Matthew 13:52
Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is an householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(52) Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven.—The verse is interesting as one of the very few passages in which our Lord compares His own work and that of the Apostles after Him to that of the scribes of the Jewish schools. That He was so regarded during His ministry—that men thought of Him as a Rabbi, no less than as a Prophet, or as the Christ—is clear from the facts that He was called by that name (or its equivalent, Master, or Teacher) both by His disciples and by others; that He assumed the office of a scribe, as interpreting the scriptures in the Sabbath services (Luke 4:16); that He questioned with the scribes after their own manner (“Have ye never read?” Matthew 12:3; Matthew 19:4; Matthew 21:16, et al.) and as one of their order. And now He was training the disciples, “unlearned” as they were, to be His successors in that office. They too were sitting at the feet of a Gamaliel—of One greater than Gamaliel. But His method of training was altogether of another kind than that of the Masters of the Schools. It consisted, not in minute comments on the words of the Law, not in the subtleties of an intricate and often revolting casuistry, not in puerile and fantastic legends, but rather in the eternal laws of His Father’s kingdom, and the manifold parables of those laws in the visible universe; in this way it was that He was educating them to be scribes of the kingdom of heaven.

Things new and old.—Our Lord’s own teaching was, of course, the highest example of this union. There were the old eternal laws of righteousness, the proclamation of the true meaning of all that every true teacher had included in the idea of duty and religion, but there were also new truths, such as His own mission as the Head of the divine kingdom and the future Judge of all men, and the work of the Spirit as regenerating and sanctifying. As the years passed, and new facts, such as the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, supplied the ground-work for new doctrines, these also took their place in the store-house of the well-instructed scribe. But the words applied also to the manner no less than to the substance of the teaching. Now the old familiar words of Lawgiver and Psalmist, now the gracious words such as man had never heard till then, now illustrations freely drawn, in proverbs or parable, from the world of nature or of men—these too were part of the treasure of the scribe. In that union the scribe of later times, every true teacher of the minds and hearts of men, may find the secret at once of reverence for the past and of courage for the future. So long as they bring forth out of their treasures “things new and old,” we may hope that religious conservatism will be more than the “froward retention” of a custom or a formula, and religious progress more than a reckless love of novelty for the sake of its newness.

13:44-52 Here are four parables. 1. That of the treasure hid in the field. Many slight the gospel, because they look only upon the surface of the field. But all who search the Scriptures, so as in them to find Christ and eternal life, Joh 5:39, will discover such treasure in this field as makes it unspeakably valuable; they make it their own upon any terms. Though nothing can be given as a price for this salvation, yet much must be given up for the sake of it. 2. All the children of men are busy; one would be rich, another would be honourable, another would be learned; but most are deceived, and take up with counterfeits for pearls. Jesus Christ is a Pearl of great price; in having him, we have enough to make us happy here and for ever. A man may buy gold too dear, but not this Pearl of great price. When the convinced sinner sees Christ as the gracious Saviour, all things else become worthless to his thoughts. 3. The world is a vast sea, and men, in their natural state, are like the fishes. Preaching the gospel is casting a net into this sea, to catch something out of it, for His glory who has the sovereignty of this sea. Hypocrites and true Christians shall be parted: miserable is the condition of those that shall then be cast away. 4. A skilful, faithful minister of the gospel, is a scribe, well versed in the things of the gospel, and able to teach them. Christ compares him to a good householder, who brings forth fruits of last year's growth and this year's gathering, abundance and variety, to entertain his friends. Old experiences and new observations, all have their use. Our place is at Christ's feet, and we must daily learn old lessons over again, and new ones also.Jesus kindly asked them whether they had understood these things. If not, he was still willing to teach them. He enjoined on them their duty to make a proper use of this knowledge by speaking another parable.

Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven - That is, every man that is acquainted with the gospel or with the truth. As the disciples had said that they had understood the truth, he says that it should not be unemployed. They should bring it forth in due time, like a householder bringing out of his treasury, or place of deposit, what had been laid up there at any time, as it was needed.

Bringeth forth - As occasion demands; as sickness, or calamity, or the wants of his family, or the poor require.

Treasure - The word "treasure" here means a place of deposit, not for money merely, but for anything necessary for the comfort of a family. It is the same as "treasury" or a place of "deposit."

