|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:3-12 The Pharisees were desirous of drawing something from Jesus which they might represent as contrary to the law of Moses. Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimes perplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts and follies of men; and often people fix what they will do, before they ask for advice. Jesus replied by asking whether they had not read the account of the creation, and the first example of marriage; thus pointing out that every departure therefrom was wrong. That condition is best for us, and to be chosen and kept to accordingly, which is best for our souls, and tends most to prepare us for, and preserve us to, the kingdom of heaven. When the gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives and faithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and to bear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected, to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As to ungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained by laws, from breaking the peace of society. And we learn that the married state should be entered upon with great seriousness and earnest prayer.
Verse 10. - His disciples say unto him. Our Lord appears to have repeated privately to the disciples what he had said publicly to the Pharisees. If the case (ἡ αἰτία) of the man be so with his wife. Some commentators take αἰτία to signify guilt: "if such guilt appertains to the married state." But the meaning is plain enough anyway, and the word, as here used, corresponds to the Latin causa, and the Hebrew dibrah, which may denote "case," "condition," etc. The disciples reflect the feeling of their day. Marriage without any possibility of essential release (for they see that this is Christ's law) seems to them a severe and unbearable connection. It were better never to marry at all than to fetter one's self with such an inexorable obligation. Such a doctrine was entirely novel in that age, and most unpalatable; and even the apostles receive it with wonder and hesitation. They have not yet leaned that in Messiah's kingdom grace conquers natural inclination, and strengthens the weak will so that it rises superior to custom, prejudice, and the promptings of the flesh.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
His disciples say unto him,.... Being surprised at this account of things, it being quite contrary to what they had been taught, and very different from the general practice and usage of their nation:
if the case of a man be so with his wife; if they are so closely joined together in marriage; if they are, as it were, one flesh, or one body, that a man's wife is himself: that the bond between them is so inviolable, that it is not to be dissolved, but in case of adultery; that if a separation be made by a bill of divorce, in any other case, and either party marry again, they are guilty of adultery; if a man cannot part with his wife lawfully, provided she be chaste, and is faithful to his bed, let her be what she will otherwise, though ever so disagreeable in her person, and troublesome in her behaviour; though she may be passionate, and a brawler; though she may be drunken, luxurious, and extravagant, and mind not the affairs of her family, yet if she is not an adulteress, must not be put away:
it is not good to marry; it would be more expedient and advisable for a man to live always a single life, than to run the risk of marrying a woman, that may prove very disagreeable and uncomfortable; to whom he must be bound all the days of his or her life, and, in such a case, not to be able to relieve and extricate himself. This they said under the prejudice of a national law and custom, which greatly prevailed, and under the influence of a carnal heart.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry—that is, "In this view of marriage, surely it must prove a snare rather than a blessing, and had better be avoided altogether."
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