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45: XX8.21. 1 Cor. iv. 2.

47 f.

1 Tim. i. 13.

hour when ye think not. 41 Then Peter said unto him,
Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or u even to all ?
42 And the Lord said, "Who then is uu that faithful and wise c Matt. xxiv:
steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his house-
hold, to give them their portion of meat in due season ?
43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing. 44 d Of a truth I


that he d Matt. xxiv. will make him ruler over all that he hath. 45 But [Vand] if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken ; 46 the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And ‘that servant, which knew sNum xv. 30. his lord's will, and prepared not [whimself], neither did Johannes according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. James iv. 17. 48 & But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy & Lev: ??. of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto U render, also.

uu read, that faithful, that wise. V not expressed in the original. W omit : see note, bis Lord, but the steward when He ap- his will : “ prepared,” almost in the absopears. 41.] this parable; not, the two lute sense of making ready :'-it refers last verses, but the whole :- Who are they back to the "be ye readyof ver. 40; that are thus to wait and watch, and to be this readiness being not only preparing thus honoured at the Lord's coming ?' himself, but the matters over which he This question coming in so suddenly and has charge, ver. 35. There is reference to unconnectedly and remaining apparently Deut. xxv. 2. But he that knew unanswered, is among the many proofs of not] The case is of one (a disciple in the the originality and historic reality of this first reference, but then generally of all discourse. 42 ff.] Our Lord does not men) who bonâ fide is ignorant of his answer the question directly, but proceeds Lord's will. That such persons shall be with His discourse, so as to furnish it with punished, is both the sentence of the law, an answer ;-viz. that in its highest sense see Levit. v. 17—19, and an inference from it applies to his Apostles and ministers, the truth set forth ver. 57, and Rom. i. inasmuch as to them most has been given · 19, 20, 32; ii. 14, 15,—that the natural as the stewards—but that its application conscience would have prevented the not is gradationally downwards through all doing. (Observe that the two classes, not those who know their Master's will, even included here, are he that knew and did,to the lowest, whose measure both of re- and “he that knew not and did," as far as sponsibility and of reward is more limited. that can be said (see Rom. ii. 14];-the For the comment on vv. 42-46 see on reference here being only to the did not Matt. xxiv. 45–51. Notice that unbe in both cases, or rather to the "did notlievers here is hypocrites" in Matthew. in the first case and its equivalent “ did

47, 48.] Primarily, in reference to the things worthy of stripes” in the second.) question in ver. 41. Those which knew But the difficulty seems to be to assign represent us, the disciples : those that a spiritual meaning to the words, shall be knew not represent all, the multitude :- beaten with few stripes. That such will but the application is not limited to this : be the case, would à priori be consonant the truth is one of universal extent.

to the justice of the Judge of all the earth : prepared not-we must not supply, him- and we bave it here declared, that it shall self,as A. V., but matters, according to be so : but how, is not revealed to us. It

i Matt. xx. 22.

Mark I. 38.

k Matt. x. 34.

ver. 40.

X omit.


whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required : and to whom men have committed much, of him

they will ask [* the] more. h ver. 51. 49 h I y am come to send fire on the earth; and 2 what will

1, if it be already kindled ? 50 But i I have a baptism to be baptized with ; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished ! 51k Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on

y render, came. render, what will I? would that it were already kindled! See note. is in vain for the sinner to encourage him- parently Origen’s, And what will I ! self in sin from such a declaration as this : would that it were already kindled ! for the very knowledge of the declaration This abrupt ejaculation might seem unlike excludes him from the exemption. “Our the usual character of our Lord's discourses: ears have heard the voice divine; We but we have a similar question in John xii. cannot be as they." (Christian Year.) 27, and under corresponding circumstances,

much is given .... shall be much of His soul being troubled. (2) And how required] The second much is not the I wish that it were already kindled! To much that has been given, but a propor- this, which is adopted by Theophylact, and tionable amount of result of diligence, a some distinguished moderns, the chief obmuch which he is to render. more] jection is, that the words of the original perhaps, more than from others : but will not bear it: see in my Greek Test. more likely more than had been deposited (3) That of Euthymius, Beza, and the with him, viz. that, and the interest A. V., What will' I, if it be already of it ;see Matt. xxv. 15 ff.

