Matthew 27 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 552)

Matthew 27New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 27

Jesus Before Pilate. [a]When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel[b] against Jesus to put him to death. They bound him, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate, the governor.

The Death of Judas. Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver[c] to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.” [d]Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.” After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet,[e] “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, 10 and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.”

Jesus Questioned by Pilate. 11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and he questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”[f] Jesus said, “You say so.” 12 And when he was accused by the chief priests and elders,[g] he made no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they are testifying against you?” 14 But he did not answer him one word, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Sentence of Death. 15 [h]Now on the occasion of the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the crowd one prisoner whom they wished. 16 [i]And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called [Jesus] Barabbas. 17 So when they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you, [Jesus] Barabbas, or Jesus called Messiah?” 18 [j]For he knew that it was out of envy that they had handed him over. 19 [k]While he was still seated on the bench, his wife sent him a message, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. I suffered much in a dream today because of him.” 20 The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas but to destroy Jesus. 21 The governor said to them in reply, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They answered, “Barabbas!” 22 [l]Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 But he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” They only shouted the louder, “Let him be crucified!” 24 [m]When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves.” 25 And the whole people said in reply, “His blood be upon us and upon our children.” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them, but after he had Jesus scourged,[n] he handed him over to be crucified.

Mockery by the Soldiers. 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus inside the praetorium[o] and gathered the whole cohort around him. 28 They stripped off his clothes and threw a scarlet military cloak[p]about him. 29 Weaving a crown out of thorns,[q] they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They spat upon him[r]and took the reed and kept striking him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him off to crucify him.

The Way of the Cross.[s] 32 As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross.

The Crucifixion. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), 34 they gave Jesus wine to drink mixed with gall.[t] But when he had tasted it, he refused to drink. 35 After they had crucified him, they divided his garments[u] by casting lots; 36 then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And they placed over his head the written charge[v] against him: This is Jesus, the King of the Jews. 38 Two revolutionaries[w] were crucified with him, one on his right and the other on his left. 39 [x]Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself, if you are the Son of God, [and] come down from the cross!” 41 Likewise the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him and said, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. So he is the king of Israel![y] Let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. 43 [z]He trusted in God; let him deliver him now if he wants him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 The revolutionaries who were crucified with him also kept abusing him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus. 45 [aa]From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 46 And about three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?[ab] which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 [ac]Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “This one is calling for Elijah.”48 Immediately one of them ran to get a sponge; he soaked it in wine, and putting it on a reed, gave it to him to drink. 49 But the rest said, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 [ad]But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.[ae] The earth quaked, rocks were split, 52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.54 [af]The centurion and the men with him who were keeping watch over Jesus feared greatly when they saw the earthquake and all that was happening, and they said, “Truly, this was the Son of God!” 55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance,[ag] who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

The Burial of Jesus.[ah] 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus.58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen 60 and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. 61 But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb.[ai] 62 The next day, the one following the day of preparation,[aj] the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that this impostor while still alive said, ‘After three days I will be raised up.’ 64 Give orders, then, that the grave be secured until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead.’ This last imposture would be worse than the first.”[ak] 65 Pilate said to them, “The guard is yours;[al] go secure it as best you can.” 66 So they went and secured the tomb by fixing a seal to the stone and setting the guard.

Footnotes:

  1. 27:1–31 Cf. Mk 15:1–20. Matthew’s account of the Roman trial before Pilate is introduced by a consultation of the Sanhedrin after which Jesus is handed over to…the governor(Mt 27:1–2). Matthew follows his Marcan source closely but adds some material that is peculiar to him, the death of Judas (Mt 27:3–10), possibly the name Jesus as the name of Barabbas also (Mt 27:16–17), the intervention of Pilate’s wife (Mt 27:19), Pilate’s washing his hands in token of his disclaiming responsibility for Jesus’ death (Mt 27:24), and the assuming of that responsibility by the whole people (Mt 27:25).
  2. 27:1 There is scholarly disagreement about the meaning of the Sanhedrin’s takingcounsel (symboulion elabon; cf. Mt 12:14; 22:15; 27:7; 28:12); see note on Mk 15:1. Some understand it as a discussion about the strategy for putting their death sentence against Jesus into effect since they lacked the right to do so themselves. Others see it as the occasion for their passing that sentence, holding that Matthew, unlike Mark (Mk 14:64), does not consider that it had been passed in the night session (Mt 26:66). Even in the latter interpretation, their handing him over to Pilate is best explained on the hypothesis that they did not have competence to put their sentence into effect, as is stated in Jn 18:31.
  3. 27:3 The thirty pieces of silver: see Mt 26:15.
  4. 27:5–8 For another tradition about the death of Judas, cf. Acts 1:18–19. The two traditions agree only in the purchase of a field with the money paid to Judas for his betrayal of Jesus and the name given to the field, the Field of Blood. In Acts Judas himself buys the field and its name comes from his own blood shed in his fatal accident on it. The potter’s field: this designation of the field is based on the fulfillment citation in Mt 27:10.
  5. 27:9–10 Cf. Mt 26:15. Matthew’s attributing this text to Jeremiah is puzzling, for there is no such text in that book, and the thirty pieces of silver thrown by Judas “into the temple” (Mt 27:5) recall rather Zec 11:12–13. It is usually said that the attribution of the text to Jeremiah is due to Matthew’s combining the Zechariah text with texts from Jeremiah that speak of a potter (Jer 18:2–3), the buying of a field (Jer 32:6–9), or the breaking of a potter’s flask at Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom with the prediction that it will become a burial place (Jer 19:1–13).
  6. 27:11 King of the Jews: this title is used of Jesus only by pagans. The Matthean instances are, besides this verse, Mt 2:2; 27:29, 37. Matthew equates it with “Messiah”; cf.Mt 2:2, 4 and Mt 27:17, 22 where he has changed “the king of the Jews” of his Marcan source (Mk 15:9, 12) to “(Jesus) called Messiah.” The normal political connotation of both titles would be of concern to the Roman governor. You say so: see note on Mt 26:25. An unqualified affirmative response is not made because Jesus’ kingship is not what Pilate would understand it to be.
  7. 27:12–14 Cf. Mt 26:62–63. As in the trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus’ silence may be meant to recall Is 53:7. Greatly amazed: possibly an allusion to Is 52:14–15.
  8. 27:15–26 The choice that Pilate offers the crowd between Barabbas and Jesus is said to be in accordance with a custom of releasing at the Passover feast one prisonerchosen by the crowd (Mt 27:15). This custom is mentioned also in Mk 15:6 and Jn 18:39but not in Luke; see note on Lk 23:17. Outside of the gospels there is no direct attestation of it, and scholars are divided in their judgment of the historical reliability of the claim that there was such a practice.
  9. 27:16–17 [Jesus] Barabbas: it is possible that the double name is the original reading;Jesus was a common Jewish name; see note on Mt 1:21. This reading is found in only a few textual witnesses, although its absence in the majority can be explained as an omission of Jesus made for reverential reasons. That name is bracketed because of its uncertain textual attestation. The Aramaic name Barabbas means “son of the father”; the irony of the choice offered between him and Jesus, the true son of the Father, would be evident to those addressees of Matthew who knew that.
  10. 27:18 Cf. Mk 14:10. This is an example of the tendency, found in varying degree in all the gospels, to present Pilate in a relatively favorable light and emphasize the hostility of the Jewish authorities and eventually of the people.
  11. 27:19 Jesus’ innocence is declared by a Gentile woman. In a dream: in Matthew’s infancy narrative, dreams are the means of divine communication; cf. Mt 1:20; 2:12, 13, 19, 22.
  12. 27:22 Let him be crucified: incited by the chief priests and elders (Mt 27:20), the crowds demand that Jesus be executed by crucifixion, a peculiarly horrible form of Roman capital punishment. The Marcan parallel, “Crucify him” (Mk 15:3), addressed to Pilate, is changed by Matthew to the passive, probably to emphasize the responsibility of the crowds.
  13. 27:24–25 Peculiar to Matthew. Took water…blood: cf. Dt 21:1–8, the handwashing prescribed in the case of a murder when the killer is unknown. The elders of the city nearest to where the corpse is found must wash their hands, declaring, “Our hands did not shed this blood.” Look to it yourselves: cf. Mt 27:4. The whole people: Matthew sees in those who speak these words the entire people (Greek laos) of Israel. His blood…and upon our children: cf. Jer 26:15. The responsibility for Jesus’ death is accepted by the nation that was God’s special possession (Ex 19:5), his own people (Hos 2:25), and they thereby lose that high privilege; see Mt 21:43 and the note on that verse. The controversy between Matthew’s church and Pharisaic Judaism about which was the true people of God is reflected here. As the Second Vatican Council has pointed out, guilt for Jesus’ death is not attributable to all the Jews of his time or to any Jews of later times.
  14. 27:26 He had Jesus scourged: the usual preliminary to crucifixion.
  15. 27:27 The praetorium: the residence of the Roman governor. His usual place of residence was at Caesarea Maritima on the Mediterranean coast, but he went to Jerusalem during the great feasts, when the influx of pilgrims posed the danger of a nationalistic riot. It is disputed whether the praetorium in Jerusalem was the old palace of Herod in the west of the city or the fortress of Antonia northwest of the temple area. The whole cohort: normally six hundred soldiers.
  16. 27:28 Scarlet military cloak: so Matthew as against the royal purple of Mk 15:17 and Jn 19:2.
  17. 27:29 Crown out of thorns: probably of long thorns that stood upright so that it resembled the “radiant” crown, a diadem with spikes worn by Hellenistic kings. The soldiers’ purpose was mockery, not torture. A reed: peculiar to Matthew; a mock scepter.
  18. 27:30 Spat upon him: cf. Mt 26:67 where there also is a possible allusion to Is 50:6.
  19. 27:32 See note on Mk 15:21. Cyrenian named Simon: Cyrenaica was a Roman province on the north coast of Africa and Cyrene was its capital city. The city had a large population of Greek-speaking Jews. Simon may have been living in Palestine or have come there for the Passover as a pilgrim. Pressed into service: see note on Mt 5:41.
  20. 27:34 Wine…mixed with gall: cf. Mk 15:23 where the drink is “wine drugged with myrrh,” a narcotic. Matthew’s text is probably an inexact allusion to Ps 69:22. That psalm belongs to the class called the individual lament, in which a persecuted just man prays for deliverance in the midst of great suffering and also expresses confidence that his prayer will be heard. That theme of the suffering Just One is frequently applied to the sufferings of Jesus in the passion narratives.
  21. 27:35 The clothing of an executed criminal went to his executioner(s), but the description of that procedure in the case of Jesus, found in all the gospels, is plainly inspired by Ps 22:19. However, that psalm verse is quoted only in Jn 19:24.
  22. 27:37 The offense of a person condemned to death by crucifixion was written on a tablet that was displayed on his cross. The charge against Jesus was that he had claimed to be the King of the Jews (cf. Mt 27:11), i.e., the Messiah (cf. Mt 27:17, 22).
  23. 27:38 Revolutionaries: see note on Jn 18:40 where the same Greek word as that found here is used for Barabbas.
  24. 27:39–40 Reviled him…heads: cf. Ps 22:8. You who would destroy…three days; cf.Mt 26:61. If you are the Son of God: the same words as those of the devil in the temptation of Jesus; cf. Mt 4:3, 6.
  25. 27:42 King of Israel: in their mocking of Jesus the members of the Sanhedrin call themselves and their people not “the Jews” but Israel.
  26. 27:43 Peculiar to Matthew. He trusted in God…wants him: cf. Ps 22:9. He said…of God: probably an allusion to Wis 2:12–20 where the theme of the suffering Just One appears.
  27. 27:45 Cf. Am 8:9 where on the day of the Lord “the sun will set at midday.”
  28. 27:46 Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?: Jesus cries out in the words of Ps 22:2a, a psalm of lament that is the Old Testament passage most frequently drawn upon in this narrative. In Mark the verse is cited entirely in Aramaic, which Matthew partially retains but changes the invocation of God to the Hebrew Eli, possibly because that is more easily related to the statement of the following verse about Jesus’ calling for Elijah.
  29. 27:47 Elijah: see note on Mt 3:4. This prophet, taken up into heaven (2 Kgs 2:11), was believed to come to the help of those in distress, but the evidences of that belief are all later than the gospels.
  30. 27:50 Gave up his spirit: cf. the Marcan parallel (Mk 15:37), “breathed his last.” Matthew’s alteration expresses both Jesus’ control over his destiny and his obedient giving up of his life to God.
  31. 27:51–53 Veil of the sanctuary…bottom: cf. Mk 15:38; Lk 23:45. Luke puts this event immediately before the death of Jesus. There were two veils in the Mosaic tabernacle on the model of which the temple was constructed, the outer one before the entrance of the Holy Place and the inner one before the Holy of Holies (see Ex 26:31–36). Only the high priest could pass through the latter and that only on the Day of Atonement (see Lv 16:1–18). Probably the torn veil of the gospels is the inner one. The meaning of the scene may be that now, because of Jesus’ death, all people have access to the presence of God, or that the temple, its holiest part standing exposed, is now profaned and will soon be destroyed. The earth quaked…appeared to many: peculiar to Matthew. The earthquake, the splitting of the rocks, and especially the resurrection of the dead saintsindicate the coming of the final age. In the Old Testament the coming of God is frequently portrayed with the imagery of an earthquake (see Ps 68:9; 77:19), and Jesus speaks of the earthquakes that will accompany the “labor pains” that signify the beginning of the dissolution of the old world (Mt 24:7–8). For the expectation of the resurrection of the dead at the coming of the new and final age, see Dn 12:1–3. Matthew knows that the end of the old age has not yet come (Mt 28:20), but the new age has broken in with the death (and resurrection; cf. the earthquake in Mt 28:2) of Jesus; see note on Mt 16:28. After his resurrection: this qualification seems to be due to Matthew’s wish to assert the primacy of Jesus’ resurrection even though he has placed the resurrection of the dead saintsimmediately after Jesus’ death.
  32. 27:54 Cf. Mk 15:39. The Christian confession of faith is made by Gentiles, not only the centurion, as in Mark, but the other soldiers who were keeping watch over Jesus (cf.Mt 27:36).
  33. 27:55–56 Looking on from a distance: cf. Ps 38:12. Mary Magdalene…Joseph: these two women are mentioned again in Mt 27:61 and Mt 28:1 and are important as witnesses of the reality of the empty tomb. A James and Joseph are referred to in Mt 13:55 as brothers of Jesus.
  34. 27:57–61 Cf. Mk 15:42–47. Matthew drops Mark’s designation of Joseph of Arimatheaas “a distinguished member of the council” (the Sanhedrin), and makes him a rich manand a disciple of Jesus. The former may be an allusion to Is 53:9 (the Hebrew reading of that text is disputed and the one followed in the NAB OT has nothing about the rich, but they are mentioned in the LXX version). That the tomb was the new tomb of a rich manand that it was seen by the women are indications of an apologetic intent of Matthew; there could be no question about the identity of Jesus’ burial place. The other Mary: the mother of James and Joseph (Mt 27:56).
  35. 27:62–66 Peculiar to Matthew. The story prepares for Mt 28:11–15 and the Jewish charge that the tomb was empty because the disciples had stolen the body of Jesus (Mt 28:13,15).
  36. 27:62 The next day…preparation: the sabbath. According to the synoptic chronology, in that year the day of preparation (for the sabbath) was the Passover; cf. Mk 15:42. The Pharisees: the principal opponents of Jesus during his ministry and, in Matthew’s time, of the Christian church, join with the chief priests to guarantee against a possible attempt of Jesus’ disciples to steal his body.
  37. 27:64 This last imposture…the first: the claim that Jesus has been raised from the dead is clearly the last imposture; the first may be either his claim that he would be raised up (Mt 27:63) or his claim that he was the one with whose ministry the kingdom of God had come (see Mt 12:28).
  38. 27:65 The guard is yours: literally, “have a guard” or “you have a guard.” Either the imperative or the indicative could mean that Pilate granted the petitioners some Roman soldiers as guards, which is the sense of the present translation. However, if the verb is taken as an indicative it could also mean that Pilate told them to use their own Jewish guards.
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Matthew 23 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 548)

