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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Matthew 10



Verse 1

Matthew 10:1. καὶ, and) This is clearly connected with the end of ch. 9, as the repeated mention of sheep indicates. He sends, before He is greatly entreated to do so.— προσκαλεσάμενος, having called to Him) solemnly.(441) All did not hear and see all things together.— τοὺς δώδεκα μαθητὰς, the twelve disciples)(442) In the following verse they are called the twelve apostles. Matthew the apostle calls them apostles once, sc. in the present passage, where they are first sent forth; St Mark does so once (Matthew 6:30), and that when they just returned from that mission; John, the apostle, never does so; for in ch. Matthew 13:16 he uses the word in its general, not its particular meaning; St Luke does so in his Gospel particularly, but only on occasions, and those the same as Matthew and Mark, or subsequently, for other weighty reasons: see Luke 6:13; Luke 9:10; Luke 11:49; Luke 17:5; Luke 22:14; Luke 24:10. For they were, during the whole of the period which the Gospels embrace, disciples, i.e. scholars, and are therefore so called. But, after the advent of the Paraclete, in the Acts and Epistles they are never called disciples, but apostles. In the Acts, those only are called disciples, who had either learnt with the apostles, or were then learning from the apostles, and were apostolic men, and the seed of all Christian posterity; see Acts 6:1; Acts 21:16. After which last passage the word disciple does not occur again in the New Testament: but they are called brethren, Christians, believers (fideles), saints, etc.— ἔδωκεν, κ. τ. λ., He gave, etc.) The apostles made gradual progress. Great is the authority of conferring authority.(443)αὐτοῖς, to them) The disciples, when in the Lord’s presence, were employed in miracles only to a certain extent, as in ch. Matthew 14:19 and Matthew 17:27; but they did not themselves perform miracles (see ch. Matthew 17:18), unless when sent forth by Christ (see Luke 10:17), or after the departure of Christ; see John 14:12.— πνευμάτων, of spirits) i.e. against spirits.— ἀκαθάρτων, unclean) A frequent epithet: sometimes they are called πνευμάτα πονηρὰ, evil spirits.— θεραπεύειν, to heal) sc. in His name: see ch. Matthew 9:35.

Verse 2

Matthew 10:2. τὰ ὀνόματά, the names) Scripture, in enumerations of this kind, preserves an accurate order. See Genesis 48:20; Numbers 12:1; and, “Noah, Daniel, and Job,” in Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20. Therefore the plan which is observed in the list of the apostles, princes of the kingdom of Christ, is of far graver import than any precedence of the kings of the world (as, for example, Peter is named first, not without an indication of rank):(444) nor is there anything fortuitous in it. It is not said, “Bartholomew, Peter, Jude, John, Andrew, Matthew,” etc.: and the four, as it were, locations of them, are deserving of observation:—

(I.) Matthew 10:2.

(II.) Mark 3:16.

(III.) Luke 6:14.

(IV.) Acts 1:13; Acts 1:26.

1. Simon,

1. Simon,

1. Simon,

1. Peter,

2. And Andrew,

2. And James,

2. And Andrew,

2. And James,

3. James,

3. And John,

3. James,

3. And John,

4. And John,

4. And Andrew,

4. And John,

4. And Andrew,

(See also Ib. Matthew 13:3.)

