Matthew

9:35-10:15

5. Extending the kingdom, 9:35-10:42

i] Spreading the news of the kingdom

Synopsis

Observing that the workers are few and that God's people are "harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd", Jesus gathers his twelve apostles, authorizes and empowers them for mission, instructing them on how to proceed with the task of proclaiming his message - the gospel, the news concerning the coming kingdom.

 
Teaching

The life of a believer is mission. Jesus reveals that there is a dire need for leaders who will guide the lost into the kingdom and that this need is met through prayer. The appointment, authorizing and empowerment of these spiritual leaders / sent ones / missioners is represented in Jesus' appointment of the twelve who by word (the gospel - "the kingdom of heaven / God is at hand) and sign (shaking the powers of darkness - exorcism, healing) declare the realization of the long awaited kingdom in the now / not yet, and thus bestow the peace of God on all who welcome the message / messenger, first on the house of Israel, and then on "all nations", cf., 28:19. As for those who are not welcoming, there remains but judgement.

 
Issues

i] Context: See 1:1-17. The teaching of the 1st. Discourse, the Great Sermon, was further developed in the 1st. Narrative section, 8:1-9:34. Matthew now leads into the 2nd. Discourse / teaching section: mission and martyrdom, 9:35-10:42. In this discourse, Matthew draws together material which deals with the transfer of authority from Jesus to his disciples. We learn of what Jesus expects from his disciples, with regard the exercise of that authority, particularly as it relates to the mission of the church. Central to this discourse is the warning of rejection, of the persecution of those who undertake gospel ministry. This discourse is partnered by the 2nd. Narrative section, 11:1-12:50. The narratives in this section serve as a paradigm for the mission of the church in a world hostile to the gospel

The mission Discourse is headed with an introductory narrative, 9:35-39, which is followed by the call of the twelve, 10:1-4. The call is followed by mission instructions, v5-15, prophecies, v16-23, and the observation that disciples will be tested in the same way as the Master, v24-25. Given that mission is difficult, v26-31 focus on consolation and encouragement - there is no need to fear. The issue of confessing and denying Christ is covered in v32-39, and this is followed up with a divine pronouncement of blessing upon those who receive Christ's message / missioners.

 

ii] Structure: This passage, Spreading the news of the kingdom, presents as follows:

Summary of Jesus' gospel ministry, v35-38:

Description, v35;

teaching and preaching in word and sign.

Prophetic perspective, v36-38:

the people are like sheep without a shepherd, v36;

laborers are needed for the harvest, v37-38.

The authorizing of the twelve for mission, v1-4;

Mission instructions, v5-15:

Jew first, v5-6;

Proclaim the gospel, v7-8:

In word, v7:

"the kingdom of heaven has come near."

In sign, v8a;

Free of charge, v8b.

Bear the marks of a missioner, v9-10.

Accommodation, v11:

reside in a worthy (believing??) house;

refrain from being upwardly mobile.

Bless or curse as necessary, v12-15

 

Commentators are divided on the placement of v35. Does it summarize / conclude the narrative section (like 4:23), or does it introduce the discourse on mission?

 

iii] Interpretation:

The passage before us sits within the second discourse, 10:5-11:1, Mission and Martyrdom - spreading the news of the coming kingdom. The unit begins with a transitional passage consisting of a summary of Jesus' ministry so far, v35, and an editorial comment and a saying regarding Israel's need and thus the need to extend the mission of Jesus, v36-38. This is followed by the appointment / authorizing of the twelve, 10:1-4, along with mission instructions - the commission to proclaim the gospel in word and sign, v5-15. Teaching on the inevitable consequence of persecution follows in v16-25.

So, Matthew draws together material which deals with the transfer of authority from Jesus to his disciples. We learn what Jesus expects of his disciples, with regard the exercise of that authority, particularly as it relates to the mission of the church in the proclamation of the gospel.

