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two words have the same signification in Hebrew. Luke calls him Judas, by a slight change from he name Thaddeus. Such changes are common in all writings.
4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
c Luke vi. 15; Acts i. 13.] d John xiii. 26.
4. Simon the Canaanite. Luke calls him Simon Zelotes, the zealous. His native place was probably Cana. ¶Judas Iscariot. It is probable this name was given to him to designate his native place. Carioth was a small town in the tribe of Judah.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of 'the Samaritans enter ye not:
e Chap. iv. 15. f See 2 Kings xvii. 24; John iv. 9, 20.
5. Into the way of the Gentiles. That is, among the Gentiles, or nowhere but among the Jews. The full time for preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles was not come. It was to be preached first to the Jews, the ancient covenant people of God, and the people among whom the Messiah was born. Afterwards a charge was given by our Lord to his disciples, to go and proclaim the "glad tidings," and make the overtures of salvation to all nations. This commission was given after his resurrection, and in it we have an instance of the exercise of his kingly power. Matt. xxviii. 19. And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. The Samaritans occupied the country formerly belonging to the tribe of Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh. This region was situated between Jerusalem and Galilee; so that, in passing from the one to the other, it was a direct course to pass through Samaria. The capital of the country was Samaria, formerly a large and splendid city. It was situated about fifteen miles to the north-west of the city of Shechem or Sychar, and about forty miles to the north of Jerusalem.
This people was formerly composed of a few of the ten tribes, and a mixture of foreigners. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Babylon, the king of Assyria sent people from Cutha, Ava, Hameth, and Sepharvaim, to inhabit their country. 2 Kings xvii. 24; Ezra iv. 2-11. These people at first worshipped the idols of their own nations; but being troubled with lions, which had increased greatly while the country remained uninhabited, they supposed it was because they did not honour and worship the God of the country. A Jewish priest was therefore sent to them from Babylon, to instruct them in the Jewish religion. They were instructed partially from the books of Moses; but still retained many of their old rites and idolatrous customs, and embraced a religion made up of Judaism and idolatry. 2 Kings xvii. 26-28.
The grounds of difference between the two nations were the following:-1. The Jews, after their return from Babylon, set about rebuilding their temple. The Samaritans offered to assist them. The Jews, however, perceiving that it was not from a love of true religion, but that they might obtain a part of the favours granted to the Jews by Cyrus, rejected their offer. The consequence was, that a feeling of bitter animosity arose between them and the Jews. 2. While Nehemiah was engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem, the Samaritans used every art to thwart him in his undertaking. Neh. vi. 1-14. 3. The Samaritans at length obtained leave of the Persian monarch to build a temple for themselves. This was erected on mount Gerizim, and they strenuously contended that that was the place designated by Moses as the place where the nation should worship. Sanballet, the leader of the Samaritans, constituted his son-in-law, Manasses, high priest. The religion of the Samaritans thus became perpetuated. John iv. 20. 4. Afterwards Samaria became a place of resort for all the outlaws of Judea. They received willingly all the Jewish criminals, and refugees from justice. The violators of the Jewish laws, and those who had been excommunicated, betook themselves for safety to Samaria, and greatly increased their numbers and the hatred which subsisted between the two nations. 5. The Samaritans received only the five books of Moses, and rejected the writings of the prophets, and all the Jewish traditions. From these causes arose an irreconcilable difference between them, so that the Jews regarded them as the worst of the human race (John viii. 48), and had no dealings with them (John iv. 9).
6 But go rather to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel.
g Chap. xv. 24; Acts xiii. 46. h Isa. liii. 6; Jer. 1. 6, 17; Ezek. xxxiv. 5, vi. 16; 1 Pet. ii. 25.
