But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Treasures in heaven.—These, as in the parallel passage of Luke 12:33, are the good works, or rather the character formed by them, which follow us into the unseen world (Revelation 14:13), and are subject to no process of decay. So men are “rich in good works” (1Timothy 6:18), “rich in faith” (James 2:5), are made partakers of the “unsearchable riches of Christ and His glory” (Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:16).Isaiah 55:2. In heaven nothing corrupts; nothing terminates; no enemies plunder or destroy. To have treasure in heaven is to possess evidence that its purity and joys will be ours. It is to be heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, 1 Peter 1:4. The heart, or affections, will of course be fixed on the treasure. To regulate the heart, it is therefore important that the treasure, or object of attachment, should be right.
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal—Treasures these, imperishable and unassailable! (Compare Col 3:2).See Poole on "Matthew 6:21". Luke 12:33. They shall never want any good thing here, and they "lay up in store for themselves, a good foundation against the time to come", 1 Timothy 6:18. This is the way to have worldly treasure secured from moth, rust, and thieves; for to lay it up in heaven with God, to give it to him, to his poor, to make use of it for his glory, is to lay it up in a place,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. Treasures are safer here than in our own hands, and will turn to better account, and more to our own advantage, both in this life, and that which is to come: see Matthew 19:21. In this way, though not for it, men come to have treasure in heaven, even the treasure of eternal life, glory, and happiness. Heaven is often represented by the Jewish writers as a treasury; and the treasures which are in it are said (n) to be
"Myyx yzng, "treasures of life", and treasures of peace, and treasures of blessing; and the souls of the righteous, and the spirits and souls that shall be created, and the dew with which God will quicken the dead.''
Those words in Deuteronomy 31:16. "And the Lord said unto Moses, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers", are thus (o) paraphrased.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, lo! thou shalt sleep in the dust with thy fathers, and thy soul shall be treasured up , "in the treasury of eternal life", with thy fathers.''
They tell us (p) of a story of Monbaz the king, who was son to queen Helena; in which are many things agreeable to these words of Christ, and which may serve to illustrate them.
"Monbaz the king stood and gave all his goods to the poor: his relations sent to him, and said, thy fathers added to that which was their's, and to that which was their fathers; but thou hast given away that which was thine, and that which was thy father's: he replied to them all thus: my fathers , "laid up treasure on earth, but I have laid up treasure in heaven", according to Psalm 85:11. My fathers laid up treasures, which do not bring forth fruit; but I have laid up treasures, which bring forth fruit, according to Isaiah 3:10. My fathers gathered in a place, where the hand, i.e. of man rules, (where thieves break through and steal,) but I have gathered in a place where the hand of man does not rule, according to Psalm 97:2. My fathers gathered mammon, money, but I have gathered souls, according to Proverbs 11:30. My fathers gathered for others, but I have gathered for myself, according to Deuteronomy 24:13. My fathers gathered in this world, but I have gathered "for the world to come".''
One of their commentators (q) on the phrase, "my fathers laid up treasures below", as it is in the Babylonish Talmud (r), has this remark:
"for lo! all that they treasured up was for the necessaries of this world; which is , "a place of dust and vermin", which corrupt and destroy everything; "but I have laid up treasures above", a place secure and firm, and which preserves everything that is put into it.''
(n) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 12. 2.((o) Targum Jon. ben Uzziel, in Deuteronomy 31.16. (p) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 15. 2.((q) Caphtor, fol. 97. 1.((r) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 11. 1.But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 6:20. Ἐν οὐρανῷ] belongs to θησαυρίζετε. By what means is this done? By everything which the Lord has hitherto been insisting upon from Matthew 6:3 onwards as the condition on which those who believe in Him are to obtain eternal salvation, and which therefore constitutes the sum and substance of the δικαιοσύνη that comes through faith in Him. In this way, and not specially by almsgiving, Matthew 19:21, which, according to Matthew 5:7, Matthew 6:3, is here only included along with other matters (in answer to Chrysostom), do men gather treasures (the Messianic felicity) for themselves, which are reserved for us with God in heaven until the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom, in which their bestowal is then to take place. Comp. on Matthew 5:12.Matthew 6:20. θησ. ἐν οὐρανῷ: not = heavenly treasures, says Fritzsche, as that would require τοὺς before ἐν. Grammatically this is correct, yet practically heavenly treasure is meant.Verse 20. - But lay up (ver. 19, note).
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