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BIBLICAL COMMENTARY 



THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

BY 

DR. HERMANN OLSHAUSEN, 

PROFESSOR OP THEOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ERLANGEN. 

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN 

FOB CLARK S FOREIGN AND THEOLOGICAL LIBRARY. 

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. 

BEVISED AFTER THE FOURTH GERMAN EDITION, 

BT 

A. C. KENDRICK, D.D., 

PROFESSOR OP GREEK IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ROC HESTER. 
TO WHICH IS PREFIXED OLSHACSEX S 

PROOF OF THE GENUINENESS OF THE WRITINGS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. 
TRANSLATED BY DAVID FOSDICK, JR. 

VOL. II. 



NEW YORK: 
SHELDON & COMPANY PUBLISH K K s. 

115 NASSAU STK Kh T. 
1860 



Entered, according to Act of Oongrest, In the year ISM, by 

SHELDON, BLAKEMAN 4 CO , 

In the Clerk c Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of 

New York. 



STEREOTYPE!) BY 

THC: -SMITH. 

82 & 84 Boekmaa-strect, X. " 



PRINTED BY 

PUDNEY & RUSSELL, 
79 John-street. 



r A 



TABLE OF CONTENTS, 



PART IV. 

CONTINUED FROM VOLUME I. 

PAGB 

7. The Healing of a Dumb Man. The Discourses of Jesus Thereupon. Luke 

xi. 14-28 9 

8. Continuance of the Discourse of Jesus. Luko xi. 29-36 10 

9. Rcbuko to the Pharisees and Lawyers. Luke xi. 37-54 12 

10. Various Discourses of Jesus. Luke xii. 1-59 13 

11. Continuation of the Conference. Exhortation to Repentance. Luke xiii. 1-9. 30 

12. Cure of aSick Woman. Luko xiii. 10-21 33 

13. Conversations of Jesus by tho Way. Luko xiii. 22-35 34 

14. Jesus Dines with a Pharisee. Luko xiv. 1-24 44 

15. The Demands of Jesus on his Disciples. Luko xiv. 25-35 51 

1C. Parables Relating to tho Compassionate Love of God. Luko xv. 1-32 55 

17. Parables Relating to the Compassionate Love of our Fellow-men. Luko 

xvL 1-31 62 

18. Conclusion of tho Parabolic Discourses. Luke xvii. 1-10 84 

19. The Healing of Ten Lepers. Luke xvii. 11-19 87 

20. The Coming of tho Kingdom of God. Luke xvii. 20-37 87 

21. On tho Efficacy of Prayer. Luko xviii. 1-14 9^ 



B. SECOND SECTION. 

Common Account, by tho Three Evangelists, of tho Last Journey of Josus. 

Matth. xix. 1 xx. 34 ; Mark x. 1-52 ; Luko xviii. 15 xix. 28 93 

1. On Marriage. Matth. xix. 1-15 ; Mark x. 1-1G : Luko xviiL 16, 17 99 

Matth. xix. 10; xx. 1G ; Mark x. 17-31; Luko xviii. 18-30 106 

3. Of Humility. Matthew xx. 17-28; Mark x. 32-45; Luko xviiL 31-33 123 

g 4. T: of Two Blind Men in Jericho. Matthew .x.x. liU-i: 1 ; -Mark x. 

40-52; Luko xviii. 35-13 131 

5. .-us. Luko xix. 1-10 132 

G. Tho Parablo of tho Talents. Luke xix. 1 1-28; [Matthew xxv. 14-30] 134 



C. THIRD SECTK >\. 

Christ s Entry into Jerusalem, and tho Description of his Mini-fry there. Mat- 

\\i.-\\-v.; Mark xi. xi \. _>:>; xxi. , !S 136 

1. Tho Entry .to Jrrus.!, \v xxi. 1-11; Mark xi. 1-10; 

Luke xix. 29-14 ; John xii. 12-19 140 

2. Tho Fig-Tree Cursed. Mark xi. 1 1-14 H7 



IV TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

PAOM 

3. The Purification of the Temple. Matthew xxi. 12-16; Mark xi. 15-18; Luko 

xix. 45-48 149 

4. On the Power of Faith. Matthew xxi. 17-22 ; Mark xi. 19-2G 152 

5. Conversations of the Lord with the Pharisees. Matth. xxi. 23-xxii. 14; 

Mark xi. 27-xii. 12 ; Luke xx. 1-19 155 

6. Now Conversations of Jesus with the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 

xxii. 15-46 ; Mark xii. 13-37 ; Luke xx. 20-44 174 

7. Discourses Censuring the Pharisees. Matthew xxiii. 1-39 ; Mark xii. 3840 ; 

Luke xx. 45-47 196 

8 The Gift of the Widow. Mark xii. 41-44 ; Luke xxi. 1-4 217 

9. Predictions of Jesus Respecting the Last Things. Matthew xxiv. 1 xxv. 46; 

Mark xiii. 1-37 ; Luke xxi. 5-38 218 



EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. 

INTRODUCTION 281 

1. Of John Personally 281 

2. Of the Genuineness of the Gospel by John 286 

3. Of the Design of John s Gospel 291 

4. Time and Place of the Composition 295 

8 5. Literature. . , 298 



FIRST PART. 

From the Beginning of Christ s Ministry to his Journey to the Feast of Taber 
nacles 299 

1. Procemium. John L 1-18- 299 

2. First Testimony of the Baptist Concerning Christ. Jesus Collects Disciples. 

Johni. 19-52 1 327 

3. Jesus at the Marriage in Cana. John n. 1-12 339 

4. Jesus Purifies the Temple. John ii. 13-22 343 

5. The Visit of Nicodemus. John ii. 23 iii. 21 348 

6. Second Testimony of the Baptist Concerning Jesus. John iii. 22-36 365 

7. The Conversation of Christ with the "Woman of Samaria. John iv. 1-42 372 

8. The Healing of an Officer s Child. John iv. 43-54 384 

9. Healing of the Sick Man at Bethesda. John v. 1-47 387 

10. The Feeding of the Five Thousand. Jesus Walking on the Sea. Discourses 

on Partaking his Flesh and Blood. John vL 1-71 404 



II. 

SECOND PART. 

From the Journey of Christ to the Feast of Tabernacles till the Journey to the 

Last Passover. John viL 1 xi. 57 427 

1. Christ s Journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. John vii. 1-3P 427 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. V 

PAOB 
2. Discourses at the Conclusion of the Feast of Tabernacles. John viL 37 ; 

viii. 69 437 

3. History of the Adulteress. John vii. 53 ; viii. 11 465 

4. Healing of the Man Born Blind. John ix. 1-34 474 

6. Discourses of Jesus against the Pharisees. John ix. 35 x. 21 483 

6. Feast of Dedication. John x. 22-39 

7. The Raising of Lazarus. John x. 40 xi. 57 602 



III. 

THIRD PART. 

Last Residence of Christ in Jerusalem at the Passover. John xii. 1-19, 26. .. 619 
1. The Anointing of Jesus and his Entrance into Jerusalem. John xii. 1-19, 

[Matthew xxvi. G-13 : Mark xiv. 3-9.] 519 

2. Last Public Discourses of Jesus. John xii. 20-50 523 

3. The Washing of the Feet. John xiii. 1-30 . . . 534 

4. Last Discourses of Jesus Addressed to his Disciples before his Death. John 

xiii. 31 xviL 26.. . 642 



THE SUFFERINGS, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF 
JESUS CHRIST. 

I. 
FIRST PART. 

OP THE SUFFERINGS AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST. 

1. The Last Meal of Jesus Christ with his Disciples. Matthew xxvi. 17-35 ; 
Mark xiv. 12-31; Luke xxii. 7-38 ; John xiii. 21-29 607 



I 



ORDER OF THE SECTIONS OF THE GOSPELS IN 
VOLUME II. 

ARRANGED AFTER EACH GOSPEL. 



ST. MATTHEW. 



CHAPTER xix. 1-15 99 

xix. 16 xx. 1C 106 

xx. 17-28 122 

" xx. 29-34 131 

" xxi. 1-11 140 

xxi. 12-16 149 

xxi. 17-22 ." 152 

" xxi. 23; yyii. 14 157 



PAO1 

CHAPTER xxii. 15-46 174 

xxiii. 1-39 196 

" xxiv. 1 xxv. 46 218 

xxv. 14-30 134 

xxvi. xxvii 607 

xxvi. 17 607 

" xxvL 17-35.. .... 608 



ST. MARK. 



CHAPTER x. 1-16 99 

x. 17-31 106 

x. 32-45 123 

x. 46-52 132 

xi. 1-10 141 

xi. 11-14 147 

" xi. 15-18 149 

" xi. 19-2G 155 



CHAPTER xi. 

" xii. 

" xii. 

xii. 

" xiii. 
" xiv. 
" xiv. 



27; xii. 12 157 

13-37 174 

38-10 196 

41-44 217 

1-37 218 

8-9 519 

12-31 608 

6-13.. . 519 



ST. LUKE. 



CHAPTER xi. 
xi. 
xii. 



29-3G ............. 10 

37-54 ............. 12 

1-59 ............. 13 

xii:. 1-9 .............. 30 

xiii. 10-21 ............. 33 

xiii. 2 l J-."5 ............. 34 

xiv. 1-24 .............. 44 

xiv. 2,">-:t:. ............. 61 

xv. 1-32 .............. 55 

,\\i. !-:!! .............. 

xvii. 1-10 ............. 84 

xvii. 11-19 ............. 87 

rvii. 20-::: ............. 87 

xvii. 1-14 ............. n- 

xviii. 16, 17... ......... 99 



CHAPTER xviii. 18-30 106 

" xviii. 

xviii. 

xix. 1-10 132 

1 :u 

Xix. .33 135 

xix. J .i-H 140 

149 

xx. 1-19 l -7 

xx. 20-4-1 174 

196 

xxi. 1-1 

xxi. 5-Hs. 218 

xxii. 7-38 COS 



vm 



ORDER OF THE SECTIONS OF THE GOSPELS. 



ST. JOHN. 



CHA1 

< 
i 
i 


>TER i. 
i. 
ii. 
ii. 
ii. 
iiL 
iv. 
iv. 

V. 

vL 
viL 
1 vii. 
4 rii. 


1-18 


PAGE 

.... 299 


CHAI 


>TER vii 
ix. 
ix. 

X. 
X 

xii. 

xii. 
xii. 
xii. 
xiii. 
xiii. 
xiii. 


53 viiL 11 


PAO 
. ... 465 


19_52 


327 


1-34 


. . . . 474 


1 12 


339 


35 x. 21 


. . . . 483 


13-22 


.... 343 


22-39 


. . . . 495 


23 iii. 21 


.... 348 


40 xi 57. 


502 


2236 


365 


1 xvii. 26. . . . 


. . . . 519 


1-42 


372 


1-19 


619 


43-54 


.... 384 


12-19 .. 


141 


1-47 


387 


20-50 


. 523 


1-71 


.... 404 


1-30 


. ... 534 


1 xi 57 


.... 427 


31 xvil af 


542 


1-36 


.... 427 


21-29. ......... 


. ... 608 


37_ viii. 59.. 


,. 437 







I 



COMMENTARY 



o.v 



THE GOSPELS 



7. THE HEALING OF A DUMB MAN. THE DISCOURSES OP 
JESUS THEREUPON. 

(Luko xL 14-28.) 

WHAT is contained in this paragraph has already been considered 
in detail at Matth. xii. 22-30, and 43-45. We simply observe here, 
in regard to the arrangement, that the position in the history as 
signed to the occurrence by Luke, [if there were such,] would un 
doubtedly deserve the preference. The fearful outbreak of hatred 
on the part of the Pharisees and lawyers in the accusation that 
Jesus cast out spirits by the power of the prince of darkness, seems 
to belong to the end of his ministry. The reference also (Luke xi. 
24-26) to the return of the evil spirit, stands immediately after the 
cure in a connexion more appropriate than in Matthew, who inserts 
before it the subsequent discourse (Luke xi. 29, seq.) on the sign 
of Jonah. Everything, finally, from the account of this cure, down 
to Luke xiii. 9. stands in close internal connexion. The only thing 
in this section peculiar to Luke is the account (ver. 27, 28) of tin- 
woman who blesses the mother of Jesus for her son s sake. This 
little narrative distinguishes itself so remarkably lor na i vete and 
originality, that it furnishes no slight evidence tor the correctness 
of Luke s history. The invention or inappropriate insertion of it is 
hardly conceivable. Without doubt \ve o\ve to smite eye-witness 
the account of this conversation conducted l>y .lesus on the occasion 
of his healing the dumb man. As respects, finally, the stilKfamv 
of the narrative, it is not unimportant on account of the striking 
answer of Jesus in which the praetieal aim of all the Saviour s efforts 
is made apparent that he cared not to excite wondering astonish 
ment, but to bring about a saving change of the whole lite. The 



10 LUKE XI. 14-29. 

woman was assuredly, as her exclamation shews, struck with the 
] iow IT and wisdom of Jesus, but, without talcing the words home to 
herself and applying them to her own salvation, she is lost in con 
templating his glory, and extols his blessedness through his mother, 
to whom she is led as a woman first to refer. This want of practical 
interest the answer of Jesus reproves, in so delicate a way that the 
woman, who had meant Avell in her remarks, could not feel offended, 
while yet both she and the others present must have been led to 
consider the essential purposes of his mission. (In the word //M-o/Vy, 
there is on the one hand an implied acknowledgment of what was 
true in the woman s exclamation, but en the other an intimation 
that the man who heard and kept the word of God stood still higher. 
The passage might be translated thus : he who lets the word of 
God operate spiritually within him, and is therein- born again, 
stands higher than the earthly mother of the Messiah. But this 
spiritual blessing is open to you all appropriate it to yourselves.) 



8. CONTINUATION OF THE DISCOURSES OF JESUS. 

(Luke xi. 29-3G.) 

What was needful for the understanding of vcr. 29-32 has been 
given already at Matth. xii. 38, seq. In regard to its position, how 
ever, the narrative of Luke deserves the preference, as was already 
observed in our exposition of Matthew (ut supra); partly because 
we find in Luke greater originality, especially in arranging Christ s 
discourses, and next because in this very section the exactness of his 
narrative is clearly manifest. According to Luke, the Saviour 
directed his rebuke expressly to the mass of the assembled people, 
and the allusion to the people of Nineveh agrees well with this. In 
the closing verses of this section, two thoughts are subjoined by 
Luke to the discourse of Jesus, which at Matth. v. 15 ; vi. 22, 23, 
are already explained in the Sermon on the Mount. It is of itself 
very possible that such sententious statements may have been uttered 
by Christ on many or just as the former of them occurs in 

anot In r connexion in Luke viii. 16. Still the connexion, especially 
of tli latter idea, is in Matthew not so simple as to give it the 
appearance of being there in its proper and original place. 1! 
on the other hand, the admonition to cure for the purity of the in 
ward sight, so connects itself with the preceding ideas, that its very 
peculiarity seems to mark it as original. The general train of 
thought, however (from ver. 83-36), requires carefoT development) 
for it is not at first Obvious. To those who asked signs from heaven 
the Lord had held forth the example of the Ninevitesand the queen 



LIKK XI. 2 . 36. 11 

. , who were prepared to arkii >wledge Divinity in far 
i HIS manifestations of it. namely, in .Jonah an<l Solomon. From 
this thought -Jesus makes a transition to the object of all revelations 
of the Divine among mankind, gamely, that those who are entering 
(the dwelling of God) may sec the light (7m nl nn-t\[ 

//,-nr -or O^of) TO 0eyyof /3AtT6j<r<). The perfect revelation of 
(Jod in Christ himself is so constituted that its --lory radiates far 
and wide, striking every eye. Tho eye itself certainly must be 
sound and clear if it is to take in purely the impre- the 

truth. Hence the admonition to bring the eye into a right condi 
tion. It might surprise us here that at ver. 33, Ai^of, lamp, }> 
that which gives light, denotes the Saviour himself as the light of 
the world, while again in ver. 34 it means the ability to take in the 
light to sec. Already, however, at Matth. vi. 22, 23, it was remarked 
that light itself was needful for the reception of the light (as a 
negative pole for the positive), and the darkness here is not to be 
considered as simply the absence of light, but as that which resists 
every reception of the light, and consequently as the moral impu 
rity which flies every discovery of itself by the power of light. In 
order to receive the light of Christ, therefore, the eye must be 
single, and then it works with an influence so quickening and 
light-giving, that the light in man completely and entirely per 
vades the man. The figure here is only distinguished from that at 
Matth. vi. 22 (where the particulars may be compared) by the 
additional clause ver. 36. There seems, however a tautology im 
plied in this additional statement, d ovv TO otipd oov uXov Qureivov 
c /TTfM (fareivbv oAev, if therefore thy whole body be luminous it will 
be all luminous. The " as" which follows, however, indicates very 
naturally a silently implied "so," by which the following sense would 
arise: " The enlightenment of man (owing to the likeness having 
been taken from the outward eye, the body stands for man s inner 
being) hy the reception of the Divine light through means of a 
single and clear eye, illuminates him so entirely (amidst the sur 
rounding darkness), that he shines (inwardly, spiritually) as when 
outwardly (in the night) a light irradiates one with its lieams." It 
is not. t! a merely idea! ki of God and Divine <L 

that is hen- spoken of, but the communication of a higher life- 
principle, which has tho power of forming in him to whom it is im 
parted a fountain of similar life (John iv. 14). The w! 
therefore, pourtrays believers as men transformed by tli inlin 
of Christ (of the </>$ rov Koafiov ) into oa>TT//pr <> K&Tju^PhiL ii. !> . 
enlightening what lies around them.* (In ver. 35 w-.-- 
where J3J ! in the sense of to to. , 

* Compare also Dan. ill 3 ; (Matth. xiiL 43;) 1 Cor. xr. 41, 42. 



i-2 LUKE XI. 3G-54. 

In the New Testament this meaning occurs only here ver. 36, 
darpaTrr) is = (freyyos, the shining, gleaming flash.} 



9. REBUKE TO THE PHARISEES AND LAWYERS. 

(Luke xi. 37-54.) 

In the following discourse against the Pharisees and lawyers, 
Matthew, according to his custom, has wrought into one whole, the 
thoughts contained in Luke, with others which are not found in 
him. In this form the separate ideas will be found more fully ex 
plained on Matth. xxiii. We merely consider here the entire dis 
course of Luke. Its form leaves no doubt that here again we have 
in Luke the account of an eye-witness, while the discourse in Mat 
thew (ch. xxiii), manifestly combines the elements of kindred dis 
courses which might have been spoken by Jesus on very different 
occasions. For, in the first place, Luke s account starts from a 
definite historic occasion. During the Saviour s discourse which 
followed the cure of the dumb man (xi. 14), a Pharisee came up 
and invited him to dine (in explaining dpiorav, ver. 37, there is no 
ground for deviating from the common meaning prandcre). As he 
observed that Jesus ate without having washed his hands, and 
loudly expressed his astonishment at this after the meal was finished, 
Christ at once commenced a conversation on the relation of inward 
and outward purity. Owing to this observation of the Pharisee, the 
discourse was directed immediately against them but for reasons 
stated v. 45, it was also extended to the lawyers. One of the lawyers, 
namely, applied the words to himself, and therefore the Lord turned 
to that party and rebuked their errors. In the second place, the 
discourse concludes (ver. 53, 54) with a general remark by the 
writer, that such a public declaration had brought the opponents of 
Jesus to the firm determination to overthrow him as the destroyer 
of their whole power over the people. Matthew wants all the points 
which in Luke shew that the account was drawn from the life. He, 
on the contrary, gives an address which unites all the antiphariaaio 
elements to be found in the discourses of Jesus ; these he has 
arranged with skill and discernment, into a new and entire whole. 
(In the closing verses of this section at Luke xi. 54, there occur 
some unusual expressions. As respects first the KVK%eiv 6eivu>c, it 
means, as at Mark vi. 19, insidiari. In the LXX. it occurs at 
Gen. xlix. 23. Only at this passage in the New Testament does 
d-oaTonaTi&iv occur. According to Timaeus, in the Platonic Lexi 
con, when intransitive it is = OTTO /m/p/f Aeyetv, to recount from 
memory. Transitively, however, it means to cause one to tell some- 



LUKE XL 37-54; XII. 1. 13 



thing, drawing it a> it wen- out of his mouth. SuMus says, li 

fyanl rtn< dtddffica&av Srav ttefafat rdv -nUu / ;. /! au 
c. With this moaning agrees the Hibvjiient MxWiVn 
in waif, [which dues not attain occur save at Acts xxiii. 21,] as also 
()/H>n-m,i. /unit, which describes the ciisnarin-- nature of tin- questions 
put by Christ s enemies, examples of which we have at Matth. xxii. 
15, seq. Km5/>n m , from Zvetipa, corresponds also in etymology with 
the Latin insidiari.) 



10. VARIOUS DISCOURSES OF JESUS. 

(Luke xii. 1-59.) 

To the contents of the following paragraphs we may apply the 
same remarks as to the foregoing. The thoughts, for the most part, 
recur also in Matthew, who arranges them in various connexions, 
according to his mode of combining portions of different discourses. 
Granting even that particular terse and sententious maxims may 
have been uttered by the Saviour on different occasions, we can 
scarcely conceive that more lengthened portions of discourse, agreeing 
word for word, should have been repeatedly uttered. And in ex 
amining the originality of this section, everything again here speaks 
in favour of Luke. For again at the very beginning of the chapter, 
he connects the discourse that follows with a definite historic occur 
rence. As soon as Jesus left the house of the Pharisee, and stepped 
out amidst the numerous masses of the assembled people, he con 
tinued to the disciples his discourse respecting the Pharisees, pointing 
out the danger which threatened them from these self-seeking men, 
and referring them to that higher aid which stood ready for them. 
This discourse, which the Lord carried on witli his disciples amidst 
a wide circle of surrounding people, was suddenly interrupted by an 
individual from amidst the crowd, with a request so strangely out 
of place, that the very contrast between this incident an 1 the 
discourse of Jesus goes to prove the original character of the 
account used by Luke in this section. This man, full of his petty 
domestic all airs. asks that, the Saviour would settle a quarrel about 
an inheritance in his familv. The yvntle Son of man deems it not 

* O 

beneath his dignity to lead even this erring one into another path. 
He takes the trouble to shew to him by a parable the nothing 
of earthly possession! <\er. 1G-21). And then he resumes the ad 
dress to his disciples, taking up in such a way the thread which had 
been let fall, that the intervening words are woven into the connexion. 
The Father s care f >r those who seek spiritual ble<- inu s. f : : 
the subject of his discourv, with an intimation that spiritual 



14 LUKE XII. 1. 

infinitely exalted above earthly treasures. After the possession of 
the f< inner, therefore, the Lord exhorts Iris people t> strive and not 
to slaeken in their zeal, but to persevere like servants awaiting their 
Lord. Here Peter again breaks in on the discourse of Jesus (ver. 
40), and asks to whom he meant to apply these words, to them alone 
or to all. This question leads Jesus to go still farther into the para 
ble he had chosen, of servants who await their lord s return, and so 
to develope it as to convey to him the answer sought, and bring the 
apostles to the conclusion that he spake of his own departure and 
return. This brings the Lord finally (ver. 54-59) to address a 
reproof to "the crowd, in which he charges them with that very 
hypocrisy against which _hc had at the commencement warned them. 
He reminds them of the visible signs of his presence, and earnestly 
exhorts them not to mistake these signs. Thus the whole is so 
connected, and shews itself by the intermediate questioning to be 
so plainly the original account of an eye-witness, that it cannot be 
dissevered. Its connexion with what precedes reveals it plainly as 
a portion of that great journal of travel which Luke used in writing 
his work. The separate thoughts, here given in their original con 
nexion, Matthew, according to his custom, re-arranged under certain 
general points of view. 

Ver. 1. The account of Luke begins with a well-marked his 
torical connexion in point of time with the foregoing narrative (iv 
olf scil. ^poi off in the sense of meanwhile, during ivliich period, 
synonymous with iv (J> Mark ii. 19 ; Luke v. 34). While he was at 
meat (Luke xi. 37), the people assembled before the house of the 
Pharisee, in order to obtain a sight of the prophet. (The pvpiddec; 
denotes, like the iva^, great, but indefinite numbers.) Here then 
the Lord begins an address of warning against the Pharisees, directed, 
in the first instance, certainly to his disciples, but plainly uttered in 
the presence of the people (ver. 13, 54), whose ears many of his words 
may have reached. The exposition of the words has been given at 
Matth. xvi. 6. As the explanation of have a, there is here expressly 
added "which is hypocrisy." The prominent reference to this 
springs from the fact that all the Lord s preceding rebuke, as al>o 
the whole blameworthy peculiarities of the sect, centred in their 
hypoo risy. To the spirit of the Gospel, indeed, nothing is nnuv 
opposed than hypocrisy, for, whether in its grosser or more refined 
form, Avhethcr consciously or unconsciously cherished, it. ever implies 
a contradiction between the inner man and the outer form. Tin s 
contradiction is removed by Christianity, which establishes sim 
plicity of soul, and attaches value to the outward appearance 
only so far as it is 1 1n genuine expivssiou of the inner life. (The 
term -/H^ror, therefore, is to be taken as meaning, first of all, above 
all, a at Matth. vi. 33.) 



LUKI: XII. 2-16. 15 

1:2. The words winch follow have been already ex 
plained, namely. \ r. L! . , ai M ttb, x. :M, s.-c|. (compare Luke viii. 
latth. xii. :H : Mark iii. _>*, ver. 11, 12; at Matth. 
x. 19, 20. The connexion of the words with the admonition to 
In-ware of the Pharisees is also so simple as to be self-evident. 
Yd in ver. 1 and . J there is some obscurity in the connexion of 
what precedes and follows. The conjoining of the disclosure of what 
is concealed with the warning against hypocrisy, in the sense that 
" the M-crets of the hypocrite shall one day he laid open," is out of 
the i|ucs;iou, because at ver. 3 the revealing agency is ascribed to 
the apostles themselves. We must rather supply, therefore, at this 
ige, the words/car not, as is expressly done at Matth. x. 26. 

On the one hand this open revelation of the inner man forms 
the contrast to hypocrisy, and on the other the display, in its full 
glory, of that Divine truth which the apostles were called to ad 
vocate, necessarily consummates their triumph. Hence, even if 
opponents arise against them, the powerful protection of God will 
shield the champions of the truth. The declaration of ver. 10, on 
the sin against the Holy Ghost, was, it is true, uttered in a fuller 
form on an entirely different occasion. (Compare on Matth. xii. 
31.) Yet it is not improbable that the Saviour in this connexion 
re [erred again to the main idea. For, the x warning against apostacy 
led him very naturally to speak of the lowest stage of declension. 
In contrast, however, with the sin against the Holy Ghost there is 
brought forward at the conclusion (ver. 12), the aid proceeding 
from the Holy Ghost, to those who in faith cleave to the Redeemer. 

Ver. 13-16. The narrative which follows is peculiar to Luke, 
which presents some one from among the crowd as requesting Jesus 
to support him in a lawsuit. This little episode is instructive as 
showing the way in which Jesus conducted himself in affairs per 
taining to f/tc inns of political and civil life. He 
wholly refrained from such interference, and confined his labours 
entirely to the sphere of moral and spiritual truth. From this no 
doubt arse an entire reformation of all political and civil rela 
tions, produced by his labours, but at first he left the exter 
nals un, : cking only to establish the new life within. An 
important hint for all who are called to the work of the ministry; 

r relations char.: irian rllort. 

which has to do not with men s hearts but with dominion over them 
and their money. (JW/,^a-, /( ; occurs again at Acts vii. 27, . >.">. in the 

, ivcly chosen umpire. M.^/TT,, th>nly i 

in the New Testament, m < .n-ding to Ui 

<|ui familia- herci- undie, commiini dividtindo, aut tinibus re-iindis 
arbiier sumitur.) To make the man who wkwanlly inter 

rupted his d: : his spiritual I him in 



16 LUKE XII. 13-21. 

the following verses a warning against avarice (jr/leove& a). We may 
conceive of a wish 1 icing entertained for the division of an inheritance 
without, avarice, but in the case of this man, the very moment he 
chose for making his application to Christ shews that wordliness 
had repressed all sympathy with things spiritual, and even this en 
tanglement is the root of avarice, a subjugation of our life to things 
earthly. On the construction of the latter half of verse 15, it must 
be observed, first, that undoubtedly av-ov is the right reading, and 
that in this entirely Hebraizing passage the pronouns must be 
explained after the usage of the Hebrew language. The idea 
would be clear if the words t/c r&v v-rrap^ovruv avrov were want 
ing. By this additional clause some expositors (for example 
Paulus) have been induced erroneously to supply a n before the 
in TWV K. T. X. so as to bring out this meaning though one has 
many possessions, yet physical life is no part of his property, i. e. } 
he has no control over his life. This explanation seems to agree 
with the following parable, according to which even the rich man 
suddenly loses his bodily life. But verse 21 opens at once to our 
view, by the words, "being rich toward God" (TT^OVTUV d$ 6eov) 
another conception of " life." Only relatively is death a loss ; for 
him who is rich toward God it is a gain. Life (<"/) then is more 
correctly taken as denoting true life, in so far as it implies salvation. 
The true construction then is this : the thought is in substance 
completely expressed by the words on OVK iv T<3 -nepiooeveiv nvl ?/ ow) 
avrov ioriv, a man s life consists not in abundance; the added iic 
rtiv vTrapxovruv avrov, from his possessions, however, brings forward 
from the preceding -neptoaeveiv this additional idea, that no spiritual 
power can be ascribed to earthly possessions. Two doctrines then 
are combined in one " Life consists not in superabundance," and 
" from earthly possessions nothing spiritual can flow." The follow 
ing parable, therefore, teaches alike that earthly blessings may be 
lost, and the necessity of gathering imperishable treasures, posses 
sion of which brings true life, and which death is so far from taking 
away that it rather introduces us to their full enjoyment. 

Ver. 16-21. Here follows a parable, whose object by no means 
is to warn against the abuse of riches, but against riches themselves, 
that is, against the soul s placing its dependence on any transi 
tory possession. This dependence may exist alike in him who has 
much and in him who 1ms little, although in the case of the for 
mer the temptation is greater. In the same way, however, can 
true poverty of spirit (Matth. v. 3), exist amidst great possessions. 
According to the views of the world and the decisions of the law, 
the man whom ,Je>us brings forward in the parable does nothing 
unii ; rather does he act wisely ; just as the man who from 

amidst the crowd wished to force his brother to a division of the in- 



LUKE XII. 1C-31. 17 

heritance does nothing unlau Tul. Uul in both cases that natural 
life bore sway which cleaves to the civatmv, dev.it in- 1 to it its whole 
aJi ectioMs ; ami in this condition man is dead, and transilnry as th<- 
transitory objects of his love. With this state of soul the Saviour 
contracts another, in which man sets his ail eet ions on things eternal, 
and holds and uses all his perishable possessions not fur tlr-ir own 
sake. lui f.-r the everlasting welfare of himself and others. This 
being his state he is Trrw^of, abeggar (in spirit) even though he may 
have --real j)ossessions, but still as a beggar he is rich toivard God. 
This expression is in the highest degree significant, when contrasted 
with the gathering trcasurcsfor oneself (drjaavpi^eiv tai-rui). For in 
human effort everything depends on the final object towards which it 
is directed. In the ordinary strivings of sense, self is the object of all 
exertion ; and this miserable self, with its perishable joy and peace, 
falls during this very effort a prey to corruption ; in genuine effort, 
however, God the eternal, unchangeable, immortal (1 Tim. vi. 16), 
becomes the object, and while man therefore is laying up treasure 
for God (e/c is not to be confounded with Iv or ^pog), he is at the 
same time laying up for himself, for where his treasure is, there also 
is his real self. (Matth. vi. 21.) Compare the beautiful treatise of 
Clemens Alex, rtf 6 au^ofievog nkovoiog,. which contains a Commen- 
tary on the history at Mark x. 17, seq., full of rich and profound 
thoughts. In the Pauline epistles compare 1 Cor. vii. 29, seq., where 
we are taught to possess as though we possessed not. (Vcr. 16 
et-0opt a>, means to bear abundantly, fruitfully. In the New Testa 
ment it is found only here ver. 19, I will say ry t/>i% pov = avrdf, 
self; it is, however, to be noted that the words <7u>//a, \l>v%Ji, and 
-i^Tim. are not used indifferently for the person who is the subject 
of discourse, but discriminatingly, according as certain relations be 
come particularly prominent. In this case, for example, neither 
<7<3|ua nor irvev/ia could have been employed. According to the Divine 
ordinance nourishment is required by the body, but the spirit 
(TTvevua) has relation to nobler than sensuous blessings and food. 
The soul (V l A / /) J as being capable of education and development, 
r;,n be alike lowered to flesh (<*)>) and elevated to the tjiirit (-rn -pa). 
In this very thing consequently lies the point of the thought, that 
he gave up to the fleshly objects that soul which he should have con- 
:ed to spiritual.) 

22 - !. In his subsequent discourse our Lord conies back 
to his disciples, alike resuming his discourse from ver. IL\ and having 
reference to the contents of the parable. Warning them against 
anxious care for the world, he points his disciples to our heavenly 
Father as their true helper in every strait, and remarks that, while 
trusting in his aid, there was no necessity for such an anxious 
gathering together of the means of bodily support as is exhibited in 
VOL. IL 2 



18 LUKE XII. 22-32. 

the case of the ricli num. The whole discourse, it may be added, is 
founded on the supposition, that circumstances might well give 
occasion and temptation enough for cherishing such anxieties. 
The particulars have already been more fully explained at Matth. 
vi. 25-32. 

Vcr. 32. With the p) <poj3ov, fear not, the discourse obviously 
returns to the subject of ver. 4, where the Redeemer, styling 
the disciples his friends, exhorts them p) </>o,37/0//Te,/ear ye not. The 
confidential address, however, "little flock" (jaKpbv 7ro//mo7-), with 
which the foregoing $1X01 fiov (ver. 4), may be set down as parallel, 
seems imsuited to the idea of a conversation before the multitude 
(ver. 1). At least, .in John xv. 14, 15, where the Lord also calls his 
disciples his friends, it is restricted to his own most immediate 
circle. But in what follows, there immediately (ver. 33) occurs the 
most definite reference to ver. 21, which words again were addressed 
to one amidst the crowd (ver. 13), so that it is not possible to divide 
this discourse into separate elements, as spoken (before the people 
and before the disciples) at different times. It is impossible, espe 
cially because of ver. 41. We can only therefore suppose, that the 
disciples immediately surrounded Jesus, and partly his words were 
not at all designed for the multitude ; while as to another part, he 
perhaps even intended that to some his words should be completely 
audible, and all should receive at least their general impression. 
Thus the conclusion of his address (ver. 54, seq.), which addresses 
the multitude itself, charges them with hypocrisy, with a warning 
against which the discourse opened. (Compare ver. 1 with ver. 56.) 
Even the marked, and at first sight strange separation of the " little 
tlock" from the great multitude (retained under the entanglements 
of Pharisaic influence), was perhaps designed on this account by the 
Saviour, and although many of the particular allusions were unin 
telligible to the crowd (as, for instance, the account which follows 
of watching for his own return, must certainly have been unintelli 
gible), yet far less stress is laid on these than on the impress of 
rebuke and reproof borne by the whole discourse. This must have 
driven men to a decision for or against him ; the better disposed 
would attach themselves to the little flock, the rest went over en 
tirely to his enemies. And this circumstance itself shews that the 
discourse is rightly placed in the account of the last journey to 
Jerusalem, for, only towards the close, of the ministry of .Jesus would 
such a demand for a decisive choice have been appropriate. 

The idea of the flock, however, implies a reference not merely to 
their connexion with Jesus as the shepherd (John x. 12), but also, 
as the /(* " , little, indicates, to the relation of the disciples to the 
world. The expression reminds us of the relation of sheep to 
wolves (Matth. x. 16). To comfort them, as it were, amidst the suf- 



LUKI: XII. :L\ 33. 19 

fe rings and persecutions of tin- \\, iil. tin- Saviour promises that the 
Father shall bestow mi them tin 1 kingdom. which as th< opposite of 
Knnnn, ("\-er. . 10 1 iii its widest application, inwardly as well as oiit- 

!ly, denotes here a state of things, in which God s will is 
supreme, and in its supremacy insures the welfare of the good. 
projtriately, however, does the giving (fiuvvut) here corre 
spond with tlio seeking (sV/rm-), ver. 31. For it was only with thi--. 
that the promise of outward aid and support was primarily associ 
ated, and now the Saviour adds that the exalted object of their st riv 
ing was already their own. The preterite* here is to be retained in 
its literal sense, for this reason, that the Saviour views the disciples 
as the first bearers of that new life which he was called to bring 
into the world, and looks on them in the election of grace. If Jesus 
speaks here quite generally, without mentioning the son of perdi 
tion (as in the similar passage, John xvii. 12), this was doubtless 
done, partly because lie spoke in presence of the multitude, partly 
because the time of Judas was not yet past, and so there still 
remained the hope of winning him, and finally it might yet be said 
that even Judas was chosen, but made not his election sure (2 
Peter i. 10), and so fell through his unfaithfulness. 

. 33. In the following verses (down to verse 36) the 
Redeemer subjoins admonitions to the effect that they should walk 
as children of the kingdom, and members of the little flock. The 
picture is carried out in contrast with the preceding representation 
of the worldling anxious for the interests of the body and of self. 
The latter amasses for himself possessions and goods, the former 
sells them ; the latter seeks ease and pleasure (ver. 19), the former 
stands amidst struggles and conflicts (ver. 35). It may be a ques 
tion, however, in what sense the exhortation expressed in general 
term-. -<.>/ i/narK rd i--<i(>\<n Ta {yttjv, sell your possessions, is to be 
understood. In the first place, we are not to suppose here any gen 
eral admonition to Christians, otherwise 1 Cor. vii. 29, scq. would 
contradict it. Spiritual freedom from all earthly possessions, is 
assuredly to be considered as the highest aim of every member of 
the kingdom ; by it alone can the outward act acquire real signiti- 
eaii 1 . A -eeond question, however, certainly arises, whether the 

means here to n;j\-e his disciples a special precept ; and this 
Matth. \ix. -J7, appears by no m IMS improbable, f 

Accord! ii j,- io Matth. xix. iM also, Jesus, in certain oases where a t 

;ig attachment to worldly i QS wa< manifested, appe;r 



-, i/-a.? pleased. [K. 

f L). !>.<< tho 

expression -> n-->- .fohn xri. 

3. lu the paralli-1 pan " nth. vi. 10, only tho negative side is brought forward to 

- - 



20 LUKE XII. 33-36. 

have required the entire giving up of these goods, and to have 
meant his injunction to be understood in good earnest, and in a 
literal sense. Yet, in any case, the necessity for such external 
renunciation must be of subordinate importance, for all outward 
blessings being as Clemens Alex, (in the treatise above referred 
to) says, KTTJfiara, possessions, and therefore to be held possession 
of, so may they lawfully be thus held, provided they do not 
acquire the mastery. In the case of the disciples, however, it 
might be of importance that in this respect as in others they 
should be seen resembling their Lord. The remaining words of 
ver. 33 (as also ver. 34) agree entirely with the verses, Matth. 
vi. 20, 21, already explained. Instead of the transitory, the im 
perishable is enjoined on us as the sole object of our endeavours, 
inasmuch as the heart (along with the soul which centres in the 
heart), identifies itself, as it were, with the objects sought after. 
The only thing peculiar to Luke is the added clause, " make to 
yourselves purses that wax not old" (iroffyrare Kavrdtg ftaXdvna p/ 
nahcuoviieva), in which the purse (see Luke x. 4) is put for its con 
tents. The treasures which grow not old, therefore, are equivalent 
to the Eternal. (The word drtK/lTTO-, inexhaustible, is in the 
New Testament found only here.) 

Ver. 35, 36. In regard to what follows in the account of Luke, 
there occur kindred elements at Matth xxiv. 42, seq. The two pas 
sages are so closely akin, that we cannot well suppose Christ to 
have twice spoken the same words at different periods, and in differ 
ent circumstances. It thus becomes a question, which of the two 
Evangelists has preserved them in their original connexion. To 
me it seems again in this case probable, that (as was remarked 
generally on Luke xii. 1) Luke s narrative is the more exact. For 
his whole account is so peculiar, that it evidently reports to us 
an actual conversation, with its various turns and interruptions, 
while it is equally obvious that Matthew (ch. xxiv.) combines por 
tions of discourses which all refer to the same topic, namely, 
the second coming of the Lord. The only indication that Luke, 
or the author whose account he used, has introduced any for 
eign matter, is the obscurity of the connexion, and the fact that 
a reference is made in what follows to the second .coming, without 
ii< having been previously alluded to. But the connecting thread 
which inns through the whole, though subtle, is by no means want 
ing. For, all that is said from ver. 4 and onwards of the persecu 
tions awaiting the disciples, and from ver. 22 of their entire separa 
tion from worldly possessions, and striving after eternal blessings, 
was based upon the idea that the Lord s protecting presence was to 
cease, so that the term " little flock" (ver. 32) must be so explained 
that the flock is viewed as bereft of their shepherd, and hence 



LUKE XII. 35, 36. 21 



tO all the assaults of tin- enemy. With this leading i 
y connected the following exhortation to the disciples to 
continue faithful through their coming st .is.ni of abandonment, and 
the a-Mtrance that their faithl uln"ss would he rewarded hy the 
Lord at his return. Granting then, thai in the preceding context, 
no express reference is made to his return, yet the abandonment of 
the disciples presupposes the departure of their Lord, and this 
departure presupposes necessarily that one clay he shall return, and 
these two ideas form the supports on which the whole connexion of 
the passage rests. The multitude, who equally heard this add 
must indeed have failed to understand the idea of his return, which 
was difficult even to the disciples, but it was not for them that the 
discourse was primarily intended, and then, figurative though it was, 
it bore a meaning intelligible to all, as admonishing them faithfully 
to adhere to the true Lord. This exhortation formed at the same 
time a warning against hypocrisy (vcr. 56), which was greatly 
needed by the multitude, who listened indeed eagerly to Jesus, but 
from fear of the Pharisees shrank from a decision in his favour. 
(Compare on Matth. xxiv. 51, where instead of the faioroi, faithless, 
in Luke there stands the more exact v-xoKQi-ai, hypocrites.) The 
principal thoughts in the following verses, in so far as they relate to 
the Parousia, will be found explained more fully at Matth. xxiv., to 
which passage we now refer. Verses 35 and 36, like ver. 33, retain 
primarily the preceptive form. Their ideas Luke has modified in a 
peculiar way. The general comparison of servants who wait for 
their Lord, is more nearly defined by the circumstance, that he is 
represented as returning from the feast (dva&vaet in T&V yd^v). 
We cannot therefore view this passage as parallel to Matth. xxv. 1, 
eeq., for, in that chapter, the bridegroom is represented as coming to 
tin- marriage feast, and the virgins as waiting for him. The simili 
tude of the marriage feast points assuredly to the relation of Christ 
to his church (compare Matth. ix. 15). To the church in its wider 
ptation, belong indeed all the members of Christ s body, and 
among them of course the apostles. But the individual mem 
bers may be conceived as sustaining various relations, according to 
their various predominant traits of character. Now they are con 
ceived as active (<W/.n/), n,,w as receptive, or contemplative (-"( - 
i. and the figurative modes of expression are modili- d ae >rd- 
ingly. (Compare more detailed remarks on Matth. xxv. I. - . : 14, 
seii.) Here the apostles are represented as men ,.! ,/-///////. and 
hence they appear as the stewards of (Jod s h>u<e, in the 
of the Lord at tin- heavenly banquet, that i-. at hi> union with the 
church above, analogous to which is his union with thechurchof 
saints on i arth at his return his coming! " the marri 
loin* girded about) and XK%MN 



22 LUKE XII. 35-38. 

In i- the usual figurative expressions denoting to be prepared 

and read ij, -<>inn<; ytreaOcu, ver. 40. Compare Jer. i. 17 ; 1 I et. i. 
13 ; Matth, xxv. 1). 

Vcr. 37, 38". To this exhortation to a faithful decision in 
favour of the Lord (the opposite of v-xuKpimg, ver. 46, compared 
with Matth. xxiv. 51), is subjoined the thanks and the bless 
ing bestowed on such faithfulness. First of all, the return of the 
Lord is represented as wholly uncertain, to be looked for in every 
watch of the night, and the reward of faithfulness as equally great, 
whatever the period of time over which it is extended. (This re 
minds us of the parable, Matth. xx. 1, seq., in which the labourers, 
though called at different periods, yet receive equal recompense. 
For details consult the passage itself.) Naturally the later coming 
of the Lord, and the longer w r aiting which it involves, seem the 
more difficult. (It is intentionally that no mention is made of the 
first night-watch, for the marriage feast itself falls within it. As, 
however, allusion is made only to the second and third, Jesus seems 
here to have made use of the old division of the night amongst the 
Jews into three night-watches. Compare on Matth. xiv. 25.) The 
description of the faithful servants is altogether peculiar ; these 
ideas are found only in Luke. The Lord reverses their relative posi 
tions ; he becomes the servant, they the masters. In a passage, 
which also is peculiar to himself (chap. xvii. 7-10), Luke has 
described the usual practice, that when a servant returns from 
labour, his master first requires him to attend to his personal com 
fort, and then permits him to take his own food, without thanking 
him for these exertions, inasmuch as he has only done what he was 
bound to do. The contrast of the two passages may be explained 
in this way, that the aim of Luke xvii. 7, seq., is to bring forward 
the humble, unassuming state of mind of those truly faithful servants 
of the Lord who say " we are unprofitable servants" (dovAoi d\f)ioi 
KOfjv). The passage before us, on the other hand, brings to view 
the self-humbling nature of the Son of man, so rich in grace, who 
not only plar i vants on a level with himself, but sets himself 

beneath them. Thus, while the former passage gives expression to 
justice, that before us expresses grace, in regard to the relation of 
the servants to their Lord. The form, however, under which our 
Lord s self-sacrificing love for his servants is here set forth, is bor 
rowed from thai which runs through all Scripture, of a 
great least \vhie: . establishment of God s kingdom, our Lord 
shall hold with his people. (Compare on Matth. viii. 11.) This 
rV?-:roi Tor -jr/i/or Tof- I ^n iov (llev. xix. 0) has its type in that last 
meal of Jesus when he instituted the sacrament of the Supper, 
and awrding t" John xiii. 1, se<[., the Saviour acted on that occa- 
in harmony with what is here promised; he 



LUKE XII. 37-40. 23 

conducted himself like the servant, ai !>Ted his disciples as 

th<- masters. What tlidi took plan-, was an outward typ-- of what 
in the end of the day, the Lord shall yet do to his own people, wh > 
until deatli remain true t<> his commandment* (For further details 
see on Matth. xxvi. 29.) AVilh this the Saturnalia of the ancients 
may not inappropriately be compared, whieh also in symbolic form 
gave expression to the idea that mankind should one day form a 
family of brethren. Thus even the Lord of heaven is not asha: 
to present himself as the first-born among many brethren (Bom. 
viii29j I Id), ii. 11). 

Ver. 39, 40. The Saviour, however, adds (modifying the pre 
viously used comparison of the servant waiting for his Lord) as a 
warning, that the time of the master s return is altogether uncer 
tain ; it must therefore be expected at any moment (ver. 35, 40, as 
parallel to ver. 38), and lie may appear at that instant, when, least 
of all, men anticipate his return. (On this thought, so important to 
our understanding the doctrine of the second coming, compare the 
more detailed remarks at Matth. xxiv. 43, 44.) Here, however, the 
comparison of a master at a distance, whose return is waited for by 
his servants, whom he had left to manage the household affairs 
(compare ver. 42, seq.), is conjoined with another, which serves more 
fully to bring out the unexpected nature of his coming the figure, 
namely, of the householder, who guarding against the assault of a 
thief, and not knowing the hour of his approach, must be continually 
on the watch. That this comparison has absolutely no meaning, 
beyond expressing the idea of suddenness, is certainly not probable. 
It is in the first place, used in the New Testament so commonly 
with reference to the return of Christ (Matth. xxiv. 43 ; 2 Peter 
iii. 10 ; Rev. iii. 3 ; xvi 15), that we cannot fail to suppose some 

ial r Terence to be implied in the expression. Nor, to express 
the mere idea of suddenness, could we fail to inquire why some nobler 
comparison of which so many must have presented themselves 
was not selected. And, finally, the exact carrying out of the figure 
In some passages (for example here and at Matth. xxiv. 4. i), v. 
place th- 1 master of the house in opposition to the thief, and depict 
the breaking in of tin 1 latter, .is not calculated to support the 
(.pinion which ivfu.~es to lay any stress on the features of th" figure 
itself. Rather does the remark made on Matth. ix. 1C, apply 1. 
that our Lord frequently uses figurative expressions taken from his 
enemies point of view. In this ease, the figure of the thief is taken 
from the feelings of those who, amidst the life and move-men? 
earth, view themselves as in their own proper home. Th 
fright at the coming of the Son of man, as at the inbreaking <>f a 
thief; through him they believe it is all over with their (s<i 
possessions. Here, then, the feeling of all worldly-minded me: 



24 L.UKE XII. 39-4C. 

conceived, as it were concentrated in the householder, under whom we 
can (according to Matth. xii. 29 ; Luke xi. 21) understand no other 
than the prince of this world (ap%uv rov Koofiov rovrov). Thus 
understood, the figure acquires, on the one hand, its own definite 
meaning, while on the other, there is also assigned a ground for the 
uncertainty of our Lord s return, which will be more fully remarked 
upon at Matth. xxiv. 43. It is difficult, however, to sec how this 
comparison of the thief can be interwoven with that of the servants, 
as is done in this passage, and at Matth. xxiv. 43. The ground of 
it is probably this. The Apostles themselves, although on the one 
side they are the representatives of the kingdom of God (ver. 32), 
appear on the other, as by no means removed from the region of 
the world they still bear the worldly element within them (1 John 
ii. 1C), and require for this reason very earnest admonitions to 
fidelity, and warnings against unfaithfulness (vcr. 9, 10, 47, 48). In 
so far, however, as the disciples themselves still belong to the do 
minion of the world, in so far do they also share its character, in 
looking with dread to the manifestation of divinity ; and for 
this reason could the Lord here conjoin two things apparently 
foreign to each other.* Like the disciples, every believer bears a 
double character ; as a member of the kingdom of God, he is a 
servant of God ; in so far, however, as the old man and consequently 
the world lives within him, he carries in himself that which is enmity 
against God, and in this position, he must partly long for, and 
partly dread the coming of the Lord, as that which shall reveal the 
hidden secrets of men. From the Saviour s exalted point of con 
templation, therefore, he viewed each individual in his entire rela 
tions,* and found the key of heaven and hell, of bliss and anguish, 
in the heart of each. 

Ver. 41. It is easy to explain how Peter should here have put 
the question, whether this was spoken to them alone, or to all (even 
to the t%Aof, ver. 1). For the discourse had in fact acquired a gen 
eral character, inasmuch as that part of the disciples nature had 
been brought into view, through which they were still connected 
with the world. Peter s question, therefore, in this connexion, is a 
plain testimony to the direct originality of the whole narrative. 

Ver. 42-46. The Saviour withheld a definite reply to the qu B- 
tion of Peter, as the circumstances required. He spake in presence 
of a great multitude of people, and his intention was that a different 
impression should be produced by his wurds on his disciples, and on 
the crowd ; he could not therefore answer with absolute precision to 
thb somewhat indiscreet question of Peter. Add to this, that an 

* Schkiermacher (on Luke, p. 189) seems to mo altogether groundless!}- to doubt tho 
authenticity of tho connexion here. It is wholly improbable that this verse alone should 
bo an interpolation in a discourse which hangs so closely together. 






LUKE XII. 46-48. 25 

absolutely definite decision would not have been founded on truth. 
For. ho\v.-\er certain it is, thai in tin- church <>f Christ every mem 
ber should not In- a master (.lames iii. 1), yet, on the other hand, it 
is no less established that in a certain respect every heli.-ver is a 
servant of (Jod, and must watch for the coining "f the Lord. Ac 
cordingly. .le^is |Q answers the question, that in a full and literal 
sense he applies what was said to the disciples as the representatives 
of those called to be instructors in the church. In the next pi 
however, he transfers it to all, ver. 48, in so far as they can l>e con- 
>id"red as servants, even granting that their intelligence is developed 
in a lower measure. In the following verses, the sentiment of ver. 
36 is further earned out, and in such a way as to delineate t! 
servants v?ho, holding sway over the other servants, regulate the 
whole household economy. In this, the reference to the Apostles 
cannot be mistaken. First, the fidelity, and then the unfaithfulness 
of such servants is depicted with their consequences : but as to 
these we reserve the particulars till we come to the exposition of 
Matth. xxiv. 45-51, which verses closely agree with those before us. 
Although, as was remarked above, we in this instance again give 
the preference to the position of these words assigned them by Luke, 
as the original one ; yet, in ver. 46, the reading fiera rdv d-ia-uv 
must yield to that of Matthew, who has fiera rdv v-noKpi-tiv. In 
this reading the original expression seems to be preserved, and in the 
text of Luke the more general idea seems falsely to have crept in. 
The slight critical authorities which favour v-xoKpi-tiv in the text of 
Luke can claim meanwhile no regard. The reference to the hypo 
crites accords strikingly with ver. 1, as compared with verse 56. In 
this expression, moreover, preserved by Matthew, we may find an 
indication that the words in Matthew are borrowed from the very 
connexion, as given here, a connexion which points so naturally to 
hypocrisy. 

Ver. 47, 48. These verses also, in which the contrast between 
two classes of servants is set prominently forth, belong exclusively 
to Luke. They are most intimately connected with the rest of the 
discourse, and plainly go to prove that its several parts form one 
compact whole. There is especially an entire correspondence be 
tween them and verses 9 and 10. As the admonition to con 
Christ is there combined with the warning against denying him, 
and the degree of guilt is represented as determined by the degree 
of knowledge. so it i> in this passage. (To the adjectives iroJ 
and <-//;<", we must supply -)i]ydc.} The contrast, however, 
seems remarkable, and one is tempted to interpret the "/ ; 
one liai lmj no compete <iml xv(fi>-i< i<f /;/> <> />/, ,l,jc; for, accord- 



* It is rcmnrkabl wh.it weight} warning may bo drawn from v. 45, 4G, for those who 
claim to sit in tho chair of Peter. [E. 



26 LUKE XII. 48-50. 

ing to the principle here laid clown, a man who knew nothing 
could not be punished in any degree. But it is better to leave 
the contrast between knotving and not knoiving in its full force, 
and to lay the emphasis, instead, upon dovAof, servant. The very 
idea of a sen-ant implies dependence on his Lord s will, and an 
obligation to make exertions for the sake of that will. Even in 
ignorance itself there is involved the guilt of him who knows not 
the will of his Lord, only, it is naturally less than his who knowingly 
transgresses the Lord s will. These words reach equally, in this 
way, the disciples, who were acquainted with the will of our Lord, 
and those persons who stood farther off, though well inclined towards 
him, who took delight indeed in his beautiful parables and discourses 
full of wisdom, but hypocritically refused to enquire after the will of 
Christ. The general maxim which concludes ver. 48 is found also 
at Matth. xxv. 29, but certainly with such a modification of the 
thought as to make it probable that in that passage of Matthew it 
stands also in its original connexion. The words, in their entire 
nature, also easily admit of various applications. The idea that the 
final judgment of men depends, as its condition, on the extent of 
their powers and their light (comp. on Matth/ xxv. 14, seq.), is, by 
way of parallelism, repeated in both members of the sentence. No 
new trait is added in the second half, so that the repetition has no 
object except to make the thought more impressive. Compared, 
however, with the foregoing " servant that knew," and " did not 
know," the maxim forms a step in advance ; for the servant that 
knew is not, as such, one to whom much is given ; he may have only 
a single small talent entrusted to him. Besides knowing his Lord s 
will, therefore, is added still another point as determining the judg 
ment pronounced, namely, a man s being furnished with greater or 
lesser powers, and having a wider or narrower sphere of action 
allotted to him. 

, Ver. 49, 50. At first sight it might seem to the reader that the 
thread of connexion had here wholly escaped him. The Saviour 
comes to speak of himself personally, his destiny, his sufferings, 
and the effect of his appearance as destroying false peace. These 
ideas seem, however, in no way to belong to the subjects here 
treated of. But on carefully weighing the leading thoughts of the 
tgc, the following train of ideas presents itself, making it in the 
highest decree probable that this portion f >rms also an integral part 
of the whole. The last section of the discourse of Jesus conveys a 
very weighty, we might say, alarming truth. The consciousness that 
our responsibility inrn-ascs with the talents entrusted to us, might 
awaken anxiety on the part of the disciples. This anxiety the Lord 
allevintix by placing himself at their side with the view of impart 
ing to entire humanity a higher life, but with the prospect of 



Luivi. XII. 49-53. 27 



encountering for this very rea^>n th<- greatest labours. IVfi.re < 
of his disciples, therefore. tin- Saviour places as incvitahle, the 
iicee^ity nf entering into a severe strugd -. for this is involved in 
his own appearance. The very tiling indeed relinked hy him in his 
tinal address to the multitude, which included the conflict-fearing 
adherents of Jesus, is this, that they stood still in a state of hypo- 
al indecision ; he counsels therefore that they should in season 
become reconciled to their adversary. According to this explanation, 
Borne connecting ideas may have been omitted, but everything in 
the discourse stands essentially connected. Luke alone has the 
words I came to castfrc, etc., of vcr. 49 ; they contain a reference 
to passages of the Old Testament, such as Is. iv. 4. The fire 
(cornp. Matth. iii. 11), denotes here the higher spiritual element of 
life which Jesus came to introduce into this earth, with reference to 
its mighty effects in quickening all that is akin to it, and destroying 
all that is opposed. To cause this element of life to take up its 
abode on earth, and wholly to pervade human hearts with its 
warmth, was the exalted destination of the Redeemer. (The ex 
pression ri 0i A, d is best explained, as Kuinol has done, from the 
Hebrew. As this use of d corresponds with e, so does ri with n. 
Coinp. Song of Solomon viii. 4.) The true human sensibility, far 
removed from all stoical indifference, with which Christ shrank in 
dread from that hard path of suffering which lay before him, finds 
expression in the wish that his work were already accomplished, that 
the fire might be kindled without this suffering.* (Comp. on 
Matth. xxvi. 89.) The suffering itself is denoted by baptism (/3arr- 
T*o/m), on which word compare the details at the parallel passages, 
Matth. xx. 22 ; Mark x. 38. (The term ovvexeoOai, const ringi, 
/, distressed, is used with reference to bodily sufferings 
[Matth. iv. 24 ; Luke iv. 38]; but is also applied to mental dis- 
and agony [Luke viii. 37]. Comp. as to the pain of Jesus 
soul, and terror in prospect of his sufferings, on Matth. xxvi. 
37, se.|.) 

Ver. 51-53, depict further the strife-awakening tendency of the 
Messiah s ministry, entirely in accordance with Matth. x. 34, scq., 
which passage sin add here be compared. The Jews had been ac 
customed to associate with their conceptions of the Messiah, the 
idea of everlasting peace to themselves (e Vr -i:? Is. ix. 5); at most 
they thought of him contending as a warrior, only against the 
heathen. Instead of this, Jesus led them into eoniliet against the 
sin which they found within and around them. Their admission of 
thi.- s-parating element was the condition n to their re 

ceiving his p 

* Or perhaps " How would I thnt it were already kindled I 1 i. e., tlmt the agony 
which its kindling must occasion were over. [K. 



28 LUKE XII. 54-57. 

Ver. 54, 55. There comes in here, most appropriately, the 
transition in which Jesus addresses himself to the people. This 
stirring up of confusion and strife in the moral world through the 
Saviour s ministry, might well serve as an indication to men of its 
nature. Physical events are here used by the Lord as figures to 
illustrate those mighty spiritual movements, to effect and conduct 
which was the great design of his coming. The connexion of the 
verses with what goes before is so close, that we cannot doubt the 
words stand in their original place ; but at Matth. xvi. 2, 3, the 
same thought is also found most appropriately, though in a some 
what altered form. This comparison, obviously presenting itself, 
and full of profound meaning, may have been more than once em 
ployed by Jesus. (Instead of ve^K^ij and o/i/3po?, Matth. speaks of 
vorog and icavouv [that is the glowing heat which the south wind is 
wont to occasion in Palestine, for which reason in the LXX., navauv 
is used as equivalent to ta^Jj. Hos. xii. 2] of Evtiia and x t l^ v , bad 
and good weather, which may usually be known from the state of 
the heavens at morning and evening. He employs also the expres 
sion Kvppd&iv to describe the colour and form of the clouds which 
the rising or setting sun irradiates. The parallel word arvyvd^u, 
lower , from o-vyvog, austcrus, denotes that dark, lowering aspect of 
the sky, out of which the storm (^ei^v] arises. This expression 
stands opposed to the evSia, a purs, clear, cloudless state of the at 
mosphere. Suidas, i] dvev dvt[.Mv ijfiKpa. It is found in the New 
Testament only at Matth. xvi. 2.) 

Ver. 56, 57. The address v-KOKpi-al, hypocrites, points markedly 
back to the commencement of the discourse at ver. 1. The hypo 
crisy of the Pharisees is here charged on the whole people, in so far 
as they suffered themselves to be prevailed on by that sect to refuse 
following out the impressions made on their souls and give honour 
to the truth. The expression implies thus the possibility of their 
attaining true insight and a right decision, a possibility, however, 
not realized from their cowardice and dread of conflict. (With the 
npoou-ov T%- yift is contrasted in Matth. the oj]fiela run /.-a/pwr, a 
characteristic expression, which ascribes to the spiritual world a 
physiognomy similar to what might be traced in the external. The 
great coming events of the spiritual world announce themselves to 
the eye of the soul just as the physical processes of the visible 
wurld do to the meteorologist.) That v. 57 introduces another 
thought, is shewn at once by the expression -i c5t Kul </ <;/ M/r-^r ov 
Kpivere, and why do ye not of yourselves judge? etc. This, how 
ever, conveys the Kime id"a formerly treated of, only und T another 
figure. Kvery act of judging u/u mr, separating), presupposes a 
higher nature from which the discriminating act (requiring at once 
intelligence and power) proceeds, and a lower from which must bo 



LUKE XII. 56-59. 29 

removed lliat intermixture whirl, demands the discriminatm- cfTort. 
The separation may be effected liy the man himself (through the 
help of the Spirit received by him), ami in that OtUM he is delivered 
from tlie future judgment. (1 Cor. xi. 81.) Bill this very carrying 
out of a judgment originating with the man himself, and on his 
cnvu In-half, is a jmre determination in favour of what is good ; it 
is the opposite of hypocrisy, the guilt of which Jesus charged upon 
the multitude, just for this reason, that they <-mil,l not in his minis 
try recognise the entrance of an unknown spiritual power, inasmuch 
as they did not wish to acknowledge it, fa- they had not admitted it 
freely and deeply enough into their own souls, to enable it there to 
carry out its work. Thus the word dinaioi , right, in so far as it 
forms the transition to the following parable, may denote in one 
respect the truth in a matter of legal dispute, but in another 
respect, in the highest and objective sense, it means that which is 
righteous, as it was perfectly manifested in Christ. Kpiveiv, how 
ever, here, is equivalent to 6taKpiveiv (Matth. xvi. 3), or 6oKtnd&iv 
(Luke xii. 56), as every putting to the proof presupposes a partition, 
a separation into the original component parts, and the value thus 
assigned to them. 

Vcr. 58, 59. The following parabolic discourse had been in 
corporated by Matth. v. 25, 26, into the Sermon on the Mount. It 
would not in itself be at all improbable that such a form of expres 
sion should be repeated, but the general character of the Sermon 
on the Mount, and the connexion of this passage in particular, may 
well make it somewhat unlikely that the words in Matthew are in 
their proper place. [?] Here indeed the course of thought at first 
sight is not easily traced, but it appears all the more close when we 
penetrate into the heart of the discourse. That an idea so rich, how 
ever, and manifold in its relations, should in Matthew assume a 
modification of its precise original scope as here given, is in no 
respect sin-prising ; for one special advantage of the parabolic and 
figurative style lies in this very adaptation to different relations. 
As respects the connexion in the present passage, the preceding 

: UVT&V Kpivere, judge of yourselves, conducts obviously to the 
idea expressed in the following verses. "Suffer not yourselves to 
be judged by any other, but judge ye yourselves." The man who 
agrees with his opponent, judges himself in so far that he docs his 
enemy right as against himself, and satisfies him in his demands. 
The Saviour thus manifestly admonishes his hearers to take account 
of all moral claims on them (the dvriAr . -> " //> represents the 

law), and to bring themselves into harmony with them in their 
earthly life, that they may nut stand a sterner ordeal heiiuv the h<>ly 
representative of these in eternity. If, however, the law app> 
here in the light of the enemy from whom man is to free himself 



30 LUKE XII. 58, 59 ; XIII. 1. 



drr avrov), it is viewed in that relation in which it 
ministers to the accusing principle generally. The accusation loses 
its power, when the sinful man abandons the defence of his evil case, 
with self-accusations recognises the truth, and appeals from the 
righteousness to the grace of God. If he fail, however, here in 
delivering himself by true repentance* from the trammels of the 
accusation, the judgment strikes him when it is too late. The 
magistrate (dp%uv) and judge (Kpt-rij(f) are clearly so related to each 
other in the parable, that the former denotes the inferior magistracy 
of the city, the latter the judge in a court of higher jurisdiction.f 
In resolving the figure accordingly, Kpi~i )<;, judge, means the Su 
preme Judge, God himself, apx^v, magistrate, an earthly power 
representing the unseen righteousness of God, for example, the 
apostles in their spiritual authority. It is next mentioned as a 
termination of the affair fitted to inspire terror, that the guilty 
one is cast into prison. (The TrpaKrwp of Luke corresponds to 
the v-rrrjptrrjg of Matthew. The expression occurs only here in the 
sense of exactor, toab, from -xpdoaeiv, Luke iii. 13. Instead of Kod- 
= quadrans, which occurs in Matthew, Luke has Aerrrov scil. 
Mark xii. 42 reckons two lepta to one quadrans.} As to 
the meaning of the prison, and the period assigned for his being 
delivered from it, comp. on Matth. v. 26, xviii. 34.J Here the 
whole is meant to enforce the earnest use of present privileges, and 
make apparent the danger to which those exposed themselves who 
heard Jesus, expressed pleasure in his words, but under the rebukes 
of their own conscience, refused, from dread of the contest, with 
their whole hearts to devote themselves to him and his cause. 



11. CONTINUATION OF THE CONFERENCE. EXHORTATION TO 

REPENTANCE. 

(Luko xiii. 1-9.) 

The connexion of what follows with the preceding, is auain very 
ultimate, and the account bears the same traces of originality. For, 
as Jesus was thus speaking (f-v aro5 TO> Kaipti), some individuals 
from amongst the crowd came up and reported an act of violence 

* For this reason there follows immediately at Luko xiii. 3, 5, the command, ue-a- 
voelre. 

f Compare on Matth. v. 21. 

j The subtle distinctions by which 01- mpts (Matth. xviii. 31) to di 

the endlessness of the punishment here implied, cannot v. -t tho direct and ob 

vious import of the i i.^e, "thou shalt not como out till thou hast 

paid tho uttermost f.irthin-." implies in its spirit a hopeless state. It is as much as to s:)v, 
"thou shalt never come out not till the last particle of satisfaction is rendered to eternal 
justice." [K. 



LUKE XIII. 1-3. 31 

of which Pilate had been guilty. They understood Jesus in his 
h [iiit* 1 correctly (lius lar, that lie spoke of the unfaithfulness 
of nu ii, and the punishments which iu this way they brought on 
themselves. But, according to the usual evil practice of the hiiinan 
lieart, they did not, with penitential feelings, take home, that un 
faithfulness to themselves, but applied it to others, and in the 
murder of these Galileans discovered the infliction of a judgment 
from God. The view which holds sufferings of every kind to be the 
punishment of sin, is certainly by no means false, fir without sin 
there would be no suffering amongst men. The error lies in this, 
that sin and punishment are not so distributed below that each 
instance of suffering on the part of an individual must be the con 
sequence of his own sin. Hence we cannot from such suffering infer 
the antecedent sin of the sufferer, but rather the sin of the whole 
body to which he belongs. Hence, the Saviour is at pains to awaken 
in all an equal consciousness of guilt, and prevent them from regard 
ing those on whom some special suffering was inflicted as more guilty 
than themselves, or than the rest of the community. By this mode 
of explanation, sympathy for all suffering is awakened, and true 
repentance called forth for sin, not only our own, but that of the 
human race, with which the Saviour specially had to do. For that 
sympathy is the consciousness of our need of an atonement, and 
hence the indispensable condition of our receiving those higher 
powers of life for the overthrow of sin, which Jesus came to bring 
into the world. From the course, however, which the conversation 
thus took, it is clear that chapter xiii. is a discourse on repentance, 
addressed to the people, and an admonition to entire decision on the 
part of the disciples ; yet the discourse is peculiarly stern and strict 
in its character, as it was the Saviour s last, and his public ministry 
was now drawing to a close. 

Ver. 1-3. Of the fact here mentioned there is historically no 
thing known. Amidst the numberless cruelties which the Romans 
permitted themselves to inflict on the Jews, the massacre of a few 
nameless Galileans disappeared like a drop in the sea. (The ex 
pression ///& ru ulna fii--i~n in-rd ru>v t9crmur, i//i .> C(l tlicir blood, tf 1 ., 
is frightful. It would seem that the sacred moment of sacrifice 
must exelude every injury to the offerer. But that God should 
permit th" very death of the offerers appears to betoken frightful 
guilt on their part. Still, the expression suggests the idea that 
those put to death fell, as it were, like victims offered ui . 
cording to a general feeling prevalent among all nations, the foun 
dations of whieh lie deep, the malefactor about to be executed is 
viewed as a saccr, a man devoted, offered up for the -. neral sin 
which in him came out into glaring, manifestation.) That these 
slain men were sinners (dfiopruiAol) Jesus does not deny, only, they 



32 LUKE XIII. 1-9. 



were not more so than others (-aprl nav-rag"). It may have been that 
those put to death had committed some criminal act, but that would 
not alter the matter. The germ of such acts lay dormant in all 
hearts, and of this the Saviour wished to make them aware. The 
only way to escape such punishments here or elsewhere, is through 
repentance, which must bear reference not only to actual sins, but 
above all, to the habit of sinning. 

Ver. 4, 5. A similar example of sudden destruction which had 
overtaken certain Jews is farther adduced by Jesus himself. Eigh 
teen persons had been crushed by the fall of a building. As to this 
incident also, history gives no farther information. Such an accident 
the Saviour also teaches us here, should not be used as an occasion for 
harsh judgments on the subjects of the calamity, but as an induce 
ment to individual repentance. Thus the Saviour would by no 
means have such occurrences as accidental, physical transactions, 
carefully kept apart from all connexion with the moral world. On 
the contrary, he teaches here, and all Scripture teaches, that sin and 
suffering stand closely associated ; but this connexion must not be 
viewed as individual, but general, for thus viewed, each affliction 
brings a blessing. (Ilvpyo? V;U means any large high, isolated 
edifice [Matth. xxi. 33]. As the building here is described as 
situated on the brook Siloah comp. on John ix. 7 it may have 
been the garden-house of some distinguished man.) 

Ver. 6-9. The discourse of Jesus, thus stern in its reproof, is 
closed by a parable, in which the benevolent Son of Man again ren 
ders prominent the gracious aspect of his mission. He appears as 
the advocate of men before the righteousness of our heavenly Father, 
and procures for them space for repentance. The idea of a delay 
of God s avenging judgment, that time maybe left men to turn, runs 
throughout Scripture. Before the Flood there was appointed a 
space of 120 years (Gen. vi. 3) ; Abraham prays in behalf of Sodom 
(Gen. xviii. 24, seq.) ; the destruction of Jerusalem did not follow till 
forty years after the ascension of Jesus ; and the coming of Christ 
is delayed through the long-suffering of God (2 Peter iii. 9). This 
view brings out clearly as well Divine, as human freedom, and rescues 
the course of things in the world from an inflexible and cold neces 
sity. The fig-tree (avaif) is here primarily a figure of the Jewish 
people, as at Hosea ix. 10. Amidst other nations they appear as 
(-pccially noble and destined to work out great results ; but their 
abuse of privileges, granted them by the free grace of God, caused 
them to fail of producing spiritual fruit ; they fell from their voca 
tion and lost their talent. Yet, for them also did the Saviour go to 
death, and time must yet be given to disclose the effect of preach 
ing his sufferings and death. But since even the fire of this preach 
ing did not melt their hearts, the people fell under the awful judg- 



LUKE XIII. 6-21. 33 

mcnt of God. The history of Israel, however, is a type of ihankind 
^ nerally, who arc called to spiritual life, ami in BO far the parable 
is to be referred to the great coniinunity of the ehureh and its final 
judgment. Nay, according to the design of our Lord, the whole 
maybe traced in each individual case, and we may therei .re 
that this parabolic mode of speaking on the part of Jesus admits of 
applications endlessly diversified. If we interpret the period of 
time mentioned (rpia trrf) of the era of Jesus public ministry, then 
the following rovro rb t-rof, this year, must be taken in a more 
general sense, namely, as denoting the period between Chi 
a-censinn and the destruction of Jerusalem, during which the nu 
of spiritual quickening and strength were afforded to the people, in 
the right use of which they both could and should have escaped 
destruction. (The circumstance that the fig-tree grew in a vine 
yard \iv -a) ojttTreAwvi] is not to be viewed as contradictory to Deut. 
xxii. 9, inasmuch as this Mosaic command merely forbids the min 
gling of different sorts of plants. The fig-tree, however, may have 
had a separate place in the garden to itself. Karapytw is found only 
in this passage of the New Testament, except in the writings of 
Paul, where it is of frequent occurrence. It is=opyov, i. e.,depybv 
TToielv, to render useless or fruitless. Paul employs the word in a 
more comprehensive sense for to abolish. I-Kafrreiv and n6~pia /3aA- 
Awv stand for all the means at the disposal of a gardener for advanc 
ing the growth of a tree. The authority of Manuscripts favours the 
reading Ko-pia rather than the more common Korrpiav. It is from 
KoTrpiov. In the final and if it bear fruit but if not (K$V /itv TTOITJOTJ 
el & p/ye) there is an Anantapodoton, the apodosis, or answering 
clause of the supposition, being left to be supplied. 



12. THE CURE OF A SICK WOMAN. 

(Luko xiii. 10-21.) 

The close connexion of the different paragraphs observed by us 
in the last chapters, here in a measure disappears. Without any 
particular note of the time, Jesus appears teaching in a synagogue. 
an intimation seems to meet us in what follows, which points 
back to the preceding context. For the narrative which here fol 
lows is, as it were, an example of that Pharisaic hypocrisy, which 
the Saviour rebuked in Chapter xii. Hence Jesus at once addn 
the ruler of the synagogue as (ver. 15) hypocrite. The writ IT then 
must have recorded the occurrence not for its own sake (at Lnkevi. 
6, a narrative of the same kind had been already given), but, for the 
purpose of shewing how the priests (Pharisees for the most part in 
Vo. II. 3 



34 LUKE XIII. 10-22. 

iinent) comported themselves. Quite in accordance with this 
view, we see once more at ver. 17 the well-inclined multitude rejoic 
ing it is true in Jesus, without deciding on throwing off for his sake 
the spiritual yoke of the Pharisees. The two parables of the mustard 
seed and the leaven, which Matth. xiii. 31, scq., has incorporated 
with his large collection of parables, harmonize most appropriately 
with this position which Jesus and his little flock occupy betwixt 
the priests and the people. The mainly invisible nature of the new 
spiritual element, its losing itself in the old, and the triumph 
which it gains through its indwelling power ; all this forms the point 
of comparison between these parables and their immediate subjects. 
We may then with the utmost probability regard them as placed 
here in their original connection.* The narrative itself of the cure 
presents no particular difficulties. The expression TTVEVIKI doOeveiag, 
which is more nearly defined by vcr. 16, denotes not a merely- 
physical disorganization, but one accompanied by such psychological 
phenomena as seem to indicate pernicious influences. A disease is 
never as such attributed to the evil spirit ; there must always be 
suspicious symptoms conjoined with it. ZvyKv-xreiv, bowed together, 
the opposite of dvanimreiv. The former is here intransitive. The 
latter is equivalent to the following dvopOovoOat, made straight, 
which denotes, however, at the same time, the removal of this 
organic defect. The hypocritical priest does not venture to cast 
blame on Jesus, but inveighs against the poor blind people, and 
pretends that his wretched outward service surpassed in value the 
service of love. The Lord lays open this hypocrisy, by shewing that 
the healed woman had done nothing in the way of labour, that he 
had loosed a chain which held her bound, and done a thing the like 
of which they did themselves every Sabbath. The use of Amv and 
dtetv here is peculiar the meaning of the words being transferred 
from physical to spiritual relations. Again, however, the Saviour, 
without any immediate occasion for it, traces back the disease to 
Satan. Wherefore such accommodations if no truth lay at the 
foundation of the idea ? (Comp. finally the parallel narrative at 
Matth. xii. 10, seq. ; Luke vi. 6, seq.) 



13. CONVERSATIONS OF JESUS BY THE WAT. 

(Luke xiii. 22-35.) 

We have here again clearly to do with a journey to Jerusalem 
(ver. 22), which Jesus was making in company with his disciples 



* The parable of the mustard seed with the expression t /fa/.fv elf Kr/irov tavrov (ver. 
19) points back not obscurely to the foregoing similitude of the fig-tree (vor. 6). 



LUKE Xlir. 22 24, 35 

a journey manifestly near the close of his hijji earthly mi-si"! 
tin- expressions Mey 0Aa# not lc dM< (!> in\rnnmn ), and the fol 
lowing */i/i/f/// j tin ifiKir (t l-oi, /; -; -,".r <h j>iii-^ plainly indicate (vcr. 
24, 2;")). Moreover, the entire sketch hears the marks of being 
drawn directly and vividly from the life. \\Y have here nut a doc- 
(irinsl discourse of Jesns, but conversations as they arose from til- 
occurrences of the moment, and recorded with -Teat truthful* 
(ver. 23, 31). As Mark shews himself exact in describing the ex 
ternal features of actions, especially in the cures wrought hy .! 
so docs Luke (and particularly in the account of this journey), in 
setting forth the conversations of Christ, their occasions, conse 
quences, course of development, and issues (comp. Introd. 6). 

Ver. L -J. A perfectly similar form of expression, serving merely 
to carry forward the narrative of the journey, we have already met 
with at Luke x. 38. (Uopda occurs only here in the sense of 666$. 
It is used figuratively at .lames i. 11.) 

Ver. 23, 24. The first << nversation here recounted by Luke 
begins with a question pu! hy ;:n individual as to the number of the 
saved (f, . This question takes for granted at the outset 

that character of solemnity which the discourses of Jesus bear, and 
which must naturally have become stronger towards the end of his 
public labours. With the idea that the number is small, the pas 
sage also associates the difficulty of uniting one s self to it. The 
Saviour in reply, docs not say exactly that there were but few who 
should partake of salvation (ownjpfb, the opposite of drrwAem) ; for 
looked at simply in itself, the number of the saved is great (Rev. 
vii. 9) ; it is only relatively, and as compared w T ith the lost, that it 
:all (Matth. vii. 14). Rather does he at once give such a turn 
to tlu- answer, as to lead the attention of the inquirer, and of all 
those whose minds were in the same state, back to themselves. The 
enquiry as to the number presupposes a certain disposition to look 
without. This false position, which proceeds in all cased from self- 
security, our I^rd here rebukes, so that his words may be para- 
phras. d thus: L . .k not to others, but to yourselves." To sharpen 
the thought, it is, however, added further, that not only are )!: 
lost who strive not at all for things Divine, but many also who do 
f : >r them. As thus seeking the enquirers held themselves 
secure, but this security .Jesus unsettles for them, by remarking 
that mere striving is not sufficient to at tain the end. (The com 
parison of tl, - ii other authorities have i<i-<Tird TI///. tak 
ing it from Matth. was already explained at Matth. \ii. \ \. M. It 

. such a kind th . [iiently h ive u-ed ii.;:nd in 

both evangelists, therefore, it niay oeciipy its original place.) This 
thought is ohseinv and difficult, especially when we . ueh 

passages as Matth. vi. 33, Luke xii. . 51. in which (lie v TV seeking 



36 LUKE XIII. 24, 25. 

the kingdom of God is held forth us the only tiling required for its 
attainment. The following words, however, which are peculiar to 
Luke, clear away the obscurity. 

Ycr. 25. In parabolic language, then, there is here set before 
us the master of a house expecting at evening the members of hi* 
family, and at a fixed hour shutting the doors. (The word lyd- 
peaOai = dap denotes merely the transition from a state of rest to 
one of progressive activity.) The members of the family, then, who 
have been negligent, remain inexorably shut out. They attempt to 
establish their close connexion with the master of the house ; but 
they can appeal only to things external. The want of real love and 
true obedience to the master, shewed that they were no genuine 
members of the household. Allusions to this parable are found at 
Matth. xxv. 10, seq.; Matth. vii. 21, seq.; viii. 11, seq. But as a 
whole it is peculiar to Luke. As regards the exposition of it, it 
cannot possibly prove satisfactory to say that the seeking is to be 
viewed as an imperfect, undecided seeking, for the emphasis here is 
obviously laid on the OVK loxvoovoi, they shall not be able, to which 
corresponds in the parable the expression d-oKXEiziv TT/V 6vpav, shut 
the door. Nay, in the very Lord, Lord, open unto us, the effort is 
represented as a very lively and earnest one, but not the less as in 
effectual and rejected. It is not the weakness of the endeavour 
which is blamed, but its being out of season, the right time having 
been squandered away. This is represented as no less culpable, 
and highly dangerous in its consequences, than the want of all 
effort. We are thus led to the idea, that for the thriving of the 
Divine seed, all different seasons are no more alike than for the 
growth of the seed-corn in the field. He who has not sowed in 
spring, must expect no success how earnestly soever he labours in 
harvest. The Saviour himself marks these seasons by the contrast 
between day and night (John xi. 9, seq.), the hour when darkness 
(or light) bears sway (Luke xxii. 53) ; the former must be employed 
for developing the course of life, the latter allows of nothing being 
done. There was such a period of power and development in 
the kingdom of God (when it suffered violence on the part of those 
who longed after it, Matth. xi. 12), at the time when John the 
Baptist and Christ arose ; but as the death of Jesus approached, 
the quickening power of the Spirit was withdrawn, and dark night 
overshadowed men s hearts. Of this Jesus warns the well-inclined 
but undecided, who comforted themselves with their seeking, and 
reminds them that it must come to a real entrance being made into 
the kingdom of God they must give up all in order to gain all. 
The alternation of such seasons, favourable and less favourable for 
the growth of what is good, which may he traced in all relations, 
nations, and individuals, involves nothing difficult to be reconciled 



LUKE XIII. 25-27. 37 

with the righteousness of God, unless the same rule of judgment 
were applied to those living in the unf ivourable periods as fo those 
win) experienced tin, 1 stimulating influences of more favoured 
times. Talnng for granted a separate rule of judgment, however, 
this idea of a dilference in different times, is as certainly based upon 
exju -rifiice as it is in accordance with the great designs of God 
to\\anls mankind ; for, just as little as a tree can bring forth blos 
soms and nothing more as it is necessary rather that the blossoms 
fall off that fruit may be produced, just so little can man be carried 
to perfection in the joyous influx of heavenly powers. If his life 
has become in some degree strengthened, there follow conflicts 
through which his nature is still further developed. The seasons ot 
stirring life, however, must be employed in order to escape from the 
old state ; then comes the hour when darkness bears sway, when 
the tardy and negligent can no more be brought to the birth, though 
even these dark seasons may bring a rich blessing for the man 
awakened to newness of life as, for example, is shewn by the his 
tory of Peter at the time of our Lord s sufferings. Accordingly (as 
was already remarked at Matth. vii. 21, seq.), the words " I know 
not whence ye are," are in the highest degree significant. They 
correspond to the " I never knew you" in Matth., and describe the 
severance, in point of nature, between the Lord and these pretended 
members of the household, their living in the old natural state, 
their unregenerate condition. 

Ver. 26, 27. Instead of that affinity of the whole inner man to 
our Lord, which alone can bring us into his kingdom, these men 
who wished, like the Pharisees, to be held for something which they 
were not, depended on merely outward relations. But as these had 
not brought them into a state of righteousness, they remained in 
the old condition of unrighteousness, and consequently were shut 
out from the kingdom of God. We are not here by any means to 
think of actions peculiarly wieked ; the sin of these men consisted 
in their disobedience to the light of truth, which shone upon them 
from the word of Christ, and through which they might have become 
new and different men. They had acquired too much knowledge to 
be unprejudiced, and too little, to admit of the life from above gain 
ing the ascendancy over them. This intermediate position was the 
cause of their misery, and their exclusion from the kingdom of (iod. 
(Comp. on the pa.age Matth. vii. 21, seq.) Very significantly > : 
Luke subjoin the mention of what was taking place even while he 
was speaking a circumstance peculiarly fitted to bring to decisive 
resolution the men whom he addressed, " thon hast taught in our 
streets" (.-V -i nr ijiiMi tiMAu^nc). It was not <>nr Lord s 

teaching, however, which brought salvation (his teaching might 



38 LUKE XIII. 26-30. 

quite as readily servo fur their condemnation), but their receiving 
his words ami doing them. 

Yer. 28, 29. In its closing verses this discourse of our Lord 
receives further a peculiar application, in that it exhibits the Jews 
as mainly members of the householder s family, who, because of 
their unfaithfulness (as to the great majority of their number) were 
excluded from the kingdom of God, in order that in their stead the 
heathen, who received the word with willingness, might be invited 
to partake its eternal joys. (As to the words see more at length on 
Matth. viii. 11, 12.) In itself, however, the parable goes further, 
and may be understood of the heathen as a body as well as individ 
ually, inasmuch as its fundamental idea is universally true and 
universally applicable. Here, at the close of our Lord s labours 
among his own people, the restriction of the parable to them is per 
fectly in accordance with the circumstances. 

Ver. 30. The aphoristic expressions, " there are last, etc," seem 
to refer in their connexion to the relation in which the Jews stood to 
the heathen. They were spoken unquestionably more than once, and 
stand therefore in different relations. (See more particularly as to 
the aphorism on Matth. xix. 30 ; xx. 16.) Though we may perhaps 
observe that the aphorism is expressed in a form different from 
that in which it occurs at Matth. xx. 16, toov-ai ol taxaroi 
Trpwroi, KOI ol Trpwroi to^aroi. This form of it, however, would be 
best adapted clearly to mark the distinction between Jews and 
heathen. But since many Jews also took their place in the kingdom 
of God, and since not all lost it by unfaithfulness, while their room 
was filled up by Gentiles, the Saviour on this account rather chose 
the form of expression which here occurs " there are some, less 
favoured in their vocation, who are exalted by faithfulness ; and 
many who have an exalted vocation, but through their unfaithful 
ness have rendered themselves unworthy of it." The form of the 
aphorism is thus modified in each case according to the connexion. 

Finally, we have already remarked (Matth. viii. 11), that in this 
exclusion of those seeking from the kingdom of God, we are not to 
understand the loss on their part of eternal salvation. The king 
dom of God set forth here, is obviously the blessed communion of 
the saints at the return of the Lord (comp. on Matth. xxv. 12.) The 
representation given (Luke xiii. 25) shews plainly that it Ls not 
intended to represent the love of what is good, and delight in it, 
as absolutely wanting (comp. on Matth. xxv. 45), but only as weak 
and undecided, by which means, certainly, an entrance into the 
kingdom is rendered impossible but not by any means is salvation 
thereby ne.-e.-sarily prevented. Thus the kingdom of God in this 
passage ako (aa Matth. viii. 11) denotes not eternity as the per 
fected development of creation, but the dominion of the good made 



LUKE XIII. 30-33. 39 

visible on earth, which shall present itself as the living communion 
of all the saints of all tii 

Ver. 31. To the reading i ( " pp we ought almost to prefer th;it of 
.which is preserved by A. D. L. and several other MSS. The 
remark of the Pharisees comes on in that case, more suddenly, and 
the narrative becomes more full of life. The origin of th reading 
//(/-(". can also be more easily accounted for than that, of utya. For 
precisely because what follows appeared altogether foreign to what 
immediately precedes, it was deemed desirable to separate them in 
time. It we suppose the question a*ked ab ive (ver. 23) also put by 
a Pharisee, its contrast with what follows stands forth so much the 
more strongly. The keen sarcasm which they traced in the reply 
of Jesus, made them wish probably as soon as possible to be freed 
from his presence. Thus the reply of Jesus, in which he declares 
that he intended yet to remain for a few days, has a clear reference 
to the Pharisees who wished to be rid of him a view to which ver. 
35 also points. It deserves remark, finally, that here the scene again 
shifts back to Galilee or Perasa, the region of Herod Antipas. The 
general remarks made above at Luke ix. 51, to the effect that Luke 
docs not seem accurately to have observed relations of time and 
place, find in this their confirmation. 

Ver. 32, 33. That this insinuation expresses the views, not of 
the Pharisees but of Herod, is in the highest degree improbable, 
especially as Luke afterwards relates (xxiii. 8) that Herod eagerly 
desired to see Jesus. Besides, it is obvious that he had the means 
readily within his reach of banishing Jesus, if he had wished to be 
rid of him. It is far more natural to suppose that the Pharisees, 
to serve their own wicked ends, made use of a report as to the evil 
intentions of Herod, which may easily have arisen after the murder 
of John. The opinion in question derives much less apparent sup 
port from the fact that Jesus calls Herod a fox, than from his 
charging them to report it to Herod. This circumstance admits, 
indeed, of being understood in this way, " Behold I see through your 
plan ; you act as it you would give me good advice, and you arc the 
mere delegates of my cunning enemy." The words, however, i 
a sarcastic bearing, even if the Pharisees are in no way regards! 
i-xpiv>s delegates of Herod. Those who hypocritically pressed 
themselves on him as good friends and counsellors, he refers to tin 
man whom they denounced as his enemy he places them 001 
quently on the same footing, so that what strikes him readies them 
also, nay, in reality, under the name ofllerod, it is they alone who 
are aimed at. This should be held the more probable as it can 
hardly be believed that Jesus, who was so delicate in observing de 
corum towards all in authority, should have given to his own ruler 



40 LUKE XIII. 32, 33. 



the opprobrious name of fox (aAwTr?/!). If ; however, his words were 
directed .against the Pharisees, who had either for their own ends 
made use of a mere report, or had even fabricated it, his reply ac 
quires the striking meaning, that this fox (an expression in which 
not merely cunning, but weakness, and with this qualities that are 
contemptible, form the point of resemblance), of whom they pre 
tended to give an account, existed nowhere else than in their own 
hearts ^ and that while acting the part of his counsellors, they 
cherished real enmity within. This led very naturally (vcr. 33) to 
the mention of Jerusalem, where they laid the scene of their intrigues. 
This view of the occurrence agrees also with that reproof directed 
against the Pharisees which runs through all these chapters (from 
chap. xi. onwards), and which is carried still farther forward in 
chap. xiv. The words which follow also, behold I cast out, etc., are 
rendered sharp and pointed if they are applied to the Pharisees, 
" Ye who are set for the salvation of the people ought to know that 
my labours are not merely not pernicious, but in the highest degree 
beneficial, but your wickedness does not cease to persecute me." 
(TeXewvfMi is to be taken transitively, sc. ravra ra tpya I fulfil 
these and all my works.) There is obscurity in the mode of stating 
the time, " to-day, to-morrow, and the third day" (ar//zepov, avpiov 
Koi ry rpiry). It is wholly incredible and incapable of proof, that 
this expression can indicate an entirely indefinite period. Least of all 
can Hosea vi. 2 (^en c^s O^B), the exposition of which is itself 
difficult, be adduced in support of this view, and other instances 
are wholly wanting. It follows, however, from the general laws of 
thought, that to-day, to-morrow, and the day after, is the assigning 
of a period perfectly definite.f Yet what can be meant by this exact 
announcement, " for three days I still perform cures here," can hardly 
be determined. The obscurity is increased by what follows, for in 
stead of rpi-q there stands as the parallel expression &xf l * v Q- 
Oai in the sense of hold one s self to, fasten upon, adjoin, 
KXOIIKVIJ occurs at Acts xxi. 2G. Compare also Mark i. 38.) The -/./> 
6d forms here a contrast with the foregoing, yet not with perfect 
strictness, since for Dr. Paulus rendering, " See I still require about 
three days to heal the sick, but (should Herod command it) I will 
take my departure earlier ;" the context gives no ground, not to 
mention that the idea is tame, and accords ill with the sarcastic and 
spirited style of the discourse. For the understanding of the pas 
sage it should be specially borne in mind, that the whole discourse 
which the Pharisees were to report to Herod, is a feigned one ; that 

* Compare, however, on Luko xxiii., seq- according to which it appears Jesus did 
not believe himself bound to acknowledge Herod as his governor. 

f The assigning of an Indefinite period of time can be effected only by the use of 17 
as is shown in the example quoted by "Wetstoin on this passage, from Arrian Epict. iv 
10, ftTi avpiov fj e f rf/v rpirriv del ij avrdv diroOavelv f/ IKCIVOV. 



LUKE Xlll. 3 k J, 3o. 41 

it sustains only a i<>rmal connexion with their remark. In its scnti- 

directed against the I n. ml their wicked 

Consequently the meaning of the words may be tak- ii thus: "I 
have t<> exercise my Messed oi liee for a certain time ; for this time, 
ho\vev.-r, I must walk and work, and n po\\vr can touch me (mine 
hour is not yet come) ; but in Jerusalem it will come, and there 
will ye --a in power over me. Your victory, however, will be your 
ruin, iiiid him whom ye shall have rejected, ye shall never more 
behold, till the time of his final return." The expression to-day, 
to-morrow, and the day after, is therefore a symbolic description of 
the whole public ministry of Jesus, which is in point of time ex 
actly measured off, and which no earthly power can shorten. The 
closing idea of vcr. 33 is also remarkable, ore OVK ivd^rat TTpoQijrrjv 
<i-n/^oOai to) lepovaafa m, for it is not permitted, etc. From ver. 
35 it is clear that Jerusalem is viewed as the seat of the theocracy, 
and centre of Pharisaic intrigue, so that the sense of the words is, 
" not in Galilee, no ! in your chief city must I die." The Saviour, 
however, proceeds to extend the idea, so as to include the prophets 
generally, and explains that it was necessary they should die in 
Jerusalem. (TEvrf^rrtu used impersonally dvKvSen-ov t-<m, Luke 
xvii. 1. It means, it is allowable, it is possible. Ta t-v&^era = 
dwara.) In this there is one thing remarkable. John the Baptist, 
who, as the latest instance of a slain prophet, must have stood be 
fore every one s view, had been put to death, not in Jerusalem, but 
in this very territory of Herod. The expression therefore uttered 
in this general form seems neither correct nor suited to the circum 
stances. \Ve might bo tempted to read " the prophet," rbv 7rpo0//r7/v, 
so that the Messiah should be alone denoted, but there is no manu 
script which has the article, and we must remain true to our prin- 

* The difficulty of the passage hero referred to, arises solely from the pregnant brevity 
which is so characteristic of the Saviour s language. To assume with De Wctte, inac 
curacy in the report of the Evangelist, is wholly gratuitous. " To-day," and " to-mor 
row," etc., are put rhetorically, a definite for an indefinite period. The passage then may 
be thus paraphrased : "Go and tell that fox that I continue my wonted course of mira 
culous healing during the appointed time, and at the time appointed, I complete it. I 
have nothing therefore to fear from his machinations. Nevertheless (nv.r)r) there is a 
i why I should speedily bo on my way. The time soon comes when by Divine ap 
point : i J over to my enemies, and then I ought to be at Jerusalem, 
for ehc has viud: "If the exclusive right of shedding the blood of the prophets. 
:>roceed on (xopneoOai) to-day, and to-morrow, and the third day, t. e., 
immediately and continuously for it cannot bo that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem." 
This explanation gives its full contrastive force to - /.i,v <W, and its natural meaning to 
nOat. It deQes the malice of Herod, and yet assigns a cause for his leaving, which, 
in its bitter sarcasm against Jerusalem, is in keeping with the general seventy of tho 
preceding ; It also presents a beautiful contrast with the touching verses which 
follow. At the bare name of Jerusalem tho Saviour s heart melts ; his tone of sarcasm 
is laid his spirit gushes forth in tho yearning tenderness of the following 
beautiful apostrophe. [K. 



42 LUKE XIII. 33-35. 

ciple of admitting no conjecture into the text of the New Testament. 
Besides, in ver. 34 the idea is immediately extended to Include the 
prophets generally. Hence, we can only say that the Saviour here 
attributes to the class of prophets, not including himself in it, but 
standing as its representative (see ver. 34), what is true of the 
majority of its members. In any case, however, a certain obscurity 
attaches to the expression in the existing circumstances. It is 
easier finding something satisfactory to say on the fact of its being 
necessary that prophets should die (and especially the prophet) in 
Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the centre of the national, and espe 
cially the religious life of Israel (for which reason at ver. 34 the 
prophets are described as sent to Jerusalem, in so far as this city 
represented the land and the people), the altar as it were of the 
whole nation, since no sacrifice was to be offered except in the tem 
ple at Jerusalem. In it therefore must the ministry of the prophets 
concentrate itself, and their last great work also, their death of 
martyrdom, must be completed there. As the offering of Isaac was 
of old presented on Mount Moriah (Gen. xxii. 2), so the reality of 
which it was the type, could reveal itself only in Jerusalem. The 
sovereign sway of Jehovah everywhere attaches itself to time and 
place, and without subverting or restricting the freedom of man s 
actions, must yet fulfil the eternal arrangements of God. Freedom 
and necessity mutually pervade, but do not subvert each other in 
Bible history. To the Pharisees, moreover, as those who had as 
sumed the defence of the theocracy, nothing stronger could be said 
than this, your chief city with its temple and altar is the murderess 
of all God s servants, a great altar as it were on which the saints 
have fallen as victims. (Cornp. Lament, iv. 13.) 

Ver. 34, 35. The concluding verses have been incorporated by 
Matth. xxiii. 37-39, into his weighty discourse in reproof of the 
Pharisees. Here, in Luke, they hold undoubtedly their original 
place. The mention of Jerusalem awakens the deepest sadness in 
the heart of Jesus for the unbelief of the city. The murderess of 
the prophets was in her children to be gathered to the flock of God, 
but they would not. But as by the dbuse of their freedom, they 
frustrated, as it were, the one of God s plans, they against their own 
will i uliilled the other. What they would not take from the liviny 
Prophet, they must receive from the dying. The words "How 
often wnuld I," etc., describe not merely the endeavours of Jesus 
personally for th< salvation of the people, as represented by Jerusa 
lem, but the whole collective ministry of the prophets. This leads 
the Saviour back wholly to himself, as in his Divine and eternal 
nature the Prophet of prophets. (Comp. Luke xi. 49 with Matth. 
xxiii. .}-[. v/hcre Christ is rcjnvsrnf -d a^ sending forth all the proph 
ets.) T throws back a light which determines the meaning 



LUKE XIII. 34, 35. 43 

of tin. 1 repression OIK n-t^ \>-<u :-/,uo//-//r u-n /.f.aOat tfw lepovac. 

ver. .33. (Tin- beautiful ii-uiv < r th - f.wl \\lii<-h gathers its yooog 
under its whips is after Ps. xvii. 8 ; Is. xxxi. 5. The comparison 
strikes every mind of deep thought as a tender expression of mater 
nal love in natural life. Tims we read in Euripides Hercul. fur. v. 
71, ol (f l\inlh /mii. -iili^-r, ovg vrroTrrtporr ni. i^,) rmnn n c^ u^i ir ( .it- i 

11- rr/ i-i.iii-vtiiit, a jtoculiar expressioii foi placing ike young beneath 

,<<>, //( /.) After this apostrophe to Jerusalem, thedi jain 

turns to the Pharisees, and the Saviour adds reprovingly, "Your 
house is left unto you" (d^ierai vfuv 6 olicog i^wi ). (The addition 
"prjnor is taken from the parallel passage in Matth. xxiii. 38.) O/KO^, 
house (in its more extended meaning like iva), is certainly selected 
here in accordance with Psalm Ixix. 25 (Comp. Acts i. 20), in which 
passage the house s being left desolate is enumerated along with 
other imprecations. The house, however, has at any rate a special 
reference to the Temple as the central point of theocratic life, which, 
in so far as it was the house of God, might also be appropriately 
termed the house of the priests. The desolation of the Temple, 
however, and the departing from it of the gracious presence of God, 
was identical with that overthrow of the entire worldly dominion of 
the priesthood, which was of necessity to be associated with the en 
trance of Christ s spiritual and heavenly kingdom. The two could 
not co-exist. Inasmuch as the Pharisees, therefore, seemingly tri 
umphant, put Jesus to death, they in this very act laid the founda 
tions for ever of his kingdom, and destroyed their own. The con 
cluding words, At-yw de v/uv K. r. A. are difficult. The declaration 
that they should not see the Saviour, attaches itself as an ex 
pression of rebuke closely to the preceding ; but in the first 
place, there is an obscurity as to what period the tw? uv /y^g, until 
it shall come, etc., denotes,* and next, it seems to contradict the 
punitive character of the sentiment, that the Pharisees themselves 
arc exhibited as greeting the Lord. For, that the words u v.oyTjuEVOf 
K. r. /.. are to be understood as an act of homage, admits (according 
to Matth. xxi. 0, compared with Ps. cxviii. 20) of no doubt. The 
first of these difficulties can In.- removed only after we have cleared 
up the second. This would be solved, however, if we were to read 
something like n-t: n-^m, so as to make the meaning of the dis 
course this, - - Ye unbelievers >hall see me no more (as the gentle Son 
of Man), till tin y welcome me (the pious, namely) at my return as 
the righteous judge of the world." In other words, "Ye shall see 
me again only as your Judge." But this reading is wholly without 

* Compare what was remarked upon the kindnil an 1 striking passage Matth. xxvL 

i. xxiii. . .\ i:i the p:i->:iire paral- 

1 ;us tho words ov /u/ /if Iti/rc (]- lipri K. r. "/.. The //;// is best taken 
impersonally, "it comes." Some MSS. have supplied upa or qf 



44 LUKE XIII. 34, 35 ; XIV. 1. 

support from any critical authority, and can therefore have no claim 
on our approval. The second person leads to an entirely different 
meaning, which, more closely considered, is remarkably appropriate, 
and suited, in the highest degree to the character of the Lord, who 
walked even amidst his enemies as one full of grace. The passage 
then promises them a change even of their feelings, and, as flowing 
from this, an acknowledgment of the Messianic dignity of Jesus. 
That which here they could not comprehend the ministry, of Jeans, 
peculiar in itself, and opposed to their whole nature and disposition 
of mind, was, according to this promise, to be made clear to them 
afterwards, and they would raise their voices in unison with the 
jubilant tones of those who, waiting for their Lord, would meet him 
with the cry n;rn tea xsn Tp.na . The passage expresses then the final 
victory of the Saviour over all his enemies, whom he punishes in 
such a manner that he wins them for himself. It is impossible, 
however, to determine, whether this victory and the coming of 
Christ was to take place at some point of time near at hand, such 
as the pouring out of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and the 
conversion of many priests therewith connected (Acts vi. 7), or the 
destruction of Jerusalem, or whether it be the return of Jesus to his 
kingdom or to the judgment of trie world. For, in the first place, 
as was already remarked on Matth. x. 23, the idea of the speedy 
coming of our Lord runs through the whole ]New Testament in such 
a way, that each of these several periods falls quite within the time 
of his anticipated coming, and again, the idea itself embraces such 
a variety of relations that in passages like this we can find no 
necessary ground for deciding in favbur of the one or the other. It 
is best, therefore, to take the expression in the entire comprehen 
siveness which it will admit of, and consider the meaning of the 
Saviour to be this, that at each coming of the Lord, at one or other 
of those preliminary appearances in which the Good is exhibited to 
view as triumphant, but most completely at that which is final and 
decisive, the enemies of the Saviour should ever lay themselves down 
as a footstool beneath his feet. (Comp. on Matth. x. 23, but espe 
cially on Matth. xxiv. 1, seq., where everything relating to the 
Return of Christ is treated of connectedly.) 

14. JESUS DINES -WITH A PHARISEE. 

(Luke xiv. 1-24.) 

This new section harmonizes well with a journal of Travel (comp. 
ver. 1 with ix. 17), and partakes that style of narrative which we 
have already tir.e< i il in it. The healing of one afflicted with dropsy 
in the house of a Pharisee on the Sabbath gives rise to a conversa- 



LUKE XIV. 1-7. 45 

ton in which Jesus gives instruction by parabolic narratives.* 
With nnwt)iiti.-il liveliness, Luke represents the discourse as directed 
first to the guest, and then to the host (ver. 7 and 12), and, finally, 
the exclamation of one of the guests (ver. 15) calls f.rth a particular 
parable applicable to him and those like minded. Th" peculiar 
connexion of the whole is again the best voucher for the originality 
of the narrative. 

Yer. 1-6 The cure of the man afflicted with dropsy, which may 
be conceived as completed before the repast, contains nothing in 
itself worthy of remark. It is merely a point of connexion for the 
following conversation. As the Pharisees had already frequently 
blamed the cures wrought by Christ on the Sabbath, he himself 
starts the question whether such acts of healing could be contrary 
to the law. As at Matth. xii. 11, Luke xiii. 15, he leads those 
present back to their own experience, and makes them feel the 
sharp self-contradiction into which they were plunged by casting 
blame on Christ s free labours of love, inasmuch as they, where their 
own earthly advantage was involved, did the same things which 
they objected to in him. It is not to be overlooked, however, that 
even in this last period in which the hatred of the Pharisees against 
him was most distinctly expressed, the Saviour does not abandon 
them. He obviously hoped, by the power of the truth, to gain 
over for himself and the cause of God the better disposed, at least, 
among them. (As to the Qayelv dprov ver. 1, see the particulars on 
ver. 15. On -naparr]pdv see at Luke vi. 7.) 

Y<T. 7. Throughout the following three comparisons, then, there 
runs the one special exhortation to humility, which, was above all 
things, necessary for the proud Pharisees. In the first (ver. 7-11), 
with reference to the obvious and manifest strife for precedence 
among those present, it teaches self-humiliation ; in the second 
(ver. 12-14), looking to the brilliant company which the Pharisee 
had invited together, it shews the duty of lifting up to ourselves the 
poor and miserable ; and, in the last (ver. 16-24), with regard to 
the eager hope cherished by the Pharisee for the kingdom of God 
(ver. 15), it holds forth the conduct of God in calling men to his 
kingdom, at once excluding from it the satiated rich, and inviting 
into it the hungry poor, as an imperative rule of conduct to us. 
Even though there were, therefore, special causes in each case for 
the modification of the fundamental idea, yet the occasion which 
gave at first this turn to the conversation of Jesus was probably the 
cure of the man with the dropsy. Although the Pharisees and 
Lawyers were silent (ver. 4, 6) at the question of Jesus, yet un- 

* The Pharisee is styled rjf TUV np\<>v7uv TUV baptaaiuv = a 

not to suppose that those upjorrer are hero meant who are sometimes spoken of as op 
posed to the Pharisees, ex. gr. John xiL 42. 



46 LUKE XIV. 7-11. 

doubtedly their look sufficiently expressed contempt for the unfor 
tunate man, and this at once led the Saviour (ver. 5) to bring 
forward despised animals (oror/ :; and ftovr) in the similitude "If ye 
at once hasten, on the Sabbath, to draw an ass out of the pit, it 
well becomes me to bring help to a man who will be rafibcftted by 
water." In what way the bodily assistance is a type of the spiritual 
call of those who were healed, is particularly shewn by ver. 21, seq., 
where it is precisely the miserable (such as the cured man in this 
instance) who appear as the invited ones, while the proper guests 
(the Pharisees, as representatives of the Old Testament economy) 
remain shut out from the feast. And now, as the guests at the 
commencement of the repast eagerly strove for the highest places 
(rrpwTo/cAto-ia? i&Mymrrd), which conduct arose from the same self- 
sufficiency that originated their contempt for the dropsical man, 
Jesus immediately rebukes this. ( ETTK^IV scil. vovv animum ad- 
vertere. Acts iii. 5.) 

Ver. 8-11. Without veiling his design, the Lord reproves quite 
openly the vanity of the Pharisees. In the following parable the 
reference is entirely unconcealed. (As to T?apa/3oA^ comp. on Matth. 
xiii. 1. The parabolic form here is not completely carried out.) As 
respects, however, the meaning of the narrative, it is very strange 
that so subordinate a motive should be brought forward to induce 
self-abasement. For it seems false humility, and consequently con 
cealed pride, to take a seat low down to gain the honour of being 
elevated. Christ appears to give here rather a refined prudential 
rule than a pure ethical precept, and it would seem the more correct 
course to take just that seat which properly belongs to one. But the 
apothegm (ver. 11) which gives finally the fundamental idea of the 
parable, makes obvious the reason why this form of presenting it 
was adopted. In that single display of self-sufficient vanity our 
Lord fathomed those depths of character which led to similar dis 
plays they made in spiritual things. He has to do with the purify 
ing of these depths, and his representations, therefore, take such a 
form as to involve a warning against spiritual pride. Over against 
self-exaltation must be placed the act most strongly contrasted with 
it, and that is not merely to refrain from self-exultation, but ] 
tively to humble ourselves (rarretvovv t-av-ov). To bring tliis con 
trast clearly out in the paraHi-, the expression, reclining in the lowest 

* The reading r\!,r lias, in point of weighty critical authorities (tl.c ,MS>. A. B. E. C. 
H. M.S. give it\ much support. The connexion, however, is most in favour of uvoc. 
The whole passage contains a conclusion <lra\v!i n minori ad majus, and with this it is 
obvious that v n ir does The reading r n .r may easily have originated with per- 

eons who overlooked this form in which the iiiPeivinv is drawn in the pas-a.-. . . ;.:id >up- 
posed that the necessity of healing on the Sabbath would be rendered far more clear by 
eelecting the case of a child, love to whom, would inevitably constrain his parents to save 
him on tho Sabbath. 



LUKE XIV. 11-14. 47 



place (ih-a-i- fTiii fir TOV KOXITOV TOTTOV) is set over against red in hi y in. 
, //r / / (<muc/Uvea0<u f/V -/}r T^.rro/iv./w uj 1 ). 1 ut that which 

in the affairs of earth would pro\v only a liall rulo (inasmuch as the 
sitting low down of set purpose must lie held as only another form 
nt displaying vanity), is, in spiritual things, true and right in its 
fullest sense ; for there is demanded in fact not the mere absence 
of the positive manifestations of pride, but an attack upon the 
hidden evil which exists even where it does not shew itself. These 
positive sanctifying efforts carried on in the power of the Holy 
Spirit are denoted by the humbling oneself. This expression also 
presupposes an antecedent higher position (which is, however, to be 
carefully distinguished from the tyovv tavrov), inasmuch as the 
lowly cannot be humbled any more. (Comp. on the apothegm at 
ver. 10, what is said on Matth. xxiii. 12.) 

Ver. 12-14. The statements of our Lord in what follows are 
not different in substance from the preceding discourse to the guests 
(Aeye KOI roi KeKAqno-i av~6v). For, the following parable is only a 
continuation of the foregoing. As the guests ought to humble 
themselves by selecting the lowest place, so should the host humble 
himself by inviting the poorest. But, according to the different 
relations of guest and host there stands out in the first similitude 
more prominently an unassuming disposition ; in the second, con 
descending, humble love. Hence we may regard the two parables as 
adapted to persons of different positions in the kingdom of God. 
It is by no means to be supposed that we have here an entertain 
ment furnished at the public expense, as Dr. Paulus has inferred, 
from the prohibition to invite relations. This prohibition is rather 
to be held parallel with Luke xiv. 26, " He who hateth not father 
and mother is not worthy of me." It is only intended to shew the 
necessity of being delivered from what is merely sensitive and na 
tural in our love ; that higher love imparted in regeneration enno 
bles all the natural tics of affection. ( Avcrr^poc, maimed, one who 
wan ilier, = ~7/p6c, from 7n?pow, to mutilate. It is found again 

in the N. T. only at Luke xiv. -Jl. Comp. as to the idea of a re- 
eoiii].< n^. , in passages which take for granted the evangelical prin 
ciple, on Matth. v. I:! ; x. 42.) The mention of the resurrection of 
the just (I n an-raniC; roir <f/Avm.)r), without any occasion to call it forth, 
is an evident indication that tin- distinction made by the Jews be 
tween the first and second resurrection was acknowledged by our 
Lord as correct. Such passages as Rev. xx. 5 (where the expression 
dradTditc , j -fMT/i occurs) ; 1 Cor. xv. L 2, 23 ; 1 Thess. iv. 1(1, shew 

that tin- apostles themselves had embraced the distinction 
within the circle of their ideas. In the book of Revelation the whole 
conclusion of the work would be entirely unintelligible with-ut it. 
Comp. on this the remarks on Matth. xiii. 2. 



48 LUKE XIV. 12-15. 

The rationalistic expositors were unprejudiced enough to acknow 
ledge that this doctrine was supported by the New Testament, but 
they employed it to prove that the apostles (and in part the 
Saviour himself) were entangled in Jewish prejudice, or accom 
modated themselves to such errors. (On the opinions of the Jews, 
comp. Bertholdt in the Christ, Jud. 35, p. 176, seq.) \Ye shall 
afterwards take pains to shew (in a preliminary way, indeed, on 
Matth. xxiv.) that the distinction drawn between the two resurrec 
tions stands in closest unison with the whole circle of doctrines as 
to the final issue of all tilings, and that only when we adopt it do 
many passages of Scripture acquire their true meaning. 

Ver. 15. One of the guests understood quite correctly the ex 
pression used by the Saviour as to the resurrection of the just. He 
places in connexion with it, not eternal salvation, which properly 
is associated with the general resurrection, but life in the kingdom 
of God. Hence the kingdom of God here is, as the context shews, 
that state in which the will of God shall have dominion on earth 
the restoration of earth to its original condition. In this state did 
the Jews hope to live in peace under the sway of Messiah, along 
with the risen saints of the Old Testament, whose representatives, 
the progenitors of their race, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, are men 
tioned by name (Matth. viii. 11 ; Luke xiii. 28). The joyful hope 
of Messiah s speedy appearance was usually associated with the 
blessed anticipation of life in the Messianic kingdom. In substance, 
this series of ideas was entirely correct, and corresponded as well 
with the predictions of the Old Testament as with the representa 
tions of the New, except as the Jews in general formed grossly 
material conceptions of the Messiah s kingdom, and forgot the inter 
nal conditions of admittance into it. As part of the people of God, 
they believed that they must in any event be incorporated into 
God s kingdom. From this position of security and self-complacency 
seems to have proceeded the exclamation uttered by one of the 
guests. "When Jesus mentioned recompense in the kingdom of the 
Messiah at the resurrection of the just, he called out in a transport 
of joy, including himself as a sharer in the scene of blessedness, 
" happy he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God" (jiaKapiog og 
(pdyerai aprov iv ry ftaoiteia ~ov Oeoi}).f Nothing like malice, deceit, 
scorn, or intentional hypocrisy is to be traced in these words ; the 
following parable exposes merely the worldly feeling of those who 
are invited into the kingdom of God, but through their worldliuess 
forfeit their invitation. This comes home to the individual in com- 

* As to the distinction also between tho dviioraaif IK T<JV venpuv and dvdaraoif rCtv 
vtKpCtv, comp. tho observations on Matth. xxii. 31. 

f Compare Rev. xx. 6, where in like terms it is said fiaKupiof KOI uyiof 6 lx uv /*t P< 
iv rij uvaaruaEi rrj npury. 



LUKE XIV. 15, 16. 49 



mon with the whole party of I hir^ees and lawyers to whom he 
l>"l.iiip d, lull not himself persi Anally ami alone. The peculiar ex- 

clamation^however, and fche close connexion f th<> following parable 

with it, and with all that goes before, favour again most de,.-idcdly 
the originality of this whole account. (The reading n^inmi^ instead 

Tin 0ayeZv, is merely an explanation of the Hebrew mode of 
speaking f"i % the sake of Greeks, fashioned after the style of ver. 12.) 
The dp-m if>n\ni } cat bread, stands undoubtedly for taking a nienl 

ver. 1), and corresponds to th^ VSN, Gen. xliii. 1G, . >-. Here 
the context points once more to the great Messianic feast (com p. 
Matth. viii. 11 ; Luke xiii. 28), which, according to the passages in 
the prophets (for example Is. xxv. 6), is viewed as the opening scene 
of the kingdom of God. (Comp. Bertholdt in the Christ. Jud. 39, 
p. 196. Eisenmenger, in his Entd. Judenth. ii. 872, seq., gives the 
tasteless fables of the later Rabbins as to this feast. The phrase 
lodieiv Kai TTiveiVj eating and drinkunj,** is to be distinguished from 
uprov </>ay?v, eating bread, the former denoting continued fellowship, 
a life of abundance [in the kingdom of God]. Comp. on Luke 
xxii. 30.) 

