Matthew 19 – Commentary

Matthew 19 Commentary

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Matthew 19 : Kata Matthaion 19: ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 19

Last updated 16th May 2012

1. When Jesus finished these sayings, He left Galilee and He went into the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
Καὶ ἐγένετο ὅτε ἐτέλεσεν Ἰησοῦς τοὺς λόγους τούτους, μετῆρεν ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς τὰ ὅρια τῆς Ἰουδαίας πέραν τοῦ Ἰορδάνου.

2. And large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ ὄχλοι πολλοί, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ.

3. And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him and asking:
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason
?”
Καὶ προσῆλθον αὐτῷ Φαρισαῖοι πειράζοντες αὐτὸν καὶ λέγοντες· εἰ ἔξεστιν ἀπολῦσαι τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ κατὰ πᾶσαν αἰτίαν;
for a man” – these words do not occur in the Greek but are added here for clarity

4. He said to them in reply:
“Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female
?”
δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν· οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ὅτι κτίσας ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ ἐποίησεν αὐτούς;

5. And He said:
“Because of this a man will leave his father and his mother and will be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh
.
καὶ εἶπεν· ἕνεκα τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ κολληθήσεται τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν.
will be joined” – literally, “will be glued” – kollethesetai – κολληθήσεται – like “collage”, French “coller” – to stick

6. So that they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore that which God has bound together let man not separate.”
ὥστε οὐκέτι εἰσὶν δύο ἀλλὰ σὰρξ μία. οὖν θεὸς συνέζευξεν ἄνθρωπος μὴ χωριζέτω.
bound together” – literally “yoked together” – sunezeuxen – συνέζευξεν
The analogy of marriage as yoking two people together occurs a lot in the ancient world. 2 Corinthians 6v14 tells us that we are not to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers – literally “differently yoked” – heterozugountes ἑτεροζυγοῦντες. The word “Conjugal” from a Latin root literally means “yoked together” – con – with, iugum – yoke

7. They asked Him:
“Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and to divorce her
?”
λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· τί οὖν Μωϋσῆς ἐνετείλατο δοῦναι βιβλίον ἀποστασίου καὶ ἀπολῦσαι αὐτήν;
certificate – literally “scroll, book” – biblion – βιβλίον

8. He said to them:
“Moses because of the hardness of your heart permitted you to divorce your wives, from the beginning it did not happen like this
.
λέγει αὐτοῖς ὅτι Μωϋσῆς πρὸς τὴν σκληροκαρδίαν ὑμῶν ἐπέτρεψεν ὑμῖν ἀπολῦσαι τὰς γυναῖκας ὑμῶν, ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς δὲ οὐ γέγονεν οὕτως.
hardness of your heart” – in the Greek, this is all one word – sclerokardian – σκληροκαρδίαν – with “sclero” meaning hard, as in “Multiple Scerosis”. So this verse could also be translated “Because of your hard-heartedness…”

9. I say to you that whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery.”
λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν ὅτι ὃς ἂν ἀπολύσῃ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ μὴ ἐπὶ πορνείᾳ καὶ γαμήσῃ ἄλλην μοιχᾶται.
sexual immorality – in the Greek, not “moicheia”, adultery, but rather “porneia”, usually translated “fornication” – πορνείᾳ – root of words like “pornography”

10. His disciples said to Him:
“If this is the case regarding men and their wives, it would be better not to get married!

Λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ· εἰ οὕτως έστιν αἰτία τοῦ ἀνθρώπου μετὰ τῆς γυναικός, οὐ συμφέρει γαμῆσαι.

11. Then He said to them:
“Not everyone can accept this teaching but only those to whom it has been granted
.
δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οὐ πάντες χωροῦσιν τὸν λόγον τοῦτον ἀλλ’ οἷς δέδοται.

12. For there are some eunuchs who were such from their mothers’ wombs, and there are some who have been made eunuchs by people, and there are some eunuchs who make themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven. Let him accept this who is able to accept it.”
εἰσὶν γὰρ εὐνοῦχοι οἵτινες ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς ἐγεννήθησαν οὕτως, καὶ εἰσὶν εὐνοῦχοι οἵτινες εὐνουχίσθησαν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, καὶ εἰσὶν εὐνοῦχοι οἵτινες εὐνούχισαν ἑαυτοὺς διὰ τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν. δυνάμενος χωρεῖν χωρείτω.
eunuchs – eunouchoi – εὐνοῦχοι

13. Then children were brought in to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray. But the disciples rebuked them.
Τότε προσηνέχθησαν αὐτῷ παιδία ἵνα τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιθῇ αὐτοῖς καὶ προσεύξηται· οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.

