Deuteronomy 15:7-11: God Commands Liberality to the Poor

Verse 7:  If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, (1 John 3:17) thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother…


Verse 8:  (Lev. 25:35; Matt. 5:42; Luke 6:34, 35) But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.

Open thine hand wide unto him, i.e. deal bountifully and liberally with him, giving him as it were by handfuls.

[And thou shalt give a loan of what thou hast observed him to need, דֵּ֚י מַחְסֹר֔וֹ[1]A sufficiency of his lack (Montanus, Piscator); however much is enough for his indigence (Junius and Tremellius, similarly Ainsworth, Munster, Chaldean, Arabic, Samaritan Text); according to his need (Samaritan Version); which is wanting to him (Syriac).  [Perhaps די is taken in the Chaldean sense, so that it might signify which; that is to say, which is his lack.]  And thou shalt ask him concerning his want; that is, what things are needful to him (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  This does not satisfy; for עָבַט is to give as a pledge (Gerhard).  [But others render it, to loan.  See on verse 6.]


Verse 9:  Beware that there be not a thought (Heb. word[2]) in thy wicked heart (Heb. thy heart of Belial[3]), saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine (Deut. 28:54, 56; Prov. 23:6; 28:22; Matt. 20:15) eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and (Deut. 24:15) he cry unto the LORD against thee, and (Matt. 25:41, 42) it be sin unto thee.

[Lest an impious thought steal in, etc., הִשָּׁ֣מֶר לְךָ֡ פֶּן־יִהְיֶ֣ה דָבָר֩ עִם־לְבָבְךָ֙ בְלִיַּ֜עַל]  To take heed to thyself (an infinitive in the place of an imperitive, beware [Gerhard]) lest there be a word, or, matter (Gerhard), or, something (Gerhard, Ainsworth), or, any thought (Ainsworth, Vatablus), with thy heart (Gerhard).  That בְּלִיַּעַל/Belial is able to refer either to דָבָר, an impious word, etc. (as in Psalm 41:8[4] and 101:3[5] [Ainsworth]) (thus Gerhard, Ainsworth out of the Septuagint, Oleaster, thus the Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus); or, to heart, in thine impious heart (certain interpreters in Ainsworth, thus Malvenda).  Note:  what is prudence to avaricious men is called impiety (Estius).

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart; suppress the first risings and inward motions of such uncharitableness.

[And thou avert thine eyes, וְרָעָ֣ה עֵֽינְךָ֗]  Thine eye act maliciously (Montanus); evil (stingy [Pagnine, Vatablus, Cajetan]) thine eye be (Menochius, Vatablus).  This signifies sparing, begrudging, unmerciful.  Thus Proverbs 23:6 and Matthew 20:15.  Just as, on the other hand, a good eye signifies a liberal spirit, Proverbs 22:9.  The condition of the soul especially shows itself in the eyes, say the Hebrews (Vatablus out of Fagius, Ainsworth).

Thine eye be evil, i.e. envious, unmerciful, unkind, as this phrase is used, Proverbs 23:6; Matthew 20:15; as a good eye notes the contrary disposition, Proverbs 22:9.

[And it become sin to thee]  That is, lest God punish thee.  Sin in the place of punishment (Menochius, Oleaster).  Or, sin in the place of a great sin; as in Proverbs 24:9; John 15:24; James 4:17 (Ainsworth).

It be sin, i.e. it be charged upon thee as a sin, and as a great sin, as the word sin sometimes signifies, as Proverbs 24:9; John 15:24; James 4:17.


Verse 10:  Thou shalt surely give him, and (2 Cor. 9:5, 7) thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him:  because that (Deut. 14:29; 24:19; Ps. 41:1; Prov. 22:9) for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.

[Thou shalt not deal craftily, וְלֹא־יֵרַ֥ע וגו״]  Thy heart shall not be evil, or sparing:  that is, let it not be heavy (Vatablus).  Let not thy heart be sad, when thou givest unto him (Gerhard).

Thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him, i.e. thou shalt give not only with an open hand, but with a willing and cheerful mind and heart, Romans 12:8; 2 Corinthians 9:9, without which thy very charity is uncharitable, and not accepted by God, who requires the heart in all his services.

[And in all things, etc.]  Hebrew:  in every undertaking of thy hand[6] (Vatablus, Malvenda), or, in all unto which thou extendest thine hand (Vatablus).

In all that thou puttest thine hand unto, i.e. in all thy works, as before, for the hand is the great instrument of action.


Verse 11:  For (Matt. 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8) the poor shall never cease out of the land:  therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

[Poor men shall not be wanting]  That is to say, I know that ye will not obey me with a perfect heart; therefore, I will diminish from you my blessing, and the poor shall be with you (Hebrews in Munster and in Fagius).  See on Matthew 26:11 (Grotius).

The poor shall never cease out of the land; God by his providence will so order it, partly for the punishment of your disobedience, and partly for the trial and exercise of your obedience to me, and charity to your brother, both which are best discovered by your performance of costly duties.

[To thy brother destitute and poor, לְאָחִ֧יךָ לַעֲנִיֶּ֛ךָ וּלְאֶבְיֹנְךָ֖[7]To thy brother, to the poor (afflicted, oppressed), and to thy destitute (Malvenda).  They are distinct in the Hebrew, in such a way that the optimal order is shown:  so that, first, liberality is exercised to him who is especially near in blood, with which Isaiah 58:7 agrees; then, so that it might be given to him who is very poor; finally, to whatever man of slight fortune and asking help (Grotius).  Some thus:  to him, whom God presents to thee, that is, either an Israelite, or a stranger (Malvenda).

[1] דַּי signifies a sufficiency.

[2] Hebrew:  דָבָר.

[3] Hebrew:  לְבָבְךָ֙ בְלִיַּ֜עַל.

[4] Psalm 41:8:  “An evil disease (דְּֽבַר־בְּ֭לִיַּעַל, or, an impious word), say they, cleaveth fast unto him:  and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.”

[5] Psalm 101:3:  “I will set no wicked thing (דְּֽבַר־בְּלִ֫יָּ֥עַל) before mine eyes:  I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”

[6] Hebrew:  וּבְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁלַ֥ח יָדֶֽךָ׃.

[7] עֳנִי/poor is derived from the verbal root עָנָה, to be bowed down, or to be afflicted.

Deuteronomy 15:4-6: God Promises to Israel Blessing in the Land of Canaan

Verse 4:  Save when there shall be no poor among you (or, to the end that there be no poor among you[1]); (Deut. 28:8) for the LORD shall greatly bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it…

[And one altogether indigent, etc., אֶ֕פֶס כִּ֛י לֹ֥א יִֽהְיֶה־בְּךָ֖ אֶבְי֑וֹן ]  [They render it variously.]  Except that (or, with it excepted that [Samaritan Version, Oleaster], or, that [Septuagint], or, nevertheless [Munster]) there shall not be one in need in the midst of thee (Montanus).  Only that throughout thee ought not to be a needy man (Junius and Tremellius).  So that there might be absolutely no needy man in the midst of thee (Samaritan Text, similarly the Syriac).  There might be absolutely no poor in the midst of thee (Tigurinus).  To such an extent…that there be no beggar in thee (Pagnine).  And most certainly there shall be no pauper in thee, for He shall bless, etc. (Arabic).  [They also explain it in diverse ways.]  1.  It is a precept, let there be no beggar, etc. (thus Estius, Menochius, Tirinus, Bonfrerius, Gerhard, Lapide, Fagius, the Septuagint in Fagius).  Suffer not a poor man to be among you; indeed, assist him by lending to him, or in some other way (Bonfrerius).  This is evident from verses 7 and 8 (Bonfrerius, Gerhard).  Thou shalt give diligence, as far as it lies within thee, that there be no poor man (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  The word אֶבְיוֹן denotes extreme poverty (Ainsworth, Malvenda).  As if willing/desiring all things,[2] since he needs all things (Oleaster).  He who publicly asks for a small offering is a beggar; he who is not able to sustain himself, etc., is a pauper (Drusius).  אֶפֶס is sometimes used by the Hebrews in the place of אַיִן and לֺא, nothing, Isaiah 41:12[3] and 52:4, בְּאֶפֶס, in nothing, without cause.[4]  Thus the sense shall be:  That I command to thee (namely, this remission), nothing else is the cause, than that there ought not to be a poor man among you (Gerhard, Piscator).  Or, the end, in the end, etc., that is to say, the end of the Law is that no one at all be diminished, which is especially to be attended to in a good republic (Malvenda, Ainsworth).  Thus Plato willed that beggars, obtaining a living by entreaty, be prevented in the city and region, Laws 11 (Gataker).  2.  It is a promise (thus Oleaster, Cajetan and Ibn Ezra in Gerhard, Munster).  That is to say, If thou shouldst do this (if thou shalt keep my commandments [Fagius]), then I will bring it to pass that there be no beggar in thee (Oleaster, Vatablus, similarly Munster).  It is not the case that ye should fear that this law is going to be for fraud among you (Fagius, Vatablus):  For there will be no one that makes use of this benefit (certain interpreters in Malvenda, thus Ibn Ezra in Fagius).  Objection:  Paupers shall not be wanting, verses 7, 11; Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 19:9, 10.  Responses:  1.  There it is merely a prediction; here, a law.  It is one thing to attempt; another, to accomplish.  Thus Deuteronomy 23:17, there shall be no whore:  yet it is evident that there were, out of Leviticus 21:14; Judges 11:1; Jeremiah 5:7.  No valid consequence is derived from the precept to the event.  A son honors his father, that is, he ought to honor.  2.  If it be a promise, it is not absolute, but conditional (Gerhard).  [See Munster on verse 11.]  3.  There is a restriction; except there be not, or, when there shall not be, or, except that there shall not be, a pauper in thee:  that is, except thy brother be rich:  that is to say, this remission shall be made only to paupers, not to the rich (Vatablus).  4.  To such an extent that there be not in thee a beggar (Pagnine), so that the sense is, Ye shall not only observe this law concerning the remission of debts, but also be so beneficient that there be no poor man (Gerhard).

