XIX. 1. He passed through Jericho - So that Zaccheus must have lived near the end of the town: the tree was in the town itself. And he was rich - These words seem to refer to the discourse in the last chapter, Luke 18:24-27, particularly to Luke 18:27. Zaccheus is a proof, that it is possible by the power of God for even a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 2. The chief of the publicans - What we would term, commissioner of the customs. A very honourable as well as profitable place.
Verse 4. And running before - With great earnestness. He climbed up -Notwithstanding his quality: desire conquering honour and shame.
Verse 5. Jesus said, Zaccheus, make haste and come down - What a strange mixture of passions must Zaccheus have now felt, hearing one speak, as knowing both his name and his heart!
Verse 7. They all murmured - All who were near: though most of them rather out of surprise than indignation.
Verse 8. And Zaccheus stood - Showing by his posture, his deliberate, purpose and ready mind, and said, Behold, Lord, I give - I determine to do it immediately.
Verse 9. He also is a son of Abraham - A Jew born, and as such has a right to the first offer of salvation.
Verse 10. Matthew 18:11.
Verse 11. They thought the kingdom of God - A glorious temporal kingdom, would immediately appear.
Verse 12. He went into a far country to receive a kingdom - Christ went to heaven, to receive his sovereign power as wan, even all authority in heaven and earth. Matthew 25:14; Mark 13:34.
Verse 13. Trade till I come - To visit the nation, to destroy Jerusalem, to judge the world: or, in a more particular sense, to require thy soul of thee.
Verse 14. But his citizens - Such were those of Jerusalem, hated him, and sent an embassy after him - The word seems to imply, their sending ambassadors to a superior court, to enter their protest against his being admitted to the regal power. In such a solemn manner did the Jews protest, as it were, before God, that Christ should not reign over them: this man - So they call him in contempt.
Verse 15. When he was returned - In his glory.
Verse 23. With interest - Which does not appear to be contrary to any law of God or man. But this is no plea for usury, that is, the taking such interest as implies any degree of oppression or extortion.
Verse 25. They said - With admiration, not envy.
Verse 26. Matthew 25:29; Luke 8:18.
Verse 27. He went before - The foremost of the company, showing his readiness to suffer.
Verse 29. He drew nigh to the place where the borders of Bethphage and Bethany met, which was at the foot of the mount of Olives. Matthew 21:1; Mark 11:1.
Verse 37. The whole multitude began to praise God - Speaking at once, as it seems, from a Divine impulse, words which most of them did not understand.
Verse 38. Peace in heaven - God being reconciled to man.
Verse 39. Rebuke thy disciples - Paying thee this immoderate honour.
Verse 40. If these should hold their peace, the stones, which lie before you, would cry out - That is, God would raise up some still more unlikely instruments to declare his praise. For the power of God will not return empty.
Verse 42. O that thou hadst known, at least in this thy day - After thou hast neglected so many. Thy day - The day wherein God still offers thee his blessings.
Verse 43. Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around - All this was exactly performed by Titus, the Roman general.
Verse 44. And thy children within thee - All the Jews were at that time gathered together, it being the time of the passover. They shall not leave in thee one stone upon another - Only three towers were left standing for a time, to show the former strength and magnificence of the place. But these likewise were afterward levelled with the ground.
Verse 45. Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:11.
Verse 46. Isaiah 56:7.