Matthew 22
Vincent's Word Studies
And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
Made a marriage (ἐποίησεν γάμους)

But the phrase refers to the marriage-feast, rather than to the marriage-ceremony. In Esther 9:22, the word is used of feasting without any reference to a marriage. Rev., a marriage-feast.

And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
To call them that were bidden (καλέσαι τοὺς κεκλημένους)

Perhaps an unconscious play on the words, lost in both A. V. and Rev., to call the called. This was according to the Oriental custom of sending a messenger, after the invitations have been issued, to notify the invited guests that the entertainment is prepared. Thus Esther invites Haman to a banquet on the morrow, and, at the actual time, the chamberlain comes to bring him to the feast (Esther 5:8; Esther 6:14).

Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
Dinner (ἄριστον)

Not the principal meal of the day, but a noon-breakfast; luncheon.

Fatlings (σιτιστὰ)

From σῖτος, corn, grain, or food generally. Properly animals especially fed up or fatted for a feast.

But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
Made light of it (ἀμελήσαντες)

Not in the sense of jeering. They simply gave it no heed.

His farm (ἴδιον ἀγρόν)

Rev., his own farm; bringing out the contrast between his selfish interest and the respect due to his king. Compare 2 Chronicles 30:10.

And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Armies (στρατεύματα)

Not in our grand sense of armies, but troops, soldiers. Compare Luke 23:11, where the word is rendered men of war; Rev., soldiers.

Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
Highways (διεξόδους)

Literally, the word means a way out through ; passage, outlet, thoroughfare. The idea of crossings grows out of the junction of the smaller cross-ways with the trunk roads.

So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
Was furnished (ἐπλήσθη)

The Greek is stronger; was filled: so Rev.

And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
To see (θεάσασθαι)

Rev., somewhat stiffly, behold; but the idea is correct, as the verb denotes careful seeing, looking intently, inspection. See on Matthew 11:7.

And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Not having (μὴ ἔχων)

It is hardly possible to convey the subtle sense of the negative particle (μὴ) to the English reader. A different word for not (οὐκ) is used in the preceding verse, expressing an outward, objective fact which attracted the king's notice. The man had not (οὐκ) a wedding garment. When the king addresses the guest, he is thinking not so much of the outward token of disrespect, as of the guest's mental attitude toward the proprieties of the occasion. It is as if he had said, "What were you thinking of, where was your respect for me and for my guests, when you allowed yourself to come hither not (μὴ) having the proper garment, as you knew you ought to have?" It implies, as Dr. Morison observes, that the man was conscious of the omission when he entered, and was intentionally guilty of the neglect. This distinction between the two negative particles rests on the law of the Greek language, according to which οὐ and its compounds stand where something is to be denied as a matter of fact, and μὴ and its compounds when something is to be denied as a matter of thought.

He was speechless (ἐφιμώθη)

Lit., he was muzzled or gagged. It is used of muzzling the ox (1 Timothy 5:18), and is addressed by Christ to the demon (Mark 1:25), and to the raging sea (Mark 4:39). Peter uses it of putting the ignorant and foolish to silence (1 Peter 2:15).

The outer darkness

See on Matthew 8:12.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
For many are called, but few are chosen.
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
Entangle (παγιδεύσωσιν)

From παγίς, a trap or snare. Better, therefore, Rev., ensnare.

And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
Tribute-money (νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου)

Lit., the current coin of tribute, which was paid not in Jewish but in Roman money. See on Matthew 17:25, tribute.

A penny

See on Matthew 20:2.

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
Image and superscription (εἰκὼν καὶ ἐπιγραφή)

Images on coins were not approved by the Jews. Out of respect to this prejudice none of the earlier Herods had his own image impressed on them. Herod Agrippa I., who murdered James and imprisoned Peter, introduced the practice. The coin shown to Christ must either have been struck in Rome, or else was one of the Tetrarch Philip, who was the first to introduce the image of Caesar on strictly Jewish coins.

They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
Shall marry (ἐπιγαμβρεύσει)

From γαμβρός, a word used in classical Greek to denote any one connected by marriage' a brother-in-law, father-in-law, even a bridegroom. The word is appropriate here because it refers to marriage between marriage-relatives.

Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:
Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.
And last of all the woman died also.
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.
Put to silence (ἐφίμωσεν)

There is a kind of grim humor in the use of this word: he had muzzled the Sadducees. Compare Matthew 22:12.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Which is the great commandment (ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη)

The A. V. and Rev. alike miss the point of this question, which is: which kind of command is great in the law? That is, what kind of a commandment must it be to constitute it a great one? Not, which commandment is greatest as compared with the others? The scribes declared that there were 248 affirmative precepts, as many as the members of the human body; and 365 negative precepts, as many as the days in the year; the total being 613, the number of letters in the Decalogue. Of these they called some light and some heavy. Some thought that the law about the fringes on the garments was the greatest; some that the omission of washings was as bad as homicide; some that the third commandment was the greatest. It was in view of this kind of distinction that the scribe asked the question; not as desiring a declaration as to which commandment was greatest, but as wanting to know the principle upon which a commandment was to be regarded as a great commandment.

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
The great and first

With the definite article.

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

The article omitted. So Rev.

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,
The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?
If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

Bible Hub
Matthew 21
Top of Page
Top of Page