|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:23-33 The doctrines of Christ displeased the infidel Sadducees, as well as the Pharisees and Herodians. He carried the great truths of the resurrection and a future state, further than they had yet been reveled. There is no arguing from the state of things in this world, as to what will take place hereafter. Let truth be set in a clear light, and it appears in full strength. Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God declared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; this shows that they were then in a state of being, capable of enjoying his favour, and proves that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New. But this doctrine was kept for a more full revelation, after the resurrection of Christ, who was the first-fruits of them that slept. All errors arise from not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this world death takes away one after another, and so ends all earthly hopes, joys, sorrows, and connexions. How wretched are those who look for nothing better beyond the grave!
Verse 28. - In the resurrection; i.e. in the life beyond the grave, to which the resurrection is supposed to lead. Whose wife shall she be of the seven? Of which of the seven shall she be wife (γυνή, without the article, predicate)? The evil question stands in its naked absurdity. Had the woman a son by either of the husbands, the difficulty would have been less pronounced. In their coarse materialism, these persons carry their conceptions of the present visible world into the future spiritual world; they confuse the conditions and relations of one with those of the other, and would argue that if such insoluble complications arise in the new life, the resurrection must be an unfounded figment. Had her. All were lawfully married to her, and therefore all had equal rights. When a woman was twice married, the rabbinical gloss declared that in the other world she would belong to her first husband; but this opinion was not generally received, and the present supposititious case had never been contemplated and fell under no allowed rule.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore in the resurrection,.... As asserted by the Pharisees and by Christ, supposing that there will be such a thing, though not granting it; for these men denied it, wherefore the Ethiopic version reads it hypothetically, "if therefore the dead will be raised"; upon such a supposition,
whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her, or were married to her. By putting this question, they thought to have got some advantage against Christ, and in favour of their notion; they hoped, either that he would give into their way of thinking, and relinquish the doctrine of the resurrection upon this, and join with them against the Pharisees, and so there would be no need of an answer to the question; or they judged, that if he returned an answer, it would be either that he did not know whose wife she should be, and then they would traduce him among the common people, as weak and ignorant; or should he say, that she would be the wife of one of them only, naming which of them, or of them all, or of none of them, they fancied that such absurd consequences would follow on each of these, as would expose the doctrine of the resurrection to ridicule and contempt; but they missed their aim, and were sadly disappointed by Christ's answer and reasonings which follow.
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