673. Binding and Loosing

Matthew 16:19  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Lightfoot gives a large number of citations from rabbinical authorities to show the common usage in the Jewish schools of the words “bind” and “loose,” and also the meaning of these figurative terms. To “bind” is to forbid; to “loose” is to allow. Rosenmuller says: “Binding and loosing—that is, prohibiting and permitting—were, in the Aramaic language, which Jesus used, a customary expression to denote the highest authority.” So in the Syriac Chronicle of Gregory Bar-Hebraeus, or Abul-faraj, it is said (p. 593): “The Jew who yesterday was the highest ruler, could bind and loose, and wore royal garments, today wore a smock-frock. His hands were no longer blackened with writing, but with painting. He was a beggar, and no more lord” (Morgenland, vol. 5, p. 67).