« AnteriorContinuar »
While Jesus was in the temple, he uttered a malediction upon the Scribes and Pharisees. 6 Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them
shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city : that upon you may come all the righteous This shews that Jesus, in this chapter, is speaking on the same subject as in the foregoing one, viz. what was to happen at the destruction of the Jewish state.” Verse 13. “Wherein the Son of man cometh. This plainly shews that what was said before in this chapter, relates to the destruction of the Jewish state, expressed by the Son of man's coming, as in chapter xvi. 27, 28.” Verse 15. •According to his several ability. The moral of this parable is, that Jesus would reward or punish Christians according to their behaviour under the means of grace afforded to them; and that from every one would be required in proportion to what had been given to him. And this distinction, made between them, was to be made at the time when the Jewish state was to be destroyed.” Verse 31. “Shall come in his glory, i. e. to destroy the Jewish state. See chapter xvi. 27, 28. xxiv. 30. xxvi. 64. Jesus is still giving an account of what distinction will then be made between good and bad Christians." Verse 34. “The King, i. e. the Son of man then in his kingdom. See ch. xvi. 28.”
After all this, when the Bishop comes to verses 41 and 46, he thinks Jesus had the day of general judgment in his thoughts. Bp. Pearce had that ideal judgment in his thoughts ; and although he got nearly through the whole account with a correct interpretation, his religious opinions got the advantage of his reason at last.
Arch Bp. Newcome was confident that the subject of the destruction of Jerusalem extended into the twenty-fifth chapter. See Newcome's Observations, note in loco.
Adam Clarke was determined to be right. He made the twentyfifth chapter refer to both events, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the judgment in eternity. And when he comes to the 3ist verse, he most solemnly assures his readers, without giving them a particle of proof, that “ this must be understood of Christ's coming at the last day, to judge mankind : though all the preceding part of the chapter may be applied also to the destruction of Jerusalem.”
The above Notes are not quoted from these authors because we have the least doubts of the correctness of the exposition here given, but to shew what they felt themselves obliged to acknowledge, with all their prepossessions.
blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” And the Saviour was particular to say in addition, “Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation. Matt. xxiii. 34–36.
Shortly after this, Jesus “departed from the temple ;” and, as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Matt. xxiv. 3. When shall what things be? The answer is contained in the second verse. " And Jesus said unto them, see ye not all these things?”' Now another question arises, see ye not all what things? Jesus had given indications of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, particularly of the temple. The disciples pointed out to him the buildings of the temple, with all their strength and magnificence. "Jesus said unto them, see ye not all these things ? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Strong and magnificent as this temple is, it shall be levelled with the dust. 66 When shall these things be ?” inquired the prying disciples, cand what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ?” By the end of the world, the disciples meant the end of the Jewish age.
The expression in the original, signifies—of the end of the age. A great proportion of the most respectable translators and commentators render this passage in this manner. But the word world may be re
1 At the head of these I place the renowned Dr. Campbell. He renders the expression, " the conclusion of this state,” meaning the Jewish state. See his Notes on Matt. xiii. 39. xxiv. 3. Adach Clarke renders the expression, "end of the age." Kenrick, in his Exposition, says “ the end of the age ;'' and observes that the expression was synonymous to the coming of Christ. Wakefield renders it, “ the end of the age :" as do also the Authors of the Improved Version ; Bp. Pearce, on Matt. xiii. 40 ; Whitby on Matt. xii. 32, and Dr. Hammond on the same passage, with many more who might be named,
tained, if the same sense is given to it here which it bears in other parts of the New Testament. For instance, in Heb. ix. 26, “But now once in the end of the world,” or rather worlds, ages, " hath he (Christ) appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Christ appeared at the conclusion of the age under the law, and it was to the end of this age that the disciples had reference in their private question to the Saviour. Again, see 1 Cor. x. 11, Now, all these things happened unto then for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the worlds, or ages, are come. 25 The ends of the ages had then already
We are to understand the disciples as inquiring, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age.
Having ascertained the true sense of the disciples' question, let us observe particularly the Saviour's answer to it; taking care to observe that throughout his reply he keeps prominently in view, his coming, and THE END of the Mosaic age, concerning which they inquired.
The first sign of his coming which Jesus pointed out was this : “ Many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.” Matt. xxiv. 5, 11. Comp. Mark xiii. 5, 6. Luke xxi. 8. " These false Christs began to appear soon after our Lord's death, but they multiplied as the national calamit.es increased. Josephus informs us, that there were many who pretended to divine inspira21.)
tion deceived the people, leading out numbers of
them into the desert. He does not indeed express1 ly say that they called theinselves the Messiah or
Christ : yet he says that which is equivalent, viz: that they pretended that God would there show them the signs of liberty, ineaning redemption from the Roman yoke, which the Jews expected the Messiah would do for them, (compare Luke xxiv.
Josephus further adds, that an Egyptian false prophet led thirty thousand men into the desert, who were almost entirely cut off by Felix the Roman Procurator. The same historian relates that in the reign of Claudius, “the land was overrun with magicians, seducers, and imposters, who drew the people after them in multitudes into solitudes and deserts, to see the signs and miracles which they promised to show by the power of God.2 Felix, and afterwards Festus, governors of Judea, judging these proceedings to be the coinmencement of rebellion against the Romans, continually sent out detachments of soldiers, and destroyed great numbers of the deluded populace. Among these imposters were Dositheus the Samaritan, who affirmed that he was the Christ foretold by Moses; Simon Magus, who said that he appeared among the Jews as the Son of God; and Theudas, who pretending to be a prophet, pursuaded many of the people to take their goods and follow him to the river Jordan, declaring that he was divinely commissioned, and that at his command the waters would be divided, and give them a safe passage to the opposite side. Many other examples of pretended Messiahs might be adduced; but 1. Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. 2 c. 13. sec. 4,5. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. 20. c. 8, sec. 6. Ibid. lib. 20, c. 4, (al. 5) sec. 1.
the preceding are sufficient to establish the truth of our Lord's prediction."1_ Horne's Intro. i. 615.
Jesus points out the second sign of his coming in the following words : “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the END (of the Mosaic age) is not yet.” Matt. xxiv. 6. Mark xiii. 7. Luke xxi. 9. 66 These wars and commotions were as the distant thunder, that forebodes approaching storms. Previous to the destruction of Jerusalem, the greatest agitation prevailed in the Roman empire, and the struggle for succession to the imperial throne was attended by severe and bloody conflicts. Four emperors, Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, suffered violent deaths within the short space of eighteen months. The emperor Caligula commanded the Jews to place his statue in their temple; and in consequence of a positive refusal to comply with so impious a request, he threatened them with an invasion, which was prevented by his death.2 Jesus Christ added: See that ye (my disciples) be not troubled, as the Jews will be, expecting the approaching destruction of their nation ; but the end is not yet : these events, alarming as they seemed, were only the preludes to the dreadful and tumultuous scenes that followed.”_ Horne's Intro. i. 615.
Jesus continues to say, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Matt. xxiv. 7. Mark xiii. 8. Luke xxi. 10. " In
1 In the Rev. David Simpson's Key to the Prophecies there is an instructive History of twenty-four false Messiahs, who deluded the Jews between the time of the Emperor Adrian and the year of Christ 1682. See pp. 133–148.
2 Joscphus, Autiq. lib. 18. c. 8. (al. 9.) De Bell. Jud. lib. 2. c. 10.