And whoever shall swear by the temple, swears by it, and by him who dwells therein.
Read Chapter 23
Cyril of Alexandria
“O Pharisees, you demand,” Jesus says, “perhaps the tithes of herbs and the smallest coins while you neglect the commandments, concerning which the violation is greater.” And what kind of commandments are these? Justice, that is, to judge uprightly and blamelessly; mercy, that is, genuineness toward God. For justice and mercy and faith toward God are better than the tithe and firstfruits. Therefore the God of all things says through the prophet, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord require from you but to do justice and to love and seek mercy and to be prepared to follow the Lord your God.” For the genuine faith of those being saved is seen in their exceeding readiness to follow.
What is lost is the hidden dimension of the evil will. These hidden things of the mind bring about these distortions of the law. The law prescribes that a tenth be given, so they measure out a tenth of a measure of mint and dill but only in order that they might be thought by other men to fulfill the law. They abandon mercy and justice, faith and every form of benevolence. Yet these are the true duties of man …. God laughs at the superficial diligence of those who measure cucumbers. God laughs at our attempts to swallow camels, as if the sins of avoidance were less serious than the sins of consumption.