Matthew 18

Matthew 18:1-9 . STRIFE AMONG THE TWELVE WHO SHOULD BE GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, WITH RELATIVE TEACHING. ( = 9:33-50 , Luke 9:46-50 ).

21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?--In the recent dispute, Peter had probably been an object of special envy, and his forwardness in continually answering for all the rest would likely be cast up to him--and if so, probably by Judas--notwithstanding his Masters' commendations. And as such insinuations were perhaps made once and again, he wished to know how often and how long he was to stand it.
till seven times?--This being the sacred and complete number, perhaps his meaning was, Is there to be a limit at which the needful forbearance will be full?

22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven--that is, so long as it shall be needed and sought: you are never to come to the point of refusing forgiveness sincerely asked.

23. Therefore--"with reference to this matter."
is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants--or, would scrutinize the accounts of his revenue collectors.

24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents--If Attic talents are here meant, ten thousand of them would amount to above $7,500,000; if Jewish talents, to a much larger sum.

25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made--(See 2 Kings 4:1 , Nehemiah 5:8 , Leviticus 25:39 ).

26. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him--or did humble obeisance to him.
saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all--This was just an acknowledgment of the justice of the claim made against him, and a piteous imploration of mercy.

27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt--Payment being hopeless, the master is first moved with compassion; next, liberates his debtor from prison; and then cancels the debt freely.

28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants--Mark the difference here. The first case is that of master and servant; in this case, both are on a footing of equality. (See Matthew 18:33 ).
which owed him an hundred pence--If Jewish money is intended, this debt was to the other less than one to a million.
and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat--he seized and throttled him.
saying, Pay me that thou owest--Mark the mercilessness even of the tone.

29. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all--The same attitude, and the sam words which drew compassion from his master, are here employed towards himself by his fellow servant.

30. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt, &c.--Jesus here vividly conveys the intolerable injustice and impudence which even the servants saw in this act on the part of one so recently laid under the heaviest obligation to their common master.

32, 33. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, &c.--Before bringing down his vengeance upon him, he calmly points out to him how shamefully unreasonable and heartless his conduct was; which would give the punishment inflicted on him a double sting.

34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors--more than jailers; denoting the severity of the treatment which he thought such a case demanded.
till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35. So likewise--in this spirit, or on this principle.
shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

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