These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter you not:
Jump to: Alford • Barnes • Bengel • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Chrysostom • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Exp Grk • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • ICC • JFB • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Meyer • Parker • PNT • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • VWS • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Go not into the way of the Gentiles.—The emphatic limitation seems at first sight at variance with the language which had spoken of those who should come from east and west to sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and with the fact that our Lord had already taken His disciples into a city of Samaria, and told them that there also there were fields white for the harvest (John 4:35). We must remember, however, (1) that the limitation was confined to the mission on which they were now sent; (2) that it did but recognise a divine order, the priority of Israel in God’s dealing with mankind, “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile;” and (3) that the disciples themselves were as yet unfitted to enter on a work which required wider thoughts and hopes than they had yet attained. It was necessary that they should learn to share their Master’s pity for the lost sheep of the house of Israel before they could enter into His yearnings after the sheep that were “not of this fold” (John 10:16).Matthew 10:5-6. These twelve Jesus sent forth — Namely, to preach the gospel and to work miracles; exercising therein his supreme authority over his Church. And commanded, Go not into the way of the Gentiles — That is, into their country. Their commission was thus confined now, because the calling of the Gentiles was deferred till after the more plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost on the day of pentecost. And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not — In travelling through Palestine the apostles would often have occasion to go into Samaria; but they were not to enter the cities thereof with a design to preach. It is true, in the beginning of his ministry, our Lord himself preached to the Samaritans with great success, John 4:41-42; and therefore, had he sent his apostles among them, numbers, in all probability, would have been induced to believe; but the inveterate enmity which the Jews bore to the Samaritans made the conversion of the latter improper at this time, as it would have laid a great stumbling-block in the way of the conversion of the Jews: as preaching now to the Gentiles would also have done. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel — He calls the Jews lost sheep, because, as he had told his disciples, Matthew 9:36, they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd, and so were in danger of perishing. See Isaiah 49.Matthew 28:19.
And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not - The Samaritans occupied the country formerly belonging to the tribe of Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh. This region was situated between Jerusalem and Galilee; so that in passing from the one to the other, it was a direct course to pass through Samaria. The capital of the country was Samaria, formerly a large and splendid city. It was situated about 15 miles to the northwest of the city of Shechem or Sychar (see the notes at John 4:5), and about 40 miles to the north of Jerusalem. For a description of this city, see the notes at Isaiah 28:1. Sychar or Shechem was also a city within the limits of Samaria.
This people was formerly composed of a few of the ten tribes and a mixture of foreigners. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Babylon, the King of Assyria sent people from Cutha, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim to inhabit their country, 2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2-11. These people at first worshipped the idols of their own nations; but, being troubled with lions, which had increased greatly while the country remained uninhabited, they supposed it was because they had not honored the God of the country. A Jewish priest was therefore sent to them from Babylon to instruct them in the Jewish religion. They were instructed partially from the books of Moses, but still retained many of their old rites and idolatrous customs, and embraced a religion made up of Judaism and idolatry, 2 Kings 17:26-28.
The grounds of difference between the two nations were the following:
1. The Jews, after their return from Babylon, set about rebuilding their temple. The Samaritans offered to aid them. The Jews, however, perceiving that it was not from a love of true religion, but that they might obtain a part of the favors granted to the Jews by Cyrus, rejected their offer. The consequence was, that a stare of long and bitter animosity arose between them and the Jews.
2. While Nehemiah was engaged in building the walls of Jerusalem, the Samaritans used every art to thwart him in his undertaking, Nehemiah 6:1-14.
3. The Samaritans at length obtained leave of the Persian monarch to build a temple for themselves. This was erected on "Mount Gerizim," and they strenuously contended that that was the place designated by Moses as the place where the nation should worship. Sanballat, the leader of the Samaritans, constituted his son-in-law, Manasses, high priest. The religion of the Samaritans thus became perpetuated, and an irreconcilable hatred arose between them and the Jews. See the notes at John 4:20.
4. Afterward Samaria became a place of resort for all the outlaws of Judea. They received willingly all the Jewish criminals and refugees from justice. The violators of the Jewish laws, and those who had been excommunicated, betook themselves for safety to Samaria, and greatly increased their numbers and the hatred which subsisted between the two nations.