Ver. 16. With great wisdom does our Lord in the following 
parable guide the Pharisee, who had praised so loudly the joys of 
the kingdom of God, back from externals to that which is internal. 
For, he teaches that the mere invitation is not enough, but every 
thing depends on whether a man avails himself of it. The first 
half of it represents the manifold ways in which worldly men (es 
pecially the Jews) abuse the Divine call ; the second half explains 
the conduct of God, and shews that others instead of those called 
are invited into the kingdom of God. At Matth. xxii. 1, seq., there 
is a parable recorded which is closely alh ed to that before us, but it 
is carried out in a way too independent and distinct to allow of our 
believing it to be the same with that of Luke. Undoubtedly, Jesus 
has availed himself at different times and in different ways of the 
same fundamental ideas, f If, then, the parable starts with the 
idea of th<- -:ivat supper. this has obviously a retrospective reference 

T. L5, and it stands as the Mrssiauic feast for the kingdom of 
God generally, to which God causes men to be invited (and the 
Ji ws certainly first) by his enlightened ministers and servants. 
(The KM/HI here denotes therefore, in a dogmatic sense, the vocat io, 
and involves both the anno thai such a kingdom exists, 

and the inward impulse to enter into it. Yet this impure, given 
by the Spirit according to the will of God, is no compulsory one ; 
it only facilitates the determination of the will. Compare detail- 
Matth. xx. 1G.) 



* Eadifiv and iriveiv Pres. luf. marking continued action ; Qaytlt , Aor. momentary. 
[K. f Compare as to this the details at Matth. rxiL 1. 

VOL. II. 4 



50 LUKE XIV. 17-20. 

Ver. 17-20. That peculiar form of the narrative, which repre 
sents that at the commencement of the feast those previously in 
vited were again put in mind of it (wpo rov dd-mr}, was evidently 
selected in order to express the more exactly and impressively the 
form under which the Divine invitation had come to the Jews. X>t 
only had the invitation to God s kingdom come to them generally 
through the prophets, but when it did arrive, they were hy the 
Baptist again specially warned that all tilings were ready which 
pertained to life and salvation (-rravra elvcu groifia -a rijg 0% /cat 
<76jT7/ptaf). The following excuses are therefore so much the 
guiltier, the more pressing had been the invitation. (llapai-zloOai, 
to make excuse, is used for recusare and excusare. The former 
meaning is found at Acts xxv. 11 ; the latter is obviously implied 
at ver. 19, in the expression %e pe Topfr^ju^vov, which corresponds 
to habeas me excusatum. To the d-nb fudg it is best to supply yvu>- 
nrjg or (/>wv?fc, for it is intended to bring out the common key-note of 
them all.) As the invitation, however, was given only to many 
(ver. 16, comp. remarks on Matth. xx. 16), this determines the 
meaning of the all (ver. 18) they are all that had been invited. 
It would be carrying the expression . too far, however, to hold that 
the first invited were the Jews, and that those afterwards (ver. 21) 
called are the heathen, inasmuch as the apostles, and all those be 
lievers who attached themselves to Jesus himself, were Jews. 
According to the immediate import of the passage, therefore, we 
must understand those first invited to be the representatives of the 
Old Testament Theocracy, and among the poor (nru^olc, ver. 21), 
that company of private individuals (among whom also the vdpw- 
7ri/c6f must be included, .ver. 2), whom Jesus honoured with his fel 
lowship and prepared for the kingdom of God. In that case the 
words JJP&VTO d rrb [nag TTapaiTElaOai -rravrec, all loith one consent, etc., 
retain their literal meaning, for in fact we do not see a single indi 
vidual among the advocates of the Theocracy openly and decisively 
attach himself to the Lord. We are not, however, to think for this 
reason all reference of the parable to Jews and heath* n is excluded, 
only this is not its primary and proper application. The various 
forms of excuse put forward by those invited, denote in general their 
bondage to the world. The two first set forth its grosser manifesta 
tions of worldlincss ; the third is a subtler one, but is a mere pre 
text. The taking of a wife ought not to have withdrawn him i mm 
God, but should have aided his advancement in the Divino life. 
This quality of their respective excuses, determines the /<>////> of 
their several refusals. The former, who suffer themselves to be 
entangled by gross worldliness, feel conscious of their sin, and give 
a more refined turn to their excuse "I pray thee, have me ex 
cused ;" the latter, however, considered the bond which kept him 



LUKE XIV. 20-25. ~>1 

back as sufficient to exonerate him, and simply declares "then-fore 
1 cannot conic." Kssentially, however, all an- alik--. 

_ ! *J1. With this account of the way in which tin- un- 

liv guests conducted themselves, there is connected the carrying 
out of the invitation given to others, and especially to t < ile 

and the poor, who are represented as without shelter or dwelling. 
(nAa-ma and (Wpq stand together as in the LXX., at Is. xv. 3. The 
former expression denotes rather streets and open places ; the latt- r 
nll< i/fi, angipoftua.) From the poor dwellers in the city, the parahle 

es over to the still more despised inhabitants of the country. 
This inviting of new guests in two sections, with the design " that my 
house may be full," sets forth the grace of God, which embraces all, 
even the most distant and lowly. The selection of the expressions^ 
dodyaye wrfe, bring in here, and the still stronger dvdynaoov efoeXddv, 
compel to come in, marks most appropriately the position of the 
poor relatively to the feast of the exalted householder. Regarding 
themselves as unworthy, they require the most urgent assurances of 
the gracious disposition of the Lord, that they are to have a share 
in the feast despised by the satiated rich men. Traits which thus 
foil in, unforced, with the aim and tendency of the parable, are not 
to be overlooked. Finally, the determination of God as to excluding 
from the least is also (ver. 24) brought forward. The words Atyw 
>V-, / say unto you, do not establish the position that Jesus is in 
this verse addressing the Pharisees, for although in ver. 23 the dis 
course of the master is directed merely to a single servant, yet is 
this individual the representative of several. The words " none of 
these men who were invited," (oltieig ~a>v dvdptiv indvuv -&v KeKXrjfie- 
> < ), absolutely require that we view them as the conclusion of the 
parahle. It is certain at the same time that the reference to the 
Pharisees might by look and voice have been made sufficiently obvi 
ous to all. (The exclusion from the feast is moreover to be under 
stood here in the same way as at Matth. 10, seq., which passage 
may be compared.) 



15. THE DEMANDS OF JESUS ON His DISCIPLES. 

(Luko xiv. 25-35.) 

The new formula of commencement here (vrrr-ni><--nno 

t%koi TOA/.O/) ajjain shews us Christ as on a journey. It n h-d no 

particular remark to inform us that Jesus had left the hoii~e of the 
Pharisee (ver. 1). f>r that is self-evident. Similar circumstances, 
however, again lead our Lord to express the same ideas he had 
uttered at Luke xii. Crowds followed after him with undefined 



52 LUKE XIV. 25-27. 

sentiments in his favour, yet irresolute and wavering. To them he 
turns with an earnest addivss, and summons them to a decision. 
Afl, however, his last hour was now approaching) he exhibits so 
openly the severer aspect of his character, that the uncalled must be 
made to withdraw. And this was better than that the wavering 
should be drawn into an unequal contest (ver. 31, seq). Finally, 
there begins here a new and continuous discourse, which extends 
down to chap. xvii. 10. It differs from the preceding collective dis 
courses (chap, xi., xii.) in this, that the Saviour appears here as the 
only speaker (except Luke xvii. 5), while there, by means of the 
remarks of interlocutors, we have a formal conversation. Yet our 
Lord s continued discourse receives modifications in so far, that his 
remarks are addressed now to the Pharisees, now to them with the 
disciples, now to the latter alone. (Comp. Luke xv. 2 ; xvi. 1 ; 
xvii. 1.) 

Ver. 25-27. The opening words in which the Saviour states to the 
people the necessity of entire decision, we have already had at Matth. 
x. 37, seq., in the instructions addressed to the apostles. It is very 
possible certainly that Jesus repeatedly expressed the same thought, 
especially where he had as we have already remarked on Matth. (ut 
supra), an Old Testament foundation to proceed upon. (Deut. xxxiii. 
9, 10.) Again, also, at John xii. 25, the same idea recurs only in 
an altered form. Yet the instructions (Matth. x.) are of such a 
nature, as plainly to bear the character of a compilation, and we have 
here therefore the passage in its original connexion, especially as the 
thought is less in harmony with the circumstances under which the 
apostles were first sent out. As to its exposition, however, all that 
is needful has already been given in our remarks on Matth. x. 37, 
seq., and we need here consider that only w r hich is peculiar to Luke. 
To him belongs the expression nioeiv, hate, and the extension of the 
hatred to the life (V"^/)- This is treated of, however, in a similar 
way, only under different expressions, at Matth. x. 39, for between 
the losing (anoMaai ) his life and hating it, there is no essential dif 
ference. Instead of hating (/urcZv), however, Matth. x. 37, has not 
loving father, etc., more than me (p) fa/.nr i--rp t-ji). It must 
seem a thing of doubtful propriety simply to reduce the positive 
hate to the more negative p) Qifolv v-rrep, not love, etc. The ex 
pression is too cutting not to have been chosen intentionally ; and 
in this case we have no title to deprive it of its point. And we 
should feel the less scruple in l>M\i:i^ the idea unsoftened, from the 
fact that the Son of love can have enjoined no hatred save that 
which is holy. How such a topic could in the then existing circum 
stances form the subject of discourse, may be rendered obvious from 
the following considerations. 

Matthew s representation is so conceived as to exhibit Divine 



LUKE XIV. 25-30. 53 

things, in their relation to the created, as superior, and hence a 
quantitative expression is chosen to describe our love of the one or 
of tlit- other. Lake, however, views as is equally allowable the 
Divine and the created as standing in simple and direct opposition 
eaeh other, an attitude which they always assume whensoever th - 
latter strives to cease being what it really is a transitory thing 
and begins to make itself esteemed eternal and imperishable. From 
this opposition, then, there springs up of necessity the hatred of the 
creature as well as the love of the Divine, according to the principle, 
" no man can serve two masters, he must hate the one and love 
the other." (Luke xvi. 13.) The pure love of the Divine, therefore, 
involves necessarily the pure hatred of the sinful, which things created 
become, in so far as they will make themselves pass for what is eternal. 
The idea, therefore, retains its simple truth when taken with all its 
point, if it be thus paraphrased, " He who cometh to me (not out 
wardly, but with the inward turning of his whole being) must love 
nothing apart from me (but all things in me) ; rather he must be 
able to pass on the tenderest ties of this present life, a judgment so 
discriminating and enlightened by the Spirit (and consequently to 
free himself so far from all the attachment and dependence of feel 
ing and its implied partialities) as to be capable of purely hating what 
is sinful in them." Thus docs the Saviour in these words demand of 
his followers an exalted point of view, looking down from which they 
may be able clearly to distinguish the Divine from the ungodly, even 
in the nearest of those objects presented to them (and therefore the 
most difficult to be judged of). From this elevation it is possible 
to unite both love and hatred towards the same object, as, for ex 
ample, our Lord, in regard to Mary his mother, and his disciples, 
hated what was sinful in them as purely as he loved what was 
godly, and hence the command here given does not abrogate the 
precept to " honour father and mother." In the unrenewed man, 
on the contrary, neither love nor hatred is pure ; in loving the ob 
jects of his affection, he loves also their sin ; in hating the objects 
of his dislike, he hates their godliness as well ; it is only the purity 
and discrimination of the Divine Spirit that can teach man to judge 
arii//<t, and to love God and the tilings of God as decidedly as he 
hates what is ungodly. Thus, it is obvious that we have here n 
command whieh a natural man standing under the law should 
attempt to put in practice ; tin- should he make the endeavour, then, 
as the spiritual gift <>t discrimination is wanting to him. every thing 
must naturally be thrown into confusion, and that which is ; 
sacred be penvrt -d into that which is most unholy. (On ver. JT. 
see fuller details at Matth. x. 38.) 

. 28-30. The way in whi.-h the powers of man must bear 
a certain proportion to the magnitude of his undertakings, is ex- 



54 LUKE XIV. 30-33. 

plained by the Saviour in certain parables, which are peculiar to 
Luke. The first 5s taken from a building, for the completing of 
which the necessary sums of money must be provided. The selec 
tion of this particular similitude arises perhaps from the frequent 
comparison of internal spiritual effort and labour to an edifice 
), and especially to a temple (1 Cor. iii. 10, seq.) The 
, tower, is to be understood of a great palace-like edifice ; for 
the object of the parable requires something extraordinary which 
cannot be reached by common means. (The KaOiaag tyrfyi&iv sets 
forth exact painstaking care in the reckoning. The substantive 
dfTap-ta/j.6^, from dTrapri&iv = tic-eXelv, is found only here.) 

Ver. 31-33. The second and also very graphic similitude is 
taken from a conflict, which a man undertakes only when he be 
lieves himself possessed of powers at least in some measure adequate. 
Two princes are represented as at w r ar, and if one of them feel him 
self weak, he sues for peace. (EvftftdMziv el$ Trokepov, nd^v is a pure 
Greek form of expression.) The application, however, of these two 
comparisons to the followers of Christ (ver. 33) is not altogether so 
clear. Christ requires, in connexion with ver. 26 and 27, the re 
nouncing all one s own possessions (d-xo-doaeoOat TTUOI rolg iavrov 
vTrdpxovoi), inasmuch as he wishes to engross alone the love of man. 
The forsaking, however, appears merely negative, while in the para 
bles there is demanded a positive quality, namely, power. But 
even the renunciation of one s possessions requires spiritual power 
also ; for these should not be viewed as isolated, but as conjoined 
with the whole world, and this again as in connexion with the prince 
of this world (dpxw rov noopov TOVTOV). The comparison repre 
sents the struggle to be undertaken as so great for the reason, that 
it must be entered into against a mighty kingdom and its prince, 
and can therefore be successful only if man bear within him a 
stronger power. This explanation also clears up the obscure point, 
how the Saviour should in these parables seemingly attribute to 
man the power of accomplishing a work so difficult (as represented 
in ver. 26, 27). The scope of the parable is obviously to show that 
a rigorous impartial examination brings man to the conviction that 
he is as incapable in his own strength of overcoming the dominion 
of earth and sense, as a king with ten thousand men would be to 
eoii jticr twenty thousand." The MB >, however, of our own 

inability should le;:d us to seek a It ujlicr power, to attach ourselves 
to the giv;it kingdom of li.u ht and its prince, which, under all cir- 
cumstane.-s, overthrows the kingdom of darkness. In connexion 

* TTence A . viii. fi) says with great truth of some persons who had 

begun in faith the conllic-t with the olil man, "ii-ililk-abant turrim sumptu idonco, relin- 
quemli omi .. li to." Tho giving up of one s own is identical with the lay 

ing hold of t . 



LUKE XIV. 30-35; XV. 1. 55 

with what precedes (ver. 20, 27), tlic ].aral)li s tlius virtually declare : 
"In wishing to follc.v. undertake a contest which ye ar nn- 

al)le to carry through ; attain first to the conviction of your own 
weakness, and seek the higher power of the Spirit; then shall y<- 
be qualilied tor the kingdom of God." 

Yer. 34, 35. Here follow most appropriately the concluding 
words which Matthew has embodied in the Sermon on the Mount 
(v. 13), and which Mark (ix. 29) has arranged in another connexion. 
They are in themselves of such a kind that we can suppose them 
spoken by the Saviour on various occasions, like the "he that hath 
cars," etc., at the close of this section. At all events, they stand in 
Luke in a very appropriate connexion. For the subject spoken of 
(ver. 26, 27) had been admission into the company of disciples, and 
the needful qualifications. Very appropriate, therefore, is the 
remark, that great and noble as was the call, like the salt of the 
earth, to act with quickening and strengthening power on the mass, 
so great also would be the danger if a man did not fulfil that voca 
tion, for in that case he would not only accomplish nothing for the 
body, but bring injury upon himself. Thus these words repeat the 
earnest admonition contained in the first verses of the section, 
rather to abandon the purpose of following Jesus than enter on it 
with divided hearts. (On the explanation, compare the details at 
Mat th. v. 13, and at Mark ix. 49.) 



16. PARABLES RELATING TO THE COMPASSIONATE LOVE OF GOD. 

(Luke xv. 1-32.) 

In the words of transition rpav & tyyi&vret;, and drew near, etc., 
there is no distinct statement of the relation between the preced 
ing and following portions. We might suppose that a space of time 
intervened. But the contrast between the preceding and the fol 
lowing parables, makes it in the highest degree probable that they 
are closely connected. [?] For, while at xiv. 28, seq. there was set 
f>nh the stein severity of purpose required in order to confess 
Christ and follow him, as the opposite and supplementary side of 
the picture, that compassionate love is now brought forward wliich 
is displayed by the Saviour in calling to himself the poor and 
mi.vral le. The same demand is made of these as of those to whom 
the paral>les of building the tower and the conflict were ad : 
but to the>.- miserable OO68 th demand is nut as i: the uu 

decided and the irresolute, something bun - hut it is i^ them 

a yjiin and a pleasu: him 

alone whom their soul loves. The compassion;;- d which 



50 LUKE XV. 1-7. 

forms the contrast to the hard-hearted Pharisees, is met by the 
complete self-surrender of the lost one (ver. 21), which stands op 
posed to the calculating adherence of the wavering (xiv. 2G, seq.), 
inasmuch as he pleads for that service of God as an act of grace, 
which to the others is a burdensome duty. In the first two parables 
the former reference predominates ; in opposition to the Pharisees 
with their cold condemnations of men, God appears as the compas 
sionate Being who lovingly receives the lost to himself; the third, 
in addition carries out carefully the second point of contrast, viz., 
the glad reception of the Gospel by the miserable. 

Ver. 1, 2. As Jesus finished the preceding discourses, spoken 
doubtless after the day s journey had been completed, there gather 
ed around him a company of men really in need of aid, not with the 
view of insidiously listening to him, but of receiving from him life 
and spirit (ditoveiv avrov). Among these were publicans (reAwvat) 
(see on Matth. v. 46), and other persons, who more or less grossly 
had transgressed the law. For, in every case where the a/zaprwAof, 
sinner, and the diKatog, just (ver. 7), are set in contrast, we are to 
trace in the former the outward and visible transgression of the law, 
as in the latter the idea of the outward observance of the law. 
Gross forms of transgression are not excluded here, as is shewn ob 
viously by the parable of the lost son, who is intentionally described 
as one who had devoured his living with harlots (ver. 30). On this 
contrast depends the whole point of these three parables. The 
Pharisees, in the consciousness (not merely hypocritical) of their 
righteousness, despised the sinners (dfiapr^Aovg) to whom righteous 
ness according to the law was in fact wanting. But, the relation 
in which the righteousness of the law and the righteousnes of faith 
stand to each other, is the very point on which the following para 
bles are intended to cast light. (Amyoyyv^w is = to the more com 
mon yoyyi;a>, to murmur, to be averse. UpoadtxeaOai and ai-i taOteiv 
denote every kind of contact, closer or more remote ; -poodK%eaOai 
is = to the frequently occurring 6E%eaOai [comp. Matth. x. 40], in 
the sense of to render the services of love, which presupposes an in 
clination of mind. The term ovveodieiv points to closer contact in 
continuous intercourse.) There is truth in the Pharisaic principle 
of abstaining from intercourse with sinful and defiled men, if it pro 
ceed from anxiety to avoid being tempted by their sins. In them, 
however, it was the result of haughty feeling which kept them at a 
distance from such unfortunate men, even when their minds shewed 
a susceptibility for something better. 

Ver. 3-7. The first parable recounted to the Pharisees by Jesus, 
(eirre :rpof avrovf ver. 3 compared with xvi. 1), is drawn from a figure 
already frequent in the Old Testament, which compares the relation 
between God and the people of Israel to that between a shepherd 



LUKE XV. 3-7. 57 

and his flock. Even for tin- very form of viewing the comparison 
which is here carried out, tin- Old Testament furnishes ;unl 

(Jcivm. 1. i; ; i-;/ck. xxxiv. 11, 12, 1C). Th- main Deference of 

parable then it is quite impossible to mistake, inasmuch as the lost 
sheep \\hich th<- shepherd seeks after, is tli" sim<- wiih the sinners 
whom the Saviour receives in love, while the Pharisees despise them. 
But the separate references call for closer examination. For, first, 
it is a question how the socking and finding of the lost sheep on the 
part of the shepherd stands connected with the repentance which 
at ver. 7 and 10 is attributed to the sinner, for, the parable m<-n- 
tions nothing of a change of state on the part of the lost one. Ac 
cording to the meaning of the parable, however, the labour of the 
shepherd in seeking and finding the sheep must be understood of 
God s operations on the sinner s heart, through which he awakens 
in him repentance. This parable, therefore, forms in this respect 
a contrast to the following one of the lost son, which represents not 
what God does, but what man does in the work of conversion. In 
a similar way (as was remarked on Matth. xiii. 44, seq.) do the 
parables of the treasure in the field, and the merchant seeking pearls, 
stand mutually related to each other. In the second place, there is 
set before us, not merely the seeking of the lost sheep, but also the 
leaving (ver. 4) of the ninety and nine. To this refers, on the one 
hand, the contrast between tp^iog, desert, and otnoc, house, and on 
the other, the circumstance that at ver. 7 the returning sinner is 
elevated more highly than those who never were lost. (This idea is 
more fully carried out in the parable of the lost son, ver. 22, seq.) 
This certainly seems strange when we consider that those who are 
not lost are described as "just persons, who need no repentance" 
(diKcuoi t oiTtveg ov %ptfav t^ovai perovolof), and as they had in fact 
never wandered from the close fellowship of the flock, they thus 
deserved praise for their faithfulness. But in the mutual relations 
of the, law and Gospel, we find a solution of this difficulty, while 
we yet retain the proper import of the parable. For the law cer- 
tainly carries with it this design, to incite man to keep it, and if he 
do keep it he acquires the righteousness of the law, and needs no re 
pentance in regard to its positive transgression. This ri-hieousness, 
however, i> incapable of leading to that higher life which the Gospel 
demands, but which it als. . I..-M"\YS where there re a susceptibility 
for it. The; ily two \\ays in which this can arise, either 

through such rigour in th s of the law, that a man can 

not satisfy himself with an <.r/rno>- legality (as the Pharisees did), 
but must strive a!-> after an fftW ..i ormity to that law; or 

when, left to himself, he falls into MH. In the lirst ease, he s ii ex 
periences his inability to subjugate the hidden world within him, 
and thus the law works the t -i^ruw? r/fc diut^-ia^, knowledge of sin 



58 LUKE XV. 3-11. 

(Rom. iij. 20), and such a just man (see on Luke i. 5) may then pos 
sess at the same time true longing and susceptibility for the atone 
ment. In the second case, however (which is that here intended), 
the striking and marked transgression of the law palpably brings his 
sin home to a man, and he is brought also to repentance, inasmuch 
as, where sin was powerful, there grace often shews itself the more 
powerfully (Rom. v. 20). In both cases, however, repentance estab 
lishes the possibility of a transition into a state of spiritual life, that 
of regeneration, more perfect than mere legal righteousness can 
reach ; whither this latter leads is shewn by the righteous brother 
(ver. 25, seq.) in the third parable. Thus what the Saviour means 
to shew the Pharisees is this, that these sinners whom they despised 
could, through the mercy of God, be elevated to a higher state of 
spiritual life than it was possible for them to reach in their present 
condition. That they also could come to repentance, however, if 
they would lay aside their coldness and hardness of heart, is inti 
mated at ver. 31. Finally, we must not in the parable overlook the 
%apa iv T<3 ovpavti, Joy in heaven (ver. 7), KTUTTIOV TWV ayyeAwv rov 
Oeov, before the angels of God (ver. 10), with which ver. 22 seq. 
should be compared.^ The joy of these Divinely compassionate 
beings forms a most strongly marked contrast to the vexation of 
the Pharisees because sinners were received (ver. 2, 25, seq.) The 
kingdom of God thus appears standing in mutual connexion and 
living unity ; if one member rejoices, all members rejoice with it. 
Heaven and earth are joined together by the bond of perfectness 
love. Consequently, the absence of love must be seen by the Phari 
sees as implying ungodliness and exclusion from the lively fellow 
ship of heaven. (The comparison is, finally, found at Matth. xviii. 
12, seq., and incorporated with the context there. It needs no 
proof, however, that here in Luke it holds its original position.) 

Ver. 8-10. The second parable of the lost drachma is obscure. 
For, I cannot persuade myself that it contributes no new feature to 
the general picture which the three similitudes hold forth, and that 
consequently the contrast between the woman and the man (ver. 4) 
and the ten and hundred, is merely accidental. The wofnan denotes 
probably the church in its ideal character, as caring with a mother s 
faithfulness for her children. In the gradually diminishing num- 
(100, 10, 2) there is implied, perhaps, an anti-climax which indi 
cates a possibility of foiling away from wider or narrower spheres of 
spiritual life, but that for all these relations, grace is revealed to 
aid us. 

Ver. 11-19. It is much easier to trace what is peculiar in the 
third iiair.nl". of the lost Son. It sets forth accurately the gradual 
pro< lie going sisir.iy, and his return to repentance and faith, 

whi ilrst parable they arc merely intimated, and prominence 



LUKE XV. 11-19. 59 

; 1, to the efforts of tin- Father. Here these are ; 
t Hived only as manifested at tin- moment of tlie Son s return, and 
then, in parallelism with th" Father s 1 >V8, there is the severity of 
tlie other [the Mill mure lost] SOD, towards whom, however, tlie love 
of the Father still continues the same. With iv-ard to the I hari- 

(ver. 1), the first half of the parable is an apol^y f>r the pub 
licans and sinners whom they despised, inasmuch as it partly shews 
that they are capable of nobler impulses to repentance and faith, 
and partly, that God prizes and willingly receives them. In the 
strongest manner, then, are these sinners admonished and encou 
raged, in the first half of the parable, freely and joyfully to embrace 
the n tiered grace. The second half places their own likeness before 
the eyes of the Pharisees, and contains a reproof to them. The 
commencement of the parable " A certain man had two sons" 
purposely places the two parties (the dinaiot and the dftaprruhoC) on a 
similar footing in relation to God. The description of the sons 
themselves, however, by the terms younger, and older (ver. 11, 25) 
may apply appropriately to the heathen and the Jews, although 
primarily the connexion does not lead us to this contrast. A para 
ble which, like that of the lost son, represents the relation of man 
to God in its essential points, naturally finds, everywhere, its fitting 
application wherever these points are developed. The abandoning 
of his lather s house on the part of the son points at once to man s 
falling away from God, out of which all his subsequent backsliding 
gradually developes itself. (In TO imfidJihov pf-pos rift ovaiag, trnfidX- 
Aeiv is used intransitively. In a similar way, Tob. vi. 13, ool t:w/JaA- 
/.H / / K/.opovonia at T/}f. B/oc as frequently = ovoia, vTrdp^ovra, Luke 
viii. 43 ; xxi. 4.) In describing the living in sin, the strong expres 
sion "<;". r tt<7wrw? is designedly chosen, and, according to ver. 30, we 
must retain it in all its force, for to this the argumentation of 
Christ refers, to represent one who is unquestionably a sinner as 
capable of returning to God. ("Aawrof from oct^u, like _percfaVttS, pri 
marily vlxiii 1 !,!, ,1, ruined, then dissipated, profligate.} Without, 
then, any express mention of it, there is in this parable also a 
reference to the repentance-awakening grace of God which follows 
the lust son. Outward distress, poverty, hunger, the felt conse 
quences of his sin, tirst awaken in him, according to the Divine dis 
pensation, the consciousness of guilt, and that this consciousness 
may, in the mind of the -inner, combine with faith in the love of 

. presupposes the ivvel:iii..n of that love whose consummation is 
exhibited in the offering up ofdod s Son, John iii. 16. The aim of 
the parable, however. this in the back-round, whence, also, 

it can only lie supplied from the general doctrine of Script n;v. and 
is here silently umh . . (\Yr. 1">. coAJlaoftu to th-- Hebrew 

r=.) !! sank down to the lowest depth of earthly misery. (Ke- 



60 LUKE XV. 19-30. 

pdrca, as applied to the tree which is found under the name of 
ruvia, /.-f/H.Hv a, denotes the fruit of the plant known under the name 
of carob-bean, which in the East is commonly used as fudder.) This 
suffering, however, awoke life in the depth of his soul ; witli sincere 
self-condemnation and deep repentance, there was combine;! faith 
in the Father. In this frame of mind, then, were given the ele 
ments of his salvation. (In the characteristic expression, coming to 
himself (rpxeoOai elg tm>Tov), we find his previous state indicated as 
that of one who had lost himself. In ver. 17, aprog, bread, as being 
human food, stands in contrast to ep<ma, which arc intended for 
lower animals. His repentance is proved to be genuine, by the ex 
press reference to the Divine will, implied in the words " against 
heaven." He discerned sin in its root and essence as the transgres- 
ion of the Divine will. The words tvumov oov are parallel to the 
Hebrew istV, which at 1 Sam. xx. 1, occurs in this very connexion 



Ver. 20-24. If the first movements of repentance are not in 
the above account expressly traced to God, his Divine compassion 
and paternal love in receiving the penitent are all the more care 
fully and touchingly depicted in what follows. (As to onhryxvlljutiku, 
see on Luke i. 78.) Divine grace hastens to aid the returning sin 
ner, and overwhelms him with its benefits. Thus what the law in 
its severity could not do namely, awaken the love of holiness 
within is effected by grace. It fills the heart of the man who 
sought happiness in sin and found Only bitterness, with a peace and 
sweetness which tell him that here is to be found what he had 
erroneously sought in the creature. (The individual traits in ver. 
22 are so clearly defined, that we cannot mistake them. The om/ /) 
TTpwr?/, best robe, denotes the righteousness of God [Rev. iii. 18 ; vii. 
13 ; xix. 8], the danrvXiov, the signet-ring, denotes the seal of the 
Spirit, the testimony that a man belongs to God, the i-<>A/]nara, 
shoes [Ephes. vi. 15] denote the power of walking in the ways of 
God. The entertainment made ready points to the <Wrrnr to which 
the kingdom of God is so often compared. ^tru-ru^ from ol-roq 
means fed QY fattened with corn. The article indicates that it was 
the single and therefore more, valuable animal which the Father, in 
the fulness of his joy, dedicated to the Son.) 

. 25-30. This account of the younger son s return is foil 
by a portrayal of his elder brother s conduct. The latter was in truth 
righteous according to the law; he had neither left his father nor 
tran his commandment, but this le^al ri^ht - had 

rendered his nature cold and unaniiablc, and induced him without 
pity to condemn his brother. Amidst the general joy, his x>ul was 
full of envy and jealousy. A most graphic picture of tlmse Phari 
sees who despised the publicans, and even of the Jews in their con- 



LUKE XV. 25-32. Gl 

tempt of the heathen world ! In marked contrast to the lowly 
BubmfariveneM <>t the younger s<>n. v.lm liows unconditionally to th" 
will of lli lather (ver. 18,19), there conies out the pride of the 
elder, wh<> even pre-mned in his rage to cast Mume on the lather s 
appointments, censuring on the one hand, his mildness to the 
l>rnt her who had gone astray; and on the other, his (alleged) 
rity towards himself. [We remark especially in the conduct of 
the rider son the following traits. He is at the outset so estrai. 
from his father, that on hearing the sounds of rejoicing, he goes for 
information, not to his father, but to a servant. The answer given 
enrages him ; he feels that the newly returned is dearer to his 
father than he himself ever was. On his father s condescending to 
come out to him, he recounts to him his own services, and reckons 
the deserved reward by kids! which his father should have killed 
for him. To have lived in the house of his father he counts as no 
thing ! v. 30. The words " this thy son," are a rude and imperti 
nent designation of his brother. He does not vouchsafe to him the 
name of brother, and wantonly insults his father, for the " this thy 
sou" is as much as to say, " he may be good enough to be thy son ; 
he is not fit to be my brother." Finally, the words who hath de 
voured, etc., are a gross exaggeration of his brother s sins. For 
" riotous living" does not necessarily imply Tropvda. And how did 
he know so accurately what had been the conduct of his younger 
brother ? We have here a vivid picture of the honorable worldling, 
Avho, when a sinner repents, exaggerates his former life of profligacy, 
in the vain idea that the violence of the disease will reflect discredit 
on the physician who has healed it.] 

Ver. 31, 32. The concluding verses add an entirely new feature 
to the picture. The compassion of the father who reproves sin with 
tenderness, remains unchanged even when brought to bear on the 
audacity of the elder son, who was bold enough to condemn his 
proceedings, an intimation being thus given to the Pharisees that 
for them, as well as others, Divine grace set open the way of repent 
ance, but that in their case equally with that of the sinners, it was 
the path to faith. For, what they were outwardly, and in a form 
more gross, that the Pharisees also were inwardly, and in a way 
more retined ; and it is just when assuming such forms that sin be 
comes most dangerous and ruinous, partly because its real nature is 
detected with greater difficulty, and partly because, being more 
spiritual in its nature, it lakes a deeper hold at once on the soul 
and nn the outward life. (On this point see at Matth. xxi. 31, in 
which passage this idea is set forth in express terms.) The father, 
moreover, in his reproof brings forward certain things which were 
wrong in the p. .-it ion of the elder son. In the true paternal feeling 
he views the son as \iisfcllow-posscssor (~dvra rd tVi, ou torn-), but 



G2 LUKE XV. 31,32; XVI. 1 

the latter, in the spirit of a slave, <lr;i\vs sliyly back, ami docs not 
venture in his father s sense to view these- possessions as belonging 
to himself; hut stands there avariciously and eagerly demanding, 
in the confidence of his own self-righteousness, that the father 
should urge on his acceptance that which in a filial spirit he should 
himself have asked for. Thus the perverse position in which the 
Pharisees had placed themselves towards God and men, is in these 
words made known to them, and a powerful exhortation to repent 
ance is brought home to their hearts. The account given by I aul 
of the inability of the law to work out righteousness (as set forth in 
Rom. iii. and Gal. iii.), and of the necessity for another way of sal 
vation through faith and grace, forms the best commentary on these 
parables. 



17: PARABLES RELATING TO THE COMPASSIONATE LOVE OP 
OUR FELLOW-MEN. 

(Luke xvi. 1-31.) 

The contents of the following parable, belonging apparently to 
an entirely different department, might at the first glance render it 
doubtful whether or not there exists here any demonstrable link of 
connexion. But inasmuch as nothing is indicated in the way of con 
clusion or the commencement of any tiling new, the reference of chap, 
xvi. 1, 14, 15, to chap. xv. 1, makes it probable that a connexion 
really does exist ; for Jesus, according to these passages, appears to 
be continually speaking before the same hearers, only addressing 
himself now more especially to one, now to another party of 
them. Nor can one fail to see, on a closer examination, how the 
subject-matter is connected with what goes before. The whole xvi. 
chap, forms a parallel to the xv. What we were taught in the lat 
ter (the xv.) of God s compassionate love, is set forth in the xvi. 
chap, as the object for man to aim at in his own sphere. This re 
ference to human affairs the Saviour was led very naturally to make, 
by the position of the Pharisees and Publicans. The former, in 
they" unfeeling coldness, were avaricious (xvi. 14), for which i 
this tendency had already been exhibited at xv. 29 in the elder 
brother, who was intended to represent the Pharisees. The Publi 
cans, on the contrary, though for the most part they had 1 
rich by unrighteous transae 1 charity in their sin 

cere repentance for example, Zaccluuus, Luke xix. 8. Hence our 
Lord in the following parables teaches ihc ri^ht use of earthly pos 
sessions. In the first, however, respecting the unjust steward, tho 
representation given of such a nature, that true charity, which, when 



LUKE XVI. 1. G3 

embodied in outward arts, takes the form of an expenditure of one s 
us (the proper contrast to the- false expenditure of his goods 
on the part of the lost son), is seen to be at the same time true 
.mi, while the want of charity is folly. This view implied, in 
the iirst place, a defence of the despised Publicans, who are to be 
conceived of as belonging to the disciples (ver. 1), with an admoni 
tion urging them to continue the same use of their property, while 
it involved, on the other hand, a rebuke to the Pharisees, who con- 
bidered themselves as wise as they were righteous (ver. 15). Inas 
much as they wished half to serve God as representing the theocracy, 
but at the same time half to serve mammon (ver. 13), they acted 
unrighteously, and became fools in their false wisdom. The final 
results of such false wisdom are delineated in the following parable 
(ver. 19, seq.), by the remark which points out the important con 
sequences which true wisdom may produce in behalf of man. (With 
an allusion to the dtxeaOai d$ Ta$ aluwiovs OKjpdg } ver. 9.) Should 
we ask, however, on what grounds the Lord did not choose a com 
parison to shew the nature of true wisdom, which might at the same 
time have exhibited righteousness, and consequently a liberal ap 
plication of his own means, and not those of another ; the cause of 
it can have been no other than this, that it would have been impos 
sible in that way to bring clearly to view that twofold reference to 
God and the world which to the Saviour was precisely the point of 
greatest importance. In ver. 13 there lies the key to our under 
standing the peculiar form of the parable. For, both parties, the 
Publicans as well as the Pharisees, stood as it were between two 
poles. On the one side, they stood in connexion with the world and 
earthly ties, on the other, with God and Divine things. The only 
difference lay in this, that the Publicans (those, namely, who were 
here present whom Jesus kindly received [xv. 1], and who are now 
to be reckoned among the disciples [xvi. 1]), were outwardly, indeed 
deeply involved in the world, but their inner man burned with 
earnest spiritual longing; the Pharisees, on the other hand, were 
outwardly chained to things Divine, as the born representatives of 
the theocracy, but inwardly they were attached to the world, and 
they e\eii made use of their spiritual character for earthly ends. In 
order to t< ach, therefore, the right course in their position betwixt 
two such attracting forces, our Lord selects the precise representa 
tion hen- employed, which from two opposite points of view, and, 
lor the l-eii -lit as well of the I ulilieans as of the Pharisees, sets in 
a clear light the idea contained in ver. 13, "No man can serve two 
masters, he must. despise the one in order to cleave to the other." 
}Ian has not and never can have anything <}f his own (comp. on 
Luke xiv. 33), he is for ever a mere steward (o//ror<i/m<-). The only 
question is whose steward he considers himself, whether of the God 



64 LUKE XVI. 1. 

of tender love (whom chap. xv. sets forth), or of the hard-hearted 
world and its prince. In reference to the Publicans, therefore, the 
parahle contains the exhortation entirely to renounce the master 
with whom, by outward relations, they still stand a>M>ci;iled. In 
regard to the Pharisees, however, it involves the reproving declara 
tion that their half-heartedness could lead to no true service of God. 
According to this view, the rich man (ver. 1) is nothing hut the 
world or its representative the prince of this world, to whose service 
the Publicans in their external relations are supposed to belong. 
To this master, according to ver. 13, God, as the other and real 
master (the representative of the d^oiisvoi el$ -ac; aluviovg oKrjvdc, 
ver. 9) is to be conceived as contrasted. This true Lord has service 
rendered to him in the right way, even by the prudent dissipater 
of the possessions of the rich man (diaaKopmfav ra v-ndpxovra TOV 
nXovoiov), who despises the one in order to belong wholly to the 
other, and with the possessions of the one labours for the objects of 
the other. That man acts, however, in opposition to his own in 
terests (and is thus unwise) who, like the Pharisees, seeks to place 
the service of the one on a level with that of the other. The figure 
of unrighteousness could thus be employed here without causing 
any misunderstanding, for this reason, that it so markedly expresses 
the felt inward experience of the man who feels himself placed be 
tween two such opposite attracting forces. On the other hand, 
however, to expend the things which belong to the world in behalf 
of God and his objects can never be to act falsely, for the world and 
its prince are not the true possessors. As God thus is in the last 
instance the rightful Lord, such an overreaching of the world as 
Jesus here teaches is the way truly to uphold what is right ; all is 
rendered back to God to whom all belongs. There was no reason 
to apprehend, however, such a perversion of his words as that it was 
permitted a man to deprive others of their property in order thus to 
expend it, for this was already sufficiently prohibited by the com 
mandment, "thou shalt not steal." The very delineation of the 
injustice in lines so vivid excludes all possibility of such a misun 
derstanding. According to this view, the parable though referring 
primarily to temporal relations, possesses its everlasting truth ; in 
things temporary are shadowed forth those which are abiding. For, 
in the same light in which the Publicans are here exhibited, do men 
stand at all times, in so far as they possess property. Possession in 
itself, as a circumscribed and exclusive right to certain things, is the 
product of sin in the //.///</ f which man knows nothing in the 
"kingdom of (> While maintaining, therefore, such a possessory 

* It is chiefly the difference of opinion in regard to the rights of property which 
makes it so difficult for expositors to agree in their understanding of this parable. Ac 
cording to the prevailing opinion, it is only an immoderate possession which deserves 



LIKI: XVI. 1. . C5 

ri-lit. man fs steward of the prince of tliis world. If he prove (. 
to this master. In- works in liis interest, ami so heaps up possessions 
up"!: ions ; lut if hr prove /////,//< to liiin, and pass <>ver as 

a member into tin- kingdom of God, into the service, consequently, 
of ano li M- lord, then he labours in the interest of this new muster, 
and squanders the possessions of the first, expending them on spi 
ritual objects. This points again to xiv. 33, where the children of 
the kingdom were exhorted to renounce all things (uTro-daoeoOai 
Trum), and by means of this explanation the connexion is seen to be 
carried thus far back. 

The capital mistake, as it seems to me, in the common exposi 
tion of the parable, is that under the rich man it understands, God. 
In this view of it we cannot conceive how two masters should be 
spoken of at ver. 13, or how we should be taught to squander pos 
sessions belonging to the God of love. For if this referred to a 
beneficent expenditure of one s means, the steward acting thus 
would not have been displaced by God ; but if to a false, wasteful 
prodigality of one s possessions, such as was condemned in the case 
of the lost son, we can not reconcile this with ver. 8-13, in which his 
faithfulness in minor matters is praised. For, that a parable should 
teach precisely the opposite of what the narrative itself mentions, 
can never be maintained after the striking train of reasoning by 
Schultz (on the parable of the unjust steward, p. 98). The rich man 
can represent only the world in whose service the Publicans stood. 
To spend their wealth in such a way as to devote it to the .interests 
of their higher Lord, and at the same time to their own (real and 
everlasting) benefit, is the only thing that could be enjoined on 
these men for iinitation.f The exposition of Schultz (ut supra), is, 

blame, and from a legal point of view this is correct ; just as perjury alone is held to deserve 
punishment. Hut Christ looks on humanity in a point of view far higher, and contem 
plates the original state of Paradise as restored. According to this view, no mention can 
be made of any right of possession which excludes from others the uso of the property 
possessed, and it is in this way that our Lord here treats the relation in which man stands 
to the things of this world. 

* This explanation Jensen has even yet retained in his valuable Treatise (in the 

Ftudion mid Kritikcn by Oman, ii. vol., 4th part, p. 699, seq.), to the disadvantage of 

his general view. On the other hand, there lies much truth in the polemical discussion 

b the author carries i iermacher. In exactly the same way does 

trili. p. .V.) understand by the 7r7<n <7Of God. Very arbitrarily, 

therefor i."M ver. 13 to be a later interpolation. 

f Do Wette s opinion that tho ricli man in tho parable was intended to have no 
meaning, might more rcadi: s were it not that the arbitrary disjunction of par 

ticular features from the parable favours a superficial exposition of Scripture. St. 
tially the exposition of the ; ntirely given up by 1 lasmuch I 

10-13, which can alone furnish the key to our understanding of it, are explained by him 
as standing quite unoonforinably to the remaining portions. ! also that there is 

in the narrative itself an internal improbability which tho expositor must bo satisfied to 
is ho finds. The parable, in the opinion of this learned critic, contains something 

VOL. II. 5 



66 LUKE XVI. 1. 

in MY view, essentially the right one, only this learned critic ne 
glected clearly to refer the dvOpuTtog -rr^ovoiog to the world, and was 
therefore, in his otherwise correct explanation, forced to have 
recourse to this turn, "that it is not the man s whole corrupt na 
ture and conduct, nor his worldly point of view, nor his profligate 
ungodly feeling and mean selfishness which is praised, but his well- 
considered, effective mode of dealing with the possessions still stand 
ing at his disposal." (Ut supra, p. 103.) It seems to me undeni 
able, that the meaning of the parable will fit still more closely into 
the narrative which con-tains it, if we hold that the rich man stands 
parallel to the world and its Prince. By Schulthess (Theol. Annals 
Tubig., 1827, March, p. 213 seq.) this view of the reference has 
been rightly brought forward. The explanation of Schleiennacher 
(on the writings of Luke, p. 202 seq.), which explains the Publicans 
by the steward, and the Romans by the master, is not specifically 
different from my own view, inasmuch as the Romans form the 
representatives of the world. I cannot, however, accord with 
Schleiermacher in attempting to soften the character of the unjust 
steward. In the very aggravation of his injustice lies the whole 
point of the narrative.f [Also Olshausen s explanation is artificial 
and unsatisfactory. The parable (like that of the hard-hearted 
judge), belongs to the class of parables in which we are not to trace 
a correspondence in every individual feature, but find a contrasting 
significancy in the whole. The master signifies neither God nor 
Satan, but simply an earthly master, and merely serves to intro 
duce the narrative. The unjust steward is not so much an image, 
as an example of a man who, in the sphere of unrightousness and 
sin, exercises the virtue of prudence, and thus deserves praise even 
from the very man whom he has deceived. From him the Christian 
should learn prudence, lut in the sphere of righteousness. He 
should so manage with the earthly possessions acquired by unright- 
.ousness, as to acquire for himself friends in heaven prudently and 
justly (v. 9). His prudence is to consist in fidelity (v. 10), while 
that of the worldling consists in faithlessness. The whole admoni 
tion is necessary, since (v. 8) the children of this world are wont to 
be wiser in their sphere than the children of God in their sphe;- 

paradoxical, and yet it gives us this idea, which is worthy of Christ, that men should ex 
pend their earthly means for the advancement of tho kingdom of God. 

* Schleiermacher re> with the contrarieties most near at hand without 

to me we must do, to these opposite forces in their final and high- 
>\-\n. 

J- As to the many other (for the most part wholly untenable) expositions of the para 
ble, compare the well-known treatises by Schreiter and Keil. The following recent ex 
planations of this difficult passage are also worth reading, viz. by Grossman, Lips. 1823 ; 
Niedner, Lips. 182G; Zyro Stud, und Kritik. Jahrg. 1S31, h. 4; and Bahnmeyer (Bahn- 
ineyer in Kleiber s Stud. vol. i., part 1, p. 11 seq.) 



L. KI: XVI. 1-3. G7 



righteou in fact it is far more difficult to unite prudence 

with fidelity than with unfaitlifulii 

Yer. 1. The expression, "he said also to his di< -ints 

Lack to xv. .>, where the discourse was directly addressed to the 
Pharisees. Now, in addition to them, the Saviour turns also to his 
di.-ciples in such a way that both parties, Pharisees and I ublieans, 

addressed together, and thus in the parable there maybe traced 
a reference to both. The disciples, however, here embrace in the 
widest sense all the adherents of Jesus, both the apostles (win 
specially mentioned in xvii. 5) and the well- inclined publicans to 
gether. The Apostles, it might be said, had indeed already prac 
tised the commandment to free themselves from Mammon (comp. 
on Matth. xix. 27), but on the one hand, they were not as yet in 
their hearts wholly delivered from the love of their possessions, so 
that an admonition to continue in the renunciation of Mammon 
cannot seem inappropriate even for them ; and, on the other, we 
may remember that Judas was included among them, who was still 
the slave of avarice, and the parable may be considered as a warn 
ing for him as for the Pharisees. That the certain rich man (dv- 
Opwrrof rig TrAowwof), then, cannot have been intended to denote God, 
might be conjectured even from the word rig, certain, which gives a 
certain vagueness to the idea, inconsistent with such an interpreta 
tion. The words might be translated" a certain rich man, of whom 
there are so many." Thus such a relation as is common in the 
sinful world, would seem to be intended. The common relations of 
the present world (aluv ovrog) are intended to be delineated in the 
parable, and therefore, as is the steward, such also is the master 
(Coinp. on ver. 8). There is implied, finally, in the idea of the 
steward (as Schulz, ut supra, p. 44, shews) that he is more than a 
mere servant (dovAof). He is to be viewed as the administrator and 
curator (< f the master who for a season is perhaps absent), and as one, 
then-fore, who could the more freely act without control in regard 
to th.- p" essionsof his Lord. The steward is thus all the more ap 
propriately the r -live of man, in so far as he has to a certain 
extent the independent management of his possessions. Respecting 
this steward (o n hen, the report went abroad, and there 
wen- willing informers who carried it to hN master, that he wasted 
the pr< |>erty intrusted to him. (A/</<7/.-y>-\. >n-, as at Luk" xv. 1. !. 

. liich occurs in ilie New Totament only he; 

means implies calumniating by lid-" reports, but. rather informiiiir, 
acci; n when the; ;i is well-founded. ) In tli 

this steward. .at t hi-; very iujn. ~li c (./-5/ /;/ ). sh add 

stand forth as a leading feature of his character. 

V i. _ . :). The rich man calls the steward to account (.i-rMo- 
vat Xoyov =. didumt / >] m- } Rom. xiv. !:>), and ami" him his 



6 LUKE XVI/ 3-8. 

approaching dismissal (ov 6wi]<jri TI obcavopelv) from office. The 
period that had to elapse previous to his removal, the wise steward 

!cs still to employ for his own ailvaiit.-i-c. The means of support 
which happen to be mentioned (andnreiv and KTrairelv, which last is = 
VNB [Ps. cix. 10], and bears the sense of stipcm rogare), tlie deli 
cately educated steward finds unsuited to him, partly because he 
was unaccustomed to hard labour, and partly as he feared the 
opinions of men. This representation refers primarily to the com 
mon mode of thinking of a man, who in a worldly-wise way knew 
how to extricate himself from difficulties, and to cast off everything 
burdensome. 

Ver. 4-7. Of the liberty still left him in the management of 
the property, the steward makes this use, that he gives abatements 
to the debtors, and by this kindness gains them over to himself. 
(N.eOia~dvai properly transfer, as at Coloss. i. 13, here a softer term 
for depose. So also at Acts xiii. 22.) The debts are to be consid 
ered as contracted during the time of his stewardship, so that 
these new acts of unfaithfulness entered into the same grand reck 
oning. (Barof = MS, according to Ezek. xlv. 14 for fluids. Kopo? = 
n ,3 or is a measure for dry substances. It is equal to the ?". 
[The debtors had received grain, oil, etc., from the estate, for which 
they were still indebted. The steward returns to each one his bill 
(St^ai, etc.), and bids him to make out another acknowledging his 
indebtedness for a smaller amount. Thus he remits to each one a 
part of his debt.] 

Ver. 8. When the Lord (that is the dvOpuTrog -nhovvioc, ver. 1) 
was informed of this new perfidy, he praised the wisdom with which 
he had made himself safe for the future. For as the judge would 
have taken from the steward what he possessed, in order to repay 
his master in some measure for his losses, there remained nothing 
for him to do but to make himself friends by such acts of kindness. 
No one could interfere to prevent them giving to him of their own. 
It might be questionable whether r/fc ddiKiag should be connected 
with olKovo^og or with enqveaev. Schleiermacher decides in favour of 
the latter. But the immediately following expression fia/iuvag -rf/f 
litiiKias of ver. 9, and the analogous phrase Kpi-ri^ -7$ ddiKiag (Luke 
xviii. 6) are obviously in favour of the connexion with OIKOVOHOC, not 
to mention that the succeeding words un ^povifiug e-rroiTjaev do not 
well admit of our assuming the ddiKia as also an object of praise.* 
The final ivords of the parabolic narrative, un </>poi ///c faolrjaev, be 
cause he acted prudently, bring forward the lesson it was mainly in 
tended to teach, namely to inculcate ivisdom (the opposite of /fwpm). 
4>p6v?]oic, prudence ("r*)? stands related to ovveatc, understanding, 

* rreci.cly in this lies the point that tho prudence of the steward was so great that, 
for its Bake the very_master himself praised tho intrinsically iniquitious act! [E. 



LUKI: XVI. 8. 69 

precisely as i"<>/, wisdom ("=;>7) to vovq, reason. Prudence de 
notes that acfi\. of the soul s powers, which shews itself 
ally in duly making use of outward circumstances in attaining 
(good as well as evil) objects. Wisdom denotes the susceptibility of 
the soul to the influences of a higher world. Where the reason is 
pre-eminently active, it is usually difficult to keep the understand 
ing equally in exercise, and this forms the subject of the Saviour s 
rebuke in what follows. The admonition is thus analogous to that 
given at Matth. x. 1G, " Be ye wise as serpents." The parable con 
cludes with the words, " because he acted," etc., and at ver. 9, there 
follows with " and I say to you" the express application of it for the 
benefit of the disciples. The intervening words, therefore, belong 
neither to the one portion nor the other, but form an intermedi 
ate remark intended to lead on the hearers to the comprehension of 
the parable. For, the children of this world (viol rov al&vo? rovrov) 
are so contrasted with the children of light (viol rov </>wrof), that the 
steward is obviously included in the former, and is placed in oppo 
sition to the disciples (ver. 1) as the members of the kingdom of 
God. (Comp. as to aluv ovrog on Matth. xii. 31.) That which 
connects the two is the Qpovrjoig, prudence, in which the children of 
the world surpass the children of light (Christians are often termed 
the viol rov </>6JToc, John xii. 86, 1 Thess. v. 5, as those who have 
been illuminated by the true light, John i. 4) in all the relations of 
life. (The somewhat obscure expression elg ri\v yeveav rrjv tavruv, 
for their own generation, is to be referred to both parties in such a 
way that to each class there is ascribed a yeved, in regard to which 
they exercise prudence (fipovrjoic). It is best to take yevea in the 
common meaning of generation, those of one race living together.) 
Worldly men labour in the spirit of the world and after the fashion 
of the world, in amassing treasures for this earthly life. In this 
respect they often display uncommon prudence. This is easy for 
them, because they suffer the higher powers to slumber, and con 
centrate all their faculties on earthly things. It is entirely other 
wise with the members of the kingdom of God ; aiming at a higher 
lii o they often forget what is prudent in regard to the things of 
earth. The harmonious combination of the two is perfection. The 
connection of this with what follows (ver. l. J), however, would lead 
to the inference that the children of this world (viol rov a;.~ . 
rov) are not to be taken as pnvi>,-ly identical with the wicked 
(novrjpofy. For we must ever bear in mind that Jesus had the 
rharisres in his eye, who vacillated backwards and forwards 

I and the world. One who \\.is properly ict r/ t ; >t, we mn-i hold 
to be as decided ffjdinst God, as the child of li-h; I-// him. 
Between the two stand the r// /A //./< <// ////* . it 

is true, through the general sinfiilne>s of man, to the darkness, but 



70 LUKE XVI. 8, 9. 

not absolutely hostile to the light, striving rather to blend light and 
darkness. In this position stood the Pharisees, and our Lord seeks 
to convince them of the impurity of such a stale, and at the same 
time to prevail on the Publicans to decide unreservedly for God. 

Ver. 9. The words TTou/aarE iav~oi$ <f>ikov$ K. r. A., make to your 
selves friends, etc., are obviously to be completed thus employ the 
unrighteous mammon in making yourselves friends in the sphere of 
light with as much prudence as did that steward in the sphere of 
sin and darkness. There is thus presupposed as existing in their 
case a mammon of unrighteousness. The sole question that can 
arise is, how far the unrighteous mammon forms here the subject of 
discourse. (Comp. as to nanuvdg on Matth. vi. 24.) The mammon 
is conceived as something necessarily .as such connected with un 
righteousness ; it is as it were the bond by which every individual 
is bound to the world and its prince. This bond must therefore be 
severed, nay mammon must itself be used wdth prudence for spi 
ritual and holy ends. Keeping close to and carrying out the repre 
sentation of the parable, our Lord views the &%e<70af ? receiving (ver. 
4) as a consequence of the making of friends. Without such a 
definite intimation by the Saviour himself, one might have been 
tempted to regard this as a mere decoration. The primary difficulty 
here is the orav tvcA/TnjTe, ivhen ye fail. For, not to mention the 
reading t/cAenrT/re, there are good MSS. (such as A. D. L.) which 
read t^rr?/. In that case [wpuvag or ftiog would need to be supplied. 
This reading does not betray itself as an alteration in conformity to 
ver. 4, so as to bring out the meaning, " As the steward hopes that 
his friends on his dismissal will receive him, so ought you also to 
make yourselves friends who may receive you if you are reduced to 
starvation." For, it is altogether inappropriate that a spiritual re 
ception should be placed in contrast to bodily starvation. Perhaps 
it is a mere mistake of the transcriber, inasmuch as the <5t which 
follows might give occasion for the omission of the re. EKA/T^TC is 
the only reading which agrees with the connexion. It furnishes us 
with the idea that by means of worldly things he may prepare for 
himself assistance to meet his spiritual wants. ( EK/tetmiv occurs in 
the sense of to ivant, to be destitute of, for example Luke xxii. 32 ; 
here it means to die. EK/.ti-ftv ~ov (3iov, originally classical, also 
found in the Septuagint, comp. Gen. xxv. 8 ; xlix. 30. In the New 
Testament it occurs only here in this sense. The reference to death 
as the in ! reckoning, as well with a view to punishment as 

reward. N in this p.-; :ceedingly appropriate, Comp. in the 

foil :lile. ver. 22.) & \rfrOai /f ra^.alwviov^ oxijvdf;, receiving 

into < / liasting /."L/ t itio,/*, with reference to ver. 4, expres-.- spi 
rit; 1 nothing ppvi-. -ly a: to it in the New 
. nt, for passages like Hel>. viii. 2, llev. xiii. G, refer to the 



LUKI: XVI. 9-12, 71 

Tabernacle of the Covenant, of which there is no mention made 
here. Tin- nearot parallel is funnelled by John xiv. 2, M r/} H IKIU 
TOU ~it-ri>i "- ii"i- inn-ti i -o f fMi Hmr, in my father s house, etc. The 
(jKifrui denote here the higher and permanent state of being, in op 
position to the earthly and transitory. There remains, however, 
still a dillieulty in the idea, as to how the ///< ///As (o///) could re 
ceive others into everlasting habitations, and who they are whom 
we are to conceive of as thus presented to us. Since the discourse 
is addi essed to the diseiples, we cannot, as it seems to me, think of 
the apostles, who were inclucfcd among the disciples, and to them 
as to all the other disciples especially the rich Publicans there is 
addressed the exhortation to make friends with mammon. Should 
it appear then improper that the privilege is to be conceded to all 
and every one of receiving into the everlasting habitations, we might 
refer the words to Jesus himself, in union, however, with the inha 
bitants of the heavenly world, who previously (xv. 10) and subse 
quently (xvi. 22) are introduced as actively employed. For, that 
which belongs properly to Christ, may be ascribed also to his people, 
especially to the apostles, in so far as Christ s strength is conceived 
as purely working in them, and they have received power to bind 
and to loose (Matth. xvi. 19). But as this power was as yet con 
ferred on them only in hope as it were, since they had not received 
the Holy Ghost (whence also Peter could immediately at Matth. 
xvi. 23 again give Satan access to himself), therefore also is the 
commandment in part addressed to them to make friends with 
mammon. For, were we disposed to consider the apostles alone as 
those receiving into everlasting habitations (dexfauvot d$ rug aluviov<; 
o/i-//mc), and the admonition to make friends with mammon as ad 
dressed solely to the Publicans, the representation given in the 
parables furnishes positively no ground for thus separating into two 
classes the diseiples mentioned at ver. 1. 

Ver. 10-12. The following words are calculated to dispel any 
dniibts whieh have nut yet been obviated as to the exposition of the 
parable. For our Lord here first puts forward the general senti 
ment expressed in the form of a proverb gives it a turn so as to 
apply it to the parable, and then reverts again to the general prin 
ciple. It is obvious at a glance that the { /.<! \trj-rnr, //*/, and 
f///"-/;/r. another s, eurrespoiid to the </<5/A-oo //(///., i</hteous 

llttrnniton, but the -n /r, /// /<//, to <;/ ijl)ir< r, ////,, and t lie 

your own. In the use of the Conner, faithfulne.^ is mjoined, thai 
a man may make himself worthy of the latter, deliverance from an 
other s is r.-pivM nicd as the condition of a man s It-ing intru- 
with his own. jn>( as at xiv. .} .]. (The e.xpi 

tpov rder to the nobler nature in man whieh ha- 1 Mi awakened 
in the /ifl/r< ; theirs is th-.- eternal u/^ hnn- that which is akin 



72 LUKE XVI. 13, 14. 



to them ; the earthly is the alien, dAAorptoi .) The conduct of a 
child of light therefore, who, after the manner of the steward, scat 
ters the mammon, is designated fold it y, the keeping of it together 
would bo unfaithfulness. Only through such an application of 
things less important for Divine objects can we make ourselves 
worthy to receive higher blessings, i. c., to manage aright heavenly 
powers of soul in humility and love. This then must the apostles 
themselves thoroughly learn before receiving from above the fulness 
of the Spirit. ("Adt/co^-, unrighteous, is here contrasted with -10-6$, 
faithful, because of the foregoing useyof the word. All unfaithful 
ness is also unrighteousness.) 

Ver. 13. The concluding words we have already met with at 
Matth. vi. 24, in the Sermon on the Mount. That their position 
here is an original one, and not merely that in which they occur in 
Matth., does not need to be pointed out. Every word of the verse 
fits here most closely into the whole parable. The servant (oke-n^) 
points back to the steward (okovo//oc). The one master is the 
rich man (ai Opwrrof uAov^of), the other is the possessor of the 
dkrjdivov, true; the contrasted terms Jiatc and love, as also receive 
(dvadK%eaOai) and despise (na-a^povelv) refer to the application of the 
possessions against the one and in favour of the other master. The 
wavering inclinations of the Pharisees seem in this way to be wholly 
excluded, but the Lord means to exhort his disciples to give up all, 
and to be wholly for God. The verse completes the explanation 
given by Jesus of the foregoing parable, and leaves no doubt as to 
its connexion as one whole. 

Ver. 14. Although the parable (according to ver. 1) was ad 
dressed primarily to the disciples, yet was it not intended that the 
Pharisees should be excluded. (Hence the words IJKOVOV ravra -dvra 
Kal ol Qapioaioi.) Their covetotisness was to be rebuked by this 
very parable of the wicked steward ; and in anger at this reproof 
they gave expression to their ill-will in mockery of Jesus, not only 
in looks but perhaps also in words. (TjLtpumjp/ttv, the compound, 
occurs also at Luke xxiii. 35. The simple verb is found only at 
Gal. vi. 7. In the LXX. it stands as = a?V, to scoff, mock, turn up 
the nose.) This incident leads the Saviour to address his dis. -\\\ >.- 
again directly to the Pharisees (el-ev avroTr), and in another para 
ble once more to hold before them the consequences of their avarice 
(0tAapyvpm.) We thus again find Luke very exact here in setting 
before us the turns of the dialogue, and mi^ht at once infer from 
this, that here also (vers. 15-18), we should not fail to find a close 
connexion. True, the verses which follow are very obscure, and it 
is possible that Lulu- has communicated them to us somewhat ab 
breviated. Perhaps, however, the Saviour spoke with intentional 
obscurity, since he could hardly hope to win over the Pharisees to 



LUKE XVI. 15-18. 73 

his side, and hence no! to make them s > deeply responsible, may 

Lave chosen to touch hut, incidentally upon the relation in which 

the Old Testament c. MM Uiiy (to which tin- 1 harisees belon^-d ex 
ternally, although they had no sympathy with its spirit) stood to 
tliat NYw Testament economy which was now unfolding it-eif be 
fore them. 

\\ T. 1-"). The very first verse of this dialogue is ohscurc in its 
connexion. The Saviour blames the Pharisees for their hypocrisy; they 
set themselves forth in the view of men as diKaiot, righteous (thKut<i 
cav-rovpi-xT] used here, in the legal sense, to represent one s self as 
a strict observer of the law), while in the view of God, who looks, 
not like men, on the external, but the spiritual (icapdia = aV), they 
are not so. In the concluding words the tyqkov, loft?/, hiyhly esteemed, 
is mentioned as the ground of this displeasure on the part of God : 
(EiSt ^vy/ia from /3(Jtw, to stink, the strongest expression for that which 
is displeasing to God ; it stands for n^n, and is used especially of 
idols. Yi/>77/loi also implies a reference to that which is idolatrous, 
which robs God of his glory, and gives it to self.) In its connexion 
with what precedes the discourse seems to relate to covetousness 
or attachment to earthly possessions, but neither to hypocrisy nor to 
pride. So even in ver. 15, there seems no connecting link between 
the first and second ideas between hypocrisy and pride. The ex 
planation of this difficulty lies in the more profound conception of 
avarice (faXapyvpia) as the root of all evil (1 Tim. vi. 10. Avarice, 
conceived generally as devotion to the perishable involves every evil. 
} . ecially and primarily in the case of the Pharisees, who bore an out 
ward spiritual character, and therefore seemed to cherish love for God, 
the Eternal, it involved hypocrisy. Over their love of gold they could 

the garb of careful zeal for God, i. e., for the temple. Yet 
with hypocrisy, was again necessarily connected a selfish pride, as 
it was their semblance of righteousness on which they founded their 
claims. Although, therefore, the expression TO iv dvOpurroic; wpTjMv, 
t Ifi ic/tich is exalted among men, is somewhat general, and denotes 
any form which pride may assume, yet it points primarily to that 
mos 11 - manifest at ion of it, Pharisaic selfishness, as exhibited 

in a iietitioiis serving of God, which, in his view, is idolatry. Hence 

"! i- to he regarded as contracted with ru-riruv : as the latter 
almie pleads ( Jed. vo the f<.nner olfnids Him (Luke xiv. 11). 

Ver. 16-18. The connexion of the folloui; -till more 

dillienlt. Matthew, in the Sermon on the Moiini (v. IS, 3-). Lives 
ver-es 17, IS, in a very ditl erent connexion. At Matth. xi. 1:2, how 
ever, th -iv occurs something like ver. 10, but alv> peculiarly con- 

:-d. Now, I cannot by any means bring myself to believe that 
these three venefl are reminiscences which the Evangelist was led to 
write down, merely because one word led him to another. Hitherto 



74 LUKE XVI. 16-18. 

we have found the closest connexion ; [?] and we cannot see why 
it should be so interrupted, since the strictest connexion reappears 
in what immediately follows. On the other side, however, it is also 
improbable that Matthew would have taken these three sentences 
out of this discourse, and interwoven them into a train of ideas so 
entirely different as that in which his gospel places them. Rather 
I believe that the expressions (uttered with intentional obscurity, 
and perhaps abridged by the narrator) are here indeed in their 
original position, but equally so in Matthew. They are of such a 
kind that they may easily have been repeated. As to the exposition 
of this difficult passage, I cannot in the first instance, agree with 
Paulus and Schleicrmacher, that the expression "highly esteemed 
among men," refers to Herod Antipas, and the allusion to marriage 
(ver. 18) points to his connexion with his brother s wife, which the 
venal Pharisees had allowed. For it is difficult to conceive that a 
fact so special should be referred to in this connexion, which neither 
before nor after contains the slightest allusion to it. Besides, there 
can hardly be an exposition more unfit than that which refers 
Iv dvOpuTToig vi/irjAov to Herod Antipas.* Mere earthly greatness 
cannot possibly as such be an abomination in the view of God ; the 
king may be conceived as ra-rretvo^, humble, and the beggar, iifjrjMg, 
lofty; the idea is correct only when taken spiritually. Still further, 
ver. 18 does not accord with history, for Herod s brother had not 
given to his wife her bill of divorce, but Herod had seduced her 
from him. The clause, therefore, 6 d-nokvuv K. r. A., he that divorces, 
&c., by no means agrees with the circumstances supposed to be re 
ferred to. Scarcely any other explanation of the passage (ver. 18) 
can suggest itself, except the following figurative one.f Verses 16 
and 17 set, in the first instance, the Old Testament economy (r6[tog 
KOL Trp6</>/Jra<) in its temporary and restricted duration (in which 
respect, as an institute preparatory to the New Testament, it ter 
minates with John the Baptist), over against its everlasting character 
(in which respect it is in a spiritual sense completed, and still sub 
sists in the New Testament) 4 Th reference to it under the former 
of these aspects announces to the Pharisees the approaching 
overthrow of that visible theocratic kingdom, for the support of 
which they wrought, and the issuing forth of a new and higher 
order of things, into which were pressing all susceptible and tender 
souls, especially the Publicans, whom the Pharisees despised. The 

* The /) in fyx. /rro/f is not to bo taken as moaning fv /itac-i TCJV uvOpuxur, but it is 
equivalent to eru-tnv r<> di Opij-uv (seo immediately before). In the same way we find 
at 1 Tim. iv. !.", o :r / > " fa iv TTUGI. 

| Tl : -fi tehecl. "\Ve escape the m-cessity, by assuming in this chapter simply 

a collection of i i utterances of tho Saviour, internally indeed, but 

not strictly 1- ideally 1-oiiin.M-ti-d. [ I 1 . 

\ Compare as t< " v. 17. 



LI-KK XVI. 16-18. 75 

second aspe.-t i.f it. which brings out into view the everlasting truth 
wrapt up in tin- la\v, sets In-fore them, on the one hand, the fact 
that they themselves as well as tlie Publicans, mi-lit find entrance 
into this new kingdom, whose future approach the Old Testament 
had already foretold ; and calls their attention, on the other, to the 
oircntnstance that this same economy on which, as on a sure foun 
dation, they were resting, pronounced on them a sentence of con-* 
dciimation, inasmuch as the laws of recompense, on which it was 
grounded (and which are of force also for the coming world), are 
eternal laws of God. (This is referred to in the following parable, 
at verses 29, 31, in which Moses and the prophets are described as a 
full and satisfying divine revelation, which leaves without excuse the 
man who does not make use of the law, or who arbitrarily casts off 
its authority.) The relation then in which men stand to the Divine 
law, which is binding on them, is viewed as a marriage ; and our 
Lord denies that there ought ever to be a wilful breaking up of such 
bonds. The man who does this, and from his own choice enters 
into another connexion, is guilty of spiritual adultery. Under this 
comparison our Lord sets forth at once the unfaithfulness of the 
Pharisees towards God, inasmuch as they loved mammon more than 
him ; and also their inability to enter into the new element of 
gospel life, as they vainly imagined they could, being persuaded that 
they were certainly members of the kingdom of God ; since such a 
transition required a deliverance from the law, which in their case 
did not exist. This figurative conception of the passage is assuredly 
less objectionable on the ground of its uncommonness (inasmuch as 
Paul at Rom. vii. 1, seq., describes under the same image the rela 
tion in which the soul stands to the law) than of the form in which 
the figure is here applied. This certainly furnishes ground of 
hesitation. For in that passage of Paul, the law is viewed as the 
hiishand and the soul as the wife ; here, however, the figure is re- 

1 : the law would be the wife, and the man who is connected 
with it, would bo the husband. And yet we may perhaps perceive 
why this mode of conceiving the figure is here adopted. For the 
tiling lure spoken of \\;is not so much the position of the soul under 
the law, of which the Apostle speaks, and hence exhibits the law 
as bearing authority, (as the husband), as the relation of the Phar- 
- bo ilic whole theocratic institutions of the Old Testament. In 
these the I l: in- ruling power (the Pharisees being taken 

l <>r the whole dominant priestly party), and hence the turn here 

i to the figure was adjusted to this mode of conceiving the 
relation. Adultery ( ), used to denote spiritual unfaithful- 

t i (iod. is founded on a figure, of speech s^> eomiu"ii that it 

Led no special mention. The id, -a that he wh <i - ue 

wife and joins himself to another, breaks his mar: nda 



76 LUKE XVI. 18, 19. 

here parallel with the serving of two masters (ver. 13.) Conduct 
of this kind is incompatible with that, oneness of the whole course 
of life which the true service of God demands. He who thus 
attempts to hold with both sides, necessarily falls under the sentence 
of the law, which iu this respect has its everlasting ivlribution, 
and still exhibits its power in the future world (ver. 29, 31). Another 
objection, however, to the figurative exposition of this passi-e lies 
in this, that while it gives meaning and force to the first half of the 
verse, -rrdg 6 d-oAvwv rrjv jvvalita avrov Kal yafi&v irepav /uof^em, he 
that divorces, &c., the second half 6 dTToXekvptvrjv drrb dvdpbc; 
fj,oi%EVt } he that marrieth her, &c., seems superfluous. But this 
second half also acquires relevancy, if we contemplate the Pharisees in 
their twofold false position. For their sin consisted not merely in 
their failing to hold the law in its abiding character and signiricancy 
(ver. 17), inasmuch as they loved money and goods more than God, 
but also in tliis, that the Old Testament economy in its perishable 
features, and thus their visible theocracy which was to them a source 
of wealth, they wished still to maintain when the time of its disso 
lution was at hand. That which God had loosed they wished still 
to regard as maintaining its binding power ; that which God had 
bound they wilfully unloosed ; and thus they were guilty of a 
double spiritual adultery. Their right course would have been to 
let themselves be set free by the Spirit of God from the ancient 
covenant, and then, with upright purpose, enter into the new Gos 
pel covenant, in which are still preserved the permanent features 
of the old economy. According to this view, the two halves of ver. 
18 correspond closely with the two preceding verses, and the whole 
idea is rendered complete. The following parable also thus acquires 
a close reference to what precedes in the parts which allinn that 
eternal validity of the law (ver. 29, 31), which the 1 ha: i 
looked. (As to the details of the verses, compare the remarks on 
the parallel passages at Matth. xi. 12, v. 18, 32.) 

Ver. 19. That ihafolloiving parable contains reference to the 
preceding one of the unjust steward is self-evident. For, as in the 
first an example was set before us shewing ho\v man mu>t. employ 
earthly possessions in the service of God, so is there here given the 
example of a rich man who applies his possessions merely to his <>\vn 
enjoyment. Intentionally he is represented not as vicious (TO < 
he is simply worldly-minded. In La/arus, on the other hand, there 

* Do AVctto s view of this parable is altogether perverted and wholly m -. Ho 

thinks that tho poor an i , apart from all moral desert, set over against each} 

other, and that it is m. untamed that only tho poor as such would bo saved, while the 
rich as such would be condemned. Hi>\v r.-i:i this gross error of the Ebionius be im 
puted to the I tures, and especially to Luke, who belonged to the (Jrntilo 
Christians? Von Meyer s exposition of this parable is heart-stirring as given in the 
Ll.itt. f. ln -h! Wiihrh., vol. vi. page 88, seqq. 



LUKE XVI. 19. 77 

is brought before 11- :i person i,f whom the rieh man mi^ht have 
made u-e for (lie promotion of liis heavenly infnv.-fs (Luke xvi. 9). 

Eere also tln-n is beneficence, warm-hearted love for the lirothren 
!i enjoined. Another point referred to in the parable, though 
.Irarly brought out, is of great importance as a connecting link 
with the preceding. In the conversation between the rich man and 
Abraham, it is distinctly stated that the former, as being an Israel 
ite (for which reason he calls Abraham his father, ver. 24, 27), con- . 
siders the latter as his natural helper and protector. The parable is 
designed to set forth the vanity of this confidence in their natural 
descent, which all the Pharisees cherished. For Abraham refers 
him to Moses and the prophets, (vcr. 16, 17), and condemns him 
through these. The jus talionis law of retribution on which rests 
the whole ancient economy, is brought forward by Abraham (ver. 25) 
to convince him of the justice of his sufferings. Moses, on whom 
the Pharisees rested their hopes, is thus brought forward to pro 
nounce their condemnation. (The parable is consequently a com 
mentary on John v. 45-47.) The parable, however, does not con 
clude at this point ; the rich man still, though abandoning himself 
to his own fate, appeals from righteousness to mercy, and asks that 
Lazarus should be sent to his brethren. Abraham, however, leaves 
them also to Moses and the prophets. It is here to be remarked, 
that what Abraham refuses, God in Christ has performed, so that 
in this parable we have at once a representation of the essential na 
ture of the law, and also an intimation that something was required 
which should go beyond it. In this respect we may see in Lazarus, 
whose resurrection the rich man longs for, a type of Christ, in whose 
resurrection his prayer was realized. That finally any special fact 
should have served as the foundation for this parable is scarcely 
probable; at least it is unnecessary to assume this, for there is no 
thing peculiar in its outward aspect poor men before the doors of 
rich men may be found everywhere. Hence also the name Adfcpog 
i- probably symbolical = it? VN, Eleazar, God-help, who finds help 
only in God. As the rich man then represents worldly feeling (not 
gross vice, for this man, who lived for pleasure, was obviously" capa 
ble (ver. 27) of nobler emotions), so is Lazarus the type of pious 
men who are divested of all temporal possessions. Hence, in so far 
M i. hrist belonged to that number, or rather represented in its per 
fection this complete poverty, in so far is the parable applicable to 
himself. But the relation of La/arus to Abraham, maintained in 
the parable, allows only this general application to Christ, unless 
we are ineliiu d to view Abraham as symbolically representing God 
the Father. While, therefore, in the first parable, a steward i- 
hibitcd in connexion witli the world and with those who are to re 
ceive him into everlasting habitations, the world, on the other hand. 



78 LUKK XVI. 20, 21. 

appears here in connexion with the needy pious thems -lv--. in such 
a way, however, as to show what was the right application of the 
doctrine given in the preceding parable. It is thus clear how nuu-h 
richer the sense of the narrative becomes when regarded as a 
parable, than as history. As a parable, it expresses the univcr*" 
relation of the pleasure-seeking world to the pious who have not 
where to lay their heads. (The account of the rich man contains 
merely the features of a pleasure-seeking worldling J&vdiivmM oc 
curs only at Luke viii. 27 Buaaof = yia, with which eo and ? are 
used as synonymous. It means fine cotton. Ilop^t-pa, like }*", 
denotes the colour, and that which is dyed with it.) 

Ver. 20, 21, In contrast with the rich man, Lazarus is described 
as wanting the most common necessaries he had not where to lay 
his head. (IIvAwv, the range of pillars enclosing the court of the 
palace through which the door opened into it. On V",Y ta j comp. 
Matth. xv. 29. Shut out from human society, he laid claim, along 
with the lower animals, merely to the crumbs that remained.) Nay, 
like Job, he was afflicted with disease, and covered with ulcers (tA7/). 
But no man attended to him or bound up his wounds the dogs 
licked them. ( ATTO/U^G) is found only in this passage. It does not 
appear that the expression can refer to the sympathy of the dogs, of 
which there is no indication in the context. The words denote 
rather the entire abandonment of him on the part of man : his 
wounds stand open and instead of human help, the dogs surround 
him. Their licking the wounds may denote their eagerness and 
greediness rather than their sympathy. Dogs bear in the Old and 
New Testament a character exclusively evil ; they never appear as 
the symbols of fidelity or even of kindliness.) That Lazarus repre 
sents at the same time a spiritual character of true piety and godly 
fear, is not expressly stated, but the connexion necessarily leads us 
to infer it. The parable also incidentally contradicts that Jewish 
prejudice, which the Pharisees especially cherished (and which the 
book of Job had formerly been written to refute), that the sufferings 
of individuals are the consequence and punishment of their own in 
dividual sins, and consequently that a sufferer can never represent 
one that fears God. All sufferings, even those of the pious, are 
certainly an evidence of the sin of the whole race. The saint does 
not withdraw himself from the consequences of this general sinful- 
ness, but accepts them with patience and childlik ,:tion, in 
that form in which God, for th perfecting of the individual and f 
the whole community, Foes it right to lay them on him. Sull ering 
thus appears in the hand of God as an advantage, a mean-<>f moral 
perfection; and IP.- whose etl orts are directed to avoiding all su lie ring 
here below, rivei himself up wholly to self-seeking, hanl-ns his 
heart against the wretched, whose sufferings might have awakened 



LUKI: XVI. 22-2G. 79 

him to sympathy, and BO deprives himself of the blessedness which 
consists in love. 

L!I , _ ."..-- Short, hut in the highest dag .iificnnt,i.s the 

delineation ..f the final issues in which these nppusii 1 cotinei in life 
terminate. Death, that severs all earthly ties, overtook, both, and 
thi ii \vas di.x-losed their essential characters. La/.arns, to whom no 
mortals had ministered, was born upwards by heavenly powers ; 
to the rich man they gave the last outward poinp of funeral ol 
quies, and deposited him in his grave. Thus, according to the prin 
ciple of retribution (ver. 25), their state appeared directly reversed, 
and with the measure the rich man had meted, it was measured to 
him again. (Matth. vii. 2.) As he had failed to comfort Lazarus, 
there was none^to comfort him in the hour of his sufferings. (Barr- 
reiv is also, by classic writers, construed with the genitive, but only 
in an intransitive sense. Here it is construed with vdarog in a trans 
itive sense.) 

Ver. 24-26. This exhibition of the entirely reversed relation of 
the two men, forms the subject of the following dialogue : the rich 
man who upon earth lived in daily sumptuousness and splendour, 
pleads now for an act of kindness to himself, which even Lazarus in 
his poverty had not needed to ask. (Karaijjvxw, to refresh, to cool, 
is not found elsewhere in the New Testament.) But, even this, ac 
cording to the inexorable law of retribution (eye for eye and tooth 
for tooth) is refused him ; he has received his reward (Matth. vi. 2). 
His earthly labours had brought him a rich earthly reward. But 
with the whole foundation of his labours, the reward itself sank 
down and perished. Besides this law of retaliation, there is also 
h -re brought to his mind the existing separation of the elements of 

I and evil which takes place at death. The npim?, separation, 
j Kl jim nt, puts an end to the mixture of good and evil which exists 
iu this present world, and like gathers itself to like, and finds pain 
or pleasure in the very presence of its kindred element. (Xdofjui, from 
\iiif<,>. in </<i/K , f<> Nttnti/ open, means gulf, abyss : it is found in the 
New Testament only in this passage. Eo-i ipiitrai, is fixed, implies 
a rel erenee to the lixed and unehangeable nature of this appoint 
ment. In the same way Hesiod ealls the space ZvOaOeol Ttr/jvef VTTO 

j / y-i/HM-T/. HH^n .inrat. \n his Tlieogonv, v. 740, a ya.) 

11. iv. however, arises the ditlieult <|ii< -t ion, how in that portion of 
the parable which extends beynd this present life, the figurative 
and the real stand connected with each other, a 4U. >ti<>n all the 
more uncertain, as purely didact i ;inj; the state of 

Minis between death and the resurrection are nt to be found in 
Sciiptniv. II"ldinu r to the general principle, that the ni"st earctnl 
OM is to he made <>! every feature in a parable, it appeu 1 
that the toll. i\\ in- are the true ideas to be dee! :a the ligur- 



80 LUKE XVI. 24-2G. 

ativo representation here given : 1st, That departed souls are assem 
bled together in one definite place. 2d, That they are separated 
from each other according to their fundamental diameters, into 
good and evil, but that they are mutually conscious of each other s 
state. 3d, That after death a transition from the good to the evil, 
or the reverse, is impossible. On the other hand we are to viev 
a parabolic representation, the dialogue which takes place, the por 
trayal of the suffering, and of the wished-for relief. The former, 
the dialogue, viz., is to be regarded as representing the living recip 
rocal action of our essential nature, the longing after deliverance on 
the one side, and the voice of the law on the other : the latter, as 
a sensible representation of analogous psychical experiences.* 

Rightly to understand, however, the whole delineation, we must 
above all keep clearly in view that it is not everlasting salvation or 
condemnation which is here described, but the middle state of de 
parted souls between death and the resurrection. The Bible knows 
not either the expression immortality of the soul (God is u ;i6vo^ 
KX,UV dOavamav, 1 Tim. vi. 1C), or the modern doctrine of immortality. 
It is the doctrine of the resurrection (avdo-aaL^) which gives its pe 
culiar colouring to the description of the state after death.f Down 
to the resurrection, the soul, stripped of its organ, is in an interme 
diate state, in which the experience of pain or of joy is regulated 
according to the moral condition of each individual, but that state 
is still one merely of transition, and not till the resurrection, and 
i 

* Compare the treatise (well worth perusal) by Beckers, "Communications from the 
most remarkable writings of past centuries, as to the state of the soul after death. 1 
Augsburg, 1835. 

f The overwhelming importance of the New Testament doctrine of the resurrection, 
and the new aspects under which it revealed a future life, may well have coloured the 
scriptural representations of the future existence of the soul, and thrown into the back 
ground the abstract truth of the soul s immortality. Yet the Scripture proofs that the 
soul has a natural existence independently of the body, if not very numerous, are per 
fectly decisive. " Fear not them that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul." (i While 
at home in the body we are absent from the Lord; we are willing rather to bo absent 
from the body, and to be present with the Lord." Again the parable before us, according 
to Olshausen himself, is express and decisive in its testimony. It represents the essen- 
tral man, the soul, as unaffected by the dissolution of the body, and entering immediately 
into a state of happiness or misery. It matters not then that the Bible does not know 
the phrase " immortality of the soul," when it so manifestly knows the thing ; and it is 
difficult to see what Olshausen means by the declaration that the Bible knows nothing 
of the modern doctrine of immortality. The modern advocates of immortality do not by 
any moans question, that iiifact, under the Divine arrangement, the .soul in its immortality 
will bo a:>- : a the body; they affirm no more than lies on the face of Scripture, 

that the soul is not dependent for its existence on the body; or rather, for this is the- 
real issue, that in.-n baa a spiritual nature, essentially different from his material. The 
declaration that God alone hath immortality, seems to imply simply, that God, unlike all 
created existences within our knowledge, is not subject to death. Man is not udararof, 
dcatld .-- ; he passes to immortality only through death (duvarof). God is not only im 
mortal (immortalis). but d.athk-;.-; (n l.n urof). [K. 



LUKI: XVI. 24-26. 81 

the Kfiifitc tfr\urij, does the filial dvi>iili take effect. The ducllitii; 
plaee of souls \vh--n iinelothed i roni tli- bdy is termed in the lan- 
gua. tv/r* = VIK, and with >]>- ial ivf.-renee to the 

sinful individiiiils who are found in this pla<-e, <) inaaog, yeevva, 0v- 
/.<//.-//, (//;//.v.s, (n-hcHnn or Jf<//, prison (Matth. xviii. 34 ; 1 Peter iii. 
18) ; while with reference to the pious it is styled /."/Tor \f3padfi,-\ 
-iil>di5eiaog, bosom of Abraham, paradise. (Luke xxiii. 43.) From 
tliis Tapa<Jet<7o<:, we must be careful to distinguish the upper Para 
dise, as the Rabbins term it, which is spoken of at 2 Cor. xii. 4 
(Compare Eisenmcnger s Etnd. Judeuth., vol. 2, p. 29G, f. 318). 
Although separated from each other (ver. 25), yet all departed souls, 
while awaiting the resurrection, are assembled together in this place, 
only in a different state of felt joy or suffering according as they 
have devoted themselves to good or evil, and in different gradations 
of feeling, according to the degree of their spiritual development. 
Even in the case of the pious, however, their stay in Sheol takes the 
form of lunging desire, inasmuch as union with the glorified body, is 
a condition necessary to their perfection.^ Hence are explained 
those expressions of the Old Testament, as to the residence in Shcol, 
the misunderstanding of which has led to the mistake that the Old 
Testament knows nothing of the soul s existence after death. It 
only brings this forward less frequently, because of the low grade of 
culture among the people, and, indeed, it could not, so long as the 
Saviour had not yet appeared, lead forward to living with the Lord 
in the heavenly world. For, faith in the Saviour leads the regener 
ate at once into his heavenly fellowship (John iii. 17 ; v. 24 ; vi. 40, 
47 ; xi. 25, 26 ; xii. 25 ; xiv. 2) in such a way, that the imperfec 
tion of their state in Shcol appears in the New Testament as over 
come. Those passages of Scripture (for example Matth. xii. 32 ; 1 
Pet. iii. 18 ; iv. 6) whose contents the church, in her doctrine as to 
the deseensus Christ i ad inferos, found occasion to embody in the 
very heart of her doctrinal system, speak of a return from the 0vAa^, 
j.rixnn (=Sheol, Hades), and of the possibility therein implied of 
sin heinj; 1 or^ivru /(,-, death. This representation can be con 
strued only >n the supposition of an intermediate state lasting till 

* As to the distinction between I Lidos an 1 Tartunn iruon^ tlio Greeks, see ! 

-c| h. ]>. <;il. sn[n), In tho narrative there given of the Armenian, 
;>rr.v-:. d the idea of tho ncc< - .ino ono should return from the (! 

order to assure tho living of the reality of the state after death. 

f The express!"! / is found only in this passage. It has n parallel in 

John i. 18, where the Son is described as 6 uv elf rbv nohirov rov irarpoc. Tho expres 
sion (scil., KO/.T. \ f 1p.) ia not drawn from the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jao> b (Matth. 
viii. 11), for this is not to bo conceived as taking place in the joyful abode of Hades, but 
in tho kingdom of God. It is better to take the expression as denoting figuratively the 
most intimate immediate union and fellowship. 

J "Bodiliness (Lcillichkeif) is tho end of tho work of God," says a Christian thinker; 
"without bodiliness there is no blessedness," exclaims another. 

VOL. II. 6 



82 LUKE XVI. 24-26. 

1 lie resurrection, after which there follows the last judgment (KP HJH; io~ 
,\. " " /), which presupposes an antecedent judgment. By this List judg 
ment evil men are wholly given over to condemnation, which is locally 
described by the terms Gehenna, or Abyss in a more restricted sense 
(/JIIVTJ TOV TTvpog, Rev. xx. 14, 15). In our parable, therefore, there 
is no possible reference to the everlasting condemnation of the rich 
man, inasmuch as the germ of love, and of faith in love, is clearly 
expressed in his words, and obviously the whole picture turns on a 
state of things antecedent to the resurrection, and the revelation 
of the Risen One. Abraham thus appears merely as an inhabitant 
of Paradise as- it exists in Hades, and as the representative of the 
law. According to it the rich man found himself in pain, but com 
passionate love might take pity on him, for its responding notes 
were not wanting in his heart. 

The distinction here drawn between Sheol and Gehenna* is 
essential to the understanding of many obscure passages. The an 
cient church, which firmly maintained the doctrine of the resurrec 
tion of the body, acknowledged this distinction without qualifica 
tion. It lies also at the foundation of the Rabbinical writings, 
(comp. Eisenmenger s Ent. Jud. vol. 2, sec 5, 6). And even in the 
Roman and Grecian mythology there are found representations 
losely allied to the Hades of the Old Testament (comp. Hesiod in 
the Theogony, v. 713, seqq. and Virgil in the ^Eneid, vi. ver. 540, 
seqq.) The rationalistic interpreters, who are less biassed by dog 
matic views (see Paulus on the passage), willingly recognize in the 
New Testament, also this mode of conception, drawing, it is true, 
from this the false inference that the Saviour and his apostles 
accommodated themselves to, or were entangled by, Jewish opinions. 
If, however, without suffering ourselves to be influenced by philo 
sophic or dogmatic opinions, we closely compare the doctrine of the 
New Testament as to the relation of the soul and the spirit, of the 
resurrection and the judgment, not only will the explanation which 
we have given of the soul s condition after death harmonize the vari 
ous modes of expression found in Scripture, but will solve many an 
* -nigma which with any explanation remains unintelligible. Espe 
cially does it explain the difference of the state into which souls 
depart at death, and more particularly in the case of those whose 
minds were undeveloped, and who had not come to a decision in 
favour either of good or evil, in their relation to blessedness or 
misery, f better than is allowed by the common view. The biblical 

* Compare John Frederick Yon Meyer s treatise on Hades. (Franf. 1810), and Bliitt 
f. h<">h. Waliih. ].;irt G, p. 222, seqq. 

f Thi.s ilortnnc as to an intermediate state of the soul after death must not be con 
founded with the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory. According to Roman Catholic 
irinciples, Purgatory refers only to believers who have not y< perfect holiness. 

Of such a purifying fire for the perfecting of believers, Scripture knows absolutely nothing. 



LUKI: XVI. 27-81. 83 

doctriiu ( .f an intermediate state, in which departed souls remain 
till tin 1 resurrect ion enables us to KG united in their destiny tin- GX- 
prexsiimis of the law s severity with the tendeni giving love. 

Y T. 1^7-31. In the concluding verses of this remarkable par 
our Lord makes the rich man present a petit inn in behalf of his 
brethren. In this prayer there is clearly expressed a loving remem 
brance of his brethren, as well as faith in the compassionate l..ve of 
God : both of which shew that in his soul there still remained 
"vnns which rendered him capable of entering into tlic kingdom of 
1 >ve. He merely had not cherished and developed it as he on 
to have done, and in the hour of his need became for the first time 
conscious of the truth. Upon this prayer being presented, Abra 
ham, who here appears as the representative of the law, sets be 
fore him the circumstance that they (the brethren) were in posses 
sion of the law, and that they might follow it. That which Abra 
ham left unfulfilled, Divine mercy, through Christ, earned into 
effect ; He returned from the dead that lie might win men and 
bring them to God. The prayer of this individual, therefore, may 
be viewed as the general voice of longing desire which met with its 
fulfilment in the resurrection of Christ. In reference to the Phari 
sees, the words taken in this way bear the following meaning : 
" Thus shall ye also long after that which ye are now refusing." 
The passage is closely related to Luke xiii. 35 ; Matth. xxiii. 39, 
when- the Pharisees are also exhibited as overcome by the Saviour. 
( Ttainly, however, Luke xvi. 31, d Mwfft wf KOI rwv Trpox^Twi OVK 
, ovde idv rig in veKpwv dvaar>j } TreiaOijcrovTcu, If they hear not 
and the prophets, etc., involves also a prophecy that many 
would refuse to believe in this miracle of love implied in his resur 
rection. Thus nothing could be more fitted to arrest the Pharisees 
than this parable. A son of Abraham, who knew Moses and the 
prophets, eomes after death, not to the gathering place of the 
fathers, but to the place of woe, where longings after aid manifest 
themselves in him. The Pharisees must have seen in all thisa pic 
ture of their own <hM.ni. The despised Lazarus, on the other hand 
(the representative ,,f publicans and sinners), whose sighs the rich 
man had never listen ! to, Caches the place of joy. and his assist 
ant !} ihe MI lie re r. Jn the same way shall ye such 
K as it were, the Ian. -.he parable. al-o seek help from tl 

(Sco on 1 < <>r. iii. 1!!.) In tiio 11: 

many ar>\ l nm i\ f.-ult of th- ir 

own. Min 

ing to it. 

* A* s j.-h ;i representative, Almiham mitrlit bo d< 

the [ liim A* a ihvrlliT iti I aivi lisi . into \\ li"- bosom all tho 

saints of tlio old T -t iTir-: .horn 

the Old Testament economy was most fully set forth. 



84 LUKE XVII. 1-4. 



here ye despise ; but even according to Moses, on whom your 
dependence is placed (John v. 45, seqq.), ye shall be refused. No 
thing can pity or aid you but grace, which repays evil, not with 
evil, but with good. 



18. CONCLUSION OF THE PARABOLIC DISCOURSES. 

(Luke xviL 1-10.) 

Ver. 1, 2. The commencement of this section points obviously 
back to xvi. 1, 14, and this at once makes it probable that a con 
nexion will not be wanting between what goes before and what fol 
lows. The opening sentences form most clearly a sequel to the 
reproof which had been addressed to the Pharisees. It is they who 
arc represented as giving offence, and preventing many from entering 
into the kingdom of God against them is the woe denounced, and the 
disciples are warned against them. The words are most appropriate 
as a conclusion of the discourse, inasmuch as our Lord, seeing that 
his earnest admonitions remained without effect, now gave up all 
efforts in their behalf, and abandoned them to their own perverted 
feelings. At Matth. xviii. 6, 7, the same ideas occur on the occa 
sion of Christ s placing a child in the midst of his disciples, only 
the order of the two verses is inverted. The contents, however, of 
both verses are such that we can easily suppose them to admit of 
more than one application. (As to the relation in which the verses 
stand to the connexion in Matthew, see the passage itself.) As 
respects the ideas expressed in the first verse (the detailed consider 
ation of which was not given in Matthew), there is indicated in an 
interesting way the relation subsisting between that necessity which 
regulates the progress of humanity as a whole, and the freedom 
possessed by individuals. For, the ground of the occurrence of 
offences (onavdaka) is to be sought, partly in the sin which exists, 
and partly in the necessity for advancing the church, which must, 
through this very opposition, be carried forward to perfection. 
Notwithstanding, however, the necessity for these offences on the 
one hand, yet this does not excuse the offender, inasmuch as evil 
can take effect in an individual only through the consent of his <>\vn 
will. The wondrous controlling providence of God which can bring 
good out of evil, is thus the only thing which can make the insinu 
ation of that evil intelligible as a means of progress, while it takes 
place without his active co-operation (JA.veKSen~6v = ddvvarov, comp. 
Matth. xviii. 7.) 

Ver. 3, 4. From the malicious temptation, however (of the 
Pharisees), our Lord distinguishes the sins of brethren (the Publi 
cans), arising from their weakness. As the former demands severe 



LUKE XVII. 5, 6. 85 

punishment, the latter calls for gentle reproof and continued 

forgiveness. AVhilc we must separate from tin- former that we may 
ii"t ourselves receive damage (Trpooexere iavrois), the latter must be 
kindly borne with. Kindred sentiments are found at Matth. xviii. 
15, "2 2 (where see the exposition), but these words also are of such 
i nature that there is nothing improbable in their frequent repeti 
tion. At both passages they may stand in their right connexion. 

Ver. 5. The connexion of what follows with the preceding con 
text seems more obscure. Schleiermacher (p. 213) thinks the 
formula "the apostles said to the Lord" (elnov ol drroaro^oi TU> nvpho) 
suspicious, as it does not occur elsewhere. But we can point out 
distinct grounds for its being chosen here. The more general term 
(paOrjTat, vcr. 1) was here to give place to the more special, and the 
aposlks were to be separated from the general mass of the disciples; 
consequently they must be expressly named. As to the term 6 kvptog, 
the Lord, as a special name for the Saviour, Luke, of all the- 
Evangelists, most frequently employs it (see on Matth. xvii. 4.) 
The only difficulty is the Trpoade^. ?}iuv mar iv, increase our faith, with 
which is connected (ver. 6) a representation of the power of faith. 
The Saviour s discourse is at all events abbreviated, but this being 
assumed, the train of thought may perhaps be pointed out. The 
foregoing admonitions to the apostles to set themselves right in 
regard to the Pharisees ami their weak brethren, naturally implied 
a call on them to walk worthily of their high vocation. From the 
feeling of difficulty then, there arose an earnest desire that they 
might bear within themselves in the fullest measure the principle of 
the Divine life, whose possession was their only security for being 
able to fulfil those admonitions, and hence arose the prayer " in 
crease our faith." 

Ver. G. Our Lord acknowledges the correctness and truth of 
this desire, in that lie s"ts forth the actings of faith, as that by 
which even the impossible is rendered possible. This passage also 
has its analogies at Matth. xvii. 20, and the frequent occurrence of 
these parallel passages from Matthew, makes the belief that we 
have here a union of elements of different discourses, such as 
und in the Sermon on the Mount, easily intelligible. But even 
granting this, there must, be here a species of connexion, for we 
cannot admit in any careful writer an incoherent aggregate ..) : 

-: and the whole character of Luke is against Midi a supposi 
tion, as clearly as that of Matthew is in favour of it. Especially in 
the report of this journey is there to be seen a remarkable example 
of the connected m,, r/ W !<>. s (not disOOUnes) of JesOS : and hence 
I believe that, everytoh /v, the original course of the dialogu has 
l en preserved, and the whole communicated in a form at i 
only abbreviated by Luke. The figure, moreover (compared with 



86 LUKE XVII. 7-10. 

Matth. xvii. 20), is somewhat modified. The act of planting in the 
ln-aviiig sea, like the overturning of the mountain in that passage, is 
the cnihlem of that which is impossible for human power, and 
for the laws of earthly development. Again, therefore, faith is 
viewed as a susceptibility for a higher principle of life. (^n;iintvog 
BTC;/, the well-known sycamore, which especially in Eygpt grows 
abundantly, and the wood of which was manufactured into mummy 
cases, comp. Gesenius in his Lex. sub. voc.) 

Ver. 7-10. After this recommendation of faith, which naturally 
includes the advice that they should earnestly care and strive for its 
Advancement, there follows a parabolic representation of the relation 
of the disciples to their Lord, which obviously grows out of the 
context in the following way. The prayer for faith indicates a certain 
mournful sense of the difficulty of the struggle awaiting them, and 
a longing after speedy rest and reward, forming the prevailing sen 
timent in the minds of the apostles. In reference to this, Jesus 
reminds them of the relation which they sustain ; it is that of 
servants (deOAot) to the master (iwof), and the business of a 
servant is to labour for the objects of his master, and in obedience 
to his will. This their labour, however, yields no merit; it is merely 
duty. True, it may seem that this view contradicts that given 
by Luke xii. S7, where it is said that our Lord will seat the faithful 
servants at table, and will himself serve them. The difference be 
tween these representations, however, is to be explained by the 
different points of view from which the Saviour speaks. Previously 
he spoke of the rewards of grace which blesses us more than we can 
ask or think. Here he brings to view the strictly legal aspects of 
the case, in order to call the attention of the disciples to their moral 
impurity. The lowly Son of Man, therefore, here appears as the 
ruler whom all must serve, and the parable brings home to the 
apostles, and through them to all the members of the church, the 
fact that man in the service of God can acquire no merit ; that his 
highest faithfulness is nothing but duty, and that, hence, his only 
ground of confidence is grace. ( Aporptav, ploughing, and rroifiaireir, 
tending slteep, figurative expressions for those spiritual labours to 
which, the apostles were called.) The Saviour intentionally makes 
choice of the relations of ordinary life, in which the servant after 
labouring must still wait upon his master. The //// \iifitv t^wv, /c <7- 
infj no <jr<itit>iil<>, is also intended accurately to characterize the 
servile relation. The closing sentiment assumes the form of a 
proverb, yet it is manifestly the living utterance of the soul. J .\\pelo$ 
occurs at Matth. xxv. 30 in a positive sense, denoting culpable, use- 
II.T" it. is rathrr ii^-d negatively ;is applicable to him who 
performs no (special) %pei . lnit only dues what is required of 

him, and can receive a reward therefore only through grace. It 



LUKE XVII. 11-20. 87 

involves so far the idea ol (he luimlJc (ra-m-uc), which, ill Scripture 
usage, implies the consciousness of our own want of merit in rela 
tion to the Divine Being. 



19. THE HEALING OF TEN LEPERS. 

(Lukoxvii. 11-19.) 

While we have hitherto been able to trace a close thread of con 
nexion, a new break obviously occurs at vcr. 11. Mention is again 
made of the journey to Jerusalem (comp. ix. 51), with the incidental 
remark, that the Saviour travelled through the midst of Samaria 
and Galilee. In respect, finally, to the description or account of 
tlfe place of the leper s return, the expression in vcr. 14, iytvero lv 
TU) vtrdyeiv avrovg tKaOapiaOtjoav, it came to pass as they went, they 
were cleansed, leaves no room for doubt that the cure was a sudden 
and remarkable one, that it caused instantly the return of the one 
leper, which is to be conceived of as happening in the village itself. 
(As to the narrative of the cure, see more detailed remarks on 
Matth. viii. 2.) In the gospel of Luke, this narrative has a special 
importance, for this reason, that the single grateful leper who forms 
the contrast to the nine ungrateful, was an dAAoyev/fc, foreigner. 
This occasion thus set forth the fact, that the heathen (to whom 
the Samaritans were nearly allied) were not excluded by the Saviour 
from the kingdom of God, but were called in some respects before 
the Jews. 

20. THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

(Luke xviL 20-37.) 

The preceding narrative of a cure is again followed by a con 
versation which extends down to xviii. 14,and in which we again 
t nice a close connexion. It re-embles the previous extended con- 
it ion (from xi\-. L>.-) onward) in this, that here also the Pharisees 
appear in contrast with the disciples (comp. xvii. li(). L^. . 57 ; xviii. 
1, 9). This section sustains an important relation to Matth. xxiv.. 
many of the passages of which are parallel to it. The much more 
close and marked connexion of the verses in the section before 
as well as the relation of this discourse of Christ to that i:i\ !! in 

* See Schlciermacher on Luke, page 217, seq. Only I cannot agree with him in 
thinking t ;. L xxiv. there is no connexion of anv kind; it is <>:ily more loose, 

and the whole i-.\ \iv.) 

The sections stand related to eadi other in the same way as in the Sermon on the Mount 



88 LUKE XVII. 20, 21. 

Luke xxi. (which obviously corresponds to the discourse in Matth. 
xxiv.) in this respect that both, though treating of the same theme, 
arc yet entirely apart, and do not in a single passage repeat each 
other ; and, finally, the general character of Matthew as a compiler, 
and of Luke as an exact narrator [?] all make it in the highest 
degree probable, that we have also the elements at Matth. xxiv. of 
various discourses, all relating to the manifestation of the kingdom 
of God, while here in Luke we have a discourse exactly (though only 
perhaps partially) recorded. The ideas themselves require to be 
considered in connexion with the general doctrine, concerning the 
final consummation of all things, which will be found at Matth. 
xxiv. Here we confine ourselves to pointing out the connexion in 
which the words stand in the narrative of Luke, and to the expla 
nation of such passages as are peculiar to this version of the dis 
course. 

Ver. 20, 21. Without particularly explaining the occasion, the 
Evangelist opens his narrative with a remark that the Pharisees 
had enquired of Jesus as to the time (-6-e, when}, of the coming of 
the kingdom. (Whether it was in the village itself, ver. 12, or in 
what other place, is not said.) The Saviour first deals with the curious 
and proud enquirers, and then subjoins (at ver. 22) instructions ad 
dressed to the disciples. Hence the brevity of Christ s remark (as 
Schleiermacher rightly says,loc. cit.)has here its genuine significancy. 
For the question " When cometh the kingdom of God ?" (TTO-C 
tpxerai ?/ ftaaueia rov Geo), obviously expresses not. merely the 
superficial views of the Pharisees, but their self-complacent ignor 
ance (xviii. 9). Themselves they regarded as sufficiently, by birth 
and theocratic position, constituted the legitimate subjects of the 
expected kingdom. And it therefore merely concerned them to 
ascertain the opinion of Jesus as to the time of its appearance. 
In opposition therefore to these materialistic views and hopes of the 
Pharisees, was to be brought forward the spiritual aspect of the king 
dom of God. This our Lord does by annihilating, in the first place, 
their expectations of a splendid manifestation. All of outward 
glory which the Pharisees had conceived as combined in the rearing 
of an earthly Messianic kingdom, is comprehensively expressed by 
the term TTapar?1pr]ai^, observation. (The expression is in the Xew 
Testament found only here ; it denotes literally the act of pcrc 
iny, of obscri in j ; and then, secondarily, every thing that ex< ! 
observation. At Exod. xii. 42, Aquila has rendered = ;~ by 
-apa-rjpTjOKtc.} In the second place, the Saviour withdraws the king 
dom of God wholly fn>m the local and phenomenal world, ovdt 
Kpovatv, I6ov a>(fr, ISov tKel } nor shall they say, lo here, lo there, and 
transfers it, finally, to the world of spirit (n r<>c n/wr tVr/r. /.s icithin 
you.) The expression trrof fmjr does not make the Pharisees 



LUKK XVII. 20-21. 89 

members of the kingdom of ( lod, but only sets before them the \>< 
bility of their being received into it, inasmuch as an internal and 
spiritual manifestation is made its universal criterion. The ex 
planation of tr-ur ri/<:>r, by "among you," which has IK-CII adopted 
imt only by 1 aulus, Fleck, Bornemann, bu! al.-o by Do \Yette, 
must he utterly rejected for this reason, that the clause so ondotBtood 
forms no contrast to the antecedent "lo here." The tn-ri, it, is no 
farther significant, than as indicating that the kingdom was at that 
moment existing in some of them. It may seem, however, that this 
ideal view of the kingdom of God is in contradiction to the following 
discourse (addressed to the disciples), in which the " day of the Son of 
Man," is referred to in such terms as represent it as an olitward fact 
producing outward effects. These effects, it is true, in so far as 
they wear an aspect of terror, form a counterpart to the " observa 
tion" anticipated by the Pharisees, and the coming of the Son 
of Man is represented as an instantaneous and overwhelming 
phenomenon, in contrast to the <!>&, here, and t /cet, there (ver. 21). 
Still, however, it remains true that the kingdom is here represented 
as external, while at ver. 21 it is styled within you. (Still more 
definitely do Matth. xxiv. and Luke xxi. represent the appearance 
of the kingdom as an external one.) Yet this twofold conception 
and portraiture of the manifested kingdom of God (see on Matth. iii. 2), 
present it tinder those two aspects which mutually complete each 
other. The kingdom of God shews itself as purely spiritual in its 
origin, and also external in its perfection. It appeared in its 
spiritual form, while Christ was present in his humiliation. And 
for this reason docs the Saviour bring before the Pharisees that 
aspect of it, in regard to which they were wholly mistaken. In its 
external manifestation shall the kingdom of God reveal itself, when 
Christ comes in his glory, and in this form does the Saviour partic 
ularly net it forth at Matth. xxiv. and Luke xxi. Here he brings 
forward the future revelation of the kingdom only in connexion with 
the fact, thai periods of suffering must precede it, and that the 
appearance of the Son of God himself will bring dismay upon a 
world entangled in the sensual pursuits of life. 

By this means would the disciples, on the one hand, be comforted 
amidst their approaching struggles, and an-iix-d to watchfulness, 
that they might encounter them in faith ; while, on the other side, 
the Pharisees would be impressed with the conviction that the 
manifestation of the kingdom did ii"t n<vc;irily carry with it any 
thing of a joyful nature to them ; but, on the contrary, would bring 
upon them destruction (as happened to those living in the time of 
Noah and L"0, unless they were enabled to acknowledge and em 
brace the kingdom of God in its spiritual and internal revelation, as 
it presented itself in the appearance of the suffering Son of Man. 



90 LUKE XVII. 26-36. 

Thus viewed, the following discourse has some tiling so perfect and 
complete in itself that one cannot doubt that the Saviour uttered it 
as found here, and that Matthew, according to his custom, rewrought 
its separate portions into that lengthened discourse, in which he 
brings together the disclosures of Jesus in regard to his second 
coming. Vers. 22-25 are all addressed in the first instance to the 
disciples. The Saviour in these words takes it for granted that they 
knew that the days of the Son of Man (the manifestation of the king 
dom of God taken in its ideal aspect) were already come, and merely 
points them to that dark hour which had yet to overtake them before 
the inward germ could reach its outward manifestation. Our Lord 
at the same time warns them against the dangers arising from a 
false worldly hope of the speedy appearance of the kingdom (16ov 
(L&, Idov IKEI) } inasmuch as he represents this appearance not as 
standing in connexion with individual persons, or classes of persons, 
but as an act of Divine Omnipotence, universally traceable and 
blending all that is akin to it into one great living unity. But pre 
vious to this revelation- of divinity in its glory by the Son of Man, 
his humiliation must take place (analogous passages to Luke xvii. 25 
are to be found at Matth. xvi. 21 ; xvii. 22 ; the idea was certainly 
expressed more than once by the Saviour in different forms), and in 
this way the contrast between his exaltation and humiliation is im 
pressively set forth. 

Ver. 26-30. In the following verses Jesus draws a parallel be 
tween the last and highest revelation of divinity, which presents 
itself as blessing the pious and punishing the godless, and two 
earlier partial occurrences of the same kind, and with an obvious 
reference to the Pharisees (who at ver. 20, are viewed as belonging 
to the world), he represents the position of the unbelieving world in 
relation to the former as the same which, according to the testi 
mony of history, took place in the latter instances. In their 
carnal security the manifestation of God was to them a day of 
destruction. 

\Yr. 31-36. To make the following admonition the more im 
pressive, the sudden breaking of that day, and the difficulty of 
standing its trial is, in the last verses delineated in sensible images, 
which, in part, are given also at Matth. xxiv., where the particulars 
may be compared. The reference to Lot s wile (ver. 32) implies the 
admonition that we betimes set ourselves free from dependence on 

* Tho mention of the night (ver. 34) forms no contradiction to tho mention of tho 
day (ver. 31); the expression stands merely in general for the point of time. Nor are 
we, with l>e \\Ytte. to think of the comparison which represents tho comin. 
as a thief in the night. Tho intention rather seems to bo merely to bring forward, 
;. diflVivnt in whieh various individuals find themselves similarly 

plae .. ther diverse, and this diversity is shewn by 

the decisive act which severs them. 



XVII. 37. 91 

all earthly things, and this is strikingly followed up (\vr. .",.",) 1<\- a 
call t self-denial. (This passage we already met with at Matth. x. 
39; it also is of such a kind that the very nature of (he circumstances 

lit cause it> repeated application. Its peculiar form at givtn 
in Luke must therefore be considered as afrec variation, such as the 
author oi a new characteristic saying constantly permits himself to 

i to his words. Matthew instead of the woyov7/<r of Luke, has 
n i j(ji avTijv. The term &oyovlv } which is found again in the New 

! amcnt only at Acts vii. 19, is the more .characteristic word ; it 
intimates that the self-denying effort which is naturally to be con 
ceived of as united to the creative spirit, which quickens and ani 
mates it, itself imparts the higher life. This mode of conception 
which transfers the positive and the negative at once to the subject 
himself, is elsewhere rare in Scripture. The explanation of faoyoveiv, 
by to keep alive, is to be rejected as an unworthy depreciation of a 
profound thought.) 

Ver. 37. Luke, who constantly gives us conversations rather 
than discourses, after this representation of the dissociating power 
of the day of the Son of Man, which loosens the nearest and closest 
bonds, and gathers everything into union with that which is con 
genial to it, makes the disciples enquire as to the where (~ov"). The 
characteristic nature of this question as well as of the Saviour s an 
swer (which Matthew has embodied into his context at xxiv. 28, 
without inserting the preceding question), attests the originality of 
the narrative as given by Luke ; for the disciples must be regarded 
as partly entangled by the prevailing views concerning the Mes 
sianic kingdom. The people of Israel were probably in their esti 
mation possessed of a legitimate title to membership in the kingdom 
of (Jod, simply by their descent from Abraham. As then the 
Saviour s representation did not appear suited to those who imme 
diately surrounded them, they asked after the Where? 9 probably 
thinking that the heathen world would be the theatre of the events 
described. The Saviour s answer, however, leads them back from 
the limited to the universal, inasmuch as he assigns moral and re 
ligious decay (-7<r>/m) as a ground of destruction. In so far, conse 
quently, as this corruption had seized on the people of Israel, they 
were exposed, like other sinners, to destruction. Only that which 
is living continues in union with the fountain of lite, and is hence 
capable of beiii 4 elevated into the higher sphere of existence which 
is prepared for it. (On the minuter details see Matth. xxiv. 28.) 

* By the comparison with Matth. xxiv. some havo been falsely led to take tho TOV 
nE"K in t!i" sense of quomodo. No distinct reference, however, to Judua nnd Jeru- 

lon, Where should :!! tlii-s take placoT 

j.riatc in tin. UK- itli o! The won! lows, 

of it- y detenni!. ing. 



92 LUKE XVHI. 1. 

21. ON THE EFFICACY OF PRAYER. 

(Lukexviii. 1-14.) 

That the following parable, which Luke alone records, stands 
closely connected with what precedes, admits of no doubt. The ex 
pression Zheye 6e not avrolg at once points clearly back to xvii. 22, 
37. The explanation of the parable, however (ver. 6, seqq.) con 
tains an express reference to the antecedent discourse on the trouble! 
which were to precede the Parousia. Intermediate remarks are 
meanwhile, in all probability, left out, and these would relate to 
the dangers of the last time, and the means by which they were to 
be avoided. (Comp. Schleiermacher, p. 219.) With this the circum 
stance that the Saviour here refers the disciples to prayer as the 
means by which to obtain God s protection and assistance against 
the evil world, very well agrees. As regards, however, the peculiar 
form of parable here selected by Christ, I refer to what was said in 
Matth. ix. 17. The Saviour s parables are sometimes set forth not 
under aspects of absolute, but of merely relative truth. Under the 
former God could never have been compared to an unjust judge 
(ffptr?) r?fc ddtKtag)) however much man may attempt to soften the 
severity of the expression. Regarded, however, from a subordinate 
and human point of view, the comparison has a depth of truth 
adapted to our experience in struggling with the difficulties of this 
earthly life. In descending, therefore, to this lower levcl^ the Sa 
viour gives to his parable a form which awakens our deepest sensibil 
ities, and thus moves the mind to active exertion. In its struggles 
with the world and with sin within and around it, while feeling 
abandoned by God (of which condition we have a picture in the case 
of Job), and left without earthly support or help, the soul resem 
bles a widow (\;?/pa), w ho in vain entreats the assistance of a wicked 
judge. But perseverance in prayer overcomes at last also the sever 
ity of heaven. (At Matth. xv. 22, seqq. Jesus appears under an 
aspect of similar severity.) 

