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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Matthew 22

 

 

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Verse 1

Matthew 22:1. ἀποκριθεὶς, answering) Not only he who has been questioned, but he also to whom a reason for speaking has been given, may rightly be said to answer.— πάλιν, again) construe this word with ἐν παραβολαῖς, in parables, i.e. with the design of putting forth more.


Verse 3

Matthew 22:3. καλέσαι τοὺς κεκλημένους, to call those that had been called) The first call was before the wedding; the second, on the day of its celebration.


Verse 4

Matthew 22:4. ἄριστον, dinner) sc. with regard to the Jews in the early time of the New Testament dispensation, but supper with regard to the saints at the actual consummation of the spiritual marriage: see Revelation 19:9.(951) This parable embraces the history of the Church from the one time to the other.— ἡτοίμασα, I have prepared) Our salvation is effected, not by our power, but by that of God.— σιτιστὰ, fatlings) a general word.— πάντα, all things) For there are many things besides oxen and fatlings.— δεῦτε, come) sc. forthwith.


Verse 5

Matthew 22:5. ἀμελήσαντες, making light of, neglecting) This is a greater offence than the previous, They would not come. They ought to have understood (see Acts 7:25), and to have watched.— ἀπῆλθον, they departed) leaving even the city, which was therefore burnt; see Matthew 22:7. He who does not answer the call, loses even those advantages which he previously had possessed.— τὸν ἴδιοναὐτοῦ, his own—his) Egoism.(952)ἀγρὸνἐμπορίαν, field—merchandise) The one busied with immoveable, the other with moveable goods; the one detained by a false contentment ( αὐτάρκεια(953)), the other by the desire of acquiring more.


Verse 6

Matthew 22:6. οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ, and the remnant) Who did not wish to appear to have made light of it.(954)ὕβρισαν, treated them with insult and injury) see 2 Chronicles 30:10; 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 10:29.


Verse 7

Matthew 22:7. ἀκούσας δὲ βασιλεὺς, but when the king heard thereof) The transgression of the disobedient was a crying sin.— τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν, their city) sc. that of the murderers.— στρατεύματα, armies) sc. the Roman forces.(955)φονεῖς, murderers) The chief crime provokes the whole punishment; see Amos 2.— αὐτῶν, of them) viz. of those murderers and despisers.


Verse 8

Matthew 22:8. τότε, κ. τ. λ., then, etc.) see Acts 13:46.— λέγει, κ. τ. λ., saith He, etc.) The Lord frequently reveals the principles of His counsel to His servants.— ἕτοιμός ἐστιν, is ready) and will not be dispensed with on account of the ingratitude of them which were bidden.(956)οὐκ ἦσαν ἄξιοι, were not worthy) cf. Acts 13:46. No one is considered unworthy until the offer has been made to and refused by him: by doing which he betrays himself. The past tense, were not worthy, is used to show that the opportunity of the unworthy has passed away.


Verse 9

Matthew 22:9. τὰς διεξόδους, the cross ways) It would be pleasant to see a map of the journeys of all the apostles through the world, like that of St Paul’s Voyages and Travels.— ὁδὸς signifies the whole road,— διεξοδοι, the parts, and as it were, branches of it.


Verse 10

Matthew 22:10. συνήγαγον, brought together) partly by calling them as they had been commanded, and partly by employing unjustifiable compulsion.— πονηρούς τε καὶ ἀγαθοὺς, both bad and good) A proverbial mode, as it were, of expression.(957)


Verse 11

Matthew 22:11. ἄνθρωπον, a man) Some remarkable one amongst the many bad who were called, and yet not chosen; who is individually a sample of all such, one whom you would especially suppose to be chosen, and from whose not being chosen, the small number of the chosen is perceived. The singular number is emphatic; for the passage would otherwise have equally admitted of the plural.— ἔνδυμα γάμου, a wedding garment)(958) sc. the righteousness of Christ; see Gnomon on ch. Matthew 6:33.


Verse 12

Matthew 22:12. ἐταῖρε, comrade) A word of ambiguous meaning, which is also applied to those with whom we are not on terms of intimacy or friendship.— πῶς, κ. τ. λ., how, etc.) by what culpable indulgence of the servants? by what audacity on thine own part?—[ ἐφιμώθη, he was speechless) By this speechlessness [implying, as it does, that the lost perish altogether through their own fault] all objections whatever that are directed against Christianity are dissipated.—V. g.]


Verse 13

Matthew 22:13. διακόνοις, attendants) Servants, δοῦλοι, are sent forth; attendants, διάκονοι, wait at table; see John 2:5.— ἐκβαλετε εἰς, κ. τ. λ., cast him into, etc.) This will take place a little before the nuptial evening; see Revelation 19:20.


Verse 14

Matthew 22:14.(959) πολλοὶ γάρ, κ. τ. λ., for many, etc.) Our Lord adds this remark in His own person to the conclusion of the king’s speech. Cf ὅτι, κ. τ. λ., for, etc., in Luke 16:8.— γὰρ, κ. τ. λ., for, etc.) This general sentiment is a proof, that this man without a wedding garment, and all who are like him, will be cast forth.


Verse 15

Matthew 22:15. τότε πορευθέντες οἱ φαρισαῖοι, κ. τ. λ., then went the Pharisees, etc.) On the malignant spirit of our Lord’s adversaries, see Mark 12:12-13; Luke 20:20.


Verse 16

Matthew 22:16. ΄αθητὰς, disciples) With whom they thought that our Lord would deal less cautiously, and whose overthrow they thought would be attended with less disgrace to themselves.— ἡρωδιανῶν, of the Herodians) who were especially attached to the party of Herod, and consequently to that of Cæsar, which the Pharisees viewed with aversion; see Josephus Antiq. xvii. 3; and see Mark 3:6; Mark 12:13. There might be, moreover, a variety of opinion amongst the Herodians themselves concerning holy things, Herod, etc.— ἀληθὴςἐν ἀληθείᾳ, true—in truth) Truth should be known and spoken. Truth is the agreement of things with the faculties of knowing, willing, speaking, and acting.— τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, the way of God) A part of which way is the doctrine concerning what ought to be given to God. There is a striking antithesis here between θεου, of God—and ἀνθρώπων, of men.— οὐ γὰρ βλέπεις εἰς πρόσωπον, for Thou regardest not the person) They wished Jesus to deny that tribute ought to be given to Cæsar.(960) Truth truly estimates both things and persons; but he who regards persons easily betrays truth.


Verse 17

Matthew 22:17. ἕξεστι, is it lawful?) They do not merely say, is it incumbent? but, is it lawful? [not must we? but may we?] i.e. on account of what was due to God.— οὔ, or not) They demand a categorical answer.


Verse 18

Matthew 22:18. γνοὺς, knowing) sc. without delay, or instruction from any one.— ὑποκριταὶ! hypocrites!) Our Lord shows Himself to them true, as they had said; Matthew 22:16.


Verse 20

Matthew 22:20. εἰκὼν, image, likeness ἐπιγραφή, letters inscribed.


Verse 21

Matthew 22:21. ἀπόδοτε, render) sc. as it is just.— οὖν, therefore) In these days the coins of one country are used promiscuously in others, as happens with French money in Germany; but none except Roman money appears to have been current at that time in Judea. But if the Jews had not been subject to Cæsar, they were not of such a disposition as to have employed foreign coin, especially when stamped with heathen likenesses (imaginibus).— καὶ, κ. τ. λ., and, etc.) The one duty is not, as you suppose, destroyed by the other. The things which are God’s, those which have been set apart and dedicated to Him are not Cæsar’s; but the things which are Cæsar’s are, in some sort, also God’s.(961)τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ, the things that are God’s) whose cause you wish to appear to plead; see Matthew 22:16.


Verse 22

Matthew 22:22. ἐθαύμασαν, they marvelled) And showed their astonishment at His safe and true answer.


Verse 23

Matthew 22:23. σαδδουκαῖοι, Sadducees) Towards the close of His earthly career all rise together against Jesus. The Sadducees are seldom mentioned by the Evangelists; on that day not even the Sadducees remained quiescent.— ἀνάστασιν, resurrection) It is clear that this article of faith was well known at that time, from the Evangelist not having added the words, “of the dead.” And the adversaries of this article contravene it in various degrees, some by denying(962) altogether the immortality of the soul, others, its being joined again to its former body. And there may also have been a variety of error among the Sadducees themselves.


Verse 24

Matthew 22:24. τέκνα, children) sc. a son or a daughter, or more, see Deuteronomy 25:5.


Verse 25

Matthew 22:25. παῤ ἡμῖν, with us) The Sadducees raise this doubt on a circumstance, rare, and perhaps long since canvassed,(963) which might have been nearly as well raised from the case of any woman who had married more than one husband. The maintainers of errors frequently seek for a colour for them from things which are little or nothing to the point.


