Matthew 5:29

Causeth thee to stumble (skandalizei se). This is far better than the Authorized Version "Offend thee." Braid Scots has it rightly "ensnare ye." It is not the notion of giving offence or provoking, but of setting a trap or snare for one. The substantive (skandalon, from skandalhqron) means the stick in the trap that springs and closes the trap when the animal touches it. Pluck out the eye when it is a snare, cut off the hand, even the right hand. These vivid pictures are not to be taken literally, but powerfully plead for self-mastery. Bengel says: Non oculum, sed scandalizentem oculum. It is not mutilating of the body that Christ enjoins, but control of the body against sin. The man who plays with fire will get burnt. Modern surgery finely illustrates the teaching of Jesus. The tonsils, the teeth, the appendix, to go no further, if left diseased, will destroy the whole body. Cut them out in time and the life will be saved. Vincent notes that "the words scandal and slander are both derived from skandalon. And Wyc. renders, 'if thy right eye slander thee.'" Certainly slander is a scandal and a stumbling-block, a trap, and a snare.

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