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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Matthew 18:21-35

This part of the discourse concerning offences is certainly to be understood of personal wrongs, which is in our power to forgive. Now observe, I. Peter's question concerning this matter (Matt. 18:21); Lord, how oft shall my brother trespass against me, and I forgive him? Will it suffice to do it seven times? 1. He takes it for granted that he must forgive; Christ had before taught his disciples this lesson (Matt. 6:14, 15), and Peter has not forgotten it. He knows that he must not only not... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - Matthew 18:1-35

Matthew 18:1-35 is a most important chapter for Christian Ethics, because it deals with those qualities which should characterize the personal relationships of the Christian. We shall be dealing in detail with these relationships as we study the chapter section by section; but before we do so, it will be well to look at the chapter as a whole. It singles out seven qualities which should mark the personal relationships of the Christian. (i) First and foremost, there is the quality of... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 18:21

Then came Peter unto him ,.... Having heard and observed the rules Christ gave concerning offences and brotherly reproofs, he drew near to Christ, and put this question to him: and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? He instances in a brother, because it was such an one Christ had been speaking of; he makes no doubt of its being his duty to forgive him upon his repentance, and acknowledgment, but wanted to be reformed, how often this was to be done,... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Matthew 18:22

Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee ,.... Which is as if he had said, observe what I am about to say, I do not agree to what thou sayest to fix the number, "until seven times only", but until seventy times seven ; a certain number for an uncertain, see Genesis 4:24 . Christ's meaning is, that a man should be all the days, and every day of his life, forgiving those that sin against him, as often as they repent and acknowledge their fault; and that no time is to be set for the... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 18:21

Till seven times? - Though seven was a number of perfection among the Hebrews, and often meant much more than the units in it imply, yet it is evident that Peter uses it here in its plain literal sense, as our Lord's words sufficiently testify. It was a maxim among the Jews never to forgive more than thrice: Peter enlarges this charity more than one half; and our Lord makes even his enlargement septuple, see Matthew 18:22 . Revenge is natural to man, i.e. man is naturally a vindictive... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 18:22

Seventy times seven - There is something very remarkable in these words, especially if collated with Genesis 4:24 , where the very same words are used - "If any man kill Lamech, he shall be avenged seventy times seven." The just God punishes sin in an exemplary manner. Sinful man, who is exposed to the stroke of Divine justice, should be abundant in forgiveness, especially as the merciful only shall find mercy. See the note on Matthew 5:7 , and on Matthew 6:14 , Matthew 6:15 ;... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Matthew 18:21

Verse 21 Matthew 18:21.Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me? Peter made this objection according to the natural feelings and disposition of the flesh. It is natural to all men to wish to be forgiven; and, therefore, if any man does not immediately obtain forgiveness, he complains that he is treated with sternness and cruelty. But those who demand to be treated gently are far from being equally gentle towards others; and therefore, when our Lord exhorted his disciples to meekness,... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:1-35

Discourse concerning the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and the mutual duties of Christians . ( Mark 9:33-50 ; Luke 9:46-50 .) read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:21

Peter was greatly struck with what Christ had just said about reconciliation of enemies; and he wanted to know what limits were to be imposed on his generosity, especially, it might be, if the offender made no reparation for his offence, and acknowledged not his wrong doing. My brother. As Matthew 18:15 , fellow disciple, neighbour. Till seven times? Peter doubtless thought that he was unusually liberal and generous in proposing such a measure of forgiveness. Seven is the number of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Matthew 18:21-22

The duty of unlimited forgiveness. Jesus once required forgiveness to be repeated seven times ( Luke 17:4 ). St. Peter now asks what is to be done when these seven times of pardon are passed. Our Lord simply multiplies them by seventy. There is to be no arithmetic in the matter; there is to be no limit to forgiveness. I. IT IS A MISTAKE TO SEARCH FOR THE MINIMUM OF DUTY . Why should St. Peter want to know what to do when he had forgiven seven times? Was there any... read more

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