Verse 28

Matthew 22:28. τίνος, whose) She will, say they, be the wife either of all or of one: but none of them has a superior claim to the rest. Jesus answers (Matthew 22:30) she will be the wife of none. The Pharisees also had divided and opposed those things which are Cæsar’s, and those which are God’s: He who is the Truth, affirms both in His reply to them: to the Sadducees He denies both. Earthly wisdom frequently precipitates itself into absurdity from an imperfect enumeration, even in an easy matter, of parts, not one of which escapes heavenly wisdom.— μὴ εἰδότες, κ. τ. λ., not knowing, etc.) This twofold ignorance is the mother of almost all errors. The resurrection of the dead rests on the power of God: and the belief in the resurrection rests on the Scriptures. Jesus refutes their first and fundamental error ( πρῶτον ψεῦδος): which they did not suppose themselves to labour under at all. He first answers the argument by which they opposed the truth: then He proves the truth itself.— τὰς γραφὰς, the Scriptures) which clearly look to a future life; see Matthew 22:31-32. The Sadducees did not understand Moses: they did not receive the prophets who explain Moses.— τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ θεου, the power of God) The power of God will make man equal to the angels; see Matthew 22:30. To be ignorant of God and His perfections is the fountain of error; see 1 Corinthians 15:34 [Romans 4:17, E. B.]


Verse 30

Matthew 22:30. οὔτε γαμοῦσιν, neither marry) sc. men— οὔτε ἐκγαμίζονται, nor are given in marriage) sc. women; cf. Matthew 22:25.— ὡς ἄγγελοι τοῦ θεοῦ, as the angels of God) The absurdity which the Sadducees supposed would apply to the righteous rather than the unrighteous, as no one could imagine that the unrighteous would enjoy the blessing of marriage. Our Lord therefore replies only concerning the righteous. The righteous will then be in the same condition as the angels of God,(964) without wedlock, meat and drink, etc. Elsewhere it is said that those who obtain the life to come, will be like God: but, since God has one Son and many sons, in this passage, where there is question concerning begetting, it is said that they will be as angels; and simultaneously the existence of angels also is defended against the Sadducees who ignored it.— εἰαὶ, are) sc. both men and women.


Verse 31

Matthew 22:31.(965) ὑ΄ῖν, unto you) To you He says, not to us. They were not written for Christ.(966) To you the descendants of Abraham.


Verse 32

Matthew 22:32. θεὸς, the God) see Exodus 3:6. These words are not put only once, but three times, because Jacob did not hear the promise of God merely from Isaac, or Isaac merely from Abraham, but each of them separately also from God Himself; and Abraham’s name was Divinely changed, Isaac’s Divinely given, that of Israel Divinely added to Jacob: see Genesis 17:5; Genesis 17:19; Genesis 32:28.— οὐκ ἔστι θεὸς νεκρῶν,(967) He is not God of the dead) i.e., God is not God of the dead. There is an ellipsis as in Romans 3:29. The value of inferential(968) reasoning is seen by this example,—“God is thine.” This phrase expresses both a Divine gift and a human duty. The Divine gift (for that is considered in this passage) thus expressed, is infinite, everlasting, and one which could never be fully realized to us by an earthly life, however long or happy (see Psalms 144:15, and Luke 16:25), much less by a pilgrimage of a few and evil days, such as were the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and above all, Jacob, compared with those of their ancestors,(969) who, nevertheless, had not obtained that promise. For it is not said wealth, long life, security, or, in short, the world is thine, but, God is thine: nor is it said God is thine for fifty, an hundred, or seven hundred years, but simply God is thine. When, therefore, God first declared Himself to Abraham to be his God, He conferred, and was acknowledged to have conferred, upon him the everlasting communion of Himself everlasting. And though the death of the body has intervened in the case of the patriarchs, it cannot last for ever, nor produce a long delay, long in comparison with everlasting life. For Abraham himself, the whole man, and all that is included under the name Abraham, that is, not only his soul but also his body, which also received the seal of the promise, possesses GOD. God, however, is not the God of that which is not: He is the Living God; they therefore who possess God must themselves also be living, and as to any portion of them in which life has been suspended, must revive for ever. The force of the formula is shown also in Gnomon on Hebrews 11:16, which passage is chiefly to this effect, “He hath prepared for them a city,” and that principally in eternity; and therefore He is called their God. And this reasoning of Christ is sound, evident, and then heard for the first time: and most effectually proves both the immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body, against the Sadducees, who denied altogether the existence of spirits. The force, however, of the argument does not consist in the verb εἰμὶ, I am, nor in the use of its present tense at the time of Moses (for though it is expressed by St Matthew, it is not found in the parallel passages of St Mark or St Luke, or the original of Moses), but in the formula itself.(970) And these phrases, My, Thy, His, etc., GOD, are by far the most frequent. This passage, however, here cited against the Sadducees is furthermore the most striking of all of them, on the following grounds: (1) In it God speaks Himself, an irrefragable proof of its truth; (2) He speaks on the occasion of a most solemn and visible manifestation of Himself; (3) He speaks of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob conjointly; (4) And indeed after their death, and that a long while after, at the very time of performing the promise to them, even in the persons of their descendants, which was a proof that these patriarchs had not in their own lifetime themselves obtained the promises. And thus, as we are told in Luke 20:37, EVEN, KAI, Moses showed the resurrection of the dead, even Moses, not only the prophets, in preference to whom, Moses was read publicly before the time of Antiochus.(971) At the same time, our Lord reduces to its proper shape the proverb of the Jews, who said, “God is not the God of the living but of the dead.” See Axiom ix. of Alexander Morus, and the Dissertation of E. F. Cobius, on the force of this passage.


