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t Mark ix. 50.
Luke xiv. 34, 85.
are the salt of the earth : but tif the salt have lost his sa-
. ii. 15. that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 v Neither do men
v Mark iv. 21.
Luke viii. 16:
water by means of salt (2 Kings ii. 20), be teachers and guides to others. But and the ordinary use of salt for culinary we must not from this suppose that our purposes is to prevent putrefaction: so Lord denies all repentance to those who (see Gen. xviii. 23—33) are the righteous, have thus fallen : the scope of His saying the people of God, in this corrupt world. must be taken into account, which is not
It hardly seems necessary to find to crush the fallen, but to quicken the instances of the actual occurrence of salt sense of duty, and cause His disciples to losing its savour, for this is merely hypo- walk worthily of their calling. (See Heb. thetical. Yet it is perhaps worth noticing, vi. 4-6, and note on Mark ix. 49, 50.) that Maundrell, in his travels, found salt in
The salt in the sacrifice is the the Valley of Salt, near Gehul, which had type of God's covenant of sanctification, the appearance, but not the taste, having whereby this earth shall be again hallowed lost it by exposure to the elements (see for Him: His people are the instruments, the citation below);-and that Schöttgen in His hand, of this wholesome salting: all maintains that a kind of bitumen from the His servants in general, but the teachers Dead Sea was called 'salt of Sodom,' and and ministers of His covenant in particular. was used to sprinkle the sacrifices in the There does not appear to be any allusion temple; which salt was used, when its to ecclesiastical excommunication. savour was gone, to strew the temple pave- 14. the light of the world] And yet only ment, that the priests might not slip. This, in a lower and derivative sense ; Christ however, is but poorly made out by him. Himself being " the true light which lightDr. Thomson, The Land and the Book,' eth every man,” John i. 9; "the light of p. 381, mentions a case which came under the world,” viii. 12. His ministers are his own observation : where a merchant of "candles,” John v. 35, and “lights,” Phil. Sidon had stored up a quantity of salt in ii. 15, receiving their light, and only burncottages with earthern floors, in conse- ing for a time : lights lighted, whereas He quence of which the salt was spoiled, and is the Light lighting, as Augustine. And Dr. T. saw “large quantities of it literally here too, light in this verse = candle in. thrown into the street, to be trodden under ver. 15, where the comparison is resumed. foot of men and beasts.” He adds, “ It is So also Eph. v. 8:- light, as partaking of a well-known fact that the salt of this His Light : for every thing lighted (see country, when in contact with the ground, note, ib. ver. 13) is light. cannot or exposed to rain and sun, does become be hid] Of course it is possible that insipid and useless. From the manner in our Lord may have had some town before which it is gathered, much earth and Him thus situated, but not Bethulia, other impurities are necessarily collected whose very existence is probably fabuwith it. Not a little of it is so impure lous, being only mentioned in the apocry. that it cannot be used at all: and such phal book of Judith. Recent travellers, salt soon effloresces and turns to dust-- as Dr. Stanley and Thomson (Sinai and not to fruitful soil, however. It is not only Palestine, p. 429: The Land and the Book, good for nothing itself, but it actually de- p. 273), have thought that, notwithstandstroys all fertility wherever it is thrown: ing the fact shewn by Robinson, that the and this is the reason why it is cast into actual city of Safed was not in existence the street." the earth means man- at this time, some ancient portion of it, kind, and all creation : but with a more at all events its fortress, which is as aged inward reference, as to the working of the in appearance as the most celebrated ruins salt, than in “the world,” ver. 14, where in the country' (Thomson), may have been the light is something outwardly shewn. before the eye of our Lord as He spoke.
shall it be salted] it, i. e. It is ‘placed high on a bold spur of the the salt. The sense is : If you become Galilæan Anti-Lebanon,' and answers well untrue to your high calling, and spiritually to the description of a city • lying on the effete and corrupted, there are no ordinary mountain top.' "The only other in view means by which you can be re-converted would be the village and fortress of Tabor, and brought back to your former state, distinctly visible from the mount of Beatiinasmuch as you have no teachers and tudes, though not from the hills on the guides over you, but ought yourselves to lake side. Either or both of these would
x Rom. x. 4.