5. The Samaritans received only the five books of Moses, and rejected the writings of the prophets and all the Jewish traditions. From these causes arose an irreconcilable difference between them, so that the Jews regarded them as the worst of the human race John 8:48, and had no dealings with them, John 4:9.
This directory divides itself into three distinct parts. The first part (Mt 10:5-15) contains directions for the brief and temporary mission on which they were now going forth, with respect to the places they were to go to, the works they were to do, the message they were to bear, and the manner in which they were to conduct themselves. The second part (Mt 10:16-23) contains directions of no such limited and temporary nature, but opens out into the permanent exercise of the Gospel ministry. The third part (Mt 10:24-42) is of wider application still, reaching not only to the ministry of the Gospel in every age, but to the service of Christ in the widest sense. It is a strong confirmation of this threefold division, that each part closes with the words, "Verily I SAY UNTO YOU" (Mt 10:15, 23, 42).
Directions for the Present Mission (Mt 10:5-15).
5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not—The Samaritans were Gentiles by blood; but being the descendants of those whom the king of Assyria had transported from the East to supply the place of the ten tribes carried captive, they had adopted the religion of the Jews, though with admixtures of their own: and, as the nearest neighbors of the Jews, they occupied a place intermediate between them and the Gentiles. Accordingly, when this prohibition was to be taken off, on the effusion of the Spirit at Pentecost, the apostles were told that they should be Christ's witnesses first "in Jerusalem, and in all Judea," then "in Samaria," and lastly, "unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Ac 1:8).See Poole on "Matthew 10:6".
and he commanded them, as their Lord and Master; he gave them strict orders, which he expected them to comply with, and closely enjoined them, as they must answer it to him again,
saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles; meaning, not the customs' and manners of the Heathens, they were to avoid; but that they were not to steer their course, or take their journey towards them: they were not, as yet, to go among them, and preach the Gospel to them; the calling of the Gentiles was not a matter, as yet, so clearly revealed and known, nor was the time of their calling come: besides it was the will of God, that the Gospel should be first preached to the Jews, to take off all excuse from them, and that their obstinacy and perverseness in rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, might manifestly appear; and since Christ himself was the minister of the circumcision, he would have his apostles, for the present, whilst he was on earth, act agreeably to the character he bore, that there might be an entire harmony in their conduct.
And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: the word "any" is supplied, and that very rightly; for, not the city of Samaria, the metropolis of that country, as the Arabic version reads it, is only meant, but any, and every city of the Samaritans: not that it was strictly unlawful and criminal to go thither; for he himself went into one of their cities, and so did his apostles, John 4:4 Luke 9:52 and after his death preached the Gospel there; but he judged it not proper and expedient at this time, and as yet, to do it; that is, not before their preaching it to the Jews; for there was a very great hatred subsisting between the Jews, and the Samaritans, insomuch that they had no conversation with each other in things civil or religious. The Samaritans, though they boasted of their descent from Jacob, were a mongrel sort of people, partly Jews, and partly Gentiles, a mixture of both; and therefore are distinguished from both and though they had, and held the law, and five books of Moses, yet corrupted them in many places, to serve their purpose, and countenance their religion, particularly their worshipping at Mount Gerizim; on which account they were looked upon by the Jews as apostates, idolaters, and even as Heathens (f), and are therefore here joined with them; and to shun giving offence to the Jews, seems to be the reason of this prohibition; see Gill on John 4:20.These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 10:5 ff. From this on to Matthew 10:42 we have the instructions to the Twelve; comp. Mark 6:8 ff., and especially Luke 9:3 ff. As in the case of the Sermon on the Mount, so on this occasion also, Luke’s parallels are irregular in their connection (in ch. 9 connected with the mission of the Twelve, in ch. 10 with the mission of the Seventy). But this is only an additional reason (in answer to Sieffart, Holtzmann) why the preference as respects essential originality—a preference, however, which in no way excludes the idea of the proleptical interweaving of a few later pieces—should also in this instance be given to Matthew, inasmuch as the contents of the passage now before us are undoubtedly taken from his collection of our Lord’s sayings.
The mission itself, to which Luke 20:35 points back, and which for this very reason we should be the less inclined to regard as having taken place repeatedly (Weisse, Ewald), was intended as a preliminary experiment in the independent exercise of their calling. For how long? does not appear. Certainly not merely for one day (Wieseler), although not exactly for several months (Krafft). According to Mark 6:7, they were sent out by twos, which, judging from Luke 10:1, Matthew 21:1, is to be regarded as what originally took place. As to the result, Matthew gives nothing in the shape of an historical account.
