Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1, 2. (See
Mt 18:6, 7).
3, 4. (See on
Mt 18:21, 22).
4. seven times--not a lower measure of the forgiving spirit than
the "seventy times seven" enjoined on Peter, which was occasioned by his
asking if he was to stop at seven times. "No," is the virtual
answer, "though it come to seventy times that number, if only he ask
forgiveness in sincerity."
5. Lord--(See on
increase our faith--moved by the difficulty of avoiding and
forgiving "offenses." This is the only instance in which a spiritual
operation upon their souls was solicited of Christ by the Twelve;
but a kindred and higher prayer had been offered before, by one with
far fewer opportunities. (See on
6. sycamine--mulberry. (See on
7-10. say unto him by and by--The "by and by" (or rather "directly")
should be joined not to the saying but the going: "Go directly."
The connection here is: "But when your faith has been so increased
as both to avoid and forgive offenses, and do things impossible to all
but faith, be not puffed up as though you had laid the Lord under any
obligations to you."
9. I trow not--or, as we say, when much more is meant, "I should
10. unprofitable--a word which, though usually denoting the
opposite of profit, is here used simply in its negative sense.
"We have not, as his servants, profited or benefited God at all."
Job 22:2, 3;
11-13. through the midst of Samaria and Galilee--probably on the
confines of both.
12. stood afar off--(Compare
Le 13:45, 46).
13. they lifted up--their common misery drawing these poor outcasts
nay, making them forget the fierce national antipathy of Jew and
How quick a teacher is felt misery, even though as here the teaching
may be soon forgotten!
14. show yourselves--as cleansed persons. (See on
Thus too would the Samaritan be taught that "salvation is of the Jews"
as they went, were cleansed--In how many different ways were our
Lord's cures wrought, and this different from all the rest.
17, 18. Were there not ten cleansed--rather, were not the ten
cleansed? that is, the whole of them--an example (by the way) of
Christ's omniscience [BENGEL].
18. this stranger--"this alien" (literally, "of another race"). The
language is that of wonder and admiration, as is expressly said of
another exhibition of Gentile faith
19. Arise--for he had "fallen down on his face at His feet"
and there lain prostrate.
faith made thee whole--not as the others, merely in body, but in
that higher spiritual sense with which His constant language has so
COMING OF THE
GOD AND OF THE
20-25. when, &c.--To meet the erroneous views not only of the
Pharisees, but of the disciples themselves, our Lord addresses both,
announcing the coming of the kingdom under different aspects.
It cometh not with observation--with watching or lying in wait, as for
something outwardly imposing and at once revealing itself.
21. Lo here! . . . lo there!--shut up within this
or that sharply defined and visible geographical or
within you--is of an internal and spiritual character (as
contrasted with their outside views of it). But it has its external
22. The days--rather "Days."
will come--as in
when, amidst calamities, &c., you will anxiously look for a deliverer,
and deceivers will put themselves forward in this character.
one of the days of the Son of man--Himself again among them but for
one day; as we say when all seems to be going wrong and the one person
who could keep them right is removed [NEANDER in
STIER, &c.]. "This is
said to guard against the mistake of supposing that His visible presence
would accompany the manifestation and establishment of His kingdom"
23. they shall say, See here . . . go not, &c.--a warning to all
so-called expositors of prophecy and their followers, who cry, Lo there
and see here, every time that war breaks out or revolutions occur.
24. as lightning . . . so . . . the Son of man--that is it will be
as manifest. The Lord speaks here of His coming and manifestation in a
prophetically indefinite manner, and in these preparatory words
blends into one the distinctive epochs
[STIER]. When the whole
polity of the Jews, civil and ecclesiastical alike, was broken up at
once, and its continuance rendered impossible by the destruction of
Jerusalem, it became as manifest to all as the lightning of heaven that
the kingdom of God had ceased to exist in its old, and had entered on a
new and perfectly different form. So it may be again, ere its final and
greatest change at the personal coming of Christ, and of which the words
in their highest sense are alone true.
25. But first . . . suffer, &c.--This shows that the
more immediate reference of
is to an event soon to follow the death of Christ. It was
designed to withdraw the attention of "His disciples" from the
glare in which His foregoing words had invested the approaching
establishment of His kingdom.
26-30. eat . . . married . . . planted--all the ordinary occupations
and enjoyments of life. Though the antediluvian world and the cities of
the plain were awfully wicked, it is not their wickedness, but their
worldliness, their unbelief and indifference to the future, their
unpreparedness, that is here held up as a warning. Note.--These
recorded events of Old Testament history--denied or explained away
nowadays by not a few--are referred to here as facts.
31-33. to take it away . . . Remember, &c.--a warning against that
lingering reluctance to part with present treasures which induces
some to remain in a burning house, in hopes of saving this and that
precious article till consumed and buried in its ruins. The cases here
supposed, though different, are similar.
32. Lot's wife--her "look back," for that is all that is said of
her, and her recorded doom. Her heart was in Sodom still, and the
"look" just said, "And must I bid it adieu?"
33. Whosoever, &c.--(See on
34. two in one bed--the prepared and unprepared mingled in closest
intercourse together in the ordinary walks and fellowships of life, when
the moment of severance arrives. Awful truth! realized before the
destruction of Jerusalem, when the Christians found themselves forced by
their Lord's directions
at once and for ever away from their old associates; but most of all
when the second coming of Christ shall burst upon a heedless world.
37. Where--shall this occur?
Wheresoever, &c.--"As birds of prey scent out the carrion, so wherever
is found a mass of incurable moral and spiritual corruption, there will
be seen alighting the ministers of divine judgment," a proverbial saying
terrifically verified at the destruction of Jerusalem, and many times
since, though its most tremendous illustration will be at the world's