5. Philip,

5. And Philip,

5. Philip,

5. Philip,

6. And Bartholomew,

6. And Bartholomew,

6. And Bartholomew,

6. And Thomas,

7. Thomas,

7. And Matthew,

7. Matthew,

7. Bartholomew,

8. And Matthew,

8. And Thomas,

8. And Thomas,

8. And Matthew

9. James the son of Alphaeus,

9. And James the son of Alphaeus,

9. James the son of Alphaeus,

9. James the son of Alphaeus,

10. And Lebbaeus,

10. And Thaddaeus,

10. And Simon Zelotes

10. And Simon Zelotes,

11. Simon the Canaanite,

11. And Simon the Canaanite,

11. Judas the brother of James,

11. And Judas the brother of James:

12. And Judas Iscariot.

12. And Judas Iscariot.

12. And Judas Iscariot.

12. Matthias.

The first and the third arrangements enumerate them by pairs, the second singly, the fourth mixedly. The first and third arrangements correspond generally to the time of their vocation, and the conjunction of the apostles in twos; the second, to their dignity before our Lord’s passion; the fourth, to their dignity after His ascension. All the arrangements may be divided into three quaternions, none of which interchanges any name with either of the others.(445) Again, Peter stands always first in the first quaternion, Philip in the second (cf. John 1:42; John 1:44; John 12:22), James the son of Alphaeus in the third; though, within their several quaternions, the other apostles exchange their relative position [in the different lists]. The traitor stands always last. The plan of the first and third quaternions is contained in what I have just said: in the second, Matthew places himself modestly after his(446) Thomas, thus proving himself to be the writer of the book; for both Mark and Luke put Thomas after Matthew, although St Luke, after the confirmation of Thomas’s faith (John 20:27-28), puts him, in the Acts, even above Bartholomew, and associates him with Philip. From the first quaternion we have the writings of Peter and John; from the second, that of Matthew; from the third, those of James and Jude, or Thaddeus. St John has not enumerated the apostles in his Gospel, but he has done so by implication in the Apocalypse; see Revelation 21:19-20, and my German, Exposition of it.— πρῶτος, first) on the primacy of Peter, see Luke 8:45; Luke 9:32; John 1:42; Matthew 16:16; John 21:15; Acts 1:15; Acts 2:14; Acts 8:14; Acts 10:5; Acts 15:7. He was, however, first among the apostles, not placed over the apostles: in the apostolate, not above it. What is this to the Pope of Rome? Not more than to any other bishop; nay, even less.— λεγόμενος πέτρος, who is called Peter) A surname which became afterwards better known.(447)

Verse 3

Matthew 10:3. τοῦ ζεβεδαίου, the son of Zebedee) To distinguish him from James the son of Alphaeus.— τελώνης, the publican) A humble confession of the Evangelist concerning himself. He does not call Peter, Andrew, etc., the fishermen: but he does call himself the publican.

λεββαῖος, Lebbaeus) According to Hiller, Thaddaeus, derived from the Chaldee תד, bosom, and Lebbaeus, from the Hebrew לב, heart, are synonymous terms, and denote a man of much heart:(448) see Onomata Sacra, p. 123. So Thomas means the same thing as Didymus. Those copies λεββαῖος ἐπικληθεὶς θαδδαῖος.”—(I. B.)">(449) which have in this passage only λεββαῖος, are supported by the list of the apostles which Cotelerius(450) has published with the apostolical constitutions, and by Hesychius in the article ἴαρα.(451) As this reading is shorter and middle,(452) it appears to be the right one. Some persons having appended the disputed clause from the parallel passage of Mark as a gloss, others introduced it into the text from the same source. Their reading considers Thaddaeus as a surname, and Lebbaeus as the name of this apostle: His name, however, in reality was Judas the brother of James: but he was called Lebbaeus by name, as it were to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot.(453)

Then follow immediately the words referred to by Bengel: ἰάκωβος ἀλφαίον. καὶ θκδδαῖος καὶ λευὶ, παρὰ τῷ ΄αρκῳ, παρὰ δὲ τῷ ΄ατθαιῷ δεββαιος, παρὰ δὲ δουκᾷ, ἰούδας ἰακώβου.

In the note on Hesychius (Ed. Lugd. Bat. 1776), vol. xi. col. 10, are these words—

Nullus dubito quin diversos hic confuderit Glossæ hujus insititiæ auctor, ex male intellecto Veteris cujusdam Scriptoris apostolicorum nominum laterculo, qualem ex MS. codice Bibliothecæ Regiæ protulit Cotelerius ad lib. ii. Constitut. Apostol. c. 63, p. 264, ed. Cleric.—(I. B.)

