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Mat.xvï.25. He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Capernaum.
Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Si-
tribute ? of their own children, or of strangers ?
him, Then are the children free.
to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first
LUKE ix. 47-50.
to all mankind, quietly to submit to all the laws and customs of
Jones (c) considers this as another significant action, and
Dr. Owen (apud Bowyer, p. 103.) has justly observed that the omission of our translators to mark the difference between the didracbma, v. 24. and the stater, v. 27. has obscured and enervated the whole account. The stater was equal in value to the didrachma, which was equivalent to the hair shekel demanded (d) (Exod. xxx. 11–16. and xxxviii. 25-28.) for the service of the temple.
(a) Lightfoot, vol. ii. p. 212. (b) Whitby in loc. (c) Jones' Figurative Language of Scriptnre. id. See on this subject Elsley in loc. Lightfoot ut supra, and Schoetgen's Remarks on Lightfoot, Horæ Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 151.
26 The ambitious dispute of the disciples concerning their precedency in the kingdom of heaven, proves that not even the repeated predictions of our Saviour's sufferings and death could banish from the minds of his followers their preconceived ideas respecting the Messiah's kingdom. To correct this prevailing error, our Saviour now resorts to a different mode of unde
Mat. xviii.l. came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest Capernaum.
in the kingdom of heaven?
ceiving them. He places a little child before them, assuring
The reason, Michaelis observes on this conversation, why ap-
St. Matthew says, At that time came the disciples to Jesus, and said, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven ?St. Mark, on the contrary, He came to Capernaum, and having entered into an house, he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace; for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. According to St. Matthew, the disciples themselves lay the subject of their dispnte before Jesus, for his decision : but, according to St. Mark, they even refuse to relate the subject of their dispute, though Jesus requested it, because they were conscious to themselves that it would occasion a reproof. The questien is, how these accounts are to be reconciled.
Without entering into the various solutions which have been given by the commentators, I shall only observc, that, as this transaction relates to a matter of dispute among the disciples, it has of course two different sides, and therefore capable of two different representations. Some of the disciples laid claim to the title of the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, among whom wo may probably reckon Peter, with the two sons of Zebedee, James and John. These could hardly expect to escape a reproof, and were undoubtedly ashamed, when questioned as to the subject of their dispute. Other disciples, on the contrary, may be considered as the party attacked, wbo, without claiming the first rank for themselves, might yet think it unjust to be treated as inferiors, since they all appeared to be equal. The latter had less reason to fear a reproof, since the pure morality of Christ, which teaches that every action must be estimated by the motives which gave it birth, was not then fully understood by his disciples. In their outward behaviour, at least, there was nothing unreasonable, and, without being guilty of a breach of propriety, they might lay their complaints before their Master, and request his decision. It is probable that St. Matthew was of this party, since a man, who was by profession a tax-gatherer, and never particularly distinguished himself among the Apostles, would have hardly supposed that he should become the first in the kingdom of God. He relates
Mark ix. 33. and he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among Capernaum.
yourselves by the way?
puted among themselves, who should be the greatest.
any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all,
and servant of all. Mat.xviii.2. And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in
the midst of them. Luke ix. 47. by him, Mark ix. 36. in the midst of them: and when he had taken bim in his
arms, he said unto them, Mat.xviii.3. Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and be
come as little children, ye shall not enter into the king
dom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little
name receiveth me.
the transaction, therefore, as one of that party to which he
Some of the disciples, who were of the diffident party, and
Markix. 37. and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but Capernaum.
him that sent me: Lake ix. 48. for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. Mark ix. 38. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one
casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us :
and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39. But Jesus said, Forbid him not :
for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name,
that can lightly speak evil of me.
because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he
shall not lose his reward.
believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were
depth of the sea.
needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by
whom the offence cometh.
off, and cast them from thee :
enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into
hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched :
thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast
be quenched :
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out:
eyes to be cast into hell-fire :
crifice shall be salted with salt.
27 This is one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament. Beza and Mr. Gilpin suppose it to inean, every Christian is purified by the difficult or fiery trials of liso, in the same manner as (kai for us, as in John xiv, 20. and Mark x. 12.) every sacrifice is salted with salt.
Macknight would road, “ Every Christian is salted and prepared Tvpi for the fire, (in the dative, as 2 Pet. iii. 7.) i. e. by the apostles for the fire of the altar, i. e, as an holy sacrifice to God.
Whitby would render in this manner, “ Every wicked man shall be so seasoned by the fire itself, as to become unconsumable ; and sball endure for ever to be tormented."
Mark ix.50. Salt is good, but if the salt have lost his saltness, Capernaam.
wherewith will you season it? Have salt in yourselves,
and have peace one with another. Matt. xviii. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones ;
10. for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always
behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and
which is gone astray?
rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine
that went not astray.
heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
and tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he
shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the
unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall
Grotius, “Every wicked man shall be consumed, like the whole burnt sacrifice, yet with unquenchable fire.".
Lightfoot and Doddridge, “He that is a true sacrifice to God shall be seasoned with the salt of grace, to the incorruption of glory; and every victim to divine justice shall be salted with fire, to endure for ever.”
Clarke, in his Paraphrase, thus interprets this verse, “ For as every burnt offering under the law was first salted with salt, and then consumed by fire; so every one who has been instruct. ed in the doctrine of the Gospel, if when he is tried, he shall be found deficient, or not seasoned, he shall be destroyed by the eternal fire of the divine wrath." And he then observes, in a note from Le Clerc, that the emphasis of the comparison lies in the ambiguity of the word n bo', which signifies both, shall be salted, and shall be destroyed. As every sacrifice is salted, nype, with salt, so every apostate shall be destroyed, abra', (in the other signification or ihe word) with fire.
Schoetgen supposes that an allusion is made to the salt, or
Schoetgen, Hor. Heb, vol. i. p. 249. Elsley, and Clarke's