Though all Israel did not obtain, yet the election amongst them did obtain, Rom All were not Israel who were of Israel. Neither, saith the apostle, Rom because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children. Our Saviour therefore in saying, Forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham, intendeth much more than that he was a native Jew, if indeed he were so, for that is not certain , viz. For the Son of man saith he is come to seek and to save that which was lost. We had the same, Mat : See Poole on " Mat ". We noted before, that Jericho was but a hundred and fifty furlongs from Jerusalem, which were not twenty miles , and probably this discourse was upon the way when he was come nearer to it.
But the principal occasion of the following parable was, his discerning of the opinion which possessed some of the company which went along with him, that the time was now at hand when the kingdom of God should appear; when Christ would put forth some eminent act of his power, in delivering them from the servitude they were in to the Romans, or in destroying the unbelieving Jews and Pharisees; or when his gospel should take a further place, and prevail in the world beyond what it yet had done.
He therefore putteth forth a parable to them, wherein by a familiar similitude he lets them understand, that he was going away from them, but would come again, and then receive the kingdom: that in the mean time he would employ them, as his servants, with his goods, and when he came would take an account what use and improvement they had made of them, and then he would both reward his friends and be revenged on his enemies.
The parable followeth. The parable of the talents, which we had, Mat , is of great cognation to this parable, and the doctrine of it in many things is the very same; but the circumstances of that and this relation are so differing, as I cannot think that both Matthew and Luke relate to the same time. I know nothing that hinders, but that our Saviour might twice repeat a parable which in substance is the same.
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Not to insist upon the examination of the words used in the Greek, which is a work fit only for critical writers , for the right understanding of this parable we have three things to do:. To inquire what special instruction our Saviour did in this parable intend to those who heard him at that time.
What general instructions from it may be collected, which inform us as well as those to whom our Lord at that time spake. The special instructions which our Lord in this parable seemeth by it to have given his disciples were these:. He had first a great journey to go, and they had a great deal of work to do. Instead of reigning amongst them, and exalting them, he was going away from them for a long time. In order to these instructions, he taketh up this parable, or speaketh to them in the use of this similitude. To receive a kingdom a kingdom of glory, honour, and power at the right hand of the Father.
His returning signifies his coming again to judge the world at the last day. His calling his servants, and delivering to them ten pounds, signifieth his giving gifts unto men, when he should ascend up on high; gifts of several natures, but all to be occupied, used in a spiritual trade, for the advantage of our common Lord.
Not that he giveth to all alike, which it is manifest he doth not , for every passage in a parable is not answered in the thing which it is brought to represent or express. The different account the servants brought in, signifies that men do not equally use the gifts with which the Lord blesseth them; some use them well, some ill; some bring honour and glory to God by the use of them, and that some in one degree, and some in another. Some bring him no honour or glory at all. There will be degrees in glory, though we cannot well open them , as well as of punishments.
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What he saith Luk , concerning his enemies, assures us, that although God spareth men and women a long time, so long as while his Son is in the far country, while the heavens must contain him; yet in the day of judgment a most certain final ruin will be their portion.
Hence we may easily gather what instructions are offered us in this parable. That the state of Christ, when he shall come to judge the world, will be a far more glorious state than it was while he was here upon the earth. He was here in the appearance of a nobleman, but he shall then appear as a king. That it must be expected that in the world there should be a great many rebels against Christ and his kingdom, a great many that shall say, We will not have this man to rule over us.
That some make greater improvements than others of what God intrusts them with for his honour and glory, and some make no improvement at all of them. That those shall have the highest reward in glory who have made the highest improvements; but those who have made improvements in any proportion shall have their reward. That proud and wretched sinners will think in the day of judgment to wipe their own mouths, and lay all the blame of their miscarriages on God.
That in the day of judgment unprofitable creatures will, besides the loss of those rewards which they might have received from God, have all their little satisfactions taken from them, in the enjoyments of which they dishonoured God. Jerusalem as we before noted stood upon a hill; those that went to it therefore ascended. He knew that he was at this time to be the sufferer, and to die at Jerusalem; to show that he was freely willing, he leadeth the way.
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See Poole on " Mat " , and following verses to Mat See Poole on " Mar " , and following verses to Mar We have discoursed there of Bethphage and Bethany, and whatever occurs in this history needing any explication. See Poole on " Mat " and following verses to Mat See Poole on " Mar " and following verses to Mar Both which evangelists Mark most fully describe this great triumph.
Yet these they would have silenced. If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out seemeth to have been a proverbial speech used amongst them, to signify a thing which could not be. Those who think that it was idle for him to weep for that which he might easily have helped, seem to oblige God to give out of his grace, whether men do what he hath commanded them, and is in their power to do, yea or no.