When there shall be no poor:  so the words are an exception to the foregoing clause, which they restrain to the poor, and imply that if his brother was rich, he might exact his debt of him in that year.  And indeed this law seems to be chiefly, if not wholly, designed and given in favour to the poor and to the borrower, as is manifest from verses 6-11.  But the words are and may be rendered thus, as in the margin of our Bibles, To the end that there be no poor among you.  And so they contain a reason of this law, to wit, that none be impoverished and ruined by a rigid and unseasonable exaction of debts.  They may also be translated thus, Nevertheless of a truth, or assuredly, (as the particle כִּי/chi is oft used,) there shall be no poor along you; and the sense may be this, Though I impose this law upon you, which may seem hard and grievous, yet the truth is, supposing your performance of the conditions of God’s covenant, you shall not have any great occasion to exercise your charity and kindness in this matter, for God will greatly bless you, etc., so as you shall be in a capacity of lending, and few or none of you will have need to borrow, and thereby to expose his brethren to the inconvenience and burden of this law.  Thus the connexion is plain and easy, both with the foregoing and following words.  Objection.  It is said, the poor should never cease, verse 11.  Answer.  That also is true, and affirmed by God, because he foresaw they would not perform their duty, and therefore would bereave themselves of the promised blessing.

[That He might bless, כִּֽי־בָרֵ֤ךְ יְבָֽרֶכְךָ֙]  Because He shall bless (Malvenda, Syriac).  Or, when He hath blessed (Targum):  that is, then thou shalt be responsible for this (Gerhard).

The Lord shall greatly bless thee; and therefore this will be no great inconvenience nor burden to thee.


Verse 5:  Only (Deut. 28:1) if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day.

[If, nevertheless, etc., רַ֚ק אִם]  Only if (Malvenda).  But thus only if (Pagnine).  If, nevertheless, by obedience, etc., that is, It shall thus happen in the end, if, etc. (Vatablus).


Verse 6:  For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee:  and (Deut. 28:12, 44) thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and (Deut. 28:13; Prov. 22:7) thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

[For Jehovah, כִּֽי־יְהוָ֤ה]  Since Jehovah hath blessed (certain interpreters in Vatablus).  Because He hath blessed (Malvenda), or, He shall bless (other interpreters in Vatablus).

[Thus shalt lend at interest (thus the Septuagint, Arabic), וְהַעֲבַטְתָּ]  And thou shalt lend (Chaldean, Syriac, Montanus, Oleaster, Ainsworth); thou shalt give a loan (Samaritan Text); thou shalt be able to loan (Junius and Tremellius), namely, under, or, with, pledge (Samaritan Text, Malvenda, similarly Vatablus, Fagius out of Kimchi).  עָבַט properly signifies to detain, and to delay.  Thence to give as a pledge, because a pledge is detained by a creditor (Oleaster, Gerhard).  The Jews hence gather that usury is permitted to them with the Gentiles.  But this word signifies only to loan, as it is evident by the antithesis, and thou shalt receive a loan from no one (Estius, Tirinus).  Usury (although permitted to them with the Gentiles [Lyra], Deuteronomy 23:19, 20 [Gerhard]) would not be permitted for the recompense of piety toward the poor (Lyra).  Such an abundance of means is promised that they would be able to lead, not only to their own, but also to the Gentiles (Tirinus).

Thou shalt lend unto many; thou shalt be rich and able to lend not only to thy poor brother, but even to strangers of other nations, yea, to many of them.

[1] Hebrew:  אֶ֕פֶס כִּ֛י לֹ֥א יִֽהְיֶה־בְּךָ֖ אֶבְי֑וֹן .

[2] אֶבְיוֹן may be derived from the verbal root אָבָה, to be willing.

[3] Isaiah 41:12:  “Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee:  they that war against thee shall be as nothing (כְאַיִן), and as a thing of nought (וּכְאֶפֶס).”

[4] Isaiah 52:4b:  “My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause (בְּאֶפֶס).”

Deuteronomy 15:1-3: The Year of Release

Verse 1:  At the end of (Ex. 21:2; 23:10, 11; Lev. 25:2, 4; Deut. 31:10; Jer. 34:14) every seven years thou shalt make a release.

[In the seventh year, מקֵּ֥ץ שֶֽׁבַע־שָׁנִ֖ים]  From the end (or, in the extremity [Vatablus]) of the seven years (Fagius, Vatablus, Oleaster).  [They take it variously.]  Some maintain that debts expired, not at the beginning of the seventh year, but at its end.  Thus Rabbi Moses de Kotzi[1] (Munster, thus certain interpreters in Gerhard).  They render it from the end, that is, after the end, as in Hosea 6:2, מִיֹּמָיִם, after two days[2] (Drusius).  2.  Others maintain that the remission was made at the beginning of the year (thus out of Ibn Ezra, Fagius, Vatablus, Drusius, Grotius, Oleaster, Ainsworth, Bonfrerius, Gerhard).  קֵץ/end is taken for the extremity, either at the front (as here), or at the back (Fagius, Vatablus).  Among the Hebrews the beginning is also called קֵץ:  and so the Greeks sometimes translate it, ἀρχήν/beginning (Grotius).  מִן/from is here put in the place of ב/in, as in Deuteronomy 33:2, מִסִּינַי , from/in Sinai; Psalm 68:29, מֵהֵיכָלֶךָ, from/in thy temple; and Psalm 72:16, מֵעִיר, from/in the city (Drusius).  Thus in Deuteronomy 14:28, from the end of three years,[3] that is, in the third year; in Jeremiah 34:14, in the end of seven years,[4] that is, when he has served thee for six years, as it follows there (Ainsworth).  And thus Moses explains himself here in verse 9 (Gerhard, Piscator).  See also in verse 12 (Ainsworth).  Thus to the Greeks that which is done in the third year is said to be done μετὰ τρία ἔτη, after three years[5] (Gerhard).  Some thus:  It is a synecdoche of member, of which sort is found in Jeremiah 34:14 (Piscator), with seven years finished, that is, six years and the beginning of the seventh.  To others, in the end of seven years is the same as at the end of those seven years (Gerhard).  It would be repugnant to the method of Sabbatism to exact debts still in the seventh year itself.  For the Sabbatism of days has this, that the debtor be not prosecuted, Isaiah 58:6 (Fagius).  Others render it, From the end of seven years thou shalt complete a remission, which began to be done at the beginning of the seventh year (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  The Septuagint renders it, δι᾽ ἑπτὰ ἐτῶν, that is, (not, throughout seven years, as the Royal and Roman codices have it, in a corrupt sense; but) after seven years:  as in Aristophanes, δι᾽ ἔτους πέμπτου ξυνάγειν, to gather in the fifth year also.  Thus in Herodotus, Plato, etc., διὰ πολλοῦ χρόνου, after much time (Bonfrerius).

[Thou shalt make a remission, שְׁמִטָּה[6]A discharge (Munster, Fagius), or, a release (Munster), a free discharge, that is, of what was borrowed (Malvenda).  There was at this time also a remission of fields; see Exodus 23:11:  although this is not touched upon here (Bonfrerius).  Question:  Whether the remission of debts was full and perfect? or was it lawful to exact them after the seventh year?  Responses:  1.  Some affirm the latter (thus Burgos[7] and Tossanus[8] and Piscator in Gerhard, Cajetan in Estius); because in that year they were gaining no fruits from the earth whence they might pay the debts (Malvenda on verse 4).  2.  Others think that the remission was full (thus the Hebrews in Drusius, Estius, Gerhard, Grotius on verse 2).  Thou art not able to demand again; not even with the year finished, unless a perpetuating clause is added to the contract (Grotius).  But this cannot be gathered from the words.  For this word is attributed to the land also, in Exodus 23:11, to which, nevertheless, the rest was only in that year (Ainsworth).  And this appears harsh (Cajetan in Estius), and is not agreeable to reason (Burgos, Drusius).  Response:  On the contrary, it is most equitable (Estius); for it was restricted unto those who did not have payment (Estius, similarly Lyra, Vatablus):  lest the Jews compel the poor to flee to the Gentiles, and thus to serve other gods (Lyra, Burgos in Gerhard).

At the end of every seven years:  i.e. In the last year of the seven, as is most evident from Deuteronomy 15:9; Exodus 21:2; Jeremiah 34:14.  So the like phrase is oft used, as Deuteronomy 14:28; Joshua 3:2;[9] Jeremiah 25:12; Luke 2:21; Acts 2:1.  And this year of release, as it is called below, verse 9, is the same with the sabbatical year, Exodus 23:11; Leviticus 25:4.


Verse 2:  And this is the manner of the release:  Every creditor (Heb. master of the lending of his hand[10]) that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S release.

[Which in this order, etc., וְזֶה֮ דְּבַ֣ר הַשְּׁמִטָּה֒]  This word (or, this method [Samaritan Text, Munster, Tigurinus], rule [Syriac, Vatablus], ordinance [Septuagint], statement [Arabic], matter [Oleaster, Dutch, Vatablus], this manner [Vatablus, Ainsworth]) of remission (Montanus).  This shall be the law of intermission (Junius and Tremellius).

