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25 Woe unto you, scribeschres, which indeed appear beauand Pharisees, hypocrites ! for tiful outward, but are within ye make clean the outside of full of dead men's bones, and the cup and of the platter, but of all uncleanness. within they are full of extor- 28 Even
so ye, also, outtion and excess.
wardly appear righteous unto 26 Thou blind Pharisee, men, but within ye are full of cleanse first that which is with hypocrisy and iniquity. in the cup and platter, that the 29 Woe unto you, scribes and outside of them may be clean Pharisees, hypocrites! because also.
ye build the tombs of the proph27 Woe unto you, scribes ets, and garnish the sepulchres and Pharisees, hypocrites! for of the righteous, ye are like unto whited sepul- 30 And say, If we had been gar. Strain at; that is, strain out. 26. Cleanse first; see to it that The word at is thought to have been what is within the dishes be free from erroneously printed in the first edition guilt, be obtained in an upright manof our translation instead of out; and ner, so that the outside may be truly subsequent editions followed the first. clean. Let the contents be truly free The idea is not, Ye find difficulty in from guilt, so that the vessel itself swallowing a gnat, while ye can easi may have no guilt. For so long as ly swallow a camel; but, Ye carefully the vessel is filled with fruits of rapstrain out of your liquor a little gnat, ine and injustice, ceremonial cleanwhile ye overlook and swallow down ness as to the outside is of no value. a camel. The language, of course, is However clean the outside may be, if hyperbolical, like the language of the cup contains what has been promany common sayings; and on this cured by rapine, the whole, both cup account, it is more expressive of ex- and food, is an unclean thing. treme carefulness in trifles, and of 27. Whited sepulchres. The places gross negligence in important matters. for burying the dead among the He
25. Full of extortion and excess; brews were large tombs. The doors filled with what you have gained by of these, and other external parts, extortion or rapine, that is, the fruits were whitewashed during the last of your extortion. The word excess month of every year, so as to make might well be applied to the immod- them conspicuous, and to prevent pererate desire of the Pharisees for world- sons from approaching them and thus ly gain, under the influence of which becoming contaminated; for the touch desire they possessed themselves of of a grave rendered a person unclean what they really had no just claim to. for seven days. See Num. 19: 16. Instead, however, of the word trans. The sepulchres were thus fair exterlated excess, the best editions of the nally, but within they were full of Greek Testament have a word which uncleanness; for a dead body, or a means injustice ; so that the Saviour bone, was regarded as unclean, and declared that their cups and dishes, the touching of them rendered a perhowever clean on the outside, were son unclean. filled within with what they had rapa- 28. Even so ye. Like these sepulciously and unjustly gained from oth- chres were the scribes and Pharisees; ers. Compare the 14th verse. Thus outwardly, to the view of men, they they were scrupulously exact as to cere- | were righteous; but in heart, and to monial observances, but were without the view of God, hypocritical and scruples in respect to injustice and iniquitous. unkindness.
29—31. Because ye build, &c. The in the aays of our fathers, we 33 Ye serpents, ye generawould not have been partakers tion of vipers, how can ye eswith them in the blood of the cape the damnation of hell ? prophets.
34 Wherefore, behold, I send 31 Wherefore, ye be wit- unto you prophets, and wise nesses unto yourselves, that ye men, and scribes, and some of are the children of them which them ye shall kill and crucikilled the prophets.
fy, and some of them shall ye 32 Fill ye up then the meas- scourge in your synagogues, and ure of your fathers.
persecute them from city to city: Saviour did not pronounce a woe upon 33. Serpents. A serpent is an imthe scribes and Pharisees, because they age of a crafty and hurtful man. paid respect to the memory of the Il Generation of vipers ; rather, offancient prophets and righteous men, spring of ripers. The term viper, some of whom their fathers had put when applied to a man, is of the same to death; but because, in building the meaning as the word serpent. See sepulchres, and professing that they 3:7. The Saviour thus strongly exwould not have committed the crimes pressed his knowledge of these men's of their fathers, they were hypocriti characters, and distinctly set before cal, and because they manifested a dis- their own eyes the fact, that they were position similar to that of their fathers. crafty and injurious men, notwithThe phrase to be the son of a person, standing their fair pretensions. Plainmay have, in the Hebrew idiom, a two- dealing was greatly needed by them. fold meaning; namely, to be a descend- Accustomed to respect and veneration, ant of such a person, or to be like they were blind to their own faults, at him in character. These two mean- least to the greatness of them; so long ings may also be combined. So these accustomed to wear a mask, it had men acknowledged, by their actions become almost natural to them. And and language, that they were descend- none but a teacher clothed with divine ants of those who killed the prophets ; authority, was a suitable person to exand the Saviour appears to have con- pose their hypocrisy and wickedness; veyed the implication, which would to Jesus it rightly belonged, and he have been readily perceived by his faithfully exposed their real charachearers, that, in truth, they were their ters. || "The damnation of hell ; the sons in character, as well as by descent ; punishments of the world of woe. just as he said, in a parallel passage 34. The Saviour proceeded to show (Luke 11:48), Ye bear witness that ye the manner in which the nation would allow (assent to] the deeds of your fill their measure of guilt, and bring fathers.