Vcr. 1. In the New Testament prayer appears not as a bu- ; 
or a service tied to certain hours, but as the expression and condi 
tion of spiritual life, as breathing is of physical life. (Coinp. Luke 
xxi. 3G ; Kph. vi. 18; 1 Thess. v. 17.) Prayer, ii-Jnn ],,<>/>< /(</ of 
fered, therefore, is to be viewed not as an utterance of determinate 
formuljc, but as the rising of the inmost soul to God ; as a living 
and longing desire after the manifestations of Him ; as the breath 
of the inner man. The Saviour himself is to be regarded as experi 
encing this continual ilux and reflux of tin spiritual life (John i. 51; 
v. 19.) But just as in our Lord s life, though it formed one unceas- 



LUKE XVIII. 2-8. 93 

in-- prayer, there were not wanting seasons (see on Mark i. . )">) in 
which with special devotedne.-s lie poured out his h< art in supplica 
tion to his heavenly Father, so also praying nttcn//* i-(,rrore irpo- 
^nttm^ Joes not exclude certain seasons in the life of :i believer 
of heii:h!< lie.! pray. ! fulness, which finds expression in distinct words 
and direct address to God. But as the maintenance of spiritual 
life, in so far as it is seen continually assailed ly (he world, prcsnp- 
I " ->es a struggle, Jesus adds the exhortation that we do not faint in 
(his inward conflict. (The word tuiiaKetv belongs entirely t the 
phraseology of Paul, with which that of Luke is in some men 
connected. There is no ground whatever for referring the term, as 
Schleiermacher, p. 220, does, to worldly avocations and the right 
management of them ; it is to be connected with the rrdvrore Tr 



Vcr. 2-5. In apprehending the parable, everything depends on 
our not softening down the force of the expression Kpi-i}^ TT/$- ddiKiag, 
unjust judge, for ver. 7 so places God in contrast with this judge, 
that, from the fact of the widow having been heard by the latter, 
the conclusion is drawn that far more surely shall suffering believers 
be heard by God. There is implied also an intimation that, this appa 
rent injustice (ddticia) is still only a wise form in which his love is made 
manifest. (The formula Oebv pi (f>o,3ov!ievog, dvOpu-ov p.7j tv-perro/m-o^, 
not fearing God, nor regarding man, is the strongest expression for 
reckless depravity ; and yet even this may be overcome by persever 
ing prayer, although it satisfies the suppliant only to be rid of her 
importunities. EvrptTreaOat = revere ri, occurs again at Lake xx. 13; 
Matth. xxi. 37, al. freq.) Purposely there is also attributed to the 
judge, when at last, he formed the resolution to do justice to the 
persecuted widow (tudiKEiv means to administer, to exercise dinr), then 
to avenge, to punish), an impure motive. The love of justice does 
not move him, but his desire for ease (&a TO -xaptxeiv pot KO-OV) and 
the fear of her still farther troubling him. (The e/c reAof shews VTTO)- 
-tii~eiv as indicating the climax of urgent entreaty on the part of 
the persecuted widow. TTrwTm^etv occurs again only at 1 Cor. ix. 
27. It means literally to strike under the eye, then generally, to 
</i t:t!if, to oppress. The reading r-n-rni^j or \---t^ij vrro- 
is the Doric form of v^o-ti-^u is supported by a good many 
authorities. It docs not, however, yield an appropriate meaning, 
iuasmueh as it is a softer expression, meaning to press little or 
gently. Probably the term i--<.)-i<i~m appeared to the transcribers 
too s{ronu r an ex ; M applied to a widow, for which reason they 

substituted a milder word.) 

Ver. 6-8. The parable is follovf^d by a few words intended to 
apply it to existing circumstances. Obviously it was not the Sa 
viour s design to explain the individual features of the parable ; he 



94 LUKE XVIII. 6-8. 

speaks neither of the widow nor the adversary. The connexion, 
however, shews that the widow is the emblem of the persecuted 
church (Isa. liv. 1), and her enemy a symbol for the Prince of this 
world, in whom we see concentrated everything opposed t> the 
kingdom, and its development, which, under the guidance of God, 
must be carried forward till it reach perfection. Our Lord lays 
stress merely on the declaration of the judge, in contrast to whom 
are set forth the love and justice of God, in order that the very op 
position may bring out more impressively the truth that is to be 
taught. (The question in which the idea is embodied serves also 
to express it more strikingly ; it awakens a conviction of the truth 
in the mind of the hearer.) The tK^eicroi, elect (see as to them on 
Matth. xxii. 14) are mentioned as the object of the Divine care (K- 
dinrjotg with reference to ver. 4). These, down to the time when the 
Son of Man shall be revealed in glory (according to vii. 22, seqq). 
appear exposed to the assaults of sin on the part of the kingdom ot 
darkness, but they shall be delivered with a strong arm by the Lord 
at his appointed time, inasmuch as they continue in the faith, which 
finds its necessary expression in unceasing prayer (douv r^pag KOI 
wKTog = the 7rai>Tore, ver. 1). Tims it is not their continued sup 
plication which forms the condition of the avenging, but rather 
their having been elected. The elect are, in their very nature, the 
persevering believers whom their Father in heaven will unfailingly 
deliver. The assistance from on high is, however, expressly repre 
sented with reference to verse 4, as delayed according to the counsel 
of God. To the expression OVK ijOehrjaev Inl xpovov, he icould not for 
a time, the term paKpoOvfteiv, to suffer long, of ver. 7 stands parallel. 
(llttpofopefr corresponds commonly with lyn JJ-.N or ft:|j< ^pK in the 
sense of to bear ivitli long-suffering and patience. As applied to 
God, the expression takes for granted the relation in Avhich he stands 
to the sins of men. Here the only thing brought forward is the 
general idea of delay which is implied in the exercise of long-suffer 
ing. Still the choice of such an expression in this connexion is re 
markable. For, since the elect are to be conceived of as still belong 
ing to sinful humanity, and since the delay of their deliverance is 
not to be regarded as accidental, but as a thing intended, having 
for its object the purification of these very elect, the term naKpoOv- 
ndv thus acquires an exceedingly refined meaning.) With tl. 
Xp6vor } for a time, however, stands contrasted M- r<i\rr. sjHlihi, at 
ver. 8. It is best to explain the expression in such a way that the 
time of trial is supposed to bo past. " As soon as the object. <>f the 
sufferings has been gained, deliverance is immediately vouchsafed." 
This representation, finally, stands true as well in regard to the 
whole body as to each separate H; /H;-UC, inasmuch as the advancing 
development of the whole body is perfectly analogous to that of 



LUKE XVIII. 9. 95 

each individual member. Tin Himmoning ( f the individual from 
this lower Mvne is to him tin 1 nun in-- of tin- Lord. This comiirg of 
the Lord is spoken of in the concludin from ver. 8, onwards, 

in such a way that in it is consummated God s avenging of his peo 
ple. It is difficult to see, however, how the question expressive of 
douht, tl/xi n i>/ inn r//r -inriv Irrl r//f y/)f ; ti/m// //< ji/ul faith Oil the 

/ f is connected with the context. Should \ve translate the 
words, "will he find faith ?" that is will men believe him the 
would be altogether foreign to the connexion of the pas.-- 
the coming of the Son of Man WAS, at xvii. 24, described as 
lightning, a comparison intended to express the impossibility of mis 
taking it ; and besides, in the act of pronouncing the final sentence, 
the question is not, whether men believe him with whom they have 
to do to be the Judge. The use of the article (n]v TTIOTIV, which 
only a very few MSS. omit, and that for no other reason assuredly 
than because they mistook the meaning of the passage) points to 
another explanation of the words, " will the Son of Man find the 
(true, requisite) faith ?" This, however, would mean, Would there 
be any elect ? and thus it appears as if the Saviour himself repre 
sented the triumph of his whole work as a questionable thing, which 
is utterly inconceivable. If, however, we compare ch. xvii. 26, 28, 
and especially Matth. xxiv. 22, it would appear that the Saviour 
hereby meant to set forth in the most impressive way the necessity 
of earnest prayer, inasmuch as the number of the elect in compari 
son of those who perish (as in the case of Noah s and Lot s conteru- 

iries) would be very small, and even this small number would 
require special Divine support to render them victorious. Thus the 
doubtful inquiry after faith connects itself closely with the admoni 
tions in ver. 1, that ice ought always to pray (fclv Travrore Trpooev^eo- 
0ou), inasmuch as the greatness of the danger rendered obvious the 

-sity of careful effort. The faith therefore required by the 
Saviour is not a mere assent to the truth, that Jesus is the Saviour, 
for at his coming all would clearly recognize him as such ; but faith 
marks the leading characteristic of the mental state of all those 
who an- found enduring at the coming of the Lord, in so far as their 
hearts have received the inllin n<-e of the Spirit of(_ liri-t . and been 
transformed into his image. Where this kindred spirit does not 
pervade the innermost ivces>es of their character, they can n.-ver be 
inc -rporated into the kingdom, in which the Spirit of Christ is tho 
ruling element. 

Ver. 9. It is more ditlicult to point out the connexion betv 
the next parable and the preceding. At first si-lit certainly it 

:is that the description of those against whom the paraM 
directed (-:r-t>t<)n-K - -. >nr-nl<- un till dincuoi), agrees entirely with 
the Pharisees (xvii. 2<>); hut Schleiermacher rightly reminds us (p. 



96 LUKE XVIII. 10-12. 

221) that it contradicts the idea of a parable. t<> "bring before tho 
Pharisees the figure of a .Pharisee in a parabolic picture, lie con 
ceives, therefore, that it was some of tin 1 disciples themselves who 
had expressed themselves with undue forwardness, and whom the 
following parable was intended to reprove. If we suppose, however, 
that all the preceding context is connected together in the way 
Schleiermacher assumes, it would also seem inappropriate, for the 
purpose of rebuking the disciples, to borrow a figure in the parable 
from the Pharisees who were actually present (xvii. 20). Hence it 
seems to me improbable that this parable was originally spoken by 
our Lord in another connexion, but was here inserted by Luke with 
reference to the Pharisees who are pointed out at ver. 9 in a way too 
marked to be otherwise explained. Even though Jesus might there 
fore, in the original connexion in which the parable was spoken, 
have designed to rebuke some other persons, Luke might yet 
make use of it here to manifest the Saviour s feelings towards the 
Pharisees. 

Ver. 10-12. The scope of this parable once more implies (as 
was observed at Luke xv.) that there was to be ascribed to the 
Pharisee a SIKCUOOVVT), righteousness, in point of fact, but certainly 
one of a merely external, and legal kind ; to the publican, in point 
of fact, there is ascribed unrighteousness. For in this passage as in 
the former (k>c. citat.), the intention was to set forth the relation of 
the kingdom (which reveals itself to him who is penitent, and con 
scious of his many wants) to the situation of man under the law. 
The endeavour to view the law and to keep it in mere externals, 
may lead to self-love and self-righteousness, which banishes man 
more completely from God than does the transgression of the law, 
in the event of this awakening a longing after an atonement. A 
shameless and reckless state of mind certainly in which the trans 
gression of the law ends, where repentance and the felt need of an 
atonement are wanting, is worse than both. The representatives of 
these two mental tendencies, the self-loving, arrogant fulfillers of 
the law, and the humble transgressors of it, are viewed in the common 
connexion in which, while engaged in prayer, they stand towards 
God, and the ideas which in this relation suggest themselves to 
their minds, are taken as the exponents of their real mental nature. 
(The words Trpoajjv^ero -npbs iavrov correspond to the ^Va >)=. In 
the expression araOelg Trpoarjv^ero a reference is made to the old Jew 
ish practice to pray standing, 1 Kings viii. 22 ; 2 Chron. vi. 12 ; 
Mark xi. 25.) The first half of the prayer put into the mouth of 
the Pharisee might have been the real expression of pure piety, if 
the t{%Gprrd> ooi, I tlu>nk (hee, had implied a genuine acknowledg 
ment that his better moral state was the work of Divine grace, and 
hence that all the honour of it belonged to God ; but then such an 






LUKE XVIII. 13, 14. 97 

acknowledgment of what (Jod had done could never have been inado 
without SDH;. don of humiliation for his own unfaithfulness, 

which is ever ni">t clear! . ,l/.ed where (Jod works the most 

powerfully. It is in all cases the peculiar object of the law to work 
this knowledge of sin (f-iyvuois rfc dfiapTiuc), an object which must 
necessarily be attained in the case of all who are purilied. The im 
purity of the Pharisees who rested in the outer form, and n< 
entered into th; inner nature of the law s operations, draws, as a 
ivward from the keeping of the law, a self-sat islicd vanity a result 
which nothing but their impurity could have effected. Even the 
forms of Old Testament piety (the vrjorevav, fasting, duodena- 1 >r t \ 
}>">// //:/ fit/n-n, compare on Matth. xxiii. 23), which ought to lead the 
soul into hidden self-knowledge, and are designed to awaken the 
sense of poverty and humility, the feeling that man owes his all to 
God even these does this self-righteous spirit transform into the 
delusive works of its own fancied merit. But the more the amount 
of these accumulates, the deeper does man sink ; the only means of 
elevating himself is to cast off the burden, and exercise repentance 
even on account of these seeming good works. (As to the meaning 
of odpparov, week,, see on Matth. xxviii. 1.) 

Ver. 13. In this state of sincere repentance stands the publican 
whose outward appearance (he stands at a reverential distance, but 
not as a heathen, for he is to be regarded in every respect as on 
a footing with the Pharisee, and consequently as possessing 
the privileges of the law ; dares not look up, beats his breast as the 
symbol of pain, comp. Luke viii. 52) corresponds to that inward 
state, which linds expression in the prayer. Repentance and faith 
are combined in him, and he has given to him the elements of a 
new and more exalted life in the New Testament righteousness. 
The sinner (dfWfmdj6$) is nearer to the kingdom of God than is the 
righteous, tiiKaiof. 

\Vr. 14. On account of the foundation on which he thus stands, 
the publican is styled a Je&KtMo/itrof, justified, because along with 
repentance and faith there is given to him at the same time the 
titn> \ghteoiune88) which springs from them. Nothing but a 

total misunderstanding of the Saviour s meaning, however, can in 
terpret the words as implying that mere repentance is sufficient to 
ourattainingsalvatii.il. Hat her does our Lord intend, as at Luke 
xv., to set forth the fact that only susceptible souls like those of the 
publican are fitted for the reception of his benefits ; while the 
Pharisees, on the other hand, exclude themselves from these M 
ini;-s. Hence the maxim already explained by us at Luke xiv. 11, 
significantly conclude- the parable, in that it portrays alike the 
ruintus consequences of pride, and the blessed results of humility. 
(See also on Matth. xxiii. 12, and Acts x. 35.) 
VOL. II. 7 



98 MATTHEW XIX. 1. 



B. SECOND SECTION". 

COMMON ACCOUNT, BY THE THREE EVANGELISTS, OF THE LAST 
JOURNEY OF JESUS. 

(Matth. xix. 1 xx. 34; Mark x. 1-52; Luke xviii. 15 xix. 28.) 

In Luke the connexion extends (as we already observed on Luke 
ix. 51) down to xix. 48. From this point, however, we once more 
follow Matthew, who again comes forward as the leading narrator. 
That finally we had in Luke passed over to the account of Christ s 
last journey to Jerusalem is now most obvious, inasmuch as Mat 
thew s account leaves no room to doubt that he is referring to that 
last journey, while yet from this point onwards, he mainly agrees 
with Luke in the subject-matter of his narrative. In this section, 
the only thing peculiar to Luke is the history of Zacchams ; and 
he inserts also here (xix. 11, seq.) a parable which Matthew gives at 
a later period (xxv. 14, seq). As respects, however, the course of 
the narrative in Matthew, the connexion of this section is somewhat 
obscure, for it is difficult to determine whether or not in what fol 
lows the hand of the author is again to be traced, bringing together 
kindred materials. At first sight this does not seem to have been 
the case. The two following chapters seem to contain merely a train of 
separate incidents and discourses, without any connecting link to 
unite them. As Luke also gives much of what is here recorded, we 
might think that Matthew, when approaching the close of Christ s 
ministry, had kept to the course of the history, and narrated the 
incidents in their actual succession. But in opposition to this stands 
the fact, that in the following chapters down to xxv., the character 
of Matthew as a compiler so manifestly reappears that we can by 
no means say that he has adopted a new mode of treatment. Nor 
can we look upon this part of the work as an historic appendage 
(as we did chap. xiv. xvii.), inasmuch as the elements of discourse 
which precede it are too few. In general the historical matter em 
bodied in this section, appears in part so brief and incidental (as at 
Mutth. xix. 13-15 ; xx. 17-19) that we can scarcely concvive it to 
have been in this form the proper object of the narrative. Such 
superior prominence is again uiven to the discourses of Jesus, that 
we are tempted to regard the history as a mere subordinate ac 
companiment. In support of this view, we discover on a closer 
examination of the section, one general topic, the bringing out of 
which served for Matthew s guidance in arranging the material which 
it embodies. The historic points arc employed by the Evangelist 
simply that he may interweave into the advancing narrative the 



MATTH KW XIX. 1. 99 

id> a which he wishes l.i carry out ; they arc not in themselves the 
immediate object of his statements. The general topic r. f ri -d to, 
is obviously the assigning of tin- /v,y///.s7/r.v <l<-nKin<l< <l fr<>n( Ohri 

3, As the Jii-xf of these is mentioned deliverance 
from all earthly connexions and ties (marriage and riches): as the 
:l. humility, which rejoices in being able to do service to other-. 
These requisites demanded of the Messiah s genuine disciples arc 
not, however, presented in abstract form, but concretely in acts to 
which the descriptive discourses are subjoined. According to this 
view, therefore, the closest connexion appears to subsist betv> 
chap, xviii. and the two which follow (corap. the remarks on Matth. 
xviii. 1). In the former, namely, the character of the children of 
the kingdom, as we expressed ourselves, was delineated, and the for 
giveness of" erring brethren was above all things enjoined. The 
following set forth rather the relation in which the disciples stand 
to the temptations of the world, and demand the freeing one s self 
from them, as an essential requisite for the disciple of Jesus. 

1. ON MARRIAGE. 

[Matth. xix. 1-15; Mark x. 1-1G; Luke xviii. 16, 17.) 

As regards the commencement of this section (Matth. xix. 1, 2), 
the Evangelist, who is followed by Mark, touches briefly the journey 
of Jesus to Judea. That it is his last journey from Galilee to the Capi 
tal, which is spoken of, is shewn by comparing Matth. xx. 17, 29, with 
xxi. 1. The details of the Saviour s last journeys can, however, as 
was formerly remarked (on Luke ix. 51), be learned only from the 
narrative of John. All the less, therefore, owing to the great brevity 
of Matthew, ought we, from the words beyond the Jordan, to draw 
any conclusion as to the direction of the journey. Unquestionably 
Christ on leaving (ialilee might, in the first instance, take the direct 
mad through Samaria towards Jerusalem, and yet Matthew might 
refer to IVra-a. inasimieh as the Saviour, according to John xi. 54, 
au r ain travelled northward fn>m Jerusalem, and abode in Kphraim. 
Without distinguishing between the main journey and the shorter 

:ir>ioiis, Matthew might combine into a ringlt expression an 
allusion to his leaving (Jalilee. touching on Pera-a, and travelling to 
Judea. I- of. the wh-le mention of the journey is obviously en-ugh 
a mere formula of transition, as is shewn bv the subsequent expres 
sion, / /K, t/ni hji,,. \/m ->, / / <>i i; . r. / ., and the remark that 

is ciuvd many, instead of which Mark x. I. lias f,tn>/J,t. The 
loosely appended i lo^Wn/r, l>, i/nn<1 (In* ,l,-,lni. of Mat: 

iven i;i"ie deliniteiy by Mark, \\lio conjoins the */ rofl - />// rov 
lopddi-ov witli 



100 M MTHEW XIX. 3. 

Y<T. 3. On the occasion of a difficult question in controversy 
being put with an impure \ i> w < -Fipdfrv-ec; avror) Ly the Pharisees 
to our Lord, relative to the grounds of divorce, Matthew unfolds (in 
the words of Jesus) the New Testament idea of marriage, and j points 
out its relation to the ministers of the New Testament. This lead 
ing point in the narrative is omitted in Mark, who intends merely to 
give the naked fact, but afterwards records also the conversation, in 
a connexion however so transposed, as to make it obvious that the 
narrative appears in his gospel in a form decidedly less original than 
with Matthew. For, according to Mark, the Saviour refers the en 
quirers at once to Moses, who had permitted a bill of divorce to be 
given. The reason of this permission Jesus deduces from the sins 
of men, inasmuch as the idea of marriage implies no possibility 
of divorce. According to this way of presenting the mattet, it would 
appear as if the only question were, whether divorce should or 
should not be permitted (as is shewn also at Mark x. 2), while Mat 
thew takes it for granted, that according to the opinion of the en 
quirers, divorce was allowable, and makes them merely ask as to 
the conditions under which it should be permitted. (This is point 
ed to by the dtTokvaai Kara -naaav alriav, Matth. xix. 3.) This en 
quiry, w r hich arose most naturally from the circumstances of those 
times (while that of Mark was less appropriate to them), is most fit 
tingly followed in Matthew, by the declaration which stands equally 
in decisive opposition to both views, that there ought to be no di 
vorce ; and not until after their appeal to Moses, is the regulation 
which permitted it, shewn to have been occasioned solely by sin. We 
have here again an instance, shewing that Matthew, in respect to 
the essential thought, surpasses in originality Mark, whose power 
of perception is confined to things external. (The idea that these 
enquirers meant to refer to the marriage of Herod Antipas, within 
whose jurisdiction this incident may have occurred [although there 
is no indication whatever that it really did so], is, in my view, inad 
missible for this reason, that the Saviour would in that case have 
made shorter work with them. The enquiring Pharisees did not 
tempt our Saviour so much from malice as from the love of novelty ; 
they wished to see how Jesus would declare himself upon the cele 
brated Rabbinical controversy.) The form of the question as set 
forth by Matthew d K&OTIV dvOpuTru (is it a regulation valid for all 



* Deut. xxiv. 1, the putting away of the woman on account of nat n^n^ (literally 
"nakedness of any kind") is allowed. The school of Shammai, at the time of .! 
understood inn nil? literally of unbecoming attire, that of Ilillel figuratively, of every 
larc dislike. Christ opposes not merely the school of Ilillel, but op- 
-i to the letter of Deut, xxiv. 1 to the permission of divorce for every irrnny, the 
spirit, to wit: that divorce is absolutely unallowed, except where tlie other party has 
already by fornication (*(>, tin), i. <-., the actual carnal crime (not indeed by adultery 
as spiritually explained, Matth. v. 28), wickedly dissolved the marriage. [E. 



M ATT I IF. W XIX. 4-G. 101 



nidi ? comp. ver. ;T), u-/, n,n r^r - t rmlKin <; , -unar airinv } to 

jn/f utci i/ hi* iv if e for < r-i->/ ruttsi ) points to the expositions!) much 
emitested amoiiy; the Rabbins, of tin- words 12^ n:-i; in tin- passage 
Dent. xxiv. 1, in which Moses, in cases of divorce, commands the 
making out of a hill of divorce. The school of Hillel explained the 
words as meanin _ r . that when anything in his wife displeased a 1ms- 
hand, it should form a sufficient reason for his giving her up. The 
adherents of Rabhi Shammai took the expression in a more re 
stricted sense, as referring only to what in fact was scandalous and 
dishonourable (according to this view the LXX. render it ao%7//tov 
T / " """) I n the words Kfird mlaav alriav, for every cause (-Q--VD V?) 
there is expressed therefore that exposition of the Mosaic law which 
agrees with the opinions of Hillel s followers, and the question con- 
>e<|uently is so put as to request his opinion on the correctness of 
th"t view. The lawfulness of divorce itself (according to ver! 7) is 
taken for granted. 

Ver. 4-6. In replying to the question, Jesus takes no notice 
whatever of the conflicting expositions, but unfolds the original 
view of marriage as founded on the ideal relation of the sexes. In 
this tliere is necessarily implied the indissoluble nature of the bond, 
inasmuch as marriage, in its true import, was intended to be the 
union of man and woman, both in body and soul. Our Lord, with 
reference to this view, points the Pharisees to the sacred records of 
the Old Testament (whose Divine nature he manifestly confirms by 
thus using them), and refers first of all to Gen. i. 27. (The Hebrew 
words are given according to the LXX. ; the avrov^ corresponds to 
the crx. To the CT aptf^ Mark subjoins /crtaewo. He has undoubt 
edly. according to Gen. i. 1, understood the expression x^a i" 1 ** 1 :*, 
in the bc>/iin/in>/ God created, as applying to the whole act of crea 
tion, described in the first chapter, and hence he includes the crea 
tion of man, as forming an integral part of the whole work). Un 
doubtedly our Lord intended by mentioning the circumstance that 
man"/"/ woman were created at once, to intimate that they are 
therefore to be regarded as forming one competed, and fir this 
rea<on, indivisible unity, a truth expiv^ly st.it .-d at ver. 6. Thi^ 
reference to the Mosaic account of ma; ion, however, the 

ionr follows up by a formal quotation ffotfl < ; e>i. ii. ;jl, which 

. follows the LXX. (The mil n - T, and without doul 

be referred to the subject hefire mentioned. - irotrJ9ft$) /" l - ^ > > 
For, although ae ^nlin^ t-> th 1 narrative of G 10 i 11 

question are spoken by Adam, yet our Lord refert them ; < ; "I [as 
i-done.-dl through the Epistle to the Hebrew-]. ;i;Vl c..n\vtly, i 
far ;i^ lie is by Hi- Spirit prop--r!y the author and creator of Scrip 
ture, and the individuals who speak are to be r- ^arded men i 
the organs of his Spirit. Only on this supposition is there. l "ive in 



102 MATTHEW XIX. 4-6. 

the argument drawn from Adam s words. According to the con 
nexion this passa-v points also to the indissoluble nature of 
the marriage tie which the Lord opposes to the low views of it 
held by the Pharisees. Of such overpowering strength appears this 
bond that the closest ties of another kind (as those to parents) are 
dissolved by it. (In Adam s words the leaving of father and mother 
must be understood immediately of his descendants, to whom, under 
the feeling of his essential unity with his wife, he could transfer the 
same relation, feeling the consciousness that it was a universal 
attribute of humanity. The significant passage, Eph. v. 31, 32, is 
conceived from a still profounder view of the relation.) The pecu 
liar characteristic of the marriage tie, however, is set forth by the 
expression dvai et$ capita piav, being one flesh, which points back to 
the words tracts TOVTOV, for this reason (is-??), by which in the 
second chapter of Genesis ver. 24 stands connected with ver. 23. 
This bodily conformability (i2 -nta), is the condition of the at 
tractive power uniting man and woman ; and the peculiarity of 
marriage is shewn to consist in there being between the truly mar 
ried man and woman not only one spirit and one soul (\\hich is 
found also in other kinds of high relations) but also one flesh. Mar 
riage in its ideal form, as originally constituted, and as again restored 
by Christ, appears thus as an union of the entire nature of man in 
love, from wliich all union (which consists in giving and receiving) 
proceeds. It presupposes unity and conjunction of soul aad spirit, 
but has the bodily union of the sexes as its characteristic peculiarity 
an union which, on the one hand, indeed, is the lowest form of 
connexion, having its analogies in animal existence ; but, on the 
other hand, presupposing the blending of soul and spirit, is the very 
summit and flower of all union and communion, and for this very 
reason forms the condition of the continuance of the human raue. 
It is owing to the holy nature of this bodily union that it is to be 
considered as indissoluble, as one which man cannot, and which only 
God can dissever, and which the Omniscient does really dissever 
only in cases (according to the permission given in the Old Testa 
ment for divorce), where the union [has been already practically dis 
solved and annihilated by the guilt of one party a dissolution 
effected not, by i U I P: uncongeniality of character (for this can be 
overcome by the p*jwer of the new birth) but only where the moral 
. ure has consummated itself in actual adultery]. Besides this 
reference i [ , ; gc, however, founded primarily on the context, 

there is another point in it deserving of remark, on account of the 
peculiar expressions selected. For the words stand thus (in Matth. 
as well as in Mark) KIU taov-ai ol dvo el$ odpKa piar, and the two, etc. 
They contain thrivi .ire the most decisive declaration on the subject 
of iiiou igamy, which can alone be considered as in harmony with the 



MATTIII:\V XIX. 7-9. 103 

true idea of marriage. The permission of polygamy in the Old T 
tament can filly 1 r considered, like divorce, as a temporary relaxa 
tion on tlie part of C<>d. This declaration, iinally, is tlie more re 
markable, as it is given by our Lord himself (though in tin- words 
of the Old Testament) and is to be found only in the translation l 
the LXX. (the original Hebrew text runs thus, ins -,rs? -.-r-). A\Y 
have here, therefore, a new instance of this translation liein^ M 
use of, even where it differs from the original (see on this at Luke 
iv. 18). The view which these translators, owing to their correct 
perception of the Old Testament passage, introduced, is ac 
knowledged by the Saviour as right, and confirmed by his Divine 
authority. 

Ver. 7, 8. The Pharisess understood Jesus quite correctly as 
disallowing divorce in- every form (see on Matth. v. 31), and in op 
position, they put to him the question, how could Moses then have 
admitted of divorce ? The special question as to the cause of di 
vorce, they entirely depart from. On this our Lord informs them 
that this Divine ordinance in the Old Testament was rendered 
necessary by the cr/e/.T/po/cap& a, hardness of heart, of men. (In the 
Old Testament, at Ezek. iii. 7, the adjective OKhftKOcdptios occurs as 
equivalent to sV-rc^. S/cAT/pc^, oK^rjporjjg denotes, in the language 
of tlie New Testament, a state of insusceptibility for spiritual har 
mony or discord. From the blunted state of moral feeling, there 
fore, the Saviour deduces the permission given for divorce, which is 
a benefit, inasmuch as it often prevents greater sins). The possi 
bility of the, law s severity being thus relaxed by a God of holiness 
and of truth is easily explained, when we call to mind that sin has 
destroyed the ideal of the marriage relationship as a perfect union 
of spirit, soul, and body, so that the holiest marriage among sinful 
men can only be viewed as an approximation to this ideal. In so 
far, therefore, as every marriage connexion is but imperfect, wisdom 
requires provision for its posillc, dissolution, inasmuch as the out 
ward union of those who arc inwardly separate is only a delusion. 
The I Hvine law, therefore, does not contradict itself when in the Old 
Testament divorce is permitted, and in the New Testament is for 
bidden ; for, while this latter prohibition lias respect to true mar 
riage as corresponding to its ideal, tlie former permission refers to 
marriages such as are found in point of fact among sinful men, which 
cam" with them no real union, and for this very reason demand, 
among other preliminary suppositions, the possibility that the tie 
may be dissolved. 

Ver. 0. Here Matthew concludes the conversation with the 
Pharisees that he may subjoin the admonitions whir ad 

dressed to his disciples, and which he wished th in to lay to heart. 
Mark x. 10 relates very appropriately the circumstance that the dis- 



104 MATTHEW XIX. 9. 

ciplcs had commenced the following conversation when alone (lv -y 
okm), after withdrawing from the Pharisees. First, then, our Lord 
repeats the principle (already expressed at Matth. v. 32), that he 
who, after a separation, marries again, committeth adultery, and he 
who induces a divorced woman to enter anew into marriage, caus- 
eth her also to commit adultery. This principle stands obviously 
in close connexion with what goes before. For, since marriage is 
in its nature indissoluble, every new connexion entered into in 
conscience of a separation must be considered as adultery ; lie 
who wishes to separate must at least, after the separation, remain 
unmarried. In Mark x. 12 the idea is somewhat modified, in so far 
as the woman is represented as separating herself from the man, but 
this does not essentially alter the case. The only case our Lord ex- 
cepts is that of fornication, by which we are to understand here 
every kind of unlawful carnal intercourse on the part of a married 
person, the man as well as the woman. This forms an abolition, in 
point of fact, of the bodily unity of the married persons, and is 
therefore not so much a ground for their separation as the separation 
itself. Where this has taken place, therefore, a second marriage is 
permitted even by our Lord ; but whether this permission only ex 
tends to the innocent party is not clear. Undeniably, then, as was 
already remarked at Matth. v. 31, this passage forms the most im 
portant declaration by our Lord on the subject of marriage, since it 
does not here, as in the former instance, stand connected with com 
mandments, the literal carrying out of which is self-evidently im 
possible. Hence, therefore, it is easy to see how the marriage tie is 
held to be indissoluble in the Catholic Church. Not the less, how 
ever, had the Keformers a perfect right to act as they did in soften 
ing down this strictness, and refusing to cariy out exactly the ideal 
view of marriage as applicable to the visible church, many of the 
members of which were still living in the hardness of heart which 
belonged to the old dispensation. For, Jesus has never acted the 
part of a mere external lawgiver ; he has enacted no laws which, 
under all circumstances, must, to the very letter, be applied 
to the external relations of life, but his is an internal and spirit 
ual legislation. He who has not the Spirit, and does not live 
in Him, is not the man for whom the commandments of Christ 
were given ; he stands under the authority of Moses. The relaxa 
tion then made by Moses must be still in force in favour of such a 
man. As not a single other external law, however, has been given 
by Christ which admits of being at once, like the command, Thou 
shalt not steal, applied to politico-ecclesiastical relations, it is not 
probable that this would be done only in the case of marriage. 
That Jesus meant his words thus to apply to the spiritual Church, 



MATTHEW XIX. 10-14. 105 

nnd nut indiscriminately to tin- \i>il>le church, is shown clearly by 
what l ull"\\>. 

\Vr. 10, ll.-r-For, the disciples expressed their hesitation at 
these strict principles, obvioofily on the siij-, that in this 

sinful world one may easily be united in marriage with 8 }TS"ii 
I roni whom he might wish himself separated. To this the Saviour 
replies. All men cannot receive this saying, but they to whom it is 
given (ov irdv-eg %upovai rov Aoyov rovrov aAA olr Atfio-rut.) The 
/ !;(){ ovro<;, this saying, refers naturally to that which precedes, not 
to that which follows ; for the words otherwise contain no answer 
to the question. In that case, however, it is clear that Jesus had 
not intended to give utterance to any literal commandment, for 
that would have embraced all. These words have no meaning unless 
it be necessaiy to reach a particular spiritual standing-point before 
one can understand the way in which the command of Jesus is to be 
applied and acted on. (In ver. 10 alria } like rr.ai and causa, is to 
be understood as meaning " legal relation.") 

Ver. 12. There is a difficulty, however, in connecting the dot 
yap evvovxoc K. rX. : for there are eunuchs, etc., with the preceding. 
How does the remark as to the evvov%i&aOai, making one s self a 
eunuch, stand connected with the previous remarks on the indisso 
luble nature of marriage? So, doubtless, as to confirm the de 
claration of the apostle. Assuredly, says he, it is better not to 
marry : there is also a holy state in which man may continue as a 
eunuch (although eunuchs arc from of old the most despised of 
men. Sec Isaiah Ivi. 3), but it is not for every one to attempt 
it. It is only when man for the sake of God refrains from marriage 
that a blessing rests on it he gives up the prospect of earthly pos 
terity that he may have spiritual children. But in this case, also, our 
Lord gives no positive law. Without laying upon any one a bur 
densome yoke, he merely says " there are eunuchs," leaving it for 

. y individual to decide freely as he thinks right, and concludes 
his d with the declaration & dvvd{ievo$ %wpe Iv xupei-u, he that 

/.-> able, etc., which, taken in connexion with the preceding to whom 
if ! jt t tJi, must be understood as referring to a special work of 
grace, in this instance, namely, a ^lifitniin -r/Jf ty<paretof, grace of 
i . \\hi-li is not given to all. For this very reason, however, 
we have here n ,, ] ;l \v for all or lor any, such as the clergy, lor 
instance, hut the whole idea of th is rather to be explained 

. i., to which chapter we would rotor as a com 
mentary on this declaration of our Lord. 

Ver. 13, 14. As regards the following versos, and the ideas 
therein contained, comp. Mat th. xviii. 1, seq. The only question 
here is, whether we are to consider th >mpleto 

in itself. In Luke they are so obviously connected with xviii. 14, 



10G MATTHEW XIX. 16. 

that it is clear they are not recorded for their own sake, but on 
account of the antecedent idea which they are intended to explain. 
I understand the same to be the case with Matthew, although the 
connexion here is not so close, but the expression he that is able to 
receive it, let him receive it, agrees well with a reference to that state 
of mind in which the ability is most successfully maintained, and 
this is brought very clearly out by what follows. For entering into 
the kingdom of God, there is enjoined the child-like feeling which 
enables us most easily to discern the gifts which have been bestowed 
upon each, and consequently puts us in circumstances to fulfil our 
calling. In Mark, who omits those important words of Matthew 
which form the very link of the connexion, this little incident cer 
tainly does stand by itself as a complete whole, but all through this 
Evangelist we meet with a series of facts united by no common 
bond. Of that reference to infant baptism which it is so common 
to seek in this narrative, there is clearly not the slightest trace to 
be found. The Saviour sets the children before the apostles as sym 
bols of spiritual regeneration, and of the simple childlike feeling 
therein imparted. (But infant baptism stands connected with 
regeneration only in so far as we view it in combination with the 
personal and conscious reception of the Gospel an act which con 
firmation is intended to represent.) On the part of the parents, 
however, when they brought their children, there was evidently 
nothing more intended than to have a spiritual blessing bestowed 
upon them, and this the little ones received by the laying on of 
Christ s hands. Being conveyed to them through the accom 
panying prayer, it could not fail to exercise a beneficent spiritual 
influence. 

2. ON KICHES. 

(Matth. xix. 16 xx. 16; Mark x. 17-31 ; Luke xviii. 18-30.) 

The similar connexion in which this occurrence stands in all the 
three Evangelists, and its being followed in each by the same dis 
courses, makes it probable that it really belongs to this point 
in the history. The discourses, however, are evidently in this 
case also the principal object. In these, which merely rest upon 
the previously recorded narrative, we are taught the necessity of 
being set free from all earthly possessions as another requisite to our 
being fitted for the kingdom of God. By this reference in Matthew, 
the connexion is established with sufficient clearness. In Luke the 
narrative stands unconu<.vtod with what precedes, and is therefore 
to be considered as next in the order of those successive nar 

ratives ; be account of Christ s last journey. As respects, 

howeve; . 01 in which it is presented to us, we find Mark again 



M MTIII.W XIX. 1C, 17. 107 

even an unwonted power in depicting 1 lit 1 scone. (!! 
I hically the hastenim;- t >rward of the young man, vcr. 
17, the liking which JeBOB conceive I i .r him, as expre-u-d at vcr. 
21, and the impres-i\ e way in which, after liis retirement, the 
Saviour addressed his disciples, vcr. 24.) Matthew, on the other 
hand, presents in the discourses many-considerable peculiarities which 
display anew his skill in seizing and imparting what is essential. 
Yer. 1C. During the journey (Mark x. 17, iKTropevoptvov avrov 
"") there pressed forward an o/^wv, ruler (Luke xviii. 18, pro- 
bahly a young man of some noble family [Matth. xix. 22] who had 
been chosen president of the synagogue at some place not more partic 
ularly described) into the presence of Jesus, and asked him for 
.spiritual aid and instruction. That the zeal of this young man was 
pure, and the reverence he shewed for Jesus (yovvrreri joag avrov 
according to Mark) was well meant, is clearly seen both from the 
way in which Jesus treats him, and from the Saviour s own express 
declaration. (Comp. Mark x. 21). But the erroneous nature of his 
religious efforts is sufficiently shewn at once by the very question 
which he puts. Noble in disposition, and filled with ardour in the 
pursuit of what is good, he seems to have struggled after holiness 
and perfection in a legal manner ; but being destitute of all deeper 
insight into the nature of sin or of righteousness, these exertions 
only filled him with self-satisfaction, and he hoped through the 
-tancc of Christ, to attain in this a still higher advancement ; 
to have new tasks assigned him, that he might heap up for himself 
still greater spiritual possessions. The object of his efforts, described 
in general terms, he represents as eternal life, (yw// a/wwof), and he 
seemed to give it the pre-eminence over the life and the blessings of 
the present life (aluv ovrof); in reality, however, he was still cleav 
ing to the good things of this world, as was subsequently shewn. 
The address <MdnKu/.e dyaOe, good master, as well as the enquiry 
" What shall I do ?" are not in themselves of a captious kind, and 
may have proceeded (like the question Acts ii. 37) from a truly pen 
itential frame of mind. But the significant expression which 
Matthew has preserved to us ri dyaObv TTOII IOU ; What good thing 
shall I ;ys the inward perversion of his nature. Having 

no perception of the good in its true nature, he takes for granted in 
himself the possibility and the capacity of bringing forth something 
good from the treasure of his own heart, and he merely enquires as 
to the rt, wlat? To the good things heretofore performed and 
treasured by him, he wishes to add new forms of splendid piety. 
Probably he expected and hoped to have some kind of Mrict legal 
laid upon him, which it would have ilattered his pride 
to have performed in his own strength. 

. 17. "\Yith admirali i does our Lord treat this young 



108 MATTHEW XIX. 17. 

man. First he awakens in him a perception of the true nature of 
what is really good. The address of Jesus to the enquirer is given 
by the gospel history in a twofold Recension, but it admits of no 
doubt that in Matthew the reading ri (ie tpuruc -:?(>! rov dyaOov ; el<; 
ianv 6 dyaOoq, Why askcst thou me concerning that ivliicli is good ? 
One is the good, is the right one. For, in the first place, it is sup 
ported by very weighty authorities (B. D. L. many versions and 
Fathers) ; next it is the more difficult, and the reading ri fie Myets 
dyaOov might easily be taken from Mark and Luke. It is more 
difficult to determine which Kecension gives the Saviour s original 
expression. I consider the form of the question as given by Mat 
thew the original one, for according to it the Saviour s remark 
attaches itself most closely to the ri dyaObv 7rot7/<7w; What good tlin j 
shall I do 1 Still the ri (is heyeis dyaOov ; Why cU<-*f ilou me good ? 
contains an idea so peculiar, that assuredly it cannot have pro 
ceeded from tradition. To me, therefore, it appears most probable 
that of this conversation on the good we have, in the two Recen 
sions, only fragments preserved to us, but these sufficiently enable 
us to form a well-grounded opinion as to the contents of the conver 
sation. For, as regards the leading object of the discourse, according 
to the version of it in Matthew, it is evident that our Lord, by the 
remark ri t-pwraf K. r. A., means to awaken in the young man a 
conviction, that there sprang in his heart no fountain of good out 
of which he could produce, at will, whatever he chose ; that in 
general the dyaOov was not diverse nor manifold, but was in the 
highest sense, One, namely, God himself, the absolute good 
(av-oayaOov). This idea, rightly understood, carried with it an in 
timation that there was nothing good in him (unless perhaps hig 
higher vocation), and consequently an exhortation to repentance, 
and still farther, the information, that what is good is not to be 
found by heaping up work upon work, but by coming to God, who, 
as being the Good, imparts also to men all that is good when he 
gives them himself. According to the version given by Mark and 
Luke, we find, indeed, also in the Saviour s words the same reference 
to God as the source of all good, but we find in addition an impor 
tant hint as to the position in which the young man stood to Christ. 
It is the address diSdaicate dyaOc, good teacher, that is referred to in 
the question ri pe teyetg dyaOuv; wliy callest thou me good? The 
young man may have used the good as a mere phrase in order to 
introduce into his discourse a complimentary epithet. The uncon 
sciousness thus manifested Jesus reproves in these words, in order 
that he may lead him to an idea of that which is .truly go "d. For, 
that the enquirer only saw in Christ a mere (though indeed a distin 
guished! from whom he might acquire information of one 
kind or other, the Saviour perceived beyond a doubt, alike in the 



MATTHKW XIX. 18-20. 109 

linn, and in tin- eharaeter of the man ; but one having such 
riewi cpold not appropriately iue the epithet 00cL II- > this 

name, therefore, and refers him to Him who was <io. ,dnexs itself. 
But in this our Lord docs not deny that he himself is preei- -ly the 
u-nitur. </><>(?, inasinneh as the one true God n :: !f in him as 

his intake : but it was not fitting that this truth should l>e presented 
to the young man in a dogmatic form, but should develop* itself as 
a living n-ality from his own inward experience. Could lie have 
hern prevailed upon to exercise faith in the words of Jesus, as a 
revelation of the highest good, and could he have felt it his duty 
to abandon ah 1 in order to follow him (ver. 21), it would in that e 
have been made clear to him that this one God was not a being dis 
tant and inaccessible, before whom he had to adorn himself out 
wardly with good works, but was inexpressibly near to him inasmuch 
as he had essentially revealed himself to him by his Son, and in him 
by his Spirit. 

Without doubt the young man, owing to the impurity of his 
nature, did not understand the exalted ideas of the Saviour, and for 
this reason Jesus, in order more deeply to arrest him, refers him to 
the commandments (t-vroAat). (The particular forms in which the 
law (v6/iof) expressed itself.) That the Saviour connects the entrance 
into eternal life with the keeping of the commandments, is founded 
necessarily on the very nature of the law. (Comp. on John xii. 50, 
-f] tvToki] OEOV o>7) aiuvtog tariv). As the expression of the will of 
God, the fulfilling of it is the highest thing which includes all else. 
But precisely as being the will of the highest it demands perfect ftil- 
fillment (Gal. iii. 10, cursed is he who continueth not in all that is 
written in the law), and, consequently presupposes the possession of 
Divine power. As this is wanting in sinful man, the law becomes a 
curse to him (Rom. vii. 10, 11), and only in the case of the penitent 
is it transformed into a blessing, by working in them the knowledge 
of sin (Myvuatf ~T^ dftapriaf, Horn. iii. 20), and so awakening the 
felt need of redemption. For the very purpose of calling forth this 
feeling in him, Christ refers him to the law. 

Ver. 18-20. The young man, however, in his moral blindness, 
believes that he has kept the commandments. Boldly docs he make 
the boastful av. Aval, " all these have I kept" (~< ir-a rar-rn -//jr), 

and he even adds - lYum my youth" (KK veoT?]r6g pov). We must 
suppose at all events in him a certain external righteousi: 
there was manifest in him a moral striving. But, in the first place, 
he was entirely devoid of an insight. into the :piritual nature of the 
commandments (as developed in Matth. v.); and again there was 
wanting to him the true Old Testament righteousness (a- de^erilied 
at Luke i. G.) For this righteousness, had. as tin- companion, of 
earnest legal striving, a deep longing after holiness and perfeeti<>u. 



110 MATTIIKW XIX. 21, -22. 

which concentrated itself in the expectation of the Mi-ssi;. h, while 
in this young man there was exhibited a forward srlt -satisl action 
which led him to ask, What lack I yet ? (ri ! : rt rvrtpti ;) Matth. xix. 
20. (The Evangelists use great liberty in enumerating the com 
mandments. Matthew gives them more fully ; he has subjoined 
also the passage Lev. xix. 18. Mark x. 19 has comprehended the 
latter precepts of the Decalogue under the words p) d-xoarepriarft, 
defraud not. The term d-xoa-eptiv is used there in the sense of to 
rob, to appropriate what is another s, just as at 1 Cor. vi. 8, where 
it is conjoined with ddiKtiv.} 

Ver. 21, 22. After this declaration our Lord lays hold on the 
weak point of his character, in order to bring him to the conscious 
ness of his sins, and show him the way to perfection, to the posses 
sion of the true Good. According to the faithful representation of 
Mark, our Lord beheld him with a look of affectionate love 
(^JAc^o? avr& ffydTrrjoev aurdv); he recognized his noble vocation 
for the kingdom, which brought him up to the narrow gate, only 
his eyes were not yet opened so as to perceive the nature of sin and 
righteousness. When his eye was opened, however, by the hard 
demand made on him by our Lord, the hour of trial came upon the 
young man. The thing demanded was the free and determined 
choice of a course of earnest self-denial, and here, before his opened 
spiritual vision, there revealed itself (whence the sad sense of shame), 
the secret sin of his heart. The command of the d<; Oebg dyaOog, 
one good God, came home to his heart, but he loved the world more 
than God. Nevertheless, this treatment of the young man on the 
part of our Lord has its difficulties. It seems as if the demand 
made upon him. were too hard. Certainly it cannot be taken as a 
general requirement applicable to men in all circumstances ; for in 
the case of a person whose calling had not yet arisen above the Old 
Testament level, such a demand would have been inappropriate. 
Under the Old Testament, sacrifice symbolized the consecration of 
one s own possessions to God ; but in sacrifice the gift always ap 
pears as only partial, while Christ demands that the young man 
should give up his whole property (o<7ae%f according to Mark and 
Luke.) This young man evidently stood at the gate of tin 1 N 
Testament life, which the Saviour here opens to him ; but for 

* It were well to rend in connexion with this the golden treatise of the able and in 
genious Clement of Alexandria, Quis d M ir, which contains the most profound 
commentary on this narrative. On the words nu/.ijaov ri v-np\<n-ru ffov, he remarks, 
ri 6t TOVTO toriv ; oi x " Trpoxtlfjuf dfyovTai nrrr, TI,V r-upxovaav ofalOV Uirofifityat 
Ttpoaruaoet Kal uiroar^vai and rur xiiriuuruv a^/Ui TU Soyftara Trepl TUV x/ii/ituruv 
t^opiaai rr/f V w /t /f T7 ) r ~ F i> 1 OVTU nrolai /,-</} r ,no\>, rdf fteptflvaf ruf undrffar n>r .-tim; at 
rb anfp/ia 7% fw//r v. Oure yap /i it .1 f <l-";>Fiv 
XpHfiuTuv n% lx\ \oy<f> CuJyf. OVTU fiiv ytip uv fjoar n t /", r i f \nrrrf /jr/flap?/, uyvooCvrtf 
6 Qevv KCIL fiiKaicxruvqv Ofov, /car" avrb fjibvov rb unpd>c uiropelv ftanapiuraTot Kal 
"heararot (cap. xi). 



MATTHKW XIX. 21,22, 111 

the life in the new kingdom the surrender of all that is our own ia 
uni\ ;np. VIT. - -I, seq). The cdroumstaooe that the invitation 

to niter into the kingdom of (J oil was gi veil to this young man under 
the form of the injunction, "sell thy possessions" (rr^Xrjauv oov rd 
i-ufi^H-Tn), arose undoubtedly from this, that this man was humid 
to the world, principally through mammon, and therefore at his 
cut ranee into the kingdom this bond must be severed. If we call 
to mind the leading temptation of this young man involved in an 
other part of his character, he might possibly have been able to 
fulfil a commandment of this kind, to sell his goods, without gain 
ing anything by the act, for the advancement of his inner life ; nay, 
he mi- lit have bee,n injured by it, form s pride might have found 
support from it as from a work performed in his own strength. But, 
on the other hand, if the young man could have rendered obedience 
to this commandment of our Lord, he could only have been enabled 
to do so by the strength of God through faith ; for it was the main 
bond which kept him fettered. Irrespectively then of the particular 
form which this commandment assumes, it contains nothing beyond 
what is comprised in the general law given by Jesus to all his disci 
ples, " he who does not give up all for my sake, is not worthy of me ;" 
and although each is held in bondage by his own separate tie, yet is 
it incumbent on every one to sacrifice all things. In this command 
of our Lord, therefore, requiring the young man to sell his property, 
we are not to conceive of the external possession as standing apart 
from the inward love of it. Strictly the latter was to be mortified 
by the relinquishing of the former, and only in thus far is any im 
port anee to be attached to the external sacrifice. Again, the selling 
of his possessions is to be viewed as merely the one side of an act, 
which is only rendered complete by the following of Jesus conse 
quent thereon. The former is the negative (the deliverance from 
the world); the latter is the positive (union with the kingdom and 
its Lord.) Mark also (\. -2 1) immediately adds, upag ruv oravpov, 
tdki/t j up the, cross, as denoting continued perseverance in the fol 
lowing of Christ, and the difficulties which are connected with it. 
In the same way also the self-denial is not to be conceived of as a 
work standing by it-elf. Imt as deriving all its importance from this, 
that it is done lor th - sake of Jesus (ver -J!). It is when viewed in 
this li-ht al>o that the .-V ai ra^/^7, onr thiuy (/mil A/e/, < .< in the 
words of our Lord, first acquires its full meaning; for this one thing 
is nothing less than the crucifying of the whole old man (which in 
the case .if this youth existed in th" firm of attachment to riches), 
.ui l so likewise is the -ni-ru, (til (/i / /<</*, inasmuch as in this one 
thing all things arc included. The entrance into this one thin 
al-o the way to perfection (r^- datth. xix. 21), for this reason, 

that it can be trodden only in the strength of God, and man can 



112 MATTHEW XIX. 23, 24. 

become perfect and good only in this way, that the one perfect and 
good God make his heart his temple. (Comp. on Matth. v. 48.) 
The truth of Christ s words, that the new birth into eternal life 
consists in the giving up of all that is our own, and in the consecra 
tion of our whole property and possessions to him who is their 
Author, must have deeply impressed the young man. For, as Jesus 
had no outward authority over him, and as in the Old Tes 
tament law, no such requirement was anywhere to be found, it 
would seem that he might with a good conscience have refused it. 
But that he could not do. The Spirit who accompanied the words 
of Jesus had deeply penetrated his heart, had enlightened the dark 
ness within, had revealed to him the true (though hitherto entirely 
unknown) way of regeneration, and thus he felt himself bound by the 
power of the truth. But the chain which he bore was too heavy, 
he could not call forth within his heart that free determined choice 
of the narrow way, which is absolutely necessary, and the scarcely 
opened gate of Paradise closed itself again before his weeping eyes. 
Ver. 23, 24. Over the subsequent course of this young man s 
life, there is cast a veil. It is not impossible, however, that his 
sorrow may have changed subsequently into pure repentance, and 
that upon this ground he may afterwards have found deliverance 
from those bonds in which he lay as yet too firmly fettered. Our 
Lord, in the meantime, at once employs this impressive incident for 
the edification of his disciples, but not in such a way as to make 
the weakness of the young man the subject for scorn or rebuke, but 
to lay bare the similar state of feeling which existed in the hearts 
of many, and so lead them to humility. With warning looks sur 
veying the circle of his followers (rrept[3teipdiievo$, Mark x. 23), Jesus 
exclaims, dvoicohvg nhovoiog eloekevaerai d$ rip? fhunXetav ~&v oipav&v, 
hardly loill a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven. And as 
the disciples stand astonished, the Saviour once more repeats the 
same words with the strongest emphasis (according to Mark x. 24). 
Obviously the expression, -nXovmoc;, rich (according to Mark and Luke, 
X^a-a t%o>v), points back to the many possessions (/cr/^ara -oAAa) 
of the young man (ver. 22), but the additional clause of Mark, 
which more definitely defines it, " they who trust in riches" (rrerof- 
06-eg tit rolg xP 1 lt iamv )i points at once to the right interpretation. 
Clearly the difficulty of entering the kingdom of God cannot depend 
upon the riches or the possessions as such, for also absolute poverty 
admits of being viewed as a state that brings along with it manifold 

* If it had been merely money as such -which had kept him from entering the king 
dom of God Iliu idea would bo correct, that God might have set him free from it by a 
conthifrration or something of that nature. But the only thing that would avail was his 
inward ik-lh trance hi soul from earthly possessions, and the God who made mau a nature 
free, wishes also to have its free choice in favour of what is good. 



MATTHF.W XIX. 25,26. 113 

temjitati iis. (Sn- Malth. xiii. 2:!.) It understood im-rcly of ex 
ternal possessions, the .similitude here chosen would evidently be too 
stmng, for it denotes not so much the difficulty as the impossibility 
of the rich man. unless he previously becomes, in a spiritual sense, 

. entering into the kingdom of God. It is the state of mind, 
therefore, in which possessions are held, which the Saviour repre 
sents as being such a hindrance. Yet this is not to be viewed as con- 
lined merely to what is propeiiy avarice, %ut as including also the 

ailed legitimate appropriation of the good things of this world 
(coinp. on Luke xvi. 1, seq.) which is prevalent and permitted in the 
world, and regarded as the greatest good fortune. In the kingdom 
of God, every individual is merely a steward (okovdjuo?) of God, 
and therefore inwardly renounces all his own possessions, and con 
secrates them to God the only Lord. Hence the Saviour requires 
this inward renunciation as a condition of entering into the king 
dom of God. For this reason, however, at the same time, the idea 
of rich acquires a wider extension ; the beggar may be rich in 
desire and concupiscence, and the possessor of treasures may be 
poor (thus David is frequently in the Psalms called poor, as being 
TiTw^of TTvevpan, poor in spirit, set free from all the ties of posses 
sion and property, compare Kev. xxi. 24). He who is without money 
or goods may be " rich" in so-called good works, in knowledge, or 
art, or natural dispositions, if he appropriate such gifts to himself, 
and do not ascribe them to their Author. Eiches, however, what 
ever form they take, invariably act in the same way, inasmuch as 
they attach man to the world, in which things created assume to be 
separate and independent.: while in the kingdom of God this 
independence is cancelled, and all things ascribed to God. Where 
the ii inner is maintained, therefore, this union of life with God can 
not be realized. (^vonoXog, means, primarily, difficult to satisfy, 
then in general difficult. It is the opposite of evuo-rro^, without 
trmiltli . "*//. The ligure of /ra /i7?Aof, which is not to be confounded 
with A-./iuAoc, a rope, a ship s cable, is a common one in the East. 
Instead of the camel the elephant is also sometimes mentioned 
[compare Lightfoot and Schottgen on the passage]. Instead of 
rfti -ijiia Mark and Luke have r^/iy/nAm from rpvprj, a hole, an 
oj a in ij.) 

_ .">, 2G. It is evident that the disciples understood the dis 
course of our Lord in this more extended application. Their 
astonishment, and the thought, -\vlio then can he saved ? (rig upn 
dvvarai ouOrjvai), shew plainly that they regard every man in his 

* At tin- same time, however, it should not bo denied that a fulness of earthly bless 
ing carries with it pre-eminently the temptation to attach one s self to the world. In all 
cases, li"\v> - r, the fetter which peculiarly binds a man, must be sought for within him, 
and not in things external 

VOL. IL 8 



114 MATTHEW XIX. 27. 



natural slate as a TrAovafOf, rich, because of his inward attachment 
to earthly things. Were we to refer the question merely to those 
\\ho are outwardly rich, it would obviou>ly l<><e all its force. Ver. 
27 also shews that the disciples (although in ;i literal sense they 
were not rich) had recognized the giving up of all their property as a 
duty necessarily binding on them, whence we see that they under 
stood the idea in a spiritual sense. Accordingly, the question 
" Who then can be sa\$d ?" expresses a deep feeling of man s 
strong attachment to the creature, from which, of himself and by 
himself, he cannot set himself free (in the same way as at Rom. 
vii. 24), and for this very reason requires a deliverer. The exercise 
of this saving power on the part of God is referred to at ver. 26. 
Here our Lord recognizes the inability on the part of man (because 
the weakness of the flesh (daOeveta rT^ aop/coo) makes it impossible for 
him to fulfil the commandment to love God above all, Rom. viii. 3), 
but refers to the aid of the Almighty. This is to be considered, 
however, not as a thing manifesting itself ivitlwut a man, but as 
that which operates within him, for which reason the Travra dvvard 
Tapa TO) Oeai, all things are possible with God, is equivalent to the 
ndv-ra dvvara ma-evovn, all things are }}0ssible to him that bclieveth 
(comp. Mark ix. 23). 

Ver. 27. The new question of Peter appears at first sight not 
to agree with what precedes it. It must seem strange that after 
the disciples had just asked Who then can be saved ? they should 
now consider the difficulty to have been perfectly overcome in their 
own case. One would be tempted to conclude that Matthew had 
inserted here what was spoken at another time, did not Mark and 
Luke agree with him, and warrant our believing that we have here 
the original connexion. This connexion also admits of being per 
fectly defended, if we view the remark of Peter here (who again 
speaks as the representative of all the apostles) as the expression of 
his uncertainty as to whether they had in reality satisfied these dif 
ficult demands of the kingdom. Feeling that much yet remained 
within him of attachment to the creature, Peter mentions one act 
of his life similar to that which Christ had required of the young 
man. But whether this was enough, he, in the exercise of genuine 
repentance, remained uncertain. The words TL I HUV f-a-at ; iifliat 
shall be to us ? therefore are not to be understood as referring to a re 
ward, i nr Peter must otherwise be held to have been in a state of mind 
inwlu ch ver. 25 would be a 1 gelher inapplicable to him. and the an 
swer of Jesus also, ver. 28-30, wuuld be transformed into a reproof. 
Rather must we refer the words to the disciples state of mind in 
such a way that, their meaning shall be, " what shall fall to our lot, 
what shall befal or happen to us : wilt thou judge of us as of the 
young man, or does such a decisive act still remain to be done by 



MATTHEW XIX. 28. 115 

us ?" This stands most appropriately connected with what follows, 
inasmuch as ,!e<us, liy strong grounds of comfort removes that un 
certainty of the disciples which proceed -d from their ith- 
fulness, and assures them of this that they an- his. 

Yer. 28. Matthew gives in the most complete form those id-as 
through which Jesus ynparts this comfort to hi-; disciples, and in 
such a way that they closely correspond with the context. For, the 
Saviour speaks first of the special prerogatives bestowed upon the 
disciples as the first representatives of the kingdom of God in this 
new order of things, and then (ver. 29) passes over to all those who, 
for the sake of the kingdom, have given up every thing upon earth. 
Matthew alone has the first verse, in which the special prerogatives 
of the disciples are spoken of. We might believe that Luke had 
omitted the words because he considered them less intelligible to 
his heathen readers, as referring to views which were peculiarly Jew 
ish, if he had not also given them at xxii. 28, scqq. in another con 
nexion, but in such a way that we cannot conceive of their having 
been transferred from Luke into Matthew. The idea has its own 
peculiar place in both Evangelists. As regards the idea itself, ex 
pressed in ver. 28, it is in the first place remarkable that the Sa 
viour, without any special occasion, should have, of his own free 
movement, unfolded it to the disciples, and in this way should 
obviously have favoured their earthly prejudices concerning the Mes 
siah, contrary to his purpose, if he meant to deny the reality of their 
expectations. This is the more surprising, as the connexion here does 
not make this declaration at all necessary, for any kind of laudatory 
acknowledgment of the disciples faithful strivings would have been 
enough for them. Even the theory of accommodation, therefore, is 
here reduced to difficulties, and it is obvious that those act more 
simply who attribute the idea here expressed to Jesus himself, and 

j;nize him as participating in it. This opinion we must feel all 
the more inclined to adopt, inasmuch as in this passage there is ex- 
pressed nothing more than is found everywhere stated in the gos 
pels and apostolic writings. The rrnAtyyevea/a, regeneration, denotes 
merely the coming forth of the kingdom from its concealed and 
purely spiritual, into an external form, or the spirituali/ing of 
the outer w.irld from within (comp. the remarks on this at 
Matth. viii. 11 ; Luke xvii. -JO). The selection of the expression 

yyeveota, reg this has its origin in a nMe 

parallel between the \\h--lc and the individual. In the ] a- 
Titlis iii. f>, baptism (Aorr^or ~"/r ; nr^ ,/r) appears as the means 
which brings al>"iit the new birth of the individual. This moral 
process in the individual is transferred to the whole l"dy. which, 

* The recent attempts tocxjiliiii. .It it is if the 

simple meaning of the words bo given up. Corap. Fleck cle regno divino, p. 43G, seq. 



116 MATTHEW XIX. 28. 

worn out by sin, requires and looks forward to restoration not less 
than does the individual. This restoration naturally has its begin 
ning in the domain of conscious spirits, but as, in the progr 
advancement of the individual, it goes forward from the spirit to 
the final glorifying of the body (comp. Rom. viii. 11), so also the 
perfecting power of the Spirit gradually pervades the outward 
visible world taken as a whole. Without distinguishing the sepa 
rate stages, the term TraXiyyeveaia comprehends the whole in one 
general expression. Thus, as the Saviour s resurrection is pri 
marily a type prefiguring the final glorifying of our bodily organism, 
so is the resurrection of the flesh generally a type of the material 
world in its glorified condition, which is accurately described by 
Paul (Rom. viii. 18, scqq.), in strictly didactic discourse, but is in 
the New Testament taken for granted in the discourses of Jesus, 
and is at last, in Revelation, portrayed as present. Man, therefore, 
as a Microcosm, appears as an emblem prefiguring every stage of 
development in the Macrocosm, and as the development of indi 
vidual life is consummated only in the glorifying of the body, even so 
the glorifying agency of the Spirit reaches its climax only in per 
vading the material world. This rich idea the Saviour sets before 
his disciples, and with reference to their sacrificing of the present 
world, points them forward to the future into which they had already, 
in a spiritual sense, entered, by the giving up of their possessions, 
but into which they would yet visibly enter at his final manifes 
tation. In this state of things, the Saviour appears as the king, in 
asmuch as the kingdom therein realized is the whole sphere of life 
pervaded and ruled over by the Spirit and influence of Jesus. (Ka- 
Oi&tv im 0p6i>ov, sitting on a throne, is to be viewed as a symbolic 
expression for dominion. In the words Opovof tfo^, throne of glory, 
we may trace inasmuch as the thing spoken of is the manifesta 
tion of what is concealed [comp. Rom. viii. 18] that outward dis 
play of light and glory [analogous to the Hebrew 1*33] which en 
compasses every appearance of divinity. In the aluv ovrog, the tioja 
rov vlov rov dvOpuTrov is in its nature entirely spiritual.) 

Now, the fact that in this sovereign power of our Lord (i. c. a 
decisive spiritual power which authoritatively imposes terms see 
in regard to it on Matth. xx. 20), believers are set forth as partak 
ing, is merely the general idea of the Christian system, according 
to which nothing which exists in the Saviour lies enviously shut up 
in him, but just as in him Divine love appears as the perfect com 
munication of itself, so the Redeemer imparts himself with the 
whole fulness of his gifts to his church as his body. Hence, as his 
people share his sufferings, so also his glory. (Rom. viii. 17, ovfiTrdo- 
%onev Iva Kal avvdo^aaOcj^ev ; comp. also 2 Tim. ii. 20.) Naturally, 
therefore, this applies even to his disciples generally, but it has a 



MATTHEW XIX. 29. 117 

more special reference to the apostles. As the representatives of 
the twelve trilics (romp. M;ittli. x. i2), they received most directly 
and purely into their souls that spiritual element flowing forth into 
humanity (and primarily among the people of Israel), which Jesus 
brought down to the earth, in such a manner that they themselves 
became in turn gushing fountains of eternal life (John iv. 14), with 
which they rendered a world fruitful. Hence they most completely 
partook of the character of Jesus, as King, and that is the s< 
of the symbolical expression, that they were to sit on twelve thrones 
(as subordinate rulers) surrounding the throne of the Lord. (Comp. 
on Kev. iv. 4 ; xxi. 14.) Finally, there is also ascribed to the 
apostles, as the representatives of the church generally, KQIVEIV, 
judging (a special manifestation of the general expression dominion). 
This also is at 1 Cor. vi. 2 ascribed to the whole church as such, in 
asmuch as through the Spirit of the Lord which pervades it, there 
is given to it at the same time the power of discernment in its own 
real nature, and so of separating and sifting. As the church already 
uses this gift of the Spirit in the office of the keys (comp. on Hatth. 
xvi. 19), so, upon being itself made perfect at its final manifestation, 
does it exercise this gift in a perfect sense in the same office. Thus 
we must say, that at- t)ie foundation of the whole of this peculiar 
train of thought, there lie Jewish ideas as to the course of the world s 
development, and the place which the twelve tribes hold in regard 
to mankind ; views, however, which at the same time perfectly cor 
respond to the arrangements of eternal wisdom, and are supported 
by the mode in which these things are everywhere conceived and 
set forth in Scripture. Only we must be careful that the gross and 
material conception of these ideas by high and low among the Jew- 
is! i people, be not confounded with the ideas themselves* ideas 
which obviously penetrate with equal depth and power into the 
whole world of thought. 

Yer. 29. From the special, the Saviour passes over to the gen 
eral, and states that not merely they (the apostles), but every one 
who renounces the world, will receive his fuoOog, reward, (Matth. v. 
12). On the idea of Christian self-denial, and of self-denial for the 
sake of Jesus (in which way alone it becomes Christian), see more 
particularly at Matth. x. 87, aeqq. (Instead of f< nvuuaro^ 

* This was the m i laso (Life of Jesus, 2d edit. p. 84, scqq.) Ho linds in this 

an indiration tl. , -Her period of his ministry, had partk-ipau-d in tlio 

.vliicli generally prevail , 1 :IIIK>:I^ th > .Fe-.vs regarding the Mes-iah and his 
kingdom. This, however, by no means follows from the- passage before us, and ju- 
littlu from the immediately succ. nent. tliat tin houses 

and lands an hundred fold. : ! one, but ; 

itual ; 111- ii in 

-;>irit of Clr .rich as tin- \ con 

sists in the abolition of all exclusive possessions on the part of the individual, and the 
giving of the whole to 



118 MATTHEW XIX. 30. 

"latth. has t/wu. "Ovo/m =eij, name, is put for the person him- 
self in his proper individuality. Luke has ti CKt-v rfc (3aoi)(.eia$ rov 
Qeov, for the sake of the kingdom of God, as Mark has also added 
KVEKEV rov evayyeAtov^for the sake of the Gospel, which in so far is 
identical with K/WV, of me, as in the person of the Saviour, the gos 
pel and the kingdom are represented in a living form, and as it is 
only by the power which proceeds from his person that the king 
dom is founded apart from or without him.) The idea of recom 
pense briefly alluded to by Matthew, Mark gives in a very enlarged 
form an uncommon circumstance with him ; for even when he gives 
the substance of Christ s discourses, he usually abridges them. 
Luke has already embodied in the discourse the contrast between 
the present time (j;aipo<; cwrof), and the coming age (aluv tyxfaevotyl 
Murk, however, enumerates all the individual details of the recom 
pense. Wo may call this enumeration a commentary on 1 Tim. 
iv. 8. Even in this present life on earth true piety bears within 
itself its own rc\vard. Especially the giving up of all one s own pos 
sessions to the general community is but the reacquisition of the 
whole for the individual (So that in this sense also it is true " all 
things are yours," 1 Cor. iii. 21, 22.) In the church of God, as a 
kingdom which is in the course of gradual development, the be 
liever, through true heart-fellowship and brotherly communion, re 
ceives back what he lost through the sin which is in that world 
from which he judicially separated himself (1 Cor. i. 31) receives 
it indeed in a higher measure (tuarovraTTXaaiova, Luke has iroAAa- 
TrAacrtova). (Comp. as to aiuv ovrog and t p^o^evof on Matth. xii. 31.) 
The addition //era diuyp&v, with persecutions, by Mark is peculiar 
to him alone. (The reading diuynov is assuredly an alteration made 
to remove the difficulty.) Certainly, therefore, the simplest view 
which it remains for us to take of these words, is to regard them as 
added to the discourse, in order to represent the joys of the pres 
ent state even in this form of brotherly Christian love, as in many 
ways troubled and disturbed, and in this way to set forth the ever 
lasting life as the untroubled and peaceful state of being. For, the 
church in which the individual believer already receives back even 
outwardly what he gave up, is never on earth free from persecution, 
until the aluv peMuw, future age comes, and with it Xhe kingdom. 
Thus tho whole statement, being transferred to the present state of 
things as existing in the world, has no reference whatever to the 
hopes set bei- , the Apocalypse. 

Yer. 30. Matthew and Mark conclude the conversation with a 

well-known axiom, which iii Matthew forms the transition to the 

following paralilf of th- Lab .Hirers in the Vineyard. Apart from 

!o, which (xx. 1 i ;i;ain concludes with the same axiom, 

standing at the close of the conversation, as Mark gives 



MATTHEW XX. 1, 2. 



119 



them contain something very obscure, so that here again Matthew 
appears the more exact narrator of the discourses of Jesus. It is 
i-triking to mark the different forms in which the apothegm app 
at the commencement and close of the parable. It runs, 



Matth. xix. 30, and 
Mark x. 31. 



oovrat 



Ka 



Matth. xx. 16. 

toovrai ol tcr^arot TrpJJTOf, nai ol 
to^aroi. 



The first form (Matth. xix. 30) is also analogous to the expression 
at Luke xiii. 30, tlolv eo^a-rot, ol toovrai -npuroi not elal TrpoJro?, ol rov- 
For the distinction of the thouht in the two cases is 



rai 



this : according to the first form of the apothegm there are some in 
both the classes (the ~QU>TOI and the t-ox ar01 ) who are represented as 
passing from the one to the other. According to the second form, 
however, all (the article ol to^arof, ol -np&rot is not to be overlooked) 
are set forth as belonging to the class opposite their own. On closer 
examination, however, this difference of form in the apothegm is 
found to be only in appearance, inasmuch as at Matth. xx. 16, the 
article does not refer to the Trpwreu and Ka^aroi as such, but to the 
TroAAot, who are described (xix. 30) as existing among them. And 
in this very thing the connexion of the passage is sufficiently indi 
cated, for Matth. xx. 20, seqq. sufficiently shews in what way tne 
passage, Matth. xix. 28, might be understood, by the disciples, in 
asmuch as the old man in them belonging to the " world" was by 
no means entirely destroyed, and they therefore interpreted the 
privileges and prerogatives after a carnal manner. For this reason 
the Saviour brings forward the circumstance, that along with them 
(the TrpoJTOf), others called at a later period (SoxaTot) would receive 
an equal reward, and by this reference warns them against feelings 
of envy and self-seeking. We are not to think of Judas or other 
(still remoter) apostates. Since the following parable does not re 
present the first labourers as unfaithful, for which reason they re 
ceived their full reward. 

Mat tli. xx. 1, 2. The immediate object of the following para 
ble, therefore, as the connexion shews, is unquestionably this, that 
the apostles might be taught how their earlier calling of itself con 
ferred on them no peculiar prerogative, and how fchose faithful 
labourers in the kingdom of (l.-d who were called at a later period. 
might be placed on an equal foMtin^ with tln ia according to the 
free and unconditional award of Divine grace. These doctrinal nar 
ratives of JesiH, however, are like many-sided precious stones, cut 

* On Matth. xx. i. s< . Wilko iu Winer s journal, fur wis- 

Bcnsch. Thool. Sulzbach. l^ . . I .ir: i. p. 71-103. 



120 MATTHEW XX. 3-7. 

so as to rust their lustre in more than one direction. As we already 
re-marked that at Luke xiii. 30, the apothegm with which our para 
ble begins and ends, refers to the connexion subsisting between the 
Jews and heathen, so this parable may in like manner denote the 
relationship in which the heathen, as being called at a later period 
into the kingdom of God, stood to the Jews as the first called. 
And although primarily it refers to the teachers, it is true also in 
regard to every member of the church, and is universally applicable 
wheresoever aft earlier call in the days of youth co-exists along with 
the calling of others at the latest period of life. But while it ap 
plies to those who live contemporaneously in the kingdom of God, 
it refers no less to those who live at successive periods in the history 
of the church, inasmuch as the earliest years of the church s 
development involved the greatest hardships, owing to the fiercer 
hostility of the world, and subsequent generations consequently 
enjoy a relief through the toils of their predecessors. 

God is here to be considered as the householder (okaJeaTro-nf?), 
inasmuch as at ver. 8 the steward (tTr/TpoTrof), by whom the distri 
bution of the wages is performed, symbolizes Christ. The vineyard 
(apreAwv =tns), however, is viewed (as at Isa. v. 1) as the emblem 
of that spiritual kingdom which the Lord of heaven founds on 
earth, and causes to bo cultivated by his servants.f The labourers 
(t-pya-at), therefore, are the pastors and bishops of the church of God, 
all those to whom a spiritual office is intrusted, and the souls of 
men are the vineyard on which their labours are to be expended. 
True, the reference to the pastors is not to be understood of the 
outward office-bearers of the church, but of the inward call to 
spiritual labours ; and in so far as this call is not to be regarded 
as wanting in the case of any living member of the church, the 
parable has also its general application to all believers. Only the 
wages are not to be understood as denoting salvation (for nothing 
is said here of the difference between being saved and lost), but as 
referring to a special reward of grace, to various positions assigned in 
the kingdom of God in allusion to xix. 28 ; xx. 20. 

Ver. 3-7. The idea of an agreement (avfifyuruv) with those first 
called in regard to the hire, as compared with the independent 
declaration on the part of the Lord as to the reward to be given 
to those who were afterwards called, indicates in the crv/wmr 
a reciprocal agreement, and consequently a title, as it were, in 
the one class of labourers to make demands and not in the other 

* Compare the commentary on Matth. xi. 1 9. 

f Tho frequent comparison of the kingdom of God to a vineyard (Matth. xxi. 33, 
eeq.), has perhaps a deeper foundation in the fact that the Saviour, according to his pro 
found \ i u.s i >f nature, traced in \\-ine and in the vino the fittest analogies in the whole 
external world to express the most ppiritual relations. (Comp. on John xv. 1, seq.) 



MATTIIKU XX. &-H 121 

In this way thse iirst called certainly >e"iu in one point of view 
to he favoured, hut not in another, for they arc subsequently 
il< alt with aimnlin- to the strict letter of the law, while- the other.; 

according to the superabouuding measure of love. Thisa^ 
remarkably well with the reference to the heathen and the Jews ; 
and we might almost suppose that conversations had taken place 
among the disciples, which caused the parable to be constructed in 
this way. Perhaps, in contrast with others of the disciples (who 
were descended from the heathen), they had proudly appealed to 
their Jewish descent, and laid claim to that which was promised 
(Matth. xix. 28), not as the gift of grace, but as deserved. The 
ov[ut>uveiv t agreement, applies then strikingly to those covenants into 
which God entered with his people, in which (according to the 
Divine condescension) are implied mutual engagements and promises. 
The heathen, on the contrary, were called, without any covenant, 
into the kingdom of God. Not so much from need, as from pity 
for the idle, the faithful master of the house from time to time (at 
marked periods of great advancement in the kingdom of God) called 
new labourers into his vineyard, and they confided with simple trust 
in the faithfulness of the Lord. Thus, though apparently at a dis 
advantage, their childlike faith placed them with such a Lord really 
at an advantage. In regard to the apostles this is most markedly 
exhibited in the calling of Paul. The Lord took him from his course 
of busy idleness, and called him into the vineyard where the Twelve 
were already at work, and so he laboured more than they all (1 Cor. 
xv. 10). The parable lays especial stress (comp. vers. 6, 7, with 
12) on those who were called at the eleventh hour. Primarily the 
intention of this may have been merely to give point to the contrast 
between the one hour and the whole day. Especial interest attaches 
to this point of time, as well in regard to the individual Christian, 
in which case it refers to late conversion, as also to the whole church, 
in which case it applies to those who are called in the latter days. 

Y.T. S~1 2. This portion of the parable contains the greatest 
tlillicultics. Li the first place, a question arises as to the view which 
we are to take of the fyias yevoptvrjg, evening coming. As the 
vlosing period of the day (viewed as the season of labour), the even 
ing brings the iinal decision. Thus in the case of the individual, 
the evening is to be understood as denoting death, in the case of 
the church, as the last time (Kuti><><; c"a\,u-ro<;), or the coming in of the 
kingdom. These things, which to u-, MVIU so wide apart, were re 
garded by the apostles as happening simultaneously, inasmuch as 
they viewed tin; coming of Christ as an event about to take place 
immediately, and i-ur Lord himself did not speak <>! it in any other 
way (comp. on Mattlu xxiv). In tlie second place., the circumstance 
that a denarius was distributed alike to all, must not be explained 



122 MATTHEW XX. 13-16. 

as implying a denial that there are degrees of future glory, for other 
parables, and especially that of the talents, at Matth. xxv. 14, seq. 
expressly teach this doctrine. Rather does the equal denarius sim 
ply denote the equality of all, in so far as they are partakers of the 
same blessedness, which completely satisfies the desires of every 
individual, although the capacities of these separate individuals 
may be very different. In the fast jrtace, however, the most obscure 
point of all seems to be the possibility of a murmuring (wyv&iv) 
among the first called (Trpwrot).* Should a comparison be made 
between this and Luke xv. 25, seq., we must remark that in that 
case the elder son is represented as occupying exclusively the stand 
ing-point of the law ; but here the Trpwrot, first, appear as labourers 
(and faithful labourers, for they receive their denarius) in the king 
dom of God. Besides, as the distribution of the wages takes place 
in the evening (that is, after their training in holiness was com 
plete), it is impossible to conceive that there still existed in these 
first called a mixture of the old and the new. We must therefore 
say that this parabolic representation does not mean to assume that 
there is anything analogous to this murmuring in the real spiritual 
relationships which it sets forth, but is intended to give instruction 
by contrast, so that the sense of the whole would be this : inasmuch 
as such murmuring, as the parable shews, on the part of the envious 
labourer against his comrades, is a thing in itself wholly inconceivable 
amidst the relationships of heaven (inasmuch as he in whom it was 
found would by that very circumstance shew himself to be living 
beyond the pale of the kingdom of love), therefore all labourers in 
the Lord s vineyard must betimes give up every claim of their own> 
and trust themselves simply to the mercy of God. In such a lowly 
position they would also experience compassion towards their 
brethren (Kavow, glowing heat during the day, comp. Luke xii. 55). 

Ver. 13-15. The closing verses set forth the dealing of the free 
grace of God, which can be limited by no peculiar privileges of the 
creature. Righteousness and love are its everlasting forms of 
manifestation, and that freely manifested love of God which 
loves without finding and demanding merit. But to love others 
with the postponement of our own claims, is the highest act of 
piety the real giving up of all that is our own, Matth. xix. 27. 
(The expression dtyOatyibs ~ovr)p6<; corresponds to the Hebrew sn ;? 
[comp. on Mark vii. 22], by which we are to understand the evil 
eye which works destruction.) 

Ver. 16. In the concluding words our Lord briefly points bark 

to the apothe;;:,! (xix. 30). Thus, according to this parable, it is as 

though he had .said the lir.st called (who are desmbed above) stand 

in a position less favourable than those called at a later period. 

* Sec editor s note at ch. xxv. 31 iG. [K. 






MATTHKY,- XX. 17 123 

With this oiii- apothegm, however, there is OOnjOlDfld ODOther, which, 
at xxii. 14, concludes tin- para.hlo of tin- kind s marriage- fea-t. 
n 1" lh. entire lailure of some in reference to their 
call ; here it is applied in ;i modified sense ; for, even although 
ill :..-. called at tlu- eleventh hour are to be conceived of as pre-emi- 
iH ittfi/ diligent, yet the parable gives not the slightest hint that 
th.>.M !ir>t invited were less assiduous. Kathcr did they receive tln-ir 
reward along with the others. Tlie contrast between ukrrroi, called, and. 
H; / mrolj chosen, cannot here be referred to the invitation to enter 
God s kingdom, and the actual coming and arraying of one s self 
for it (as at xxii. 14), but merely to the different relations of be 
lievers themselves to the kingdom of God, the distribution and 
bestowal of which depends upon the free grace of God. The intenTo i, 
chosen, therefore, in this case, are the Zax, a ~ ot -> l<v&> the K^-OI, called, 
are all the labourers, including also the first. The called, however, 
labour in a constrained position for the sake of reward ; the chosen 
in a freer relation from delight and love. In so far as this more 
favoured position and the love which they cherish is not their own 
work, but the work of grace within them, in so far must it be re 
ferred to an eKkoyjj, choice, selection, which, however, is not to be 
regarded as a thing limited on the part of that love which imparts 
itself to all, but only as repressed by the narrowness of men s own 
hearts. Finally, it seems very doubtful whether the apothegm has 
in this passage, its original connexion. It has at least in Matth. 
xxii. 14, a much more definite relation to the context ; at which 
- ige see our more lengthened remarks. 

3. OF HUMILITY. 

(Matth. xx. 17-28 ; Mark x. 32-45 ; Luke xviiL 31-33.) 

Referring back to what was said on Matth. xix. 1, we merely 
observe here that the mention made of the approaching suffer 
ings . .f .lesiis Christ, stands again in Matthew s context, in close 
connexion with the succeeding narrative. Ver. 17-19 viewed as 
I M!, are as it were lost, but in connexion with what follows 
they at once acquire a legitimate place and relation to the whole 
narrative. They shew in the person of the Saviour himself how the 
character of self-denying humility is an indispensable requisite for 
the true disciple of ,)CMIS and in the discourse of Jesus which fol 
lows tlio account of the earthly claims of the children of Zebedee, 
everything hears equally on the proof of this truth, and 1-r this 
.n the discourse concludes (ver. 28) with the same thought which 
introduces (ver. 18, 19), the before us. Thus our Lord s 

sutl erin-s are mentioned merely for the purpose of shewing the dis- 



124 MATTHEW XX. 17-21. 

ciples that the like sufferings were awaiting them. In the context 
of Luke, indeed, the mention of ;the sufferings of Jesus stands more 
isolated as a fact which occurred in the course <>! his la>t journey 
(comp. Luke ix. 51). But looking at the general arrangement of 
the subject-matter in his account of the journey, this very 1 nrm of 
recording it is the appropriate one. Luke gives in it, in fact, the 
events as they successively happened, without grouping under gen 
eral points of view what belonged together. 

Ver. 17-19. Matthew remarks, as a point of external interest, 
that our Lord by the way (as they were approaching Jerusalem) had 
taken his Twelve apart (/car Idiav) and foretold to them what 
awaited him at Jerusalem. Mark (x. 32) adds this trait, that the 
disciples had with fear and astonishment (tBaftflovvro aal duo^ovOovvre^ 
tyo(3ovvTo) seen the Saviour proceed towards Jerusalem, the seat of 
his fiercest enemies (comp. John xi. 16). As respects, finally, the 
prophecy itself regarding the sufferings and resurrection of Jesus, 
the remarks already made at Matth. xvi. 21 may be consulted. The 
Christian mind can have no interest in tracing to the words of Christ 
himself every separate detail in the traits which are here given of 
our Lord s sufferings as still future. The great point with which, 
above all, we have to do, is the contrast between the death and re 
surrection. But the external evidence favours the conclusion that 
even these individual traits (such as the tjU7raZ<w, fj,ao~iy&oai) are 
derived from Christ s own words ; for the agreement of the three 
narratives is here so close as to compel us to the assumption of exact 
reports ; vague tradition would have called forth greater differences. 
Besides, the Old Testament representations (especially Ps. xxii. ; 
Isa, 1. 6, liii. ; Hos. vi. 2) already contain all these traits, and, for 
this reason, their being brought forward before the event is suffi 
ciently authorized (1 Cor. xv. 3, 4). Luke remarks (xviii. 34) 
that on this occasion also (comp. on Matth. xvi. 22) the disciples 
were again unable to comprehend the words of Jesus, i. e., they felt 
themselves incapable of conceiving of such contrasts being united 
in the life of a single person, the . highest glory (in miracles never 
equalled) with the deepest humiliation, and this again combined 
with the highest exaltation in his resurrection. To this was added 
the fact, that the idea of a suffering Messiah, although it did exist 
among the Jewish people, was by no means prominent, and conse 
quently everything connected with it which Jesus uttered, found 
only a weak response within their circle of opinions. 

Ver. 20, 21. Iirimediat. r these words of Christ, the 

Evangelist subjoins the account of the request made by the children 
of Zebedee, who (according to Matthew), along with their mother 
(Salome by name, comp. Mark xv. 40 with Matth. xxvii. 5G), asked 
the Saviour for the highest places of honour in his Messianic king- 



MATTHEW XX. -2-2,23. J- < 

dom. This declaration then causes Jesus to explain tin- relation 
which subsists between the reigning and the menial character of the 
disciples of .Jesus Christ the whole occurrence, however, is invested 
with nuieh obscurity. In t lie first place, it is a striking thing to 
tiud the humble-minded John acting a part, which seems to be 
more in keeping with the character of Peter. Probably, however, 
the ambitious request proceeded from the mother, who saw herself 
reflected in the exalted fortune of her sons. In the case of the two 
disciples, the whole may have taken a purer form, inasmuch as it is 
possible that the leading motive which swayed their minds in mak 
ing the request may have been this, that they might enjoy in time 
to come the same privilege of nearness to the Lord, which we 
know (at least in the case of John) to have been the sweetest 
comfort of their lives. (Compare the introduction to John, 1.) 
Again the language " one at thy right hand, and one at thy left" 
(elg KK de#wv, el? If- evuvvpuv), strikes us with surprise, and half 
tempts us to suppose that it refers to some special idea involved in 
the Jewish conceptions of the Messiah, of which, however, there is 
not found the slightest trace.* Rather does the expression denote 
merely (according to the general analogy which is everywhere to be 
met with, that with great men and princes he whom they honour 
sits next them) the highest prerogatives, and the influence founded 
on them. Without doubt the vain mother had formed the opinion, 
and by means of it had incited her sons, that the inauguration of 
the Messianic kingdom was about immediately to take place (Luke 
xix. 11). Jesus they considered as the Sovereign and possessor of 
that kingdom, and, therefore, falling at his feet, they requested of 
him the highest places of honour. 

Ver. 22, 23. The most difficult point of all, however, is the cir 
cumstance that this enquiry, which seems to proceed from a ma 
terialistic view of what was said at Matth. xix. 28, is not rejected 
by our Lord. For at first the Saviour merely brings forward the 
dilliculties which had to be overcome before they could attain such 
places of honour ; and when the disciples, with child-like simplicity, 
declared themselves willing to encounter all conflicts, our Lord does 
not deny that, as a general truth, there were such places of honour 
to be had, nor that these places were accessible to them, but he 
merely declares that the Meniah cannot bestow them; that it is 
God who gives them to those for whom it is prepared (olg i]~ol^aa-rai). 
From the turn thus given to the discourse, it is true, one may con- 

* Wotstoin ad. loc. cites from the Midrasch Tohillira, the passage, futurum est, ut Dcus 
sumrne bencdictus facial regern Mi->siam sedere ad dextram suam et Abrnhamum ad 
sinistram suam. Hero, however, tho Messiah :i: i iims. lf sitting on the right 

hand of God, but nothing occurs in the passage respecting two different persons who are 
to sit at tho right and left of tho Mes>iah. 



126 MATTHEW XX. 2, 23. 

elude with some probability that the Saviour meant to intimate 
that these places of honour were not intended for them, lint the sur 
prising thing is, that this was not declared to them in the most posi 
tive manner ; that they were not told that there did not exist any 
such places of honour in the kingdom of God ; and farther, that the 
opinion seems to be favoured that such places really existed. To 
this it must be added, that in what immediately follows, Jesus 
speaks of the great and the first in the kingdom, as at Matth. v. 19. 
But as the Saviour at the same time, ver. 22, says to the disciples 
" Ye know not what ye ask" (ova oldare ~i mlrdMhi), he evidently 
blames the position they had assumed. This surprising combination 
of censure and of remarks coinciding with the ideas of the disciples, 
finds its solution in what follows (v. 24-27). Here we have merely 
to speak of the figures under which the Saviour sets forth the con 
flict by which the attainment of glory in the kingdom of God must 
be preceded. In regard to this struggle as applicable to himself 
personally, our Lord had spoken immediately before. A bright 
contrast to this conflict is presented by the joyful view of the 
coming glory. " The flesh would always be glorified before it is 
crucified ; it would rather be exalted before it is humbled," says 
Luther. Now, first, as regards the state of the text, the figure of 
baptism (/3&mopa) in Matthew has without doubt been interpolated 
from Mark. For, Mark in this instance, again (as also ex. gr. ix. 
45, seq.), has given a fuller report of the discourse, without, how 
ever, adding to it any ideas peculiar to himself ; his important ad 
ditions belong almost entirely to a fuller statement of the facts 
(compare on the text of Matthew the N. T. by Griesbach-Schulz ad 
loc). The figure of the cup (jro-itfiov = o a), which is common to 
both, denotes in the Old Testament already (Isa. li. 22), punish 
ment, sufferings, and the fundamental idea is assuredly that of a 
cup of poison to be drunk.* In the New Testament (Matth. xxvi. 
42) the Saviour describes his sufferings as a bitter cup given him 
by the Father. The figurative expression pd-napa added by -Mark 
(compare on Matth. iii. 11), involves at once the idea of a painful 
submersion (a dying in that which is old), and also of a joyful rising 
(a resurrection in that which is new), as Rom. vi. 3, seq. sh 
Such a path of suffering, in order to his being made perfect (Heb. 
v. 8, 9), our Lord declared (Luke xii. 50) stood as yet before him 
self. According to the living corporate union, however, which sub 
sists between our Lord and his people, as they have part in the Uory, 
so likewise in his sufi"eriii"-s, and oniv where these latter reallv take 

O J v 

effect, can they look forward to the former (Horn, viii. 17, 2 Tim, 

* Terhaps it might also bo referred to a bitter drink of healing medicine, in which 
case the figure would combine the idea of what wns unpleasant with what was at the 
same time sa utary. 



.MATTIIKU- XX. 24, 25. 127 

ii. 11, 12). To this connexion our Lord calls their attention, in 
order t<> awaken them i<> a S6I1M of the ma-nitudo of those condi 
tions under which alone the glory of the kinydom can be attain d. 
When tlie disci]. les, however, on being asked tin-naDu -tni- r<i -orr\~ 
innr ; ctni //<: J r ink the cup ? reply dwdfieOa, we can, it is by no 
means to be supposed that they misunderstood the words of Jesus, 
and took them in a good sense (TTOTI WIOV as meaning the cup of joy 
.irtrrrmjua the washing out of the hand-bason of the king, according 
to Von Meyer s view ad loc. The very form of the question can ye 
drink ? must at once render such a misunderstanding impossible. 
Undoubtedly they rather meant to express their determination to 
follow the Lord through all difficulties. Nor are we to consider 
tin s declaration as a thing wholly perverse and sinful ; Jesus ac 
cepts it and draws from it further deductions ; the heart of the 
disciples was really sincere, and they were in earnest in their in 
tention to follow him ; they were only wanting in a correct insight 
into the greatness of the sin which still existed within them, as 
well as into the greatness of the struggle in which they were to be 
engaged. Their declaration " We are able," therefore, unquestion 
ably expresses a strong feeling of self-righteousness, otherwise they 
would never in such a conflict have trusted in self. 

Ver. 24, 25. The ten other disciples who probably were absent 
during the scene (ver. 20), were oifendcd at the two brothers when 
they heard of their request, their envy being undoubtedly excited 
by the circumstance that James and John had wished to be exalted 
aliove them. For this reason Jesus assembled them (the ten around 
him (npooKaAeodnevog avrovg), and without uttering one word of 
direct reproof, spoke to them of exaltation in the kingdom of God, 
as compared with earthly elevation, in order to make them aware 
of the real nature of the former, and explained to them this char 
acter as applicable to himself (whom they all acknowledged as the 
king of the " kingdom" they hoped for) in such a way that his dis 
course (ver. 28) returns to the point from which (ver. 18) it started. 

irding to this view, however, the following words appear to be 
not so much a /(/////.-, addressed to the two, as a didactic discourse 
addressed to the ten. But, as was already remarked, the idea of a 

ial exaltation and ul-ry in the kingdom of God is not in the 
least condemned, but is acknowledged as correct. For, the com 
parison of the <J(i\ ir7M-, rulers, and //eyaAot, great, has positively no 
meaning, if it was intended that there should be no 7rQu>roi,jir-<(, 
and fjteydhoi, . //<"/, in the kingdom of (Jod. Their existence is ob 
viously taken lor granted by our Lord only a contrast is drawn 

.een the dominion and authority (Ka-raK\\>m nr, /. -") 

exercised in the world (compounds with Kara have often a bad 
subordinate signification, for example Kararo/n/, Phil. iii. 2 ; KOTO. 



128 MATTHEW XX. 24, 25. 



occurs again at 1 Peter v. 3, in the same sense in 
which it docs here ; and it is only in appearance that it bears 
another meaning at Acts xix. 16. Kart^ovatd^iv does not again 
occur in the New Testament), and the tiiaKomc and 6ov/.o$ enw, 
being a minister and servant, which prevails in the kingdom 
of God. From the parallel thus drawn, however, we can explain 
the obscurity which attaches to the connexion of the Redeemer s 
whole discourse. Amidst the relations of the present state (aluv 
ourof), dominion rests on physical force, and the advantage of 
it is found in the subjugation of others, and the service rendered 
by them. In the " kingdom" all pre-eminence rests on love and 
truth, and love teaches us to serve others, not to procure service to 
ourselves. But inasmuch as love is the mightiest power, so that 
love which shews itself in its highest perfection as ministering and 
dying, overcomes everything, and in union with the Son of love, all 
those who open their heart to its influence rule in the power of it. 
But, as the susceptibility to its influence varies in different indi 
viduals, the ruling power naturally exists at the same time in dif 
ferent degrees, which, however, are dependent on the call of the 
Father (ol$ i]-oi^aarai VTTO rov Trarpof), not on the arbitrary will of 
man. Thus the disciples were not in the wrong in assuming that 
there were steps and degrees of approximation to the Lord, and in 
the extent to which men were partakers of his living power ; but, 
on the contrary, that something of this kind must be supposed, is 
at once shewn by the relation in which Christ stood to his disciples 
on earth, inasmuch as the Seventy were further removed from him 
than the Twelve, and among these again three (Peter, John, and 
James) stood the nearest to him, while only John rested on his bosom. 
And precisely similar are the results of experience in regard to the 
different degrees of efficiency in the different members of the church. 
Thus an Augustine, for example, by the power of the truth, exer 
cised a predominant influence over whole centuries, such as millions 
of believers never possessed. The mistake of the disciples consisted 
rather in confounding the character of earthly and Divine authority. 
The former, owing to the sinfulness of human nature, is combined 
with oppression and slavery ; the latter brings in its train a blessing 
for all who yield themselves to its influence. But, in order to be 
delivered from sinful self-will, which often knows how to assert its 
power even under the form of spiritual influence, man needs first to 
be thoroughly humbled, and to pass through that baptism of suffer 
ing, in which the old man is wholly given over to death. The new 
man thence arising, who belongs to the kingdom of Grod, can in that 
case, according to the measure of his calling, have dominion, i. e. 
exercise spiritual influence, without falling into the danger of as 
suming a worldly domination (KaraKv^ieveii 1 "). The Saviour placet 



MATTH KV>- XX. 28. 129 



re his follower-; the pure iniM-v "f siii-li a holy, self-sacrificing, 
lowly ministering love for their imitation ; intimating that in it 
alone li.-s his royal mi jht and power ; and that his kingdom was 
only to lie built up in such a way that its ineinliers should bear 
within theiu the same love, and in the exercise of it should vanquish 
and gain over for that kingdom the hearts of men. 

Ver. 28. In the remarkable verses* which conclude this con- 
\vixition, the Saviour represents himself, in the first plan-. as the 
pattern of his disciples, so that, according to the principle, " the 
disciple is not above his Lord," as laid down at Matth. x. 24, the 
diaKovi iaaij ministering, must form the character of all the sincere 
disciples of Jesus, but the diaKovrjOfivai, being ministered to (accord 
ing to ver. 25) must be dissociated from them as something belong 
ing to the world. The Divine dominion is one which only gives, 
and never, like that of the world, one which demands. The idea 
which immediately followed this general sentiment, viz., "and 
to give his life a ransom for many," (/cat dovvat rfjv i/>v?}v avrov 
Avrpov dv-l 7roAAcji>), stands so connected with the preceding con 
text, that one may easily fail to find in it a statement of the dis 
tinctive peculiarity of the death of Jesus, its atoning and vicari 
ous nature. For, while, in the life of believers, there can, be found 
something analogous to the ova 7/AOe diaKovrjO/ ivai a/Ua foaicovijaai, 
he came not to minister, lut to be ministered to, this does not 
appear to be the case with the giving his life (tpv^v dovvat), if it 
be viewed as a vicarious death ; and since, in the parallel drawn 
between Christ and his people, not the slightest hint is given that 
the resemblance is confined to the former, and does not extend to 
the latter, one might be led to the erroneous conclusion, that we 
are to view the death of Jesus here merely as the climax of the min- 
i*t<-i-in</, and consequently to say that the words merely mean that 
every believer, as a member of the kingdom must (just as Christ did) 
sacrifice his individual life to the general body. Besides, as the synop 
tical gospels (with the exception of Matth. xxvi. 28) do not contain 
any other similar declaration in Christ s own words, impartiality re 
quires from us the confession, that this passage, taken by itself, can 
not prove the doctrine of Christ s vicarious death, especially as the 
same expressions here used to describe it, ??i^ denote any kind of death 
in the way of sacrifice. (Comp. Jos. ii. 14, Joseph, de Maccab. e. vi. 
\YeNteiu ad loe. has collected other passages from profane writers.) 
But if the doctrine be clsewheiv proved (comp. on Horn. iii. 21, 
seq.) then the p. UMlUtdly acquires a high significance, inas- 

* The Codex D has here also a long passage added, which is transcribe I :\t some 
length from Luko xiv. 7, seqq., but which cannot in any caao be considered as belonging 
to the text in Matthew. 
VOL. II. 9 



130 MATTHEW XX. 28. 

much as it lays down, in the words of our Lord, the germ of the 
apostolic doctrine. For, the structure of the worths is obviously 
such, that the doctrine of our Lord s vicarious deatli may beindi- 
rated in them. The single point that can be urged in opposition, 
is the idea above-mentioned, that tin- " giving his life" ip not at all 
different from the " ministering," and as surely as the latter is ap 
pointed for all, so must the same view be taken of the former, which 
assuredly cannot be said of Christ s atoning death.* To maintain 
that in the latter words something which peculiarly and exclusively 
refers to Christ is placed alongside of that which is applicable to 
others, in such a way that the passage must be translated, " As the 
Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, so 
ought ye also willingly to serve ; but, besides, the Son of Man has 
given up his life as an atonement for many, which is altogether in 
applicable to you," such a supposition would have perhaps no claim 
to our assent. But the circumstance that Jesus himself rarely brings 
forward that which is specific in the nature of his own death (comp. 
nevertheless on John iii. 14 ; vi. 51 ; x. 11 ; xii. 24), arises from 
this, that any statement of it in a doctrinal form might easily have 
been misunderstood ; for, amidst the bulk of the people, the Old 
Testament notices of a suffering Messiah, though not certainly 
wholly misapprehended, were yet thrown very much into the back 
ground, and the apostles, on the whole, shared in these views. 
(Compare Hengstenberg on the Suffering Messiah, in his Christology 
of the Old Test. p. 252, seq.) As it was not in general, therefore, 
the peculiar work of Christ to communicate dogmas, but rather to 
implant in men s souls the element of a heavenly life, to impart to 
them a spirit of truth, from which all eternal verities were unceas 
ingly to be developing themselves anew, so he gradually and with 
wisdom led his disciples forward, in order that, after his atoning 
death, they might be enabled to receive such a spirit. Hence the 
entire form of his earlier ministry bears a legal colouring ; J< 
was as it were his own prophet, and led men gradually to himself, 
the heavenly Christ. Of what importance would abstract state 
ments as to the death of the Purest Love have possibly been to 
those men who were as yet unable to perceive the very nature of 
such love ? Not until the deatli of that love itself had revealed t<> 
their hearts that glow of life which dwelt in him, did they uuder- 
staiid that the death of the Lord from heaven could be nothing else 
than atoning, the death of the second Adam could be no other than 
vk .trious. As regards, finally, the individual details of this impor 
tant passage, we must in the first place view the expression "giving 
jiis life" (tiovvai V <;V / ) as denoting, according to John x. 18, a free 
will offering. The use of the t-nn <. -r\ .-, here, however, is of irupor- 
* Compare the passage 1 John iii. 16, to which the same thing exactly applies. 



MATTHEW XX. 28. 131 

tane<\ as distinct from -r/>r>>. */, ;// /. For, although the meaning ty% 
is here applicable, yet (hat life i< to be ie.ar<!e.l as concentrated in 
thi NOW/ (v-\//\ and this (which is to be viewed in its connexion 
with tin- body and its blood) appears as the special object oil -red in 
the sacrifice (comp. on Luke xxiii. 46). The term / cr/mr. ransom, 
as applicable to the V^T / f Jesus, occurs only IHTC ; it points to a 
bondage (dovAw a), which is in this way (by the giving up of the 
soul) to be discharged. Hence the term Airrpov implies the idea of 
what is precious (1 Peter i. 18, 19), by which that of highest value, 
immortal human souls, for whose deliverance no earthly thing 
sufficeth, might be saved. In the ideas there lies a strong Oxymoron. 
The dovvai ^vw]v, on the part of the Saviour, lays the foundation 
for the hafiftdvetv or the ou&iv ra<; ^v^a^ Tt3i> avOouTruv. (The word 
Xvrpov, however, although the substantive occurs only here [at 1 
Tim. ii. G, there is avri^vrpov], lies at the foundation of all the 
various expressions used in Scripture for the atoning work of 
Christ. The term most commonly used by Paul is uTrokv-pumg ; 
the simple kvrpuatc, besides Luke i. G8, ii. 38 ; occurs also at Heb. 
ix. 12; Avrpamfc .only at Acts vii. 35; t.vrpou at Luke xxiv. 21 ; 
Titus ii. 14 ; 1 Peter i. 18.) The preposition avr/, instead of, for, 
here used, occurs, only in this passage, and at 1 Tim. ii. 6, in the 
word avTifarrpov. That which most usually, -and especially in the 
language of Paul, denotes the relation of Christ s death to mankind, 
is the word v7i> p, on b liaJf of, for (Luke xxii. 19, 20 ; Rom. v. 6, 
8 ; viii. 32 ; 2 Cor. v. 14, 15 [here it is most obviously equivalent 
to di Ti] ; Titus ii. 14 ; 1 Tim. ii. 6 ; 1 Peter ii. 21 ; iii. 18 ; iv. 1 ; ) 
but -nepi, concerning, also occurs (Mtitth. xxvi. 28 ; Mark xiv. 24 ; 
Gal. i. 4 ; Rom. viii. 3), and even did, on account of, (1 Cor. viii. 11.) 
It is undeniable that from the use of these prepositions nothing 
absolutely decisive can be deduced in support of the doctrine of a 
vicarious atonement, inasmuch as they maybe translated for the 

. t!f "/> f" r t/ < <.i.<h-<inl ji of. On the supposition, however, that 
this doctrine is d>e\\h"re proved, [particularly by the idea involved 
in Xvrpovand / i r^ai<f\ it is equally impossible not to see, that the 
prepositions which arc used do not exclude tl,j s MCI. Imperially 
the most obvious and common sense of ni-ri. is - n.^f i.e. 

in the case of valuation, instead of. instar (comp. Homer II. ix. 
11G, 117, <ii"ri <^r tnr ti ur/y/> ui rr Ysrc uniii <..// //T;/.. /. i . out; 

is instead of many, heTontweighfl them, replaces ilu ini. and for the 

ot r-f/i, as equivalent to </Yr/, comp. -j c 1 ,r. v. -JO. forty Xpumf 

-Finally. a> \-> <\ xstfl the oee of -,,;;,:; in this p:\s- 
and which i- f.nnd also at Matth. \x\i. J^. Mark xiv. --\ (\\hile at 
1 Tim. ii. (I. there stands ^/rrwr), the passage, lioin. v. !.">. l v . I 
particularly instructive, for both expressions are there intcrcha;. 
We may say, that while -r</rrwr points to the Divine intention, 



132 MATTHEW XX. 29-34. 



refers to the result. As respects his love, Christ died for all, 
although the power of his death, in point of fact, only falls to the 
lot of many (compare farther details at the passages referred to). 

4. THE HEALING OF Two BLIND MEN IN JERICHO. 

(Matth. xx. 29-34 ; Mark x. 46-52 ; Luke xviii. 35-43.) 

The connexion of the narrative in this Evangelist, as given at 
Matth. xix. 1, seems here to be interrupted, but only to be again 
immediately resumed. It is only some purely historic notices which 
come between, in order to carry forward the thread of the narrative, 
and transfer the scene to Jerusalem. And since Luke also inserts 
the account of the following cure as occurring at the same period of 
time, we are bound to suppose that it stands here in its right chro 
nological position. The incident, moreover, presents nothing at all 
peculiar, for which reason no farther remarks seem called for on the 
occurrence itself. Mark has in this instance also (x. 46, 49) pre 
served his character, for close attention to details, by adding cer 
tain pictorial touches, and giving even the name of the blind man. 
Respecting the differences between the accounts in the various 
gospels, in that Matthew and Mark, contrary to the statement of 
Luke, transfer the cure to Christ s departure from the city ; while 
Mark and Luke, on the other hand, contrary to the statement of 
Matthew, mention only a single individual as cured, I may refer to 
the remarks offered in the Introduction, 8. Every attempt to re 
concile the conflicting narratives, whether by supposing that there 
were two cures, one on his entering, and another on his leaving the 
city, or by assuming that only one man is mentioned, inasmuch as 
one spoke for both, carries with it something unhistorical. [?] But 
their very differences on such immaterial points shew the genuine 
historical character of the gospels, and so far from detracting from 
their character in a higher point of view, they exalt it. Their 
agreement in every little trait would have been the surest means of 
awakening suspicion. Farther, it is most probable tiiat Mark, so 
scrupulously exact in such minor circumstances, gives, on the whole, 
tin correct account, so that Luke rightly agrees with him in men 
tioning one blind man. Only we must follow Luke in regard to the 
circumstance, that the occurrence took place when Christ was 
rntfring into Jericho. His minute accuracy in this part of the 
narrative, and the circumstance that there immediately (xix. 1. seq.) 
follows another incident also belonging to the entra-nce into the city, 
makes this view by far the most probable. 



LUKE XIX. 1-4. 133 

5. CHRIST S VISIT TO ZACCHEUS. 

(Luko xix. 1-10.) 

Here again do we find Luke sedulously advancing, and giving 
yet another incident from our Lord s stay in Jericho, which stands 
closely connected with those relations which the Evangelist ha< 
mainly in view in this section of his gospel. Jesus turns aside in 
Jericho to the house of a publican despised by the Pharisees (comp. 
Luke xix. 5, 6), and this unexpected favour so seizes on the mind of 
the upright man, that an entire change is wrought on him. This 
abode of Christ with Zaccheus forms a contrast to His presence in 
the house of the Pharisee (Luke xiv. 1, seqq.), which remained un 
blessed to him, because he was destitute of the disposition to receive 
the blessing, and in his pride did not believe that he was honoured 
by the visit of Jesus, but rather supposed himself to have rendered 
some great service to the Saviour. Zaccheus, on the other hand, in 
the feeling of his own misery, was deeply ashamed that the Holy 
One did not think it beneath Him to come under his roof. What 
the Pharisees, therefore, by their legal preaching and their strict ex- 
clusiveness, had been unable to do, is here seen effected by the 
power of grace, which condescends to the miserable. The visit to 
Zaccheus is an anti-Pharisaic demonstration exhibited in actual 
fact ; and as a fact it makes a deeper impression than abstract doc 
trinal statements. 

Ver. 1, 2. The city of Jericho lay near Jerusalem (at the dis 
tance of 150 stadia), for which reason the entry into the capital is 
narrated directly at Matth. xxi. 1, seq. The city itself (tP"}?) is ex 
tremely ancient. The Hebrews found it in existence when under 
Joshua they took possession of the land of Canaan. Its palms 
and balsam gardens made it famous, and brought it trade ; 
for this reason an ap^t-eAwi^, chief -publican had his seat there. 
The name 7.m.-\alo^ occurs again at 2 Mace. x. 19, it corresponds to 
the Hebrew *=t, from I?T, to Ic pure, and is frequently interchanged 
witli "?! (romp. (leseiiius in Lex). 

Ver. 3, 4. The desire of Zaccheus to see Jesus was, to br sure, 
apparently external, but that, it had a deeper origin in his soul i- 
pn>ved by the following narrative. Zaccheus is in so far a most ap 
propriate representative fan honest though outwardly inanifV 
desire after the Saviour, whieh, as sueh, bears within itself a <\< 
germ, and according to the grace of the Lord whieh lias awaken- d 
it. will yet find its full satisfaction. ( !!///,-/ / here means stature 
size of body, comp. Matth. vi. 27. i. ?/i-<wopm = wmnttroc, comp. 



134 LUKE XIX. 5-10. 

Luke xvii. 6. The MSS. vary much in the form of the noun ; we 
find also ffVKOpaptav, ovKO[i(jpaiav, avKo\io^aiav^ 

Yer. 5, 6. If Jesus addresses Zaccheus, and asks him for lodg 
ing, it does not follow necessarily that we are to conclude that he 
had received reports or information which had made him acquainted 
with his character. " Christ needed not that any should testify of 
a man, for he knew well what was in man" (John ii. 25). It is still 
possible certainly that our Lord knew of him ; only we must not 
suppose that he had heard a good account of him ; for the very point 
of the narrative lies in this, that the Saviour went in to lodge with 
the ddiKoig, unjust (comp. ver. 10, TO aTroAwAof), which is a great 
ofience to the 6iKuioic,just. Thus the aim of this engaging narra 
tive is to set forth by facts the condescending love of the Redeemer, 
which impels him to go down into the lowest depths in order to 
bring up with him the lost. In Zaccheus is represented that lowly 
humiliation through the feeling of sin, which makes him regard him 
self as excluded from the communion of the saints. But it was this 
true feeling of repentance which made him susceptible to those 
higher powers of life which Jesus brought him. 

Ver. 7, 8. Those in whom the Pharisaic feeling prevailed, could 
not bear the intercourse of the Messiah with sinners, and murmured. 
The idea of efyzaprovtof, sinner, therefore, is not to be restricted here, 
not to be referred merely to his rank and connexions in life, but, as the 
following context shews us, is to be taken in a personal sense. Schlei- 
ermacher, however (on Luke, p. 238), supposes most justly that the 
declaration of dissatisfaction and the vows of the publican were not 
uttered till the morning of Christ s departure. The conversations 
between our Lord and Zaccheus, which must be supposed to have 
taken place, would, in that case, better account for his promises, and 
especially what follows will find a much more close connexion through 
the expression ditovovTuv avr&v ravra, as they heard those things 
(xix. 11). Finally, the words of Zaccheus express first the feeling 
of thankfulness for the mercy which had been shewn him, and next 
the feeling of penitence and the acknowledgment that he was bound 
as much as possible to make reparation for his sins. The assump 
tion that the declaration d nvog ri iovKwfrdv-rjaa, a. r. A., if I have 
J< frauded any man, &c., is an expression of his righteousness, and 
of his having a good conscience, would conduct us wholly to the 
standing-pi .int. <>f the Pharisees. It is rather an acknowledgment 
of guilt.* (As to /cara/.vcj, compare Luke ii. 7 ; ix. 12. On ovno<!>av- 
Ttw see at Luke iii. 14.) 

Yer. 9, 10. On these feelings of true repentance and grateful 
reciprocal love, tin Snvimir founds the saving (tfurrftlei) of Zaccheus 

* "If I liuvo dcfriiuiled any oue," &c., 13 a common Greek idiom for " whomsoever I 
have defrauded." [K. 



LUKI. XIX. 11-28. 135 

and those belonging to him (in KG fur as through his conversion the 
principle of a higher life was introduced into the entire hou-e,, all 

whose lueml brought into contact with it), to which as a 

descendant of Abraham, lie had the most immediate title (compare 
on Mat th. x. <>). This is brought forward in contrast with the con 
duct of the Pharisees in despising those persons who, by the circum 
stances of their lives, had been entangled in manifold sins ; and 
linally, the very object of the sending forth the Son of Man is made 
to consist in this compassionate exercise of love towards those who 
had become subject to perdition (dnukeia). This compassionate 
love effects as well the commencement of the higher life (ty-fadi) as 
its accomplishment (.atioai), so that all is its work (comp. on Matth. 
xviii. 11 ; ix. 12, 13). 



G. THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS. 

(Lukoxix. 11-28; [Matth. xxv. 14-30.]) ^ 

The following parable is here so expressly joined to the historical 
connexion by definite historic data (aKovovruv avr&v, ver. 11, and 
e/7ru>i/ ravra iTropevero e^7rpo<r0ev, ver. 28), and has besides in its con 
stituent parts so distinct a reference to the prominent circum 
stances, that we cannot doubt that it stands here in its proper place. 
There is, to wit, conceived in the parable a twofold relation of the 
ruler, on the one hand, to his dovkoi, servants (ver, 13), and, .on the 
other, to his citizens (TO/IITC*). Each of these finds its separate de 
velopment and its peculiar application. The servants represent the 
apostles and disciples, the citizens the Jewish people. In the case 
of the former their faithfulness or unfaithfulness to the trust com 
mitted to them is praised or blamed ; in the case of the latter their 
disobedience to their rightful Lord is punished. The idea, how 
ever, which is brought forward as connecting these two relations is 
this (ver. 11), that they (avrovg being used as comprehending both 
the disciples and tlie people) were expecting the revelation of the 
Messianic kingdom immediately (irapagpijpa) on his arrival at Jeru 
salem. Without denying that such a revelation would one day 
take place, our Lord directs the minds of his disciples merely to the 
future (ver. liM, and draws their attention to that which is mod im 
portant, namely, to the great linal reward which it will bring a! 
with it f.irall ; t <>r the faithful Servants fullness of blessing, bul bit 
ter punishment for the unfaithful a truth which carried with it a 
solemn admonition for all the disciples, urging them to fidelity : 
the rebellions citi/.ens (by whom we ;uv to understand the whole 
Israelitish people, held under the power of Pharisaic influence and 



136 LUKE XIX. 11-28. 

opposed to the Lord) wrath ami destruction (vcr. 14, 27). Such re 
presentations were fitted to withdraw the attention of all from mere 
externals to that which was internal, in order to prepare them for 
receiving the right blessing from the appearance of the Me-Mah. 
But, inasmuch as Matthew (xxv. 14-30) has inserted the parable 
into a collection of similitudes, which all have reference to the fu 
ture kingdom of God, we will consider it more closely in that con 
nexion, which will serve so greatly to explain its contents. True, 
Schleiermacher (p. 239) has cast a doubt on the identity of the two 
parables, but in my view without sufficient grounds ; for, first as 
respects his remark that what is said of the hostile citizens who 
would not have the Lord to reign over them forms the leading point 
in the parable, and that it would not therefore have been left out 
by Matthew, the manner in which, the similitude is carried out by 
Luke at once shews that this is a point of but subordinate import 
ance, [?] for it is disposed of in two verses (ver. 14, 27). The Sa- 
viour s great object was to shew the disciples that the Parousia (his 
second coming) was not so near at hand ; it is only incidentally that 
the uncalled accusers of the acts of the Messiah (xix. 7) have their 
attention directed to what they must expect on his return. "Mat 
thew, therefore, might properly leave out this incidental point, 
which was of no importance whatever in his collection of parables 
(Matth. xxv.), a collection intended solely for the members of the 
" kingdom." But what Matthew has omitted might be left out 
without in the least altering the essence of the parable. [?] The 
one relation represented as subsisting between the Lord and hjs 
servants, by no means excludes another between him and the citi 
zens. There remains, therefore, only the single remark, that the 
parable in Matthew would seem to be rendered extremely difficult 
by the fact that all the servants in Luke receive equal sums, and the 
faithful servants gain therewith unequal amounts, while in Matthew 
they receive unequal sums, and gain therewith equal amounts. 
Here I am certainly not unwilling to suppose that Luke has retain 
ed the original form of the parable, inasmuch, namely, as the men 
tion of ten servants is a point which harmonizes well with the it n 
virgins (Matth. xxv. 1), and the equal division of the talents, un 
derstood as referring to that calling into the kingdom of God which 
fell equally to the lot of all the disciples, and the furnishing of 
them with power from above, which was essentially needful for it, 
seems most appropriate to the great lesson primarily intended to be 
taught (the faithful use of that which a man has received). But 
the parable is in no respect ewefttiaffyaltered by the view given of 
it in Matthew; for if Matthew makes inure to be bestowed on one, 
and less on another, he thus merely adds the trait (by which, how 
ever, the similitude is not rendered a different one), that the powers 



MATTIIKW XXI. 1. 137 

bestowed on different individuals, t .r labouring in the kingdom of 

God, .-in- (liU -rent ; but .since less is demanded from those who are 
1 ully furnished, it comes to be, after :i]l, essentially tin; same 
thin--. l "r. U ropccts the main point in the representation of the 
servants, the contrast, namely, between the faithful and the unfaith 
ful, it is in the two accounts entirely the same. Hence I cannot 
think (with Schleiermacher, p. 240) that the Saviour had spoken 
the parable in the simpler form of Matthew, and at a later period 
repeated it in the more extended form of Luke. [This seems still 
the most natural supposition. This special feature of the citizens, 
when sufferings and death await Jesus, is absolutely essential. As 
respects the " went" (tTropeufl?/, v. 12) the representation is drawn 
from the political relations of the time. The Hcrodians journeyed 
to Home (d^ ^wpav) to obtain from the ruler of the world dominion 
over one or another Tetrarchy, while (v. 14) the citizens of the 
country sent an embassy after him (to the emperor) deprecating his 
rule. Precisely thus had the Jews done with Archelaus (Jos. Ant. 
xvii. 141). With these citizens Jesus compares the Jews who 
would not have him for their king (comp. John xix. 15) ; hence he 
must leave their land, and repair to the supreme Ruler of the world, 
to God, to receive from him an assignment of the kingdom, and then 
return.] 



B. SECOND SECTION. 

CHRIST S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM AND THE DESCRIPTION OF His 

MINISTRY THERE. 



(Matth. xxi xxv ; Mark xi xiii ; Luke xix. 29 xxL 38 

Although in this section it is easy to see that in all the three 
Evangelists there is chronologically a movement in advance, inas 
much as everything here recorded (even according to the narrative 
of Matthew) belongs to the closing period of our Lord s ministry, 

and although the parallel relationship of the gospels, as mutually 
supplementing each other, comes unmistakably intovk-w ; yet Mat 
thew even here is so far from renouncing the peculiar character of 
his writing, that it can be most clearly discerned from the very 
contents (if this section. Matthew gives tirst (xxi. 1-16), an his 
torical introduction, but then proceeds to arrange his materials 
under several general points of view, and, in particular, gives us 
extended collections of our Lord s discourses and of his parable* 
From xxi. 17 xxii. 46, he treats of the efforts made by the Pharisees 



188 MATTHEW XXI. 1. 

and Sadcmcees to lay hold of the Saviour, and the defeat of their 
bold and vain attempts. At xxiii. 1-39, there follows an extended 
account of our Lord s judgmept on the Pharisees, addressed to his 
disciples ; and finally, in the xxiv. and xxv. chapters, the section is 
concluded by the discourses of Jesus in relation to his second com 
ing, and the various relations which men sustain to that event. 
Now it is not to be doubted that in these different portions we have 
only those discourses of our Lord which belong to the last days of 
his ministry ; for it was only at that closing period that Jesus could 
feel called on to express himself so freely on the subject of his re 
turn, and the topics connected with it ; only at that closing period 
when the bitterness of the Pharisees had risen to the highest pitch, 
is it possible to conceive such malicious attempts on their part, and 
such strong declarations against them on the part of the Redeemer. 
But assuredly we must not assume that everything given by Mat 
thew in this section was. spoken precisely during the stay of Jesus 
in Jerusalem; particular parts clearly belonging to a somewhat earlier 
time (comp. especially the parable at Matth. xxv. 14, seq. which is 
given earlier by Luke xix. 11, seq. in a definite chronological connex 
ion.)* Meanwhile Mark, in this section, also still entirely preserves his 
character ; he follows Matthew and Luke alternately, but endeavours 
by exact description, and by preserving individual traits which had 
escaped the others, to give life to the narrative. 

As regards the chronology of this section, we here find again 
little attention paid to it by Matthew. He seems indeed to wish 
to connect Christ s entry (xxi. 1) expressly with his leaving Jericho 
(xx. 29), but in what follows, all notices of the time when events 
happen are cast into the back-ground, if we except his notice of the 
retirement to Bethany and the return to Jerusalem (xxi. 17, 18.) 
Passages, however, like Matth. xxii. 46, resume a form so general, 
that, altogether apart from the contents of Matthew s statements, 
and of the results drawn from a comparison of the other narrati 
it is clear that this Evangelist did not set out with the idea of fol 
lowing strictly the order of events and of discourses. The following 
mention (xxiv. 1) of our Lord s retiring from the Temple is plainly 
to be viewed merely as a connecting link to introduce the subsequent 
discourse, so that we cannot from this infer that every thing which 
precedes must have been spoken in the Temple. Not till Matth. 
xxvi. -, does the Evangelist give a fixed date (two days before the 
PasMjver). With this date Mark (xiv. 1) agrees, as he does also in 
connecting the entry into Jerusalem (xi. 1), with the leaving of 
Jericho (x. 40). In regard, however, to the intervening t"] i<--, Mark 
is more minutely exact than Matthew, inasmuch as lie gives more 

* E . who is ful! by Mark, ! ";ut of the 

supper at Ik thatiy, which wo know from John xii. took place at an 



MATTIM:W XXI. 1. 139 

definitely the journey to Bethany ami the return to Jerusalem (zi. 

II, 1."). I 1 . . JT), and also arranges with greater care the individual 
1 aeis whieh oerunvd during those days. Luke mi the oth<T hand, 
merely e.mnects the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, as Matthew and 
.Mark also do, with his presence in Jericho (xix. I, J .), but beyond 
this j,ives no more distinct chronological data, using only Mich gen 
eral forms of expression as lv ftia rtiv i niKptiv tueivuv, in one of those, 
tloys, (xx. 1), and f/yy*e i] toprij -tiv d^vpuv, the feast of unleavened 
bread ivas approaching (xxii. 1), while Matthew and Mark in the 
parallel passages definitely mention two days. Hence, without the 
more detailed accounts of John, we should have remained entirely 
in the dark as to the period of the solemn entry of Jesus into Jeru 
salem, and all that took place immediately before and after it. 
For, according to John (comp. the remarks on Luke ix. 51), the 
Saviour, after his journey to the feast of the dedication (in Decem 
ber), never returned back from Jerusalem to Galilee. He remained 
rather in Pera3a (comp. x. 22, 40), and came to Bethany (xi. 7) only 
for the purpose of raising Lazarus. After that, however, our Lord 
went to the city of Ephraim (xi. 54, it lay eight miles to the north 
of Jerusalem), and was found again, six days before the Passover 
(xii. 1), in Bethany, where they prepared for him a supper. On the 
day following the entry into the city took place (xii. 12). True 
according to the account of John also, many points still remain un 
determined, but this very circumstance renders it easier to reconcile 
his narrative with that of the synoptical gospels. For, first, John 
is entirely silent as to the length of Jesus stay at Ephraim, as 
well as in regard to the road by which he travelled thence to 
Bethany. As the synoptical Evangelists merely record the whole 
journey of Jesus in the most general way, and particularly as they 
-ihuit as to the important events which took place at Bethany, 
the conjecture already referred to above (at Luke ix. 51) is not im 
probable (comp. Tholuck on John xii. 1) that Jesus performed short 
exenrsions from. Ephraim, and even visited Jericho. (See the re 
marks on Luke ix. .")!.) True, when we read the synoptical gospels 
by themselves (Matth. xxi. 1, Mark xi. 1, Luke xix. 29), the account 
of the entry sounds as though our Lord had come from Jericho 
direct to Jerusalem (<ht- //> ytaav elg kpoaoAi-fia), particularly as, 
according to Mark (,xi. 11), the entry took place toward the evening 
and Jesus for this reason, set out immediately with the Twelve for 
Bethany. But a positive contradiction to John is nowhere to be 

* Dr. 1 aulus IKIS to be sure been inclined to view this passage as containing the men 
tion of a tl finitt date, understanding it to mean on th- ilia, i. e., on the first 
day after a Sabbath (according to the analogy of pin rCJv aaljiirur). But the addition 
of tKclrur, which, though wanting in th* MSS.. undoubtedly belongsto tli -ti-\t, at once 
renders it impossible for us to adopt this hy ; .lieh on other grounds has nothing 
in support of it. Nowhere do wo find a week styled at . 



140 MATTHEW XXI. 1. 

traced ; he merely separates into its minor details what the others 
shortly compress into a single expression, which, taken by itself, might 
certainly be understood as implying that there had been no interven 
ing stay of Jesus in Bethany, but is more definitely determined by 
John, if we suppose that Jesus went from Ephraim to Bethany, 
taking Jericho in his way. For as to the time of day when the 
entry took place, according to the account of John (xii. 12, on the 
day after the supper), there is nothing which compels us to transfer 
it to the morning, and we may therefore take the notice of Mark 
(xi. 11), as a more definite explanation of the account of John, and 
suppose that it took place in the evening. The subsequent narra 
tive of John loses its strict chronological character. For the first 
time at xii. 36, he mentions a departure of Jesus (but not expressly 
to Bethany), and at xiii. 1, he comes at once to the last supper. 
Even the accurately marked expression, xii. 1, Trpb 1% fmeptiv TOV 
7rao%a, six days before the Passover, is again rendered indefinite by 
the vagueness of the narrative, inasmuch as both the day of the 
passover, and also the day of the entry, may either be included in 
the six days, or may be excluded. Still, however, it is in the highest 
degree probable that the day of our Lord s arrival was the Sabbath; 
that in the evening there was prepared for him at Bethany a solemn 
Sabbath-supper, and then towards the evening of the following day 
(John xii. 12), that is to say of Sunday, he held his entry into Jeru 
salem. There is thus, in my opinion, not the slightest ground to 
suppose with Dr. Paulus (ad. loc.), and with Schleiermacher (on 
Luke, p. 240, seq.), that there was a twofold entry, the one on his 
coming direct from Jericho to Jerusalem (which is supposed to be 
recounted in the synoptical gospels), the second, the day after on his 
coming from Bethany (which is recorded by John.)* For, even the 
remark that the Saviour would surely have brought the ass on which 
he made his entry with him from Bethany is without weight, for, 
the indefinite expression evpuv dvdptov, finding an ass, at John xii. 
14, is at once opposed to this idea ; and accordingly Matth. xxi. 1, 
merely defines this finding, and remarks more exactly that the 
ass came from Bethphage. In the accounts of Mark and Luke, 
the conjoining of Bethphage and Bethany certainly seems to indi 
cate that the Evangelists had heard of a stay having been made hy 
Jesus at the latter place, with the details of which, however, they 
were not acquainted. 

* Liicke also (comp. on John xii. 12) is opposed to the idea of a twofold entry. 
Ho mentions tho additional fact (p. 338), that if we suppose the entry i Q tho 

morning of tho second day, no room wpuld remain for the icl-wir and visit, for, accord 
ing to Mark xi. 11, it was not till late in the evening that Jesus came to Bethany. 



MATTHEW XXI. 1. 1 11 

1. THE ENTRY OF CHRIST INTO JERUSALEM. 

(Matth. xxi. 1-11 ; Mark xL 1-10 ; Luko xix. 29-ii ; John xii. 12-19. 

Looking now to the Saviour as he enters Jerusalem on his way 
to that bitter death of the cross, which he knew with certainty was 
there awaiting him (Matth. xvi. 21 ; xx. 18), the question naturally 
suggests itself ; on what grounds did our Lord not refrain on this 
occasion from going up to the feast? On this point -there is 
enough to be gathered, even from the external circumstances, to 
shew that the death of Jesus was no self-sought, refined act of 
suicide. For, friends and foes, with equal earnestness, expected his 
arrival the former, in the hope of seeing him at last come forth 
in the fulness of his glory ; the latter, in the hope of destroying 
him, and exposing him as a false Messiah. To have stayed away, 
therefore, must have appeared prejudicial to his work, and the con 
viction of this consequently must have impelled him to meet the 
danger. The precept also of the Mosaic law, that all males should 
on the high festivals appear in the Temple, must have caused Christ 
to go to Jerusalem, unconcerned for the consequences which this 
journey might bring upon him. (Ex. xxiii. 17.) But these ideas 
are by no means sufficient to account for our Lord s giving himself 
up to death, which his appearance in the midst of his embittered 
enemies involved. According to his own distinct declarations, the 
Saviour s death was voluntary (John x. 18, tyw riO^i rf\v ^vx i \ v ^ ov 
</ - yiavTov. ) Acquainted with the Father s decree for the redemp 
tion of men, Christ of his own free purpose entered into it, and 
became obedient to the Father even unto death (Phil. ii. .8 ; Heb. 
v. 8). His going to Jerusalem, therefore, cannot be viewed as 
standing apart from the necessity of his death itself. According to 
the predictions of the Old Testament, in which the everlasting 
counsel of the Father was set forth (Matth. xxvi. 24 ; Luke xxiv. 
26, 27, 4G ; 1 Cor. xv. 3), it was in this way that the Saviour was 
to be made perfect for himself and for the Church. So long, there- 

. as his hour (and the Father s) was not yet come (Matth. xxvi. 
45 ; .Mark xiv. 41 ; John xii. 27; xvii. 1), he avoided all the machi 
nations of his enemies ; but when the previously announced will of 
li. d (Lukf ix. 31) was inwardly and certainly revealed to him, 
Christ followed it with childlike obedience (not exerting his might 
for his own deliverance, Matth. xxvi. 53, 54), and gave himself up 
a ransom for many (Matth. xx. 28). The act of Jesus, therefore, in 
going forward t<> that death which he looked for with certainty 
in Jerusalem, is t<> be explained chiefly from the relation in which 
he stood to the will of the Father, which must by no means be re- 



142 MATTIIEW XXI. 1. 

garded as the will of a vengeful Being, who from mere caprice 
selected the innocent as a sacrifice in the room of the guilty, Lut 
assuredly as the righteous and holy will of the Father, who found 
an everlasting redemption in the equal balancing of justice and 
mercy, in such a way, that the righteous one, placing himself, in his 
free love, on the same footing with the unrighteous, did, by thus 
going down to their level, bring them up to his own. The will of the 
Father (as of pure love) therefore was equally the will of the Son, 
and the struggle at Gethsemane (Matth. xxvi. 39) is merely to be 
viewed as this will victorious in the Son s human nature a will the 
accomplishment of which was resisted by the powers of darkmepL.. 

Another and more difficult point in regard to this occurrence is 
the solemn entry made by Jesus. By it the Saviour appears to have 
awakened and nourished those earthly Messianic hopes which on 
other occasions he combattcd. The attempt to represent that entry, 
however, as accidental, is excluded first by this consideration, that 
it must have been so easy for our Lord to reach the city quietly and 
unobserved, had such been his object. And in the next place, 
Christian consciousness refuses to ascribe to accident so important 
an act in the Saviour s life. The design of the narrators, moreover, 
is obviously by no means to represent this transaction as having 
taken place unintentionally ; its connexion with the prophecies of 
the Old Testament (Matth. xxi. 5 ; John xii. 14) at once shews 
that there was an intention to fulfil them. Certainly, however, it 
is inconceivable that our Lord should have done anything merely 
for the purpose of fulfilling a prophecy ; the fact must have some 
demonstrable connexion with his person and office, and thus the 
prophecy itself rest on a deeper foundation. This foundation I find 
in the whole ordering of our Lord s life on earth. Although he ap 
peared in poverty and humiliation, and although the Jews could 
(discover in him nothing of that external splendour with which they 
conceived that the appearance of the Messiah would be surrounded, yet 
even in his outward manifestations there were to be found indications 
of what his exalted dignity required. This very entry belongs to 
the number of these indications, and it stands here as the type of 
what he is one day to do in taking possession of the kingdom of God 
in glory. Such a type our Lord intended it to be. The disciples 
at a later period (according to John xii. 16) learned for the first time 
the meaning of the act, and connected it in consequence with^the 
prophecies of the Old Testament. 

As to the relation of the three narratives to each other, Mark 
once more appears the most complete and minute, lie p ves 
us especially the acts of Jesus, subsequently to the entry, with 
greater detail than .Matthew, who, in his account of them, keeps 
much more to generalities. True, however, the narrative of Mat- 



MATTHKW XXI. 1,2. 143 

thew is enriched liy (In- i 10 the Old Tc-iani -nt, which, in 

the view of tin. 1 two other Kvan-vliMs, was less significant. Luke 
al-o has embodied (xix. 39-44) in his narrative peculiar traits which 
must have originated with a close observer and near companion of 
Christ. Tin 1 passages from the gospel of John, which run parallel 
to thi- and the tallowing paragraphs of the section on which we are 
engaged, will be explained here only in so far as they aid our under 
standing of the synoptical gospels. 

Ver. 1, 2. After the Saviour (according to John xii. 1, sei[.) 
had staid in Bethany, he went by way of Bethphage (NS? rr? from 
fiajigs [Song ii. 13] which grew abundantly there) which was situ- 
uated in the neighbourhood of Bethany, towards Jerusalem. (The 
joining together of Bethphage and Bethany in Mark and Luke is a 
loose statement, which seems to rest on the circumstance that the 
Saviour had stopped also at Bethany, though certainly not during 
his journey, which rather commenced from that place.) John s ac 
count, according to which the men came from Jerusalem to meet 
Jesus, does not stand opposed to that of the synoptical gospels ; it 
only delineates the scene more fully. Some might have accompa 
nied Christ from Bethany and Bethphage, while others came out of 
the city to meet him. According to the representation of Matthew, 
it admits of no doubt that the two disciples were sent into Beth 
phage, which lay at the foot of the Mount of Olives ("Opog ru>v 
tvUioiv, D rxn in, Zcch. xiv. 4, was situated only a few stadia from 
Jerusalem, and the road to Jericho lay over it). Here our Lord 
commanded them to bring him an ass, which they would find there 
(John xii. 14 has the expression evpuv bvdpiov, finding an ass, which 
a] -plies indeed to Christ himself, inasmuch as he says nothing of his 
sending the disciples. [It is by no means natural here] to suppose 
that an agreement concerning the ass had been previously entered 
into by Jesus. The word evpwv, finding, used by John appears to 
favour the supposition that the finding was accidental. The nature 
of the transaction, and probably also the meaning of the narrators, 
harmonizes better with (hat account of the matter, which supposes 
that the Messiah on his entry found all that he needed placed to 
his hand by Divine adjustment, and thus that there was no ante 
cedent agreement in the case. Certainly, however, we must suppose 
those to whom the animal belonged were the friends of Jesus. Mat 
thew, closely following the prophecy (Zech. ix. 9), makes mention 
of two animals ;* Mark and Luke allude only to the irdJAoj , colt, 
adding, that it never had been rode upon. (Beasts that never had 
been used were supp">ed to pOM6M th - character of being pure and 
Unblemished, f"r which reason they were carefully made u>e of for 
sacrifices, Dent. xxi. o.) From this addition it clearly follows that 
* L c., the foal which Jesus rode, mid the mother beside which it !; .-:onod. 



144 MATTHEW XXI. 3-7. 

it was this animal which was to cany our Lord ; the mother may 
either have been In I behind or have followed ; but in any case, we 
may suppose that Matthew was quite right in his statement, that 
two animals were brought. 

Ver. 3-5. The disciples were enjoined merely to mention our 
Lord to the possessors^ of the animals, on which statement they 
would at once be given up to them. (The expression f> nvpiog, the 
lord, presupposes an acquaintance with the Saviour on the part of 
the owners of the ass [comp. on Matth. xvii. 4]. Here, however, 
the b Kvpiog, although it has the article, is not to be taken in any 
higher sense, inasmuch as r lft&v is merely to be supplied.) Matthew 
immediately adds, that this fact had already been mentioned in the 
Old Testament. (The formula iva 7rA7?pw0//, that it might be fulfilled, 
has here assuredly, according to the view of Mattheiv, the literal 
meaning of an intentional fulfilment. Compare on Matth. i. 22.) 
The passage Zech. ix. 9 stands in a remarkable prophetic connexion. 
The Messiah is described (ver. 10) as the Prince of Peace to whom 
the whole earth is subject, and in this character he makes his 
entry into the Holy City Jerusalem being viewed as the centre of 
the spiritual kingdom. Although primarily the account of the entry 
given by Zechanah appears merely figurative (inasmuch as the ass, 
as the symbol of peace, stands contrasted with the horse, ver, 10, as 
the symbol of war), yet the guiding hand of Providence loves to re 
produce such features with literal accuracy, mingling together things 
the most exalted and the most minute with the boldest freedom and 
most careful exactness. As regards the text of the quotation, Mat 
thew is found again dealing freely with the passage. The LXX. 
translate almost literally from the Hebrew %alpe cxpodpa Ovyarep Itwv, 
KJjpvooe Ovyarep lepovaaArjfJ, I6ov 6 fiaoikevs tp^erai ooi diicaiog, nal 
ou&v, avrbg Ttpavg Kal &7n[3i37]KG)g im vTrotyytov nai TTOJ^OV veov. The 
point to which Matthew gives special prominence respecting Jesus 
is merely the irpavf, meek, in order to indicate the character of the 
gracious dominion of his sceptre, which this whole entry symbolizes. 
Along with the passage from Zechariah, however, Matthew seems 
to have combined another from Isa. Ixii. 11, at least the words 
elrrare ry Ovyarpl Siuv, say to the daughter of Zion, are borrowed 
from it. 

Ver. 6, 7. The act of bringing the animal itself is described by 
Mark, according to his manner, in full detail ; he even observes the 
way in which it \vas lied. ("A/z^ocJo? or fyufrodov = pvfirj } a street, a 
road. In the New Testament it occurs only here.) The expression 
also TO>ef Ttjr KKU aT7]KOTuv, some of those standing there, is marked by 
vived outward portraiture. (Luke xix. 33 mentions several mas 
ters, perhaps they may have been sons of the possessor, who came 
upon the apostles, and who, as such, may also have been called 



MATTHKW XXF. 8-11. L45 

owners .f llif animal.) When they brought the animals to Jesus, 
they spread (according t-> the Oriental custom, instead of a saddle) 
their clutlies upon ..ne of them, and Bel JCMIS oil it. (Ill the text of 
Matthew A -fKtiflimr, is certainly the right reading, hut tin 1 account of 
Luk looov T&W Ifprovv] deserves doubtless the preference. In 

this act of the people they plainly expressed their acknowledgment 
the M. -Manic King. The words imii-^ ui-Mi^ upon 
tin-in, by Matthew are merely a loose form of expression. The two 
animals are viewed as taken together, and thus everything wliich 
happened to one of them [TWAOV] is applied also to the other.) 

Yer. 8-11. This account of what was done around Jesus before 
the commencement of the procession is followed by a description of 
the exulting and triumphant joy which broke forth on the part of 
the people. They spread their clothes on the road (2 Kings ix. 13, 
as the token of an honourable reception), and scattered branches 
along the way over which Jesus passed. (Instead of KAmJot, Mark 
has <7To//3a (Jef, from aroiftr], copsewood, branches. John xii. 13 has 
the, more specific expression 0aia -tiv </>om/cwv, palm-branches, 
See ad loc.) At the same time, however, they received Jesus with 
salutations addressed to him as the Messiah. (Luke xix. 37 accu 
rately describes the locality here [it was at the Ka-df3agtg -ov opovg 
T&V dv./ Jir], and remarks that the miracles of Jesus were the sub 
ject of praise to God. Probably this remark refers primarily to the 
raising of Lazarus, which according to John xii. 9, had attracted so 
many to Bethany.) The words of salutation quoted here are taken 
from a song of triumph (from Ps. cxviii. 2G) which refers typically 
to the Mes.Mah. i The " : ny^n is translated by the LXX. nvpie 
otianr <Mj. Mark has carried out the expressions, inasmuch as he ap 
plies the word <>c, blessed, also to the f3aai^eia ) kingdom, 
which is ascribed to David as representative of the royal dignity be 
longing to the Messiah [Kzek. xxxiv. 23, 24]. Luke entirely omits 
the term (.Wrn/, /ninnum, with which his readers were unacquainted. 
The last clause is difficult woarvd tv rolg vi/>7TOff, hosanna in the 
Itiijltcst. It is best to understand it with Fritzsche as meaning that 
thr exclamation of hosanna is supposed to be transferred also to 
heaven, in order to intimate that Jesus was also to be joyfully ac- 
knowlcd-ed by the heavenly world.) That, however, which the fickle 
multitude here praised in Jesus they within a lew days denied that 
they could find in him, after having been disappointed in the ex 
pected appearance of that outwardly glorious kingdom towards which 
their carnal hopes wi dly directed. The people were t Iras 
to acknowledge and salute Jesus of their own free-will, as the M 
siah, in order that it mi-lit afterwards be said that they had rejected 
their (acknowledged) King. 

* As to this see tho remarks on Mattli. x\; 
VOL. II. 10 



146 LUKI-: XIX. 39-44. 

Luke xix. .30-44 relit es other interesting traits of Jesus during 
hiscntry. First In- millions a conversation with sonic Pharisees who, 

i at this moment, when mm were carried away and intoxicated 
with joy, uttered certain col. I reflections against the rejoicings of the 
people (compare the entirely similar oceurn ii -e. Matth. xxi. 15, 16). 
Full of chagrin that the people did homage to Jesus, they ventur* d 
to ask Jesus himself to repress the shouts of those who hailed him 
as the Messiah. [The manner of the demand manifestly invoh 
threat. They represent itasacrime, a state offence, that he should 
receive such homage.] Our Lord, however, here indirectly acknow 
ledges his own kingly dignity, inasmuch as he declares that it could 
not be otherwise, and that he must, amid triumphant joy and the 
free acknowledgment of his dignity, make his entry into the Holy 
City. (From the reference of the MOot neK^orrai, the stones will 
cry out, to Hab. ii. 11, where the stones in the wall and the beams 
are represented as speaking, it is to be taken literally, and explained 
from proverbial usage. It is intended to set forth the necessity for 
the loud expression of joy even on the part of minds the most inani 
mate, and thus to shew the importance of the moment.) Amidst 
this general exultation, however, which the Saviour would by no 
means interfere with, there yet mingled the silent tears of sad: 
as, descending from the brow of the Mount of Olives, he looked on 
the Holy City, the mother and the altar of the saints (Luke xiii. 
33). In spirit Jesus beheld that same people who now met him 
with shouts of joy, opening their ears to the hostile influences of 
the Pharisees, and, by trifling away the opportunity of salvation 
which had come so near them, preparing for themselves a fearful 
doom. In the lively contemplation of these violent contrasts the 
exulting salutation of the rejoicing multitude, and the approaching 
murderous cry of crucify him the peaceful repose of the city as it 
lay spread out before his view, and the storms of war which were to 
roll up towards its walls the inclinations and needs of men for the 
one side, and the power of darkness deciding them to take the other 
amidst such contemplations, feelings the most varied must have 
iilled the Saviour s soul. The relation in which the people stood to 
himself specially implies the possibility of a free choice on their part 
in It ix favour, because without such a possibility, neither the guilt 
\\hieh the people drew down upon themsehvs by rejecting t! 
nor their punishment, could have been applicable to them. True, 
however, Christ puts their guilt h"re in the mildest form, w], n he 
makrs it c"ii>ist in their " X A* or m having their spiritual 

\iews so darkened a> n ,t to perceive the lull significance of tin- ;uo- 
.nent. (At Acts iii. 17, 1 Cor. ii. 8, this want, of knowled-c is ex- 

* Compare, however, on Mattb. xxiii. 38, as to the connexion , between the want of 
will air.i the want of knowledge. 



MAHK XT. 11-14. 147 

tended also to the rul -rs who cnn-itird Je0O& 1 ut, this want of 
knowledge and blindness must !> vi-wed as it-elf implying guilt, 
inasmuch as it presiipj <>-> unfaitlit iilncss in (lie use i.t the means 
for enlightening the spiritual perceptions which <}>>! had so richly 
put within (he reach of the people. Peculiar to I M ge is the 

ex pres<i> ,11 M- 7/) i i!"-\><i aov -avTr), in t/iis tliy ?">/, instead of which 
there is given at ver. 4t, Kaipoc rfis itnuntmrlfe rrov, th> fit/ic of thy 

-it ion. It expresses the idea that nations (as well as indi 
viduals) have in their advancing development moments, on the use 
or neglect of which their condition, through long periods of time, 
depends periods of crisis, as it were, in which the decisive step for 

I or evil is taken. Through the preceding periods certainly the 
de.ision may have been rendered probable on the one side or the 
other (as was the ease here with the Jewish people), but everything 
would fall under the dominion of stern necessity, should we main 
tain the absolute impossibility of its being otherwise than it was. 
The contest between the small number of noble minds among the 
Jewish people and the great corrupt mass, was brought out to view 
by the Kedeemer appearing in the midst of them. While the former 
attached themselves to the heavenly manifestation, and found in 
him life and full enjoyment, the latter saw in it the annihilation of 
their vain hopes and selfish plans. Instead of submitting to self- 
denial, they offered up the Holy One in sacrifice, and thereby con 
summated at once their own destruction and the salvation of the 
/ 

world. (As to l-irjKOTTT) = mjB comp. on Luke i. 68, 78.) As re 
spects the representation which our Lord gives, ver. 43, 44, of the 
consequences of such unfaithfulness, and which he sets forth only 
under (heir external aspect, they will be more fully considered on 
the parallel passages, Matth. xxiii. 37 ; Luke xxiii. 27. 



2. THE FIG TREE CURSED. 

(Mark xi. 11-14.) 

Ill this and the two tallowing paragraphs Mark shews himself 
unmistakeably tie- ii; t narrator as 1 ehronulo^v. He 

remarks j(xi. 11) that the entry of our Lord t i"k place (. .wards even- 
in- , and h -nre, after he I 1:! ,i visited the Temple, he immediately re 
turned with th twelve (.> Bethany. Matthew. OM (he ..(her hand, 
place- the driving GUI of the merchants an 1 th ver. 14) a!-o 

on the day of the entry, and no( till ;:fter t - he recount with 

Mark the depar .uiv for Bethany (ver. 17). The WC Qnl of the 
M ssianic -alii(ati"n whi< !i ilr- childr -.\ joyou&ij i in the 

s, indeed, very well with the day <>f th entry, but not 
le- -i with the fillowin^ day. The exelamation of the children 



148 MARK XI. 11-14. 

appears as the echo of the people s exulting shout on the preceding 
day. The unchronological <-liaravter nf Matthew, however, is 
peculiarly conspicuous in his account of the withered fig tree. lie 
transfers, indeed, as does Mark, Christ s visiting the fig tree to the 
morning of the day after the entry ; but the account of the marked 
fulfilment of the curse pronounced by Jesus, and the conversations 
on faith therewith connected, are immediately conjoined therewith, 
while, according to Mark (xi. 19, 20), a whole day intervened. 
From such inexactness, however, on the part of Matthew, we are 
not to conclude that his statements are unreliable, and that the 
apostolic origin of his gospel is improbable, but rather that his lead 
ing aim was not the description of things external, but the pour- 
traying of Jesus and his labours under certain general points of 
view. As was already observed above (on Matth. xxi. 1), these his 
toric topics which Matthew brings together in this section form only 
an introduction to his lengthened account of the manner in which 
our Saviour conducted himself towards his powerful adversaries. 
Hastening on to this, he describes only in general terms those ex 
ternal circumstances which it is the proper object of Mark fully to 
pourtray. 

As respects the cursing of the fig-tree itself, the narrative of 
Mark in particular, and the whole fact as it stands, presents con 
siderable difficulties. As regards, first, the account of Mark, there 
is something remarkable in the expression, ov yap 7/i> Kaipug OVKUV, 
for it was not the tune of Jigs (ver. 13). For, if we refer the expres 
sion Kaipbg OVKUV to the time in which figs ripen, one does not see 
how the Saviour, if the period generally had not arrived, should 
have sought figs on the tree. And further, as the fruit of the fig 
tree is produced earlier than the leaves, and as Mark expressly tells 
us that he found only leaves, it appears that the season of figs (naipos 
avituv) must have arrived, for in a fruitful fig tree, if the leaves were 
already expanded, fruit might certainly have been expected. [As 
it was not the time of figs, the tree should have had no /< <n-> .-, which 
generally appear after the setting of the fruit. Thus, looking at the 

>on of the year, there were indeed no figs to be expected, but other 
wise, looking at the individual habit of the tree, and its abundance 
of leaves. The tree, as having leaves, had the appearance of ex 
traordinary fruitfulness, nay of a tree bearing fruit even before the or 
dinary season, and thus was a sad representation of Israel, which in 
appearance displayed extraordinary legal righteousness, but in truth 
bore no fruits <.! righteousness.] There is, however, still greater 
difficulty involved in the fact itself. It is not possible in any way 
to see how our Lord could curse an unfruitful fig tree if we look at 
the fact only externally. All our conceptions of the Saviour would 
be deranged by supposing so unfitting an application of his 



MATTHEW XXI. 12. 149 



miraculous power. But if we understand the cxp ///.VT* IK 

oov ti<- r!>r nli~>i ir in^^ic K<I(>-<>I> ( nh.ni, let no man cut // if, etc., as 

simply a remark occasioned liy tin- manifestly worthless nature of 

tin- live. tli. -ii, first, the narrative would be aimless ; next, it is im- 

lilc to sec how sueh a remark regarding things external could 

occasion to the snl)sequent instructions on faith (Mark xi. 22, 

nothing of the fact that such an exposition obviously 

does violence to the text, inasmuch as, according to the view of the 

::"vlist. the withering of the tree resulted from a special e 
cise of the Saviour s power (vcr. 21 , ?/ <TVK//, T)V /car^paao) tgfjpavTat), 
and amidst that heightened tone of holy feeling which the Redeemer 
displayed in these latter hours of his life, it was impossible that 
any observation so inane could find a place. In the delinea 
tion, therefore, of the Saviour s character, this fact can find a place 
as a genuine trait only when regarded as figurative. (See as to 
the meaning and importance of many transactions, on Luke v. 
1, sec[.) As the great and decisive hour approached, the holy soul 
of Jesus was occupied only with the sins of the people, who at the 
sublime moment, when all the longings and hopes of their fathers 
stood fulfilled, remained blind and deaf to the revelation of his 
glory. He, the Son of their Father in heaven, was come seeking 
those fruits of true repentance, which the law ought to have pro 
duced, but he found them not. As the result of this unfruitfulness, 
therefore, the penal sentence now took effect after the tree had in 
rain been cared for by the true Gardener (comp. on Luke xiii. 6) 
it must now be rooted out. The whole of this rich combination of 
ideas lies, as it were, embodied in the apparently insignificant fact ; 
and thus understood, it becomes the symbol of our Lord s relation 
to the people of Israel and their final doom, which in connexion 
with the closing period of Christ s ministry is of unwonted signifi 
cance. Only on the supposition that such is the meaning of the 
transaction do the Saviour s words, which according to Mark xi. 25, 
26, immediately follow the fact, acquire an obvious pertinence. 

3. THE PURIFICATION OF THE TEMPLE. 

(Matth. xxi. 12-16. Mark xi. 15-18. Luko xix. 45-48.) 



As respects first the relation of the synoptical p-spels hereto 
John (ii. IL . Beq ), L-uke has come at last to maintain the identity 
of the I act according to their and his narration. But the tran^f r 
of an occurrence which "took place at the commencement of Chri 
ministry t<> the concliisi.in of ; to me a thin- so impr !>ahle, 

that 1 coul.4 COD (\ only in a case of extreme n<- < iich 

a necessity does not seem to me to exist here. For. i,i the first 



MATTHI:\V XXT. 12. 

place, granting that the narratives of Matthew and Luke arc not in 
this section minutely exact, w; must yet all the more decisively 
maintain that Mark records the occurrences of tho several days 
with the most scrupulous exactness. The narrative of the withered 
fig tree is set before us so graphically that it can only have proceeded 
from an eye-witness, and in the driving out of the money-chan. 
he has traits so special (ver. 16, 17), that they attest the genuine 
ness of his account. In a narrative such as this, such a mis 
understanding is not to be thought of. In the second place, a 
transaction such as this on the part of Jesus, both at the commence 
ment and the close of his ministry, so far from seeming extraordi 
nary, is in the highest degree appropriate. True, this transaction, 
as well as the former, must bo regarded not merely in its 
external aspect, but as the symbol of our Lord s entire ministry. 
Regarded merely externally, the transaction must have the appear 
ance of being somewhat aimless ; for, though the dealers retired for 
the moment from before our Lord, yet we can form no other sup 
position than that, when he withdrew, they again resumed their un 
holy traffic, since the priests did not oppose it. The whole occur 
rence, however, acquires an ideal significance if we view its external 
aspect only as a type of the Lord s spiritual labours. The purify 
ing of the house of God, in the spiritual sense of the word, was his 
proper vocation, and this was symbolized at the commencement and 
close of his labours, by the act of purifying the outer sanctuary. 
The more special circumstance in John s account of the act (espe 
cially the -xoielv fypaytXXiov KK. o^omojv, making a scourge, etc., as to 
which the Synoptical gospels are silent) may have had exclusive 
reference, to what the Saviour did at the first purification of the 
temple, for it may be supposed that at the repetition of the act the 
multitude at once yielded to the well-known Prophet. 

As respects the transaction itself, however (whether it occurred 
only once or oftener), in its connexion with the Saviour, the vio 
lence which it manifests may seem out of keeping with the gracious 
character of Jesus. But precisely because love was completely and 
truly exhibited in the Redeemer, for that very reason there was dis 
played in him as well its severity as its mildness. As the latter was 
manifested toward the humble, so was the former towards the bold 
and shameless ; and as here in deed, so in other passages in word 
(Luke xix. 21 , Matth. xxiv.) does our Lord express himself as one 
who shall destroy the adversaries (eumji. on John iii. 17, 18). The 
ciieiunsiance, however, that the act of Jesus was eil ectual for the 
external puriliea;i< n e.J the Temple that for the time at le-i>t dur 
ing which he \\,;s present, the turmoil should have be. n -ilenced, 
this is not, to he su, ncce.-sarily explained by any *JH 

,-ise of our L .ni" lotu power, but from the fact that he 



MATTIIKW XXI. l-J-16. L51 

himself a mighty mini ! . L i<-ke (part i. p. .">. ] )j lias well ex 
posed the utter vanity of th a; temp! which h ; incidentally 
made to refer this transact! i:< to tin- so-called right of 
/ealots. There remains in explanation of the i aet only the r/iurac- 
t r ! th Saviour himself. As Jesus by his word, and by the h"]y 
impression of his character, disarmed the band (John vii. 40, xviii. 

by his holy anger he drove the unholy men from the pn. ciii 
i f the Sanctuary. 

Ver. 12. Tiie so-called outer court of the heathen, consisting of 
a wide-paved space in front of the proper outer court, formed the 
scene of this transaction. In Ibis space the sellers of animals 1 r 
sacrifice, and the money changers, had erected their booths (nv:n), 
and thus transferred the turmoil of worldly traffic into the immedi 
ate neighborhood of those who were engaged in prayer. (KoAA,v,3w- 
rift from :6AA,v,3o$-, small coin, change, and then an agio or exchange. 
John ii. 14 has KE^ia-riv-rfc from /tep/m, small coin, change. Both 
expressions are parallel to that commonly used, viz. to rpaTs^tTT/c, 
and occur in the New Testament only in this narrative.) Mark xi. 
1G gives in addition the special circumstance that vessels (OKKVO^) 
were carried hither and thither probably for the accommodation of 
the sellers, and that this our Lord also prevented. 

Ver. 13. All the three Evangelists equally unite in giving, 
along with this act of Jesus, a reference to two passages of the Old 
Testament, viz. to Isa. Ivi. 7, and Jer. vii. 11. Although the na 
tural contrast implied in these passages is so great as easily to have 
impressed itself on the memory, yet so minute an agreement in the 
twofold quotation must be held to prove that the different narratives 
are founded on one and the same original account. Only Mark 
the words of Isa. Ivi. 7 somewhat more fully, inasmuch as he 

ii liitled also the expression TrdmrolgtOveaiv, for all nations. Even 
Matthew also, in bringing forward these passages, has not applied to 
them his usual formula h-a Tr/b/pwOy, that it might be fulfilled, and 
hen ,-e we are not to suppose that the words had any special reference 
to those eiivumstan ,-es which arose in the time of Jesus. They merely 
oppose the ideal meaning an 1 de<i-.:;n of th" Temple to th- bold 
alms" of that design as brought abnit at earlier and later periods 
l>y >;n (as to i;n/nnntn^ see on Luke i. !>2.) 

Ver. 14-1G. Kven in the Temple doefl -lesus still continue his 
healing labour.:, dispensing bleMinga so Ion:;- as he c iiild during his 
appearance on earth, and by his efforts bestowing !:; 00 t&OM \\h > 
did not set themsi-lves in opposition to the bh-s.-e 1 inlluence which 
went forth from him. P.ut h ina ; > bring forward 

O 

the Hut, that it was the I ll >rty whieh she-wed it-vlf 

tirely hardened ; ions. (Only here in the 

New Testament are the works of :med 0?ytu<Tm = r-NVc:.) 



152 MATTHEW XXI. 17-22. 

The account of the continuous assaults of this party on our Lord, 
forms the leading topic of the whole subsequent narrative of Mat 
thew. It is here related, first, hmv the Pharisees (just at the 
entry of Jesus, Luke xix. 39), sought to silence the Messianic shout 
of welcome which the children in their simple joyousndss were rais 
ing, as an echo to that cry of the multitude that had iiw died 
away, and, by which they were reminded of a truth offensive to 
them. The Saviour, however, again reminds them of a Scripture 
statement (Ps. viii. 3), in which the age of childhood (t^n? 1 ] & ^V ) 
is represented as also fitted to proclaim, the praise of God. The 
words of Matthew, moreover, closely follow the LXX. From the 
application of these words considered in itself, no inference can be 
drawn absolutely to prove the Psalm to be Messianic, for Matthew 
does not intimate here that there was any fulfilment to them. But 
the express reference of the Psalm in other passages of the New Tes 
tament (1 Cor. xv. 27, Heb. ii. 6, 7), makes certain, indeed, the Mes 
sianic exposition of it on the part of the apostles. Yet this by no 
means excludes the general reference of it to men as such, but rather 
does human nature appear in the Messiah (the vlbg ~ov dvOpuirov ) as 
ideally personified, and hence the human in him is to be viewed as 
on all sides complete and perfect, while in every other individual 
the human character is set forth only approximately. According to 
this special reference of the Psalm to the Messiah, the quotation 
acquires an immediate application to the existing circumstances, 
which otherwise this passage would not of itself have indicated. 

That which Matthew here sets forth by a special and particular 
reference, Mark (xi. 18) and Luke (xix. 47, 48) express only as a 
general idea, but they represent the hostility of the priestly party 
to Jesus, as restrained by the attachment cherished toward him by 
the more simple multitude, who, though indeed very fickle, were 
still more susceptible of noble impressions. (Luke, Xabg d-ag tfe/c- 
pefiaro avrov daovwv.) Not until this attachment was weakened by 
the insinuations of the Pharisees, did they dare to go forward with 
their dark plans (comp. Mark xxi. 46, and the parallel passages). 



4. ON THE POWER OF FAITH. 

(Matth. xxi. 17-22 ; Mark xi. 19-26.) 

As was already remarked above, Matthewdocs not treat the history 
of the withered fig tree with minute accuracy, in that while indeed 
he also mak -s the Redeemer, on the morning of the day succeed 
ing his entry, go up to the tree in order to seek fruit, lie malo- the 
withering take place immediately on his going up to it (-apaxpwa 
while the more accurate Mark relates that it was not till 



MATTHKW X X I. 17-22. 153 

next morning that they observed tlic fulfilment of the. Saviour s 
threatening. 1 iit, looking to the entire character and purpose of 
Matthew, this i> not to l. regarded as an historic error, l.ut merely 

:;i abbreviated form of recording tin- fact. The thing which he 
had in view was not the transaction in itself as such, hut th" mean- 
in- which it was to bear. It was to prepare his ivad -rs for his 
leading theme, viz., Christ s mode of dealing with the Pharisees. 
That which at ehap. xxiii. is fully expressed in thou jlit, is expressed. 
in f (tct by this history of the withered fig tree, viz., the destruction 
of the Pharisees and of the multitude enthralled by their spirit. 
That part of our Lord s discourse therefore (such as Mark xi. 25, 
26), which did not subserve his object, was left out by Matthew. 
.Mark, however, who gives the facts for their own sake, is accurate 
to the minutest particular. Thus lie even records (ver. 21) that it 
was Peter speaking for the body of the apostles who gave occasion 
to the Saviour s discourse. As respects the account of faith (marts) 
in our Lord s discourse, all that is needful on that point has been 
set down at Matth. xvii. 20. To faith (nuj-eveiv) is opposed the 
AiaKptveaOcu as a state of inward wavering and uncertainty. (Rom. 
iv. 20, xiv. 23, diaapiveoOai rq dmaria. btaKpiveoOat denotes primarily 
to fight, to contend loith, and this meaning is transferred to the soul. 
Hence diaKptoig, doubting, is by no means synonymous with dmaria, 
unbelief, for this latter expression denotes the entire absence of 
faith, the former merely the weakness of faith, which cannot attain 
to complete internal confidence.) Further, this state is ascribed to 
the heart (as marts is at Rom. x. 9) ; for in faith, we have not 
primarily to do with ideas or conceptions which are rather to be 
viewed as the consequences of it, but with the character of man in 
its innermost core. (The state of the soul s dispositions and the 
will, in so far as it is determined by these dispositions.) At the 

1 , therefore, V v 7 / might have been put in room of Kapdia, in so 
far as it may be viewed as concentrated in the Ka^6ia } but in no case 
could -ftriia or vovg. 

The connexion of the ideas is not without obscurity. In the 
first place, the astonishment with which the disciples viewed this 
occurrence (Matth. xxi. 20), may well surprise us after the many 
extraordinary deeds which they had seen done by our Lord. But just 
;is those whose minds are tilled with the sense of the Divine Omnipo 
tence, are struck with astonishment as often as they see it displayed 
in new and ex lied manifestations, so we see the disciples affected 
whenever th" glory of Christ reveals itself under a new aspect. But 
the reference to faith does not seem to connect itself entirely appro 
priately with this astonishment, and with the (juestion -<> AV//(></rtf/7 // 
oi-nTi, how ixtlf ji j-ti- we to understand the repl; 

meaning, "1 perform this through faith, and through faith you could 



154 MATTH KW XXI. 17-22. 

do it also," it must be observed that the term faith (~iortr)is never 
used of Christ s relation to the Father. The Saviour performs his 
miracles, not through the power of faith in God, but from the Divine 
power that dwelt in himself. We can hence merely say, that our 
Lord meant to lead the disciple^ away from outward astonishment at 
the fact, to its internal aspects, and refer them to faith as the source 
of all power to them for the performance of outward acts. Hence 
Mark rightly begins the discourse with the admonition t^ere TTIOTIV 
0n>, have faith in God, by which he meant to turn the attention 
of the disciples to their inward life of faith as the condition of all 
their efficiency. The reference of faith to God, however, does not 
exclude faith in himself personally, as the Redeemer ; nay, God was 
manifested in him (John xiv. 9), and faith in Christ is faith on God 
in him (comp. Acts iii. 16, where faith in Jesus healed the sick). 
True, however, faitii in the apostles was to manifest itself by out 
ward deeds (John xiv. 12 ; o marevwv ei$ tye, fi%ova rovruv rcoiijoei, 
he that believcth on me, shall do, etc., and hence the particular form 
in which the power of faith is here developed. 

The representation thus given of faith and its power is followed 
(Matth. xxi. 22) by the assurance that believing prayer will be 
heard. The mode of transition in Matthew exhibits clearly the 
connexion of the ideas. Faith is conceived as the principle of the 
Christian life in general, and is further set forth as the condition of 
meeting the most difficult requirements. Even the overturning of 
mountains is to be viewed as something arising from circumstances, 
something necessarily demanded, yet impossible for human power, 
which becomes as such the object of believing prayer, by which the 
suppliant has conferred on him the powers of a higher world. From 
the particular the thought is merely extended to that which is 
general (-rdvra uoa). As respects, however, the idea that believing 
prayer will be heard, John (xiv. 13; xv. 16; xvi. 24) has given it 
in its complete form, by adding the clause tv rw uro^ari uor, in nuj 
name (comp. on Matth. xviii. 19). In this is assumed the genuine 
origin of prayer from the mind and Spirit of Jesus, and in this v- rv 
origin of the supplication there lies the necessity of its fulfilment. 
For, that which God s spirit prompts us to ask, he also naturally 
bestows; self-originated prayer cannot arise from faith. The con 
nexion here obviously again requires that the faith be not viewed as 
mere knowledge, but as a state of the soul from which knowledge 
takes its ris* . ." lie characteristic, however, of this mental 

stai ibility to the powers of a higher world which lie at 

the f >m: the whole new life a life \\hi-h has faith fo. 

root. Hence the expression " all things whatsoever" is only lin 
by . ir, inasmuch B . ling 

the kingdom of (Jod things 



MATTIIKW XXI. J. 1 !. 155 

I 

great as well us small, external as well ;^ iniernal, may be the 
object of believing supplication. 

It w. ul 1 In- dillieult. 1( It ll how tin- < Mark (xi. 

adjusted to tin- CX>ni -x t, if the symbolical meaning of 

the. withered fig tree were denied. It would in i art In- impossible 
to explain how these words (which Matth. vi. 14, 15 ; . B in the 

mi on the Mount, at which passage fuller d. -tails D 
suited) cpold have been inserted here by the i Nt, since all 

that precedes and follows stand in such perfect connexion. The best 
course would be to reject the verses entirely as an interpolation. But, 
under the symbolical interpretation, they acquire a beautiful mqral 
Hgniiieancy. The account of the doom of the Jews, from which 
the apostles saw themselves exempted, might have produced in 
thi -in a vain self-sufficiency ; as lelieviny they may perchance have 
cherished in their hearts unholy irritation (d ri t%e-e icard nvog) 
against their brethren, instead of lowly humiliation because of the 
unmerited grace bestowed upon them. For this reason the Re 
deemer exhorts them, above all things, to cherish mild and humble, 
feeling as the condition of their continuance in grace, and in be 
lieving prayer. Thus, as we are not for a moment to imagine that 
Israel is wholly cast away (Rom. xi.), so the apostles are just as far 
from being ensured against falling ; and to make them fully aware 
of this insecurity is the object of our Lord in these words. 



5. CONVERSATIONS OF THE LORD WITH THE PHARISEES. 

(Matth. xxi. 23 xxii. 14; Mark xi. 27 xii. 12; Luke xx. 1-19.) 

In this section there follows an account of the interviews which 
the B r hud with the hostile sacerdotal order. Their hatred 

towards the Saviour, and their concern on account of the number 
of adherents that he found among the people, had risen to the highest 
d* u: i strained them from laying violent hands upon 

him (Mark xi. 18; Luke xix. 47, 48), and they therefore sought to 
catch him by craft. But the spirit of truth and wisdom enabled 
him to put all their malice to shame. In the report of these occur 
rences- given by Matthew, which is very full and minute, two para 
graphs are to be distinguished ; for in Matth. xxii. 15, IK the 
rharis- e-. as well as the Sadducees, are rcpres< -nied as making a 
ml attempt. The careful argivciiieut of all three Evangelists 
in fhe-e >t:it inenls is, undoubtedly, a \\-\-\ important argunien; 
the correctness of the description. I- v .-p.-; hiii- seems to have ! 
transi!et"d iii the order of the nariMtivi- ; thouji Matthew i> i 
full, as he inserts two p M r ; xxii. 1- 14 . I in 

them ; while, m the other hand, Luke is the In! ;y rarely 



156 MATTHEW XXI. 23-27. 



(c. g.j xx. 35, 3G) making any additions peculiar to himself, and in 
one instance leaving an event (Matth. xxii. 34-40) altogether un 
noticed. Even the verhal agreement of the synoptical -writers, in 
these ensuing sections, is often so great that we are here tempted 
to suppose one and the same account as lying at the foundation of 
all the three. But compared with John, the other Evangelists, here 
taken together, give us but outward pictures. This contemplative 
disciple is the only one who enables us in these latter seasons of 
the Lord s earthly life, to look into the quiet circle of his followers, 
and into the loving heart which now opened itself to his friends 
without restraint. It may have been too difficult to comprehend the 
external and the internal parts of the Saviour s life in one represen 
tation, especially in its last deeply agitated period ; for this reason 
each was handed down to us separately, but, on that very ac 
count, assuredly stamped with so much the more genuineness and 
truth. 

Ver. 23-27. The abode of the Kedeemer, in the last days before 
his sufferings, was divided between Bethany where he endeavoured 
to ripen, in the circle of his friends, the scattered germs of the 
higher life and the Temple. Here, in the Father s house, as the 
appropriate place for the labours of the Son (Luke ii. 49), he walked 
and distributed his blessings, as before. (Mark xi. 27, tV TU> hj><7> 
TTepnrarovv-og avrov. Luke XX. 1. diddaicovrog avrov iv T& lepti KOI 
evayye/U^bjuevov.) But to the priests, who hardened their hearts, the 
works of Jesus became the means of condemnation. (John ix. 39, /? 
Kpifia tyo) el$ rbv Koapov rovrov i]A.6ov, iva ol /JAtTovre^ TV</>Aot ytVwvrat.) 
For, instead of yielding to the Spirit of truth, who spoke through 
him, they banded together to destroy the Witness of the truth. 
At length, one of the ruling party of the priests came up to him, 
and asked for the authority (ei-ovoia) by which he worked. Although 
the questioners are described as members of the highest tribunal 
(oldpxiFpEi$ t ol ypa/t/jamf, not ol -peGfivrepoi, compare the remarks on 
Matth. xxvi. 3), yet no definite intimation is given that these men 
came, not in their personal capacity, but as a deputation of the col 
lege. Hence we cannot regard this occurrence as altogether parallel 
with that which is related respecting the Baptist (John i. 19), to 
whom priests came, who were officially deputed to interrogate him 
in reference to his prophetic office. At the same time it is not im 
possible that the persons who thus questioned the Lord were ex 
pressly delegated by the Sanhedrim, and if that were the case, it 
does not appear ho\v this ijui-ry. as such, can have involved anything 
false. Indeed, according to the Mosaic law itself, directions were 
given for the testing of prophets, amongst whom, in the wid.T-ense, 
the L was to be reckoned aa the Prophet <>f all prophets (Deut* 
xviii. 18). According to this provision, it was open tor every mem- 



MATTHEW XXI. 23-27. 157 

Lor of the I.-raelitish people (.1 try tin- prophet, upon liis appearance, 

l \ the standard of God s word ; how much more for tliat body in 

\\hieh, acorn! in-- to tin- .Mosaic constitution, the political and eccle 
siastical jurisdictions were concentrated ! (Comp. Deut. xiii. 1, 11 .; 
xviii. 20, ff.; E/ek. xiii. 1, IK) The reply of Jesus then can but 
.surprise us, especially if we regard the interrogators as an oilicially- 
appointed deputation from the Sanhedrim, and thus from the gov 
ernment. For it would seem that, if every one (and con>equently 
the Sanhedrim above all) possessed the right to obtain information 
as to the authority of the prophet, the Redeemer ought to have an 
swered their inquiry, and not to have perplexed them by putting 
another question in opposition to it. But this difficulty is removed 
by the remarks which follow. According to the Mosaic regulations, 
neither the people, nor the college, nor an individual, were to be 
placed above the rank of the prophet ; on the contrary, the pro 
phets themselves were to be the organs of the Divine Spirit, and 
from them therefore the determining influence was to proceed. At 
the same time, however, the prophet certainly was to be, as it were, 
controlled by the body of the people, and by every individual 
as a member of the body, in order to guard against abuses of the 
gift of prophecy. The passages already adduced shew that two 
cases were possible in which the prophets were not to be obeye.d, 
but were liable to a severe punishment. (Comp. J. D. Michaelis, 
Mus. Recht. B. 5, s. 181, ff.) The cases were these ; either that the 
prophet himself traced his authority to another gotl (for example, 
to Baal) as the true one ; or that, although he appealed to Jehovah, 
he could not prove his authority by miracle and prophecy. Accord 
ing to the wise appointment of God, no prophet could rise without 
such evidence of his Divine mission. Men, in their state of sinfulness, 
needed not only the communication of the truth but also & testimony 
to the truth communicated, which could not be mixtaL-ai; and 
both of these were furnished by the prophets.* Thus no other 
means of testing the prophet was afforded but to question him re- 
sp, * iin-- the proof (1 f his authority. Hence the Sanhedrists sent to 
John the Baptist (John i. 19), and John explained to them that he 
was the forerunner of the Mosiah, of whose pivsence amongst Un 
people he prophesied. John himself also scut to Christ in a time 
of temptation (Matth. xi. 1, ff.), and so also now the Pharisees 
make their inquiry, so far as the form is concerned in proper order. 
tli- words iv -"/<< fi -rom, ly ichtit aul/inrif//, referred to the 
question, whether the commission of the interrogated prophet to 

* On this accouut the Lord said: " If I do not the works of my Father, In H 
not. But if I do, believe my works." (John x. 37, 38.) At t .vorda 

re not to betaken without "H" that is of God i ird" (John 

viii. 47) ; for only tho works and the truth, in connexion, have tho power of prooC 
(Comp. tho observations on Matth. iv. 12.) 



153 MATTIIKW XXI. 23-27. 

teach was derived from the true ({ml ..r from a false one ; the other 
words, rl? oot &NU TT}V tgwoiav, who <j<n-c ffoe, etc., conveyed the 
fMry, whether the prophet himself, to whom it was put. ]>r< I 
to have received his appointment immediately from (Jnd.or tlinni-h 
any medium as, for example, the disciples went about and j n>- 
claimed, in the name of Jesus, the approach of the kingdom of 
God. But with all this outward regularity, the spirit of the qt: 
proposed by the Pharisees was as impure as its form was faultless. 
They asked it, not at all from necessity and uncertainty respecting 
the vocation of Christ, for themselves and for the people, but from 
malice. They had felt the power of the truth that had proceeded 
from him in their hearts ; they had seen enough of miracles wrought 
by him, and they knew that his commission was proved ;* in spite 
of this, they represented themselves as uncertain, and sought to in 
volve Jesus in perplexity. But it may be asked what harm could 
this question do ? Had lie replied, " by the authority of God," 
it would not, indeed, have injured him with the people, who were 
favourably disposed towards him (Matth. xxi. 46), and just as little 
could the priests have derived from it anything by which to con 
demn him. Doubtless, however, the Pharisees wished to induce 
him to declare himself to be the Son of God.f This was regarded 
by the Jews of that day (John x.) who did not rightly understand 
the word of God in the Old Testament as blasphemy against 
God; and for the purpose of being able to accuse him of this 
they fixed upon an apparently legal question, to which they thought 
they might expect such an answer as they desired. On account of 
this hypocritical state of mind the Redeemer justly rejected the 
question, J and instead of it, proposed another to them, which, on 
the one hand, was adapted to awaken in themselves the con-ri >us- 
ness of sin, were that possible and on the other, to direct the at 
tention of the people to the insincerity of their leaders. The Lord 
asked them respecting the office of John. (The proper oil: ; 
John may be regarded as concentrated in his baptism, thai Icing 
the form of his ministy.) They had interrogated this me- 

God concerning his office by a formal deputation ; he had an-wued 

* 

* Comp. John iii. 2, the language of the < Vl -" Xieodeinu.s : 
oqfula irotfiv, ft ai) iroielf, . Here is expressed the.-. 

ledgmcnt cf the truth, in a well-disposed nn in ier of the S.-inhrilrim. 

f As, according to John viiL 17, Christ adduees t\\-;> 

and the Father. The following is tube: en Christ and 

the prophets: they acted in UK power of <!od. as iilK d (at titm s) l.y I.i- 

the Lord acted am! his o\vn mm . b 

lation c immediately afterwards (in the 

Matth. xxi. h ; s rel.-itinti to them as thai 

+ II. ."]. iii. p. .(si) i- , s. that in this c 

tiim tin- aiisv , .TV well knew what witness 

John had given of Jt> ka mi John i. 10. flf.) 



MATT;II:W XXI. 28-32. 159 

and -ivcn th -iii a Oljpeiov, xt i/n (n-.x). by which they ini-lif ; 
lln- (rue divinity of his commission, vi/..- f/tt tin 1 M<.-*i"// 

flu in (.liilin i. 2U). Now, instead ofe.iminir, in ac.-ordance 
with this evidence, to be baptized by John, tod (. am- ;ing 

Messiah pointed out by him, these false shepherds left -John to 
i .ik 1 . and all >wed the people, whom they ought to have instni.-v I 
conerrning the visitation of God, to remain in perplexity. This 
hypocritieal insincerity the Lord exposes. Thus his.couuter-q: 
lion is not to be viewed merely as a, rejection of theirs, but as e< n- 
veying a positive censure of the Pharisees. They might answer 
as they would their duplicity came to light ; for even the WK 
oidaptv, we know not, was a falsehood, since, after the official 
despatch of the deputation, they knew perfectly well who he was. 
Hence he also severely rebukes them for their dissimulation, ver. 32, 
because they refused the repentance and faith which John and the 
Redeemer preached to them, lest, they should lose their theocratic 
dominion. 

Ver. 28-32. The following parable contains within itself its 
reference to the context (ver. 31, 32), and therefore also its own in 
terpretation. For th j purpose of painting out to the Pharisees, in 
tli3 most striking manner, their insincerity in their trials of the pro- 
[Jlv. ts, and to shew them that they sought only prophets like them 
selves, but by no means true messengers of the holy God, he con 
trasts their behaviour to the Baptist, as the professed representative 
of the righteousness of the Old Covenant, with the conduct of tho 
iini-l<jlttcou8 (respecting the antithesis, compare the remarks on 
Luke xv. 1, ff.), and indicates their different relations to the king 
dom of God (as a sphere of life already spiritually existing and 
manifesting itself in operation). The Lord compares the two classes 
(just as in Luke xv. 1, ff.) to two sons, whom the father sends into 
his vineyard. ((Jump, the exposition of Matth. xx. 1.) The open 
r/ W/r/, unrighteousness, of the one is soon changed into genuine re- 
]> i. ; true in war. , ".sness springing from thence ; the 

I linir external the other soon <li-> ! its- lf as 

open unr gh . The call to l.ibmir in yard of 

was addiv-scd to both parties (figuratively re; ! by the two 

t only by eoii.-eienrc, but als-i through the revelation of the 
law. up .a the fulfilment of which the Pharisees (so tar as 

the external part of H) entered. The voice of John was in:ended 
as a summon^ to r-jn-ntanc for both ; but one party al^ir- availed 
themselves ..f it : the other disregarded it in their unbelief llem-e 
th chanfter ( ,f th publicans and hail to be tak 11 a- hyper- 

b ilieal ; on the contrary, the-e ;;i e named as the re| .recent at ive> of all 
s of comm -n worldliness and p-oss sin. Those who were legally 
strict scorned the others as the unrighteous, and regarded themselves 



160 MATTHEW XXI. 28-32. 

as (lie natural pi >ssessors of the kingdom, from wliich they thought sin 
ners \ven> excluded. This view of their relation to the kingdom of 
God is combatted by the Hcdcemer in the words before us. The 
pride of self-righteousness brings with it an icy cold 1 insus 

ceptibility, more difficult to be won to the kingdom of love, than a 
mind which, through open sin, is led to the humble consciousness 
of its misery. The description given of the Baptist, " came (walk 
ing) in the way of righteousness" (r/Wev tv 66u> dinaioovi rjg scil. ~- 
pev^evoj-), indicates the affinity between the form of his religious 
life and that in which the Pharisees moved ; by which the guilt of 
their unbelief appears more heinous. So little were they earnest 
and strict in their legal righteousness, that they not only failed to 
perceive the peculiar new form of life in Christ, and were unable to 
appropriate it to themselves, but the austere John made the mat 
ter too serious for them. (Comp. the remarks on Matth. xi. 18.) 

The expression, Trpodyovoiv fyiaf, go before you (ver 31), is by no 
means to be understood as absolutely denying the possibility of 
Pharisees and Scribes entering the kingdom of God ; for in ver. 32, 
the words vjielg <Jt- Idov-eg K. -. A. contain an intimation of the possi 
bility of passing into a different state, although it was to be lament 
ed that such a change had not really taken place. (Comp. the sim 
ilar representation in the parable, Luke xv. 31, 32. There is no- 
essential difference between the term nerapeXelaOai, employed here, 
and fieravoelv ; only, the latter expression is the more profound, 
since it points to the vov$ and the change occurring there.) As re 
gards the criticism of this passage, ver. 29, 30 are, in several Codices 
(and amongst others in B.), and in several translations, arranged 
differently ; so that it is said of the first son, tyo) ttvpie, K.CU OVK d-/}A- 
Oev } and of the other, ov 0e/U>, varepov 6e p^-rafie^rjOslg aTiTf/.Oev. This 
change of order is incompatible with the parable ; because, if the 
first had promised to go, there would have been no reason for send 
ing the other.* What has led to the alteration, it is indeed 
difficult to say. Either it is a mere error of the transcribers, or it 
has arisen from the relation of the two sons to the Jews and Gentiles, 
according to which it appeared that the one who represented the 
Jews should stand first, because they were first called into the king 
dom of God. This, evidently, is not the primary reference ; but a 
relation analogous to that between Pharisees and Publicans appears 
also between Jews and Gentiles ; on which account we find ideas 
occurring (comp. Horn. x. 20, 21) in regard to the Jews and Gentiles, 
quite correspondent with those expressed as descriptive of the two 
parties here. Hence, in the subsequent parable (.Matth. xxi. 41-43), 

* It is not necessary to suppose that tho sending of one was dependent ou tho 
consent or refusal of the other. Tho order of the clauses therefore seems imma 
terial. [K. 



riii;\v XXI. 28-32. 1G1 

the Lord passes <<n to this so obvious antithesis. (The jKir.il>! 
true also in respect to dtKutni and I K\II;I generally,, in all times and 
under all circumstances. ( 1 .iiip. tin.- oWrvat ions on Luke v. )!.) 

The following parable of the vineyard (Matth. xxi. . KMCj also 
belongs to this connexion, as is shewn by the harmony of all the 
three accounts in the position of the parable, as well as in its form. 
Mark, however, furnishes rather more details (xii. .">, >) in the nar 
rative itself ; whilst he is briefer in the application, where Matthew 
and Luke are more copious. One difference appears in the account, 
viz., that according to Matthew and Mark, this parable was directed 
to the Pharisees, as was also the subsequent one (Matth. xxii. 1, if.); 
whereas, according to Luke xx. 9, it is addressed to the people. On 
this very account also, Luke (ver. 1C) has an expression which can 
not well be referred to the Pharisees, but is appropriate only to the 
position of the people. However, since Luke observes, at the con 
clusion (ver. 19), that the Pharisees well understood the parable, 
and were in consequence enraged, the difference between the narra 
tors consists only in this : that, whilst the parables were spoken in 
the presence of both parties the people and the Pharisees Mat 
thew and Mark exhibit more prominently their reference to the lat 
ter, Luke to the former. But as both references were intended to 
be involved, the accounts mutually supplement each other. The 
correctness of the position in which the parable occurs, is still further 
supported by the connexion with what precedes. It immediately 
follows the foregoing parable, but it cuts far more deeply and keenly. 
The disobedient persons who, according to the former parable, 
hypocritically acceded to the command of the Lord that bade them 
go and labour here appear as the murderers of those who went in 
sincere obedience. As the representatives of the whole people, they 
are called the husbandmen fyewpyoi) of the Divine vineyard ; and 
now their inquiry after the authority of the prophets (Matth. xxi. 
23) in which they seemed to express a concern for the cause of 

; appears in the most flag-rant contrast with the fact that ///<// 
are the very murderers of the prophets, nay, even of the Son of God 
himself, and the treacherous robbers of his kingdom. Hence, their 
dissimulation and lust of power are in this parable exposed, and the 
atrocious results unveiled. According to the parabolic description, 
the\- were compelled to pronounce their own condemnation and 
leave the vineyard ! n \oothcrs. From verse 42 onwards, 

the lledeemer himself explains the meaning of the parable, and re 
fers them to the prophecies of the Old Testament. The rejecters of 
the prophets are consequently proved to be unfit and most culpable 
examiners ; for the very thing which they reject is that which God 
lias chosen. 

Respecting the interpretation of the parable as a whole, there 

VOL. II. 11 



162 MATTHEW XXI. 33. 

ran lie no essential difference of opinion ; the relation of the servants 
>/) and of the son to the householder (ntuofcorroTT)^, to his 
vineyard (< in-f/Mi ) and the husbandmen (", " / ;; " )> cannot be mis 
taken. But how far the single features may IK* applicable, is. in 
this case, as in that of parables generally, a dillicult question. Here 
no boundary line can be drawn throughout with certainty ; for the 
acuteness of the raind of the expositor, in discerning remote rela 
tions, depends upon the degree of his advancement in the spiritual 
life. At the same time reverence for the word of the Lord naturally 
leads us to take the greatest possible care that we avail oursclvs ol 
the individual features of the parable ; for the perfection of the 
parable depends upon the copiousness of the references included in 
it. This parable has an Old Testament basis in Isaiah v. 1, ff. on 
which the Lord has founded a further expansion. 

Ver. 33. In the first description, Christ strictly follows Isaiah, 
and thus at once awakens in his hearers the consciousness that he 
does not aim at putting forward anything dissevered from, the sacred 
ground of the Old Testament, but rather connects himself with it in 
the closest manner ; by this very circumstance, however, he rebukes 
his adversaries. The relation of the householder the Founder and 
Lord of the vineyard to the son (ver. 37), clearly shews that the 
former means God. (Gesenius, in his remarks on Isaiah v. 1, ap 
pears to understand the TH;;, who possesses the c;?, as signifying 
Israel ; but according to ver. 7, the Vx-j-s? rv? is the vineyard, and 
hence fi Nax rrrp is the possessor. Now the first and second T^; 
cannot be referred to different persons ; they both relate to God as 
v.-t. The prophet, therefore, speaks of God as his friend, and sings 
the lamentation over the unfruitful vineyard.) But whom does the 
vineyard (a^rreAwv) designate ? It is natural, in the first place, to 
suppose the Jews (Isaiah v. 7) ; the rharisees and Scribes being 
then the husbandmen. But, ver. 43, the vineyard ia given to an 
other nation (tflvof) ; and if this be referred to the Gentiles, an in 
congruity seems to arise for it surely cannot be said that Israel 
was transferred to the Gentiles (as yewpyoi). Meanwhile tins diffi 
culty vanishes, if we understand, by the vint yinl, the kinydom of 
God ; for, inasmuch as this was at the first identical with Israel, 
the vineyard certainly is also Israel ; but that this relation was n^t 
a necessary one, was shtjwn by what took place afterwards. At a 
subsequent period the kingdom of God was extended to the 
tiles, and the vineyard then consisted of believers among Jews ;ni 1 
Gentiles. At all events the vineyard is viewed as distinct from the 
husbandmen ; the former signifies the mass to be guided and in 
structed ; the latter are the guides and teachers. The char 
the spiritual instruction and training of the people, under the Old 
Testament, was in the hands of the Pharisees and Scribes, so that, 



MATTHEW XXI. 33. 163 

in the next place, these are to 1) understood liy tip- husbandmen 
(; M.I,-; <,i). I ll,- description of the arrangement of the vineyard may. 

k whole, only be intended to express t! to aid pains 

bestowed by (Jod in founding bis kingdom am<>n. ; at the 

time the . i >n^iibv Kepi-iOwai, throwing muml <i he dye, has 

lively a reference to tbc Mosaic law (called, Kphes. ii. 14, fieoo- 
rni i<,r -ou ^pay/ioC 1 ), too special to be regarded as accidental. 

, wine-press. Mark lias vnohjviov, wbich means the 
that stands under the wine-press, and collects the wine as it 
is pressed out. Where the ground was rocky, it was usual to ex 
cavate an opening for this purpose in the rock. The word irvpyoq 
= ^a, signifies a small watch-house, which belonged to the com 
plete furnishing of an oriental garden.) 

The manifest activity of the Lord (t^vreiw) is plainly distinguish 
ed from his withdrawment (d-e6i]iiT]aEv). Luke represents the lat 
ter as long continued (jyrfvovs kavou^). This antithesis is obviously 
intended to denote the different relations of God to the people of 
Israel in different periods of their history. The time when the law 
was given from Sinai, when the Lord of the world visibly mani 
fested himself to the people, and made known his sacred commands 
by Moses, was that in which the whole was planted and arranged. 
From that time he did not again visit his people in a similar man 
ner ; he awaited the development of the implanted germs, under 
the guidance of the priests to whom that development was in 
trusted. 

Yer. 34-36. Still the Lord did visit his people, even during this 
withdrawmeut, by his messengers. The dovXoi, servants (the pro 
phets) appear as enjoying immediate proximity to the Lord, and 
only sent 1 ir special purposes to the husbandmen. According to 
this parable it appears that the purpose was to ask for the fruits. 
(Mark and Luke indicate by their expressions, rrapa, OTTO rtiv itaprr&v, 
that the vineyard was to be regarded as let for a part of the pro- 
duee.) These required fruits are by no means to be referred to cer 
tain / )"> <>/7,-.v, "r a state of integrity and rectitude; but rather 
to repentance ( . and the inward desire after that true, 

in.il ri- hteoi. M/Mm iv/) which the law could not produce. 

This, bowever, doea n-.t f .r a moment imply that the law did not 
tend to righteousness ; it pruned away the s of sin, 

and exposed it- internal heinousneaa. Hen- ;l righteousness of the 
law (<J/ Km ornt ///.-.. ijit be produced under the Old Testa 

ment, as /,-</ r - I ,: ll y that this, to be sat i>l ac?ory, 

should be ba.-ed upon (lie felt need of redemption (Jiom. iii. -* ). A<5- 
cordingly here tin 1 " servants" appear as tho.-i- who search out their 
spiritual wants that they may satisfy them with the promise of the 
coming Saviour. But these messengers .,f grace Wd ited 



164 t MATTHEW XXI. 37-39. 

and killed by the unfaithful " husbandmen," who had used their vo- 
eations for wicked purpose^ (Ci>ni]>. Ilrb. xi.) In this part of the 
parable ^he accounts of tin- Evangelists are essentially harmoniotis. 
Matthew, however, makes several of the servants come at once, 
whilst, according to Mark and Luke, one is sent after another ; two 
different forms of representation, each of which has its truth. And 
further, Mark and Luke carry the idea of the persecution of God s 
messengers through a regular gradation ; Matthew treats it more 
simply. In Mark, we have first the d^Karei^av icero v, sent li im 
away empty, then the a7rtVr/lav f/rt^Wjuevov, sent Mm away dishon 
oured, and lastly d-EK-eivav, slew him. Luke, however, does not 
go beyond the rpav[Mri^&,v } wounding. (The word 0aAaiow signifies 
literally to divide into sections = dva/ce^aAatow; then, to strike on 
the head, to wound the head. Not = KefaMfy, to decapitate, as 
Passow says in his Lexicon.) 

Ver. 37, 38. Up to this point the parable referred rather to the 
past ; now it relates to the future, and acquires a prophetic signifi 
cation. With the servants is contrasted the Son, whom the Lord of 
the vineyard sent last (tV^a-ov, Mark xii. 6), but at whose appear 
ing the sin of the husbandmen manifested itself in its most heinous 
form. From lust of power they murdered the Son also, that they 
might appropriate the possession. Here the Lord tells them what 
the Pharisees previously wished to ascertain, that he was the only- 
begotten Son of the Father, the true heir of the kingdom of God. 
This, however, he communicated in such a manner that they could 
not pervert his declaration to their wicked designs, but were com 
pelled by it to pronounce their own condemnation. 

(The designations of the Son as the only [tm vluv fyuv = novo- 
yev/fc] and the beloved [dyawj-og = vh] are intended to strengthen 
the contrast between him and the " servants," and have reference to 
the peculiar relation of Christ as the Son of God to the Father. 
To Christ as such belongs the inheritance (xAjjpovoplo), as n;rr r--: 
in the highest sense. The heavenly kingdom, indeed, never can be 
taken from the Son of God ; but the impure representatives of the 
Mosaic theocracy, blinded by their impurity, imagined that they 
could secure the stability of their external kingdom, the design of 
which -\fcas to prepare the way for the heavenly kingdom about to be 
founded on the earth ; and therefore they killed the Saviour, whose 
spirituality was in direct opposition to their worldliuess. Concerning 
ivrphreo6cu ) coinp. the remarks on Luke xviii. 2.) 

. . 39. All the three Evangelists uniformly state that the Son 
was put to death, icitJtout the vineyard (tw rov a/i-eAwvof.) Hero 
it is very natural to suppose a parallel with the redeemer, of whom 
Scripture expressly says that he was led forfeh without the gate 
(comp. John xix. 17 ; lleb. xiii. 12, 13). It is true the metaphor 



MATTHEW XXI. 40,41. 1G5 

docs not appear petfeotly OdnBlBtent, the vineyard does not 

Hi-Mil .Jerusalem, luit the whole theocratic consent inn. However, 
Zion was a type of the theocracy, and the idea ivpiv- iited liy the 
act uf leading out i)l the gate (as in the IVntateiich expulsion from 
the rump) is no other than that of exclusion from the people of 

1 ami from their blessings. Hence we may regard this feature 
al>. ->t tin- parable as containing a prophetic intimation. 

Ver. 40, 41. The case is precisely similar in reference to the 
coming of the Lord of the vineyard, which is mentioned only by 
Matthew. The reference of the expression to the appearing of 
Christ seems unsuitable, because it is not the Son whom Matthew 
represents as returning, but the Father, who (according to ver. 33) 
is Lord of the vineyard. But the hidden Father, who is himself in 
visible, always reveals himself in the Son ; as on Sinai, in the pil 
lars of cloud and fire, he made himself known in the eternal Word, 
so he manifests himself at the end of the days in the glorified Re 
deemer, Thus the reference, in the coming of the Lord of the vine 
yard, to the return of Christ, is perfectly admissible ; only, there is 
an omission of one particular point, viz. that, in the Son, the Lord 
will manifest himself to his adversaries. If, however the words "when 
the Lord cometh," be regarded as relating to the destruction of Jerusa 
lem, the case remains the same ; since this judgment upon Israel is a 
type of the coming (jrapovaia) of the Son (comp. the remarks on 
Matth. xxiv. 1). With the punishment of the old yewpyot, 7ms- 
bandmcn, will then be associated the selection of others, who 
promise to accomplish the purposes of the owner. (The phrase, 
KO.KOVS KCIK&S aTTo/Uatu, is a mode of expression not uncommon with 
the profane writers. Comp. the passages in Wetstein.) According 
to Luke xx. 16, the people (to whom, according to ver. 9, the para 
ble was addressed) understood very well the feature which repre 
sented that the vineyard would be given to other husbandmen ; and 
expressed, in a simple natural manner the wish that such a judg 
ment upon Israel might be averted. (The ///} yt vorro corresponds 
with the Hebrew nVVn). (The Pharisees, however, Matth. xxi. 41), 
answered quite in harmony with the spirit of the parable. Since 
it cannot be supposed that the meaning of the parable escaped them, 
their agreement with it only shews a eral tiness, which led them to 
atl ect i:uemioii-ness where they dared not offer contradiction. The 
form of the conversation, j ubseqiiently by Matthew is quite iu 

ac -ordance with this view ; for here the Redeemer openly declares 
that which they, with fei-ned Simplicity, pretended i; ! to have un- 
der.Mo,,-!. Mark and Luke give the sequel iii an abbreviated s! 
only pre-enting in a question the reference to the same pa-.-;: : j,e of 
the Old Testament with which Matthew connects his explanation 
of the parable. 



1G(> MATHIKU XXI. 42,43. 

AYr. 42, 43. The passage to which the Piedecmer refers is taken 
fn>m Ps. cxviii. 2 J, 2 }. Matthew and Slavic here exactly follow the 
LXX. Luke docs not give the quotation go entire. AVe have al 
ready seen (Matth. xxi. 9) that the Jews applied this Psalm to the 
Messiah. (Comp. cle Wette on Ps. cxviii., who also finds, in the 
use of words from this Psalm, at the entrance of Jesus, an intima 
tion that it was interpreted as Messianic in the time of Christ.) 
Here the Saviour confirms this view, since he applies the words from 
this Psalm to himself. Primarily, the Psalm describes a victorious 
king, who, in the power of Jehovah, triumphs over all his enemies. 
(It is difficult to define the particular king referred to, hut the Psalui 
cannot, in any case, belong to the time of the Maccabees [as de AVette 
thinks probable], because the collection of Psalms was certainly 
finished at an earlier period.) But in this victory of the pious ruler, 
there is reflected the most sublime conquest of the most exalted 
Prince. The same verses of this Psalm are quoted also in Acts iv. 
11 ; Ephes. ii. 20 ; 1 Pet. ii. G. The passage here quoted has in 
its bearing a close connexion with the parable. AVith a mere change 
of metaphor (comp. the remarks on Matth. xvi. 18), the oiKodoiwvv-eg, 
builders, answer to the yeupyoi, husbandmen, the /U Oof, stone, to the 
servants and the Son, the d-odoKind&iv, rejecting, to the aTroicTeiveiv, 
slaying. There is but one point of difference, viz. the simile of 
the Psalmist expressly adds to the d-odoKifid&iv the fact that that 
which was rejected is chosen; an idea of which the previous parable 
gave only a slight hint, in the judgment inflicted by the Father. 
(Ke(j>ah>i ywiag corresponds to the Hebrew nsa sxi, corner stone, the 
support of the whole building.) In the concluding words of the 
verse, this election of that which was refused by men, is ascribed to 
the Lord, and extolled as worthy of wonder. The life of David, as 
a type of the Messiah, was in consistency with this thought. (The 
feminine forms avrrj, Oav^aarjj, are to be explained according to the 
Hebrew, where the neuter is expressed by the feminine. The word 
avrrj is equal to MXT, and the following Oavpaar?iis formed after air?/. 
In the version of the LXX., this peculiarity frequently occurs ; for 
example, 1 Sam. iv. 7; Ps. xxvii. 4.) Matthew here adds a reference to 
the parable, which indicates its interpretation. (The words Aid roc-o 
seem to stand only in a loose connexion with what precedes ; they 
serve to unite with that the idea, which, although not expressed, is 
necessarily involved in the simile, that the builders who rejected the 
costly stone, were themselves rejected.) The vineyard now plainly 
appears as the hin^li in oHiod, which is thus recognized as already 
existing in . in the Old Testament. The duties and 

elated with the awakening and quickening of the heavenly life 
in mankind, which, up to the time of Christ, had been devolved upon 
the ."uld now be committed to an tOroc. n"lii>n, yielding trm 



MATTHEW XXI. 44-4G ; XXII. 1. 167 

fruits. The singular here indicates that we arc not to understand, 
by tliis term, the Gentiles strictly (tlh T] = ctfa); although at the 
same time, they arc not to b<- hided. This tOvog is 

the community of believers, consisting in part of Jews, hut princi 
pally of Gentiles. To these the kingdom was In uceforth to In,- in 
trusted, and thus they would take the place of I rding to th - 
llesh. The words, doOt iaerai tOrei TT o i OVVTI rovf nap-xovg a! 
dtall l< <jiccn to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof) tlius un 
derstood, have their exact literal signification. What could not be 
said of any one Gentile nation that it would certainly bring forth 
the true fruits is perfectly applicable to the community of believers, 
whose nature it is to produce the genuine fruits of faith. 

Ver. 44. The words of this verse appear only to have been re 
ceived into the text of Matthew from that of Luke. For although 
the number of the critical authorities who omit the verse in Mat 
thew, is not very great, yet it is so utterly unsuited to the connexion, 
as to render it probable that it is precisely the few authorities which 
have preserved the correct reading. If the words in Matthew be 
genuine, they ought at least to be placed before ver. 43; but how 
such a change in the position of the verses can have arisen in the 
manuscripts, it is impossible to shew. 

As to the meaning of this verse ; it expresses the punishment 
of the perverse builders. The metaphor of the stone is retained in 
allusion to the passage already cited (from Ps. cxviii.), and this 
stone is described as bringing destruction. This description is sup 
ported by passages, such as Isaiah viii. 14, 15, Dan. ii. 45. In the 
tirst part of the verse, the stone appears as occasioning the fall, and 
the di-st ruction thence resulting, through the act of him who falls 
(similarly Luke ii. 34); in the second part, inversely, the stone is 
represenu-d as destroying by its own movement. 

(Under the figure of a piece of rock which without being 
touched loosens itself and hurls itself down, shattering everything 
it encounters, Daniel [loc. eit.] describes the destructive power of 
the kingdom of God and its representative, the Mes>iah. put forth 
against the world of evil. irrfl/ (.>, to smash, to dash to atoms. 
AiKiiin-t literally to purity the corn, from /.IKIK IC, then to separate, 
sever, divide in pieces generally. This is the only plaee in the New 
Te>tamc;it when- tin [preMUmfl < cclir.) 

Ver. }.">, -Id. This threatening rebuke the Pharisees, of course, 
well understood ; but as they would not yield to it in true conver 
sion, it excited their bitterest anger. Still, so long as the people 
adhered to Christ, and regarded him as a Prophet, they could 
not venture upon any \ (Comp. Luke x:x. -17. 1 s ; .Mark 

xi. 18.) 

Chap. xxii. 1. The narratives of Mark and Luke here conclude 



168 MATTHEW XXII. 1. 

the conversation of the Eedeemer with the Pharisees, and imme 
diately commence the accounts of the new attempt which they made 
to catch the Lord in his words. Matthew, on the contrary, adds 
another parable ; and this again is expressly understood as addressed 
to the Pharisees (ndhiv elnev avrol^. The parable of the banquet 
harmonizes well in one part with the context ; for the murder of 
the servants (dovAot) evidently refers to Matth. xxi. 35, and the mil- 
ing of the wicked (rrovTjpoi, ver. 10), as plainly to the publicans and 
harlots (ver. 31). On the other hand, however, another part of the 
parable is not applicable to the Pharisees, namely, that which speaks 
of the one guest who did not wear a wedding garment ; and besides 
this, as the form of the conclusion (ver. 45, 46) appears to close 
the conversation, it may be doubted whether Matthew is correct in 
placing the parable here. This doubt would seem confirmed by a 
comparison of Luke (xiv. 16, ff.), who has inserted, in his account 
of the journey, a parable very similar to ours, and which there stands 
in a definite connexion. At the same time, as we have already re 
marked, the parable in Luke also contains so many points of dif 
ference from that which Matthew here introduces, that we cannot 
suppose a mere change of form, from one to the other, by tradition. 
For, if such a conjecture were entertained, it would be necessary to 
regard the account of Matthew as containing the result of the 
transformation ; but Matthew s mode of description is so peculiar, 
that we cannot possibly trace it to the vagueness of tradition. 
Moreover, since in the connexion of Matthew there is no lack of 
references to what has preceded, it may be the most probable sup 
position that a parable delivered by Christ, at an earlier period, is 
here again brought forward with free alterations. Nor are these 
modifications- especially the paragraph which cannot be applied to 
the Pharisees by any means out of place ; for the concluding part 
of the parable has its relation to the disciples, who must be regarded 
as listening to Jesus along with -the Pharisees. (Luke xx. 9, 16.) 
It was most appropriate that the followers of the Lord should be 
reminded by this solemn admonition, of the importance of close 
union to him ; since the rebuke addressed to the Pharisees might so 
easily lead them to self-complacency. Then the only remaining 
difficulty is that which we find in the foregoing form of conclusion, 
Matth. xxi. 45, 46. It cannot be denied that this would stand bet 
ter at the end of the parable (xxii. 14); still we may Mippoe, that 
there was an interruption in the conversation of Christ with the 
Pharisees, and that the parable of the marriage-feast did not come 
immediately after the preceding, although sufficiently near to render 
the references to that intelligible. This hypothesis w< mid satisfac 
torily explain the previous conclusion. 

The parable now before us, like that of the vineyard has also 



MATTHEW .XXII. 2. 169 

its Old Testament foundation. In Xcphan. i. 7, 8, Prov. ix. 1, if. 
the Divine wisdom is represented as preparing a feast and inviting 
ts to partake of it. :;: Similar allegories ha bntt d. after 

these pa>sai;. s of the Old Testament, by the llabbins. (Compare 
the] : foot and Meuschcn.) According to the remarks 

already made, the parable of Matthew consists of two parts, which 
have entirely different relations ; the first part is parallel. with the 
parable of the vineyard, and, like that, relates to the Pharisees (the 
AT/, / ////M oi are the yewpyot, and the dovXoi stand in the same rela 
tion to them, as in the previous parable, where they represent the 
prophets); the other, on the contrary, has reference to those who 
have complied with the invitation, namely, the disciples. As regards 
the latter, the sincerity of the Lord s love is specially conspicuous. 
II did not aim at establishing a party, at drawing adherents or at 
retaining them ; hence he exhibited even towards his own followers 
the full significance of the kingdom of God, at the risk of their for 
saking him. (Comp. John vi. 67.) 

Ver. 2. In the several parables addressed by the Saviour simul 
taneously to the Pharisees, to the people who were favourable towards 
him, and to his disciples, the several ideas which he sought to impress 
on their hearts, became more and more distinctly marked. In the 
parable of the vineyard (Matth. xxi. 37), Christ was designated as 
the Son of the Lord of the vineyard ; here he is expressly called the 
Son of a King, to whom, as such, royal dignity and power belonged. 
That which Luke (xiv. 16) stated in general terms, " a certain man 
made a great supper," is here more strictly defined. The person who 
gave the entertainment was a king (/3a<r*AeiV), the entertainment 



a marriage-feast. This last expression is very full of meaning. 
The accession of the Prince to his throne is frequently described as 
a marriage with his people ; and the whole appearance of Jesus in 
his humanity may be viewed as a similar installation into his king- 
dun, of which the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem was the only 
outward representation. According to the usus loquendi of Scrip- 
litre, tli u of Christ to the throne of the kingdom of God 
is the vi>it of the bridegroom to the bride. (Compare the observa 
tions on Matth. ix. 15; John iii. 29.) This mutual mixing of the 
two metaphors is to be retained here ; for those whe are invited are, 
in die sens . tin 1 subjects of the person who invites, while in another 
Be, they are int -nded to constitute the bride and the bridegroom. 
Hence the disobedience of the persons invited to the command of 
the kin-- is, \i -\ved in another light, also adultery; lve to the 
world instead <( l"ve to God. 

* In the lir-t passage wo find something akin to Matth. xxii. 12, where ono of the 
guests is spokm of as not clothed in a wedding pannent (<n-n Ivdetivpevof [vdvpa ydftov.) 
The strange garment is called, Zephan. i. 8, s-s: e-aVij. 



170 MATTHEW XXII. 3-7. 

Ver. 3-G. Accordingly, it is in perfect keqping with the other 
features of the parable, that the marriage (y / o<) of the Son is the 
season of the highest joy (to those who follow the K/^nic\ hut at the 
same time also an occasion for decision. The invitation involves 
the challenge to discard all other love and he united, in obedient 
affection, with the true Lord alone. The servants, as distinct from 
the parties invited, signify (as in the foregoing parable) the pro 
phets, who, as members of the nation, are themselves invited, but 
stand in such close connexion with the Lord, that they are regarded 
as belonging to him. So far, however, as others are distinguished from 
the KKKATjUKi oi, invited (ver. 9), the reference is not to all men, but to 
the icXrjToi, called (ver. 14, where the expression is repeated in a literal 
sense). These K/,^rot, called, may be, in different senses, either the 
Pharisees, in opposition to the publicans and harlots (Matth. xxi. 
31), or, the Jews in opposition to the Gentiles. Here, according to 
the immediate context, the former sense prevails. The representa 
tion of the disobedience manifested by the individuals invited is 
very much stronger in Matthew than in the parallel passages of 
Luke, where the payable was drawn forth by milder opposition. 
Here again the sending of the dovkoi, servants, takes place at inter 
vals, and with a gradation in designating the sin of the disobedient 
(as above, Mark xii. 4), in order to intimate that the general call 
(addressed by their connexion with nation and class) is, by the ap 
pointment of God, brought home specially to every individual. 
(The oriental custom of repeated invitations to great feasts, fur 
nished an appropriate figure by which to convey these sentiments.) 
The OVK ijOekov, they would not (ver. 4) is followed in gradation by 
the d/te/Lr/aavref dmjWov, tliey made light of it and went their way 
(ver. 5), and finally, the v&ptaav icai drren-eivav, they insulted and 
slew. The first expression conveys only the disinclination of the 
will, the second implies a slighting disregard of the Divine call, the 
last actual resistance. "Apiarov here stands, in the wider sense, for, 
meal generally, Selrrvov. It has been adopted in this signification 
by the Kabbins. (Comp. Buxtorf. lex. s. v. faa- -s. The expres 
sion oinord = airevrd, means fatted beasts in general, except oxen, 
which are mentioned as the ornaments of a splendid entertainment 
The prepared supper is a metaphor, denoting the spiritual prepar 
ation of mankind for the reception of the Redeemer. 

Ver. 7. Whilst Luke (xiv. 24) only adds the threatening that 
none of those who had been invited should taste the supper, Mat 
thew describes the punishment of the disobedient (who represent 
primarily the lMi;i risers) in the most fearful terms. (Similarly as 
in the foregoing parable, Luke xviii. 20.) The king, upon seeing 
his favour abused, appears as the Ruler who severely punishes the 



MATIIIKU- XXII. 8-13. 171 

violation of his will ; tho persons who \\ere invited appear in the re 
lation of subjects, and arc therefore treated as rebels. 

. 8-10. The rejeetion of those who wen- lir>t invited to the 
l llowcd (us Luke xiv. lil) 1 V the invitation of 

others ; a eireumstanee in which we find a parallel with the ti 
ference of the vineyard to other husbandmen. (Matth. xxi. 41.) 
Matthew, indeed, merely mentions the dispatching of the servants; 
but, aeeording to turn, also, the effect is the same as in the other 
. vi/., the filling up of the places. This replacing of the re 
ject id --nests, by others who were not primarily appointed to those 
positions, is the same idea as Paul illustrates (Rom. xi.) where he 
re j resents the cast-off Jews as severed branches of the olive tree, 
into whose places others (the rrAy/payta TUV 0vuv) were grafted. The 
statement of Matthew that evil and good (novripoi KOI dyaOof) were 
called (comp. Matth. xiii. 47) is far more expressive than the repre 
sentations of Luke. The latter describes those who were called as 
rcTuxoi, poor, only, and not as, in part, Trovrjpot, ivicked. This term 
points to the sequel, in which the wickedness of some among the 
called is exhibited. (This is the only instance in which the expres 
sion dtei-odot -&v &6tiv occurs in the New Testament. &it$o6og literally 
signifies a passage ; in connexion with b&oi it probably means the 
intersection of one street by another ; thus compitum, where men 
are accustomed to congregate.) 

Ver. 11-13. This second part of the parable, as we have already 
observed (on ver. 1), admits no reference to the Pharisees. It could 
not possibly be said of them that they participated in the mar 
riage ; they were the very men who did not obey the call. The de 
sign of the Redeemer, in these words, was to give his disciples (who, 
as such, may be regarded as called, instead of the persons first 
invited) an exhortation to earnestness. 

;e;_;ards the simile, it is evident that allusion is made to the 
ea-tern eustoin observed at feasts, of distributing costly garments. 
According to this usa-e, the want of the garment required at the 
feast \vas < r tutiitdl , even in the ease of the poorest individual, since 
he must have rejected the one offered him, and self-complacently 
ied his own good enough. In resolving the metaphor, we find 
that th" garment (as an external decoration) -i-iiilies the internal 
adornment of the soul, which we may denominate by one expression, 
righ: - (<W// H7i -r//). (Isaiah Ixi. 10 has the same i-nre -.i~. 

Comp. Rev. xix. 8. The use of the word n Ainnrit.u in the 
New Testament, with \i>tvr<,, . ,, <2;./-r//r, Ro:n. xiii. 14, 

Gal. iii. -J7, Col. iii. I". I J, IK. Kphes. iv. -J4, has reference to the 
game comparison.) Hence this inward righteousness is not repre- 
d as anything a<--|uiivd or - ;. but as something 

gi\cn, imparted, tho non-appropriation of which (resulting from 



172 MATTHEW XXII. 14. 

self-complacency and vanity, as if our own were sufficient) is the 
very ground of rebuke. Where this righteousm -s is wanting, 
the necessary consequence is removal from the light of the kingdom 
into darkness. (Concerning the words, CTKOTO^ t&repov K. -. A., com 
pare the remarks on Matth. viii. 12.) Thus the call (K/r/nir) by no 
means appears as gratia irresistibilis, but as laying claim to free, 
spontaneous choice. Even in the case of those who follow the call, 
sin may remain in the depth of the soul, unless the man wholly 
yields in humble obedience, and along with the invitation, receives 
also the ornament of righteousness offered by the free grace of God. 
This interpretation encounters but one difficulty, namely, how this 
parable is to be reconciled with that of the ten virgins (Matth. xxv. 1, 
ff.). According to the latter, it appears that not only no one with 
out the wedding-garment without the array of the Divine righte 
ousness but no one remaining without the necessary oil of the 
Spirit, can come into the kingdom of God ; whilst, according to 
this parable of the marriage-feast, the -novTjpoc., wicked (ver. 10) is 
admitted into the kingdom of God. It would, indeed, be the 
shortest method to say that these features are not to be pressed ; but 
they stand in such intimate connexion with the whole substance of 
the parable, that if such points are to be put aside as incidental, 
the entire representation becomes void of meaning. If, however, we 
only distinguish the varied relations in which the kingdom of God 
is presented, these varying representations assume a significance. 
In the passage, Matth. xxv. 1, ff., the kingdom of God is treated 
of in reference to its complete manifestation at the coining of the 
Lord ; this involves the idea of the Kpioig, judgment, separation, for 
the kingdom of God, by means of which all impurities are separated 
from it. In our parable, on the contrary, the subject of discourse 
is the coming of the kingdom of God among men, as introduced by 
the first appearance of the Lord on earth ; in this relation we may 
apply the parable of the net, in which good and bad fish are in 
cluded (Matth. xiii. 47, ff.). Thus, the fact of being in the external 
kingdom of God does not by any mea-ns, in itself, furnish either the 
right or the certainty of belonging to his spiritual kingdom. As 
there was a Judas amongst the disciples, and a ftam in the ark, so 
in all places and times, while the kingdom of God is in the course 
of its secret development in the present world (a/wi- oiror), there 
appears a wieked man in the circle of believers that arc formed from 
time to time. Whether the Redeemer in this parabolic rej>n Denta 
tion, thought particularly of Judas, it is hard to affirm, although it 
cannot be positively denied. 

V r, 14. According to Matth. xxii. 14, the Redeemer c-oneludes 
this parable also (compare the remarks on Matth. xx. 1G) with the 
eayiug, rroAAot dot K/.TJTOI, &MJOI 6t t/cAe/cro^ many are called, but few 



MATTHKW XXII. 14. 173 

chosen, which here n <|iiircs a closer ponrideratlOtt As to the mean 
ing ft /. ."- / . cn?/t. tin- foregoing paraM sheus plainly enough 
that (hi. term is identical with HEKAI^VOL ivcr. . >). All, therefore, 
who an 1 reached l>y the invitation of the prophets tocnter the king 
dom i it (.u id, are therein included. Whether they obey the call (/.-/. /~/w; 
;/(/, 2 Tim. i. 9) or not, is not implied in the word K/.i/rur, called; 
on the ciintrury, the parable of the marriage-least sufficiently proves 
that there arc persons called who do not obey the call. At the same 
time, the term Ar/ro/ ,callcd, is in some instances applied, especially 
by the Apostle Paul, strictly to those who have complied with the 
call and entered the church of God (Rom. i. G, 7, viii. 28 ; 1 Cor. i. 
_ I ; Jude ver. 1). (Paul also employs the word K^rp-og, called, in 
reference to the calling of an individual to a special work in the 
kingdom of God ; for example, Rorn. i. 1 ; 1 Cor. i. 1, K^IJTOC 
d-< >fjroXog ; but this signification needs no further remark here.) In 
many passages of Scripture (Luke xviii. 7 ; Matth. xxiv. 22, 11 .; Rom. 
viii. 33; Col. iii. 12 ; Tit. i. 1 ; 1 Pet. i. 1, ii. 9) tVAe/cro^, chosen, stands 
quite parallel with K^TO?, called, as a general designation of the 
members of the church, in opposition to the world. The expres 
sion is, in this sense, syonymous with uyioi, saints, which also, in it 
self, conveys only the fact of separation from a multitude. In a 
special sense, however, it is applied to angels (1 Tim. v. 21), to 
Christ (Luke xxiii. 35), and to individual members of the church. 
In these instances it appears to have a more limited meaning than 
K/ij-rug, called, because, while all the chosen are necessarily called, all 
the called are not chosen. This signification occurs only in the saying 
now before us, but in Rev. xvii. 14, and probably Rom. xvi. 13. It 
might be thought that the peculiarity of the t/cAe/erot, chosen, is a 
richer endowment with gifts, and hence the appointment to a greater 
work ; in which case, as in the parable of the servants (Matth. xxv. 
14, ff.), for example, those to whom more talents were given than to 
the other, would be tKAe/c-ot. Or, according to the parable before us, 
\\<- might understand this term as designating those who sincerely 
avail themselves of the call (hv.//c/r) in opposition to those who 
either despise or it; or else, while apparently receiving it, 

do not properly employ it. But the words TroAAot dm K/b/rot , 
iiMimj are CO :u to imply that there are others who are not 

called (the Evangelist does not use the expression ol iro/./.oi, which 
might !> takrii as bearing much the same signification with -<ivTe$, 
comp. Kom. v. !."> with xviii. 10); while at the same time, the tact 
of not being called is only to lie viewed as a relative thin- (enip. 
the remarks on Matth. xx. 2S), since Scripture knows nothing of 
any positive decree excluding individual men from the kingdom of 
God, but, -on the contrary plainly teaches the universality of God s 
grace (1 John ii. 2 ; 2 Pet. iii. 9). It is true, indeed, that the calling 



174 MATTHEW XXII. 15. 

of one people takes place at an <cirll / j,< , -im?, than that if the 
other; and, among the same people, one individual is called before 
another,* so that thus far, those who are railed may In- distin 
guished from those who are not called (but arc to be called). Hence 
the vocation, as such, admits of no merit; it is a gift of the free 
grace of God ; while, on the other hand, yuilt is involved in its re 
jection. The guilt of the many called is intimated in the second 
part of the statement, but few chosen (tiliyoi SK KK^EKTOI). It 
would indeed seem that, since the use made of the K^tjoig is here 
pointed out as the peculiarity of the iicXeKToi } the name is not en 
tirely appropriate ; it would seem that the more correct expression 
would be faithful (marot), in order to mark the self-activity of man. 
But the improvement of the KA?/eTt, call, is also traced to an lukoyT), 
election, for the purpose of shewing that faithfulness itself is only 
an effect of grace, since activity on the part of man can only operate 
negatively, and always requires a positive power (namely the Divine) 
to supply its deficiency. The proverb itself naturally partakes of the 
variable applicability of its parts; and hence we must explain the 
circumstance that here it has reference to the unfaithfulness of those 
who did not embrace the call addressed to them ; whilst in Matth. 
xx. 16, it was applied to those different relations to the kingdom of 
God, the distribution of which depends upon God s free grace. 



6. NEW CONVERSATIONS OF JESUS WITH THE PHARISEES 
AND SADDUCEES. 

(Matth. xxii. 15-46; Mark xii. 13-37 ; Luke xx. 20-44) 

All the three Evangelists agree in the statement that the Phari 
sees, soon after the first conversation, made a fresh attempt to em 
barrass the Kedeemer by difficult questions, so as to compromise him 
in the eyes of the people, and thus draw away the affection which 
they entertained for him. Here the accounts are in such exact 
harmony with each other (Luke merely omitting the parallel to 
Matth. xxii. 34, ff. ; comp. the remarks on Matth. xxi. 23), as to 
leave no doubt that the reports were given in chronological order : 
especially as the internal character of the conversations is quite 
suited to the last days before the sufferings of the Lord. The in 
creasing malignity of the Pharisees led them to make use of the 
most difficult eases, that they might put Jesus to the proof, and, if 
le entangle him in his words. The love of Christ, which in 
contrast with such daring sin, rose to its highest pitch, is manifested 
by the following discourses alike in its gentle form of compassion, 

* This difference in the calls was represented in the parable, Matth. xx. 1, ft 



MATTHEW XXII. 15, 1G. 175 

sympathizing with blindness, ami labouring to remove it, and in its 

rity. 
VIT. 15, 1(). We have here a positive statement of that which 

least n >t definitely expressed at the commencement of the 
inversation between .Jesus and tlie Pharisees (Matth. xxi. 23) 

lliat tin- persons who interrogated Christ were expressly delegated 
by the Sanhedrim for that purpose. The Pharisaic p:irty, who 
ruled the Sanhedrim by their influence, made the formal resolution 
to entrap Christ, through their deputies, by means of artful <pie<- 
tions. (Uayidevu = aypeyw, as if to catch in a net.) In order, 
however, to conceal their plan, they sent some of their pupils 
(Matth. xxii. 16), and indeed such as knew how to present an honest 
appearance, as if they came from deeply felt desire, to ask the opinion 
of the Saviour in a difficult case, in which they desired to know 
what was right. (Luke xx. 20, therefore calls them very significantly 
r-ni.-jin Ofiei ot lavTovg 6maiov<; dvat, and Jesus subsequently, on the 
same account, calls them viroKpiTai. An tyKd6ero$ is a way-layer, 
lying in ambush [comp. Job xix. 12]. In Sirach viii. 14, the phrase 
occurs, i-ynaOi&iv a>f Zvedpov -ti aroftari nvog, which is quite analogous 
to our passage.) 

It is singular, however, that Matthew and Mark agree in stating 
that the Pharisees had united with the Herodians. These adherents 
of the Herodian family generally, and of Herod Antipas in particu 
lar (Mark iii. 6), who, moreover, may have been the immediate 
attendants of the Tetrarch for he happened to be present in Jeru 
salem at the feast of the Passover (Luke xxiii. 7) entertained 
political opinions altogether different from those of the Pharisees. 
The latter were necessarily opposed to the Romans in their entire 
aim, and desired the establishment of an independent Jewish power, 
because that would afford them greater certainty of exercising the 
influence which they assumed ; and through their efforts, the mass 
of the people also were, in the highest degree, prejudiced against the 
uman dominion. On the other hand, the family of Herod, with 
its adherents, had an interest in the very continuance of Ro 
man -overnment ; for, by this means, they were protected in the 
: -ion of their power ; and hence they permitted to themselves 

all oppressions, coniidently trusting in the Roman legions, who 
stood in readiness to defend them against every outbreak of rebel 
lion. It was upon the union of these two parties that their plan 
was laid. AS l! T"dand Pilate became friends when the object 
put the Holy One of God to death (Luke xxiii. 12), so also 
did the Pharisees and Herodians. The deputies of the two political 
parties were at once to supply the witnesses by whom, whatever 
mi-lit be his answer, he should be ruined. It is true a declaration 

*t the Romans would have won the attachment of the people 



176 MATTHEW XXII. 17-22. 

still more ; but the ITcrodians would then have taken occasion to 
accuse him before the Pagan authorities (Luke xx. 20, rov nayafiov- 
vai avrbv rf/ dpxq Kal ry It-ovaia rov 7} y e/i 6 v o $), which the Pharisees 
certainly above all things desired. If, on the contrary, Jesus simply 
declared himself in favour of the Romans, then the Pharisees hoped 
to draw away from him the sympathies of the people, and to be able 
to imprison him without fear. Hence they seek to inveigle the 
Redeemer by insidious language, while they hypocritically jirai.se 
his truthfulness and courage. But he who knew what is in man 
(John ii. 25), perceived their craft (Travovpyta), as Luke says, xx. 23. 
(Instead of TrpoaorTrov Xajiftdveiv = fs stos, Matthew and Mark have 
eJf TTpoouTTov fiteTretv, and this does not correspond with C":B rro, Num. 
xxiv. 1, which the LXX. correctly translate by a-ovrytfaiv rb ~p6- 
CFUTTOV. It is better to compare V? &> tnj, which is generally used 
in the good sense, to regard any one with favour. Even this j)hrase, 
however, does not exactly answer to the phrase fikfativ el$ up&rwTrov ; 
it would rather be necessary that the words should run : t^s V? nxn, 
an expression which does not occur.) 

Ver. 17-22. The way in which the interrogators intended that 
the Lord should be perplexed, is evident from ^vhat has preceded. 
But two questions now present themselves. In the first place, how 
did Christ view the relations of the Jewish jieople to the Romans 
and their representative, the Emperor ? The inquiry " Is it law 
ful to give tribute to Caesar or not ?" (Zgeori dovvai Kijvaov Kaiaapi, 
77 ov ;) jjlainly indicates a reference to the views of the Jewish ultra- 
liberals, of whom the well-known Judas of Galilee (comp. Joseph. 
Arch, xviii. 1, ff. and Acts v. 37) is to be regarded as the fanaf% 
chief. This man represented the freedom to which he believed the 
Jewish people called, as consisting in entire exemption from external 
imposts and contributions to the support of worldly government, 
their contributions being due only to God that is, to the Temple 
and its Pharisaic officials. There was not the slightest ground for 
the support of this fanatical opinion in Scripture ; for the Jews 
always had paid taxes to their sovereign, in addition to the Temple 
dues ; and Palestine had also had to raise its tribute as a j)rovince 
of Babylon or Syria. Moreover, the passage Deut. xvii. 15, does 
not in itself forbid that a stranger (-naa ) should reign over 
Israel indeed the projihets incessantly foretold that the unfaithful 
people would be subjected to foreign rule the passage only pro 
hibits the Jews from themselves choosing a foreigner as king, while 
it was quite possible that God might, as a punishment, cause them 
to be brought under the dominion of a stranger. Hence it is evi 
dent that Jesus could not, by any means, coincide with the ultra 
party ; because their rebelliousness was a horrible fruit of sin. Ac 
cording to the command of God, even an illegitimate and unjust 



MATTIIKW XXII. . . 177 

rnment must IK- obeyed when it is once established (Rom. xiii. 
1). True, indeed. Jesus was therehy n<> friend to the Romans (rep- 
Iiy th- II. T .(dians) ; tor, on the one huiul, they had 
assumed dominion uver .hidiua by gross deeds of violence, and, on 
the other, their whole political constitution was unholy, and directly 
opj.osed [o everything Divine. But the Lord saw in their dominion 
over Israel the judgment of God, and therefore viewed it as a 
scourge (like Nebuchadnezzar and his Chaldeans in days before) 
luld in God s hand. And, although this instrument was indeed re 
pugnant, yet the holiness of him who used it the Lord of heaven 
and earth demanded reverence. Now, according to the prophecies, 
even Israel was, as a punishment, not only to be without a king (of 
its own), but at one time, without sacrifice, altar, ephod, and sanc 
tuary (Hos. iii. 4). True, if the whole people of Israel had embraced 
tlif Lord in genuine faith, it might be supposed that (according to 
the Philoncan mode of representation) the whole nation through 
the power of the holy life, which would have been developed within 
it wouldjhave overcome its conquerors ; but the Lord, at this time, 
knew too certainly that the Jews were rushing to their own destruc 
tion (Luke xix. 42, ff.), and saw in the Romans the instrument of 
God for the correction of this blinded people. Thus, when the in 
terrogators of the Redeemer propounded to him their opposite opin 
ions as contraries between which, they thought, he would inevit 
ably be obliged to choose he took no part with either. In his 
higher and holy view of things, he acknowledged what was true in 
the sentiments of both parties, but he could not be bound by oppo 
site views, above which he rose so far. 

The next question then is, How did the Saviour, with prudence, 
make known his sentiments ? He did not give forth abstract 
thoughts respecting the political relations of peoples and states, but 
conveyed his instruction by the sight of the actual material object 
which represented the particular point in question. He requested 
the ordinary coin in which the tax (ccnsits) was paid (hence rufuopa 
, Matth. xxii. 19) namely a denadus, to be produced. (AT/- 
like /.v^nr \\-as adopted from the Latin language into the 
k ; tht! coin [see Matth. xviii. 28] was worth about three Saxon 
hon.) This bore the image and name of Caesar, and therefore 
its use involved the silent acknowledgment of the influence of the 
emp T r, and with him, of the Romans. (Conip. the pas>ages in 
Lightfoot and \YeN!> in in l,,r., which lay down the principle, "He 
wh -se lik !;">sis borne by the coin is lord of the land.") But this 
acknowledgment expressed, on the one hand, the consciousness of 
guilt, afel, on the other, submission to the will of God ; and, th 
fore, almhis could lead to no other Conclusion than that, when so 
much had preceded, nothing but what existed (the payment of trib- 
VOL. II. 12 



178 MATTHEW XXII. 22. 

ute to the Emperor) could follow. This idea, however, involved the 
other that, in the first instance, they ou^ht not to have appropri 
ated the money of the emperor (hut rather have striven after a more 
solemn and holy object), and then there would have been no neces 
sity for giving to the emperor what, according to the law of justice, 
was the emperor s. 

