And he said unto them
Either to the two brethren, or to his disciples, as the Syriac and Persic versions read, or to the whole company:
take heed, and beware of covetousness;
of all covetousness, as read the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and some copies; that is, of all sorts of covetousness, and every degree of it, which of all vices is to be avoided and guarded against, being the root of all evil; and as the Persic version renders it, is worse than all evil, and leads into it:
for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things
which he possesseth;
of flocks and beasts, as the Persic version renders it: a man's natural life cannot be prolonged by all the good things of the world he is possessed of; they cannot prevent diseases nor death; nor do the comfort and happiness of life, lie in these things; which are either not enjoyed by them, but kept for the hurt of the owners of them, or are intemperately used, or some way or other imbittered to them, so that they have no peace nor pleasure in them: and a man's spiritual life is neither had nor advantaged hereby, and much less is eternal life to be acquired by any of these things; which a man may have, and be lost for ever, as the following parable shows.