Matthew 10:5. With the Gentiles (ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν, way leading to the Gentiles, Acts 2:28; Acts 16:17; Kühner, II. 1, p. 286) Jesus associates the Samaritans, on account of the hostility which prevailed between the Jews and the Samaritans. The latter had become intermixed during the exile with Gentile colonists, whom Shalmaneser had sent into the country (2 Kings 17:24), which caused the Jews who returned from the captivity to exclude them from any participation in their religious services. For this reason the Samaritans tried to prevent the rebuilding of the temple by bringing accusations against them before Cyrus. Upon this and upon disputed questions of a doctrinal and liturgical nature, the hatred referred to was founded. Sir 1:25 ff.; Lightfoot, p. 327 f. In accordance with the divine plan of salvation (Matthew 15:24), Jesus endeavours, above all, to secure that the gospel shall be preached, in the first instance, to the Jews (John 4:22); so, with a view to the energies of the disciples being steadily directed to the foremost matter which would devolve upon them, He in the meantime debars them from entering the field of the Gentiles and Samaritans. This arrangement (if we except hints such as Matthew 8:11, Matthew 21:43, Matthew 22:9, Matthew 24:14) He allows to subsist till after His resurrection; then, and not till then, does He give to the ministry of the apostles that lofty character of a ministry for all men (Matthew 28:19 f.; Acts 1:8), such as, from the first, He must have regarded His own to have been (Matthew 5:13). The fact that Jesus Himself taught in travelling through Samaria (John 4), appears to be at variance with the injunction in our passage (Strauss); but this is one of those paradoxes in the Master’s proceedings about which the disciples were not to be enlightened till some time afterwards. And what He could do, the disciples were not yet equal to, so that, in the first place, they were called upon only to undertake the lighter task.Matthew 10:5-15. Instructions to the missioners.5. Go not into the way of the Gentiles] For the expression “way of the Gentiles” cp. ch. Matthew 4:15, “the way of the sea.”
This prohibition is not laid on the Seventy (St Luke 10:1-16), they are expressly commissioned to carry tidings of the gospel to cities and places which our Lord Himself proposed to visit.
any city of the Samaritans] The Samaritans were foreigners descended from the alien population introduced by the Assyrian king (probably Sargon), 2 Kings 17:24, to supply the place of the exiled Israelites. In Luke 17:18, our Lord calls a Samaritan “this stranger,” i. e. this man of alien or foreign race. The bitterest hostility existed between Jew and Samaritan, which has not died out to this day. The origin of this international ill-feeling is related Ezra 4:2-3. Their religion was a corrupt form of Judaism. For being plagued with lions, the Samaritans summoned a priest to instruct them in the religion of the Jews. Soon, however, they lapsed from a pure worship, and in consequence of their hatred to the Jews, purposely introduced certain innovations. Their rival temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed by John Hyrcanus about 129 b. c. See Nutt’s “Sketch of the Samaritans,” p. 19.
About twenty years previous to our Lord’s ministry the Samaritans had intensified the national antipathy by a gross act of profanation. During the celebration of the Passover they stole into the Temple Courts when the doors were opened after midnight and strewed the sacred enclosure with dead men’s bones (Jos. Ant. XVIII. 2, 2). Even after the siege of Jerusalem, when the relations between Jews and Samaritans were a little less hostile, the latter were still designated by the Jews as the “Proselytes of the lions,” from the circumstance mentioned above.
5–42. Christ’s Charge to the Apostles
This discourse falls naturally into two divisions; of which the first (Matthew 10:5-15) has reference to the immediate present, the second relates rather to the church of the future. The subdivisions of the first part are: (1) Their mission field, 5, 6. (2) Their words and works, 7, 8. (3) Their equipment, 9, 10. (4) Their approach to cities and houses, 11–15.Matthew 10:5-6. Ὁδὸν—πόλιν—οἴκον, way—city—house) The apostles were sometimes obliged to tread the roads of the Samaritans in their journeys; but there was the less need for them to enter their cities, and stay there, because the Lord had preached to them in His journey (see John 4), and the apostles also were afterwards to come to them. The first of these injunctions regards this first legation; most of the rest apply equally to the whole office of the apostolate, to which the twelve are introduced on the present occasion; cf. Matthew 10:18. Our Lord gave nearly the same commands to the seventy disciples; Luke 10:1-11.
