Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Be ye therefore merciful.—The form of the sentence is the same as that of Matthew 5:48, but “merciful” takes the place of “perfect,” as being the noblest of the divine attributes, in which all others reach their completeness. The well-known passage in Shakespeare on the “quality of mercy,” is, perhaps, the best comment on this verse (Merchant of Venice, iv. 1).Matthew 5:46-48.See Poole on "Luke 6:35"
as your Father also is merciful; that is your Father which is in heaven; who is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works: nothing is more common in Zohar (y), and the Talmud (z) than to express the Divine Being by no other name, than "the Merciful"; "the Merciful said" so, and so; that is, God: and so the Arabians generally begin their books and chapters with these words, "in the name of God, exceeding merciful", or "the merciful commiserator": a saying much like to this in the text, is the Targum of Jonathan, on Leviticus 22:28.
"O my people, the children of "Israel, as your father", "is merciful" in heaven, so be ye merciful on earth.''Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 6:36-38. From this exemplar of the divine benignity in general Jesus now passes over (without οὖν, see the critical remarks) to the special duty of becoming compassionate (γίνεσθε) after God’s example (ἐστί), and connects therewith (Luke 6:37 f.) other duties of love with the corresponding Messianic promises. On Luke 6:37 f. comp. Matthew 7:1 f.
ἀπολύετε] set free, Luke 22:68, Luke 23:16. The opposite of what is previously forbidden.
μέτρον καλὸν κ.τ.λ.] a more explicit explanation of δοθήσεται, and a figurative description of the fulness of the Messianic blessedness, οὐ γὰρ φειδομένως ἀντιμετρεῖ ὁ κύριος, ἀλλὰ πλουσίως, Theophylact.
καλόν] a good, i.e. not scanty or insufficient, but a full measure; among the Rabbins, מדה טובה, see Schoettgen, I. p. 273. Observe the climax of the predicates, in respect of all of which, moreover, it is a measure of dry things that is conceived of even in the case of ὑπερεκχ., in connection wherewith Bengel incongruously conceives of fluidity. Instead of ὑπερεκχύνω, Greek writers (Diodorus, Aelian, etc.) have only the form ὑπερεκχέω. Instead of σαλεύω, of close packing by means of shaking, Greek writers use σαλάσσω. See Lobeck, Pathol. p. 87; Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. p. 95, XI. p. 70.
δώσουσιν] τίνες; οἱ εὐεργετηθέντες πάντως· τοῦ Θεοῦ γὰρ ἀποδιδόντος ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν αὐτοὶ δοκοῦσιν ἀποδιδόναι, Euthymius Zigabenus. But the context offers no definite subject at all. Hence in general: the persons who give (Kühner, II. p. 35 f.). It is not doubtful who they are: the servants who execute the judgment, i.e. the angels, Matthew 24:31. Comp. on Luke 16:9.
κόλπος] the gathered fold of the wide upper garment bound together by the girdle, Jeremiah 32:18; Isaiah 65:6; Ruth 3:15; Wetstein and Kypke in loc.
τῷ γὰρ αὐτῷ μέτρῳ] The identity of the measure; e.g. if your measure is giving, beneficence, the same measure shall be applied in your recompense. The δοθήσ. ὑμῖν does not exclude the larger quantity of the contents at the judgment (see what precedes). Theophylact appropriately says: ἔστι γὰρ διδόναι τῷ αὐτῷ μέτρῳ, οὐ μὴν τοσούτῳ.Luke 6:36-38. Mercifulness inculcated. God the pattern.36. Be ye therefore merciful] Rather, Become, or Prove yourselves merciful (omit οὖν, אBDL).
merciful] St Matthew has “perfect,” Matthew 5:48; but that there is no essential difference between the two Evangelists we may see in such expressions as “the Father of Mercies,” 2 Corinthians 1:3; “The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy,” James 5:11; “Put on therefore as the elect of God...bowels of mercies, kindness,” Colossians 3:12; Isaiah 30:18. “God can only be our ideal in His moral attributes, of which Love is the centre.” Van Oosterzee.
“It is an attribute to God Himself,
And earthly power doth then shew likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.”
Shakespeare.Luke 6:36. Γίνεσθε· ἐστί) These two verbs differ: 1 Peter 1:16.—ΟἸΚΤΊΡΜΟΝΕς, merciful) The root of all offices of kindness. [Works of mercy, sparing and giving mercy, are immediately subjoined.—V. g.]
 γινεσθε implies that man is to become that which he is not naturally: ἐστί, that God essentially is merciful.—ED.
 Where Rec. Text reads γένεσθε. But ABC Vulg. read ἔσεσθε, Ye shall be, or be ye, holy. Probably ἔσεσθε, not γίνεσθε, is used there, because no εἰμὶ follows ἅγιος, expressing that God is essentially holy: therefore the verb εἶναι is there used of men, not as strictly referring to them, but with a tacit reference properly to God, who alone is essentially holy, and whose nature we are to try to be partakers of. Transcribers, unable to explain the difficulty of ἔσεσθε, instead of the usual γίνεσθε or γένεσθε, being associated with men, altered accordingly. Bengel’s principle of testing genuine readings applies, “Præstat ardua lectio procliviori.”—ED.Verse 36. - Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. "Yes," goes on the Master, "be ye kind, tender-hearted, merciful; stop not short at the easier love, but go on to the harder; and do this because God does it even to the unthankful and evil" (ver. 35). On this attribute of the mercy of the Most High, James, who had evidently drunk deep of the wisdom contained in this great discourse of his so-called brother, speaks of the Lord as "very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James 5:11).
See on James 5:11.
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