Matthew 22:39
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
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(39) Thou shalt love thy neighbour.—The words were found, strangely enough, in the book which is, for the most part, pre-eminently ceremonial (Leviticus 19:18), and it is to the credit of the Pharisees, as ethical teachers, that they, too, had drawn the law, as our Lord now drew it, from its comparative obscurity, and gave it a place of dignity second only to that of the first and great commandment.

22:34-40 An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, to try, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment. The love of God is the first and great commandment, and the sum of all the commands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.The second is like unto it - Leviticus 19:18. That is, it resembles it in importance, dignity, purity, and usefulness. This had not been asked by the lawyer, but Jesus took occasion to acquaint him with the substance of the whole law. For its meaning, see the notes at Matthew 19:19. Compare Romans 13:9. Mark adds, "there is none other commandment greater than these." None respecting circumcision or sacrifice is greater. They are the fountain of all.Mt 22:15-40. Entangling Questions about Tribute, the Resurrection, and the Great Commandment, with the Replies. ( = Mr 12:13-34; Lu 20:20-40).

For the exposition, see on [1343]Mr 12:13-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:40".

And the second is like unto it,.... For there is but a second, not a third: this is suggested in opposition to the numerous commandments in the law, according to the opinion of the Jews, who reckon them in all to be "six hundred and thirteen": of which there are "three hundred and sixty five" negative ones, according to the number of the days of the year; and "two hundred and forty eight" affirmative ones, according to the members of a man's body (z). Christ reduces all to two, love to God, and love to the neighbour; and the latter is the second in order of nature, time, dignity, and causality; the object of it being a creature; and the act itself being the effect of the former, yet like unto it: for though the object is different, yet this commandment regards love as the former, and requires that it be as that, true, hearty, sincere, and perfect; that it be with singleness of heart, always, and to all men; and that it spring from love to God, and be performed to his glory: and which is expressed in the words written in Leviticus 19:18 "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"; as heartily and sincerely, and as a man would desire to be loved by his neighbour; and do all the good offices to him he would choose to have done to himself by him. This law supposes, that men should love themselves, or otherwise they cannot love their neighbour; not in a sinful way, by indulging themselves in carnal lusts and pleasures; some are lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; but in a natural way, so as to be careful of their bodies, families, and estates; and in a spiritual way, so as to be concerned for their souls, and the everlasting happiness of them: and in like manner should men love their neighbours, in things temporal do them all the good they can, and do no injury to their persons or property; and in things spiritual pray for them, instruct them, and advise as they would their own souls, or their nearest and dearest relations. And this is to be extended to every man; though the Jews restrain it to their friend and companion, and one of their own religion,

""Thy neighbour"; that is, (say they (a),) thy friend in the law; and "this is the great comprehensive rule in the law", to show that it is not fit there should be any division, or separation, between a man and his companion, but one should judge every man in the balance of equity: wherefore, near unto it is, "I am the Lord": for as I the Lord am one, so it is fit for you that ye should be one nation without division; but a wicked man, and one that does not receive reproof, it is commanded to hate him; as it is said, "do not I hate them that hate me?"

But our Lord intends by it to include, that love, benevolence, and good will, which are due to every man; and suggests, that this comprehends not only all that contained in the second table of the decalogue, but all duties that are reducible thereunto, and are obligatory on men one towards another whatever; all which should spring from love, and be done heartily and sincerely, with a view to the neighbour's good, and God's glory: and with this Maimonides agrees, saying (b), that "all the commands, or duties, respecting a man, and his neighbour, , "are comprehended in beneficence."

(z) T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 23. 2.((a) Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora pr. affirm. 9. (b) In Misn. Peah, c. 1. sect. 1.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy {q} neighbour as thyself.

(q) Another man.