 

iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

 
Text - 9:35

Communicating the message concerning the coming kingdom, 9:35-10:15: i] Jesus' gospel ministry is summarized, v35-38. a) Description, v35. In this verse Matthew summarizes Jesus' gospel ministry - Jesus teaches in the synagogues and proclaims the gospel in word and sign to the crowds.

perihgen (periago) imperf. "[Jesus] went through" - [Jesus] went about. The imperfect expresses durative action (used to express "an unfolding process", Olmstead); "Jesus made a tour of all the towns and villages", Barclay.

didaskwn (didaskw) pres. part. "teaching" - [all the cities and the villages] teaching. As with "preaching" and "healing", the participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of Jesus' going about. As is always the case in the gospels, the revelation of the gospel is made known by verbal communication (preaching and teaching) and the use of signs (healings, exorcisms, miracles - "if I by the finger of God cast out demons then you know that the kingdom of God has come upon you").

taiV sunagwgaiV (h) "their synagogues" - [in] the assemblies [of them]. Obviously synagogues. Being centers of teaching it is understandable that Jesus would use the local synagogue for gospel proclamation. During the early years of Jesus' ministry he was welcomed, but it seems that later he was excluded and was forced to preach in the open. Note, the gen. (adj. = possessive) autwn "their" synagogues; the antecedent is not identified, but probably the Jewish authorities are in mind.

to euaggelion (on) "good news" - [preaching] the important news / message. Accusative direct object of the verb "to preach." The news is only "good" for those who believe.

thV basileiaV (a) gen. "of the kingdom" - The genitive is adjectival, usually treated as verbal, objective, "the good news about the kingdom", but possibly of definition, defining / clarifying the message / news, the content of which addresses the issue of the coming kingdom. Luke has khrusswn kai euaggelizomenoV thn basilean tou qeou, "preaching and proclaiming the kingdom of God." Out of deference to the divine Matthew drops "God", and also seems to use euaggelizomai in the more technical sense of "gospel", using the noun rather than a participle." The kingdom refers to the promised eschatological reign of God when the promises of the covenant are fully realized by His people. The message concerning the kingdom states that its realization is "at hand / upon us" and thus now is the time to repent and believe.

malakian (a) "sickness" - [and healing every disease and every] illness, weakness, ailment. As with the noun "disease", "sickness" serves as the accusative direct object of the verb "to heal." Describing "the wide and effective healing ministry to all kinds of physical suffering", Filson. "Every kind of disease and sickness", CEV.

 
v36

ii] Prophetic perspective, v36-38. b) For Jesus, the crowds represent the scattered and desolate people of Israel, a people unable to help themselves. The gospel is for the lost, the "sick" (sinners). The language of this verse derives from Ezekiel 34 and Numbers 27:17, although Jesus makes it his own, cf. 10:6.

idwn (eidon) aor. part. "when he saw" - having seen [the crowds]. The participle is adverbial, temporal, as NIV. The imagery of sheep and shepherd is common to the Old Testament: Num.27:17, 1King.22:17, ..... cf. esp. Zechariah for the scattered sheep image.

esplagcnisqh (splagcnizomai) aor. "he had compassion" - he felt sympathy. "When he looked out over the crowds his heart broke", Peterson.

peri + gen. "on [them]" - for [them]. Here expressing reference / respect; Jesus usually has pity "on", but here it is pity "for / about / concerning them." "He was moved with pity", Moffatt.

oJti "because" - that. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus had compassion on the crowd.

hsan eskulmenoi (skullw) perf. pas. part. "they were harassed" - they were being distressed, worried, bewildered, confused. Periphrastic pluperfect construction. The people were wondering aimlessly in the truth department; they are like sheep without a shepherd, wondering aimlessly over the hills. "Bewildered", Phillips.

errimmenoi (riptw) perf. pas. part. "helpless" - being prostrate, brought low, laid out, and therefore, vulnerable. Periphrastic pluperfect construction. The people are like sheep without a shepherd, vulnerable to the attack of wolves. Here downcast = "Dejected", Weymouth.

