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Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing ? 26 Consider the birds of the air: They sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of much greater value than they? 27 And which of you, by his solicitude, can add one single cubit to his stature?
As for clothing, why should you be solicitous about that? Behold the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. 29 And yet I say to you, that Solomon himself, in all his magnificence, was not clothed like one of these. 30 Now if God thus clothes the flowers of the field, which to-day are, and to-morrow are thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O distrustful men ? 31 Be not solicitous therefore, and say not, What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or with what shall we be clothed ?
ver. 26. Job xxxix. 3, 29. Ps. civ. 27, 28. cxlv. 15. cxlvii. 9. Luke xii. 24. v. 27. Luke xii. 25, 26. v. 28. Luke xii. 27, 28.
Your life.] Gr. Your soul. This is a Hebrew expression, very frequent in the sacred writings. See Exod. xxi. 23. Deut. xix. 21, &c.
Is not life, &c.] i. e. He that gave you life and being, will never fail to bestow upon you such things as are necessary for the support and preservation of it. This is an argument a majori ad minus.
v. 26. Of the air.] Gr. Of the heaven. Jesus Christ cannot by any means be supposed to countenance here idleness and negligence : his whole design, in these words, being to recommend trust in God's providence, and calmness of mind, while we are employed in our several callings, and improve all those means which God hath set before us. Compare Prov. vi. 6.
v. 27. Can add, &c.] See Luke xii. 25, 26.
v. 28. The lilies.] We must understand by this word, all sorts of flowers, according to the style of the Seventy. Compare the Hebrews and the LXX. in the following passages, Exod. xxv. 33, 34. Numb. viii. 4. Isa. xxxv. 1. See preface to the introduction, p. 14.
v. 29. Magnificence.) Gr. Glory. See Isa. lii. 1. where what is rendered beautiful garments, is in the Hebrew, garments of glory. It is the same as Esther v. 1. To put on the kingdom, that is, royal apparel. See Isa, iii. 18. Luke vii. 5.
v. 30. O distrustful men.] Gr. O ye of little faith. The word faith bere, and in the like places, is to be understood of trust or reliance,
32 For they are the heathens which seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows, that they are necessary for you. 33 But seek in the first place the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be over and above supplied to you. 34. Be not therefore solicitous for the morrow, for the morrow shall take care of the things of itself, Sufficient to each day is the trouble thereof.
v. 32. Ps. xxvii. 18, 19, 25. xxxiv. 9, 10, 1 Kings iii. 11, 12, 13. Luke xii. 13. Mark x. 30. V. 34. Matt. vi. 11. Exod. xvi. 15, 20.
v. 32. The heathens.] i. e. the unbelievers in general.
Which seek.] The seeking after earthly advantages condemned here, is that which is accompanied with anxiousness and fear of being in want. (See ver. 25.) That which proceeds from the love of this world, and want of reliance on God, for such can only be applied to persons destitute of faith, ver. 30.
v. 33. The kingdom of God.] i, e. True religion, the advantages of the kingdom of God. Rom. xiv. 17. The treasures mentioned, ver. 20. compare i Kings iii. 11, 12.
His righteousness.] See ch. v. 6. That is particularly, the performance of God's commandments, as they have been illustrated and explained by Jesus Christ, and not as they were understood by the Pharisees, Matt. v. 20, 48.
Over and above.] i. e. The goods of this world ought not to be looked upon by Christians as true and essential advantages. They should make a good use of them, if God thinks proper to bless tbem therewith, 1 Tim. iv. 8. But if not, their duty is to be satisfied with their own portion, whatever it is, being possessed with spiritual goods, and hoping for those that are eternal, Heb. xi. 10, 13, 16, 17.
v. 34. For the morrow.) i. e. For the time to come in general ; for the Hebrews use this word to denote any time to come, though at a considerable distance. See Exod. xii. 14. Josh iv. 6. in which places the word is Mahar, i. e. the morrow, though it was not really so. See ver. 11. of this chapter. This expression was also in use among the Greeks.
The trouble.] The Gr. word kakia, which properly denotes wickedness, signifies here evil, or punishment, as in Eccles. xii. 1. according to the LXX.
Not to judge others, 1-5. Not to expose holy things,
6 Efficacy of prayer, 7–11. To treat others as we would be treated, 12. Narrow gate, 13, 14. Characters of true and false prophets, and of true and false Christians, 15—23.
Tó build on rock, 24-27. Doctrine of Jesus Christ admired, 28, 29.
1 JUDGE not, that you be not judged. 2 For in the same manner as you judge, shall you be judged ; and the same measure you use to others, shall be made use of to you. 3 Why do you see a mote in our brother's eye, and perceive not a beam in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother: Let me take the mote out of your eye, whilst there is a beam in your own? 5 Hypocrite, take first the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the mole out of your brother's.
ver. 1, 2. Mark iv. 24. Luke iv. 37, 38. xvi. 15. xviii. 9, 11. Rom. ii. 1. xiv. 3, 4, 10, 13. 1 Cor. iv, 3, 4, 5. xiii. 7. Gal. vi. 1. Jam. ii. 13. iii. 1, 2. iv. 11, 12. Prov. x. 12. v. 3. Luke vi. 41, 42.
v. Judge not.] This is to be understood of those rash and censo. rious judgments, whereby we disapprove and condemn people's actions. See Luke vi. 37. Jesus Christ forbids here not only rashness, 1 Cor. iv. 5. but also severity and rigour in judging of others ; for judgment is sometimes opposed to mercy.
