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not far off from the altar. To this time and custom of the nation it is probable that Christ might allude.”

V.-25. “Agree with thine adversary quickly." He who entered the action went to the judges and stated his affair to them: and then they sent officers with him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our Lord alludes when he says

“Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him” before thou art brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned.—Horne, vol. iii.

page 111.

V.-29. “ If thy right eye offend thee.” Not the natural member, but the offensive one: this may also be read causitively.

V.-34. “Swear not at all. Neither by Jerusalem &c." Various examples of this kind of swearing may be seen in that excellent and very useful book on Oriental Customs by Burder, vol. ii. page 296. I have extracted the following specimen to show the subierfuge of the Jews on this point and as tending to illustrate our Lord's meaning. “ It was common with the Jews both to swear and vow by Jerusalem. “As the altar, as the temple, as Jerusalem,” are expressions frequenily to be met with in their writings. In the Gemara it is, “ He that says as Jerusalem does not say any thing, till he has made his vow concerning a thing which is offered up in Jerusalem." V.--37. “ Let your conversation be Yea, yea.”

, The Jews used to characterize a man of strict probity and good faith, by saying-His yes is yes and his no is no; that is, you may depend upon his word.—Vide Valpy's Greek Testament.

V.-41. “Whosoever shall compel thee.” The Greek word is derived from the name of those officers who were commissioned by the Persian emperors, when Judæa was one of their provinces, to 'press carriages or horses on the road, if they had occasion for them, and even forced the drivers and riders to go along with them.-Ostervald.

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V.-18. “ One jot or tittle.” Jot answers to the Hebrew Jod, or rather Yod. This is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet ; and according to an antient opinion of the Jews, if all the nations were to assemble on purpose to abolish Yod, they would not be able to effect it. A tittle signifies. the least part of a letter or a point.

V.-21. “Shall be in danger of the judgement.” This was a court of judicature among the Jews, consisting of twenty three judges who had power of life and death.

V.-22. “Shall say to his brother, Raca.” Raca or rather Racha is a Syriac word, which properly signifies empty, vain, beggarly, foolish, and which includes in it a strong idea of contempt. Lightfoot says “that in the books of the Jews, the word Racha is a term of the utmost contempt and is used with certain gestures of indignation, as spitting, or turning away the head, &c.—Cruden.

“ The council” or court of Sanhedrim consisted of seventy or seventy-two judges; it determined in the highest affairs relative to church and state. It received appeals from the minor courts.

To the terms “Raca," “Thou fool," supply, without a

cause.

V.-24.“ Leave thy gift before the altar.”

What our Lord here teaches appears to be new. and founded on his superior lessons of morality; but particularly on what he had said above. That this was practicable, we shall see from the following extract from Burder on Oriental Customs, vol. i.

“ It was a custom and a law among the Jews, that the sacrifices of particular men should not immediately, as soon as they were due, be brought to the altar, but that they should be reserved to the feast next following, whatsoever that were, whether the passover, or pentecost, or tabernacles, and be then offered. At those times all the Israelites were present, and any brother, against whom one had sinned, was

page 259.

not far off from the altar. To this time and custom of the nation it is probable that Christ might allude."

V.-25. “Agree with thine adversary quickly." He who entered the action went to the judges and stated his affair to them: and then they sent officers with him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our Lord alludes when he says “Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him" before thou art brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned. Horne, vol. iii.

page 111.

V.--29. “If thy right eye offend thee.” Not the natural member, but the offensive one: this may also be read causitively.

V.-34. “Swear not at all. Neither by Jerusalem &c." Various examples of this kind of swearing may be seen in that excellent and very useful book on Oriental Customs by Burder, vol. ii. page 296. I have extracted the following specimen to show the subierfuge of the Jews on this point and as tending to illustrate our Lord's meaning. “It was common with the Jews both to swear and vow by Jerusalem. “As the altar, as the temple, as Jerusalem," are expressions frequently to be met with in their writings. In the Gemara it is, He that says as Jerusalem does not say any thing, till he has made his vow concerning a thing which is offered up in Jerusalem.”

