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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

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Commentary on Matthew

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19.1–12 : Continued legal debate with some of the Pharisees

(Mk 10.1–12 ).

1 :

Galilee … Judea beyond the Jordan, traveling directly south from Galilee to Judea meant going through Samaria, which Jews avoided if they could because of religious conflict with Samaritans (see 10.5n. ). Jesus, too, avoids Samaria, traveling east across the Jordan into Perea and then south.

3 :

Divorce … cause, the Torah allows for divorce (Deut 24.1 ) at the initiative of the husband, but does not specify the grounds. The grounds for divorce thus became a matter for debate among the rabbis.

4–6 :

Gen 1.27; 2.24 . An appeal to creation in order to establish the purpose of marriage is also found in Essene texts (CD 4.20–5.2; 11 QTemple 56.18–19 , prohibiting polygamy).

9 :

In Matthew, unlike the parallel in Mark ( 10.2–11 ), Jesus allows for an exception (as in 5.32 ), here translated unchastity, which may refer to adultery or to marriages between close kin. Mt 1.19 assumes that a pious Jew would divorce an adulterer.

10 :

Better not to marry, an unusual position in the Judaism of the time, which regarded marriage and procreation as an obligation (Gen 1.28 ).

11–12 :

Eunuchs, castrated males abhorred by Jews (Josephus, Apion 2.270–71 ). Jesus accepts the possibility of voluntary celibacy, as did other pious Jews (Josephus, Ant. 18.21; cf. 1 Cor 7 ).

19.13–30 : Questions pertaining to eternal life

(Mk 10.13–31; Lk 18.15–30 ).

13–15 :

Little children, repeats 18.1–5 and makes an implicit comment on the following incident.

16 :

Lev 18.5 . The question shows respect for Jesus as a religious teacher ( b. Ber. 28b; Acts 2.37 ).

17 :

Only one … good, Deut 6.4 .

18–19 :

Ex 20.12–16; Deut 5.16–20; Lev 19.18 .

21 :

To be perfect, Mt 5.48 .

22 :

This hard word provides a glimpse into the difficult and austere life of the first followers of Jesus ( 6.24; 10.8–11 ).

24 :

A proverbial expression of impossibility.

25–26 :

The disciples miss the point: complete reliance upon God. God … possible, Gen 18.14; Jer 32.17 .

28 :

On twelve thrones, the disciples assume the role of the twelve patriarchs ( T. Jud. 25.1–2 ).

30 :

The priorities and economy of the kingdom of heaven are reversed as in the following parable.

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