And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And the second is like, namely, this . . .—Better, And the second is this. The better MSS. omit “like.”Mark 12:31. And the second is like — Of a like comprehensive nature; comprising the whole of our duty to man. Thou shalt love thy neighbour — “The precept enjoining love to our neighbour is like to the great commandment which enjoins the love of God, because charity is the sister of piety, clearly proving its relation by the similarity of its features, complexion, and temper. As piety is the offspring of God, so is its sister, charity, being enjoined by the same authority, and produced by the influence of the same Spirit. Piety and charity consist of the like motions and dispositions of soul, and are kept alive by the same kind of nourishment; the beauties of moral excellence appearing, whether in the great Father, or in his children, who bear his image. They have the same happy tendency to make those in whom they reside, like God, who is God by being good and doing good; like him, also, in his felicity, which arises, not only from the possession, but from the communication of his goodness. They are like to each other in their sublime and important nature, and of like use in the conduct of life; the one being the principle from which the whole duty we owe to God must spring; the other that from which the whole duty we owe to man must flow. To conclude they have a like power on the minds of the beholders, raising both esteem and love wherever they appear in their genuine beauty. These are the features by which piety and charity are strongly marked, by which their affinity to each other is clearly proved, and by which they are rendered sister graces, and inseparable companions.” — Macknight. There is no other moral, much less ceremonial, commandment, greater than these.Matthew 22:37.
Thou shall love thy neighbour as thyself—Now, as we are not to love ourselves supremely, this is virtually a command, in the first place, not to love our neighbor with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. And thus it is a condemnation of the idolatry of the creature. Our supreme and uttermost affection is to be reserved for God. But as sincerely as ourselves we are to love all mankind, and with the same readiness to do and suffer for them as we should reasonably desire them to show to us. The golden rule (Mt 7:12) is here our best interpreter of the nature and extent of these claims.
There is none other commandment greater than these—or, as in Mt 22:40, "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (see on Mt 5:17). It is as if He had said, "This is all Scripture in a nutshell; the whole law of human duty in a portable, pocket form." Indeed, it is so simple that a child may understand it, so brief that all may remember it, so comprehensive as to embrace all possible cases. And from its very nature it is unchangeable. It is inconceivable that God should require from his rational creatures anything less, or in substance anything else, under any dispensation, in any world, at any period throughout eternal duration. He cannot but claim this—all this—alike in heaven, in earth, and in hell! And this incomparable summary of the divine law belonged to the Jewish religion! As it shines in its own self-evidencing splendor, so it reveals its own true source. The religion from which the world has received it could be none other than a God-given religion!See Poole on "Mark 12:29" Matthew 22:39 and so it is read here in two ancient copies of Beza's, and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Persic, and Ethiopic versions;
namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. This commandment stands in Leviticus 19:18 and respects not an Israelite only, or one of the same religion with a man's self, or his intimate friend and acquaintance, or one that lives in the same neighbourhood; but any man whatever, to whom affection should be shown, and good should be done to him, and for him, as a man would have done to and for himself; as much as lies in his power, both in things temporal and spiritual; see the note on Matthew 22:39.
There is none other commandment greater than these; in the whole law, moral or ceremonial; not the sabbath, nor circumcision, nor the phylacteries, nor the fringes on the borders of the garments, nor any other.And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. the second is like, namely this] According to the best MSS. the reading is, the second is this. The Lord had named only one commandment as great to the rich young ruler (Luke 10:27). To the Scribe He names two, as forming together “the great and first commandment.” Besides quoting Deuteronomy 6:4-5, He refers him to Leviticus 19:18.Verse 31. - Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. God is to be loved above everything - above all angels, or men, or any created thing. But after God, amongst created things, our neighbor is above all to be loved. And we are to extend to our neighbor that kind of love with which we love ourselves. Our love of ourselves is not a frigid love, but a sincere and ardent love. In like manner we should love our neighbour, and desire for him all those good things both for the body and for the soul that we desire for ourselves. This is what our Lord himself teaches us. "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, even so do unto them." There is none other commandment greater than these. St. Matthew (Matthew 22:40) says, "On these two commandments hang the whole Law and the prophets." There is no commandment greater than these, because all the precepts of the Divine Law are included in them. So that our Lord here teaches us that we ought continually to have these two precepts in our minds and before our eyes, and direct all our thoughts and words and actions by them, and regulate our whole life according to them.
See on Matthew 5:43.
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