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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

Matthew 19

Verses 1-99

E.—19:1-20:34. JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM

19:1-12. From Mark 10:1-16


(E) 1. And it came to pass, when Jesus finished these words.] For the formula, cf. 7:28, 11:1, 13:53, 26:1.

(M) He departed from Galilee, and came into the boundaries of Judæa beyond Jordan.] Mark 10:1 has: “And He arose thence, and cometh into the boundaries of Judæa, and beyond Jordan.”—ἦλθεν] for Mk.’s hist. present, as often. The addition of�

(M) 2. And there followed Him many multitudes; and He healed them there.] Mk. has: “And there journey with Him (?) again multitudes; and as He was wont, He was teaching them.”—ἠκολούθησαν] Mt., as often, avoids the hist. pres. συνπορεύονται. He omits Mk’s Semitic�Mark 7:24 and 26:60 = Mark 14:57, and omits also, as often, Mk.’s πάλιν.—ἐθεράπευσεν] The editor substitutes healing for teaching in 14:14 = Mark 6:34, and in 21:14 = Mark 11:18.—ὄχλοι πολλοί.] For the addition of πολλοί, cf. 4:25, 8:1, 18, 13:2, 15:30.

In Mk. most MSS. have συνπορεύονται πάλιν ὄχλοι. This is the only occurrence in Mk. of the plural ὄχλοι. But D S1 a b c ff 1 i k q have the singular. συνπορεύεσθαι occurs only here in Mk. D has συνέρχεται, cf. Mark 3:20. συνπορεύεσθαι πρός is awkward, and the reading of D al may be original.

(M) 3. And there came to Him Pharisees, tempting Him, and saying, Is it lawful to put away a wife for every cause?] Mk. has: “And Pharisees came and were questioning Him, if it is lawful for a man to put away a wife, tempting Him.” At first sight Mt. seems more likely to be original than Mk. The Jews did not question the legality of divorce. That was legalised by Deuteronomy 24:1, Deuteronomy 24:2. But they debated about the scope and limits of reasons for divorce. Cf. Gittin 90a, where the views of the schools of Hillel and of Shammai are given. The former allowed divorce for trivial offences, the latter only for some unchaste act. But it is clear that Mt. is editing Mk., and that in κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν and (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ, v. 9, he has inserted into Mk.’s narrative matter which is really inconsistent with it. In Mk. the Pharisees first put their leading question, Is it lawful to divorce a wife? They themselves would have no doubt of the legality of this, but they test Christ (πειράζοντες, Mar_2), knowing probably from previous utterances of His that He would reply in words which would seem directly to challenge the Mosaic law. Cf. His criticism of the distinction between clean and unclean meats, Mark 7:14-23. Christ answers with the expected reference to the law, What did Moses command? They state the Old Testament law. Moses sanctioned divorce. Christ at once makes His position clear. The law upon this poin was an accommodation to a rude state of society. But a prior and higher law is to be found in the Creation narrative, “Male and female He created them,” Genesis 1:27 LXX., i.e. God created the two sexes that they might be united in the marriage bond, which is, therefore, ideally indissoluble. In answer to a further question of His disciples, the Lord enforces the lesson. A man who puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery. A woman who puts away her husband and marries another commits adultery. Upon this point Christ’s teaching passes beyond the ordinary conditions of Jewish society. No woman could divorce her husband by Jewish law. But that is no reason why the Lord should not have expressed himself as Mk. records. There were exceptional cases of divorce by women in Palestine. Cf. Salome, Jos. Ant. xv. 259: “She sent him (Costobar) a bill of divorce, though this was against the Jewish law (and dissolved her marriage with him).” And there is no reason why He may not have been acquainted with the possibility of divorce by women in the West, or why, even if He had not this in view, He may not have emphasised His point by stating the wrongfulness of divorce on either side of the marriage tie. All this is logical and consistent. Compare with it Mt.’s account. The Pharisees are represented as inquiring, Is it lawful to put away a wife on any pretext? Christ answers as in Mk., that marriage from an ideal standpoint is indissoluble. The Pharisees appeal to the law against this judgement. In reply we should expect the Lord, as in Mk., to state the accommodating and secondary character of the legal sanction of divorce, and to reaffirm the sanctity of marriage. But instead, He is represented as affirming that πορνεία constitutes an exception. Thus He tacitly takes sides with the severer school of Jewish interpretation of Deu_24, and acknowledges the permanent validity of that law thus interpreted in a strict sense, which immediately before He had criticised as an accommodation to a rude state of social life. This inconsistency shows that Mk. is here original, and that κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν and (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ are insertions by the editor of Mt. into Mk.’s narrative. The motive of these insertions can only be conjectured. But in view of other features of the Gospel, it is probable that the editor was a Jewish Christian who has here judaised, or rather rabbinised Christ’s sayings.1 Just as he has so arranged 15:16-20 as to represent Christ’s attitude to the law to be that of the Rabbinical Jews, who regarded every letter of the law as permanently valid, so here he has so shaped Christ’s teaching about divorce as to make it consonant with the permanent validity of the Pentateuchal law, and harmonious with the stricter school of Jewish theologians. It is probably to the same strain in the editor’s character, the same Jewish Christian jealousy for the honour of the law and for the privileges of the Jewish people, that the prominence given to Peter (see on 16:19, p. 180), and the preservation of such sayings as 10:5-6, 23 is due. And to the same source may probably be attributed the judaising of Christ’s language, in such expressions as “the kingdom of the heavens,” “The Father who is in the heavens.”