6. But go rather to the lost sheep, &c. That is, to the Jews. He regarded them as wandering and lost, like sheep straying without a shepherd. They were the chosen and peculiar people of God. "In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling-place in Sion." To keep alive amongst men the knowledge and fear of God, they
had been separated from all nations. The Lord hedred them in with mercies manifold. That hedge they wantonly broke through, and wandered far and wide amongst the idolatries and superstitions of the surrounding heathen. But, by a rare manifestation of his long-suffering love and m rev, our Lord, instead of passing them bye, as their ingratitude richly deserved, makes them the first offer of salvation, and commissions his disciples to do the same. They were to be invited and dealt with to return to the fold of the shepherd and bishop of their souls. The ways of the Almighty are not as man's ways. He has exalted his mercy above all his great name.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, *The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: 'freely ye have received, freely give. 9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet +staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12 And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: 'but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 'And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, 'shake off the dust of your feet. 15 Verily I say unto you. It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
1 Acts man 18 20 1 Sam 17. Mark vi 8; Luke 1 1 14". 6. 3.
And as yo go, preach, saying, The kingdom of hearen is at hand, &c. Our Lord did musendium forth without an errand; wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is ar ben 1” Let people know that the kingdom of the Messiah, the Lord from heaven, is row to be set up according to the Scriptures; from whence it fellows, that men must repent of forts and take them, that they may be admitted to the privileges of that kingdom.
He gave them power to work miracles for the confirmation of their doctrine. This is not necesw that the kingdom of God is come. To call for miracles now, is to lay again the foundation the building is reared. The doctrine of Christ being sufficiently attested by the miracles he
swrenght, it is tempting God to ask for more sens. It was to show that they were that God who is good and does good, and whose mercy is over all his works; and intion of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick son's and to raise those that were Therefore, they are cannoned not to make a gain of the power they had to work niles: bat farther, to exemplify the nature of the gospel kingdom, they were to give freely. And the reason is because they bild freely revived. Simon Magus would not have off-red moner Is of the Holy Ghost, if he had not hoped to get money by them. Acts viii. 18. Christ's ing good to us, shen I make us free in doing good to others.
wing the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above e apni trance of a meronary disposition. Of all employments none is more disgraceful a mumking minister. Yer the bourer is worthy of his meat, and if they are called where they have Endle prospect of support, they should go on in their work with simmoney, casting all their care upon the Lord
are Urected how to condux themselves in strange towns and cities. It is supposed that were some in every place disposed to receive the Gospel, and the preachers of it; though it time of general corruption and apostasy. In the worst of times and places, we may charitably bone there are some better than their neighbours. Th› best are fir from meriang the favour of a gospel fort but some would be mere Lazy thần c to give the apostles and their message a Those who entertain the Gospel, must neither grore the expense of it,
1 Tops Bemselves to put by it in this world.
When they had found the house of one whom they thought worthy, they must at their entrance si ́re it in common arines be beforehand will people, in waen of your hy. He that WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUr salutanon kindly, will not receive your message kindly. The common salutation was. Frace be wao you; this is dey used it, was the peace of God, the peace of the kingdom of heaven that they wished. Christ wells them that this gospel prayer, for so it was now become, should
be put up for all, as the gospel proffer was made to all, and that they should leave it to God, who knows the heart and every man's true character, to determine the issue of it. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed as to those that refuse them. The best and most powerful preachers of the Gospel must expect to meet with some who will not so much as give them a hearing, nor show them any token of respect. Contempt of the Gospel, and contempt of gospel ministers, commonly go together. In this case the apostles must depart. The Gospel will not tarry long with those that put it away from them. The apostles must have no fellowship nor communion with them; must not so much as carry away the dust of their city with them. It was to signify, that they were base and vile as dust, and that God would shake them off, Acts xiii. 51; xviii. 6.
There is a day of judgment coming, when all those that refused the Gospel, will be called to account for it, however they now make a jest of it. They that would not hear the doctrine that would save them, shall be made to hear the sentence that will ruin them. All the pains of hell will be intolerable, but some will be more so than others. The condemnation of those that reject the Gospel, will in that day be more severe and heavy, than that of Sodom and Gomorrah.
¶ 16 *Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: 'be ye therefore wise as serpents, and || harmless as doves.
Luke x. 3. y Rom. xvi. 19; Eph. v. 15. z 1 Cor. xiv. 20; Phil. ii. 15. Or, simple.
