It is well to notice here an habitual use of the article. It is a known rule that contrast, and hence one part of a thing as contradistinguished from another, has the article. This is the case with 'ship' and 'mountain' in the gospels: 'he was' or 'went' 'on board ship;' not a particular ship, but 'on board ship,' as we say, in contrast with 'on shore.' So 'the mountain;' not a particular mountain, but in contrast with the plain, where the plain and the mountain are in contrast. Christ had a particular ship which waited on him, but the article is used, as here, where that is not the case. 'In the ship with' is tantamount to 'the same ship;' so here I do not change the form, but translate literally.
Or 'land.' This is a quotation from Ps. 37.11. For a Jew, inheriting the land was inheriting the earth, and vice versa. It was not the haughty Pharisee or the violent who were to have it: God would give it to the meek of the earth that waited on Him. I have put 'earth' as giving a larger thought, as characteristic, not local only. Here ge in Greek, agrees with erets, in Hebrew. See Notes, 1Sam. 2.8; Ps. 2.8.
I have left 'bushel' as well known; it was a measure under half a bushel.
I do not put 'good works,' because it has acquired the force of benevolent actions, which is not the force here, but all that is upright and honourable and comely, what ought to be in one who feels aright. 'Upright' does not quite give the whole sense: see 'good work,' Mark 14.6; Titus 2.14.
'Give the fulness of.' It is not to fulfil a command in the way of obedience, nor to complete another thing by adding to it; but to fill up some system sketched out, or that which is expressed in the thing fulfilled, as a whole. Thus the doctrine of the Church completed the word of God, made full what was expressed by it. Christ does not here fulfil what is said, nor add to what still remained and was perfect itself; but came to make good the whole scope of law and prophets. The passage has nothing to do with obeying the law. Nor is it here accomplishing a particular prophecy. He comes as the revealed completeness of God's mind, whatever the law and the prophets had pointed out. Verse 18 forbids the sense of obedience as not to be maintained, though 19 proves that he was to be condemned who, being under law, broke the commandments spoken of. But this is a consequence; Christ speaks of their authority. All was to be fulfilled in some way or another, not set aside.
Or 'excel.' It includes the idea of being a better righteousness: see ver. 47.
i.e. stupid, worthless, a term of contempt.