3. εἰ ἔξεστιν] See note on 12:10.—κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν] cf. Jos. Ant. iv. 253: γυναικὸς δὲ τῆς συνοικούσης βουλόμενος διαζευχθῆναι καθʼ ἁσδηποτοῦν αἰτίας.

(M) 4. And He answered and said, Have ye not read, that the Creator from the beginning made them male and female?] Mk. has: “But from the beginning of the creation male and female He made them.” ὁ κτίσας�Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:2.

(M) 5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave the father and the mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.] Mk. has no “and said,” and omits the second clause of the quotation. The editor has inserted καὶ εἶπεν to separate the two quotations, and inserts the clause omitted by Mk. The passage comes from the LXX. (the Hebrew has no “two”) of Genesis 2:24, which has αὐτοῦ after πατέρα and after μητέρα. Luc omits the second αὐτοῦ. So Mk. Mt. omits both.


The idea involved in the verses seems to be that God created a single pair, who were therefore destined for one another. It was also written that a man should forsake his parents and cleave to his wife, and that he and his wife should be one flesh. In other words, married couples were in respect of unity, as the first pair created by God, destined for one another. Divorce, therefore, should be out of the question. This conclusion is expressed in the next verse.

(M) 6. So that they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God joined together, let not man separate.] So Mk. Divorce, therefore, is from an ideal standpoint not to be thought of.

(M) 7. They say to Him, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and put away (a wife)?] In Mk. this clause occurs earlier in the narrative in the form, “And he answered and said, What did Moses command you? And they said, Moses allowed us to write a bill of divorce, and to put away (a wife).” Mt., as usual, avoids the question in the mouth of the Lord. No Jew would regard Deuteronomy 24:1ff. as anything else than a Mosaic command to adopt certain forms in cases of divorce. And yet, as grammatically construed, the passage does not command the giving of a bill of divorce, but assumes that as a matter of practice it will under certain circumstances be given. See Driver, in loc.


8. He saith to them, that Moses for the hardness of your heart allowed you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it hath not been1 so.] That is to say, the toleration of divorce by the law is a departure from the high standard of morality presupposed in the creation of a single pair. Divorce is a bad custom which has grown up amongst a degenerate people, and the Mosaic law tolerated it as an accommodation to a low level of moral custom. Mk. has: “And Jesus said, For the hardness of your heart he wrote for you this commandment.”

9. Mk. has here: “And in the house again, the disciples were asking Him about this.” Mt., as elsewhere, omits Mk.’s vague references to a house. See on 9:1, 15:15, 21, 17:19.