New and old - Things lately acquired, or things that had been laid up for a long time. So, said Christ, you, my disciples, are to be. The truth, new or old, which you have gained, keep it not laid up and hid, but bring it forth, in due season and on proper occasions, to benefit others. Every preacher should be properly instructed. Christ for three years gave instructions to the apostles; and they who preach should be able to understand the gospel, to defend it, and to communicate it to others. Human learning alone is indeed of no value to a minister; but all learning that will enable a man better to understand the Bible and communicate its truths is valuable, and should, if possible, be gained. A minister should be like the father of a family - distributing to the church as it needs; and out of his treasures bringing forth truth to confirm the feeble, to enlighten the ignorant, and to recover and guide those who are in danger of straying away.

52. Then said he unto them, Therefore—or as we should say, "Well, then."

every scribe—or Christian teacher: here so called from that well-known class among the Jews. (See Mt 23:34).

which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven—himself taught in the mysteries of the Gospel which he has to teach to others.

is like unto a man that is an householder which bringeth forth—"turneth" or "dealeth out."

out of his treasure—his store of divine truth.

things new and old—old truths in ever new forms, aspects, applications, and with ever new illustrations.

Seeing you understand these things, communicate your knowledge of them unto others, do not know for yourselves alone.

Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven. The scribes amongst Jews were not only clerks, that were employed in writing, but teachers of the law; such a one was Ezra, Ezra 7:6. Our Saviour here by every scribe instructed unto the kingdom of God, understandeth every good minister of the gospel, fitted to promote the kingdom of God, to be employed in the church of God: should be like a good householder, that hath not his provision to seek when his guests come; but hath a full fraught storehouse, and hath nothing to do but out of his stock and storehouse to bring out all sort of provision, according to the various palates of his guests. Ministers of the gospel should not be novices, 1 Timothy 3:6, raw and ignorant men; but men mighty in the Scriptures, well acquainted with the writings of the Old and New Testament, and the sense of them; men that have a stock of spiritual knowledge, able readily to speak a word to the weary, and to speak to men and women’s particular cases and questions. Then said he unto them,.... Since the disciples had such a clear understanding of the above parables, and were by them, and by other things, so well furnished to preach the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to others, Christ stirs them up by the following parable, to a diligent exercise of their gifts, and to a large, free, and cheerful communication of their knowledge to others,

Therefore every Scribe; meaning not legal ones, Scribes in the law of Moses, a sort of letter men, often mentioned by the evangelists, and the same with the lawyers, who were conversant with the letter of the law, and only understood that; as for the kingdom of heaven, they were so far from being instructed unto it, that they shut it up, and would neither go in themselves, nor suffer others; but evangelical Scribes are here meant, see Matthew 23:34 the preachers of the everlasting Gospel, now everyone of these,

which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, as each of them be more or less; that is, understands the nature of the Gospel church state, the discipline, laws, and rules of Christ's house, the doctrines of the Gospel, the way and things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven; as Christ and his righteousness, and the regenerating and sanctifying grace of the Spirit: such an one,

is like unto a man that is an householder; that has an household or family under his care, as the ministers of the Gospel have, and which is the church of God; called the household of God, the household of faith, a spiritual house, and a family; consisting of fathers, young men, and children; of which indeed Christ is properly the householder and master, but Gospel ministers are deputies and stewards under him, and under him preside over the household, and have the government of it, provide food for it, and protect and defend it; all which require large gifts and abilities, great love and affection, both to Christ and his people; much wisdom, prudence, and knowledge; and great faithfulness and integrity, courage and firmness of mind,

Which bringeth forth out of his treasure, things new and old: by "his treasure" is meant, either Christ, who is the great treasury and storehouse of grace and truth; from whence his ministers receive all their gifts, grace, light, and knowledge; or the word of God, the Scriptures of truth, by which the men of God are thoroughly furnished for every good work; or the treasure of the Gospel, which is put into their earthen vessels, into their own hearts, and that stock of Gospel knowledge and experience they are blessed with; a large competency of which is necessary to these householders since they are to give out, not niggardly, but largely, and plentifully, and in great variety. The Syriac version reads it, , "out of his treasures", and so may include them all. "Things new and old": not the new Gospel and the old law, for the law is not old, nor the Gospel new; the Gospel is much older than the law, being hid of God, and ordained before the world was, to our glory; and was even promulgated, long before the law was on Mount Sinai: nor things out of the Old and New Testament, for the New Testament was not yet in being; though it is right, and is the business of Gospel preachers, to bring forth such truths and doctrines, as are contained in both: rather truths that are old in themselves, but newly discovered to them, may be intended, and every new acquisition of knowledge and experience, added to the former stock and fund: the phrase seems to denote the plenty and variety of Gospel provisions, which the ministers of it are to bring forth, suited to the various cases of such who are under their care. The allusion is either to a good provider for his family, who lays up stores for them of all sorts, and upon proper occasions brings them forth for their relief; or to the people under the law, bringing their offerings out of the fruits, both of the old and new year; concerning which, take the following rule (m),

