Matthew 23:23
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin.—The language of Deuteronomy 12:17 seems to recognise only corn, wine, and oil, among the produce of the earth, as subject to the law of tithes. The Pharisee, in his minute scrupulosity (based, it may be, on the more general language of Leviticus 27:30), made a point of gathering the tenth sprig of every garden herb, and presenting it to the priest. So far as this was done at the bidding of an imperfectly illumined conscience our Lord does not blame it. It was not, like the teaching as to oaths and the Corban, a direct perversion of the Law. What He did censure was the substitution of the lower for the higher. With the three examples of the “infinitely little” He contrasts the three ethical obligations that were infinitely great, “judgment, mercy, and faith.” The word translated “mint” means literally the “sweet-smelling,” the “fragrant.”

Matthew 23:23-24. Wo unto you, for ye pay tithe, &c. — Here we have the fifth wo, which is denounced for their superstition. They observed the ceremonial precepts of the law with all possible exactness, while they utterly neglected the eternal, immutable, indispensable rules of righteousness. Judgment — That is, justice; mercy — Charity, or compassion toward the poor; faith — Fidelity. “The word πιστις has undoubtedly this signification in many places; (compare Titus 2:10; Galatians 5:22; Romans 3:3.) But there are many more in which it signifies, the confidence reposed in another; and it is of great importance to observe this. See Colossians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:21.” Ye blind guides, which strain at [or rather, strain out] a gnat — Namely, from the liquor you are going to drink, lest it should choke you. “In those hot countries, as Serrarius well observes, gnats were apt to fall into wine, if it were not carefully covered; and passing the liquor through a strainer that no gnat, or part of one, might remain, grew into a proverb for exactness about little matters.” And swallow a camel — “The expression is proverbial, and was made use of by our Lord on this occasion to signify that the Pharisees pretended to be exceedingly afraid of the smallest faults, as if sin had been bitter to them like death, while they indulged themselves secretly in the unrestrained commission of the grossest immoralities.” — See Doddridge and Macknight.23:13-33 The scribes and Pharisees were enemies to the gospel of Christ, and therefore to the salvation of the souls of men. It is bad to keep away from Christ ourselves, but worse also to keep others from him. Yet it is no new thing for the show and form of godliness to be made a cloak to the greatest enormities. But dissembled piety will be reckoned double iniquity. They were very busy to turn souls to be of their party. Not for the glory of God and the good of souls, but that they might have the credit and advantage of making converts. Gain being their godliness, by a thousand devices they made religion give way to their worldly interests. They were very strict and precise in smaller matters of the law, but careless and loose in weightier matters. It is not the scrupling a little sin that Christ here reproves; if it be a sin, though but a gnat, it must be strained out; but the doing that, and then swallowing a camel, or, committing a greater sin. While they would seem to be godly, they were neither sober nor righteous. We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy; but if the heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here we must begin with ourselves. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was like the ornaments of a grave, or dressing up a dead body, only for show. The deceitfulness of sinners' hearts appears in that they go down the streams of the sins of their own day, while they fancy that they should have opposed the sins of former days. We sometimes think, if we had lived when Christ was upon earth, that we should not have despised and rejected him, as men then did; yet Christ in his Spirit, in his word, in his ministers, is still no better treated. And it is just with God to give those up to their hearts' lusts, who obstinately persist in gratifying them. Christ gives men their true characters.Ye pay tithe - A tenth part. The law required the Jews to devote a tenth part of all their property to the support of the Levites, Numbers 18:20-24. Another tenth part they paid for the service of the sanctuary, commonly in cattle or grain, but where they lived far from the place of worship they changed it to money, Deuteronomy 14:22-24. Besides these, there was to be every third year a tenth part given to the poor, to be eaten at their own dwellings Deuteronomy 14:28-29; so that nearly one-third of the property of the Jews was devoted to religious services by law. This was besides the voluntary offerings which they made. How much more mild and gentle are the laws of Christianity under which we live!

Mint - A garden herb, in the original so called from its agreeable flavor. It was used to sprinkle the floors of their houses and synagogues to produce a pleasant fragrance.

Anise - Known commonly among us as "dill." It has a fine aromatic smell, and is used by confectioners and perfumers.