wJsei "like" - as, like. Comparative introducing a comparative clause.

mh econta (ecw) pres. part. "without" - [sheep] not having [a shepherd]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "sheep"; "like sheep that have no shepherd", Cassirer.

 
v37

b) Israel's perilous state is addressed with a saying from Jesus, v37-38. The harvest is usually taken metaphorically to refer to a "harvest of people", France, so Nolland, Morris, Mounce, etc., but France notes that it has been argued that Jesus is referring to a harvest of eschatological blessings for God's scattered people/sheep. The saying certainly has eschatological overtones, with "harvest" more often used to describe the day of judgment, cf. Isa.17:11, 27:12-13, Joel 3:13, Rev.14:15. The day of judgment, of course, is a day when some are gathered in for blessing, and others for cursing. So, not so much expressing that Israel is ripe for inclusion in the kingdom of heaven, evidenced by the large crowds coming to Jesus, but rather that the day of harvest / judgment is full and ready / is at hand, ie., the saying is climactic. As for the workers who are few, they are not identified. God's angels are identified as the harvesters in 13:39, 41, but here the implication is that the disciples function as the eschatological messengers of the day of judgment, proclaiming the coming kingdom (the harvest is at hand), and thus gathering people for blessing, or cursing. The point being made is that extra resources are needed because the hour of judgment is at hand. There is some alignment of angels and disciples in eschatological texts, both being servants of the coming Son of Man. In fact, it is possible that the "angels" who attend the coming Son of Man are actually resurrected believers, particularly if we take his coming as heavenward to the Ancient of Days, cf., Daniel 7:13.

tote adv. "then [he said]" - then [he says]. Temporal adverb. Matthew often uses this adverb to introduce his next point, "next in sequence", Morris, so here introducing a saying from Jesus.

toiV maqhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "to [his] disciples" - to the disciples [of him]. Dative of indirect object.

poluV "plentiful" - [indeed the harvest is] great / many. Predicate adjective. Possibly "great", but "abundant / plentiful" seems closer to the mark in that it is climactic - the day of harvest is close at hand; the grain is ripe for the picking.

men ..... de "..... but" - on the one hand [the harvest plentiful (ready for harvest)] but on the other [the workers few]. Adversative comparative construction.

oiJ .... ergatai (hV ou) "the workers" - the workers [are few]. Nominative subject of an assumed verb to-be. This harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few - the few are not identified.

 
v38

dehqhte (didwmi) aor. pas. imp. "ask" - [therefore] ask. Used of making a request for oneself, here of making a prayer request. The agents of the coming kingdom are appointed by God and therefore a matter of a prayer according to God's will, ie., a prayer that will be answered in the affirmative.

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "the Lord" - Genitive of direct object after the verb "to ask, beg."

tou qerismou gen. "of the harvest" - The genitive is likely to be adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / subordination, "the Lord over the harvest." "Clearly God, not Jesus", Davies & Allison. "Turn to the man who owns the harvest", Cassirer.

oun "therefore" - Possibly just resumptive, but more likely inferential, drawing a logical conclusion, ie., the truth annunciated in v37 requires action; "therefore", as NIV.

o{pwV + subj. "to" - so that. This construction usually forms a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that" - pray with the intent/purpose that God will deem to ....... "That he may draft workers into his harvest", Berkeley.

ekbalh/ (ekballw) "send out" - he may send out, cast out [workers into the harvest of him]. A strong verb.