"All offerings, both of the congregation and of a private person, came from the land (of Israel), and without the land, , "from the new and from the old" (i.e. from the new and old stock, the increase of the new and old year), except the sheaf of the first fruits, and the two wave loaves; for they come only from the new, and from the land of Israel.

The place where fruits of any kind were laid up, was called a treasure; hence it is said (n), the palm tree has its fallen fruits, which they do not bring "into the treasure"; and it produces dates, which they put into the treasure: perhaps some reference is had to Sol 7:13 where mention is made of fruits new and old, and which the Jewish writers (o) interpret of the words of the Scribes, and of the words of the law; the fruits "new", are the words and sayings of the Scribes, their doctrines and decisions; and the "old", are the words of the law; and one that was well versed in both these; was with them a well instructed Scribe. Unless the allusion should rather be thought to be to old and new wine, see Luke 5:37, it being usual to call a wine cellar a "treasure" (p), in which all sorts of wine were kept; and a well instructed Scribe is full of matter, and, like Elihu, his belly is as wine that has no vent and is ready to burst like new bottles, Job 32:19 and, like Jeremy, he is weary of forbearing, and cannot stay, Jeremiah 20:9 and, like David, his heart indites a good matter, and his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer, Psalm 45:1.

(m) Misn. Parah, c. 2. sect. 1.((n) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 3. fol. 180. 3.((o) Targum in Cant. vii. 13. T. Bab. Erubim, fol. 21. 2. & Gloss. in ib. (p) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 178. 2.

Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 13:52. Ταῦτα πάντα] that which has been addressed to the disciples since Matthew 13:36. This ναὶ κύριε, this frank acknowledgment, calls forth from Jesus a gladsome διὰ τοῦτο, as much as to say, “it is because of such understanding that every one, and so on (such as you are), resembles a householder, and so on.” But for the understanding in question, this similitude would not have been made use of.

γραμματεύς] The ordinary conception of a Jewish scribe is here idealised and applied to the Christian teacher, comp. Matthew 23:34. But in order specifically to distinguish the Christian γραμματεύς from the Jewish scribes, who were Moses’ disciples (Matthew 23:2; John 9:28), he is significantly described as μαθητευθεὶς τῇ βασιλ. τ. οὑρ., i.e. made a disciple of the kingdom of heaven. μαθητεύειν τινι, to be a disciple of any one (Matthew 27:57; Plut. Mor. p. 837 D), is here used transitively (discipulum, facere alicui), comp. Matthew 28:19; Acts 14:21. The kingdom of heaven is personified; the disciples of Christ are disciples of the kingdom of heaven, of which Christ is the representative (comp. Matthew 12:28).

καινὰ καὶ παλαιά] is on no account to be restricted to any one thing in particular, but to be rendered: new and old, i.e. things hitherto unknown, and things already known, already taught in former ages, and that in regard both to the matter and the manner. Thus the predictions of the prophets, for example, belong to the things that are old, the evidences of their fulfilment to those that are new; the precepts of the law are to be ranked among the old, the developing and perfecting of them, in the way exemplified by Christ in Matthew 5, among the new; the form of parables and similitudes, already in use, is to be referred to the old, the Messianic teaching embodied in them is to be included under the new. The view that has been much in vogue since Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, and Jerome, and which represents the words as referring to the Old and New Testament, or to the law and the gospel (Olshausen), is a dogmatic limitation. In the illustration the θησαυρός means the chest (Matthew 2:11, Matthew 12:35) in which the householder keeps his money and jewels (not the same thing as ἀποθήκη); in the interpretation it means the stores of knowledge which the teacher has at his disposal for the purposes of instruction.

