Matthew 10:9
Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,
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(9) Neither gold, nor silver.—“Silver” alone is named in St. Luke; brass—i.e., bronze or copper coinage—in St. Mark. St. Matthew’s report includes all the three forms of the money then in circulation. The tense of the word rendered “provide” requires notice. It implies that if they had money, they might take it, but they were not to “get” or “provide” it as a condition of their journey, still less to delay till they had got it.

In your purses.—Literally, in your girdles—the twisted folds of which were, and are, habitually used in the East instead of the “purse” of the West.

Matthew 10:9-10. Provide neither gold — As if he said, Though I forbid you to take money for the miraculous cures which you shall perform, I do not mean that you should beforehand lay up money for your support during your journey. You are not even to provide the clothes and shoes which you may have occasion for before you return; because you shall be supplied with whatever you need by those to whom you preach the gospel. Our Lord forbade his disciples to provide beforehand such things as might be necessary during their journey, because they would be an encumbrance and would incommode them in travelling. He probably also ordered them to go out thus unfurnished, partly that they might be inured, in his own lifetime, to bear the hardships they would be exposed to afterward, when discharging the apostolical office; and partly that their faith in the providence of God might be confirmed. For it must have afforded them great comfort ever after, to reflect on the singular care that was taken of them while out on their first mission, wholly unprepared to execute such an undertaking. Accordingly this was the use which Christ himself directed them to make of it, Luke 22:35. It may not be improper to observe here, that the word ζωναις, here rendered purses, properly means girdles: because the people in the East had a custom of carrying their money in a kind of fob-pocket, or fold, made in the duplicate of their girdles. The word τηρα, rendered scrip, was a sort of large bag, in which shepherds and those who journeyed carried their provisions. Thus the bag into which David put the smooth stones wherewith he smote Goliah, is called both a scrip and a shepherd’s bag. Our Lord, in saying, Neither two coats nor shoes, means that they were only to take one coat and one pair of shoes, that is, only the articles of raiment which they were wearing. “In the account which Mark gives of the repetition of these instructions, immediately before the disciples took their journey, he says, they were permitted to be shod with sandals; (αλλυποδεδεμενους σανδαλια, Matthew 6:9.) The sandal was a piece of strong leather or wood fastened to the sole of the foot with strings, which they tied round the foot and ankle; but the shoe was a kind of short boot, that covered the foot and part of the leg, and was a more delicate piece of dress than the sandal.” — Macknight. Nor yet staves — Though in the margin we read, Gr. a staff, which is the common reading, many manuscripts and versions have ραβδους, staves, which some think reconciles this place with Luke 9:3; and removes the seeming contradiction from Mark 6:8, where we read, Take nothing save a staff only; that is, as they explain it, he that had a staff might take it to walk with: but none of them were to take any sort of rod or staff besides, wherewith to defend themselves, because, being the servants of the Lord, they were to be defended by his power as well as supported by his bounty. But the more probable solution of the difficulty seems to be, any one of them that had a staff in his hand, might take it: but as for those who were walking without staves, they were not to provide them.

10:5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.See also Mark 6:8-11, and Luke 9:3-5. In both these places the substance of this account is given, though not so particularly as in Matthew. The general subject is the instructions given to the apostles.

Matthew 10:9

Provide neither gold nor silver, nor brass - This prohibition of gold, silver, and brass is designed to prevent their providing money for their journey.

Pieces of money of "small value" were made of brass.

In your purses - Literally, in your girdles (belts). See the notes at Matthew 5:38-41. A "girdle" or "sash" was an indispensable part of the dress. This girdle was made "hollow," and answered the purpose of a purse. It was convenient, easily borne, and safe.

9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses—"for" your purses; literally, "your belts," in which they kept their money. See Poole on "Matthew 10:10".

Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass,.... That is, not any sort of "money", as both Mark and Luke express it: for money was then coined, as now, of these three sorts of metals, and which include all kind of money; so that they were not to provide, get, prepare, or take along with them for their journey, as not gold, nor silver, or any parcel of this sort of money, which might be of considerable importance, and lasting consequence to them; so neither brass money, as, halfpence, and farthings, the least, and most inconsiderable: they were forbidden to carry any of either sort

in your purses: or, as it may be rendered, "in", or "within your girdles"; in which travellers, among the Jews, used to carry their money; and who, in their travelling dress, might not go into the temple, and are thus described (h);

"a man may not go into the mountain of the house with his staff, or with his shoes on, nor "with his girdle".''

The "phunda", Maimonides says (i), is an inner garment, wore to keep off sweat from other garments, to which were sewed hollow things like purses, in which a man put what he pleased; though other (k) interpreters say it is , "a hollow girdle, in which they put their money": and so the Romans (l) had used to do; and so do the Turks (m) to this day; to which practice the allusion is here.

