The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleLuke 11:52
Woe unto you lawyers…
Who are particularly
addressed again in distinction from the Pharisees, though much the
same things are said to them both in (Matthew 23:13)
for ye have taken away the key of knowledge;
of the Scriptures,
of the law, and the prophets, and the true interpretation of them,
and especially of such places as refer to the Messiah, and the Gospel
dispensation, called the kingdom of heaven, (Matthew 23:13) they had
not only arrogated the knowledge of these to themselves, setting up
for the only interpreters of the sacred writings; but they had took
away from the people the true knowledge and sense of them, by their
false glosses upon them, so that they were destroyed for lack of
knowledge: and hence came that famine of hearing the word, which they
say F3 should be before the coming of the King Messiah, and now was.
The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "the keys of knowledge"; and the
Ethiopic version, "the key of righteousness". The Jews sometimes
speak of "the keys of the law", and represent the oral law as the
root and key of the written law F4: but, alas! it was by the oral
law, or traditions of the elders, that they took away the key, or
obscured the true sense of the written law. Some think, that here is
an allusion to the custom of delivering a key to any one, when he was
ordained or promoted to the dignity of a doctor: it is said of R.
Samuel F5, that
``when he died they put, (wxtpm) , "his key", and his
writing book into his coffin, because he was not worthy
of a son''
to succeed him:
ye entered not in yourselves;
into the kingdom of heaven, the
Gospel dispensation, neither receiving doctrines, nor submitting to
and them that were entering in ye hindered;
by reproaching the
miracles and ministry of Christ; by threatenings and
excommunications; (See Gill on 23:13).
F3 Targum in Ruth i, 1.
F4 Zohar in Exod. fol. 46. 1.
F5 Vid. Cameron. in loc.