Matthew 13:52

52 Then said he unto them, Therefore* every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Matthew 13:52 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 13:52

Then said he unto them
Since the disciples had such a clear understanding of the above parables, and were by them, and by other things, so well furnished to preach the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to others, Christ stirs them up by the following parable, to a diligent exercise of their gifts, and to a large, free, and cheerful communication of their knowledge to others.

Therefore every Scribe;
meaning not legal ones, Scribes in the law of Moses, a sort of letter men, often mentioned by the evangelists, and the same with the lawyers, who were conversant with the letter of the law, and only understood that; as for the kingdom of heaven, they were so far from being instructed unto it, that they shut it up, and would neither go in themselves, nor suffer others; but evangelical Scribes are here meant, see ( Matthew 23:34 ) the preachers of the everlasting Gospel, now everyone of these,

which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven,
as each of them be more or less; that is, understands the nature of the Gospel church state, the discipline, laws, and rules of Christ's house, the doctrines of the Gospel, the way and things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven; as Christ and his righteousness, and the regenerating and sanctifying grace of the Spirit: such an one,

is like unto a man that is an householder;
that has an household or family under his care, as the ministers of the Gospel have, and which is the church of God; called the household of God, the household of faith, a spiritual house, and a family; consisting of fathers, young men, and children; of which indeed Christ is properly the householder and master, but Gospel ministers are deputies and stewards under him, and under him preside over the household, and have the government of it, provide food for it, and protect and defend it; all which require large gifts and abilities, great love and affection, both to Christ and his people; much wisdom, prudence, and knowledge; and great faithfulness and integrity, courage and firmness of mind.

Which bringeth forth out of his treasure, things new and old:
by "his treasure" is meant, either Christ, who is the great treasury and storehouse of grace and truth; from whence his ministers receive all their gifts, grace, light, and knowledge; or the word of God, the Scriptures of truth, by which the men of God are thoroughly furnished for every good work; or the treasure of the Gospel, which is put into their earthen vessels, into their own hearts, and that stock of Gospel knowledge and experience they are blessed with; a large competency of which is necessary to these householders since they are to give out, not niggardly, but largely, and plentifully, and in great variety. The Syriac version reads it, (htmyo Nm) , "out of his treasures", and so may include them all. "Things new and old": not the new Gospel and the old law, for the law is not old, nor the Gospel new; the Gospel is much older than the law, being hid of God, and ordained before the world was, to our glory; and was even promulgated, long before the law was on Mount Sinai: nor things out of the Old and New Testament, for the New Testament was not yet in being; though it is right, and is the business of Gospel preachers, to bring forth such truths and doctrines, as are contained in both: rather truths that are old in themselves, but newly discovered to them, may be intended, and every new acquisition of knowledge and experience, added to the former stock and fund: the phrase seems to denote the plenty and variety of Gospel provisions, which the ministers of it are to bring forth, suited to the various cases of such who are under their care. The allusion is either to a good provider for his family, who lays up stores for them of all sorts, and upon proper occasions brings them forth for their relief; or to the people under the law, bringing their offerings out of the fruits, both of the old and new year; concerning which, take the following rule F13.

``All offerings, both of the congregation and of a private person, came from the land (of Israel), and without the land, (Nvyh Nmw vdxh Nm) , "from the new and from the old" (i.e. from the new and old stock, the increase of the new and old year), except the sheaf of the first fruits, and the two wave loaves; for they come only from the new, and from the land of Israel.''

The place where fruits of any kind were laid up, was called a treasure; hence it is said F14, the palm tree has its fallen fruits, which they do not bring (ruwal) , "into the treasure"; and it produces dates, which they put into the treasure: perhaps some reference is had to ( Song of Solomon 7:13 ) where mention is made of fruits new and old, and which the Jewish writers F15 interpret of the words of the Scribes, and of the words of the law; the fruits "new", are the words and sayings of the Scribes, their doctrines and decisions; and the "old", are the words of the law; and one that was well versed in both these; was with them a well instructed Scribe. Unless the allusion should rather be thought to be to old and new wine, see ( Luke 5:37-39 ) , it being usual to call a wine cellar a "treasure" {p}, in which all sorts of wine were kept; and a well instructed Scribe is full of matter, and, like Elihu, his belly is as wine that has no vent and is ready to burst like new bottles, ( Job 32:19 ) and, like Jeremy, he is weary of forbearing, and cannot stay, ( Jeremiah 20:9 ) and, like David, his heart indites a good matter, and his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer, ( Psalms 45:1 ) .


F13 Misn. Parah, c. 2. sect. 1.
F14 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 3. fol. 180. 3.
F15 Targum in Cant. vii. 13. T. Bab. Erubim, fol. 21. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
F16 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 2. fol. 178. 2.

Matthew 13:52 In-Context

50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
52 Then said he unto them,Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
The King James Version is in the public domain.