(h) Misn. Beracot, c. 9. sect. 5. (i) In ib. & Celim. c. 29. 1. & Sabbat, c. 10. 3.((k) Bartenora & Yom Tob in ib. Gloss in T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 62. 2. & in Sabbat. fol. 92. 1. & 113. 1. & 120. 1. & Nedarim, fol. 55. 2.((l) Gracchus apud A. Gell. Noct. Attic. 1. 15. c. 12. Sueton. in Vita Vitellii, c. 16. (m) Bobovius de Peregr. Meccan. p. 14.

{4} Provide {c} neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

(4) The ministers of the word must cast away all cares that might hinder them, even the least of them.

(c) For this journey, namely, both that nothing might hinder them, and also that they might feel some taste of God's providence: for at their return back, the Lord asked of them whether they lacked anything by the way, Lu 22:35.

Matthew 10:9. μὴ κτήσησθε: Vulgate: nolite possidere. But the prohibition is directed not merely against possessing, but against acquiring (κέκτημαι, perfect = possess). The question is as to the scope of the prohibition. Does it refer merely to the way, or also to the mission? In one case it will mean: do not anxiously procure extensive provision for your journey (Meyer); in the other it will mean, more comprehensively: do not procure for the way, or during the mission, the things named. In other words, it will be an injunction to begin and carry on the mission without reward. Though the reference seems to be chiefly to the starting point, it must be in reality to their conduct during the mission. There was no need to say: do not obtain gold before starting, for that was practically impossible. There was need to say: do not take gold or silver from those whom you benefit, for it was likely to be offered, and acceptance of gifts would be morally prejudicial. That, therefore, is what Jesus prohibits, true to His habit of insisting on the supreme value of motive. So Jerome (condemnatio avaritiae), Chrys., Hilary, etc. So also Weiss. Holtz. (H.C.), while concurring in this interpretation, thinks the prohibition suits better the conduct of the Christ-merchants in the Didache than the circumstances of the disciples.—χρυσὸν, ἄργυρον, χαλκὸν: an anticlimax, not gold, not silver, not even a copper.—εἰς τὰς ζώνας, in your girdles, used for this purpose as well as for gathering up the loose mantle, or in purses suspended from the girdle. “It was usual for travellers to carry purses (φασκώλια) suspended from their girdles in which they carried the pence” (Euthy.).

9. Provide neither gold, &c.] The disciples must not furnish themselves with the ordinary equipment of an Eastern traveller.

gold … silver … brass] Of the three metals named the brass or copper represents the native currency. The coinage of Herod the Great was copper only. But Greek and Roman money was also current. The Roman Denarius, a silver coin, is frequently mentioned (ch. Matthew 18:28, Matthew 20:2). The farthing, Matthew 10:29, is the Roman as the 16th part of a denarius; the Greek drachma of nearly the same value as a denarius, and the stater (ch. Matthew 17:27) were also in circulation. See Student’s O. T. History, p. 596.

in] Rather, for.

purses] Literally, girdles or money-belts, cp. “Ibit eo quo vis qui zonam perdidit,” Hor. Ep. ii. 2.40. Sometimes a fold of the tunic held up by the girdle served for a purse, “quando " major avaritiæ patuit sinus?” Juv. Sat. I. 88.

Matthew 10:9. Μὴ κτήσησθε, κ.τ.λ., do not procure, etc.) Thus they were taught apostolic contentedness.[457] They were permitted to use what they already possessed, but not to procure any thing new.—χρυσὸνἄργυρονχαλκὸν, gold—silver—brass) i.e., money, large or small.—εἰς τὰς ζώνας, into your girdles) which served also for purses.

[457] “Sic didicere αὐτάρκειαν apostolicam.” The word αὐτάρκειαν, implies not merely the patient endurance of penury or privation, but such a state of mind and habit of acting and judging as would actually render the individual sufficiently fed, clothed, etc., and fully satisfied with that which would not meet the exigencies of another. The sense of Independence, so frequent in the classical writers, is not wholly abandoned.—(I. B.)