Matthew 23New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23[a]

Denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees. Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, [b]saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens[c] [hard to carry] and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. [d]All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. [e]They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ [f]As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven.10 Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Messiah.11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 [g]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven[h] before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. [14 ][i]

15 [j]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

16 [k]“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ 17 Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ 19 You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; 21 one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; 22 one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes[l] of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others. 24 [m]Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

25 [n]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.

27 [o]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. 28 Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

29 [p]“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,[q] you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ 31 Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; 32 now fill up what your ancestors measured out! 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna? 34 [r]Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town, 35 so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.36 Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

The Lament over Jerusalem.[s] 37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling! 38 Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate. 39 I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Footnotes:

  1. 23:1–39 The final section of the narrative part of the fifth book of the gospel is a denunciation by Jesus of the scribes and the Pharisees (see note on Mt 3:7). It depends in part on Mark and Q (cf. Mk 12:38–39; Lk 11:37–52; 13:34–35), but in the main it is peculiar to Matthew. (For the reasons against considering this extensive body of sayings-material either as one of the structural discourses of this gospel or as part of the one that follows in Mt 24–25, see note on Mt 19:1–23:39.) While the tradition of a deep opposition between Jesus and the Pharisees is well founded, this speech reflects an opposition that goes beyond that of Jesus’ ministry and must be seen as expressing the bitter conflict between Pharisaic Judaism and the church of Matthew at the time when the gospel was composed. The complaint often made that the speech ignores the positive qualities of Pharisaism and of its better representatives is true, but the complaint overlooks the circumstances that gave rise to the invective. Nor is the speech purely anti-Pharisaic. The evangelist discerns in his church many of the same faults that he finds in its opponents and warns his fellow Christians to look to their own conduct and attitudes.
  2. 23:2–3 Have taken their seat…Moses: it is uncertain whether this is simply a metaphor for Mosaic teaching authority or refers to an actual chair on which the teacher sat. It has been proved that there was a seat so designated in synagogues of a later period than that of this gospel. Do and observe…they tell you: since the Matthean Jesus abrogates Mosaic law (Mt 5:31–42), warns his disciples against the teaching of the Pharisees (Mt 14:1–12), and, in this speech, denounces the Pharisees as blind guides in respect to their teaching on oaths (Mt 23:16–22), this commandment to observe all things whatsoever they (the scribes and Pharisees) tell you cannot be taken as the evangelist’s understanding of the proper standard of conduct for his church. The saying may reflect a period when the Matthean community was largely Jewish Christian and was still seeking to avoid a complete break with the synagogue. Matthew has incorporated this traditional material into the speech in accordance with his view of the course of salvation history, in which he portrays the time of Jesus’ ministry as marked by the fidelity to the law, although with significant pointers to the new situation that would exist after his death and resurrection (see note on Mt 5:17–20). The crowds and the disciples (Mt 23:1) are exhorted not to follow the example of the Jewish leaders, whose deeds do not conform to their teaching (Mt 23:3).
  3. 23:4 Tie up heavy burdens: see note on Mt 11:28.
  4. 23:5 To the charge of preaching but not practicing (Mt 23:3), Jesus adds that of acting in order to earn praise. The disciples have already been warned against this same fault (see note on Mt 6:1–18). Phylacteries: the Mosaic law required that during prayer small boxes containing parchments on which verses of scripture were written be worn on the left forearm and the forehead (see Ex 13:9, 16; Dt 6:8; 11:18). Tassels: see note on Mt 9:20. The widening of phylacteries and the lengthening of tassels were for the purpose of making these evidences of piety more noticeable.
  5. 23:6–7 Cf. Mk 12:38–39. ‘Rabbi’: literally, “my great one,” a title of respect for teachers and leaders.
  6. 23:8–12 These verses, warning against the use of various titles, are addressed to the disciples alone. While only the title ‘Rabbi’ has been said to be used in addressing the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:7), the implication is that Father and ‘Master’ also were. The prohibition of these titles to the disciples suggests that their use was present in Matthew’s church. The Matthean Jesus forbids not only the titles but the spirit of superiority and pride that is shown by their acceptance. Whoever exalts…will be exalted: cf. Lk 14:11.
  7. 23:13–36 This series of seven “woes,” directed against the scribes and Pharisees and addressed to them, is the heart of the speech. The phrase woe to occurs often in the prophetic and apocalyptic literature, expressing horror of a sin and punishment for those who commit it. Hypocrites: see note on Mt 6:2. The hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees consists in the difference between their speech and action (Mt 23:3) and in demonstrations of piety that have no other purpose than to enhance their reputation as religious persons (Mt 23:5).
  8. 23:13 You lock the kingdom of heaven: cf. Mt 16:19 where Jesus tells Peter that he will give him the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The purpose of the authority expressed by that metaphor is to give entrance into the kingdom (the kingdom is closed only to those who reject the authority); here the charge is made that the authority of the scribes and Pharisees is exercised in such a way as to be an obstacle to entrance. Cf. Lk 11:52 where the accusation against the “scholars of the law” (Matthew’s scribes) is that they “have taken away the key of knowledge.”
  9. 23:14 Some manuscripts add a verse here or after Mt 23:12, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. Because of this, you will receive a very severe condemnation.” Cf. Mk 12:40; Lk 20:47. This “woe” is almost identical with Mk 12:40 and seems to be an interpolation derived from that text.
  10. 23:15 In the first century A.D. until the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (A.D. 66–70), many Pharisees conducted a vigorous missionary campaign among Gentiles. Convert: literally, “proselyte,” a Gentile who accepted Judaism fully by submitting to circumcision and all other requirements of Mosaic law. Child of Gehenna: worthy of everlasting punishment; for Gehenna, see note on Mt 5:22. Twice as much as yourselves: possibly this refers simply to the zeal of the convert, surpassing that of the one who converted him.
  11. 23:16–22 An attack on the casuistry that declared some oaths binding (one is obligated) and others not (it means nothing) and held the binding oath to be the one made by something of lesser value (the gold; the gift on the altar). Such teaching, which inverts the order of values, reveals the teachers to be blind guides; cf. Mt 15:14. Since the Matthean Jesus forbids all oaths to his disciples (Mt 5:33–37), this woe does not set up a standard for Christian moral conduct, but ridicules the Pharisees on their own terms.
  12. 23:23 The Mosaic law ordered tithing of the produce of the land (Lv 27:30; Dt 14:22–23), and the scribal tradition is said here to have extended this law to even the smallest herbs. The practice is criticized not in itself but because it shows the Pharisees’ preoccupation with matters of less importance while they neglect the weightier things of the law.
  13. 23:24 Cf. Lv 11:41–45 that forbids the eating of any “swarming creature.” The Pharisees’ scrupulosity about minor matters and neglect of greater ones (Mt 23:23) is further brought out by this contrast between straining liquids that might contain a tiny “swarming creature” and yet swallowing the camel. The latter was one of the unclean animals forbidden by the law (Lv 11:4), but it is hardly possible that the scribes and Pharisees are being denounced as guilty of so gross a violation of the food laws. To swallow the camel is only a hyperbolic way of speaking of their neglect of what is important.
  14. 23:25–26 The ritual washing of utensils for dining (cf. Mk 7:4) is turned into a metaphor illustrating a concern for appearances while inner purity is ignored. The scribes and Pharisees are compared to cups carefully washed on the outside but filthy within. Self-indulgence: the Greek word here translated means lack of self-control, whether in drinking or in sexual conduct.
  15. 23:27–28 The sixth woe, like the preceding one, deals with concern for externals and neglect of what is inside. Since contact with dead bodies, even when one was unaware of it, caused ritual impurity (Nm 19:11–22), tombs were whitewashed so that no one would contract such impurity inadvertently.
  16. 23:29–36 The final woe is the most serious indictment of all. It portrays the scribes and Pharisees as standing in the same line as their ancestors who murdered the prophetsand the righteous.
  17. 23:29–32 In spite of honoring the slain dead by building their tombs and adorning theirmemorials, and claiming that they would not have joined in their ancestors’ crimes if theyhad lived in their days, the scribes and Pharisees are true children of their ancestors and are defiantly ordered by Jesus to fill up what those ancestors measured out. This order reflects the Jewish notion that there was an allotted measure of suffering that had to be completed before God’s final judgment would take place.
  18. 23:34–36 There are important differences between the Matthean and the Lucan form of this Q material; cf. Lk 11:49–51. In Luke the one who sends the emissaries is the “wisdom of God.” If, as many scholars think, that is the original wording of Q, Matthew, by making Jesus the sender, has presented him as the personified divine wisdom. In Luke, wisdom’s emissaries are the Old Testament “prophets” and the Christian “apostles.” Matthew’sprophets and wise men and scribes are probably Christian disciples alone; cf. Mt 10:41and see note on Mt 13:52. You will kill: see Mt 24:9. Scourge in your synagogues…town to town: see Mt 10:17, 23 and the note on Mt 10:17. All the righteous blood shed upon the earth: the slaying of the disciples is in continuity with all the shedding ofrighteous blood beginning with that of Abel. The persecution of Jesus’ disciples by this generation involves the persecutors in the guilt of their murderous ancestors. The blood of Zechariah: see note on Lk 11:51. By identifying him as the son of Barachiah Matthew understands him to be Zechariah the Old Testament minor prophet; see Zec 1:1.
  19. 23:37–39 Cf. Lk 13:34–35. The denunciation of Pharisaic Judaism ends with this lament over Jerusalem, which has repeatedly rejected and murdered those whom God has sentto her. How many times: this may refer to various visits of Jesus to the city, an aspect of his ministry found in John but otherwise not in the synoptics. As a hen…under her wings: for imagery similar to this, see Ps 17:8; 91:4. Your house…desolate: probably an allusion to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. You will not see me…in the name of the Lord: Israel will not see Jesus again until he comes in glory for the final judgment. The acclamation has been interpreted in contrasting ways, as an indication that Israel will at last accept Jesus at that time, and as its troubled recognition of him as its dreaded judge who will pronounce its condemnation; in support of the latter view see Mt 24:30.