light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candle
stick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. w 1 Pet. ii. 12. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may
your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law,
or the prophets : *I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. y Luke xvi. 17. 18 For verily I say unto you, y Till heaven and earth pass,
one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till suggest the illustration, which would be in His meaning here. I think not: for no more striking from the fact, that this person professing himself to be the Messiah situation of cities on the tops of the hills would be thought to contradict the prois as rare in Galilee, as it is common in phecies, but to fulfil them. Neither, it Judæa.' Stanley, as above. But the appears, does He here allude to the sacri. CHURCH OF GOD, the city on a hill (Isa. ficial and typical parts of the law, but to ii. 2: Gal. iv. 26 : see also Heb. xii. 22), the moral parts of both the law and the in allusion to their present situation, on prophets; which indeed he proceeds to a mountain, is most probably the leading cite and particularize. If however we thought. 15. do men light] literally, prefer to include both ceremonial and do they light: shewing, in the spiritual re- moral in this assertion, we may underference of the parable, that these lights of stand it iu its more general sense, as apthe world are 'lighted' by Him for whose plying, beyond the instances here given, use they are. See above.
to His typical fulfilment of the law, which i.e. like a candle on a candlestick-like could not as yet be unfolded. a city on a hill; not merely, .so . to fulfil] This verb iinplies more than the that,' as our English version seems rather mere fulfilling : it has the sense of filling to imply. By rendering in like man- oat or expanding : i.e. here, giving a ner, the ambiguity will be avoided. The deeper and holier sense to-fulfilling in sense of this verse is as if it were
the spirit, which is nobler than the letter. seeing your good works they may foc.” Theophylact compares the ancient law to a
the latter verb, and not the former, sketch, which the painter does not wipe carrying the purpose of the action. Thus out, but fills in. The gnostic Marcion chathe praise and glory of a well-lighted and racteristically enough maintained that the brilliant feast would be given, not to the Judaizing Christians had altered this verse, lights, but to the master of the house; and that it originally stood,- think yethat I and of a stately city on a hill, not to the came to fulfil, &c.? I came to destroy, not buildings, but to those who built them to fulfil. 18. verily] literally, Amen:
The whole of this division of our equivalent to “truly” in St. Luke, ix. 27; Lord's sermon is addressed to all His fol. xii. 44 ; xxi. 3. jot (Iota) is the Hebrew lowers, not exclusively to the ministers of Jod, the smallest letter in the alphabet: tithis word. All servants of Christ are the tles, literally horns, horn-like projections, salt of the earth, the light of the world are the little turns of the strokes by which (Phil. ii. 15). And all that is here said ap- one Hebrew letter differs from another simiplies to us all. But à fortiori does it apply lartoit. The Rabbinical writings have many in its highest sense, to those who are, among sayings similar in sentiment to this, but Christians, selected to teach and be exam- spoken of the literal written law. It ples; who are as it were the towers and is important to observe in these days how pinnacles of the city, not only not hid, but the Lord here includes the 0. T. and all seen far and wide above the rest.
its unfolding of the divine purposes re17–48.] The SECOND PART OF THE SER- garding Himself, in His teaching of the MON, in which our Lord sets forth His citizens of the kingdom of heaven. I relation, as a lawgiver, to the law of say this, because it is always in contempt Moses, especially as currently interpreted and setting aside of the O. T. that raaccording to the letter only. 17. tionalism has begun. First, its historical I am come] more properly, I came. Ob- truth-then its theocratic dispensation and serve how our Lord, through the whole the types and propliecies connected with sermon, sets forth Himself, in his proceed it, are swept away; so that Christ came to ing forth from God, as truly “ He that was fulfil nothing, and becomes only a teacher to come."