After having directed the thoughts of the interrogators to the facts 
of their present position, and having thus awakened the sense ot 
guilt and the consciousness of deserved punishment, Jesus led their 
minds from that which was temporal to things eternal, and to their 
duties respecting them. To refer the words " to God the things 
which are God s" (rd rov Oeov rw Oew) to the Temple-tax (of half a 
shekel, Exod. xxx. 12), gives an erroneous view of .the whole narra 
tive. For, on the one hand, it would not appear what occasion 
there could be for wonder in the answer " both must be paid, the 
tribute to the Romans and the tax to the Temple" (the peculiar 
ity in the procedure of the Saviour would, in that case, have con 
sisted, not in the sentiment expressed, but in the exhibition of the 
coin; whereas, according to Luke xx. 26, the object of marvel was 
the ansioer); and on the other, the Pharisees might have made an 
excellent use of such a reply, in order to stigmatize Jesus among 
the people as a deserter to Rome, since he certainly stated that the 
tribute must be paid. The word of the Lord is full of spirit and life 
only when it is spiritually apprehended. Jesus contrasts God, as 
the heavenly Sovereign the King of all kings with Caesar, as the 
highest possessor of worldly dominion. The latter, in accordance 
with his character, claims nothing but what is temporal and earthly 
(Mammon), which he only whose heart clings around it, hesitates in 
giving back to its fountain. But God, as Spirit, requires that 
which is spiritual the heart and the whole being. The inward 
man belongs to God (as that which is outward belongs to the world, 
and to Ca3sar as its representative), for he bears the image of God 
(d/cwv rov Oeou) indelibly impressed upon him, and whatsoever has 
come from God must return to him. Now, these hypocrites resort 
ed to the Lord, to ascertain how they could act towards Caesar ; but 
to learn how their immortal souls might be brought to God to re 
veal which was the very design of the Saviour s coming they 
asked not. This striking contrast presented in the po\ver of the 
Spirit, and uttered with the conquering glance of truth, came home 
with such power to their consciences, that they stood self-convicted 
of their own insincerity ; they experienced the profound truth of the 
sublime sentiment uttered by the Lord ; they felt that their ques 
tion would have been frivolous even if it had proceeded fn* 1 l < 
well-disjiosed,* but that now it was wicked, because it cninc from 

* Claudius, in his ingenious remarks on the history of tho tributary Penny (Geschichte 



MATTHEW XXIT. 23. 179 

hearts full of hypocrisy. They may Vave ihlc th:it the an 

swer, t t-i iAo-r T<"I \\d nder 

t<> C t^ ir. etc., liny 1" said to involve the law and tin* prophet! 
(Matth xxii. !<>) : in that wo can conceive of no Divine law which is 
not included in one ]>art or the other of this sent intent ; because to 
leave what is sinful to the world, and to give that which is eternal 
to (Jod, is the whole secret of godliness. (Comp. on the passage 
Rom. xiii. 7, where Paul seems to have had it in his view.) 

Ver. 23. According to Matth. xxii. 22, the Pharisees now with 
drew, and on the same day (f v I-KF.IVTQ ///^p, ver. 23) hut after an 
interval the Sadducccs came to Jesus. But, as the Pharisees arc 

+ 

mentioned again subsequently (Matth. xxii. 34-41) the word diriJAflov, 
<1< -parted, doubtless can relate only to those among them who had been 
expressly deputed ; it \s t likely that others remained. According to 
Mark and Luke, the question of the Sadducecs immediately follows 
the preceding, and hence the interval of which Matthew speaks is, 
probably, to be regarded as but very brief. The accounts of the 
three Evangelists respecting the conversation of Jesus with the Sad- 
ducees, harmonize in all essentials ; Mark, according to his mode, 
merely giving a somewhat more extended report, although without 
adding any peculiar feature. Luke, on the contrary, gives the an 
swer of Christ far more fully than either of the others, and com 
municates therein some peculiar points. 

As regards the relation of Jesus to the Sadducees, the Redeemer 
evidently acknowledges in them a certain goodness of disposition ; 
they were far from the malignity and shamelcssness o/ the Phari 
sees, but only because they had less interest in doctrinal subjects 
and ecclesiastical affairs. Their god was their belly, and as their 
wraith placed them in a position to indulge their lusts to the full, 
their whole activity was concentrated upon temporal things. Their 
debasement in the pursuit of pleasure, naturally led them to over 
look everything higher, and, in regard to knowledge, they were far 
behind the Pharisees. They denied the resurrection,* and even the 

lityof the spiritual worldf (Acts xxiii. 8); and (like Thilo). 
among the Old Testament Scriptures they attached more import 
ance to the Law than to the Prophets. (Joseph. Arch, xviii. 1. 4. 
von question, p pcxt- 

.Illd allHV.llltf I t() jllSt 

as much as if an ruin 1 - , pay the ler.-il \ 

against adult ry." Tin- instance of n -,, ap;>n>!>riatrii 1 * , for 

tin- .T. \vs liail rdTiiniiUi"! this i . ! hrir unfaithful]; 

* Murk and I, for the sake of tli. not be 

Jews thar 

f ITo\v tli"y may la-. trMich, is in 

deed doubtful. X aii l.T (Kin-l iJosch. Th. i. s. 55) < that they 

regarded . hitns. If \vhU-h wvro imper 

sonal, and on that account transjtory. (Compare also Dr. Paulus on Luke x\. -7 ) 



180 MATTHEW XXII. 24-30. 

Boll. Jml. ii. 8, 14). Hence, while Christ declares that they have 
no knowledge of Divine tilings (Matth. xxii. 2!>), he does not re- 
fn-e to instruct them ; the goodness of their disposition rendered 
it possible that the words might find entrance to their hearts a re 
sult far less to be anticipated in the case of the vain and haughty 
Pharisees. 

Ver. 24-28. The question which they propose to Christ uninis- 
takeably proves the shallowness of their reasonings. The tale which 
they relate (merely a fictitious one) probably formed one of the 
most striking arguments which they were able to adduce against 
the resurrection (dvdoraoig), the object of iheir attack ; and foi 
this reason it might appear to them worth while to try its effect with 
the famous Prophet of Nazareth. The whole fiction was founded 
upon the Mosaic law, Deut. xxv. 5, fF. concerning the marriage of 
the brother-in-law, which, indeed, occurs as in use before the time 
of Moses, Gen. xxxviii. 6. (The citation is given merely from 
memory, and hence each of the Evangelists quotes it differently.) 
The design of this Mosaic regulation was simply to preserve the 
families (and this was the purport also of the laws respecting 
heiresses: comp. the remarks on the genealogical tables containing 
the lineage of Jesus), the number of which was connected with the 
inheritance in the land of Canaan. On this account, likewise, the 
first-born was regarded as the heir of the deceased (comp. Michaclis 
Mos. Kecht. Th. ii. s. 194), and treated as his genuine descendant. 

(The word t7uyaju/3pewo, Matth. xxii. 24, literally signifies to ally 
one s self by marriage, from ya/^3p6$-, which denotes all relationships 
by marriage, as brother-in-law, son-in-law, father-in-law. This is 
the only place where it occurs, and it corresponds with the Hebrew 
o;?, which usually means to perform an obligatory marriage. Instead 
of dvaa-TJaet OTTKQfia, the original text has t;p; vhsj tr V? nn the 
LXX. also have retained the word ovofia. 27r%*a, corresponds with 
the Hebrew -t in the ordinary signification, posterity.) 

Ver. 29, 30. The Lord, in his reply, in the first place (accord 
ing to Matthew and Luke) reproves the unbelief of the Sadducees, 
and then (according to the more copious account of Luke) gives the 
most depuite declaration on the particular case before him. Christ 
describes the error of the Sadducees as ignorance of the Scriptures 
and of the power of God. That we are not to understand the lat 
ter expression as* referring to a mere knowledge of the Divine 
omnipotence, which can raise the bodies of the dead, is evident 
from the idea it^lf. The general doctrine of the almighty power 
of God was not contested by the Sadducees ; they only maintained 
that the raising of the dead should not be regarded as forming a 
part in the operations of God s omnipotent energy. The know 
ledge of the power of God is not distinct from knowledge 



MATTHEW XXII. 29, 30. 181 

rally; for \\v cannot conceive of one attribute of G<><1 without 
the oth T ; all must In- viewed as inseparably connected in the 
Phi ice. And in like manner, the phrase MI^YIU Tdtsypa$6$ t 

i<> knir f/f ^ <-r> jif an-*, must not be taken as signifying an acquaint 
ance \\ith tliv historical sense of .the Scriptures; for it is quite as 
incredible that the Sadducccs should have mistaken this, as that 
they denied the omnipotence of God. The expression denotes 
rather an apprehension of the spiritual contents of the Scrip 
tures ; and since this presupposes Spirit and that, Divine Spirit, 
which no one can have without the knowledge of God the 
knowledge of Scripture is related to the knowledge of God, as the 

:t to the cause. Because they do not know God, they do not 
understand that which is Divine in the Scriptures, knowing only 
what is external, and not having organs for the apprehension of 
anything beyond. (Respecting the ipvx,uc6g [Jude ver. 19, irvevpa 
H/l ",v;an ], com P- 1 Co% ii. 14, where it is said, ov dt^erac rd rov 
TTvevfiarog rov OeoO.) 

In the next place, in regard to the question itself, the Lord un 
equivocally replies that the life of those who are raised from the 
dead will be entirely different from earthly life, and hence the diffi 
culty suggested by his interrogators falls to the ground. Now, in 
this passage, we have, chiefly, an express confirmation of the 
dvdorams, resurrection, which, it is to be observed, we must distin 
guish from the immortality of the soul. Of the latter, the Scrip 
tures never speak ; on the contrary, God is called d/wvog fyuv r^v 
dOaraaiar, he who alone hath immortality (1 Tim. vi. 1C). True, 
the doctrine of Scripture recognises an individual continuance of 
the soul (tyvxfi) but it always views the separation of the soul 
from the body by death as unnatural, so that even in the case 
of believers, whos<- spirit and soul live in the light of God, the 
perfection of the body also is earnestly desired. (Rom. viii. 32, 
ijitric dnectfe^pevoc r/ v /i a-n/ rrpuoiv rov octfiarog jftuJv.) Hence, the 
unclothing of the body the condition of the life of the soul with 
out :i is by no means an advanced state for men ; accord 
ing to the principle "corporeity is the end of the works of God." 
every t hi: > its corresponding body. The body of the resnme- 
tion is a true body (n^nti) thoii-h indeed a spiritual one (-i"-rii(irinni: 
1 Cor. xv. 43, 44). The Redemi r describes as such the eoq> >rality 
of those who are raided from the dead ; l ..r he denies, in their c 
the ! men) and ^."n^n 1,1, ( ^iiiinurrtOtii or u;-tiinni;tn(),ii. of 
women, to be married); whereas both the>e belong to the natural 

y (<7w//a V \" " \ according to its nature. Instead of r,. HUTU, 

lie Loi d in. MI! i ms (jn Luke) aiuv ovrnr and M.Mror (respi-et- 

ing these terms, i-onipaiv the remarks on Matth. xii. 31), aa the 

ions of existence to which the natural and spiritual bodies re- 



182 



MATTHEW XXII. 29, 30. 



spcctively belong. The expression aluv IKEIVOS is here equal to 
QamXeta rov Oeov, and denotes the state in which (lie Divine Spirit 
rules ; on which account also, mention is made of being worthy of 
this aiur. Wherein this consists, and how it is attained, we are 
not here informed ; but the general view of the doctrine of Scrip 
ture leads to the conclusion, that faith must be regarded as suscep 
tibility for grace (%ap?) or the condition of worthiness ; in the sight 
of God, nothing affords worthiness but that which is Divine, that 
which proceeds from himself. (" Before God nothing avails, but his 
own image.") The proposition thus stated by the Lord as a doc 
trine, is supported in what follows (Luke xx. 36) by proofs. It is 
true, the clause with the second yap (ladyyehot yap eiai), contains only 
a subordinate argument, since its immediate reference is to the pre 
ceding words, 1 d-oOavelv OVKKTI dvvavrai, they can die no more; but it 
has also an indirect reference to the main thoughts of the passage. 
As regards the argumentative force of the first clause, there can be no 
doubt that this lies in the idea of propagation, involved in the expres 
sions yafieZv, marry, and yafiioKeaOai, given in marriage. This is 
appointed by God only for the period during which humanity is in its 
course of development ; with its perfection, which will exclude every 
form of death, propagation will also cease. It may justly be de 
duced from this train of thought, that, according to the meaning of 
Christ, the spiritual body will be modified in like manner, and thus 
the difference of sex will not again appear in those who are raised 
from the dead. This, however, can be affirmed with respect only 
to its physical character ; so far as the difference of the sexes is 
manifested also in the psychical nature, there is no ground for the idea 
that it will be abolished in the resurrection ; for there is no necessity 
whatever to suppose such an intimate mutual connexion between 
the physical and the psychical as would render it impossible to con 
ceive of the one without the other. But although this passage 
does not express so much, it does not exclude the conjecture, that, 
in those who are raised from the dead there may be such a union 
of the sexes as existed before the formation of woman (Gen. ii. 



In regard to the remaining words of this important verse, it may 
be remarked that the clauses, lodyyeXot yap da. far ///.<// arc like the 
angels, and nal vioi eim ~ov OEOV, they are sons of God, are quite parallel, 
and serve ;is complements to each other; but both stand in causal 
relation to ihf last words, r//r dvanrdoeuf; riot uvreg "Because they 
are children of the resurrection, they are lodyy&oi, like the anyt la." 
, in the expression, >/n < r7 t r iirafrrdoeug, children of the re- 
(the antithesis is ri .,!: 1 Sam. xxii. 5), = viol r/Jf o>?)f, 
c7/// -" / . the word <}i;in-unn\ /v.w//-, to lie taken as 

emphatic, like John xi. 2.">, when- (Miri-t says. rt 1 am the resurrec- 




MATTIIKW XXII. 29, 30. 183 

tion," the absolute lit ,- \\hieh eon. piers death, and in whose nature 
those who are raised from the dead, have part. On account of this 
participation they arc called vb&rov QeoD (pfr&ttii :=, the ordinary 
name of angels, eomp. tin- remarks on Luke i. 35), and /^/yyeAw. 
(This is lip- only instance in which the expression ocenrs in the New 
Miuiit.) Tho angels arc here evidently viewed as Trvt-v^ara, 
rv.mn) who partake of the nature of God, the original Spirit; 
and, with their spiritual nature, those who rise from the dead 
(clothed with the a&na Tn EvpariKov) are described as in kindred rela 
tionship. Although this idea may be referred primarily to the 
words, OVKKTI d-xoOai Klv dvravrat, they can no more die, so that spirit 
uality appears as the element which imparts immortality ; yet a fur 
ther reference to the more remote words, ovre yafiovaiv K. r. A. they nei 
ther marry, etc., is not excluded. The world of angels (as noo/iog vorjrog) 
excludes the idea of development, and hence that of propagation, it 
being associated only with the world of sense (Kooftog alaOrj-og) to 
which man belongs by virtue of his natural body ; and accordingly 
the connexion might also be taken as follows, ovre ja^iovaLv ovre 
enyafuaKovrai, lodyyekot yap etm. 

Here, however, it might appear that prophetic passages for ex 
ample, Isaiah Ixv. 20, 23, in which mention is made of propagation 
in the kingdom of God are contradictory to the words of the Re 
deemer.* Indeed, it does not appear how this contradiction is to be 
reconciled without the supposition of a twofold resurrection (cornp. 
the remarks on Luke xiv. 14); while, if this supposition be adopted, 
such passages are easily explained. In that case, those living in the 
kingdom must not, by any means, be regarded as having all risen 
from the dead (comp. Rev. xx. 8); and accordingly descriptions like 
those in Isaiah, Ixv. 20, 23, must be referred only to those who have 
not risen (and consequently still belong, in part, to the world). An 
argument of considerable weight, in proving that the authors of 
the New Te.siament (and even the Lord himself) taught a twofold 
resurreeti..n, vi/,., that of the just, and the general resurrection, is 
furnished by the distinction that appears also in our passage between 
the expressions lii-nnrum^ -C,n> rrufHjv, resurrection of the dead, and 
/ /, rf/,- f )JJr, from the dcad:\ The origin of. the phrase tafcrratt? & 
ruffian: , -it f,;,,n tit <Ay^ (Matth. xvii. 7 ; Mark ix. J>, 10, 

xii.iM; I. uke xx. I). .; Aets iv. -J ; <; :l l. i. 1 ; 1 Cor. xv. 12, 20; 1 

. i. 3), would be inexplicable, if it were not derived from the 

* It is probnblo t tho Old Testament formed the foundation on 

which thii- .*, who divaim-il of niurruijrs iiinun^ tlio subjects 

of then. 1 .^;: means a general Thai :i, that pn 

tion from the dead: nun of sjiirit- .al disposition* 
taught the contrary, a.-i-urdin.^ t" 

f The phrase ilruarar . np<j v never occurs. On tlie contrary, 1 Cor. xv. 12, 

13, 21, we have di-uaraaig reupwv. 



184 MATTHEW XXII. 31, 32. 

idea, that out of the mass of the dead some would rise first. It is 
true that most of the passages adduced relate to the Redeemer, to 
whom the iydpeadat in venptii , rising from the dead, certainly has 
its peculiar application); but in the passag*, Mark xii. 25 ; Luke 
xx. 35 ; the words dvdoraois IK ve/cpwv, resurrection from the dead, 
are used by the Lord himself, in reference to the act of the resur 
rection, and we are therefore compelled to allow it its force in the 
present case also. Nor is it anything strange that the successive 
stages in the resurrection are in many instances not distinguished ; 
that under the single term resurrection, both are comprehended 
(Matth. xxii. 23, 28, and parallels, John xi. 24 ; Acts xxiii. 8), 
and that in dvdoraaig -&v VEKQ&V the IK veKptiv is understood (Matth. 
xxii. 31 ; Acts xvii. 32, xxiii. 6 ; 1 Cor. xv. 12, 42, 52); for the 
general includes the special, and, on the same principle, the pro 
phets of the Old Testament associated the first and second advents 
of Christ. 

Ver. 31, 32. At the conclusion of the conversation, the Saviour, 
after having described, as far as the matter under inquiry was con 
cerned, the nature of those who participate in the resurrection, ad 
duces a further argument for the doctrine of the resurrection from 
the Scriptures. The prophets would have furnished the Lord with 
far more decided proofs of this doctrine (comp. Isaiah xxvi. 19 ; 
Ezek. xxxviii. 1, ff.; Dan. xii. 2, ff.); but since the Sadducees ac 
knowledged only the Pentateuch, Jesus confined himself to that. 
(The passage quoted is Exod. iii. G [15]. It is cited only according 
to the sense ; it does not exactly agree either with the LXX. or 
with the original text.) In the Pentateuch the horizon certainly 
appears limited to this life, and express references to the state after 
death are altogether wanting. But from this circumstance we can 
form no conclusion as to the individual opinions of Moses, and the 
most spiritual men of the nation ; it merely indicates the view 
which was within the reach of the mass of the people. In their 
state of spiritual infancy, it was necessary, in treating of reward as 
well as of punishment, to point them to earthly things ; for they 
were incapable of contemplating any others as real. And although 
there arc intimations of a life after death in the Pentateuch (see 
the account of Enoch (Gen. v. 24) and the formula} v? Vs q=x3 or 
rivax Vt< which by no means denote merely burial, but signify, to 
be gathered together in Sheol (comp. Gesenius in his Lexicon), of 
which mention is made, Gen. xxxvii. 35 ; xlii. 38 ; xiiv. 29 ; Numb. 
xvi. 30,) from which we may, with certainty, deduce the existence 
of the idea of continuance after death among the enlightened men 

* There is only one passage (Rom. i. 4), in which the expression dviiaracif reicpuv is 
applied to Jesus; but in this instance it requires a special consideration drawn from the 
context. 



MATTIIKW X X I [. 31,32. 185 

of tin- Mo>aic ;ige ; yd, (In- life afVr death, in the realms of shade, 
appears a joyless tiling, and henee tli< i view taken of it in the Pen 
tateuch is altogether ditl erent from that of the New Testament 
(John xi. _ ". _ ; ; Phil. i. 23). This very disparity, however, per- 

ly proves tin.- truth of the representations of Scripture in refer 
ence to the various degrees of human development "with which its 
various parts are in harmony. In a state of childhood the predom 
inance of sense over spirit is undeniahle; and in like manner, until the 
appearance of him who ifl himself the lifeand the resurrection until 
the reception of his life and light the view that the life after death 
is joyless and gloomy, is perfectly natural. Hence, if Moses, and 
the other authors of the Old Testament, had described the life of 
the soul when divested of the body as Paul describes it as a 
state to be earnestly desired, their representation would not have 
been natural. The New Testament description of -the state after 
death is suited only to believers, whose soul is illumined by the 
spirit of Christ, and prepared to be received into his presence. 
Even in the case of believers, however, the condition without the 
body is still only a state of transition (although relatively blissful) ; 
they wait for the dnokvTpumg rov aufiaTos, redemption of the body 
(Rom. viii. 23 ; 2 Cor. v. 4). It may be said, therefore, that not 
merely the doctrine of the state after death, but the state itself, is 
viewed as progressive ; for although the continuance of the substance 
of the soul is the same in all the stages of development, yet the 
(/ jrce of consciousness in that continuance is modified according to 
the degree of consciousness, in general, that has been attained ; 
and, as in the individual, so in the mass. 

It seems strange, however, that the Lord founds the proof of the 
resurrection, which he draws from the JPentatuch, on the passage, 

I. iii. G. That in doing this, he merely followed a Pharisaic 
custom of arguing from this passage for the resurrection, or that 
he wished not so much to argue as to dazzle by an ingenious thought 
which he connected with the language of Scripture, it would be 
diilienlt fora Christian consciousness to admit. Undoubtedly the 
K - lcemer recognized in the words of Moscsf an internal, doctrinal sig- 
nilicance ; on which account (according to Matthew and Mark) God 
is .-[token of as the author of the idea. This quotation is not for a * 

irlier period employed Exod. iii. 6 in the same manner 

as Ji-siis 1 . Tli..- \vayin which Kabbi Manasse appii. s it, in his 

Bon from i iiuits of tho conjecture that ho knew tho 

.in intcTpr. knap. Scli.ittLr. ii (in the passage.) 

f The manner in which Luke (xx. 37) quotes tho words of the Lord, refers tho cita 
tion ildini ::! this, at any r . . it necessary to repard Moses aa 
.thor i the substaiK 1 . 1 <,f t: . -h. Tho words ixl r Vie. btuTi, 
are to be taken, both i" -Mark and in Luke, as meaning "in tho section where tho ap 
pearance of God in tho bush is tho subject of discourse." 



186 MATTHEW XXII. 31, 32. 

moment to be regarded as a mere formula, selected because Moses 
had uitroduced God as speaking in the first person ; but as an 
assertion of the divinity of the writings of Moses himself. For the 
supposition that Moses would have represented God as s] leaking, if 
he had not spoken, must be rejected as something utterly untenable ; 
and hence it is certain that the Lord cannot have appealed to any 
thing of that kind. Indeed such a mode of using the Divine name 
would be alike contrary to the command, " Thou shalt not take the 
name of the Lord thy God in vain," and to the precept respecting 
prophets (Deut. xviii. 20). 

If, then, it be the intention of Christ to acknowledge in this 
passage the word of God, as that from which he argues in support 
of Divine truths necessarily must be (for that which is Divine can be 
proved only by what is Divine) the question is, what meaning the 
Redeemer finds in the words quoted. Now, here all depends upon 
the signification of the name, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 
If it denoted nothing else than the idea of protection, goodwill, 
then it would not appear why we should not find in the Scripture 
the names, God of Adam, of Moses, of David, or other holy men 
which is not the case. Similarly in tl^e New Testament, the name, 
God of Jesus Christ,* occurs (Horn. xv. 6 ; Ephes. i. 3) ; but not, 
the God of Peter, of Paul ; nor may we say the God of Luther or 
of Calvin. This usus loquendi, which certainly is not accidental, 
indicates a more profound idea, lying at the foundation of the name, 
and which the Lord, in the instance before us, wishes to bring out 
The God of Abraham and the God of Jesus is the one true God of 
heaven and earth ; but, as far as the chief forms of his manifesta 
tion are concerned, he has revealed himself to men, in these individu 
als, in different modes. Abraham is regarded, in this name (and 
similarly in the expression KO/ITO^ A/3paa /t, bosom of Abraham, Luke 
xvi. 22), as the father and representative of the whole pre-Christian 
life ; Jesus Christ as the father and representative of the whole 
Christian world, which has received his life into itself. Hence, the 
formula Oeof A3paaju, Qebg Irjoov Xpiarov, God of Abraham, God of 
Jesus Christ, relates to the peculiar position of Abraham and Christ 
towards mankind universally ; according to which, both are the 
progenitors of the people of God the former of Israel according to 
the flesh, the latter, of the spiritual Israel. The addition of the 
name, " God of Isaac and God of Jacob," as it appears to me, was 
designed to indicate that the genuine character of the AWahaiuitic 
life was transmitted only through Isaac (not through Ishmael) and 
through Jacob (not through Hsau) ; both, therefore, arc to be 
viewed as one with the ancestor Abraham. The name God of Noah, 

* In order to point out the specific relation of Christ to God, it is ahvay.s added, the 
God and Father of Jesus Christ. 



LTJM xx I r. 31,32. 187 

might he applied in ;i similar manner, were it not that Noah must 
]< musHi M*! the representative, n ! BO Jiiudi of sanet il n-d human 
ity, as of a - ii Tal mass, holy and unholy. His SUM Sin-in, how- 
iainly hears Ihe character of the represented ints, 

and ; .o-i.r,ii:i;;!y., in one instance (Gen. ix. 26), the name cs --Vx. 
(roc/ "/ >s7/< in, occurs in reference to him ; and on ao-uimt of the 
similarity of the positions occupied by Abraham and Shem, this ex 
pression is to be taken as identical in meaning with the designation 
cr-^x vS>x, God of Abraham. From such a signification of the 

r r ; * v: *r QJ 

name, the Lord could well draw his conclusion. The relation of 
God to Abraham had not passed away, but was permanent ; on 
this account God continuously designated himself, in the one form 
of his manifestation, by the name, God of Abraham ; and for the 
same reason, the name required the continued existence of him 
with whom the peculiar relation, whence it proceeded, was formed. 
Accordingly, the expression Gso^ ve/cpuv, ^wvrwv, God of (the) dead, 
of (the) living (without an article), is not to be referred to the mass 
of the dead or of the living, but to the Patriarchs who are men 
tioned, and should be rendered, "God is not a God of dead persons 
since he still calls himself the God of Abraham, after Abraham s 
death but of those who are living." For with this the idea added by 
Luke(xx. 38) strikingly harmonizes, " for all live to him" (jravre^ yap 
avrw ^watv). For, after the relation of God to the saints has been 
pointed out as it is expressed in the name attention is now di 
rected inversely to their relation to God. As God is their God (Heb. 
xi. 16) having, as it were, given himself to them for a holy posses 
sion so they give themselves again to him as an entire offering. 
Thus the mutual operation of love is here viewed as the peculiar 
feature of the eternal life. God is in them and they are in God ; 
and in this union they have the immortality (dOavaoia) of Him 
\vhn alone essentially possesses it (1 Tim. vi. 16). Hence it is clear 
tha "//. does not relate to the mass of men (for although all 

live tlii-ii<jli God, all do not live to God, nor walk before God), but 
only to the spiritual seed of Abraham. There seems then also in 
the- ,.. be a play upon the words dead and living the 

former comprehending not merely those who are corporeally dead, 
but those who are spiritually dead, and, as sueh. separated from God ; 
while the living embrace the spiritually alive, as well as those who en- 
joy continued existenee. True, it would seem then to f.,11, , w that those 
who are spiritually d -ad are those who are .lead in themselves ;f 
while yet assuredly even tin- wicked will rise a- .iin (.lolm v. l>9). 

* That is, altogether deu.l, without any element of life. TR. 

f The ca-s.-- is similar in tho passage, John xi. l!:>. win rv ihr words, 6 marcvuv elf lf t 
<Jv (. /< tiiat believeUi on me, even .. live, involve the an 

tithesis; he that L .-lii-vi-d not in IIK-, is in tln< : .ith. 



188 MATTHEW XXII. 235. 

Nor is this conclusion, in fact, unscriptural ; for the very resurrection 
of the wicked delivers them over to the second death (Odvarog dsvre- 
por, Rev. xx. 6, xxi. 8). The scriptural ideas of death and life are 
exceedingly profound and spiritual ; and on this characteristic 
the peculiarity of their use is founded (comp. the remarks on John 
i. 3). Death has no reference to the annihilation of the substance, 
which can never take place ; consequently, the death of the soul 
does not involve the cessation of its existence ; on the contrary, it 
denotes only the state of the creature in separation from the fount 
ain of life, the source of Being. The union of the soul with the ab 
solute Life alone secures its true life, the consummation of which is 
the faoTtoirjoig rov CTo^arof, quickening of the body. It is only when 
the \vords which the Lord addressed to the Sadducees are thus un 
derstood, that they are apprehended in their full signification. (On 
this subject, compare my Festprogramm : antiquiss. eccl. patrum 
de immortalitate anima3 sententia3. Regiom. 1827, printed in the 
opusc, theol. Berol. 1833). 

Ver. 33. The sublime thoughts expressed in the words of the 
Lord touched. not only the more susceptible populace, but (accord 
ing to Luke) even some of the better disposed Pharisees. They ex 
claimed naX&q eiTraf, fhou hast said well, when they saw that Jesus 
agreed with their views in opposition to the Sadducees, and so ably 
defended them. As, finally, Luke here concludes his narrative of the 
attempts of the Jews to entrap Jesus, he even here introduces the 
phrase "And they no longer ventured to ask him any question" 
(OVKKTI <5t- troA/^wv tTrepwrav avrov ovdev) which Mark (xii. 34) and 
Matthew (xxii. 46) do not employ till afterwards. 

Ver. 34, 35. The following account of a Pharisee, who asked 
Jesus respecting the greatest commandment, is omitted by Luke, 
but given by Mark with a minuteness which alone places the whole 
event in its true light. The very brief statements of Matthew would 
make it appear that the interrogator had evil designs in his conversa 
tion with the Redeemer which, according to Mark, was by no means 
the case, for Jesus manifested an affection for him, and praised him 
(Mark xii. 34). But to conclude, from this difference between the 
accounts, that the Evangelists refer to two entirely distinct facts, is 
not at all admissible ; for, in the first place, if that hypothesis were 
correct, two very similar events must have occurred at the same 
I ; and, secondly, the discrepancy between the two narratives 
is only apparent, and occasioned by the brevity of .Matthew. It the 
words -n/Hifav avrur. trijnj /tint. (Matth. xxii. . V, be only tak- ii as 
expressive of a well-meaning / //</"//// after the opinion of J >ns. 
rather than in a malevolent sense, the difference between the ac 
counts is easily reconciled. Xor is their any greater Heredity to 
adopt the view that this interrogator must have belonged to the 



MATTHEW XXII. 34, 35. 189 

sect of tin- Sadducecs or the Karaite-. K^ause he manifested so 
little enmity towards Jesus, and publicly applauded him. For, as 
to the Karaites, it can not only not l>e proved, hut is in the highest 
ree improbable, that they existed in the lime .. I Christ. And, as 
regards the Saddneees, the comprehensive word nv/,/,oV, /W-//< /, like 
ypafinarevs, scribe, may assuredly signify a Saddncee ; but in Mark 
the expression " one of the Scribes came up to him," so closely fol 
lows the preceding statement in Luke xx. 39, and the words " hear 
ing them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered 
them well" (aKOvoug avruiv avfyrovvrw, eMo>f on KaAaJf avroZf arre- 
Kp/07/) so obviously point out the author of the question as one of 
those who had heard the immediately preceding conversation, that, 
according to Mark, we can regard him only as a Pharisee ; for it 
cannot be supposed that any but the Pharisees would have praised 
the answer of Jesus respecting the resurrection of the dead, as 
agreeing with their own opinions. In Matthew, indeed, this close 
connexion does not occur ; but, instead of this, he expressly men 
tions the Pharisees, and speaks of the interrogator as one of that 
party. (The expression elg t| avrtiv can refer only to the <baoiaaloi 
ovvaxOhTFg). Now, since it is natural to suppose that among the 
Pharisees there were minds nobler and more susceptible than others, 
and the words of Jesus may have produced a powerful impression 
upon the interrogator, there is no reason why he should not be re 
garded as a member of the Pharisaic sect. In reference to him, the 
more minute statements of Mark are certainly to be taken as cor 
rect, and hence it must be assumed that he was a hearer of the pre 
vious conversation with Jesus. Nor does the account of Matthew 
contain anything directly contradictory to this. The language, ditov- 
oavre<; on tyijiuoc (from ^jwo^, the curb or muzzle ; figuratively to 
make dumb, to put to silence) TOV$ Zaddov Kaiovg, hearing that he had 
silenced the Sadducces, may refer to the immediate hearing of 
the unanswerable discourse of Jesus ; and the " gathered to 
gether" (nvn]\OT]Ga,v ~l TO avTo) does not necessarily imply a 
change of time and place. The words may be understood as relat 
ing to the separate conference of the Pharisees in the presence of 
Jesus, whom we must regard as surrounded by crowds of people of 
all description!. The mass of the Pharisees engaged in it, were, 
we may naturally suppose, animated by a very unholy and hostile 
spirit ; but, nevertheless, there may have been amongst them a 
single individual who remained accessible to nobler sentiments. 
inspecting the expression, mWyaM/f ;-/ -n m m, comp. Schleusner 
in his Lexicon to the LXX. [vol. i. p. 501.] Like irj:, it refers not 

* In like manner wo must take tho words, Mutih. xxii. 41, r, *api- 

aaiui; which do not suppose any local removal of Jesus, but a gathering together in hia 
presence. 



190 MATTHMW XXII. 36-38. 

only to place, but also to oneness of disposition. Corap. the ver 
sion of the LXX. Ps. ii. 2.) 

Ver. 36. The question which the Pharisee proposed to J< 
TToia IvTokt) peydkr] KV TU> vo/fw ; which is the great commandment in 
the law ? was founded on the distinction made, by this sect, be 
tween great and little commands (comp. the remarks ^on Matth. v. 
19). There may have been special circumstances which rendered it 
desirable for the Pharisee to ascertain the opinion of Jesus as to the 
most important part of the law : but it is also probable that he was 
actuated by a personal sense of the importance of the question, as 
the profound observation inserted by Mark (xii. 33, 34), from the 
lips of the scribe, seems to indicate. At all events the question 
contained nothing insidious, for the Pharisees, who exhibited the 
most open diversity of opinion, called so many different commands 
the greatest (for example, circumcision, observance of the Sabbath, 
and the like), that the mention of this or that command could in 
no way have exposed Jesus to injury. 

With regard to the form of the query, the word ju^ya/.?/, great, 
in Matthew, is certainly to be taken as superlative ; one ivToXr}, 
command (the form under which the law (vd^of), for a particular 
case, is represented) is viewed in contrast with the others (as the 
minor ones). The Redeemer, in his reply, unites //eya/l?/, great, and 
7rpu>T7) : first (Matth. xxii. 38) ; although Mark has the latter alone 
(xii. 29). In this expression there is a play upon the two significa 
tions of pre-eminence, and priority in the order of the commands. 
In the question, TT^TTJ first can primarily mean only pre-eminent ; 
but Jesus names as the pre-eminent command the first, and thus 
the words are founded upon the idea, " that command which, ac 
cording to the arrangements of God, is placed first in order, is also 
the first in importance." (In Mark -pwr?/ is followed by the addi 
tion of TTOVTUV a reading certainly preferable to -aaoiv, which plainly 
betrays itself as a correction. TLdvruv is best taken as neuter, which 
serves to strengthen Tipwr^.) 

Ver. 37, 38. Jesus, in his reply, directs the mind from the 
variety of individual commands to the unity of the principle, the 
possession of which involves the fulfilment of them all. He cites 
the words Deut. vi. 5, in which the acknowledgment of the one true 
God, and the duty of loving him, are expressed. Mark has quoted 
the passage more fully, and even inserted in the discourse the con 
fession of the unity of God. Although these first words of the Old 
Testament command do not necessarily belong to the connexion of 
the conversation, yet th. y are l>y no means inappropriate, as they 
are repeated (vcr. 32), according to the account of Mark. ly the in 
terrogator. The unilij of God, which involves the fact that he is 



MATTHEW XXII. 37, 38. 191 

incomparable, contains the deeisi\ \vliy he is to he loved uu- 

n MTvedlv because eYeiything \vortliy ui love is in him. 

Tin- Kvaii jylists diller (comj). the remarks on Luke x. 27) in a 
peculiar inannrr from the Hebrew text, and from tlie LXX. in the 
a- of the synonyiiies HnpMa, ^v^i], ovvems, didroin. That the read 
ing t T the LXX. which translates "rt^ by <5vva/wc, should, by an 
oversight, have given rise to the term didvoia, and that then lo^vg 
was added, is not probable ; because Mark (xii. 32), instead of em 
ploying fiidvoia, uses OVVEOH;, which cannot have originated in a per 
mutation. It appears to me more likely as I have already stated, 
in the remarks on Luke x. 27 that the peculiar mode in which 
this passage of the Old Testament is treated, passed over from the 
five translation of Luke into Matthew and Mark. In regard to the 

| . m. 

several expressions, the term nha according to the orignal text, re 
lates to the activity of the will, to which the lo^vg in Mark is also 
to be referred, while fadvoia = vovg denotes the reflective, and ^>vxn 
the sensitive principle in man ; so that the words express the great 
maxim, " Man ought to devote all his powers and faculties which 
are derived from God to God, in love." The substitution of oureatg 
for dtdvoia, by Mark (xii. 32), as a designation of the thinking prin 
ciple, merely serves to give prominence to the understanding over 
the reason ; and hence the meaning is only somewhat modified. 
But it is difficult to keep the ideas conveyed by the terms heart 
(fc-ap<5/a) and soul (t/>t%r/) which are collocated by Mark as well as 
Matthew properly separate from one another. Commonly, in the 
language of the New Testament, the heart is nothing else than the 
organ through which the soul is manifested ; and, so far, the two 
expressions are parallel. But here it is necessary to draw a distinc 
tion, for the sake of avoiding a tautology. Probably "heart" may 
be understood as prominently designating the principle which de 
sires, and " soul" as that which feels ; in this case strength (loxvs) 
must be established in its relation to "heart," as denoting the utter 
ance of the will. Now, when the Lord designates love to God as 
the greatest or first commandment, it is evidently not his intention 
to |,laee it as one amongst several others, and ascribe to it merely a 
hi- her </, jirc of importance. On the contrary, the love of God is the 
command of all commands, and the whole law is only an expansion 
of the words ayi-r/jwr Kt\>im^ rui Oeov oov, Thou slialt love the Lord 
Hi ij God. And if, in the language of the Old Testament, the love 
of God is reijiiii-n/, under the form of a command (which ap] 
,:rary to its nature, since it is the freest activity of life), the ref- 
;ice here (eornp. the remarks on Luke vii. 48) surely is not to a 
pathological love, but to a purely spiritual love, which rests in the 

* Compare tho particulars in my dissertation De naturae humaiize trichotomia in the 
Opuac. TheoL page 135 seq. 



192 . MATTHEW XXII. 39. 

unreserved surrender of the whole being, and of all the faculties, to 
their exalted object. M;m, as such, carries in himself the ability 
for such a surrender ; it is true this ability is not to be conceived of 
as without grace, but with it and in it ; and the Divine -command, 
" Thou shalt love me," at once has its fulfilment where there is no 
resistance.* Hence, while the fact that man does not love is a mat 
ter of guilt, his loving God involves no merit on the contrary, the 
purer and the more intense this love becomes, it is grace more en 
tirely which produces it in him. At the same time of course, love 
manifests itself in degrees. In the Old Testament where the com 
mand makes its first appearance, it means chiefly external obedience ; 
in the New Testament, where it appears in its perfection, it in 
volves that obedience which is internal, and the surrender of the 
whole nature to the Author of our being. It is only in the latter 
relation that love completely casts out fear (Rom. viii. 15), for it is 
assimilation to the object loved. 

Ver. 39. It is singular that the Saviour appears to connect 
with this one command a second, and yet immediately does away 
with the order of precedence, by saying that the latter is like (6/zo/a) 
the former. He docs not, however, by any means intend here to 
name another command, but only to describe love in its whole ex 
tent. The expression " Thou shalt love the Lord" might easily 
have been misunderstood as if Jesus had assigned the first import 
ance to religious duties, such as prayer, sacrifice, fasting, and the 
like ; whereas he assuredly would not be understood to mean by 
the required love certain external or internal works, but a state of 
mind which is the fountain of all good works. To prevent, there 
fore, such misapprehensions, he adds the command to love our neigh 
bour. As the love of God comprehends the commands of the first 
table, so the love of our neighbour comprehends those of the second 
table, but both are in reality perfectly one, since none can be con 
ceived of without the others. The only difference is that love to 
God is the root, and love to our neighbour is the manifestation ; 
whilst love to God, on the part of man, appears negative (John iv. 
10), love to his neighbour appears positive. The precise definition 
of love to our neighbour, added in the words a*? oeavrov, as thyself, 
seems to denote not so much its strength as its purity. For he who 
commands us to hate our own life (Luke xiv. 26), could not make 
false self-love the standard of love to our neighbours ; genuine love 
to our neighbour, according to the degree of its development, acts 
towards another as it does to self it hates what is evil just as 
much in the neighbour as in self, and in both it loves only that 

* Comp. the profound saying, 1 Cor. viiL 3, " If any man love God, the same ie 
known of him." 



MATTHKW XXII. 40. 193 

which is of (J. nl. Pure love, therefor , according to the words of 
Scripture, Hate evil and love --....il" ( Amos v. 15; 1! .0), 

contains the element of severity as well as that of tenderness. 1. 
tTius viewed is the sum (dvoxe^oylaldXK?) of all commands, the one 
tiling needful (Rom. xiii. 0). 

Ver. -I ). The Redeemer (according to Matthew, who has pre- 
d in this verse a profound thought, which belongs to the com 
pletion of the conversation) views love in the same relation to the 
whole i f the Divine revelation. Love includes everything that God 
requires of man. (The word K^j-aaOai quite corresponds with the 
Latin penderc, in the signification to be dependent upon anything.) 
As the world and man in it exist only through love, so God desires 
nothing but love it is the TrA^pw/ja rov vopov, fit? fill iny of the law 
(Rom. xiii. 10). The Law and the Prophets arc by no means to be 
understood merely of the Old Testament/ as if the New Testament 
was bused on something else than love ; on the contrary, in its 
purity as the Divine law, and as such (although only in the germ), it 
comprehends also the New Testament life. Hence, love appears as 
that which is all-sufficient, in all degrees of development in the 
moral life ; in the highest as well as in the lowest, nothing exceeds 
it, for God is love (John iv. 8), and no one can love out of God, or 
beside God, but only in God. (Respecting the relation of love to 
faith, compare the remarks on Luke vii. 48.) According to the 
concluding words in Mark, the interrogator rightly apprehended the 
rich meaning of the language of the Lord. He confessed that 
Jesus had spoken the truth ; that there is only one God ; that pre 
cisely for this reason he is incomparable, and man must surrender 
himself to him without reserve. Of such spiritual sacrifice, he well 
understood that the external offerings, ordained in the statutes of 
the Old Testament, were but faint emblems. ( OAonav-una = nV*, 
a burnt-offering ; (h-oia = n?r ? signifies indeed also a bloody sacri 
fice [an unbloody is called n^-], but which was not wholly 
consumed.) The Scriptures of the Old Testament might easily 
lead to this knowledge, since they often represent the superiority 
of that inward deposition which is acceptable in the sight of God, 
to the external religious form. (1 Sum. xv. 22 ; Ps. xl. 7 ; Hos. vi. 
C.) The answer of the Pharisee proved that his mind was suscep- 

* It is therefore an inadequate statement to say that the command to love God 
means, " to lovo God above all. 1 God is thus placed in a false relation to 
tures. ^fan ought not to lovo God more than creatures, but he ought not to love, at all. 
creatures as such, in their ho should love all in God and God in 

all. In lil. !!ian ought to love hin God (according to the true idea 

of himself), not according to his character as a creature in a state of defection from > 
such lov is sin and the root of all sinful actions, and, for this reason, its end must be 
death (Luke xiv. 26). 

VOL. II. 13 



194 MATTHEW XXII. 41-4G. 

tiltle of truth. The Evangelist remarks "that he answered dis 
creetly" (or i vovvex&s d-xenpiOrf), (The expression occurs in 
the New Testament only here ; but, like the adjective form 
vovvexus, it is frequently found in profane writers.) But VOVVEX&<; 
is not to be taken as identical with 0poW/w?(Luke xvi. 8) ; mere 
wisdom could never have formed the foundation of such a judg 
ment as is contained in the following words, ov fiaxptiv el K. r. A. 
On the contrary, we must retain the reference in the word voyvexw 
to the vovg (reason), which, as the power of discerning that which 
is Divine and supernatural, when rightly applied, is the condition of 
entering into the supernatural order of things. The " kingdom" is 
here viewed in its spiritual character, in which it is to be regarded 
as already present and accessible. At the same time, " not being 
far from," is not identical with being in the kingdom. Being in the 

t O O O 

kingdom of God involves the possession of love ; but the inquiring 
Pharisee understood its necessity in order to please God, rather than 
possessed the thing itself. Still the correctness of his knoivledge, 
united with the open-hcartedness of his confession, caused the Re 
deemer to hope that he would yet learn to take the important step 
from mere knowledge to the actual experience of the power of 
grace. 

Ver. 41-46. After this conversation of the Pharisee with Jesus, 
in the whole of which the power of the wisdom that dwelt in the 
Saviour must have struck and impressed the minds of all, they ven 
tured no more to question him. But at the conclusion, Jesus ad 
dressed a question to them, for the purpose of exposing to them 
their ignorance of Divine things, which they in vain sought to con 
ceal. The occurrence is immediately connected with what precedes, 
so that the <I>apmaZo ovvTjyuevoi, assembled Pharisees, are precisely 
those who were congregated together in his immediate neighbour 
hood and presence. (Mark adds, tv TGJ Jepw, that is, in one of the 
porches or halls that belonged to the temple ; in which place all the 
preceding incidents may have also transpired.) In the whole ac- 

* De "Wette (on Luke xvi. 27-31) adduces this passage, Mark xii. 34, along with 
Matth. v. 19, in support of the erroneous assertion, "that according to the Christianity 
of the synoptical Evangelists, to repent and to fulfil the law is sufficient for happi: 
But the synoptical Evangelists have no other Christianity than that of the other writers 
of the New Testament. The circumstance that they seldom speak of tho sacrificial death 
of Jesus (comp. the remarks on Matth. ax. 28) results from the fact that Jesus, before 
the completion of his work, only referred to this point in the way of hints, and left the 
further inculcation of it to the Holy Spirit. After the resurrection there was no lack <>f 
instruction on this subject. (Comp. the observations on Luke xxiv. 2">, fL 44, IT.) But 
the answer of Jesus, in this passage (Mark xii. 34), does not say that the Scribe who pro 
posed the question to him, was, in the state of his soul, prepared for happiness, but only 
that ho was not far from tho kingdom of God that is, he was in such a state that he 
might be born again and so enter it. Without regeneration no one can enter the king 
dom of God (John hi. 3); but many a man has become incapable of regeneration, through 
bis impurity, which baa stifled all susceptibility of grace. 



MATTIII.W XXII. 46. 195 

count, we avoid all dillienlty by assuming that the Pharisaic teach 
ers overlooked tin- higher natuiv nl the Messiah (comp. John x. . !). 
ff.) and saw in him merely a distinguished man (/car 1 tt;/.n\i]i\ chosen 
by God to be the .Messiah on account of his virtue, as Tryphon says 
in Justin Martyr*). And the circumstance of the Pharisees brim; 
wedded to this opinion, notwithstanding the passages of the Old 
Testament quoted by the Lord (and others as clear), proves the 
very blindness of which the Lord here designed to convict them. 
They universally explained the Psalm as Messianic (for it was on 
this hypothesis that the whole argument of Jesus rested ;.the op 
position of the Jews to this view was developed only at a much 
later period ; compare Hengstcnberg s Christol. s. 140, f.), but they 
used, for their own purpose, merely the magnificent descriptions of 
triumph which it contains, and dazzled by the outward splendour, 
overlooked its intimation of the higher nature of the Messiah. The 
Redeemer confirms the Messianic interpretation of the Psalm in so 
decided a manner, that it would have seemed impossible for any one 
to attempt to prove from this very passage that he denied the 
reference to the Messiah. But what does not man see and fail to 
see, for the purpose of establishing his own favourite opinions ? 
The Redeemer not only mentions David most definitely as the 
author of the Psalm, but ascribes to him prophetic inspiration as 
the influence under which he composed it. (HvEvpa = hi-i, the prin 
ciple of all higher illuminations and sacred inspiration.) The cita 
tion from Ps. ex. 1, is exactly according to the LXX., and occurs 
again Acts ii. 34 : 1 Cor. xv. 25 ; Heb. x. 13. Hence nothing can 
be more striking than this passage, as a proof that Jesus attributed 
the Divine nature to himself ;f as he contrasts himself with Abra 
ham, John viii. 56, so here with David. In adducing the descrip- 
t i U of the Messiah as triumphing over all enemies, the Lord pro 
nounces upon the Pharisees their condemnation, and thus far this 
citation forms the transition to the following discourse of Christ 
against the Pharisees, which is addressed directly to the mass of the 
people asst-niblcil around him, whereby the rupture with the ruling 
party is represented as complete. The people finally were still de 
voted to the Redeemer, and heard his discourses gladly (Mark xii. 
37). 

* In the work composed by Justia Martyr against tho Jews, entitled Dialogus cum 
Tryi>h"ti,- .liid-". TR. 

t .1. I>. Mi. h:\rlij! erroneously thinks that the Lord read in tho Psalm -:- N - 
:-M - . 1 1 roof to the contrary is furnished bv tin- version * The 

argument for the Divine nature of Christ lies in tho words, KuOov t\ sit at my 

right hand, which xprc-srs participation in the Divine government of tho world (comp. 
tho remarks on Matth. xxvL 64). 



196 MATTHEW XXIII. 1. 

7. DISCOURSES CENSURING THE PHARISEES. 

(Matth. xxiii. 1-39 ; Mark xii. 38-40 ; Luke xx. 45-47.) 

According to the unanimous testimony of the three narrators, 
all of whom here communicate anti-Pharisaic elements, it cannot 
be doubted that the Redeemer, at the conclusion of these conversa 
tions with the Pharisees, turned to the people and censured that 
sect. But it is in the highest degree improbable that the whole 
discourse was thus delivered by the Lord as Matthew here gives it, 
specially on account of the relation between this and a kindred one 
in Luke (xi. 39, if., where compare the remarks). It would indeed 
be quite conceivable that Jesus might again utter sentiments against 
the Pharisees similar to those which he had previously expressed ; 
and hence the two discourses (in Luke, and here in Matthew) might 
have been thus verbally delivered, and accurately recorded. But, 
in the first place, this appears to be opposed by the circumstance 
that the harmony between the two is too great to be explained 
merely from the repetition of kindred thoughts. In the discourse 
reported by Matthew, nothing is wanting that Luke has, and the 
language frequently agrees word for word. And, secondly, the dis 
course in Matthew has a form which seems to have proceeded rather 
iVom the reflection of the writer than from its immediate delivery. 
It might be supposed that Matthew purposely placed it in contrast 
with the Sermon on the Mount, and shaped it accordingly. As the 
Lord in that Sermon commenced his instruction of the people, and 
impressed the truth which he taught upon their hearts; so with 
this he concludes his public ministry (for all further discourses in 

.latthew, as in John, are intended for the immediate circle of his 

isciples), and in it he warns against the mere appearance of truth. 
The beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount are contrasted, in the 

nti-Pharisaic Sermon, with the woes as forming its substa: 
which the introduction and the close refer. Whilst the former, pro- 

oeding from the general relation of the Scribes and Pharisees to 

ncocracy, rebukes their radical moral defects, viz., hypocritical 

it-indulgence and vain ambition (as the opposite of which, hum- 

earnestness is commended in the children of God) the latter, 

.meeting itself with the woes, utters the final threatening. Hence 

both of these great discourses, an act of the judicial work of 

hrist is presented; assuming in the Sermon on the Mount, the 

of benediction, in the discourse against the Pharisees, of con- 

uition. Both, however, have to do, not with the world as -u 

it with members of the "kingdom," and those who onylt to be 

. >, and wished to appear so. Thus understood, the objection is re- 



MATTHEW XXIII. 1. 197 

moved which might lit- entertained against this severe discourse, as 
being spoken liy the gentlest of the sons of men. True, witho u( the 
Sjiirit of (Jod win), on the one hand, instils as well a pure hatred 
of evil as a pure love, of good, and, on the other, imparts the ability 
rn the condition of the soul so positive a judgment pro 
nounced upon another individual or a whole society, without sin, is 
inconceivable. (Hence the precept, " Judge not 1" Matth. vii. 1, 
which forbids us to attribute guilt to our neighbour, which here, 
however, is even measured.) But on the Redeemer the spirit of 
love as well as of truth rests without measure (John iii. 34), and in 
tlu 1 power of this spirit he judged upon earth and judges in heaven. 
(Compare something similar in the ministry of the apostles, re 
corded in the remarkable account, Acts v. 3, ff., which must be ex 
plained as resulting from the power of the Divine Spirit imparted 
to Peter). It may indeed surprise us that Jesus censures the Scribes 
and Pharisees without exception. (Among the Scribes (ypappareZg) 
the Sadducees are included, in so far as they were skilled in the 
law ; comp. the remarks on Luke x. 25.) Among these parties 
there may assuredly have been individuals of susceptible minds, 
who were connected with their sect only by external relations ; in 
regard to the Pharisees, we are assured of the fact by the examples 
of a Nicodemus, a Gamaliel, a Paul. On what ground then were 
not these distinctly cxcepted by Christ ? The most natural answer 
is, doubtless, that the Redeemer did not intend to censure individ 
uals, but the entire spirit of the parties who governed the na 
tional life of the Jewish kingdom. Since under the cover of 
spirituality, it pursued things of the flesh, it bore that character of 
/ii/jiocrisy (vrroKpimg ) rendered prominent by the Saviour. Carnality, 
when manifest as such, is less dangerous than the flesh assuming the 
aspect of spirit ; and therefore the Lord contends against the hypo 
critical, more than against the vicious. Even those among the 
Scribes and Pharisees who were better disposed than the rest, in so 
far as they belonged to that school, must have received some in 
fluence from it. and in so far the denunciation applied even to the 
among them, as Paul justly perceived after his conversion ; but 
in so far as their better nature had Leon kept free from such influ- 
, the censure fell upon the party to which they externally be 
longed, and not on them. 

Now, although the whole, description of the ungodly character 
of these hypocritical thcocrai-. ; national and temporary as 

pect ; yet it is 1 ounded u; [ideas, which apply equally in 

all periods of the world. AS sin in man at all times induces many 
to he solicitous about saep-d things (like the Pharisee.-.), as a means 

of promoting earthly, selfish end< ; BO the anti-Pharisaic discou 

of the Lord is a denunciation against hypocrites in all ages, whose 



198 MATTHKW XXIII. 1-3. 

to] in jiml appearance may vary, but whose real nature (or rather 
unnaturc), ever remains the same. 

Ver. 1. According to Matthew and Luke, Jesus addressed him 
self to his disciples also, and hence the whole circle of those whose 
minds were inclined towards him. Mark ;uul Luke begin with the 
general formula, pkenere (Trpofft^ere) drro rwv ypa^artwv, which Mat 
thew omits. This must be supplied from such passages as Matth. 
xvi. 6 (xi. 12); Mark viii. 15; Luke xii. 1 (in which warning is 
given against the #>/? of the Pharisees); since, according to what 
has been before remarked, it was not the individual Pharisees and 
Scribes against whom the Lord intended to warn his hearers, but 
their collective tendency, which indeed had, in many cases, become 
completely identified with their personal characters. 

Ver. 2, 3. The Lord proceeds from the general relation of the 
Pharisees to the theocracy, and from that of the people to them. 
To obviate any misapprehension of his censure, he first states that 
the Pharisees and Scribes have an organized political influence, and 
reminds his hearers, that to this, in BO far as it actually existed, 
they ought to submit. Every attempt therefore at personal self-re 
dress was thereby cut off from any appeal to the discourse of Christ. 
But, in speaking thus, the Lord by no means affirms that this influ 
ence was rightly acquired, or was conferred by God. For, although 
the order of priests were to be, by Divine appointment, the repre 
sentatives of the theocratic institutions, yet the priests were not in 
themselves identical with the Scribes and Pharisees. These, on the 
contrary, exhibited a sinful and false application of sacerdotal 
power ; and it was this not the sacerdotal power itself that the 
Lord denounced. But notwithstanding that which was false in the 
position of the Scribes, Christ would have their actual authority 
acknowledged (as Kom. xiii. 1); proceeding, doubtless, upon the 
principle that any arbitrary alteration of a political or religious 
power on the part of subjects, is more mischievous than the power 
itself, even although, viewed in itself, it deserves severe censure. All 
changes of the kind must come from above, that is, through the 
power of the supreme Spirit, when he has determined that what has 
been permitted for a time, shall be abolished. 

(The Kttflt dpa Mwffewf, sent of Moses, is the symbol of the collec 
tive theocratic authority which was united in Moses, and after him 
was vested in the body of theocratic representatives, which had the 
high priest at its lu-ad. There appears to be a design in the use of 
the \vunl H;<i<>tnn- } as descriptive of what was done by the Pharisees 
in regard to this po\vi-r. Kutf/yw literally means to seat, KaOi&aOat to 
seat onr s - -If, to sit. But in the New Testament KnOi^M also stands 
intransitively [.Matth. xxi. 7 ; Mark xi. 7 ; John xii. 14; Acts ii. 
3, xiii. 14]. HenCe KuOiJirw might have been used here. But the 



MATTIILW XXIII. 2,3. 199 

ai-rist better expresses the fact df / :t down, and conse 

quently, the idea of continuous sitting. [Hence also the aorist 
t ^iiihnn 1 M- ihznl Oeov is generally employed in reference to Christ s 
sitting at the right hand of God]. Finally it is in the highest de- 
probable that the adoption of the expression iKaOiaav was 
intended to denote that the position of the Scribes was chosen by 
t/u in selves.) 

Upon the principle stated above, Jesus founds the precept to 
follow the instruction of the Scribes, but not their conduct, which 
itself contradicted their teaching. (In the phrase oaa av eliruoiv 
run 1 rrjpelVj rriptuv appears spurious. Probably it was designed to 
render efauaiv, which seemed too general, more definite. But there 
is a distinction between ri]peli> and Troiclv the former meaning that 
which is internal, and the latter denoting rather that which is ex 
ternal. We may apply the word rj]peiv ) but not Troteti , to a precept 
which refers simply to the inward life.) Here, however, a difficulty 
arises as to the way in which this command was to be understood. 
Among the statutes inculcated by the Pharisees there were many 
(the so-called favrEpuoeic, the second code of laws, propagated 
merely by oral teaching, and subsequently embodied permanently 
in the Talmud), which were not founded on the word of God in the 
Old Testament, but were merely human dogmas (called ver. 4, <j>opria 
dva^daraura) , and this being the case, the question is, whether the 
design of the Redeemer was that the people should seek to comply 
with these dogmas, or whether his words are to be taken with the 
restriction, " so far as their instructions harmonize with the word 
of God." I cannot convince myself that the latter view is consis 
tent with the meaning of the Lord ; for in that case, the masses of 
the people would be placed above their superiors, as more accurately 
acquainted with the law ; whereas the very object of the admoni 
tion was to prevent such a revolutionary derangement. The inter 
pretation, that all the commands of the Pharisees were to be 
obeyed, involves no inconsistency whatever. Although the spirit 
from which those directions proceeded was a false one, yet the 
directions themselves contained nothing sinful; they were merely 
very burdensome, because they encumbered all the relations of life 
with a multitude ,.f minute regulations, aiuj. consequently restrained 
spontaneous movement. But in the very law of the Old Covenant, 
there \\as, according to the design of God, something similar, which 
the Scribes only drove to a false extreme. And the Lord, who 
taught, that the ordinances of the Old Covenant were t > vvcd 

(Matth. v. I . i. was supported, in requiring the siine attention t" 
Pharisaic statutes, by the fact that they W : the- actually 

exist i:u & clesiastica] g >venimcnt. Did any sincerely and earnestly 
try to keep this innumerable multitude of laws (which the hypo- 



200 MATTHI:\V XXIII. 4-7. 

critical Pharisees, in contradiction to themselves, did not do), lie re 
ceived no injury by the effort ; but on the contrary, the more 
earnest his endeavour, the more quickly did he attain the full 
blessing of the law namely, an insight into his own sin, and the 
impossibility of keeping the laws (Rom. iii. 20). Moreover, he was 
then prepared for the kingdom of God, and after entering it in 
repentance and faith, might attain to the higher position of spirit 
ual life in the law, to which the outward law was intended to con 
duct him. 

Ver. 4. Fidelity to the law is placed in the strongest contrast 
with the hypocritical faithlessness of the Pharisees. Their precepts 
are compared to a burden ((jiopriov, similarly fyyog is used in Matth. 
xi. 29), which they imposed (wju-of, as the organ by which anything 
is borne) on the people with its full weight, while they themselves 
make not the slightest exertion (da/crv/lw) to move it. Now, it ap 
pears that all the requirements of the Pharisees are trifles in com 
parison with those of the Saviour. He himself calls (ver. 23) the 
inward duties TO, J3apvrepa rov vopov, the weightier parts of the law, 
and not only desires the fulfilment of these (comp. Matth. v.), but 
demands also (Luke xiv. 2G)*that a man hate father, mother, 
brothers, sisters, yea even his own soul, for his sake. Christ thus 
claims the whole man, with all his power and dispositions for him 
self he requires dyaTri ioeig fi e tv okq ry KapSia oov K. r. A, thou shall 
love me with all thy heart, etc. (as in Matth. xxii. 37, as quoted 
from Deut. vi. 5, had been said of God); whilst the Pharisees called 
only for single actions. It has already been remarked (Luke xiv. 
26), that this requirement would involve an assumption surpassing 
all the pretensions of all the pretenders in the world, if the Lord 
could not have said, in deed and in truth, " He that seethme, secth 
the Father." (John xiv. 9). His claim therefore to an entire and 
unreserved surrender of self to him, was at the same time the ex 
pression of the most exalted grace and mercy ; for what the Lord 
requires, that he also gives, enabling man to meet his requirements, 
so that in the power of love all his commands are no longer grievous. 
(1 John v. 3). To the commands of the Lord the great principle 
is applicable, da quod jubes, ct jube quod vis ; and indeed such a 
prayer need scarcely be offered up to him, for his command itself 
is power and eternal life (John xii. 50). But human ordinances, 
however slight and paltry their form, arc a burdensome yoke, because 
they never can instil into the soul the power of love. 

Ver. 5-7. The Lord points out hypocritical vanity and ambi 
tion as the fundamental false principles in the Pharisaic character 
and in describing them, he purposely dwells upon the most external 
of the external duties. (The </> v An K T i^m means of preservation, 

* The description is quite parallel in tho Sermon on the Mount (Matth. vi. 1, ff.\ 



M.vmii:\v XXIII. 8-10. 201 

amulets, were verses uf Script tire, \\hi.-li, ;i<v<>nlin;j; to misnndcr- 

: til Old Testament, Wei-n Writk ll Oil small BG 

of parchment, plaeed in boxes, and bound on the forehead with 
Ij). The Jews of the present day still use them. In 
Lundius jutl. Hciligth. s. 800, there is a representation of them. The 
Kixin-nlu Tt~n> Ifiariuv, in Hebrew rru-a [Numb. xv. 38], w.-p- purple 
lappings attached to their garments. These were ordained by .M 
himself,, as a symbolical memorial of the calling of the children of 
Israel.) Honour before men is the idol to which they pay houi 
(The 33 = Vina, as a name of honour, does not occur till after the 
captivity. It is given to princes as well as to distinguished teachers. 
The Rabbins, who were eager after titles, subsequently distinguished 
an, sa 1 ?, and ,?, so that the latter was the highest title of honour. 
Co.iiip. Buxt. lex. p. 2172 seq. and 2176.) 

Ver. 8-10. Christ follows up this denunciation of Pharisaic 
vanity by exhorting all his disciples to be humble. No one amongst 
them should allow himself to be called by the names Rabbi, father, 
master, (p C$,31, ~ar//p, /caflT/yT/r//?). As the principle on which this 
direction is founded, he points out the common relation of all to 
God, and to God in Christ. All members of the kingdom form one 
family, the single members of which are brethren under one Father 
and Redeemer. (Ephes. iii. 5, 6.) Each individual member should 
have his independent centre and source of life in the heavenly world, 
and not bind himself in his essential nature to a central object on 
earth. (Ver. 8, the reading (Maa/ccAo^-, as an interpretation of pafipi 
[comp. John i. 39] is undoubtedly to be preferred to KaOi]yT)-ift. 
Ka0//y//7//f probably arose because it was thought that Jesus could 
not have prohibited the name dtddoKa/^. KaO//y//7//^ 3 from /ca^T/yeo^a/, 
corresponds with ufyyog in the signification of " leader," " guide." 
In the old Greek Church, the abbots and abbesses of the monasteries 
and convents were called Ka07/yoi;iiKvog ) KaOrj^ovjiKi Tj. As regards the 
name -<i- .],,. / ,///,, /, I m- a spiritual teacher, it occurs in the Old Tes 
tament, - Kin-x vi. 21. The idea which lies at the foundation of 
the term is that uf spiritual birth, which, in a certain sense, is brought 

at by communication and instruction ; for which reason also pu 
pils are railed c-:s, rii;ru : </<//<//>/!.) But here the question arises, 
11 \vean this precept uf the Redeemer be regarded in consistency 
with the practice of the ap.*tles and of the later Church ? True, 
the fact that Jc-u> is frequently called Rabbi in the (losj.eN is 
quite proper a < cording to the- words, for Jesus was to be Acknowl 
edged as the ( ,nly Son of God who revealed the One Father as the 
true. KuUiftirrijc, /if?!/ / 1 ; but the division uf the members of the 



. irituality of tho children of God is c : ;th tho vaiti formality 

of tho riiasv 

* John tho Baptist is also called Rabbi (John iii. 26) ; but this was by his own disciples. 



202 MATTHEW XXIII. 11, 12. 

Church into teachers and taught prevails even throughout the 
apostolic epistles ; and, at a very early period, when the want of a 
church constitution became perceptible, certain gradations arose 
between the leading persons in the churches. Indeed, such a dis 
tinction of position seems so unavoidable in every ecclesiastical or 
ganization, that it is repeated everywhere, although under various 
names. Now, if these are different positions, it does not appear 
why designations should not be employed to mark the difference ; 
and yet the Lord here so decidedly denies this, that the idea itself 
will not admit of any alteration. The simplest way of solving the 
difficulty is to distinguish the ideal state of the Church from that 
which acutally exists (as Matth. v.) In the latter, the laws which 
apply to the true Church cannot fully come into application, be 
cause it still bears a legal character. This necessarily requires a 
constitution resting upon a certain form of subordination, as the 
Old Testament also shews. But in this ideal state, the Church 
knows nothing of the kind, not even any subtle distinction, like that 
which Philo made between viol Aoyoy and rov ov-og ; on the contrary, 
it is presumed that in every member of the kingdom an immediate 
bond of union has been formed with the Eternal, and the necessity 
for intervention is entirely done away. Hence the words of Jesus 
in this place are similar in their import to the prophecy of Jere 
miah (Jefem. xxxi. 34), where he says : " No one shall teach the 
other saying : Know the Lord ; but all shall know me, both small 
and great." 

Ver. 11, 12. The following language clearly shews that the dis 
tinctions of great and small in the kingdom were not to be abolished, 
since mention is made of the greater (jj^i^wv). The Lord only means 
to intimate just as in Matth. xx. 26, where the same words oc 
curred that in the kingdom of God, in its ideal, spiritual form, an 
altogether different rule prevails in regard to great and small, mus 
ter and servant, from that which prevails in the world. In the latter, 
power and understanding are the measure of authority ; in Ihe 
former, love. This love the Lord now commends to his disciples, 
and, in contrast with the self-exaltation of the Pharisees, exhorts 
them to exemplify it in its most sublime manifestation, that of self- 
ibasement, and voluntary condescension to weakness and want. 
(Comp. the remarks on Luke xiv. 11.) Both the ideas in these 
verses are of such a kind that they may probably have been often 
uttered. Especially the maxim in v. 12th, of which there are inti- 

* Better perhaps thus, that tho Saviour s precept holds indeed of the actual church, 
but is to be understood not BO much literally, as spiritually. Granting tho necessity of 
various positions and offices in the church, these should bo regarded rather as services 
than Miiis tho <>!licial ivmains in conscious equality of rank with every 

pious church member. It is not holding office, but advancing in tho Christian life, that 
gives dignity in the church of Christ. [K. 



MATTHKV,- XXIII. 13, 14. 203 

illations even in the ( )ld Testament (K/.-k. x.\i. 2fi), apj > 
been prove; hial ; a kindred sentiment is uttered by Uahbi Hillel ; 
llumilitas mea ot elevatio inca, et elevatio ni -a Imniilitas mea. 
There is, however, this diUcreiice between tli nil as laM down in 
tin New Testament, and as hinted at in the Old that in the 
lonitei-, the abasement is far more definitely represented as an act 

It-denial, whereas in the latter, it has the appearance of an in 
voluntary humiliation (like that of Job) induced by external cir 
cumstances. 

Ver. 13, 14. Several modern critics reverse the order of these 
two verses, and certainly upon just grounds. (Sehultz, in his edition 
of the N. T. follows Griesbach in this respect.) But even the gen 
uineness of vcr. 14 in Matthew has been contested, and it is affirmed 
that it appears to have been adopted from Mark and Luke. The 
verse is indeed wanting in the manuscripts B.D.L., etc., and, more 
over, the words nal -ptxrev^o/zevo*, which, although quite suitable in 
Mark and Luke, are not so in Matthew, seem very much to favour 
this hypothesis. It may be, however, that the only spurious words 
in Matthew are KOI -npofydaEi, which some manuscripts (although not 
very important ones) omit ; for it appears to me scarcely probable 
that the verse should have been interpolated in so many codices. 
Whereas, if a part of it originally belonged to Matthew, it may 
easily have been completed from the other two Evangelists. The 
expression " Shut the kingdom" (icfoieiv T/)J> flamldav ) is founded 
upon the figure of a palace or temple of truth and wisdom, to which 
the kingdom of God is compared. The Pharisees, by their hypo 
critical disposition of mind which had regard not to inward reality, 
but to external form prevented not themselves only, but others 
also, from entering the new, holy, living community established by 
the Redeemer. The same figure somewhat modified, is employed, 
Luke xi. ~> 2, in the parallel passage ypare rrjv K/UMa r/fc yvakrewf, ye 
/" < iciiij (he key of knowledge. (For $pare, cod. D. reads 

ti;(>i-iii-f, but this is only an interpretation of ypare } Avhich here 
signifies, " to take away," "to withdraw.") It is evident that wo 
an- not he-re to understand the term knowledge as meaning the en 
tire ( , ntciits of the Gospel, for only they who entered into the 
kin-dnm possessed it. The knnwled-v here referred to is rather the 
kiio\vl.-.i. f JeetlS as the true Messiah pruinix d by all the pro 
phets. The Scribes, as interpreters of the Divine law, might and 
ought to have had this ; but, in their hypocritical ]>er\r:>> ness they 
had forfeited the knowledge which would have enabled them to enter 
the kin-il"in of (lod. It is remarkable that in Luk - xi. >-, the 
aorist is chosen (H T/// ^ and Mi-i.i/i-Turn, whereas in Matthew we 
have the pp s. iit tense. The latter mode ..f expression is the 

"If 7 abasement is my exaltation, and mj < nt. 1 [K. 



204 MATTHEW XXIII. 15. 

stronger (the aorist of Luke favours the supposition that the words 
he records were uttered at an earlier period, when a change on the 
part of the Pharisees was still to be expected) ; it represents the op 
position as continued, permanent, and of such a kind that no alter 
ation could te anticipated. Ver. 14 describes the hypocritical 
avarice of the Pharisees, which induced them to rob the most needy 
and defenceless (wipat, widows) of the last remaining necessaries of 
life (o/mi), under the form (rrpo^aa^, "pretext," "mask") of religion. 
On account of this combination of hypocrisy and injustice, their 
guilt (and its consequence, the /ept/m = Ka-aKpifia, condemnation) 
appears doubly great. 

Ver. 15. The Lord, thirdly, censures the anxiety of the Phar 
isees to make proselytes.* (Here ^d is used ; TO fypov is more 
common. The only other instances in which Trpoafav-oi occurs in 
the New Testament are Acts ii. 11, vi. 5, xiii. 43. Gentiles who 
joined the Old Testament church are ordinarily called in the New 
Testament, (frofiovnevoi or oefionevoi rbv Qeov, persons fearing or ivor- 
shipping God. Concerning the distinction between proselytes of 
the gate and proselytes of righteousness compare Winer in his 
Reallex.) The Redeemer again represents it as the most pernicious 
feature of their character that they injured others (those who were 
converted), in that their converts became still more guilty than 
those who had converted them. This airwAem, perdition, of the 
proselytes forms the antithesis to the salvation (ffWTT/pm) which the 
Pharisees pretended to have in view. (Tlbg yeiw^ signifies a son of 
Gehenna [compare the observations on Luke xvi. 24], and of the 
punishment that pertains to it.) Hence the expression has refer 
ence to the augmentation of guilt in the proselytes. But how the 
Lord could suppose such a thing in the caste before us does not at 
once appear ; for, according to Divine as well as human justice, the 
corrupter is more criminal than the corrupted. If it be said that 
the false zeal of the converts assumed a stronger form in them than 
in the very men who converted them, thisf assuredly would heighten 
their guilt only in case it was coupled with a knowledge of the per 
versity which it involved and this is not to be supposed. The 
matter may rather be explained .as follows : the Pharisees were after 
all held and borne on by the general spirit which animated the in- 

* Heathen writers often mention the eagerness of the Jews to gain adherents to their 
religion. On this subject compare the treatise of Dan/, (Jena, 1CS8) do cura Judscorum 
in proaclytis faciendis. This treatise is embodied in Meuschenii N. T. o Talmwdo illus- 
tratum, p. 649, seq. 

f Justin Martyr the same effect in the passage (dial. c. Trypli. pag. 350, 

edit. Sylb.) where it is sai.l of the j . -cpov lovSaiuv p, . eif TO 

uvoiia avTov, KO.} fjftuf rotf eir ar7<> irtorefovrof Kcti Qovneiv Kal aiKi^fiv fiov/.ovrai, /card 
Tuvra , uoioioOai arrevoovot, They blaspheme his name more freely than th 

Jews, and seelt to murder and outrage us who believe on him ; for in aU respects they seek to 
resemble you. 



MATTIIKW XXIII. 1G-L 205 



stitutions of tin- M-s-ii,- religion ; this s]iiritu;il support was not 
enjoyed l>y lh< ( Jentilcs who became united with the Jewish Church. 
They received 1 >i\ine t ruth through an impure channel j they had 
not entirely alijured heathenism ; and the result was, that their re 
ligion eMiistitutccl a wretched mongrel compound, which estranged 
them further from the Divine life than the very men who i>n>selyted 
them. [Apparent conversion to a false faith has the saddest re 
sults. Conversion to a mere/orw whether of worship or of doc- 
trine, without regeneration, leads always to fanaticism (in rites or 
doctrines), and in the strength of their fanaticism the unregenerated 
disciples are therefore worse than the once spiritual, but corrupted 
teachers.] 

Ver. 16-22. As & fourth point in the sinful conduct of the 
Pharisees, the Redeemer specifics their hypocritical trilling with 
oaths. As, in all ages, self-seeking, if it finds its interest in acting 
under religious forms, can contrive to evade the rigour of truth by 
deception, so it exhibited itself also among the Pharisees. In order 
that they might dispense with the keeping of oaths for their own 
selfish ends, they distinguished between such oaths as were valid, 
and such as were not valid. They pronounced the oath by the tem 
ple or the altar of less importance than that which was sworn by 
the gold of the temple (by which doubtless we are to understand 
the treasure of the temple, not its golden ornaments),* or by the 
offering on the altar. Just as at Matth. v. 34-36, Christ points out 
the emptiness of such distinctions, by proving that every oath in 
reality has reference to God as the only True One, so an oath by 
the temple, by heaven, or by the altar, can therefore have no mean 
ing, unless these created things be viewed in their relation to the 
Eternal himself.f The whole argument is accordingly a commen 
tary on the term of reprimand, " blind guides," (txtyyot rvQXot), 
since it shews to the Scribes and Pharisees, who assumed the 
guidance of the people of God, their own blindness in Divine 
things ; they did not even know the nature of an oath, and wished 
to introduce casuist ieal distinctions into their teaching. 

Ver. -2:\. -J 4. Y< Y/7 hly, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their 
hypocritical attention to trifles, which led them to regard with anx 
ious s.lieitude the most external ininuticRj while they carelessly over 
looked the profoundest moral principles. The Mosaic law did not 
extend the payment of tithes to evpry trifling item, but the little- 
minded Rabbins placed the proper service of God in the most 
orous application of the precept. The plants mentioned aiv of little 

* C": Moot on tho passage. This n of the words n nd-TS tho 

uing soniou n, money-lovers, thought tho oath by their 

God, mammon, had the great :. ;ke iv. 14). 

f This idea, whii-h evidently lies at the foundation of the whole argument of Jesua, 
forbids the reference of tho word KaroiKtjaaf (vor. 21) to the wealth in the temple. 



206 MATTHEW XXIII. 25, 26. 

use, and without any particular value. ( I lAvoauor is synonymous 
with fiivOaor nivChj, mint, mcntha. "A.rTjOov is dill, anethuin. KI -IU- 
vov } cuminum, cummin. Similar to the Hebrew )= Isaiah xxviii. 25, 
27. Luke, in the parallel passage xi. 42, has the general term nav 
haxavov, under which these plants may be classified ; and after 
wards the particular Tn/yavov, corresponding with the Latin ruta, 
rue.) Matthew specifies tptaif t l^Mf t martg, judgment, mercy, faith, 
as the parts of the law which are truly difficult of observance (ex 
ternal precision being represented as merely an evasion of the diffi 
culty) ; Luke, on the contrary, speaks of KQIOI^, judgment, and ayd-nt] 
Qeov, the love of God. The word a</>//Kare (instead of which Luke has 
7Taptp^(70e) necessarily leads to the conclusion that the objects named 
are matters which relate to the actions of men. The " love" of Luke 
is therefore related to the " mercy" of Matthew, for mercy is only 
love in its exercise towards the sufferer. This the Pharisees did not 
practise ; they merely maintained strict justice. The term Kpims is 
equivalent to diKaioavvr} (comp. Isaiah xi. 4, according to the LXX). 
This expression, however, does not here signify strict justice, for the 
Pharisees certainly sought to practise that ; it is rather to be taken 
like n l?72s, in the signification of "goodness," "forbearance" (comp. 
the remarks on Rom. iii. 21). Hence Kpiatg, judgment , is the general 
term, and Aeor ? mercy, the particular. Matthew adds to both mori^ } 
faith, by which we are not to understand merely right notions con 
cerning God and Divine things, for the Pharisees possessed these 
also ; but that state of mind in which man is capable of receiving 
Divine influences. Finally, it may be remarked that the Lord did 
not repudiate the exact observance of the precepts of the law. In 
accordance with Matth. v. 19, the Saviour approves of the exact 
fulfilment even of those commands in the Old Testament which ap 
pear unimportant. But the rigorous spirit in trifles cherished by the 
Pharisees, on the one hand, and the shameless contempt of the law 
manifested in their conduct, on the other, deserved the rebuke 
which the Lord gave them. The proverbial phrase introduced. V.T. 
24, is a censure upon this combination of the most glaring unfaith 
fulness towards the commands of God in things spiritual, with the 
most rigorous exactness in things external. 

(Ati}Atw, to filter, to strain through. On the use of the word in 
the Greek versions of the Old Testament, compare Schleusncr in his 
Lex. to the LXX., vol. ii. p. 177. Kwi wi/>, antithesis to /.-.-/</ ///or, a 
little insect in the wine, \\hirli was carefully removed as unclean, 
by the rigid observers of the law, before they drank. The camel, as 
a large unclean beast, is contrasted with the insect.) 

Ver. 25, 26. The mention of drink leads the Redeemer, Nt.rfhfy, 
to rebuke the hypocrisy which induced the Pharisees, with the ut 
most solicitude, to cleanse the outside (of vessels), while they left 



MATTHKW XX II I. 25,26. 207 

that which was within in a state of defilement. They viewed tho 
laws of the Old Testament respecting purilieation, as they did the 

. merely in (heir external aspect, icgardl -ss of the idea on which 
thev were l .nin<led. (Instead of rrapot/^V, which the Allies use to 
Minify nut the dish but the viand, Luke xi. 39 has mva$.) By 
tm,Mn>, ir !f /t I it, we are to understand the contents of the dish, as 
acquired by impure actions ; the words, " give alms" (Jure K^THIOOV- 
//), Luke xi. 41, plainly speak to this effect. But since property 
obtained by sin is not, as such, impure, except in so far as it is con 
nected with the state of the inind, the " outside" ($uOev) also ne 
cessarily has relation to this ; the inward and outward cannot here 
be separated. And accordingly, ver. 26, the Redeemer associates 
with internal, external purification, as also in reality deserving to 
be called the fulfilment of the Divine laws. (The ordinary reading 
aKpaaiag appears preferable to ddiKias, although the latter has been 
adopted by Gricsbach, Schulz, and others. True, the manuscripts 
C.E.F.G.H.K.S. are in favour of ddinias, whilst only B.D.L. read 
dupaaiag ; but the explanation of the origin of ddwiac; from aKpaoia$ 
is evidently easier than the reverse ; especially if we suppose that 
the transcribers upon comparing Luke, who has Trovijpias wished 
to form an agreement between the two Evangelists, which aKpaoiaq 
did not seem to allow. \KQaoia is here to be taken in the wide 
sense as signifying subjection to our passions. In 1 Cor. vii. 5, it is 
used in reference to sexual relations.) 

Luke has enlarged upon the above idea with peculiar additions 
(Luke xi. 40, 41), which are not without difficulties. These very 
dilliculties, however, are the proof that the words certainly were 
originally uttered in this connexion. In the first place, the ques 
tion " Did not he who made that which is without, make that which 
is within also ?" (ov% 6 Troi/jaag TO K^d)0ev } ical TO tauOev faoiTjae ;) was 
designed to convince the Pharisees of the pervcrsencss of their effort 
to satisfy the ]: ( \vs of purity by external observance, whilst they 
themselves inwardly violated them. Then ver. 41 contains an ad 
monition as to the way in which the external and internal purity 
may be united. The diiliculty presented in the question is the sud 
denness with which the Redeemer passes to the "making" (Tromv), 
whereas nothing in the preceding context appears to lead to such a 
transition. But the intermediate thought seems to be this : the 
reason why the Pharisees attended n punctiliously to outward puri 
fication was simply tin- fact, that they endeavoured to fulfil the com 
mands of God by the observance of prescribed ceremonies. The 
Same God, however, whom they acknowledged as tho lawgiver (hence 
as the supreme and original authority) in things external, was such 
in the internal world ; but in the latter they hypocritically with 
drew themselves from his government. It cannot be said, in oppo- 



208 MATTHEW XXIII. 27-33. 



sition to this view, that tawOev, within, must not be applied to the 
inward life, because ver. 41, ra fauvra, the //////;/* // - to 

the viands ; for it has already been remarked that artieles of food 
(and earthly possessions generally) as sueh, cannot be meant, be 
cause no unrighteousness could adhere to them apart from the 
moral feeling of the possessor; and on this account also the ap 
peal to that usus loquendi, which employs -noielv = nrs, in the SCUM- 
of purifying (comp. Gesenius in his Lex. under the word), must 
here be rejected. (Moreover, to establish that hypothesis, the sen 
tence must be deprived of its interrogative form ; and besides this, 
the aorist tW^ae, made, is not compatible with it.) The reference 
to the one true lawgiver of the internal and external worlds, then, 
very naturally leads to the exhortation that true purity should be 
sought according to his will. This, however, consists in a change of 
mind ; and hence the Lord commends, instead of covetousness, a 
kind and liberal disposition, which devotes the mammon of unright 
eousness Qjutftftuvag ddinias) to the purposes of philanthropy (comp. 
Luke xvi. 1, fT). Here, again, therefore, the expression ra ivovra, the 
things therein, relates to that which is external in connexion with 
the state of the mind ; it is only the change in the latter that gives 
an ethical import to the use of the former. 

Ver. 27, 28. The impurity of the Pharisees, in respect to ava 
rice and lust of gain, leads the Lord, in the seventh place, to censure 
that general moral corruption which they endeavoured to conceal 
under the garb of an apparent righteousness (dinaioavrr] ). For this 
purpose he compares them to tombs that contain putrefaction within, 
but appear beautifully garnished without. (Kovmw or Konoa>, " to 
coat with lime," " to whiten ;" it occurs again Acts xxiii. 3.) In 
Luke xi. 44 the figure is slightly modified ; the Pharisees arc there 
compared to hidden graves (uv^fiela dd^Xa) over which men walk 
without observing them, and so become defiled. But the compar 
ison in Matthew is the more appropriate, since it also expresses 
figuratively the outward appearance of righteousness assumed 1 >y 
the Pharisees. 

Ver. 29-33. In the eighth and last place, the Saviour passes 
from the graves with which he compares the Pharisees, to the 
monuments which they ostentatiously erected to the ancient pro 
phets, arrogantly persuading themselves that the evil principle 
which had borne such bitter fruits in their lathers, had no root in 
their hearts. From this Christ draws the conclusion that they wit 
ness against tin m.-elves, and enable men to recognize them as the 
posterity of those who murdered the prophets : so far from seeking 
to atone for the guilt of their race by true repentance, they endea 
voured to justify themselves by accusing their ancestors, and yet at 
* i. e., in the vessel. Cora. Ver. " Such things as ye have." [K. 



MATTHEW XXIII. 29-33. 209 

the same time completely filled up tin- measure of their guilt to their 
own destruction.* 

This pa->a-_re presents a ditli iilfy as to the relation of the sin of 
ancestors to that of their posterity ; the Lord here seems to re 
proach the Pharisees with that as a matter of guilt to them, whereas 
guilt seems incurred only by personal sin. But in these wunls 
Christ expresses nothing more than the Old Testament teaches in 
the Kxod. xx. 5, where it is said : God visits the sin of the 

lathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation ; the 
same doctrine as we find fully developed in Rom. v. 12, ff. The 
V y r ?, visiting sin, necessarily presupposes the existence of the sin 
of the fathers in the children, since the just God can punish sin only 
where it exists. The idea is easily explained to the Christian con 
sciousness, if we proceed from the fundamental principle of Scrip 
ture, that individual men must not be viewed as altogether iso 
lated, but as members of the community ; and hence it is equally 
the curse of sin, and the blessing of righteousness, that they do not 
affect merely individual sinners or righteous persons, but those also 
who are connected with them. As in external matters the extrava 
gance of the father makes the children beggars, so the sin of parents 
injures their offspring. The false conclusions that might be drawn 
from this principle are easily removed by the consideration that to 
every member of the posterity there is a possibility of receiving for 
giveness of sins by true repentance, if he faithfully use the means 
of salvation placed within his reach, f Throughout the Old Testa 
ment, however, the principle just pointed out, that it is a blessing 
to have pious ancestors, and a curse to have ungodly ones, prevails ; 
while, on the contrary, in the New Testament, the corporeal con 
nexion is kept more out of view, because the doctrine of a new birth 
by the Spirit is there clearly developed. But here the Redeemer is 
addressing pel sons who stood entirely on Old Testament ground, 
and therefore adopts an idea which in their case has its full truth. 
The Lord expressly distinguishes personal sin from the sin of the 
fathers: "And fill ye up the measure of your fathers" (not vfiels 
-T/pwaare TO /itrpov TWV Trartpajv t /tdiv). Here there is something 
strange in the words*, p-rpov r&v rrartpwv, measure of your fathers 
your measure (utrpov v [i u v) is expected. But as the individual man 
may fill up the measure of forbearance granted to him by God, and 
thus come to destruction, so may a people, viewed as a body, or, as 
it were, aa a larger individual. In this point of view the Redeemer 

* The use of the form >"firOa from r fttjv is of later date (comp. "Winer s Grain. Th. i. a 
34). 

f It is to this that the words OVK riOcMjaare, ye would not, refer in the sequel, Matth. 
xxiii. 38. They were not given up to the consequences of their own sin, until they had 
frustrated all attempts to awaken in them the consciousness of it. Concerning the rela 
tion of individuals to the mass, compare the more copious remarks on Rom. xi. 1. 
VOL. II. 14 



210 MATTHEW XXIII. 29-33. 

designates the sin of Israel as one colled I re N///, commenced in the 
lathers, and brought to its climax in the dark deeds of the Phari 
sees towards the Lord. (The reading -hijpuaare, Jill up, is, on ac 
count of its difficulty, unquestionably preferable to the easier read 
ings farfajpuaare or Tr/t^paJaerfi, filled or shall Jill. The imperative 
contains a mournful sarcasm on the contrast formed by the vocation 
of the Pharisees and their external righteousness, with their inter 
nal sin. After they had stubbornly repulsed every effort of the gen 
tle Redeemer to bring them to repentance, there remained nothing 
for him but to leave them to their destruction, with the words : 
now fill ye up the measure of your fathers. His language expresses 
the Divine permission, without which even the wicked man cannot 
consummate his wickedness. 

The Pharisees are, in conclusion, undisguisedly called a race of 
vipers (comp. the remarks on Matth. iii. 7), who carry within them 
the seed of their father, and do according to his works (John viii. 
44). The words may seem almost too severe in the lips of the Son 
of Love, but the very manifestation of love (which is also justice and 
truth) in its relation to wickedness, is, that it hates and condemns 
it. The compassionate Redeemer is the same being who treads the 
wine-press of God s wrath (Isa. Ixiii. 3 ; Rev. xix. 15). 

Luke (xi. 47, 48) has a parallel to these verses also ; but the 
peculiar way in which he modifies the idea renders it hardly 
probable that he has retained the original form of the Saviour s 
language. Matthew evidently intends the oiKodofielv ra [ivTjfiela, 
building the sepulchres (the parallel with noafieiv, Matth. xxiii. 29, 
makes it probable that olnodo^dv is here to be taken as " to 
renew," " to restore"), as a symbolical expression for " to recog 
nize with honour." Luke, on the contrary as is shewn by the 
words, apa juaprt petre Kal avvevdoKelre rotf tpyoif raiv Trarepwv vfj&v 
has taken the expression as parallel with aTTOKTeivetv } so that the fol 
lowing sense arises, " ye and your fathers are quite of one mind, and 
ye agree in your works ; they killed the prophets and ye build their 
tombs ; thus ye co-operate in their destruction." Hence, in the 
connexion of Luke, building sepulchres (ocKodofielv fivTjfiela) de 
notes a hostile act with perhaps the accessory idea of hypocrisy. 
" Ye appear to be performing a service of affection, while, in reality, 
ye are working hand in hand with your fathers." Storr applied 
the building <>l the sepulchres to the case of prophets living in the 
time of the Pharisees themselves for example, the Baptist ; but 
then arises the difficulty that avroi relates, in the one instance, to 
the ancient, and in the other, to the later prophets. True, this 
may be explained by viewing the whole class of prophets as the ob 
ject of the persecutions, and accordingly regarding the object in 
earlier and later times as one and the same ; but the difficulty may 



MATTHEW XXIII. 84. 211 

be entirely removed if the passage be understood as we have 
alrca.lv interpreted it to represent tin- Pharisees as accomplices 
in the murders eommitted by their fatlm- ; tin- one killed, the 
others prepare the grave which is to hide the murder in eternal 
oblivion. (In < A". - <.>" to consent," "to agree to anything cheer 
fully." Acts viii. 1, xxii. 20 ; Rom. i. 32. It occurs also in the 
Apocrypha, 1 Mace. i. 60 ; 2 Mace. xi. 24.) 

Ver. 34. To the fearful threatening, TT&S </>vy7/Te OTTO r//r KI> 
T/~/r liow shall ye escape, etc., the Lord adds a remarkable 

declaration respecting the decrees of God. The mission of divinely- 
enlightened men, which brings peace and eternal life to those who 
feel the need of salvation, is an occasion of destruction to the im 
pure and wicked. Christ is set (even in his messengers) for the fall 
and rising of many in Israel (Luke ii. 34). If we compare Luke, 
the passage is difficult. Whilst, according to Matthew, these words 
were spoken by himself, in Luke xi. 49 they appear as a quotation : 
dia TOUTO KOL i] (jotyia rov Oeov elrrev- drroareXti K. r. A., for this reason 
the ivisdom of God said, I will also send, etc. But no utterance of 
the kind is found either in the Old Testament or in any Apocryphal 
book ; and an appeal to a prophecy not extant is by no means to 
be assumed, except in a case of extreme necessity. Now, a closer 
view of the words in Matthew shews, that even they cannot be so un- 
dertoocl as to imply that the Saviour, when he uttered them, spoke 
merely of the future messengers who should be sent forth by him 
i. e. the apostles and disciples ; for, ver. 35, mention is made of Abel 
and other ancient righteous men. Besides which, the aorist tyovevaaTe, 
ye iii><r<l< r<<l, has significance only as we understand by Zacharias 
some just man murdered at an earlier period ; and this confirms the 
hypothesis, that the Lord means by those of whom he speaks as sent 
forth, not merely the apostles, Jbut also holy men and prophets of the 
Old Testament sent forth in earlier times. Then, if such be the 
ea-e, the Redeemer does not speak in Matthew as a personage con- 
lined within the limits of our temporal life, but as the Son of God, 
as the essential Wisdom (J rov. viii.; Sir. xx v. ; comp. the remarks 
on owftia in the eiiimnentary on John i. 1), who is introduced as 
iking in Luke, and by whose intervention all prophets and holy 
men of <i >d, from the beginning, have appeared (Wisd. Sol. vii. 27). 
Thus, strictly speaking, there is no essential ditl erenee between 
Matthew and Luke.f According to both, the eternal Wisdom, who 

* There are, however, some very kindred passages; for example, 2 Cliron. xxiv. 19, 
which the I, XX. rm<ler: mil il rrpo^r /roi: "P^f 

Kvpmi ; . . MI; ( r//r tlie account of 

Zacharias follows. 2 Cliron. xxiv. 20, it is very likt-ly that the Lord had the citation of 
the Old Testament in view, and merely expanded it a little. 

f Do Wctto (in his remarks on Luke xi. 4 .M to admit this ; he thinks, on 

the contrary, that the expression contains a later doctrinal designation, similar to the 



212 MATTHEW XXIII. 34. 

in Christ became man, declares the eternal purpose to send messen 
gers to the people of Israel, and predicts the conduct of the people 
tmvanls them (the present tense in Matthew, aTormvU-w, / send 
forth, denotes the pure eternal presence of God : Luke has the- ex 
planatory future). It is only as regards the form that Luke may 
be the original. The interpretation of the words is immediately 
added in Matthew, and Jesus himself spoken of as the Divine Wis 
dom. This very interpretation, however, shews the transition to be 
somewhat irregular. For the expression " for this reason" (did 
-ovToJ which, in Luke, is in perfect harmony with the context (the 
sense being this : " by your conduct ye only fulfil the purpose of 
the eternal Wisdom ; your fathers killed the prophets and ye build 
their tombs, therefore Wisdom said," etc.), stands in Matthew without 
any proper reference. Fritzsche (in loc.) carries it back and connects 
it with TT^rjp^aare TO (ierpov,fill up the measure, ver 32. This cer 
tainly gives a good sense, but it appears rather a difficult exegesis, 
on account of the intervening ver. 33. It seems to me more easy to 
supply eiTrev ^ oofaa, said Wisdom, a form of quotation which 
Matthew omits that Jesus may appear, without disguise, as the 
speaker. 

But now, if the form of the discourse in Luke be the original 
one, it becomes a question why the Lord chose this particular form 
to convey the idea which he wished to express. Probably it was 
from regard to the people ; even the well-disposed could not bear 
the thought that the eternal Wisdom spoke in Jesus (his disciples 
themselves found the conception difficult, John xiv. 9); and there 
fore he drew a veil over it, which did not startle the weaker, and 
yet did not conceal the deeper knowledge from those of stronger 
powers of perception. It appears remarkable that the Redeemer 
(according to Matthew) designates some of those who should be 
sent, Scribes, ypafifia-elg (= ^-nate.) The expression is here used in 
the good sense, and in contrast with the Pharisaic Scribes ; we 
might supply, " I will send you men truly acquainted with the 
Word of God, who are that which ye ought to be and pretend to 
be." One difficulty remains in Matthew in the word orai-Quaere, ye 
shall crucify. For as the Jews did not inflict the punishment 
of crucifixion, we cannot suppose that one of the ancient pro 
phets had been crucified, nor has anything of the kind been known 
in later times. True, the instance of Simon (the d<5etyb$ rov nrpiov) 
who (according to Euseb. H. E. iii. 32, edit. Stroth. p. 169) was 
crucified, has been adduced. But since his death took place after 
the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore after the threatened 

word /.ovof in John, not suited to tbo lips of the speaker. But if Jesus, in John, calls 
himself the truth, the resurrection, the life, why should he not call himself also the 
wisdom. 



MATTHEW XXIII. 35. . 213 

judgments had been executed, little attention can be paid to bis case. 
Hi-nee it is in the highest degree probable tluit tin- Redeemer in 
cludes himself in tin- scries of tbe Divinely commissioned messen 
gers. And the fact that he represents himself as the- author of the 
mis-inn is explained by the twofold relation in which hu could speak 
of himself ; at one time he could speak of his eternal and absolute 
existence ; at another of his personal manifestation in time. 

Ver. 35. The prediction respecting the treatment of the mes 
sengers of God is followed by a threatening of punishment. (The 
form at pa tpx^rai im riva, blood comes on one [Matth. xxvii. 25] de 
notes the imputation of murder.* At/za diicaiov or dOtiov ->j>s d*. 
The expression is founded upon the idea that the blood is the sup 
porter of the t/>t%7/, life, Deut. xii. 23.) The phrase OTTWC A0g, that 
there may come, etc., must not be deprived of its peculiar force (as 
it would be, if taken [&0*n*f] as signifying consequence; on the 
contrary, it has reference to dia TOVTO, and marks design) ; the diffi 
cult idea that God sends messengers, in order that they may be re 
jected, and the rejecters punished, is to be explained in the same 
way as the passage, Matthew xiii. 13, if., where consult the inter 
pretation. 

The first difficulty in this verse is in the words " upon you." It 
1 you" be applied to the Pharisees who were actually present, it does 
not appear on what ground they were to be responsible for all the 
blood of righteous persons that had been shed ; and if it be taken 
as meaning the whole nation, inclusive of previous generations, 
this seems unsuited to a discourse addressed to a definite num 
ber of individuals. The simplest solution of the difficulty is that 
Jesus looked upon the Pharisees and Scribes as representatives of 
the whole people,f so that the entire body is to be viewed in them. 
Regarding them thus, Jesus could with propriety say : " I send to 
you prophets ;" because even the Pharisees, in connexion with the na 
tion at large, might have obtained benefit from their mission, the 
efficacy of which extended to the whole mass. But, in the second 
place, the expression Kn^vvopevov l-l r/yf y/fc, shed upon the carl ft, 
appears hyperbolical, since the Pharisees cannot be deemed respon- 
silile t ..r i he murder of righteous persons among all nations. Heir. 
however, we must not overlook the circumstance, that in this, pas 
sage of course no reference is made to individuals distinguished by 
a nut nral ri^hteniisness, such as even Putins possessed, but to men 
enli- htrneil l>y the Spirit of God. H. .\vever much we mav ! inelined 
to follow Justin Martyr in supposing an operation of the Ao; 

* Lukoxi. 50, 51. IKH instead of this, the formula, LK^rjrelv aljia diro rivuf, according 
to the Hebrew BI rga- 

t r-rtt T: : . -.isting generation. Upon them waa the 

curee (threatens! Deut. xxviii.) to come (Anno 70), which aU successive generations had 
accumulated. [E. 



214 MATTHEW XXIII. 35. 

in llie minds of such men as Zoroaster, Plato, and others, 
yet we must ever draw a specific distinction between the illumina 
tion of wise Pagans like these, and the illumination of the infallible 
messengers of God to his people. The main operation of God upon 
the human mind was confined entirely to the prophets and wise men 
in the nation of Israel ; and hence the guik of Israel in despising 
and abusing the messengers of God, whose vocation to that office 
had been proved by special evidence, might truly be spoken of as 
equal to that which had destroyed the holy ones of the earth. Abel 
is mentioned as the first of these holy ones, because he may be 
viewed, in contrast with Cain (1 John iii. 12), as the representative 
of the whole generation of saints. Moreover, it was not unusual 
with the Rabbins to regard as prophets the antediluvian posterity 
of Seth, who took the place of Abel. (Comp. the remarks on 2 
Pet. ii. 5 ; Jude ver. 14.) Now, the first murdered saint, of whom 
mention is made in Genesis, is here placed in juxtaposition with the 
last instance of the murder of a prophet recorded in the sacred 
Scriptures of the Old Testament viz., that of Zacharias, (cornp. 2 
Chron. xxiv. 21). What is there said of him is quite in harmony 
with the words of Matthew as well as with those of Luke (the lat 
ter only has ohov instead of vaov) it is stated that he was stoned 
(at the command of King Joash) in the court of the Temple 
(according to the LXX., iv avXq OIKOV Kvpiov). The Ovaiaorfyiov, 
altar, of which the Evangelists write, is the great altar of burnt 
offering that stood in the open air at the entrance of the building 
which strictly formed the temple. The agreement of the words be 
fore us with that event, as also the use of the aorist (t-^orevaare), 
render it in the highest degree probable that the Lord alludes to 
that passage in the Chronicles. It is, however, a remarkable cir 
cumstance, that the Zacharias there mentioned was not a son of 
Barachias, but of Jehoiada (7; n?, in the LXX. loxfaf). The 
hypothesis that Zacharias had two fathers, , natural one and one 
who performed the duties of a father ; or that the prophet Zacha- 
riah, some of whose visions are preserved in the canon of the Old 
Testament, is meant, because he was a son of Barachias (although 
nothing is known about his death in the temple); or that originally 
the reading was vib$ loxJaf (according to Jerome, the Nazarenes had 
this reading in their gospel ; comp. my Gesch. der. Ev. s. 77), are 
all to be rejected as arbitrary. The onlyjquestion that remains to 
be considered is, whether the Zacharias mentioned by Josephus (B. 
J. iv. ( ), 4j, a son <>f liaruch. who was murdered by the zealots in 
the temple, can be the person referred to. The following reasons 
lead mo to think this altogether improbable ; 1, The name Baruch is 
not identical with Barachias (rpsna); i_. The Zacharias spoken of 
by Josephus was not ay/-<y/// ( / --and, in the present case, everything 



MATTHEW XXIII. 36-39. 215 

depends upon this point, for the subject in hand is the murder of 
messengers ex [>iv--ly sent to the- people, by tin- wisdom of God ; 3, 
The tense (tyovevoarE, yc mil r</< //), is not consistent with such an 
interpretation, staoe at the time when Jesus uttered tin -so \\nnl.-. 
tlic murder of the Zacliarias of whom Joscphus speaks was yet fu 
ture. (The cnallarjc hmporum, wliich some authors have supposed 
here, is quite untenable.) Hence, if we simply keep in view the 
cireiiinstanee that it was the intention of Jesus to cite in-ta: 
fn>m the first and the last books of Scripture (according to the posi 
tion of books in the original text), in order to shew that this conduct 
Inwards the messengers of God in that portion of the race which 
was given up to sin, ran through the whole history of that race from 
the beginning (according to Luke xi. 50, dnb KarapoXifi KOCT/XOV); then 
no important objection can be urged against the reference to the 
passage in 2 Chron. xxiv. 21. The supposition that Matthew may 
have confounded the name of the father of the person murdered 
with that of the father of Zachariah, whose prophecies are pre 
served in the canon of the Old Testament, contains nothing at 
wliich we need stumble, and it is better to adopt this than to pro 
fess adherence to a forced interpretation.* 

Ver. 36. The Lord declares, that all this innocent blood of the 
servants of God that has been shed (jrdvra ravra must not be taken 
as referring to the previous denunciations of woe, as is shewn in the 
parallel passage of Luke xi. 51, where KK^rTjO/ioerai is again used) 
shall now manifest its results in this generation. (In Luke xi. 50 also 
the words OTTO ri^ yevea$ ravrrj^ are to be connected with KKfyTijOq, 
as ver. 51, not with tttxyvofievov d-rrb A-ara|3o/l% Koafiov.) By yeved 
avTT/, this generation, we are to understand the men living at that 
time ia nut ion is never called yeved in the New Testament, or even 
in profane Greek literature) ;f these are viewed as ripe evil fruit, as 
persons in whom the sin of the whole body of their ancestors was 
concentrated, and as thus calling down the great judgments of God. 
There is in this no denial of the fact that earlier generations who 
had died, were guilty, or were punished ; but the growth of sin is as 
serted the children of those who killed the prophets were matured 
injto murderers of Christ. 

\ er. 37-39. The l;i of this long discourse have already 

:i explained in the remarks on Luke xiii. 34, 35. There they 
stood in such a peculiar and exact connexion, that we could not but 

* Neither u the part of Jesus nor of tho Eyangelists is such an error, such igno 
rance of the Old Testament eomvivaU. . It is far more natural t ::SMI:IU.> that Jehoiada 
was not the father, luit tho grandfather of Zachariah ; (Jchoiada had already di.-d, and 
at an age of i::<i years, 2 Ohron. xxiv. 15. before Zachariah had 1 to the pro 

phetic office) and that an oral tradition (whether \\-ell founded or 
current iu the time of Jesu> , the name of tl of Zaehariah. [K. 

f Concerning }rrr. compare also the remarks on Matt: 



216 MATTHEW XXIII. 37-39. 

consider their position in that passage as the original one. Never 
theless, Matthew also has used them, in a most suitable connexion, 
and, by means of them, has formed a very fine transition to chap, 
xxiv. ; for in ver. 39 mention is made of the second coming of 
Christ. And although Jerusalem is here accused as the disobedient 
and faithless party whereas, up to this point, the discourse was 
directed against the Pharisees the difference extends only thus 
far, that instead of individuals, the theocratic metropolis, in which 
they ruled, and whence they exercised their influence upon the whole 
nation, is now spoken of. 

Another important point in this passage is suggested by the ex 
pression OVK r)6ek7Jaa-e* ye would not, compared with the kindred 
passage Luke xix. 42, in which the fact of their slighting salvation 
is ascribed to ignorance. If either the one or the other statement 
were regarded as absolute, an inconsistent meaning would arise. 
Total ignorance would exclude guilt; total want of will would ex 
clude all possibility of conversion. But the two representations 
viewed relatively, mutually explain each other. No one among the 
Pharisees could have continued without some impression of the 
Divine dignity of the Redeemer ; but instead of yielding their minds 
to this impression, they thrust it away from them ; and thus, while 
they excluded all deeper and more substantial knowledge of Christ 
and of his appointment for their eternal salvation, this ignorance 
rooted itself in their original unwillingness, and therefore was in 
the highest degree criminal. Still, however, under such circum 
stances, there remained a possibility of conversion, since deeper 
knowledge, if once imparted, might yet produce repentance ; hence 
the discourse is concluded (ver. 39) with a glance at the time when 
the Redeemer, who was unrecognized in his humble condition, shall 
appear in glory, and shall then be greeted by many even among 
those who now rejected him. (Cornp. the remarks on Luke xiii. 35.) 
The agreement between this thought and the foregoing language of 
ver. 33 is easily seen, if in the former (ver. 33) we assume an ob 
durate perseverance in the old state of feeling, in the latter a change 
of mind. 

* This idea is a most instructive comment on the doctrine of man s free will The 
power of the Almighty appears as impotence before the obstinacy of tho creature, and 
has nothing but tears (Luke xix. 41) with which to overcome it. But these very tears of 
purest Hive excite the mightiest energy, for they determine the resisting will Into free 
affectionate sympathy; and this cannot bo accomplished by omnipotence, because om 
nipotence cannot will it. 






MARK XII. 41-44 217 

8. THE GIFT OF THE WIDOW 

(Mark xii. 41-44; Luke xil 1-4.) 

The following little narrative of the widow, whom Jesus ob 
served at the treasury, is inserted by Mark and Luke not merely on 
its own account ; it stands in strictest harmony with the connexion. 
Both Evangelists hint only in few words at the anti-Pharisaic dis 
course of Christ, before they relate the case of the widow ; but these 
brief intimations contain the very feature that places the avarice of 
the Pharisees in the most glaring light, viz., that by fair speeches 
and under religious pretexts, they got from poor widows all that 
they had. Immediately upon these follows a description of a widow 
who offered her all to God from spontaneous love, and this poor 
woman is commended. It was evidently intended that the con 
trast resulting from this juxtaposition of the two characters should 
strengthen the picture of the sinful character of the Pharisees. 
They strove, with a purely worldly aim, after earthly possessions, 
which they often appropriated to themselves in unlawful ways, 
and then from these they gave to God a scanty alms ; the widow 
loved God with all her heart and all her mind, and she offered to 
him her all. The widow, as the symbol of genuine self-denying and 
self-sacrificing love, is contrasted with the Pharisees, the represen 
tatives of hypocrisy and mock-religion. Now, it is singular that in 
this interesting and instructive little narrative, the Lord represents 
the offerings placed in the treasury (yaZofyvkdmov) as in fact gifts 
brought to God ; whereas it would surely seem that these treasures 
of the temple were only the property of a selfish priesthood, and 
that therefore it would have bebn better not to give encourage 
ment to their avarice by fresh contributions. But Christ even here 
views the theocratic institutions in their actual existence and accord 
ing to their ideal purpose, which, although marred by abuse, could 
never be destroyed. Accordingly, the treasures of the temple had 
an appropriate designation in being devoted to the maintenance of 
the who].- external temple worship, and, in a legal point of view, a 
contribution to those treasures was justly regan led as an offering 
brought to God himself. Hence, the act of the wMo\v, judged only 
from the motive, not from outward appeai-ane,-, is, for all circum 
stances, an illustration of love that is wholly self-denying; and this 
is what the narrative was deigned to inculcate, in contrast with the 
feigned love of the Pharisees. 

The two reports of Mark and Luke are in the main harmonious, 
and, indeed, .,1 ten agree so exactly (comp. Mark xii. -it. with Luke 
xxi. 4), that a use of the same Greek text (probably Mark has here 



218 MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 

used Luke) might be supposed. Mark, however, according to his 
custom, has cast his narrative in a somewhat larger mould, and 
added some single features which enliven it. (For example, see ver. 
43, the words -rrpooKa^ead^evo^ rovg fiaOrjrdg avrov.) The place in 
which the incident occurred was the so-called court of the women ; 
there stood thirteen brazen vessels shaped like trumpets (which, on 
account of this form, were called n .ne ie), into which those who 
visited the temple cast their gifts. (Comp. Winer in his Reallex.) 
[One yalofvAftaoy, treasury, and that a single object standing by the 
wall, is mentioned Jos. Ant. 19. 6. 1. It is this which is here in 
tended, and which is not to be confounded with the treasure reposi 
tories (yao<pvhaKioi(f) which the rich Jews subsequently constructed 
in the temple during the siege. Jos. Bell. Jud. v. 5, 2 ; vi. 5, 2.] 
The poor widow (Luke has -nevi^Qog = TTKVTJS, >, which does not oc 
cur elsewhere in the New Testament) dropped in two of the small 
est coins (comp. the remarks, Luke xii. 59, on the word Aem-ov), 
which, however, constituted all her property. (Comp. Luke viii. 
43, xv. 12, where ftiog, living, occurs in the same signification. 
Mark explains it, " all that she had" (-rravra oaa el%ev). Hence it is 
observed that she gave more (nkelov) than the rich she gave IK -7$ 
var^TJoeug avTjfi, of her deficiency. This expression forms the an 
tithesis to the Ttepioaevov, abundance, of the rich, and thus acquires 
its precise meaning. As it is said, " she cast in of her deficiency" 
(yaTepr]ois, Luke vorfyrjua), the statement cannot imply an absolute 
want of resources, but merely a relative one ; so that the sense is 
" under the impulse of self-sacrificing love, she gave so much of 
her small property, that it might be said she had nothing left, while 
the rich gave but little in proportion to their vast possessions." 



9. PREDICTIONS OF JESUS RESPECTING THE LAST THINGS. 

(Matth. xxiv. 1 xxv. 46. Mark xiii. 1-37. Luko xxi. 5-38.) 

In regard to the /or w of the great prophetic discourse of Christ, 
with which Matthew concludes his account of the residence of Jesus 
in Jerusalem before his sufferings, it may be observed, that this 
again evidently manifests itself as a composition of the Evangelist. 
Matthew has here collected together the predictions concerning the 
Saviour s advent, uttered by him at different times and under vari 
ous circumstances. True, there can be no doubt that, during the 
last sojourn of Christ in Jerusalem, he delivered a longer discourse 
respecting the events in be anticipated. It was to be expected that 
the Lord, when ab.>u! i ! ave his own, would ^ivc them some guid 
ing lights as to the future ; and the harmony of all three K\ angel- 



MATTIIKW XXIV. 1. 219 

in their statements about the time, place, and general cunt- 
of tin- discourse, is a guarantee tor the correctness i.f their report J 
lmt the mode in which Luke (especially chap, xvii.) plates elements 
(occurring, according to Matthew, in this di-e, .iirse) in their appro 
priate hist. >rical connexion with other occasions and localities, renders 
it in the highest decree probable that Matthew here again, in ac 
cordance with his custom, has blended kindred thoughts, spoken at 
different times, into the last principal discourse. [?] Still, tlic pas- 
s which we find only in Matthew, especially tho fine parables 
concerning the advent of Christ (Matth. xxv.), are so exactly adapt 
ed to the last days of Christ s intercourse with his disciples, as to 
leave no doubt that, in transferring these to this period, he has 
given his account with more precision and fullness than the other 
ngelists. But however certain it may be that here, as in other 
instances, Matthew has given us a union of separate discourses, 
yet we mast deny that this discourse, as he reports it, is an incon 
gruous whole. Schleiermacher (liber die Schriften des Lc. s. 217, 
ff.) has directed special attention to the circumstance that those 
passages of the large discourse (Matth. xxiv.), which in Luke stand 
in a different connexion, completely interrupt the train of thought 
in Matthew. This scholar remarks, in the first place, that Matth. 
xxiv. 42 is immediately connected with ver. 36, and that the inter 
vening verses, received from Luke xvii. 23, ff. into Matthew, are not 
at all suited to the context of the latter Evangelist. Because since 
God commanded Noah to build the ark precisely at the right time, 
this was just as much as if he had revealed to him the day and 
hour ; and hence the admonition to watch, because they knew not 
the hour, was inappropriate. But this position would seem unten 
able ; for the general direction which Noah received to build the 
ark did not by any means involve a disclosure of the day and Jiour; 
rather it was in his following the command of God, without know- 
in- tin- day or the hour, that Noah evinced his faith and obedience. 
In like manner, also, the disciples were told that the coming of the 
Lord was near, and, in conformity with this admonition, they were 
to prove their faith by watchfulness. The other observation of 
Schleiermacher, that Matth. xxiv. 27 does not harmoni/c with ver. 
26, is equally untenable. He is of opinion that a warning to the 
iinst going forth to the false Messiah, could not be 
founded "ii the immcdiateness and universality of Christ s coming, 
but rather on the tact of his not yet having come. But the ubiquity 
of his advent is h> re referred to, not as a reason for their not going 
forth, but as a s njn by which the advent of the true Messiah may be 
distinguished from that of pseudo-Christ s. And the introdtic- 

..f such a -i-n is >|uite in place Ifiv. \\hile the language of the 
following vwrse (ver. !$) conveys the same meaning only under the 



220 MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 

form of another figure viz., that the advent of the Son of Man is 
sudden, and its approach depends upon the increasing corruption ot 
the world. According to Schleiermacher, however, the most remark 
able instance of the want of connexion in Matthew occurs in ver. 
29. For, he observes, it appears from this verse that the sign of the 
Son of Man, and the Son of Man himself, should follow that coming 
(Trapovata) which is compared to lightning ; whereas, on the con 
trary, ver. 29 would come very well immediately after ver. 24. But 
this remark is also without weight ; for in ver. 27 the Parousia 
(Trapovoia, advent) is not spoken of in its historical relation to other 
events, hut we have there merely a preliminary sign of the true Pa 
rousia, whereby it might be distinguished from the appearance of false 
Christs. Hence it is quite consistent that in ver. 29, should follow 
the fuller exposition of the historical circumstances which precede 
the actual Parousia. In this discourse also, with all the freedom 
of its composition, Matthew discovers great skill and power in the 
arrangement of the thoughts. Proceeding in a strictly logical man 
ner, he speaks first of the political and moral corruption that should 
take place ; then passes on to those commotions in the heavenly re 
gions which precede the great catastrophe ; and after giving a 
description of the care exercised by God over his faithful ones at 
the time of his arrival, finishes with appropriate exhortations. 