So the margin of Bengel’s larger Ed., though in the text there stood θαδκῖος. The first Ed. of the Gnomon gives the palm to the shorter reading, λεββκῖος. So marg. of Ed. 2 and Vers. Germ., leaving it however to the decision of the reader, whether the words ἐπικληθεὶς θχδδκῖος are to be accepted or rejected. Michaelis, in his Einleitung, T. ii., p. m. 1687, etc., shows, by many proofs, that Judas the brother of James is the same as Thaddeus and Lebbeus, and was called among the Syrians Adai or Adæus.—E. B.

Verse 4

Matthew 10:4. ἰσκαριώτης, Iscariot) so called from the village of Iscariot in the tribe of Ephraim, as Jerome says on the beginning of Isaiah 28. Louis de Dieu, on Acts 1:16, says, “In the Æthiopic language, I find אִשְכָרַֽן for a bag or pouch to carry money in: for thus the translator has rendered τὸ γλωσσοκόμον (the bag) in John 12:6; John 13:29.—Hence may be derived, without any impropriety, אִשְכַרְיותָא (Iscariota), ἔχων γλωσσοκόμον, he who hath the bag.— καὶ, who also) The word also implies that Judas was best known and most easily distinguished by the betrayal.— παραδοὺς, betrayed) By the mention of his treason, it is silently intimated that Matthias, whom St Luke mentions by name in the Acts, was his successor in the apostolate.

Verse 5-6

Matthew 10:5-6. ὁδὸνπόλινοἴκον, way—city—house) The apostles were sometimes obliged to tread the roads of the Samaritans in their journeys;(454) but there was the less need for them to enter their cities, and stay there, because the Lord had preached to them in His journey (see John 4), and the apostles also were afterwards to come to them. The first of these injunctions regards this first legation; most of the rest apply equally to the whole office of the apostolate, to which the twelve are introduced on the present occasion; cf. Matthew 10:18. Our Lord gave nearly the same commands to the seventy disciples; Luke 10:1-11.

Verse 6

Matthew 10:6. πρόβατα, sheep) See ch. Matthew 9:36.— ἀπολωλότα, lost) He uses this expression in preference to led astray: cf. ch. Matthew 18:12; Matthew 18:14. The apostles would find sufficient occupation in attending to these.— ισραὴλ, Israel) from which the Samaritans had departed.

Verse 7

Matthew 10:7. πορευόμενοι, as ye go) Answering to πορεύεσθε (go ye), in Matthew 10:6.— κηρύσσετε, preach ye) Here were the disciples going forth like students in theology, who practise the rudiments of the ministry and perform the functions of curates, and afterwards return to receive further instruction.(455)ἤγγικεν, is at hand) This was to be the burden and sum of their discourses;(456) cf. Mark 6:12.

Verse 8

Matthew 10:8. ἀσθενοῦνταςδαιμόνια, sick—devils) An ascending gradation: cf. Matthew 10:1, where the highest grade is put first.— δωρεὰν, gratuitously) This is not inconsistent with the conclusion of Matthew 10:10. Hire is due for labour, but miracles and gifts of grace ought not to be sold.

Verse 9

Matthew 10:9. ΄ὴ κτήσησθε, κ. τ. λ., do not procure, etc.) Thus they were taught apostolic contentedness.(457) They were permitted to use what they already possessed, but not to procure any thing new.— χρυσὸνἄργυρονχαλκὸν, gold—silver—brass) i.e., money, large or small.— εἰς τὰς ζώνας, into your girdles) which served also for purses.

Verse 10

Matthew 10:10. πήραν, scrip) in which bread and other articles of food were kept; see Mark 6:8.— μηδὲ ῥάβδον, nor staff) In Mark 6:8, we read “but one staff.” He who had no staff, was not to care about procuring one, for our Lord says “do not procure he however who possessed a staff, might take it with him, for convenience, not defence.— ἄξιος γὰρ ἐργάτης, κ. τ. λ., for the labourer is worthy, etc.) On the other hand, the hire is worthy of the labourer.— τροφῆς, food) This word includes all the articles which are enumerated in Matthew 10:9-10.

Verse 11

Matthew 10:11. ἐξετάσατε, search out) sc. by asking others, and by spiritual examination. The godly are easily discovered by the godly, and in like manner the ungodly by the ungodly.— ἄξιος ἐστι, is worthy) sc. of being your host.— κἀκεῖ μείνατε, and there remain) sc. in the house of that man, until you leave the city.(458) A change of houses might have the appearance of fastidiousness.(459)

Verse 12

Matthew 10:12. ἀσπάσασθε, salute) i.e. say שלום, peace, mentioned in Matthew 10:13, i.e. salvation. Our Lord adopted formulæ and ceremonies already observed, but He elevated them to a higher use.

Verse 13

Matthew 10:13. ἐὰν μὲν, κ. τ. λ., if indeed, etc.) i.e. if they receive you.— ἐλθέτωἐπιστραφήτω, let it come—let it return to) The imperative may here be taken in its strict sense. If you pray for it, let it come. If you are not unwilling, let it return. So bear yourselves, that [in the one case] it may come [upon the house], that [in the other] it may return [to you]. Impart your salutation to them with ready good-will, or take it back to yourselves.(460) εἰρήνη ὑμῶν, your peace) sc. that of which you are the messengers.— ἐὰν δὲ, κ. τ. λ., but if, etc.) contrary to your expectation.— πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω let it return to you) By a testimony of duty performed, and an increase of tranquillity and spiritual power. That which has once gone forth from the wealth of God, has not gone forth in vain, but assuredly finds some one whom it may reach. A consolation for ministers who appear to themselves to produce no edification. The Lord says to them thus, “They have despised it; have it yourselves.”(461)

Verse 14

Matthew 10:14. ὅς ἐὰν, whosoever) whatever householder or magistrate.— ἐξερχόμενοι, when ye depart) The ignorance of men was not yet invincible. At present, in a greater multitude of labourers and hearers, it is not necessary to depart.(462), or) If you should not be admitted into any house of the city.— κονιορτὸν, dust) Because punishment (Matthew 10:15) would overtake the very dust of the land trodden by the feet of the impious, from which the apostles would wish to be altogether free; see Acts 13:51; cf. Matthew 18:6; Mark 6:11. That seeing your determination, they may know it has been said to them as a testimony against them. The action combined with the word moves both spectators and auditors; see Nehemiah 5:13.— τῶν ποδῶν, your feet) This depends upon ἐκτινάξατε, shake off from. Guilt is supposed to adhere to the feet or shoes; see 1 Kings 2:5. Therefore the apostles ought to declare, by shaking the dust from their feet, that the fault of those who did not listen has been removed from them.

Verse 15

Matthew 10:15. ἀνεκτότερον, more tolerable) Therefore it is worse not to believe the Gospel, than to imitate the men of Sodom; see ch. Matthew 11:22; Matthew 11:24. There appears to be an hypallage, viz.: that city shall, on the day of judgment, undergo a heavier punishment than the land of Sodom and Gomorrha either endured of old, or shall receive at the judgment. If merely a brief(463) repulse shall be so heavily punished, what shall be their fate who resist more obstinately.

Verse 16

Matthew 10:16. ἰδοὺ, behold) Behold is frequently used for pointing out a thing which is present.— ἐγὼ, I) your Lord. Do not hesitate. I give you a safe conduct.— πρόβατα, sheep) unarmed.— ἐν μέσῳ, in the midst) not into the midst, for you are already among wolves.— λὐκων, of wolves) who will be unwilling that the lost sheep, mentioned in Matthew 10:6, be brought back; cf. ch. Matthew 7:15, concerning false prophets, although here the appellation “wolves” has a wider signification.— γίνεσθε, become ye) In exhortations this word is frequently used rather than ἔστε, be ye. Go forth as such, and show yourselves to be so.— ὡς οἱ ὄφεις, as serpents) The godly often appear to the ungodly as serpents, and thus vanquish the old serpent.— καὶ, and) Thus David was at the same time prudent and simple towards Saul.(464)ἀκέραιοι, without horn) hoof, tooth, or sting; both actively and passively harmless. Many words of this kind have at the same time both an active and a passive signification; cf. Gnomon on Romans 16:19.

