Matthew Chapter 7

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Judging Hypocritically
  1. “Do not judge, so you might not be judged.
  2. “For by whatever verdict you judge, you will be judged.  And whatever standard you use to measure, that standard will be applied to you.
  3. “Now, why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, but in your own eye is a log you don’t think about?[1]“think about” is one word in Greek.  It refers to thinking carefully about something, with the implication that you are trying to understand it.
  4. “Or how will you tell your brother: “Let me remove the splinter from your eye.” and look; the log is in your eye.
  5. “You hypocrite!  First, remove the log from your eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
Asking, gifts, and the narrow way
  1. “Don’t give holy things to dogs,[2]Wild dogs were regarded as scavengers and loathed much like coyotes or raccoons are today.  The lexicon even mentions that dog could refer to “a man of impure mind, an impudent man” (Thayer’s Greek lexicon) or even a “spiritual predator” (HELPS Word Studies). nor throw your pearls in front of pigs.  They will trample them with their feet and then turning, they might tear you to pieces.
  2. “Ask and it will be given to you.  Seek and you will find.  Knock and it will be opened to you.
  3. “For every man who asks, receives.  And the man who seeks, finds.  And to the man who knocks, it will be opened.
  4. “Or what man among you – when his son asks for bread – he won’t give him a stone will he?
  5. “Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake will he?
  6. “Therefore, if you being evil did – and still do – know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in the heavens give good things to those asking Him?
  7. In all things therefore – whatever you want men to do for you – you must also do for them.  Indeed, this is the law and the prophets.
  8. “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate, and broad is the way leading to ruin,[3]This word is often translated “destruction”.   But it more accurately implies a “loss of well-being” rather than a “loss of being” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary).   i.e. they don’t cease to exist (which would be “destruction”) but rather their quality of life is destroyed.  The word “destruction” can also have that connotation, but “ruin” seems to fit the Greek word better. and many are entering through it.
  9. “For narrow is the gate, and constricting was – and is[4]“constricting was – and is – ” is a single word in the Greek.  It refers to compressing via pressure, in a way that makes you feel constricted, restricted, or hemmed in.  It’s in the Greek perfect tense here, which is (sort of) a combination of our past and present tenses. – the way leading to life.  And those who find it are few.
Know them by their fruit
  1. “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inside they are marauding wolves.
  2. “You will know them from their fruit.  You don’t gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles do you?[5]Greek can make a negative question more easily than English. The addition of “You” at the beginning of the sentence and “do you” at the end was necessary to keep Jesus words a question in English.
  3. “So, every good tree produces beautiful fruit.  But a rotten tree produces bad fruit.
  4. “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit.  Nor can a rotten tree produce beautiful fruit.
  5. “Every tree not producing good fruit is cut off and thrown into the fire.
  6. “Therefore, you will know them from their fruits.
  7. “Not all who say to Me: “Lord, Lord” will enter into the kingdom of the heavens; but only he who does the will of my Father in the heavens.
  8. “Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord; didn’t we prophesy in your name,[6]“name” is literal, but also carries the connotation of authority because you are acting “in the name” of someone with authority. and in your name didn’t we cast out demons, and in your name didn’t we perform many miracles?”
  9. “And then I will agree with them but say:[7]“but say”; a Greek word for “speak” does not appear here.  However, the Greek conjunction “ὅτι” (hoti) is used to introduce a “new” speaker. (Jesus quoting His future words.)  Thus this Greek conjunction – translated “but say” here – was used to introduce Jesus response.  Further, this conjunction can be used to introduce the reason for the following speech. “I never knew you.  Depart from me; you are working without regard for God’s commands.[8]“without regard God’s commands” is one word in Greek, and is more literally “ignoring God’s law”.  It’s a noun, and literally means “those who are without law”; i.e. those who –  either by ignorance or by rebellion – don’t obey God’s (moral) law. [9]quotation/allusion to Psalm 6:8
Foundations compared
  1. “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and does them will become like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
  2. “And the rains fell down, and the flood came, and the wind blew; and they battered that house.  And it didn’t fall, because he had built the foundation on the rock.
  3. “And every man who hears these words of Mine and isn’t doing them, he will become like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.[10]In Israel, heavy rains from the hills cut long “trenches” through the limestone rock.  One of these water-cut trenches is called a “wadi”.  Most of the time, these are essentially dry riverbeds.  However, when heavy rains come, they turn back into streams or rivers for a time.  Often, the water comes through the wadi so fast that it resembles a flash-flood.  At the bottom of a wadi is sand.  Its likely Jesus was talking about someone who built a house in a (temporarily dry) riverbed – a wadi – that is known to flood.  That would be foolish indeed.
  4. “And the rains fell down, and the flood came, and the wind blew; and they battered that house.  And it fell, and its fall was great.
  5. And it happened, when Jesus finished these words, the crowds were stunned in amazement at His teaching.
  6. For He was teaching them like one having authority,[11]It is possible that the “authority” that stunned the crowd was a technical term.   Properly called “semikhah”, the Jewish word literally means “laying on of hands”.  Its origins (as a technical term of authority) go back to Moses.  Moses was given authority by God, and God commanded him to pass some of that “authority” to Joshua by “laying hands on him” in the sight of the people.  (Num27:15-23, Deut 34:9)  The Jews beleived this authority was then passed down through “laying on of hands” to Jesus’ day.  Rabbis with semikhah had the authority to make decisions in the meaning of the Law and other spiritual matters.  In Jesus case, that meant a new interpretation of the Law.  However, ordinary scribes (Torah teachers) could only teach what those with semikhah had established. and not like their scribes.[12]This Greek word literally means a “scribe”, or someone who writes as their profession.  However, it’s often used in the New Testament for those learned in the Mosaic Law.

 

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