 
4:1

iii] The the authorizing of the twelve for mission, v1-4. Jesus now commissions twelve apostles (sent ones, messengers) to further the work of evangelism, and to do so with authority and power. The number twelve obviously represents the twelve tribes of Israel such that the apostles represent the last-days people of God. They even have authority over the powers of darkness, both in word and sign. With regard to the messianic signs, they proclaim the news of the coming kingdom in a visible way to a people who have an understanding of Old Testament prophecy. As Morris notes, little is known of these men which reminds us that "God has often chosen people the world has regarded as insignificant through whom to do his wonderful works." The pericope begins with a summary of Jesus' charge to his disciples, a charge which serves to prepare them for mission, v1. This is followed up with a list of the twelve, v2-4.

proskalesamenoV (proskaleomai) aor. part. "he called" - [and] summoning. Attendance circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "gave", or possibly adverbial, temporal, "then/when he had called his twelve disciples."

dwdeka adj. "twelve" - [the] twelve [disciples of him]. The adjective modifies the accusative direct object of the verb "to call." The twelve represent the new Israel, the 12 tribes / patriarchs / princes of Israel, although it can be argued that 12 is nothing more than a significant whole number, like our dozen.

autoiV "[he gave] them" - [he gave] to them. Dative of indirect object, although as Turner says, most dative are datives of interest; it was a gift to their advantage.

pneumatwn (a atoV) gen. "to drive out [impure] spirits" - [authority] of [unclean] spirits. The genitive is adjectival, of subordination, "the genitive over which the authority is exercised", Morris. "He ..... gave them authority over unclean spirits", ESV.

w{ste + inf. "to [drive out ..... heal]" - that / so as [to drive them out and to heal every disease and every illness]. This construction usually introduces a purpose clause (although this is disputed by some); "in order that they may drive them out and heal." The apostles were, as Christ's representatives, authorized and empowered to minister the gospel as Christ ministered it, namely in both word and sign. The signs (exorcisms, healings, miracles) served to proclaim the coming kingdom to Israel and such were exercised by the apostles, except on those occasions when they doubted the extent of their authority, so "these men were able and were instructed to cast them out", Hendriksen. That this authority did not extend beyond the twelve is explained by the evident nature of the signs and their role in inaugurating the kingdom for the historic people of Israel. Having fulfilled prophecy, the signs become irrelevant for an increasingly Gentile church. The sign for a Gentile church is brotherly love, cf., John 13:35.

 
v2-3

The list of the twelve is paired (sent out two by two??). The lists in the synoptic gospels always have the two sets of brothers first, with Peter at the head of the list and James set before his brother John. The placement of both indicate the relative position of Peter and James in the New Testament church. Little is known of the rest: Philip, cf. Jn.1:43ff; Bartholomew, meaning son of Tolmai; Thomas, meaning twin; Matthew the tax collector, cf. 9:9; James son of Alphaeus, the full name serves to distinguish him from James the son of Zebadee; Thaddaeus, a little known apostle; Simon the Zealot / Cananaean; Judas, always listed last.

de "-" - but, and. Here transitional, indicating a step in the narrative; "now".

twn ... apostolwn (oV) "of the [twelve] apostles" - sent ones. The twelve are so named only in Matthew - the ones sent on mission by and for Christ.

oJ legomenoV (legw) pres. pas. part. "who is called [Peter]" - the one being called. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Simon", as NIV.

oJ "[James son of Zebedee]" - [James] the [son of Zebedee]. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the genitive "of Zebedee" into a substantive standing in apposition to "James". So also "James son of Alphaeus."

 
v4

paradouV (paradidwmi) aor. "betrayed" - handed over, delivered over. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "Judas", as NIV. Note the suggestion that the word is used to explain the meaning of Iscariot, "the false one", "the deceiver." There are numerous suggestions for the meaning of Iscariot, eg., "red-head", but it is most likely a family name.

 
v5

iv] Matthew now records Jesus' instructions to the twelve, their "destination, message, healing, travel without baggage or funds, and hospitality", Filson, v5-15. a) The Jew first, v5-6. The apostles are to evangelize the people of Israel in Galilee and are not to go north to the Gentiles, or south to the Samaritans. They are to go to "the lost sheep of Israel." Jesus' mission is exclusively to Israel because he is the prophesied messiah who, as the true Israelite (the faithful remnant, son of God), comes to the lost children of Abraham in order to gather together a last-days community. Only after the gathering of lost Israel can the promise to Abraham be fulfilled, namely, a blessing to the whole world.

