|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.
Verse 52. - Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. The Talmud gives us the clue to the Master's words of bitter reproach here. There were very many, in that restless age of inquiry, waiting for the consolation of Israel, who longed to enter into the real meaning of psalm and prophecy; but the scribe, the lawyer, and the doctor, with their strange and unreal interpretations, their wild and fantastic legends, their own often meaningless additions, effectually hindered all real study of the Divine oracles. The Talmud - in the form we now possess it - well represents the teaching of these schools so bitterly censured by the Lord.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Woe unto you lawyers,.... Who are particularly addressed again in distinction from the Pharisees, though much the same things are said to them both in Matthew 23:13
for ye have taken away the key of knowledge; of the Scriptures, of the law, and the prophets, and the true interpretation of them, and especially of such places as refer to the Messiah, and the Gospel dispensation, called the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 23:13 they had not only arrogated the knowledge of these to themselves, setting up for the only interpreters of the sacred writings; but they had took away from the people the true knowledge and sense of them, by their false glosses upon them, so that they were destroyed for lack of knowledge: and hence came that famine of hearing the word, which they say (c) should be before the coming of the King Messiah, and now was. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "the keys of knowledge"; and the Ethiopic version, "the key of righteousness". The Jews sometimes speak of "the keys of the law", and represent the oral law as the root and key of the written law (d): but, alas! it was by the oral law, or traditions of the elders, that they took away the key, or obscured the true sense of the written law. Some think, that here is an allusion to the custom of delivering a key to any one, when he was ordained or promoted to the dignity of a doctor: it is said of R. Samuel (e), that
"when he died they put, "his key", and his writing book into his coffin, because he was not worthy of a son''
to succeed him:
ye entered not in yourselves; into the kingdom of heaven, the Gospel dispensation, neither receiving doctrines, nor submitting to its ordinances:
and them that were entering in ye hindered; by reproaching the miracles and ministry of Christ; by threatenings and excommunications; See Gill on Matthew 23:13.
(c) Targum in Ruth i, 1.((d) Zohar in Exod. fol. 46. 1.((e) Vid. Cameron. in loc.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
11:52 Ye have taken away the key of knowledge - Ye have obscured and destroyed the knowledge of the Messiah, which is the key of both the present and the future kingdom of heaven; the kingdom of grace and glory. Ye have not entered in - Into the present kingdom of heaven.
Luke 11:52 Parallel Commentaries
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