome, the daughter of Philip and He- temporary residence. rodias.

11. No one can fail to be struck 7. Whatsoever she would ask. Mark with the appearance of coarseness and (6: 23) adds, even to the half of my cruelty exhibited in this verse, kingdom.

trary to female delicacy. 8. Before instructed of her mother. Mark relates, that she went out and Topics FOR REFLECTION. 1. No inquired of her mother what she tice the progress of sin. Herod and should ask. || A charger ; a dish, a Herodias became at length stained platter. || John Baptist's. This man with innocent blood. ner of expression seems to imply that 2. Notice the intoxicating nature these two words were the name of of worldly amusements. Feasting and John. The words should have been dancing led the way to the murder rendered John the Baptist ; just as they of John. are in 11: 11.

3. When the fear of man rules, to 9. For the oath's sake. His oath, the exclusion of the fear of God, we however, was a rash one, and surely have no safeguard against crime. ought not to have been regarded, While the fear of man may, in some when it was leading to murder. Nor circumstances, keep us from certain did Herod anticipate so unreasonable crimes (v. 5), it may, in other circuma request. Yet, as he had given his stances, lead us to those very crimes. word, his honor was committed, and v. 10. his guests doubtless contributed their 4. Outward refinement is consiste influence to procure

a compliance ent with the most unbecoming inward with the demand. An undue regard coarseness and cruelty. for them, as well as a false sense of 5. Nothing gives such true purity honor, hardened him, so that he gave and elevation to the character as does the unjustifiable order. SO TRUE it religion. is, that the fear of man bringeth a Prov. 29: 25.

12. His disciples; John's disciples. 10. And he sent. Mark says (6 : Compare 11: 2. || Told Jesus. They 27), he sent immediately. The whole knew he would sympathize with them, account implies that the order was and that he had a high esteem for John. immediately executed. This leads to Mark (6: 21—29) gives the parallel the belief, that Herod was holding passage.

4

snare.

was

a

13 When Jesus heard of it, go into the villages, and buy he departed thence by ship into themselves victuals. a desert place, apart: and when 16 But Jesus said unto theni, the people had heard thereof, they They need not depart; give ye, followed him on foot out of the them to eat. cities.

17 And they say unto him, 14 And Jesus went forth, We have here but five loaves, and saw a great multitude, and and two fishes.

moved with compassion 18 He said, Bring them hithtoward them, and he healed er to me. their sick.

19 And he commanded the 15 And when it was evening, multitude to sit down on the his disciples came to him, say- grass, and took the five loaves ing, This is a desert place, and and the two fishes, and looking the time is now past; send the up to heaven, he blessed, and multitude away, that they may brake, and gave the loaves to

13. He departed thence. This is named Julias) on the east of the sea, here stated in immediate connection as well as one on the west. Jesus with Jesus'having heard of John's went “ by ship,” in a boat. A great being put to death. Jesus may have concourse went“ on foot.” || Into a thought it prudent to retire awhile desert place; a thinly-settled place. from public notice, lest the common See on 3:1. people, excited by the murder of John, 14. Jesus went forth, and savo might inake commotion against Herod, greut multitude. By comparing John and tumultuously set up himself as 6:3–5, it will appear, that Jesus had their king. The mass of the people retired with his disciples to a mounwere doubtless ready for any such tain; and afterwards, he turned his atmovement. They understood not the tention to the multitude. true nature of Jesus' object; and 17. Loaves. The bread used in Jesus carefully avoided giving them Palestine did not correspond to our any occasion for making civil disturb- loaves. The word cakes, or biscuits, If this was

reason for would agree better with the kind of Jesus' retiring at this time, Mark bread. These cakes were made round, (6:30, 31) suggests still another. A 66 and were nine or ten inches in comparison of the passage just men- diameter. The unleavened cakes tioned, and of Luke 9: 10, with the were not thicker than a knife, but the one under consideration, shows, that leavened were as thick as a man is just at this time, the twelve apos- little finger. The bread was not cut tles returned from their mission (10: with a knife, but broken.” 5); and Jesus wished to take them 19. To sit down. The word in the aside with himself for obtaining sea- original signifies tò recline, in conformsonable rest from their labors, and ity with the custom then prevalent of doubtless for further instruction and placing the body in a recumbent posspiritual improvement. A comparison iure, when about to take a meal. of this passage in Matthew with John From Luke 9: 14, 15, we learn that 6:1, shows, that Jesus retired to the the people were arranged in compaeastern shore of lake Tiberias, that is, nies of ffty ; Mark says mure particuthe sea of Galilee. From Luke, also larly (6: 40), they were arranged in (9: 10), we learn more particularly that companies, some of fifty and some of he went to the vicinity of Bethsaida. a hundred. ll He blessed; he blessed There was a town of this name (also God for the food.

ances.

one

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