aposteilen (apostellw) aor. "sent out" - [these twelve Jesus] sent. The sent ones are sent out.

paraggeilaV (paraggellw) aor. part. "with the following instructions" - commanding, charging, instructing [them saying]. The participle can be classified as adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of the sending, as NIV, or attendant circumstance expressing action accompanying the main verb "sent"; "Jesus sent out these twelve and gave them the following instructions."

autoiV dat. pro. "-" - to them. Dative of direct object after the para prefix verb "to command", here as a participle; "and these where his marching orders to them", Barclay.

legwn (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle, redundant.

mh apelqhte (apercomai) aor. subj. "do not go" - Subjunctive of prohibition.

eqnwn (oV) gen. "[among] the Gentiles" - [into road, way] of the heathen. The genitive eqnwn is adjectival attributive, idiomatic; "the way that leads to the Gentiles." "Gentile parts /territory", Moule. "Do not take the road to Gentile lands", REB.

mh eiselqhte (eisercomai) aor. subj. "or enter" - and do not enter [a city of Samaritans]. Subjunctive of prohibition. It is possible that the command is geographical, ie., the mission is to Galilee, not north to Gentile territory, or south to Samaritan territory, but it is more likely that the command is theological. The gospel concerning God's coming kingdom must first be proclaimed to the house of Israel, and then to Samaritans and Gentiles. Note how this is played out in Acts. The genitive "of Samaritans" is adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / identification, limiting "city"; "the town[s] where the Samaritans live", Olmstead.

 
v6

de mallon "-" - but rather, more. The adverb mallon is used here to establish an alternative, strengthening the contrastive de to indicate a preference.

ta apolwlota (apollumi) perf. part. "[the] lost [sheep]" - [go to] having been lost, scattered / killed, destroyed, ruined [sheep]. "Lost" seems best. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "sheep", "the sheep which have been lost / scattered." Jesus is drawing on prophetic imagery in describing Israel as a scattered / lost flock, Isa.53:6, Jer.50:6, Ezk.34, Zech.11. Possibly "sheep that have wondered from the fold", Mounce, but "the scattered sheep of Israel" seems better.

oikou (oV) gen. "-" - of house-. The genitive is adjectival, possessive; "the sheep which belong to the house of Israel", but possibly partitive.

Israhl gen. proper. "of Israel" - Read as a genitive, it would be adjectival, epexegetic; "the sheep that belong to the house, namely, the house of Israel.

 
v7

b) Proclaim the gospel, v7-8. The gospel message is outlined in its traditional form - "the kingdom of heaven (God) is near." The introduction, "the time is fulfilled", and the response, "repent and believe", are left out. The "signs", now fully listed, are visible ways of proclaiming the message. A Jew, waiting for the kingdom, could easily read the significance of the signs. As Jesus said, "If I by the finger of God cast out Satan, then you know the kingdom of God has come to you." On the financial side, the disciples are reminded "you have received without cost; give without charge", NEB.

poreuomenoi (poreuomai) pres. part. "as you go" - [and] going. Possibly attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperatival verb "preach", so "go and preach", but given the "go" of v6 and the de, "and", most likely being coordinative, it is best to take the participle as adverbial temporal; "and as / while you go, preach." The present tense is durative, so "throughout their journey the content of their message was to be ....", McNeile.

khrussete (khrussw) pres. imp. "preach" - The word is often used specifically of communicating the gospel / God's important message concerning the coming kingdom of God/heaven.

legonteV (legw) pres. part. "this message" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperative verb "preach".

