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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : Matthew Index : Chapter 19

Matthew, Chapter 19
Chapter 18 | Chapter 20
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19:1 And it came to pass, [that] when Jesus had finished these sayings, he a departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;

    (a) Passed over the water out of Galilee into the borders of Judea.
19:3 1 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to b put away his wife for every cause?
    (1) The band of marriage ought not to be broken, unless it is because of fornication.
    (b) To send her a bill of divorce; see (Mt 1:19).
19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall c cleave to his wife: and they d twain shall be one flesh?
    (c) The Greek word conveys "to be glued unto", by which it signifies the union by marriage, which is between man and wife, as though they were glued together.
    (d) They who were two become one as it were: and this word "flesh" is figuratively taken for the whole man, or the body, after the manner of the Hebrews.
19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath e joined together, let not man put asunder.
    (e) Has made them yokefellows, as the marriage itself is called a yoke, by a borrowed kind of speech.
19:7 2 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
    (2) Because political laws are adjusted to allow some things, it does not follow that God therefore approves of them.
19:8 He saith unto them, Moses f because of the hardness of your hearts g suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
    (f) Being brought about because of the hardness of your hearts.
    (g) By a political law, not by the moral law: for the moral law is a perpetual law of God's justice; the other bows and bends as the carpenter's bevel.

19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] h for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

    (h) Therefore in these days the laws that were made against adulterers were not regarded: for they would have no need of divorce, if the marriage had been severed by punishment of death.
19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the i case of the man be so with [his] wife, it is not good to marry.
    (i) If the matter stands in this way between man and wife, or in marriage.
19:11 3 But he said unto them, All [men] cannot k receive this saying, save [they] to whom it is given.
    (3) The gift of celibacy is peculiar, and therefore no man can set a law to himself of perpetual celibacy.
    (k) Receive and admit, as by translation we say, that a straight and narrow place is not able to receive many things.
19:12 For there are some l 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 m made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive [it], let him receive [it].
    (l) A man can become a eunuch in one of two ways: the first is by castration or emasculation, and the other by natural causes, such as a rupture.
    (m) Who abstain from marriage, and live as celibates through the gift of God.
19:13 4 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put [his] hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
    (4) The elect infants and little children are contained in the free covenant of God. (Ed.)
19:16 5 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
    (5) Those who seek to be saved by the law do not even know the law themselves.
19:21 Jesus said unto him, If n thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.
    (n) The young man did not answer truly in saying that he had kept all the commandments: and therefore Christ sets forth an example of true charity before him, to show the disease that lay lurking in his mind.
19:23 6 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    (6) Rich men have need of a singular gift of God to escape out of the snares of Satan.
19:24 And again I say unto you, It is o easier for a p camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
    (o) Literally, "it is of less labour".
    (p) Theophylact notes, that by this word is meant a cable rope, but Caninius alleges out of the Talmuds that it is a proverb, and the word "Camel" signifies the beast itself.
19:28 7 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the q regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    (7) It is not lost, that is neglected for God's sake.
    (q) The regeneration is understood to mean that day when the elect will begin to live a new life, that is to say, when they will enjoy the heavenly inheritance, both in body and soul.

19:30 8 But many [that are] first shall be last; and the last [shall be] first.

    (8) To have begun well, and not to continue unto the end, is not only unprofitable, but also hurts very much.

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