[To whom anything is owed, etc., שָׁמ֗וֹט כָּל־בַּ֙עַל֙ מַשֵּׁ֣ה יָד֔וֹ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יַשֶּׁ֖ה בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ]  That every creditor (or, lord of a debt [Arabic], or, of an exaction, or, of a thing borrowed of his hand [Dutch], or, of a loan of his hand [Montanus], or, who in the manner of a loan gave from his hand [Pagnine]) remit (Hebrew, to remit, in the place of, that he remit, or, remit ye [Gerhard]) his hand in those things which his friend owes (Arabic).  Or, that he remit…that which as a loan he gave to his friend (Pagnine).  Or, that he remit…that is, he who in the manner of a loan gave to his neighbor (Tigurinus, similarly Ainsworth, Dutch, Piscator).  The patron shall remit with respect to the loan of his hand:  it is a Hebraism for, who as a loan gave that which he gave; a creditor, that which he gave in credit (Vatablus).  Who lent, or expended, from his hand (Gerhard).  The lord of the lending of his hand, that is, of the thing given in loan (Ainsworth).  Every creditor shall intermit, having the right of exacting by his own hand that which he is going to exact from his neighbor (Junius and Tremellius), that is, unless the law of intermission hinder.  Hebrew:  the lord of the debt claiming with his own hand; that is, who would be able to recover his property by the imposing of his hand.  The verb נָשָׁה (from which is מַשֵּׁה/ loan), with a ב is to ask, or to receive, in loan; without a ב is to give in loan, Deuteronomy 24:10;[11] Isaiah 24:2;[12] Jeremiah 15:10[13] (Gerhard).  h#$%’ma is a Hiphil participle, but nearly all take it as a noun.  It properly signifies an imposition, burden, etc., and hence, an exaction, loan, usury, debt, etc. (Malvenda).

[He shall not be able to demand it again, לֹא־יִגֹּשׂ[14]He shalt not exact (Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, similarly the Samaritan Text, Syriac, Arabic); he shall not press (Montanus, Malvenda), namely, by exaction (Malvenda); he shall not compel (Malvenda, similarly Munster); let him not bear hard (Tigurinus).  See concerning this word on Exodus 3:7[15] (Malvenda).  He shall not demand again (Chaldean, Septuagint); he shall not claim again from his friend (Pagnine).

Shall release it; not absolutely and finally forgive it, but forbear it for that year, as may appear, 1.  Because the word doth not signify a total dismission or acquitting, but an intermission for a time, as Exodus 23:11.  He shall not exact it, as it here follows, i.e. force it from him by course of law or otherwise, to wit, that year, which is easily understood out of the whole context.  2.  Because the person releasing is called a creditor, and his communicating to him what he desires and needs is called lending here and in verse 8; whereas it were giving, and the person giving it were no creditor, but a donor, if it were to be wholly forgiven to him.  3.  Because the reason of this law is temporary and peculiar to that year, wherein there being no sowing nor reaping, they were not in a capacity to pay their debts.  4.  Because it seems unjust and unreasonable, and contrary to other scriptures, which require men to pay what they borrow, as Psalm 37:21.  Yet I deny not that in case of poverty the debt was to be forgiven; but that was not by virtue of this law, but of other commands of God.

[Of his neighbor and brotherBrother is set down exegetically; that is to say, from his neighbor, who is his brother (Ainsworth, Gerhard); namely, in the faith, so that he excludes foreigners.  And is often put for that is.  See on Genesis 13:15[16] (Ainsworth).  He speaks of a Jew (Menochius).  Others distinguish:  a brother is a kinsman; a friend is any Israelite.  But the former is simpler (Gerhard).

Or of his brother:  this is added to explain and limit the word neighbour, which is more general, unto a brother, to wit, in nation and religion; to an Israelite, who is opposed to a foreigner, verse 3, Heb. and a brother,[17] for that is a brother, the particle and being oft so used, as Genesis 13:15, etc.

[Because the year of remission, etc., כִּֽי־קָרָ֥א שְׁמִטָּ֖ה]  Because (or, when [Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth]) he proclaimed (Vatablus, Ainsworth) (he called [Fagius, Malvenda, Chaldean, Oleaster, Montanus], promulgated [Fagius]), namely, either, a crier, or herald (Vatablus, Fagius, Piscator), or, neighbor (Malvenda, Oleaster), or, Magistrate (Targum Jerusalem in Ainsworth), or, God through the magistrate (Ainsworth).  [Others translate it passively.]  Thus the Septuagion, ἐπικέκληται, it was named, or called (Bonfrerius, similarly the Samaritan Text, Syriac).  Since it was declared, etc. (Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus); or, when it shall be proclaimed (Vatablus); since that year is called the remission of the Lord (Munster).  The Hebrews frequently make use of the third person impersonally (Fagius, Gerhard, Bonfrerius); which in the case of the word קָרָה, to call, is very common (Bonfrerius).

[Because the year of remission is the Lord’s, לַיהוָה]  The Lord’s (Tigurinus, Munster), or, before the Lord (Chaldean), or, to the Lord (Montanus, Oleaster, Gerhard, Ainsworth), that is, according to the ordination of God, and for His honor (Gerhard).

The Lord’s release; or, a release to or for the Lord, in obedience to his command, for his honour, and as an acknowledgment of his right in your estates, and of his kindness in giving and continuing them to you.  If you are unwilling to release this for your brother’s sake, yet do it for God’s sake, your Lord and the chief Creditor.


Verse 3:  (see Deut. 23:20) Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again:  but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release…

[From a foreigner, אֶת־הַנָּכְרִי]  From one foreign-born (Samaritan Text, Syriac, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth), from the sons of the peoples (Chaldean).  Even from proselytes (Bonfrerius, Gerhard out of Tostatus, Menochius).  For, 1.  those were not at that time freed from the personal debt of servitude, Leviticus 25:44; Deuteronomy 15:12; Jeremiah 34:14; therefore, not from their real debt.  2.  The word נָכְרִי is attributed to all foreigners, even proselytes, in Genesis 17:12;[18] Ruth 2:10.[19]  3.  They were not enjoying the immunities of the Jews.  See 1 Chronicles 22:2 and 2 Chronicles 2:17 (Gerhard).  See what things are on Exodus 23 (Bonfrerius).  נָכְרִי signifies, not an idolater, but one uncircumcised, living among the Israelites.  See on Exodus 12:43 and Leviticus 22:25.  To such inhabitants was owed on account of the relation of the human race those things that are of natural right, but not those things which are of the greater benevolence, like the corner of the field, the gleaning of grapes, the gleaning of corn, the remaining grapes,[20] the tithes; which that law maintains to be presented to their fellow citizens, and to circumcised proselytes, who were equal to citizens in this matter (Grotius).

A foreigner, or stranger, yea, though a proselyte.  For, 1.  They are oft called by this name, as Genesis 17:12; Ruth 2:10.  2.  Though proselytes were admitted to the church privileges of the Israelites, yet they were not admitted to all their civil immunities or privileges.  See 1 Chronicles 22:2; 2 Chronicles 2:17.  3.  Such were not then freed from their personal debt, to wit, of their service, Leviticus 25:44; Deuteronomy 15:12; Jeremiah 34:14, therefore not from their real debt.

[A citizen, etc., וַאֲשֶׁ֙ר יִהְיֶ֥ה לְךָ֛ אֶת־אָחִ֖יךָ תַּשְׁמֵ֥ט יָדֶֽךָ׃]  And that which is thine with thy brother thy hand shall release (Montanus, Ainsworth, similarly Junius and Tremellius), that is, what thou lentest to thy brother (Piscator).  That which thou hast in the presence of thy brother release (Syriac).  But that which is thine thy hand shall remit to thy brother (Samaritan Text).

That which is thine, to wit, by right, though lent to him.

[1] Moses de Kotzi (thirteen century) was a French Jewish scholar.  He wrote Sefer Mitzvot Gadol, a work on the positive and negative commandments of the Law.

[2] Hosea 6:2:  “After two days (מִיֹּמָיִם, from two days) will he revive us:  in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”

[3] Hebrew:  מִקְצֵ֣ה׀ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים.

[4] Hebrew:  מִקֵּ֣ץ שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֡ים.

[5] Thus Deuteronomy 14:28.

[6] שְׁמִטָּה/remission is derived from the verbal root שָׁמַט, to let drop.

[7] Paulus of Burgos, or Pablo de Santa   Maria (c. 1351-1435), was a Spanish Rabbi, and a Talmudic and Rabbinic scholar.  He converted to Roman Catholicism, took the degree of Doctor of Theology, and was made Archbishop of Burgos.  His reputation as an exegete was secured by his Additiones to Lyra’s Postilla.

[8] Daniel Tossanus (1541-1602) was a French Huguenot theologian.  He escaped the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and settled in Heidelberg, where he served as Professor of Theology and Rector.  He wrote annotations on the entire Bible.

[9] Joshua 3:2:  “And it came to pass after (מִקְצֵה, from the end of) three days, that the officers went through the host…”

[10] Hebrew:  בַּ֙עַל֙ מַשֵּׁ֣ה יָד֔וֹ.

[11] Deuteronomy 24:10:  “When thou dost lend (תַשֶּׁה) thy brother (ברֵעֲךָ) any thing, thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge.”