ἐκβάλλει] throws out, thus describing the zeal with which he seeks to communicate instruction. Comp. Luke 10:35.Matthew 13:52 contains an important logion of Jesus preserved by Matthew only, nd connected by him with the parabolic teaching of Jesus. In this connection καινὰ καὶ παλαιά of course points to the use of the old familiar facts of nature to illustrate newly revealed truths of the kingdom. But we should not bind ourselves too strictly to this connection, keeping in mind Matthew’s habit of grouping; all the more that, as Wendt has pointed out (Die Lehre Jesu, ii. 349), the idea expressed by γραμματεὺς does not get justice. It naturally points to acquaintance with the O. T., and combined with μαθητευθεὶς ε.τ.β. teaches that that knowledge may be usefully united with discipleship in the lore of the kingdom. In Wendt’s words: “One remains in possession of the old, recognised as of permanent value, yet is not restricted to it, but along with it possesses a precious new element”.—μαθητεύειν is here used transitively as in Matthew 28:19, Acts 14:21.—ἐκβάλλει points to free distribution of treasures by the householder. He gives out new or old according to the nature of the article. The mere scribe, Rabbinical in spirit, produces only the old and stale. The disciple of the kingdom, like the Master, is always fresh-minded, yet knows how to value all old spiritual treasures of Holy Writ or Christian tradition.Matthew 13:52. Πᾶς γραμματεὺς, every scribe) Jesus Himself is neither γραμματεὺς, a scribe, nor μαθητευθεὶς, discipled, i.e. instructed as or made a disciple (initiatus). He speaks therefore in the present instance of His disciples; and that which had previously been said to the disciples in plain words (Matthew 13:12), is now (that they have made such advance in learning as to be styled even scribes) confirmed to them by a parable. A scribe is a man imbued with the doctrine, or even the letter, of the Old Testament; by παλαιά (old), therefore, are meant things known from Moses and the prophets. This is the genus: the species[645] is supplied by the clause μαθητευθείς, κ.τ.λ. i.e. a man instructed also in the doctrine of the New Testament: such is the force of καινὰ, new—things then first revealed; see Matthew 13:35. New things are here mentioned before old, as the latter receive light and savour from the former, and are at length tempered together most harmoniously. See 1 John 2:7-8.—μαθητευθεὶς, instructed) as βασιλεύω signifies both to make a king, and to act the king, so also μαθητεύω, to make disciples (expressed in John 4:1 by μαθητὰς ποιεῖν), and act or be a disciple; see ch. Matthew 27:57. The former meaning obtains in this passage.—τῂ βασιλείᾳ, in the kingdom) Others[646] read εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν, unto the kingdom. In either reading, by metonymy or prosopopœia, Christ Himself is intimated, as in ch. Matthew 11:12. If you accept the latter reading, cf. 2 Corinthians 11:3; if the former,[647] ch. Matthew 27:57.—ἀνθρώπῳ, unto a man) Almost all the parables are taken from human affairs, for the sake of perspicuity.—ἐκβάλλει, bringeth forth) plentifully.—θησαυροῦ, treasure) store, sc. of corn.—καινὰ καὶ παλαιά, new and old) a proverbial mode of speaking of a great plenty from the last and the present year; see Song of Solomon 7:13.—The new things, as from the treasures of the kingdom of heaven; the old things, as a scribe from the scriptures of the Old Testament; cf. Matthew 13:35.[648]

[645] The words genus and species are here used in their logical sense. Bengel means to say that the character indicated is not only that of a “scribe,” generically (or universally), but of one who is “instructed to the kingdom of heaven.”—(I. B.)

[646] Such is the reading of E. M. In his App. Crit. Bengel writes: “εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν) edd. Bas. α. β. Stap. etc. Ex μαθητευθεὶς, εἰς facile iteratum. (τῆ βασιλεία) Bas. γ. Cypr. Par. 6, 8; Vsser, 2; Origenes constanter, sæpe; Cyrillus, Procopius. Placet Heinsio. Lectio media, unde ἐν τῆ βασιλεία, Med. Chrysost. Cyrillus alibi, Lat. Irenaeus, latine certe, Cant.—(I. B.)

[647] The margin of both Editions, as well as the Germ. Vers., prefer the Dative.—E. B.

[648] The new things already have the palm of superiority.—V. g.

