This is the first and great commandment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Deuteronomy 6:5. It is the "first" and greatest of all; first, not in "order of time," but of "importance; greatest" in dignity, in excellence, in extent, and duration. It is the fountain of all others. All beings are to be loved according to their excellence. As God is the most excellent and glorious of all beings, he is to be loved supremely. If he is loved aright, then our affections will be directed toward all created objects in a right manner.
For the exposition, see on Mr 12:13-34.See Poole on "Matthew 22:40".
"the root of "all the commandments" is, when a man loves God with all his soul, and cleaves unto him.
And, says (y) another,
"in this verse only, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God", &c,
, "the ten words, or decalogue, are comprehended".
(x) Aben Ezra in Exodus 31.18. (y) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 138. 1.This is the first and great commandment.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 22:38. Πρώτη, first) This commandment is not only the greatest in necessity, extent, and duration, but it is also the first in nature, order, time, and evidence.Verse 38. - The first and great commandment; or better, the great and first commandment; Vulgate, Hoc est maximum et primum mandatum. Here was a plain answer to the question of the scribe, which no one could gainsay (comp. Luke 10:27). They who repeated daily in their devotions, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord" (see Mark), could not help acknowledging that love of him whom they thus confessed was the chief duty of man - one which was superior to every other obligation.
With the definite article.
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