[12] Isaiah 24:2b:  “…as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury (כַּנֹּשֶׁה), so with the giver of usury (נֹשֶׁא) to him (בוֹ).”

[13] Jeremiah 15:10b:  “I have neither lent on usury (לֹא־נָשִׁיתִי), nor men have lent on usury (וְלֹא־נָשׁוּ) to me (בִי); yet every one of them doth curse me.”

[14] Deuteronomy 15:2b:  “Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact (לֹא־יִגֹּשׂ) it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release.”  נָגַשׂ signifies to press, or to exact.

[15] Exodus 3:7b:  “I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters (נֹגְשָׂיו)…”

[16] Genesis 13:15:  “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed (וּלְזַרְעֲךָ, or, that is, to thy seed) for ever.”

[17] Hebrew:  וְאֶת־אָחִיו.

[18] Genesis 17:12:  “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger (בֶּן־נֵכָר), which is not of thy seed.”

[19] Ruth 2:10b:  “Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger (נָכְרִיָּה)?”

[20] See Leviticus 19:9, 10; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19.

Poole on Numbers, Now Available in a Digital Edition!

Poole’s Synopsis on Numbers is available, not only in print, but also in a digital edition.  It is our largest volume ever (more than 650 pages).

The Book of Numbers contains “the foundation of the Church and Commonwealth of the Israelites, while they walked and wandered in the wilderness”, and lays “before us the unchangeable love of God promised and exhibited to this people; the comely order established and observed among them; sundry examples of His horrible judgments againt obstinate sinners; the Fatherly chastisements and corrections of the faithful offending; and the dangerous plottings and devilish policies of the Church’s enemies”.  –William Attersoll, Numbers (1618)

“I beseech the theological collector not to let a fine copy of good old Matthew Poole’s ‘Synopsis Criticorum’…slip through his fingers without becoming master of it.”  –Dibdin’s ‘Lib. Comp.’, 52.

Deuteronomy 15 Outline

The seventh year a year of release, 1, to their brethren only, 2, 3.  God promiseth to bless them in the land of Canaan, 4-6; and commandeth them to lend freely to the poor, 7-18.  The firstlings to be sanctified and eaten before the Lord, 19-23.

Deuteronomy 14:22-29: Tithing

Verse 22:  (Lev. 27:30; Deut. 12:6, 17; Neh. 10:37) Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.

[The tithe…thou shalt separate…(verse 23) and thou shalt eat, etc.]  Objection:  But the tithes belonged to the Levites.  Response:  The tithes among the Jews were threefold, beyond those which the Levites were paying to the priests.[1]  1.  Those sacred and universal, which belonged to the Levites.[2]  2.  Other annual tithes gathered out of the remaining nine parts of the fruits.[3]  3.  The tithes of the third year, separated also in the third year for the use of the Levites, the poor, etc. (Gerhard, Lapide, Oleaster).  Some explain this of the second tithe (thus Grotius).  This is δευτεροδεκάτη, the second tithe, of which a feast was made at the Temple, as also of the first-fruits, Exodus 23:19; 34:26 (Grotius, thus Lapide, Oleaster, Gerhard).  But this response has foundation neither in Scripture nor in the custom of the Jews (Menochius).  This second tithe is expressly enacted in the law, Leviticus 27:30 and Deuteronomy 14:22.  And it is clearly distinguished from the first tithe, inasmuch as the first was able to be consumed outside of the city, but this tithe only within the confines of the Temple, for which reason it was also to be brought to Jerusalem.  This is also proven out of Tobit 1:7, the second tithe I sold, and I went, and spent it in Jerusalem (Scaliger[4] and Amama[5] on Deuteronomy 26:12).  Josephus also confirms this in Antiquities of the Jews 4:8 (Amama).  And, when that second tithe was parceled out, the Hebrews gathered out of the law in Leviticus 27:31 that a fifth part of the tithe was yet wont to be added; so that what was in appearances ten of a hundred was in adoration twelve (Scaliger and Amama on Deuteronomy 26:12).  By these second tithes provision was made for those who according to the Law were gathering for the appointed feasts unto the place chosen by God (Junius).  The tithes given to the priests it was lawful to eat in any place; Numbers 18:31.  This second tithe it was lawful to eat only in Jerusalem, Deuteronomy 14:23 (Ainsworth).  Others understand this of the tithes of the third year.  Thus Ainsworth [who confounds the second and third tithes].  The owners were eating that second tithe in the first and second year; in the third year they were separating it for the Levites and the poor (Ainsworth).  This tithe of the third and sixth years of the hebdomad of years succeeded into the place of the second tithe (Grotius on verse 29).  They give the tithe of the poor in the third year, in the place of the second tithe (Fagius out of the Hebrews).  Others think that these tithes were distinct (thus Lapide, Oleaster).  This is evident from a comparison with verse 28 (Lapide).  [Others otherwise:]  He does not say, thou shalt eat the tithe, but, other things which thou shalt bring (certain interpreters in Oleaster).  For with the tithe they were obliged to bring some voluntary gift, Exodus 23:15.  That was the peace-offering, a part of which was yielded to the offerer.  Of this peace-offering I understand this (Menochius).  Concerning these things see what things are on Leviticus 19:24 and Deuteronomy 12:17 (Bonfrerius).  Others maintain that these tithes were voluntary, not prescribed (Cajetan in Oleaster, certain interpreters in Malvenda); and that it was not properly a tithe, although it was thus called (certain interpreters in Malvenda).

Tithe:  This is to be understood of the second tithes, which seem to be the same with the tithes of the third year, mentioned here below, verse 28; Deuteronomy 26:12, on which see above, on Deuteronomy 12:17.  And to confirm this opinion, (though I would not lay too great a stress upon criticisms,) yet I cannot but observe that this tithing is spoken of only as the people’s act here, and Deuteronomy 26:12, and the Levites are not at all mentioned in either place as receivers or takers of them, but only as partakers of them together with the owners, and therefore they are so severely charged here upon their consciences, thou shalt truly tithe all thine increase, because the execution of this was left wholly to themselves, whereas the first tithes were received by the Levites, who therefore are said to take or receive those tithes, Numbers 18:26; Nehemiah 10:38; Hebrews 7:5.

[Of the fruits which are produced in the land, הַיֹּצֵ֥א הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה]  The product of the field (Septuagint); which comes forth in the field (Junius and Tremellius), or, from the field (Samaritan Text, similarly the Syriac, Arabic, Chaldean).


Verse 23:  (Deut. 12:5-7, 17, 18) And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and (Deut. 15:19, 20) the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.

[The firstlings]  Nearly the same doubt occurs concerning the firstlings which belong to the Lord.  Responses:  1.  Of the firstlings sacrificed to God the offerers were also eating.  See what things are on Numbers 18 (Oleaster, similarly Ainsworth).  2.  To others, the principal, the excellent, the best animals besides the firstlings are here called firstlings (certain interpreters in Malvenda).  Concerning these things see on Deuteronomy 12:17 (Bonfrerius).

Thou shalt eat before the Lord, etc.:  See on Deuteronomy 12:6, 17.

[That thou mayest learn to fear]  Eat ye in Jerusalem, so that by this occasion ye might hear the Priests and Judges teaching the fear of the Lord (Fagius out of Nahmanides[6] and Chizkuni, thus Oleaster).  Likewise, so that they, knowing that they are going to be often appearing before their Lord, might fear to be punished by Him, if they be evil (Oleaster).


Verse 24:  And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or (Deut. 12:21) if the place be too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall choose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath blessed thee…

[And thou art not able to carry]  Hebrew:  to bear it,[7] namely, the tenth (Vatablus, Malvenda).  It is added in Hebrew, because He blessed thee;[8] that is to say, because thou art abounding in tithes through the blessing of God and art enriched, to such an extent that it is difficult to carry them on such a journey (Junius).


Verse 25:  Then shalt thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose…

[Thou shalt sell, understanding, those tithes (Vatablus), וְנָתַתָּ֖ה בַּכָּ֑סֶף]  And thou shalt give (thou shalt sell [Septuagint, Chaldean, Arabic, Syriac]; thou shalt exchange [Samaritan Text, Junius and Tremellius]) in silver, or money (Montanus, Samaritan Text, Junius and Tremellius).

[And according to the price thou shalt render, וְצַרְתָּ[9]And thou shalt gather (Vatablus, Malvenda) (thou shalt confine [Malvenda]), that is, the money, tied into a little bundle, thou shalt put in thy hand (Vatablus).  Perhaps for this purpose, that they might be reminded of the reason for the journey.  Hence the tradition arose that this money was not be to mixed with profane money (Fagius).

Bind up the money in thine hand, i.e. in a bag to be taken into thy hand and carried with thee.


Verse 26:  And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth (Heb. asketh of thee[10]):  (Deut. 12:7, 18; 26:11) and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household…

[And thou shalt buy]  With that money they bought those things that they would offer to the Lord, and those things that they would eat.  See John 2 (Vatablus).  The law was that the money from the parceled out Tithe was kept for the next solemn feast, to be brought to Jerusalem (Fagius).

[And thou shalt feast]  That is, thou shalt feast with joy (Vatablus).  There is no joy without flesh, say the Talmudists (Grotius out of Fagius).  By which they wished to signify that there is no true joy that is not made with the Lord (Fagius).


Verse 27:  And (Deut. 12:12, 18, 19) the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for (Num. 18:20; Deut. 18:1, 2) he hath no part nor inheritance with thee.

Thou shalt not forsake him; thou shalt give him a share in such tithes, or in the product of them.


