Matthew 22:38

38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 22:38 in Other Translations

38 This is the first and great commandment.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
38 This is the most important, the first on any list.
38 This is the greatest and most important commandment.

Matthew 22:38 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 22:38

This is the first and great commandment.
] Whether the object of it is considered, who is the first and chief good; or the manner in which it is to be observed, which requires and engrosses the whole heart, soul, and mind, and all the strength and power of man; or its being the principle from whence all the duties, and actions of men should flow, and the end to which all are to be referred; and is not only a compendium of the duties of the first table of the decalogue, but of all others that can be thought to, and do, belong to God. This is the first command in order of nature, time, dignity, and causality; God being the first cause of all things, infinitely above all creatures, and love to him being the source, spring and cause of love to the neighbour; and it is the greatest in its object, nature, manner, and end. That this command, and these words our Lord cites, are so full and comprehensive, the Jews themselves cannot deny. A noted writer of their's F24 says,

``the root of "all the commandments" is, when a man loves God with all his soul, and cleaves unto him.''
And, says F25 another, ``in this verse only, "thou shalt love the Lord thy God" (twrbdh trve Mylwlk) , "the ten words, or decalogue, are comprehended".''

F24 Aben Ezra in Exod. xxxi. 18.
F25 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 138. 1.

Matthew 22:38 In-Context

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
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