Matthew 5:20. For, except your righteousness shall exceed Gr. περισσευση , shall abound more than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees Than that which is apparent in their lives, or even required in their precepts, as is described in the sequel of this discourse, as highly as they are generally esteemed; ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven That is, into the kingdom of glory after you die, or be owned by the Son of man as his subjects while you live. It is justly observed by Dr. Doddridge here, that this must have greatly surprised Christ’s hearers, if the proverb, which has since prevailed, was in use then; namely, that “if but two men were to enter into the kingdom of heaven, one of them would be a Pharisee and the other a scribe.” It appears from what follows, the Pharisees affirmed that only the outward action was commanded or forbidden in the law, and that they interpreted all its precepts accordingly. On this principle, they boasted of having performed every thing that was required of them. Nay, they were so arrogant as to think they could do even more than was required. This pernicious morality, destructive of all virtue, Jesus loudly condemned, as was fit, in the beginning of his ministry.
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