Matthew 12:35
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
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(35) A good man out of the good treasure.—A whole parable is wrapt up in this last word. Every thought and desire of a man is added to the ever accumulating store of such desires or thoughts in the inner chamber of his heart, and thence passes out into word or deed. In the ideal division of the context, which excludes neutrality, the treasure is either simply good or simply evil. Practically, it might seem as if the character of most men implied a treasure of good and evil mingled in ever-varying proportion, but that thought is traversed in its turn by the fact that if there is not the unity of goodness which comes from the love of God, there must be the distraction and diversity that come from the love of self, and that this makes the treasure predominantly evil. The poison of worldliness acts in such a case with accumulative power. The same image reappears in reference to the intellectual side of the religious life in Matthew 13:52.

12:33-37 Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others. Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.O generation of vipers! - Christ here applies the argument which he had suggested in the previous verse. They were a wicked race; like poisonous reptiles, with a corrupt and evil nature. They could not be expected to speak good things - that is, to speak favorably of him and his works. As the bad fruit of a tree was the proper effect of its "nature," so were their words about him and his works the proper effect of their nature. The "abundance" or fullness of the "heart" produced the words of the lips. "Vipers" are a poisonous kind of serpents, not often a yard long, and about an inch thick, having a flat head. The males have two large teeth, through which a most deadly poison is thrown into the wound made by the bite. They are an emblem of malignity and mischief. These were strong expressions to be used by the meek and lowly Jesus; but they were not the effect of anger and malice; they were a declaration of the true character of the people with whom he was conversing - a declaration most justly deserved. See the notes at Matthew 3:7. 35. A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things—or, "putteth forth good things":

and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things—or "putteth forth evil things." The word "putteth" indicates the spontaneity of what comes from the heart; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh. We have here a new application of a former saying (see on [1282]Mt 7:16-20). Here, the sentiment is, "There are but two kingdoms, interests, parties—with the proper workings of each: If I promote the one, I cannot belong to the other; but they that set themselves in wilful opposition to the kingdom of light openly proclaim to what other kingdom they belong. As for you, in what ye have now uttered, ye have but revealed the venomous malignity of your hearts."

Ver. 34,35. The evangelist Luke, Luke 6:45, hath much the same with what is here.

O generation of vipers: John had so called them, and Christ again so called them, Matthew 23:33. A viper is of all other the most venomous and dangerous serpent. Christ is calling them a generation of vipers, intimates that the Pharisees were generally a most mischievous faction for the souls of men.

How can ye, being evil, speak good things? Why do I (saith he) spend my time and breath in reproving or admonishing you? you have cankered hearts, full of pride, malice, and envy, and therefore, cannot ordinarily speak good things.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: what men ordinarily and deliberately do speak is from the affections and thoughts of their hearts. Hence good men out of the good treasure of their hearts speak good things, that is, most ordinarily and commonly; and evil men out of the stock of malice, revenge, envy, pride and other lusts, which are in their hearts, speak evil things.

A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart,.... "A good man", is a regenerated man, one that is renewed by the Spirit of God, a believer in Christ, a sincere lover of him, and one that follows him, wheresoever he goes, and who has the grace of God implanted in him: for "the good treasure the heart", is not what he is naturally possessed of, but what is put into him: and is no other than the superabundant grace of God, or that grace for grace, which he has received out of Christ's fulness, and the rich experience of it he is blessed with: and may well be called a "treasure"; for as a treasure is a collection of riches, so this consists of various graces, each of which is more precious than gold, silver, and precious stones; a "good" one, both from the quality and quantity of it; and "of the heart", though this is left out in many copies, from the seat and subject of it; and out of this the gracious man

bringeth forth good things; tells his experience, speaks of what God has done for his soul; says many things to the glory of the grace of God; of the person, offices, blood, righteousness, and fulness of Christ; and of the operations and influences of the blessed Spirit; and which are pleasant, profitable, useful, and edifying to the saints:

and an evil man, out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. The "evil man", is a man as he was born; who is wholly flesh, carnal, and in a state of nature; destitute of the Spirit, and having no principle of grace in him: "the evil treasure", is the corruption of his nature, the desperate wickedness of his heart; and those swarms of lusts, and all manner of sin that dwell there; from whence are continually proceeding evil and corrupt communications, which not only defile himself, but others; and among the rest, not only vain words and unprofitable talk, but blasphemies against God, Christ, and the blessed Spirit; all which men will be accountable for another day.

