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Matthew 18


 1 The (*) same time the disciples came unto Jesus, saying, (♣) Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?


(*) Mark 9:34; Luke 9:46 .

(♣) They strive for the reward before they have taken any pain; and whereas they should have holpen and reverenced one another, they were ambitious and despisers of their brethren.


 2  (1) And Jesus called a (a) little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,


(1) Humbleness of mind is the right way to preeminence.
(a) A child in years.


 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be (*) (b) converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.


(*) Matthew 19:14; 1 Corinthians 14:20 .

(b) A kind of speech taken from the Hebrews, and it is as much as, repent.


 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.


 5  (*) And whosoever shall receive one such little child in my Name, receiveth me.


(*) He calleth them little children now, which humble themselves with all humility and subjection.


 6  (*) (2) But whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him, that a (♣) millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


(*) Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2 .

(2) We ought to have great respect for our brethren be they never so base; and he that doeth otherwise, shall be sharply punished.

(♣) The word signifieth a great millstone which an ass tourneth, and it is spoken in respect of that which is tourned with manís hand, which is less.


 7  (3) (*) Woe be unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that (c) offences shall come, but woe be to that man by whom the offence cometh.


(3) A good man cannot but go through the midst of offences, yet he must cut off all occasion of offences.

(*) Christ warneth his to take heed that they shrink not back from him for any evil example or offence that man can give.
(c) Lets and hindrances which stop the course of good works. The Greek word importeth thus much, things which we stumble at.


 8  (*) Wherefore, if thy hand or thy foot cause thee to (d) offend, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life, halt, or maimed, than having two hands, or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.


(*) Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 9:45 .

(d) Look afore Matthew 5:29 .


 9 And if thine eye cause thee to offend, pluck it out and cast it from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.


 10  (4) (♣) See that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you, that in heaven their (*) (♠) Angels always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.


(4) The weaker that a man is, the greater care we ought to have of his salvation, as God teacheth us by his own example.

(♣) Christ toucheth the cause of this offence, which is pride and disdain of our inferiors.

(*) Psalm 34:8 .

(♠) Seeing God hath commanded his Angels to take the charge of his children, the wicked may be assured that if they despise them, God will revenge their cause.


 11 For (*) the Son of man is come to (♣) save that which was lost.


(*) Luke 19:10 . 

(♣) We may not lose by our offence that which God hath so dearly bought.


 12 How think ye? (*) If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doeth he not leave ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray?


(*) Luke 15:4 .


 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.


 14 So is it not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.


 15  ∂ (*) (5) Moreover, if thy brother trespass against (e) (♣) thee, go and (♠) tell him his fault between thee and him alone; if he hear thee, thou hast won thy brother.


(*) Leviticus 19:7; Luke 17:3; James 5:19 .

(5) We must labor for concord, not to revenge injuries.
(e) If his offence be such, that thou only knoweth thy brother's offence.

(♣) Wherewith thou mayest be offended; he speaketh of secret or particular sins, and not of open or known to others.

(♠) Or, reprove him.


 16 But if he hear thee not, take yet with thee one or two, that by the (*) (f) mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be (g) confirmed.


(*) Deuteronomy 19:17; John 8:17; 2 Corinthians 13:1; Hebrews 10:28 .

(f) That is, by the word and witness the mouth is sometime taken for the word of speech, Numbers 23:16; and also for a still witness, to wit, when the matter speaketh of itself, as beneath in Matthew 21:16 .
(g) Sure and certain.


 17  (6) And if he (h) refuse to hear them, tell it unto the (i) (*) Church; and if he refuse to hear the Church also, let him be unto thee as an (k) heathen man, and a Publican.


(6) He that contemneth the judgment of the Church, contemneth God.
(h) Word for word, do not voucheth to hear, or make as though he did not hear.
(i) He speaketh not of any kind of policy, but of an Ecclesiastical assembly, for he speaketh afterward of the power of loosing and binding, which belonged to the Church, and he hath regard to the order used in these days, at what time the Elders had the judgment of Church matters in their hands, John 9:22; John 12:42; and John 16:2; and used casting out of the Synagogue for a punishment, as we do now excommunication.

(*) He meaneth according to the order that was amongst the Jews, who had their council of ancient and expert men to reform manners, and execute discipline. This assembly represented the Church, which had appointed them to this charge.
(k) Profane, and void of religion; such men, the Jews called Gentiles; whose company they shunned as they did the Publicans.


 18 Verily I say unto you, (*) Whatsoever ye (♠) bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and (♣) whatsoever ye loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.


(*) 1 Corinthians 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 3:14 .

(♠) In Matthew 16:19, he meaneth this of doctrine, and here of ecclesiastical discipline, which dependeth of the doctrine.

(♣) John 20:24 .


 19 Again, verily I say unto you, that if two of you shall (l) agree in earth upon anything, whatsoever they shall desire, it shall be (*) given them of my Father which is in heaven.


(l) This word is translated from the body to the mind, for it belongeth properly to song.

(*) Or, done so.


 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.


 21  (7) Then came Peter to him, and said, Master, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I shall forgive him? (*) Unto seven times?


(7) They shall find God severe and not to be pleased, which do not forgive their brethren, although they have been diverseth and grievously injured by them.

(*) Luke 17:4 .


 22 Jesus said unto him, I say not to thee, Unto seven times, but, Unto (*) seventy times seven times.


(*) We must be continually ready to forgive and be forgiven.


 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain King, which would take account of his servants.


 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which ought him (m) ten thousand (*) talents.


(m) Here is set down a very great sum of three score hundred thousand crowns, and a final sum of ten crowns, that the difference may be the greater, for there is no proportion between them.

(*) A commune talent was valued at threescore pounds; some also were greater and some less.


 25 And because he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and his children, and all that he had, and the debt to be paid.


 26 The servant therefore fell down, and (n) worshipped him, saying, Lord, (o) refrain thine anger toward me, and I will pay thee all.


(n) This was a civil reverence which was very usual in the East.
(o) Yield not too much to thine anger against me; so is God called in the Scripture, slow to anger, that is to say, gentle, and one that refraineth the storming of his mind, Psalm 86:5; patient and of great mercy.


 27 Then that servantís lord had compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.


 28 But when the servant was departed, he found one of his fellow servants which ought him an hundred (*) pence, and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.


(*) Which amounteth of our money to the sum of 25 shillings, or very near, and was nothing in respect of the former which his master forgave.


 29 Then his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Refrain thine anger towards me, and I will pay thee all.


 30 Yet he would not, but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.


 31 And when his other fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came, and declared unto their lord all that was done.


 32 Then his lord called him unto him, and said to him, O evil servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou prayedst me.


 33 Oughtest not thou also to have had pity on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?


 34 So his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the (*) tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him.


(*) Or, Jailers.


 35 So likewise shall mine heavenly Father do unto you, except ye forgive (*) from your hearts, each one to his brother their trespasses.


(*) God esteemeth only the heart and affection.





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