kindled ? i. e.“ What more do I await in 49–53.) The connexion appears to be the world, seeing that it is already kin. this :—the immense and awful difference dled ?” But this presents a great difficulty between the faithful and unfaithful ser- as regards the context; for, by ver. 50, it vants brings our Lord to the ground of evidently was not kindled: and even if that difference, and its necessary develop- this were overeome, the expression, eviment in the progress of His kingdom on dently a deep one of personal anxiety earth. 49. fire] It is extraordinary (and be it remembered who said it), would that the official announcement of the Bap- be vapid and unmeaning in the extreme. tist (ch. iii. 16)—He shall baptize you All things then being considered, I prefer with the Holy Ghost and with fire”- the first explanation. 50.] The symnected with the mention of a baptism here, bolic nature of Baptism is here to be borne - with the promise Acts i. 5, and the ap. in mind. Baptism is equivalent to Death. pearance Acts ii. 3, so strikingly expressed The figure in the Sacrament is the drowning, as cloven (divided, the very same word -the burial, in the water, of the old man in the original) tongues as of fire-have and the resurrection of the new man : see not kept the Commentators in general 1 Pet. iii. 20—22, and notes. The Lord's (Bleek is an exception) from falling into Baptism was His death, in which the the blunder of imagining here that the Body inherited from the first Adam was fire is synonymous with, and means no buried, and the new Body raised again : more than, the discord and division which see Rom. vi. 1-11, but especially ver. 10. follow. The fire is, the gift of the Holy And He was straitened (the best possible Spirit,--the great crowning result of the rendering) till this was accomplished : sufferings and triumph of the Lord Jesus. i. e. in anxiety and trouble of spirit. To follow this out in all its references The but here implies but first, i.e. before belongs to another place :-- see notes on that fire can be shed abroad. Here we Markoix. 49, and Acts ii. 3. This fire, in have then, as Stier expresses it, a "begin. its purifying and separating effects on the ning of the passion” of our Lord; the mass of mankind, causes the division first utterance of that deep anguish, which afterwards spoken of. The construc- afterwards broke forth so plentifully,– tion of the latter words in this verse has but coupled at the same time with holy been ever a matter of dispute, while the zeal for the great work to be accomplished. meaning is on all hands nearly agreed. The

51--53.] The work of this fire, as three prevalent explanations of it are: (1) it burns onward in the world, will not That adopted in the margin, which is ap- be peace, but division; see Mal. iii. 2, 3,


ix. 10: X. 19. m Matt. X. 35.

ye see

so it is.

b omit.

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earth ? I tell you, Nay; " but rather division : 52 m for 1 Micah vii. 9; from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided ; a three against two, and two against three; 53 [b the] father [b shall be divided] against [b the] son, and [b the] son against [b the] father ; [the] mother against the daughter, and [b the] daughter against the mother; [b the] mother in law against her daughter in law, and [b the daughter in law against cher mother in law. 54 And he said also to the people, " When

d a cloud rise out of n Matt. xvi. 2. the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and

55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. 56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye dd do not discern this time? 57 Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 58 o e When thou goest with thine adversary to the magis- o Matt. v. 25. trate, Pas thou art in the way, give diligence that thou pace Porta Mate mayest be delivered from him ; lest he hale thee to the & render, three shall be divided. render, the :

d : or perhaps omit.

some ancient authorities read, the. dd know not how to discern. The ancient MSS. are divided.

e render, For when. 18; iv. 1, where we have the separating time] The signs of this time were very effect of this fire in its completion at the plain ;-the sceptre had departed from great day: see also Matt. ii. 12.

Judah ;-the general expectation of the On the passage itself, see notes on Matt. coming of the Messiah is testified even by x. 35, 36.

profane authors ;-the prophets had all 54–59.] REPROACHES FOR BLINDNESS spoken of Him, and the greatest of them, TO THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. The con- the Baptist, had announced His arrival. nexion of this with the foregoing is na