Matthew 22 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 547)

Matthew 22New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 22

The Parable of the Wedding Feast.[a] Jesus again in reply spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast[b] for his son. [c]He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’ Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. [d]The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ 10 The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,[e] and the hall was filled with guests. 11 [f]But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. 12 He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence.13 [g]Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ 14 Many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Paying Taxes to the Emperor.[h] 15 Then the Pharisees[i] went off and plotted how they might entrap him in speech. 16 They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians,[j] saying, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion, for you do not regard a person’s status. 17 [k]Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?” 18 Knowing their malice, Jesus said, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? 19 [l]Show me the coin that pays the census tax.” Then they handed him the Roman coin.20 He said to them, “Whose image is this and whose inscription?” 21 They replied, “Caesar’s.”[m] At that he said to them, “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” 22 When they heard this they were amazed, and leaving him they went away.

The Question About the Resurrection.[n] 23 On that day Sadducees approached him, saying that there is no resurrection.[o] They put this question to him, 24 saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies[p] without children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up descendants for his brother.’ 25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died and, having no descendants, left his wife to his brother. 26 The same happened with the second and the third, through all seven. 27 Finally the woman died. 28 Now at the resurrection, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had been married to her.”29 [q]Jesus said to them in reply, “You are misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels in heaven. 31 And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you[r] by God, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” 33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.

The Greatest Commandment.[s] 34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them [a scholar of the law][t] tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher,[u] which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him,[v] “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it:[w] You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 [x]The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

The Question About David’s Son.[y] 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus questioned them,[z] 42 [aa]saying, “What is your opinion about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” They replied, “David’s.”43 He said to them, “How, then, does David, inspired by the Spirit, call him ‘lord,’ saying:

44 ‘The Lord said to my lord,
    “Sit at my right hand
    until I place your enemies under your feet”’?

45 [ab]If David calls him ‘lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Footnotes:

  1. 22:1–14 This parable is from Q; see Lk 14:15–24. It has been given many allegorical traits by Matthew, e.g., the burning of the city of the guests who refused the invitation (Mt 22:7), which corresponds to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70. It has similarities with the preceding parable of the tenants: the sending of two groups ofservants (Mt 22:3, 4), the murder of the servants (Mt 22:6), the punishment of themurderers (Mt 22:7), and the entrance of a new group into a privileged situation of which the others had proved themselves unworthy (Mt 22:8–10). The parable ends with a section that is peculiar to Matthew (Mt 22:11–14), which some take as a distinct parable. Matthew presents the kingdom in its double aspect, already present and something that can be entered here and now (Mt 22:1–10), and something that will be possessed only by those present members who can stand the scrutiny of the final judgment (Mt 22:11–14). The parable is not only a statement of God’s judgment on Israel but a warning to Matthew’s church.
  2. 22:2 Wedding feast: the Old Testament’s portrayal of final salvation under the image of a banquet (Is 25:6) is taken up also in Mt 8:11; cf. Lk 13:15.
  3. 22:3–4 Servants…other servants: probably Christian missionaries in both instances; cf.Mt 23:34.
  4. 22:7 See note on Mt 22:1–14.
  5. 22:10 Bad and good alike: cf. Mt 13:47.
  6. 22:11 A wedding garment: the repentance, change of heart and mind, that is the condition for entrance into the kingdom (Mt 3:2; 4:17) must be continued in a life of good deeds (Mt 7:21–23).
  7. 22:13 Wailing and grinding of teeth: the Christian who lacks the wedding garment of good deeds will suffer the same fate as those Jews who have rejected Jesus; see note onMt 8:11–12.
  8. 22:15–22 The series of controversies between Jesus and the representatives of Judaism (see note on Mt 21:23–27) is resumed. As in the first (Mt 21:23–27), here and in the following disputes Matthew follows his Marcan source with few modifications.
  9. 22:15 The Pharisees: while Matthew retains the Marcan union of Pharisees and Herodians in this account, he clearly emphasizes the Pharisees’ part. They alone are mentioned here, and the Herodians are joined with them only in a prepositional phrase ofMt 22:16. Entrap him in speech: the question that they will pose is intended to force Jesus to take either a position contrary to that held by the majority of the people or one that will bring him into conflict with the Roman authorities.
  10. 22:16 Herodians: see note on Mk 3:6. They would favor payment of the tax; the Pharisees did not.
  11. 22:17 Is it lawful: the law to which they refer is the law of God.
  12. 22:19 They handed him the Roman coin: their readiness in producing the money implies their use of it and their acceptance of the financial advantages of the Roman administration in Palestine.
  13. 22:21 Caesar’s: the emperor Tiberius (A.D. 14–37). Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar: those who willingly use the coin that is Caesar’s should repay him in kind. The answer avoids taking sides in the question of the lawfulness of the tax. To God what belongs to God: Jesus raises the debate to a new level. Those who have hypocritically asked about tax in respect to its relation to the law of God should be concerned rather with repaying God with the good deeds that are his due; cf. Mt 21:41, 43.
  14. 22:23–33 Here Jesus’ opponents are the Sadducees, members of the powerful priestly party of his time; see note on Mt 3:7. Denying the resurrection of the dead, a teaching of relatively late origin in Judaism (cf. Dn 12:2), they appeal to a law of the Pentateuch (Dt 25:5–10) and present a case based on it that would make resurrection from the dead ridiculous (Mt 22:24–28). Jesus chides them for knowing neither the scriptures nor the power of God (Mt 22:29). His argument in respect to God’s power contradicts the notion, held even by many proponents as well as by opponents of the teaching, that the life of those raised from the dead would be essentially a continuation of the type of life they had had before death (Mt 22:30). His argument based on the scriptures (Mt 22:31–32) is of a sort that was accepted as valid among Jews of the time.
  15. 22:23 Saying that there is no resurrection: in the Marcan parallel (Mk 22:12, 18) the Sadducees are correctly defined as those “who say there is no resurrection”; see also Lk 20:27. Matthew’s rewording of Mark can mean that these particular Sadducees deny the resurrection, which would imply that he was not aware that the denial was characteristic of the party. For some scholars this is an indication of his being a Gentile Christian; see note on Mt 21:4–5.
  16. 22:24 ‘If a man dies…his brother’: this is known as the “law of the levirate,” from the Latin levir, “brother-in-law.” Its purpose was to continue the family line of the deceased brother (Dt 25:6).
  17. 22:29 The sexual relationships of this world will be transcended; the risen body will be the work of the creative power of God.
  18. 22:31–32 Cf. Ex 3:6. In the Pentateuch, which the Sadducees accepted as normative for Jewish belief and practice, God speaks even now (to you) of himself as the God of the patriarchs who died centuries ago. He identifies himself in relation to them, and because of their relation to him, the living God, they too are alive. This might appear no argument for the resurrection, but simply for life after death as conceived in Wis 3:1–3. But the general thought of early first-century Judaism was not influenced by that conception; for it human immortality was connected with the existence of the body.
  19. 22:34–40 The Marcan parallel (Mk 12:28–34) is an exchange between Jesus and a scribe who is impressed by the way in which Jesus has conducted himself in the previous controversy (Mk 12:28), who compliments him for the answer he gives him (Mk 12:32), and who is said by Jesus to be “not far from the kingdom of God” (Mk 12:34). Matthew has sharpened that scene. The questioner, as the representative of other Pharisees, tests Jesus by his question (Mt 22:34–35), and both his reaction to Jesus’ reply and Jesus’ commendation of him are lacking.
  20. 22:35 [A scholar of the law]: meaning “scribe.” Although this reading is supported by the vast majority of textual witnesses, it is the only time that the Greek word so translated occurs in Matthew. It is relatively frequent in Luke, and there is reason to think that it may have been added here by a copyist since it occurs in the Lucan parallel (Lk 10:25–28).Tested: see note on Mt 19:3.
  21. 22:36 For the devout Jew all the commandments were to be kept with equal care, but there is evidence of preoccupation in Jewish sources with the question put to Jesus.
  22. 22:37–38 Cf. Dt 6:5. Matthew omits the first part of Mark’s fuller quotation (Mk 12:29; Dt 6:4–5), probably because he considered its monotheistic emphasis needless for his church. The love of God must engage the total person (heart, soul, mind).
  23. 22:39 Jesus goes beyond the extent of the question put to him and joins to the greatest and the first commandment a second, that of love of neighbor, Lv 19:18; see note onMt 19:18–19. This combination of the two commandments may already have been made in Judaism.
  24. 22:40 The double commandment is the source from which the whole law and the prophets are derived.
  25. 22:41–46 Having answered the questions of his opponents in the preceding three controversies, Jesus now puts a question to them about the sonship of the Messiah. Their easy response (Mt 22:43a) is countered by his quoting a verse of Ps 110 that raises a problem for their response (43b–45). They are unable to solve it and from that day ontheir questioning of him is ended.
  26. 22:41 The Pharisees…questioned them: Mark is not specific about who are questioned (Mk 12:35).
  27. 22:42–44 David’s: this view of the Pharisees was based on such Old Testament texts asIs 11:1–9; Jer 23:5; and Ez 34:23; see also the extrabiblical Psalms of Solomon 17:21.How, then…saying: Jesus cites Ps 110:1 accepting the Davidic authorship of the psalm, a common view of his time. The psalm was probably composed for the enthronement of a Davidic king of Judah. Matthew assumes that the Pharisees interpret it as referring to the Messiah, although there is no clear evidence that it was so interpreted in the Judaism of Jesus’ time. It was widely used in the early church as referring to the exaltation of the risen Jesus. My lord: understood as the Messiah.
  28. 22:45 Since Matthew presents Jesus both as Messiah (Mt 16:16) and as Son of David (Mt 1:1; see also note on Mt 9:27), the question is not meant to imply Jesus’ denial of Davidic sonship. It probably means that although he is the Son of David, he is someone greater, Son of Man and Son of God, and recognized as greater by David who calls him my ‘lord.’