V.-37. “ Let your conversation be Yea, yea.” The Jews used io characterize a man of strict probity and good faith, by saying-His yes is yes and his no is no; that is, you may depend upon his word.--Vide Valpy's Greek Testament.

V.41. “ Whosoever shall compel thee.” The Greek word is derived from the name of those officers who were commissioned by the Persian emperors, when Judæa was one of their provinces, to press carriages or horses on the road, if they had occasion for them, and even forced the drivers and riders to go along with them.-Ostervald.

B

V.-47. “ If ye salute your brethren only.” “The manner of salutation among the wise men was this: he that salutes says, a good day to my lord; and he replies saying, a good and long day to my lord; always he that replies doubles the salutation.” The persons they usually saluted were their relations or friends. They were not very free in saluting others, as strangers and Gentiles.-Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 298.

VI.-l. “To be seen by them.” The term used in the original to be seen is very significant, alluding to such a beholding or looking on as there is at a theatre for men that act parts or strive for masteries, whose reward consists only in the approbation and applause of the spectators. In this sense the word is evidently used by our Lord, who speaks of the reward as consisting in being thus beheld and observed.Burder's Oriental Customs vol. i. page 262.

VI.3. “Let not thy left hand know.” It is said that the poor's chest stood on the right hand as they entered the synagogues, to which the words may allude.-Ostervald.

VI.-5. “Pray in the corners of the streets.” The synagogue days were the sabbath, and the second and fifth days of each week, answering to our Saturday, Monday, and Thursday, besides their holy days. And their synagogue hours, on which divine service was performed, were thrice on each of these days, viz. in the morning, afternoon, and at night. For they held it to be a constant rule, that all were to pray unto God three times every day, after the example of David, Psalm. lv. 17. and of Daniel, vii. 10. so that they reckoned themselves strictly bound to perform this somewhere every day, as well as on the synagogue days. Hence when abroad, though in the market place or in the street, at the usual hour of prayer, they made no difficulty of doing it there. -Vide Horne, vol. iii. page 249.

VI.-7. “Use not vain repetitions." From the Greek word used on this occasion the following remarks have been made: “This word is derived from one Battus, a trifling poet, mentioned by Suidas, who wrote foolish and prolix hymns full of vain repetitions and tautology.-Valpy's Greek Testament.-Hammond says, that though Christ spake not Greek in this sermon, and therefore did not himself refer to the name and style of Battus, the Evangelist, or his translator, rendered his Syriac expression by the proverbial Greek word. The practice of the heathen may be understood from their writings. Æschylus has nearly a hundred verses at a time made of nothing but tautologies. The Idolatrous worshippers of Baal called on the name of Baal from morning even unto noon, saying, O Baal hear us. Thus also the devotees of Diana all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.-Acts xix. 34. Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i. page 264.

VI.-9. “After this manner therefore pray ye." Namely, For the sanctification of his name in our hearts, the coming of his kingdom into our souls, and the doing of his will in our lives; all which are to be implored before and above our daily bread. We are not to be more anxious for food than for divine grace.--Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. page 689.

In the above work vol. iij. page 296, see“ that most perfect model emphatically termed the Lord's prayer, which the very learned Mr. Gregory has shewn that” our Lord “collected out of the Jewish euchologies : he has translated the whole form from them as follows: Our Father which art in heaven, be gracious unto us! O Lord our God, hallowed be thy name and let the remembrance of thee be glorified in heaven above, and upon earth here below. Let thy kingdom reign over us, now and for ever. The holy men of old said remit and forgive unto all men whatsoever they have done against

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil thing. For thine is the kingdom, and thou shalt reign in glory for ever, and for evermore.”

me.

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