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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MATTHEW 22

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    CHAPTER XXII

    2. Made a marriage (epoihsen). But the phrase refers to the marriage-feast, rather than to the marriage-ceremony. In Esther ix. 22, the word is used of feasting without any reference to a marriage. Rev., a marriage-feast.

    3. To call them that were bidden (kalesai touv keklhmenouv). Perhaps an unconscious play on the words, lost in both A.V. and Rev., to call the called. This was according to the Oriental custom of sending a messenger, after the invitations have been issued, to notify the invited guests that the entertainment is prepared. Thus Esther invites Haman to a banquet on the morrow, and, at the actual time, the chamberlain comes to bring him to the feast (Esther v. 8; vi. 14).

    4. Dinner (ariston). Not the principal meal of the day, but a noon-breakfast; luncheon.

    Fatlings (sitista). From sitov, corn, grain, or food generally. Properly animals especially fed up or fatted for a feast.

    5. Made light of it (amelhsantev). Not in the sense of jeering. They simply gave it no heed.

    His farm (idion agron). Rev., his own farm; bringing out the contrast between his selfish interest and the respect due to his king. Compare 2 Chronicles xxx. 10.

    7. Armies (strateumata). Not in our grand sense of armies, but troops, soldiers. Compare Luke xxiii. 11, where the word is rendered men of war; Rev., soldiers.

    9. Highways (diexodouv). Literally, the word means a way out through; passage, outlet, thoroughfare. The idea of crossings grows out of the junction of the smaller cross-ways with the trunk roads.

    10. Was furnished (eplhsqh). The Greek is stronger; was filled: so Rev. 11. To see (qeasasqai). Rev., somewhat stiffly, behold; but the idea is correct, as the verb denotes careful seeing, looking intently, inspection. See on Matt. xi. 7.

    12. Not having (mh ecwn). It is hardly possible to convey the subtle sense of the negative particle (mh) to the English reader. A different word for not (ouk) is used in the preceding verse, expressing an outward, objective fact which attracted the king's notice. The man had not (ouk) a wedding garment. When the king addresses the guest, he is thinking not so much of the outward token of disrespect, as of the guest's mental attitude toward the proprieties of the occasion. It is as if he had said, "What were you thinking of, where was your respect for me and for my guests, when you allowed yourself to come hither not (mh) having the proper garment, as you knew you ought to have?" It implies, as Dr. Morison observes, that the man was conscious of the omission when he entered, and was intentionally guilty of the neglect. This distinction between the two negative particles rests on the law of the Greek language, according to which ouj and its compounds stand where something is to be denied as a matter of fact, and mh and its compounds when something is to be denied as a matter of thought.

    He was speechless (efimwqh). Lit., he was muzzled or gagged. It is used of muzzling the ox (1 Tim. v. 18), and is addressed by Christ to the demon (Mark i. 25), and to the raging sea (Mark iv. 39). Peter uses it of putting the ignorant and foolish to silence (1 Pet. ii. 15).

    The outer darkness. See on Matt. viii. 12.

    15. Entangle (pagideuswsin). From pagiv, a trap or snare. Better, therefore, Rev., ensnare.

    19. Tribute-money (nomisma tou khnsou). Lit., the current coin of tribute, which was paid not in Jewish but in Roman money. See on ch. xvii. 25, tribute.

    A penny. See on Matt. xx. 2.

    20. Image and superscription (eikwn kai epigrafh). Images on coins were not approved by the Jews. Out of respect to this prejudice none of the earlier Herods had his own image impressed on them. Herod Agrippa I., who murdered James and imprisoned Peter, introduced the practice. The coin shown to Christ must either have been struck in Rome, or else was one of the Tetrarch Philip, who was the first to introduce the image of Caesar on strictly Jewish coins.

    24. Shall marry (epigambreusei). From gambrov, a word used in classical Greek to denote any one connected by marriage: a brother-in-law, father-in-law, even a bridegroom. The word is appropriate here because it refers to marriage between marriage-relatives.

    34. Put to silence (efimwsen). There is a kind of grim humor in the use of this word: he had muzzled the Sadducees. Compare ver. 12.

    36. Which is the great commandment (poia entolh megalh). The A.V. and Rev. alike miss the point of this question, which is: which kind of command is great in the law? That is, what kind of a commandment must it be to constitute it a great one? Not, which commandment is greatest as compared with the others? The scribes declared that there were 248 affirmative precepts, as many as the members of the human body; and 365 negative precepts, as many as the days in the year; the total being 613, the number of letters in the Decalogue. Of these they called some light and some heavy. Some thought that the law about the fringes on the garments was the greatest; some that the omission of washings was as bad as homicide; some that the third commandment was the greatest. It was in view of this kind of distinction that the scribe asked the question; not as desiring a declaration as to which commandment was greatest, but as wanting to know the principle upon which a commandment was to be regarded as a great commandment.

    38. The great and first. With the definite article.

    39. A second. The article omitted. So. Rev.

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