 Inasmuch as Samaria was situated between Judea and Galilee.—V. g.Verse 5a. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:7, 8; Luke 9:2. These twelve Jesus sent forth; ἀπέστειλεν (cf. John 17:18). Till now they had formed an inner circle of μαθηταί (Matthew 9:35, note), but now they begin their work of carrying Christ's message to others. "Ἀποστέλλω corresponds with the idea of our own words 'despatch' and ' envoy,' and conveys the accessory notions of a special commission, and so far of a delegated authority in the person sent" (Bishop Westcott, on John 20:21, Add. Note). Bengel suggests (on ver. 1) that the twelve were not all absent at once, but were sent out in relays; but Mark 6:30 is against this opinion (cf. also Luke 22:35). On the New Testament conception of the name and office of an apostle, cf. Bishop Lightfoot's classical note in 'Galatians' (pp. 92-101, edit. 1869). And commanded them, saying; charged them (Revised Version). Important as the charge is, its necessary subordination to the fact that they were sent is expressed by the very form of the sentence (ἀπέστειλεν... (παραγγείλας). Verses 5b - 42. - CHRIST'S COMMISSION TO HIS AGENTS. The connexion and development of thought in this important charge is exceedingly difficult to perceive, and has been understood in many ways. Perhaps that most generally accepted in this country is Alford's, according to which the charge is divided into three sections - the first (vers. 5-15) referring to the mission to the cities of Israel; the second (vers. 16-23) to the general mission of the apostles as developing itself, after the Lord should be taken from them, in preaching to Jews and Gentiles, ending with the close of the apostolic period in the narrower sense (ver. 23 referring primarily to the destruction of Jerusalem); the third (vers. 24-42) spoken directly of all the disciples of the Lord, concluding with the last great reward. But this threefold historical arrangement seems to be little more than fanciful, the basis of truth Underlying it probably being that the charge in its present form is due to the writer of the Gospel (nor to our Lord directly), who desired not only to record what our Lord said at the time of this mission, but also to incorporate other sayings of his that bore upon similar work, and thus to give such a summary of our Lord's utterances as would be of special use to preachers of the gospel, irrespective of place or time. Observe that ch. 5. - vii, referred to believers in their private capacity - laying stress on the relation that they were to hold to the religion of the day - while this chapter refers to them as representing Christ to the world. The original basis of the commission was addressed to men called to give their whole time to this work, but as the chapter stands it applies to all believers in their capacity of witnesses for Christ. The ministerial function of preaching committed to men selected for it is only an accentuation of one of the duties expected from all Christ's followers. The development of thought in the chapter appears to be as follows: -
1. The external conditions of conveying Christ's message, with special reference to the immediate occasion (vers. 5b - 15).
2. The internal conditions (vers. 16-39).
(1) Vers. 16-23: Though surrounded by enemies, you must conduct yourselves with calmness (ver. 19); with endurance (ver. 22); with wisdom (ver. 23).
(2) Vers. 24-33: Remembering that fellowship with me in suffering is essential to fellowship with me in glory.
(3) Vers. 34-39: Such fellowship with me will cost separation from the dearest on earth, yet its reward is great. 3. Final encouragement (vers. 40-42). Verses 5b - 15. - The external conditions of conveying Christ's message, with special reference to the immediate occasion. Our Lord points out
(a) the sphere of their work (vers. 5b, 6);
(b) the substance of their message (ver. 7);
(c) its accompanying signs (ver. 8);
(d) the external means and methods that they should employ (vers. 9-15). Verse 5b. - Matthew only. The sphere of their work. The reasons for the limitation here expressly enforced are:
(1) That it was only right that the proclamation of the coming of Messiah should be thoroughly made to the Jews first. Had they accepted it, they would have become the great factors in the evangelization of the Gentiles (cf. Romans 11:12, 15); as they rejected it, it was necessary that the offer should, apart from them, be made to others (Acts 28:28).
(2) The apostles were as yet in no fit state spiritually to carry the message beyond their own nation, and the facts which they were in a position to proclaim might, when proclaimed alone, have proved a stumbling-block to the after-acceptance by Gentiles and Samaritaus of a fuller and therefore truer message (cf. Matthew 28:18, sqq.; Acts 1:8). Therefore they are now bid perform their present duty without turning away from it, and, as we may add, will-out anticipating their entrance upon a wider sphere. Saying, Go not. This would be outside your course (ἀπέλθητε). In the Greek, however, the following words receive the emphasis. Into the (any, Revised Version) way of the Gentiles (εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν).