Christ wept over Jerusalem as a man, having compassion for these poor Jews, with respect to the miseries he saw coming upon them; as a minister of the gospel, pitying the people to whom he was primarily sent. If thou hadst known that is, Oh that thou hadst known, or, I wish that thou hadst known. We are said in Scripture not to know more than we believe, are affected with, and live up to the knowledge of.
They had heard enough of the things which concerned their peace, Christ had told them to them, but they attended not to them, they believed them not, and so cared not to direct their lives according to any such notions. This was properly the Jews day, for the first preachers of the gospel spent all their time and pains amongst them. The things which belong unto thy peace that is, to thy happiness, for so the term often signifies, and it refers as well to the happiness of the outward as of their inward man. But now they are hid from thine eyes: God will not suffer his Spirit always to strive with man, because he is but flesh, not fit to be always waited on by the great Majesty of heaven.
First men shut their eyes against the things that do concern their peace, then God hideth them from them. No man hath more than his day, his time of grace: how long that is none can tell: if he sleepeth out that, his case is desperate, past remedy.
It is a plain prophecy of the final destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, which came to pass within less than forty years after. The cause of that dreadful judgment is assigned,.
Their not knowing of it here intended was their not making use of it, not receiving and embracing the gospel. The contempt of the gospel is the great, cause of all those miseries which come upon people in this life, or shall come upon them in that life which is to come.
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We have met with this before more fully: See Poole on " Mat ". See Poole on " Mat ". The chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him only they stood in a little awe of the people, who were. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
This man brought up his son Jochanan in merchandise, wherein he had employed himself for forty years, before he gave himself either to letters or religion. Because he was a Rabbin, or preferred to be one of the elders, as the author of Juchasin doth, not without reason, conjecture. Now whereas the very employment of publicans lay under so ill a name universally in that nation, it is hardly credible that that should consist with the degree of Rabbin.
To which I may add, that that Zacchai was of a priestly descent: and what a monster would that seem amongst them, a priest and a publican! We may judge from the character of that Zacchai ; whether he did not live and die a Jew as to his religion, in every punctilio of it. Zacchai's disciples asked him" where note, he bears the title of Rabbi , "How dost thou attain to old age? He answered them, 'I did never in my whole life make water within four cubits of the place of prayer: I never miscalled my neighbour: I never let slip the consecration of a day.
My mother was a very old woman, who once sold her hair-lace, and bought wine with it, for me to consecrate a day with. When she died, she bequeathed to him three hundred hogsheads of wine: and when he died, he bequeathed three thousand hogsheads to his sons. The lexicographer tells us, that they called those the greater publicans who redeemed at a certain fixed price the tax and other revenues of the Romans: these were commonly called the Daciarii.
Gaon hath this passage: "The Rabbins do not exclude the publicans upon the account that they exact more than is appointed to them; for then they would be the same with exactors. But when the king lays a tax upon the Jews, to be required of every one according to the proportion of their estates, these publicans, in whose power it is to value every one's estate, will favour some in the mitigation of their tax, and burden others beyond all measure.
There were publicans to omit those who collected the taxes in every town who stood at gates and bridges, requiring tribute of all passengers, concerning whom we meet with something in Schabbath. Where there is also mention of the greater and the lesser publican. Concerning whom the Gloss speaks thus; "Sometimes there is a greater publican ; to whom it is very grievous to stand at the bridge all the day long: he therefore substitutes an inferior or lesser publican. Judah, R. Joseph, R. Simeon, and R. Judah Ben Garis sitting together, R. Judah began and said, 'O how great are the works of this Roman nation: they build streets and bridges and bagnios.
Jose held his tongue, and said nothing: but R.
Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology
Simeon Ben Jochai answered and said, 'Whatsoever they have built, they have built it for their own advantage. They have built bridges that they might gain a toll by them. Judah, who hath magnified the empire, be promoted: Jose that held his tongue [which, I imagine, ought to be rendered] let him be banished to Cyprus ; and for Simeon that reproached it, let him be killed.
Now as to what order or degree amongst the publicans our Zacchaeus held, it is neither easy nor tanti to determine it. The title of chief among the publicans ; will hardly bear it, that he was one of those that received toll or custom at bridges; though even amongst those there were some who had the title of the greater publicans. He may rather be esteemed either of the first or the second class of those I have already named. In either of those it was easier for him to raise false accusation against any which he chargeth himself with than at the bridge or so.
And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. A distribution amongst the poor of these goods that had been ill got was necessary.
In Sanhedrim there is a discourse of restitution, and distribution of dishonest gains, especially what wealth had been got by merchandise of fruits of the seventh year, which are forbidden. And this is the form of restitution: "I, N. Alms were to be given to the poor out of wealth honestly acquired: but according to the rules and precepts of the Rabbins, they were not bound to bestow above one fifth part.
No one is bound to give more than one fifth. The fifth part was so stated and decreed, that, 1. No man is bound by the law to go further. But, 3. Which this Zacchaeus did in a large and generous measure. The restitution of fourfold for his sycophancy agreed with the law about theft.