Verse 28:  (Deut. 26:12; Amos 4:4) At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates…

[In the third year, מִקְצֵ֣ה׀ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים]  At the end of three years (Vatablus, Oleaster, Pagnine), that is, in the third year, as it is given in Deuteronomy 26:12 (Ainsworth).  Μετὰ/after,[11] taken concerning time, sometimes signifies within.  It does not always indicate a consequent time, but sometimes a time lying between and yet in its strength.  Thus here מִקְצֵה, from the end, etc., that is, in any third year.  Thus in Deuteronomy 31:10, מִקֵּץ, from the end, of seven years, that is, in the seventh year:  in Joshua 9:16, and it was from the end[12] of three days, that is, on the third day, as it is evident from verse 17:  in 2 Kings 18:10, and he took it מִקְצֵה, from the end, of three years, or, after three years, that is, in the third year itself; for in the seventh year of Hoshea he besieged it, verse 9, and in the ninth year he conquered it, as it is said in verse 10 and in 2 Kings 17:6 (Glassius’ “Grammar” 544).

At the end of three years, i.e. in the third year, as it is expressed, Deuteronomy 26:12.  So, in the end of three years, or of seven years, is the same with in the third or seventh year, as appears by comparing Deuteronomy 31:10; Joshua 9:16, 17; 2 Kings 18:9, 10; 17:6.

[Another tithe]  This tithe is called the consummation of tithes, inasmuch as in it the love of the neighbor more manifestly appeared (Grotius on verse 29).  This is the third tithe, as it is called in Tobit 1:8,[13] that is, the tithe of the third year was nothing other than the first tithe, which, as in the other years at Jerusalem it was put into the hands of the Levites, who were performing at that time the ministry, so also in the third year was put into the barns and cellars of the farmer, and was expended on the Levites, widows, etc., Deuteronomy 14:28, 29:  wherefore it is called the tithe of the poor (Scaliger, and out of Scaliger Amama on Deuteronomy 26:12).  It is proven.  Either it was the first, or the second; or, it took away the first, or the second tithe.  If it had taken away both, it would have brought the priests into a wretched condition.  It did not take away the second tithe, which was consumed in the courtyard with the farmer present; because thus for that whole year the priests would have been very hungry, inasmuch as nothing was to be expected beyond the tithes of the tithes of the Levites, and תְּרוּמוֹת/Therumas, the heave-offerings, a part of which was to be expended on their daily provision, a part of which was to be stored in the sixth year for the year of Remission.  But how little were those for so many priests, who in the age of Josephus were more than one hundred and twenty thousand!  Therefore, it took away the first; so that by this arrangement only the tithe of the tithes would be withdrawn from the priests, and only that which was conferred upon orphans, widows, and the poor would be withdrawn from the Levites.  And thus at the small expense of both orders attention was given to the common poverty.  All which would have been otherwise, if, as some suppose, these tithes of the third year took ways the second tithes (Amama).  Those who think that this is a tithe diverse from the first, and set up a third, are as deceived as those who place the tithe of the tithe among these differences.  For a reason for the tithes is only had, which the inhabitants, not which the Levites, were paying (Scaliger).  [But concerning these things Scaliger and Amama discuss at greater length in the passage cited, who are able easily to be consulted.]

All the tithe of thine increase.  I join with those expositors who make this the same tithe with the former, Deuteronomy 14:22, as being called by the same title without any distinction between them, save only as to the place of eating them.  See above on verse 22, and 12:17.  The same year:  this is added to show that he speaks of the third year, and not of the fourth year, as some might conjecture from the phrase, at the end of three years.


Verse 29:  (Deut. 26:12) And the Levite, (because [Deut. 14:27; 12:12] he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that (Deut. 15:10; Prov. 3:9, 10; see Mal. 3:10) the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.

[And the orphan, etc.]  Lest either they be compelled to beg, or to serve foreigners at the risk of being corrupted (Bonfrerius after Lyra).

[1] See Numbers 18:26-32.

[2] See, for example, Numbers 18:24.

[3] See, for example, Deuteronomy 12:6, 7.

[4] Scaliger wrote a work De Decimis (Concerning Tithes).

[5] Sixtinus Amama (1593-1629) was Professor of Hebrew at Oxford (1613) and at Franeker (1618), succeeding John Drusius.  He is remembered for his skill in Oriental languages and his defense of the ultimate authority of the original texts of Scripture.  He wrote a work De Decimis (Concerning Tithes).

[6] Moshe ben Nehman Gerondi, or Nahmanides (1194-1270), was a medieval Spanish rabbi, a philosopher, a Kabbalist, and a Biblical commentator.  His commentary on the Torah is characterized by his own careful philological work, an uncritical acceptance of the teachings of the rabbis of the Talmud, and mysticism.

[7] Hebrew:  שְׂאֵתוֹ.

[8] The final clause is missing in the Vulgate.

[9] צוּר signifies to confine or bind.

[10] Hebrew:  תּשְׁאָלְךָ.

[11] Thus the Septuagint.

[12] Hebrew:  מִקְצֵה.

[13] Tobit 1:7, 8:  “The first tenth part of all increase I gave to the sons of Aaron, who ministered at Jerusalem:  another tenth part I sold away, and went, and spent it every year at Jerusalem:  And the third I gave unto them to whom it was meet, as Debora my father’s mother had commanded me, because I was left an orphan by my father.”

Deuteronomy 14:9-21: The Dietary Law, Part 2

Verse 9:  (Lev. 11:9) These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters:  all that have fins and scales shall ye eat…


Verse 10:  And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.


Verse 11:  Of all clean birds ye shall eat.

[Clean birds]  צִפּוֹר/bird is used only of a clean bird, and thereupon clean is a perpetual epithet;[1] עוֹף, however, is a bird either unclean or clean (Chizkuni in Drusius).


Verse 12:  (Lev. 11:13) But these are they of which ye shall not eat:  the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray…


Verse 13:  And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind…

[Ixion, the ringtail, וְהָרָאָה[2]]  It is the same as the דָּאָה in Leviticus 11:14[3] [see the things mentioned in that place].  Ixus:  it is a species of vulture, white, smaller than the vulture, named after the keenness of its sight (Hebrews in Vatablus).

[And the kite, וְהַדַּיָּה[4]]  This was omitted in Leviticus, either by the Prophet, or (which I prefer) by the scribes, because of τὸ ὁμοιόπτωτον, homoioptoton,[5] אַיָּה and דַּיָּה.  What דַּיָּה might be is not sufficiently known (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  Some translate it, the kite (Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Arabic, Montanus, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth), as if it were the same bird as the דָּאָה in Leviticus 11:14 (thus a great many in Malvenda).  This I do not approve.  For דָּאָה and רָאָה are the same.  Moreover, דַּיָּה and רָאָה are here distinguished (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 2:2:9).  Munster translates it, milvium,[6] who also renders the preceding אַיָּה as milvum.  Others translate it, vulture (thus Castalio, Dutch, likewise Rabbi Salomon and the English and Italian Versions and Fuller’s[7] Sacred Miscellany[8] 6:4 in Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals, Bochart in his Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  It is proven out of Isaiah 34:15, where the דַיּוֹת gather themselves together.  But kites are not flocking birds, neither are they gathered together, as vultures are:  and this is recorded concerning them in Gesnerus’ History of Animals[9] 5:785, Aristotle’s History of Animals 6:5, and others.  You will say that eagles also are gathered to a corpse, Matthew 24:28, and therefore this is not peculiar to the vulture.  Response:  Those eagles are not genuine, but gypæti,[10] which are degenerate eagles and of a vulturine appearance (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 2:2:9).  דַּיָּה is named either from דָּאָה, from its swiftness in flight; or from דַּי/sufficiency, from its powerful and indefatigable flight (Malvenda); or, from דְּיוֹ/ink, because it is a black bird (Malvenda, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 2:2:9).  I understand here only black vultures; for those which are white are called רַחֲמִים.  [Concerning which see on Leviticus 11:18[11] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 2:2:9).]


Verse 14:  And every raven after his kind…


Verse 15:  And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind…


Verse 16:  The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan…


Verse 17:  And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant…


Verse 18:  And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.


Verse 19:  And (Lev. 11:20) every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you:  (see Lev. 11:21) they shall not be eaten.

[That creeps, etc., שֶׁ֣רֶץ הָע֔וֹף]  A creeping-flying thing (Pagnine, Malvenda, Drusius).  Winged, that is, flying with a fine membrane, of which it makes use in the place of little wings (Vatablus).  Which at the same time creeps and has wings; like flies, wasps, etc. (Drusius).


Verse 20:  But of all clean fowls ye may eat.


Verse 21:  (Lev. 17:15; 22:8; Ezek. 4:14) Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself:  thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien:  (Deut. 14:2) for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God.  (Ex. 23:19; 34:26) Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

[A thing dead of itself (thus Fagius), נְבֵלָה[12]A corpse (Vatablus, Malvenda), that is, any bird dead of itself (Vatablus).  The flesh of a clean animal (Ainsworth, Bonfrerius).  For it was not necessary to command concerning unclean animals, upon which, even when slaughtered, it was not lawful to feed (Bonfrerius).  A thing is dead of itself, not only when it dies spontaneously (Ainsworth, Bonfrerius) (as it is hence evident, for no one would easily obtain such things [Bonfrerius]), but also when it is butchered contrary to the legal rite (Bonfrerius, Ainsworth).  (See on Leviticus 17:15 [Ainsworth].)  It was this, that, with the veins of the neck cut, all the blood was removed (Fagius).