the law, or the pro- or a martyr: and thus the way is paved phets] It is a question whether our Lord for a similar rejection of the N. T.;includes the prophecies, properly so called, beginning with the narratives of the birth
all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, 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 king
and infancy, as theocratic myths—ad. 20 and after, must be taken in the higher vancing to the denial of His miracles- sense, as referring to the spirit and not then attacking the truthfulness of His own the letter : whosoever shall break (have sayings which are grounded on the 0. T. broken), in the sense presently to be laid as a revelation from God—and so finally down. (2) That these least commandleaving us nothing in the Scriptures but, ments refers to one jot or tittle above, as a German writer of this school has ex- and means one of these minute commands pressed it, 'a mythology not so attractive which seem as insignificant, in comparison as that of Greece. That this is the course with the greater, as the jot and tittle in which unbelief has run in Germany, should comparison with great portions of writing. be a pregnant warning to the decriers of (3) That shall be called least does not the 0. T. among ourselves. It should be a mean shall be excluded from, inasmuch maxim for every expositor and every stu- as the question is not of keeping or not dent, that Scripture is a whole, and stands keeping the commandments of God in a or falls together. That this is now begin. legal sense, but of appreciating, and causning to be deeply felt in Germany, we have ing others to appreciate, the import and cheering testimonies in the later editions weight of even the most insignificant parts of their best Commentators, and in the of God's revelation of Himself to man; and valuable work of Stier on the discourses of rather therefore applies to teachers than our Lord. [Since however these words to Christians in general, though to them were first written, we have had lamentable also through the “break” and “do." proof in England, that their warnings (4) That no deduction can be drawn from were not unneeded. The course of unbe. these words, binding the Jewish law, or lief which has issued in the publication of any part of it, as such, upon Christians. the volume entitled “ Essays and Reviews," That this is so, is plainly shewn by what has been in character and progress, exactly follows, where our Lord proceeds to pour that above described : and owing to the upon the letter of the law the fuller light injudicious treatment which has multiplied of the spirit of the Gospel : thus lifting tenfold the circulation of that otherwise and expanding (not destroying) every jot contemptible work, its fallacies are now and tittle of that precursory dispensation in the hands and mouths of thousands, into its full meaning in the life and pracwho, from the low standard of intelligent tice of the Christian ; who, by the inScriptural knowledge among us, will never dwelling of the divine Teacher, God's Holy have the means of answering them. 1862. Spirit, is led into all truth and purity. To this it may now be added, that even a (5) That these words of our Lord are Bishop of the Church of England has come decisive against such persons, whether before the world as a champion of that un. ancient or modern, as would set aside the belief, in its first phase as described above. Old Testament as without significance, or We may hope that his work, judging from inconsistent with the New. See the prethe blunders already detected in the ren- ceding note, and the Book of Cominon derings of Hebrew words on wbich his ar- Prayer, Article vii.
On shall be guments are founded, will soon be added called, see note on ver. 9. 20.] An to the catalogue of attacks by which the expansion of the idea contained in fulfil, enemies of our holy faith have damaged ver. 17, and of the difference between nothing save their own reputation and break, which the Scribes and Pharisees influence. 1863.]
19.] There is did by enforcing the letter to the neglect little difficulty in this verse, if we con- of the spirit--and do and teach, in which sider it in connexion with the verse pre- particulars Christians were to exceed the ceding, to which it is bound by the Pharisees, the punctilious observers, and therefore and the these, and with the fol- the Scribes, the traditional expounders of lowing, to which the for (ver. 20) unites it. the law. righteousness, purity of Bearing this in mind, we see (1) that heart and life, as set forth by example in break, on account of what follows in ver. the doing, and by precept in the teaching.