(M) 9. But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, save for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery.] Mk. has: “And He saith to them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and shall marry another, commits adultery against her. And if she who has put away her husband shall marry another, she commits adultery.”—λέγω δέ] for Mk.’s καὶ λέγει, to make an antithesis with v. 8, cf. Introduction, p. xxxi. The editor omits the last clause as inconsistent with Jewish custom. See on v. 3. Some of the copyists of Mk. have also found it inconvenient, and modified it so as to get rid of the conception of divorce by a woman. See critical note in Swete. A parallel to this saying has already been recorded in 5:32. See note there.

And he who marries her that is put away, commits adultery.] This clause is not in Mk. If genuine (see below), it may be meant to compensate for the omission of Mar_12.


(E) 10. The disciples say to him, If the reason (of divorce) between a man and his wife be so, it is not convenient to marry.] The editor adds three verses which are not in Mk. Vv. 10, 11 are probably an editorial link to connect 12 with the preceding. αἰτία refers back to αἰτία of v. 3. If the cause or reason of divorce between man and wife be so, i.e. if it is to be limited to unchaste acts, it is better not to marry, because marriage with a woman of bad temper or malicious tongue, e.g., is in that case an intolerable burden which cannot be thrown off.

(E) 11. And He said to them, All do not receive this saying, but those to whom it has been given.] That is, “what you say about the expediency of abstaining from marriage has some truth in it. But it is not practicable for all men, but only for some for whom providence has so destined it, e.g. physical eunuchs, and those who abstain from marriage in order to obey a religious call. If a man feels himself called to do so, let him.” It is clear that if the passage be so interpreted, the disciples instead of receiving an explanation and solution of their difficulty that marriage without facility for divorce would be a burden, receive what amounts to a commendation of abstention from marriage for the kingdom’s sake. In other words, whilst vv. 1-9 are calculated to heighten the conception of marriage, vv. 10-12 are clearly intended to increase respect for those who renounce marriage. This can hardly be an original connection. V. 12 is probably added here by the editor simply because it is concerned in a negative way with the subject of marriage, which has been the subject of vv. 1-9.

If v. 11 be a historical saying of Christ, it looks very much as though it were originally connected with the exposition of Christ’s about divorce as given in Mk., and not with this teaching as modified by Mt. For the saying of the disciples, that if Christ’s exposition of the question of divorce were to hold good, marriage would be a burden better left alone, seems to arise naturally enough from the strict teaching that divorce is not permissible, whilst it is very unexpected in the mouths of Christ’s disciples as a protest against the doctrine that divorce should be limited to cases of adultery. Could not Christ’s disciples endure what the disciples of Shammai submitted to?

It might be possible to interpret the passage in a different direction by referring τὸν λόγον τοῦτον not to the question of the disciples, but to the statement by the Lord of the indissoluble character of the marriage bond, vv. 1-9. “Not all can receive this estimation in their understanding and carry it into practice in their life, but those to whom it has been given by the divine grace. But these can receive it; for just as there are physical eunuchs, so there are spiritual eunuchs, who, knowing marriage to be a sacred and indissoluble bond, abstain from it for the purpose of dedicating their lives to the kingdom.” But the logical consequence of “not all receive this saying (vv. 1-9) but those to whom it has been given,” is not for there are some who abstain from marriage, but for there are some who recognise the sacred nature of the bond, and live married lives without recourse to divorce. The whole section in Mt. suffers from inconsistency of thought due to literary revision and compilation. (εἰ) μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ is inconsistent with v. 6, and whilst this verse, and the whole paragraph, 1-9, exalts marriage as an institution of the Creator; v. 12, without depreciating it, emphasises the duty of renouncing it under certain circumstances.—χωρεῖν] “to contain,” then of the mind “to contain,” “receive,” “hold”: the saying is too sweeping to be universally received and practised.—τὸν λόγον τοῦτον] (see above) either the dictum that it is better not to marry, or less probably the exposition of Christ that marriage is a permanent bond, and should be unbroken by divorce, vv. 4-8.—οἶς δέδοται] See on 13:11. ὑμῖν δέδοται are those who have received spiritual insight, which enables them to receive and practise the high standard involved in “this saying.”

