Matthew 22:32

Matthew 22:32

I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God
of Jacob
The Sadducees expressly denied, that the resurrection could be proved out of the law.

``Says R. Eliezer, with R. Jose F7, I have found the books of the Sadducees to be corrupt; for they say that the resurrection of the dead is not to be proved out of the law: I said unto them, you have corrupted your law, and ye have not caused anything to come up into your hands, for ye say the resurrection of the dead is not to be proved out of the law; lo! he saith, ( Numbers 15:31 ) "That soul shall be utterly cut off, his iniquity shall be upon him; he shall be utterly cut off" in this world; "his iniquity shall be upon him", is not this said with respect to the world to come?.''
Hence, in opposition to this notion of the Sadducees, the other Jews say F8, that
``Though a man confesses and believes that the dead will be raised, yet that it is not intimated in the law, he is an heretic; since it is a fundamental point, that the resurrection of the dead is of the law.''
Hence they set themselves, with all their might and main, to prove this doctrine from thence, of which take the following instances {i}.
``Says R. Simai, from whence is the resurrection of the dead to be proved out of the law? From ( Exodus 6:4 ) as it is said, "I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan: to you" it is not said, but "to them"; from hence then, the resurrection of the dead may be proved out of the law.''
The gloss upon it is,
``the sense is, that the holy blessed God, promised to our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give to them the land of Israel; and because he gave it to them, has he not given it to their children? But we learn from hence, that they shall be raised, and that God will hereafter give them the land of Israel.''
And which the learned Mr. Mede takes to be the sense of the words of this text, cited by our Lord;, and this the force of his reasoning, by which he proves the resurrection of the dead. Again,
``the Sadducees asked Rabban Gamaliel, from whence does it appear that the holy blessed God will quicken the dead? He said unto them, out of the law, and out of the prophets, and out of the Hagiographa; but they did not receive of him (or regard him): out of the law, as it is written, "Thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, and rise up", ( Deuteronomy 31:16 ) And there are that say from this Scripture, ( Deuteronomy 4:4 ) . "But ye that did cleave unto the Lord your God, are alive every one of you this day": as this day all of you stand, so in the world to come, all of you shall stand.''
Thus our Lord having to do with the same sort of persons, fetches his proof of the doctrine of the resurrection out of the law, and from a passage which respects the covenant relation God stands in to his people, particularly Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and which respects not their souls only, but their bodies also, even their whole persons, body and soul; for God is the God of the whole: and therefore as their souls now live with God, their bodies also will be raised from the dead, that they, with their souls, may enjoy everlasting glory and happiness; which is the grand promise, and great blessing of the covenant of grace. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living;
as all the saints are; for though their bodies are dead, their souls are alive, and their bodies will be raised in consequence of their covenant interest in God, to enjoy an immortal life with him: so the Jews are wont to say, that the righteous, even in their death, are called living F11:
``from whence is it proved, (say they,) that the righteous, even in their death, (Myyx Nyywrq) , "are called living?"''
from ( Deuteronomy 34:4 ) as it is written, "and he said unto him, this is the land which I have sworn to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying." Menasseh ben Israel, a learned Jew, of the last century, has produced F12 this same passage of Scripture, Christ here does in proof of the immortality of the soul, and argues from it in much the same manner: having mentioned the words, he adds,
``for God is not the God of the dead, for the dead are not; but of the living, for the living exist; therefore also the patriarchs, in respect of the soul, may rightly be inferred from hence to live.''

FOOTNOTES:

F7 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 90. 2.
F8 Gloss. in ib. col. 1.
F9 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 90. 2.
F11 T. Hieros. Betacot, fol. 4. 4, Midrash Kohelet, fol. 78. 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 158. 3.
F12 De Resurrect. Mort, l. i. c. 10. sect. 6.
Read Matthew 22:32