Verses 9, 10a. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3 (the twelve); 10:4 (the seventy); cf. also our Lord's reference in Luke 22:35 to the mission of the twelve. Provide; get you (Revised Version, Authorized Version margin). There is no connotation of foresight in the word itself, but only of acquisition. Observe that the apostles are not forbidden to take what they already have. Lightfoot, 'Hor. Hebr.,' shows that travellers ordinarily took with them a staff, a purse, shoes, a wallet, and sometimes a book of the Law. Neither gold, nor silver, nor brass. The brass would be the copper coinage of the Herods (examples are figured in Smith's 'Dict. of Bible,' 2. p. 413), which alone might be struck by them; or some of the Greek imperial coins, especially those struck at Antioch. The silver, either Greek imperial tetradrachms or Roman denarii of a quarter their weight, didrachms having fallen into disuse; only certain free cities were allowed to coin silver. The gold, as Palestine was a subject province, must have been coined at Rome, for she retained the coining of gold entirely in her own hands (cf. Madden's 'Coins of the Jews,' pp. 107, 290, ft., edit. 1881; and It. S. Peele, in Smith's 'Dict. of Bible,' s.vv. "Money," "Stater;" further, see ver. 29). In your purses; literally, girdles, which in the East often serve as purses. This prohibition may have been suggested by the last words of ver. 8, but can hardly refer to them. It seems to regard the journey only (cf. parallel passages). Nor scrip; no wallet (Revised Version). At the present time, "all shepherds have them, and they are the farmer's universal vade-mecum. They are merely the skins of kids stripped off whole, and tanned by a very simple process" (Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' p. 345, edit. 1887, where a picture of one is given). But they might be made even of fish-skin (Mishna, 'Kelim,' 24:11). Because of 1 Samuel 17:40, an haggada says that David's money was stamped with a staff and wallet on one side, and a tower on the other ('B'resh..R.,' § 39, in Levy, s.v. תרמיל). For your journey. The clause is to be joined with "scrip" only. Neither two coats. A second for sabbaths and festivals. For the rabbinic rule insisted upon a different coat for these days from that ordinarily worn. To the objection of poor disciples, that they had but one garment for sabbath and week-day alike, R. Samlai said that they must at least change the way in which they wore it (Talm. Jeremiah. 'Pea.,' 8:7 [S], in Hamburger, 'Realencycl.,' 2. p. 642. Neither shoes. The parallel passage, Mark 6:9, has. "but to go shod with sandals" (Revised Version). This is, perhaps, a case of verbal inaccuracy, but as it is impossible to suppose that our Lord can have wished his disciples to go without the ordinary protection to the feet, or that the author of this Gospel, accustomed, on any theory, to Eastern modes of life, can have intended to credit him with such a wish, some other explanation of the verbal discrepancy must be looked for. The true explanation is probably this - The rabbis insisted so strongly on a man never appearing barefooted: "Let a man sell the beams of his house and buy shoes for his feet" (Talm. Bab., 'Sabb.,' 129a), that it is very possible that a second pair was often carried in ease of need. it is this that our Lord forbids. On the other hand, Jews did not carry one pair for sabbath and another for week-days (Talm. Jeremiah, 'Sabb.,' 6:2). Some commentators escape the difficulty by distinguishing between "shoes" and "sandals;" but it is very doubtful if the usage of the words is always so exact that one term excludes the other. Nor yet staves; nor staff (Revised Version). The plural, both here (Stephen) and in Luke 9:3 (Received Text), is a clumsy attempt to harmonize with Mark 6.8, where our Lord bids the twelve take nothing "save a staff only." The difference between the two reports of our Lord's words has been magnified by many commentators into a contradiction. But this is not the true state of the case. For it would be so extraordinary and apparently so useless an order to forbid their having a staff, that it is hard to suppose this to have been the meaning of his words as reported here. His thought in vers. 9, 10 is rather that they were to make no preparation, for their wants should be supplied, and that even if they had not a staff they were not to take the trouble to procure one. St. Mark's account only so far differs that he assumes that they will st least have a staff already. Observe, however, that no stress can be placed on the difference of the verbs here and in Mark, for in this respect Mark and Luke agree. Verses 10b. - For the workman; labourer (Revised Version); thus connecting the utterance closely with Matthew 9:37, 38. Is worthy of his meat. The disciples may therefore expect that it will be provided for them by those to whom they minister (Luke 10:7, of the seventy), and indirectly by the Master whom they serve (Matthew 9:38). Meat; food (Revised Version). In all but most highly organized systems of society, this is an important (frequently the most important) part of the day labourer's wages. Hence not unnaturally "wages" is found in the form of the sayings given by St. Luke (Luke 10:7) and St. Paul (1 Timothy 5:18). Probably our Lord's words became a current proverb in Christian circles, the original word "food" being modified to suit the more general circumstances of life. Clem. Romans, § 31, recalls the Matthaean form, "The good workman receiveth the bread of his work with boldness." Epiphanius gives a kind of confla-tion, containing the further thought that if the workman receives his food he must be content: "The workman is worthy of his hire, and sufficient to him that works is his food." Resch ('Agrapha,' pp. 97, 140) connects this form of the saying with the practice of giving only food to the travelling "apostles" and prophets of the sub-apostolic age ('Did.,' § 11.). Professor Marshall (Expositor, IV. 2:76) suggests that if our Lord's original word was צֵידָה, it would explain the origin of both Matthew and Luke; but it seems very doubtful it' it really ever means "wages." Two patristic remarks are worth quoting: the first from Origen ('Cram. Cat.'), "In saying τροφήν, ('food') he forbade τρυφήν ('luxury');" the second from St. Gregory the Great (in Ford), "Priests ought to consider how criminal and punishable a thing it is to receive the fruit of labour, without labour." Matthew 10:9Brass (χαλκὸν)

Properly copper. A descending climax Copper would be as unnecessary as gold.

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