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech.

hJ basileia (a) "the kingdom" - Nominative subject of the verb "is near." The message that the disciples are to communicate is the same one Jesus communicates, 4:17, and interestingly, the same one the Baptist communicates, 3:2. The kingdom of God = God's long promised (although not "fulfilled", as in Mark) eschatological reign which brings with it blessing upon the righteous / the repentant, and cursing upon the unrighteous / unrepentant, cf. Isa.24:23, 52:7. The message outlined here serves only as a summary.

twn ouranwn (oV) gen. "of heaven" - of the heavens. For the genitive see 3:2. Matthew's use of the plural may not be significant in that he uses the singular on other occasions when referring to the dwelling of God and his angels, eg., "heaven and earth" (the word is sometimes just used for the sky, the canopy over the earth). None-the-less, the plural does give an expansive / inclusive sense to the domain over which God reigns. "Heaven" is used out of deference to God, although Matthew is not averse to using the divine name and sometimes uses the term "kingdom of God." Most commentators take the view that the phrase "kingdom of God" refers to God's eschatological reign, so "the kingdom of God" = "the reign of God". Given that there is likely to be no difference between the phrases "the kingdom of God" and "the kingdom of heaven", it may well be that "the kingdom of heaven" is just a short-hand way of saying "the kingdom of God's / the Father's reign over heaven and earth."

hggiken (eggizw) perf. ind. act "near" - draws near, close, comes close, is near. Lit. "has drawn near". The kingdom of heaven is bursting in upon us, is pushing up against us, "has arrived", Phillips, cf. France, and "at hand" - both: now and not yet.

 
v8

The miraculous signs are often viewed as verifying the gospel, even verifying the apostles' authority to proclaim the gospel, but it is better to view them as a proclamation of the gospel in their own right. Such signs, all of which serve to fulfill prophecy, proclaim the nearness of the kingdom.

asqenountaV (asqenew) pres. part. "[heal] the weak" - [heal] weak, ailing, without strength. The participle serves as a substantive.

ekballete (ekballw) pres. imp. "drive out" - [raise dead, cleanse lepers] expel, cast out [demons]. The disciples certainly did cast out demons, Mk.6:13, and we are told that the demons were subject to them, cf., Lk.10:17.

dwrean elabete, dwrean dote "Freely you have received, freely give" - freely you receive, freely give. The adverb of manner dwrean, "freely", is emphatic by position. The object must be supplied, so probably freely you received the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, ...... and therefore dote aor. imp., "give" without "the receiving of payment for acts of ministry", McNeile. Regarding the acceptance of hospitality, "the disciples are not to profit from the gospel, but their basic needs are to be met", Hagner. Matthew makes this point by replacing "wages", "the worker is worthy of his wages", v10, with trofhV "food." It is not unreasonable to widen what is freely received to an include all the blessings of the kingdom. That the blessings of the kingdom are freely bestowed, apart from works, is central to Matthew's gospel.

 
v9

c) The equipment of the missioners is now detailed, although in terms of what not to take, v9-10. It is often stated that the reason for not taking along money, bag and extra clothing, is related to the urgency of the mission (they are to travel light), but it is more likely cultural. The missioner is to travel in the guise of a wondering prophet / sage - a messenger from God. Note Mark 6:7-9 where this intent is a little more obvious - the two by two, a staff, sandals, and no extra gear. A modern day equivalent would be a Mormon missioner who is always paird, and stands out from the crowd in black shoes and pants and white business shirt and dark tie. A visiting clergyman wearing a dog-collar serves as a modern-day equivalent. Today the tendency is for the clergy to blend in by wearing occasional clothing. Maybe Jesus should have instructed his missioners to blend in rather than stand out like sore thumbs!

mh kthshsqe (kataomai) aor. subj. "do not take along" - do not obtain, acquire, get (for oneself) [gold nor silver nor copper in the belt of you]. Subjunctive of prohibition. In the sense of "provide for oneself", so "take along in your money-belt."

 
v10

phran (a) "bag" - nor [a bag]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to acquire." Refers to numerous types of bags, such as a traveling bag. In this context it may be a beggar's collection bag.

eiV "for [the journey]" - to [way, nor two shirts, nor sandals]. Here expressing purpose; "for the purpose of the way" = "for the journey."