(L) 12. For there are eunuchs who were born so from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of the heavens. He who can receive it, let him receive it.] The verse explains what is meant by οἶς δέδοται. Some there are to whom the spiritual capacity to recognise the truth of “this saying” and to practise it has been given. For just as there are physical eunuchs, i.e. men for whom natural infirmity or the cruelty of men has made marriage impossible, so that for them the saying “better not to marry” is a necessary truism; so there are some who have made themselves spiritual eunuchs, i.e. have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom, i.e. because the calls of religious duty have made marriage inexpedient. To such as these spiritual insight has been given which enables them to realise that it is better not to marry. For renunciation of earthly blessings for the sake of the kingdom, cf. vv. 28, 29. The Lord may have had in mind such instances of the renunciation of marriage as the Essenes, or John the Baptist, or some among His disciples.

3. προσελθόντες Φαρισαῖοι] The words are omitted from Mk. by D S1 a b k. If they are not genuine there, Mt. has inserted them. For his partiality for προσέρχεσθαι, see on 4:3; and for the insertion of the Pharisees, cf. 22:34, 41, and Introduction, p. lxxviii.

4. ὁ κτίσας] So B 1 22 33 124. κτίσας is probably a reminiscence of Mark 10:6, and is probably genuine.—ὁ ποιήσας] of א C D Z al S1 S2 latt., though strongly attested, is probably an assimilation to the following ἐποίησεν, and to the LXX. of Genesis 1:27. S1 S2 have: “Have ye not read that He that made the male from the beginning, the female also made?” This is not the original text (Merx), but a clumsy translation which necessitates the omission of αὐτούς at the end of the clause.—ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ έποίησεν αὐτούς] is taken by the editor from Mk. If he had wished to suggest the complete equality of the sexes by omitting αὐτούς, he would also have changed the order of the words to make this clear. καὶ εἷπεν is added by Mt. to separate the two quotations. It is omitted by S1, but after the change of Mk.’s κτίσεως into ὀ κτίσας it suitably introduces the following quotation as a direct command of the Creator expressed in the words of Scripture. S1 ff omit ἐξ�


7. δοῦναι] S1 S2 introduce a subject “that he that would dismiss his wife should give,” etc.

9. The passage in Mk. runs: ὅς ἅν�

13-22. From Mark 10:13-22.

(M) 13. Then were there brought children to Him, in order that He night place His hands upon them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.] Mk. has: “And they were bringing children to Him, in order that He might touch them; and the disciples were rebuking them.”—τότε] see on 2:7.—προσηνέχθησαν] Mk. has προσέφερον. Mt. substitutes aor. for imperf., as often. For Mt.’s preference for passive verbs, see on 4:1; and cf. ἠνέχθη, 14:11, for ἥνεγκεν Mark 6:28.—τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιθῇ αὐτοῖς καὶ προσεύξηται] Mk. has simply αὐτῶν ἅψηται. Mt.’s words are an editorial explanation.—ἐπετίμησαν] aor. for Mk.’s imperf. (A D al latt. (so also Lk. א B al), but א B ἐπετίμησαν), as often.


(M) 14. And Jesus said, Allow the children, and forbid them not, to come to Me: for of such is the kingdom of the heavens.] Mk. has: “And Jesus saw and was vexed, and said to them, Allow the children to come to Me; do not forbid them: for of such is the kingdom of God.” It is usual with Mt. to omit verbs like ἠγανάκτησεν as applied to Christ; see on 8:3 and 15:29, and Introduction, p. xxxi.—καὶ μὴ κωλύετε] Mk. rather frequently in the latter part of his Gospel has no connecting link between sayings. Mt. generally supplies a particle. Lk. also has καί here.—τῶν τοιούτων ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν] i.e. many qualities characteristic of childhood are necessary to admit people into the kingdom. See on 18:3-5.

(M) 15. Mt. here omits Mk v. 15. He has anticipated it in 18:3-4: And having laid His hands upon them, He departed thence.] Mk. has: “And having taken them in His arms, He was blessing them, having laid His hands upon them. And as He was going forth to travel” (εἰς ὁδόν). Mt. omits Mk.’s ἐναγκαλισάμενος, as in 18:2.

16. The connection of sections in Mar_10 is probably purely topical. The relation of Christianity to the marriage question (1-12) suggested the incident of the children (13-16) and the relation of Christianity to wealth (17-27) followed naturally enough. Mt. simply follows Mk.’s guidance.


(M) And, behold, one came to Him, and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?] Mk. has: “And as He was going forth into the way, there ran one, and, kneeling down before Him, was asking Him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”—ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖθεν καὶ ἰδού] for Mk.’s καὶ ἐκπορευομένου εἰς ὁδόν. For καὶ ἰδού, see on 1:20.—εἶς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ εἷπεν] abbreviates Mk.’s προσδραμὼν εἶ̀ς καὶ γονυπετήσας αὐτὸν ἐπηρώτα αὐτόν. For προσελθών, see on 4:3.—διδάσκαλε] Mt., in view of his modification of the next verse of Mk., transposes “good” from “Teacher” to “what.”.—σχῶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον] For “eternal life,” see Dalm. Words, p. 156; Volz, Jüd. Eschat. p. 368. Mk. has κληρονομήσω. “Inheritance” is a common Jewish metaphor, to express participation in the blessings of the future; cf. Dalm. Words, 125 ff.; Volz, Jüd. Eschat. p. 306.

(M) 17. And He said to him, Why askest thou Me about the good? One is the good. But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.] Mk. has: “And Jesus said to him, Why callest thou Me good? No one is good save one, God. Thou knowest the commandments.” Mt.’s changes are probably intentional, to avoid the rejection by Christ of the title “good,” and the apparent distinction made between Himself and God. In Mk. the meaning seems to be, “Why go out of your way to call one whom you regard as a human Teacher ‘good’? Goodness is a quality of character, and belongs in any full sense to God alone. But God’s goodness is revealed in His commandments, and inheritance of eternal life depends upon keeping them.” Thus the words begin as a rebuke for the thoughtless use of the epithet “good,” and end as an answer to the question, “What shall I do,” etc. Mt., by placing “good” in the main question, is obliged to treat all that follows as a direct answer to the question. The sequence of thought seems to be, “Why askest thou Me about the good? One is good,” i.e. “the good” is not an independent and limited quantity in life which can be ascertained and “done.” It is an attribute of character, and that the divine character. But the goodness of the divine nature is revealed in His commandments. In order to make clear this last thought, which is already implied in Mk., the editor substitutes “But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments,” for Mk.’s “thou knowest the commandments.”

For τηρεῖν, cf. 23:3 “keep,” i.e. a continual process, not a single act which can be begun and ended (τί ποιήσω�

(M) 18. He saith to Him, Of what sort? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour father and mother; and, Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself.] Mk. has: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud.” Mt. takes a severer view of the character of the questioner than Mk. By representing him as asking, “What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” he makes the question more unintelligent than it is in Mk. Here, by inserting λέγει—τό, he emphasises the man’s obtuseness. In v. 20, by putting into his mouth, “What lack I yet?” he attributes to him selfsufficiency. And he omits altogether Mk v. 21a. Compare the treatment in Matthew 22:34-40 of the questioner described in Mark 12:28-34. ποίας may mean, “What sort of commandment?” cf. 22:36. Or ποῖος may be hardly distinguishable from τίς. “Which commandments?” cf. Blass, p. 176; Win.-Schm. p. 241. See on 24:42.— οὐ φονεύσεις, κ.τ.λ.] Mk. has μὴ φονεύσῃς, κ.τ.λ. After μὴ ψευδομαρτυρήσῃς, Mk. has μὴ�Exodus 21:10, or Deuteronomy 24:14 (LXX. A F), or Ecclus 4:1. Mt. omits it (if it was in his text of Mk., but B S1 omit there), and substitutes after “honour father and mother,” “thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This comes from Leviticus 19:18, and occurs again in 22:39 = Mark 12:31 = Luke 10:27, whence it is here taken. The first four clauses come from Exodus 20:13-16 or Deuteronomy 5:17-20. In Mk. the order μὴ μοιχ. μὴ φον. is attested by A N X al latt., but μὴ φον. μὴ μοιχ. in אa B C al S1. Mt. has this latter order, which is that of the Massoretic Text of Ex. and Dt., and of the LXX. A F. In. Ex. B has οὐ μοιχ. οὐ κλεψ. οὐ φον., and in Dt. οὐ μοιχ. οὐ φον. οὐ κλεψ. Thus Mk. (אa B C al S1) and Mt. agree in order with the Heb. (M.T.) and the LXX. (A F Luc.). The other order, οὐ μοιχ. οὐ φον. οὐ κλεψ., represented by Mk. (A N X al latt.), Luke 18:20, LXX. (B in Dt.), Philo, is now supported by the Hebrew Papyrus published in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archælogy, xxv. Pt. 1. pp. 34-56. Mk. has the conjunctive for the indicative of the LXX. Mt. assimilates to the LXX.