[To the stranger…sell]  Objection:  In Numbers 9:14, there is one statute for the stranger and for the native.  Responses:  1.  The stranger was of two sorts; 1.  circumcised (concerning whom, Numbers 9); 2.  uncircumcised, remaining in Heathenism (who was גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב, that is, a stranger-inhabitant [Ainsworth], and was professing the precepts of Noah [Fagius]).  The latter sort is discussed here (Munster, Fagius, Menochius, Ainsworth, Gerhard).  The Chaldean translates it, to a son of the peoples, that is, to a Heathen man that did not dwell in the land of Israel (Ainsworth).  2.  The statutes were, 1.  of religion, 2.  of polity, 3.  of external conversation.  The former two were obligating indigenous proselytes; not so the last (Gerhard).

Unto the stranger; not to the proselyte, for such were obliged by this law, Leviticus 17:15, but to such as were strangers in religion as well as in nation.

[Thou shalt not boil a kid, גְּדִי]  Parity of reasoning extended this also to lambs and to calves (Grotius, thus the Hebrews in Ainsworth), and to other animals (Hebrews in Ainsworth); except that Scripture according to its own custom speaks of the matter present, inasmuch as, by the received usage of men, kids, rather than lambs, are wont to be eaten.  They note that  גְּדִיis a kid as much of goat- as sheep-kind, from גָּדַד, to rush towards; that is, one rushing towards the teats of its mother (Malvenda).  To boil here also includes to eat, or to convert unto one’s own use or benefit (Ainsworth).  [But concerning this pericope see what things have been expressed at length on Exodus 23:19.]

[1] Deuteronomy 14:11:  “Of all clean birds (כָּל־צִפּ֥וֹר טְהֹרָ֖ה) ye shall eat.”

[2] Deuteronomy 14:13:  “And the glede (וְהָרָאָה; ixion, the ringtail, in the Vulgate), and the kite, and the vulture after his kind…”  רָאָה, the kite (perhaps), may be related to the verbal root רָאָה, to see.

[3] Leviticus 11:14:  “And the vulture (הַדָּאָה), and the kite (הָאַיָּה) after his kind…”  דָּאָה, the kite (perhaps), may be related to the verbal root דָּאָה, to fly swiftly.

[4] Deuteronomy 14:13:  “And the glede, and the kite (הָאַיָּה), and the vulture (וְהַדַּיָּה; ac milvum, and the kite, in the Vulgate) after his kind…”

[5] That is, words that look alike.

[6] Milvium may be an alternative spelling for milvum, or it may signify a kite-like bird.

[7] Nicholas Fuller (1557-1622) was an English churchman, a learned divine, and a critic of great judgment.  He excelled in the languages of the Scripture, and he applied his considerable talents to the resolution of Scripture difficulties.

[8] Miscellanea Sacra.

[9] Conrad Gesnerus (1516-1565) was a Swiss naturalist and bibliographer, author of Historiæ Animalium, considered to be the first modern zoological encyclopedia.

[10] A type of vulture.

[11] Leviticus 11:18:  “And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle (הָרָחָם)…”

[12] נְבֵלָה/corpse is derived from the verbal root נָבֵל, to sink down or fall.

2 Peter 1:8: Exhortation to Add Virtues to Faith, Part 3

Verse 8:  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (Gr. idle[1]) (John 15:2; Tit. 3:14) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[These things, etc., ταῦτα γὰρ ὑμῖν ὑπάρχοντα καὶ πλεονάζοντα, οὐκ ἀργοὺς οὐδὲ ἀκάρπους καθίστησιν εἰς τὴν τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπίγνωσιν]  For these things (just now enumerated [Menochius, thus Camerarius], the kinds of virtues [Tirinus]), if they be present with you (in a manuscript, in the place of ὑπάρχοντα, being present, is παρόντα, being near or present[2] [Grotius]) and abound (or, increase from day to day [Grotius]:  It denotes an increase, both internal, or intensive, and external, so that they might stretch themselves abroad, and go forth to work [Gerhard out of Œcumenius]:  If these things shall be present to you abundantly [Gerhard]), neither inert (or, idle [Erasmus, Pagnine, etc.], בֺּטְלִים, those idle[3] [Grotius]) nor unfruitful (that is, lacking in good works [Tirinus out of Lapide, etc.], which are compared to fruits [Piscator, Gerhard], as in Matthew 3:10; 7:17-19 [Gerhard]; Galatians 5:22 [Piscator]), shall make (or, establish and render [Estius, Gomar], and reveal [Gomar]; but on the contrary understand, laborious, fruitful, and useful [Estius, thus Gerhard]) you in…the knowledge of Christ (Beza), that is, in the faith (Estius, Gomar), which is often called ἐπίγνωσις/knowledge (Estius).  Εἰς/into/unto is in the place of ἐν/in (Grotius, Gerhard).  [The sense:]  Those things shall bring it to pass, that the knowledge of Christ, that is, of the Gospel, which ye have obtained, is neither useless to others, nor unfruitful for you (Grotius).  Only then, says he, will ye glory in the knowledge of Christ not falsely and inanely, but ye shall demonstrate that He is truly known by you (Calvin).  Or, to the knowledge, etc. (Erasmus, Piscator, etc.).  Εἰς/into/unto here is to be taken as πρὸς, to or in comparison with, in Romans 8:18,[4] and denotes comparison; that is to say, If your life be compared to the knowledge of Christ, with which ye have been furnished (Piscator).  But this is able to be proven with hardly any example (Gerhard).

For if these things be in you, and abound; if ye not only have these graces in you, but abound or grow in them, both as to the inward degree and outward exercise of them.  They make you; either they make you, or declare you, not to be barren, or both; they will be both the causes and evidences of your not being barren.  Barren; or, slothful, idle, unactive.  Nor unfruitful; void of good works, which are frequently compared to fruits, Matthew 3:10; 7:17-19; Galatians 5:22.  In the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; i.e. the faith of Christ.  But more is implied here than expressed; q.d. They will make you be active and fruitful in the knowledge of Christ, and declare you to be so, and thereby make it appear that ye have not in vain learned Christ.

[1] Greek:  ἀργοὺς.

[2] Thus Codex Alexandrinus.

[3] Ecclesiastes 12:3:  “In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease (וּבָטְלוּ הַטֹּחֲנוֹת) because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened…”

[4] Romans 8:18:  “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with (πρὸς) the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Deuteronomy 14:3-8: The Dietary Law, Part 1

Verse 3:  (Ezek. 4:14; Acts 10:13, 14) Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.

[Which are unclean]  Concerning these things see Leviticus 11.  [For here we shall give only those things which are not explicated there, lest we do what has already been done.]

[תּוֹעֵבָה]  An abomination, that is, of the flesh of any unclean animal (Vatablus).

Abominable:  i.e. Unclean and forbidden by me, which therefore should be abominable to you.


Verse 4:  (Lev. 11:2, etc.) These are the beasts which ye shall eat:  the ox, the sheep, and the goat…

These are the beasts, etc.:  Of which see on Leviticus 11.  The small differences between some of their names here and there are not proper for this work.[1]  The learned reader may find them cleared in my Latin Synopsis.  For others, they may well enough want the knowledge of them, both because these are the smaller matters of the law, and because this distinction of clean and unclean beasts is now out of date.

[And the sheep, שֵׂ֥ה כְשָׂבִ֖ים וְשֵׂ֥ה עִזִּֽים׃[2]]  That is, the young of the ewe-lambs and the young of the she-goats, that is, the mature calf and the kid (Vatablus).


Verse 5:  The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg (or, bison; Heb. dishon[3]), and the wild ox, and the chamois.

[The stag (thus all interpreters), אַיָּל[4]]  It is named for its strength,[5] which its swiftness and agility indicate to be in the stag in the highest degree, although its courage does not correspond (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:17:880:70).  Its female is called a doe, אַיָּלָה, a hind in English (Ainworth).  But אַיָּל  is also feminine, Psalm 42:1[6] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 811:5).

[The roe (thus all interpreters), וּצְבִי]  In English, the Roebuck (Ainsworth).  It is named for its beauty.[7]  Therefore, in those the ancients especially delighted, and those they both preserved and adorned.  A body desenser than wild animals, and more graceful than the gazelle, Seneca’s Concerning Benefits[8] 2:29 (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 898:70).

