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Verse 23. Ye pay tithe. A tenth part. The law required the Jews to devote a tenth part of all their property to the support of the Levites, Nu 18:20-24. Another tenth part they paid for the service of the sanctuary, commonly in cattle or grain; but where they lived far from the place of worship, they changed it to money; De 14:22-24 Besides these, there was to be every third year a tenth part given to the poor, to be eaten at their own dwellings, De 14:28,29. So that nearly one-third of the property of the Jews was devoted to religious services by law. This was beside the voluntary offerings which they made. How much more mild and gentle are the laws of Christianity under which we live!

Mint. A garden herb, in the original so called from its agreeable flavour. It was used to sprinkle the floors of their houses and synagogues, to produce a pleasant fragrance.

Anise. Known commonly among us as dill. It has a fine aromatic smell, and is used by confectioners and perfumers.

Cummin. A plant of the same genus, like fennel, and used for similar purposes. These were all herbs of little value. The law of Moses said that they should pay tithes of the fruits of the earth, De 14:22. It said nothing, however, about herbs. It was a question whether these should be tithed. The Pharisees maintained, in their extraordinary strictness, that they ought. Our Saviour says that they were precise in doing small matters, which the law had not expressly commanded, while they omitted the greater things which it had enjoined.

Judgment. Justice to others, as magistrates, neighbours, citizens. Giving to all their just dues.

Mercy. Compassion and kindness to the poor and miserable.

Faith. Piety towards God; confidence in him. Faith in God here means that we are to give to him what is his due; as mercy and justice mean to do to MEN, in all circumstances, what is right toward them.

These ought ye to have done. Attention to even the smallest points of the law of God is proper, but it should not interfere with the higher and more important parts of that law.

{i} "you pay tithe" Lu 11:42 {1} "anise" or, "dill" {k} "weightier matters" 1 Sa 15:22; Jer 22:15,16; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:8


Mt 9:13

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