Matthew 10:13
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come on it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) If the house be worthy.—The doubt implied in the “if” seems at first somewhat inconsistent with the supposition that they only went into the house after having ascertained the worthiness of the occupant. It must be remembered, however, that the missionaries entered each city or village as strangers, and that in such a case even the most careful inquiry might not always be successful.

Let your peace come upon iti.e., the peace implied in the formula of salutation. The imperative is not so much a command addressed to them as the proclamation of an edict from the King in whose name they went. Their greeting was not to be a mere ceremonious form. It would be as a real prayer wherever the conditions of peace were fulfilled on the other side. At the worst, the prayer for peace would bring a blessing on him who prayed.

10:5-15 The Gentiles must not have the gospel brought them, till the Jews have refused it. This restraint on the apostles was only in their first mission. Wherever they went they must proclaim, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. They preached, to establish the faith; the kingdom, to animate the hope; of heaven, to inspire the love of heavenly things, and the contempt of earthly; which is at hand, that men may prepare for it without delay. Christ gave power to work miracles for the confirming of their doctrine. This is not necessary now that the kingdom of God is come. It showed that the intent of the doctrine they preached, was to heal sick souls, and to raise those that were dead in sin. In proclaiming the gospel of free grace for the healing and saving of men's souls, we must above all avoid the appearance of the spirit of an hireling. They are directed what to do in strange towns and cities. The servant of Christ is the ambassador of peace to whatever place he is sent. His message is even to the vilest sinners, yet it behoves him to find out the best persons in every place. It becomes us to pray heartily for all, and to conduct ourselves courteously to all. They are directed how to act as to those that refused them. The whole counsel of God must be declared, and those who will not attend to the gracious message, must be shown that their state is dangerous. This should be seriously laid to heart by all that hear the gospel, lest their privileges only serve to increase their condemnation.If the house be worthy - That is, if the "family" be worthy, or be willing to receive you as my disciples.

Let your peace come upon it - That is, let the peace or happiness which you seek or for which you pray in saluting it (see Luke 10:5), come upon it; or seek their peace and happiness by prayer, instruction, by remaining with them, and imparting to them the blessings of the gospel.

But if it be not worthy ... - If the family be unwilling to receive you; if they show themselves unfriendly to you and your message.

Let your peace return to you - This is a Hebrew mode of saying that your peace shall not come upon it, Psalm 35:13. It is a mode of speaking derived from bestowing a gift. If people were willing to receive it, they derived the benefit from it; if not, then of course the present came back or remained in the hand of the giver. So Christ figuratively speaks of the peace which their labor would confer. If received kindly and hospitably by the people, they would confer on them most valuable blessings. If rejected and persecuted, the blessings which they sought for others would come upon themselves. they would reap the benefit of being cast out and persecuted for their Master's sake, Matthew 5:10.

13. And if the house be worthy—showing this by giving you a welcome.

let your peace come upon it—This is best explained by the injunction to the Seventy, "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house" (Lu 10:5). This was the ancient salutation of the East, and it prevails to this day. But from the lips of Christ and His messengers, it means something far higher, both in the gift and the giving of it, than in the current salutation. (See on [1256]Joh 14:27).

but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you—If your peace finds a shut, instead of an open, door in the heart of any household, take it back to yourselves, who know how to value it; and it will taste the sweeter to you for having been offered, even though rejected.

See Poole on "Matthew 10:15". And if the house be worthy,.... If the family, and particularly the master of it, appeared to be civil, courteous, friendly, and hospitable, upon such a salutation, and ready to receive and embrace them, and provide for them,

let your peace come upon it, or it shall come upon it; the imperative for the future, which is not unusual; and so read the Syriac and Vulgate Latin. The sense is, the peace the apostles wished for, in their form of salutation, should come, and abide on the family; for not the Gospel of peace, and the preaching of it, are here meant, but the salutation itself, or the things desired in it, which should be granted, and the house be blessed for their sake, and as a reward of their generosity, and hospitality:

but if it be not worthy: does not prove to be what it was said to be, and they expected; namely, to be generous, liberal, and beneficent; but, on the contrary, uncivil and churlish, should neglect their salutation, discover an unwillingness to receive them, and turn their backs upon them:

let your peace return to you, or "it shall return to you"; the happiness wished for shall not come upon them, and the prayers and good wishes of the apostles shall be void, and of none effect, with respect to that family, but should be made good to themselves; and they should be directed to another house, where they should find persons more generous and free to entertain them.

