Early Church Fathers
55 "The influence of salt is internal, of light external: hence the element in which they work, the earth and the world, both referring to mankind; the latter more to its organized external form" (Schaff).
56 Constituta; Vulgate, posita. The city was probably visible. Some have thought of the village on Mount Tabor, others of an ancient fortress, predecessor of the present Safed (Dean Stanley, Thomson); certainly not Jerusalem (Weizsäcker).
58 The Greek has the definite article to\n mo/dion.
59 2 Cor. v. 10. Recipiat unusquisque quae gessit in corpore. Vulgate, referat unusquisque propria corporis, prout gessit, etc.
60 Matt. vii. 2.
61 John iii. 34; which words, however, are, as Augustin subsequently observed (Retract. I. xix. 3), applicable only to Christ.
63 Caedens; Vulgate, verberans.
64 1 Cor. ix. 26, 27. Ne forte aliis predicans...invenir. Vulgate, Ne forte cum aliis praedicaverim...efficir.
65 Lumen; Vulgate, lux. Christ presupposes His righteousness to have become the principle of their life. "They were to stand forth openly and boldly with the message of the New Testament" ( Lange).
66 Gal. i. 10.
67 Ps. liii. 5.
68 Gal. v. 26.
69 Chap. vi. 4.
70 Matt. ix. 8.
71 Gal. i. 23, 24. Vastabat...glorificabant; Vulgate, expugnabat...clarificabant.
72 Here begins the second part of the Sermon. In it our Lord sets forth His relation as a lawgiver to the Mosaic law, especially a currently interpreted according to the letter only (Meyer, Alford etc.).
73 Veni; Greek, h[lqon.
74 A decisive assertion off authority. Asseveratio gravissima ei propria, qui per se ipsum et per suam veritatem asseverat (Bengel). The prophet's most emphatic statement was, "Thus saith the Lord." Christ speaks in His own name, as the fount of authority (v. 20 and often: John iii. 3, xiv. 12, etc.).
75 "Christ's words are decisive against all those who would set aside the Old Testament as without significance, or inconsistent with the New Testament" (Alford). Christ declares the New to be rooted in the Old; its consummation, not its destruction. The essence and purport of the law, the "whole law," was fulfilled by Him (Meyer). Theophylact well compares the law to a sketch, which Christ (like the painter) does not destroy, but fills out.
76 Sic; Greek, ou/toj; Vulgate, hic.
77 "With all their care, they had not understood the true spirit off the law" (Schaff). The rest of the Sermon is largely a comment on this verse, Christ giving His interpretation of the law, and the righteousness following upon its observance; showing that the purport goes beyond the external act of obedience to the purpose of the heart, and that in the external act of obedience the real purport might be ignored.
78 Sine causa. The weight of critical evidence is against this clause, which is omitted by Tischendorf, Westcott, and Hort, the Vulgate and the Revised Version.
79 The "judgment" (kri/sij) was the local court of seven, which every community was enjoined to have (Deut. xvi. 18). The "council" was the Sanhedrin, consisting ot seventy-two members, sitting in Jerusalem. The "gehenna" was the vale of Hinnom, on the confines of Jerusalem, where sacrifices were offered to Moloch, and which became the place for refuse and the burning of dead bodies. In the New Testament it is equivalent to "hell."
is from the Chald. )qyr
, and is a term of contempt equivalent to empty-headed (Thayer's Lexicon). Trench translates, "Oh, vain man!"
81 It is important "to keep in mind that there is no distinction in kind between these punishments, only of degree. The `judgment0' (kri/sij) inflicted death by the sword, the Sanhedrin death by stoning, and the disgrace of the gehenna followed as an intensification of death; but the punishment is one and the same,-death. So also in the subject of the similitude. All the punishments are spiritual; all result in eternal death, but with various degrees, as the degrees of guilt have been" (Alford).
82 Augustin helps us to understand how the word e0kh= (without cause) in the preceding clause crept into some of the Mss. In Retract. I. xix. 4 he makes the critical note and correction: "Codices graeci non habent sine causa."
83 Gal. iii. 1.
84 Obtuleris; Vulgate, offers.
85 Eph iv. 26.
86 The performance of an act of worship does not atone for an offence against a fellow-man. The duties toward God never absolve from man's duties to his neighbour. Inter rem sacram magis subit recordatio offensarum, quam in strepitu negotiorum (Bengel).
87 1 Cor. iii. 17.
88 Eph. iii. 17. In interiore homine, a different construction from the Greek, which has ei=j with the accusative. So Vulgate,in interiorem hominem.
89 "Discharge of duty to men does not absolve from duty to God." The passage has strong bearing upon the relation of morality an religion.
90 Benevolus; Vulgate, consentiens. What is matter of prudence in a civil case, becomes matter of life and death in spiritual things. The Lord does not intend to inculcate simply a law of worldly prudence as asserted by a few modern commentators.
91 John v. 22.
92 Matt. iv. 11.
93 Matt. viii. 12.
94 Matt. xxv. 23.
95 The word translated "farthing" means literally "a fourth part" and on this original sense Augustin's second interpretation is based.
96 Gen. iii. 19.
97 Universalists have quoted the passage to prove the doctrine that punishment will not be endless, others in favor of purgatory. The main idea is the inexorable rigor of the divine justice against the impenitent. "The whole tone of the passage is that of one who seeks to deepen the sense of danger, not to make light of it; to make men feel that they cannot pay their debt, though God may forgive it freely" (Plumptre).
98 Ps. cx. 1.
99 1 Cor. xv. 25.
100 "The devil" (Clemens Alex.); "conscience" (Euthymius, Zig.); "the man who has done the injury" (Meyer, Tholuck Lange, Trench, etc.)
101 2 Cor. v. 10. Exhiberi; Vulgate, manifestari.
102 Luke xv. 7.
103 Jas. iv. 6.
104 Ecclus. x. 13, 12.
105 Rom. v. 10.
106 Ps. cxxxix. 8-10.
107 The Greek pro\j to\ e=piqumh=sai refers to sin of intent. "The particle pro9 indicates the mental aim" (Tholuck, Meyer, etc.). So Augustin, rightly: "Qui hoc fine et hoc animo attenderit."
109 The reading "if" has been proposed by some.
110 Gen. iii.
111 1 Cor. xi. 3 and Eph. v. 23.
112 Mark v. 41.
113 Juvenis; Vulgate, adolescens.
114 Luke vii. 14.
115 John xi. 33-44.
116 Col. iii. 5 and Eph. v. 5.
117 Rom. vii. 24, 25.
118 Lugentes; Vulgate, qui lugent.
119 Eat; Vulgate, mittatur.
120 Not literally (Fritzsche). Excision of the members would not of itself destroy the lust of the heart.