Verse 17

Matthew 10:17. προσεχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, but beware of men) The expression used in the last verse, “Be ye wise,” is now explained; and the force of the injunction is extended,(465) for the word men is of general signification; cf. John 2:24.(466)συνέδριασυναγωγαῖς, councils—synagogues) The councils, where the chief men assemble; the synagogues, where the people also resort.— ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς, in the synagogues) They will consider the action so holy, that it may be performed even in the synagogue, which is put in opposition to the council; see ch. Matthew 23:34.— μαστιγώσουσιν, they shall scourge) Hard things are foretold, yet they were actually endured by the apostles, and even by our Lord Himself.

Verse 18

Matthew 10:18. δὲ, but) The particle is here used epitatically,(467) to denote a further step in the subject announced.— ἀχθήσεσθε, ye shall be brought) The apostles did not come ultroneously to the rulers, they were brought.— αὐτοῖς, against them) sc. the Jews, in contradistinction to the Gentiles mentioned immediately afterwards,— καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, and the Gentiles) This chapter therefore already contemplates matters more remote, and refers to the apostolate after our Lord’s ascension.

Verse 19

Matthew 10:19. ΄ὴ μεριμνήσητε, Be not careful) Your only care must be to be without care. We are not forbidden by this passage from all preparation; see 1 Timothy 4:15, cf. Luke 21:14; 1 Corinthians 14:26. But on a sudden emergency, even in these times, a faithful professor should not be anxious as to what he has to say.— , or) Care is elegantly mentioned; where, however, the “what” (quid, τί) is supplied, there the “how(468) (quomodo, πῶς) is not wanting. The “how or what” includes whatever can fall under the idea of care; therefore, especially also the words, concerning which many, who have the matter ready, are wont to be over anxious. The Spirit does not speak without words; see Matthew 10:20 : and in Luke 21:15, we read, “I will give you a mouth and wisdom.” Analogous combinations, under other circumstances, occur in John 8:28; John 12:49-50; Romans 8:26; 1 Peter 1:11. The doctrine of verbal inspiration is not inferred from the difference of the words how and what, but from the promise itself.— ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὤρᾳ, in that hour) even though not before. Many feel most strongly their spiritual power when the hour arrives of imparting it to others.— τί, what) for , that which.—Cf. ch. Matthew 15:32, and Luke 17:8.

Verse 20

Matthew 10:20. οἱ λαλοῦντες, that speak) A similar use of the article occurs in John 6:63.— ἐν ὑμῖν, in you) As instruments.

Verse 21

Matthew 10:21. ἀδελφὸς, the brother) Those who are most near, are most easily divided.— θανατῶσουσιν, shall cause to be put to death) By an atrocious death, even by the agency of the magistrates.

Verse 22

Matthew 10:22. διὰ τὸ ὄνομά ΄ου, for My name’s sake) which the world hates.— οὗτος, κ. τ. λ., this man, etc.) truly. This is one of the apothegms which our Lord uttered more than once.—See ch. Matthew 24:13.

Verse 23

Matthew 10:23. τὴν ἄλληνκἂν ἐκ ταύτης διώκωσιν ὑμᾶς φεύγετε εἰς ἑτέραν, the other(469)and if they persecute you from this city, flee ye into another) This is the most ancient Latin reading,(470) and also that of Orige(471)(472) contra Celsum (p. 51, Ed. Hoesch.(473)), where, instead of φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἄλλην” [as in E.M.], we find φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἑτέραν· κἂν ἐν τῇ ἑτέρᾳ δίωκωσι, πάλιν φεύγετε εἰς τὴν ἄλλην.” Flee ye into the other;(474) and if they persecute you in that other, flee ye again into the other.(475) Francis Lucas(476) of Bruges quotes old Latin Codices in favour of that reading. Thence, too, the Anglo-Saxon version has—“and thonne hi on thœre eovv ehtath, fleoth on tha thryddan;” i.e. “and when they persecute you in that [city], flee to the third.” Ambrose(477) also, in his treatise, De Fugâ Seculi (ch. 4), says, “But if they shall persecute you in one, flee ye into another.” And Juvencus(478) renders the passage thus:—

