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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MATTHEW 19

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    CHAPTER XIX

    1. Coasts (oria). Better Rev., borders; though it is easy to see how the translation coasts arose, coast being derived from the Latin costa, a side, and hence a border generally, though now applied to the sea-side only.

    3. Tempting. See on Matt. vi. 13.

    For every cause. The temptation turned upon the dispute dividing the two great Rabbinical schools, the one of which (that of Hillel) held that a man might divorce his wife for any reason which rendered her distasteful to him; and the other (that of Shammai) that divorce was allowable only in case of unchastity. The querists would be anxious to know which side Jesus espoused.

    5. Shall cleave (kollhqhsetai). Lit., shall be glued.

    Shall be one flesh (esontai eiv sarka mian). Lit., "into one flesh;" Wyc., two in one flesh.

    6. What (o). Not those. Christ is contemplating, not the individuals, but the unity which God cemented; and so Wyc., that thing that God enjoined; i.e., knit together. The aorist tense (denoting the occurrence of an event at some past time, considered as a momentary act) seems to refer to the original ordinance of God at the creation (ver. 4).

    7. Writing (biblion). Rev., bill. The word is a diminutive of biblov, which originally means the inner bark of the papyrus, used for writing, then a book or roll of this bark; hence a paper, bill.

    8. Because of (prov). Rev., for: having regard to.

    It was not so (ou gegonen outwv). The A.V. is commonly understood to mean, it was not so in the beginning. But that is not Christ's meaning. The verb is in the perfect tense (denoting the continuance of past action or its results down to the present). He means: Notwithstanding Moses' permission, the case has not been so from the beginning until now. The original ordinance has never been abrogated nor superseded, but continues in force.

    9. Except for fornication (mh epi porneia). Lit., not on account of fornication.

    10. The case (aitia). Not the relation of the man to his wife, nor the circumstances, the state of the case. Aijtia refers to cause (ver. 3), and the meaning is, if the matter stands thus with reference to the cause which the man must have for putting away his wife.

    14. Suffer (afete). Lit., leave alone. Compare Mark xiv. 6; xv. 36; Luke xiii. 8. Sir J. Cheke: Let these children alone.

    17. Why callest thou me good? (ti me legeiv agaqon). But the true reading is, ti me ejrwtav peri tou ajgaqou; Why askest thou me concerning the good?

    There is none good but one, that is God (oudeiv agaqov ei uh eiv o Qeov). But the reading is, ei=v ejstin oJ ajgaqov, One there is who is good. The saying of Christ appears especially appropriate in the light of the Rabbinic apothegm, "There is nothing else that is good but the law."

    24. Camel-through a needle's eye (kamhlon dia truphmatov rafidov). See on Mark x. 25; Luke xviii. 25. Compare the Jewish proverb, that a man did not even in his dreams see an elephant pass through the eye of a needle. The reason why the camel was substituted for the elephant was because the proverb was from the Babylonian Talmud, and in Babylon the elephant was common, while in Palestine it was unknown. The Koran has the same figure: "The impious shall find the gates of heaven shut; nor shall he enter there till a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle." Bochart, in his history of the animals of scripture, cites a Talmudic passage: "A needle's eye is not too narrow for two friends, nor is the world wide enough for two enemies." The allusion is not to be explained by reference to a narrow gate called a needle's eye.

    26. This (touto). Not the salvation of rich men, but salvation in general. It is in answer to the question, who can be saved? Man cannot save himself nor his fellow. God only can save him.

    27. We. Emphatic, in contrast with the young ruler.

    28. Have followed. "Peter had said together the words we have left, we have followed. Jesus replies to them separately; for the latter was peculiar to the apostles, the former common to them with others" (Bengel).

    In the regeneration. The final restitution of all things. To be construed with ye shall sit.

    Shall sit (kaqish). Or shall have taken his seat, which brings out more vividly the solemn inauguration of Christ's judgment.

    29. Every one (pav). Compare 2 Tim. iv. 8, "to all them that love his appearing." "Not only apostles, nor ought Peter to have inquired only concerning them" (Bengel). The promise hitherto restricted to the apostles now becomes general.

    A hundred-fold (ekatontaplasiona). But many very high authorities read pollaplasiona, manifold. So Rev. in margin. Compare Mark x. 30, where there is added "houses and brethren," etc. Also the Arabic proverb: "Purchase the next world with this; so shalt thou win both."

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