And if the house be worthy, let your {e} peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

(e) It is an idiom taken from the Hebrews, by which they meant every type of happiness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 10:13. Ἀξία] not “bonis votis, quae salute dicenda continebuntur” (Fritzsche), but, as in Matthew 10:11, worthy of your remaining in it. It should be noticed that and μὴ ᾖ are put first for sake of emphasis; and should the house be worthy, then come, and so on; but if it is not a worthy one, then, and so on. In this way the reference of ἄξιος remains unchanged.

ἐλθέτω] shall come, that is my will.

ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν] the blessings brought by you by way of salutation.

πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω] Euth. Zigabenus: μηδὲν ἐνεργησάτω, ἀλλὰ ταύτην μεθʼ ἑαυτῶν λαβόντες ἐξέλθετε. An expression which represents the idea to the senses. Isaiah 45:23; Isaiah 60:11.Matthew 10:13. ἐὰν μὲν ᾖ ἡ ο. ἀξία: after all pains have been taken, a mistake may be made; therefore the worthiness of the house is spoken of as uncertain (, in an emphatic position, so μὴ ᾖ, in next clause).—ἐλθέτω ἡ εἰρήνηἐπιστραφήτω. The meaning is: the word of peace will not be spoken in vain; it will bless the speaker if not those addressed. It is always good to wish peace and good for others, however the wish may be received. There is a tacit warning against being provoked by churlish treatment. Matthew 10:14. ὃς ἐὰν μὴ δέξηται: Christ contemplates an unfavourable result of the mission in the host’s house, or in the town or village generally. The construction of the sentence is anacolouthistic, beginning one way, ending another: rhetorical in effect, and suitable to emotional speech; cf. Luke 21:6 : “these things ye see—days will come in which not one stone will be left upon another” (vide Winer, § 63, on such constructions).—ἐξερχόμενοι: when an unreceptive attitude has once been decidedly taken up, there is nothing for it but to go away. Such a crisis severely tests the temper and spirit of promoters of good causes.—ἐκτινάξατε τὸν κονιορτὸν: a symbolic act practised by the Pharisees on passing from heathen to Jewish soil, the former being regarded as unclean (Light., Hor. Heb.): Easy to perform, not easy to perform in a right spirit; too apt to be the outcome of irritation, disappointment, and wounded vanity = they did not appreciate me, I abandon them to their fate. Christ meant the act to symbolise the responsibility of the inhabitants for the result = leave the place, feeling that you have done your duty, not in anger but in sadness. The act, if performed, would be a last word of warning (εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς, Mark and Luke). Grotius and Bleek understand it as meaning: “we have nothing more to do with you”.Matthew 10:13. Ἐὰν μὲν, κ.τ.λ., if indeed, etc.) i.e. if they receive you.—ἐλθέτωἐπιστραφήτω, let it come—let it return to) The imperative may here be taken in its strict sense. If you pray for it, let it come. If you are not unwilling, let it return. So bear yourselves, that [in the one case] it may come [upon the house], that [in the other] it may return [to you]. Impart your salutation to them with ready good-will, or take it back to yourselves.[460]—ἡ εἰρήνη ὑμῶν, your peace) sc. that of which you are the messengers.—ἐὰν δὲ, κ.τ.λ., but if, etc.) contrary to your expectation.—πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἐπιστραφήτω let it return to you) By a testimony of duty performed, and an increase of tranquillity and spiritual power. That which has once gone forth from the wealth of God, has not gone forth in vain, but assuredly finds some one whom it may reach. A consolation for ministers who appear to themselves to produce no edification. The Lord says to them thus, “They have despised it; have it yourselves.”[461]

[460] This was, as it were, a prelude to the loosing and binding (c. Matthew 18:18).—V. g.

[461] In his German Version he says, “you must not distress (kränken) yourselves. That which others reject becomes thereby a greater blessing to you.”—(I. B.)Verse 13. - And if the house. Not the householder alone (ver. 11), but he and his family as a whole. Be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. It is tempting to see in these words a promise that your activity shall at least issue in increased blessing on yourselves, but it can hardly be pressed so far. It rather means that failure to impart blessing shall not bring spiritual loss to yourselves. "The dove returned to the ark again when it found the earth under water" (cf. Gurnall, in Ford).
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