In regard to the contents of the discourse, we arc first briefly to 

consider the relations of the accounts of the synoptical Evangelists 

to the representation of John in his Gospel. Now, although John 

also speaks of the advent of Christ and the judgment (v. 21, ff., viii. 

. % 

* Olshausen s view in opposition to Schleiermacher is unquestionably just, but not, 
perhaps, stated with quite sufficient distinctness. From ver. 23, " Then if any one say to 
you," &c., to ver. 29, "And immediately after the affliction," &c., the verses are episodical, 
the main description being suspended in order to warn the disciples against false Christa 
and prophets whom the occasion will produce. He intimates the manner in which they 
will come, " in the desert," " in the chambers," in places more or less secluded and con 
cealed; and then gives them the grand token by which the coming of the true Messiah 
may bo distinguished from all these counterfeit appearances. His appearance will not be 
secluded, and partial, but, like the lightning that flashes across the whole face of heaven, 
it will be open, instantaneous, and universal. lie closes this digression with a statement 
in brief and striking language, of the cause of this swarming of the false prophets, " where 
the carcass is, will be gathered the eagles:" i. e. such a disordered and decaying condition 
will naturally engender or attract all the corruption that will prey upon it. So 1 
terprets this last sentence, rightly, as I think. The >up, in which Olshausc>n finds his 
chief objection to the interpretation, is wanting in many MSS., and is rejects! by Lnch- 
mann and Tischendorf ; yet it may even be retained without any unwarrantable ellipsis, 
" and all this very naturally/or," &c. But at all events, with v. J9 the si events, 

broken at v. 28, is again taken up. It had been there stated that then- should 1 
affliction (ueyu/.ri 0/.i\l>ir), but shortened for the sake of the elect. The Saviour now 
resumes, "immediately after the affliction," etc. (fieru rijv BZtyiv K. -. ?.). Thus the inter 
mediate passage is clearly ]>arentlietiral, the allusion to the mode of the Son of Man s 
coming, like a flash of lightning, being introduced merely in passing as a means of dis 
tinguishing the spurious Messiahs from the true. [K. 



MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 221 

15, 16. ix. 30. xii. 47, ff., xiv. 18), yet in his Gospel we do not find 
any such di scriptinns of outward occurrences \\hich were to accom 
pany them ; and hence it is undeniable, that there is a difference 
between the mode of expression adopted by t he synoptical Evangel 
ist s and that employed by John, in ivl frenee to the doctrine of 
tin- last tilings. Still, however, it can by no means be said, that 

i the mode of expression adopted by the former differs from the 
general scope of Scripture in regard to this doctrine ; on the con 
trary, very many of the descriptions in the twenty-fourth chapter 
of Mat tl ie\v have their analogies in the Old Testament (the passages 
will be cited in the exposition of the several verses) ; and the Paul 
ine writings (1 Thess. iv. ; 2 Thess. ii. ; 1 Cor. xv.), but above all, 
the Apocalypse presupposes the same view of this subject as Mat 
thew gives in the chapter just mentioned. Now, whoever believes 
the Apocalypse to be a work of John, has a sufficient security, in 
its relation to his Gospel, for the fact that John did not hold a dif 
ferent view from that presented by the synoptical Evangelists. But 
granting even that the Apocalypse is the production of another author 
(which, by the way, is not our opinion), still it must be conceded 
that the Gospel of John affords the only instance of deviation from 
the general mode of conceiving the doctrine in the Old as well as the 
Jfew Testament. And since this, deviation consists merely in omitting 
customary representations, nothing is more natural than to regard 
the difference of representation as not founded in a difference of views 
on the part of the writers, much less in any variation in the teaching 
of the Redeemer, but simply and solely in the special scope and aim of 
this work. The fact that the Gospel of John was designed for ideal 
izing Gnostics who were not Jews, is quite sufficient to explain this 
and all its other peculiar variations from the synoptical Evangelists.* 

In the second place, as regards the contents of the discourse, a 
great difficulty of this section (especially ch. xxiv.) lies in its plac 
ing in apparent juxtaposition circumstanced which, according to the 
history, are separated by wide intervals. Obvious descriptions of the 
approaching overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity are blended 
with no less evident representations of the second coming of the Lord 
to his kingdom. It cannot be denied that those commentators who 
agree with the views always held by the church (among whom we 
must reckon Schott, the most recent interpreter of this section, in 
his well-known work, Comment, in Christi Sermones, qui de ejus 
reditu agunt, Jenao, 1820), treat the ideas in this section in a far 
less simple and straightforward manner than the rationalistic ex- 

* Flock, in his work de regno divino, p. 483, exaggerates the differences, and thinks 
that Christ could only have spoken in the one way or in the other. Bat there is no ac 
tual contradiction between the synoptical Evangelists and John ; the latter merely oraita 
what was not intelligible to his readers, or was not suited to their point of view. 



222 MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 

positors.* Doctrinal views lead the former to attempt a separation 
of the elements which are blended in Matthew and the other Evan 
gelists. Particularly Schott is of opinion that the description 
of the advent of Christ to his kingdom begins with ver. 29, " and 
immediately after the tribulation, etc.," and refers all that precedes 
only to the destruction of Jerusalem. But apart from the impos 
sibility of interpreting ver". 29 itself as the commencement of some 
thing entirely new and different, it is equally tor tain that the latter 
part of the description contains the most definite references to the 
present generation (comp. ver. 34) as that the former part plainly 
alludes to the last times. Hence we do not hesitate to adopt (with 
Fritzsche, Fleck, Schulz, de Wette) the simple interpretation and 
the only one consistent with the text that Jesus did intend to re 
present his coming as contemporaneous with the destruction of 
Jerusalem, and the overthrow of the Jewish, polity .f However, 
this result of the exposition certainly requires a closer consideration, 
in order to be understood in its harmony with the whole circle of the 
Saviour s teaching. And in making such an inquiry, much assist 
ance may be gained from observing that this proximity of the advent 
of the Lord to the time immediately at hand is not at all peculiar 
to the section before us. Besides the passages in the Gospels, most 
of which have already been discussed (Matth. x. 23, xvi. 27, 28- 
xxiii. 38, 39, xxvi. 64, and the parallels), statements of the same 
kind occur in almost all the writings of the New Testament (1 Cor. 
x. 11 ; Phil. iv. 5 ; 2 Thess. ii. 2 ; 1 Pet. iv. 7 ; 1 John ii. 18 ; 
James v. 8 ; Rev. i. 1, 3, iii. 11, xxii. 7, 10, 12, 20), from which it is 
clear that the apostles expected the return of Jesus in their life 
time. And as in the l^ew Testament, so also in the prophets of 
the Old Testament, we constantly find the idea that the coming of 
the Messiah was near. (The well-known formula rrrr C L -> ai-i;? oc 
curs very frequently, Ezek. xxx. 3 ; Joel ii. 1, i. 15 ; Isaiah xiii. 6; 
Obad. ver. 15 ; Zephan. i. 7, 14 ; Hagg. ii. 7.) Accordingly we 
may say that the coming of the Lord, whether the first or the la.^t, 
has always been vividly anticipated as being at hand ; and in /> 
single passage, either of the Old or of the New Testament, is it stated 
that it will be long delayed ; nay, this mode of expression is dis 
tinctly condemned, for example, Matth. xxiv. 48. (This par- 
Dan, viii. 14, is the only exception here ; but even in this 
seventy weeks being given, the metaphorical expression appears to 
conceal from the multitude the actual distance of the event. J 

* Concerning this doctrine compare the treatise of Baumeister in Klaiber s Stud. B. 
L H. 2, B, 219, flF., H. 3, e. 1. ff., B. ii. II. 1, s. 1, ff., H. 2, s. 1, ff. 

f On this entire discourse and its interpretation compare with Olshausen (whoso ex 
planation I have left unchanged) my Kritik der Ev. Gesch. (Anil. - , f$ 102). [K. 

\ The numerical statements in tlio Apocalypse are not designed to indicate the- tint* 
at which tho last great catastrophe will take place, but only the single epocha within 



MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 223 

Schott, indeed (loc. cit. s. 413), thinks that intimations of the kind 
arc found in tin- New Testament ; hut in this he is mistaken. He 
appeals to ] ndi as Matth. \.\iv. -Is, \xv. f>, 19 ; hut these 

11 >t >]>iak of the coming of the Lord as absolutely dis 
tant, hut merely as relatively so, in respect to persons expecting it. 
And in Luke xx. 9, in the parable of the vineyard, where the long 
absence of the Lord is mentioned, the reference is not to the re- 
inotenrss of the return of Christ, but to the long period which 
elapsed since the time of Moses, during which God did not mani 
fest himself to the people of Israel. Hence the difficulty that occurs 
here is founded in the general doctrine of Scripture respecting the 
last things, and can be solved only by a reference to the nature of 
prophecy generally, as well as to the peculiar character of the par 
ticular fact in question viz., the return of Christ. 

Now in regard to prophecy generally, we agree with the idea so 
admirably developed by Hengstenberg (Christology of 0. T. p. 217, 
ft .), that it is to be viewed as a spiritual vision. By virtue of this 
vision of the future, as something really present to their minds 
(the best designation we can give of it is that of a perspective view) 
the actual events indeed were accurately discerned by the prophets; 
but neither the distance of the event foreseen from the present to which 
they themselves belonged, nor the intervals between the individual 
objects beheld. This explains the fact, that in the prophecies of 
the Old Testament, the two appearances of Christ in humiliation 
and glory although the prophets were cognizant of both are not 

u-ated by wide intervals, but closely connected. The birth of the 
promised child (Isa. ix. 6, 7) is immediately succeeded by his peace 
ful reign ; the springing of the rod from the stem of Jesse is directly 
followed by changes of nature (Isa. xi. 1--6); and so everywhere in 
the Old Testament, the first appearance of the Lord is viewed as 
only just preceding the full blessing that results from the second 

which tho catastrophe itself will move on ; the whole Apocalypse represents the Parousia 
of tho Lord as immediately at liai.d that is, as visible to tho generation then living. 

therefore any oulnihtions of the time of tho Lord s advent, sufficient for anything 
more than our subjective need, can bo justified by Scripture, it is difficult to understand. 
At the same time there is no more reason to favour any oversight of tho most obvious 
signs that tho great a ,,r to cherish tho assurance that tho Lord will not 

yet come ti>r a long season. History shews that, iu all times in which the conflict be- 

ially vigorous, there has also been manifested in 
tho minds of \> . . ug of tho Lord; and yet it is equally 

that when a crisis has passed, the church has become conscious that two conditions 
connected with the last crU .im-d unfulfilled. Between these two influences 

(whieli may In- <A work in tho time of tho apostles, by comparing 

the two Epistles to tho The \vas alwavs preserved, and indi/erenoi 

sus did not deliver his dis 
course in the juvscniv of all the twelve disciples, but only before the three most matured 
among them, shews that tho more precise communications respecting his advent are not 
designed for all 



224 MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 

(Isa. liii., lx. 1, Ixi. 1; Jerem. xxiii. 5, ft ., xxxi. 31, ff., xxxiii. 14, ff.; 
Ezek. xxxiv. 23, ff., xxxvi. 24, ff., xxxvii. 24, ff.) 

Meanwhile, in the course of prophecy, we may observe an ad 
vancing clearness ; that which in the Old Testament is as yet un 
distinguished the difference between the advent of Christ in hu 
miliation and his advent in glory appears perfectly marked in the 
Gospels ; and again, those things which are represented in the 
Gospels as contemporaneous, viz., the establishment of the kingdom 
of God and the judgment of the world (which are no more sepa 
rated in the Gospels than the first and second advents of Christ are 
in the Old Testament), are in the Apocalypse accurately distin 
guished. Now, as it is quite consistent with Scripture to suppose 
that the precise time when the last great catastrophes should hap 
pen, was, and was designed to be, unknown to the prophets and 
apostles (comp. Matth. xxiv. 36 ; Mark xiii. 32 ; Acts i. 7), it re 
mains for us simply to say, that the lively ardour of their desire for 
the manifestation of the Messiah, and their immediate vision of the 
event, induced them to picture it as close at hand. True, indeed, 
these remarks cannot be applied to the Lord ; for although (Mark 
xiii. 32) Jesus says of himself that he knows not the day of his 
coming, this ignorance cannot possibly be regarded as absolute. 
(Comp. the exposition of the passage below.) Hence, in order to 
justify such definite discourses as he delivered concerning the near 
ness of his advent, we must contemplate more closely the nature of 
the fact. 

Now, the primary reason why the declarations of Christ respect 
ing the near approach of his coming, although they were not realized 
in their utmost sense, yet involve no error, is this that it is an 
essential ingredient in the doctrine of the advent of Christ that it 
should be considerered every moment possible, and that believers 
should deem it every moment probable. A referring of it to an in 
definite distance would have robbed it of its ethical significance. 
The constant expectation of the return of Christ is verified also by 
the fact that Christ with his kingdom is perpetually coming ; it is 
relatively true that the history of .the world is a judgment of the 
world, without superseding by the judicial agency of God, as 
already manifesting itself in the history of human development, the 
judgment as the concluding act of all developments. And precisely 
on this foundation rests the principle, that great events in history, 
wherein either the fulness of the blessing that is in Christ, or his 
severity against sin, is strikingly manifested, maybe viewed as types 
of the last time as a coming of Christ. To this category, so far 
as respects the fulness of blessing revealed by Christ, belongs the 
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (In the language of John the word 
is undoubtedly used in reference to the manifestation of the 



MATTHKW XX IV. 1. 225 

Lord in the .spiritual world. Comp. John xiv. 18-23 ; Rev. ii. 5-16, 
iii. 3. In tin- ! i the well-known phrase //;<J (if 

nncasa t/t!<f, is employed to designate a sjiiritual 
coining. ) And. in relation to the manifestation uf avenging justice, 
the full of Jerusalem, with the ruia of the religious and political 
life of the Jewish people, may be viewed in precisely the same 
light. This latter event, like the flood in the days of Noah and the 
destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, is one of the chief 
types of the approaching separation of all into two classes the 
righteous and the wicked ; and hence the Redeemer himself con 
nects the description of the last great catastrophe with this fearful 
judgment. Nor is it at all consistent with the meaning of the pro 
phetic representations to regard them as restricted in their reference 
to the one or the other of those events for example, to look at 
everything as relating only to the destruction of Jerusalem ; on the 
contrary, each single occurrence is to be viewed in connexion with 
the whole. 

Another circumstance, by which the distinct declarations of the 
Lord, respecting the near approach of his advent, are completely 
removed from the province of error, is the conflict between freedom 
and necessity, which appears peculiarly prominent in this passage. 
On the one hand, the time of fulfilment is represented as fixed in 
the counsels of God (Dan. xi. 3G ; Acts i. 7); on the other, the 
time seems uncertain, and open to be deferred or hastened by the 
faithfulness or unfaithfulness of men (Habak. ii. 3 ; 2 Pet. iii). 
This diverse and apparently contradictory mode of expression is 
quite analogous to the general relation of freedom and necessity, 
as it presents it self in reference to this subject. As everything future, 
even that which proceeds from the freedom of the creature, when 
viewed in relation to the Divine knowledge, can only be regarded as 
necessary ; so everything future, as far as it concerns man, can only 
be regarded as conditional upon the use of his freedom. As obsti 
nate perseverance in sin hastens destruction, so genuine repentance 
may avert it ; this is illustrated in the Old Testament, in the pro 
phet .Jonah, by the history of Nineveh, and intimated in the New 
lament by Paul, when (like Abraham praying for Sodom) he 
describes the elements of good existing in the world as exercising a 
restraint upon the judgments of God (2 Thess. ii. 7); and 2 Pet. 
iii. .. the .K-lay of the coming of the Lord is viewed as an act of 
Divine long-suffering, designed to afford men time for repentance. 
Accordingly, when the Redeemer promises the near approach of 
hi.s coming, this announcement is to be taken with the restriction 
(to be understood in connexion with all predictions and judgments), 

* Compare also Acts UL 19, where it is said : " Repent ye, that the time of refreshing 
may come." 

VOL. II. 15 



226 MATTHEW XXIV. 1. 

" All tliis v/ill come to pass, unless men avert the wrath of God 
by sincere repentance." None of the predictions of Divine judg 
ments are bare historical proclamations of that which will take 
place ; they are alarms calling men to repentance of which it may 
be said that they announce something, in order that that which they 
announce may not come to pass. This is no more pleasing to the 
natural man than the grace of the Lord was to Jonah ; but it is none 
the less a Divine arrangement. Sin must be condemned, but whether 
God condemn it by the obstinacy of man, or man himself con 
demn it, by receiving into himself the mind of God, depends upon 
man s free-will, which, however, does not destroy the necessity in 
God, but consists in it, and through it. All generations, therefore, 
that have waited in vain, since the time of the apostles, for the ful 
filment of the promise of the Lord s external advent, have expe 
rienced it internally, if they have spiritually found the Kedeemer ; 
and the hour of death will aiford every individual a perfect analogy 
to that which would be involved in the visible return of the Lord 
to each and all.* But to all succeeding generations, the prophecy 
of the Saviour (like all the parallel predictions of the Old Testa 
ment prophets) remains valid in its full sense ; for, although names 
and forms may be changed, the opposing forces continue the same, 
and must at length bring to its climax the conflict described. 
Hence the prophecies of Scripture which have been, in one sense, 
fulfilled, still remain in another sense unfulfilled. The overlook 
ing of these points accounts for the fact, that many expositors, with 
a good intention, but contrary to the simple meaning of words, 
would make a forced separation between events yet future, and that 
which is described as near viz., the destruction of Jerusalem. 
Such a separation can never be substantiated from the mere lan 
guage ; and since the whole teaching of Scripture is in harmony with 
our passage, nothing remains but to justify this form of Scriptural 
representation upon higher grounds, in the manner which we have 
attempted. 

In regard to the separate thoughts in the following prophecy con 
cerning the last things, it may be observed, that it is by no means 
the design of the Lord to give a comprehensive survey of all the cir 
cumstances connected with his return. On the contrary, in th 
portion of the discourse (chap, xxiv.), he exhibits only that aspect 
of his coming which is calculated to excite fear, and describes the 
temptations and errors accompanying ft in their succession (but 
rarely c. y. Luke xxi. 28 ; Matth. xxiv. 31 is there any mention 

* Comp. the \?ords O f Ilamann in Ilerbst s Bibl. Cbristl. Dcnk. Th. i. s. 85" The 
death of every man is the time when the manifestation of the coming of the Lord is in 
part fulfilled to his soul. In this sense it is literally true that the time of the fulfilment 
is near 






MATTHEW XXIV. 1,2. 227 

of its consolatory aspect towards the saints), whilst the resurrection 
of the just, tin 4 kingdom of <;>.d. the _:< -neral p-snrrection, .and the 
judgment, arc not spoken of. Only in tin- subsequent parables 
(Mattli. xxv.) do we lind the more definite statement, tliat liis ap 
pearing will be productive not less of Imppii: I -lievers and 
tli living in love, than of condemnation to unbelievers. And 

i in these parables the single circumstances are not described in 
distinct succession, but they, exhibit the whole as one grand picture 
into which all the separate features are compressed. The proper 
distance between the individual points, as, specially, between the 
general judicial proceedings of the Redeemer as set forth in the 
last parable of the sheep and the goats, and the scenes depicted in 
chap, xxiv., can be inferred only from the minute and amplified re 
presentation of the Apocalypse. 

Ver. 1, 2. According to the unanimous accounts of the three 
Evangelists, the conversation respecting the advent of the Lord 
originated in a definite occasion, of such a nature as almost 
necessarily to lead to it. It was at the decisive moment when 
the Redeemer quitted the Temple with his disciples, never again 
to enter it. As he withdrew, the gracious presence of God left 
the sanctuary ; and the temple with all its service, and the 
whole theocratic constitution allied to it, was given over to destruc 
tion. No moment in the life of the Saviour could have afforded a 
more seasonable opportunity to dwell on the coming catastrophes, 
and to leave a legacy with his disciples from which they might de 
rive hints for their conduct in the threatening crisis. The whole of 
the following discourse is to be viewed in the light of an instruction 
to the disciples, who, as the appointed leaders of the church, needed 
an insight into things that would happen in the future ; in order 
that, on the one hand, they might not suffer shipwreck in their 
o\vn faith, and, on the other, might be enabled to conduct the 
church through the perilous sea. When Jesus and his disciples 
lit of the temple, the latter, having a presentiment that 
they should not enter it again with him, pointed him, with an ex 
pression of wonder, to it* imghiy pile ; and upon this followed the 
declaration of th-- Redeemer, that the lofty fabric- of the temple was 
approaching its destruction. (Ver. 1 i&l.Ouv has reference to \-\i. 
23. Mark xiii. 1 speaks of one of the disciples as the individual 
who utt.-r.-d th- words; probably it was IVter, who [according to 
ver. 3J with John, James, and Andrew, <|ue>; ioiied the Lord more 

ly on this great event. The temple, as i; then stood. ..\vd its 
Completion to llep.d. who had b.-en engaged [eomp. .lolm ii. 20] for 
a long time in restoring it. Josephos gives an elaborate description 

of the magnilicence of the temple. [Com p. Winer s U -alworterb. 
sub. verb.] The di-aOi mara, o^cr/xj/.s , mentioned by Luke, denote, 



228 MATTHEW XXIV. 3. 

according to the classic signification of the word, offerings which 
Avon- given in great numbers to the Temple at Jerusalem, and dis 
played on the walls or in the porches and side buildings [the latter 
is the meaning of oiKodo/iai]. The reading or t i/r-t-TK ~<ivra rav-a in 
the text of Matthew, ver. 2, is probably inferior to that supported 
by Fritzche and Fleck, which omits the negative. Only it is diffi 
cult to explain how the ov got into the manuscripts. If it be re 
tained in the text, as Schulz thinks it should, it must be taken, like 
Matth. vii. 22, as standing for ov%i = \) 

Ver. 3. After this glance at the structure of the temple, the 
Lord goes with his disciples, as he was accustomed, over the Mount 
of Olives, to Bethany. On the summit of the mountain from which 
he could see the city and the temple, he sat down in the midst of 
a few of his disciples those whom he treated with special confidence 
and disclosed to them the future in a sublime picture. The ques 
tion of the disciples which led to those more minute disclosures is 
given with the most precision by Matthew ; Mark and Luke com 
prehend the Parousia and the End (<rwr&e*a), which are both men 
tioned by Matthew, under the general expression Ttdv-ra rav-a, all 
these things. But this very relation of the accounts of Mark and 
Luke to that of Matthew, furnishes us with a hint as to the true 
interpretation. The apostles viewed these two great events in im 
mediate connexion with the destruction of the temple, and thought 
of the one as dependent on the other. Hence their inquiry has 
reference only to two objects. First they seek to know the time 
of the destruction of the temple ; and, secondly, they desire a sign 
(j7//itov, nto) whereby, on the one hand, they may know the cor 
rectness of the prophecy, and, on the other, may themselves recog 
nize the proximity of the great events. Respecting the -time, the 
Lord says only that it is very near ; but he gives them more than 
one sign, and thus puts them in a position to recognize the gradual 
approach of the fact. Now this fact includes two distinct parts 
which, although not identical, are so closely connected, that when 
the one takes place, the other does also. The word -apovaia (Par- 
ousia, presence) is the ordinary expression for the second coming 
of the Lord. (Matthew xxiv. 27, 37, 39 ; 1 Thessalonians ii. 19, 
iii. 13, iv. 15, v. 23 ; 2 Thessaionians ii. 1 ; James v. 7, 8.) With 
the classic authors Trapova/o. commonly signifies presence ; it has the 
same meaning sometimes in the New Testament, in the writings of 
Paul (2 Cor. x. 10 ; Phil. i. 26, ii. 12 ; 2 Thess. ii. 9) ; in other 
cases it is used in the sense of advent, and once (2 Pet. i. 16) it de 
notes the incarnation of the Redeemer, as applied to his first com 
ing. But it generally designates the second coming in glory, 
synonymously with K-rrujxiveia, appearing (1 Tim. vi. 14 ; 2 Tim. iv. 
1, 8. The same expression is also employed in the passage 2 Tim, 



MATTHEW XXIV. 3. 229 



L 10, in reference to the first advent of the Lord), and dr 
revelation (1 Cor. i. 7 ; 2 Thess. i. 7 ; 1 Pet. i. 7, 13 ; in tli<> j 

. Luke xvii. . !<>, tin- verb occurs.) In one instance; ( 2 Thcss. ii. 
S) we have the compound expression im^dveta T% irapovoias. Now 
a^ the prophets (according to the observation already made), did not 
in.sk any chronological distinction between the coming of Christ in 
his humiliation, and his coming in glory (and this mode of treating 
the subject has its relative truth, because, having risen from the 

1, he was exalted to the right hand of God, and rules in his 
church as the Prince of Peace) ; so, in the Gospels, the coming of 
Christ in glory is not distinguished from eternity, or from the crea 
tion of the new heaven and of the new earth. The Apocalypse is 
the first place in which these events appear in their complete sep 
aration. However, their connexion in the Gospels has not less re 
lative truth than the union of the first and the second coming of the 
Lord in the Old Testament. For such a mighty victory of good 
over evil is represented as taking place upon the return of Christ at 
the resurrection of the just, and the establishment ofy the Lord s 
kingdom, that this period may be considered as a natural type of 
the final complete conquest. Accordingly the question, whether the 
words, avvTEteia rov al&vog, end of the world, are to be understood as 
meaning the commencement of eternity, or the beginning of the Mes 
sianic period,* must be dismissed (as we have already stated in our 
remarks on Matth. xii. 31), for in the representation of the apostles 
the two are united, and immediately associated with the destruction 
of Jerusalem. (In one case only, Heb. ix. 26, the expression re 
lates to the whole time since the appearance of Christ in the flesh.) 
The only instances of its occurrence in the New Testament, are 
Maith. xiii. 39,40, 49, xxviii. 20. The LXX. have avvriXeta Kaipov 
in the passage Dan. ix. 27, for nVs. The other writers of the New 
Testament, to express the same idea the conclusion of the aluv 
ovrog and the beginning of the aiuv ^tAAwv use the forms to^arat 
I jii^nu (Acts ii. 17) toxaroi xpuvoi (1 Pet. i. 20), KO^arov TUV I lfteptiv 
(Hub. i. 2), tempos ioxa.Tog (1 Pet. i. 5), t-o^o -n/ j^epa (John vi. 39, 40, 
etc.), ^\<i-,i upa (1 John ii. 18), 7//*epa opyf/f KOI anwaAvi/^wf (Rom. 
ii. .". : Jlev. vi. IT. xi. IS), which correspond with the Old Testament 
expr. >si..ns : e-ejrj rrnqx (Gen. xlix. 1; Isaiah ii. 2 ; Mir. iv. 1), 

- Vi> (Dan. xii. 13), or merely yp. ( Dan. viii. IT, xi. 4<>) which 
answers M tin- < -. Mattli. xxiv. 6, 14. The Lord, in 

plying to the qiU -M- ii n-p.-cting the tim> and the SI I/H of his coin- 

desrrilies th - ::i>pmacliiii-- C >mm"tins as cicely conno 
and draws no distill -: i:i l^tween his (invisible) I aronsia a: 

ruction of Jerusalem, and the nn~>/..,<i row nu:>n><- 



* It is ; the word 

aiuv inlie-;itt. S tiwtiine of tho world, which passes away, whilst the world itself remains 



230 MATTHEW XXIV. 4, 5. 



it by liundrccls of years ; on the contrary, the advent in its 
groat loading events is immediately associated with the present, and 
thus great impressiveness is given to the entire portraiture without 
its treading too closely upon the truth. 

Ver. 4, 5. The Redeemer now exhibits in his discourse, that 
aspect of the coming events which was adapted to restrain the dis 
ciples from prying into the future, from mere curiosity, and direct 
their thoughts to themselves. Jesus shews them that the approach 
ing events will be of a very perilous nature, and that it will require 
all their strength of faith to guard themselves against falling into 
snares. As the first danger, the Redeemer mentions that men will 
rise up who will pretend to be the Messiah, and will seduce many. 
This temptation is again spoken of, ver. 11, 23, 24 (comp. with 
Mark xiii. 21, 22 ; Luke xvii. 23), because such phenomena will 
present themselves not only at the beginning of the birth-pangs of 
the new age, but will recur from time to time, till light gains the 
dominion over dafrkness. Moreover, ver. 23, 24 indicate progress in 
these sinful phenomena themselves, for there the Lord speaks of 
wonders wrought in the power of darkness which are not mentioned 
here. Among the false Christs (^ft-doxQtorot) and false prophets 
(tpv6o7rpo(f)7irai) } however, a great distinction is to be made. Indi 
viduals may be so carried away by fanatical zeal for the cause of re 
ligion, as to delude themselves into the belief that they are mes 
sengers of God ; such a case appears to be described, Ezek? xiii. 1, 
ff., where persons prophesying out of their own heart (&^>>a ^^Oj or 
men who follow their own spirit (crr,-> nr;x c< ^"), are spoken of in op 
position to true prophets appointed by the Spirit of God. But, on 
the other hand, we may also conceive of wicked and conscious de 
ceivers, who boldly pervert the faith of the people of God in the 
prophets, and in an expected Messiah, for their own avaricious or 
ambitious aims. It is not improbable that this latter class may 
have means of getting powers of darkness into their possession, and 
thus become all the more dangerous, in that they dazzle by their 
prodigies (repara) the eyes of the unwary. Both the false Christs 
and the false prophets, however, must always be distinguished from 
the Antichrist (avri^piorog) of John.* This epithet conveys the 
idea not of one person so named announcing himself as Christ, 
but of one who proceeding out of the church, and forsaking it, con 
tends against tin- entire Christian principle, and the Lord hiin- 

* I cannot agree with the opinion of Liicke (comp. his remarks on 1 John ii. 18), who 
thinks the idea expressed by tin- term ilrri\i>ir:ri>r in John is different from that contained 
in the of him who "opposeth himself," etc. (nvTin.fifivor), of Paul (2 Thess. ii. 1, ff.) The 
; ijitiim of Paul is quite in harmony with Dan. xi., and does not by any means ap 
pear to dfiK-t" a form ; ! io church. In t 1 pse, the boast out of 

the sea, that op; thing Divine, and is full of blasphemy, is parallel with Anti 

christ. (Uev. xiii. 1, ff.) 



MATTHEW XXIV. 6-8. 231 

self. The false Christs, on the contrary, are to be viewed as hav 
ing no coma. rinn with the Chuivh, and merely giving tlicnisi ! 
out either consciously or unconsciously to be Christ. 1 Fence 
Antichrist is a more daring and fearful form of sin ; inasmuch as it 
the idea of Christ itself, whilst the }>seudo Christ acknowl- 
it. hut srrkstouse it for its own ends. The ciremnstau.ce, 
linally, that there is no record of anyone having declared himself t>> 
be the Messiah before the destruction of Jerusalem (Theiidas, Acts 
v. 36, and the Egyptians, Acts xxi. 38, represented themselves only 
as prophets), is to be regarded as shewing that the whole prophecy 
was not fulfilled at the time of the destruction of the city. It is 
well known that after that event many wretched men played the 
part of Messiah, and deceived credulous persons. I will mention 
only two ; in ancient times Bar Chochba ; and in modern days 
Sabbatai Zchbi, who, in the seventeenth centuiy, in Constantinople, 
finished his career by going over to Islam.* 

Ver. 6-8. The Redeemer having thus described the tempta 
tion that will result from the sin of men, proceeds to depict certain 
terrible physical events. The advent of the Lord appears to be a 
time of ripeness in evil as well as in good (Matth. xiii. 30) ;. all the 
afllictions and sorrows that have been poured out upon mankind 
during the course of the world s history, then come forth in their 
mightiest and most aggravated form. But, like evil generally, this 
form of evil is only the external echo of internal discord and 
convulsion in the moral world ; it is only on account of their hav 
ing this moral source, and because of their possible salutary reac 
tion, that these external circumstances are of any significance. The 
Rabbins very expressly designated the sufferings and disturbances 
that will precede the advent of the Lord : rr^s "* =>"!, the birth- 
pangs of the Messiah ; and reference is made to the expression 
in the words V\. / udivuv, beginning of pangs, Matth. xxiv. 8.f 
They viewed the universe as parturient and bringing forth a higher 
and nobler state of things under pangs and pains. The endeavour 
to point out cases of all the forms of human distress mentioned 
her t ing in the time previous to the destruction of Jerusalem, 

is really inconsistent ; fur even though analogies to all the specified 
phenomena of suffering :nv found, yet these are not the very things 
prophesied. At the c >ming of the Lord, all will be repeated in the 

* Comp. Ilenko s Kirchcngeschiehte, Th. iv. s. 359, 0". Von Mover, in the Blatt. f. 
huh. Wahrh. Th. 7, S. HOG, 11 ., following IV istory of th< 

of another man of thisdescriptu>: ob Frank. According to the same author 

ity, IVter llf< T, there are still persons ainont, the Chasidim in Russian Poland who 
ciso a power over th<-ir adherents, from which it may be inferred that tln-y assume MOB- 
gianic authority. Accounts are given of fifteen false Messiahs among the Jews since the 
time of Christ. 

f Comp. Eisenmengcr s entd. Jadenth. B. L S. 711. 



232 MATTHEW XXIV. 9 

highest measure. The words of the Redeemer here evidently shew 
his aim to be to divert the minds of his disciples from the import 
ance which man is so fond of attaching to these external commo 
tions and troubles. Twice (ver. 6 and ver. 8) he assures them, that 
these troubles are not the end itself (concerning -t Aof = y^, comp. 
the remarks above on ver. 1), but only the beginning of sorrows ob 
viously intimating that what are to follow will be still more severe. 

(Rumours of wars (dicoal rroAqiww), relate to wars that have not 
actually broken out, but the fearful rumours of which keep the 
mind in a state of alarm. It is better to understand ver. 7 as 
having reference to insurrections, than to take it as descriptive of 
wars which had just been spoken of. The dissolution of all polit 
ical order is the main thought of the passage. QpoeloOcu, instead of 
which Luke has n-otioOcu, occurs in the parallel, 2 Thess. ii. 2. 
Udv-a, in Matth. xxiv. 6, is to be taken as standing for rd -ndvra, or 
ravra Tiavra. The Old Testament affords parallels to the contents 
of these verses, in the passages 2 Chron. xv. 5, 6 ; Isaiah xiii. 13 ; 
Joel iii. 3 ; Zech. xiv. 3. The words added by Luke xxi. 11, 06/3?/rpa 
re teal orjuela drf ovpavov, fearful sights and signs from heaven, are 
introduced by Matthew in a subsequent part of the description 
[ver. 29], and more in harmony with the context. The ex 
pression (pofi-rjTpov occurs in the New Testament only in this pas 
sage.) 

Ver. 9. The Saviour proceeds to specify some of these sharper 
sufferings and dangers to be endured by his disciples, and instances, 
as such, personal persecutions and martyrdom. He states that the 
ground of the hatred cherished against them is the name of Christ 
(here again ovofia, name, like t stands for the person, and the whole 
nature of the person himself), so that the Divine element in be 
lievers, conies into a like conflict with the ungodliness existing in 
the world, and its children, as was manifested in the person of Christ 
himself. As in Christ, so also in believers, that Divine element will 
conquer only by death. The observation appended by Luke (xxi. 
18), and peculiar to himself, KOI Opt!- in T% ne^a^r i^v oi> p) 
arro/lT/Taf, and not a hair of your head shall perish, cannot have re 
ference to external but to internal inviolability; for previous to this, 
ver. 1C, we have the statement, KOI Oavaruxjovoiv i$ vn&v, some of you 
they shall put to death.* (The same metaphor occurs, Luke xii. 

* If it bo said that tho words of Luke are only, " they shall put to death some of 
you" (Oavaruaovcnv <! I /^ Oi so that tho sense is: some would be killed, but the rest 
would remain unhurt ; then an utterly unjustifiable distinction arises, and the dead ap 
pear to suffer an injury which cannot possibly bo tho meaning of the passage. Ou the 
contrary, tho words represent the hatred of tho mass at largo in its impotence. As an 
external force, it can reach only the external man ; tho true man remains untouched. In 
the parallel passages, 1 Sam. xiv. 45 ; 2 Sam. xiv. 11 ; Acts xxvii. 34, it is said : 11/n^tK 
T% Ke<j>a?.rf ov ir c GEIT a i a form which must be regarded as identical with our own. 






MATHII:W XXIV. 10-13. 233 

6, ff.; and tlu>iv :ils- ? if, does not ivl:it- merely to the ouf \vanl pre- 

ition of earthly lite.) Now, if tins hat red on account of the 
inline of Christ is lepfeM&ted as aid Aether ycncraL iitnoi-iin-tn vnb 

.<! , Jitif,-</ I // off (Matthew adds &v3v, -then the idea 

e\pr< -<,! is. that mankind, without the spirit of Jesus Christ, live 
in the ungodly element of darkness, and by this very circumstance 
are prevented from recognizing in its true character the light of the 
K> deemcr which has been received by believers. In regard to the 
fuller details given by Mark and Luke (with slight transpositions) 
respecting the form of the persecutions, and the position of believers 
in reference to the nearest earthly relations of kindred and friend 
ship, we may observe, that it is probable they were originally spoken 
in the connexion of the discourse, but that Matthew put these 
thoughts in an abbreviated form, because he had already copiously 
introduced them in the passages Matth. x. 17, ff., 34, ft . The history 
of the Church of Christ, as has been remarked in our exposition of 
those passages, affords numerous confirmations of this prophecy. 
But to what extent persecutions of believers to the death will be 
repeated when the advent of the Lord draws near, time must teach. 
The possibility of such things, at least, is proved by the persecu 
tions of the faithful at the hands of their sanguinary oppressors 
during the time of the first French Revolution. 

Ver. 10-13. The sad consequences of these persecutions, to the 
Church, are now minutely described. To many they will prove a 
stumbling-block, and will lead them into great delinquencies. False 
teaehers will arise, who will seduce many from the Church, and the 
ardour of brotherly love will be extinguished. The exhortation to 
vnopovij (or persevering endurance in all these sufferings), suggested 
by these thoughts, is expressed ver. 13; affliction is represented as 
that which puriiies and perfects, so that it is equally a means of 
separating the impure, and of transforming into complete salvation 
the lite of the upright. 

That the teachers of error here spoken of (ver. 11) would be in 
the bosom of the Church, is not expressly stated ; and it may be 

Grotius, who renders the form thus : no hilum quideru damni senties, also points out an 
other interpretation of tho words in the present connexion; ho says: si quid ipsorum ad 
tcmpus interire vidctur, non tarn intcrit quam apud Deuru deponitur, qui cum foenoro est 
rcdditurus. Accordingly ho seems to understand the passage thus: " Vo will indeed be 
I and killed, but nothing of you shall p.Ti.-h \,. w ill receive it all again at tho re 
surrection." However, the idea of preservation and restoration can be applied only to 
iritual ; for Scripture says nothing about a revivification of all tho parts of the 
destroyed body ; :m i eome back i true injury 

(not oven the slightest); on the i ,r, by 

:). ye will gain your souls. 

* Luke xx i. 1! : i of ouco6ai, tho parallel expression uruaOai r//r tyvxyv, 

to gain or win the sul ; antithesis to uxo/.taai. Comp. Matth. xvi. 25, where evpiaKtiv 
and au^ar oecu Comp. also on 7. 13, the passage Matth, x 22, where 

the same words are employed. 



234 MATTHEW XXIV. 14. 

supposed that teachers not belonging to the Church will succeed in 
drawing many feeble and half-hearted members out of it, for fear ot 
persecutions ; just as the growing iniquity (dvo/iia) without the 
Church acts banefully upon the love in the Church itself (ver. 12). 
But, as it is not expressly said that they will be without the Church, 
the words may be taken indefinitely as we find them, and applied 
to both cases ; so that the general meaning is, that sin and 
corruption will gain greater power through the persecutions that 
should result from them, and will wound the Church itself 
in many of its members. (VvxeaOai, to grow cold, occurs no 
where else in the New Testament ; it is derived from the meta 
phor which compares love to a fire, Luke xii. 49.) The probability 
that such phenomena as those described, ver. 10-12, were to precede 
the destruction of Jerusalem, cannot be shewn ; the persecutions 
of that period were not so violent as to drive many away from the 
faith and from the first glow of love. If anything of the kind did 
take place, it was only a feeble type of the decline of the Church 
predicted here, which Paul (2 Thess. ii. 3) designates as the " fall 
ing away" (a-Koaraaia). And another proof that this prophecy also 
will find its fulfilment, in far more fearful phenomena than those 
which preceded the fall of Jerusalem, is furnished by the terrible 
fact of the first French Kevolution when the Christian religion 
. was formally abolished, and compelled to give place to the idolatrous 
worship of reason. 

Ver. 14. The proclamation of the Gospel in the world, and its 
vast extension to all the nations of the earth, forms, in the discourse 
of the Lord, the contrast to the apostacy of many from the Church 
in consequence of persecutions and seductions. In this exten 
sion, the Divine energy inherent in the word is manifested as in 
finitely more mighty than all the power by which the Church is 
assaulted from without. (The expression evayytvUov rf/f flamkeias, 
Gospel of the kingdom, in Matthew specifies the kingdom as the 
object of the glad tidings proclaimed by the preachers ; that mes 
sage, however, is to be viewed as combining both the external and 
internal ; only, that here the connexion naturally leads to this, viz., 
that the proclamation would invite men to receive the spirit of the 
new living community, so that, at the Parousia, when it shall ap 
pear in ascendancy, they may be received into it.) 

Now, this verse is particularly opposed to that view which refers 
the whole of this portion of the discourse (as far as ver. 29) to the 
destruction of Jerusalem alone. For the parallel -dv-a -a ZOvjj, all 
nations, prohibits us from a]. plying okov/^ov?, world, either to the 
Jewish state or to the Roman empire ; nor can th >se who support 
the above hypothesis alluw that there was a proclamation of the 
Gospel in all the world before the destruction of Jerusalem ; while 



IfATfHBW XXIV. I. .. 235 

tin 1 explanation that the announcement was nut made to nation-. 
such, hut to individuals l-l>mjlit<t t<> them, \V!M. it may !<, came in 

iO< with tin- apostles (so that the sense would b.-: tin- procla- 

math ii shall n,it then he run lined to Jews, hut addressed to mem- 

< f all nations"), is evidently the nirr- iv-od of necessity. 

>rd ing to ntir fundamental view, the preaching of the Gospel in 
alj the world (as the prophets so often declared that tin* word of 
should come to the remotest isles ) is a true sign of the near 
approach of the Lord s advent, only that here like the whole de 
scription it leans upon a great historical event which forms the 
natural type of the final catastrophe. Hence it is here said (with a 
retrospective reference to vcr. G), TOTE i^ei rb reAo?, then shall the end 
come, so that the end of the aluv ovrof, present age, is clearly con 
nected with this sublime triumph of the Divine word over all ungod 
liness. At the same time, the language before us does not imply that 
every member of every nation will be converted to the Church of Christ, 
as is shewn by the words "fora testimony to all nations" (e/V juaprvpt ov 
TTuat rolg t0mr/). (The same phraseology occurred Mark xiii. 9 ; Luke 
xxi. 12, iu reference to persecutions.) All that is required is that the 
Gospel, as the purest light of the manifestation of God, be shewn 
to all ; thus every one is placed under the necessity of deciding and 
taking part cither/or or agaimt it. Hence the proclamation of the 
kingdom of God is itself a deciding time (/>$) for the nations, 
whereby those who are of an ungodly mind are made manifest; 
and this is the precise point expressed in the phrase "for a testi 
mony to them," In the representation of Luke (which here begins 
to differ widely from Matthew), this idea is wanting ; and, instead 
of it, he has introduced into this discourse the thoughts omitted by 
Matthew respect ing the support that would be rendered to -the 
preachers of the Gospel by the Holy Spirit ; Mark also refers to the 
same Mihjeet. and connects it immediately with the proclamation of 
theliosprl. Matthew has the words (x. 19,20), in his account of 
the in-t met !>n-; to the apostles ; and although they are by no means 
un.-uitahle in that connexion, yet it must be confessed that the last 
addr.--.-v; of (Jhrist, like the great concluding discourses reported 
by John, afford us reason for considering it very probable that the 
fiord then made reference to the assistance of the Holy Spirit. 
rdin-ly, it appears that Mark and Luke have preserved, in 
tin-.- | true elements of the discourse of Christ, which Mat 

thew omit ted here because he had introduced them into previous 
diflcoui 

Ver. 15. Immediately after this description of the spread of 
the Gosp.-l through all nations, there follows a very minute repre- 

* Comp. Isaiah xir. 21, ff., ilix. 6, li. 5, lv. 5, hi. 7, Ix. 3, 9, Ixvi. 19, 20; Zcphan. 
ii.ll; Zouhar. ii. 11. 



236 MATTHEW XXIV. 15. 

sentation of the destruction of Jerusalem, without any pause "being 
observed, or any intimation being given, that what follows is to be 
separated from what has preceded. Luke s account espeei;illy, -which 
contains much that is peculiar, makes the reference to the destruc 
tion of the holy city unmistakable. This blending of the proximate 
and the most remote in one vision can be explained only by the 
principle we have laid down (ver. 1), as the ground on which our 
view of this section is founded : viz., that the destruction of Jeru 
salem is employed as the nearest point with which the last things 
necessarily remaining indefinite in their chronology could be con 
nected ; and that, according to the design of the Redeemer, this 
event itself was a type of the overthrow of the whole state of things 
obtaining in the present life, including the internal institution of 
the church. 

According to Matthew and Mark, the description of the Lord pro 
ceeds upon a prophecy of Danial. This express reference by the Re 
deemer to the book of Daniel, will always furnish the believer with 
an important argument for the retention of Daniel s writings in the 
canon, although he may not yet be able, on historical grounds, alto 
gether to surmount the critical doubts respecting them, which, as 
it seems to me, still remain, even after the most recent and very 
valuable attempt to demonstrate the authenticity of Daniel s pro 
phecies. - It is impossible that Christ should have employed Daniel, 
as he did here, unless he approved of the importance ascribed to the 
book bearing bis name. (In the text of Mark, the form of citation 
rb prjOev VTTO Aav/^A TOV Trpo0?/rov, is spurious, and merely interpolated 
from Matthew ; but it is evident that Mark has in his eye the same 
passage of Daniel as Matthew quotes.) The main passage here re 
ferred to by the Lord is the remarkable prophecy, Dan. ix. 26, 27, 
which we find more definitely expressed, Dan. xi. 31 ; xii. 11. Accord 
ing to my conviction, this cannot relate to Antiochus Epiphancs, 
but only to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. Although 
the calculation has its difficulties and these not slight ones (diffi 
culties which designedly exist in all dates connected with the- pro 
phecies of Scripture, because it is intended that the time should 
remain indefinite, and that nearer light concerning the future 
should be given to individuals only for special ends); yet the refer 
ence of the prophecy to this fact is throughout so distinct 1\ 
pressed, that it never ought to be mistaken. But if this 



* It appears to me that Daniel in the Old Testament, in a critical poinl stands 

parallel with the second epistle of Peter in the New Testament. Neither of them ran, 
on critical and historical grounds, be conclusively vindicated as the genuine writings 
of the auth jrs to whom they ;nv attributed. Meanwhile it is sufficient to s!ie\v that 
neither are the arguments against their authenticity conclusive, and that hence the 
question of authenticity, in regard to these writings, cannot bo solved on lustorico-criti- 
cal grounds. 



MATTHEW XXIV. 15. 237 

reference of tin- prcdii-tion cannot be doubted, so neither can the 
e\p: }! <i T /""/$ tpi](i6ffe6tf t aboiitiitiitnm of desolation 

( = ecihs fs^r; the expression is best taken as meaning the horror 
utlcmlant mi universal devastation and destruction ; the context 
would seem to point to some particular scene of horror conspicuous 
in the general desolation) be applied to the events in the time of 
Antiochus, but can only relate to what transpired when the city was 
demolished by the Romans. Now since Jesus applies the pass, 
to this very fact, he here uses the prophetic words in their most 
literal sense. But what occurrence at the time of the fall of Jeru 
salem is denoted by this obscure expression (it is chosen in con 
formity with the LXX.; the version of Theodotion, which, as is well 
known, is generally used in the book of Daniel, has /3c5tAvy^a TOJV 
^pT/uuiffewj ) we are not definitely informed ; and it must necessarily 
remain a matter of uncertainty, because, according to the character 
of prophecy, the actual fact ultimately contemplated, as the imme 
diate precursor of Christ s advent, only had its feeble types in the 
period of the destruction. Two objects, however, must be decidedly 
excluded ; the passage cannot have reference either to the band of 
zealots who caused a massacre in the temple, or to the Roman army. 
Neither of these has any religious character ; but such a character 
is indicated by the expression /Wt Avy/m, abomination, in its connex 
ion with roTTog ayior, holy place; and the idea that the passage 
refers to the Roman army is merely occasioned by a mistaken com 
parison of Luke xxi. 20, who should be treated independently, be 
cause he gives another report of the discourse of Christ. The 
expression ro-rrog dyiog, holy place (for which Mark has OTTOV ov (JeZ, 
that is, ubi nefas est), cannot relate to the Holy Land ; it can be 
applied only to the temple, because in the original text the words 
are c;:=-V?. And, moreover, the expression ioroc, standing (with 
Frit/sche, 1 prefer the neuter because it refers to pd&vyfia) is 
incompatible with either reference, to the zealots or the Ro 
mans. The most consistent hypothesis is, that the profanation of 
the temple by idolatrous worship is the phenomenon alluded to ;* 
but as the historical accounts respecting the attempts made to 
introduce it, afford us but little satisfactory information, it is diffi 
cult to fix upon anything specific. According to Josephus (Bell. 
Jud. ii. 7), Pilate attempted to set up the statue of the emperor, 
though not in the temple. Jerome (in his commentary on tip- ; 

, that a statue of Adrian occupied the place of the demolished 
temple ; but this was after its destruction, whilst here the diflOOV 

* The expression is in tho highest degree favourable to this view. Suidas 

explains it thu-i : rr ;: fMu/.oi cn -,.,j luaJ.tlTO ^apii Iov6aioif, 

every image and every likeness of man teas thus called among the Jews. In tho Hebrew 
also, pij is used especially of religious impurity, and f*SV are plainly &&. (Comp. 
Gesenius sub verb ) 



238 MATTHEW XXIV. 15. 

relates to occurrences before that catastrophe. Such events, there 
fore, furnish only feehle analogies to that which is tin.- proper suhject 
of this prophecy. Paul (2 Thess. ii. 4) affirms this distinctly and 
beyond all mistake, and the possibility of such a fearful develop 
ment of sin in times of external civilization and culture is again 
strikingly proved by the French Revolution, with its idolatrous wor 
ship of reason. 

A further difficulty is occasioned by the parenthesis in Matthew 
and Mark, 6 dvayivuaicuv voeirw, let him that readeth understand. 
That the Lord himself uttered these words with reference to the 
text of Daniel, does not appear to me probable ; in such a case 
something more definite would have been added, as, fpr example, 
"the words of the prophet" (rd rov 7rpo0r/Tot>). But if these 
are the words of the Evangelist, appended by him to direct the 
attention of his contemporaries to this passage, then the question 
occurs, whether they will not afford a date for the composition of 
the Gospel. It is by no means improbable that if Matthew recog 
nized the near approach of the dreadful destruction of the metrop 
olis, in the signs that preceded it, he might have felt it right to 
add such a hint for his readers ; this hint, however, gives us no 
premises from which to deduce anything further than that the Gos 
pel of Matthew must have been composed shortly before the de 
struction of Jerusalem ; the uncertainty as to the particular events 
to which Matthew may have referred in what he added, docs not 
permit us to fix the time more precisely.* 

Here the account given by Luke is peculiar. As we have already 
remarked, the interpretation of the words quoted in Matthew and 
Mark, by a reference to Luke, as meaning the Roman army, is evi 
dently forced ; Luke gives another version of the Lord s discourse. 
Still it is not improbable that the particulars preserved by him are 
genuine constituent parts of the original discourse of the Redeemer. 
In Luke xix. 43, 44, we find the same idea that of the city being 
invested by enemies, and the siege proceeding against it ; but that 
passage cannot be regarded as a post eventum description of what 
happened during the siege of Titus, because the Old Testament 
contains representations precisely similar. (Comp. Isaiah xxix. 3; 
Jerem. vi. 6; Ezek. xvii. 17.) Luke xix. 43, not only represents 
the ci*T as beleaguered, but describes the mode of the blockade, by 
means of a mole thrown up. (Xr/ /xv^ signifies vallum or a- MT. an 
artificial elevation, by HUMUS of which besiegers endeavour to reach 
the walls of the blockaded city. Ezek. xvii. 17, the LXX. use the 
expression #apa/co/3o/U a for this form of siege. The passage. Luke 

* Hug Einl. in s N. T. Tli. ii. P. U, goes too far when he thinks this passage gives 
ground for the inference that the Romans must already have occui and must 

havo boon on the point of taking Judea also, when Matthew wrote these words. 



MATTHEW XXIV. 1C-21. 239 

xix. 44, is the only instance in -which MW,v s "V.) occurs in the New Tes- 
tament. It sanities literally [from MW> >r] to level with the 
ground, then generally to overthrow, to annihilate. In this wider 
signification, the expression is extend d also to the children of 
Jerusalem \-< i r//.- / </ aov lv <rot].) 

Ver. 16-21. In the following verses the reference to the destruc 
tion of Jerusalem again presents itself unmistakeably in many par 
ticular features. The judgment is described as breaking in so .sud 
denly and inevitably, that the- utmost haste is recommended, and 
this very haste, as well as the entire surrender of all earthly posses 
sions (comp. the same thought Luke xvii. 31) retains its significance 
in the typical application of this description to the advent of the 
Lord. The Lord will also preserve believers who yield themselves 
with child-like confidence to His guidance, in a safe hiding-place 
(comp. the remarks on ver. 31), against the universal devastation 
and destruction. (The mountains are mentioned as the places diffi 
cult of access to troops making an assault, and it must be borne in 
mind that the houses were flat, so that the inhabitants could make 
an immediate descent from the roof to the open fields, and effect a 
more speedy flight. We have a perfect parallel to this description 
in Luke xvii. 31, which passage treats of the advent of the Lord 
under the figure of the destruction of Jerusalem.) The calamity 
itself a ppears inevitable, but prayer might effect alleviations; as, 
for example, that the flight may not take place in the inclement 

>n of the year. Matthew has the peculiar addition, fj.ij6e oaftfidru, 

nor on the Sabbath. In interpreting this it must be observed that 

Is the law of the Sabbath as Divine, and part of the 

moral law] yet without sanctioning the rigid notions which prevailed 

among the Jews concerning the Sabbatic law as correct. In conclu- 

it may be observed that even this special description of the fall 
of Jerusalem is not without allusion to the coming of the Lord, as 
is shown by ver. 21, win-re the (i9A,i i/>4? /teya A?/) great affliction, such 
as had not happened since the creation of the world, can only have 
reference to the rpwan v-ih especially as it is added : oi 6 ov JUT) 



Here again the representation of Luke so decidedly differs, 
that it requ:; irate consideration, as a peculiar version. Je 

rusalem was cxpivssly named as the besieged city, ver. 20; and so 
also in the> following verses of Luke the same application of the 
lan-U -e is must decidedly retained Jerusalem bein-- described, 
ver. 24, as destroyed 1,\- (u-ntile nations. Even the mention of the 
t period of suffering is made in such a manner as not to convey 
80 express ;i reference to the coming of Christ as that in Matthew 
and Mark. It is designated (ver. 23) : <<o; / " ." " . ~ ni ~ l : t , wralh 
upon this people, and accordingly this destruction appears to be 



240 MATTHEW XXIV. 16-21. 

merely a judgment upon the Jews. But the supposition that 
the account of Luke relates merely to this fact, without making 
any rd crence to the advent of the Lord, is most decidedly op 
posed by verse 24 in its immediate connexion with verse -~>. In 
the former the time of the Genjiles is represented as being 
fulfilled, and in the latter the signs of the Farousia are de 
scribed as altogether unmistakeable ; so that we cannot admit 
any essential difference between the statements of Matthew and 
Mark compared with those of Luke. The points of difference have 
more to do with single features in the representation than with the 
matter itself. (Ver. 21, the words KV /zt aw avri"^, in the midst of 
it, refer to Jerusalem. The city is brought into contrast with its 
environs [x,upai<f\. Those believers who were in the city were to 
flee out of it [and thus it came to pass, for the Christians fled be 
yond the Jordan to Pella], while those who were already out of it 
were not to seek safety in it, because the city, with everything in it, 
was to become a prey to destruction. E/^wpeu occurs nowhere else 
in the New Testament. Verse 22 expressly designates the destruc 
tion of Jerusalem as a Divine act of judgment [concerning cKdiKrjng, 
comp. the remarks on Luke xviii. 3, 7] already predicted in the 
Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament.) The form Trdvra -a yeypafj.- 
jiteva, all things written, cannot have reference only to the passage 
Matt. xxiv. 15, quoted from the prophet Daniel ; on the contrary, it 
comprehends the entire sum of those prophecies and types in the 
Old Testament, which set forth the wrath of God against the nation 
of Israel. Hence we must begin with the curse pronounced by 
Moses upon the people if they would not obey the voice of God 
(Deut. xxviii. 15, ff.), and connect with it the threatenings of all 
holy men and prophets, in which they denounced punishments upon 
unbelief and disobedience. And even if these had their preliminary 
fulfilment in many oppressions endured by the nation as may be 
said, for example, of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnez 
zar, and the captivity of Israel in Babylon yet all previous suffer 
ings appear insignificant when compared with the ruin of the city 
by the Romans. All prior judgments, therefore, are types of this 
last and proper act of Divine justice, which followed the rejection of 
the Messiah, the highest and also the final act in the manifestation 
of the grace of the Lord. (Comp. Matt. xxi. 38, ff., where the Lord, 
in His parable, connects the judgment with the expulsion of the 
Son.) This is especially true of the Babylonish exile, to which there 
appears to be an allusion in the words of Luke, ver. 24. a^aAamcr- 
O/ /aovTai $ Trdvra rd t-Ovr], they shall be led captive among all nations. 
The carrying away of Israel from the land of his fathers to Babylon 
was only a prelude to the general captivity of the Israelites (pre 
dicted by Moses, Deut. xxviii. 64) among all nations, from one end 



MATTHKW XXIV. M 21. 241 

of the earth to (lit- oilier. Thus the whole world was opened to 
them, evivptin-- only the holy city the centre of all their hopes 
and desires -this (since the time of Adrian) was closed against 
them. It was accessible to none but Gentiles, who made the holy 
place a place of idolatrous worship and licentiousness. (TlarA,), like 
Kd-< tfl also used by the profane writers in the sense of con 

temptuously treading under the feet, abusing. Hence it invol\<- 
the idea t>t audacity and sinfulness as the only source from which 
aliUsc can spring. There is but one other instance of its occurrence, 
in the same signification, in the New Testament, viz. Rev. xi. 2, r//r 
Tr6Z.iv TT/V dylav -rrar^aovot tQvrj, the Gentiles shall trample on the holy 
city ; and this language appears to refer to our passage, thus afford 
ing no small confirmation to the view that the words before us, while 
peculiar to Luke, really belong to the discourse of the Lord.) 

The final clause of ver. 24, " until the times of the Gentiles be 
fulfilled" (,VP* rr/l77pa>0J}<7 KatQol t-0fu>v), is of the highest significance. 
The main idea it expresses is, that nations, like individuals, have a 
limited time of development, beyond which they cannot pass. As 
Israel filled up the measure of his disobedience and then was re 
jected, so also the rule of the Gentiles over Israel has its term. 
True, these words contain no express information respecting the 
relation of Israel to the Gentiles, at the termination of their power 
over it ; but this may be gathered from other passages. According 
to Rom. xi. the rejection of Israel is not total, and therefore the ful 
filment of the " times of the Gentiles" is to be viewed as connected 
with the restoration of the Jews. And, on the other hand, this f\il- 
filment in relation to the Gentiles, is to be regarded as a judgment 
poured out upon them for the purpose of punishing and sifting 
them. (The prophets of the Old Testament speak in a similar 
respecting the nations whom the Lord used as scourges to 
his own people ; for a time they kept the ascendancy, and then they 
themselves were hurled down. See Isaiah x. 5, 12, 15 ; Zech. i. 14, 
15 ; Dan. ix. 2G, compared with xii. 11.) The meaning of the 
words certainly has its primary application to the Romans, as the 
nation by whom the Lord God permitted the Jews to be chastised. 
Pmt as the destruction of Jerusalem (according to the principle 
already laid down in our remarks on Matt. xxiv. 1) was employed 
only as the nearest great historical event to represent the description 
of the last time, so also the several circumstances in the history of 

* The time of the conversion of tho Gentiles is not the period referred to. The Lord 
does not here *\ n far as they also are objects of Divine favour, but 

BO far as they an* used as instruments in tho Divine government of tho world. (Comp. 
Schott in his Coram. p. 338. Tho passages, J< T. xxvii. 7, 1. 31, which Schott quotes, are 
illustrations in point.) Verso 25 throws decisive light on tho meaning of Luke in these 
words, for after tho description of tho sufferings of tho Jews, mention is made of tho 

t6vuv, distress of nations. 
VOL. II. 10 



242 MATTHEW XXIV. 22. 

the fornxT people have their further relation to this. A more mi 
nute view of this subject will be furnished in the intepretation of 
the passage, Rev. xi. 2, which is quite parallel with Luke xxi. 24, 
and contains a reference to Dan. xii. 11. 

Ver. 22. Whilst Luke immediately follows up the description 
of the C .ll of Jerusalem with the mention of prodigies which would 
be visible in heaven and on earth, Matthew (ver. 22-28) introduces 
between these points a more amplified description of the distress 
which he had mentioned, ver. 21 ; and Mark inserts a similar par 
agraph in the same place, only in a form somewhat more abbre 
viated. The peculiarity of the ideas is a guarantee for the correct 
ness of their position here, with this exception only that Luke 
employs ver. 27, 28 in a more appropriate connexion than that which 
they have in Matthew. Matthew xxiv. 22, describes the great afflic 
tion as so fearful that in the mercy of God a special curtailment 
would be necessary, for without this none (ov ~aaa = Vb tft) of the 
feeble race of men (adp$ = ito certainly signifies mankind generally, 
but with the accessory idea of weak, perishable elements contained 
in the mass) would survive the woe. (There can be no doubt that 
here "saved" (ou&aOai) primarily refers to the outward, corporeal 
life, so that the sense is : " all would be destroyed." But since the 
subject of discourse is a visitation of Divine justice, the corporeal 
destruction involves moral guilt ; the impossibility that the elect 
should perish, in this judgment of God, is parallel with the impossi 
bility of their being seduced [ver. 24]. KoAo/36w, from oAo/3of, lite 
rally signifies to mutilate, then to cut off, to shorten. This is the only 
instance of its occurrence in the New Testament. Now this abbrevia 
tion of the distress comes to pass for the sake of the elect (<ha rov<; 
t-/cA,KT(wf). The question might be asked, whether the design of the 
language is to represent the elect as exercising this influence merely 
by their presence, or whether the effect results from their prayer. 
But wherever the elect are, they are only to be conceived of as in 
prayer, so that the two senses coincide. Thus we find the same 
idea here as in the Old Testament (Gen. xviii.), that the saints ex 
ercise a preserving influence upon the whole mass. And the truth 
of this idea is easily seen if, instead of the ordinary view of human 
relations, which isolates the individual man, we adopt a more pro 
found one, according to which alike the human race as a whole, and 
single nations in their collective capacity, appear founded upon a 
vital, mutual influence of the individuals that constitute them. 
For this view shows the forbearance of God with the ungodly for 
the sake of the godly, as not resulting from arbitrary Divine dee: 
it springs from the natural connexion of the spiritual life of the 
mass, that those individuals in whom the germs of the nobler 
life are preserved, sustain the whole ; if they also become the 



MATTHEW XXIV. 23-26. 243 

prey of corruption, tin whole must sink. Tn the fall of Jerusalem 
this principle was hut very imperfectly reali/ed. True, the siege 
ini^lit have lasted longer, and the ruin might liave lieen such 
that nt a single person should have escaped : but li"\v it can bo 
paid that this was prevented for the sake of tl does not ap 

pear. For the Christians fled to Pclla, and this lli-ht was a proof 
that Jerusalem, with its inhabitants, was given over to destruction 
as incorrigible (like the world before the flood after No: val 

into the ark, and like the dwellers in Sodom after the flight of Lot 
to Zoar) ; not that God shortened their tribulation on account of 
the believers. Schott, indeed, thinks (p. 57) that we are not to 
understand by the elect the Christians, but such Jews as were about 
to go over to the Church of Christ. But the reference of the elect, 
ver. 24 and 31, to the members of the church, renders this hypoth 
esis quite untenable. This passage also evidently has its final refer 
ence to the advent of the Lord, preceded by the birth-pangs of the 
Messiah ; these will fall at once upon believers and unbelievers 
upon the former to perfect, upon the latter to punish them ; but for 
the sake of believers the merciful One will shorten them. It is not 
till after this (ver. 31) that believers are separated from their con 
nexion with unbelievers, and gathered together in a mountainous 
place (/oar) ; then the community of unbelievers, having lost its 
moral foundation, is plunged into irretrievable destruction. 

Ver. 23-26. The physical sufferings are accompanied further 
by sharp temptations ; deceiving and deceived men represent them 
selves as the Messiah and as prophets (comp. the remarks on Matth. 
xxiv. 4, 5). The temptation by pretended appearances of Divine 
messengers appears continuous in its operation upon the church, 
and, at the same time, advances in itself. According to this pas- 
. ii i< BO severe that even the elect might be deceived, if it 
did not involve an internal contradiction to suppose that the repre 
sentatives of the kingdom of light on earth would be overcome by 
darkness. The reference of the " elect" in this passage to any others 
than the apostles and beiievm-- members of the church, is ut: 

Untenable, t >r the whole- is a. directly to the apostles thm- 

Ilenee the \vnrds can only !> taken as meaning " so as to 
lead astray, if possible, ynn and aft the el-rt" (ware -/arTj^m t: *>-,<:- 
rbv,v;idr K ai n : it is only thus that the 

force of the admonition can be felt. A remarkable point in this 

is. that H _ r :is and \vond"rs are ascrib^ I ; . false ; r ; 
The-e li..-i M _r si^ns by which genuine prophe; i their author 

ity, inexperieM .ns might easily be d" ! " ed by them. Now, 

Imissi .n that mirac!"< mi -lit be performed bv t i!- - prophets, 
is an incMntc-table witness (as we have already remarked in t. 
position of Matth. iv. 12) that miracles cann >t prove the truth. 



244 



MATTHEW XXIV. 27, 28. 



The truth can only be proved by itself. a< tli" presence of light is at 
tested only by light itself. But the gift of miracles certainly shews 
the connexion of an individual with the spiritual world, whether 
with the world of light and truth, or with the kingdom of darkness 
and lies. The question whether an individual is acting in the spirit 
of light or of darkness, cannot long remain a matter of doubt to an 
upright person ; and, if miraculous powers are united with falsehood, 
this is to an enlightened mind so much stronger an intimation to 
keep aloof. The meaning which the Lord here intends to convey is 
enlarged upon by Paul (2 Thcss. ii. 9) and John (Rev. xiii. 12, ft.); 
but without the presupposition of a kingdom of darkness and its 
agency, we can have no possible conception of miracles of pseudo- 
prophets.* 

Ver. 27, 28. A contrast is drawn between the forms in which 
false Christs appear (v ry tp?///o>, in the desert iv TO?? ra/ue/o^, in the 
secret chambers ) are to be taken merely as general expressions for 
the antithesis between inhabited and uninhabited, concealed and 
openf), and the mode in which the only true Messiah is manifested. 
The latter is like an all-illuminating flash of lightning, which no 
one can mistake ; as easily as the former admits deception, the lat 
ter unmistakeably reveals itself. Granting that the figure of the 
lightning turns partly on the unexpected and startling suddenness 
of its appearance, yet the connexion absolutely requires that the 
main reference should be to its discernibleness and openness to uni 
versal observation. This is contrasted, as the test of the appearing 
of the true Messiah, with the pretended Messianic advents of im 
postors, who are always obliged to mask themselves, in one mode or 
another. Now, in what way this can relate to the so-called invi 
ible advent of the Lord at the destruction of Jerusalem, does not 
at all appear ; the words hare no sense except when applied to the 
coming of the Lord in the clouds of heaven. J In the text of Luke 
(xvii. 24) this figure of the lightning is worded somewhat differently: 
77 darpaTr?/, ^ doTpdrTTOvaa KK r7]<; im ovpavbv el$ rip vrr ovpavbv 



* The expression duo ova i crjiifla, shall give signs, forbids the supposition that the 
mere pretence of being able to work miracles is meant : it ascribes to false prophets the 
real power to perform them. Paul speaks expressly, 2 Thess. ii. 9, of the iripffta rov 
aaravu, working of Satan, which effects them. 

f This representation of the ministry of false prophets is strikingly descriptive of the 
spirit that inspires them. Instead of the open, transparent spirit of the true Gospel, they 
manifest a spirit of sedition which shuns the light, and is constantly under the necessity 
of hiding this or that from its all-revealing rays. 

J Schott is impartial enough to acknowledge the impossibility of applying 
to the invisible advent of Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem ; but he is inclined (since 
these verses are wanting in Mark and otherwise associated by Luke) to remove them al 
together from Matthew, .so that vor. 26 shall form the conclusion of the prophecy con 
cerning the destruction ofJcnisiilcin, and ver. 29 the commencement of tho prophecy re 
specting the advent of Christ (Comp. loc. cit. p. 72.) 



MATTIIKU- XXIV. 27,28. 245 

)<in-n ; whil-t "Mat the\v mentions the cardinal points of the earth : 
i l linrfia-ri i t-^ n\f-r<n il-n nrarn).i~n Ktii ( tfiiimit M.ir fii-atn~>i>. (Witli > /r 

/ lh \vonl \<;>(>u must be supplied; so that, even ac 
cording to Luke, tin- lanuMia-c denotes those regions of the heavens 
through which the lightning Hashes.) 

It is pn>l>al>lo, as \ve have already remarked, that this passage 
and ver. 28 do not constitute original parts of the discourse of the 
Lord. In Luke xvii. 24, 37, the two verses stand in a more exact 
connexion ; and besides this, we have seen that in the whole narra- 
tive of Luke, to which this passage also belongs, a closer train of 
thought is to be observed, which appears to rest upon accurate his 
torical accounts ; whilst Matthew, throughout his gospel, treats the 
elements of the discourses more freely. But ver. 28, STTOV yap lav y 
TO TTTtojua, licel avva\Oi]oovraL ol deroi, especially does not seem to 
stand in connexion with what precedes it, according to Matthew ; 
whilst in Luke the previous question (jrov Kvpte) renders the pro 
verbial sentence exceedingly appropriate to the description about to 
be given of the destruction of unbelievers. Now, as in Matthew, 
the unmistakeable coming of Christ, was described in the verses im 
mediately preceding, the connexion might seem to recommend the 
untenable interpretation, which makes the -nTti/ia mean Christ him 
self, and the de-oi believers collected around him.f But apart from 
the unsuitableness of the figure, we find no parallel case of such a 
relation between the Trrtifia and the .de-oi. On the contrary the itsus 
loquendi of the Old Testament (comp. Hab. i. 8 ; Jerem. xlviii. 40, 
xlix. 22 ; Job xxxix. 30) indicates the natural idea of the humilia 
tion and destruction of that which is given over to ruin. The only 
question is, how this idea coincides with the connexion. According 
to the context in Luke xvii. 37, the only way of understanding the 
passage is to take atiua, body, as meaning the Jewish state, de 
prived nf all life, and the deroi, eagles as the Romans completely 
putting an end to its existence (it is not improbable that allusion is 
made to the eagles of the legions) ; but both the former and the lat 
ter point, as types, to the last great catastrophes. In Matthew, 
however, this signification of the proverb is directly contrary to the 
connexion ; hence we must cither say that the passage is here inap 
propriately inaertod, <> r admit that .Matthew and Luke use the same 
aptlic--m in dillcivtit Benges. T i h- t inner view L must declare 
myself most decidedly opposed : because it would entirely rob the 
KvaM-eli-t of his character as an author of scripture ; and it isa!\ 
oh-ervable in his gospel, that .when- 1,,- ,lo,. s not preserve the original 
order he institutes a ne\v one. Accordingly, I adopt the other 

* In tin 1 i -uuo, is to be preferred to the reading xT-Ciua which 

has 1 iViiin Matthew. 

f So Fritzscho ^n loc.) who translates the words ; ubi Messias, ibi homines, qui cjun 
potestatis futuri slut 



246 MATTHEW XXIV. 29. 

hypothesis. But there arc two modes in which the connexion with 
what precedes may be formed. Either cayles must be referred back 
(with Fleck, loc. cit. 384) to the ^evdoxptoroi, false Christs (vor. iM). 
so that the meaning is, " where corruption has become general, there 
men are immediately found who know how to employ it for tin-M 
own ends ;" or else the yap f for, must be allowed to decide for the 
immediate connexion of ver. 28 with ver. 27, and the " eagles" must 
be interpreted as descriptive of the Messiah coming to inflict pun 
ishment upon the corrupt Israel. The latter view is grammatically 
preferable, on account of the for, which it is more difficult to con 
nect with ver. 26 ; for this reason Fritzche adopts it, only, as we 
have remarked, applying 7r-c5/za to the Kedeemer an application 
which appears to me inadmissible. But one thing only can be ad 
duced against this view, viz., that the plural (de-oi) does not pro 
perly apply to the appearing of Christ. But if his appearing be 
conceived as connected with that of angels (as required by Matthew 
xxv. 31), this difficulty is solved. The nobler expression derog = 
ij3, Isaiah xl. 31, is in other passages also used metaphorically in 
the good sense.* The figure strictly required, not eagles, but vul 
tures, because the eagle only devours living animals ; but the names 
of kindred animals are not unfrequently interchanged. (Comp. 
Gesenius in his lex. sub verb, i^.:.) 

Ver. 29. The correctness of our interpretation of the Lord s pro 
phecy respecting his advent, as developed at the beginning of this 
chapter, is not more evident in any passage than in the difficult verse 
which now follows. Whatever other explanation is offered, the diffi 
culties are not solved. For if all that is now added be referred, like 
what has preceded, to the destruction of Jerusalem, without allowing 
the description of the Lord s advent to be blended with this ; then, 
in the first place, it does not appear how the dMipig, affliction (by 
which, according to the connexion, we can understand only the 
events described, ver. 21, and not the temptation by false pro- 
ver. 24) can be represented as past (comp. ^erd ri\v QM^IV r&v 
fjHeptiv tetv6)v), since the destruction itself (by some understood 
as the invisible coming of Christ) is the affliction. And in the 
second place, the description of the miraculous signs (ver. 29), and 
the details of the Parousia itself (ver. 30, 31) are by no means suited 
to the fact of the destruction of Jerusalem. But if a pause in the 
repivsentation of Jesus be supposed (as Schott suggests), and the 
foregoing part lie applied to the fall of Jerusalem, while the sequel 
is taki ii as l)cloi)-i:i^ to the coming of Christ at the end of the 
world, then, Although the words pera T/)V 0Ati/v, after the affliction, 
gain their right signification, evdeuf, immediately, is inexplicable, 



* O Rev. viiL i::, where tho term atrof is applied to an 

angel. Tl.e text. rec, also re , in tho pas 



MATTHEW XXIV. 29. 

and ver. 33, 34, refer every tiling (-<irra ravra) again to the iimii -- 
diate presence uf the apostles. Tin- interpretat imi which Schott (p. 
( .i . ) attempts to give of lien he compares it with tin- Ile- 

bivw cxrs.and takes it in the sense of " suddenly," "unexpectedly." 
is only to In- re-arded ifl a shift ; for this scholar himself sees there 
in a i alse rendering by the unknown translator of our Greek Mat 
thew from the Hebrew original. If there appeared no other choice, 
1 \\onld rather adopt the tine conjecture of Weber (conjectimu ad 
Mt. _ 4. Viteb. 1810), that ei-Otus belongs to the precedin 
and ver. 29 opens with the words : nerd de rqv OMifuv K. r. A. ; but. 
the exact agreement of the manuscripts speaks too strongly for the 
integrity of the text* to render a conjecture admissible in this pas 
sage. But according to the fundamental view of prophecy which 
we have laid down, this verse coincides with the connexion very 
naturally. The representation of the Redeemer certainly marks a 
progression in the several events of the future concerning which he 
speaks, so that the following great signs, taking place in the hea 
vens, stand in contrast with the commotions on earth previously 
described, and the distress of all nations (according to Luke) with 
that of the Jewish people ; thus it was proper to speak of these sub 
sequent events as following the afflictions of those days (//era T?)J 
Okii}>iv r&v ?)/iQtiv t/ctivcji ). Nevertheless this entire circle of suc- 
ccssive events is transferred to the immediately coming present (ac 
cording to the principles already laid down) ; and therefore e0t wc, 
immediately (which Mark explains by the words iv Kudvatq ralg 7//it- 
paig, in those days), was used, quite consistently, in its literal sense, f 
(Ha^ai, ii. 6, similarly ascribes the great movements of heaven and 
earth to the immediate present ; he employs the expression *n $, 
that is, after a short time, evflewc.) The unity of the whole picture 
(in which 110 divisions whatever can be distinguished) is most strik 
ingly obvious in Luke, who, with a nal tVrat, and there shall be, xxi. 
25, links the following description to the preceding one, which re 
fers most definitely to Jerusalem. 

According to the scope of the wholo and the succeed in-- verses 
(30, 31) do not leave a doubt on this subject the signs (ntjiina) in 
the sun, moon, and stars, cannot be interpreted allegoriealiy, as re- 
pres.-iiting political or ivelesiastieal relations and their dissolution ; 
lor politieal disturbances have already been spoken of, ver. 7. And 
just as little is t! exhaustfd. if tin- language is understood 

as referring to ordinary and frequently recurring phenomena, which 
were only at tic. tided as prodigies, f,r example, e.-lipses of 

* Throughout tin- \vh .ore is not the slightest difference in the MSS., which 

is seldom the case in passapc-H of any importance. 

f A reference of tfOi ur to the Divine chronometry (according to 2 IVter iii. 8), is not 
here adin <> human conception.* 

(Coinp. the question, Mattli. xxh . 



248 MATTHEW XXIV. 29. 

the sun and mooii, or falling stars. It would be preferable to 
explain the signs in the sun and moon, of their obscuration during 
earthquakes, by evaporations and volumes of smoke ; this is a very 
extraordinary and terrific phenomenon, and would well correspond 
with the raging of the sea (Luke xxi. 25), which often accompanies 
earthquakes. But the parallel passages of the Old Testament 
point too definitely to another view to allow of our retaining this. 
The Old Testament which is followed by the New in the idea 
alluded to never isolates our globe, as a separate sphere, from the 
heavenly world and its orbs, as the modern philosophy usually does; 
on the contrary, heaven and earth make up one perfect whole. 
Hence mighty phenomena on earth influence alike previously and 
subsequently the heavenly world. (Thus with the star that led the 
Magi at the birth of Christ ) On this principle the prophets pre 
dict not merely violent commotions on the earth, but with them 
similar events in heaven ; and these are by no means viewed as in 
cidentally coinciding, but as necessarily connected. The Creator of 
heaven and earth, in the exercise of his sovereign rule, makes the 
upper and the lower worlds simultaneously tremble from their foun 
dations. Among the passages in which such celestial phenomena are 
predicted, Isaiah xiii. 10, xxiv. 23, xxxiv. 4 ; Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8 ; 
Joel ii, 30. 31 ; Hagg. ii. 7, are specially to be noticed. In the last of 
these, God promises that at the time when he sends the Messiah (whose 
first and second advents are viewed as coincident, according to the 
usual mode of representation) he will shake heaven and earth, the 
sea and the dry land. Our passage is in perfect correspondence 
with this language ; Matthew and Mark detail the commotion in 
the heavenly world, Luke gives greater prominence to the disturb 
ance on earth. Hence the obscurations of the sun and the moon 
are most correctly interpreted of extraordinary phenomena in the 
Celestial regions themselves ;* and so also with the expression : 
" the stars shall fall from heaven" (darepeg neaovvrai d-b rov 
ovpavov J. There is here no reference to stars falling to the earth, as 
is said of a star, Rev. viii. 10, in symbolical language : Ili-reiv, fall, 
may therefore be taken (as Schott, p. 78, very justly remarks) 
for tK-iTT-etv, perish, disappear, j* Not that absolute destruction is 
meant ; but simply that violent shakings and fearful commotions 
of the heavenly bodies will, for a time, withdraw them from the 
eye of man, and veil everything in awful night. This idea is well 
supported by the expression oateveoOai (from aa Aof, salum, the roll- 



* The term ^ej -j of is used among the Attics, by way of distinction, for moonlight, 
daylight. But the distinction is not constantly observed. (Comp. Passo\v in 
the lex. sub verb.) 

f Compare the parallels in the Old Testament, Isaiah xiv. 12 (where the king of 
Babylon is described as a falling morning star, -ini ,a VlsTt), and xxxiv. 4, where the 
LXX. have the phrase iruvra ru uarpa ireoelrai, 



MATTI IK w XXIV. 30. 249 

ing sea [lound in the Xe\\ Tt slament only in tliis passage and in 
Luke], hence to he moved up and down, to be tossed). Probably 
tin- \v<>rd contains an allusion to tin: parallel in llaggai (t^?" ? 
e:ttir;-nx), although the LXX. have rendered it by oeiw. The only 
remaining expression in which there is any difficulty is dvvd^eig -tiv 
or(>fmr>r, JUKI; /-,v <>/ In nc n. Since the stars have already been men 
tioned, this cannot, without tautology, be understood as meaning 
the heavenly host, the Q*fcn was. The best interpretation make* 
dwuitnc si-nify the angelic world. (Comp. the remarks on Kev. ix. 
1.) For in part oaXeveaOai, shaken, may be applied to spiritual 
commotion (2 Thcss. ii. 2), and partly we are to conceive alike of 
the angels and their dwelling-place the entire upper sphere as 
appearing to be moved. Hence we need not understand the lan 
guage metaphorically. But as to the remark of Schott, that dwdfiei^, 
powers, in the sense of higher powers, angels, does not occur in 
connexion with orpav&v, of the heavens, Bretschneider (in his lex. 
Pt. i. p. 262) shows that in the Apocrypha mention is made of 
ovpaviuv dwcqiEuv, heavenly powers (comp. also 2 Kings xvii. 16, ac 
cording to the LXX.); and there appears to be no reason whatever 
why that connexion should be inadmissible, especially as it is in the 
highest degree probable that the designation of stars as God s host 
is founded in the idea of the ancients, that tiie stars were animated 
and inspired by spirits. 

, AYhile then Matthew and Mark describe the celestial phenomena 
which will usher in the Parousia, Luke points also minutely to the 
violent earthly commotions that will precede it. These are desig 
nated, in contrast with the earlier sufferings of the Jews in Pales 
tine (Luke xxi. 21), as about to come upon the whole earth (y?/, 
okov/it-r//), and upon all nations (tOvij). (Matth. xxiv. 30, we find 
instead of those forms, the expression : Trdaat al 0vAat -7^ y/)c.) 
The words of Luke, im r/Jf y/Jf OVVO^TJ idv&v iv drropta TIXOV^ 
Oaldooift KOI odkov, contain an important various reading, which 
Schulz has even received into the text. The Codices A.B.L.M. and 

ral others read //x oucr^ but the substantive may still be prefer 
able as the more diliicult reading. ( A-ropm 7/^ouf signifies "per 
plexity on account of the roaring of the sea." The meaning is 
that the dreadful commotion of the elements will render men 
altogether helpless and bereft of their senses, not knowing what 
Dext awaits them [irpoodMcfa rtfv ^Treggoplyuv]. ^.vvoxn occurs in only 
one other instance, 2 Cor. ii. 4, connected \vith/.up(5/ao. The figure is 
derived from ti " ,- iullueiire of distress as revealed in a 

(nrn>\ii, /,<,/<lin>/ f>"j< (In /) compression. ..//,///, ni/ig. 

Ver. :;<>. All three Kvangeli- in connecting the Parousia 

of the Son of Man immediately with these signs by a ---. f/n-n 
But Matthew alone remarks, with reference to the question of the 



250 MATTHEW XXIV. 30. 

disciple.-; (Matth. xxiv. 3), that immediately before the return of 
the Lord, another special sign of the Son of Man (nrmtlov rov vlov 
rov dvOpu-ov) will appear in heaven. It is impossible to determine 
this with precision, as it is spoken of only in this passage. Most 
probably a star is meant (in allusion to Numb. xxiv. 17); so that 
just as before the birth of Jesus a star was seen which heralded his 
coming like the morning star that precedes the sun at its rising 
a similar sign will appear before his second advent. Tims much is 
certain (on account of the article,) that a definite sign is to be under 
stood, so that the expression cannot relate (as Schott thinks) to the 
signs described, ver. 29; and, in like manner, it cannot be intended 
to designate an earthly event or an invisible occurrence in the church, 
since the words iv roi ovpavti, in heaven, which cannot be joined to 
vlbg rov dvOpurov, are expressly connected with it. But all conjec 
tures for which there is absolutely no scriptural warrant (for exam 
ple, that a cross will be seen in the heavens) are best left in their 
own uncertainty. The sight of this decisive sign will awaken terror 
in the (unbelieving) nations of the earth (comp. the remarks on 
KoTrreoOai, Matth. xi. 17 ; Luke viii. 52), and they will then behold 
the solemn Parousia of the Son of Man. It is beyond all doubt, 
that the following description neither relates to an invisible advent 
of Christ, nor can be. understood in any metaphorical sense what 
ever. For although tp^ecrOat and f/iceiv (come), alone might be so 
understood (comp. the observations on Matth. xxiv. 1), no passage 
can be adduced in which the complete phrase, tp^erat 6 vlb$ rov 
dvOpd)-ov iv v&p6Xcus nerd dwdneug nai do^rj^, the Son of Man comcth 
in the clouds of heaven with power and glory, can with any proba 
bility be thus understood. (Comp. Matth. xxvi. 64 ; Mark xiv. 62; 
1 Thess. iv. 16, 17 ; 2 Pet. iii. 10 ; Kev. xix. 11 ; Dan. vii. 13, 14.) 
Let any one, with an unprejudiced mind, place himself within the 
sphere of ideas familiar to the hearers of Jesus, and he will enter 
tain no doubt that the clouds, in which he promises to appear, are 
literally clouds of light. (In Kev. xix. 11 we find, instead of this 
expression, the metaphor of a white horse, denoting swiftness of 
motion and brightness.) These are to form, us it were, the basis on 
which the Redeemer, descending from Heaven, will rest, while 
brightness (<Joa = tiaa) encircles the whole of the sublime phe 
nomenon. According to constant custom, deeply founded in the 
nature of man, all appearances of Grod are surrounded with light, 
in the Old Testament as well as in the New ; there is no imagina 
tion whatever, individual or national, that can conceive of the Deity 
under any other image than that of light. Aui>a//<r, power, however, 
is not to be taken merely as a synonym of 6o& ; in this instance it 
unquestionably has the si-nili -ation of host (= &:" *<=*. which 
the LXX. in the passage, 2 Kings xvii. 16, translate fi 



XXIV. 31. 251 

f of), since it belongs to the pomp of the Parousia, that the 
Lrd d0ei not come al<n<-, but with tlie liust of his holy - 
(Malth. xvi. -J7, xxv. 31 ; Jnde, ver. 14 ; li-.-v. xix. 14). It is fur 
ther !, tliat, iu like manner, according to a coii>t:int UNUS 
toy" n>//\ the Kedcemer re presents himself ID his coming as tlie Sou 
of .Man, not as the Son of God. Here there might b" an a]ipeal, on 
the one hand, to the general use which tin Saviour n. this 
name, when lie speaks of himself ; and on the other to passages such 
as Dan. vii. 13, 14, which the Lord may have had in view. Yet there 
is still a peculiar significance in the fact, that this name which 
denotes the ideal humanity of the Lord is constantly employed in 
the description of his advent ; for by this means, we have the most 
distinct assurance of the reality and corporeality of his appearance. 
The return of the Son of Man necessarily presupposes his ascension 
in a gloritied body, and his sitting, in this glorified body, at the right 
hand of God. 

Luke makes the transition to the next thought in a very appro 
priate manner, xxi. 28. After the impression of the return of the 
Lord upon the tribes of the earth (0vAat r% yw) has been described, 
there follows a representation of its effect upon believers. To the 
former it is the essence of everything terrific, because of its imme 
diate connexion with the judgment ; to the latter, it is the essence 
of everything desired, because it is the commencement of their 
promised bliss in the kingdom of God (ver. 31). That kingdom, in 
relation to the sufferings of the present, takes- the form of redemp 
tion (d-oXvrpuai$) to the saints. The same term, indeed, applies 
(like ou&aOcu, Matth. xxiv. 22), in the primary sense, to release from 
the external troubles of the aluv ovrog ; but so far as these are the 
results of sin, deliverance from the former involves freedom from the 
latter. (Concerning the expression drro^vrpiopig, comp. the remarks 
on Matth. xx. 28. There is also mention made of an d-w/lurpoxTif 
rod ouparof , redempf toft of the body, Rom. viii. 23 [the connexion 
points to the corporeal glorification, as the deliverance from fiaratorrjg, 
vanity, </</,/, ver. 20], but this also presupposes a spiritual re 
demption.) 13elie\vrs may joyfully anticipate this attainment of 
the final goal at the time of the Parousia. ("ApxeoOui, begin, is 
here by no means redundant ; on the contrary, the events described 
are viewed in their gradual development, and treated as affording 
encour;; and consolation to the members of Christ s king 

dom. mployed, Luke xiii. 11, to denote the phy 

sical aet of looking up ; here it, is a metaphorieal cxpiv.-M !! fur a 
hopeful, confident state of mind.) 

.-. 31. Luke contents himself with indicating the relation of 
the Parousia to the saints ; but Matthew and Mark dwell more de 
finitely on the Divine agency by which they will be delivered from 



252 MATTHEW XXIV. 31. 

all danger and trouble. Whilst the appearing of the Lord is 
fraught with destruction to unbelievers, the elect will be removed, 
by a sublime arrangement, from all peril, and collected 1^-vther in 
one (safe) place. That this passage does not relate merely to Pales 
tine, and the believers in that land, is shewn by the expressions : 
in TU>V T<7<rapwv dvffutv t from the four winds, (rr.fnn ??-N, 1 Chron. 
ix. 24 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 9 ; Kev. vii. 1), and art dupw ovpav&v tw? 
a/cpwv avrtivjfrom one end of heaven to the other ,* both of which 
phrases metaphorically denote the widest extent of the earth. Just 
as little can the language refer to the diffusion of the Gospel (as an 
invisible gathering of the nations), for it is not the heathen, but 
those already converted, who will be gathered together. (The gen 
eral proclamation of the Gospel has already been spoken of, ver. 14.) 
Nor can this passage be applied even to the general union of all the 
saints in the kingdom of God, which would presuppose the resur 
rection. (On that subject, comp. 1 Thess. iv. 17 ; 2 Thess. ii. 1, 
where the t-Tuawaywy?/, gathering, of believers with the Lord, after 
the resurrection, is the subject of discourse.) For in conformity 
with the question of the disciples (ver. 3), the whole representation 
of the Lord refers only to the time and the signs of his coming. 
Hence the picture embraces all that precedes that event, up to his 
appearing in the clouds (ver. 30) ; but the advent itself, and the oc 
currences connected with it the resurrection of the dead, the cloth 
ing of the living with immortality, and their removal to the 
presence of the Lord (2 Cor. v. 4 ; 1 Thess. iv. 17) are left 
untouched. In the whole description, the Redeemer specially has 
in view the moral design to excite holy earnestness and vigilance, as 
well as to afford encouragement in the conflict of this life. 

According to passages of the Old Testament (comp. Isaiah xi. 
12, ff.; xxvi. 20, xxvii. 13; Ezek. xxxvi. 24; Zechar. x. 8, ff.), it 
would seem that before the resurrection of the just, all the dispersed 
Israelites will be gathered together. (Comp. Eisenmenger s Entd. 
Judenth. Pt. ii. p. 894, 95.) We may suppose that the <1< ^i-n of 
this gathering is, first, to separate them from the mass of unbe 
lievers, so that they may be removed from the punishments that 
will fall upon that classf (Luke xxi. 36, Iva Kara^MO^re t K (f> v y e I v 
ravra rravra); and, secondly, to unite them more closely together, 
so that the manifestation of the Lord may not be beheld by a lew 



* Equal to c"Cn n-jj; :yi c-^ar; nsptt, Dcut. iv. 32, xiii. 7 ; xxviii. 64. In a 
similar manii T, .lui.n (!;. vii. 1) speaks of the rirraapac yuvin^ T/~- 

f The book of i x. 11-21) describes this judicial punishment of the 

\vicked at the Parousia. The gathering of believers is not mentioned, but according to 
Rev. xviii. 4, it is presupposed, for in chap. xx. th -v appear preserved and ruling with 
the Lord. The community of bclieuix j-; the bri<!e (xix. 7) to whom the 1 
Bridegroom comes. The gathering together of the wicked (Rev. xvi. 14, 15) forms the 
antithesis to that of the saints. 



MATTHEW XXIV. 32, 33. 253 

individuals Mily, but the privilege may I- shared in common by the 
great body of his believing people. In relation to ih- iii.~; object, 
this separation and gathering of believers has its type in tin: gather 
ing together of Noah s descendants in the ark, of Lot s family in 
Zoar, and of the Christians of Jerusalem in IVlla. (Comp. the re 
marks on Bev. til 10.) It is only in this view that the following 
exhortations to fidelity and watchfulness gain their true significance; 
for (his implies the possibility of escaping the dreadful events at 
the Parousia, and being removed to the place of safety. AA regards 
the angels sent forth with the loud sounding trumpet, by whom the 
collection is accomplished, it has already been remarked at Matth. 
xiii. 51, that the expression dyyehog is often applied to^mman mes 
sengers and instruments of the Lord. Now the words fiera odfatyyos, 
with a trumpet, seem to render it improbable that we are here to 
understand d^-eAovf as meaning men (comp. Schott, p. 119); for 
this mode of speech is never employed in reference to the preaching 
of the Gospel. But if it be considered that the adh-rny!; would 
seem to denote less the communicating of a doctrine than the power 
of the Spirit by which persons are awakened and brought together 
for a definite object, then it does not appear why this efl ective energy 
may not as well be ascribed to human individuals who are endowed 
with the Spirit [?]. In the Revelation also (chap, viii.) the seven 
angels with trumpets may be regarded as meaning individuals who 
exert upon the church a specially powerful, awakening energy [?]. 
(Comp. Matth. xxv. 31, concerning the angels who accompany Jesus 
on his return.) 

Ver. 32, 33. Here Christ concludes the communication of actual 
events connected with the Parousia. In a parable (respecting Trapa- 
/3oA?y, see the remarks on Matth. xiii. 3) probably suggested by a fig- 
tree in the neighbourhood he compares the course of natural devel 
opment with that of the seed of God s kingdom. The vernal swell 
ing of the branches (drraAof, literally " tender," " soft ;" this is the 
only instance of its occurrence) is placed along side of the commu 
nications respecting the near approach of the kingdom. (Ilence 
the words -rrdvra javra, all these things, are not to be applied merely 
to the concluding statements of the Lord, but embrace all that He 
said in reply to the question of the disciples.) Here, the connexion 
shews that we must conceive of the kingdom of God (according to 
Luke xxi. 31) as that state of things, commencing with the second 
coming of the Lord, when good will be also outwardly predominant. 
(Comp. the remarks on Matth. iii. 2.) The clement which wrought 
after the first advent of the Lord, in humility in the hidden realm of 
the Spirit, and could produce but comparatively feeMe outward 
etVects because sin still retained its ascendaney in the wh"le visible 
world will, at the second coming of Christ, reign triumphantly 



254 MATTHEW XXIV. 34, 35. 

over nature and mankind. And then- is yet another idea compre 
hended under the one name, " kingdom of God" (ftamfata rov Oof) 
which, although not developed here, is brought out very distinctly 
at a subsequent period (in the book of the Revelation) vi/., the 
kingdom of the saints upon the renovated earth (Eev. xx.), and the 
new heaven and the new earth (Rev. xxi.). The text of Luke some 
what differs in this parable ; but the difference is not essential. 
(The same parallel is extended to Trdvra TO. 6v8pa [ver. 29], and 
instead of iittyveiv ra 0v/l/la, the expression Trpo/MAAetv is used = rV*. 
[Comp. Gesenius sub verb.] The words a</> ai>rc5v yiruanetv, to 
know of ourselves, indicate that independence which can dispense 
with the guidance of another : " accordingly ye can judge from your 
own observation concerning the approach of the kingdom of God/ ) 
Ver. 34, 35. The use of the second person in the address, in the 
preceding verses, to the disciples, plainly shewed that the fulfilment 
of the Lord s predictions was conceived as transferred to the pres 
ent ; but a still more distinct impression than has yet been given is 
furnished by the declaration that everything previously spoken of 
(Trdv-a ravra) will come to pass in the lifetime of this generation 
(yeved = I ll). The statements of this passage cannot be applied 
either to the church (as the spiritual posterity of Christ), or to the 
people of Israel (as enduring to the end) ; both of these interpreta 
tions are inadmissible, partly upon philological grounds, and partly 
on account of the parallels, Matt. xvi. 28, xxiii. 36 ; in the first of 
which yeved, generation, is circumscribed by TIVKS r&v wde iarururv, 
some of those wlw stand here, and ^ -rrapepxeadai, not passing by, by 
p) yevoaoOai Oavdrov, not tasting death.* Teved is not used in the 
sense of nation in any one passage, either of the New Testament or 
of profane writers. If it relate to a particular people, for example 
to Israel, then it signifies the members of that people living at a 
particular time. There is only one instance in the version of the 
LXX. (Levit. xx. 18) where the yeved stands for e. (Comp. 
Schleusner lex. in LXX. vol. ii. p. 11.) But if this application of 
the term to the generation then living be retained here, then, ac 
cording to the ordinary interpretation of the passage, it must not 
be united with the foregoing reference to the return of the Lord.f 
Hence Schott (p. 131) most arbitrarily conjectures that here the 

* See, however, my opposing explanation of this at Matt. xvi. 28. " Some of those 
standing here" refers tliert-. I fri : >tles who, on the Mount of Trans 

figuration, would behold, before death, a glory typical of that which awaited the Saviour 
in his kingdom. [K. 

f "All these things" (rarra -nr-a. v. 33), are those general fortokenings (compared with 
tho gradual swelling of the bran of the Lord, nirrC P (which for Israel 

commenced in the year 7". .\.\> . ; t!ic d-ntilrs will boirin with the times of the 
Gentiles" Katpojc tOi-tii-). " All these things," v. 34, are precisely the same signs, since 
the words in v. 34 point clearly back to the same words in v. 33. Thf then existing 
generation was to live to seo all these signs. [E. 






MATTIIKW XXIV. llo. 

disc.iiirse suddenly returns 1 . (In.- destruction of Jerusalem. Such a 
chan-e, when then- is nothing to support it. cannot be supposed in 
any discourse. The instances adduced l>y Schott (p. 133) arc from 
the same chapter, and labour under the same arbitrariness ; and as 
l.i the observati .n tliat here the second person is used, whereas vcr. 
30, where something far later is spoken of, the third is employed 
i -rut. TUV fluv rov dvOpuTtov ^p^ojucvov) this proves nothing ; lor 
the third person refers to unbelievers, and the second to belie v 
The only \vay of explaining these difficulties is that which we have 
already stated viz., to view the prophecy with reference to the im 
mediate present, but in such a manner that everything includes a 
further reference to the future. 

Jesus (ver. 35) founds the truth of these predictions upon the 
nature of His words generally. They, being imperishable, form the 
antithesis to that which is perishable ; whatever is capable of per 
ishing, even in the highest and grandest object (heaven and earth = 
the universe), will perish ; the word of Christ cannot pass away. 
Here the word of Christ and the word of God are viewed as perfectly 
identical, for the same language was used, Matth. v. 18, in respect 
to the Old Testament as the word of God. And the sentence ol 6s 
Xoyot \i o v ov ftt] 7rapt A0<j(H, is by no means to be understood as merely 
meaning that the previous predictions would certainly be fulfilled, 
and that therefore the word of Christ is true ; for then it might be 
said that all the statements concerning the destruction of Jerusa 
lem, having been fulfilled, have already passed away and perished. 
On the contrary, the language in question traces the certainty of 
the fulfilment of the prophecies to the eternal nature of the Word 
of God, spoken by Christ who is the Word of the Father ; it follows 
from the nature of this word that it is never exhausted, and even 
its fulfillment does not do away with it or change it, but by means 
of the power that dwells in it, it continually renews its youth, and 
retains its freshness and force in all circumstances and in all ages. 
"(John vi. 03.) 

\Vr. 30. The foregoing general statement, that the present gen 
eration would not pa-s away till the prophecy was fulfilled (ver. 34), 
is i, definitely explained by the laet that there is no exact 

in of dates (4ppa Mipa) ; this is absolutely refused as 
impos.-ible. Hence there is no reason to suppose a contradiction 
between ver. 34 and ver. 3(j, assuming which, Schott (p. 131) refers 
ver. 34 to the destruction of Jerusalem, but ver. 3G to the second 
advent. On the contrary the mode of expMflaOD here adopted is 
the only one that can be conceived of as suited to the circumstances 
of the case. For had Jhc Redeemer intended to ^ay that his coming 
was yet very distant, such a statement would have entirely destroyed 
the ethical import of the prophecy, viz. the incitement to watchful- 



256 MATTHEW XXIV. 36. 

ness which it was designed to produce ; and if, on the other hand, 
ho had so expressed himself as to say nothing at all ahout the time 
when these things would come to pass, this total silence would have 
been no less paralysing in its influence. But the representation 
given by the Lord was so formed as to act in a two-fold way ; first, 
to keep before the mind the constant possibility of his coming ; 
and, secondly, to shew the impossibility of fixing upon a precise 
period ; the former object was accomplished by ver. 34, the latter 
by ver. 36. 

It may indeed be said that ver. 34 does not express the ^>ossibil- 
ity, but the certainty, of the Lord s returning in the time of the 
generation then alive. But this very decided form of promise 
(beginning with the phrase : dpjv Aeyw vfuv) is explained by the 
relative truth which the coming of Christ has in reference to that 
generation in particular, and also to all generations of the world. 
(Cornp. the remarks on Matth. xxiv. 1.) The advent is by no means 
to be looked upon as an occurrence happening at a particular time 
in the remote future, for in that case it would only concern the 
people living at the precise period ivlicn it comes to pass, and would 
be of no consequence to previous generations ; on the contrary, it 
is to be viewed as something extending throughout the history of 
the world, and spiritually near to every one, without excluding the 
fact that the prophecy respecting it will also be externally fulfilled 
in its whole meaning, at the end of the aluv OVTOC, present age. 

Special notice is due to the peculiar addition of Mark : nor the 
Son (ovde 6 vt6$). The harmony of the manuscripts and versions is 
a sufficient guarantee for its genuineness, but its interpretation is 
not free from difficulty. The first question is, what ought to be 
supplied after " the Son" (6 vt6$) of man, or of God ? The for 
mer supplement seems to be supported by its juxtaposition with 
ovdeig, no one, and ayyeAot r&v ovpav&v, angels of heaven, for these 
expressions place the creature in contrast with the Uncreated ; to 
the former, ignorance is ascribed, to the latter, knowledge ; hence if 
the Son is represented as participating in the former, it seems more 
appropriate that this should be said of him as Son of Man than 
as Son of God. But, on the other hand., father, as the correlate 
to son, strongly calls for rov Oeov, of God, to be understood, for if 
" son" did not occur, there can be no doubt that " God" would be 
chosen as the antithesis to " angels" and " no one." True, it may 
be said, that in the text of Matthew we find Trar^p, but not vio<;. 
But the different readings shew that the expression was not deemed 
quite suitable in this connexion ; some have received or<5t- 6 v/of 
from Mark ; others have appended pov, whicl} Matthew ordinarily 
associates with the application of Trarr/p to God in the discourses of 
Jesus. Now, although these readings are not genuine in the text 



MATTHKW XXIV. 36. 257 

>[ Matthew, yet they render it very probable that tlic reading ~ ~ ,i> 
is only founded in the circumstance that <n ^ , , t46? originally -pre- 

.1 in tin- discourse. l>ut Matthew, tor unknown reasons, omitted 
it. If, however, the Son of God is here referred In, the ignorance 
>f the day and hour predicated of him cannot !" absolute, because 
the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son does not permit a 
^I eeilie separation between the knowledge of the Father and the 
Sou; rather, it moat be understood as designating the HKI MOIS of 
tip L "rd in his position of humiliation. Hence we must not rea 
son from these words in Mark to the parallel passage in Ads i. 7, 
in which the Lord, after his resurrection, declares that it is not 
within the range of human faculties (ov% vp&v t<m) to know the 
precise period of the Parousia, and infer that even at that time the 
Lord did not know it. (Comp. the exposition of Acts i. 7.) 

All three Evangelists finish this prophetic picture with an ex 
hortation to watchfulness ; but in the further illustrations which 
immediately follow the verse before us, they differ so much, that 
their representations must be regarded as independent statements. 
Mark, indeed, does not say anything different from Matthew, but 
merely reports the exhortation to watchfulness in an abbreviated 

* Without assuming perfectly to explain the difficulty hero involved, wo may, I think, 
assnme thus much, that (even apart from doctrinal considerations) the exegetical difficul 
ties against supposing an ignorance on the part of the Saviour of the day and the hour ot 
his coming aro insuperable. The being who knew all that ho has so minutely foretold 
of the signs, the attendant circumstances, the manner and the consequences of his com 
ing, could not bo ignorant of the simple fact of the time, which assuredly involved no 
deeper knowledge. Ho who could thus prophesy all round the period, could not but 
know the period itself. Certainly not if his knowledge was underived ; but will it be ar 
gued that his knowledge was derived, nnd therefore limited? True, God could 
.1 to a man the knowledge of every thing but tho date, and withhold that. But 
to such a withholding the general spirit of tho present prophecy runs entirely 
counter. Had it not been for this declaration, we should have pronounced, unhesitating 
ly, that he who knew all tho rest here foretold, must have known this. But again, did 
tho Saviour hold his knowledge by any such tenure ? John says that ho l himself knew 
what was in man, 1 and this seems to presuppose a personal and absolute omniscience. 
He sometimes represents himself as following the Father in working miracles, and yet 
we find in him abundant proofs of an indwelling and perpetual divinity. As his Father 
wrought so ho wrought, although in his official position ho was subordinate to the Father 
iu those displays of omnipotence. But that ho had the omnipotence is clear, and 
certainly if ho was omnipotent he was omniscient. Any one unlimited attribute implies 
<iU unlimited attributes. If his kn< . - limited, so must have been his j. 

n, l>y tho more facts of tho case, to find another than literal expla 
nation of the words. And is it not furnished in tho strong hyperbolical language so 
frequently and freely employed by tho Saviour? Is it not tho strongest possible state 
ment that tho time of that - f \ > be kept a profound secret ? It was un 
known to man, it was unknown to angels; it had never been lodged even with the Son 
himself tho (Ireat Hevoaler of Divino truth for the purpose of being communicated to 
man. Whatever difficulties press upon this interpretation, they aro suiv n in 
an exegetical view, than those which involve an absolute ignorance in tho Son of a single 
point around every side of which ho is shedding tho blaze of a Divino illumination. [K. 
VOL. II. 17 



258 MATTHEW XXIV. 36. 

form, in a parable which Matthew, in the last verse of the chapter, 
gives more at large. Luke, on the contrary (ver. 34-36), has given a 
perfectly independent account. He first warns against worldliness 
of life ({MU7nUi} literally means a "heaviness of the head from previous 
intoxication," or " the effect of excessive eating") ; then adds an ad 
monition respecting the suddenness of the day of judgment, and its 
destructive character to all who live in security (he employs here the 
expression rraytV, " snare, noose/ which is often used [1 Tim. iii. 7 ; 
vi. 9, and in the Old Testament, Prov. vii ; 23 xiii. 14, xxii. 5] for 
danger, ruin. The verb KaO^iai here denotes the easy, comfortable 
life of men indulging in worldly security) ; and, lastly, he concludes 
with an exhortation to watchfulness and prayer. As the objects of 
prayer he specifies Ka-a^iwO^vai t/c0vyelv, being counted worthy to 
escape, and araOTivai fyiTTpoaOev rov vlov dvOpunov, to stand before the 
Son of man. E;0vym>, as already observed, relates to the idea un 
folded, Matth. xxiv. 31, that the saints, after having been proved, 
will be withdrawn from all the calamities which impend at the sec 
ond coming itself. But ora07]vai } stand, which has its antithesis in 
-i~retv } fall (Rom. xiv. 4) denotes recognition and acceptance in the 
judgment. If for this escape and standing a worthiness is required, 
this, according to the fundamental principle of the Gospel, is to be 
sought, not in a number of deeds, but in faith. This faith, how 
ever, is to be viewed as a living principle, which, springing from the 
life of the Lord, enables its possessor to stand before him and his 
judgment. Luke xxi. 37, 38, furnish historical notices of the Re 
deemer s life during his last days in Jerusalem (how he taught in 
the Temple by day, spent the night out of the city, and again in 
the morning was expected by the people) ; but these have no further 
reference to the prophetic announcements. (Respecting avXi&oOai = 
V^, comp. Matth. xxi. 17. This is the only instance in the New Tes 
tament where we find tipOpifa = e^n.] 

Now Luke, xvii. 26, ff., agrees in the main with Matthew s 
mode of presenting (xxiv. 37, ff.) the conclusion of the discourse 
concerning the Lord s return. And the exact connexion of the 
passage in Luke leaves no doubt as to the fact, that it stands 
there in its original connexion, Matthew having only removed it in 
accordance with his custom, and not at all unsuitably, to another 
position. But, on the one hand, he abbreviates the discourse which 
Luke gives at large, even in such parts as would have been quite 
appropriate to the connexion (for instance, he omits the example 
of Lot and his wife, although it so strikingly illustrates the reward 
of faith and the punishment of unbelief [Luke xvii. 28, 30, 32]) ; 
and on the other, he omits what was not adapted to his design, 
although it belonged to the connexion of Luke (comp. Luke xvii. 
33, 37.) 



MATTIIKW XXIV. 37-42. 259 

Yer. 37-39. In the first place, Matthew draws a parallel be 
tween the times of the Faroiisia, and a kindred period in (In- his- 
tory of tli olil world tli" drill--!- (I, nk" xvii. J( , 27). Luke adds 
a second parallel taken from the destruction of Sodom. In both 
cases only a few followed the warning voice of God, and a -- Milled 
in a safe mountain-retreat ; the great mass did not repent or un 
dergo any true change of mind, hut persisted in the old life of es 
trangement from God. One thing is remarkable throughout the 
whole of this representation, that the contemporaries of Noah and 
Lot are not, by any means, described as wicked and vicious, but 
merely as sensual men. ( EoOteiv, iriveiv K. r. A., and according to 
Luke yopa v, TrcjAeTv K. r. A. denote only the ordinary business of 
the outward life.) That the wicked are lost is easily understood, 
but the man who, without any glaring evil deeds, wastes his life 
upon external things, fancies himself in this freedom, from positive 
crime, secure from the judgment of God ; he little thinks that his 
whole existence and being is sinful, because it is worldly and alien 
ated from God. (James iv. 4.) The discourse of the Lord is di 
rected against this carnal security, and not against vice, which is 
condemned by the law. 

Ver. 40, 41. Upon this world, full of secure sinners, the Ta- 
rousia, and with it the Kpiois, will break in without mercy. Good 
and evil, which coexisted and were mingled together, will now be 
separated ; the closest and most intimate relations, things linked in 
apparent union, will now be made known, as in their inmost nature 
entirely different. Matthew gives the examples of companionship 
in the labours of the field or in grinding at the mill ; Luke (xvii. 
34) adduces the intimate relationship of married persons, who rest 
on the same bed, and yet come under the influence of different ele 
ments. (In the text of Luke, ver. 3G is wanting in most, and those 
the best codices, viz., in A.B.E.G.H.K.L.Q.S. Probably it has been 
received from Matthew into Luke. Instead of the futures T 
0i$0rrat, (tyeAfomu in Luke, Matthew has the present tenses, m 
pdverai, dQierai. The latter render the description more vivid and 

pine. These an 1 the only passages in the Ne\v Testament w 
the antithesis h.-t \veen -(// unjiirnr and (ifiierai occurs. The sim 
plest mode of explaining this use of the two words is to take -npn- 
i/i mr, !i(v..rding to Luke xvii. 35, in the signification " to re- 

. and aeeept as worthy," " to admit into one s soei that 

it is identical with tK/^.m- ; and dQihxii, on the contraiy should be 
undeist ind as denoting the negative act of non-acceptance.) 

Ver. -1 J. -An exhortation to watchfulness i- now given as a con 
cluding admonitory thought, drawn from this illustrati-n. and 
grounded also upon a further reflection the uncertainty of the 
period (wpu), when the Lord will come. Here again, of course, the 



2CO MATTHEW XXIV. 43-51. 

conviction that he will come in the lifetime of the generation to 
whom he speaks, is to be presupposed (as in Matth. xxiv. 34); for 
what force would there he in an exhortation to vigilance, that had 
respect to a period of time far heyond the individual life of the per 
sons addressed ? 

Ver. 43-51. These thoughts are succeeded in Matthew Ly two 
other parables, which Luke also has xii. 36-40 ; and in this instance 
again we must acknowledge that the connexion of Luke is the 
original one. For it is altogether improbable that the Lord would 
have frequently repeated these parables in such a peculiar connex 
ion. Here, as in Luke, the parable of the householder (olKodeoTTo-Tjif) 
and the servants (Sovkoi) are blended together with this difference 
only, that Matthew gives the precedence to that of the house 
holder, Luke to the other. On the import of such a comming 
ling we have already said what was necessary in our remarks 
on Luke ; we here simply consider the relation of the similitudes 
to the whole representation of the Parousia. It is easily seen that the 
last of the two (which Luke also has xii. 42-46, altliough in another 
connexion) respecting the faithful and wise servant (doDAof Tria-og 
KOI <pp6wpo$, ver. 45) and the wicked servant (dovkog Kaicog) relates 
to watchfulness. (Mark xiii. 34, in his expansion of the parallel, 
draws a distinction between the managing servants to whom the 
Lord commits the authority [Matth. xxiv. 45 and Luke xii. 42 view 
them as superior stewards, to whom the servants (Oepan-e/a = 0epa- 
Trovref the abstract for the concrete ) are subordinated] and the 
Ovpupog, porter, to whom he gives special prominence as the watcher j 
comp. Matth. xxv. 6.) The faithful and wise servant watches, and 
while he considers the period of the Lord s advent uncertain, deems it 
equally possible that it may come in his own time. The bad serv 
ant (who is also the fiupog, foolish, Matth. xxv. 2) negatively ii 
the time of the Lord s coming, by declaring that it is yet distant. 
(Concerning %povifa comp. Luke i. 21, xii. 45.) In this putting off 
really consists the unfaithfulness of the servant ; and the " beating" 
etc., is to be regarded as its consequence. In ver. 51, this is desig 
nated as v-nuKpiaig, hypocrisy, because the delay and the relation of 
the servant to the Lord are mutually contradictoiy. The true servant 
desires the return of the beloved Master ; the wicked one, who in 
reality belongs to another (the world), wishes it to be deferred, be 
cause he dreads it. Where there is the glow of ardent love to Grod, 
there is a constant expectation of the coming of the Lord ; although 
in the course of the Christian conflict, the delay is often too long 
even for the sincere heart (cornp. the remarks on Matth. xxv. 7). 
We have already observed on Luke xii. 46, that Matthew appears 
to have preserved the true reading in i TTOKpirtir, hypocrites ; Luke 
has the more general term ardaruv, faithless, which is not so well 



MATTHKW XXIV. 43-51. 261 

adapted to the connexion in Luke, where hypocrisy (vn6KQim$) is 
the very suliject of discourse. 