“Profugite e tectis quæ vos sectabitur urbis

Inde aliam, mox INDE ALIAM, conquirite sedem.”

Flee from the roofs of the city which persecutes you; thence seek another and THEN AGAIN ANOTHER abode.” Thus Augustine; thus the Armenian Version. The Codex Cantabrigiensis, the Codices Colbertini 2467 and 3947, Parisiensis 6, and the Codex Stephani η (to which some add the Codex Gonvillianus), contain this passage in various forms of words. The variety of the Greek words(479) suggests the suspicion that this verse has been rendered from Latin into Greek: on the other hand, the antiquity and celebrity of the Latin text is proved by the very multitude and discrepancy of these Greek codices. The omission appears to have arisen from the carelessness so frequently manifested by transcribers, where similar words recur: the facility with which the mistake may occur, appears from the fact that Gelenius, in his Latin version of Orige(480), omits this very clause [which undoubtedly exists in the original]. Athanasius more than once substitutes ἑτέραν for ἄλλην, as is at present the case with the Codex Colbertinus, and from which you may conjecture, that another omission(481) might soon be made by other transcribers.

οὐ μὴ τελέσητε, ye shall not finish(482)) cf. כלה,(483) in 2 Chronicles 31:1.— τὰς πόλεις, the cities) not to say, villages, of Israel.—See Matthew 10:6. Our Lord tells them that there was no fear of their not having where to preach, and that they were not to remain long in one place, as they would have the opportunity of remaining longer in other places.— ἕως ἄν ἔλθη υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, until the Son of Man be come) Concerning this coming, see Matthew 10:7; Matthew 11:1.(484)

Verse 25

Matthew 10:25. δοῦλος, κ. τ. λ., the servant, etc.) i.e. ἴνα δοῦλος γένηται ὡς κύριος αὐτοῦ, ἀρκετὸν αὐτῷ ἑστίν, that the servant he as his lord, is sufficient for him. An instance of Zeugma.— οἰκοδεσπότην, master of the household(485)) Jesus was indeed the Master of a household, and brought up a large family of disciples (see Luke 22:35), affording the most perfect example of a domestic, as well as a solitary life; and He is also Master of the household of the whole Church.— βεελζεβούλ, Beelzebul) Beelzebub was a god of Ekron; see 2 Kings 1:2. As the Greeks, however, seem to have been unable to pronounce the word Beelzebub, the LXX. rendered it βααλζεβούβ (Baalmwian): and the Evangelists also wrote it in Greek with a λ (l), instead of a β (b), as the final letter, on account, apparently, not of the derivation, but the pronunciation; just as the LXX. wrote ΄ελχὸλ (Melchol) for Michal. As this reason, however, did not hold good in other languages, translators have restored the original sound of the Hebrew word. The Jews, however, frequently employ the term זבל,(486) in contempt of idols; but the compound, בעל־זבל, is not found in Hebrew, although it is credible that the Hebrews who spoke Greek may have said βεελζεβοὺλ for βεελζεβοὺβ the more willingly, on account of its resemblance to זבול.(487) Tertullian, when quoting Luke 11, in his work against Marcion, book iv., ch. 26, writes it, Beelzebul.— ἐκάλεσαν, κ. τ. λ., have called, etc.) See ch. Matthew 9:34 and Mark 3:22. They called Him Beelzebub, that is, the ally of Beelzebub.— πόσῳ μᾶλλον, how much more) The world hated Christ most and first; and it was the duty of His disciples to feel that they ought much more to endure that hatred, much less to refuse it.(488)τούς οἰκιακοὺς αὐτοῦ, his domestics) i.e. they shall call them the domestics of Beelzebub.

