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2Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
2 Verse 2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms] In the first

verse the exhortation is general: Take YE heed. In this verse the

address is pointed-and THOU-man-woman-who readest-hearest.

Do not sound a trumpet] It is very likely that this was

literally practised among the Pharisees, who seemed to live on the

public esteem, and were excessively self-righteous and vain.

Having something to distribute by way of alms, it is very probable

they caused this to be published by blowing a trumpet or horn,

under pretence of collecting the poor; though with no other design

than to gratify their own ambition. There is a custom in the east

not much unlike this. "The derveeshes carry horns with them,

which they frequently blow, when any thing is given to them, in

honor of the donor. It is not impossible that some of the poor

Jews who begged alms might be furnished like the Persian

derveeshes, who are a sort of religious beggars, and that these

hypocrites might be disposed to confine their alms-giving to those

that they knew would pay them this honour." HARMER'S Observat.

vol. i. p. 474.

It must be granted, that in the Jewish writings there is no such

practice referred to as that which I have supposed above, viz.

blowing a trumpet to gather the poor, or the poor blowing a horn

when relieved. Hence some learned men have thought that the word

shopher, a trumpet, refers to the hole in the public alms

chest, into which the money was dropped which was allotted for

the service of the poor. Such holes, because they were wide at

one end and grew gradually narrow towards the other, were actually

termed shopheroth, trumpets, by the rabbins; of this

Schoettgen furnishes several examples. An ostentatious man, who

wished to attract the notice of those around him, would throw in

his money with some force into these trumpet-resembling holes, and

thus he might be said σαλπιζειν, to sound the trumpet.

The Jerusalem Gemara, tract Shekalim, describes these

shopheroth thus-These trumpet holes were crooked, narrow above and

wide below, in order to prevent fraud. As our Lord only uses the

words, μησαλπισης, it may be tantamount to our term jingle. Do

not make a public ostentatious jingle of that money which you give

to public charities. Pride and hypocrisy are the things here

reprehended. The Pharisees, no doubt, felt the weight of the

reproof. Still the words may be taken in their literal meaning,

as we know that the Moslimans, who nearly resemble the ancient

Pharisees in the ostentation, bigotry, and cruelty of their

character, are accustomed, in their festival of Muhurram, to erect

stages in the public streets, and, by the sound of a trumpet, call

the poor together to receive alms of rice, and other kinds of

food. See WARD.

Works of charity and mercy should be done as much in private as

is consistent with the advancement of the glory of God, and the

effectual relief of the poor.

In the synagogues and in the streets] That such chests or

boxes, for receiving the alms of well-disposed people, were placed

in the synagogues, we may readily believe; but what were the

streets? Schoettgen supposes that courts or avenues in the temple

and in the synagogues may be intended-places where the people were

accustomed to walk, for air, amusement, &c., for it is not to be

supposed that such chests were fixed in the public streets.

They have their reward.] That is, the honour and esteem of men

which they sought. God is under no obligation to them-they did

nothing with an eye to his glory, and from HIM they can expect no

recompense. They had their recompense in this life; and could

expect none in the world to come.