57.} In what follows, our Lord tural and close. From henceforth (ver. takes occasion from the request about the 52), the distinction shall begin to be inheritance, which had begun this dis. made ;– the discord and division between course, to pass to infinitely more solemn those who discern this time (ver. 56) and matters. There is, I think, no denying those who do not. Our Lord then turns that the “judging what is rightand the to the crowd (also. He not only said to thine adversaryhave a reference to the disciples the foregoing, but also to the that request, in the ability and duty of crowd the following), and reproaches them every man to judge what is right :'-- but (1) for their blindness, in not being able the sense of the words far outruns that reto discern it, as they did the signs in the ference, and treats of loftier things. Why natural heavens; and (2) for their want of do ye not discern of yourselves your true prudence (vv. 57—59), in not repenting statethat which is just the justice of and becoming reconciled to the law of God your case as before God? You are going while yet there was time. 54.] There (the course of your life is the journey) is a somewhat similar saying of our Lord with your adversary (the just and holy at Matt. xvi. 2 ff., but differing both in its law of God) before the magistrate (God occasion and its substance. the cloud, Himself); therefore by the way take pains

that usually rises there; see 1 Kings to be delivered from Him (by repentance, xviii. 44. The west, in Judæa, would be and faith in the Son of God, see Ps. ii. 12), the direction of the sea. 56.) the lest he drag thee to the judge (who adface of the earth – perhaps referring to judges the case and inflicts the fine; that other signs of rain or heat from the ap- is, the Son to whom all judginent is compearance of the hills, &c. this mitted), and the judge deliver thee to the

judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison. 59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.

XIII. 1f There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate [8 had] mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And 88 Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they h suffered hh such things ? 3 I tell you, Nay : but, except ye repent, ye shall all i likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were j sinners above all jj men that dwelt in Jerusalem ? 5 I tell

you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all i likewise Wam, I.1. 10. perish. He spake also this parable ; * A certain man had f render,

There came some at that season, telling him. 8 omit. gg read, He. h

render, have suffered. hh or, these. i render, perish in like manner. j literally, debtors. jj read, the men. exactor (see Matt. xiii. 41). and the ex- - they did not express it, as is plain by actor cast thee into prison' (ditto, ver. the suppose ye .

He does not deny 42). 59.] See on Matt. v. 25, and, on that all the Galilæans were sinners, and dethe word mite, Mark xii. 42.

served God's judgments, but that these were CHAP. XIII. 1—9.] ANSWER TO INTEL- pre-eminently so. 3. in like manner] LIGENCE OF THE MURDERED GALILÆANS, The force of this is lost in the A. V., 'likeAND PARABLE THEREUPON.. Peculiar to wise.' It is strictly in like manner, as Luke. 1.] The words at that season indeed the Jewish people did perish by may mean at that very time-viz. as He the sword of the Romans. 4,5.] Our finished the foregoing discourse : but it Lord introduces this incident as shewing is not necessary to interpret thus ;-for, that whether the hand of man or (so-called) Matt. xii. 1; xiv. 1, the similar expression accidents, lead to inflictions of this kind, it is certainly indefinite. The opening is in fact but one Hand which doeth it all — words do not mean, as A: V., that these Amos iii. 6. There is also a transference persons were in the crowd, and remarked from the Galilæans – a despised people-to to the Lord concerning these Galilæans, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, on whom the in consequence of what He had said ch. xii.

fulness of God's wrath was to be poured out 57:-such a finding of connexion is too in case of impenitence. Of the incident itfine-drawn. It is obvious that no con self, or of the tower in Siloam (the word here nexion is intended between this incident meaning probably the district in which the and the foregoing discourse. the fountain, John ix. 7, was situated,-though Galilæans] The historical fact is other. on the whole matter, and the situation of wise unknown. The way of speaking here the fountain itself, there is considerable shews that it was well known to the writer. uncertainty), we know nothing. See also It must have occurred at some feast in Neh. ii. 15. debtors, i.e. sinners,– Jerusalem, on which occasions riots often see Matt. vi. 12;- perhaps the same thought took place, and in the outer court of the may be traced as pervading the saying, as temple. Such slaughters were frequent, in vv. 58, 59, of the last chapter. No such and would not be particularly recorded by idea as that the tower was a prison for the historians. This mingling of their blood debtors is for a moment to be thought of. with their sacrifices seems to have been See on in like manner above ;-here, thought by the narrators evidence that the similarity will be—in the ruin of your they were very depraved sinners : for this whole city. This does not render it neceswas their argument, and is unconsciouslysary that these words should have been that of many at this day,—the worse spoken to actual dwellers in Jerusalem : the affliction, the more deserved :' see for nearly the whole nation was assembled Gen. xlii. 21 : Acts xxviii. 4. 2.] Our there at the time of the siege. Lord perceives this to be their reasoning 6-9.] This Parable has perhaps been in


