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Do you use commentaries as you study the Bible? My favorite commentaries are Matthew Henry’s “Commentary on the Whole Bible.” (It’s pretty cheap on Kindle {get the unabridged version!} and absolutely free on BibleGateway.com).

I’m studying the book of Leviticus right now, and, this morning, Leviticus 19:17 was one of the verses on deck. I really liked Matthew Henry’s teaching on it, so I thought I’d share it with you. Since 17 century British English can be a little cumbersome in the 21st century, I’ve written a brief synopsis below each of his points. My words are in purple.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.” Leviticus 19:17

VII. We are commanded to rebuke our neighbour in love (Lev. 19:17): Thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour. 1. Rather rebuke him than hate him for an injury done to thyself. If we apprehend that our neighbour has any way wronged us, we must not conceive a secret grudge against him, and estrange ourselves from him, speaking to him neither bad nor MatthewHenrygood, as the manner of some is, who have the art of concealing their displeasure till they have an opportunity of a full revenge (2 Sam. 13:22); but we must rather give vent to our resentments with the meekness of wisdom, endeavour to convince our brother of the injury, reason the case fairly with him, and so put an end to the disgust conceived: this is the rule our Saviour gives in this case, Luke 17:3.

Synopsis: If somebody sins against you, don’t hold a grudge or seek revenge. Go to him in love, talk it out, and forgive him.

2. Therefore rebuke him for his sin against God, because thou lovest him; endeavour to bring him to repentance, that his sin may be pardoned, and he may turn from it, and it may not be suffered to lie upon him. Note, Friendly reproof is a duty we owe to one another, and we ought both to give it and take it in love. Let the righteous smite me, and it shall be a kindnessPs. 141:5. Faithful and useful are those wounds of a friendProv. 27:5, 6. It is here strictly commanded, “Thou shalt in any wise do it, and not omit it under any pretence.” Consider, (1.) The guilt we incur by not reproving: it is construed here into a hating of our brother. We are ready to argue thus, “Such a one is a friend I love, therefore I will not make him uneasy by telling him of his faults;” but we should rather say, “therefore I will do him the kindness to tell him of them.” Love covers sin from others, but not from the sinner himself. (2.) The mischief we do by not reproving: we suffer sin upon him. Must we help the ass of an enemy that has fallen under his burden, and shall we not help the soul of a friend? Exod. 23:5. And by suffering sin upon him we are in danger of bearing sin for him, as the margin reads it. If we reprove not the unfruitful works of darkness, we have fellowship with them, and become accessories ex post facto—after the factEph. 5:11. It is thy brother, thy neighbour, that is concerned; and he was a Cain that said, Am I my brother’s keeper?

Synopsis: It is our biblical duty to call brothers and sisters in sin to repentance because we love them. We should both give and take correction in love. If we fail to correct our brothers and sisters, we are actually hating them instead of loving them. If we do not correct them, we are accessories to their sin.

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