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Matthew 22:23-33

Context
Marriage and the Resurrection

22:23 The same day Sadducees 1  (who say there is no resurrection) 2  came to him and asked him, 3  22:24 “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and father children 4  for his brother.’ 5  22:25 Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children he left his wife to his brother. 22:26 The second did the same, and the third, down to the seventh. 22:27 Last 6  of all, the woman died. 22:28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.” 7  22:29 Jesus 8  answered them, “You are deceived, 9  because you don’t know the scriptures or the power of God. 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels 10  in heaven. 22:31 Now as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, 11  22:32I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? 12  He is not the God of the dead but of the living!” 13  22:33 When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching.

1 sn See the note on Sadducees in 3:7.

2 sn This remark is best regarded as a parenthetical note by the author.

3 tn Grk “and asked him, saying.” The participle λέγοντες (legontes) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

4 tn Grk “and raise up seed,” an idiom for fathering children (L&N 23.59).

5 sn A quotation from Deut 25:5. This practice is called levirate marriage (see also Ruth 4:1-12; Mishnah, m. Yevamot; Josephus, Ant. 4.8.23 [4.254-256]). The levirate law is described in Deut 25:5-10. The brother of a man who died without a son had an obligation to marry his brother’s widow. This served several purposes: It provided for the widow in a society where a widow with no children to care for her would be reduced to begging, and it preserved the name of the deceased, who would be regarded as the legal father of the first son produced from that marriage.

6 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

7 tn Grk “For all had her.”

8 tn Grk “And answering, Jesus said to them.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.

9 tn Or “mistaken” (cf. BDAG 822 s.v. πλανάω 2.c.γ).

10 tc Most witnesses have “of God” after “angels,” although some mss read ἄγγελοι θεοῦ (angeloi qeou; א L Ë13 {28} 33 892 1241 1424 al) while others have ἄγγελοι τοῦ θεοῦ (angeloi tou qeou; W 0102 0161 Ï). Whether with or without the article, the reading “of God” appears to be motivated as a natural expansion. A few important witnesses lack the adjunct (B D Θ {0233} Ë1 700 {sa}); this coupled with strong internal evidence argues for the shorter reading.

sn Angels do not die, nor do they eat according to Jewish tradition (1 En. 15:6; 51:4; Wis 5:5; 2 Bar. 51:10; 1QH 3.21-23).

11 tn Grk “spoken to you by God, saying.” The participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant here in contemporary English and has not been translated.

12 sn A quotation from Exod 3:6.

13 sn He is not God of the dead but of the living. Jesus’ point was that if God could identify himself as God of the three old patriarchs, then they must still be alive when God spoke to Moses; and so they must be raised.



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