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Bible Commentaries

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Matthew 19

 

 

Verse 1

Galilee; this was the poorest part of Palestine. Hence, Galilean was a term of reproach.

Judea; this lay to the south; and between it and Galilee was Samaria.

Beyond; on the east side of the Jordan.


Verse 3

Tempting him; for the purpose of ensnaring him, in order to get him into difficulty.

For every cause; whenever he chooses; as some of their teachers said that he might, and as they often did.


Verse 4

Have ye not read; Genesis 1:27. In matters of religion, the appeal must be to the Bible; and an intimate acquaintance with it, and a cordial obedience to its laws, will give one a great advantage over his adversaries.


Verse 5

Marriage is an institution of God; honorable in all, ministers of the gospel as well as others; sacred in its obligations; and unless these obligations are violated by one of the parties, not to be dissolved till death.


Verse 6

One flesh; they are so united as to be no longer two, but one, each being a part of the other. Compare the apostle’s words: "He that loveth his wife loveth himself." Ephesians 5:28. Of course they ought to be one in views, affections, and interests; and for a man to break such a union as this by putting away his wife for every cause, is wrong. Thus the question of the Pharisees was answered.


Verse 7

A writing of divorcement; Deuteronomy 24:1.


Verse 8

Suffered; he did not direct it, or suffer it in any such sense as to imply that God approved of it, or that it was right. It was a civil regulation of a civil government, suffered for a time on account of the wickedness of men, and in order to prevent the greater evils which that wickedness would otherwise have occasioned. It was a regulation as to the mode of putting away; not to justify that wrong practice, but to lessen, in some measure, its evils.

Not so; from the beginning, and in all its stages, this putting away "for every cause" of one’s wife was a violation of the will of God, as manifested in his works and his word. That God suffers the adoption, and for a time the continuance of practices, on account of the hardness of men’s hearts, is no evidence of the moral rectitude of those practices. Nor is the giving of directions about them, and the adoption of regulations to lessen their evils while they continue, any evidence that God approves of them. The practices may still be a violation of what has been the will of God from the beginning, and obedience to him may require them to be done away.


Verse 9

I say unto you; I give you the right interpretation of the will of God in this matter.

Fornication; here in the sense of adultery.


Verse 10

If the case of the man be so with his wife; if a man, to obey God, must live all his life with one wife, provided she lives and is faithful, whether he is pleased with her or not, then it is not good for a man to marry.


Verse 11

Cannot receive this saying; namely, that it is not good to marry. If all should, and act upon it, and not break any other command of God, the whole human race, when those now living are dead, would be extinct. Not to marry is contrary to the nature and wants of men, and to the will of God with regard to them. Genesis 1:28.

It is given; some individuals are capable of living with comfort and usefulness in an unmarried state, and may lawfully think it not best for them to marry; and some may be called for a time to perform special services, or meet special dangers, where they could not properly provide for a family. Such a case was noticed by Paul, 1 Corinthians 7:1, and applied to some who lived in his day, on account of the then present distresses. Individuals, in some peculiar circumstances, may find it expedient and useful to take a course which, were it not for those circumstances, would be both inexpedient and hurtful; and the great body of mankind may be required by the plainest dictates of God’s word to take a different course.


Verse 12

So born; as to be unfit for marriage.

Of men; by the wickedness of men, for their own selfish and ungodly purposes.

Kingdom of heaven’s sake; voluntarily abstaining from marriage in order to be more useful.

Let him receive it; if a person is so situated as to be clearly an exception to what is applicable to ministers and men in general, and is disposed to live in an unmarried state because he believes that he can be more useful by so doing, let him so live; but let him cultivate the utmost purity of heart and life, and manifest it in all his conversation and conduct.


Verse 13

Little children; so small that Jesus took them up in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.

Mark 10:16. Luke calls them infants. Luke 18:15.

Rebuked them; the disciples thought them too young to occupy the attention of Christ, or to be benefited by being brought to him.


Verse 14

Suffer little children; they have great need of me; they can be benefited by me; they are not beneath my notice, and I greatly delight in doing them good.

Of such is the kingdom of heaven; see Matthew 18:3, and note. Jesus Christ feels an interest in little children, and approves of their being brought to him in faith, love, and prayer. All parents should feel this, and thus bring them to the Saviour.


Verse 15

Laid his hands on them; in token of his blessing them.


Verse 17

Why callest thou me good? this question is asked because the young man addressed him simply as a human teacher, not as divine.


Verse 20

Have I kept; only in outward appearance, not in heart, as the sequel showed. A man may think he has always been good, and yet be entirely mistaken and totally unfit for heaven. He may sometimes feel uneasy, and be anxious to know what he must do to be saved; yet when told, he may not be willing to do it.


Verse 21

Be perfect; have a character that is "perfect and entire, wanting nothing." The Saviour, by this command, lays his hand immediately upon the faulty spot in his character, and points it out to him.


Verse 22

Sorrowful; by this he showed that he was not prepared for heaven. He loved his riches more than he loved his neighbor or God.


Verse 23

Hardly enter; it is with great difficulty that he can enter.


Verse 26

All things; God could make even a rich man humble, believing, and obedient, though men could not do it. It is possible for a rich man to go to heaven; but he will be much less likely to go there, than if he were not rich. Those, therefore, who are making it their chief object to be rich, are taking a course which tends for ever to destroy them.


Verse 28

In the regeneration; the reference here is not to the regeneration of the soul, for which the Greek commonly uses a different word, but to the time when God shall make all things new by bringing in the new heaven and new earth. 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:5.

Sit upon twelve thrones; as assessors with Christ.

Judging the twelve tribes of Israel; not authoritatively, for the final sentence belongs to Christ alone, but cooperating with him in his decisions. See note on 1 Corinthians 6:2. The world shall be acquitted or condemned according to the doctrines the appostles were inspired to preach.


Verse 29

A hundred-fold; shall receive vastly more real good in this world than all which he renounces for the sake of Christ, and in the world to come shall receive eternal life. For all the sacrifices which persons make from love to Christ and his cause, they will be graciously and abundantly rewarded, both in this world and in the world to come.


Verse 30

First-last; see Matthew 20:16.

 


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Bibliography Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Matthew 19:4". "Family Bible New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/matthew-19.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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