Mattityahu 18

1 8 At that time, the talmidim approached Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach with this she’elah saying, Who then is greatest in the Malchut HaShomayim?
2 And having called a yeled to himself, he set him before them,
3 and said, Omein, I say to you, unless you change inwardly and have a complete turn around and become like yeladim, you shall never enter the Malchut HaShomayim.
4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this yeled, he is the greatest in the Malchut HaShomayim.
5 And whoever receives one such yeled in my Name receives me [Moshiach].
6 But whoever causes a michshol (stumbling block) for one of these little ones, who have emunah in me, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 Oy lOlam (Woe to the World) because of its michsholim (stumbling blocks)! For it is inevitable that michsholim come; but oy to that man through whom the michshol comes.
8 And if your hand or your foot causes a michshol for you, cut it off, and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter Chayyim crippled or as one of the pisechim (lame), than, having two hands and two feet, to be cast into the Eish Olam (Eternal Fire).
9 And if your eye causes a michshol for you, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter Chayyim one-eyed than, having two eyes, to be cast into the Gehinnom HaEish.
10 See to it that you do not look down on one of these little ones, for I say to you that their malachim which are in Shomayim continually behold the face of Avi shbaShomayim (my Father who is in Heaven).
11 For the Ben HaAdam [Moshiach] came to save that which was lost.
12 What do you think? If any man owns a hundred kevesim (sheep) and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides and go and search for the one that is straying?
13 And if it turns out that he finds it, beemes I say to you, he has more simcha (joy) over it than over the ninetynine which have not gone astray.
14 Thus it is not the ratzon Hashem, the will of your Av shbaShomayim, that one of these little ones perish.
15 And if your Ach b’Moshiach sins against you, go and reprove him in private, just between the two of you; if he listens to you, you have gained your Ach b’Moshiach.
16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more Achim b’Moshiach with you, so that by the PI SHNAYIM SHLOSHAH EDIM (by the mouth of two or three witnesses, DEVARIM 19:15) every word shall be established.
17 But if he refuses to listen to them, speak to the shtiebel kehillah, and if he even refuses to hear the kehillah, let him be to you as the Goy (heathen, pagan) and the moches (tax-collector).
18 Omein, I say to you, whatever you bind as asur (prohibited) on haaretz will have been bound in Shomayim, and whatever you permit as mutar on haaretz is mutar (permitted) in Shomayim.
19 Again, omein, I say to you, that if two of you will be in agreement about anything on haaretz that you petition for, it will be done for them by Avi shbaShomayim.
20 For where two or three are gathered as a Chavurah and are a Kehillah in my name [Moshiach], there I am in the midst of them.
21 Then, having approached, Kefa said to Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach: Adoni, how often will my brother sin against me and I will grant to him selicha (forgiveness)? As many as shevah (seven) times?
22 Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach says to Kefa, I do not say to you as many as shevah, but as many as shivim (seventy) times shevah.
23 Therefore, the Malchut HaShomayim is like a melech, a king, who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
24 And having begun to settle accounts, a debtor owing ten thousand talents was brought to the melech.
25 And, as this debtor did not have the means to pay what was owed his adon, the king commanded that he and his wife and children and everything he possessed be sold and the debt repaid.
26 Therefore, crying out for rachamim (mercy) and falling down before him, the servant said, Have zitzfleisch (patience) with me and I will pay back to you everything!
27 And out of rachamanut (compassion), the adon of that servant pardoned him and forgave the choiv (debt).
28 Then the debtor went out and found one of the other fellow servants who happened to owe the debtor one hundred denarii. And seizing and choking the servant, the debtor said, Repay what you owe me!
29 And, falling down, the servant said to the debtor, Have zitzfleisch (patience) with me and I will repay you.
30 But the debtor was not willing. Then the debtor went and threw the servant into the beit hasohar (prison) until he should repay the debt.
31 Therefore, when the man’s fellow servants saw what had taken place, great was their agmat nefesh (grief), and they went and reported to their adon all that had taken place.
32 Then having summoned the debtor, his adon said to him, Wicked servant, all that choiv (debt) I forgave you, because you begged me.
33 Was it not necessary also for you to have rachamim (mercy) upon your fellow servant?
34 And in charon af (wrath), his adon handed the debtor over to the keepers of the beit hasohar until the debtor should repay the entire choiv (debt).
35 Thus also Avi shbaShomayim will do to you, unless you grant selicha (forgiveness), each one to his brother from your lev (heart).

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Mattityahu 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

The importance of humility. (1-6) Caution against offences. (7-14) The removal of offences. (15-20) Conduct towards brethren, The parable of the unmerciful servant. (21-35)

Verses 1-6 Christ spoke many words of his sufferings, but only one of his glory; yet the disciples fasten upon that, and overlook the others. Many love to hear and speak of privileges and glory, who are willing to pass by the thoughts of work and trouble. Our Lord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them, that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom. Children, when very young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents. It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblems of the lowly minds of true Christians. Surely we need to be daily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.

Verses 7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.

Verses 15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.

Verses 21-35 Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offences of our brethren. This parable shows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, and how untoward his servants are. There are three things in the parable: 1. The master's wonderful clemency. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what every sin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave. It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions of their sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for the wrong they have done him. 2. The servant's unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his lord's clemency toward him. Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbour, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbour's wronging us, nor study revenge. Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of the afflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with him. 3. The master reproved his servant's cruelty. The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and the comfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose our hearts to forgive our brethren. We are not to suppose that God actually forgives men, and afterwards reckons their guilt to them to condemn them; but this latter part of the parable shows the false conclusions many draw as to their sins being pardoned, though their after-conduct shows that they never entered into the spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of the gospel. We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from him.

Mattityahu 18 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.