dom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them ? EXOD: .:7 of old time, 2 Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill
shall be in danger of the judgment : 22 but I say unto you,
The whole of the rest of our Lord's sermon and the expositions of the Scribes. is a comment on, and illustration of, the by them of old time] In this case, Moses assertion in this verse. scribes] Per- and his traditional expounders are classed sons devoted to the work of reading and together; but the words may also be renexpounding the law, whose office seems dered, 'to the ancients,'— which last interfirst to have become frequent after the pretation seems to me to be certainly the return from Babylon. They generally ap- right one. Meyer has well observed that pear in the N. T. in connexion with the “ it was said to them of old time” correPharisees : but it appears from Acts xxiii. 9, sponds to “but I say to you,” and the that there were Scribes attached to the “I” to the understood subject of “was other sects also. In Matt. xxi. 15, they said.” He has not, however, apprehended appear with the chief priests; but it is in the deeper truth which underlies the omis. the temple, where (see also Luke xx. 1) sion of the subject of was said, that it was they acted as a sort of police. In the de- the same person who said both. It will scription of the assembling of the great be noticed that our Lord does not here Sanhedrim (Matt. xxvi. 3: Mark xiv. 53; speak against the abuse of the law by xv. 1) we find it composed of chief priests, tradition, but that every instance here elders, and Scribes : and in Luke xxii. 66, given is either from the law itself, or such of chief priests and Scribes. The Scribes traditional teaching as was in accordance uniformly opposed themselves to our Lord; with it (e. g. the latter part of this verse is watching Him to find matter of accusa- only a formal expansion of the former). tion, Luke vi. 7; xi. 53, 54; perverting The contrasts here are not between the His sayings, Matt. ix. 3, and His actions, law misunderstood and the law rightly unLuke v. 30 ; xv. 2; seeking to entangle derstood, but between the law and its Him by questions, Matt. xxii. 35 (see note ancient exposition, which in their letter, there); Luke x. 25; xx. 21; and to em- and as given, were empty,--and the same barrass Him, Matt. xii. 38. Their aut as spiritualized, fulfilled, by Christ: not berity as expounders of the law is recognized tween two lawgivers, Moses and Christ, but by our Lord Himself, Matt. xxiii. 1, 2; between they of old time and you ; between their adherence to the oral traditionary (the idea is Chrysostom's) the children by the exposition proved, Matt. xv. 1 ff. ; the re- same husband, of the bondwoman and of the spect in which they were held by the people freewoman. The above remarks comprise shewn, Luke xx. 46; their existence in- a brief answer to the important but somedicated not only in Jerusalem, but also in what misapprehended question, whether Galilee, Luke v. 17,--and in Rome, Jo- our Lord impugned the Mosaic law itself, sephus, Antt. xviii. 3.5. They kept schools or only its inadequate interpretation by and auditories for teaching the youth, the Jewish teachers ? There is no incon. Luke ii. 46; Acts v. 34, compared with sistency in the above view with the asxxii. 3; are called by Josephus expounders sertion in ver. 19: the just and holy and of our patriarchal laws, Antt. xvii. 6. 2; true law
was necessarily restricted in sophists, B. J. i. 33. 2. The literal ren- meaning and degraded in position, until dering is “shall abound more than the He came, whose office it was to fulfil and Scribes and Pharisees," i.e. more than glorify it. the judgment] viz. the that of the S. and P. Notice, that not courts in every city, ordered Deut. xvi. 18, only the hypocrites among the Scribes and explained by Josephus Antt. iv. 8. 14 and Pharisees are here meant; but the to consist of seven men, and to have the declaration is, “ Your righteousness must power of life and death. But “the judg. be of a higher order than any yet attained, ment” in the next verse (see note) is the or conceived, by Scribe or Pharisee.” court of judgment in the Messiah's kingye shall in no case enter, &c.] A very dom. 22.] The sense is : • There usual formula (see ch. vii. 21 ; xviii. 3; were among the Jews three well-known xix. 17, 23, 24: John iii. 5 al.); implying degrees of guilt, coming respectively under exclusion from the blessings of the Chris- the cognizance of the local and the supreme tian state, and from the inheritance of courts; and after these is set the Gehenna eternal life. 21 -48.] Six examples of fire, the end of the malefactor, whose of the true FULFILMENT of the law by corpse, thrown out into the valley of HinJesus.-FIRST EXAMPLE. The law of nom, was devoured by the worm or the murder. 21. Ye have heard] viz. by flame. Similarly, in the spiritual king. the reading of the law in the synagogues, dom of Christ, shall the sins even of
a 1 John iii. 15.
