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Commentary on Matthew

St. Hilary of Poiters, D.H. Williams

Publication Year: 2012

St. Jerome (347-420) has been considered the pre-eminent scriptural commentator among the Latin Church Fathers. His Commentary on Matthew, written in 398 and profoundly influential in the West, appears here for the first time in English translation.

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Series: The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-viii

I had much help in the gradual unfolding of this project. In 2000, a University Teacher’s Fellowship from The National Endowment for the Humanities University enabled me to begin the task of collating and producing an initial translation. ...


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pp. ix-x

Select Bibliography

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pp. xi-xii

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pp. 1-38

The first half of the fourth century yielded few texts produced by Latin writers. All of the surviving remnants from this period come from the genre of biblical exposition: an abbreviated commentary on the Apocalypse by Victorinus of Poetovio (martyred in 304);1 ...

Commentary on Matthew

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pp. 39-40

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Chapter One

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pp. 41-47

Whereas Matthew followed the order2 of royal succession, Luke reckons it according to priestly origin. Each writer is using a [different] criterion, one tracing the Lord’s bloodline,3 and the other by means of his tribe. ...

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Chapter Two

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pp. 48-53

Once Herod was dead, Joseph was later instructed by the angel to return to Judea with the boy and his mother.1 And as he was returning, he learned that the son of Herod, Archelaus, was ruling, so he feared to enter there ...

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Chapter Three

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pp. 54-58

Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil.1 The passage2 into the desert, the forty days of fasting, the hunger after fasting, the temptation of Satan, and the response of the Lord have been fulfilled in accordance with the realization of a great and heavenly plan. ...

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Chapter Four

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pp. 59-73

When a great crowd had assembled together, he then climbed up and taught them from the mountain. In other words, having situated himself on the height of the Father’s majesty, he laid down the precepts of heavenly life. ...

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Chapter Five

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pp. 74-84

We are instructed to pray with the door of our room closed,1 and likewise taught to offer our prayer in every place since the prayers of the saints were undertaken in the midst of wild beasts, in prisons, within flames, ...

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Chapter Six

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pp. 85-89

Do not give to dogs what is holy nor throw your pearls before pigs,1 etc. Nothing is more valuable and more holy than the precepts and promises of God, which confer upon us, who are sanctified, the treasure of immortality. ...

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Chapter Seven

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pp. 90-96

And when he came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. And behold, a certain leper came and entreated him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean,”,1 etc. In the beginning of this account we warned about thinking that anything should be omitted perchance from the factual events,2 of faith. ...

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Chapter Eight

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pp. 97-102

And when he got into the boat, the disciples followed him. And behold, a great storm arose on the sea,1 etc. After the disciples entered the ship, a storm arose, the sea was agitated, and the passengers were thrown into commotion. ...

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Chapter Nine

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pp. 103-109

And as Jesus went on from there, he saw a man sitting at the tax booth, by the name of Matthew, and he said to him: “Follow me,”1 etc. He commands Matthew the publican, sitting at his tax booth, to follow him. And going to his house, Matthew prepares a dinner, ...

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Chapter Ten

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pp. 110-128

Seeing the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless,1 etc. It is appropriate to examine the authority2 of his words no less than his deeds, because, as we said,3 there consists the same important significance in his words as in his actions. ...

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Chapter Eleven

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pp. 129-137

When John heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent his disciples to him asking, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we wait for another?”1 Because he was confined in prison, John was unaware of the Lord; such a great prophet did not know his God. ...

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Chapter Twelve

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pp. 138-152

At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; his disciples who were hungry began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.1 His entering the grain field, the day of the Sabbath, the hunger of the disciples, the plucking2 of the grain heads, the allegation of the Pharisees, ...

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Chapter Thirteen

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pp. 153-157

That day Jesus went out and sat down beside the sea, and crowds gathered around him such that he got into a boat.1 There is an underlying principle for the reason that the Lord sat in the boat and the crowd stood outside. ...

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Chapter Fourteen

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pp. 158-169

Have you understood all these things?” And they said to him: “Yes.” And he said to them, “Therefore, every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven,”1 etc. The Lord spoke not to the crowd but to the disciples and provided a proper explanation to those who understood the parables. ...

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Chapter Fifteen

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pp. 170-176

Then since the scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem1 approached him saying,2 etc. The reason for the words and deeds in the following events is clear: in light of the reports that had been related to the Lord, he responded by saying every plant that is not planted by his Father must be eradicated.3 ...

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Chapter Sixteen

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pp. 177-184

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came to him, testing him, and they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.1 The Pharisees and Sadducees present were arrogant because of their confidence in the Law. ...

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Chapter Seventeen

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pp. 185-192

Truly, I say to you that some of those standing here will not taste death, until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.1 The Lord teaches us that deeds and words, speech and action, in equal proportion guide us in the faith of our hope.2 ...

