Matthew 18:22

Jesus said unto him, I say not unto you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm., 83, 3: I am bold to say, that if he shall sin seventy-eight times, thoushouldest forgive him; yea, and if a hundred; and how oft soever he sin againstthee, forgive him. For if Christ found a thousand sins, yet forgave them all, do not you withdraw your forgiveness. For the Apostle says, “Forgive one another, if any man hath a quarrel against any, even as God in Christ forgave you.” . Yet not without reason did the Lord say, “Seventy times seven;” for the Law isset forth in ten precepts; and the Law is signified by the number ten, sin by eleven, because it is passing the denary line. Seven is used to be put for awhole, because time goes round in seven days. Take eleven seven times, and you have seventy. He would therefore have all trespasses forgiven, for this is what He signifies by the number seventy-seven. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Till seventy times seven; i.e. 490 times; but it is put by way of an unlimited number, to signify we must pardon private injuries, though even so often done to us. (Witham) When our brother sins against us, we must grieve for his sake over the evil he has committed; but for ourselves we ought greatly to rejoice, because we are thereby made like our heavenly Father, who bids the sun to shine upon the good and the bad. But if the thought of having to imitate God alarm us, though it should not seem difficult to a true lover of God, let us place before our eyes the examples of his favourite servants. Let us imitate Joseph, who though reduced to a state of the most abject servitude, by the hatred of his unnatural brethren, yet in the affliction of his heart, employed all his power to succour them in their afflictions. Let us imitate Moses, who after a thousand injuries, raised his fervent supplications in behalf of his people. Let us imitate the blessed Paul, who, though daily suffering a ...


AD 420
The Lord had said above, “See that ye despise not one of these little ones, "and had added, “If thy brother sin against thee” making also apromise, “If two of you” by which the Apostle Peter was led to ask, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” And to his question he adds an opinion, “Until seven times?”. Or understand it of four hundred and ninety times, that He bids us forgive our brother so oft. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom., lxi: Peter thought that he had made a large allowance; but what answers Christ the Lover of men? it follows, “Jesus saith unto him, I say not untothee, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.”. When He says, “Until seventy times seven,” He does not limit a definite number within which forgiveness must be kept; but He signifies thereby something endless and ever enduring. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
What then says Christ, the good God, who is loving towards man? I say not unto you, until seven times, but, until seventy times seven, not setting a number here, but what is infinite and perpetual and forever. For even as ten thousand times signifies often, so here too. For by saying, The barren has borne seven, 1 Samuel 2:5 the Scripture means many. So that He has not limited the forgiveness by a number, but has declared that it is to be perpetual and forever. This at least He indicated by the parable that is put after. For that He might not seem to any to enjoin great things and hard to bear, by saying, Seventy times seven, He added this parable, at once both leading them on to what He had said, and putting down him who was priding himself upon this, and showing the act was not grievous, but rather very easy. Therefore let me add, He brought forward His own love to man, that by the comparison, as He says, you might learn, that though thou forgive seventy times seven, though thou c...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
It is one thing to give pardon to a brother when he seeks it, that he may live with us in social charity, as Joseph to his brethren; and another to a hostile foe, that we may wish him good, and if we can do him good, as David mourning for Saul.

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. This is what Peter is asking: how many times, if one sins and then comes and begs forgiveness repentantly, should I forgive him? He added "sin against me," for if he sins against God, I, a layman, cannot forgive him, but only the priest who has this authority from God. But if he sins against me, then I will forgive him and he will be forgiven, though I am a layman and not a priest. He said, "until seventy times seven," not to limit forgiveness within a number, for it would be absurd for someone to sit and count the occasions until they numbered 490 (that is, seventy times seven). But what He means here is an infinite number, as if He were saying, "However many times he sins and repents, forgive him." He also tells us that we should be compassionate by means of the following parable. ...

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

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