Verse 26

Matthew 10:26. οὖν, therefore) although you will be hated.— οὐδὲν, nothing) Cf. Mark 4:22; Luke 12:2.— γὰρ, κ. τ. λ., for, etc.) The world will not so quickly destroy you, by whom truth will be propagated far and wide.— κεκαλυμμένον, covered) i.e. removed from sight.— ἀποκαλυφθήσεται, shall be uncovered) especially in the time of the Messiah.— κρυπτὸν, hidden) i.e. removed from hearing: cf. Matthew 10:27.

Verse 27

Matthew 10:27. οὖς, ear) sc. one, secretly.— ἐπὶ τῶν δωμάτον, on the housetops) A flat place, where men might converse, or even assemble as an audience: cf. 2 Samuel 16:22.(489)

Verse 28

Matthew 10:28. καὶ μὴ φοβηθῆτε, κ. τ. λ., and be not afraid of etc.) The connection is as follows: He who publicly preaches hidden truth, him the world afflicts: he who fears God, ought to fear nothing except Him: he who does not fear God, fears everything except Him: see 1 Peter 3:14-15.(490)ἀπὸ, of) This preposition is not repeated. I fear Him, is a stronger phrase than I am afraid of Him.(491)ἀποκτενόντων,(492) who kill) From the root κτέω are derived κτένω, κτείνω, κτέννω. See Eustathius.— τὸν δυνάμενον, Him who is able(493)) and that too with the highest ability and authority (see Luke 12:5), that is, GOD see James 4:12.— καὶ ψυχὴν καὶ σῶμα, both soul and body) the two essential parts of man.— ἀπολέσαι, to destroy, to ruin) It is not said to kill: the soul is immortal.— ἐν γεέννῃ, in hell) It is not easy to preach the truth; and to none are severer precepts given than to the ministers of the Word, as is evident from the epistles to Timothy and Titus. The most efficacious stimulus is on this account employed. Many witnesses to the truth have been first excited, and afterwards led on, by the most fearful terrors from God.

Verse 29

Matthew 10:29. δύο στρουθία ἀσσαρίου, two sparrows for a farthing)(494) In Luke 12:6, we read, five sparrows for two farthings. A reason why men are not to be feared.— ἕν, one) sc. one in preference to another.(495)οὐ πεσεῖται, shall not fall) To fall on the ground is to die. The use of the future tense implies a condition: if it falls, it does not fall without your Father’s permission.— ἄνευ τοῦ θελήματος τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν, without the will of your Father) This is the reading of Irenæu(496), Tertullian, Novatian, Cypria(497), Hilary, Augustine, Cassiodorius; also of the Italic, Coptic, Arabic, Gothic, and Persic versions. It is therefore an ancient reading, and one too widely received to be accounted for on the hypothesis of its being a paraphrase, especially since the sense would be complete without the contested words τοῦ θελή΄ατος” (the will of), as the LXX. in Isaiah 36:10(498) write ἄνευ κυρίου, without the Lord, and the Hebrews say, מבלעדי שמיא, without heaven. The later Greeks omitted these words, τοῦ θελήματος, from the recurrence of the article τοῦ. The numbered hairs of the faithful, mentioned in the parallel passage of Luke 12:7, correspond to this “will.”(499)ὑμῶν, your) not their Father.

Verse 30

Matthew 10:30. ὑμῶν, your) used antithetically.— αἱ τρίχες, the hairs) which you yourselves care little about. Who cares about the hairs once pulled out by the comb? A proverbial saying concerning a very small matter.

Verse 31

Matthew 10:31. πολλῶν, many) opposed to one in Matthew 10:29.— ὑμεῖς, you) even each of you individually.