Matthew 21 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 546)

Matthew 21New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 21

The Entry into Jerusalem.[a] When they drew near Jerusalem and came to Bethphage[b] on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her.[c] Untie them and bring them here to me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, ‘The master has need of them.’ Then he will send them at once.” [d]This happened so that what had been spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:

“Say to daughter Zion,
‘Behold, your king comes to you,
    meek and riding on an ass,
        and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. [e]They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them. [f]The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road.The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying:

“Hosanna[g] to the Son of David;
    blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord;
hosanna in the highest.”

10 And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken[h] and asked, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet,[i] from Nazareth in Galilee.”

The Cleansing of the Temple.[j] 12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves.[k] 13 And he said to them, “It is written:

‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’[l]
    but you are making it a den of thieves.”

14 The blind and the lame[m] approached him in the temple area, and he cured them. 15 When the chief priests and the scribes saw the wondrous things[n] he was doing, and the children crying out in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant 16 [o]and said to him, “Do you hear what they are saying?” Jesus said to them, “Yes; and have you never read the text, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?” 17 And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany, and there he spent the night.

The Cursing of the Fig Tree.[p] 18 When he was going back to the city in the morning, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went over to it, but found nothing on it except leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again.” And immediately the fig tree withered. 20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed and said, “How was it that the fig tree withered immediately?” 21 [q]Jesus said to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith and do not waver, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. 22 Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.”

The Authority of Jesus Questioned.[r] 23 When he had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things?[s] And who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question,[t] and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 26 [u]But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet.”27 So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.[v]

The Parable of the Two Sons.[w] 28 “What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. 30 The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. 31 [x]Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. 32 [y]When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants.[z] 33 “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,[aa] put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. 34 When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants[ab] to the tenants to obtain his produce. 35 But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. 36 Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 [ac]But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’ 39 [ad]They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?” 41 They answered[ae] him, “He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times.” 42 [af]Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the scriptures:

‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
    and it is wonderful in our eyes’?

43 [ag]Therefore, I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit. 44 [[ah] The one who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.]” 45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees[ai] heard his parables, they knew that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were attempting to arrest him, they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:1–11 Jesus’ coming to Jerusalem is in accordance with the divine will that he must go there (cf. Mt 16:21) to suffer, die, and be raised. He prepares for his entry into the city in such a way as to make it a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zec 9:9 (Mt 21:2) that emphasizes the humility of the king who comes (Mt 21:5). That prophecy, absent from the Marcan parallel account (Mk 11:1–11) although found also in the Johannine account of the entry (Jn 12:15), is the center of the Matthean story. During the procession from Bethphage to Jerusalem, Jesus is acclaimed as the Davidic messianic king by the crowds who accompany him (Mt 21:9). On his arrival the whole city was shaken, and to the inquiry of the amazed populace about Jesus’ identity the crowds with him reply that he isthe prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee (Mt 21:10, 11).
  2. 21:1 Bethphage: a village that can no longer be certainly identified. Mark mentions it before Bethany (Mk 11:1), which suggests that it lay to the east of the latter. The Mount of Olives: the hill east of Jerusalem that is spoken of in Zec 14:4 as the place where the Lord will come to rescue Jerusalem from the enemy nations.
  3. 21:2 An ass tethered, and a colt with her: instead of the one animal of Mk 11:2, Matthew has two, as demanded by his understanding of Zec 9:9.
  4. 21:4–5 The prophet: this fulfillment citation is actually composed of two distinct Old Testament texts, Is 62:11 (Say to daughter Zion) and Zec 9:9. The ass and the colt are the same animal in the prophecy, mentioned twice in different ways, the common Hebrew literary device of poetic parallelism. That Matthew takes them as two is one of the reasons why some scholars think that he was a Gentile rather than a Jewish Christian who would presumably not make that mistake (see Introduction).
  5. 21:7 Upon them: upon the two animals; an awkward picture resulting from Matthew’s misunderstanding of the prophecy.
  6. 21:8 Spread…on the road: cf. 2 Kgs 9:13. There is a similarity between the cutting and strewing of the branches and the festivities of Tabernacles (Lv 23:39–40); see also 2 Mc 10:5–8 where the celebration of the rededication of the temple is compared to that of Tabernacles.
  7. 21:9 Hosanna: the Hebrew means “(O Lord) grant salvation”; see Ps 118:25, but that invocation had become an acclamation of jubilation and welcome. Blessed is he…in the name of the Lord: see Ps 118:26 and the note on Jn 12:13. In the highest: probably only an intensification of the acclamation, although Hosanna in the highest could be taken as a prayer, “May God save (him).”
  8. 21:10 Was shaken: in the gospels this verb is peculiar to Matthew where it is used also of the earthquake at the time of the crucifixion (Mt 27:51) and of the terror of the guards of Jesus’ tomb at the appearance of the angel (Mt 28:4). For Matthew’s use of the cognate noun, see note on Mt 8:24.
  9. 21:11 The prophet: see Mt 16:14 (“one of the prophets”) and 21:46.
  10. 21:12–17 Matthew changes the order of (Mk 11:11, 12, 15) and places the cleansing of the temple on the same day as the entry into Jerusalem, immediately after it. The activities going on in the temple area were not secular but connected with the temple worship. Thus Jesus’ attack on those so engaged and his charge that they were makingGod’s house of prayer a den of thieves (Mt 21:12–13) constituted a claim to authority over the religious practices of Israel and were a challenge to the priestly authorities. Mt 21:14–17 are peculiar to Matthew. Jesus’ healings and his countenancing the children’s cries of praise rouse the indignation of the chief priests and the scribes (Mt 21:15). These two groups appear in the infancy narrative (Mt 2:4) and have been mentioned in the first and third passion predictions (Mt 16:21; 20:18). Now, as the passion approaches, they come on the scene again, exhibiting their hostility to Jesus.
  11. 21:12 These activities were carried on in the court of the Gentiles, the outermost court ofthe temple area. Animals for sacrifice were sold; the doves were for those who could not afford a more expensive offering; see Lv 5:7. Tables of the money changers: only the coinage of Tyre could be used for the purchases; other money had to be exchanged for that.
  12. 21:13 ‘My house…prayer’: cf. Is 56:7. Matthew omits the final words of the quotation, “for all peoples” (“all nations”), possibly because for him the worship of the God of Israel by all nations belongs to the time after the resurrection; see Mt 28:19. A den of thieves: the phrase is taken from Jer 7:11.
  13. 21:14 The blind and the lame: according to 2 Sm 5:8 LXX the blind and the lame were forbidden to enter “the house of the Lord,” the temple. These are the last of Jesus’ healings in Matthew.
  14. 21:15 The wondrous things: the healings.
  15. 21:16 ‘Out of the mouths…praise’: cf. Ps 8:3 LXX.
  16. 21:18–22 In Mark the effect of Jesus’ cursing the fig tree is not immediate; see Mk 11:14,20. By making it so, Matthew has heightened the miracle. Jesus’ act seems arbitrary and ill-tempered, but it is a prophetic action similar to those of Old Testament prophets that vividly symbolize some part of their preaching; see, e.g., Ez 12:1–20. It is a sign of the judgment that is to come upon the Israel that with all its apparent piety lacks the fruit of good deeds (Mt 3:10) and will soon bear the punishment of its fruitlessness (Mt 21:43). Some scholars propose that this story is the development in tradition of a parable of Jesus about the destiny of a fruitless tree, such as Lk 13:6–9. Jesus’ answer to the question of the amazed disciples (Mt 21:20) makes the miracle an example of the power of prayer made with unwavering faith (Mt 21:21–22).
  17. 21:21 See Mt 17:20.
  18. 21:23–27 Cf. Mk 11:27–33. This is the first of five controversies between Jesus and the religious authorities of Judaism in Mt 21:23–22:46, presented in the form of questions and answers.
  19. 21:23 These things: probably his entry into the city, his cleansing of the temple, and his healings there.
  20. 21:24 To reply by counterquestion was common in rabbinical debate.
  21. 21:26 We fear…as a prophet: cf. Mt 14:5.
  22. 21:27 Since through embarrassment on the one hand and fear on the other the religious authorities claim ignorance of the origin of John’s baptism, they show themselves incapable of speaking with authority; hence Jesus refuses to discuss with them the grounds of his authority.
  23. 21:28–32 The series of controversies is interrupted by three parables on the judgment of Israel (Mt 21:28–22:14) of which this, peculiar to Matthew, is the first. The second (Mt 21:33–46) comes from Mark (12:1–12), and the third (Mt 22:1–14) from Q; see Lk 14:15–24. This interruption of the controversies is similar to that in Mark, although Mark has only one parable between the first and second controversy. As regards Matthew’s first parable,Mt 21:28–30 if taken by themselves could point simply to the difference between saying and doing, a theme of much importance in this gospel (cf. Mt 7:21; 12:50); that may have been the parable’s original reference. However, it is given a more specific application by the addition of Mt 21:31–32. The two sons represent, respectively, the religious leaders and the religious outcasts who followed John’s call to repentance. By the answer they give to Jesus’ question (Mt 21:31) the leaders condemn themselves. There is much confusion in the textual tradition of the parable. Of the three different forms of the text given by important textual witnesses, one has the leaders answer that the son who agreed to go but did not was the one who did the father’s will. Although some scholars accept that as the original reading, their arguments in favor of it seem unconvincing. The choice probably lies only between a reading that puts the son who agrees and then disobeys before the son who at first refuses and then obeys, and the reading followed in the present translation. The witnesses to the latter reading are slightly better than those that support the other.
  24. 21:31 Entering…before you: this probably means “they enter; you do not.”
  25. 21:32 Cf. Lk 7:29–30. Although the thought is similar to that of the Lucan text, the formulation is so different that it is improbable that the saying comes from Q. Came to you…way of righteousness: several meanings are possible: that John himself was righteous, that he taught righteousness to others, or that he had an important place in God’s plan of salvation. For the last, see note on Mt 3:14–15.
  26. 21:33–46 Cf. Mk 12:1–12. In this parable there is a close correspondence between most of the details of the story and the situation that it illustrates, the dealings of God with his people. Because of that heavy allegorizing, some scholars think that it does not in any way go back to Jesus, but represents the theology of the later church. That judgment applies to the Marcan parallel as well, although the allegorizing has gone farther in Matthew. There are others who believe that while many of the allegorical elements are due to church sources, they have been added to a basic parable spoken by Jesus. This view is now supported by the Gospel of Thomas, 65, where a less allegorized and probably more primitive form of the parable is found.
  27. 21:33 Planted a vineyard…a tower: cf. Is 5:1–2. The vineyard is defined in Is 5:7 as “the house of Israel.”
  28. 21:34–35 His servants: Matthew has two sendings of servants as against Mark’s three sendings of a single servant (Mk 12:2–5a) followed by a statement about the sending of “many others” (Mk 12:2, 5b). That these servants stand for the prophets sent by God to Israel is clearly implied but not made explicit here, but see Mt 23:37. His produce: cf. Mk 12:2 “some of the produce.” The produce is the good works demanded by God, and his claim to them is total.
  29. 21:38 Acquire his inheritance: if a Jewish proselyte died without heir, the tenants of his land would have final claim on it.
  30. 21:39 Threw him out…and killed him: the change in the Marcan order where the son is killed and his corpse then thrown out (Mk 12:8) was probably made because of the tradition that Jesus died outside the city of Jerusalem; see Jn 19:17; Hb 13:12.
  31. 21:41 They answered: in Mk 12:9 the question is answered by Jesus himself; here the leaders answer and so condemn themselves; cf. Mt 21:31. Matthew adds that the newtenants to whom the vineyard will be transferred will give the owner the produce at the proper times.
  32. 21:42 Cf. Ps 118:22–23. The psalm was used in the early church as a prophecy of Jesus’ resurrection; see Acts 4:11; 1 Pt 2:7. If, as some think, the original parable ended at Mt 21:39 it was thought necessary to complete it by a reference to Jesus’ vindication by God.
  33. 21:43 Peculiar to Matthew. Kingdom of God: see note on Mt 19:23–24. Its presence here instead of Matthew’s usual “kingdom of heaven” may indicate that the saying came from Matthew’s own traditional material. A people that will produce its fruit: believing Israelites and Gentiles, the church of Jesus.
  34. 21:44 The majority of textual witnesses omit this verse. It is probably an early addition to Matthew from Lk 20:18 with which it is practically identical.
  35. 21:45 The Pharisees: Matthew inserts into the group of Jewish leaders (Mt 21:23) those who represented the Judaism of his own time.