The second parable --that of the householder involves greater 
difficulty ; it seems unsuitcd to the connexion. Ignorance of the 
time when the thief would come, here appears to be the circumstance 
that prevents the master of the house from watching; now the 
whole description is designed as an exhortation to watchfulness, 
and therefore it might be argued analogically that the watching 
here enjoined would be facilitated if the time were known. But the 
more specific reference of the householder and thief has already been 
developed in the exposition of Luke xii. 39 ; in this parable the in 
tention is to represent the other aspect of the Parousia, its relation 
to the unbelieving world, while that of the servants describes its re- 
lation to believers. In so far, however, as the disciples by no means 
appear as yet entirely free from the worldly principle and its influ 
ence, this aspect of the Parousia has an application to them also. 
For whilst the parable of the servants gives a direct admonition as 
to watchfulness, the same thing is indirectly urged by that of the 
householder. The day of the Lord s coming must be unknown to 
believers, that their desire may be kept constantly awake, to unbe 
lievers that judgment may suddenly surprise them in their careless 
ness ; but this carnal security, while it forms a temptation even to 
believers, on the other hand serves to exite their watchfulness by 
the contrast which it presents. Thus, as the whole Christ is set for 
the fall and rising of many, so also is his Parousia. (Instead of the 
more general terms voip 0uAa/ri/, or tipa [Matth. xxiv. 42, 44], Mark 
xiii. 35, has the expressions: tye, ?/ iieaovvKriov, ?) aAe/tropo^wviof, ?/ 
Trpojt, at evening, or at midnight, or at cock-croiving, or in the morn 
ing. This distribution of the night into four vigils is the more 
p< ipular form. Comp. the remarks on Matth. xiv. 25. AOTojui> 
literally signifies " to divide into two pieces ;" but here, on account 
of the following words, which are not compatible with the idea of 
death, the meaning is, "to punish severely, to hew, to lash." 

^ TiOtvai = pVn - ( r\5. Comp. Kcv. xxi. 8. Concerning K^avO[i6c 
and (tyiryfto? Muv-ruv coinp. the observations on Matth. viii. 12. It 
(l^-< n.tt appear that tin- words can be understood here as deti C 

!ial perdition ; they merely designate exclusion from the king 
dom of (rod which begins with the advent of the Lord, and the 
torment which results from the consciousness of having de.-erved it; 
for the further u of the subject coinp. the exposition i 

.Matth. xxv. 12, 30.) 

The following tiip-e paral >!es are found (inly in M .ith W : I 
has one analog >ns (J, u kc xix. 11. 11 .) to ti; ! in another c -n- 

licxion. It is unquestionable that they were all spoken in the last 
period of the lord s ministry, since they have Mich distinct refer- 



262 MATTHEW XXIV. 43-51. 

ence to the second advent ; but whether they immediately followed 
the conversation on the Mount of Olives (chap, xxiv.), cannot be 
allirmcd with certainty. However, the three parables stand in such 
close connexion both with one another, and with what precedes, as 
to render it very probable that they were at least not delivered long 
after the discourse respecting the second coming (chap. xxiv). For 
the two first that of the virgins and that of the servants contain 
admonitions to be watchful and faithful in expectation of the speedy 
return of the Lord ; and thus stand in close connexion with the dis 
course immediately preceding. Both parables represent the bless 
ing attending true devotedness to the Lord, and the curse resulting 
from a divided heart. But in order to understand these two para 
bles, it is in the highest degree important to mark their relation to 
the third. Whilst the two first are, so to speak, co-ordinate, the 
third appears to be destined for quite another point of view. This 
is shewn, first, by the form of transition (ver. 31, o-av 6i, but when), 
which introduces something new and different ; whilst the second 
parable is connected with the first by a c5<77rep yap, for just as, and 
the first with chap. xxiv. by a TOTS, then. Then, secondly, the ex 
pressions virgin, servant, plainly indicate a special relationship to 
the Redeemer ; hence, in the first and second parables, the refer 
ence is not to men without distinction, but to children of the king 
dom, concerning whose vigilance and fidelity, judgment is passed. 
In the third, on the contrary, all nations appear before the judg 
ment-seat of Christ, with the exception of true believers (navTa TO, 
Z6vr), ver. 32). And, finally, in the last parable, the good, in com 
mon with the bad, are represented as perfectly unconscious of their 
relation to the Lord (ver. 37, 44) ; whilst, according to the two pre 
vious ones, both parties appear to act with a consciousness of this 
relation. These important points of difference forbid the supposi 
tion that all three representations relate to one and the same fact ; 
but they are explained in a similar manner, if in accordance with 
the Jewish views (comp. Bertl^oldt Christ, jud. p. 176. seq.), which 
the New Testament confirms we distinguish the general judgment 
of all nations and individuals (associated with the general resurrec 
tion), from the kingdom of God and the resurrection of the just. 
The establishment of the kingdom of God is connected with a sift 
ing of those who belonged to the earthly church (comp. Rev. xx. 4, 
about the preliminary judgment) ; all who stand that trial are 
members of the kingdom, and participants in the marriage of the 
Lamb, but those who cannot endure it, although they certainly are 
excluded from the km_i mi of God, are not as yet eternally con 
demned. The final decision respecting them also takes place at the 
grneral juV the world (Rev. xx. 12). It is true that these 

two periods are not distinctly separated in the whole of Matthew s 



MATTHKW XXV. 1-13. 263 

representation; on the contrary, they prophetically coincide ; the 
only place in the New Testament win-re we find the order of suc- 

i<m plainly marked is in the IK. ok of the Revelation ; but the in 
timations here given are sufficient to render it dear that the 2-">th 
chap, of Matthew is founded upon the same view of the futur . 

The ordinary interpretation of this chapter according to which 
the same tiling substantially is conveyed by all three representations, 
vi/. that the good will be rewarded and the wicked will be punished, 
and that hence- the subject of discourse is merely the final account 
which all must render has some truth in it, inasmuch as all the 
positions of men have a similarity to one another, and therefore the 
various figures may be used for all relations. But this general ap 
plicability of the parables must not lead us to overlook the immedi 
ate and special references that present themselves in each separately. 
(Coinp. the further particulars in the remarks on Matth. xxv. 14, 
31.) 

Ver. 1-13. The external form of the parable of the ten virgins 
is to be explained from the customs of the Israelites. The bride 
groom, accompanied by his friends (viol TOV wfKf&vcs, or <bikoi -. v.. 
John iii. 20) brought the bride from the house of her father. The 
bride was surrounded by her companions, who went to meet the 
bridegroom as he approached, and then accompanied her with 
torches to the house of the bridegroom, where the marriage-supper 
was prepared.* According to the usual figure, the Lord now re 
presents himself as the Bridegroom who comes to the earthly church, 
as the bride, that he may conduct her to his dwelling. As the 
angels accompany the Bridegroom (ver. 31), so the virgins, who 
await the delayed arrival of the Bridegroom, are distinguished from 
the bride.f Thus the sense of the parable as a whole is easily made 
out ; the only question is, how far its single features are to be re 
tained. The only fixed rule by which we can be guided in the mat 
ter is the appropriateness of the reference, and this rule, when ap 
plied without any straining, presents so many interesting points of 
relation in this parable, that it must be considered one of the finest 
in the Gospel. For the more numerous the points of comparison 
which a parable aii ords, without any unnatural or forced interpre 
tation, the greater its perfection. 

* Coinp. Jahn s Hebrew Antiquities, Part i. vol. -2, 179. The Rabbins also made 
use of tbis custom in similar comparisons. (Comp. Wctsteiii and Lightfuot on the pas 
sage.) In 1 M;i v. i\. H7, IT. there is a description of an oriental ma: 

f In the Cod. D., find several authorities in particular, the Svraie version and the 
Vulgate after the words, tififlOov tlf ilmirrjjaiv TOV vvjiQlov (ver. , Kai 

rfjf in/.,-,,. II. >\\rver, this reading rests upon a false view of the parable; it was 
thought that where the bridegro re thebrido also must be. 1 "g to 

oriental custom, the bridegroom came to IVteh the bride, and the nni !:!; nd ieteil her 
to meet him. 



264 MATTHEW XXV. 1-13. 

Now, first, as regards the virgins (-r/(/^Yo;) we may remark that 
the expression certainly has a special reference, which is best per 
ceived by comparing with it the following parable of the servants. 
The " virgins/ like the " servants," are by no means intended to 
designate all members of the church (Matth. xxiv. 45, the dovhoi 
are expressly distinguished from the OepaTteia, who are nevertheless 
to be viewed as members of the same community the family of 
God), but only those among them who stood in a position like that 
of the apostles and disciples generally towards the Redeemer [?]. 
But even among these, a distinction may be observed between those 
whose relation to the Lord is chiefly that of passive love, and others 
who are characterized by greater activity ; among the twelve, the 
former class is represented by John, the latter by Peter. True, in 
so far as no member of the true church is without either the one or 
the other characteristic, both parables admit of a perfectly general 
application ; but we must not, on this account, overlook the special 
reference to particular tendencies in the Christian life. (Comp. the 
exposition of Luke xii. 35.) The number ten, which Luke xix. 13 
specifies as that of the servants also, appears simply to contain the 
idea of a definite body. According to the Jewish custom, ten form 
an assembly (Vr,;?), and hence it was very natural to fix upon this 
number. (Passages in Wetstein in loc. state, that it was usual to 
choose just ten bridesmaids. But Jahn, loc. cit., remarks, that it 
was customary to have as many as seventy ; of course this only ex 
tended to rich families.) The intensity of chaste love to the Lord, 
which was represented by the virgins, well accords with their wait 
ing for the delayed approach of the bridegroom. Whilst the ser 
vants are busily at work, and engaged in a variety of concerns, the 
virgins wait to meet the beloved. (Comp. the remarks on Luke x. 
42, concerning Mary and her relation to Martha.) The fact that 
they are all characterized as virgins is a proof that the antithesis of 
(^ovi/ioi, wise, and pupal, foolish, is not to be taken in the sense of 
good and wicked, for the idea of gross transgression is incompatible 
with love to the Lord. The foolish virgins are merely to be viewed 
* Would it not bo safer to reason the other way, and instead of inferring from tho 
commoji application of the name of " virgins," that the epithets " wise" and " foolish" mark 
no radical discrimination of character, rather to infer from this radical discriuiinJtion as 
well as the difference in their destiny, that tho name " virgins" has no such . 
nificancy as Olshausen attributes to it? The distinctions which the author draw? : 
the words " virgins" aud " servants" seem to me forced and fanciful. These terms are 
employed, I think, simply because our Saviour finds in the relation of tho virgins to the 
Bridegroom in the Jewish marriage rites, and in that of servants entrusted with funds to 
their 1, apposite and striking illustrations by which to enforce the necessity of 

watchfulness in view of his coming. Tho " virgins" and " servants" of the parables are 
literal virgins and literal servants; they represent relations rather than characters; and to 
,11 good in advance is to forestall the result of tho very ordeal by whirh they 
m-e tested in tho parable. Undoubtedly wo should guard , ^pping u parable 

of any legitimate subordinate ideas, and of such secondary teachings as may bo some- 



MATTHKW XXV. 1-13. 265 

as representing mimls that seek that whieh is pleasing and sweet in 

tin- - ! the Jji.nl, instead <>f following him in right can- 

and heiiee inflect to labour att<T thorough renewal, ,ind to build in 
the ri-ht way up<>n the foundation that is laid (1 Cor. iii. 15). 
The ]>araMe ileseril.es this lukewarmncss in their nature, l>y saying 
that they neLrleeted to take any oil in their . (Ver. 4. l~/<nr 

i e insistent with Xa^d^eg. But it is explained by the 
l <>rm lit the ancient torches. They frequently consisted of a wooden 
stall , a vessel being Jet into an opening at the upper end, containing 
a wiek, which burnt with oil or pitch. [Comp. Jahn, loc. cit.] This 
contrivance united the peculiarities of the torch and the lamp.) 
The parables explained by the Lord himself (Matth. xiii.) are proofs 
that we need not be afraid of going too far, if we take the single 
features of this parable into account as strictly illustrative. Ac 
cording to the pervading scriptural symbol, the oil designates the 
Spirit ; the virgins were not altogether destitute of this higher ele 
ment of life ; their hearts glowed with love to the Lord, which im 
pelled them to go out and meet him ; but their faith had no other 
root than feeling; it had not sanctified all their dispositions and facul 
ties ; and hence, when feeling was no longer sufficient, and nothing 
but thorough self-denial could avail them, the flame of their love 
died away. The severe discipline which was necessary is expressed 
partly by the long delay of the Bridegroom s arrival, and partly by 
the representation that it was night. This induced slumber, in 
which (with reference to the immediately preceding description, 

th. xxiv. 42) the virgins must be regarded as overcome by temp 
tation. (Ver. 5, vvCTra yu is the feebler expression, which signifies 
" to nod the head from sleepiness ;" KaOevdu is the strict term for 
deep slumber.) It might indeed appear that, in this case, sleep 
did not indicate a negligent state of mind, since all, even the loise, 
fell asleep ; but, on account of the immediately foregoing and ex 
press admonition to watch which, according to Mark xiii. 37, was 
addre-s-d t > all this is hardly to be admitted ; especially since this 
admonition is again made prominent, Matth. xxv. 13, in the wind- 
ing-up of the narrative. On the contrary, the description becomes 
much more striking if the meaning is thus understood : " the 
Bridegroom delayed his coming so long, that at last even the wise 
virgins sl -pt." Thi- rreat point to the warning dypv-Kvelre, 

It, lie- ictiki/H.f. Now the words /it CT7/r Js rvurbs Kpovy/) yeyovev, 
lut at iiiilni jltt there is a </,/ mocfo, \\r. .(I. shew that there were 
watchers in the ehureh ; althou-h these ;n-e not so decidedly distin- 



times given ; but in ni-iuT.il tlio attempt to make a parable "crawl on all fours," to find 
niticaiH-y in t!u> separate elements instead of simply seizing the central idea, is the 
source of many ilirtieultios and some errors. I cannot but regard OLshauson as thua 
erring in hia parabolic explanations. [K. 



266 MATTHEW XXV. 14-30. 

guished from the virgins in the present case, as in Mark xiii. 34, 
where the Ovpup6$, porter, is charged witli the special duty of 
watching. The confusion occasioned by the surprise of the Lord s 
arrival, discloses the difference between the slumbering virgins. The 
wise ones, who have in every respect completely given themselves 
up to the Lord, are able not only to rouse themselves at the sum 
mons, but to rekindle the glimmering torch into a vigorous flame. 
This the foolish ones cannot do, because they lack the inward supply 
of the Spirit. They therefore seek spiritual support from the wise ; 
but in this critical moment each one can only answer for herself, 
and hence they are directed to them that sell (TravLoDv-e^). It is 
perfectly natural to find in the sacred Scripture and its authors an 
explanation of this feature in the parable ; to these the foolish vir 
gins are recommended to resort, that they may find counsel and 
strength in the distress of their souls. But before the extinct life 
can be quickened again, the Bridegroom comes, and those who are 
not ready see themselves shut out. According to this connexion, it 
is clear that the words OVK olda v/^dg, I know you not (ver. 12) cannot 
denote eternal condemnation ; for, on the contrary, the foolish 
virgins are only excluded from the marriage of the Lamb (Rev. 
xix. 7) ; hence they must be viewed as parallel with the persons 
described, 1 Cor. iii. 15, whose building is destroyed, but who are 
not thereby deprived of eternal happiness. These virgins possessed 
the general condition of happiness, faith (which led them to cry 
Kvpie, nvpie, dvoigov I uuv, Lord, Lord, open unto us, ver. 11); but 
they lacked the requisite qualification for the kingdom of God, that 
sanctification which proceeds from faith (Heb. xii. 14.) In the 
concluding verse (ver. 13) the words iv q 6 vlbg TOV dvOpurrov tyxerat 
should be removed ; they have probably been inserted from parallel 
passages, such as xxiv. 44. 

Ver. 14-30. The external form of the second parable that of 
the servants presents no difficulty, f The avOpumo^ d-od^ioJv, man 
going abroad (Mark xiii. 34 has d-rrodrjpog, the antithesis to twty/zof, 
and this is the only instance in which the expression occurs in the 
New Testament), according to Luke xix. 12, is an evyev/ft, noble, 
descended from a family of distinguished rank ; he is here repre 
sented as travelling to a distance to receive a kingdom there (a type 
of the installation of Christ into his heavenly dominion), but upon 
his return, even his nearest subjects, the citizens of his own city 
(TTOAZTU/), will not obey him. It is quite clear from the parallel in 
Luke, that the ten (JuDAot, servants (Luke xix. 13) do not mean all 

* An interesting interpretation of the parablo of the ten virgins is given by V. 
in the Wiitt. fur h<>h. Wuhrh. I t. 7, p. 247, ff. 

J- Tli i uiffTfp yap wants the corresponding member of the sentence. Ac 

cording to Matth. xxiv. 37, we may supply: ovruf larai KOI y napovcrta TOV viav rot) 



31 vmii:w XXV. 14-30. 267 

men, or even all Christians indiscriminately, Imt such as j 
decided qualification for the guidance mid government of the ehurcli. 
The mass under this guidance are the eiti/.ens. Matthew designates 
the endowments bestowed upon the servants by the term rdXavrov, 
fitftnf, Luke by /// ?, mina. This variation merely ex presses the 
freedom 1 ly the reporters of the parables of Jesus, in re 

gard to non-essential points. The sum entrusted t" the servants is 
here p -rl ectly unimportant ; all that is intended to be shewn is, 
that the reward of the servant depends upon the use which he makes 
of what is committed to his charge. The servants (doOAot) are re- 

ented as the active members of the church, whose duty it is to 
employ the gifts conferred upon them in external labours for the 
cause of the Lord ; and the parable is designed to describe the 
opposite cases of fidelity and unfaithfulness. Hence the talents 
entrusted signify the general gifts of nature, so far only as these 
form the condition of endowment with the gifts of grace. This is 
referred to in the words, ver. 15, " to each according to his several 
ability" (EKUOTW Kara ri]v tSiav dvvaptv, scil. t(JwKt). For he who is 
without any natural abilities, is not fitted to be a powerful instru 
ment of grace. A general application of the parable may be made, 
in so far as it may be said that every one is entrusted with some 
thing, for the right use of which an account will be requiicd. But 
this application of the parable is not. identical with its original re 
ference. According to the very close association with chap, xxiv., 
the withdrawment of the Lord after the distribution of the gifts, 
and his return after a long absence (peraxpovov Trcuti ), in order to 
hold a reckoning (Aoyov ovvaipeiv rationem conferre), relates to the 
di.-ciples, whom the Lord, when he departed to the Father, invested 
with spiiilual gifts, that being left to themselves they might admin- 
i>trr till his return. Hence the whole connexion here also re 
quires the assumption that a return at the time of the apostles is 
spoken of, so that the words after a long time primarily refer to the 
ici ltuiij of the apostles. As to the apostles being left to themselves 

; the withdrawment of the Lord, this may appear to stand in 
opposition to such \ -,\< .Mat tli. xxviii. 20, "I am with you 

alw unto the end of the world." But this constant spirit 

ual ; of the Lord in the minds of his people is often concealed, 

and imperceptible ; it is never destructive of free choice, and hence 
!ude faithfulness and unfaithfulness. Hence, in regard 
to the later Laudations of servants, who did not see the Lord in the 
body, their endowment with power from above, of the use of which 
an account is at length to be rendered, must be viewed a> extending 
from th<- moment when Christ lirst -rives a livin"- manifestation of 

O .~* 

himself in the soul, to tl: - .us in which the individual is left 
to tin 1 discharge of cares designed to test his sincerity in the Lord s 



268 MATTHEW XXV. 14-30. 

cause. The return of the Lord is the period of reckoning with the 
servants involving reward for the faithful, and punishment for the 
Unfaithful. The faithful are described as those who have increased 
what was entrusted to them ; that is, with tlie.se spiritual powers 
conferred upon them by Christ, they have carried on his suMime 
work in his spirit and nature. (The expressions employed to desig 
nate faithful labour are epyd&adai [Luke xix. 1G lias ~i>twir/i!^<jOat] 
and iroielv. The latter answers to the Hebrew n and V?3, in the 
signification "to acquire." Compare Gcsenius in his Lex. under 
m?y and V?s. To convey the idea of ntpdaLveiv, "to make gain," " to 
obtain advantage/ Luke, xix. 13, 15, uses TrpayfiareveaOai, dtaTrpay- 
nareveoOai, which does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament ; 
it is the strict term for trade and money transactions, which has even 
passed into the later Hebrew. [Comp. Buxtorf. lex. p. 179 6, seq.] 
Thus the parable is founded upon the supposed case of a merchant, 
which has occurred also in a former instance, Matth. xiii. 45.) It is 
represented as the reward of these faithful labourers, that they will 
be called to a higher sphere of activity adapted to their desires. 
The earthly relations of the kingdom of God, upon which the 
" servants" continually spent their toils, are contrasted, as the 
6Mya t fetO tilings, with the -rroXXd, many things, that is, the affairs 
of the kingdom when it shall be manifested in its heavenly victorious 
form. (Luke xix. 17, 19, gives more specifically, adhering to the 
metaphor, ten and five cities as the reward.) 

The manner in which the parable speaks of the third servant is 
peculiar ; without having gained anything he brought back to the 
Lord what w r as entrusted to him. It is evident that the design is 
not to describe a man entirely fallen from the faith, an apostate ; 
but one who, although he has not dissolved his connexion as a ser 
vant, or squandered his talent, yet, from a false view of his rela 
tion to the Lord, has not used it to his advantage. Hence he is 
called, ver. 30, dovXo<; d%pelog, unprofitable servant; so that he is re 
garded as a " servant" of the Lord, although one who has not done 
his duty. His false view of the Lord consisted in overlooking his love, 
and supposing instead an inexorable legal rigour. (Instead of 
a/cAT/por, ver. 24, Luke xix. 21 has avorrjpos austerus, which occurs no 
where else in the New Testament. Luke somewhat nmdilies the 
parable, by speaking of a oovddpiov [sudarium] napkin, inwhkh the 
money was hid ; Matthew represents it as buried in the earth. The 
talent of course rendered that impossible which might have applied 
to a mina.) By this view of unfaithfulness, a remarkable cntrast 
is formed between this parablr and that of the virgins. Whilst the 

* AiaaKopiri&ir, vcrs. 24 and 26, is not to bo understood as synonymous with oirei- 
peiv ; it is bettor to take it n~T, in the sense, " to purify by means of a winnowing 
shovel" 



MATTHEW XXV. 14-30. 

guilt of the fonli.sh virgins proceeded from thoughtleM presumption 

upu the kindness of the master, this servant tailed through an un- 
belie^ing assumption of hia severity., so that the two parables are 
complements to each other, and describe the two fading t mpta- 
tions of believers in th -ir relation to the Redeemer, to abuse grace, 
or to exclude themselves from access to it by false legality. 

One point in the rebuke administered by the master to his dis- 
obcdi -nt savant (ver. 27) requires special notice, viz., the remark: 
Zdei oe /BaAeiv TO dpyvpiov p,ov roiq rpo9ra?TQ<f, thou oughtest to 
have put my money to the exchangers. (Tpane^ir^g from Tpu7rea, 
which Luke has here [xix. 23], " the banker s table." TOKO?, in 
terest, profit. Instead of iKOfUOJftqM in Matthew, Luke has trrpaa, 
which is commonly used in reference to money, in the sense of exi- 
gerc, cxtorqucrc.) We cannot regard these words as a perfectly 
useless addition, for they furnish an appropriate thought. The 
fearful servant, who dreaded his master, had evidently refrained 
from laying out the property committed to him, in the way of inde 
pendent activity for the interests of his master, because he was 
afraid of losing it ; that is to drop the metaphor the dangers 
connected with activity for the kjngdom of God on earth, on ac 
count of the manifold temptations and opposing forces of the world, 
rain many persons, who lack faith in the help of God, from going 
believingly to work according to their abilities. These timid na 
tures, that are not fitted for independent labour on behalf of the 
kingdom of God, are now advised at least to associate themselves 
with persons of greater strength, under whose guidance they may 
apply their gifts to the service of the Church. The first thing men 
tioned as the punishment of total unfaithfulness is the loss of the 
gift entrusted, which is then committed, by the command of the 
Lord, to the servant who was endowed with ten talents. The pro 
verb which follows (ver. 29) in connexion with this proceeding, has 
already been explained in the remarks on Matth. xiii. 12 ; its re 
currence here in an entirely different connexion cannot be considered 
strange, when it is remembered that the idea which it contains is of 
such a nature, that the lledeeiner could readily employ it in the 
most multifarious applications. The fundamental idea here ex 
pressed viz., that goodness constantly secures richer benefits to him 
who receives it, while it is the curse of sin that it makes even pov 
erty poorer still is here also perfectly applicable. Whilst blessings 
are heaped up<n the faithful, the unfaithful man, stripped of all the 
gifts conferred upon him, is cast out into darkness (ver. 30). ]l< ie 
tin, the immediate reference is not to eternal condemnation, but 
to exclusion fn>m th" " : kingdom," into which the faithful enter. 
The degree nf guilt in the case of the unfaithful, determines the pos 
sibility of their being awakened to true repentance. The kingdom, 



270 MATTIIKW XXV. 31-46. 

finally, is viewed as a region of light, encircled by darkness. And 
in reference to this point, the metaphorical language of Scripture 
is very exact in the choice of expressions. Concerning the children 
of light who are unfaithful to their vocation, it is said that they are 
cast into the darkness ; but, respecting the children of darkness, we 
are told that they are consigned to the rrvp aluviov, everlasting fire; 
so that each finds his punishment in the opposite element. 

As regards the points of difference presented by Luke, in this 
parable of the servants, we may remark, that they consist, iirst, in 
the carrying out of the subordinate idea of the citizens, who would 
not that the lord should reign over them. Whilst the one servant 
represents an inactive member of the body of Christ, the Church, 
who failed to perform his duty, these citizens are open rebels, and 
hence their lord orders them to be killed. It is evident that this 
penal proceeding is essentially distinguished from the reproof ad 
ministered to the one servant. According to the connexion in Luke 
as we have already observed the " citizens" signify the Jews 
who engaged in a hostile opposition to Jesus, and, in the wider 
sense, all real enemies of Christ. In the second place, the two nar 
rators differ in the circumstance that, according to Matthew, the 
distribution of the talents was unequal, but the profit realized upon 
that which had been received was equal ; whereas in Luke, on the 
contrary, every one receives the same, but the amounts gained are 
different. It certainly is a superficial mode of interpretation to ex 
plain away these points of variation, as features of no importance ; 
there is no doubt that they have their distinct applications. How 
ever, I cannot agree with Schleiermacher (comp. the remarks on 
Luke xix. 11, ff.) in the opinion, that they render the parables spe 
cifically different. The representation of Matthew expresses the 
idea that the Lord himself distributes gifts differently even among 
his disciples, assigning to one a greater, to another a smaller, sphere 
of operation ; but that the Kedeemer only looks at the application 
which each one makes of what is bestowed upon him. Luke, on 
the other hand, shews how equal degrees of endowment on the part 
of the Lord, may result in inequality, by means of the different de 
grees of activity on the part of men. Now, as the tendency of the 
whole parable is to describe the influence of human fidelity in the 
kingdom of God, the representation of Luke, which plaiv- this most 
prominently in view, deserves the preference before that of Matthew. 

Ver. 31-4G. By means of the third and last parable respecting 
the coming of the Lord as we have already remarked on xxv. 1 
we now obtain the proper data from which to fix the meaning of 
the two preceding ones. The form of transition, " but when" (o-av 

* It is not light (the opposite of darkness) in which the children of darkuesa are pun 
ished, but fire. [K. 



MATTIM-.W XXV. 31-46. 271 

<Je), indicates something dilleivnt as the subject of discourse in the 
similitude that follows ; hence we cannot admit with Seliott (loc. 
cit. p. 1G8, fi .), that both the foregoing parables and the words now 
before us. refer to the last judgment. This learned man ha-, 
indeed, given a triumphant refutation of the hypothesis that the para 
bles relate to the destruction of Jerusalem ; to which event we can 
not refer a single feature throughout the whole three, and it can 
only be brought into view, in so far as the description in the twcnty- 
fourth chapter represents the coming of Christ as connected, al- 
thou- -h not identified with it. But according to the view he main- 

o o 

tains, that all three parables have reference to the last judgment, 
the third cannot be shewn to have any peculiar character, the right 
eous (ff/KOiot), and the unrighteous (d&Koi), of whom it speaks, 
I icing made perfectly parallel with the faithful and unfaithful serv 
ants. If, however, the third parable treats of something different 
from the previous ones, this cannot be anything else than the judg 
ment of unbelievers, while, in the two that precede, the subject is 
the sifting of believers. True, if we understand the persons judged, 
in the parable of the sheep and the goats, to mean all men without 
exception, the expression rravra TO, t0r//, all nations, suits this view 
very well ; but then, it does not appear who the " least of Christ s 
brethren" (acfeA0oi Xpiarov t-Aa^arot, ver. 40) are. If the assemblage 
consists of all men, it follows of necessity that believers themselves 
must be comprehended under that designation ; but it is evident 
that in these words they are distinguished from the righteous (SiKaioi) 
and the unrighteous (udiKoi). And, moreover, according to the 
above interpretation, the fact that all the righteous could say : 
Krpte, TTOTE oe ddo^v neiv&vra K. ~. A., Lord, when saw we, etc., ver. 
37, is inexplicable. Believers surely would know that the Lord 

irds what is done to his brethren as done to himself. If it be 
said that this is the language of humility, we must oppose such a 
view, for C/irisfian humility is by no means to be conceived of as 
devoid of consciousness. It knows what it does, and its distinguish 
ing feature consists in this that it does not acknowledge its work 
as its own, but as the works of God in it. (Such was the humility 
of Paul, who boasted : "I have laboured more than ye all," but 
adds, u yet not I, but the grace of God that is in me," 1 Cor. xv. 
10.) Finally, the hypothesis that all men, even believers and per 
fectly just men.areh Te (,> be understood by the term diKamt, is directly 
contrary to the d..ctriue of the New Testament, that believers shall 
not come into judgment (comp. John iii. 18, v. 24; 1 Cor. xi. 31). 

Nor is there any more ground for the opinion, that, in the para 
ble of the sheep a:.,l the goats, merely ( liristians, without unbe 
lievers, are meant. For, in addition to the arguments adduced in 
refutation of the view just considered all of which apply to this as 



272 MATTHEW XXV. 31-46. 

well in take the expression "all nations" as referring to Christen 
dom, is utterly untenable. It is indeed said, that it denotes the 
Church of the Lord collected out q/"all nations ; but it is impossible 
to shew that an expression, the fixed meaning of which is so differ 
ent, can be employed in this sense. Hence, the only alternative is 
to understand the term as denoting all men, with the exception of 
true believers that is, all unbelievers ; and this interpretation being 
adopted, the parable preserves its own internal harmony, as well as its 
right position in relation to those which precede.* The expression 
Trdvra rd ZOvr], all nations, then perfectly corresponds with the Hebrew 
B j .an Vb ? in opposition to the people of Israel. The collective body 
of believers is now viewed as Israel. These do not come into judg 
ment at all, but at the resurrection of the just enter into the joy of 
the kingdom of God. Those who are idle and unfaithful are indeed 
shut out from the kingdom of God ; but this act of shutting out 
must not be confounded with the general judgment. Accordingly 
the ddetyoi, brethren of Christ (vcr. 40) are easily distinguished from 
unbelievers who appear in judgment ; the brethren are believers, and 
because the righteous receive them (d^eaflat), they receive the re 
ward of prophets, righteous men, or believers. (Here compare the 
exposition of the whole passage, Matth. x. 40-42.) There is a 
meaning in the profession : " And when saw we thee," etc., when 
it is taken as the language of unbelievers ; for even the righteous 
among them must be viewed as excluded from the higher conscious 
ness wrought by the spirit of Christ ; the power of love was active 
in their hearts, without their being themselves conscious of what 
they did. Now if this parable be taken in connexion with the fore 
going ones, it will be seen how well, according to our interpretation, 
they complete each other. The two first parables contain a repre 
sentation of the sifting of believers (in conformity with their two 
leading dispositions, the contemplative and the practical); then this 
is followed by the judgment of the mass of unbelievers ; the former is 
to be viewed as taking place at the resurrection of the just, the latter 
at the general resurrection of the dead. These two matters make up the 
whole of the Kedeemer s beatific and punitive procedure at his coming.f 

* The sense of the parable has already been very justly acknowledged by Keil (in 
his and Tzchirner s Analekton, vol. i. p. 3). 

f The remarks of De "Wette, in opposition to this interpretation of the third para 
ble, as applying only to the judgment of non-Christians that is, those who are not tho 
subjects of true regeneration have not convinced me of its unsoundness. On the con 
trary, I think that tho only thing that has led this scholar to reject my exposition is the 
unhistorical assertion, that Matthew makes no distinction between the millennial and the 
eternal reigns of Christ. If it be considered that this distinction was a general Jewish 
idea it cannot be understood how Matthew could bo free from it, especially when we 
take into account the way in which, as Do \Vctto allows, tho whole representation of 
Matthew is modified by the QAtiooal rk inent. And if Matthew observed this distinction, 
the relation of the three pamblos cannot well be determined in any other manner than 
that in which I have attempted to define it. 



MATTHEW XXV. 31-46. 273 

It is true that this explanation <>f the third parable appears to 
rise- to other difficulties whichdo n-.t press npontho first-named 

hypothesis. For, according to our view, unbelievers (the diiuuot) 
would l)e received to favour, whereas, Heb. xi. C, it is said that 
without faith it is impossible to please God," and Romans iii. 28, 
man is justified by faith (alone)." And further, good works would 

* That " all nations" here arrayed before tho judgment seat are " all men with 
the exception of true believers, t. ., all unbelievers," it is impossible to admit Those 
who are separated from the goats, and placed, as sheep, on tho right hand of the judge, 
who arc welcomed, as his active friends, into his kingdom, and then go into eternal 
life, are surely regenerate believers if tho Bible knows of such a class. Olshausen s 
argument against this is first that they are distinguished from " those very brethren" 
who are with the judge as his acknowledged friends, and secondly that they evince 
an unconsciousness of their Christian acts incompatible with spiritual enlightenment 
In regard to the first objection, such a distinction is indeed drawn. But it is ac 
counted for, I think, by tho representations of God s mode of dealing with Israel. 
He had sent prophets and teachers among them, and the Saviour had sent forth his 
apostles and tho Seventy. As therefore the reception given to those recognized serv 
ants and brethren of tho Lord, was the test of Israel s character, so now the Saviour 
transfers the same principle to the assembled nations, and declares them received or re 
jected according as they had treated him through his accredited agents. This clearly 
distinguishes tho "these my brethren" as tho previously acknowledged and public min- 
istera of Christ from tho men among whom they wore sent, " He that receiveth you," etc. 
Secondly, as to the unconsciousness of the righteous of their good deeds, wo may remark, 
first, that tho unrighteous seem equally unconscious of tho proper nature of their delin 
quencies, and if this does not exclude them from tho category of unbelievers, why should 
that of tho other class exclude them from tho category of believers? But, in the next 
place, the parable itself if wo may so call it furnishes ample explanation of this uncon 
sciousness. The Saviour s grounds of approval and welcome are intentionally and char 
acteristically placed in tho most abrupt and startling form. Ho expresses in tho strong 
est and most hyperbolical manner tho essential spirit of their conduct. He bases his words 
of welcome on tho fact that they had rendered to himself personally tho most varied and 
important services. They might well hesitate as to the import of such a representation, 
and naturally inquire when they had laid tho supremo judge under such obligations; as 
might also tho unrighteous bo startled at a view of their delinquencies which they had 
t In fur. taken. And still further, both the Saviour s address and their reply seem pur- 
vosely and dramatically constructed in order to bring out the great truth couched in the final 
declaration, that as they treated his messengers and representatives they treated him. This 
principle, viz.: that of a dramatic scene appended for tho sake of a moro full exhi 
bition of a great principle is, I think, frequently applicable to tho explanation of tho para- 
irablo of the labourers in the vineyard, tho workmen are represented as 
murmuring against their employer, in order to give scope for tho statement of his absolute 
sovereignty in tho dispensation of his favours. In that of tho Prodigal Son, tho intro- 
>n of tho elder brother, with his fault-finding at the demonstrations of joy over a 
recovered profligate, (while conveying a side intimation to the Pharisees: "if you are as 
good as you profess to be, you should rejoice at the restoration of tho vilo and degraded,") 
S mainly intended to introduce the father s touching statement of tho reasons for rejoic- 
mo found. So the dramatic scene in tho parable of tho rich man and 
neither intended to tench that the blessed and tho lost hold such parleyings 
with each other, nor that tho lost will or do have any benevolent regard for tho living, 
but simply to give scope for bringing out in stroi.g relief tho law of retributive justice, 
tho ill-ness oft ,d tho impotence of miracles to benefit those 

who are insensible to moral and scriotural truth. [K. 

VOL. II. 18 



274 MATTHEW XXV. 31-33. 

be presupposed in unbelievers, whereas, " whatsoever is not of faith 
is sin" (Rom. xiv. 23). [Among those ignorant of Christ, there is 
indeed none to vrhom faith can be ascribed, Rom. x. 14. And just 
as little any who could do a single good work, i. c., one free from all 
mixture of sin. But there are among them, doubtless, those who 
perseveringly strive after freedom from sin (Rom. ii. 7), and strurjfjle 
against sin (Rom. ii. 14), and grieve over it, and thus have a con 
scious need of deliverance from it. Such men are then accepted in the 
sense of Acts x. 35. Not that they are justified by their imperfect 
works. But they are doubtless susce2}tible of still hearing the gospel 
of grace in Christ, and of believing in it, and of being healed 
by these " leaves of the tree of life," Rev. xxii. 2.] 

Ver. 31-33. The Parousia of the Son of Man at the judgment 
is here described just in the same manner as in Matth. xxiv. 30. 
The prophetic form being adopted, the several circumstances at and 
after the advent of the Lord, although not exactly interchanged, are 
yet not plainly and chronologically distinguished. No precise ac 
count of the order is given till we come to the Apocalypse, and the 
data there supplied are the guide by which the elements in these 
passages must be separated. In the same way we may explain tho 
circumstance that Matth. xxiv. 30 does not differ at all from this 
description of the appearing of the Lord at the general judgment, 
although its primary reference is to an earlier period in the revela 
tion of his glory. (Just in the same manner the prophets of the 
Old Testament immediately connect with the appearing of the 3I<- 
siah all those effects of his work which, in reality, would only be un 
folded in thousands of years.) Instead of the ayyeAot, angels, who 
here form the retinue (Matth. xxiv. 30 the dvvanic;) of Christ, who is 
described as the Sovereign, in Rev. xix. 14 (comp. this with ver. 8 
and Jude ver. 14), the dyioi, saints, are mentioned. Now as our pass 
age also (ver. 40) intimates that these will be present, the expres 
sion ayye^of, angel, messenger, is probably to be taken here in a 
more comprehensive sense, so as to include also the just made per 
fect (Heb. xii. 23). (Compare Zech. xiv. 5, where the description 
of the advent of the Lord represents the trsn;? as appearing with 
him. It is true that, according to the modern hebniism, this i 
is understood to mean the angels, but it is a nurstion whether 
it does not contain an intimation of the idea, that those men 
who were glorified in ancient days will be with the Mr^iah, and 
will appear witli him. The LXX. render the passa ? ol 

dyioi. Finally, in its form, this similitude is but imperfectly de 
veloped. In reality it combines two similitudes which ITOSS each 
other, The Redeemer is first compared to a kin::. wh. 
upon his throne and pronounces judgment; and sin-inlly to a 
shepherd who divides the sheep. The dtftopi&tv, separatiny, in- 



MATTHKW XXV. 34-36. 275 

volvos the id a of the ft-r>/mr, tin 1 separation of the two classes, 
i ami l>ad, who were mingled up to that time. The meta 
phor of the sheep and the goats is found in the Old Testament 
(comp. K/ek. xxxiv. 15, ff.; Isaiah xl : 11) ; and indeed it is a com 
mon Old Testament idea, that the right hand is that which is ap- 
provrd and loved, the left that which is rejected. 

Ver. 34-36. In the first place, the righteous (dinatoi) are com 
mended by the king, and represented as the heirs of the kingdom 
(Mat th. v. ">). By the Divine kingdom, we are here to understand the 
perfect slate of the creation, called in another place (Rev. xxi. l,ff.) the 
new heaven and the new earth. There the characteristic of the kiny- 
domofGod, the dominion of the will of God, which extends by degrees, 
will be perfect (1 Cor. xv. 27) ; for the very last manifestations of 
evil will be destroyed, and the harmony disturbed by sin will be re 
stored. Hence the relation between the kingdom of Christ on earth 
and this eternal kingdom of the father (fiaoifaia rov rrarpoc) is as 
follows : in the former, although that which is good prevails, yet 
evil still exists ; in the latter the influence of evil is perfectly anni 
hilated. Here a difficulty occurs, in that this kingdom being repre 
sented in our passage as prepared for the K/b/povo/^of, heirs (Rom. viii. 
17) from eternity fyrotftaoptvij d-rrb Karaf3o^ KOOJUOV). Comp. Matth. 
xiii. 35 ; Ephes. i. 4. Similarly, ver. 41, the mjp alwviov, evcrlast- 
inyjirc, is described as prepared for the wicked. (The reading 8 
if-rotjiaaev f> ^a.ri\(t \LOV must yield to the ordinary reading ; but it 
makes no difference in the sense, because y/ro/pzo/u-vov can only be 
explained by supplying vnb rov rrarpo^.) But in the latter case the 
il-i> /.v/ruJoAi/f noanov, from the foundation, etc., is wanting, and this 
is a circumstance that must not be overlooked. Often as the election 
of believers is represented in the New Testament as eternal and 
dependent upon the predestination of God, it is never said of the 
wicked, that they are predestinated as such. 

\Ve have fully discussed this important doctrine concerning the 
relation of the Divine decree to the righteous and unrighteous, in 
the exposition of the principal pas-age that treats on that subject 
(H >m. ix). Here we .>nly oiler the following remarks. According 
to the nature of the opposition between good and evil, which is only 
relative, no one is good (tut of God or besides God, but only throuylt- 
dud and in dod. Hence the doctrine of Scripture which proceeds 
from the deepest knowledge of Divine things traces what is good 
in the creature to the only eternal (Jond, and accordingly teaches a 
predestination of the saints ; for ho who is good and happy can only 
become so liy dud s will and choice. The Divine choice, however, 

not destroy freedom, but establishes it; it is only the C:M 
ity, the power to choose evil, which is done away by grace [ulti-* 
mately in the perfected, in so far as it elevates them]. But the 



276 MATTHEW XXV. 37-40. 

case is different with evil. God, who is entirely free from evil, de 
termines no one to evil ; to act evilly is rather the prerogative of 
the creature. Hence sin, as proceeding from the creature, has not 
the character of the absolute. After evil has come into existence 
through the creature, its punishment may be ascribed to God, but 
God can never appoint even the wicked themselves to wickedness. 
The Holy Scriptures, in perfect harmony with this, teach a prcedes- 
tinatio sanctorum (although without gratia irresistibitis), but they 
say nothing about a reprobatio impiorum. He who is saved is so 
through God, and through God alone ; he who is lost is the sole 
cause of his own misery. 

The works of love performed by the righteous are now mentioned, 
as the proofs by which they evince their calling to the kingdom of 
God. (Comp. such passages in the Old Testament as Isaiah Iviii. 
6, 7 ; Job vi. 14, xxii. 6, ft ., where also eternal life is connected 
with works of love.) These, as works of true love, presuppose liv 
ing faith ; for faith and love are as inseparable as fire and warmth ; 
the one cannot exist in its real nature without the other ; and if 
they ever appear isolated (1 Cor. xiii. 2), the true nature of one or 
other is destroyed. Accordingly the reference is not to external 
actions of charity these may be dead works ; but the subject of 
discourse is the living effluence of the inward tide of love. It is in 
love as such that godliness consists, for God is love. 

Ver. 37-40. The ignorance of devout men respecting their 
works is humility, but not Christian humility, which cannot be 
conceived of as unconscious, because Christian life, in its perfection, 
presupposes the highest consciousness. Such passages as Matth. 
vi. 3 cannot be applied here, for they do not commend the absence 
of consciousness, but merely discountenance any appropriation of 
works as our own. The dialogue of course is to be regarded as the 
form of the similitude, but it has its truth in so far as the interior 
nature of man will manifest itself, at the judgment, in its proper 
character, and will, as it were, utter a real language. To those 
who have been actuated by a humble childlike love, there will then 
be a disclosure of the living connexion that subsists between the 
Eedcemer and his people, so that what is done to his brethren is 
done to him. (The expression //cpo/, little ones, as we have already 
shown, in the remarks on Matth. xviii. 6, is applied to believers, 
partly in reference to the world and its persecutions, and partly in 
reference to regeneration. But here tAo^mTo?, least, is employed in 
opposition to / } wf, great, and among the brethren themselves, 
great and little are distinguished, as Matth. v. 19. The distinction 
is designed to point out in a striking manner the dilierence between 

* From these sources the sumo view has been receive, 1 by the Rabbins. Compare 
Jalkut Rub. fol. -12, quicunqut- hospitalitatoin libentcr excrcct, illius est paradisus. 



MATTHEW XXV. 41-46. 277 

the act and the recompense ; love exercised toward the least of the 
brethren is followed by the richest reward.) The brethren are rep- 

ited ;is present (TOVTCJV TCJV d&A^div), and as distinguished 
from the. Ainatoi, to whom the language of the Judge is addn-sed. 
Hence the scene may he described as follows : those who arc judged 
stand Info,-, the throne of Christ, on the right and on the left ; then 
ly the m lh of the Judge, and therefore not appearing in judgment, 
stand believers, who do not come into judgment, but in and with 
Christ judge the world (1 Cor. vi. 2). 

Ver. 41-^46. The very same criterion by which eternal life is 
secured to the just, forms the reason why the unjust are consigned 
to everlasting punishment (/coAamf aluvios). As he who can love 
has the power to receive love, yea, as love is itself happiness and 
eternal life, so the privation of love is misery and incapability of 
happiness. Accordingly the punishment here spoken of is not arbi 
trary or positive ; the punishment of want of love is association 
with those who are destitute of love, in that state of discord in the 
external as well as the internal life, which constantly proceeds from 
the absence of love. And hence the Ko^amg aluviog, everlasting 
punishment, is not identical with the exclusion from marriage 
(Mattb. xxv. 13) ; on the contrary, the expression denotes eternal 
condemnation. Nor can the strictness of the contrast be mitigated, 
at least not by means of exegesis, on account of the term on) aiuviog, 
eternal life ; for the observation of De Wette that if a strict an 
tithesis were intended, annihilation must have been specified in 
opposition to life is sufficiently refuted by the fact that here the 
predominant idea expressed by the word life is not existence, but 
holy and happy being. In regard to the view founded upon the 
antithesis between good and evil generally that good alone is 
eternal, and rests in the nature of God himself, whilst evil is an ac 
cident, having nothing substantial in its nature, and therefore the 
cnitsnjuences of evil, which is temporal, can only be temporal we 
allow that these ideas arc certainly not devoid of truth. But at the 
same time, it must not be overlooked, that the mode of representa 
tion adopted in Scripture nowhere favours the hypothesis of the 
restitution of all things (a^onarda-acig r&v TTOVTWV) by any positive 
declarations, and hemv in the exegetic examination of this question 
which at last resolves itself into the view taken of free choice and 
its relation to Divine agency it is best to adhere to the mode of 
expression which Scripture has selected. However, the doctrine of 

; -lasting punishment is not to be sought in every place where 
the punishment of sin is mentioned ; this has been done long 
enough. Throughout the New Testament, redemption is the object 
kept in view, and hence the Lord, here as always, concludes his 
discourse not with condemnation, but with eternal happiness. And 



278 



MATTHEW XXV. 41-46. 



with a glance at this, we will pass on to the consideration of that 
gospel of love, which the disciple of love has bequeathed to us, 
wherein the secret things of God, and especially the profound coun 
sels of his grace, are disclosed. The eternal Word proceeding from 
the bosom of the Father, in order that he might bring the happi 
ness of eternal life to those who were lost, fathomed the abyss of all 
Bin and suffering, and sealed the covenant of peace with his own 
sacred blood, that he might procure for all eternal redemption. 



THE 



GOSPEL OF JOHN. 



Volat avis sine meta, 

Quo nee vates, nee propheta. 

Evolavit altius. 
Tarn implenda, quam impleta, 
Nunquam vidit tot secreta 

Puras homo puriua. 



EXPOSITION 



OP TUB 



GOSPEL OF JOHN. 



INTRODUCTION. 
1. OF JOHN PERSONALLY. 

ACCORDING to the evangelic history, the two celebrated brothers 
among the twelve apostles John and James were born in Beth- 
saida in Galilee. Zebedee and Salome were their parents ;f the 
former supported himself by fishing in the neighbouring sea, but 
he does not appear further in the Gospels as marked by spirit 
ual endowments. Salome, on the other hand, was amongst the 
women who ministered to the Saviour from their own substance, 
and her affection towards him whom she had learned to honour as 
the Messiah, was so great that she did not forsake him even at his 
cross (Mark xv. 40). By this pious mother the first germs of reli 
gion may have been planted in the heart of the son. The parents 
of John do not appear to have been exactly poor ; the acquaint 
ance which he himself had with the High Priest (not merely with 
his servants, John xviii. 15) indicates a certain respectability in the 
family from which John had descended. 

* Tho Hebrew name of the place is rn^s rpa, answering to tho German Fischhaus 
(Fish house.) 

f Tho assumption of a relationship between tho family of John and that of Jesus, 
is indeed apocryphal (Thilo Cod. Apocr. vol. i. 363); but yet it throws light upon many 
things; in particular, the otherwise extraordinary act of the dyin^ Saviour in commend 
ing Mary to John. Salome is said to have been tho daughter or the sister of Joseph. 

J Tho fishing on the Galilean Sea cannot possibly have allowed the acquisition of 
much wealth, i ars to deduce too much from Luke v. 10, when he understands 

tho passage as intimating that the families of John and Peter were in partnership, so as 
to carry on the trado of fishing on a large scale. The expression, fjoav Kotvurol r<f> 
Zifiuvt certainly cannot be rendered: "they were friends, companions of Simon." The 
dative requires tho translation: "they were in association with Simon," namely, in their 
business ; but there is nothing to show that this association was a permanent one. It is 
simplest to understand the words as meaning that they were at that time carrying on 
the fishing in combination, perhaps only for a few days. 



282 INTRODUCTION. 

Meanwhile this is a very unessential circumstance, and we can 
in no wise infer from it that he enjoyed any splendid training which 
would account for the subsequent bent of his mind, and his peculiar 
mini stry. The characteristics presented by our Evangelist arc to be 
explained purely from his elevated calling, which, under the influence 
of the Holy Spirit, could attain the most happy and perfect de 
velopment. This, his vocation to act for lofty Divine ends, first dis 
closed itself in his joining the Baptist. In him the Evangelist rightly 
recognized the first rays of the approaching sun, and while he was 
attracted by their lustre, the light which displayed its power in the 
Baptist led him to the fountain from which it gushed forth ; John 
came by means of the Baptist to Jesus. (John i. 35.) John soon 
belonged, with his brother James and with Peter, to the Lord s 
most select and confidential circle ; but he alone rested on the 
bosom of Jesus, on which account he is commonly called imarridio^. 

The relation of Christ to James is not precisely known ; but 
what we learn of Peter is quite adapted, from its contrast with 
John s mode of thought and disposition, to place the character of 
the Evangelist in a clearer light.* In Peter, manly force and fiery 
zeal predominated ; while John appears with a nature of virgin- 
softness, tranquil, and contemplative. Zeal continually brought 
Peter forward as the spokesman of the apostles, so long as the Lord 
was with them on earth, and after his ascension to heaven, as the 
representative and advocate of the infant Church ; while John 
neither travelled much, nor addressed large masses of people, nor 
converted great numbers, but rather reposed in quiet and contem 
plation so long as the Lord continued his work upon earth, leaning 
on his breast, and after he returned to the Father, listening with 
an open spiritual ear to his secret revelations. 

It may therefore be said, that whilst Peter loved Jesus more 
than did the other disciples (John xxi. 15) that is, whilst in him 
the active energy of love possessed greater fulness Jesus loved 
John more than he did the rest ; that is, the susceptibility to the 
powers of the upper world the negative, passive capability of love 
presented itself as predominant in John. Accordingly, whilst 
Peter s appointed sphere was that of practical activity, John was 
the apostolical representative of everything noble in the mystic 
and the intellectual. He was not called first to cut the way with 
the sword of the Spirit, as Peter and Paul, but to conduct those 
churches which had been founded, which were growing and develop 
ing, into the depths of the inner life, and to unfold to them the 
treasures of knowledge. Grotius meant something similar when he 
termed John ^AotT/aovf, friend of Jesus, but Peter faAdxpwroz, friend 
of Christ; though in these terms, he did not exhibit so much John s 
* Compare the Comment, on Matth. xiv. 28, fE 



INTRODUCTION. 283 

susceptibility of love his virgin tenderness as his a 11 erf ion for the 
\\unr.m person of the Saviour ; whilst IVter loved not so much his 
person us hiso///rc and <ff</iiif//. tfitfif/t . as this distinction is, I do not 
think it altogether true, since time manifestly reveals itself in 
Peter a strong impulse of love towards the Saviour personalty, 
though he never betrays the feminine susceptibility which we discover 
in John. 

Much, it is true, of the information which the Gospels supply 
concerning John, appears to stand in opposition to this view of his 
character; so that we might believe this tenderness of love and 
contemplativeness of nature to have been founded not so much in 
his calling and natural disposition, as in a work of grace within him. 
But while it is undeniable that the power of grace purifies and 
transforms the sinful peculiarities of man, it is equally certain that 
it does not substitute opposite characteristics for the natural dispo 
sition. It by no means converts the tender, gentle soul into a Luther, 
or changes one full of energy and force into a Melancthon ; but it 
sanctifies and perfects those natural abilities of man which are 
originally imparted by God. 

Hence it certainly cannot be supposed that John, before his 
second birth, possessed an ardent aspiring temperament like Peter s, 
for out of this, such a nature as John s never could have been form 
ed ; nor can anything amounting to proof be deduced from those 
passages which have been appealed to in support of such an asser 
tion. The main passage is Luke ix. 54, compared with Mark iii. 
17. According to the first, both the sons of Zebedee, John and 
James, said, when the inhabitants of a Samaritan town would af 
ford no shelter to Jesus, " Lord, if thou wilt, we will command that 
fire fall from heaven and destroy them, as Elias did." Jesus, how 
ever, rebuked them and said, " Know ye not of what spirit ye are 
the children ?" In the other passage, both brothers are called viol 
PpovrTfi, sons of thunder, indicating a character likely to utter such 
expressions as that which has just been adduced. But in the ex 
planation of Luke ix. 54, it has already been shewn, in the first 
place, that no connexion subsists between these passages, while 
the epithet, " sons of thunder" points out nothing censurable, but 
designates the new name, that is, the new nature of both Zebedee s 
children ; and, in the second place, that the ebullition of anger 

lust the Samaritans affords no evidence of a peculiarly vehement 
temperament, but merely indicates a momentary confounding of the 
spirit of the Old and New Testaments, and of their relative points of 
view. Keeping then in view the character of John, as a flee ti mate 
and contemplative, yet without the feebleness or effeminacy too fre 
quently ascribed to him this occurrence will not lead us into any 
error as to its essential tone. Nor do we regard the passages Matth. 



284 INTRODUCTION. 

xx. 20, ff., and the parallel, Mark x. 35, ff., as affording any more 
evidence than those quoted above of an aspiring disposition in 
John. According to Matthew, the mother asks ivitli the two sons ; 
according to Mark, the sons alone ask for two places of honour in 
the kingdom of the Lord, at his right hand and at his left. It is 
probable that the propensity, naturally cleaving to every man, to 
become eminent and exalted, was on this occasion stirring in the 
minds of the disciples ; yet even the context, indicates that this 
was not their radical principle of life, and the ultimate ground 
of their request ; for the Lord did not rebuke any ambitious and 
corrupt motive in this request, but merely their ignorance of the 
greatness of what they asked. " Yc know not what ye ask," said 
Jesus, " nor the way which would lead to that which ye desire." It 
is thus more than probable that the essential import of their peti 
tion was, that they might be allowed ever to dwell in immediate 
nearness to him whom they loved with all their soul. (The same 
view has already been indicated in the Commentary on these pas 
sages.) It was obviously not so much the request of the two disci 
ples, as the manner in which the ten expressed themselves in 
reference to it (ver. 24), which gave rise to the subsequent address 
of Jesus (Matth. xx. 25, ff.); and the words in which he portrays 
dominion in the kingdom of God, are intended rather to unfold to 
the ten the nature of such dominion than to reprove the sons of 
Zebedee. They express the sentiment : " It is well to strive after 
dominion in the kingdom of God, since no one rules there but the 
most humble and most lowly ; if, therefore, the two disciples seek 
for themselves places of dignity in the kingdom of God, they desire 
something which presupposes the deepest humility and the purest 
love." Accordingly, wo can only infer that, while John participated 
in the general sinfulness of human nature which is self-evident 
he was endowed by God with the greatest loveliness, in order to ex 
hibit in him, through the transformation of his nature by the re 
generating power of grace, that very engaging aspect which has 
always won for him the admiration of the church. 

With regard to the latter circumstances of John s life, it appears 
frohi Gal. ii. 9, that he spent a considerable time in Jerusalem, and 
a later tradition reports that he lived there until the death of Mary, 
the Lord s mother who is said to have died in the year A. D. 48 
in order that he might completely fulfil the charge of the dying 
Saviour to take care of his mother. Although this information can 
not be regardeil as historically established, still the date certainly 
approaches very closely to the truth. 

Of many of the journeys attributed to John nothing is recorded, 
nor does his character render it likely that they ever were taken. 
We only know that, probably when the apostles ceased from devo- 



INTRODUCTION. 285 

ting their cliicf attention to the people . ,f Israel, Jolm went to 
Ephesus, in Asia Minor, where Paul h;i<l laboured before him. Hi- 
residence in this important city "f the old world is perfectly demon- 

! >le iVoin history. After Ireniens, who reeeived the most certain 
information on this point from his teaeher Polycarp, the immedi;ite 
disciple of John, it is related by Clement of Alexandria, Eusehius. 
Jerome, etc.f John lived there till the time of Trajan, towards 
the end of the first century, and attained the greatest age of all the 
apostles. For a long period, his grave was shewn there as a sacred 
relique.f Probably it was there that he composed his writ 
(Comp. 4 in this Introduction), which in their contents and form 
are suited to the state of things prevailing in Asia Minor. It is 
only with respect to the book of Revelation that the assumed ban 
ishment of the Evangelist to the Isle of Patmos occasions any diffi 
culties ; these, however, can be considered and solved only in the 
connected inquiry respecting the authenticity of that work. Among 
the incidents of John s life that have come down to us, is the ac 
count of the Evangelist s preservation in boiling oil, which Tcrtullian 
(de praescr. haer. c. 3G) communicates, and which is doubt! 
legendary. The circumstance that John had no hard Bufferings and 
persecutions to endure as well as the fact of his not dying a martyr 
is traceable to the peaceful and purely spiritual character of his 
lite ; and in this respect, also, a distinction might be established 
between the characters of Peter and John (comp. John xxi. 18-22). 
The spirituality and power of his work as an apostle strikingly ap 
pear in the account given by Clement of Alexandria (quis div. salv. 
c. 42) concerning the youth who had fallen among the robbers, as 
also that by Jerome (vol. iii. 314) about the exhortation to love, into 
which the disciple of love compressed everything worthy of desire ; 
and nothing can be said against their credibility. 

With respect to the narrative of the meeting between the Evan 
gelist and Ccrinthus (Knseb. II. E. iii. 3, 28, iv. 14), I entirely con 
cur in the view taken by Lficke (Comment. Pt. i. p. 19, in the second 
edit inn, which I always quote), viz., that there is no admissible 
ground for considering the story untrue; on the contrary, 3 Epis. 
,l. hn vcr. 10 appears suggestive of the key to John s conduct to 
wards that heretic, and even this, when rightly understood, con 
tains nothing contradictory t. the gentle character of the Eviingelit. 
The bias under which this was for along time viewed as a fabrication. 
proceeded simply and solely from that weakness and indifference. 

* Since even in tho second Epistlo of Timothy no mention is made of John, and 
Timothy there appears quite liy himself, it is probable that John went to Ephesus 
but a little be for iction of Jerusidem. at tho close of N ITU S ivign. 

\ Comp. Iren. adv. h;i r. !. ];. i v . 11, v. 20; Clem. A. quis divea 

salv. c. 42; Jeroino ad 1. KL \<. ::i-t. 

Kuseb. H. K. vii. Jj p. ! :oth. 



286 INTRODUCTION. 

with respect to heretics, which persons had accustomed themselves to 
regard as toleration and kindness. 



2. OF THE GENUINENESS OF THE GOSPEL BY JOHN. 

The Gospel of John possesses stronger historical testimonies to 
its genuineness, than any other portion of the New Testament, or, 
we may. say, of all antiquity.* For, although other writings of the 
New Testament can exhibit testimonies to their apostolic origin just 
as old and as numerous, still the Gospel of John has this advantage, 
that its author lived a generation longer than the rest of the apos 
tles, and dwelt and laboured for many years^in one of the most flour 
ishing communities of the ancient church. John, as we have 
already remarked, lived in Ephesus, and died there in the reign of 
Trajan, at the end of the first century of our era, about a hundred 
years old. 

We know, from the letters of the contemporary Pliny,f to what 
an extent Christianity prevailed at that time in Asia Minor ; 
everywhere in the cities there were numerous bodies of believers, 
and even in the rural districts the Gospel had made considerable 
progress. 

Accordingly, John, the last witness of the life of the Lord re 
maining on earth, must have been held in the greatest esteem by 
the numerous Christian flocks ; his writings must have been fre 
quently read, and thus it must have been rendered next to impos 
sible that a spurious work should be attributed to him, and especially 
one of such importance as the Gospel of John, without immediately 
calling forth the liveliest opposition. History, however, knows of 
no objection to John s Gospel. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. iii. 25) enu 
merates it with the three first Gospels among the Homologoumena, 
and even the oldest teachers of the church acknowledge it as a 
genuine monument of John. Irenneus, in particular, says that sev 
eral old teachers gave him information concerning John and his 
Gospel. + He doubtless intended among these persons, in the first 
place, Poly carp, bishop of Smyrna, who had known John personally; 
and, secondly, Papias of Hierapolis in Phrygia. Eusebius indtv I 
(Eccl. Hist. iii. 39) declares that the latter had not known any of the 
holy apostles, but it is plain that Eusebius misunderstood the words 
of Papias, as we have already fully pointed out. It is true that 
direct quotations from the Gospel of John are not adduced in the 

* Comp. Calmbcrg diss. do antiquissimis patrum pro evangelii Joannei avOn-rio. teg- 
timoniis. Hamb. 1822. 

f Comp. riin. Epist. x. 97, printed in my Monum. hist. eccL, voL i. p. 23, seq. 

j Comp. my Gcschichtc dor Evangclicn, p. 219, ff. 

See Olshausen s Genuineness of Writings of X. T. p. 118. [In. 



INTRODUCTION. 287 

fragments of Papias, nor docs Eusebius (iii. 30), who had read his 
writings, inform us that Papias cited John. But it does not follow, 
that tin 1 bishop of Hicrapolis might not have known the fourth 
Gospel ; on the contrary, Eusebius makes no remark as to whether 
the teachers of the church, about whose works he gives intelligence, 
knew or did not know certain writings, except in instances where 
uncertainty existed concerning their origin. This, however, was not 
the case with the Gospel of John, and he therefore maintained per 
fect silence as to this work, and as to their use of it. 

Besides these oldest witnesses, we find the work of the Evange 
list John acknowledged and used by very many others, and that in the 
most diverse districts and regions. Justin Martyr had it in his col 
lection of Memorabilia, Clement of Alexandria used it as a genuine 
apostolic composition ; so did Tertullian in Carthage and Irenreus 
in Lyons ; nor was it less known and used by the Syrian and the 
old Italian churches, in the primitive canons of which, in connexion 
with the other Gospels, that of John also is found. Nor was this 
general harmony in the acknowledgment of John s Gospel confined 
to the members of the Catholic Church ; it was used among the 
sects also as genuine and apostolic ; the Gnostics, for instance, and 
the Montanists, and even Pagans (e. g. Celsus), regarded the Gos 
pel of John as an acknowledged source of Christian doctrine. 
Among the former, it is true that the Marcionites, just as the 
judaizing sects, did not use John ; this, however, was not because 
they doubted its authenticity, but, on the contrary, because they 
acknoivledged it. They did not believe that John was to be num- 
. bered with those apostles who had properly apprehended the Gos 
pel ; the former (the Marcionites) considered only Paul and the 
latter (Ebionites) only Matthew to be the genuine apostles. Tims 
the very opposition of these sects to the use of John s Gospel con 
firms the evidence for its authenticity. The remarks which Bret- 
schneiderj- has opposed to these historical facts, are partly of no 
importance, and partly rest upon misunderstood passages of the 
Fathers ; upon which subject I have enlarged in my work already 
frequently referred to (p. 242, if). 

The only trace of a contest respecting the apostolic origin of 
John, is afforded by the Alogians,+ an insignificant sect, which rose 

* Comp. my G< tor KvangfHi-n, p. 288, flf. What Credner ha> adduced 

against this (Ufitrii^e zur Kinl. Ifallr, is;! j)isso intrinsic-ally improbable, and so utti-rly 
unrounded, that no OIK. has acki; . (Coinp. Lucko Comm. vol. i. p. 20. : 

Justin Martyr. 1 with our : 

he leaves this doubtful w r ko that of . i or never used them! 

According to him, Justin u-rd only the IVtri: 

f Comp. his probaliilia do evangclii ot c [iistolarum Joannis Apostoli idole et origine. 
Lips. 1820, p. -211, soq. 

$ Compare my Geschichte der Evanp ",, ff. 



288 INTRODUCTION. 

in opposition to the Montanists. Their opposition, however, is per- 
1 rrtly unimportant, because they rejected the genuineness of this 
Gospel wit In nit any historical ground, and merely for polemical rea 
sons. Moreover, their entire character and influence were trivial 
and insignificant, and no person of consequence belonged to them. 

Arguments, however, more acute and profound than were pro 
duced by these feeble opponents of John in antiquity, have been 
recently urged against the genuineness of the work under consider 
ation. These require a short notice ; more especially because they, 
for the most part, rest upon correct observations, from which false 
conclusions have been deduced. We here notice only the work of 
Bretschneider, already alluded to, because it is the most acute of 
those which have been penned against the genuineness of John s 
Gospel.* 

The weightiest among all the remarks which have been di 
rected against the Gospel of John by this scholar, is that the 
Saviour, as delineated in the fourth Gospel, appears a perfectly 
different person from that which he is described to be in the 
three other Gospels. The difference between the Christ of John 
and that of the synoptical Evangelists is, in fact, very great. The 
Saviour, as portrayed by John, as compared with the Saviour of the 
synoptical Gospels, exhibits a form, as it were, etherealized and 
invested with a magical character. Everything in him is spiritual 
and profound. His discourses are replete with genuine mysticism and 
Gnosis. Nothing that is partial, narrow, merely national, is to be 
found. On the other hand, in the description of the synoptical 
writers, Jesus appears in a national garb, teaching in the mode 
common with the Jewish instructors, acting in a manner entirely 
national. With all the richness of thought in the discourses of 
Christ, yet most of them, as given by the three first Evangelists, 
want that peculiarity which, in the nobler sense of the words, we 
may term mystical Gnosis. 

* While Bretschnoider has declared himself vanquished by tho weight of the argu 
ments adduced against his probabilities, do Wetto recently repeats his objections to the 
authenticity ; to say nothing of the positive language used by Dr. Strauss. Do Wette 
maintains (p. 8) that an apostolic disciple composed the Gospel from the communications 
of an apostle, only with tho unshackled use of his own mind ; and that in truth this was 
a disciple of the Evangelist John. Meanwhile all that is urged against John himself, 
illicit, with equal propriety, bo said against a disciple of his, supposing him to have been 
a true disciple of John, and acknowledged by him as such. For, according to de Wette s 
lax views, in particular, there would be no difficulty in admitting that tho apostle him 
self committed all the errors which have induced him to fix upon a disciple of the apostle 
as the author of the Gospel. At tho same time de Wette himself, at the conclusion of 
the passage to which we have alluded, admits the unsatisfactory nature of such internal 
evidence as he adduces, and acknowledges tho incontrovertible character of the opposite 
external evidence. " Th rc \.Miition of John as the author of our Gospel, even after 
the most \ relent in the Chun-h." I am of the ame 

opinion : the most hostile attacks upon the truth can only place it in a more triumphant light 



INTRODUCTION. 289 

True, we iiiul als.. among biographies of human sages, e. </., in 
that of Socrates, a similar variation ; Plato -ivcs him a more .spirit 
ual aspect than dors \enphon. Jiut the difference 1 between. the 
two reprev,. ntations dors not stand out so forcibly, either in this 
instance or in any other, as in the ease belorr us ; and did we rec 
ognize nothing more than a human element in Christ, it might in fart 
In- scarcely conceivable how one amongst his disciples could give a pic 
ture so entirely different from that drawn by the others. But this 
phenomenon becomes intelligible to him who believes that in Christ 
tin. 1 fulness of the Godhead itself was manifest, and displayed in 
humanity a perfect model of all that is beautiful and morally great. 
And connecting with this the supposition that all the disciples of 
the Lord and particularly the Evangelists possessed very differ 
ent personal endowments, we discover how, in the different mirrors 
of their minds, the same sublime, rich image, could variously pre 
sent itself, since no individual was in a position to catch all the 
rays that issued from the sun f the spiritual world, and unite 
them into one image. It was reserved for the profound, contem 
plative mind of John to receive its tenderest beam, and thus repro 
duce the most spiritual representation of the Saviour. Each 
of the others apprehended a single aspect of his great work, all 
of them, however, looking at him rather from without than from 
within. 

To this internal ground of difference add the external one, that 
John wrote with a wholly different design from that of the three 
first Evangelists, and for an entirely different class of persons (of 
which more, presently); and hence, his style of treatment would differ 
widely from theirs. 

And while thus the difference between the description of Christ 
given by John and that given by the three first Evangelists 
. onus no ground for doubting the authenticity of John but goes 
rather to prove the sublimity which invested the character of 
Christ, and the high endowments of the Evangelist just as 
little question of this authenticity can be founded on the remark 
flu- discourses of John could not have been (Win-n tl.** Even if 



* The inapplicability of tho mythical hypothesis to John s Gospel, after the general 

:.co to tho evangelic history as a whole 

(in tin; Comment, vol. i. 3d edit.), requires no further demonstration. All that is there 
adduced only serves to accumui . ,. in favour of John; since ho was from the 

begi; ; ,nd momentous circumstances in the 

life ol since ho took charge of tho mother of Jesus, and from her might gain 

an accurate acquaintance with all the incidents of his history in childhood (the fact that ho 
does not contradict tho statements of Matthew and Luke, is, moreover to be viewed as a 
confirmation of them, because In- must have known them); and finally, since he lived 
the longest of the apostles, and wrote his (ioppcl at a time when Christianity had already 
spread through all tho regions of the orbis terrarum, and that not in a sequestered corner 
of tho earth, but in Kphesus, one of tho great centres of business in that day 

VOL. II. 19 



290 INTRODUCTION. 

tliis remark were substantiated, it would afford no testimony against 
nuineness, since in the apostolic Matthew we meet with dis 
courses framed by the Evangelist himself : provided the same Spirit 
who inspired the Holy Teacher animated him who framed the dis 
courses, such freedom in the treatment of them can be no disparage 
ment. In the case of John, however, the fact itself is not estab 
lished. Nothing but the false supposition that the discourses in 
John are too profound, too thoroughly digested, to have been deliv 
ered to the disciples, much more to the people, could have led to this 
view. Jesus intentionally spoke much that certainly was not in its 
full sense understood by those around him ; but the Holy Ghost 
was to bring all that he said to the remembrance of the disciples, in 
order that an object worthy of investigation and study might be 
bequeathed to them for a later period, when they and the Church 
should have made further attainments. While, therefore, I am 
not at all of opinion that John noted down those discourses which 
he has recorded, word for word, and from these notes inserted them 
in his work, I still believe that the discourses of Christ given us by 
John are given substantially as the Saviour delivered them. They 
in nowise resemble Matthew s method of compilation, but are confined 
so strictly to the historic occasions which called them forth, and arc 
in themselves so finished and entire, that every thing seems to me 
indicative of their originality.* 

With the main arguments which we have thus referred to, may 
be coupled some subordinate observations of Bretschneider such 
as, that the author here and there betrays that he is no eye-witness, 
appears not to be a native of Palestine, makes incorrect statements 
respecting the last Passover, and so forth. All these objections 
have already been cleared up in the special refutation of Bret- 
schneider s hypothesis,f and the substance of them is considered in 

* Locke thinks (p. 103) there can be no mistake in the opinion, " that the dis 
courses of Jesus related by John manifest the reflection of John s mode of speech and 
thought, or reproduction through the medium of a subsequent development of his mind." 
If this bo understood as referring merely to the form of the discourses, I perfect I v 
to it ; but the contents themselves appear to me too peculiar to have sustained an altera 
tion in passing through the mind of John. Yet even as it respects the form, there are 
important passages, such as Matth. xi. 27, 28, which sound quite like John s, while John 
vi. 1, ff., and xii. 1, ff., come very near to the representation in the synoptical t 
The principal cause of the difference between the discourses of Jesus in tin- synoptical 
Gospels and in that of John, must doubtless bo sought in the varied individual cha 
istics of the reporters, who were variously attracted by different discourses of 
In Christ all forms were united, but each one recounted only that which entered most 
deeply into his own heart. The affinity between the mode of speech and representation in 
John s" Epistles and that in the Gospel, is satisfactorily explained by the susceptible char 
acter of John, who was able to make the sentii .. pirit of his Divine Master all 
his own. 

f Comp. Hemsen uber die Authentic des Johannes. Schleswig, 1823; and especially 
L. Usteri Commentatio critica, in qua Evangelium Joannis, genuinum esae ex comparatis 



INTRODUCTION. 291 

the exposition, as the fereta] passages occur which have reference 

to tilt 1 matter. 

Finally, as to tin 1 inijr!iij <>f the Gospel. This also has been 
disputed : tin- concluding chapl T in part ieular is assailed with 
plausible arguments ; and, besides this, single passages are assailed, 
such as John v. 3, 4, vii. 53 viii. 11. But we reserve the explana 
tion of these paragraphs also until we come to the interpretation of 
the passages adduced 

3, OF THE DESIGN OF JOHN S GOSPEL. 

In the numerous and important investigations concerning the 
object pursued by the Evangelist John in the composition of his 
Gospel, it is abundantly evident that a sufficient distinction has 
not been made between principal and subordinate designs. In a 
writing of the compass which John s Gospel embraces, an auth6r 
may obviously keep in view and prosecute several objects at the 
same time ; while he nevertheless ordinarily directs his attention 
and his aim, from the beginning to the end of his work, towards 
one thing only as, strictly speaking, the main purpose the subor 
dinate designs presenting themselves in single passages rather than 
in the whole. Accordingly I recognize as the chief object of. the 
Evangelist, that which he himself states (John xx. 31), viz., to 
place before the eyes of the world the life of Christ the Son of God, 
neither for the Jews alone as Matthew, nor for the Gentiles alone 
as did Mark and Luke, but for all those, among Jews and Gentiles, 
who possessed the ability and the disposition to engage in pfofounder 
speculations respecting Divine things, and whom we will designate 
by an appellation e"inprising both the true and the false in their 
character, viz., gnostict*//t>/ Mijstics.-\ 

!><-pth of mind prepared the Evangelist to satisfy the lofty 
claims of these men. On the one hand, he could appreciate what 
was pure in the attempt to penetrate to a deeper acquaintance with 
the essence of Divine things ; while, on the other, he knew the 
temptations arising from this tendency, and the imminent danger 
of error with which it threatened mankind, lie knew, further, in 

qua jrum narrationibus do co^na ultima et do pasaiono Jesu Christ! < - 

ditur. Turici. 1823. 

* Comp. Lfieke on the History of the same. 

. T., p. 00. IT., aii 1 \ufsatz 

&ber - ChristliH 

1835, No. 1. Some of the Fathers ad. ; \v in particular, i \ iph- 

anius, and Philastri is; nly they routined their attciu. 

t, especial ilaitans, or the V - use, 

Iremeus, overlooking in tin- tim>- f John, 

says (adv. hier. iii. 1C) that John wrote provident blasphemas Gnosticorum regulaa. 



292 INTRODUCTION. 

what errors these gnosticizing Mystics were already more or less in 
volved, and sa\v himself in the position to meet them in all main 
points, .by profound, unadulterated truth; and accordingly it was 
necessary so to shape his labours as an author, that doctrinal state 
ment should accompany the polemic element. The affectionate 
and mild disposition of the beloved disciple not only left no trace 
of acrimony or bitterness, but even shrank from particular and direct 
attacks. The simple representation of the true, eternal Mystic and 
Gnosis (i. e. the deeper, essential, Divine knowledge, in opposition 
to the merely conceptual) rightly appeared to him the most suitable 
agency by which he might refute all false Gnosis, and at the same 
time, while attracting to this knowledge, by means of its own beauty 
and glory, all those nobler minds of whom there were doubtless 
many amongst the Jewish and Pagan Mystics, might disengage it 
from all false images of this kind. We may therefore see in John 
what from the Christian point of view, is the purest, noblest form 
of polemics. It is that which contends against its opposite rather 
by the power of the truth unveiling itself in its beauty, than by 
positive assault ; thus accomplishing far more than by the latter 
method, because positive attacks generally call forth and embitter 
what is sinful in man, while the mere disclosure of the truth makes 
common cause with what is noble in the hearts of adversaries them 
selves, and so enlists them among its friends and defenders. 

If, however, agreeably to what has been stated, I recognize, as 
the main object pursued by John in the composition of his Gospel, 
a doctrinal and polemic aim against a tendency of mind widely pre 
vailing at the time ; I cannot confine my thoughts, either with 
Irenajus (adv. hasr. iii. 12) merely to Ccrinthus and his adherents, 
or with Epiphanius and Philastrius to the Nicolaitans or the Mar- 
cionites, or even with some of more recent date, c. g. Grotius and 
Herder, merely to the Sabians, or the disciples of John ; while at 
the same time I cannot exclude either of the latter two. In partic 
ular, the expressions of the Evangelist respecting the Baptist (John 
i. 6) evidently have a polemical leaning against the erroneous opin 
ions of the Sabians concerning their master. J. D. Michaelis, Storr, 
Hug, etc., certainly took the most correct view, when they main 
tained that John had in his eye these and the rest of the Gnostics 
in apostolic times. These learned men, however, appear to have 
formed too narrow a notion of polemics, overlooking the fact, that 
the Gospel is just as much, and almost more an invitation to the 
true Gnosis than a refutation of the false. The latter is rather to 
be regarded as naturally involved in the representation of the 
former. In like manner it seems to me that Kleuker s theory 
of a reference in John to the gross views of Judaists, confounds 
the negative with the positive character of his Gospel Carnal 



INTRODUCTION. 293 

Judaism is certainly refuted l>y tin- spirituality of tli (I --pel, 
but there is no direct reference to this contrast. Tin- peculiarities 
in the language, ami the choice of matter, throughout the entire 
work, indicate a pervading reference to individuals of a Gnostic 
tendency, and on that account I do not hesitate to consider this the 
main ohject of the Gospel before us, without, however, wishing to 
exclude special references, in single passages, to particular sects, as, 
for example, the Sabians. 

Connected with this main design of the Evangelist, there ap 
pears to be another of a more incidental character, viz., that of 
supplying the complement of the three first Gospels;-- a design 
at once spiritual as to its tendency, and material in relation 
to the occurrences and discourses. Clement of Alexandria (in 
Euseb. H. E. vi. 14) attached importance only to the former, while 
Euscbius of Cassarea regarded only the latter ; both, however, must 
be united in order to portray with accuracy the character of John 
in his relation to the three first Evangelists. To sketch perfectly the 
image of Christ, it was not sufficient to portray him in the spiritual 
manner employed by John ; there were needed also material addi 
tions in the way of incidents and discourses, to bring out all that 
was important to be known of his character. Yet we cannot regard 
this latter object, even with both its parts in combination, as the 
main purpose in the composition of the Gospel, because occasion 
ally something is related which has been already touched upon by the 
other Evangelists ; and especially because deviations from the ac 
counts of the synoptical writers occur without being reconciled. 
(Comp. in particular, John s account of the resurrection, with those 
of the other Evangelists.) Both these facts would be inconceivable 
if John had written his Gospel for the express purpose of completing 
the three already in use in the church ; moreover, in this case there 
would hardly he such an entire absence of allusion to the synoptical 
authors as we find existing ; whereas the matter becomes perfectly 
consistent if we assume that John had reference, in connexion wif/i his 
main object, to existing accounts of the life of Jesus.f The supply f 

* As to the filling up of the synoptical Gospels by John, I quite agree with the senti 
ments expressed in U;LS,- S Loben Jesu (p. 181, note 3). Eusebius rcma: i. -4, 
edit. Stroth. p- 15">) that John wished merely to give an account of tho first year of 
Chri- commenced their history with t 

uiiciit of tho Baptit. But i : of this imprisonim-nt is i; 

anticipation (eomp. tho Comm.), not a chronological circumstance in tho narration of tho 
synoptical - which, Ji l. information OODi latter part 

of t!. tar more i: tint, it than the three 

fir.-t Kvan _-. -lists. 

j- Ai : ! consideration, I prefer this mode of understanding the 

John to the synoptical 1 "- "") 

is of opinion that J< !. ntten 

Gospels. But since, according to tho testimony of history, these did exist before the 



294 INTRODUCTION. 

deficiencies was in part then a matter of\ course ; for alike John s 
peculiar mental characteristics and his object, differing widely from 
those of the other Evangelists, necessarily led him to other points 
than those to which they had directed their labours. 

With this supplementary position of the fourth Gospel, I am 
also inclined to connect its chronological character. (Comp. the 
remarks in the Comm. vol. i. Introduction, 7.) It is obvious that to 
give accurately the days which separate one occurrence from another, 
or to furnish minute information respecting the feasts which Jesus ob 
served in Jerusalem, was unimportant, so far as the main object of 
the Gospel was concerned ; for the Gnostics were accustomed to re 
gard such external things as small and trifling. If, therefore, we 
would associate the chronological character of the Gospel with its 
chief design, we must maintain that it was just on account of this 
Gnostic neglect of chronology that John was careful respecting it. 
Now this relation between the two things can scarcely be shewn to be 
probable. But the explanation of the regard which John paid to the 
chronological element becomes the more natural if we assume that he 
failed to find in the synoptical Gospels an account of the Lord s re 
lation to those feasts in Jerusalem by which the time of his public 
ministry could be measured. The Evangelist has supplied this by 
no means unimportant defect, so far, at least, that we are in a posi 
tion in some measure to fix the term of Christ s ministry ; although 
we must give up the attempt to insert the single events reported by 
the synoptical Evangelists, into the periods between his journeys to 
the feasts. 

In accordance with the resting-points suggested by John him 
self, we have divided the Gospel into three nearly equal parts, so 
as to facilitate a view of the whole. The/rs part extends as far 
as John vi. 71, to the journey to the Feast of Tabernacles ; the 
second reaches to xi. 57, the last journey to the Passover, and com 
prehends a period of six months ; the third to xvii. 26, the history 
of his sufferings, and includes six days. The extent of the first 
cannot be precisely determined, on account of the uncertainty at- 

compositiou of John s Gospel (how long before it matters not to this question), it appear** 
inconceivable that John should not have become acquainted with them, iu a city like 
in -re everything was concentrated; whilst if he knew them, ho could not 
have avoided mentioning them. The instances adduced by Liicko are not of such a kind 
as to render it impossible to admit a knowledge of our canonical Gospels on the part of 
John, if we once allow that the strict design of the apostle was not the completion of 
the synoptical works. 

* Several of the Fathers, e. g. Irenreus (i. 3, 3, ii. 20, 22), Clement of Alexandria 
(Strom, i. 174), Origen (de princ. iv. 5), Tertullian (adv. Jud. c. IS), limit the ministry of 
(, hri>t to l!ut in coming {> this conclusion, they appear to have foil" 

not so much what is intimated in . as prophetic passages of the Old Testa- 

. iv. 18), and Daniel s seventy weeks. A 

strange contract with this view is t onned by the entirely unfounded assertion that Christ 
d the age of jifly years. (Comp. Iron. ii. 22 ; Euseb. II. E. iii. 23.) 



INTRODUCTION. 295 

to tin- pa<sag<-< v. 1 ami vi. 4. (Comp. the interpretation 
there given.) At any rate, however, two Passover f spoken 

of, which Jesus attended during his mini-fry, befiiv tin- 1 Vast of 
Tabernacles (vii. 1, if.), and accordingly, the iirst period includes at 
least more than a year and a half, perhaps even iniv tlnn t\vo 
years and a halt , which latter supposition is at all events th- D 
probable. 

4. TIME AND PLACE OF COMPOSITION. 

As to the place where John may have composed his Gospel, 
nothing certain can be determined ; but the later history of the 
Evangelist leads to Ephesus, where, as we know, he took up his 
permanent abode. The conjecture that John composed his Gospel 
in this famous commercial city of the old world is confirmed partly 
by ancient tradition, since Irenreus (adv. liter, iii. 1) and Eusebius 
(H. E. vi. 8) mention Ephesus as the place of its composition ; and 
partly by the fact that its design, us above referred to, is eminently 
suited to this city and its neighbourhood. For it was precisely in 
and around Ephesus that the Gnostic doctrine prevailed, and must 
have pressed itself upon John s attention, as a phenomenon of im 
portance to the church ; hence the very wants of this locality satis 
factorily explain the form of representation which he adopted. 

From the Gospel itself, we can only infer that it cannot have 
been composed in Palestine, and for natives of that country ; for 
Jewish manners and customs are treated as unknown, and are on 
this account explained. (Comp. John ii. 6, 13, iv. 9.) Another 
traditional statement, that John s Gospel was written in the Isle of 
Patinos, is supported only by doubtful testimony, e. g. the spurious 
treatise of Hippolytus "on the Twelve Apostles." The synopsis 
of Holy Scripture ascrilied to Athanasius represents John as merely 
inditing the Gospel in the island, and says that it was published by 
Gains in Kphesus. (Comp. Lucke s Comm. Pt. i. p. 120.) Hence 
the statement thai Kph ->us was the place of the composition only 
gains from this greater probability. 

As to the time of the composition, the Gospel itself furnishes 
nothing whatever that can determine it. An appeal has indeed 
i made to chap. v. J. in proof that Jerusalem was yet standing 
when John composed the (losprl. But the words tar i A- 
IqxxroA.vfMMf, mitt f/i ifcrtMofem, may just as well be applied 

to a recollection of the state <>\ the eity and to its environs, or to 
the destroyed city itself, where in fact the KO/IV/. *//%/, ^nnl. was still 
remaining. \\Vtheivfoiv only arrive at a determination of the trine 
by means of John s relation to the synoptical Evangelists. Ac 
cording to the f.regoing \ aragraph, it is already clear that John 



296 INTRODUCTION. 

must have written later than the first three ; and this is also con 
tinued ly the tradition of the ancient church. (Comp. Clemens of 
Alexandria in Euseh. H. E. vi. 14, Epiphanius hajr. li. 19.) We 
are thus at once carried beyond the time of the destruction of Jeru 
salem ; for since the first Evangelists wrote immediately before this 
catastrophe, John must have composed his Gospel after it. Tradi 
tion supplies nothing more definite in reference to the time of the 
composition ; for the accounts of Epiphanius (brer, li. 12) and of 
Suidas (s. v. Icjawijc^ that the work was composed in the year 90, 
or indeed, according to the latter, in the year 100 although they 
cannot vary much from the truth, arc of no value to us as means of 
proof; partly because they are not harmonious, and partly because 
they belong to a period far too late. 

There is therefore only one remaining circumstance by which to 
determine the time, viz., the relation of the Gospel to the other 
writings of John, particularly to the book of the Revelation, in 
which we recognize an authentic Johannine document. The con 
tents, no less than the form of the Apocalypse, indicate that its 
composition was earlier than that of the Gospel. I place it (as will 
be hereafter shown, with the grounds of my opinion,) between the 
death of Nero and the destruction of Jerusalem. Between the 
composition of the Apocalypse and that of the Gospel, however, a 
period of some length seems to have elapsed, as the Gospel exhibits 
a considerable increase of facility in writing Greek. Consequently 
we cannot be far from the truth in placing the composition of the 
Gospel between the years A.D. 80 and 90. 

The mention of the relation between the Gospel and the Apoca 
lypse leads us to the language and style of the former work. It is 
hardly needful to mention that the original language of the Gospel 
is Greek ; the view taken by Grotius, Bolten, and Bertholdt,* that 
it was originally written in Aramaic, and then translated into Greek, 
is to be regarded as sufficiently refuted. And the Greek in the 
Gospel, as compared with the style of the Apocalypse, evinces much 
greater skill and ability. The language of the Apocalypse is full of 
harsh and even obvious grammatical inaccuracies ; in the Gospel, 
there is nothing of the kind ; the language is easy, free, and 
flexible, and has only the general Hebraic complexion of the 
Hellenistic dialect, and that by no means in the degree found in 
Matthew. 

Nothing is simpler than to ascribe this increased fluency to longer 
practice, which must have enabled John to clothe the abumlan 

* Bertholdt assumes with Bolton errors in the translation from the Aramaic, in John s 
Gospel, without, however, claiming that tho Gospel was originally written entirely in 
Aramaic. Ho thinks that only the diogcses from which John elaborated his work were 
written in Aramaic. 



INTRODUCTION. 297 

liis sublime ideas, more and more naturally, in the garb of the lan 
guage which circumstanees ne<-i-->arily induced him to D 

On comparing the langua .;< of John with the siyle of other NY-.v 
ament authors in particular with that of Paul -one thing 
itx lf as specially characterising the former, viz., the use of 
i numher of words upon the right apprehension of whose import 
turns the understanding of what is peculiar in the entire work. To 
this class belong the words Aoyo^, fas, anoro^, farj, dfa iOeia, x ( l" r ) 
vn<7//or, iin Hi , ytvuoKeii )* etc. These expressions are employed by 
John in a profound and spiritual sense, in which they are not < 
where usually applied. The Evangelist certainly has not invented 
the words and employed them for the designation of his own ideas; 
we are rather to assume that, the Lord himself, in his discourses, ex 
pressed the depth of his knowledge by means of these and similar 
terms, and that John so profoundly apprehended the peculiar ideas 
conveyed in them, that he could use them with the point and de- 
finiteness of meaning characteristic of his language, which here, as 
always, forms the outward expression of the writer s inward life. 
This peculiarity in the language of John is closely connected with 
another. The sententious, parabolical, and figurative style pre 
vailing in the first three Gospels, as also the dialectical char 
acter of Paul, to a great extent disappear in the language of our 
Kvangelist ; John s thoughts unite the utmost simplicity, with a 
metaphysical spirituality ; they are marked by a sharpness of con 
ception which yet has not its origin in a mere reflective process. 
Drawn from the depth of contemplation, they are yet far removed 
from the obscurity and confusion of mysticism ; expressed in the 
st language, they unite the profoundness of the genuine mystic 
element with the clearness and sharpness of the purely scholastic. 
"\Yhere, indeed, the organs of contemplation slumber or are un 
developed, there John s depth, with all his perspicuity, must ap 
pear like obscurity ; but for such a grade of culture, the Gospel 
of John was not written ; the synoptical writings are more adapted 
to it. 

With these two peculiarities of John, a third is necessarily con 
nected, vi/.., that we do not discover in him that absence of com 
ment \\hichso touohingly marks the child-like style of the other 
Evangelists. John perpetually hovers with his own consciousness 
over the facts related, and the discourses reported, judging them 
from his own p -int of view ; hence the frequent explanations and 
remarks on the words of the Lord, which he draws from his own 
subjective experience, and which, in a manner peculiar to himself, 
he BO blends with the very discourses of the Lord that it is oi 
difficult to point out with certainty the line of demarcation. Ob- 
* L e., word, light, darkness, life, truth, grace, world, abide, know, etc. [K. 



208 INTRODUCTION 

scrvations of this kind, however, only serve to shew the reader that 
John lias passed beyond the child-like level ; they never attain a 
character which would disturb or wholly destroy the purely objective 
nature of historical narration. 

Among the modern authors who have penetrated more deeply 
into the peculiarities of John s ideas, Seyffarth deserves special men 
tion, in his Beitrage zur Specialcharakteristik der Johaneischen 
Schriften (Leipzig, 1823). Throughout our Exposition we shall 
take notice of his views. On the grammatical peculiarities, Liicke 
should be consulted in preference to all others (in his Comm. Pt. i. 
p. 125, ff). The work of Schulze (Schrif tstellerischer Charakter des 
Johannes, Leipzig, 1803) contains miscellaneous collections which 
need to be sifted. 

5. LITERATURE. 

Among the Fathers, the labours of Origen, Chrysostom, and 
Augustine on the Gospel of John are preserved to us. Fragments 
of lost patristic commentaries are collected in Corderii Catena pa- 
trum in evang. Joannis. Antwerp, 1G30. Besides the interpreta 
tions of the Reformers, Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and Beza, the 
following separate treatises are in connexion with the general 
works already mentioned in the first volume worthy of special 
notice : Lampe commentarius exegetico-analyticus, Amsterd. 1724, 
3 voll. ; Mosheim s Erklarung des Johannes, published by Jakobi, 
Weimar. 1777 ; Tittmann meletemata sacra. Lips. 1816 ; Liicke s 
Commentar iiber das Evangelium Johannis. Bonn. 1820-24, 2 voll. 
2d edit., 1833 ; Tholuck s Commentar zu dcm Evangelic Johannis, 
1st edit., Hamburg 1827, 5th edit,, 1837 ; Klcc s Erklarung des 
Johannes, Mainz, 1828 (the latter work is intended for Catholic 
divines) ; Matthni fl Auslegung des Johannes, Guttingen, 1837, vol. 
i., which contains only the first fourteen verses of the first chapter. 
On the doctrinal system of John we have, in addition to the disqui 
sition by Grimm (Jena, 1825), only Neander s Darstellung im 
Apost. Zcitalt. voll. ii. 



I. 



FIRST PART, 

FROil THE BEGINNING OF CHRIST S MINISTRY TO HIS JOURNEY 
TO THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. 

(JohnL 1 vi. 71.) 



1. PROCEMIUM. 

(John i. 1-18.) 

ON coinpariiig the commencement of John s Gospel with those 
of the other Gospels, we find its peculiar character presenting itself 
at once in a manner not to be mistaken. The Proceiniurn contains, 
as it were, the quintessence of the whole work, alike in the ideas, and 
hi the language and form of representation. For, while Matthew 
and Luke proceed from the genealogy of Jesus, and the history of his 
childhood, John so completely presupposes the acquaintance of his 
readers with Jesus, in his earthly character, that he speaks of 
him, and of the sublime character of his work, without even 
having mentioned his sacred name. He names the Baptist, in 
deed at once but introduces even him as a person substantially 
known. John s profound representation proceeds from the eternal, 
original existence of the Word with the Father. Mark s com 
mencement has only an apparent correspondence with this. The 
latter Evangelist also, it is true, presupposes as known the 
gen-al. iJcal notices, and the history of the childhood in Matthew 
and Luke ; he, however, opens his (iosp. l. not with the eternal ex- 

nce of the Son with the Father, but with the beginning of 
Christ s n[jici<it work on earth. The character of John s opening is 
exactly adapted to its assumed design. Those readers who bad a 
Gnostic bias would assuredly feel themselves attracted from the 
very commencement, and incited to further perusal so completely 
do the thoughts of the Procomium enter into their circle of ideas. Its 
genuineness and perfect correspondence with the whole work cannot 
therefore be doubted by any one who possesses the general <[iialifi- 

* Yet John w:is by no moans wanting in nationality. Comp. the Bauer 

(Zeitschr. fur .<[><. Th "l. vol. i. N>. 2, ]>. 158. fl .), iilxT den ahtestamentlichcn llinter- 
grund iin Kvangelium des Johannes. 



300 JOHN I. 1. 

cations for perceiving the unity of a composition in all its parts. 
This same effect which the Procemium must have had upon the 
Gnostics of the apostolic time, has been produced through all the 
centuries of the Christian era, and still exercises its influence in the 
present day, upon all thoc who long after a deeper and more essen 
tial knowledge of God. The unfathomable depth of the w<mls acts 
as a secret charm upon the spirit of the enquirer ; we cannot refrain 
from looking into them and trying to fathom their depth, and meas 
ure their extent. As, however, they conduct us to the Uncreated 
and Original, we can attain neither to the one nor the other, and the 
inquirer is compelled to turn from the external words into himself, 
and into the depth of his own mind, and thus to ascend from the 
knowledge of himself, and from the revelation of the Divine in his 
own heart, to the original source of all revelation. It is in connex 
ion with this inward experience that the enigmas in the mysterious 
commencement of our book are first solved ; and to seek the solu 
tion of the latter without the former would be a vain effort. 

As a peculiarity in the form of the Procemium, it may be ob 
served that it is composed of simple, short, condensed propositions, 
without conjunctive particles. Ver. 1-5, only /caf occurs from ver. 
6 onwards, only Iva to ver. 12, when 6 occurs for the first time. In 
this short ; concise style next to the richness and depth of thought 
lies mainly the great difficulty of the Procemium. 

As to the composition of the Procemium, it by no means con 
sists of an unarranged mass of thoughts, but is throughout pervaded 
by a close connexion. This connexion is indeed hidden, and at first 
sight it would seem that only ver. 1-5, 11 and 14, strictly belong to 
the course of thought, ver. 6-9, 10, 12, 13, 15-18, being adjuncts ; 
and this is in fact correct ; in the verses first mentioned, the main 
points of the Procemium are expressed. The manner in which these 
are related to the subordinate parts is first discovered when we 
recognize that the commencement of John s Gospel contains, as it 
were, a history of the Logos, i. e., of his several, gradually arfran- 
ciny forms of manifestation. This view being taken, the whole 
gains life, and the connexion unfolds itself as follows. The first 
four verses contain a pure description of the essence of the Divine 
Logos, drawn from profoundcst intuition. He is eternally with 
God and is himself God, organ of the creation of all things, 
source of the life and light of men. He is not all this, however, as 
merely enclosed within himself, but, on the contrary, he rc>; f/.v him 
self (ver. 5, <j/Y Y. xlii/irx} continuously, although the darkness did 
not apprehend him. This fifth verse furnishes a general and com- 
pivhcnsive description of the. wide of the Logos, in so far as the 
incarnation, which is also a shining of the light in darkness, is 
included under the meaning of <f>aivei. In order to distinguish the in- 



JOHN I. 1. 301 



carnation of the Logos as the culminating point of his work 
inankiiul, from his earlier a^ncy, ami at the same time to shew 
what tin- -race of (lod luul done to a-nst men in n-c.-ivin-- the 
Logos, lie mentions the witnesses of the coming li.^ht. the jirojii, 
As sueh, the Baptist only is named as a kind of representative of 
the pr.iphetic order, lieeause he- closed their line, and presented the 
most recent exhibition of the prophetic character. The Kvangelist 
then proceeds to say, with allusion to the mistakes of John s dis- 
eiples, that the Baptist was not himself tfie Light, but merely a 
witness of the light which was then about to come into the world 
(ver. G-9). True, John continues, v. 10, the light of the Logos had 
always been active in the world, but the world had not recognized 
it. Now, however (at the incarnation), he came to his own, i. e., to 
the people of God chosen by him (ver. 11). As regards the mass 
even of these, they certainly did not accept him ; but yet there 
were some who did accept him, and these received regeneration 
through him ; he made men spiritual, while he himself became 
flesh and dwelt amongst us (ver. 12-14). This is then confirmed 
by the testimony of the Baptist himself ; in the incarnation a higher 
form of the revelation of the Logos presented itself than in the great 
previous revelation through Moses (ver. 15-18). In opposition to 
this view, Bleek (Stud, und Krit. 1835, No. 2, p. 414, ff.) is in 
duced by the words ifv tp%6// ov, was coming (ver. 9) to understand 
the incarnation even in this ninth verse ; and Liicke, in his second 
edition, accords with him ; Tholuck, however, on the contrary, has 
justly opposed them, and declares himself in favour of that 
view of the connexion given above. For, according to Bleek s 
hypothesis, in the first place, the connexion between verses 8 
and 9 cannot well be established ; in the next place, the same 
thing viz. the incarnation of the Logos would be expressed, by 
means of various phrases, four times (ver. 9, 10, 11, 14), which is in 
itself improbable ; and especially the words iv TUKOOHU T/V, he was in 
the world, are not suited to the idea of the n odpnuois, incarnation 
they plainly point to the more general agency of the Logos before 
the incarnation. 

To understand then the Procemium, we must consider more 
closely the leading idea in the term Aoyo^, word.* If it be in 
quired, at the outset, what constitutes the strangeness of the term, 
it evidently is not the idea of Divine speech itself that surprises us ; 
for since speech, whether inward or audible, is the customary mode 
in which the human spirit manifests itself, human speech is alsc 

* Compare my Festprogramm, Ostorn 1823, iibcr Hcb. iv. 12, 13 which contains a 
development of tho idea of tho Divine speech printed in my Opusc. Theol. (Bero!. 
8) p. 125, seq. Comp. also Daub s Abbandlung uber den Logos, in Ullmann s and Urn- 
breit s Stud. 1833, No. 2, p. 355, ffi 



302 



JOHN I. 1. 






naturally attributed to God as the perfect Spirit. But that which 
strikes us, is the fact that the Divine Word is here treated of as an 
entity, a Person. 

Now, that deeper knowledge of God which apprehends him not 
as a mere abstraction, but as a living Being, clearly sees that the 
original Word of God must be an entity. For, from the womb of 
life, only life and being can go forth ; moreover, the original wurd, 
or original thought of the eternal God, can only be the conscious 
ness of himself, which is as eternal as God, and which, as perfect 
consciousness, is entirely equivalent to God ; hence the original word 
of God is the entity of God, completely homogeneous with himself. 
But just because the deeper knowledge of God lies so far from the 
reach of those who are estranged from him, not only has the revela 
tion of this idea been frequently misunderstood by men, but it was 
only by degrees that the idea itself could be disclosed to them. The 
Old Testament writers do, indeed, acknowledge the idea of the Di 
vine speech, and in like manner the plurality of persons in God ; 
but the Word itself nowhere appears as a personality ; but only as 
an agency of God. Even in the remarkable passage, Psalm xxxiii. 
6, where the Word is placed in connexion with the /Spirit, although, 
in looking back from the New Testament point of view, we recog 
nize perhaps the eternal Word, yet the idea of personality is not 
definitely expressed. The same holds good of the analogous doc 
trines among the Hindoos and the Persians. The Hindoo Oum, 
and the Persian Horn and Honover, appear rather as the spiritual 
agency of the power of the Original Being than as personal ex 
istences. Nay, even in the New Testament the Divine speech 
(piifj-a rov Qeov), appears mainly as Divine activity, whether 
in an individual action, or the aggregate agency of the Divine 
being. (Comp. Heb. iv. 12, xi. 3.) It is only in the language of 
John that the idea of the personality of the Word is definitely ex 
pressed. (Comp. on 1 John i. 1 ; Kev. xix. 13.) The other wri 
ters use another name for the same sublime personage ;f he is 
called 6 vlbg rov Qeov, the Son of God, as born from the essence of 
God ; vlb$ rov avdpu-nov, the Son of Man = esx 12 (Daniel vii. 13), 
as the archetype of humanity. It is only in the profound Proverbs 
(comp. chap. viii. 22, if., with xxx. 4) that the idea of the Logos, 

* Compare the collected quotations in Biiumlin (Versuch xiber den Logos, Tubingen, 
1828). The Oum comprehends Brahma, Vishnoo, and Seeva, and is everything in them; 
he is the pure naoifeetation of Brahma, but impersonal. Horn corresponds verbally with 
Om or Oum. Jlc is called an influence of Ormuzd, and is consequently of a more derived 
nature. Ifonover, again, is the influence of Horn, and accordingly stands yet a degree 
lower. Among the Chinese, Tao would answer to the Logos. (Comp. Biiumlein, p. 
30, ff.) 

f Seyflarth justly makes tho same remark (loc. cit. p. 51). This scholar, in another 
place- (p. 63), erroneously in! itiMtrs that hi John 6 viuf rov Ofowis the Logos clothed with 
tho cupf. (Comp. John i. 41 18.) 



JOHN I. 1. 308 

which is (here introduced mul T (he title of Wisdom, appears in a 
kind of transition from the evneral impersonal conception to the 
personal. St ill. the term " Word of God," for the idea, is want ing; 
in the passage, I nv. xxx. 4, the idea is expressed hy th- New Tes 
tament term, " Son of God." It is very remarkable, however, that 
although the apocryphal writings do not go essentially beyond the 

liptions of Wisdom in the Proverbs, in particular knowing no 
thing of the appellation " Word of God" (coinp. Wisd. of Sol. vii. 
Jee. Sir. xxiv.),#nd at the utmost only presenting the personal ac 
ceptation of Wisdom somcivhat more ilixfuirt/i/ than is done in the 
Old Testament ; yet in the Targums (the Chaldee translations of 
the Old Testament), which were in part written before Christ, and 
in the Cabbalistic writings, the personality of the Word of God ap 
pears wrought into the most distinct form. This idea of the Word 
of God as a personality shews itself in them partly by the fact that, 
in many passages, they directly put n^v *"\ N^B for njrp, and 
partly by the circumstance that they understand " Word of God" 
as identical with the Shechinah and the Messiah.* 

The term Shechinah designates tlie revelation of God in the 
entire fulness of his life and being ;f this was considered as appear 
ing in the Messiah, and in him necessarily understood as personal. 
How the Chaldee Paraphrasts arrived at this profound idea is not 
evident ; but we can scarcely err in conjecturing that tho essential 
knowledge of God, as possessed by enlightened men among the 
Jews -which had been communicated, by way of tradition, from 
generation to generation had descended to these persons ; and 
therefore they were not the first who formed this idea, or even the 
only persons who at that time cherished it, but are merely to us the 
earliest who have definitely expressed it. For all the books of the 

* Comp. Onkclos on Numb, xxiii. 21 : vcrbum Jehovoa adjuvat illos. ct Schechina 
regia illomm est iutiT eos. Also Zohar, fol. 237, on Genesis xlix. 10: Nomen Schiloli 
( < serihitur nV(cum Jod et He), ut significet iiomen supremum Schc- 

<. hin: llerthulilt Cliristol. Jod. p. 130, seq.) Tho kindred expressions -ras 

::::. -::. - >r. <"vur. Conversely, however, in Exodus xxxiii. 20, 23, n^:B is 
"- ; t" tin- coneoaleil, invisible Hod, while the part manifested (consequeii tlv 

In Isaiah Ixiii. 9, tho Rovealer of God is termed 

~~.- -:--;. Tin- < al>b;tli-N speak of a great and a small countenance of God, an open 
ati i ::!]). Tholuuk, p. 50), in order to point out the relation between tho 

f Bel \ 20) very justly explains tho name Shechinah thua : 

rvrv --zr -,rr i --N in 1 ho glory of God (i S - 2 ~] is ulso oaOed among the 

,_....._.. ---_ . whii-h terms ;ire deriVeil from the L;tin matrona 
and nic!;it> r. Tlf 1 . joint-ruler, 

a for: Ui-.s in the I J reek language. On the eontrary. the prin- 

cipl 1 upon in (i :,i:n-. at: 1 tin- term oo<j>ia, hierh s this 

- tho aopin, not with tho Lo^os, b ut with tin 1 -I fvua 

uyior, w!. as a distinct hypostasis, is not to be found in tho Old Testament or 

in tho Apocryphal "Writings. 



304 JOHN I. 1. 

Old Testament are much older than the Targums, and hence they 
contain the doctrine still more in tin- UXTMI. Tin-re can be no doubt 
that the idea of the real, personal Word of God, was received through 
(h<- same medium of tradition by Philo, in whose writings we find 
it in its highest point of development. (Comp. Grossinanni qu 
tiones Philonese, Lips. 1829.4. The whole of the second division 
treats of the Logos of Philo, under all the relations in which 
this inquirer conceives of him.) Philo not only applies to him the 
terms familiar to all Jewish thinkers oofyia, 66%a TOV Qeov, iib$ rov 
OF.OV, wisdom, Glory of God, Son of God but also, as a Platonic 
philosopher, adduces in comparison the Divine vovg, mind, by which 
Plato understood just that which in the Old Testament is termed 
rash as it were, God s consciousness of himself, or the self-con 
templation of the Divine being. 

According to the obscure declarations of Plato, it is uncertain 
whether he himself regarded this mind (vov<f) as a personality ; but 
the profound knowledge of God attained by his lofty mind, renders 
it more than probable that he could not look upon the primal idea 
which the avro ov, absolute existence, had of himself otherwise than 
as personal. 

Now, as the idea of the Divine Word was already in existence 
in the time of Christ, the question is why was it that neither the 
Lord himself nor any of the apostles, except John, employed it, 
rather than why did John use it ? The expression oofyia rov Qeov, 
Wisdom of God, indeed, occurs once (Luke xi. 49, compare the 
Comm. on the passage) in the discourses of Christ ; but the very 
fact that this occurs so seldom, and that the phrase Aoyof rov Qeov, 
Word of God, in reference to the personality of the Word, is not 
found at all except in John s writings tends to shew that these 
terms were not abstained from accidentally. The following seems 
to me to be the reason of the circumstance. In the Old Tes 
tament, express, positive statements respecting the personality 
of the wisdom of God were avoided, so long as the people of 
Israel were in danger of Polytheism. For a few individuals only, 
of deeper penetration, intimations concerning it were given ; the 
Chaldee Paraphrasts and the later Cabbalists give us the result of 
their investigation ; but their writings especially those of the latter 
contain much spurious admixture, derived perhaps even from 
Christian influence, although probably from the Christian Gnosti 
cism alone. After the exile and at the time of Christ, circum 
stances were completely changed. Rarely had Israelites entirely 
turned from Polytheism ; yet they not unfrequently conceived 
the Divine essence (according to human nature s universal con 
ception of Deity) as a mere dead abstraction. This view would 
only be favoured by the use of aoQia. or vovg, in that the very 



JOHN I. 1. 305 

next step was simply to refer them to one among the many atlri- 

- of God. On the other hand, the terms <> > i<><- - t ,v o.-oT, the 
Son of God, and 6vl<>rmr toOp&rrav, ihe Son of Mm/, which .Jesus 
customarily used when speaking of himself (comp. the Coium. Luke 
i. 35), express with perfect clearness the consciousness of personality 
in the Itcvc:iler <! (\< d. 

The use of the name " Son of Man," als->, which is predominant 
in the discourses of Christ himself, led away from all idle refine 
ments concerning the peculiar relation in the Divine essence between 
Father and Son ; while, on the other hand, it claimed of all the 
moral endeavour to resemble that pattern of humanity, which was 
exhibited in the Son. John certainly might have employed the 
term ootyta or +ovg in his writings, and then he would have been 
quite intelligible to his readers ; but he preferred the expression 
Aoyoc, probably because in i{s signification of " understanding" it 
was parallel with ooQiaor vov<; ; and further, in the sense of " word" 
it embraced the idea wanting in the other term viz., that the God 
who was hidden, shut up within himself, revealed himself in this 
Being, as the human spirit manifests itself in the internal or ex 
ternal word. If we assume (and though this cannot be demon 
strated, it cannot be proved untrue), that John was acquainted with 
the writings of Philo, and that those of his readers whom he had 
chiefly in view were fond of them, then we have an external reason 
for the use of this term ; only, it cannot be admitted that John 
gained the idea itself through any historical medium whatever ; 
even if he did receive some external notice of it, he obtained it first 
in reality through the illumination of the Spirit, by his own inward 
contemplation of the sublime relation. But in the choice of an ex 
pression for the idea, he allows himself to be led by the necessities 
of those umund him. 

If it be further inquired, whether this already existing idea 
which John designates by the expression usually employed for it 
was not further in a peculiar manner perfected by him ; we find 
that this certainly is the case. For John has placed the idea of 
the !> . ll <>,;/ in such, express connexion ivitli the idea of the 
esfi th. that he points out the Messiah as the incarnate Logos 
(f. 

Tlie-e t w. ) ideas do not, indeed, appear wholly without connexion, 

:i among the Cabbalists, and probably such a combination may 
have existed among the older Jewish inquirers. It has, however, 
been falsely maintained to be identical with the union which John 

* TLoluck (Comm. zum Hebr-Briefo, p. 6G, ff.) will not allow any connexion with 
Philo. Yet it seems to me very improbable that John should not have heard of Philo 
and his doctrines through the Theosophiats in Asia Minor, even though he may not have 
read his works. 

VOL. II. 20 



306 JOHN I. 1. 



teaches in the Procemium of his CJospH.* For the Cabbalists use 
the expressions " Word of God," " Sh.-rhinah," " Wisdom," "Glory 
of God," synonymously with r^w:, J/rW"//, particularly in the re 
markable book Zohar (lu.^tn 1 . li.^ht), which is said to have been 
written by Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai, and belongs to the second 
century after Christ (comp. Tholuck s work, Wichtige Stellen des 
Rabbinischen Buches Sohar., Berlin, 1824). But this by no means 
proves that they thought of the Logos as appearing in human per 
sonality, and living on earth as a man. They in fact only employ 
the expressions " Messiah" and " Word" synonymously, without 
admitting a union of the Word with the human nature in the Mes 
siah, as John teaches it. The higher Divine nature of the Messiah 
was not doubted by these profound thinkers, but just because they 
adhered to this, they overlooked his human nature ; just as the 
common popular opinion embraced the latter, and on this very 
account mistook his heavenly nature. How even the more pro 
found Jews were in darkness as to the relation of the higher and the 
lower natures in the Messiah, is clearly shewn by those passages in 
Zohar where a twofold Messiah is taught. (Comp. Tholuck in the 
work above alluded to, p. 47, 73.) The higher element in the Mes 
siah is here called " the upper height; " the human " the lower 
height;" but the two are conceived in separate personalities, the 
Divine, in the Messiah Ben David, the human, in the Messiah Ben 
Joseph. Those Jews, however, who were more spiritually inclined, 
seem to have conceived the phenomenon of a higher nature in the 
Messiah Ben David under a docetic form (comp. the passages in 
Bertholdt, page 92), for they ascribe to the Messiah a new essence 



The same thing presents itself in Philo. Although with this 
Theosophist, the doctrine of the Logos forms the centre of his sys 
tem, yet the idea of a personal Messiah is altogether wanting. It 
is refined into a purely ideal agency of the Logos, which he very 
frequently terms, as the ideal and pattern of man, 6 aA//0/)f or dAi]dirb$ 
irog, 6 Trpof dfrrjdetav dvdpu-og, the true man, and even simply 
-of, man, (Comp. Grossmann, loc. cit. p. 40). Seyffarth is of 
opinion (loc. cit. p. 68) that Philo teaches an incarnation of the 
Logos. This view, however, rests upon misunderstood ]>;^ 
(comp. Philon. Opp. edit. Pfeiffer, vol. iv. p. 22, 2G8), which, when 
rightly interpreted, state exactly the contrary. In opposition to 
tliis idealistic error, as well as to the materialistic notion of the .lews 
generally, that the Messiah will only be an extraordinary man, John 

* So Kuinoel (in his Einleitung zum Johannes p. 73), Bertholdt Christol. p. 129, scq. 
and others. Bertholdt even speaks (loc. cit.) of a unio personalis between the Logos and 
the Messiah, which waa taught .by tho Cabbalistic book Zohar. On this, however, we 
cannot enlarge. 



JOHN I. 1, 2. 307 

Bets forth his doctrine the true media via of a, union of the Divine 
with t/- fri f// /niii/nn, as expressed by the incarnation of the Word 
(John i. 14). 

According to this historical statement respecting the use of the 
term LO-OS, those notions of it which alto-ether disregard its his 
torical si ;-ni! leaner are self refuted. To this class belongs, in the 
first place, the opinion maintained in recent times by Ernest i and 
Tittimm, which pnts 6 Aoyof for 6 fayoiiKvng in the signification of 
"The Promised," = 6 ^TrayyeAAo/^vo^, thus denoting the Messiah 
announced by the prophets. In that case, however, the Messiah as 
such nhist, according tover. 1, be regarded as in God from eternity ; 
a doctrine at variance with the only true signification of the word, 
which points to the union of the Divine and the human. Ilcferred 
merely to the Divine nature of the Messiah, the idea certainly has 
truth ; but the designation " The Promised" cannot merely refer to 
the Divine nature of the Messiah ; it must connect with this his 
humanity, because the promise of him is an announcement of his 
coming to men as man. 

