The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 23:34
Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets…
them, whether they would show the respect to prophets, they
pretended to have for them; by building and beautifying their
sepulchres; by exclaiming against their forefathers for shedding
their blood; and by declaring, that had they lived in their days,
they would not have joined with them in it; and to make it appear,
that these were all empty words, and specious pretences; and that they
had the same malicious and bloody principles in them; and would be
guilty of the same practices, and so fill up the measure of their
fathers' sins; and bring upon them the punishment of everlasting
burnings hereafter, as well as ruin and destruction on their nation,
city, and temple now. Christ here speaks, as, one having power and
authority, to qualify and send forth men, under the several characters
here mentioned, and of what he should do after his resurrection: for
notwithstanding the people of the Jews would crucify him, and use him
as they did, in a barbarous manner; yet after all this, he would send
his ministers to them, to gather his elect out from among them, to
render the rest inexcusable, and to show his longsuffering and
patience. The persons designed by "prophets", "wise men", and
"Scribes", are his apostles: called "prophets"; because they were
divinely inspired to write, and preach in his name; had the gift of
foretelling future events, and of explaining with the greatest
clearness and exactness, the prophecies of the Old Testament; showing
their respect unto, and accomplishment in Christ: "wise men"; because
they were made wise unto salvation, and capable of instructing others:
they were filled with all spiritual and evangelical wisdom, and
preached the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom: and
Scribes; because they were well instructed in the kingdom of heaven,
and had the true knowledge of the law, and could rightly interpret it,
as well as make known the Gospel of the grace of God. Christ chooses to
use these names and titles, because the Jews pretended to have great
veneration for the ancient prophets, and these he should send, would
not be a whit inferior to them, but in many things exceed them; and
they had great esteem for their wise men and Scribes, who would be
vastly exceeded by these ministers of his, and yet would be used very
badly by them:
and some of them ye shall kill;
as Stephen, the first "martyr", who
was stoned to death by them; and James, the brother of John, whom
Herod, to their good liking, killed with the sword; and the other
James they threw headlong from off the pinnacle of the temple, and
killed him with a fuller's club F18.
so Simeon, the son of Cleophas, was crucified at the
instigation of the Jews, as Eusebius relates F19.
And some of them ye shall scourge in your synagogues;
Peter, and Paul:
and persecute them from city to city;
as they did Paul and Barnabas,
as the Acts of the Apostles testify.
F18 Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 2. c. 23.
F19 Ib. l. 3. c. 32.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 23:34". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=023&verse=034>. 1999.