And shall cut him asunder
The Persic version renders it, "he shall separate him from himself": he shall separate soul and body by death; he shall take away all his gifts and talents from him; and remove him from his place and office, and from the church of God, and communion of the saints, and out of this world. Some think the allusion is to the cutting up of the sacrifices, and dividing them into pieces; and the sense is, that this wicked servant should have no share in the sacrifice of Christ; but should fall himself a victim to divine justice, and be used as sacrifices were; or, in other words, be severely punished for his sins; though the allusion seems rather to be to the manner of punishing treacherous and unfaithful persons, by dismembering them, cutting them in pieces, or in two: and so the Arabic version renders it, "he shall cut him in the middle": this was certainly a way of putting persons to death; though some say it was not known to the Jews; but the following instances show the contrary. Mention is made of some that were sawn asunder, ( Hebrews 11:37 ) and the Jews say F2, that Isaiah was sawn asunder by Manasseh; and such a kind of death is spoken of in the Targum F3; where it is said, that
``the priests went before Mordecai, and proclaimed, saying, whoever does not salute, or wish prosperity to Mordecai, and to the Jews, (dybety Nymdh) "he shall be cut into pieces", and his house be made a dunghill.''And elsewhere F4 it is said of a wicked man, that they put him upon a carpenter's block, and (wb Myronm) , "sawed him asunder"; and he cried out, woe, woe, woe, that I have provoked my Creator. This was also a punishment used among the Heathens, as Gataker F5, and others out of Heathen writers, have shown. It must not here be understood literally, that this wicked servant should be put to such a corporeal death; but that he should be punished in the severest manner, and should be the object of the fierce wrath and sore displeasure of God;
and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites.
Luke says, "with the unbelievers" ( Luke 12:46 ) : very likely both phrases were used by Christ; intimating, that such as make a profession of him, and have only a form of godliness, without the power of it, and are wicked and hypocritical men, will share the same fate with those that believe not; and the portion of these is the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; see ( Revelation 21:8 ) or all such persons are intended, who put on the mask of religion, and do not answer to the character they bear: and are unfaithful to the trust reposed in them, and therefore will made examples of righteous judgment, and have their part in the lowest hell:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth:
(See Gill on Matthew 13:42)
F2 T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 28. 3. & T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 49. 2.
F3 Targum in Esth. viii. 15.
F4 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 65. fol. 58. 4.
F5 Adversaria, p. 455.