Matthew 22:39. But a seeond is like unto it, of the same nature and character, possessing to an equal extent the ποιότης (ὅτι αὕτη ἐκείνην προοδοποιεῖ, καὶ παρʼ αὐτῆς συγκροτεῖται πάλιν, Chrysostom), which is the necessary condition of greatness, and therefore no less radical and fundamental. Comp. 1 John 4:16; 1 John 4:20-21; Matthew 25:40; Matthew 25:45. Euthymius Zigabenus: ἀλληλοχοῦνται κ. φεράλληλοί εἰσιν αἱ δύο. We should not adopt the reading ὁμοία αὕτη, recommended by Griesbach, following many Uncials and min. (but in opposition to the vss.); nor again that of Fritzsche, ὁμοία αὐτῇ, αὕτη (conjecture). The former was presumed (comp. Mark 12:31) to be a necessary emendation, because from the commandment being immediately added, the demonstrative seemed requisite by way of introducing it. Moreover, according to the context, there would be no need for the dative in the case of ὅμοιος. The commandment is quoted from Leviticus 19:18, after the Sept.

ἀγαπήσεις] This, the inward, moral esteem, and the corresponding behaviour, may form the subject of a command, though the same cannot be said of φιλεῖν, which is love as a matter of feeling. Comp. on Matthew 5:44, and see in general Tittmann, Syn. p. 50 ff. The φιλία τοῦ κόσμου (Jam 4:4), on the other hand, may be forbidden; comp. Romans 8:7; the φιλεῖν of one’s own ψυχή (John 12:25), and the μὴ φιλεῖν τὸν κύριον (1 Corinthians 16:22), may be condemned, comp. also Matthew 10:37.

ὡς σεαυτ.] as thou shouldst love thyself, so as to cherish toward him no less than toward thyself that love which God would have thee to feel, and to act toward him (by promoting his welfare, etc., comp. Matthew 7:12) in such a manner that your conduct may be in accordance with this loving spirit. Love must do away with the distinction between I and Thou. Bengel: “Qui Deum amat, se ipsum amabit ordinate, citra philautiam,” Ephesians 5:28.

Matthew 22:39. δευτέρα: a second commandment is added from Leviticus 19:18, enjoining loving a neighbour as ourselves. According to T. R., this second is declared like to the first (ὁμοία αὐτῇ). The laconic reading of [127] (δευτ. ὁμοίως) amounts to the same thing = the second is also a great, first commandment, being, though formally subordinate to the first, really the first in another form: love to God and love to man one. Euthy. Zig. suggests that Jesus added the second commandment in tacit rebuke of their lack of love to Himself.

[127] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

Matthew 22:39. Δευτέρα, second) Corresponding with πρώτη, first.—ὁμοία, like) sc. of that same character as contrasted with sacrifice; see Mark 12:33. The love of our neighbour resembles the love of God more than all the other duties, just as the moon resembles the sun more than the stars do: see Genesis 1. The lawyer might easily omit the latter, whilst anxious about the former. Our Lord guards him from that danger, and answers more than he had asked.—ὡς, as) sc. as thou lovest thyself. Self-love needs not to be enjoined separately. He who loves God will love himself in a proper degree without selfishness. God loves me as He does thee; and thee as He does me: therefore I ought to love thee, my neighbour, as myself; and thou me as thyself: for our love to each other ought to correspond to God’s love towards us both.

Verse 39. - The second. The scribe had not asked any question about a second commandment: but Christ is not satisfied with propounding an abstract proposition; he shows how this great precept is to be made practical, how one command involves and leads to the other. Like unto it; ὁμοία αὐτῇ: in nature and extent, of universal obligation, pure and unselfish. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. From Leviticus 19:18. The verb, both here and ver. 37, is ἀγαπήσεις, which implies, not mere animal or worldly affection (φιλέω), but love from the highest moral considerations, without self-interest, holy. The Latins indicated this difference by amo and diligo. Our "neighbour" is every one with whom we are concerned, i.e. virtually all men. He is to be loved because he is God's image and likeness, heir of the same hope as we ourselves, and presented to us as the object on and by which we are to show the reality of our love to God. "This commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also" (1 John 4:21). And for the measure of our love to man, we have Christ's word in another place (Matthew 7:12), "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Matthew 22:39A second

The article omitted. So Rev.

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