Cummin - A plant of the same genus, like "fennel," and used for similar purposes. These were all herbs of little value. The law of Moses said that they should pay tithes of the "fruits of the earth," Deuteronomy 14:22. It said nothing, however, about herbs. It was a question whether these should be tithed. The Pharisees maintained, in their extraordinary strictness, that they ought. Our Saviour says that they were precise in doing small matters which the law had not expressly commanded, while they omitted the greater things which it had enjoined.

Judgment - Justice to others, as magistrates, neighbors, citizens. Giving to all their just dues.

Mercy - Compassion and kindness to the poor and miserable.

Faith - Piety toward God; confidence in him. Faith in God here means that we are to give to him what is his due; as mercy and justice mean to do to people, in all circumstances, what is right toward them.

These ought ye to have done - Attention to even the smallest points of the law of God is proper, but it should not interfere with the "higher" and more important parts of that law.

23. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise—rather, "dill," as in Margin.

and cummin—In Luke (Lu 11:42) it is "and rue, and all manner of herbs." They grounded this practice on Le 27:30, which they interpreted rigidly. Our Lord purposely names the most trifling products of the earth as examples of what they punctiliously exacted the tenth of.

and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith—In Luke (Lu 11:42) it is "judgment, mercy, and the love of God"—the expression being probably varied by our Lord Himself on the two different occasions. In both His reference is to Mic 6:6-8, where the prophet makes all acceptable religion to consist of three elements—"doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God"; which third element presupposes and comprehends both the "faith" of Matthew and the "love" of Luke. See on [1350]Mr 12:29; [1351]Mr 12:32, 33. The same tendency to merge greater duties in less besets even the children of God; but it is the characteristic of hypocrites.

these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone—There is no need for one set of duties to jostle out another; but it is to be carefully noted that of the greater duties our Lord says, "Ye ought to have done" them, while of the lesser He merely says, "Ye ought not to leave them undone."

We have much the same Luke 11:42, only there it is, Ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God. It is manifest by our Saviour’s words in the latter part of the verse,

these ought ye to have done, that he doth not blame the Pharisees’ exactness in tithing mint, anise, rue, cummin, and all manner of herbs; but their neglecting the weightier matters of the law, faith and love to God, judgment and mercy. The Levites having no inheritance: God ordained tithes for their maintenance; of which also the poor were to have a share, Leviticus 27:30 Numbers 18:24. The Pharisee boasted, Luke 18:12, that he paid tithe of all he possessed. Christ here acknowledgeth that the Pharisees were exact in their paying tithes; but he blames them,

1. For their partiality, neglecting the weightier things of the law.

2. For their hypocrisy; they were only exact in these little things, that they might be taken notice of as scrupulous observers of the Divine law; while they omitted those things, which were of much more weight, which he reckoneth up: faith, by which some understand faith in God, but the most, faithfulness, and sincere and honest dealings with men, in opposition to fraud, and cheating, and circumventions.

Judgment, by which he means justice, giving to every one what is their own.

Mercy, by which he means a charitable behaviour, in helping such as are miserable and afflicted.

Love to God, which is the true root, out of which all things should flow, and is indeed comprehensive of all our duty toward God, as well as the root of all our good works towards men. Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,.... Christ returns to the former epithets he had very rightly given to these men, and very pertinently repeats them here; and which are confirmed by the instances of their conduct and practice here alleged, which abundantly show their hypocrisy and deceit; since they were very strict in observing some outward things, which gave them credit with the people, and especially the priests and Levites, some little trifling ceremonies and traditions of their elders, whilst they neglected internal religion, and those things which were of the greatest moment and importance:

for ye take tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin; which ought not commanded by the law, they were obliged to by the traditions of the elders. Mint is an herb well known, and has its name in the Greek from its sweet smell; on account of which the Jews used to spread it on the floors of their synagogues (y). This was one of the herbs that was subject to the law of the seventh year (z), and is mentioned with those which were to be tithed (a). The Ethiopic version, instead of mint reads "hyssop"; and which also was an herb that was obliged to be tithed (b). "Anise" is a seed also well known, and which the Jews call and of which they often observe, that it is subject to tithing, both seed, herb, flowers, or stalks (c): instead of this Munster's Hebrew Gospel has "rue"; and which, in the Misna (d), is mentioned along with mint, as it is by Luke 11:42 and said to be one of the things the Pharisees gave tithe of; though in their oral law it is reckoned among the things that are free from tithe (e): and therefore this must be a sort of work of supererogation to give tithe of that, which they were not obliged to. "Cummin" is a sort of anise; its seed is much like fennel seed, and which pigeons are very fond of: mention is made of it in Isaiah 28:25 and is reckoned with figs, dates, carobes, or Egyptian figs, and rice, which were obliged to be tithed (f), and was what was also bound to the offering of the first fruits to the priest (g). Christ mentions these particular herbs and seeds, as a specimen of what they paid tithes of. In Luke, it is added, "and all manner of herbs": for, according to the traditions of the elders, they were in general subject to tithes: and it is a common saying or maxim of the Jews, that the tithing of corn is from the law, but "the tithing of herbs is from the Rabbins" (h): it is a constitution of their's, and not of Moses:

and have omitted the weightier matters of the law. The distinction of the commandments of the law into lighter and heavier, or weightier, to which Christ here refers, is frequent with the Jews. When one comes to be made a proselyte, they acquaint him with some of , "the light commands", and some of , "the heavy", or "weighty commands" (i). So again, they paraphrase the words in Isaiah 33:18 "where is the scribe?" he that numbers all the letters in the law. "Where is the receiver?" who weighs the "light" things, , and "heavy", or "weighty things in the law" (k). Again (l),

"in the words of the law there are some things "light", and some things "heavy", or "weighty":''

but those weighty things they omitted, and regarded those that were light; yea, that had no foundation in the law at all: and no wonder, since, in the place last cited, they say (m), that

"the words of the Scribes are all of them "weighty" and that the sayings of the elders are more "weighty" than the words of the prophets.''

The things our Lord refers to, and instances in, are as follow;

judgment, mercy, and faith. "Judgment" may mean the administration of justice in courts of judicature; the putting in execution good judgments, righteous laws and statutes; protecting and relieving the injured and oppressed, and doing that which is right and equitable between man and man: but, on the contrary, these men devoured widows' houses, and oppressed the poor and fatherless. "Mercy" includes all acts of compassion to the distressed, relieving the necessitous, distributing to their wants, and showing all kindness and beneficence to the poor and needy; which the scribes and Pharisees very little practised, being a set of cruel, hard hearted, and covetous persons. "Faith" may not only design faithfulness in a man's keeping his word and promise, and fidelity to a trust reposed in him; but also faith in God, as the God of providence, and as the God of grace and mercy; believing in his word and promises, and worshipping him, which the law requires; and the rather this seems to be intended, because Luke, instead of "faith", puts "the love of God", which faith includes, and works by, and is the end of the commandment, arising from faith unfeigned: so that Christ instances in the weightier matters of both tables of the law, which these men neglected, and the latter, as well as the former; not believing the revelation of the Gospel, nor the Messiah, who was promised, and prophesied of by God, in the writings of the Old Testament:

these ought ye to have done: more especially, and in the first place, as being of the greatest use and importance:

and not to leave the other undone; meaning either the lighter matters, and lesser commands of the law; or even their tithes of herbs: if they thought themselves obliged to them, Christ would not dispute the matter with them; if they thought fit to observe them, they might, so long as they did not interfere with, and take them off from things of greater moment. But alas! these men preferred the rituals of the ceremonial law, and the traditions of the elders, above the duties of the moral law; and reckoned that the latter were nothing, if the former were wanting; for they (n) Say, that

"the words of the Scribes, are more lovely than the words of the law.''

And also (o), that

"he that profanes the holy things, and despises the solemn feasts, and makes void the covenant of Abraham our father (circumcision), and behaves impudently towards the law (ceremonial), although the law and good works are in his hands, he has no part in the world to come.''

The Persic version renders the words thus; "these ought ye to do, and not them"; as if it was our Lord's sense, that they ought to observe the weightier matters of the moral law, and not regard their tithing of herbs, and other traditions of, their fathers.

continued...

{7} Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and {t} faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

(7) Hypocrites take special care in small matters, and neglect the things which matter the very most.