(1) These words are generally understood to mean "into any road that would lead to Gentile lands or districts." So Tyndale, "Go not into the wayes that leade to the gentyls." (For this genitive of direction, cf. Matthew 4:15; Jeremiah 2:18, and perhaps, Judith 5:14.)
(2) Weiss, 'Matthaus-ev.,' takes them as equivalent to "into any street in a heathen land," making the genitives, ἐθνῶν and Σαμαρειτῶν, both possessive. There are serious objections to these two interpretations; to the first, that the genitives are then used in different senses; to the second, that it suggests something altogether outside the Israelitish border.
(3) Is not a third interpretation possible - to consider flint our Lord had in his mind the parts of towns, otherwise Jewish, which were inhabited by heathen, just as, in the days of Omri and Ahab, such parts were assigned to Syrians in Samaria, and to Israelites in Damascus, or in modern times to Jews in Christian towns? We have not, indeed, direct evidence of Gentiles, during the time of our Lord, thus living in separate streets, but with the Jewish aversion to even letting them houses and to having more to do with them than possible (cf. Schurer, II. 1:51-56), it would seem probable that, without any formal arrangement being made, the result would be separation of this kind. It is true that ὁδός is not used elsewhere in this sense in the New Testament, but a comparison of passages in the LXX. seems to justify our so interpreting it. For חוּצות, in 1 Kings 20:34, means such streets, and the LXX. for this is ἐξόδους (ἔξοδον, Luke), yet חוּצות, in the sense of "streets," is often elsewhere rendered by ὁδοί (Jeremiah 5:1; Jeremiah 7:17; Ezekiel 11:6; Nahum 2:4; Nahum 3:10). Compare especially 2 Samuel 1:20, "in the streets of Ascalon," where, for the common text, ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις Ασκάλωνος, Lucian's reads, ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς Ἀσκάλωνος. The expression thus means - Go not off into any quarter (of such towns as you may come across) inhabited by Gentiles, and (both in complete parallelism and with perfect accuracy, for Samaritans dwelt alone) into any city of Samaritans enter ye not. And into any city. In the Greek both clauses are in the same order, the verb coming last. It will be noticed that the Revised Version has transposed both for the sake of uniformity. Of the Samaritans. By descent, a mixed race, from the intermingling of the remnants of the Israelitish population more especially with the heathen colonists introduced by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:24, sqq.); by religion, so far Israelite as to have accepted the Pentateuch, and to have maintained the observance of circumcision, the sabbath, and the annual festivals. Both sides of their connexion with Israel seem to have contributed to their being placed by the Mishna between Jews and Gentiles (cf. further, Schurer, II. 1:5, sqq.). Enter ye not. A slight turning away would sometimes bring them to Gentile quarters; but into a Samaritan town they would have definitely and purposely to enter. Observe that our Lord himself so far extended his own practice as not to refuse to take the opportunity of preaching to a Samaritan woman when it presented itself, and further followed up the work thus begun by continuing two days in her village (John 4:40). But the nature of the exception proves the rule.
The article distinguishes him from others of the name of Judas (compare John 14:22). Iscariot is usually explained as a compound, meaning the man of Kerioth, with reference to his native town, which is given in Joshua (Joshua 15:25) as one of the uttermost cities of Judah toward the coast of Edom southward.
In the four catalogues of the apostles (here; Mark 3:16; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13) Simon Peter always stands first. Here expressly; "first Simon." Notice that Matthew names them in pairs, and compare Mark 6:7, "sent them forth two and two." The arrangement of the different lists varies; but throughout, Peter is the leader of the first four, Philip of the second, and James, son of Alphaeus, of the third.
LinksMatthew 10:5 Interlinear
Matthew 10:5 Parallel Texts
Matthew 10:5 NIV
Matthew 10:5 NLT
Matthew 10:5 ESV
Matthew 10:5 NASB
Matthew 10:5 KJV
Matthew 10:5 Bible Apps
Matthew 10:5 Parallel
Matthew 10:5 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 10:5 Chinese Bible
Matthew 10:5 French Bible
Matthew 10:5 German Bible