upon themselves the vindictive judg32. Fill ye, &c. Go on, then, ments of heaven. He himself would since you possess the disposition of send among them religious teachers : your fathers, and are bent upon evil, but the nation would abuse and persego on and make full their measure of cute them in every variety of manner. iniquity, so that divine judgments may Thus imitating their fathers, and havovertake your nation. They would ing added sin to sin, from generation fill up the measure of iniquity by cru- to generation, the accumulated wrath cifying the Messiah, and abusing and of God would at length be poured putting to death his apostles and fol- upon them. Wherefore. This word lowers. The language here used is expresses here rather a consequence that of grief and of despair respecting of the apostles' being sent among the their amendment and salvation, and Jews, than the design for which they of surrendering them to their own would be sent. They would be sent, will.
not in order that, by rejecting and put
35 That upon you may come chias, whom ye slew between all the righteous blood shed the temple and the altar. upon the earth, from the blood
36 Verily I say unto you, of righteous Abel, unto the All these things shall come upon blood of Zacharias, son of Bara- this generation. ting them to death, the Jews might 20—22) is an account of a prophet incur accumulated guilt. They would named Zachariah, whom, for his faithbe sent in order to benefit the people; ful warnings, the people stoned to but one consequence of their being death in the court of the temple. sent would be, that they would be re- This instance, probably, was selected jected, and the nation would bring on on account of its aggravated nature. themselves the judgments of heaven. It is objected to this explanation, that || Prophets, wise men, and scribes. the Zachariah mentioned in ChroniThese terms were in familiar use cles was the son of Jehoiada ; while among the Jews, to express religious the one whom Jesus mentioned, is teachers. In this sense the words are called son of Barachius. This diffihere to be understood. Jesus referred culty may be removed by the fact, that to his apostles and others, who would among the Jews, the same person frebe raised up as his ministers among quently bore more names than one. the Jews. In the parallel passage of Jehoiada may also have had the name Luke 11: 49, we read “ prophets and Barachias. Another explanation of apostles.” | Some of them, &c.; ye the passage is, that some time before will treat them with all sorts of in the date at which Jesus was speaking, dignity; with persecution and death. there was, probably, a very pious man, The book of the Acts of the Apostles of the name here mentioned, put to sufficiently shows with what exact- death; the knowledge of which was ness this prediction of our Saviour's possessed among the Jews, but which was fulfilled; and doubtless other in- has not come down to our times. stances of abuse and murder took Without being able to decide defiplace, which have not been handed nitely on this topic, it may be suffidown to our times. Compare Acts cient to know what the design of 4:21. 5:40. 7: 59. 8:3. 9:1. 12: Jesus was; namely, to bring distinct2, 3. 13: 45, 50. 17:5, and many ly before the mind the numerous inother places.
stances of blood shed for righteousness' 35. That upon you may come, &c. sake from the commencement of time The word rendered that, often ex- to this day. presses the consequence, rather than 36. Upon this generation. In about the design of an action. Here the forty years after Jesus thus spoke, Jemeaning is, so that upon you will rúsalem was destroyed and the nation come, &c. || Righteous Abel. See broken up, with immense slaughter Gen. 4:8. Zacharias, son of Bar- and suffering. Guilt had been accuachias, Without mentioning all the mulating from age to age; the generaexplanations which have been fur- tion that would put Jesus to death nished of these words, two may be , and persecute and slay his apostles, stated. The Saviour wished to bring would be the most criminal of any, under one view the murders of righ- and would receive the sorest visitateous men which had taken place in tion of divine wrath ; so that upon this the world. He therefore selected one last generation, thus burdened with from the first book in the Old Testa- the crimes of preceding generations, ment, and one from the last book, as would come the consummation of dithe books were arranged by the Jews. vine vengeance; as if guilt had been The last book in order, according to rolling on from age to age, and attain, the Jews' arrangement, is the second ed its height in this generation, and of Chronicles. In that book (24 : 1 corresponding punishment had been
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, CHAPTER XXIV. thou that killest the prophets, AND Jesus
went out and de
parted from the temple : unto thee, how often would I and his disciples came to him have gathered thy children to- for to show him the buildings gether, even as a hen gathereth of the temple. her chickens under her wings, 2 And Jesus said unto them, and ye would not !