Matthew 20 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 545)

Matthew 20New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 20

The Workers in the Vineyard.[a] “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, [b]and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. [And] he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’[c]When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. 10 So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. 11 And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’13 He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you.[d]Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? 14 [e]Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?15 [Or] am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 [f]Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

The Third Prediction of the Passion.[g] 17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve [disciples] aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 and hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

The Request of James and John.[h] 20 Then the mother[i] of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. 21 He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking.[j] Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” 23 He replied, “My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left [, this] is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27 whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom[k] for many.”

The Healing of Two Blind Men.[l] 29 As they left Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “[Lord,][m] Son of David, have pity on us!” 31 The crowd warned them to be silent, but they called out all the more, “Lord, Son of David, have pity on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33 They answered him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 Moved with pity, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight, and followed him.

Footnotes:

  1. 20:1–16 This parable is peculiar to Matthew. It is difficult to know whether the evangelist composed it or received it as part of his traditional material and, if the latter is the case, what its original reference was. In its present context its close association with Mt 19:30suggests that its teaching is the equality of all the disciples in the reward of inheriting eternal life.
  2. 20:4 What is just: although the wage is not stipulated as in the case of those first hired, it will be fair.
  3. 20:8 Beginning with the last…the first: this element of the parable has no other purpose than to show how the first knew what the last were given (Mt 20:12).
  4. 20:13 I am not cheating you: literally, “I am not treating you unjustly.”
  5. 20:14–15 The owner’s conduct involves no violation of justice (Mt 20:4, 13), and that all the workers receive the same wage is due only to his generosity to the latest arrivals; the resentment of the first comes from envy.
  6. 20:16 See note on Mt 19:30.
  7. 20:17–19 Cf. Mk 10:32–34. This is the third and the most detailed of the passion predictions (Mt 16:21–23; 17:22–23). It speaks of Jesus’ being handed over to the Gentiles (Mt 27:2), his being mocked (Mt 27:27–30), scourged (Mt 27:26), andcrucified (Mt 27:31, 35). In all but the last of these points Matthew agrees with his Marcan source, but whereas Mark speaks of Jesus’ being killed (Mk 10:34), Matthew has the specific to be…crucified.
  8. 20:20–28 Cf. Mk 10:35–45. The request of the sons of Zebedee, made through their mother, for the highest places of honor in the kingdom, and the indignation of the otherten disciples at this request, show that neither the two brothers nor the others have understood that what makes for greatness in the kingdom is not lordly power but humble service. Jesus gives the example, and his ministry of service will reach its highest point when he gives his life for the deliverance of the human race from sin.
  9. 20:20–21 The reason for Matthew’s making the mother the petitioner (cf. Mk 10:35) is not clear. Possibly he intends an allusion to Bathsheba’s seeking the kingdom for Solomon; see 1 Kgs 1:11–21. Your kingdom: see note on Mt 16:28.
  10. 20:22 You do not know what you are asking: the Greek verbs are plural and, with the rest of the verse, indicate that the answer is addressed not to the woman but to her sons.Drink the cup: see note on Mk 10:38–40. Matthew omits the Marcan “or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized” (Mk 10:38).
  11. 20:28 Ransom: this noun, which occurs in the New Testament only here and in the Marcan parallel (Mk 10:45), does not necessarily express the idea of liberation by payment of some price. The cognate verb is used frequently in the LXX of God’s liberating Israel from Egypt or from Babylonia after the Exile; see Ex 6:6; 15:13; Ps 77:16 (76 LXX);Is 43:1; 44:22. The liberation brought by Jesus’ death will be for many; cf. Is 53:12. Manydoes not mean that some are excluded, but is a Semitism designating the collectivity who benefit from the service of the one, and is equivalent to “all.” While there are few verbal contacts between this saying and the fourth Servant Song (Is 52:13–53:12), the ideas of that passage are reflected here.
  12. 20:29–34 The cure of the blind men is probably symbolic of what will happen to the disciples, now blind to the meaning of Jesus’ passion and to the necessity of their sharing his suffering. As the men are given sight, so, after the resurrection, will the disciples come to see that to which they are now blind. Matthew has abbreviated his Marcan source (Mk 10:46–52) and has made Mark’s one man two. Such doubling is characteristic of this gospel; see Mt 8:28–34 (// Mk 5:1–20) and the note on Mt 9:27–31.
  13. 20:30 [Lord,]: some important textual witnesses omit this, but that may be because copyists assimilated this verse to Mt 9:27. Son of David: see note on Mt 9:27.

Matthew 19 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 544)

Matthew 19New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VI. Ministry in Judea and Jerusalem

Chapter 19

Marriage and Divorce. [a]When Jesus[b] finished these words,[c] he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan. Great crowds followed him, and he cured them there. Some Pharisees approached him, and tested him,[d] saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” [e]He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” [f]They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss [her]?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you,[g] whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” 10 [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word,[h] but only those to whom that is granted. 12 Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage[i] for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

Blessing of the Children.[j] 13 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them,14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

The Rich Young Man.[k] 16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”[l] 17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good.[m] If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 [n]He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; 19 honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 20 [o]The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect,[p] go, sell what you have and give to [the] poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. 23 [q]Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 [r]When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” 28 [s]Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. 30 [t]But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

Footnotes:

  1. 19:1–23:39 The narrative section of the fifth book of the gospel. The first part (Mt 19:1–20:34) has for its setting the journey of Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem; the second (Mt 21:1–23:39) deals with Jesus’ ministry in Jerusalem up to the final great discourse of the gospel (Mt 24–25). Matthew follows the Marcan sequence of events, though adding material both special to this gospel and drawn from Q. The second part ends with the denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:1–36) followed by Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem (Mt 23:37–39). This long and important speech raises a problem for the view that Matthew is structured around five other discourses of Jesus (see Introduction) and that this one has no such function in the gospel. However, it is to be noted that this speech lacks the customary concluding formula that follows the five discourses (see note on Mt 7:28), and that those discourses are all addressed either exclusively (Mt 10; 18; 24; 25) or primarily (Mt 5–7; 13) to the disciples, whereas this is addressed primarily to the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23:13–36). Consequently, it seems plausible to maintain that the evangelist did not intend to give it the structural importance of the five other discourses, and that, in spite of its being composed of sayings-material, it belongs to the narrative section of this book. In that regard, it is similar to the sayings-material of Mt 11:7–30. Some have proposed that Matthew wished to regard it as part of the final discourse of Mt 24–25, but the intervening material (Mt 24:1–4) and the change in matter and style of those chapters do not support that view.
  2. 19:1 In giving Jesus’ teaching on divorce (Mt 19:3–9), Matthew here follows his Marcan source (Mk 10:2–12) as he does Q in Mt 5:31–32 (cf. Lk 16:18). Mt 19:10–12 are peculiar to Matthew.
  3. 19:1 When Jesus finished these words: see note on Mt 7:28–29. The district of Judea across the Jordan: an inexact designation of the territory. Judea did not extendacross the Jordan; the territory east of the river was Perea. The route to Jerusalem by way of Perea avoided passage through Samaria.
  4. 19:3 Tested him: the verb is used of attempts of Jesus’ opponents to embarrass him by challenging him to do something they think impossible (Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:16) or by having him say something that they can use against him (Mt 22:18, 35; Mk 10:2; 12:15).For any cause whatever: this is peculiar to Matthew and has been interpreted by some as meaning that Jesus was being asked to take sides in the dispute between the schools of Hillel and Shammai on the reasons for divorce, the latter holding a stricter position than the former. It is unlikely, however, that to ask Jesus’ opinion about the differing views of two Jewish schools, both highly respected, could be described as “testing” him, for the reason indicated above.
  5. 19:4–6 Matthew recasts his Marcan source, omitting Jesus’ question about Moses’ command (Mk 10:3) and having him recall at once two Genesis texts that show the will and purpose of the Creator in making human beings male and female (Gn 1:27), namely, that a man may be joined to his wife in marriage in the intimacy of one flesh(Gn 2:24). What God has thus joined must not be separated by any human being. (The NAB translation of the Hebrew bāśār of Gn 2:24 as “body” rather than “flesh” obscures the reference of Matthew to that text.)
  6. 19:7 See Dt 24:1–4.
  7. 19:9 Moses’ concession to human sinfulness (the hardness of your hearts, Mt 19:8) is repudiated by Jesus, and the original will of the Creator is reaffirmed against that concession. (Unless the marriage is unlawful): see note on Mt 5:31–32. There is some evidence suggesting that Jesus’ absolute prohibition of divorce was paralleled in the Qumran community (see 11QTemple 57:17–19; CD 4:12b–5:14). Matthew removes Mark’s setting of this verse as spoken to the disciples alone “in the house” (Mk 10:10) and also his extension of the divorce prohibition to the case of a woman’s divorcing her husband (Mk 10:12), probably because in Palestine, unlike the places where Roman and Greek law prevailed, the woman was not allowed to initiate the divorce.
  8. 19:11 [This] word: probably the disciples’ “it is better not to marry” (Mt 19:10). Jesus agrees but says that celibacy is not for all but only for those to whom that is granted by God.
  9. 19:12 Incapable of marriage: literally, “eunuchs.” Three classes are mentioned, eunuchs from birth, eunuchs by castration, and those who have voluntarily renounced marriage(literally, “have made themselves eunuchs”) for the sake of the kingdom, i.e., to devote themselves entirely to its service. Some scholars take the last class to be those who have been divorced by their spouses and have refused to enter another marriage. But it is more likely that it is rather those who have chosen never to marry, since that suits better the optional nature of the decision: whoever can…ought to accept it.
  10. 19:13–15 This account is understood by some as intended to justify the practice of infant baptism. That interpretation is based principally on the command not to prevent the children from coming, since that word sometimes has a baptismal connotation in the New Testament; see Acts 8:36.
  11. 19:16–30 Cf. Mk 10:17–31. This story does not set up a “two-tier” morality, that of those who seek (only) eternal life (Mt 19:16) and that of those who wish to be perfect (Mt 19:21). It speaks rather of the obstacle that riches constitute for the following of Jesus and of the impossibility, humanly speaking, for one who has many possessions (Mt 19:22) to enter the kingdom (Mt 19:24). Actual renunciation of riches is not demanded of all; Matthew counts the rich Joseph of Arimathea as a disciple of Jesus (Mt 27:57). But only the poor in spirit (Mt 5:3) can enter the kingdom and, as here, such poverty may entail the sacrifice of one’s possessions. The Twelve, who have given up everything (Mt 19:27) to follow Jesus, will have as their reward a share in Jesus’ (the Son of Man’s)judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt 19:28), and all who have similarly sacrificed family or property for his sake will inherit eternal life (Mt 19:29).
  12. 19:16 Gain eternal life: this is equivalent to “entering into life” (Mt 19:17) and “being saved” (Mt 19:25); the life is that of the new age after the final judgment (see Mt 25:46). It probably is also equivalent here to “entering the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 19:23) or “the kingdom of God” (Mt 19:24), but see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17; 18:1 for the wider reference ofthe kingdom in Matthew.
  13. 19:17 By Matthew’s reformulation of the Marcan question and reply (Mk 10:17–18) Jesus’ repudiation of the term “good” for himself has been softened. Yet the Marcan assertion that “no one is good but God alone” stands, with only unimportant verbal modification.
  14. 19:18–19 The first five commandments cited are from the Decalogue (see Ex 20:12–16;Dt 5:16–20). Matthew omits Mark’s “you shall not defraud” (Mk 10:19; see Dt 24:14) and adds Lv 19:18. This combination of commandments of the Decalogue with Lv 19:18 is partially the same as Paul’s enumeration of the demands of Christian morality in Rom 13:9.
  15. 19:20 Young man: in Matthew alone of the synoptics the questioner is said to be a young man; thus the Marcan “from my youth” (Mk 10:20) is omitted.
  16. 19:21 If you wish to be perfect: to be perfect is demanded of all Christians; see Mt 5:48. In the case of this man, it involves selling his possessions and giving to the poor; only so can he follow Jesus.
  17. 19:23–24 Riches are an obstacle to entering the kingdom that cannot be overcome by human power. The comparison with the impossibility of a camel’s passing through the eye of a needle should not be mitigated by such suppositions as that the eye of a needle means a low or narrow gate. The kingdom of God: as in Mt 12:28; 21:31, 43instead of Matthew’s usual kingdom of heaven.
  18. 19:25–26 See note on Mk 10:23–27.
  19. 19:28 This saying, directed to the Twelve, is from Q; see Lk 22:29–30. The new age: the Greek word here translated “new age” occurs in the New Testament only here and in Ti 3:5. Literally, it means “rebirth” or “regeneration,” and is used in Titus of spiritual rebirth through baptism. Here it means the “rebirth” effected by the coming of the kingdom. Since that coming has various stages (see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17), the new age could be taken as referring to the time after the resurrection when the Twelve will govern the true Israel, i.e., the church of Jesus. (For “judge” in the sense of “govern,” cf. Jgs 12:8, 9, 11; 15:20;16:31; Ps 2:10). But since it is connected here with the time when the Son of Man will beseated on his throne of glory, language that Matthew uses in Mt 25:31 for the time of final judgment, it is more likely that what the Twelve are promised is that they will be joined with Jesus then in judging the people of Israel.
  20. 19:30 Different interpretations have been given to this saying, which comes from Mk 10:31. In view of Matthew’s associating it with the following parable (Mt 20:1–15) and substantially repeating it (in reverse order) at the end of that parable (Mt 20:16), it may be that his meaning is that all who respond to the call of Jesus, at whatever time (first orlast), will be the same in respect to inheriting the benefits of the kingdom, which is the gift of God.

Matthew 18 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 543)

Matthew 18New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 18[a]

The Greatest in the Kingdom. At that time the disciples[b]approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,[c] you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [d]And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

Temptations to Sin. “Whoever causes one of these little ones[e] who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.[f]Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come! If your hand or foot causes you to sin,[g] cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep.[h] 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones,[i] for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. [11 ][j] 12 What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? 13 And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. 14 In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.

A Brother Who Sins.[k] 15 “If your brother[l] sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. 16 [m]If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.[n] If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 [o]Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 [p]Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. 20 [q]For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.[r] 21 Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 [s]Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 23 That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. 24 [t]When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. 25 Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. 26 [u]At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ 27 Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. 28 When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount.[v] He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. 31 Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. 32 His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.33 Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ 34 Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.[w] 35 [x]So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

Footnotes:

  1. 18:1–35 This discourse of the fourth book of the gospel is often called the “church order” discourse, but it lacks most of the considerations usually connected with church order, such as various offices in the church and the duties of each, and deals principally with the relations that must obtain among the members of the church. Beginning with the warning that greatness in the kingdom of heaven is measured not by rank or power but by childlikeness (Mt 18:1–5), it deals with the care that the disciples must take not to cause the little ones to sin or to neglect them if they stray from the community (Mt 18:6–14), the correction of members who sin (Mt 18:15–18), the efficacy of the prayer of the disciples because of the presence of Jesus (Mt 18:19–20), and the forgiveness that must be repeatedly extended to sinful members who repent (Mt 18:21–35).
  2. 18:1 The initiative is taken not by Jesus as in the Marcan parallel (Mk 9:33–34) but by the disciples. Kingdom of heaven: this may mean the kingdom in its fullness, i.e., after the parousia and the final judgment. But what follows about causes of sin, church discipline, and forgiveness, all dealing with the present age, suggests that the question has to do with rank also in the church, where the kingdom is manifested here and now, although only partially and by anticipation; see notes on Mt 3:2; 4:17.
  3. 18:3 Become like children: the child is held up as a model for the disciples not because of any supposed innocence of children but because of their complete dependence on, and trust in, their parents. So must the disciples be, in respect to God.
  4. 18:5 Cf. Mt 10:40.
  5. 18:6 One of these little ones: the thought passes from the child of Mt 18:2–4 to the disciples, little ones because of their becoming like children. It is difficult to know whether this is a designation of all who are disciples or of those who are insignificant in contrast to others, e.g., the leaders of the community. Since apart from this chapter the designation little ones occurs in Matthew only in Mt 10:42 where it means disciples as such, that is its more likely meaning here. Who believe in me: since discipleship is impossible without at least some degree of faith, this further specification seems superfluous. However, it serves to indicate that the warning against causing a little one to sin is principally directed against whatever would lead such a one to a weakening or loss of faith. The Greek verb skandalizein, here translated causes…to sin, means literally “causes to stumble”; what the stumbling is depends on the context. It is used of falling away from faith in Mt 13:21. According to the better reading of Mk 9:42, in me is a Matthean addition to the Marcan source. It would be better…depths of the sea: cf. Mk 9:42.
  6. 18:7 This is a Q saying; cf. Lk 17:1. The inevitability of things that cause sin (literally, “scandals”) does not take away the responsibility of the one through whom they come.
  7. 18:8–9 These verses are a doublet of Mt 5:29–30. In that context they have to do with causes of sexual sin. As in the Marcan source from which they have been drawn (Mk 9:42–48), they differ from the first warning about scandal, which deals with causing another person to sin, for they concern what causes oneself to sin and they do not seem to be related to another’s loss of faith, as the first warning is. It is difficult to know how Matthew understood the logical connection between these verses and Mt 18:6–7.
  8. 18:10–14 The first and last verses are peculiar to Matthew. The parable itself comes from Q; see Lk 15:3–7. In Luke it serves as justification for Jesus’ table-companionship with sinners; here, it is an exhortation for the disciples to seek out fellow disciples who have gone astray. Not only must no one cause a fellow disciple to sin, but those who have strayed must be sought out and, if possible, brought back to the community. The joy of the shepherd on finding the sheep, though not absent in Mt 18:13 is more emphasized in Luke. By his addition of Mt 18:10, 14 Matthew has drawn out explicitly the application of the parable to the care of the little ones.
  9. 18:10 Their angels in heaven…my heavenly Father: for the Jewish belief in angels as guardians of nations and individuals, see Dn 10:13, 20–21; Tb 5:4–7; 1QH 5:20–22; as intercessors who present the prayers of human beings to God, see Tb 13:12, 15. The high worth of the little ones is indicated by their being represented before God by these heavenly beings.
  10. 18:11 Some manuscripts add, “For the Son of Man has come to save what was lost”; cf.Mt 9:13. This is practically identical with Lk 19:10 and is probably a copyist’s addition from that source.
  11. 18:15–20 Passing from the duty of Christian disciples toward those who have strayed from their number, the discourse now turns to how they are to deal with one who sins and yet remains within the community. First there is to be private correction (Mt 18:15); if this is unsuccessful, further correction before two or three witnesses (Mt 18:16); if this fails, the matter is to be brought before the assembled community (the church), and if the sinner refuses to attend to the correction of the church, he is to be expelled (Mt 18:17). The church’s judgment will be ratified in heaven, i.e., by God (Mt 18:18). This three-step process of correction corresponds, though not exactly, to the procedure of the Qumran community; see 1QS 5:25–6:1; 6:24–7:25; CD 9:2–8. The section ends with a saying about the favorable response of God to prayer, even to that of a very small number, for Jesus is in the midst of any gathering of his disciples, however small (Mt 18:19–20). Whether this prayer has anything to do with the preceding judgment is uncertain.
  12. 18:15 Your brother: a fellow disciple; see Mt 23:8. The bracketed words, against you, are widely attested but they are not in the important codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus or in some other textual witnesses. Their omission broadens the type of sin in question. Won over: literally, “gained.”
  13. 18:16 Cf. Dt 19:15.
  14. 18:17 The church: the second of the only two instances of this word in the gospels; see note on Mt 16:18. Here it refers not to the entire church of Jesus, as in Mt 16:18, but to the local congregation. Treat him…a Gentile or a tax collector: just as the observant Jew avoided the company of Gentiles and tax collectors, so must the congregation of Christian disciples separate itself from the arrogantly sinful member who refuses to repent even when convicted of his sin by the whole church. Such a one is to be set outside the fellowship of the community. The harsh language about Gentile and tax collectorprobably reflects a stage of the Matthean church when it was principally composed of Jewish Christians. That time had long since passed, but the principle of exclusion for such a sinner remained. Paul makes a similar demand for excommunication in 1 Cor 5:1–13.
  15. 18:18 Except for the plural of the verbs bind and loose, this verse is practically identical with Mt 16:19b and many scholars understand it as granting to all the disciples what was previously given to Peter alone. For a different view, based on the different contexts of the two verses, see note on Mt 16:19.
  16. 18:19–20 Some take these verses as applying to prayer on the occasion of the church’s gathering to deal with the sinner of Mt 18:17. Unless an a fortiori argument is supposed, this seems unlikely. God’s answer to the prayer of two or three envisages a different situation from one that involves the entire congregation. In addition, the object of this prayer is expressed in most general terms as anything for which they are to pray.
  17. 18:20 For where two or three…midst of them: the presence of Jesus guarantees the efficacy of the prayer. This saying is similar to one attributed to a rabbi executed in A.D. 135 at the time of the second Jewish revolt: “…When two sit and there are between them the words of the Torah, the divine presence (Shekinah) rests upon them” (Pirqê ’Abôt 3, 3).
  18. 18:21–35 The final section of the discourse deals with the forgiveness that the disciples are to give to their fellow disciples who sin against them. To the question of Peter how often forgiveness is to be granted (Mt 18:21), Jesus answers that it is to be given without limit (Mt 18:22) and illustrates this with the parable of the unmerciful servant (Mt 18:23–34), warning that his heavenly Father will give those who do not forgive the same treatment as that given to the unmerciful servant (Mt 18:35). Mt 18:21–22 correspond toLk 17:4; the parable and the final warning are peculiar to Matthew. That the parable did not originally belong to this context is suggested by the fact that it really does not deal with repeated forgiveness, which is the point of Peter’s question and Jesus’ reply.
  19. 18:22 Seventy-seven times: the Greek corresponds exactly to the LXX of Gn 4:24. There is probably an allusion, by contrast, to the limitless vengeance of Lamech in the Genesis text. In any case, what is demanded of the disciples is limitless forgiveness.
  20. 18:24 A huge amount: literally, “ten thousand talents.” The talent was a unit of coinage of high but varying value depending on its metal (gold, silver, copper) and its place of origin. It is mentioned in the New Testament only here and in Mt 25:14–30.
  21. 18:26 Pay you back in full: an empty promise, given the size of the debt.
  22. 18:28 A much smaller amount: literally, “a hundred denarii.” A denarius was the normal daily wage of a laborer. The difference between the two debts is enormous and brings out the absurdity of the conduct of the Christian who has received the great forgiveness of God and yet refuses to forgive the relatively minor offenses done to him.
  23. 18:34 Since the debt is so great as to be unpayable, the punishment will be endless.
  24. 18:35 The Father’s forgiveness, already given, will be withdrawn at the final judgment for those who have not imitated his forgiveness by their own.

Matthew 17 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 542)

Matthew 17New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 17

The Transfiguration of Jesus.[a] After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.[b] [c]And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. [d]And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents[e] here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud cast a shadow over them,[f] then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” [g]When the disciples heard this, they fell prostrate and were very much afraid. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.” And when the disciples raised their eyes, they saw no one else but Jesus alone.

The Coming of Elijah.[h] As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, “Do not tell the vision[i] to anyone until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10 [j]Then the disciples asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 He said in reply,[k] “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; 12 but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.” 13 [l]Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

The Healing of a Boy with a Demon.[m] 14 When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him, 15 and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic[n] and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse[o] generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him,[p] and from that hour the boy was cured. 19 Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 [q]He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21 ][r]

The Second Prediction of the Passion.[s] 22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, 23 and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

Payment of the Temple Tax.[t] 24 When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax[u] approached Peter and said, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” 25 “Yes,” he said.[v] When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” 26 [w]When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt.27 But that we may not offend them,[x] go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”

Footnotes:

  1. 17:1–8 The account of the transfiguration confirms that Jesus is the Son of God (Mt 17:5) and points to fulfillment of the prediction that he will come in his Father’s glory at the end of the age (Mt 16:27). It has been explained by some as a resurrection appearance retrojected into the time of Jesus’ ministry, but that is not probable since the account lacks many of the usual elements of the resurrection-appearance narratives. It draws upon motifs from the Old Testament and noncanonical Jewish apocalyptic literature that express the presence of the heavenly and the divine, e.g., brilliant light, white garments, and the overshadowing cloud.
  2. 17:1 These three disciples are also taken apart from the others by Jesus in Gethsemane (Mt 26:37). A high mountain: this has been identified with Tabor or Hermon, but probably no specific mountain was intended by the evangelist or by his Marcan source (Mk 9:2). Its meaning is theological rather than geographical, possibly recalling the revelation to Moses on Mount Sinai (Ex 24:12–18) and to Elijah at the same place (1 Kgs 19:8–18; Horeb = Sinai).
  3. 17:2 His face shone like the sun: this is a Matthean addition; cf. Dn 10:6. His clothes became white as light: cf. Dn 7:9, where the clothing of God appears “snow bright.” For the white garments of other heavenly beings, see Rev 4:4; 7:9; 19:14.
  4. 17:3 See note on Mk 9:5.
  5. 17:4 Three tents: the booths in which the Israelites lived during the feast of Tabernacles (cf. Jn 7:2) were meant to recall their ancestors’ dwelling in booths during the journey from Egypt to the promised land (Lv 23:39–42). The same Greek word, skēnē, here translatedtents, is used in the LXX for the booths of that feast, and some scholars have suggested that there is an allusion here to that liturgical custom.
  6. 17:5 Cloud cast a shadow over them: see note on Mk 9:7. This is my beloved Son…listen to him: cf. Mt 3:17. The voice repeats the baptismal proclamation about Jesus, with the addition of the command listen to him. The latter is a reference to Dt 18:15 in which the Israelites are commanded to listen to the prophet like Moses whom God will raise up for them. The command to listen to Jesus is general, but in this context it probably applies particularly to the preceding predictions of his passion and resurrection (Mt 16:21) and of his coming (Mt 16:27, 28).
  7. 17:6–7 A Matthean addition; cf. Dn 10:9–10, 18–19.
  8. 17:9–13 In response to the disciples’ question about the expected return of Elijah, Jesus interprets the mission of the Baptist as the fulfillment of that expectation. But that was not suspected by those who opposed and finally killed him, and Jesus predicts a similar fate for himself.
  9. 17:9 The vision: Matthew alone uses this word to describe the transfiguration. Until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead: only in the light of Jesus’ resurrection can the meaning of his life and mission be truly understood; until then no testimony to the vision will lead people to faith.
  10. 17:10 See notes on Mt 3:4; 16:14.
  11. 17:11–12 The preceding question and this answer may reflect later controversy with Jews who objected to the Christian claims for Jesus that Elijah had not yet come.
  12. 17:13 See Mt 11:14.
  13. 17:14–20 Matthew has greatly shortened the Marcan story (Mk 9:14–29). Leaving aside several details of the boy’s illness, he concentrates on the need for faith, not so much on the part of the boy’s father (as does Mark, for Matthew omits Mk 9:22b–24) but on that of his own disciples whose inability to drive out the demon is ascribed to their little faith (Mt 17:20).
  14. 17:15 A lunatic: this description of the boy is peculiar to Matthew. The word occurs in the New Testament only here and in Mt 4:24 and means one affected or struck by the moon. The symptoms of the boy’s illness point to epilepsy, and attacks of this were thought to be caused by phases of the moon.
  15. 17:17 Faithless and perverse: so Matthew and Luke (Lk 9:41) against Mark’s faithless(Mk 9:19). The Greek word here translated perverse is the same as that in Dt 32:5 LXX, where Moses speaks to his people. There is a problem in knowing to whom the reproach is addressed. Since the Matthean Jesus normally chides his disciples for their little faith(as in Mt 17:20), it would appear that the charge of lack of faith could not be made against them and that the reproach is addressed to unbelievers among the Jews. However in Mt 17:20b (if you have faith the size of a mustard seed), which is certainly addressed to the disciples, they appear to have not even the smallest faith; if they had, they would have been able to cure the boy. In the light of Mt 17:20b the reproach of Mt 17:17 could have applied to the disciples. There seems to be an inconsistency between the charge of little faith in Mt 17:20a and that of not even a little in Mt 17:20b.
  16. 17:18 The demon came out of him: not until this verse does Matthew indicate that the boy’s illness is a case of demoniacal possession.
  17. 17:20 The entire verse is an addition of Matthew who (according to the better attested text) omits the reason given for the disciples’ inability in Mk 9:29. Little faith: see note onMt 6:30. Faith the size of a mustard seed…and it will move: a combination of a Q saying (cf. Lk 17:6) with a Marcan saying (cf. Mk 11:23).
  18. 17:21 Some manuscripts add, “But this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting”; this is a variant of the better reading of Mk 9:29.
  19. 17:22–23 The second passion prediction (cf. Mt 16:21–23) is the least detailed of the three and may be the earliest. In the Marcan parallel the disciples do not understand (Mk 9:32); here they understand and are overwhelmed with grief at the prospect of Jesus’ death (Mt 17:23).
  20. 17:24–27 Like Mt 14:28–31 and Mt 16:16b–19, this episode comes from Matthew’s special material on Peter. Although the question of the collectors concerns Jesus’ payment of the temple tax, it is put to Peter. It is he who receives instruction from Jesus about freedom from the obligation of payment and yet why it should be made. The means of doing so is provided miraculously. The pericope deals with a problem of Matthew’s church, whether its members should pay the temple tax, and the answer is given through a word of Jesus conveyed to Peter. Some scholars see here an example of the teaching authority of Peter exercised in the name of Jesus (see Mt 16:19). The specific problem was a Jewish Christian one and may have arisen when the Matthean church was composed largely of that group.
  21. 17:24 The temple tax: before the destruction of the Jerusalem temple in A.D. 70 every male Jew above nineteen years of age was obliged to make an annual contribution to its upkeep (cf. Ex 30:11–16; Neh 10:33). After the destruction the Romans imposed upon Jews the obligation of paying that tax for the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. There is disagreement about which period the story deals with.
  22. 17:25 From their subjects or from foreigners?: the Greek word here translatedsubjects literally means “sons.”
  23. 17:26 Then the subjects are exempt: just as subjects are not bound by laws applying to foreigners, neither are Jesus and his disciples, who belong to the kingdom of heaven, bound by the duty of paying the temple tax imposed on those who are not of the kingdom. If the Greek is translated “sons,” the freedom of Jesus, the Son of God, and of his disciples, children (“sons”) of the kingdom (cf. Mt 13:38), is even more clear.
  24. 17:27 That we may not offend them: though they are exempt (Mt 17:26), Jesus and his disciples are to avoid giving offense; therefore the tax is to be paid. A coin worth twice the temple tax: literally, “a stater,” a Greek coin worth two double drachmas. Two double drachmas were equal to the Jewish shekel and the tax was a half-shekel. For me and for you: not only Jesus but Peter pays the tax, and this example serves as a standard for the conduct of all the disciples.