rabdon "staff" - [nor] a staff. Sometimes a staff is used as a weapon, so possibly the disciples are being told not to take along weapons of self-defense (although later a "sward" is suggested, Lk.22:36???). It is more likely Jesus is telling them not to take along an "extra staff", similarly "extra sandals" - they were not being told to go bear-foot.

gar "for" - for [he workman is worthy of the food of him]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why there is no need to take these items on the journey. A verb to-be must be supplied for this clause.

axioV adj. "is worth" - Predicate adjective. Here with the sense "deserves to receive from his employer", TH.

thV trofhV gen. "keep" - of the food [of him]. Genitive complement of the adjective "worthy". Hospitality is rightly offered to, and received by, a missioner of the gospel; "deserves his rations", Moffatt.

 
v11

d) A community / village / home is responsible to provide for God's prophets / teachers. The missioners carry a word from God (evidenced by their bearing and dress, cf. v9-10) and so on entering a Jewish village they are to rely on the hospitality of that community. With this is the added note about staying in that accommodation until they leave. This is probably addressing the temptation to seek out better accommodation. In Luke's list of instructions, 10:4-12, he has "eat and drink what is provided by them." This is often viewed as an instruction to willingly eat non kosher foods, such as would be served by a Gentile, but it is likely to refer to the quality of the food - the household may be very poor, thus the temptation to seek out a wealthier family able to serve up a feast rather than a famine. Luke adds another rather strange instruction; "greet no one on the road" (usually taken to imply urgency).

d (de) "-" - but, and. Probably indicating a step in the narrative, so left untranslated.

h}n ... a]n + subj. "whatever [..... you enter]" - [into] whichever [village or city you enter]. This construction, the relative pronoun h}n + the indefinite particle a]n (ean) + subj. introduces an indefinite relative conditional clause which "makes no assertions about concrete realities", BDF, cf. Morris.

exetasate (exetazw) aor. imp. "search" - scrutinize, search, examine. Probably not with legal overtones here, but simply "look for someone", Barclay.

axioV adj. "worthy" - fit. [who in it is] worthy. Predicate adjective. The word is certainly not referring to a person who is worthy through law-obedience. Given that the context concerns the offer of hospitality, a "fit" person may well be a person who is willing to offer hospitality; "look for someone who is willing to welcome you", TEV.

meinate (menw) aor. imp. "stay [at his house]" - [and there] remain, abide, continue. The point of this imperative probably addresses the temptation to accept an offer of better accommodation when having first accepted less salubrious digs - the danger of upward mobility!!!! "Be content there until you leave", Peterson.

e{wV an + subj. "until" - This construction introduces an indefinite temporal clause referring to a future time in relation to the main verb "stay"; "until you depart", ESV.

exelqhte (exerkomai) aor. subj. "you leave" - you go out, leave. "Stay with that person until you leave the village."

 
v12

e) Blessing and cursing, v12-15. A community / family that receives the missioners and their message is to be blessed, a blessing that applies God's favor to that community. A community / family that refuses to receive the missioners and their message is not just rejecting the missioners, they are rejecting a saving word from God, and thus the missioners are to symbolically demonstrate the divine condemnation which that community / family now faces. Interestingly, it is not the feet that are shaken, but the robes that have attracted the dust stirred up by the feet. Matthew has corrected the idea of dust clinging eiV, "to [the feet]", Lk.10:11, with dust twn podwn, "of the feet"; see v14.

eisercomenoi (eisercomai) pres. part. "as you enter" - [and] entering [into the house]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "when / as you enter."

aspasasqe (aspazomai) aor. imp. "give [it your] greeting" - greet [it]. The "it" is the house, thn oikian, which obviously here means "the household". The "greeting" refers to the usual greeting used by Jews, "peace be to you", or particularly "peace be upon this house." "Let your prayer for God's blessing rest upon the household", cf. TH.