Verse 35

Matthew 22:35. εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν, one of them) This man is less blamed by our Lord; wherefore he seems to have been led on by others.— νομικὸς, a lawyer) How great soever he was, and proud of that abundance of knowledge which he was now about to exhibit.— νομικὸς = γραμματεύς, a scribe, in Luke 11:45; Luke 11:44; Luke 11:53; and νομοδιδάσκαλος, a doctor of the law, in Luke 5:17; Luke 5:21.


Verse 37

Matthew 22:37. ἀγαπήσεις, κ. τ. λ., thou shalt love, etc.) Moses repeats this in Deuteronomy 6:8, from the Decalogue in Ib. Matthew 5:10; and it is frequently repeated in the same book, of which it is the sum, the last time with a most solemn adjuration; Ib. 30:19, 20.— ἐν ὅλῃ καρδίᾳ σου καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ ψυχῇ σου, καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ διανοίᾳ σου,(972) with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Those who have copied or collated MSS., have for the most part treated the article with indifference; but as far as can be gathered from MSS. lately collated, St Matthew introduced the article only in the last clause. In the Hebrew it is ובכל מאדך, q.d., and with all thy strength (et in omni validitate tuâ). The LXX. render it καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς δυνάμεώς σου, and with all thy might. In St Mark it is, καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου, καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength. In St Luke 10:27, it is καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος σου καὶ ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου, one Hebrew word, מאד מְא̇דֶף, and with all thy strength,” i.e. in the highest degree. Gesenius.—(I. B.)">(973) being expressed by two Greek ones. [sc. ἰσχύος, strength, and διανοίας, mind, or understanding.] Even the Hebrew accents(974) distinguish this third clause from the two previous ones, which are closely united. They all form an epitasis,(975) with which St Matthew’s introduction of the article only in the third clause agrees. John James Syrbius, Philos. primæ, Part I., ch. i., § 1, thus expresses himself,—“Of ALL those things which are ever found in man, there are three fundamental principles, idea, desire, and emotion.” ALL ought to be animated and governed by the love of God.

DZ. support the articles before καρδιά, and before διανοίᾳ: the reading of B. is doubtful. Only inferior uncial MSS. δ., etc., omit the articles.—ED.


Verse 38

Matthew 22:38. πρώτη, first) This commandment is not only the greatest in necessity, extent, and duration, but it is also the first in nature, order, time, and evidence.


Verse 39

Matthew 22:39. δευτέρα, second) Corresponding with πρώτη, first.— ὁμοία, like) sc. of that same character as contrasted with sacrifice; see Mark 12:33. The love of our neighbour resembles the love of God more than all the other duties, just as the moon resembles the sun more than the stars do: see Genesis 1. The lawyer might easily omit the latter, whilst anxious about the former. Our Lord guards him from that danger, and answers more than he had asked.— ὡς, as) sc. as thou lovest thyself. Self-love needs not to be enjoined separately. He who loves God will love himself in a proper degree without selfishness. God loves me as He does thee; and thee as He does me: therefore I ought to love thee, my neighbour, as myself; and thou me as thyself: for our love to each other ought to correspond to God’s love towards us both.


