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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Matthew 19

 

 


Verse 1

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

FAREWELL TO GALILEE

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee. This marks a very solemn period in our Lord's public ministry. So slightly is it touched here, and in the corresponding passage of Mark (Mark 10:1), that few readers probably note it as the Redeemer's Farewell to Galilee, which however it was. See on the sublime statement of Luke (Luke 9:51), which relates to the same transition-stage in the progress of our Lord's work.

And came into the coasts (or 'boundaries') of Judea beyond Jordan - that is, to the further, or east side of the Jordan, into Perea, the dominions of Herod Antipas. But though one might conclude from our Evangelist that our Lord went straight from the one region to the other, we know from the other Gospels that a considerable time elapsed between the departure from the one and the arrival at the other, during which many of the most important events in our Lord's public life occurred-probably a large part of what is recorded in Luke 9:51, onwards to Matthew 18:15, and part of John 7:2-53; John 8:1-59; John 9:1-41; John 10:1-42; John 11:1-54.


Verse 2

And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.

And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. Mark says further (Mark 10:1), that "as He was wont, He taught them there." What we now have on the subject of Divorce is some of that teaching.


Verse 3

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Two rival schools (as we saw at Matthew 5:31) were divided on this question-a delicate one, as de Wette pertinently remarks, in the dominions of Herod Antipas.


Verse 4

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female - or better, perhaps, 'He that made them made them from the beginning a male and a female.'


Verse 5

And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

And said, For this cause (to follow out this divine appointment), shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?


Verse 6

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Jesus here sends them back to the original constitution of man as one pair, a male and a female; to their marriage, as such, by divine appointment; and to the purpose of God, expressed by the sacred historian, that in all time one men and one woman should by marriage become one flesh-so to continue as long as both are in the flesh. This being God's constitution, let not man break it up by causeless divorces.


Verse 7

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?


Verse 8

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

He saith unto them, Moses (as a civil lawgiver), because of, [ pros (G4314) teen (G3588), or 'having respect to'] the hardness of your hearts (looking to your low moral state, and your inability to endure the strictness of the original law), suffered you to put away your wives - tolerated a relaxation of the strictness of the marriage bond-not as approving of it, but to prevent still greater evils.

But from the beginning it was not so. This is repeated, in order to impress upon His audience the temporary and purely civil character of this Mosaic relaxation.


Verse 9

And I say unto you Whosoever shall put away his wife except it be for fornication and shall marry And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except ... ; and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. See the note at Matthew 5:32. [Tregelles brackets this last clause, as of doubtful authority-but without sufficient reason, as we think. Tischendorf inserts it, as in the received text.]


Verse 10

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry: - q.d., 'In this view of marriage, surely it must prove a snare rather than a blessing, and had better be avoided altogether.'


Verse 11

But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.

But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given: - q.d., 'That the unmarried state is better, is a saying not for everyone, and indeed only for such as it is divinely intended for.' But who are these? they would naturally ask; and this our Lord proceeds to tell them in three particulars.


Verse 12

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb - persons constitutionally either incapable of or indisposed to marriage.

And there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men - persons rendered incapable by others.

And there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake - persons who, to do God's work better, deliberately choose this state. Such was Paul (1 Corinthians 7:7). He that is able to receive it, let him receive it - `He who feels this to be his proper vocation, let him embrace it;' which, of course, is as much as to say-`he only.' Thus, all is left free in this matter.

Remarks:

(1) If the sanctity of the marriage-tie, as the fountain of all social well-being, is to be upheld among men, it must be by basing it on the original divine institution of it; nor will those relaxations of it which corrupt ingenuity introduces and defends be effectually checked but by reverting, as our Lord here does, to the great primary character and design of it as established at the beginning.

(2) Let those who reverence the authority of Christ mark the divine authority which He ascribes to the Old Testament in general, and to the books of Moses in particular, in the settlement of all questions of divine truth and human duty (Matthew 19:4-5); nor let us fail to observe the important distinction which He draws between things commanded and things permitted-between things tolerated for a time, and regulated by civil enactment, to keep the barriers of social morality from being quite broken down, and the enduring sanctities of the great moral law (Matthew 19:8-9).

(3) When our Lord holds forth the single life as designed for and suited to certain specific classes, let Christians understand that, while their own plan and condition of life should be regulated by higher considerations than mere inclination or personal advantage, they are not to lay down rules for others, but let each decide for himself, as to his own Master he standeth or falleth. For he that in these thins serveth Christ is acceptable to God and approved of men.


Verses 13-15

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

For the exposition, see the notes at Luke 18:15-17.


Verses 16-30

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

For the exposition, see the notes at Luke 18:18-30.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Matthew 19:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/matthew-19.html. 1871-8.

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Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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