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Matthew 12:35. Θησαυρός, here the inward treasure—house (receptaculum) of the heart’s thoughts (Luke 6:45) which are revealed in words, through which latter they take outward shape, are thrown out, as it were, from the heart of the speaker through the channel of the mouth.

πονηροῦ θησαυροῦ] θησαυρ. of wickedness, also in Eur. Ion. 923.

Matthew 12:35 is found in Luke’s version of the Sermon (Luke 6:45). They might have been remarks made to the disciples about the Pharisees, as in Matthew 16:6, though in their present form direct address is implied (vide Matthew 12:34). Their essential import is that the nature or heart of a man determines his speech and action. Given the tree, the fruit follows.

35. treasure] Rather, treasury or storehouse: for a similar use of the Greek word see ch. Matthew 2:11.

Matthew 12:35. Θησαυροῦ, treasure) There is truly treasure and hidden abundance in every man.[576]—ΤᾺ ἈΓΑΘᾺΠΟΝΗΡᾺ, the good things, evil things) The article has frequently a relative value: I have therefore sometimes thought that it was on that account added to ἀγαθὰ, good things, as being already mentioned in Matthew 12:34, and not to ΠΟΝΗΡᾺ, which does not there occur. But many have either written or omitted the article too promiscuously.[577] The ancient Cambridge MS. has ἈΓΑΘᾺ without an article.[578]

[576] This word treasure, which plainly implies abundance, proves that also in the preceding ver. the word πλήρωμα is not to be too readily understood as fulness (Germ. Ueberfluss): although in its own proper place it may be understood, by a Hebraism, simply as a thing contained, מלא. Luther himself does not translate it Was im Herzen ist, what is in the heart, but, Wess das Herz VOLL ist, that with which the heart is FULL. Comp. Luke 6:45, where θησαυρὸς is explained by περίσσευμα. See Ernesti Neueste Theol. Bibl. T. i., p. 809.—E. B.

[577] See f. n. on Maestricht’s twenty-second Canon, quoted in Section ix. of the Author’s Preface.—(I. B.)

[578] In his App. Crit. in loc. Bengel writes—

τὰ ante πονηρὰ) Er. Bas. α.β.γ., etc., τὰ Comp. Aug. 2. Byz. Par. 6, vel plures; Chrys. Articulus in priore colo lectus, in altero non lectus, medium: et articulus sæpe vim relativam habet: ideo ad τὰ ἀγαθὰ versu 34 laudata, non ad πονηρὰ, ibidem non memorata, adhiberi, aliquando mihi visus est, unde alii bis, alii ne semel quidem, alii posteriore tantum loco scribendum putarint. Sed nimis promiscue, etc.,” as in Gnomon.—(I. B.)

In the margin of Ed. 2, and in Vers. Germ., the article τὰ is omitted.—E. B.

BD omits τὰ before ἀγαθά. Perhaps the τὰ of Rec. Text crept in from the τὸ ἀγαθὸν of Luke 6:35, through the Harmonies. LΔ read also τὰ πονηρά. But the primary authorities oppose this reading.—ED.

Verse 35. - A good man out of the good treasure of the heart; out of his good treasure (Revised Version), of the heart being added in the Received Text from Luke 6:45. Treasure (Matthew 2:11, note). "Vere thesaurus est in quovis heroine, et copia latens" (Bengel); cf. also Matthew 13:52. Bringeth forth good things: and an (the, Revised Version) evil man out of the (his, Revised Version) evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Bringeth forth (ἐκβάλλει, but Luke προφέρει). Matthew regards the receptacle from which, Luke the outer world into which, the things are brought. Matthew 12:35Bringeth forth (ἐκβάλλει)

But the translation is feeble. The word means to throw or fling out. The good or evil things come forth out of the treasure of the heart (Matthew 12:34). "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." The issues of the heart are thrown out, as if under pressure of the abundance within.

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