[The antelope, וְיַחְמוּר]  It is repeated only twice, here,[9] and in 1 Kings 4:23[10] (Malvenda).  [They render it variously.]  1.  Bubalum, the antelope (Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Syriac, Munster, Pagnine, Montanus, Dutch), βούβαλον/boubalon, the antelope (Septuagint).  But what is the bubalus?  Responses:  1.  The wild ox (thus Cajetan, Pagnine, Vatablus, Avenarius[11] and Schindler[12] in Malvenda).  By a very ancient error, for thus Pliny in his Natural History 8:15, and Martial[13] in his Book of Spectacles[14] 23, to that yielded the fierce bubalus and wild ox (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:22:9:11:5, etc.).  If that was the bubalus, it would not have been repeated among the royal delicacies and fare, 1 Kings 4:23; and therefore it is not the wild ox, or buffalo (Menochius, Tirinus out of Bonfrerius).  2.  The bubalus is a sort of she-goat (Drusius, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals); not δορκὰς, a gazelle, but a great she-goat (Drusius).  Oppian[15] expressly makes it of a middle size between the she-goat and the gazelle with broad horns; Βούβαλος αἶτε πέλει, etc.  Authors make the bubalum an animal related to the she-goat, and they join them repeatedly; as it is evident out of Aristotle’s History of Animals 3:6 and Concerning the Parts of Animals[16] 3:2, and out of Strabo and Ælian[17] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:22:9:11:5, etc.).  2.  Others render it, the wild ass (thus the Arabic, Malvenda, Forster and Kircher[18] in Bonfrerius) (perhaps it is the Reindeer; but this approaches more to the deer than to the ass [Bonfrerius, Gerhard, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals]), because חֲמוֹר is an ass.  This does not satisfy; for יַחְמוּר/yachmur here is an animal chewing the cud, with a split hoof, and clean:[19]  in the ass all things are contrary.  It is rather from חָמַר, to be red, Psalm 75:8,[20] so that it might be a red animal:  perhaps it is the red she-goat (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  3.  It is plainly to be placed in the genus of gazelles or wild she-goats (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  They translate it, the gazelle (Junius and Tremellius, similarly Ainsworth, English), the ibex[21] (Tigurinus), the mountain goat (Castalio).  To the Arabs it is an animal similar to the great she-goat, says Rabbi Jonah[22] (incorrectly Rabbi Judah in Tremellius [Drusius]).  The gazelle (Kimchi, Pomarius,[23] Aquinas[24] in Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  The Arabs write [see their words in Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals] that the Jachmur, or Jamur, is a red animal near Euphrates similar to the deer, but swifter, and with serrated horns, with which it splits the branches of trees, and entangled with which it cries, and is thus heard and taken by hunters.  It is the same as ἀνθόλοψ, the antelope.  Thus Peter Damianus[25] in Works 2 “Epistle” 18 renders it, concerning which Eustathius[26] narrates this very history in his Hexameron 36; and thus Albert the Great.[27]  The he-goat, approaching unto the she-goat, so that he might couple with her, when not admitted by her rushes for the Jachamura, because she is similar to the she-goat, Babylonian Talmud Bechoroth 1:7 (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:22).

[The wild goat (thus the Chaldean, Samaritan Text, the Septuagint in some codices, Nobilius)]  Or, the goat-stag (Tigurinus).  That the latter was a ficitious animal, many have supposed:  thus Origen,[28] Nazianus,[29] and Aristophanes (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  But it is a real animal, says Scaliger in his Exercises[30] 207 upon Cardan:  it is a he-goat in face and horns, a stag in size, hair, etc. (Malvenda, Menochius, Tirinus, Bonfrerius).  It is described for us in Arabia by Diodorus Siculus in his Historical Library 2:94, Pliny in his Natural History 8:11, Solinus in his The Wonders of the World[31] 22, the Philosopher[32] in his History of Animals 2:1.  Salmasius[33] says that it was seen in Paris, neither was anything more common in Germany (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 2:6:1).  The Hebrew is אַקּוֹ.  This word is not found elsewhere (Malvenda).  It is a wild goat (Hebrews, Pagnine, Vatablus, Reuchlin[34] in Malvenda, thus Montanus, Arabic, Dutch, Ainsworth out of Kimchi), capricorn (Munster).  To others it is the ibex (thus the Syriac, the three Chaldean versions, the four Arab versions, Rabbi Salomon [Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals]).  All maintain that it is a species of goat, or has something in common with the goat.  That this is true is urged by the fact that to the Talmudists אקא/akka, or איקא/ikka is a goat.  אַקּוֹ appears to be in the place of אַנְקוֹ (with the letter נ/nun absorbed in the Dagesh point [ּ], as in חִטָּה/wheat,[35] and עִזִּים/she-goats,[36] and חָזִיר/pig,[37] in which, that the נ/nun lies hidden the Arabic speech teaches us), from אָנַק/anak, to cry, for she-goats are clamorous cattle, as Aristotle testifies in his Physiognomonics.[38]  In Arabic Anak is a she-goat (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:19).  To others it is the mountain goat (thus Chizkuni in Drusius and Junius and Tremellius, Buxtorf, Schindler in Malvenda and Ainsworth).  To Forster it is Alce, the elk, but with little reason, as if it would be from אַקּוֹ, with the letter ל/L inserted (Bonfrerius).

[The pygarg (thus the Septuagint, Chaldean, Samaritan Text, Castalio, Ainsworth, English), וְדִישֹׁן]  Some take it of the pygarg, a type of eagle.  This does not satisfy; 1.  Quadrupeds, not birds, are here treated.  2.  All eagles are unclean.  Therefore, the pygarg here is a type of she-goat, or wild she-goat, similar to the fallow-deer, Pliny’s Natural History 8:53 (thus Menochius, Tirinus, Gerhard, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  It is reckoned among these by Herodotus in his Histories 4, and Ælian in his History of the Animals[39] 7:19.  The Greeks translate it, πύγαργον/pugargon, that is, an animal with a white rump.[40]  Rather דִּישֺׁן is a thing ash-colored, from דֶּשֶׁן/ash.  Bellonius in his Observations[41] 2:51 attributed to it (under the name of the antelope) two ash-colored spots on both sides of its hips.  Or, it is a true antelope, of which part of the back is ash-colored, says Agricola[42] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:20).  Some translate it, the unicorn (Syriac, Montanus, Munster, Tigurinus), the bison (Malvenda, English), the deer (Dutch), the mountain goat (Arabic, Pagnine), the screwhorn antelope (Junius and Tremellius).

[The antelope, וּתְאוֹ[43]]  It does not occur elsewhere (Malvenda).  It is the same as תּוֹא in Isaiah 51:20[44] (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals).  They translate it, 1.  the untamed bull (or, wild ox [Tigurinus]) (thus Vatablus, Pagnine, Forster, Marinus,[45] and the Hebrews univocally, says Malvenda, thus Ainsworth, Gerhard, Munster, Dutch, English).  2.  Rather, it is the antelope, which is in the genus of goats, Pliny’s Natural History 8:53; 11:46, Aristotle’s History of Animals 1 (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).  Thus it is rendered by the Septuagint, and Aquila and the Syriac and Symmachus in Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals, the Samaritan Text, Castalio.  It is demonstrated, 1.  by the fact that it is placed here between species of deer and of wild goats, unto which the Chaldean, Syrian, and Arab translators refer the other six animals.  2.  It is reckoned among the foods:  but the eating of the wild ox is condemned.  3.  It is taken in a snare, Isaiah 51:20.  But wild bulls are not taken with nets (which they easily break), but rather with pits, etc., as testify Diodorus Siculus in his Historical Library 3, Ælian in his History of Animals 17:45, and Pliny in his Natural History 8:21 (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:28).

[The giraffe[46]]  Thus זֶמֶר/zemer is translated by the Septuagint, the Chaldean, the Samaritan Text, the Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Castalio, Drusius, Pomarius, Buxtorf in Malvenda, likewise Rabbi Jonah and Kimchi and the two Arabic editions, and their Lexicographers, and a great many, Bochart in his Sacred Catalogue of Animals.  Thus Nebrissensis’[47] An Explanation of Fifty Passages[48] 8.  It recalls camelum, the camel, in its head and neck; pardalin, the leopard, or panther, in its spots (Menochius, Tirinus).  It is rightly set forth among the things to be eaten, for it is horned, dividing the hoof, and chewing the cud (Nebrissensis).  This does not satisy:  These are born in places far removed, and were unknown to the Jews, and thus in vain would they be here prohibited.  Concerning these Aristotle has nothing.  Before Cæsar no one at Rome had seen them (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:21).  It is translated the elk by Munster, the reindeer by Tigurinus, the chamois[49] by the English Version and Ainworth.  An animal with branched horns, or the caribou (Arabic), the mountain goat (Montanus, Syriac, Schindler in Gerhard).  It was an animal related to wild goats and to deer.  The Arabic ramaza and, with the letters inverted, zamara, signify to leap with the leaping of a goat.  Therefore, זֶמֶר (which The Gate of Heaven 26 relates to be an Arabian animal) is some sort of goat, which is especially ἁλτικὸν καὶ πηδητικόν, good at leaping and springing (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:3:21).


Verse 6:  And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.


Verse 7:  Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney:  for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.

[The camel]  Heliogabalus,[50] in Lampridius,[51] exhibited ostriches and camels at dinners a number of times, saying that it was a precept of the Jews that they should eat.  He lied, since these were forbidden to them; or in Lampridius, in the place of ut/that, , that not, is to be read, as if it were done out of hatred for the Jews (Malvenda).


Verse 8:  And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you:  ye shall not eat of their flesh, (Lev. 11:26, 27) nor touch their dead carcase.

[The swine also]  Hebrew:  and the pig,[52] understanding, not shall ye eat (Vatablus).

[1] That is, the Annotations.

[2] שֶׂה signifies a sheep or goat; כֶּשֶׂב, a lamb; עֵז, a she-goat.

[3] Hebrew:  וְדִישֹׁן.

[4] Deuteronomy 14:4a:  “The hart (אַיָּל), and the roebuck…”

[5] אֵל signifies strong.

[6] Psalm 42:1:  “As the hart (כְּאַיָּל) panteth (תַּעֲרֹג, in the feminine gender) after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”

[7] צְבִי /gazelle signifies beauty, or honor.

[8] De Beneficiis.

[9] Deuteronomy 14:5a:  “The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer (וְיַחְמוּר), and the wild goat…”

[10] 1 Kings 4:23:  “Ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and an hundred sheep, beside harts, and roebucks, and fallowdeer (וְיַחְמוּר), and fatted fowl.”

[11] Johannes Habermann, also known as Avenarius (1516-1590), was a learned Lutheran pastor and Hebrew scholar, professor at Jena and Wittenberg.

