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Verse 18

Matthew 5:18. For verily I say unto you This expression, whereby our Lord often prefaces what he is about to say, always imports the great importance, as well as certain truth of it. Till heaven and earth pass away Till the whole visible frame of nature be disjointed and dissolved, one jot or one tittle “The word ιωτα , which we render jot, undoubtedly answers to the Hebrew letter י , jod, whence the English word here seems to be derived, and which, being the least letter of the alphabet, might properly be used proverbially on this occasion. Κεραια , which we render tittle, properly signifies one of those little ornamental curvatures or flourishes, which, when Hebrew is elegantly written, are generally used at the beginning and end of a letter, and sometimes at the corners too. I think it might well have been rendered, not the least letter, or stroke, &c., and so much the rather, as jot and tittle, in English, signify the same.” Doddridge. Shall in no wise pass from, the law Or, from the prophets, till all be fulfilled Till all things which the law requires, or the prophets foretel, shall be effected. This seems to be the literal translation of the original words, εως αν παντα γενηται : for the law has its effect when its sanctions are executed, as well as when its precepts are obeyed. And the predictions of the prophets have their proper effect and confirmation, when they are accomplished. Some, however, understand the words as meaning, till the end, or, consummation of all things shall come, or, till the heavens and the earth shall pass away, or be destroyed. The meaning of our Lord’s words, according to this interpretation, is, that there is nothing in the universe so stable as the truths contained in the moral law, and nothing so certain as the fulfilment of the predictions of the prophets: the heavens may fall, and the whole frame of nature be unhinged, nay, every part of it may be dissolved; but the rules of righteousness, and the declarations of the divine word, with their sanctions, shall remain immutable and eternal: for the word of the Lord endureth for ever, 1 Peter 1:25. Our Lord therefore proceeds, in the two next verses, to command his disciples, on the severest penalties, to enforce, both by their doctrine and example, the strict observation of all the moral precepts contained in the sacred writings, and that in their utmost extent.

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