See ye not all these things? 38 Behold, your house is left Verily I say unto you, There unto you desolate.
shall not be left here one stone 39 For I say unto you, Ye upon another that shall not be shall not see me henceforth, till thrown down. ye shall say, Blessed is he that 3 And as he sat upon the cometh in the name of the Lord. mount of Olives, the disciples prepared, which, in all its height, 4. Learn the necessity and value would be suffered by this generation of true, vital godliness, as an inward
37. Affected by the prospect of principle controlling the character. calamity and ruin, Jesus vented his 5. Dreadful must be the consegrief in a most pathetic exclamation. quences of falling into the hands of
38. Your house ; your habitations. God while in our sins. vs. 38, 39. Desolation awaits your abodes. Per- 6. Rejection, or a neglect, of Christ, haps there was special reference to as a Saviour, must ruin the soul. the desolation of the temple. It was the temple in which they gloried; and
CHAPTER XXIV. in no more forcible way could a gen- 1. To show him the buildings of the eral desolation be expressed, than by temple. The temple of Jerusalem was selecting the temple as particularly to a magnificent structure, having such a be laid waste.
variety of apartments and such build. 39. Blessed is he, &c. This was ings connected with it, as the religious the exclamation of the multitudes service of the Jews rendered necessary. when Jesus entered Jerusalem (21 : 9), By comparing Mark 13:1, and Luke and it was an acknowledgment of 21 : 5, it will appear that the disciples him as the Messiah. The idea, then, spoke' in admiration of the temple. of the Saviour, in this verse, was, Ye The stones are particularly mentioned, shall not have my presence among and Josephus informs us, that the you, till ye acknowledge me as the temple was built of stones, which were Messiah. This he knew they never white and strong, the length of each would do, so that his language amounts being twenty-five cubits, the height to this, Your safety depends upon re- eight, and the breadth about twelve. ceiving me as the Messiah; this you A cubit is generally reckoned as equal are resolved not to do; and I shall de- to a foot and a half. part from you. Ye shall be wholly 2. Throron down. Josephus relates, rejected.
that, after the city was taken, the Ro
man commander gave orders to dePRACTICAL Hints. 1. Men's true molish the entire city and temple, recharacters are seen rather in their serving three principal towers and the conduct than in their precepts. v. 3. city wall on the west side. The rest of
2. Let us guard against å vain de- the wall was laid even with the ground, sire for human applause. vs. 5—11. and such a desolation was made that
3. Humility is the best ornament, a person would hardly believe the city and the best preparation for divine re- had ever been inhabited. gard. v. 12.
3. The mount of Olives. See on
came unto him, privately, say- the sign of thy coming, and of ing, Tell us, when shall these the end of the world? things be?
And what shall be 4 And Jesus answered, and
21:1. This elevation commanded chapters; and accordingly, in regard a view of the city and the temple. to different portions, there is much || Private'y. From Mark 13: 3, it ap- diversity of opinion on the question, pears that four of the disciples came whether they relate to the Saviour's to make their inquiries. || Tell us, &c. coming for the destruction of JerusaThree inquiries seem to be proposed lem, or to his coming for the final by the disciples to Jesus : 1. When | judgment of the world. This diverwill the prediction be accomplished ? sity of opinion is occasioned by the 2. What will be the sign of thy com- nature of the language, which is ing? 3. What will be the sign of the highly figurative and poetic; and by end of the world? The second and the absence of those definite marks of third inquiries, however, were, in the transition which greatly aid in underapprehension of the disciples, but one, standing a discourse, and which the For they, probably, like many of the disciples perhaps perceived. In these Jews, expected that what they called circumstances, it becomes a person to the end of the world would take place proceed with no little diffidence, in exat the coming of the Messiah in his pressing his views of this discourse. royal state. By the end of the world, The following appears to me a correct they probably meant some great analysis. In vs. 4—28, Jesus informed changes in the present order of things, the disciples that the destruction of and the establishment of a new order which he had spoken, was not to take of things on earth, under the Messiah, place immediately, but that various after which he would enter triumph- events were to occur, which ought to antly on his administration, bringing be regarded as premonitory of that all nations under his control. Ac- great catastrophe. In view of these cording to Jewish notions, this glo- events, be gave various cautions for rious terrestrial reign, after a very regulating the conduct of his followlong, duration, was to issue in the ers; cautions which were necessary, everlasting celestial reign, when the because, notwithstanding these prerighteous would enjoy consummate liminary events, which could not but bliss, and the wicked be consigned seem portentous of ruin, the desolation with Satan to utter misery. In re- of the city, and temple would at last plying to their inquiries, however, come suddenly on the mass of the Jesus did not regard their errors, ex- people. Having thus shown what cept in an incidental way, removing would precede the destruction of the them by giving correct information city, and of course what should be about the final judgment and the end regarded as signs of that event, he of the world. The discourse of our proceeded, in vs. 29–31, to describe, Saviour, occasioned by these inquiries, in the style of the ancient Hebrew occupies the remainder of the 24th prophets, the downfall of the city and chapter and the whole of the 25th. nation by the Messiah's coming in It is very possible, that the disciples divine providence; and to give assurproposed additional questions to him ance that his followers should be during his remarks; so that the dif- rescued from the destruction. In the ferent divisions of his discourse might 32d verse, he commenced an exhortahave been more plain to them than tion, enjoining on his disciples to nothey can be to us. Perhaps, too, we tice the preliminary events, and to have not the whole of what he said, take seasonable warning; inasmuch but only the most important portions. as the precise day of the destruction There is much difficulty in framing was not to be revealed, and on the a correct interpretation of these two great mass of the nation it would come