[12] Valentine Schindler (d. 1604) was a Lutheran Hebraist.  He was Professor of Oriental Languages at Wittenberg and at Helmstadt.

[13] Marcus Valerius Martialis was a first century Roman poet.

[14] Liber Spectaculorum.

[15] Oppian of Apamea wrote his poem on hunting (Cynegetica) in the early second century.

[16] De Partibus Animalium.

[17] Claudius Ælianus (c. 175-c. 235) was a Roman rhetorician and teacher.

[18] Conrad Kircher (fl. 1600) published a concordance to the Septuagint, entitled Concordantiæ Veteris Testamenti Graecæ, Hebreis Vocibus Respondentes.

[19] See Leviticus 11:3.

[20] Psalm 75:8a:  “For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red (חָמַר); it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same…”

[21] That is, a type of wild goat.

[22] Jonah ibn Genach (c. 990-c. 1050) was a Spanish rabbi.  He exerted a heavy influence upon Jewish exegesis of the Scriptures through his works in Hebrew grammar and lexicography.

[23] David ben Isaac de Pomis (1525-1593) was an Italian physician, philosopher, and rabbi.  He produced Hebrew and Aramaic lexica.

[24] Thomas Aquinas (c. 1224-1274) was perhaps the greatest of the mediæval scholastic theologians.  He wrote on much of the Bible, gathering together the comments, observations, and interpretations of the Fathers.

[25] Peter Damianus (988-1072) served the Benedictines as a Prior and Abbot, and then the broader Roman Church as a cardinal.  Darling:  “He was one of the most learned and polished writers of his age, and was greatly opposed to the corruptions of the Church which he describes in a vivid manner.”  Ibid., 863.

[26] Eustathius of Antioch, sometimes called Eustathius the Great, was bishop and patriarch of Antioch in the fourth century.  At the Council of Nicea he demonstrated great zeal against the Arians.  The Commentary on the Hexameron (that is, on the Six Days of Creation), although frequently attributed to him, was probably not written by him.

[27] This is a reference to Albert the Great’s De Animalibus (c. 1260), a compendium of natural history studies.  Albert (c. 1193-1280) was a German Dominican friar and bishop, a noted Aristotlean philosopher, and teacher of Thomas Aquinas.

[28] Origen (c. 185-c. 254) succeeded Clement of Alexandria as the head of the catechetical school in Alexandria.  He was perhaps the greatest scholar of his age.

[29] Gregory of Nazianzus (330-389) was Archbishop of Constantinope, and a doctor of the Church, known as the Trinitarian Theologian.

[30] Julius Cæsar Scaliger (1484-1558), Italian scholar and physician, father of Joseph Justus Scaliger, was the author of Exercitationes (1557), a commentary on Jerome Cardan’s, De Subtilitate.

[31] Gaius Julius Solinus (third century) was a compiler of antiquarian curiosities.  He wrote De Mirabilibus Mundi (The Wonders of the World), which contains a section on Arabia.

[32] That is, Aristotle.

[33] Claudius Salmasius, or Claude Saumaise (1588-1653) was a French Protestant scholar of classical antiquity.  He succeeded Joseph Scaliger in the professorship at Leiden.

[34] Johannes Reuchlin or Capnio (1455-1522) was a reformer and a philologist, largely responsible for the introduction of Hebraic studies into Germany.  He was Professor of Greek and Hebrew at Wittenburg (1518), and he published works on Hebrew lexicography, orthography, and grammar, and on Kabbalistic interpretation.

[35] חִטָּה/wheat is derived from the verbal root חָנַט, to make spicey, or to embalm.

[36] עִזִּים/she-goats is derived from the verbal root ענז, to turn aside.

[37] חָזִיר/pig is here related to the verbal root נָזַר, to abstain.

[38] Physiognomonica.

[39] De Natura Animalium.

[40] Probably a type of antelope.  Πυγή signifies rump; ἀργός, shining or white.

[41] Petrus Bellonius Cenomanus, or Pierre Belon du Mans (1517-1564), was a French naturalist, and author of several important zoological works, including Les Observations de Plusieurs Singularitez et Choses Memorables Trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et Autres pays Étrangèrs (1553).

[42] Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) was a German scholar; he wrote on botany, medicine, and other scientifice disciplines.

[43] Deuteronomy 14:5b:  “…and the pygarg, and the wild ox (וּתְאוֹ), and the chamois.”

[44] Isaiah 51:20:  “Thy sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as a wild bull (כְּתוֹא) in a net:  they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy God.”

[45] Marcus Marinus was a sixteenth century Hebrew scholar and papal inquisitor/ censor.  He deleted from the Basel Talmud five chapters, which reflected negatively upon Christianity.

[46] Deuteronomy 14:5b:  “…and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois (וָזָמֶר; camelopardalum, the giraffe, in the Vulgate).”

[47] Anthony Nebrissensis (1441-1552) was a Spanish scholar and classicist.  He employed his learning to further classical literature among his people, to produce the first grammar of the Spanish language, and to assist in the production of the Complutensian Polyglot Bible.

[48] Quinquaginta Locorum Explanatio.

[49] A goat-antelope species.

[50] Heliogabalus was a famously decadent and wicked Emperor, reigning from 218 to 222.

[51] Ælius Lampridius (fourth century) was a Roman historian.

[52] Hebrew:  וְאֶת־הַחֲזִיר.

2 Peter 1:6, 7: Exhortation to Add Virtues to Faith, Part 2

Verse 6:  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness…

[Moderation, ἐγκράτειαν]  Continence, or temperance (Erasmus, Pagnine, Vatablus, Beza, Piscator).  Namely, in food and drink, and the pleasures of the flesh (Menochius, thus Gerhard):  which checks pleasures (Estius), lusts, and other vicious affections, like anger, ambition, etc. (Gerhard).  A strict moderation of all pleasures.  See Acts 24:25; Galatians 5:22, 23 (Grotius).  Knowledge, or Christian ethics, and discretion, teach this (Menochius).

Temperance; a grace which represseth, and curbs in, not only sensual lusts, but all inordinate appetites, Galatians 5:22, 23; Titus 1:8.

[Patience (thus Erasmus), τὴν ὑπομονήν]  Fortitude (Beza, Piscator).  By which they might bear injuries and afflictions with calmness (Gerhard).  The steadfast enduring of evils, Luke 21:19; Romans 5:3; 8:25; 15:4; etc.  תִּקְוָה/hope[1] (Grotius).

Patience; that Christian fortitude whereby we bear afflictions and injuries, so as to persevere in our duty without being moved by the evils that attend us in the doing of it.

[Piety[2]]  Either, 1.  toward man (Zegers), that is, mercy and beneficence (certain interpreters in Gerhard); or, 2.  toward God (Estius):  so that we, worshipping God, and hoping in Him, confidently look for liberation from adversities (Gerhard).  Without respect to God, and His promises, there is no true patience (Estius).

[Τὴν εὐσέβειαν]  The worship of God (Menochius, thus Hammond), in public assemblies (Hammond).  A vast increase in piety:  how this is to be understood and what things will follow, see 1 Timothy 2:2; 3:16; 4:7, 8; 6:3, 6, 11; etc. (Grotius).

Godliness; which respects our immediate duty to God, and comprehends all the duties of the first table.  This is joined to patience, as being that which teacheth us, in all we suffer, to acknowledge God’s providence, and promises of deliverance and recompence.


Verse 7:  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and (Gal. 6:10; 1 Thess. 3:12; 5:15; 1 John 4:21) to brotherly kindness charity.

[Love of the brotherhood, etc., φιλαδελφίαν]  Love of brethren (Erasmus, Beza, etc.).  Without which piety does not please God (Menochius, thus Estius).  A delight in those who are likewise Christians (Grotius, similarly Erasmus), Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; etc. (Grotius)

Brotherly kindness; a love to those that are of the household of faith.  This is joined to godliness, to show that it is in vain to pretend to true religion and yet be destitute of brotherly love.

[Charity, τὴν ἀγάπην]  Which he here adds, either, 1.  saying the same thing twice; or, 2.  as something more emphatic than φιλαδελφία, brotherly love (Erasmus):  or, 3.  because φιλαδελφία is referred to the effect, ἀγάπη to the execution (Erasmus, similarly Beza), or duties thence arising (Beza); or, 4.  as more general and broader, so that φιλαδελφία has regard to Christians (Erasmus); ἀγάπη to all, even Pagans (Erasmus, similarly Grotius, Gerhard), and enemies (Hammond, Clario):  or, 5.  so that he might teach that brethren and neighbors are to be loved (Estius, Menochius), not with a carnal or worldly love (Estius), because of our interests, or because of human reasons (Menochius); but with a spiritual love (Estius), out of charity (Menochius), that is, because of God (Estius, Menochius).  Now, this crown of virtues, as Peter begins in faith, which is the foundation and basis of the remaining Christian virtues (Estius on verse 5), so he concludes in charity, which is the form and perfection of all virtues (Estius).

Charity; this is more general than the former, and relates to all men, even our enemies themselves.

[1] For example, Psalm 62:5:  “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation (תִּקְוָתִי; ἡ ὑπομονή μου, in the Septuagint) is from him.”  And, Psalm 71:5:  “For thou art my hope (תִקְוָתִי; ἡ ὑπομονή μου, in the Septuagint), O Lord God:  thou art my trust from my youth.”

[2] 2 Peter 1:6:  “And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness (τὴν εὐσέβειαν; pietatem, in the Vulgate)…”