fellow : see
That whosoever is angry with his brother (w without a cause] shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the bli li mein council: but whosoever shall say, * Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring 'thy gift to ceb.wile the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 d Agree with thine ad-o luke xii. 58,
w omitted by some of the oldest MSS. Jerome pronounces the words spurious: but the ancient authorities are much divided.
Y render, Moreh. thought and word be brought into judg- rendered " Gehenna,” Josh xviii. 16 LXX. ment and punished, each according to its In this valley (also called Tophet, Isa. xxx. degree of guilt, but even the least of them 33: Jer. vii. 31) did the idolatrous Jews before no less a tribunal than the judg. burn their children to Moloch, and Josiah ment-seat of Christ.' The most important (2 Kings xxiii. 10) therefore polluted it; thing to keep in mind is, that there is no and thenceforward it was the place for the distinction of kind between these punish- casting out and burning all offal, and the ments, only of degree. In the thing com- corpses of criminals; and therefore its pared, the "judgment” inflicted death by name, “the Gehenna of fire,” was used to the sword, the “council" death by stoning, signify the place of everlasting punishment. and the disgrace of the “Gehenna of fire" 23 f. Therefore] An inference from followed as an intensification of the horrors the guilt and danger of all bitterness and of death; but the punishment is one and hostility of mind towards another declared the same-death. So also in the subject in the preceding verse. thy gift, is any of the similitude, all the punishments are kind of gift-sacrificial or eucharistic. spiritual ; all result in eternal death ; but hath ought against thee is remarkable, as with various degrees (the nature of which being purposely substituted for the con. is as yet hidden from us), as the degrees of verse. It is not what complaints we have guilt have been. So that the distinction against others that we are to consider at drawn by the Romanists between renial such a time, but what they have against and mortal sins, finds not only no coun- us; not what ground we have given for tenance, but direct confutation from this complaint, but what complaints they, as passage. The words here mentioned must
matter of fact, make against us.-See the not be superstitiously supposed to have any other side dealt with, Mark xi. 25. damping power in themselves (see below), 24.] be reconciled : i.e. become reconciled but to represent states of anger and hos- thyself, without being influenced by the tility, for which an awful account hereafter status of the other towards thee. Remove must be given. Raca] i.e. empty; a the offence, and make friendly overtures term denoting contempt, and answering to to thy brother. first belongs to "go thy “O vain man," James ii. 20. Moreh] way," not to “be reconciled :" “first go Two interpretations have been given of this thy way" is opposed to “then come,” the word. Either it is (1), as usually under departure to the return, not “ be reconstood, a Greek word, Thou fool,' and used ciled to “ offer.” No conclusion what. by our Lord Himself of the Scribes and ever can be drawn from this verse as to the Pharisees, ch. xxiii, 17, 19,—and "fools” admissibility of the term altar as applied (literally “senseless") of the disciples, Luke to the Lord's table under the Christian xxiv. 25; or (2) a Hebrew word signifying system. The whole language is Jewish, 'rebel,' and the very word for uttering which and can only be understood of Jewish rites. Moses and Aaron were debarred from en- The command, of course, applies in full tering the land of promise: . . . Hear force as to reconciliation before the Chris. now, ye rebels,' Num. xx. 10.
tian offering of praise and thanksgiving in sence of this doubt, it is best to leave the Holy Communion; but further nothing the word untranslated, was done can be inferred. 25.] The whole of with Raca before. hellfire] more this verse is the earthly example of a spiproperly, the Gehenna of fire. To the ritual duty which is understood, and runs S.E. of Jerusalem was a deep and fertile parallel with it. The sense may be given : valley, called the vale of Hinnom' and . As in worldly affairs, it is prudent to