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Matthew 12:34

O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
As the Pharisees were ever boasting of, and glorying in their ancestry, Christ here shews, that they have not much reason to boast, since their ancestors were but vipers. (St. Chrysostom)

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
He taught that a corrupt outlook on life arises out of a corrupted nature. He taught that from an evil storehouse nothing can come but what is evil. An account must be rendered to God for every idle, careless and useless word. We are to be condemned or justified by the words we speak. The mercy or the judgment we receive shall depend on the inward conviction we have about the Lord of heavenly glory. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Now this is at once to accuse, and to give demonstration of His own sayings from their case. For behold, says He, you being evil trees, cannot bring forth good fruit. I do not then marvel at your talking thus: for you were both ill nurtured, being of wicked ancestors, and you have acquired a bad mind. And see how carefully, and without any hold for exception, He has expressed His accusations: in that He said not, How can you speak good things, being a generation of vipers? (for this latter is nothing to the former): but, How can you, being evil, speak good things? But He called them broods of vipers, because they prided themselves on their forefathers. To signify therefore that they had no advantage thereby, He both casts them out from their relationship to Abraham, and assigns them forefathers of kindred disposition, having stripped them of that ground of illustriousness. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Here again He indicates His Godhead, which knew t...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
“If you are an evil tree, you cannot produce good fruit. I am not surprised at what you are saying. For being both ill bred and ill conceived, you have acquired an evil way of speaking.” See how precisely, and without any room for exception, Jesus defines their indictment. In a single phrase he uses their own arguments to demonstrate his point and to underscore his indictment. He calls them a “brood of vipers” because they prided themselves on their forefathers. To signify that they had no advantage thereby, Christ first throws out their exalted claims about their relation to Abraham and then assigns them to forefathers of similar disposition. He thus stripped them of their illusions. The Gospel of Matthew, Homily ...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Look, He says, you who are evil trees bear evil fruit when you speak ill of Me. And I also, if I were evil, would bring forth evil fruit and not these miracles. He calls them "brood of vipers" because they boasted of Abraham. He shows that they are not of Abraham, but of ancestors worthy of their own wickedness. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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