Not quite on a level with this unhistorical view is another, 
which explains Aoyo$- by 6 Aeywv, one who communicates, pro 
mulgates. In the earliest period Origen and Epiphanius, in more 
more modern times, Doderlein, Storr, and others, have propounded 
this opinion. 

The substitution of the absolute for the concrete creates no ob 
jection to this hypothesis : its incorrectness lies in the single fact, that, 
by this substitution, Christ is made but one among many, and that 
merely under the general notion of teacher. Had he been con 
templated as the organ of all information concerning Divine things, 
as the teacher of all teachers, the interpretation might, perhaps, 
be tenable; and it was in this way precisely the Fathers appre 
hended it. NYvertheles>, even to this latter and more suitable 
mode of andentandiog the idea, there is this objection, viz., 
that in the. exj I /-ivo?, the Father is considered as the 

speaker (At ywr), as IMiilo customarily expresses himself. But if 
Iv.-d into ft /> }<. , the relation between the Fath T and 
. pointed nut by the expression selected, is set aside. Mure re 
cent interpreters h < -rivet ly conceived that we ought 
only to retain the /,/*///,(// aspect of the name which John found 
adapted to indicate his vie\v. 

Ver. 1, 2. Concerning this Logos who, according to the tes 
timony of history, must be viewed a< identical with tin- .e!,tial 
Wisdom, or the Son of God John tells us, in the tirst place, he 
was in {/ />, jutnin>/ (/ /r iv df% \ . The 7/i>, was, which is employed 

* Seyflarth (p. 52) t.Ttns tlio description of tho Logos here (vi-rscs 1 am! 
reeentation in a state of quiescence." The idea is correct, but tho expression which ho has 



308 JOIIN I. 1, 2. 

without change in verses 1 and 2, here designates by way of an 
tithesis to ft}>V>-o. l>t ra)nc,\vr. 3 (the term used in reference to what 
is created) the enduring, timeless existence of the eternal present. 
(John viii. 58, it is accordingly said " before Abraham became, I 
am" (-rrplv A/3/jaa/z yevioOai yu e I [i i), Llicke strangely denies 
this distinction between the Seyn ["to be"] and the Werden ["to 
become," " to be made"] ; yet it is common to all languages. Hv, 
was, may indeed be often used in application to created things, as 
well as lyevero, became, but with respect to that which is eternal, 
t-yevero is utterly inapplicable, because in this case the fact of 
" being" is not, as in the former, the result of the process of " be 
coming." 

Thus the precise idea of the dp%rj, beginning, is at once deter 
mined. The customary comparison of rvcKts, in the beginning, 
(Gen. i. 1) with this passage seems to me inappropriate, because it 
refers to that which is created, whereas our passage has respect to 
the eternal being of the Spn in the bosom of the Father. Hence 
the KV dpxfi, in the beginning, is not to be understood as meaning 
" in the beginning of the creation," but, in the original beginning, 
i. e., from eternity. A parallel is found in John xvii. 5, where the 
Lord himself speaks of his existence with the Father, npb rov rbv 
KOOHOV elvai, before the world was.* Here, therefore, even the phrase 
an dpxrjg,from the beginning, could not be employed, although it 
may be used synonymously with iv dp%y, when a limited period is 
spoken of, to which something is referred, or from which something 
is to be reckbned.f Here no limit is supposed ; on the contrary, all 
period of commencement which would lead to previous nonentity is 
denied. This also sufficiently refutes the Socinian acceptation of 
the passage, "from the beginning of Christianity;" for if, as in 
Acts xi. 15, according to the connexion, i-v dp%y may have this sig 
nification, it does not follow that there is the least ground for such 
an interpretation in another passage, where the connexion indicates 
a different 



selected is not entirely appropriate, since life (Cw/)i as the highest motion, does away with 
quiescence. The ancient term ?.6yof tvdidderof is better ; here the Logos is conceived of) 
in the first place, as God inivardly manifesting himself. The second act of Divine en 
ergy is tho revelation of God outwardly (ver. 3), to the world of creatures. 

* The expression is well interpreted by tho passage, Prov. viii. 23, which treats of the 
Divine wisdom. Tlpb rov aluvof is quite equivalent to tho Johannino Iv upxy. 

f In the passages 1 John i. 1, ii. 13, 14, uV dpx lf appears equal to Iv dpxy. There, 
however, the expression signifies that ho was from tho beginning, throughout the whole 
development of the creation. Meanwhile, in Sirach xxiv. 9, uV upxw certainly stands 
Iv dp,\> 

\ Cyril au^ others, as also in the most recent times, Marheinecko (Dogm. p. 134), un 
derstand dpx i as the Father, the Original ; the view is profound, but exegetically unten 
able. In the New Testament Christ is called upxn (Rev. iii. 14), and so are, as IB known, 
not uufrequently angels, but never the Father. Philo (comp. Grossman loc. cit. p. 61) 
and Ihe Gnostics also called the Logos dpxv, but the Father 



JOHN I. 1, 2. 309 

With this lirsf statement of the timeless existence of the Logos, 
a srr. .// / i> now connected, viz., / / -/<> roj- Oun-Jic ivas with God. 
In the parallel, John xvii. .">, it is said of the glory ((56a) of the 
Son, /]r f7\or T/JO Toy TOV Kumnn th at napd oot,iohich I had with thee, 
etc. (John vi. 4(>, -apd ro! Oeov, t. e.,from God.) Now the prep- 
ions -rrp/jg with tlie accusative, and rrapd with the dative, asso 
ciated with words of rest, mean "near by," "beside." This idea, 
flu : i nesses the close connexion of the Logos with God, and 

at the same time also, the hypostatical distinction between the Son 
and the Father. (Comp. Prov. viii. 22, 30; Sirach xxiv. 10.) 
This is shewn particularly by the last clause, Kal Oebg r]v 6 Aoyo^, 
and the Word was God. Were it possible so to misunderstand 
this as to suppose that there is no distinction between the Logos 
and God, and that according to the Sabellian theory Father and 
Son are only different modes of operation of the same God, this 
mistake is obviated by the previous clause. And to exhibit in the 
most forcible manner this intimate oneness, and yet distinction, 
between the Father and the Son, the Evangelist, ver. 2, repeats the 
statement. The oneness of the Father and the Son lies in the es 
sence, the distinction in the personality, i. e., in the consciousn> ss, 
which is the characteristic of personality, and with which duality is 
necessarily associated. 

In the last words, on account of the absence of the article, 
6edf, God, itself is doubtless a predicate. Tholuck, following 
Erasmus, justly observes that here the article is wanting, be 
cause the Deity is pointed out as substance, not as subject. How 
ever, the question is, whether the presence or absence of the 
article is to be understood as indicating a difference in the signifi 
cation of Oe6f. Philo calls the Logos Qeog, God, but devrcpof Qe6$, a 
second God (Opp. i. 82, ii. G25), and in another place (i. 683) he 
says : el del rd^rjdeg el-new, fieOoptog rig Qeov <f>vmg Kal dvOpwTrov, TOV 
[lev ekdrruv, dvOpcjrrov & KpetTTOjv.* Origen conceived of the Logos 
similarly (and in accordance with the Arian party), as a peculiar 
briii--. standing midway between God and creatures, who, on account 
of his relation to the supreme God, may indeed be termed Oeo$ but 
not 6 Oeo?. Now, the mere term Oeo^ affords no proof that this 
i> incorrect, since it is al< > employed in a wider sen^e, like 
Elohim in the Old Testament, (Comp. John x. 34.) But th dis 
tinction mad.; between n^,-, with and without the article, is at any 

* To say Qie truth, there is a certain nature intermediate between God and man, 
to the former, lut fipcrior to man. On account also of this view, Philo in nui: 
calls the Lo^os / or follow 

terms which th ; employs with reference to tho Son in his 

enly d, IM). iii. 1. .., issioned, an expression with 

mis nro quite parallel. Tho Old Testament often clenomi:. 
Jvrr T^J. servant ofJeliovah, v.-ith which the G reek -a. 7 f, i . >f rfoOAof, corresponds. 



310 JOHN I. 3. 

rate arbitrary, and not sustained by the New Testament, as is shewn 
by verses G, 13, and 18 in this first chapter ; while the idea of the 
Logos as an intermediate being, between God and creatures, is com 
pletely refuted by all those passages which ascribe to the Son equal 
honour and equal qualities with the Father. This, combined with 
the definite doctrine of the unity of God, affords a more profound 
idea of the relation of the Son to the Father, viz., that the Son is 
not a sublime creature brought forth at the first by the Father, but 
is the self-manifestation of the Father to himself as Aoyo? h didOeros 
outwardly from himself, as Aoyof npo<j>opiKog. The self-manifesta 
tion of the Father, however, can be nothing less than the pure, 
perfect image of himself. The perfect God forms a perfect concep 
tion of himself, his conception is essence, and his conception of 
himself is an essence like to himself.* Thus the unity of God and 
the consubstantiality of the Father and the Son stand upon an 
equally firm footing ; only that according to this view, the person 
ality of the Son may appear exposed to Sabellian error. If, however, 
we do but abandon our conceptions of our isolated human individual 
ity which indeed are inapplicable to the Divine personality of the 
Son, and were always kept at a distance from it by the orthodox 
teachers of the Church it then becomes manifest, as we have 
already remarked, that the perfect self-manifestation of God (God 
contemplated not as an abstraction, but as a living being), can only 
be brought forth, spirit from spirit, essence from essence, and accord 
ingly along with his spiritual essence are given also all those pecu 
liarities which, in the want of a word answering to the sublimity of 
the relation, we are accustomed to designate by the inadequate term 
Person.^ 

The Socinian conjectural reading, Qeov T\V 6 Aoyof, the ivord was 
of God, is self-condemned, and needs only to be known to be reject 
ed. On the other hand, the punctuation after ijv, so as to read 6 
Aoyof ov-og K. -. A. together with ver. 2, gives the same sense as the 
ordinary reading, if we supply f> koyoc, as subject,^ from what pre 
cedes. However, it is destitute of all critical authority. 

Ver. 3. To the description of the essence of the Logos is attached 
the explanation of his relation to the world, and that first of all in 
so far as it came forth pure from the hand of God. As created, the 

* Mclancthon ji: Logos cst imago cogitationo patris genita. Mens bumana 

pingit imaginera i . sed nos non transfundimus essentiam in illas imagines. 

At Pater interims seso intuens gignit cogitationem sui, qua; est imago ipsius, non evan- 
escens ut nostra; imagines, sed subsistens communicata ipsius essentia. (Comp. Tholnck, 

fifth edition, which is always cited in this work.) 

f Th f h!-\- (|>. .",."., note 1) lil ,rks, "if the term Person be understood in the 

A hat dubious, and the scholastic phrase: una substantia 
in tril- ; ") might be preferable." 

J In the logical sense, as distinguished from predicate. TR. 



JOHN I. 3. 311 

world never possesses being (urat) ; it bears the character of that 
which is produced (yin-nOai). The ~uVra, all tfd/tgx, is, like m mfrra 
or TO nav, to be understoood as meaning the universe ; every limita 
tion of the. expression to the spiritual creation called forth in man 
l>y Christ, as the Soeinians maintain, is contrary to the meaning of 
the author, as the second clause distinctly shews ; while, at the 
same time, it is opposed to the doctrine which pervades the apocry 
phal writings and tljc New Testament, viz., that God created the 
world by means of the Wisdom or the Son (comp. Prov. viii. ; Si- 
rach xxiv. ; Wisd. of Sol. viii. ; Colossians i. 16 ; Heb. i. 2, with 
such passages as Rom. xi. 36 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; Ephes. iv. G). We 
may here compare the expression c -Vx -ussy Gen. i. 3, since accord 
ing to this the creative Word of God is the Logos himself. At the 
same time the precise usus loquendi of Scripture is not to be over 
looked, for it is constantly said, the Father created the world 
tli rough (fad) the Son/ or "the world is from (t ), by (v-o) the 
Father, through the Son ;" never " Christ created the world." Thi< 
uniformly established mode of expression proceeds from the correct 
contemplation of the relation of the Son to the Father, according 
to which the Son is the self-manifesting God himself. God there 
fore constantly works only through the Son, the Son never works 
independently, as if detached from the Father ; his work is the 
Divine w r ill itself in action, and in God there is no will except the 
Sou. This was very justly acknoVledged by the orthodox Fathers, 
in their rejection of the semi-Arian Formula, " the Son was be 
gotten by an act of God s will ;" the Son is the Father s will itself. 

Not from a mere habit of repeating negatively the sentiments 
before expressed positively, but with the distinct purpose of carry 
ing the thought further, and precisely defining the relation of the 

.us to the world, the Evangelist adds: KCU %upig av-ov t ytVero 
ovdt - yovev, and without him ivas not any thing made that 

was made. Lucke, in the second edition, and de Wette, agree with 
me in the opinion that these words effectually exclude the Gnostic 
doctrine of an uncreated vA?/, matter. Tholuek, however, on the 
contrary, remarks, that the words must in that case have read : K<U 
oi dt: tv tifirtv, u p) ytyovev di avrov, and tin re /.s iu>tltin<j which ivas 
not mail- />>/ l/iin, tor. as the words no\v run, the Gnostics might 
have said that matter is eternal. John certainly might have 
so expressed himself; but the words of our text likewise iiidi- 
eate lli<- thought with sullieient clearness. For John regards evil 
in its individual phenomena, and of these he allirms that none 
of them rxists without the Logos: and thus the existence oi 
an independent power beside C"d is perfectly excluded, 
the fountain of everything false in the theosophic CofiOQ 
whieli were framed up to John s time, was the doctrine of an 



312 JOHN I. 4. 

uncreated matter (VAT/), aside from God, as the source of evil. 
This fundamental error John here combats, and only such a 
supposition renders the form of the passage inti lligible. All 
except God is designated as made, and is conceived as made 
through the Logos, and thus every doctrine of a second self-existent 
essence is entirely rejected ; this reference of the passage also admi 
rably suits the polemic purpose of John, and cannot therefore be 
done away. J. G. Muller (vom. Gl. der Chr. vol. i. p. 393) decides 
for the old Alexandrine punctuation, maintained also by Erasmus, 
Griesbach, and Koppe, according to which b ytyovev should be con 
nected with KV avTw, so as to give the sense : " that which was 
made by him was life." But then life would be attributed to 
the created rather than to the Creator, to say nothing of the unsuit- 
ableness of the context KOI TJ cj?) i\v K. r. A., if so understood. And 
the sentiment too is insipid, " that through him that which is liv 
ing was made, not that which is dead." 

Ver. 4. From the creation in general, the description singles 
out a single part, viz., the world of mankind, and states the rela 
tion of the Logos to it. Rieger refers ver. 4 to the original con 
dition of man in Paradise, and therefore takes i)v, was, decidedly as 
the imperfect tense. Ver. 5 would then describe the Fall, and the 
consequent position of mankind, and ver. G, ff., the restoring agency of 
God in its consummation, and in its course of development up to this 
consummation. The Logos, however, not merely was the light of men 
in Paradise, but is so always. Verse 5 does not refer to the origin of 
darkness, but presupposes its existence. The Evangelist avoids en 
tering minutely into the origin of evil, since it would have led him 
away from the practical ground. 

The first subjects of discourse here are the ideas ^w?/, life, and 
0wf, light, which are ascribed to the Logos as permanent designa 
tions of his entity. It is not needful to read ton for f/v, as the im 
perfect tense itself would point out enduring presence. Nor is it 
allowable to coin a signification for the KV, in, (viz., as = did, and 
standing for a) on the contrary, the clause iv aurai W/ ? / , in 
him ivas life, is quite parallel with the formula 6 Aoyof Lorlv ?/ w/j, 
the Word is the life, or Adyof T% fa^c, the Word of life (1 John i. 
1). (Coin}), the passages, John v. 26, 1 John v. 11, with John xi. 
25, xiv. G, in which the two modes of expression are interchanged.) 
For the sense of the expression is, that the Logos carries life in 
himself independently ; as Philo says, he is the -7/y/) ~n? v^f,/" 
tain of life. (Comp. Psalm xxxvi. !), where the LXX. have -apd 
ool 7T?yy/) v^/Jf. True, this applies in the highest sense to the Father 
(John v. 26, u>a~ep 6 irar/)/} K%EI fafjv iv tavrai, as the father Ixtth life 

* Comp. my treatise: do notiono vocis uij iu libris X. Test. Pfingstprograznui, 1828. 
Printed in my Opusc. TheoL, p. 98, sqq. 



JOHN I. 4. 313 

in himself), but the Fatlfr lias given this also, as everything else, 
to tlu> S> in, to be a 6r //-*/>*/*////;/ Life (ov-ug t(5owc KUI 

ru> f/w s*.)//) 1 t\rir M 1 M/C- 

As to the id-a oiV<."/, // / <, itself, it belong to tli most profound 
things in the profound language of John. For it designates the 
only real al^-lutr l, n<j (the ovrwr; nvaC) of Deity, in contrast with 
tin- relative cxiak nee of the creature. The latter, contemplated as 
in isolation ihnii God, is in Odvaros, daf//, and only has its life in 
connexion with God, the fountain of life.f God is therefore d povog 
K%<M)V TIJV d 6 a v a a i a v } he who alone has iniinortolihj (1 Tim. vi. 
16) ; creatures receive it only through conjunction with him ; and 
inasmuch as God communicates it to them through the Logos, Christ 
himself is called our life (Coloss. iii. 4). For as he contains the life 
in himself (6 &v y Rev. i. 18), so also he imparts it (6 faoTroi&v). 
Hence the thought stands in the following connexion with ver. 3 : 
" All was made through him, for in him resides the all-producing, 
creative power." The signification " happiness," which has fre 
quently been ascribed to life, is only a secondary one ; for the 
possession in himself of Divine, absolute being, certainly includes 
happiness for the creature ; but the notion of " life" in itself com 
prehends more than merely the sense of well-being, which is the 
leading idea in the expression "happiness." 

The life, contemplated in its victory over death, which strives 
against life, is called in John dvdoraois, resurrection. As, there 
fore, Christ is the life itself, so he is also the absolute resurrection. 
(Comp. John xi. 25.) 

The second important idea in ver. 4 is </>(:, light. By this 
term, the essence of the Logos is, as it were, substantially ex- 
pn>S -d. The substance of the Divine Being is inexpressible ; the 
only thing that nature suggests as suitable for comparison with it is 
Light. No people, no language, no age, has either conceived or 

* Compare Scyflarth, loc, cit. p. 101, ffi 

flu order to a thorough apprehension of the idea of fci), it is important to consider 

the t in its bibli ,ro to creatures, it has a twofold sense. 

It commonly signifies tho becoming separate of things belonging together ; either of the 

soul and body in pliysk-nl death, or of tho spirit and tho soul in tho inward, spiritual, or 

tl dratli. But -hut which separates, tho power that produces 

. II.) "While, ti ;ih is the unharmonizing force which checks 

individual life in its \\\\, appears ns the harmonious, 

trengthening pOWW, Whid : all con^ iiial. Tliu-. allel with 

yoa/. th with evil The form, r, only, is tho eternal and absolute; the latter, 

..:iytliing8ul ilisolute, but aing real 

itself of this destruction. 
$ Orig. in Joan. t. ii. Opp. vol. iv. p. 71, very justly says: rb KVj/tuf &jv -a/xl povy 

As tin- l- itli i; so also the Son, is li-hi ; in his brightness wo behold the invisible 
Fat!. : I .s. xxxvi. 0, -RK-ns-: -s= LZ2 TV Quri aov fyt ftifla Quf, 

Philo also tinely expresses this idea of the perceptibility of the Light by means of itself) 



314 JOHN I. 5. 

represented the Deity otherwise than as full of light. Visible light 
is the vivifying, fructifying, preserving principle in the physical 
world ; just so the 0u>? VOT/TOV, intellectual light, is the living prin 
ciple of the spiritual world. Thus God, the first cause of.all being, 
is termed 0w? okuiv d-pomrov, dwelling in light unapproachable (1 
Tim. vi. 16), and Christ declares : tyu dpi TO 0<2>f rov HOO/IOV, I 
am the light of the world (John viii. 12, ix. 5). Similarly in Wisd. 
of Solomon vii. the o<xf>ia, ivisdom, is called, ver. 26, d^avjaa^a ^WTO? 
didiov, radiance of eternal light; ver. 29, ?/At ot> evrrpeTreartpa. Philo 
also very frequently compares the Logos with the light or the sua 
(Mai. iv. 2) ; and also with the yv60o? (Grossmann, loc. cit. p. 39), 
since the excessive abundance of light passes over again to the in 
visible (1 Tim. vi. 16). Now the Logos, the Light of all beings, is 
here contemplated especially in relation to men, to whose relations 
the whole following description has reference. As the Saviour as 
cribes to man, even after the Fall, an inward light (Luke xi. 35), 
and, ver. 9, the Logos appears as the constant dispenser of spiritual 
light to men ; so here he is called the original Bringer of light, the 
(jx*)a(t)6pog (2 Pet. i. 19), to their race. 

This is pointed out by the i]v, was, in antithesis with the follow 
ing (paivei, shines (ver. 5). The resolution of the profound idea of 
the light into the general notion of a teacher is to be rejected, as de 
stroying all its point. The function of the teacher presupposes in 
the learner a spiritual susceptibility to instruction, which the former 
only puts in motion ; but the communication of the light is the fill 
ing of human nature with a higher spiritual principle, and is, there 
fore, something far more internal and profound. This, however, 
may be allowed that while life refers more to ^>owcr, light has 
more reference to knoivlcdge; yet the knowledge is to be under 
stood as profoundly internal, an essential possession of that which 
is known. 

Ver. 5. In opposition to the Logos, as the Diffuser of Divine 
light, we have the OKOTIO,, darkness, and while up to this point the 
Logos has been presented to view as the Creator of the originally 
pure creation, he now appears as the liestorer of the fallen. With 
respect to the origin of the darkness, nothing precise is said. The 
Logos is only styled its illuminator, the banisher of all darkness. 
Darkness, therefore (OKOTOS or OKOTIO), designates the entire existence 
of the creature turned away from God, and consequently fallen into 
the power of death, having through sin lost the Divine light ; dark- 



la the following manner : rbv alaOrjrbv TOUTOV tyiov, ///) irepy nvl Beupovfitv 7j 
61 iicTfia //.-, T -ir ii /./.oif >l uarpoif Oeupoi fiev ; Kal avvol.CJc TO 0<Jf, up ov furl 
T OV i xal 6 6c6f, favrov fykyyot uv,5i OVTOV fwrov (i. e., ?.<i-.w) Ocupelrai, 

uqderuc H//.OV cvvcp-yoiivrof i] dvva/tevov avvepytjcai ftpbf r/yj ell.ticpivrj Karii/.rjiptv rij( 
uf avTov, 



JOHN I. 6-8. 315 

I, tlicrcfore, is nothing substantial, as light, but something 
merely negative, the absent f the light, which, however, presents 

!f only in concrete forms, and thrivin has its pu>itive aspect. 
On this account it is absolutely denied of God and tit the Divine 
world: (1 John i. 5, Of<V $&$ ton nn i m.-ortn fv avru> OVK tnnv ovtie- 
fiia.) Now, the N/thi>n</ (r/>an ) is not to be referred merely to the 
unrk of tin- incarnate Logos ; rather, the expression indicates com 
prehensively the influence of the world of light and of its Sovereign, 
in all its 1 orms of manifestation, upon the darkness. The rela 
tion of the darkness, however, to these influences of the light, \ 
that it did not admit the light, and consequently was not illumin 
ated by its power. (Kartvla/3ev is closely allied to 7rapt/.a,3or } ver. 11, 
and to tAo/Sov, veri 12.) This statement is, of course, to be under 
stood, like ver. 10, 11, only of the great majority, of whom it is said: 
TfydnTjoav naXXov TO a/forof, 7} TO </x3f, they loved the darkness, etc. 
(John iii. 19) ; for there were always some children of light who 
received it deeply into their hearts. 

The several forms in which the light revealed itself are more 
precisely described in ver. 10, ff., and John v. 33 is, as it were, a 
further commentary on these verses. 

Yer. 6-8. After this mention of the earliest general influence 
of the Logos upon humanity, in its state of exposure to the influ 
ence of darkness, the representation proceeds. God sent John the 
1 aptist as witness of the Light, which was about to manifest itself 
in a new and peculiar manner to the world. John merely, as the 
greatest and last prophet of the Old Testament, is put for them all ; 
the whole of the Old Testament, with its line of prophets, was a 
testimony (uaprvpid) to the Light. This testifying does not involve 
the idea of instruction or communicating, but only that of corrobo- 
ration, solemn declaration, and this not merely outward, but inter 
nal also. The prophets were, so to speak, the first beams of the ap 
proaching Sun, and such also was John. He himself was incapable 
of communicating to the sinful world a higher life ; but he knew 
that there was a fountain of such life, and that it was about to 
pour forth its fulness into the poverty of the human heart. These 
words plainly have a polemic direction against an exaggerated esti 
mation of John. The term dvOpuTrog, stands in opposition to 
the predicates of the Aoyoc, and t^t i t-ro to //r. Ver. 8, John is care 
fully distinguished from the li<//it, but with reference to what pre 
cedes, he is designated as a man who had experienced in himself 
the influence of the light of the Logos. Accordingly (John v. 35) 
he is called Av^vo? 6 faivuv, the shining lamp, and the character 
of his work is thus described: that through him, ver. 7, refer 
ring to John) all men might believe in the e-ming Light. (Accord 
ing to ver. TJ. -f- -n -nuoi may be completed In vim 



316 JOHN I. 9. 

Ver. 9. Next follows, in a very simple manner, the announce 
ment of the Divine decree, that the true Light was to come into the 
world, viz. in personal manifestation. The epithet a A^O/ror, f/->ic, 
contrasts the Logos, as the original Light, with the other derived 
lights (James i. 17). John frequently uses the term (iv. 23, vi. 32, 
xv. 1) to express the sentiment that the earthly was only the intima 
tion of the heavenly, the latter the essence of the former. Hence it 
stands in antithesis, not to the false, for the Baptist was no false 
light but only to the relative, the derived. (In such passages as 
John xvii. 3, it appears used as equivalent to dXrjOfa. But com 
pare the exposition of the passage.) Upon this rests the more 
profound conception of the figurative language of the Bible. It 
consists not in a transfer of earthly to Divine relations : but rather 
men of God, contemplating the things Divine and true (the d).r]0ivd), 
sought, for their expression, the earthly copies of the heavenly. 

With respect to the construction, as Liicke, Tholuck, and all 
recent expositors acknowledge, tp^o^evov i s not to be connected with 
dvdpwov, for this would occasion a pleonasm,* since all men must 
come into the world, i. e., must be born : but it is to be united with 
ijv. The participle tp%6//erov is then to be taken in a future sense : 
" The light was about to come into the world." Here, however, in 
the first place, we must determine the meaning of Koa^og,-^ world, 
and then fix the sense of tpxeaOai d<; rov /edcr l uoi>, to come into the world, 
accordingly. The world (/cda/zof) means, first, the material world 
with all its creatures, in so far as it is created and disposed by God. 
So John xvii. 5, 24, frequently in the phrase Trpo rov rov Koapov elvai, 
and the like. Secondly, it embraces, by way of synecdoche, only 
men, as the most essential creatures of the universe, e. g. John iii. 
16, OVTU ?iya7Tr]Gev o Oebg rov Koofiov, vi. 33, dprog fafjv didov$ TGJ KO^CJ. 
Finally (and this is the prevailing signification of noo^og in the lan 
guage of John), it is employed in reference to the creation, so far 
as sin exists in it, and in this relation again it is applied by syni-ch- 
doche to man alienated from God. Thus John xvii. 9, " I pray 
not for the world" (ov treat rov Koofiov t pwrd;). (Comp. 1 John ii. 15, 
16) Now "world" (/cocr/zof) is by no means identical with the 
darkness (oit6ro$) ; the darkness is that which is sinful in itself; in 
the world there is only a mixture of darkness and light. But in so 
far as the darkness predominates in the aluv ovrog, so far the do\ il 
is called, in John s phraseology, the dp^uv rov Koopov, ruler <>/ tic 
world (xii. 31). The customary expression for the incarnation and 



* The Hebrew eViya -NS Vs may certainly be rendered "all men, -"only in that 
case ai f>/>u~(tr cannot be added. 

\ Comp. Seyffarth loc. cit. p. 118. "\Ve need only mention the fundamental error in 
his development, viz., that he attributes to the Apostle the doctrine that matter is the seat 
of evil 



JOHN I. 10, 11. 317 



persoiiiil ministry <.f (lie L.^-.S is t(>\t-nn,tt ricrir /,-^ov, coming into 
the wn-l l (iii. l!>, \i. 14, i.\. oil, xi. ill, xii. 4(1). It designates liis 
desmit from that lilissful heavrnly kingdom, which is pervaded by 
perfect harmony, into the mingled .- .ml discordant economy of time. 
The phra^ thus expresses the sdf-aliascmcnt and Belf-Bacrifieeof the 
Logos. The Rabbins use fc^sa *a, comiixj info (/>c icorld, for 
"being born:" but the Greek expulsion comprehends more; it 
refers to the entire earthly manifestation of the Logos, and its im 
port is not completed till the return of the glorified Redeemer to the 
heavenly world. Now the phrase i\v t-p^o^evov, viewed in itself, cer 
tainly may stand as a periphrastic preterite, equal to 7}A0e, as Block 
and Liicke take it in the present instance. But in the introduction 
to the Prooemium, we have already remarked that the connexion ren 
ders this here inadmissible, since the participle is to be understood 
as applying to the future. Tholuck also remarks, in opposition to 
the above interpretation, that i\v, where it is employed as a preter 
ite, is not usually placed so far from its participle. 

Ver. 10, 11. The Evangelist first glances back to the earlier 
general influence of the Logos in the world, " he had already been 
in the world, but had not been acknowledged by it," (the i]v refers 
to ver. 5, TO (f&g h rq ano-iq, faivei, and is to be taken as a pluper 
fect), and then speaks more definitely of his personal manifestation, 
which, ver. 1.4, is described as incarnation. The words ei$ rd ISia 
r/A0, he came to his own, can only relate to the ministry of the in 
carnate Logos, partly because the ZpxeoOai is not used of his previous 
mode of action, c. g. the Theophania, and partly because, ver. 12, 
13, regeneration is described, which in the Old Testament can only 
be regarded as typical, and not as actual. The great body of " his 
own," even upon this occasion, did not receive him (ver. 5) ; while 
those who did receive him* reaped rich blessings therefrom. The 
only difficulty here is presented by the words rd Ifiia (scil. dw/zara) 
and nl Hint. To me it seems quite certain that the expression "his 
own" forms an antithesis with world (ver. 10 >, which is also indicated 
by the antithesis between was and came. The latter term (KO^O^) 
here indicates the world of mankind at large ; his own (Idiot) are a 
part of it, the Jcws.-\ They are pointed out as kindred and nearest 

* Tho expression Xaftjuvciv avrw or fiaprvpiav avrov is equivalent to Tuarfveiv 
These phrases illustrate the idea of Kiartf ; they shew that the subjective condition of 
nloTtc is susceptibility to the operations of the world of light. 

f Bleck (loc. cit. p. 417) justly observes, that the coming of Christ into the world did 
indeed strictly commence with his incarnation ; but his actual ministry first began at the 
baptism. Previously to that he still wrought, as it were, in the same manner as before 
the incarnation; and although he was in existence and present, John trstifu-d concerning 
him as to come. This interpretation favours the retention of the progression in the Proo 
mium to ver. 11 : fur tho words 6 P.fjjof aup$ iyh-ero, the ward became flesh, (ver. 14) must 
be placed in Immediate connexion with tho entire fullness of his work, which, how 
ever, is not here so expressly exhibited. 



318 JOHN I. 12, 13. 

friends of the Logos, because (according to Siracli xxiv. 8) he had 
chosen Israel as his possession and residence. So Theophylact and 
others. Most recent expositors, however, understand creation in 
general as meant by idea, and regard the idiot as denoting the world 
of mankind related to the Logos through the indwelling light ; a 
sense, certainly not inappropriate ; though if it be adopted, the 
gradation ceases, and verses 10, 11 become perfectly identical. 

Ver. 12, 13. It was, however, impossible for John to make these 
statements respecting the unbelief of the Jews without limitation, 
because a community of Jewish Christians had nevertheless been 
formed. In the nature of the case, the appearance of the Eternal 
Word in the flesh could not bo in vain and without effect, because 
that would suppose the final victory of evil over good, which is in 
the nature of the case impossible. If, therefore, apparently the 
few who did receive him bore no proportion to those who did 
not receive him, still the Divine energy imparted to these few 
involved a power that overcomes the world. The Logos, there 
fore, brought with him for men a higher power (^ovaia), viz., to 
become children of God. ( Egovoia is understood as = n\ir\ in the 
sense of right, prerogative ; but the Scriptures contain no passage 
in which this signification is necessarily to be adopted. Passages 
such as John v. 27 ; 1 Mace. i. 13, xi. 58, indeed admit it, but only 
so far as the prerogative depends upon a greater power communi 
cated. It is the same here. It is intimated that a more copious 
communication of the Spirit took place under the New Testament, 
in order to the regeneration which belonged to it, than under the 
Old Testament. 

The expression TKKVO, Qeov, children of God, conveys the idea of 
being begotten of God in regeneration, rather than that of being 
dear and precious. (Comp. Comm. on Luke i. 35.) The condition 
of the reception of these higher vital powers appears as faith 
(jria-ig), a susceptibility to the influences of the Logos in his own 
peculiar entity, so that uvofia, name, = op is employed to designate 
his being itself. (Consult upon -rrioTig, the remarks on Horn. iii. 
21.) Ver. 13 now adds a description of regenerated believers, in 
opposition to the yevvrfrol yvvain&v, born of woman. (Comp. the 
Comm. on Matth. xi. 11.) It is, however, worthy of remark that 
several of the Fathers, among whom are Ircnauis and Tcrtulh an, 
read the singular o$ iyewijOr), so as to refer the words to the incar 
nate Logos. The latter even asserts that the plural is an alteration 

* Olshausen s interpretation is unquestionably the right one. The TU Ifita, his own, ia 
the Jewish nation regarded as the chosen possession of the Logos. The Old Testament 
abounds in recognitions of Israel as the chosen people, the inheritance of Jehovah, and 
this is among the numerous instances in which John identifies the incarnated Logos of 
the New Testament with the Jehovah of the Old. Further, Meyer is right in denying 
that ouftara is understood ; TU itita ia what belonged to himself, not his own dwelling. [K. 



JOHN I. 12, 13. 319 

<>f the Yalenfinians. At any rate. lio\\v\vr, the reading is incorrect, 
for tli - fallowing t> A<5yo- au^ <!/e Logos became J/<*//, is not 

(.insistent with it. The sentiment of the is therefore sim 

ply this : the offspring of God is fur nobler than that of men. 
(\ tini = fj-rt-ftfidj comp. Wisd. Sol. vii. 2.) The only particular de 
scription given <>! huniaii procreation is, that it is through desire 
,/m t-tOviiidj concupiscentia) of the woman and of the man ; 
and it is here we find the indication of the sinful and impure ele 
ment that exists in human procrcatiou and passes over to the 
children. The reference of t Oeh marog to odpg also, and the parallel 
juxtaposition of oi-de aide, appears to favour the acceptation of 
odp$, flesh, as here designating woman. True, E plies, v. 29, and 
Jude vcr. 7, do not appear to me adapted to prove that odp^ means 
woman ; but such a proof we do not need, since, in order to inter 
pret this passage, it is quite sufficient to refer to the view pervading 
the whole of Scripture, which represents the weak and sinful cha 
racteristics of human nature as especially exhibited in woman (1 
Tim. ii. 9, IF.). The woman may therefore, in a special sense, be 
called odpZ, and that were enough for the interpretation of this pas 
sage.* But only ovre ovre expresses the distribution of a whole 
into its parts : hence adp^ and dvijp cannot be taken as subordinate 
parts of alfta. Connected by ov6 ovdt, they define with more pre 
cision the OVK i% alftdr^v. (Comp. Winer s Gram. p. 45G.) But 
how? Liicke thinks that both are epexegetic, odpt- arising from 
the Hebrew, and dvijp from the Hellenic point of view. It may be 
i perhaps with more propriety that odp!- opposes to the Divine the 
sinful, r//() merely the created. Tholuck s rendering, " also not 
fi iiii sensual pleasure, and just as little from the desire of man," 
well agrees with this view. The expression t OeoO tyevvrjOrjoav, were 
begotten of God, is more strictly determined by the term fiovoyt ; 
<;/</// In-ijoHi-n (ver. 14, 18). The birth from God is accomplished 
liy means of the First-born and the Holy Ghost ; in this birth the 
Logos communicates his essence to men ; the Logos alone is born 
///////< //W /// from the bosom of the Father. Hence, man in his 
natural condition is no child of God ; he wears an alien form ; he 
must be changed into the Divine nature through the influence of 
Christ. (Cornp. John viii. 44, iii. 6 ; 1 John iii. 10, v. 1 ; GaL iii. 
26, 27.) It k however, remarkable, that the holy Scripture ex- 

* Block s mode of understanding tho passage (loc. cit. p. 422) seems to mo some 
what obscure. This scholar thinks that aup$ denotes that which is common to tho race 
of men and of women the sensual nature; but that <iY;, /) designato i -3 in 

opposition to the unconscious, the nn^-. Tl. would then be, "born neither out 

of fleshly lust, nor out D of a man, in tho general sense." I confess, bow- 

that I do not quite understand Block s words, " so that man, even viewed apart (?) from 
the sexual propensity and the sensual nature generally, may, through bis will, produce 
such sons."(?) 



320 JOHN I. 14. 

presses the relation of the world, in its origin, to God, in no other 
phrase than Trdvra KK rov Qeov tonv, all things are from God, since 
the ecclesiastical mode of expression, "creation out of not //in f/," 
<!"cs not occur in the bibliral writings. (Cornp. Heb. xi. 3.) The 
determining of the difference between the Divine agency throng) i 
the Logos in the creation generally, and in regeneration particularly, 
belongs to the most difficult problems of theology. But the exist 
ence of the indifference is indicated in the usage of biblical lan 
guage ; since in reference to the Son and to regeneration only 
yewdaOaij to be born, is used, while, in reference to the world, 
yiveoOai, become, is employed, thus excluding the errors of pantheism. 

Ver. 14. In this pregnant verse the "coming in to the world" 
portrayed (v. 9) as approaching, which v. 12 had designated as an 
entrance among his chosen people, is more fully portrayed in its 
peculiar character. " This Logos (described ver. 1, ff.) now (in 
time) became (iyivero in opposition to fjv, ver. 1) flesh." By the 
expression " became flesh/ we are to understand, as the remark on 
ver. 10 has shewn, not merely the act of birth, but the ministry of 
the incarnate Logos connected therewith ; and this is confirmed by 
the sequel, since the subject of discourse is the manifestation of his 
grace and glory, the first complete disclosure of which was after the 
baptism. This expression is here selected with the utmost care ; 
for, in the first place, od^, flesh, could not be exchanged for a^a, 
body, because body forms the antithesis of soul (V ^//). But the 
Logos united himself not merely with the substance of the body, 
but also with a human soul; hence flesh (odp) here denotes (= nra) 
the whole human nature, in its weak and necessitous condition, and 
this he filled with the rich treasures of his Divine life. " The Word 
became flesh, in order to raise the flesh to spirit." John states this 
in opposition particularly to the docetic Gnostics, who explained 
the corporeal existence of Christ as a mere appearance, thinking it 
unworthy of him to take to himself human flesh, (odp^ dvOpu-tvn).** 
He assumed it, however, with indeed the general infirmity (daOeveia), 
on which his susceptibility of sorrow depended, yet without its sin 
(Rom. vii. 18. Comp. the remarks on John iii. 6). 

Just as little, moreover, could the Evangelist have said : t-yt vero 
dvOpunog, became a man, which w r ould represent the Redeemer as 
one man amongst many, whilst he, as second Adam, represented 



* If even in our time the idea of the incarnation of God still appears so difficult, the 
principal reason is, that the fact itself is too much isolated. It is always the impulse of 
spirit to re-embody itself, for corporeity is the end of the work of God : in every phenome 
non, an idea descends from the world of spirit, and embodies itself here below. It may 
therefore be said that all the nobler among men are rays of that sun which in Christ rose 
on the firmament of humanity. In Abraham, Moses, and others, we already discover 
the coming Christ 



JOHN I. 14. 321 

collective human nature in a sublime COmprehenitive personality. In 
Mich a form of manifestation, continueSfFtihn, fa tabernacled among 

//\ (t rn; /jn.ifit r tr ////?). Thi-si- words contain not merely a general 
reference to the designation of the Spirit s dwelling as a n\- t! \ t 
labemacU (2 Cor. v. 1-4; 2 Pot. i. 13; Wisdom ix. 15), but a 
special allusion to the name of the n^so, Shcclilnah (from -,?= 
n/r// im >-.)( (Comp. Rev. vii. 15, xxi. 3.) With this also the A< >$a } 
>/?<>///, of the Logos corresponds, which John describes with deep 
emotion from his own observation. (Corap. 1 John i. 1.) It is the 
Divine splendour, the constant attendant of the Sherhinah and 
identical with it, visible to the spiritual eye, issuing from the Logos 
in wonderful grace and tenderness. (With regard to the " i .ab coin- 
pare the remarks on John i. 1.) The apostles beheld this glory, as 
Lucke finely remarks, with a spi ritual eye, and he who is illuminated 
by the Spirit perceives the same glory in him now. (Respecting 
the <Joa, glory, compare also the remarks on John ii. 11.) The 
Evangelist now associates the glory in its matchlessness, with the 
character of the Logos, as one who is incomparable as the povo- 
yev/fr, only-begotten. (Tholuck justly compares the w? with the 
Hebrew i, veritatis, unsuitably so called ;J "such a 6o& as belongs 
to the /aovoyv//? alone"). 

Hi iv then for the first time in John the Logos is termed the 
Son of God. Seyffarth is mistaken (loc. cit. p. 38, 73) in supposing 
that the expression has reference merely to the incarnation of the 
Logos. Schleiermacher expresses himself in a similar manner (Glau- 
bensl. Pt. ii. p. 707): "the Divine alone in Christ could not be 
called SMU of God, but this term always doubtless designates the 
entire Christ." Ver. 18 shews the contrary, where the words ov e/j- 

* This Ls all that ecclesiastical doctrine says whoa it ascribes to the human nature of 
Christ tho impe: just as the immortalitas asserts his exemption only from the 

necessilas moricndi, not from tho possililitas. Tho Logos did not become a man but the 
mail, just MS Adam was not ono man amongst many other men, but the original man 
who included them all, who potentially carried in himself tho whole race. To Adam, 
as well as to Christ, wo may apply tho expression of Augustine : in illo uno fuimus nos 
omnes. 

f Tholuck does not dony this, but thinks that tho expression may denote also the 
transitoriness of the abode of the Son of God in lowly humanity. But since John is en- 
mring to depict tho glory of Christ s appearing, tho reference to his humiliation ia 
not appro; over hi.s L ;iot a transient veil for his deity ; on tho con 

trary, deity and humanity remain united in his person. 

J Meyer on John vii. calls the 3 veritatis an irrational chimera ; tho term certainly 
is unsuitable, but tho peculiar uso of tho 3 which it is intended to denote, cannot be 
denied. d>mp. Gcsenius Gram. p. 846. 

I cannot but think ; :uary reference in tho parenthetical clause, and we 

beheld his glory," etc. (for it cl< : nthetical), is to tho transfiguration, where 

John pre-eminently saw the Saviour s glory, and immediately and expressly tho glory as 
of tho only-begotten of the Father. See account of the transfiguration, Matth. xvii. 
1-G. Also 2 Pet. i. 1C, 17. [K. 

VOL. II. 21 



322 JOHN I. 14. 



roj Kn/-ov ~ov Tra-pof, being in the bosom of the Father, are to be 
referred to the external existence of the Son with the Father. The 
difference between this expression and the term Logos consists in 
this that the term Son of God points out more distinctly and ex 
pressly the personality of the Word. In like manner Seyfi arth 
is in error when he interprets the name Christ as denoting a 
quality of the Son of God. This term constantly refers to the 
union of the Divine and the human, a union in which the Divine 
principle hallows and anoints the human. (Compare the Comm. 
on Matth. i. 1.) Accordingly, if the expression 6 vibg TOV Oeov, 
the Son of God, in John refers to the Divine nature of the 
Son (as to the few exceptions compare the Comm. on Luke i. 
35) then the epithet //ovoyei%, only-begotten, must likewise have 
a deeper meaning than the derived one of, specially dear. Ac 
cording to ver. 18, the fiovoyev^ is the only Son of God in 
the most essential and highest sense, as alone knowing the es 
sence of the Father. Now it is involved in the nature of knoiving, 
according to the profound biblical meaning of the word, that the 
Deity can be known only by that which possesses a kindred nature. 
Hence, absolute knowledge of God presupposes absolute equality of 
nature. Hence also none but the regenerate in whom Christ lives, 
can truly know the Father ; because no one knoweth the Father 
save the Son (comp. Matth. xi. 27). The same signification is in 
dicated by the napa narp6g,from the Father, in our passage, which 
is to be connected, not with the do&v, but with povoyevovg. In the 
language of Paul, instead of this we have Trpuro-oicog, first-born 
(Rom. viii. 29 ; Coloss. i. 15, 18 ; also Heb. i. 6), in which expression, 
however, the reference to the resurrection of Christ (Trpwroro/co? t /c 
To5i> vcKptiv) occasionally prevails, (Coloss. i. 18, as Rev. i. 5) and con 
sequently the human nature is indicated. Finally, the quality of 
the glory is more exactly defined ; * it is termed Tr^b/pT/f %dpirog not 
d/.T]Oeia<;,futt of grace and of truth. (nA?/p?7 is a reading which resulted 
from the endeavour to connect the last words of the verse with 
(56fav ; but they refer to the Aoyof.) Both ideas, that of %d^, 
grace, and that of dX/jOsia, truth, ^ belong to the class that is pecu 
liar to John. It is remarkable that Seyffarth should overlook the 
former, since he, nevertheless, has received the kindred one of 
j, lovc.^ With respect to the aya -r?/, he very justly remarks 



* Rather of tlio 7< r,nr. Po Olshauscn in tho immediately following parenthesis. [K. 

f Both ideas frequently occur in connexion in tho Old Testament also, especially in 
tho Psalms (Jxxxix. ::::, o. :,. i-xvii. 2.) 

\ The ancients did not riso above tho Eros, i. e., lovo desiring, and therefore arising 
from want: the Agape of Christianity, the love which purely bestows out of absolute 
fulness, they knew not. Comp. Plato s Symposion, and with it the ingenious remarks of 
Batir in the Mythol. vol. ii. sect. ii. p. 242, ft . Concerning the difference between uyandi 
and (jn?.tiv, comp. Tittman, Syn. Part. L p. 50. 



JOHN I. 15. 323 

(p. 97, ff.), that it is to be considered as essentially in God (1 John 
iv. 8, 16), as the outpouring <>r immediate communication of liis 
bring ; and so Schleierinacher c\ ; >im<e!f. X.//-/r. ffra.ce ( = 

nan, in) according to John s idea, is !); ion and activity of 

towards the abject condescension towards the world of 
creatures. It they 1)0 contemplated at the same time as miserable 
through sin, then grace is termed compassion (fr^of). Accordin 
the Fadier shews towards the Son not grace but love, aid, 

John xvii. 24, ^ydmjodf fu npb na-aftn /TjC K< >miov } thou lovcdxt me 
before the foundation of the world. But in the im -arnatc Logos, 
this condescending expression of love, the ^n pTj wa s the prominent 
character. As to the second term, a/ i}0eta, truth, it stands in oppo 
sition not only to favfioc., falsehood, but also to ^araiorr]^^ emptiness. 
According to the profound conception of John, the truth is the 
same as reality, substance, in opposition to shadow, i. c. emptiness, 
destitution of the Divine essence. This is the character of the 
sinful world (Rom. viii. 20); the truth (dMfieia = n>=), O n the 
contrary, is God himself and his Logos (John xiv. 6). He docs not 
have it as something conceived to exist in connexion with him, and 
possessed by him ; he is essentially Jhe thing itself* Hence the 
communication of the truth through the Logos is not a communi 
cation of certain correct opinions, but an impartation of the essence, 
the principle of all truth, the Koivuvia rov Trver/xaroc, participation 
of the Spirit; and Seyffarth very justly observes (p. 96), that be 
lievers, the begotten of God, are called by John riyiaafievoc ev TJJ 
li /nOna, sanctified in the truth (John xvii. 19). Hence also, in the 
language of John, i\ dfa jOeia, the truth (with the article) is to he dis 
tinguished from dfa iOeia, truth (Comp. John viii. 44). Some truth 
i< i even by the unholy ; it is only of the devilish that 

it is said, " truth is not in him." But the eternal alone is absolute 
truth. 

Yer. 15. The testimony of John, intimated above (ver. 6), is 
now more precisely detailed, that it may be presented (i. 19. ff.) to 
the readerwith the occasions that called it forth. K^/VMT, r./v/Wra, 
expresses the energetic character of the testimony. The phr;: 
o-7/TM i/or ; ( )\. ,;/HVJ -, /if f//<it cn)i,cf/i u/f, r me, which in Matth. iii. 11 
is clear, is in this place somewhat obscure, on account of the 
tu-jxinOn- ,in>- and ~i>- (not occurring in Mat! hew and Mark.) 

According to the synoj,ii>-al Kvan-rlists the sentiment is merely 
this : " he wh". n.mmc iHvs his work later than I, is higher in dig 
nity." Now, tu-imnO r - r . /,ns become (/r//,w r<>nk\ /"fore 

me, in our p. . oan idy be underst ..... 1 as r- latin- to {he M B- 

sianic office of Christ, since }>} ur, has become, permits no r 



* The am inn in this absolnto ,- .;>. I lut.-in-Ii dt> Iside et 

Oeir. c. 1, (if oi cJ^j tirC/xJTij , r, ov xainoaoQai Qe<J r- . /. t/ b e I a f. 



324 JOHN I. 16. 

ence to the eternal existence of the Son of God. Meyer, indeed, 
thinks that tin- diflicnlty is relieved. it \vc ivf.T the rxpivsHoH to 
the ancient procession of the Lin (lS jVuni (ind, the / ( }of -pofyoptKnc. 
But this procession itself is to be understood us the eternal action 
of God, and therefore cannot be designated by yiveoOai, lecome. 

The concluding words, however, must be referred to the eternal 
existence of the Son, since the VTI, because, founds the previous 
proposition upon that which follows. (Tholuck and Liicke just ly 
understand -np&rog = irporepoc;, according to John xv. 18, 1 John iv. 
19.) The sense will then be this : " He who begins his work later 
than I, has received a greater dignity, for he was eternally with the 
Father." This correct knowledge of the Baptist may have been 
first awakened in him by careful reading of the Old Testament, and 
the use of exegetical tradition (both of which Tholuck makes prom 
inent) ; but we can attribute his firm conviction respecting it only 
to the immediate operation of the Divine Spirit himself, who in 
spired him. (Comp. John i. 33.) 

Ver. 16. This verse is surely not to be regarded as belonging 
to the discourse of the Baptist ; it is connected with ver. 14, and 
confirms what is there said respecting the contemplation of the glory 
of the Lord. Ver. 15 comes in between them parenthetically. 
Hence the reading Kai of the Text. Recept. certainly is incorrect, 
and on should be read instead. The change arose, perhaps,, from 
the fact that the triple occurrence of on appeared strange to the 
transcribers. The Evangelist now speaks in the name of all believ 
ers, and declares how the Redeemer has become to them a fountain 
of life. The fulness (rrhijpuna) ascribed to him, is (as Ephes. i. 23, 
Coloss. i. 19) the fulness of Divine being and essence which dwells 
in him. In distinction from him, entire humanity appears as the 
party receiving ; he alone is the giver, and the giver of grace (#0^?.) 
The meaning of the phrase %dpiv dvn xdpirog, grace for grace, is 
easy ; the more we receive from the streams of grace, the more we 
may yet receive ; as it is inexhaustible in the bestowment, the be 
liever may take it without measure. But this use of dvri is without 
parallel in the New Testament. The passage in Theogn. (seiitt. 
v. 344, dvr dvitiv dviacf) is analogous, where dvri may be taken as 
"for" "over." So also here "one expression of favour upon an 
other."* (Perhaps the Evangelist had in his mind the llrluv\v 
jr, V? -,n, which exactly corresponds with our formula). To take 
uvri in the sense of " instead" and thus refer the first x^P 1 ^ to tnc 
Old Testament, the second to the New, is here wholly inadmissible. 
The Old Testament, in its intrinsic character, cannot be called 
grace. 



* I think, thus : uvri, instead of, honco, in place of, succeeding to ; thus, grace succeed 
ing to grace grace upon grace. [K. 



JOHN I. 17, 18. 325 

17. This is shown also by tin- following parallel between 
Law and dispel ; the abundance of grace in Clirist becomes mani- 
f st through the previous law, in which justice and a stern demand 
fur holiness formed the prevailing characteristic. One tiling only is 
singular, vi/., that even the truth is traced to Christ alone as its 
source, whereas it appears assuredly that there was truth in the 
Old Testament also. Here, however, wo must understand t/te truth 
in the absolute sense, which as before observed is the true being 
and qpsence itself. The Law </ ///"// /.>, and thereby elicits the con 
sciousness of sin, and the need of redemption ; it only typifies the 
reality; tbe Gospel, on the contrary, actually imparts substantive 
life and power from above. (Compare Rom. vi. 14, 15, where VTTO 
v6[iov, under law, and VTTO xdpiv, under grace, form the antithesis.) 
Hence Paul terms the Old Testament oKid, shadow, whilst he calls 
the New Testament otipa (substance), Coloss. ii. 17. De Wctte 
seeks a subtle distinction between <560r] and KJKVKTO, to wit, that in 
the former term lies the character of the positive, in the latter that 
of the historical. EJo0// is selected purely on account of the fore 
going vo/zof , which admitted no other verb ; but iyivero is here asso 
ciated with xdpig and d^Oeia, because the discourse is not concerning 
the object in itself, but concerning its becoming manifest to men. 

Ver. 18. The concluding verse of the Procemium connects itself 
beatifully, on the one hand, with what immediately precedes, in that 
the Son alone could unfold the essential knowledge of God, as the Gos 
pel communicates it ; while, on the other, this same thought com 
pletes the entire Procemium, the Word which was in the beginning 
with the Father, and in Christ became man, thus appearing as 
the Being who supplies all true knowledge of God, and procures 
eternal life. To represent this work of the incarnate Logos is the 
d<>ign of the whole Gospel. The expression b &v d$ rov Koknov rov 
Trarpof , who ivas in the bosom of the Father, serves to point out the 
essent ial nature of the Son. Were we to admit an interchange of the 
prepositions /-/< and M-, the term Ko^og.bosom, might bo taken (accord 
ing to the analogy of Old Testament passages, such as Isaiah xlvi. 3, 
Ixvi. 9) as = th-, the womb ; so that the sense of the expression 
would be : " The Son was (a- .Ai(hroc) from eternity in the 

ace of the Fath.-r." But Winer (N. T. Gramm. 3d edit, p. 3jO), 
rightly opposes, iii the interpretation of this passage, also, such an 
interchange; he understands /,.//-, in the ordinary signification, 
laid towards the bosom." It is further to be observed, that neither 
the LXX. nor the NYw Testament ever put K> > /-nc for en- ; they 
always employ nm/m ,.r m}r(><i for it. C<m<e<|iiently. the only 
remaining for this passage i- that "f the m,.st intimate c..mmunion,t 



* W: N to 

f Tlio choice of tlio expression 6 uv ei$ TUV KO).TTOV rov n-aroof, who was in the bosom 



32G 



JOHN I. 18. 



(according to the Latin in shut, in gremio alicujus essc.) But even 
if, in accordance- with tliis idea, the words in themselves mi^lit 

* O 

a-ivc with Avian and Socmiati representations of Christ, still we are 
necessarily led to take the thought in its profounder sense, that, viz., 
which refers the words to the eternal existence of the Son with the 
Father in the first place by glancing back at the language 6 
Aoyof ijv Trpof rbv 0e6v, the Logos was with God (ver. 1), and second 
ly, by the antithesis with ovdelg twpae Qeuv TrwTrore, none hath ever 
seen God. These words place the only-begotten Son in opposition 
to everything human and created, and ascribe to him, in his fiigher 
nature, precisely that which rises above the sphere of human exist 
ence. The expression /tovoyev/}? vi6$, only-begotten Son, cannot refer 
to the incarnation of the Word (compare our remarks on i. 14), 
since even in his functions before that (ver. 5) he revealed to men 
the hidden essence of God. ( EfyyeioOai = aTro/ea/lvTrrav. In 
the Septuagint for n? n, Levit. xiv. 57.)* Still, some difficulty 
seems occasioned by the circumstance, that in the Old Testa 
ment God appeared to several, in particular to Moses, with whom 
Christ, as the communicator of the direct knowledge of God, is here 
contrasted ; while Jesus also speaks (Matth. v. 8) of seeing God. 
But the Old Testament representation itself, when accurately 
viewed, perfectly conforms to the idea here expressed. In the re 
markable passage, Exod. xxxiii., God says to Moses (ver. 20) : 
" Thou canst not see my face, for there shall no man see me and 
live." The contrast between the sinful creature and the eternal 
God is so vast, that the former is incapable of sustaining the full 
manifestation of the Divine light ; it needs a gradual disclosure 
thereof, f At the conclusion (ver. 23) it is further said ^-rx-ns IVN-^ 

of the Father (which does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament), bears assuredly a 
striking character that has not yet been entirely cleared up. Perhaps there was floating 
in John s mind a parallel with himself: as he was related to Jesus, so was Jesus to the 
Father. With this, Hengstenberg s remark (iiber die Aechtheit des Pentateuch, p. 25) 
would well agree viz., that the self-designation of John as the disciple whom Jesus loved 
is an explanation, of his own name, since he takes Jesus as equivalent to Jehovah, so 
that his name was a prophecy of the relation into which he entered to Jesus. But the 
iTt-Ftrui irrl rb arf/Oof rov Iqaov, leaning on the breast of Jesus (John xiii. 25, xxL 20), 
is only a symbolical expression for f>v ^-/d-jra o lijcovr, whom Jesus loved. 

* Lficko strenuously maintains, and copiously proves, that klfayeiaQai and KaOijycioffat, 
in the profane writers, were used with special reference to the explanation of sacred 
things. Yet ho him.-. II says that here the Evangelist may have only unconsciously used 
the very word which in the best manner points out the essential characteristic of the 
revi -lation of Christ. As a supplement to i^-rjoa-o, Kuinoel justly adds TU rot Ofov t 
which certainly, :;s Liieke remarks, is to bo understood as meaning the X"P l f Ka ^ u^.r/6eta 
(ver. 17.) 

f Although Steud.-l (in the Tubing. Pfingstprogramm, 1830) contends against the dis 
tinction between the hiiM. ii a-ui the revealed Cod, yet he seems in reality only to den) 
\rian view of a between Cod and men: and certainly 

ho does so with trntii. differently 

and then be in 1. ipture. John xii. 41 shews that the idea which we have 



JOHN 1. 19. 

UK--; ttV istx Thus in the cases of thcophany, men of God, under 
the Old Trstament did not B66 lh< i hidden essence of God, but his 
iniaue (. /Vwr). But the image of God is the fton, th>- Rcvealer 
of the hidden Father, and accordingly it was always (even before 
the incarnation in Christ) the Son \vlio disclosed to men the 
inn- o of God by degrees, as they were capable of appre 

hending it. ;:; 

Hence, as Deity itself, lie stands in opposition to everything 
human ; no one knows the Father except the Son (Matth. xi. 27). 
(The readings /zovoyev/)$ > vlb<; Oeof, or OeoD, are in any case to be 
rejected ; probably they arose from the endeavour to make the an 
tithesis with ovSd^ as distinct as possible.) 



2. FIRST TESTIMONY OF THE BAPTIST CONCERNING CHRIST. 
JESUS COLLECTS DISCIPLES. 

(John i. 19-52.) 

The intimations already given (ver. 6, 7, 15) of John s testimony, 
are now followed by a more detailed description of the circumstances 
under which it was delivered. The fact that the Evangelist opens 
his work with this ; the very form of the narration (coinp. especially 
ver. 20) ; and in like manner the immediately following account of 
the way in which the Lord gathered disciples, while John referred 
them to him all render it certain that the Evangelist had some 
thing special in view. He doubtless intended to contradict the 
opinion of the later disciples of John, that the Baptist himself was 
the Messiah. Moreover, the occasion on which the Baptist deliv 
ered the solemn testimony that he was not Christ, specially invited 
a divisive declaration; a formal deputation from the Sanhedrim 
(i t >l>t,-]. whose object was to question him respecting the nature 
and legitimacy of his office. The highest ecclesiastical court pos- 

given of tho Thcophanies is quite tho same as that of tho Evangelist himself; for it is 

irist. 

* In the fragments of Orpheus, terras and thoughts occur which are quite similar to 
tion of tho mini.- Divine Logos. In tho first fragment from Justin 

Martyr, it is said : 

V.lr itjr avroycvjjf, tvbf tKyova iruvra rirvnTat 
Ev 6 avrolf avrtif xepiviaacTaf oi Je rif arrdv 
Elaopup OvjjTuv avrbf 6e }-c TTUVT ar 6 p u T af 
In the second Fragment from Eusebius (Praep. Evang. xiii. 12) it is said : 
Ov yap KEV T/f I6oi QVIJTUV p.ponuv Kpaivovra, 
V.I ft!) p o vv o y e v 1} f rtf u-oppu$ Qvl.ov ui udev 
iluv. 

Doubtless, however, Christian, or at least Jewish influence, assisted in tho composition of 
this and similar Orphean fragments. 



328 JOHN 1. 19-25. 

-< d a perfect right to send such a deputation. (On this subject, 
e -.injiare the remarks in the Comm. Matth. xxi. 23.) Hence John 
answered them and gave them an n 4 ., siyn, by which lie proved him 
self to be a genuine prophet, viz., " that the Messiah was already in 
their midst." From this circumstance we may conclude that our 
attention is here occupied with a different occurrence from that nar 
rated Matth. iii. 7, ff. ; for in this latter passage no deputation ap 
pears, but we merely find, amid the masses of people surrounding 
John, individual Pharisees and Sadducees who wish to be baptized. 
This is clearly shewn by the parallel, Luke iii. 7, if. Moreover, 
since it is said, John i. 31, "I knew him (Jesus) not," whereas here 
in the answer to the deputation Jesus is described as known to John, 
this occurrence must have taken place after the baptism and temp 
tation of Jesus. (Comp. the particulars, ver. 29.) 

Ver. 19, 20. By the expression ol lovdaloi, the Jews, John here 
designates the members of the Sanhedrim as representatives of the 
whole nation. All imagined something superior in the Baptist, 
but they were in doubt as to his proper character. The reiteration 
<l);w^6yrj(7e teal OVK iflvrjaaro ical unoXoyqaev, he acJcnoiuledgcd, and de 
nied nof*, and acknowledged, obviously implies great stress. The 
Evangelist medhs to say that the Baptist declared in the strongest 
terms that he was not the Messiah. The polemical reference in 
these words to the errors of later disciples of John appears to me 
unmistakable. 

Ver. 21-22. The disavowal of the office of Messiah on the part 
of the Baptist induces the deputies to associate him with other im 
portant personages ; they ask him whether he may be Elias, who is 
to precede the Messiah, or Jeremiah,* concerning whom a similar 
opinion was entertained. (Comp. the Comm. on Matth. xvi. 13.) 
But the Baptist disavows this also. The apparent contradiction 
occasioned by the circumstance that Jesus calls John Elias, is easily 
reconciled by Luke i. 17, where John is described as working in the 
spirit and power of Elias. (Comp. the Comm. on Matth. xi. 14, and 
on Matth. xvii. 10.) 

Ver. 23. After these negative declarations the Baptist at length 
speaks of himself positively ; he is the ^uvij J3otiv-os KV rf/ >/"/ / , 
voice of one crying in the desert. He here appeals to the passage, 
Isaiah xl. 3, which is also applied to the Baptist, Matth. iii. . 5 ; Mark 
i. 2 ; Luke iii. 4. (Instead of Iroindaa-e, which the three Evangel 
ists have in common with the LXX., John admits evOvva-e, doubt 
less only because he quoted from memory.) 

Ver. 24, 25. John s additional remark, that these deputies 

* Block (loc. cit. p. 423, ff.) docs not think that Jeremiah is expressly intended, but 
he ia of opinion that in tho general sense only, according to Dout. xviii. 15, a prophet 
was to precede the Messiah, and to this reference is here made. 



JOHN I. 2G, 27. 329 

(Priests and Invite-) were ofth< sects of tin- Pharisees and Saddu- 
. was very appropriate here, beoaiue this was tin- must likely 
motive of their subsequent question. The IMiuri.-ees rigidly adhered 
to external rites ; henee they were struck at John s baptizing. 
They evidently considered baptism as nothing unbeeomiiig to the 
M -Mali or to Klias. (Corap. Light foot h:>r. hebr. ad h. 1. Never 
theless the Rabbinical passages there adduced do n .t expres-ly 
treat of a baptism, but only in general of the purij!< <iti<nt which 
Elias \vas to accomplish. The Jews, however, justly aeknowled 
the baptism of John as a symbol of puritieation.) But that any 
one should baptize members of the people of God consequently de 
claring them impure and in need of purification in order to be 
rereived into a higher communion appeared to them inadmissible. 
For the rest, it cannot be demonstrated from this passage (comp. 
the Comm. Matth. iii. 1) that the Jews believed the Messiah or his 
forerunner would baptize. The words only signify that the baptism 
of Israelites, by these individuals, was not inappropriate, since they 
would not merely like ordinary prophets strengthen the existing 
theocratic life, but would found a new, higher constitution. But 
the symbolical significance of the rite of baptism was so intelligible, 
that as soon as tho Jews saw John practise it, they understood 
what he meant by it. Accordingly, this passage affords no proof 
that baptism (in its distinction from mere lustration) was known 
before John and Christ. At any rate, it could not have been 
regarded as a prerogative belonging only to the Messiah to baptize 
the Jews, because in that case John would by no means have 
adopted it. Moreover, the words before us state nothing to that 
effect.- 

Ver. 26, 27. To solve this difficulty, John specifies the charac 
ter of his baptism, which only operated negatively (separating from 
the impenitent generation), not positively (giving power from above 
for a new life) like the baptism of Christ. (Comp. the particulars 
in the Comm. on Matth. iii. 1.) The synoptical Evangelists have 
the same words in a more complete form (comp. the remarks on 
.Mat th. iii. 11, and the parallels), in particular, they expressly add 
the baptism by the Spirit, (j3anri^iv <> rrvei r/), which belongs to 
the Me.-siah. The words /itxrof v/wSv tar^fv, ov i-jueZf OVK oWare, t/t< i\ 
stani/ f// in the iiiidxtof you, etc., are peculiar to John. They are 
very important to the connexion of the whole passage. It appears 

* Th i I .v tho Jews to the rite of baptism is explained, if wo 

int tho circumstance that no post-Mosaic prophet, seer, judge, or any 

16 things under the Old Testament, could introduce a sac: :ite, or 

to bo obser r L uluti.ns by the people of God. Subsequently 

to Moses none but tl MuM do this accoiding to tho passage I eut. xviii. 15, 

11 A prophet like me (tho founder of anew institution of God) will tho Lord raise up, 

Aim shall ye hear." 



330 JOHN i. 28, 29. 

to me probable that the Evangelist who, as a disciple of John, may 
have listened to this very conversation with the deputation from the 
Sanhedrim, reported the words in an abbreviated form. Not im 
probably the deputies further proposed an express question to the 
Baptist regarding the prophetic legitimation in general. (Com p. 
the Comm. on Matth. xxi. 23.) To this reference is made in the 
words /zt aof vp&v KOTTJKEV, there standcth one among you. By means 
of this arjiielov or nto, sign that he announced to them the .Messiah 
as already walking amongst them the Baptist proved himself to 
be a true prophet of God.* On this account also the Lord could 
ask (Matth. xxi. 25) : " Why did ye not believe John ?" (With 
respect to ver. 27, comp. the remarks on ver. 15.) 

Ver. 28. This important event, the official legitimation of the 
Baptist, so impressed John, that he further particularizes the place 
where it occurred. The reading RrjOavia (njsx n-a ship-place), is 
doubtless to be preferred to the reading of the text. rec. BrjOafiapa 
(rnay ma ferry-place). The latter name has only been received 
through Origen. He found on the Jordan a Bethabara, where, ac 
cording to tradition, John baptized, whilst Bethany lay inland near 
Jerusalem. But the spot here meant certainly is not this well- 
known residence of Lazarus ; it was a little place bearing the same 
name on the other side of the Jordan, which may have been de 
stroyed before the time of Origen. 

Ver. 29. In the passage ver. 19-28, the chief thing presented 
was the negative part of the Baptist s testimony, viz., that he was 
not the Messiah ; in the following (ver. 29-34) we have his positive 
statements respecting Jesus. The Evangelist naturally says nothing 
about the act of the baptism of Jesus himself, because it was of no 
importance to his purpose. The disciples of John might perhaps 
even infer from it that the Baptist must necessarily be superior to 
Jesus. The following words must also have been spoken after the 
baptism of Jesus, f True, there need be no embarrassment on ac- 

* Tho words "did no miracle," John x. 41, are to bo explained in accordance with 
the same views. This statement is only intended to deny actual miracles (rfpara) in the 
work of John ; but the reality of his prophecy concerning Christ is most distinctly re 
cognized in that passage. De "Wette himself (on x. 41) acknowledges a testimony to the 
purity of the tradition, in the fact that no miracle lias been ascribed to the Baptist, and 
even Strauss will not venture to deny this. But then, on what ground was it that the 
ever-ready fabulists, who abounded in apostolic times, did not use the favourable oppor 
tunity to adorn the life of the Baptist with wonders ? 

f I think it much more probable that these words, as well as John s declarations to 
the deputation, wore uttered before the baptism, and (with Meyer) that the baptism takes 
place between ver. 31, 32. John s language to the deputation, there standeth one 
among you," does not necessarily imply at all any persontd acquaintance of the Ba 
with Jesus, rather pt -rlia]- t!i, vl a IHvincly inspired declaration that he 

whom ho C is surely not inadmissible. Nor do I think 

then- the language v. 29 to have been uttered before the 

baptism. John was a prophet, and it is by no means unnatural that in the moment of 



JOHN I. 29. 331 

count of tlic . -urjuoi , on the next day, if we only assume a quick 
M of the occurrences, which \\ nothing to contradict. 

The ! events may IK- eon-rived thus : In the morning of the 

day eame the deputation ; towards evening .John baptized 

L8 ; on the iicjct day he spoke the words now following. It is 

advisable to take the Inavptov (after the analogy of lh> Hebrew 
nnx) in the wider signification, because John here gives such a pre- 

account, that he even specifies the hours (ver. 40). The first 
inert in-- with his heavenly friend had made an indelible impassion 
upon his memory. But the circumstance, noticed above in the re 
marks on i. If), that the Baptist speaks of Jesus in such a manner 
as already to acknowledge his higher dignity, leads me, with Bleek 
and Tholuck, to think it more probable that all of which John 
informs us took place after the baptism of Christ. Adopting this 
supposition, one thing only seems strange, viz., that in the synoptical 
Gospels (Matth. iii. 11, and parallels), the Baptist utters words 
before the haptism, similar to those which in John he utters after 
it. But Tholuck justly observes, that the Baptist may surely have 
repeated such figurative expressions as " loosing the shoe-latchets ;" 
at first he uttered them before the baptism to the people, without 
being aware that the Jesus externally known to him was he whose 
advent he was to proclaim ; after the baptism he addressed similar 
words to the deputation of the Sanhedrim, with more distinct re- 

iice to the person of Jesus. Further, since the four days (John 
i. 29, 35, 44, ii. 1) are closely connected, the forty-days temptation 
of Christ requires that all should be placed after the baptism. 
There also appeal s to be some foundation for Tholuck s remark, 
that the words [itoog vn&v "OTTJKEV, there standcth among you, 
(ver. 12(>) hardly suit the supposition that Christ was still confined 
to the narrow ehvle of private life. 

The exclamation with which the Baptist points out Jesus to his 
dis. -ij <!<>, ;,V , , dtivbs rov Oeoi; K. r. A., JJ< />/</ tlie Lamb of God, is 
very remarkable, especially in the mouth of the Baptist. It shews 
that at least at those times when the fulness of the Spirit was 
specially accessible to him, he had a deep knowledge of the way of 
salvation. The whole Mosaie institution of sacrifices, combined 
with various declarations of the Old Testament respecting the suf 
fering and atoning Messiah ( . <j. Ps. xxii.; Isaiah liii.), had doubt- 

the Savin-, .nco, ho should have been mail. known to John, and that he in pro- 

phi ti. rapture .-houM have utter. . . , ; -.ls which are at all events the 

inmieiliat. product of inspiration, and altogether transcc>nd the level of John s ordinary 
conception* of th.- Mcs-fiah ut this tim.-. Matth. iii 1 t. >h,.\vs that John km-w whom he 
was : and it is more than probable that tl>.- Spirit did not leave it to Jesus 

him- . ! . . ,:iy with this is the nal ip". ">d he 

testified (sc .nd tlieuso of the ; -beheld, as of an action that 

has just transpired. [K. 



332 JOHN I. 29. 

less always kept the truth of this doctrine alive in the minds of 
individuals among the Israelites, although the mass entirely mis 
took it. In like manner, the Baptist rightly perceived it under the 
illumination of the Holy Spirit. The term d/mx- nt is quite in 
conformity with Isa. liii. 7, where it occurs and even refers to a 
slaughtered lamb. In the Apocalypse, John very frequently D 
dpvlov, lamb, and occasionally with the addition &*>>} Wm; . xlanrjh- 
tered (Rev. v. 6, xiii. 8 ; comp. also 1 Pet. i. 19), so that there is no 
doubt with regard to the meaning of the comparison ; Jesus is 
compared to a sacrificial lamb led to death. The following expres 
sion dftapria rov Koopov, sin of the world, shews why he is called lamb 
of God, viz., as the abolisher of sin and the sufferer for sin, sent by 
God. (Just, as 2 Cor. v. 19, Ocbg i\v iv Xpiarti KOGJIOV KaraXdaauv 
iavr&.y God himself, as it were, ransoms the sinful world by the 
sacrifice of his only-begotten Son. Those superficial expositions of 
the profound words before us, which either make lamb to be under 
stood merely as an image of meekness, and take away sin (alpeiv 
a/^apr/av) of the removal of sin by means of instruction (as Dr. 
Paulus thinks), or take lamb, dpvog, as an image of an innocent suf 
ferer, and aipeiv dfiapriav as meaning the endurance of persecu 
tions (according to Gabler, in the sense, " this innocent person will 
be obliged to suffer much"), may bp regarded as set aside by the 
remarks of Liicke, Tholuck, and especially Hengstenberg, respecting 
the suffering and atoning Messiah.* (Christol. vol. i. p. 274, ff. 
With respect to the circumstance of lambs not being used for tres 
pass and sin-offerings, compare my remarks concerning the paschal 
lamb, on Matth. xxvi. 17, which removes the difficulty resulting 
from a comparison of that passage with 1 Cor. v. 7.) 

But there yet remains for consideration one question which even 
most recent investigators have not sufficiently determined. Tholuek 
thinks that aipeiv rijv dpapriav rov KOG^OV merely means " to 1 
the punishment of sin ;" he is utterly opposed to the signification 
"to take away." He says that the phrase aiosiv dfiap-iav is equiva 
lent to 1*1?. K ys; that this does mean " to take away sin" like dQatpelv, 
in several connexions, but by no means in all ; and that it is often 
= TI* V?o, as much as fyipeiv, happdveiv. Tholuck also cites Levit. 
xx. 19, f.; Numb, xviii. 22; Ezekiel xviii. 19, f., xxiii. .T>; and 
thinks that since in the LXX., Isaiah liii. 11, drntrrei stands I r Vsr- 
arid the Evangelist may be supposed to have had this passage in hi-; 
mind, it is in the hi^L"-; degree probable that the meaning her 

* That the idea of a substitutionary endurance of punishment by a righteous person 
was not unknown to the Jews, is shewn not merely by the passages from Josephus and 
Zohar, quoted by Tholuck on this place, but also by the numerous passages of the Old 
Testament, in which mention is made of a representation of the people, or of th- 
sons presenting themselves befoi <m behalf of the unjust. (Comp. Ezek. xiii. 

6, xzii. 30; Ki. Ixiv. 7 ; Pa. cvi. 23 : [Exod. xxxii. 11, f.]). 



JOHN I. 29. 333 

to bear the punishment <f sin." T<> me. however, there appears 
to be n<> ival distinction between r: and Vao, a tpm 1 and u<-n(>nr, in 
the connexion with <i/Hi(>-rin. It is neecssary here to combine the two 
significations -> to bear" and "to take away." The sarrilieial lamb 
which bears tlie sin also takes it away ; there is no bearing of sin 
without removing it. Tholuck was led to make this distinction 
merely through observing that opponents laid so much stress on the 
si unification " to take away The error, however, consists not in 
tin- application of this meaning, but in their ascribing the removal 
of sin to the teaching, not to the sacrificial death of the Lamb of 
God. Further, the signification " punishment of sin," for liimpriu 
in this passage certainly cannot be demonstrated. 1 John iii. 5 
clearly shews, from the connexion, that aipetv r//r <iintpria$, to take 
away sin, in John means to abolish, to remove sin itself. Hence we 
can only express the sense of our passage thus, by a periphrasis : 
" behold this is the sacrificial Lamb, prepared and given by God 
himself for this purpose, who bears the sin of the world, and by his 
sufferings and death annuls and removes it." Scripture knows 
nothing of an endurance of the penalty of sin on the part of the 
Saviour while men retain the sin itself ; sin continuing would con 
tinually reproduce the penalty, and thus the remission would be 
annulled ; sin itself, says Augustine, is the true punishment of sin, 
und sin is truly forgiven only when it is taken away. Nevertheless 
it is also true, that man may have the hope of forgiveness entire 
and unclouded, although he is compelled to acknowledge that he 
does not possess entire freedom, from sin ; only so far, however, as 
(according to Horn. vii. 25, at which passage the whole of this diffi 
cult doctrine will be further developed) the man, in his inmost 
essence (the vovc, the true self), is taken possession of by the new 
Divine life that is in Christ, and can attribute what is in this to the 
who!*.-, even although his sensuous nature (oops) be not yet entirely 
controlled by this new life. Now, it is remarkable that the Baptist 
not only so decidedly declares the doctrine of the suffering and 
atoning Me.^iah, but also extends the efficiency of the 3Iesiah to 
the whole world. It might have been supposed that this surpassed 
the Baptist s range of view, and that he would have contemplated 
only the people of Israel. (Comp. the Comment, on Matth. iii. 1.) 
And this consideration might for a moment dispose us to admit the 
view t hat only the words We d dfivbs rov Qeov, behold the Lamb of God, 
were the words of the Baptist, as they occur by themselves in ver. 
36 ; the apposition, 6 alQuv rijv dfiapriav rov KOO/ZOJ;, ivlio tahth away, 
etc., being an addition of the Evangelist s. John s custom, too, of 
making appendices of his own to the speeches of others which he 
rts. would accord well with this. r>ut, as Liicke observes, it is just 
as possible that the words of the Baptist were reported in an ab- 



334 JOHN I. 30-34. 

breviatcd form in ver. 36, since in the term " lamb" the thought 
which follows was fully implied. And 1 am Ilie more decided 
in favour of the latter acceptation, because the Old Testament c<ui- 
tains abundant intimations, that the work of the Messiah will be 
extended beyond the boundaries of the people of Israel ; and such 
passages might conduct the Baptist, as well as Simeon, under the 
illumination of the Holy Spirit, to the comprehensive redemption 
which should proceed from the Messiah. (Cornp. Luke ii. 31, 32, 
where the Old Testament passages pertaining to this subject are 
quoted.) 

Ver. 30, 31. The following words have already been explained, 
ver. 15. They refer particularly to ver. 26, 27, so that o$ ty/~po<70ev 
K. r. A. corresponds with ov tyw ova elfu agios K. r. A. The final clause, 
8n Trpwrdf pov i]v } because Tie was before me, confirms the previous 
thoughts, and has reference to the eternal existence of the Son 
with the Father. With respect to the OVK jjdeiv avrov, I "knew him 
not, consult the Comment, on Matth. iii. 17, where it has already 
been observed that this expression can only be understood of that 
inward knowledge, instead of which an unequivocal sign was given 
to him by the Spirit, the occurrence of which enabled him to re 
veal the presence of the Messiah to the people with certainty. 

Ver. 32-34. On the baptism itself, to which the Baptist here 
barely refers, we have already said what is needed in the Comment. 
Matth. iii. 16.* 

It is peculiar to John s Gospel, that the descent of the Spirit 
like a dove upon Jesus was given to the Baptist, as a sign by which 
he might recognize the Messiah. Unquestionably this is a proof that 
the baptism of Christ was not for the multitude ; while it also af 
fords ground for the conclusion that the Baptist may have been in 
doubt as to how he should with certainty discover the Messiah. It 
was by means of inward revelation (for there can be no doubt that 
this is the meaning of 6 Trfyipag pe el-rrev, he that sent me said, ver. 
33) that such a sign was now given to him. Thus eternal love dues 
not leave weak man, who is so liable to error, without distinct de 
clarations and testimonies, by which, when the heart is sincere, the 
truth becomes desccrnible in difficult circumstances. 

As the condensed summary of the Baptist s testimony, it is 

* I cannot agree with Tholuck s remarks on the passage, in the fifth edition of his 
Commentary. He thinks that the Spirit wsvs not really communicated to Christ at his 
baptism, but, on the contrary, only the consciousness that the moment of his public ap 
pearance the opportunity fur the Spirit already dwelling within him to manii ; 
was arrived. The account of the baptism plainly produces the impression that the Spirit 
is for the first time communicated to Christ. This supposition admits of no hesitation, 
if it be remembered that the human nature of Chri.-t always followed the general course 
of development, and consequently received the fulness of the Spirit only by degree* 
(Com p. Lucke s Excursus on this subject, vol. i. p. 373, Cf.) 



JOHN I. 35-43. 335 



Y<T. 34, on orror f-ft-ti n rii>r -nr 9CO0, /// ? //JS IS the Son of God. 

This is llu- lirst instance in which (his name apj.cai-s in the mouth 
of tin- Baptist. It cannot be taken merely as the name of Messiah 
in the subordinate Jewish sense, synonymously \\-\\\i "Christ," on 
account of the " he was before me," ver. 30, which plainly refers to 
the eternal existence with the Father. The knowledge of this was 
accompanied by that of the higher nature of Jesus generally. 
(Comp. the particulars on John i. 50.) " I knew him not" (ver. 
31) does not stand in contrariety to Matth. iii. 14 ; the Bap 
tist always placed Jesus higher than himself, although without 
knowing, or being certain, of his Messianic dignity before the bap 
tism ; he may even have regarded him as a prophet. 

. 35-40. Up to this point the representation of the Evangel 
ist is obviously intended to shew how the Baptist refused all hon 
our for himself and heaped it upon Jesus, so that the disciples of 
John might be rendered conscious of having paid false homage to 
their master. The Evangelist now further describes how, in conse 
quence of this observation of the Baptist, some of his disciples and 
among them the Evangelist himself (ver. 40) allied themselves to 
Jesus : as if again to intimate what they, the disciples of John, 
must do, if they participated the sentiments of their teacher. 

The great sensitiveness of the Evangelist s mind is touchingly 
shewn in his representation of this first contact with the Lord ; the 
circumstances are present to him in the minutest details ; he still 
remembers the very hour. It is to be regretted that he reports no 
particulars of those conversations of the Lord by which he was 
bound to him for the whole of his life ; he throws everything per 
sonal into the background. 

Ver. 41-43. The one of these two disciples who is expressly 
mentioned was Andrew, brother of Peter; the other, concerning 
whom silence is observed, was doubtless John himself, who, through 
delicate reserve, abstains from naming himself throughout the Gos 
pel. Probably the ardent Simon Peter had also already hastened to 
the Baptist, that he might hear his exhortations to repentance, and 
prepare himself tor the coining Messiah. Andrew, therefore, hastens 
to inform him that he whom they longed for is found, that their 
hope and the hope of their lathers is fulfilled, (npoirof for Trporepog, 
as ver. 15, since probably both sought him. For Meoaiav many 
codices read M^/ T. which reading may indeed be preferable, as the 
more difficult.) J >us. looking attentively and peiiet rat ingly upon 
Simon ( . / Ifl to be taken as emphatic"), iminediately 

assigns to him a new name. This name is to be understood only as 

* Tlio computation is probably made according to Roman reckoning; so that tea 
o clock in the morning is to be understood. Comp. Rettig (in the Stud. 1S30, No. i.) and 
Hug (Frcib. Zoitschr. No. v.) 



336 JOHN I. 44-50. 

expressing the inward nature of the apostle, and indeed his new na 
ture, sanctified and transformed by the power of grace. Energy 
and inwunl firmness were the leading features of his character, 
which, in their natural state, were manifested in the form of false 
self-confidence and assurance, but, after the temptations to these 
evils had been conquered, fitted him to be one of the pillars of the 
Church. (Comp. Matth. xvi. 18 ; Gall. ii. 9. ntrpoc; = ND^ ; Rock," 
hence " Rock-man.") 

Ver. 44, 45. Another young man also, Philip, a native of the 
same town with Peter and Andrew, was called by the Redeemer to 
follow him, shortly before his departure to Galilee. The circum 
stance that the call of the apostle, whose name we have mentioned, 
took place before the return of Jesus into Galilee, clearly shews 
that the account, Matth. iv. 18, ff., Mark i. 16, ff., does not speak 
of the first calling of the disciples, but of their invitation to perma 
nent companionship with the Lord. (Comp. the Comm. on Matth. 
iv. 18.) After this first summons from the Redeemer to follow him, 
the apostles returned to their earthly vocation ; it was not till after 
the second invitation that they followed Christ permanently. 

Ver. 46, 47. The faith but just awakened immediately mani 
fests itself, like a spreading fire, and similarly kindles everything sus 
ceptible of its influence. Philip in his turn proclaims to Nathanael 
the Messiah whom they have found, and who was promised in the 
sacred books of the Old Covenant. (Respecting his identity with 
Bartholomew, comp. the Comm. on Matth. x. 1. Nathanael was 
probably his proper name, f) When Philip calls Jesus vib$ rov 
Iw<77/0, son of Joseph, he only utters the prevailing popular opinion. 
Nathanael expresses his doubt as to the truth of Philip s declara 
tion, by alluding to the contempt generally entertained for Galilee, 
in which province the small town of Nazareth was situate. (Cornp. 
John vii. 52 ; Matth. ii. 23.) Philip, however, appeals merely to 
the striking appearance of Christ himself, by means of which Na 
thanael also was soon won. 

Ver. 48-50. The Lord, who knew the depths of the heartj 
(John ii. 25), not merely according to that ordinary human knowl 
edge which is derived from experience, but by the Divine power that 
dwelt in him as he beheld Nathanael approaching him, expressed 
the judgment concerning him, that he was sincere and guileless. 

* Comp. the remarks in the Comm. on Matth. xiii. 44, ff., concerning the different 
modes of conversion. IVtcr was of an inquisitive nature, Xathaiiael was more quiet and 
contemplative ; lu-vcrthi lfss, both were obedient to the light as soon as they beheld it. 

f The name V3M occurs in the Old Testament very frequently. Comp. Numb. L 8, 
ii. 5 ; 1 Chron. ii. 14, and many other instances. It answers to the Greek names &e 66u- 
por, 0e65orof, OcofJwp^rof. 

$ So Block justly observes, in his remarks on the passage in the Stud. loc. cit. p. 
440, L 



JOHN I. 48-50. 337 

Tliis is just the characteristic of mind (sincerity and uprightness), of 
which \\c i:i;iy >ay, without a doubt, that it cannot be distinguished, 
hero, with perfect certainty hy mere experi Mier ; t do this requires 
an insight into the hidden depths of the soul. ( l<7("////./r//r is here 
used pregnantly as a name of honour ; "lie is truly a member of 
the nation of believers, the people of God.") Upon the question of 

lanael, ~60ev fie yivuoKu$ ; whence knowcst thou ?//< . th Saviour 
reminds him of a scene which had taken place, prohably a short time 

ire, under a iig-tree. This word discloses to the disciple the 
Divine knowledge of Jesus, and he recognizes him as his Lord and 
King. What passed with Nathanael under the tree is not stated ; 
we may, however, conclude from the connexion, that it must have 
been something important, and, indeed, something internal; the 
il inner because it affected Nathanael so deeply, the latter because 
the sight of anything external could never have formed the ground 
for such an avowal. The disciple must have believed that what 
Jesus referred to could not possibly have been discerned except by 
Divine power ; but how could this with any probability have been 
believed of anything merely external ? Accordingly Christ s seeing 
him can only be understood as an inward sight. Natbanael s soul 
lay spread open before his spiritual eyes, and he had read its depths. 
Doubtless the disciple had, under the fig-tree, uttered in prayer his 
most secret desires and hopes, and to have been observed in this by 
the eyes of the all-seeing, so subdued his heart, that he also believed 
in the Nazarcne. 

Yi r. f)U is important for fixing the conception of vib$ rov Oeov, 
Son of God. This passage, in fact, appears in favour of the inter 
pretation adopted by Liicke himself, and by Tholuck that Son of 
God is only another expression for Christ, Messiah. For, according 
to the point of view occupied by Nathanael, we cannot pre-suppose 
in him any knowledge of the Divine nature of Christ ; and since 
" Son of God" precedes " King of Israel" (ftaatXevg rou Iapa//A), this 
latter appears to be only an explanation of the previous phrase. 
But proof that this was merely a name of the Messiah, can be ad- 
dueed from no other quarter (as we have shewn in our remarks on 
Luke i. 35) ; nay, John x. 33, if, expressly proves that the Jews 
themselves considered it arrogance and blasphemy that the Messiah 
should call himself Son of God, and therefore no false }!<. siah ap 
propriated this name ; hence this single passage, which, when 
viewed alone, appears to favour the above hypothesis, must be other 
wise interpreted. The simplest method of solution is to say that 



i 



LQcko (in his Comm. on the passage, p. 392, note) will only concede to me that the 
namo " Son of God" was not in very common use as a designation of t b among 

the JL-W.S in the time- of Christ; he allows that the more definite metaphysical idea may 
have belonged to tho Christian mode of thinking; but regards such passages as John x. 
VOL. II. 22 



338 



JOHN I. 51, 52. 



here the Evangelist, anticipating the later knowledge of Nathanael, 
atlriliud s to him the declaration of faith in the Son of God, imme- 
diately upon his avowal of belief. Only, in that case the phrase 
must, as in all similar pass-iijvs (Matth. xvi. ]G ; John vi. 69 [text, 
recept.], xi. 27, xx. 31), be placed after, when -is it here precf! 
Hence it may be better to say that Nathanael had already perhaps 
learned, through Philip, that the Baptist (to whose diseiples Xa- 
thanacl had also probably belonged) had called Jesus Son of God 
(ver. 34) ; and that he now ascribed this name to Christ, not asso 
ciating with it a distinctly defined idea, but feeling that it indicated 
something great and glorious ; meanwhile the Messianic King was 
the more familiar name in which for him everything worthy of de 
sire was concentrated, and Nathanael therefore adds this, in his 
view containing the higher import. The passage would then be un 
derstood in the following form : " Thou art truly the Son of God, 
whom, as I have heard, thou dost announce thyself to be." 

Ver. 51, 52. The Lord now proceeds with emphasis from the 
lesser to the greater,* and informs Nathanael, as well as all the 
other disciples, that they should behold something more sublime 
than his power to discover hidden things, viz. they should see the 
whole heavenly world in his service. We have already in discuss 
ing angelic appearances in general (Comm. on Matth. i. 18) point 
ed to the interpretation of this passage. The ascent and descent of 
the angels (of which Jacob s heavenly ladder Gen. xxviii. 12, is a 
significant type) simply points out the active flow and reflow of Di 
vine powers ; the opened heaven (comp. the Comrn. on Matth. iii. 
16) indicates the restoration of that unity between the higher world 
of spirit and this lower system of things, which had been destroyed 
by sin ; the ascent and descent upon the Son of Man signifies that 
he is the centre and the leader of all the higher powers of the uui- 

32, ff. xi. 27 ; Luke xxii. 70, as proving that the terra was not unknown to the Jews as 
a designation of the Messiah. But, in the passage John x. 32, ff, the Jews wish that 
he would declare himself to be the Messiah, while they determine to stone him, when he 
calls himself " Son of God ;" in this they perceive- a blasphemous assumption, which they 
had not found in the name of the Messiah. John xi. 27, Martha, the sister of Lazarus, 
speaks; with her tho name "Son of God" is an expression of the Christian teaching 
which she has received; she uses it as a closer definition of the term Messiah, In Luko 
xxii. 70, Christ is so called by way of derision, in reference to the known fact th. 
had applied this appellation to himself. Thus none of these passages affords the i 
proof that the name " Son of God" was recognized by the Jews as a designation of 

all. Our passage indeed, has the most appearance of it ; but the circumstance that 
no false Mts.siah ever ventured to call himself "Son of God" appears to me a decisive 
proof that tliis appellation, as also tho name "Son of Man," was unknown to them, that 
it did not occur in the usage of Jewish language, nay, that it was shuddered at as blas 
phemy. 

* The formula, uur/c tiuijv leyu i>/uv is employed by Joim with great frequency. 
Comp. iii. 3, 5, 11 ; v. 19, 2-1, 25 ; vi. 26, 32, 47, 53; viii. 34, 51, 58; X. 1, 7 ; xii. 24; 
xiii. 1C, 20, 21, 38; xiv. 12; xvi. 20, 23; xxl 18. 



Jonx II. 1. 339 

verso. (Respect in;.: u S-n <>f Man (-..nip. the f omm. on Luke i. 
35.) The words / - MI-/. /,, i,.-i/,-tf . eannof b<- strictly referred to 
tin- moment of time (lien present : the opeuinv: ,,f heaven and tli 
outpouring of Divine powers is to he reckoned from the haptism 
(Matth. iii. 10) as the public inauguration of Christ, aii l since that 
time it has never-censed. This spiritual view of the w.inlshas been 

lied by all the more profound expositors of every period. 
Origen and Augustine, Luther and Caki". ]. ,. ;ui d Tholuck. 
Every limitation of the words to individual cirenmstanees, whether 
to angelic appearances proper, or to the moral working of Jesus, is 
to be rejected ; the collective work of the Lord, as a permanent de 
velopment of heavenly powers, and as a continuous leading back to 
the world of spirit, is here to be understood. It is only in regard to 
the idea ofangeltl&t reference need be made to the remarks above. 
(Comp. Matth. i.18.) It was there mentioned that the ayyeAo*, angels, 
are at one time conceived of as powers of nature, at another as per 
sonal existences. Here both references may be said to be involved. 
Spiritual agencies, whether operating in the internal or in the ex 
ternal world, are viewed in their concentrated forms, and are referred 
back to the Prince of the kingdom of light, in his earthly manifesta 
tion the Messiah as their centre. Hence this ascent and descent 
of angels denotes the purely physical effects which flowed from the 
Redeemer in miracles, just as much as the purely moral works of 
regeneration and renovation. It is remarkable, however, that the 
nt (avaftaivF.iv) is placed first, whereas it would appear neces 
sary that the descent (iiara^aivEiv) should precede this; doubt 
less, the only reason of this arrangement is the Diet that in the 
Logos, which in Jesus had become man, the collective world of spirit 
was in. effect transferred to the earth, and hence the active flow 
of Hie perpetually issued from him and returned to him. 

3. JESUS AT THE MAUKIA<;I: ix CAKA. 

(Jolmii. 1-12.) 

Ver. 1. The journey to Galilee mentioned above (ver. 43) as 
contemplated, is supposed to be accomplished, and Jesus appears in 
Cana, the birth-place of Nathanael (,Iohn xxi. ~2), who probably ac 
companied the Redeemer with. !..hn toUalile,-. ( ana layabout half 
a day s journey from the sea of (Jennesaivt (Joseph, de vita c. K>)-t 

* \Vh--n, : : iioluck (on tho passage p. 79, fifth edition) thinka thai M.itth. 

xxvi. f,-l is to bo understood in a similarly figurative manner, I cannot :i<rr. e with him: 
on the contrary, there tho subject of discourse is the real eomin^ of Ci.rist, which, aa 
always in the* > . ::t. 

f There was besides a second city of this n . . :i (Josh, xix 

28). in tho tribo of Ashcr, which, however, in all probability is not meant here 



340 



JOHN II. 2-6. 



From Jordan, on the shore of which we see Jesus up to this 
time (i. 28), he might reach Cana in two days ; he could thus 
arrive there on the third day (reckoned from the las! t-ai-f)iov t 
i. 44). 

Ver. 2-4. Christ was invited to the marriage, which probably 
took place in a family related to him (since, according to ii. 12, re 
lations of Jesus were present). (It is unnecessary to tab; >*/./ //#// as 
pluperfect, since it is not likely that the marriage was his motive 
for returning to Galilee ; the reasons that determined him were 
certainly from within.) As there was need of wine, Mary requested 
her Divine Son to supply the deficiency ; doubtless with the design, 
as the answer of Jesus shews, that he should display his miraculous 
power. Probably the Lord had in some way given his mother a hint 
on this subject, otherwise it is difficult to explain how it was that 
Mary thought of this particular form of the manifestation of mir 
aculous power, and that Jesus displayed it just in this manner. He 
repels Mary only in respect to time, when he says : OVTCJ jJKei i\ oipo 
\iov, my hour is not yet come.* ("^pj like Kaipo^, with the pronoun, 
commonly denotes the last crisis of the Lord, e. g. John vii. 30, xvii. 
1. But in the passage vii. 8, as here, the expression refers to that 
which is less remote. Passages such as Matth. xiv. 15 do not come 
under this category, because there the pronoun is absent from wpa. 
[Comp. the remarks on Matth. xxvi. 18.]) The hour of Jesus was 
the time for action fixed by the Father, of whose holy will Jesus 
was undoubtedly every moment sensible. Of such passive submis 
sion Mary had no idea, and hence her impatient haste. That the 
term of address, yvvai, woman, involves no disrespect, has been al 
ready frequently remarked ; but from the words -i qioi pal ooi ; wlvl 
have I to do with thce ? (corresponding with the Hebrew !;Vi "V-ne, 
conip. Matth. viii. 29 ; Mark i. 24) the character of reproof can in 
no wise be removed, although the rebuke is but gentle. After the 
Redeemer was introduced to his sacred office, even the relation to 
his parents (Luke ii. 51), so far as his ministry was concerned, must 
be regarded as dissolved. The son had now become the Lor<i even 
of the mother, who could secure her own happiness only by believ 
ing obedience to him. Just because Mary stood consciously in a 
* 1 86 earthly relationship to Christ, it might be difficult for her to 
understand this higher position, and hence this earnest admonition. 

Ver. 5, G. Upon this Mary withdraws, and refers the servants 
to her Divine Son, who, when the hour is come, coniinnnieates his 
command. (\\nO(i l ,ion( / )c ) purifying of hands and of vessels ; eomp. 
on Mark vii. 3, ft . The stone vdpiai, water-pots, [-,=x ] appear to 
have been very large, since a metre, according to Eisenschmidt, 

* Docs the language "my Lour," etc., necessarily mean more than "I only work at 
the appointed hour (not at any human dictation) ?" [K. 



JOHN II. 7-12. 341 



contains sevenf y-t wo ili^. Hut. U Sender very justly observes, it 
is nit said that water was changed inlo \viuo in all the pile: 
Tin- preeision ui th<> narrative renders it in the hi-he.-t degree prob 
able that .John was an eye-witness.) 

Yer. 7-10. They now drew out of one (or more) of these 
. and the wine was brought to the president of the feast, who 
knew nothing of what had taken place. (This is the only instance 
in whieli u(i\iriiiK^.ivoc } the superintendent of the fea^t, synonymous 
with T^/,/m//)\//o, (n li-xomdwrjs, occurs in the New Testament.) 
This person, astonished at the strength of the wine, tells the bride 
groom, that, contrary to custom, he is giving the best last. (Mt/yirr- 
KeoOai always means, if not exactly to be intoxicated, yet to have 
drunk copiously. Here, however, the discourse has reference only 
to what was customary in the world, so that no conclusion can be 
drawn from the expression as to the particular marriage at which 
Jesus was present, or as to the use of the wine that he bestowed.) 
In regard to this miracle of Jesus we must, of course, reject in ad 
vance every view which, contrary to the meaning of the narrator 
(comp. ii. 9 with iv. 4G), tends to remove the miraculous element 
from the story. The transaction before us is strictly parallel with 
those of the feeding of the multitudes. There is here also a sub 
stratum (water) whose substance is modified. The only correct 
conception of this occurrence is that which supposes a real effect ive 
influence, which only wrought with accelerated rapidity. Hence 
the Fathers justly observe that here nothing else occurred than 
what is annually displayed in a more gradual development in the 
vine. In the same way Meyer correctly understands the miracles. 
And Strauss himself, who at one time could not ridicule it suffi 
ciently, is now compelled, in his third number of the Streitschriften 
(]>. 113), against Dauer, to acknowledge the suitableness of suppos 
ing an accelerated process of nature. It is self-evident that this 
supposition neither removes the miracle nor explains it naturally ; 
the t nee .-I the ! ii i ruele e< >nsi >t s in I )ivinely effecting the accelera 
tion of the natural process ; the form in whieh the miraele is exhib 
ited is employed as a more ell eetive medium for its contemplation. 

Ver. ll,! - . .John observes, in eoneliision, that this was the 

\\v<\ miraele (eonip. iv. .14) wrought by the Lord for the manif 

ing of his glory (<Wb). (With regard to the i^,/ ? romp, the remarks 

on i. 14.) Soy Hart h (p. SJ) justly ol hat the Mfa, <//"///, 

fttneSS, \< aii py idea to // ,//, (. The Ln--, ,>. the absolute 

it, radiates lu>tre (^<u) from himself. They/.*/, in whieli the 

Logos appeared anion- men. is. as it were, a veiling ,.f the 



* Au<rustiiii\ in Joan. tr. riii. pnys: ipse fecit vinurn in nuptiK qui o:iini anno hoc 
i vitil)iis. Hind iiuti. in nun miramur, quid omni anno fit: ossiiluit.. i-lnii. 



rationcm. 



342 JOHN II. 11, 12. 

but in the miracles the brightness breaks through the veil, and 
thus reveals the Divine light that is shut uj> iu an unpretending 
form. In the transfiguration of Jesus, the flesh itself appears per 
fectly illuminated and glorified by the light. Now the circum 
stance that this was the first miracle of Christ serves in some meas 
ure to explain the fact that the Evangelist admits into his Gospel 
this in particular, which probably made a peculiarly deep impression 
upon him, although in other respects it must appear of compara 
tively minor importance to him, because no discourses accompanied 
it. Still the narration of this occurrence on the part of John is 
remarkable; especially as its material nature seems scarcely suited 
to his spirtual character. Nay, the miracle in itself exhibits the 
remarkable phenomenon of a miracle apparently wrought by our 
Saviour without any moral end. True, the disciples believed (i. e., 
increased in faith) by means of it (ver. 11), but this object might 
apparently have been still better attained by means of another 
action uniting real utility witlf miracle. Both the difficulties 
that John deemed this particular occurrence so important, and that 
Christ performed the miracle appear to me to be solved, or at 
least diminished by one observation. The first disciples of Christ 
were, doubtless, all originally disciples of the Baptist. His manner 
of life a rigid, penitential austerity, and solitary abode in the 
desert naturally appeared to them the only right one. What a 
contrast for them, when the Messiah, to whom the Baptist himself 
had pointed them, leads them, first of all to a marriage ! Whilst 
John devoted them to a life of self-denial, Christ conducted them 
to enjoyment. 

This contrast needed a reconciliation, which was supplied by 
the miracle. Like the immediately following account of the purifi 
cation of the temple, and the miracle of the fig-tree, this miracle 
has a predominant symbolical aspect, and, regarded as a significant 
act, is found to be both intelligible and in harmony with the gen 
eral procedure of Christ. All reprehensive judgments that might 
obtrude themselves into the hearts of the strict disciples of John 
then present, were suppressed by the manifestation of the glory of 
the Lord, which shewed them that in Christ there was more than 
John, from whom they had never seen anything similar. In the 
same relation the transaction may have appeared also in the Evan 
gelist. Those tlix iplrs of John whom he had in his eye, in the 
composition of his (iospel, were also inclined to a rigid asceticism, 
and might frequently be scandalized at the freer life of Christians. 

* The Fathers understand the marriage-feast to which Christ went symbolically, as 
an image of the inward joy and hupp. ,rist imparts to souls, and in which he 

bestows the wine of his spirit uu interpretation very fruitful for the practical treatment 
of the passage. 



JOHN II. 13-17. 343 

Hence tnis occurrence in the life of the Lord was t<> him, as it were, 
an a pointy for llie conduct of Christians, and an indirect declaration 
to tin- disciples of John that they should no( over-estimate their 

iticism. 

The Evangelist finally remarks that Jesus went with his own 
fivm Cana to Capernaum. (Kr^//, went down, \< cued because 
Cana was further inland, whereas Capernaum was close to th" sea.) 
The chronology, hitherto so exact, here assumes a degree of indefi- 
niteness ; for, with respect to the stay of the Redeemer and his 
companions, the Evangelist employs the general phrase : nai 
fnnrav ov rroAAaf i)[tt-pag, and they remained there not many <.! 
and hence the comparison of John s narratives with those of the sy 
noptical writers in reference to the order of succession, must be very 
uncertain. 

4. JESUS PURIFIES THE TEMPLE. 

(John iL 13-22.) 

John opens this section with the statement, that the Redeemer 
went from Galilee up to Jerusalem at i\\Q feast of Passover. From 
this we may, in some measure, deduce the time of the baptism of 
Jesus, and the temptation that succeeded it ; but still, as it resp 
the chronology of the evangelic history at large, little is gained 
from this date, because the synoptical authors (comp. the Comment, 
on Matth. iv. 12) give absolutely no information concerning the first 
public appearance of Christ. It is only on account of the chrono- 
logiral limitations which follow, that this passage is of importance 
to John. 

Ver. 14-16. Concerning the fact of the purification of the 
tempi", and the relation of this occurrence to that narrated Matth. 
xxi. 1:2, IF. (eoinp. the Comment, on Matth. xxi. 12), what is needful 
has already 1 -en said. John gives the citation (ver. l(j) merely 
from memory, and hence the variation. The thought as given by 
him is milder than that conveyed by the synoptical Evangelists, as 
in tact John s general representation of the act of purifying the 
temple a-snmes a softer form. 

Ver. 17. The Evangelist adds the remark that th > dis.-iples 
hereupon remembered a >criptural phrase, vi/.., Ps. Ixix. 0. It is 
not said whether this occurred to the discipl-s immediately at the 
time of the transaction, or later ; hut, according to the period -iven 
ver. 2 2. - I;-"" 7 / f - L 7"ji > , icht-n lt< ./ from the <!<<"l. t la- 

latter is more probable, especially since the disciples did not, in the 
first instance, know how to understand the representation of thy 

Concerning the brothers of the Lord, comp. the Comment. <>: ii. 55. 



344 JOHN II. 18-21. 

death of the Messiah. With regard to Ps. Ixix. itself, it is so 
frequently quoted in the New Testament (comp. John xv. 25, xix. 
28 ; Matth. xxvii. 34, 48 ; Acts i. 20), that it cannot well he denied 
that it was interpreted in the time of Christ as Messianic. Hence 
a mere accommodation of this passage, on account of a similarity 
of thought, or a possible application to the existing circumstances 
is not to bo supposed. (Comp. the Comm. on Matth. i. 22, concern 
ing iva Tr/lT/pwflf/, and the review of Hengstenberg s Christologie in 
Tholuck s liter. Anzeiger, 1831.) The fact that the Kabbins made 
such use of citations from the Old Testament, can be no proof that 
the authors of the New Testament did so ; on the contrary, the 
Holy Spirit, who inspired the latter, caused them to apprehend the 
Scriptures of the Old Testament in their real, spiritual import, and 
so to treat them. (On this subject comp. the excellent remarks in 
Billroth s Erkl. der Briefe an die Korinthier, Lpz. 1833, p. 13, ff.) 
Until the Old Testament life is viewed as an organic whole, pene 
trated by the same Spirit that prevails in the New Testament, by 
whom the forms that appear complete and perfect in the latter are 
foreshadowed in the former, the use of the Old Testament passages 
in the New Testament will always remain obscure.* 

The psalm describes David as the representative of the Divine 
truth on earth, and as the individual upon whom fell all the rage 
of its opponents. The circumstances of the case thus make David 
a type of the Messiah, and, in accordance with such a typical view, 
the authors of the New Testament refer passages of the psalm to 
Jesus. The meaning of riVsx y ry>B MN:^ o, the zeal of thine house, 
etc., in reference to the event that has been related, is easily under 
stood. It obviously expressed the ardent zeal of the Redeemer for 
the purification of religion and its sacred institutions, while it also 
intimated the opposition that malice would raise against it ; and 
from this opposition arose the danger to the person of the Lord. 
(The reading Karifyaye. is plainly derived from the LXX. ; in the 
text of John the reading Karafidyerai is doubtless the correct one.) 

Ver. 18-21. The following words which John connects with 
the purification of the temple are remarkable. The Jews (in their 
representatives, the Pharisees) asked Jesus for a proof of his author 
ity by a sign (n^ielov). (With respect to this, compare what has 
been remarked on John i. 19.) Such a question certainly niidit 
have been induced by the previous extraordinary proceeding 
it arose from unbelief ; hence Jesus, instead of giving them a siirn. 
answers: "Destroy this temple, and I will build it up auaiu 
in three days." ( Airaftpfveoftu, according to the Hebrew n:y. 
Eypv = e^n.) The Jews referred these words to the temple, in 

* Comp. the valuable first supplementary note in Tholuck s Comment on the Epistle 
to the Romans. 



JOHN II. 18-21. 345 

the vestibule in which they were then standing ; but John explains 
tin-in as alluding to the tempi- of the L mi s body, :ind refers them 
to the r.-surrection of Jesus. The id -a of the .lews that the allu 
sion was to the external temple was rejected by nearly all the 
aneient expositors, because they considered that, in that ease, John 
must have erred in his interpretation of the obscure words of Jesus. 
But the hypothesis that Jesus, in using these words, had in view 
otJif tlu- reference to his resurrection was also encnmbered by con 
siderable difficulties. The circumstance that in this passage it is 
said I will raise it up," whilst in the New Testament the resur 
rection of Christ is always referred to the Father, was indeed the 

r of these difficulties ; for, chap. x. 18, Jesus speaks in a similar 
manner : i^ovaiav t^w -rrdJuv Xafielv ri]v fai}v, I have poivcr, etc. 
But, according to this hypothesis, the mistake of the Jews is inex 
plicable ; for if the Redeemer wished to be understood in his words, 
and uttered them deiuriKtis pointing to his body it is inconceiv 
able how the Jews could think of the temple. Moreover, a refer 
ence to the death of Christ, expressed distinctly and so as to be 
generally understood, in his discourses at this very early period, 
appears scarcely fitting, since it is towards the end of the Lord s 
public ministry that we first perceive in them the intimations of his 
violent end ; and a reference to the remote future, instead of the 
] in-sent, which the Jews requested, does not seem appropriate. Es- 
peeially, the challenge to -the Jews to cause the dissolution of bis 
body, is hardly consistent with the declarations of Christ in other 
places respecting his death. Still, the summons to Judas, chap. xiii. 
27, to accomplish bis deed, is assuredly very similar. If, therefore, 
the ivf-rence of the words to the body ougbt to be regarded as the 
first and only one, then it would be necessary at least to say (with 
Luther, Tittman, &c.) that John has not correctly placed this occur 
rence and the accompanying discourses, since it belongs, as the 
synoptical authors assign it, to the end of Christ s ministry. This 
miu;ht appear favoured by the circumstance that, in the impeach 
ment of Christ before the Sanhedrim, mention was made of this 
declaration ; for reference would more naturally be made to what he 
had recently Spoken than to what he had said years before. But 
the chronological accuracy of John speaks too strongly against this 
supposition. 

Tln-s.- difficulties, associated with either interpretation, have in 
duced some very distinguished in-jnirers (Herder, Lilcke, Blcek, 
etc.) to regard the temple as // designation <>/ t/u> oo&ectiw ! > - ih 
worship. The following would then result as the sense : "Even if 
the whole order .f the Jewish worship be discontinued, I will in a 
short time found a new one." 

But Tholuck, in opposition to this, observes, that the Jews, by 



346 



JOHN II. 18-21. 



whom Christ surely must have. wished to be understood, could not 
] " .ssibly have discovered such a meaning in the words : for it is 
contradicted particularly by this expression vabg ovro$, this temple, 
which indicates a reference to the visible temple. Further, the 
eyeow a v T 6 v, I will raise it up, affords good ground for question, 
since Jesus, in fact, did not reconstruct the old constitution of the 
Jewish worship. And, finally, according to the above acceptation 
of the words, " in three days" can only be taken in the general sig 
nification " shortly," " soon." On this subject, however, we have 
already said what is necessary at Luke xiii. 32 ; and Tholuck ex 
presses himself in like -manner (in his Comment, on the same pas 
sage), with reference to Hosea vi. 2, which is adduced as an argument 
for the assertion that KV rptalv r/jttepaif, in three days, stands equiva 
lent to evOewg, " shortly." The phrase " two or three days" is thus 
substituted for the formula " in three days," which latter can have 
no other sense than that which lies on the surface of the words. (In 
Matth. xxvi. 61, Mark xiv. 58, 6ia rpi&v jftieptiv stands in a somewhat 
different relation, i. e. it refers to a continuous act ; here, that of 
building " three days through without intermission.") In this 
state of things, the above expedient appears untenable, especially 
since its adoption at once involves an erroneous conception on the 
part of the Evangelist. 

It seems to me, therefore, that the difficulty can only be relieved 
by the admission of a double sense in this passage.* In the first 
place, the passage is quite parallel with Matth. xii. 38, xvi. 4, and 
is a refusal of the request for a sign. Christ knew the insincerity 
of the heart from which the request proceeded, and therefore refused 
the miracle. This denial in the answer of Christ lies mainly in the 
antithesis between Avaare and tyepw, which has been entirely over 
looked. Jesus first demands of the Jews something impossible, 
and with that connects his miracle, which by this connexion shall 
itself become an impossibility. "First break ye down the temple, 
then I will rebuild it !" Thus the imperative is doubtless to be 
taken as making a challenge, f and vaog in this connexion is to be 

* After a renewed consideration of all tho arguments that favour the other interpre 
tations, I am confirmed in this view. All that has been adduced by Tholuck and Kling 
(Stud. 1836, No. 1, p. 127, ft".) in support of the justness of tho Evangelist s inter] 
tion, and by Lucko and Bleck (loc. cit.. p. 442, ff.) in favour of that construction of tho 
_;e, which refers it to tho discontinuance of tho national worship, appears to mo to 
possess only relative truth. It is only tho blending of tho two that exhausts the extra 
ordinarily pregnant declaration of tho Lord. 

f Liicke is of opinion that it merely administers rebuke : " Only go on thus profaning 
the temple ! which does not correspond with tho connexion, and presupposes tho cor 
rectness of tho reference to tho Divino worship. L>e Wette, ;ip:ins; :ill laws of language, 
takes tho impcratiV " If yo break down this temp: - c o 

forth. This imperative never thus occurs; in the passage adduced by him (Matth. x i. 
33), it is to be understood simply ag making a challenge. 



N IF. 18-21. 34T 

understood as referring to tin- visible temple. The passages Matth. 
xxvi. (!1 ; Mark xiv. f)S, appear to me to;ili ord indisputable evidence 
that sach s signification is to !>. nveive.l as tin- primary meaning 
of the \vurds before its. The wit; "fore the high-priest re 

ferred t tliis language of Jesus. 01 them, however, in the first 
;id that they did not agree in their statements, although 
no jiarticulars are given as to how far they dill ered , and, secondly, 
they are hoth called /afee witnesses (Matth. xxvi. 00). Their false- 
hond ean only lie in