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Chapter Eighteen

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pp. 193-199

On that day, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who do you think is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”1 and the rest. The Lord teaches that no one enters the Kingdom of heaven unless he returns to the nature of childhood.2 ...

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Chapter Nineteen

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pp. 200-207

And it happened that, after Jesus had said these words,1 he passed through Galilee and came to the region of Judaea,2 etc. He healed Galileans in the region of Judaea. For he had not been able to tire3 from the crowds of the sick or bringing aid to the infirm within the land of Galilee.4 ...

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Chapter Twenty

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pp. 208-217

After they heard these things, the disciples were astonished and troubled, saying that no one can be saved.1 The Lord responded that what is impossible with men is possible with God.2 They in turn said to the Lord that they had left everything in order to be with him.3 ...

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Chapter Twenty-One

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pp. 218-228

Then Jesus sent two of his disciples saying, “Go to the village which is ahead of you,”1 etc. Two disciples are sent to the village in order to loosen a donkey tied up with her colt and lead them to the Lord.2 If anyone should ask why they are doing this, ...

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Chapter Twenty-Two

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pp. 229-233

Listen to another parable.1 There was a landowner 2 who planted a vineyard and surrounded it with a wall,3 and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower,4 etc. The whole issue5 is clear. Even the chief priests and Pharisees understood that this was spoken of them,6 which made them angry. ...

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Chapter Twenty-Three

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pp. 234-239

When the Pharisees went out and made plans to trap him in his words,1 etc. Often the Pharisees were confounded and were not able to find an occasion for falsely accusing him on the basis of past deeds, for no one could impugn his deeds or words with any fault. ...

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Chapter Twenty-Four

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pp. 240-247

Then Jesus spoke to the crowd and to his disciples, saying, “On the seat of Moses sit the scribes and Pharisees,”1 etc. He showed that the glory of the Law bears witness to himself; the [same] Law revealed in him bore an image of truths to come. ...

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Chapter Twenty-Five

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pp. 248-253

And as he was walking away from the Temple, his disciples approached and beckoned him to look at the structure of the Temple.1 After threatening that Jerusalem would be forsaken, he is shown the grandeur of the Temple’s stature, as if it were necessary to stir him by its splendor. ...

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Chapter Twenty-Six

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pp. 254-258

Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened,1 and the rest. He indicates his glorious advent and majestic return by the darkening of the sun, the eclipse of the moon, the falling of stars, the shaking of the heavenly bodies,2 the display of portentous signs, ...

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Chapter Twenty-Seven

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pp. 259-266

Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom the Lord places in charge over his household?1 and the rest. Although the Lord exhorts us generally toward tireless and focused vigilance,2 he issues a special charge to the rulers of the people, that is, the bishops, about their watching for his coming. ...

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Chapter Twenty-Eight

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pp. 267-280

When the Son of Man comes in his majesty and all the angels with him,1 and the rest. The Lord himself clarified the complete meaning of this statement. He is mindful of the time of judgment and the moment2 when he will separate the faithful from the unfaithful,3 ...

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Chapter Twenty-Nine

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pp. 268-269

While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to him, holding an alabaster jar of costly perfume,1 and the rest. At the time of his Passion, it is not for nothing that a woman poured costly perfume on the Lord’s head as he was reclining at the table.2 ...

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Chapter Thirty

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pp. 270-272

On the first day of Azymes,1 the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”2 and the rest. The disciples were told to go to a certain man and say to him that the Lord, along with his disciples, wished to celebrate3 the Passover with him.4 ...

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Chapter Thirty-One

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pp. 273-281

Then Jesus went with his disciples into a field 1 which is called Gethsemane, and said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there to pray,”2 and the rest. He welcomed the disciples’ trust3 and the steadfastness of their will devoted to him, but he also knew that they would be thrown into confusion and despair. ...

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Chapter Thirty-Two

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pp. 282-286

While he was still speaking, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came and with him a large crowd.1 In all of these points we find the orderly arrangement2 of the Passion. The kiss of Judas3 has meaning that teaches us to love our enemies and those who we know will commit violence against us.4 ...

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Chapter Thirty-Three

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pp. 287-294

While Pilate was sitting on the tribunal, his wife sent him a message saying, “There is nothing between you and this just man.”1 An image of the pagans is in this woman, who, already believing,2 summoned her husband and an unbelieving people to faith in Christ. ...

Appendices and Indices

Appendix I. An Echo From the Lost Ending

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pp. 297-310

Appendix II. The Capitula of Hilary’s In Matthaeum

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pp. 298-301

General Index

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pp. 302-308

Index of Holy Scripture

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pp. 309-317

Back Cover

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p. 331-331

E-ISBN-13: 9780813220246
E-ISBN-10: 0813220246
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813201252
Print-ISBN-10: 081320125X

Page Count: 329
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1
Series Title: The Fathers of the Church: A New Translation