Matthew 18:9
And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.If thy hand ... - See the notes at Matthew 5:29-30. The sense in all these instances is the same. Worldly attachments, friendships, and employments of any kind, that cannot be pursued without leading us into sin, be they ever so dear to us, must be abandoned, or the soul will be lost.

It is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed ... - It is not meant, by this, that when the body shall be raised it will be maimed and disfigured in this manner. It will be perfect. See 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. But these things are said for the purpose of carrying out or making complete the figure or the representation of cutting off the hands, etc. The meaning is, it is better to go to heaven without enjoying the things that caused us to sin, than to enjoy them here and then be lost.

Halt - Lame.

Maimed - With a loss of limbs.

Into hell fire - It is implied, in all this, that if their sins, however dear to them, were not abandoned, the soul must go into everlasting fire. This is conclusive proof that the sufferings of the wicked will be eternal. See the notes at Mark 9:44, Mark 9:46, Mark 9:48.

CHAPTER 18

Mt 18:1-9. Strife among the Twelve Who Should Be Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, with Relative Teaching. ( = Mr 9:33-50; Lu 9:46-50).

For the exposition, see on [1323]Mr 9:33-50.

Ver. 7-9. By offences are here meant stumbling blocks to souls, such persons or actions as are to others temptations to sin. The world, saith our Savour is full of temptations. Temptations to sin are on all hands, some enticing and persuading men to that which is evil, others setting them an example to it, others alluring them by promises, others by threatenings and punishments driving men to it as much as in them lieth: the world will one day find the evil and mischief of it.

It must needs be that offences come; God hath so ordered it in the wisdom of his providence, that he will not restrain the lusts of all men’s hearts, but suffer some to walk in their own ways. Men in power will command those under them to do what is sinful, fright them by threatenings, force them (if possible) by punishments. Equals and inferiors will set examples of sin, allure, entice, and persuade. But woe be to those by whom such offences come! Men, saith our Savour, should be so afraid to sin, as they should rather part with the dearest things they have in the world, if they be as dear as eyes, hands, feet, rather than sin, or endure them to be occasions of sin to them. See Poole on "Matthew 5:29", where Matthew 18:8,9 are opened. Mark hath the same things, Mark 9:43-48, only with the addition of this saying thrice, Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched; which phrase doth but denote the eternity of sinners’ misery, taken from Isaiah 66:24. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot,.... The same words are repeated here on occasion of offences, as are spoken by Christ, Matthew 5:29 on account of unchaste looks, desires and lusts: giving offence to Christ's disciples, or endeavouring, by any means whatever, to cause them to stumble and fall, is equally gratifying the flesh, and no more to be indulged, than the other, on pain of eternal damnation. See Gill on Matthew 5:29, Matthew 5:30 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 18:9. ὀφθαλμός, the eye, referred to as the means of expressing contempt; in chap. Matthew 5:29 as inciting to lust.—μονόφθαλμον, properly should mean having only one eye by nature, but here = wanting an eye, for which the more exact term is ἑτερόφθαλμος, vide Lobeck, Phryn., p. 136.Matthew 18:9. Ὀφθαλμὸς, eye) The eye offends by pride, as in this place; by envy, as in Mark 7:22; by wantonness [as in Matthew 5:28-29.] There is a gradation here; for the eye is dearer than the hand or foot. Frequently, when the offence of one member has been conquered, offence ensues from another.—μονόφθαλμον, with one eye) μονόφθαλμος, has the same force in Matthew and Mark as ἑτερόφθαλμος has in Ammonius.—τὴν Γέενναν, hell) eternal fire: see the preceding verses.Verse 9. - Hell fire. A synonym for the "everlasting fire" of the previous verse, and the "unquenchable fire" of the Baptist's warning (Matthew 3:12), and to be understood in the same sense. It is good to be saved even with the loss of all that makes earthly life happy and precious.
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