And if your hand offend you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell…
Soldiers have dislodged their enemy from a town. They scatter themselves about its streets; some dashing into shops, and some into houses, seizing any valuable thing which the lust of their eyes prompts them to seize. Suddenly their bugles sound an alarm. The enemy is returning in force; and, whatever else the sound may suggest, it suggests this — that they must throw everything out of their hands, no matter how valuable, no matter how eagerly they long to retain it. Otherwise it would be an obstruction; they would not be free to handle their rifles, and be driven out instead of driving their foe back again. With like purpose does the Lord Jesus give forth those orders, which seem to many of us so unnecessarily harsh and stringent.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: