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Matthew 22:1-46

Last Updated 11/27/00

CHAPTER 22:1-46 TEXT:

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen. Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way. The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

1 And Jesus answered

Chapter divisions were obviously not present in the original documents. Yeshua's comments are a continuation from the discussion of chapter 21.

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king

See our previous comments on the Kingdom parables. As He mentioned in chapter 21, the Kingdom offer, meant exclusively for Israel, was slipping from their hands.

11  he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment

See our previous study on this particular parable.

14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

This would allude to His parable of the sower as discussed in chapter 13. Many hear the Torah preached, but few truly adhere to it.  See also Matthew 7:13-14.

The "call" of God can be traced to the Shema (Deuteronomy 6) which is a call to enter the Kingdom. (See comments to verse 37 below.) The Shema can be considered God's "plan of salvation," as it gives instruction to place our trust in the One true God, and to seek Him and be conformed to His image, by being both hearers and doers of His Torah. All of these principles are reinforced in the various "New Testament" letters.

16 they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians

Yeshua's enemies now play their "secular card," bringing in the ruling family with ties to Rome, prior to asking Him a question about loyalty to Caesar.

23  The same day came to him the Sadducees

We have very little information on the teachings of the Saducees. The Talmud and subsequent Jewish texts reflect the Pharisaic position on issues, as they came to complete power (and the Saducees to extinction) not long after Yeshua's time with the destruction of the Temple. One thing we do know as that the Saducees did not share the same views about the afterlife as their Pharisee opponents. This is also seen in Acts chapter 23, where Paul, who was a Pharisee, made clever use of this point to escape a difficult situation.

24  ... his brother shall marry his wife

The Saducees are referring to the laws of Levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10), which say that a man should marry his brother's widow in order to care for her and her children.

30  For in the resurrection ...

Yeshua supports a Pharisaic teaching from the Talmud:

Talmud Ma'asrot 4:5-6 - There will be no marital union in the world to come.

37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart ...

39  ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Yeshua is quoting from the Shema (Deuteronomy 6), the fundamental "statement of faith" of Judaism. Note the means that God gives for how we are to love Him, as found in the verses surrounding Shema.

Love for God is directly tied to following His Torah:

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 - Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

The entire Torah presents itself in commandments toward God and toward fellow man. The latter are of equal importance as our fellow man is made in the image of God. A famous Torah teacher was the Ba'al Shem Tov. He, like Yeshua, directly connected these two commandments.

"Love your fellow as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18) is an interpretation of and commentary on "Love the Lord, your God" (Deuteronomy 6:5). He who loves a fellow Jew loves God, because the Jew has within himself a "part of God Above" (Job 31:2). When one loves a fellow Jew, he loves the Jew's inner essence, and thereby loves God. 1

40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

This teaching (verses 37-40), is reflective of the thought of Rabbi Hillel as well as Paul:

Talmud, Mas. Shabbath 31a - What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbour: that is the whole Torah, while the rest is the commentary thereof; go and learn it.

Romans 13:8-10 - Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Neither Yeshua, Hillel or Paul taught that the "law of Moses" is "done away with," and replaced by some emotional concept of "love." However, Christianity, in the name of the Messiah, says that "the law of Moses" is done away and all we need now is this type of "love."

As previously mentioned in our study of the sermon of Matthew chapters 5-7, there will be those who did great things, even miracles, in Messiah's name, yet He will not recognize them as they did not have proper regard for the will of the Father (Torah, the "law of Moses"). The book of Revelation also makes it clear that those who follow the commandments (Torah, the "law of Moses") are the ones who enter New Jerusalem.


1. From Thirty Six Aphorisms of the Baal Shem Tov found at  http://www.chabad.org/library/article.asp?AID=3073


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