Verse 32

Matthew 10:32. ἐν, in, on) i.e., when the question is raised concerning Me. This ἐν ἐμοὶ” “on Me,” differs from ΄ε,” “Me,” and αὐτὸν,” “him,” in the next verse; cf. Luke 12:8-9.— ἀνθρώπων, men) Our Lord is speaking especially of persecutors.

Verse 33

Matthew 10:33. ἀρνήσομαι κᾀγὼ αὐτὸν,(500) I also will deny him) This order of the words, sc. “I-will-deny even-I-also him,” which expresses more exactly the law of retribution, jus talionis (as in Matthew 10:32), is supported by the Latin and Gothic versions,(501) by the Codex Byzantinus, and perhaps by other MSS. Such matters have been generally neglected by the collators of Codices. Others read ἀρνήσομαι αὐτὸν κᾀγώ.(502)

Verse 34

Matthew 10:34. εἰρήνην, peace) sc. of the righteous with the wicked.— μάχαιραν, a sword) i.e., violent division (called διαμερισμὸν in Luke 12:51; Luke 22:36), proceeding from the discord of families, mentioned in Matthew 10:35, to wars and murders.

Verse 35

Matthew 10:35. διχάσαι, to separate) A necessary consequence of what precedes.— ἄνθρωπον, a man) sc. a son who loves Me: see Matthew 10:37.— κατὰ, against) In this passage those are put in opposition, who are otherwise naturally most attached, to each other.

Verse 36

Matthew 10:36. ἐχθροὶ, enemies) A man shall have them of his household—his relations, servants, and acquaintances—for enemies, if he believes in Me; see Micah 7:6.

Verse 37

Matthew 10:37. φιλῶν, κ. τ. λ., he that loveth, etc.) from aversion to the sword just mentioned. An ascending climax: to prefer Christ to parents, children, and, in the next verse, himself.

Verse 38

Matthew 10:38. τὸν σταυρὸν, his cross) The cross, which was unused by the Jews as a punishment, was not employed proverbially to denote extreme adversity: our Lord therefore, in this passage, alludes to His own Cross, which He was already bearing in secret.— λαμβάνει, taketh) sc. willingly.

Verse 39

Matthew 10:39. ψυχὴν, soul) i.e., man with respect to his natural life, himself; cf. Luke 9:24-25.— ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, for My sake) Many lose their soul for the sake of the world.

Verse 40

Matthew 10:40. ὑμᾶς, you) A descending gradation: sc. you (apostles), a prophet, a righteous man, a little one.— ἐμὲ, Me) It is not only of the same avail as if he received Me, but he actually does receive Me.

Verse 41

Matthew 10:41. εἰς ὄνομα, κ. τ. λ., in the name, etc.) i.e., on this ground, and on no other.(503)προφήτηνδίκαιον, a prophet—a righteous man) A prophet is one who speaks, a righteous man one who acts, in the name of God, and is distinguished for his remarkable righteousness; see ch. Matthew 13:17, Matthew 23:29; Hebrews 11:33.— μισθὸν, hire, reward) for he shows himself as obedient to God as if he were a prophet himself. It may be asked how he who is not righteous himself can receive a righteous man as a righteous man? The reply is easy: Such a man, by the very act, abandons his evil way, and ceases to be the enemy of righteousness.

Verse 42

Matthew 10:42. ΄ικρῶν, little ones) (see ch. Matthew 11:11, and Zechariah 13:7). A sweet epithet for disciples (cf. Matthew 10:41, for the double mention of prophet, etc.) The world cares not for such as these. From these little ones are made prophets and righteous men.— ψυχροῦ, of cold water) This is without expense, and may be done even on the road. A proverbial expression, and contrasted! with he that receiveth.(504)μὴ ἀπολέση, shall not lose) A consolation which, arising from former good deeds, cheers the disciple even in the midst of subsequent dangers.(505)αὐτοῦ, his) i.e., of the little one, or rather his own. It is more to receive any one than to give him to drink, and therefore it has a greater reward.(506)


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Matthew 10:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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