a fig tree planted in his vineyard ; and he came and sought
fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the
dresser of the vineyard, Behold, these three years I come
seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none : cut it down;
k why cumbereth it the ground ? 8 And he answering said
unto him, "Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig
about it, and dung it : 9 and if it m bear fruit, [n well] :
o and if not, [P then after that] thou shalt cut it down.
k render, why moreover.


better, perhaps, Sir. m read, bear fruit hereafter.

n not expressed in the original. O read, but.

P omit. terpreted with hardly enough reference (for this is implied) to spare it this year to its own peculiar context, or to the also, until it has been manured ; if that symbolic language of Scripture in other fail, the Intercessor himself has no mora places. Ordinarily the owner of the vine- plea to urge-it is to be cut down. yard is explained to be the Eternal Now who is this Intercessor? First look Father : the dresser and intercessor, the at the matter of fact. Who were the rineSon of God: the fig-tree, the whole Jewish dressers of God's vineyard? They were people : the vineyard, the world. But it many. Moses, the Prophets, the Baptist, may be objected to this, that the owner the Lord Himself, the Apostles and Teachcomes to seek the fruit, which can be pro- ers after Him. But what one Personality perly said only of Him who “came unto might be set forth as pervading all these, His own"_who is even in Matthew " the ‘striving with man’ in them all- as being heir- and by implication there, the pos

the vine-dresser ? Clearly it seems to me, sessor of the vineyard when he shall the Holy Spirit of God. In the passage

(for that destruction He universally just alluded to, đen. vi. 3, we can hardly represents as His coming). The other but recognize the main features of our objections will come out in the direct present parable ; especially when the days exposition of the Parable, which I take to of Noah are compared by the Lord Himself be this :- The link which binds it to the to His own coming to vengeance. The inforegoing is Except ye repent ...; and it tercessory office of the Spirit (the Advois addressed rather to individuals than to cate," see on John xiv. 16), pleading with the whole nation—though of course to the man and for man, and resigning that whole nation as made up of individuals. blessed conflict when met with inveterate The vineyard is not the world, which would obduracy, is often set before us in Scripbe wholly inconsistent with Scripture sym- ture. See the whole history of Saul; Zech. bolism (for Matt. xiii. 24 the comparison vii. 12–14: Prov. i. 23–32: Isa. lxiii. is to " the kingdom of heaven-the 10: Neh. ix. 20: Rom. viii. 26, 27. Gospel dispensation, in which the field- 7. three years] I have little doubt that not the vineyard -- is the whole world); an allusion is intended to the three years but, as in Isa. v. 7, the house of Israel and of our Lord's ministry. The objection to the men of Judah (see notes on Matt. xxi. this, that the cutting down ought then to 33 ff.). The fig-tree planted in the vine- have taken place at the end of this year, yard-among the vines - (a usual thing) does not apply; for all is left indefinite in denotes an individual application, fixing the request and the implied answer. In each man's thought upon one tree-and the individual application, many thousands that one, himself ; just as the guest with- did bear fruit this very year; and of those out the wedding-garment in Matt. xxii. who did not, who shall say when the Spirit He who had the tree planted in His vine- ceased pleading with them, and the final yard (-'All things that the Father hath sentence went forth ? why moreover are Mine'-John xvi. 15), came seeking cumbereth it the ground ?] i. e. Why, befruit, and found it not: see Matt. xxi. 19 sides bearing no fruit, is impoverishand note. (The vine-dresser, see below.) ing the soil — rendering the neighbouring He commands it to be cut down, as ground useless ? 8.] i. e. till I dig encumbering the soil (exhausting it, holes about the root, and cast in manure, rendering it inactive); three years has as is done to orange-trees in the south of He been coming and seeking fruit in this Italy, and to hops in England. 9.] trec, and he findeth none. Then, at the After fruit there is a breaking off, and intercession of the vine-dresser, He consents well is to be supplied : but not without

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