(M) 19. τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα] Mk. has σου after πατέρα, and in Ex. LXX. B omits the second σου. Mt. (א B C* D al) omits the pronoun altogether as in 15:4. It is twice inserted by S1 S2 and some old latt., but can hardly be genuine. This is surprising, since the tendency in Mt. is to assimilate Mk.’s quotations to LXX. not to deviate from it.

(M) 20. The young man saith to Him, All these things I observed: what lack I yet?] Mk. has: “And he said, Teacher, all these things I observed from my youth.”—ὁ νεανίσκος] Mt. has formed a nominative for the verb out of Mk.’s ἐκ νεότητός μου, which he omits. He also omits Mk.’s διδάσκαλε, and has ἐφύλαξα for ἐφυλαξάμην.1 The former is the New Testament form elsewhere; cf. Luke 11:28, Luke 18:21, John 12:47, Acts 7:53, Acts 16:4, Acts 21:24, Romans 2:26, Galatians 6:13, 1 Timothy 5:21, 1 Timothy 5:6:20, 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:14.—τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ] is formed out of Mk.’s ἕν σε ὑστερεῖ in the next verse. See on v. 16.

(M) 21. Jesus said to him, If thou wishest to be perfect, go sell thy possessions, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me.] Mk. has: “And Jesus looking on him loved him, and said to him, One thing is lacking to thee: go sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me.” Mt. omits the first clause, in accordance with his tendency to drop out clauses which attribute emotion to the Lord; cf. on 8:3, and Introduction, p. xxxi. Moreover, the questioner, as described by Mt., with his obtuse self-complacency, was not lovable. Mt. substitutes: “But if thou wilt be perfect.” What could be said to a man of this sort, one who conceived of eternal life as something to be acquired by merit, as a day labourer earns a wage; one who regarded “goodness” as a definite and ascertainable quantity which could be worked off; one who so misunderstood the commandments, and so deceived himself as to suppose that he had kept them; one who could ask the question, What do I yet lack? “If thou wilt be perfect,” says the Lord. The words are, of course, a descent to the level of the questioner. He thought of perfection as attainable by works, and the Lord took him at his own estimation, and proposed to him a task which would not lead him to perfection, but which would do one of two things. If he obeyed, he might learn in the service of Christ something of the spirit of the gospel, which sets before men the ideal of the divine perfection, 5:48, and which can never conceive of perfection as a goal reached; cf. Luke 17:10. If he found the task too hard for him, he would have learned to be less confident of his own capacity to do the one thing needful for inheritance of eternal life.


For τέλειος cf. 5:48.—σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα] for Mk.’s ὅσα ἔχεις. τὰ ὑπάρχοντα occurs in 24:47, 25:14, never 1n Mk., but often in Lk.

(M) 22. And the young man when he heard this saying went away grieved: for he had great possessions.] Mk. has: “But his countenance fell at the saying, and he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.” Mt. omits Mk.’s strong word στυγνάσας, with its implication of unwillingness to obey Christ’s command, just as he omits Mark 1:45 with its direct disobedience of Christ’s word.


