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Verses 23-24

Matthew 23:23-24. Wo unto you, for ye pay tithe, &c. Here we have the fifth wo, which is denounced for their superstition. They observed the ceremonial precepts of the law with all possible exactness, while they utterly neglected the eternal, immutable, indispensable rules of righteousness. Judgment That is, justice; mercy Charity, or compassion toward the poor; faith Fidelity. “The word πιστις has undoubtedly this signification in many places; (compare Titus 2:10; Galatians 5:22; Romans 3:3.) But there are many more in which it signifies, the confidence reposed in another; and it is of great importance to observe this. See Colossians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:21.” Ye blind guides, which strain at [or rather, strain out ] a gnat Namely, from the liquor you are going to drink, lest it should choke you. “In those hot countries, as Serrarius well observes, gnats were apt to fall into wine, if it were not carefully covered; and passing the liquor through a strainer that no gnat, or part of one, might remain, grew into a proverb for exactness about little matters.” And swallow a camel “The expression is proverbial, and was made use of by our Lord on this occasion to signify that the Pharisees pretended to be exceedingly afraid of the smallest faults, as if sin had been bitter to them like death, while they indulged themselves secretly in the unrestrained commission of the grossest immoralities.” See Doddridge and Macknight.

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