Verse 40

Matthew 22:40. κρέματαικαὶ οἱ προφῆται,(976) hangs(977)and the prophets. The Latin Codices have pendet, et prophetæ—hangs, and the prophets: whence the Canterbury MS. has the reading κρέμαται καὶ οἱ προφῆται. The question was concerning the law: the reply concerns the law especially: see Matthew 22:36; Matthew 22:40. The Anglo-Saxon version has not καὶ οἱ προφῆται; and it might seem a gloss from ch. Matthew 7:12, because the verb κρέμαται is in the singular number, and the disputed clause follows afterwards. The fathers, however, have it, including even Tertullian, if the copies of him are not corrupt. And again, the Anglo-Saxon version frequently omits something which is found in the Latin. The matter requires further consideration, κρέμαται is an elegant verb. He who takes away either of these commandments, takes away the law.(978)

BDLZabc Vulg. Syr. and Hil. read κρέμαται. Orig. 3, 981b supports Rec. text, κρέμανται after προφῆται—ED.


Verse 41

Matthew 22:41. συνηγμένων δὲ τῶν φαρισαίων, but while the Pharisees were gathered together) sc. solemnly; see Matthew 22:34.


Verse 42

Matthew 22:42. τί, κ. τ. λ., what? etc.) You Pharisees, says our Lord, are always putting questions concerning commandments; now I will propose to you something else, concerning which also it is written (scriptum est), as of an important matter; that you may see that the Gospel is as much to be sought for in the Scriptures (Scripturis) as the Law is.(979)ὑμῖν δοκεῖ, seems to you) [i.e. is your opinion]. Jesus employs the word δοκεῖ(980) (seems) with greater right towards the Pharisees than they had done to Him, in Matthew 22:17. Even opinion might become the beginning of faith.— τίνος υἱὸς, whose son?) Jesus thus gave them an opportunity of acknowledging Him as the Messiah. The doctrine of the Divine Unity (Matthew 22:37), is illustrated by that of the Trinity.— τοῦ δαυὶδ, of David) Human reason more easily accepts moderate views concerning Christ, than those which are either more humble or more glorious.


Verse 43

Matthew 22:43. ἐν πνεύματι, in Spirit) and therefore truly: see 1 Corinthians 12:3.— κύριον αὐτὸν καλεῖ, calleth Him Lord) a sign of subjection: see Philippians 2:11 : cf. 1 Peter 3:6. It was a higher honour to have Christ for his Son, than to be a king; and vet David does not say that Christ is his son, but rejoices that Christ is his Lord, and he Christ’s servant. But this joy has also been procured for us: see Luke 1:43; John 20:28; Philippians 3:3; Philippians 3:8. They who regard the Messiah only as the son of David, regard the lesser part of the conception of Him. A dominion to which David himself is subject, shows the heavenly majesty of the King, and the heavenly character of His kingdom.


Verse 44

Matthew 22:44. εἶπεν κύριος, κ. τ. λ., the Lord said, etc.) The whole of this verse agrees verbatim with the S. V. of Psalms 110:1.— τῷ κυρίῳ μου, to my Lord) Therefore He was David’s Lord, before the Lord said to Him, “Sit Thou on My right hand,” etc.— κάθου, sit) in token of command; see 1 Corinthians 15:25.— ἐκ δεξιῶν μου, on My right hand) in token of power.— ἕως ἄν, until) The eternity of the session is not denied; but it is denied that the assault of the enemies will interfere with it. The warlike kingdom will come to an end (as in earthly wars the heir of a kingdom commonly resigns the command which he held during the war, when the enemy has been conquered); the peaceful kingdom, however, will have no end. Cf. 1 Corinthians 15:25, etc. Even before that, the Son was subordinate to the Father, but did not then appear so, on account of the glory of His kingdom: even after that, He will reign, but as the Son, subordinate to the Father.— θῶ, κ. τ. λ., I place, etc.) The enemies will lie prostrate.— ἐχθρούς, enemies) and amongst them the Pharisees.— σου, Thy) i.e. of Thee. The hatred of the enemies is directed especially against the First-born.— ὑποπόδιον, footstool) The enemies will themselves be the footstool of Christ by right of conquest. Cf. Joshua 10:24; Psalms 47:4.


Verse 45

Matthew 22:45. εἰ οὖν δανὶδ, if David therefore) It was the duty of the Jews to study that point with the utmost earnestness, especially at that time. It is considerably more evident of Christ that He is the Lord, than that He is the Son of David.(981)


Verse 46

Matthew 22:46. λόγον, a word) On that question or any other.— ἐπερωτῆσαι, to question) sc. with the object of tempting Him; the disciples questioned Him with the object of learning.— οὐκέτι, no more) A new scene, as it were, opens from this point.(982)

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Matthew 22:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/matthew-22.html. 1897.

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