16-22. The section with its striking deviations from Mk. is most easily explained as being derived from the second Gospel. The alteration in v. 17 seems clearly secondary as compared with Mk. On the other hand, the insertions in vv. 17, 19, 21, and the double historic present vv. 18, 20, might seem to point to another source, but are insufficient as a proof of such a source.

Lk. has some points of agreement with Mt. against Mk Both have ἐφύλαξα (Lk. א A B L) for ἐφυλαξάμην, both have οὐρανοῖς for οὐρανῷ, both omit στυγνάσας and substitute�

16. διδάσκαλε] C E al S1 S2 latt. add ἁγαθέ, assimilating to Mark 10:17.—τί�


17. τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ�

23-30. = Mark 10:23-31.


(M) 23. And Jesus said to His disciples, Verily I say to you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of the heavens. And again I say to you.] Mk. has: “And Jesus looking round saith to His disciples, How hardly shall they who have riches enter into the kingdom of God. And the disciples were amazed at His words. And Jesus again answering saith to them, Children, how hard it is to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mt. by abbreviating avoids the redundancy of Mk., cf. Introduction, p. xxiv; and also the amazement of the disciples, cf. Introduction, p. xxxiv. πάλιν is a reminiscence of the clauses omitted from Mk.

δυσκόλως] is an uncommon word. συσκολία occurs in Job 34:30; δύσκολος, Jeremiah 49:8, Ezekiel 2:6 (Th.); Ditt. Syll. 213. 33, δυσκόλων καιρῶν, and in Galen, Arist., Plato, Xenophon, and other writers.


(M) 24. It is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man into the kingdom of the heavens.] Mk. has: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the hole of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”—εὐκοπώτερος] see on 9:5.—τρήματος] for Mk.’s late and rare τρυμαλιᾶς.—εἰσελθεῖν] Mt. avoids the duplication of the verb διελθεῖν, εἰσελθεῖν] in Mk.—ῥαφίς] add to the examples in Lexicons, Ox. Pap. iv. 736, 75, (a.d. 1).

(M) 25. And the disciples when they heard it, were very astonished, saying, Who then can be saved?] Mk. has: “And they were exceedingly astonished, saying to Him, And who can be saved?” Mt. inserts�Mark 4:41. For Mk.’s πρὸς αὐτόν see Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 2366e.


(M) 26. And Jesus looking upon (them) said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.] Mk. has: “Jesus looked upon them and saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mt. inserts a conjunction, and substitutes a past tense for λέγει, as often. He omits the redundant�

(L) Ye who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.] Lk. has somewhat similar words in 22:28-30.—παλινγενεσία] After the advent of the Messiah the Jews expected the creation of a new heaven and new earth. Cf. Isaiah 65:17, Isaiah 66:22, Deuteronomy 32:12 (Onq.), Apoc. Bar 32:6 “the mighty One will renew His creation”; 44:12 “the new world,” cf. Charles’ note on 32:6. παλινγενεσία is used by Philo, Vita Mos. ii. 12, of the renewal of the world after the Flood, and de Mund. xv. of the restoration of the world after being burned. There seems to be no exact Aramaic equivalent. According to Dalman, Words, p. 177, “new world” would be the nearest.—ὅταν καθίση, κ.τ.λ.] cf. Enoch 62:5 “Pain will seize them when they see that Son of Man sit on the throne of His glory”; and see on 16:27.—φυλὰς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ] i.e. those to whom they had preached the gospel; cf. 10:6, 23.

(M) 29. And every one who hath left houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life.] Mk. has “There is no one who hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for My sake, and for the gospel’s sake, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this present time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the coming age eternal life.” Mt. avoids Mk.’s harsh construction, οὐδεὶς ἔστιν ὃς�1 Corinthians 3:21. But in Mt.’s connection, after the insertion of v. 28, the whole emphasis is on the future reward in the παλινγενεσία. This is why Mt. omits Mk.’s νῦν ἐν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ—διωγμῶν, for which his κληρονομήσει is a sort of substitute. The Apostles should sit on thrones; but even the humblest disciple should receive a manifold compensation, and inherit an estate greater than any which he had abandoned, namely, life everlasting.