See Jam. ii. 13. and compare Jam. iv. 11, 12.
v. 2. And the same measure.] Gr. And with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again. This is a proverbial expression, much in vogue among the Jews; it occurs in the Chaldee paraphrase on Gen. xxxviii. 25, 26. and Isa. xxvii. 8.
v. 3. Do you see.] To see here, signifies not only to be acquainted with other people's faults but to pry into them, with a design to censure and reprove them.
A motema beam-] These were also proverbial expressions, formerly in use among the Jews. They are to be found in their ancient writings, where a mote signifies, as it doth here, a small and inconsiderable failing, and a beam, great and enormous crimes.
v. 4. Or how can you say.] Gr. Say you. We have given the sense of this passage, which is, How can you have the confidence to say, &c.
6 Give not holy things to dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turning against you, tear you in pieces.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. 8 For whosoever asks, shall receive; whosoever seeks, shall find; and to hin that knocks, it shall be opened. 9 Is there a man among you, that would give his son a stone, if he asks him for bread ? 10 Or, that would give him a serpent, if he asks for a fish? 11 If therefore you, wicked as you are, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will
ver. 6. Matt. x. 11, 14. xi. 25. Acts xiii. 45, 46. Phil. iii. 2. Prov. ix. 7. v. 7. Matt. xxi. 22. Mark xi. 24. Luke xi. 9. xviii. 1. John xiv. 13. xv. 7. xvi. 23, 24. Jam. i. 5, 6. 1 John iii. 22. Ps. cxviii. 5. 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9. Heb. iv. 16. Gen. x.xxii. 26, 27. v. 9, 10. Luke xi. 11. v. 11. Luke xi. 13. Heb. xi. 10.
v. 6. Give not, &c.] The dogs and swine, here mentioned, are obsti. nate opposers of the doctrine of the gospel, who despise and reject it; and who, instead of embracing truth, load with scoffs and reproaches those by whom it is proposed. There is a like maxim in the Thalmu. dical writings, Do not cast pearls before swine ; to which this is added by way of explanation, Do not offer wisdom to one that knows not the price of it. This was the reason why Jesus Christ taught in parables. Compare Acts xiii. 45, 46. and the parallel places.
v. 8. For whosoever, &c.] In these words Jesus Christ teaches us, that God grants us always our requests, provided we observe these two conditions, that is. 1. Provided we ask aright, and 2. Pray for what is agreeable to his will. See 1 John v. 14. and the parallel places. Compare John ix. 31.
v. 11. Wicked as you are.] It may seem somewhat strange, that Jesus Christ should speak thus to his disciples, whom he had called before the salt of the earth, and the light of the world, because they were in duty bound to be so ; for they certainly were good and virtuous men, Matt. v. 1, 13, 14. These words therefore, wicked as you are, are to be understood of them, as compared with God, who is a being of infinite holiness and purity.
Good things.] i. e. The true goods, Luke xi. 13. The gifts of the Holy Ghost ; whatever in general is proper and necessary for them, and will prove to them a real good.
your Father, who is in heaven, give good things to those that ask them of him ?
12 Deal in all things by other men as you are willing they should deal by you, for this is the law and the prophets.
13 Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate, which leads to destruction is wide, and the way spacious, and many there that
therein. 14 Whereas the gate which leads to life is narrow, and the way difficult; and there are but few that find it.
15 Take care of false prophets. They come to you in the garb of sheep, but within they are ravenous wolves. 16 You shall know them by their fruits. Are
ver. 12. Luke vi. 31. Tobit iv. 19. Matt. xxii. 39, 40. Rom. xiii. 8, 10. Gal. v. 14. 1 Tim. i. 5. Titus iii. 2, 3. v. 13, 14, Luke xiii. 24. v. 15. Mich. iii, 5. Matt. vii. 22. xxiv. 4, 5, 11, 24. Mark xiii. 22. 2 Pet. ii. 1, 2. 1 John iv. 1. Rom. xvi. 17, 18. 2 Tim. iii. 5. Zecb. xiii. 4. Acts xx, 29, 30. v. 16. Matt. vii. 20, 23. 2 Tim. iii.
v. 12. Deal in all things, &c.] This precept, which contains the rule of natural equity, and justice, and even of charity, was familiar to the Jews, and one of their maxims. See Tobit iv. 16. [The like precept. hath been likewise delivered by several heathen writers, Tevov nãouv og ooi Oéles távtaç. Nilus. Quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri ne feceris, &c. See Grot. in loc.]
For this is the law, &c.] The sum and substance, of all that the law and the prophets have delivered, concerning our duty towards our neighbour. See Rom. xiii. 8. Gal. v. 14.
v. 13. Enter on.] i. e. Strive to enter. See Luke xiii. 24.
The gate wide, the way spacious.] By these figurative expressions our blessed Saviour gives us to understand, how easy it is to enter into destruction, and how hard to procure our own salvation ; intimating at the same time, that the generality of mankind tread in the wide paths of error, and follow their passions, while very few know how to find out truth, and to adhere thereto, notwithstanding all the obstacles and discouragements they meet in their way. Compare Prov. xiv. 12, 13. vii. 27. Ecclesiasticus xxi. 11.
v. 15. In the garb of sheep.] Jesus Christ alludes here to the clothing of the prophets, who were sometimes wont to cover their bodies with sheepskins. See Heb. xi. 37. Meaning thereby those outsides of meekness and piety, which the Pharisees affected to put on. Compare Rom. xvi. 18. 2 Tim. iii. 5.
v. 16. By their fruits.] By their morals and doctrine, 1 John iv. 1. i Cor. xii, 3.