Matthew 5:30
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
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(30) If thy right hand offend thee.—The repetition of the same form of warning has, in part, the emphasis of iteration, but it points also to a distinct danger. Not the senses only, through which we receive impressions, but the gifts and energies which issue in action, may become temptations to evil; and in that case, if the choice must be made, it were better to forfeit them. The true remedy is, of course, found in so directing the will that eye and hand may each do its work in obedience to the law of righteousness.

5:27-32 Victory over the desires of the heart, must be attended with painful exertions. But it must be done. Every thing is bestowed to save us from our sins, not in them. All our senses and powers must be kept from those things which lead to transgression. Those who lead others into temptation to sin, by dress or in other ways, or leave them in it, or expose them to it, make themselves guilty of their sin, and will be accountable for it. If painful operations are submitted to, that our lives may be saved, what ought our minds to shrink from, when the salvation of our souls is concerned? There is tender mercy under all the Divine requirements, and the grace and consolations of the Spirit will enable us to attend to them.And if thy right hand offend thee - The right hand is selected for the same reason as the right eye, because it is one of the most important members of the human body. The idea is, that the dearest earthly objects are to be sacrificed rather than that we should commit sin; that the most rigid self-denial should be practiced, and that the most absolute self-government should be maintained at any sacrifice, rather than that we should suffer the mind to be polluted by unholy thoughts and impure desires. 30. And if thy right hand—the organ of action, to which the eye excites.

offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is profitable, &c.—See on [1225]Mt 5:29. The repetition, in identical terms, of such stern truths and awful lessons seems characteristic of our Lord's manner of teaching. Compare Mr 9:43-48.

Ver. 29,30. The sum of these two verses is, that the salvation of our immortal souls is to be preferred before all things, be they never so dear and precious to us; and that if men’s ordinary discretion teacheth them for the preservation of their bodies to cut off a particular member, which would necessarily endanger the whole body, it much more teacheth them to part with any thing which will prejudice the salvation of their souls. Not that any person is by this text obliged to cut off any bodily member, (as some have done), because there can be no such necessity; but only to mortify their members, Colossians 3:5, the deeds of the body, Romans 8:13, their inward lusts, which being mortified there will be no need of mutilating ourselves; for the members of the body are but commanded and animated to their motions from the inward lusts of the heart: but if there could happen such a case, as that a man must voluntarily part with the most useful member of his body, or sin against God to the damnation of his soul, he ought rather to choose the former than the latter. How much more then ought Christians to mortify their inward lusts and unlawful desires, which can be of no profit nor advantage to them; but will certainly make them to offend God, and so run them upon the danger of hell fire!

And if thy right hand offend thee,.... Or "cause thee to offend"; that is, is the means of ensnaring thine heart; and of drawing thee into either mental, or actual adultery; for, as before, all unchaste looks, so here, all unchaste touches, embraces, &c. are condemned. As adultery may be committed in the heart, and by the eye, so with the hand:

"says R. Eliezer (a) what is the meaning of that Scripture, "your hands are full of blood", Isaiah 1:15? It is replied, , "these are they, that commit adultery with the hand". It is a tradition of the house of R. Ishmael, that the sense of that command, "thou shalt not commit adultery", is, there shall be none that commits adultery in thee, whether "with the hand", or "with the foot".''

Like orders are given as before,

cut it off, and cast it from thee; as a man would choose to do, or have it done for him, when such a part of the body is mortified, and endangers all the rest. The Jews enjoined cutting off of the hand, on several accounts; if in a morning, before a man had washed his hands, he put his hand to his eye, nose, mouth, ear, &c. it was to be "cut off" (b); particularly, the handling of the "membrum virile", was punishable with cutting off of the hand.

"Says R. (c) Tarphon, if the hand is moved to the privy parts, , "let his hand be cut off to his navel".''

That is, that it may reach no further; for below that part of the body the hand might not be put (d); lest unclean thoughts, and desires, should be excited. In the above (e) place it is added,

"what if a thorn should be in his belly, must he not take it away? It is replied, no: it is further asked, must not his belly be ripped up then? It is answered, it is better that his belly be ripped up, , "than that he should go down to the pit of corruption."''

A way of speaking, much like what our Lord here uses; and to the above orders and canons, he may be very well thought to allude: but he is not to be understood literally, as enjoining the cutting off of the right hand, as they did; but of men's refraining from all such impure practices, either with themselves, or women, which are of a defiling nature; and endanger the salvation of them, body and soul; the same reason is given as before.

(a) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 13. 2. Vid. Maimon. Issure Bia, c. 21. sect. 18. (b) T. Bab. Sabbat. fol. 108. 2. Massechet Callah, fol. 17. 1.((c) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 13. 2.((d) Maimon. lssure Bia, c. 21. sect. 23. (e) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 13. 2.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
Matthew 5:30. Χὲιρ, hand) The matter proceeds from sight to act.

Verse 30. - Should be cast into hell; Revised Version, go into hell (εἰς γέενναν ἀπέλθῃ), both word and order laying stress, not on the action of the Judge, but on thy departure, either from things of time and sense, or from his presence (Matthew 25:46). Matthew 5:30
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