16 As sheep in the midst of wolves. That is, I send you inoffensive and harmless, into a cold, unfriendly, and cruel world. Your innocence will not be a protection. Be wise as serpents. &c. Serpents have always been an emblem of wisdom and cunning. Gen. iii. 1. The Egyptians used the serpent in their hieroglyphics as a symbol of wisdom. Probably the thing in which Christ directed his followers here to imitate the serpent, was in its caution in avoiding danger. No animal equals them in the rapidity and skill which they evince in escaping danger. So said Christ to his disciples. You need caution and wisdom, in the midst of a world that will seek your lives. He directs them also to be harmless, not to provoke danger, nor to do injury, and thus make their fellow-men justly enraged against them. Doves are, and always have been, a striking emblem of innocence. Most men would destroy a serpent, be it ever so harmless; yet few are so hard-hearted as to kill a dove.
17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
a Chap. xxiv. 9; Mark xiii. 9; Luke xii. 11; xxi. 12. b Acts v. 40.
17. But beware of men. That is, be on your guard against men who are like wolves. Ver. 16. Do not run unnecessarily into danger. Use suitable prudence and caution, and do not wantonly endanger your lives. ¶ Councils. The word here used commonly signifies the great council of the nation, the Sanhedrim. Here it seems to refer to any judicial tribunal, of which there were some in every village. They will scourge you in their synagogues. Scourging, or whipping, is often mentioned in the New Testament as a part of punishment.
The law of Moses directed that the
number of stripes should not exceed forty, but might be any number less, at the discretion of the judge. Deut. xxv. 2, 3. The person who was sentenced to scourging, was formerly laid upon ground, and the blows inflicted on his back, in the presence of the judge. Afterwards the criminal was tied to a low post. Scourging is still practised in the East; but the blows are commonly inflicted on the soles of the feet. It is called the bastinado. The instrument formerly used was a rod. Afterwards they employed thongs or lashes attached to the rod. To make the blows severe and more painful, they sometimes fastened sharp points of iron, or pieces of lead, in the thongs. These were called scorpions. 1 Kings xii. 11. The law was express that the number of stripes should not exceed forty. The Jews, to secure the greater accuracy in counting, used a scourge with three lashes, which inflicted three stripes at once. With this, the criminal was struck thirteen times, making the number of blows thirty-nine. Paul was five times scourged in this way. See 2 Cor. xi. 24. The Romans did not feel themselves bound by the law of the Jews in regard to the number of stripes, but inflicted them at pleasure. Thus our Saviour was scourged till he was so weak as not to be able to bear his cross. Scourging was often inflicted in the synagogues. See Matt. xxiii. 34; Acts xxii. 19, xxvi. 11.
18. And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
c Acts xii. 1, xxiv. 10, xxv. 7, 23; 2 Tim. iv, 16.
18. And ye shall be brought, &c. This prediction was completely and abundantly fulfilled. Acts v. 26, xii. 1-4, xxiii. 33. xxvi. 1, 28, 30. Peter is said to have been brought before Nero, John before Domitian, Roman emperors; and others before Parthian, Scythian, and Indian kings. They were to stand there to bear a testimony against them; or, as it might be rendered, to them. That is, they were to be witnesses to them of the great facts and doctrines of the Christian religion; and if they rejected Christianity, they would be witnesses against them in the day of judgment.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
✔ Mark xun. 11-13; Luke xi. 11, xxi. 14, 15. e Exod. iv. 12; Jer. i. T. 1 Sam. xx. 9; Acts iv. 8, vi. 19; 2 Tim. iv, 17.
19. 20. Take no thought. That is, be not anxious, or unduly solicitous. God would inspire them. This was a full promise that they should be inspired, and was a most seasonable consolation. Poor, and ignorant, and obscure fishermen would naturally be solicitous what they should say before the great men of the earth. In the East, kings and potentates are regarded with peculiar reverence and fear. How consoling, then, the assurance that God would aid them, and speak within them! 21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
g Mic. vi. 6, 35, 36; Luke xxi. 16.