Tischend. with BC Syr. Orig. 3, 459 f, reads τῇ βασιλείᾳ. Lachm. with Dbc Vulg. Iren. 237, Hil., reads ἐν τῂ βασιλείᾳ. Lachm. claims C for ἐν τῆ βας. in opposition to Tischend. Rec. Text, εἰς τ. βασιλείαν, is not supported by primary authorities. The shorter reading, τῇ βασιλείᾳ, is cœteris paribus preferable to the longer, as the shorter would be more likely to originate the other two, the longer ones, εἰς τ. βας. and ἐν τ. βας. (which look like glosses of the shorter), than either of them to originate it; ch. Matthew 27:57 supports it. Besides, it is not simply members of the kingdom who are here spoken of, but those who, being already in it themselves, are qualified henceforth to be teachers for it. I prefer, with Olshausen and Storr, explaining it, “made a disciple for the kingdom,” i.e., for its benefit; one who, being instructed himself, is capable of labouring for the kingdom. But Beng. takes τῇ βασιλείᾳ as a Prosopopœia—the Kingdom meaning Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of the Kingdom—“made a disciple to the Kingdom,” i.e. to Jesus Christ.—ED.Verse 52. - Then said he unto them, Therefore (διὰ τοῦτο); i.e. because you understand, I add this. Every scribe (πᾶς γραμματεύς). The interpretation of the following clause, naturally suggested by this word in itself is that our Lord meant to indicate the possibilities that lay before a Jewish scribe if he were only converted; but for such a reference by our Lord to Jewish scribes there appears no reason in the context. The word must therefore be understood of Christian teachers, who by their study of the Gospel should hold a position in the Christian Church parallel to that of scribes among the Jews. It is possible that our Lord chose the term in order to accustom his disciples to the idea of carrying on the study of Divine things which the scribes were accustomed to make. Even if the disciples were not to follow their methods they might well imitate their devotion Dean Plumptre has an interesting note on our Lord's comparison of his own work and that of the apostles after him, to the work of the scribes of the Jewish schools. In Matthew 23:34 is found a wider application of the term than usual, hardly referring, however, to Christians, but rather to the Jewish scribes in their ideal character. Which is instructed; who hath been made a disciple (Revised Version, μαθητευθείς). Though the correction is right (cf. Matthew 28:19), the word, nevertheless, implies much more than mere admission to the circle of disciples it includes also the thought of instruction having been really received. Unto (to, Revised Version) the kingdom of heaven (τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν, dative of reference; cf. Winer, § 31:4). The kingdom is not regarded as the teacher, but as the school, with reference to which discipleship is entered upon. Is like. In the preceding parables the general principles, etc., of the kingdom of heaven have been compared; here, only certain individuals belonging to it. Unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure (cf. Matthew 2:11, note). The thing signified is his experience and spiritual understanding. Ch. 12:35 has a similar thought, but the treasure there is rather his personality as affecting his life; here, as affecting his intellect. It is curious that the thought of Matthew 12:33, 34 should also resemble our vers. 47-50. Things new and old. The thought of the saying is that as a householder brings out from his stores food recently and long ago acquired (cf. Song of Solomon 7:13), so a Christian "scribe" brings out (primarily, if not solely, for the use of others) the new truths that he learns, and also old ones that he has long since known. It is thus a promise that the disciples shall (if they use their opportunities rightly) be able to do more than understand Christ's teaching (as they have just claimed to have done); for they shall be able to teach (not merely to learn), and that not only new truths, but also old ones; they shall be able, that is to say, to understand the relation of the old to the new, and to bring out even the old in its true meaning, Hence old is mentioned after new, for it implies greater knowledge and skill. It will be observed that Irenaeus' interpretation (IV. 9:1) of new and old as the New and Old Testaments is only partially right. With the disciples, it is true, the old would naturally be, in the first place, Old Testament truths, and the new, such truths as they learned from Christ; but these also would, after a few weeks or months, in their turn become old to them, and the fresh truths taught them as their life went on would be ever the new ones. The thought of 1 John 2:7, 8 is very similar. Weiss' interpretation is different and even less right. According to him, new represents the truths about the kingdom of God, and old the long known arrangements of nature and human life, which, as the parables show, are drawn up on the same hues. Origen gives a beautiful application of Leviticus 26:10, 11a. Which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven

Instructed μαθητευθεὶς. Rev., who hath been made a disciple to the kingdom, etc. The kingdom of heaven is personified. The disciples of Christ are disciples of that kingdom of which he is the representative.

Which (ὅστις)

The pronoun marks the householder as belonging to a class and exhibiting the characteristic of the class: a householder - one of those who bring forth, etc.

Bringeth forth (ἐκβάλλει)

Lit., flingeth forth. See on Matthew 12:35. Indicating his zeal in communicating instruction and the fulness out of which he speaks.

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