(t) Faithfulness in the keeping of promises.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 23:23. Comp. Luke 11:39 ff.

In accordance with certain traditional enactments (Babyl. Joma, f. lxxxiii. 2), the Pharisees extended the legal prescriptions as to tithes (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21; Deuteronomy 12:6 f., Matthew 24:22-27) so as to include even the most insignificant vegetable products, such as mint, anise, and cummin. See Lightfoot and Wetstein on this passage. Ewald, Alterth. p. 399.

τὰ βαρύτερα τοῦ νόμου] the weightier things, i.e. the more important (graviora) elements of the law (comp. Acts 25:7), not: the things more difficult of fulfilment (difficiliora, as Fritzsche), which interpretation is indeed grammatically admissible (1 John 5:3), but must be rejected, because, according to the context (see Matthew 23:24), Jesus was comparing the important with the less important, and most probably had in view the analogy of the praecepta gravia (חמורים) et levia (קלים) of the Jewish doctors (see Schoettgen, p. 183).

τὴν κρίσιν] comp. Psalm 33:5; not: righteousness (the usual interpretation), a sense in which the term is never used (comp. on Matthew 12:18), but judgment, i.e. deciding for the right as against the wrong. Comp. Bengel and Paulus. The κρίσις is the practical manifestation of righteousness.

τὴν πίστιν] faithfulness, Jeremiah 5:1; Romans 3:3; Galatians 5:22; and see on Philemon 1:5. The opposite of this is ἀπιστία, perfidia (Wis 14:25, frequent in classical writers).

ταῦτα] the βαρύτερα just mentioned, not the tithing of mint, etc. (Bengel).

ἔδει] oportebat. See Kühner, II. 1, p. 176 f. Those were the duties which had been neglected.

μὴ ἀφιέναι] scarcely so strong as the positive ποιῆσαι. Observe the contrasts: What you have neglected you ought to have done, and at the same time not have neglected what you are in the habit of doing,—the former being of paramount importance; the subordinate matter, viz. your painful attention to tithes, is not superseded by the higher duties, but only kept in its proper place.Matthew 23:23-24. The fourth woe refers to tithe-paying (Luke 11:42).—ἀποδεκατοῦτε: a Hellenistic word = ye pay tithes, as in Genesis 28:22; to take tithes from in Hebrews 7:5-6.—ἡδύοσμον, ἄνηθον, κύμινον: garden herbs—mint (literally, sweet smelling), dill, also aromatic, cumin (Kümmel, German) with aromatic seeds. All marketable commodities, used as condiments, or for medicinal purposes, presumably all tithable, the point being not that the Pharisees were wilful in tithe-paying, but that they were extremely scrupulous. Vide articles in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible. The Talmud itself, however, in a sentence quoted by Lightfoot (“decimatio oleorum est a Rabbinis”) represents tithing of herbs as a refinement of the Rabbis.—τὰ βαρύτερα: either, the weightier, in the sense of Matthew 22:36 (Meyer), or the more difficult to do, in the sense of Matthew 23:4 (Weiss after Fritzsche). The idea seems to be: they made a great show of zeal in doing what was easy, and shirked the serious and more arduous requirements of duty.—τ. κρίσιν, righteous judgment, implying and = the love of righteousness, a passion for justice.—τὸ ἔλεος, neuter, after the fashion of later Greek, not τὸν ἔλεον, as in T. R.: mercy; sadly neglected by Pharisees, much insisted on by Jesus.—τ. πίστιν, faith, in the sense of fidelity, true-heartedness. As a curiosity in the history of exegesis may be cited the use of this text by Schortinghuis, a Dutch pietist of the eighteenth century, in support of the duty of judging the spiritual state of others (κρίσιν)! vide Ritschl, Geschichte des Pietismus, i., 329.—ταῦτα the greater things last mentioned.—ἔδει, it was your duty to do.—κἀκεῖνα, and those things, the tithings, etc.: this the secondary duty; its subordinate place might be brought out by rendering: “while not neglecting to pay tithes as scrupulously as you please”. Bengel thinks ταῦτα and ἐκεῖνα here refer not to the order of the words but to the relative importance of the things (“non pro serie verborum, sed pro ratione rerum”). On this view “these” means tithe-paying.23. ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin] “Mint and rue and all manner of herbs,” (Luke 11:42.) Zeal in paying tithes was one of the points of reform under the Maccabees.