 
v13

ean + subj. "if" - if. Introducing a conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true, "if, as may be the case, [the house is worthy] then [let the peace of you come upon it]"

men ....... de ... "-" - An adversative comparative construction covering the two conditional clauses in v13; "if, on the one hand ..... but if on the other hand ......"

axia adj. "deserving" - worthy. Predicate adjective. Again we are unsure how to read this word in its context. Probably welcoming hospitality is still in mind, but extending to welcoming the message as well as the messengers, cf. v14.

elqatw (erkomai) aor. imp. act. "let [your peace] rest" - let come. "Let your peace come upon the home" is likely to refer to the continuation of the prayer for God's peace to fall on the household; "let your prayer for God's blessing rest upon it", Barclay.

uJmwn gen. pro. "your" - [the peace] of you. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, or verbal, subjective; "let the peace that you extend come upon it", Olmstead.

eirhnh (h) "peace" - the peace, well-being. Nominative subject of the verb "to return." Referring to the peace which the disciples ask God to send upon the household.

ep (epi) + acc. "on [it]" - upon [it]. Spacial; "down upon."

epistrafhtw (epistrefw) aor. pas. imp. "let [your peace] return [to you]" - [if, on the other hand (de), as the case may be, it is not worthy, then] let return, turn back [the peace of you to you]. A rather Semitic expression which carries the idea that where something has not been effective, has not achieved its intended purpose, then things remain as they are; "If they don't welcome you, quietly withdraw", Peterson.

 
v14

o}V an mh + subj. "if anyone [will not welcome you]" - whoever, as the case may be, [does] not [receive you, nor listen to the words of you] then [then going out ......]. Introducing a negated relative conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true, cf. v11.

akoush/ (akouw) aor. subj. "[or] listen [to your words]" - hear, listen. As noted above, the being axioV "deserving / worth" obviously entails welcoming / receiving and "listening to what you have to say", Phillips. Possibly "welcome / receive" and "hear" in the sense of "believe / accept". Luke just has "receive", 10:10a, so not just listening.

exercomenoi (exercomai) pres. mid. part. "when you leave / leave [that home or town]" - going out [outside]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the imperative "shake off"; "leave .... and shake off", but possibly adverbial, temporal, as NIV. "Leave that house or town and shake off the very dust from your feet", Moffatt. Note the repetition of the prepositional prfix, ex with the use of exw.

koniorton (oV) "dust" - [of the house or the city, shake off] the dust. Accusative direct object of the verb "to shake off." Shaking off the dust serves as a prophetic action illustrating total abandonment. The image probably derives from the practice of Jews who, upon crossing from Gentile territory into Jewish territory, shake the dust off their robes.

twn podwn (wn odoV) gen. "off [your] feet" - of the feet [of you]. The genitive may be ablative, expressing separation, "away from", but it is more likely attributive, idiomatic, "the dust which was stirred up by your feet (and has clung to your robe)" (Paul is not the only NT author who likes short-talk!).

 
v15

uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you [the truth]" - [truly I say] to you. Dative of indirect object. This phrase is always used to emphasize the following statement; "I assure you", TEV.

anektoteron comp. adj. "more bearable" - [it will be] more tolerable. Predicate adjective. It will be more bearable for the twin cities of evil, cities known for their extraordinary sinfulness, than for a household/village that rejects the gospel.

gh/ "for" - for the land [of Sodom and Gomorrah]. Dative of interest, advantage, or reference / respect. The genitives "of Sodom and Gomorrah" are adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / local, limiting "land"; "(the inhabitants of) the region in which Sodom and Gomorrah was located."

en + dat. "on" - Temporal use of the preposition.

krisewV (iV ewV) gen. "[the day] of judgment" - [day] of judgment [than for that city]. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / temporal, limiting day; "the day on which judgment takes place", Olmstead. "The lack of articles for "day" and "judgment" is typical for this technical expression used of God's eschatological judgment, cf. BDF.134f.

 

Matthew Introduction

Exposition

 

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