Matthew 23:16

Woe unto you, you blind guides, who say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is bound!
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Woe unto you, ( Matthew 23:16)&c. . . . but if he shall swear by the gold of the temple, &c, the gold, that Isaiah , which he has vowed to pay. Instead of he is a debtor, the Arabic translates he has sinned, that Isaiah , he does not pay what he has sworn. Observe (from the words in Matthew 5:34), that the Scribes thought from what God had commanded, that they should swear by Him alone,—an oath by any creature was not an oath, nor obligatory; but being blinded by avarice, they excepted such things as, being offered to God, filled their own coffers, as if these alone were to be accounted most sacred. Wherefore they are rightly called by Christ blind guides. Moreover, the Scribes were wont to say that the oblations were more holy than the Temple itself, "that they might make men more ready for offerings than for prayers," says the Gloss. He calls the gold which was cast into the treasury of the Temple for maintaining its ministers the gold of the Temple. Truly says the Gloss, "He that ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Wo to you blind guides. Avarice seems to have been the chief motive of the Pharisees in teaching this doctrine, since they taught that those who swore by the temple were guilty of no sin, nor under any obligation at all; whereas they who swore by the gold of the temple, were bound to pay a certain sum of money to the priests, by which they themselves were enriched. (Nicholas of Lyra.) Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing To understand this obscure place, we may take notice, that a good part of what was offered on the altar, and given to the treasury of the temple, fell to the share of the Jewish priests; and therefore it was not their interest to have such promises or oaths dispensed with. This made them teach the people, that if any one had made a promissory oath or vow to give their money or goods to the temple, or to the altar itself, as it is said ver. 18, such oaths or promises were not obligatory, or might easily be dispensed with. But if any one had sworn or vowed...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Jesus reproached those who by their inane observances detracted from the one who rightly should be honored in worship. He himself was the ground and source of the law. The law did not of itself suffice. The ornaments of the altar and temple were not the primary object of worship but were merely pointing the way for the future of true worship. Gold, silver, bronze, brass, pearl and crystal each embrace a particular meaning from their unique natures as metals. Jesus refuted the premise that the gold of the temple or the gifts of the altar could be venerated as if something in themselves rather than the greater one whom they honor. With the coming of Christ the massive structure of legal obligations became futile. Christ was not in the law, but the law was made holy in Christ. He had placed his seat and throne on the law. One who seeks to be religious should anchor himself rightly in the truth. They were stupid and blind who venerated gifts that were sanctified while they allowed sanctity...

Theodore the Stratelates

AD 319
Jesus is saying that the gold in the temple, the gold objects dedicated in the temple to the glory of God, whether these be the gold cherubim or the gold jar containing the manna, were considered by the Jews to be worthy of much more honor than the temple. Therefore they were condemned by the Lord …. But the saying possesses a figurative meaning directed against them because they are not receiving the truth regarding Christ. Instead, they were judging Moses and the types given through him as more valuable than Christ …. They were rejecting the Christ who sanctifies Moses while simultaneously praising the law. Just as the law was praiseworthy, not because it possesses the types and the symbols but because it prefigures the true mystery of worship in Christ, in the same way the gold is precious because of the one who sanctifies the temple, and heaven is beautiful because of the God who sanctifies it and dwells within it.

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

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