anise] Greek ἄνηθον, either=“anise” as in E.V., or “dill,” a plant similar in appearance, and used like anise as a sedative medicine and for cooking purposes.

cummin] See Isaiah 28:25; Isaiah 28:27, where the special method of beating out cummin seeds is named. “It is used as a spice, both bruised to mix with bread, and also boiled in the various messes and stews which compose an Oriental banquet.” Tristram, Nat. Hist. of Bible.

weightier matters of the law] The distinction between great and small precepts of the law is found in the Talmud. Schöttgen gives many instances, p. 183. One saying is: “Observance of the lesser precepts is rewarded on earth; observance of the greater precepts is rewarded in heaven.”

judgment, mercy, and faith] “Judgment and the love of God” (Luke).Matthew 23:23. Ἀποδεκατοῦτε, κ.τ.λ., ye tythe, etc.) And command others to tythe; cf. in Matthew 23:24 the expression “guides.”—ἡδύοσμον,[1003] mint) not only grain but herbs.—κύμινον, cummin) which is proverbially a small thing.—ἈΦΉΚΑΤΕ, Κ.Τ.Λ., have omitted, etc.) sc. long since; or also, ye have remitted to others, by your silence.—βαρύτερα, weightier) These questions belong to comparative theology. Three weightier matters are enumerated in contrast with three smaller matters. Concerning these weightier matters, see Sirach 4. He, and he alone, who does not neglect these, may judge rightly in smaller matters.—ΤῊΝ ΚΡΊΣΙΝ, judgment) by which men distinguish between good and evil, and in either of them between weightier and smaller matters; see the Gnomon on ch. Matthew 12:18, and Matthew 16:3; Luke 12:57; 1 Corinthians 11:31; Micah 6:8.—τὸν ἔλεον, mercy) See ch. Matthew 9:13.—ΤῊΝ ΠΊΣΤΙΝ, faith) sc. sincerity, which is opposed to hypocrisy: for those who, in ch. Matthew 24:51, are called hypocrites, are called unbelievers (infideles) in Luke 12:46. Cf. 1 Timothy 4:2-3. There are clearly these three principal heads, Judgment, Mercy, Faith: and divisions of theological topics ought to have been arranged under such heads as those which Scripture itself lays down, as in John 16:8; Romans 3:27; 1 Corinthians 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:1;[1004] Hebrews 6:1-2.—ΜῊ ἈΦΙΈΝΑΙ, not to omit) corresponding with ἀφήκατε, ye have omitted; and therefore ταῦτα, these, refers to mint, etc.—ἐκεῖνα, those, to judgment, etc.; and the words, ταῦτα ἔδει ποιῆσαι, these ought ye to have done, express approbation of their conduct in this matter;[1005] whilst the words ΚἈΚΕῖΝΑ ΜῊ ἈΦΊΕΝΑΙ, and not to leave the other undone, belong to the indictment. In Greek οὗτος and ἘΚΕῖΝΟς, in Latin hic and ille (this and that), are frequently employed with reference, not to the order of the words, but to the nature of the things. See my note to Chrysostom on the Priesthood, pp. 509, 510.

[1003] On this word Bengel, in his Apparatus Criticus, has the remark:—“מנתא Hebr. ex Lat.,” sc. mentha; from which also our English word, mint.—(I. B.)

[1004] There is evidently some mistake in the references to Romans and Thessalonians—a mistake which I have bestowed much labour to correct, but in vain. For the reference to 1 Thessalonians 5:1, I would suggest 1 Thessalonians 5:8.—(I. B.)

