Explanation of Scripture read by Orthodox Christians on the 10th Friday after Pentecost 2 Corinthians 1:12-20 Matthew 22:23-33

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"The disciples of the Pharisees with the Herodians being thus confuted, the Sadducees next offer themselves, whereas the overthrow of those before them ought to have kept them back. But presumption is shameless, stubborn, and ready to attempt things impossible. So the Evangelist, wondering at their folly, expresses this, saying, The same day came to him the Sadducees." (St John Chrysostom)


"There were two sects among the Jews, the Pharisees and the Sadducees; the Pharisees pretended to the righteousness of traditions and observances, whence they were called by the people 'separate'. The Sadducees (the word is interpreted 'righteous') also passed themselves for what they were not; and whereas the first believed the resurrection of body and soul, and confessed both Angel and spirit, these, according to the Acts of the Apostles, denied them all, as it is here also said, Who say that there is no resurrection." (St Jerome)


"For because death to the Jews, who did all things for the present life, seemed an unmixed evil, Moses ordered that the wife of one who died without sons should be given to his brother, that a son might be born to the dead man by his brother, and his name should not perish, which was some alleviation of death. And none other but a brother or relation was commanded to take the wife of the dead; otherwise the child born would not have been considered the son of the dead; and also because a stranger could have no concern in establishing the house of him that was dead, as a brother whose kindred obliged him thereto. " (St. John Chrysostom)


"For then when we shall be incorruptible and immortal, by the visible presence of God Himself we shall be filled with most chaste contemplations, and shall share the gift of light to the understanding in our impassible and immaterial soul after the fashion of the exalted souls in heaven; on which account it is said that we shall be equal to the Angels." (St Dionysios)


"Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." (Exodus 3:6)


"In proof of the resurrection there were many plainer passages which He might have cited; among others that of Isaiah, The dead shall be raised; they that are in the tombs shall rise again: and in another place, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake. It is inquired therefore why the Lord should have chosen this testimony which seems ambiguous, and not sufficiently belonging to the truth of the resurrection; and as if by this He had proved the point adds, He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. We have said above that the Sadducees confessed neither Angel, nor spirit, nor resurrection of the body, and taught also the death of the soul. But they also received only the five books of Moses, rejecting the Prophets. It would have been foolish therefore to have brought forward testimonies whose authority they did not admit. To prove the immortality of souls therefore, He brings forward an instance out of Moses, I am the God of Abraham, &c. and then straight subjoins, He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; so that having established that souls abide after death, (forasmuch as God could not be the God of those who had no existence any where,) there might fitly come in the resurrection of bodies which had together with their souls done good or evil" (St Jerome)


Blessed Theophylact explains that St Paul is referring to those who have dies, but will live again. in other words, the dead in Christ.

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