Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
The difficulty arose from the fact, that they supposed that, substantially, the same state of things must take place in the other world as here; that if there is such a world, husbands and wives must be there reunited; and they professed not to be able to see how one woman could be the wife of seven men.
For the exposition, see on Mr 12:13-34.Mark 12:18-22. So doth Luke, Luke 20:27-33. Concerning the Sadducees we have before spoken; they were a sect amongst the Jews much differing from the Pharisees, as may be seen, Acts 23:8. Amongst other erroneous tenets, they denied the resurrection, as may be seen in that text, as well as this; and (which indeed was their fundamental error) they denied spirits, and consequently the immortality of the soul in its separate estate. Their design seemeth not so much to have been to have drawn out a discourse from our Saviour which might have touched his life, (which was the Pharisees’ design), as to have exposed him, by bringing him to an absurdity. To this purpose they put a case to our Saviour upon the law, Deu 25:5, where God had ordained, for the preservation of the inheritances of the several tribes and families distinct, That if brethren dwelt together, and one of them died leaving no issue; the wife of the dead should not marry unto a stranger; her husband’s brother should go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, &c. Now they either knew of, or else supposed, a ease of seven brethren, successively marrying the same woman; they desire to know whose wife of the seven this woman should be in the resurrection. Instead of discovering their acuteness, and putting our Saviour upon a difficulty, they did but betray their own ignorance as to the state of the resurrection.
whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her, or were married to her. By putting this question, they thought to have got some advantage against Christ, and in favour of their notion; they hoped, either that he would give into their way of thinking, and relinquish the doctrine of the resurrection upon this, and join with them against the Pharisees, and so there would be no need of an answer to the question; or they judged, that if he returned an answer, it would be either that he did not know whose wife she should be, and then they would traduce him among the common people, as weak and ignorant; or should he say, that she would be the wife of one of them only, naming which of them, or of them all, or of none of them, they fancied that such absurd consequences would follow on each of these, as would expose the doctrine of the resurrection to ridicule and contempt; but they missed their aim, and were sadly disappointed by Christ's answer and reasonings which follow.Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 22:28. Founding upon this alleged incident (which was undoubtedly a silly invention got up for the occasion, Chrysostom), as being one strictly in accordance with the law, the Sadducees now endeavour to make it appear that the doctrine of the resurrection—a doctrine which, for the purpose of being able to deny it, they choose to apprehend in a gross material sense—is irreconcilable with the law; while, by their fancied acuteness, they try to involve Jesus Himself in the dilemma of having to give an answer either disadvantageous to the law or favourable to their doctrine.
γυνή] Predicate.Matthew 22:28. οὖν, introducing the puzzling question based on the case stated.—γυνή either subject = whose will the woman be? or better, the article being wanting, predicate = whose wife will she be? Cf. Luke, where γυνή is used twice.—πάντες γὰρ ἐ. α., all had her, and therefore (such is the implied thought) all had equal rights. Very clever puzzle, but not insuperably difficult even for Talmudists cherishing materialistic ideas of the resurrection life, who gave the first husband the prior claim (Schöttgen).Matthew 22:28. Τίνος, whose) She will, say they, be the wife either of all or of one: but none of them has a superior claim to the rest. Jesus answers (Matthew 22:30) she will be the wife of none. The Pharisees also had divided and opposed those things which are Cæsar’s, and those which are God’s: He who is the Truth, affirms both in His reply to them: to the Sadducees He denies both. Earthly wisdom frequently precipitates itself into absurdity from an imperfect enumeration, even in an easy matter, of parts, not one of which escapes heavenly wisdom.—μὴ εἰδότες, κ.τ.λ., not knowing, etc.) This twofold ignorance is the mother of almost all errors. The resurrection of the dead rests on the power of God: and the belief in the resurrection rests on the Scriptures. Jesus refutes their first and fundamental error (πρῶτον ψεῦδος): which they did not suppose themselves to labour under at all. He first answers the argument by which they opposed the truth: then He proves the truth itself.—τὰς γραφὰς, the Scriptures) which clearly look to a future life; see Matthew 22:31-32. The Sadducees did not understand Moses: they did not receive the prophets who explain Moses.—τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ Θεου, the power of God) The power of God will make man equal to the angels; see Matthew 22:30. To be ignorant of God and His perfections is the fountain of error; see 1 Corinthians 15:34 [Romans 4:17, E. B.]Verse 28. - In the resurrection; i.e. in the life beyond the grave, to which the resurrection is supposed to lead. Whose wife shall she be of the seven? Of which of the seven shall she be wife (γυνή, without the article, predicate)? The evil question stands in its naked absurdity. Had the woman a son by either of the husbands, the difficulty would have been less pronounced. In their coarse materialism, these persons carry their conceptions of the present visible world into the future spiritual world; they confuse the conditions and relations of one with those of the other, and would argue that if such insoluble complications arise in the new life, the resurrection must be an unfounded figment. Had her. All were lawfully married to her, and therefore all had equal rights. When a woman was twice married, the rabbinical gloss declared that in the other world she would belong to her first husband; but this opinion was not generally received, and the present supposititious case had never been contemplated and fell under no allowed rule.
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