[1005] Truly, even in the smallest things remarkable and pre-eminent grace may exhibit itself, Mark 12:42.—V. g.Verses 23, 24. - Fifth woe - against scrupulosity in trifles and neglect of weighty duties (Luke 11:42). Ye pay tithe of (ἀποδεκατοῦτε, ye tithe) mint and anise and cummin. Practically, the law of tithe was enforced only in the case of the produce mentioned in Deuteronomy 14:23 - corn, wine, and oil - but the Pharisees, in their overstrained scrupulosity, applied the law of Leviticus 27:30 ("all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's") to the smallest pot herbs, even to their leaves and stalks. "Mint" (ἡδύοσμον). Of this well known plant several species grow in Palestine; it was one of the ingredients of the sauce of bitter herbs eaten at the Paschal feast (Exodus 12:8), and was hung up in the synagogue for its fragrance. "Anise" (ἄνηθον) is known to us as "dill," and is much used in medicine and for seasoning. "Cummin" (κύμινον) (Isaiah 28:25, 27), an umbelliferous plant, with seeds something like caraways, and used, like them, as a condiment and medicine. Have emitted the weightier matters of the Law. The Pharisees were very far from treating important duties with the same scrupulosity which they observed in little matters. Christ particularizes these weighty duties: Judgment, (and) mercy, and faith. Three are named, in contrast to the three petty observances mentioned above. Christ seems to refer to the words of Micah 6:8, "What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" (see also Hosea 12:6; Zechariah 7:9, 10). Worthless are all outward observances when the moral precepts are neglected. "Judgment" (τὴν κρίσιν) means acting equitably to one's neighbour, hurting nobody by word or deed; as in Jeremiah 5:1 a man is sought "that exerciseth justice.'" Such impartiality is specially enjoined in the Law (Deuteronomy 16:19, etc.). "Mercy," loving kindness in conduct, often taught in the Pentateuch, as in the case of the widow, the stranger, and the debtor, and very different from the feeling of those who "devour widows' houses." "Faith" may mean fidelity to promises: "He that sweareth unto his neighbour and disappointeth him not, though it were to his own hindrance" (Psalm 15:4); but it is more probably taken as that belief in God without which it is not possible to please him, and which should underlie and influence all moral action (Hebrews 11:6). These (ταῦτα)... the other (ἐκεῖνα). "These last" are judgment, mercy, and faith; these it was your duty to have done. "The other" refers to the tithing mentioned above. Christ does not censure this attention to minutiae. He would teach conformity to regulations made by competent authority, or conscientiously felt to be binding, even though not distinctly enjoined in Scripture (see vers. 2, 3); his blame is reserved for that expenditure of zeal on trifles which stood in the place of, or left no strength for, higher duties. It was a very elastic conscience which tithed a pot herb and neglected judgment. Strain at a gnat; διαλίζοντες τὸν κώνωπα. "At" is supposed to be a misprint for "out." Thus Revised Version, and early English versions, which strain out the gnat; Vulgate, excolantes culicem. Alford thinks the present reading was an intentional alteration, meaning "strain (out the wine) at (the occurrence of) a gnat" - which seems more ingenious than probable. If "at" be retained, it must be taken as expressive of the fastidiousness which had to make a strong effort to overcome its distaste at this little insect. The wine, before drinking, was carefully strained through linen (see Amos 6:6, "strained wine," Septuagint) to avoid the accidental violation of Leviticus 11:20, 23, etc.; Leviticus 17:10-14, by swallowing an unclean insect. The practice, which was in some sense a religious act, is found among the Buddhists in Hindostan and Ceylon, either to avoid pollution or to obviate the danger of taking life, which their code forbids. A (the) camel. The gnat and the camel, which were alike unclean, stand at the extremities of the scale of comparative size. Our Lord uses a proverbial expression to denote the inconsistency which would avoid the smallest ceremonial defilement, but would take no account of the gravest moral pollution. Ye Tithe (ἀποδεκατοῦτε)

ἀπί, from, δεκατόω, to take a tenth. Tithe is tenth; also in older English, tethe, as tethe hest, the tenth commandment. A tething was a district containing ten families.

Mint (ἡδύοσμον)

ἡδύς, sweet, ὀσμή, smell. A favorite plant in the East, with which the floors of dwellings and synagogues were sometimes strewn.

Anise - Cummin (ἄνηθον - κήμινον)

Rev. renders anise, dill in margin. Used as condiments. The tithe of these plants would be very small; but to exact it would indicate scrupulous conscientiousness. The Talmud tells of the ass of a certain Rabbi which had been so well trained as to refuse corn of which the tithes had not been taken.

Faith (πίστιν)

Rather faithfulness, as in Romans 3:3, Rev. Gal 5:22, Rev.

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