Matthew 15 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 540)

Matthew 15New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 15

The Tradition of the Elders.[a] Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?[b] They do not wash [their] hands when they eat a meal.” He said to them in reply, “And why do you break the commandment of God[c] for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ [d]But you say, ‘Whoever says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God,” need not honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,[e]
    but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines human precepts.’”

10 He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” 12 Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He said in reply,[f] “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides (of the blind). If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Then Peter[g] said to him in reply, “Explain [this] parable to us.” 16 He said to them, “Are even you still without understanding? 17 Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine?18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. 19 [h]For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

The Canaanite Woman’s Faith.[i] 21 Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” 24 [j]He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children[k] and throw it to the dogs.”27 She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” 28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith![l] Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

The Healing of Many People. 29 Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there.30 Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. 31 The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

The Feeding of the Four Thousand.[m] 32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.”33 The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” 35 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks,[n] broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full. 38 Those who ate were four thousand men, not counting women and children. 39 And when he had dismissed the crowds, he got into the boat and came to the district of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1–20 This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus’ disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders about washing one’s hands before eating (Mt 15:2). Jesus’ counterquestion accuses his opponents of breaking the commandment of God for the sake of their tradition (Mt 15:3) and illustrates this by their interpretation of the commandment of the Decalogue concerning parents (Mt 15:4–6). Denouncing them as hypocrites, he applies to them a derogatory prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 15:7–8). Then with a wider audience (the crowd, Mt 15:10) he goes beyond the violation of tradition with which the dispute has started. The parable (Mt 15:11) is an attack on the Mosaic law concerning clean and unclean foods, similar to those antitheses that abrogate the law (Mt 5:31–32, 33–34, 38–39). After a warning to his disciples not to follow the moral guidance of the Pharisees (Mt 15:13–14), he explains the parable (Mt 15:15) to them, saying that defilement comes not from what enters the mouth (Mt 15:17) but from the evil thoughts and deeds that rise from within, from the heart (Mt 15:18–20). The last verse returns to the starting point of the dispute (eating with unwashed hands). Because of Matthew’s omission of Mk 7:19b, some scholars think that Matthew has weakened the Marcan repudiation of the Mosaic food laws. But that half verse is ambiguous in the Greek, which may be the reason for its omission here.
  2. 15:2 The tradition of the elders: see note on Mk 7:5. The purpose of the handwashing was to remove defilement caused by contact with what was ritually unclean.
  3. 15:3–4 For the commandment see Ex 20:12 (Dt 5:16); 21:17. The honoring of one’s parents had to do with supporting them in their needs.
  4. 15:5 See note on Mk 7:11.
  5. 15:8 The text of Is 29:13 is quoted approximately according to the Septuagint.
  6. 15:13–14 Jesus leads his disciples away from the teaching authority of the Pharisees.
  7. 15:15 Matthew specifies Peter as the questioner, unlike Mk 7:17. Given his tendency to present the disciples as more understanding than in his Marcan source, it is noteworthy that here he retains the Marcan rebuke, although in a slightly milder form. This may be due to his wish to correct the Jewish Christians within his church who still held to the food laws and thus separated themselves from Gentile Christians who did not observe them.
  8. 15:19 The Marcan list of thirteen things that defile (Mk 7:21–22) is here reduced to seven that partially cover the content of the Decalogue.
  9. 15:21–28 See note on Mt 8:5–13.
  10. 15:24 See note on Mt 10:5–6.
  11. 15:26 The children: the people of Israel. Dogs: see note on Mt 7:6.
  12. 15:28 As in the case of the cure of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:10), Matthew ascribes Jesus’ granting the request to the woman’s great faith, a point not made equally explicit in the Marcan parallel (Mk 7:24–30).
  13. 15:32–39 Most probably this story is a doublet of that of the feeding of the five thousand (Mt 14:13–21). It differs from it notably only in that Jesus takes the initiative, not the disciples (Mt 15:32), and in the numbers: the crowd has been with Jesus three days (Mt 15:32), seven loaves are multiplied (Mt 15:36), seven baskets of fragments remain after the feeding (Mt 15:37), and four thousand men are fed (Mt 15:38).
  14. 15:36 Gave thanks: see Mt 14:19, “said the blessing.” There is no difference in meaning. The thanksgiving was a blessing of God for his benefits.

Matthew 14 (Taipo Bible Reading Marathon Day 539)

Matthew 14New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 14

Herod’s Opinion of Jesus. [a]At that time Herod the tetrarch[b] heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

The Death of John the Baptist. Now Herod had arrested John, bound [him], and put him in prison on account of Herodias,[c] the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for.Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, 10 and he had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.

The Return of the Twelve and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.[d] 13 When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. 14 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 [Jesus] said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” 17 But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” 18 Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” 19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking[e] the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over[f]—twelve wicker baskets full. 21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.

The Walking on the Water.[g] 22 Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night,[h] he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27 At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I;[i] do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,[j] why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 [k]Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

The Healings at Gennesaret. 34 After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick 36 and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.

Footnotes:

  1. 14:1–12 The murder of the Baptist by Herod Antipas prefigures the death of Jesus (seeMt 17:12). The Marcan source (Mk 6:14–29) is much reduced and in some points changed. In Mark Herod reveres John as a holy man and the desire to kill him is attributed to Herodias (Mk 6:19, 20), whereas here that desire is Herod’s from the beginning (Mt 14:5).
  2. 14:1 Herod the tetrarch: Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. When the latter died, his territory was divided among three of his surviving sons, Archelaus who received half of it (Mt 2:23), Herod Antipas who became ruler of Galilee and Perea, and Philip who became ruler of northern Transjordan. Since he received a quarter of his father’s domain, Antipas is accurately designated tetrarch (“ruler of a fourth [part]”), although in Mt 14:9 Matthew repeats the “king” of his Marcan source (Mk 6:26).
  3. 14:3 Herodias was not the wife of Herod’s half-brother Philip but of another half-brother, Herod Boethus. The union was prohibited by Lv 18:16; 20:21. According to Josephus (Antiquities 18:116–19), Herod imprisoned and then executed John because he feared that the Baptist’s influence over the people might enable him to lead a rebellion.
  4. 14:13–21 The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of Jesus that is recounted in all four gospels. The principal reason for that may be that it was seen as anticipating the Eucharist and the final banquet in the kingdom (Mt 8:11; 26:29), but it looks not only forward but backward, to the feeding of Israel with manna in the desert at the time of the Exodus (Ex 16), a miracle that in some contemporary Jewish expectation would be repeated in the messianic age (2 Bar 29:8). It may also be meant to recall Elisha’s feeding a hundred men with small provisions (2 Kgs 4:42–44).
  5. 14:19 The taking, saying the blessing, breaking, and giving to the disciples correspond to the actions of Jesus over the bread at the Last Supper (Mt 26:26). Since they were usual at any Jewish meal, that correspondence does not necessarily indicate a eucharistic reference here. Matthew’s silence about Jesus’ dividing the fish among the people (Mk 6:41) is perhaps more significant in that regard.
  6. 14:20 The fragments left over: as in Elisha’s miracle, food was left over after all had been fed. The word fragments (Greek klasmata) is used, in the singular, of the broken bread of the Eucharist in Didache 9:3–4.
  7. 14:22–33 The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea, are saved by Jesus. For his power over the waters, see note on Mt 8:26. Here that power is expressed also by hiswalking on the sea (Mt 14:25; cf. Ps 77:20; Jb 9:8). Matthew has inserted into the Marcan story (Mk 6:45–52) material that belongs to his special traditions on Peter (Mt 14:28–31).
  8. 14:25 The fourth watch of the night: between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. The Romans divided the twelve hours between 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. into four equal parts called “watches.”
  9. 14:27 It is I: see note on Mk 6:50.
  10. 14:31 You of little faith: see note on Mt 6:30. Why did you doubt?: the verb is peculiar to Matthew and occurs elsewhere only in Mt 28:17.
  11. 14:33 This confession is in striking contrast to the Marcan parallel (Mk 6:51) where the disciples are “completely astounded.”