(M) 30. But many first shall be last; and last first.] The connection of this clause with the preceding is obscure both in Mt. and in Mk. It would seem that the πολλοί must refer to Christian disciples. All will inherit life everlasting, but many who are now first shall then be last. It seems best (with Swete) to understand the words as a rebuke to the self-complacent spirit implied in S. Peter’s words: “It may be difficult for the rich to enter into the Kingdom, but we who have left all are in no danger of exclusion.” Christ’s words are a warrant for this confidence, and at the same time a rebuke and a warning. The ambiguity lies in the “first” and “last.” Does He mean “Many who first became My disciples will find greater difficulty of entry than many who followed Me at a later period”? Or is the πρῶτοι used of rank rather than of time: “Many who now seem to hold a position of privilege will then find themselves in the lowest place”? Lk. (13:30) has similar words in a different connection, and the saying occurs in the New Sayings of Jesus from Oxyrhynchus, ll. 25-27 in a doubtful context.

23-30. Mt. and Lk. in this section have a number of small points of agreement against Mk.

E.g.: Mat_23 = Luke 18:24 δὲ—εἶπεν. Both omit Mk v. 24; but Mt. has a trace of it in πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν. Mat_24 = Lk 25 τρήματος. Mat_25 = Lk 26�Mat_26 = Lk 27 εἶπεν, and the omission of�Mat_27 = Lk 28 εἶπεν, ἠκολουθήσαμεν. Mat_28= Lk 29 ὁ δὲ—εἷπεν. Mt 29, Lk 30 πολλαπλασίονα (Mt. B L).


24. βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ] Z curss a b c e S1 S2 have βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν. We should certainly expect the latter, but, in editing Mk., Mt. does not seem to have carried out his modifications with absolute uniformity, and he may have left τοῦ θεοῦ here. If so, it was inevitable that it should be altered into τῶν οὐρανῶν. But in view of the facts given in Introduction, p. lxvii, it must remain probable that τῶν οὐρανῶν is original here, and that it has been changed into τοῦ θεοῦ to assimilate to Mk.

τρἡματος] א* B, but אc D L X al, τρυπήματος.

29. μητέπα] א C K al S2 add ἢ γυναῖκα, which occurs in Luke 18:29. It is omitted here by B D 1 S1 a b e ff 12. It is unnatural here after the express prohibition of divorce in vv. 1-9.


ἐκατονταπλασίονα] So א C D X S1 S2. πολλαπλασίονα as in Lk. is read by B L.









E editorial passages.

M the Second Gospel.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

1 See also p. 167, note 1

Jos. Josephus.

2 Cf. also Ass. Mos. 1:17, 12:4 ab initio creaturœ orbis terrarum.

1 γέγονεν. For the perfect cf. 21:21, Daniel 12:1 Th. It seems to mean “Moses indeed tolerated divorce; but from the creation onwards it was not and never has been the Divine intention. Behind the Mosaic toleration lay always the ideal implied in Genesis 1:27, Genesis 5:2.


L the Matthæan Logia.

S Syriac version: Curetonian.

latt. Manuscripts of the Old Latin Version.

Wellh. Wellhausen.

1 It would be natural to suppose that παρεκτὸς λὸγου πορνείας is original here, if it were not that we should then have to explain why (εἰ) μὴ ἐπί πορνείᾳ has been substituted here only, and not in 5:32. The two phrases maÿ be alternative renderings by the editor of the דבד ערוה of the school of Shammai. See on 5:32.

Dalm. Dalman.

Win.-Schm. Winer-Schmiedel.

X passages in which Mt. and Lk. agree closely, borrowed from an unknown source or sources.

Luc. Lucian.

1 Weiss renders this in Mk. “From all these I guarded myself.” See Meyer’s Comm. 6th ed. in loc., and cf. Acts 21:25, 2 Timothy 4:15.


Th. Theodotion.

Ditt. Dittenberger Sylloge.

Arist. Aristotle.

Ox. Pap. Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

Onq. The Targum of Onkelos.

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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Matthew 19". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/matthew-19.html. 1896-1924.