14. But Jesus said:
“Leave the little children and do not forbid them to come to Me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these
.”
δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· ἄφετε τὰ παιδία καὶ μὴ κωλύετε αὐτὰ ἐλθεῖν πρός με, τῶν γὰρ τοιούτων ἐστὶν βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

15. And He laid His hands on them and departed from there.
καὶ ἐπιθεὶς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῖς ἐπορεύθη ἐκεῖθεν.

16. And behold, one came to Him saying:
“Master, what good thing should I do so that I might receive eternal life
?”
Καὶ ἰδοὺ εἷς προσελθὼν αὐτῷ εἶπεν· διδάσκαλε, τί ἀγαθὸν ποιήσω ἵνα σχῶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον;

17. He said to him:
“Why do you call Me good? Only one Person is good. If you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments
.”
δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ; εἷς ἐστιν ἀγαθός· εἰ δὲ θέλεις εἰς τὴν ζωὴν εἰσελθεῖν, τήρησον τὰς ἐντολάς.

18. He asked Him:
“Which ones?”
Jesus said:
“Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness
,
λέγει αὐτῷ· ποίας; δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔφη· τὸ οὐ φονεύσεις, οὐ μοιχεύσεις, οὐ κλέψεις, οὐ ψευδομαρτυρήσεις,

19. honour your father and your mother, and love your neighbour as yourself.”
τίμα τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καὶ ἀγαπήσεις τὸν πλησίον σου ὡς σεαυτόν.

20. The young man said to Him:
“I have kept all of these. What do I still lack
?”
λέγει αὐτῷ νεανίσκος· πάντα ταῦτα ἐφύλαξα· τί ἔτι ὑστερῶ;
kept – ephulaxa – ἐφύλαξα – This is the word for “guarded” or “I have carefully kept all of these….”

21. Jesus said to him:
“If you wish to be perfect, go and sell your possessions and give to the very poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven, and come and follow Me
.”
ἔφη αὐτῷ Ἰησοῦς· εἰ θέλεις τέλειος εἶναι, ὕπαγε πώλησον σου τὰ ὑπάρχοντα καὶ δὸς τοῖς πτωχοῖς, καὶ ἕξεις θησαυρὸν ἐν οὐρανοῖς, καὶ δεῦρο ἀκολούθει μοι.

22. Hearing this sentence the young man went away upset. For he had many possessions.
ἀκούσας δὲ νεανίσκος τὸν λόγον τοῦτον ἀπῆλθεν λυπούμενος· ἦν γὰρ ἔχων κτήματα πολλά.

23. Jesus said to His disciples:
“Truly I say to you that a rich man will find it difficult to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven
.
δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πλούσιος δυσκόλως εἰσελεύσεται εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τῶν οὐρανῶν.

24. Again I say to you that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
πάλιν δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, εὐκοπώτερον ἐστιν κάμηλον διὰ τρήματος ῥαφίδος διέλθειν πλούσιον εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ.

25. Hearing this the disciples were greatly amazed asking:
“Who then can be saved
?”
ἀκούσαντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο σφόδρα λέγοντες· τίς ἄρα δύναται σωθῆναι;

26. Jesus looked at them and said:
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible
.”
ἐμβλέψας δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· παρὰ ἀνθρώποις τοῦτο ἀδύνατον ἐστιν, παρὰ δὲ θεῷ πάντα δυνατά.

27. Then Peter answered Him in reply:
“Behold, we have left all things and have followed You. What reward will we receive
?”
Τότε ἀποκριθεὶς Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἰδοὺ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν πάντα καὶ ἠκολουθήσαμεν σοι· τί ἄρα ἔσται ἡμῖν;

28. Jesus said to him:
“Truly I say to you that for you who follow Me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of His glory, you will also be seated on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel
.
δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ὑμεῖς οἱ ἀκολουθήσαντες μοι ἐν τῇ παλιγγενεσίᾳ, ὅταν καθίσῃ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ θρόνου δόξης αὐτοῦ, καθήσεσθε καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐπὶ δώδεκα θρόνους κρίνοντες τὰς δώδεκα φυλὰς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.
regeneration – literally “beginning again” -palingenesia – παλιγγενεσίᾳ in Ancient Greek the combination of “γγ” which looks in English like “gg” actually forms an “ng” sound as in ἄγγελος -angelos – angel.

29. And everyone who leaves houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields on account of My name will receive one hundred times and will inherit eternal life.
καὶ πᾶς ὅστις ἀφῆκεν οἰκίας ἀδελφοὺς ἀδελφὰς πατέρα μητέρα τέκνα ἀγροὺς ἕνεκεν τοῦ ὀνόματός μου, ἑκατονταπλασίονα λήμψεται καὶ ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσει.

30. And many who are first shall be last, and many who are last shall be first.”
πολλοὶ δὲ ἔσονται πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι καὶ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι.
many who are – in the Greek, this phrase is omitted, but it understood from the first half of the sentence. The whole sentence literally reads:
“And many who are first shall be last, and last first”

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