21. And the brother shall deliver up the brother, &c. Were there no evidence that this had been done, it could scarcely be credible. The ties which bind brothers and sisters, and parents and children together, are so strong that it could scarcely be believed that division of sentiment on religious subjects would cause them to forget these tender relations. Yet history assures us that this has taken place. If this be so, then how inexpressibly awful must be the malignity of the human heart by nature against religion! Nothing else but this dreadful opposition to God, and his Gospel, ever Aas induced, or ever can induce men to violate the most tender relations, and consign the best friends to torture, racks, and flames. It adds to the horrors of this, that those who were put to death in persecution were tormented in the most awful modes that human ingenuity could devise. They were crucified, were thrown into boiling oil, were burnt at the stake, were roasted slowly over coals, were compelled to drink melted lead, were torn in pieces by beass of prey, were covered with pitch, an i burni, to give light in the gardens of Nero. Yet dreadful as this prediction was, it was fulfilled; and incredible as it seems, parents and children, and husbands and wives were found wicked enough to deliver up each other to these cruel modes of death, on account of their attachment to the Gospel. Such is the opposition of the heart of man to the Gospel. That hostility which will overcome the strong ties of natural affection, can be no slight opposition to the Gospel of God.
22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
À Lake xx. 17. i Dan. xii. 1, 13; Chap. xxv. 13; Mark xii. 13.
22. Ye shall be hated of all men. That is, of all kinds of men. The human heart would be opposed to them, because it is opposed to Christ. But he that endureth to the end, &c. That is, to the end of life, be it longer or shorter. He that bears all these unspeakable sufferings, and who does not shrink and apostatize, will give decisive evidence of attachment to me, and shall enter into heaven. See Rev. iii. 21, 22.
23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you. Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, 'till the Son of man be come.
à Chap. i. 13. br. 2 si 15; Acts vil. Lix A x 6 1 Or, end, or finest.
1 Chap. xvi. 2.
23. When they persecute, &c. They were not permitted to throw away their lives. Where they could preserve them without denying their Lord, they were to do it. Yet all the commands of Christ, as
well as their conduct, show that they were rather to lay down their lives, than deny their Saviour. We are to preserve our lives by all proper means; but rather die, than save ourselves by doing any thing wrong. Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, &c. That is, in fleeing from persecutors, from one city to another, you shall not have gone to every city in Judea, till the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the Jewish economy. By the coming of the Son of man, that is, of Christ, is probably meant the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened about thirty years after this was spoken. The words are often used in this sense. See Matt. xxiv. 30. Mark xiii. 26. Luke xxi. 27, 32.
24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If "they have called the master of the house + Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
m Luke vi. 40; John xiii. 16, xv. 20. n Chap. xii. 24; Mark iii. 22; Luke xi. 15; John viii. 48, 52.
† Gr. Beelzebul.
24, 25. The disciple is not above his master, &c. That is, you must expect the same treatment which I have received. They have called me, your Master and Teacher, Beelzebub, the prince of the devils (see Matt. xii. 24; Luke xi. 15; John viii. 48); and you must expect that they will call all of the family by the same name. Beelzebub, or Beelzebul, was a god of the Ekronites. See 2 Kings i. 2. In the East, Beelzebub was esteemed as the most odious and offensive of all the demons. He was called the Leader and Prince of the devils. By giving this name to Christ, the Jews poured upon him the greatest possible amount of abuse and contempt.
26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
o Mark iv. 22; Luke viii. 17, xii. 2, 3.
26. Fear them not, &c. He encouraged them by the assurance that God would protect them, and that their truth and innocence should be yet vindicated. It is probable that the declaration, there is nothing covered, &c., was a proverb among the Jews. By it our Saviour taught that their innocence, their principles, and their integrity, though then the world might not acknowledge them, in due time, would be revealed. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psal. xxxvii. 4, 5. They were then to be willing to be unknown, despised, persecuted, for a time, with the assurance that their true characters should yet be understood, and their sufferings appreciated.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
27 What I say to you in darkness, &c. That is, in secret, in private, in confidence. The private instructions which I gave you while with me, do you proclaim publicly, on the house top. The house top, the flat roof, was a public conspicuous place. The Gospel treasure is not to be concealed. Salvation is to be proclaimed abroad in the hearing of the world, and pressed home upon its acceptance, "faith cometh by hearing;" so shall the called of the Lord be gathered into
28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
p Isa. viii. 12, 13; Luke xii. 4; 1 Pet. iii. 14.
28. Them which kill the body. That is, men who have no power to injure the soul, the immortal part. The body is a small matter, in comparison with the soul. Temporal death is a slight thing, compared with eternal death. He directs them, therefore, not to be alarmed at the prospect of temporal death; but to fear God, who can destroy both soul and body for ever. This passage proves that the bodies of the wicked will be raised up to be punished for ever.
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall