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elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said: By
what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this au24 thority? And Jesus answered and said unto them: I also will ask
you one thing; which if ye tell ine, I in like wise will tell you by what 25 authority I do these things: The baptism of John, whence was it?
from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying:
If we shall say: From heaven; he will say unto us: Why did ye not 26 then believe him? But if we shall say: Of men; we fear the people;
Sanhedrim, and perhaps making office stands for his whole minthe inquiry with the authority of istry. Baptism was his striking that body. Jesus had now returned peculiarity, and the epithet of the from Bethany to Jerusalem, and Baptist was always joined to his whilst walking in the temple and name.-From heaven, or of men ? teaching his disciples and auditors, From God, or of merely human he met these insidious men. They authority ? Jesus had already given proposed these two questions, What every reasonable proof of his own was Jesus' authority, and, From divine commission. If his mirawhom he derived it. For he had cles and instructions were not conentered the city in triumph, hosan- vincing, nothing could be sufficient nas had been shouted by the peo to persuade his wilful opponents. ple, he had cleared the courts of But the question he now proposes the temple of merchandise, and brings them to a dilemma from healed the sick and preached the which all their adroitness could not Gospel in the sacred places, with- set them free.-Why did ye not then out asking permission from the believe him? i. e. in his testimony of Sanhedrim, the Jewish ecclesiasti- me? If John's mission was aucal court.
thorized by God, they would be 24. Our Lord did not wish to inexcusable in not being his folelude the question, or merely to lowers. The Saviour could also confound his adversaries, and disap- draw another inference from this point them by not explicitly declar- fact, that if John came from God ing himself to be the Messiah, as he was not alone to be believed and they expected. His motives were followed, but also Jesus, to whose higher. According to the customs Messiahship he had often testified, of the Jewish doctors, and even and of which he was the forerunGrecian disputants, if any one pro If they acknowledged John posed a captious question to anoth as being from heaven, they must er, the other had a right to ask one acknowledge Jesus to be also. If in return, and not to answer the they could not pronounce upon question addressed to him until his John's baptism, they were certainly own had received a reply. The incompetent to decide upon the question of Jesus showed with what claims of Jesus. consummate wisdom he could in 26. We fear the people. Luke volve them in their own snare. He adds, that they will stone us.” took the wise in their own craftiness. As their reasoning with themselves
25. The baptism of John. Or, to fix upon an answer showed better, according to Newcome, by their total want of truth, so this John. The leading feature in his confession argued their moral cow
for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said: 27 We cannot tell. And he said unto them: Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.—But what think ye? A certain man 28 had two sons; and he came to the first, and said : Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said: I will not; but after- 29 ward he repented, and went. And he came to the second and said 30 likewise. And he answered and said: I go, sir; and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto 31 him: The first. Jesus saith unto them: Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed 32
ardice, lest they should commit this figure Jesus describes two themselves. Jesus had answered classes; the Scribes and Pharisees, them so that they could find no and the openly immoral and irrehandle of accusation against him. ligious. What depth of sagacity!
29, 30. Repented, i. e. changed 27. We cannot tell
. A palpable his mind. By the son who expressfalsehood, for their very querying ed his willingness to obey, are rewith themselves proved that they presented the professedly religious, knew the whole subject through- who yet in the end were the most out. There are none so blind as hardened and guilty. By the other those who will not see.-Neither tellone, are imaged those who, openly I you, &c. As the question of Jesus vicious at first, afterwards repented required to be answered first, and and brought forth the fruits of they had confessed their inability, righteousness.
The condition of he was released from the obligation the hypocrite is more hopeless of making them any reply. As than that of those in bondage to they had pleaded ignorance, he their appetites and passions. takes them at their own word, and 31. Of them twain, i. e. which of infers their incompetency to be the two.—They say unto him : The judges in the matter. Still, in the first. Thus condemping themsubsequent parables he indirectly selves out of their own mouth.informs them what was the nature Publicans, &c.
They were classed and source of his authority, and among the most vicious. They their guilt in resisting it. The corresponded to the son who first wounds which Jesus inflicted upon refused, but afterwards went to the the spiritual pride of the Scribes vineyard. Though disobedient and and Pharisees, and his detection sensual, they had been more affectof their hypocrisy, so exasperated ed by the preaching of John, than them, that they could only be satis- the learned and respectable. They, fied with his crucifixion.
who promised the least, performed 28. The object of the following the most; whilst they, who promisparable was to rebuke them for ed the worst, proved the best. disbelieving John; the object of 32. In the way of righteousness. the one succeeding it was to con- Campbell translates it, in the way of demn them for rejecting Jesus.-A sanctity, referring to the austerities certain man had two sons.-Under of John's mode of life in the desert,
him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him; and ye,
when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe 33 him.--Hear another parable: Therė was a certain householder,
which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a
wine-press in it, and built a tower; and let it out to husbandmen, and 34 went into a far country. And when the time of the fruit drew near,
he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the 35 fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, in respect to food, drink, and cloth- son is Jesus Christ. It is a historiing, which was severe enough to cal view of Jewish disobedience, please the most punctilious Phari- containing also a prediction of Jesee. Although they would not ac sus' death.-Householder. Master knowledge John's divine authority, of a family.--A vineyard. Judea yet, as he came in the way of right- was favorable for the cultivation of eousness, preaching reformation, the vine.—Hedged it. Or, fenced and practising virtue, their not be- it. It was a custom to enclose lieving on him was a mark of their vineyards with walls, or fences, or ill dispositions.-But the publicans, hedges of thorns.—Digged a wine&c. See Luke vii. 29, xvi. 16. See press, i. e. a wine-trough, or vat. note on Mat. xi. 12. Great moral We learn from Mark xii. 1, that revolutions proceed from the lower the upper vat or press, in which the to the higher, not from the higher grapes were trodden by men, is not to the lower classes of society. meant here, but the lower receptaThe mightiest changes in history cle, into which the liquor flowed have been effected by the instru- through a grated opening from the mentality of the obscure, the for- upper one.
The lower cistern was gotten, and the despised.—When ye dug in a rock, or the earth, and
repented not. You not plastered. Chardin, the modern only failed to repent as soon as traveller, found vats built in this the vilest sinners, but, even after way in Persia.—Built a tower. The you had seen their repentance, the tower was a place of abode for the good effects of John's influence keepers, who protected the vineupon them, you still continued im- yard from the depredations of men penitent.
and animals.—Went into a far coun33–46. Parallel to Mark xii. 1- try. The original simply is, went 12, Luke xx. 9–19.
away, or went abroad, without speci33. The object of this parable fying whether far or near. It would was to condemn the Jews for their be absurd to seek a particular moral unbelief and rejection of the proph- correspondence to every circumets and the Messiah himself, as that stance in the parable. The hedge, of the preceding was to reprove the wine-vat, the tower, are ornathem for their impenitence under mental. the preaching of John. The same 34. The time of the fruit. The imagery is found in Isa. v. 1–7. season of gathering the fruit.-Sent The householder represents God, his servants, i. e. the prophets. the husbandmen the Jews, the ser- Might receive the fruits of it. It was vants the prophets and wise men a custom to pay the rent in kind, sent from time to time to recall or with a part of the produce. the nation to their allegiance, the 35, 36. Beat one, and killed anoth
and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants, 36 more than the first; and they did unto them likewise. But last of all 37 he sent unto them his son, saying: They will reverence my son.
But 38 when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves: This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. 39 When the lord, therefore, of the vineyard cometh, what will he do 40 unto those husbandmen? They say unto him: He will miserably 41 destroy those wicked men; and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons. Jesus 42 saith unto them: Did ye never read in the Scriptures : “ The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner; this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes”? There- 43 fore say
unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, er, &c. This had been historically wretched death. This remark is astrue of Jeremiah, the prophets in cribed by Mark and Luke to Christ, the time of Elijah, and Zechariah, and not to his hearers. These dinot to speak of others. Luke xiii. versities are to be expected in inde34. Heb. xi. 37. 1 Sam. xxii. 18. pendent writers, and bear witness 1 Kings xix. 10. 2 Chron. xxiv. to the honesty of their accounts. 21, 22, xxxvi. 16. Neh. ix. 26. Jer. 42. In the Scriptures. Ps. cxviii. xxxviii. 6.—More than the first. Not 22, 23.- T'he stone which the builders in number, but of greater dignity rejected, &c. Having led them by and honor.
his parable to condemn themselves 37. Sent unto them his son. God out of their own mouth, he profinally commissioned his son with ceeds to bring home the applicaan embassy, to bring his chosen peo- tion more pointedly to the Jews, ple to a sense of their duty. Al- quoting for this purpose a passage though he had sent many prophets, from their Scriptures, in which refand they had been persecuted and erence is made to architecture. slain, yet the riches of his compas- The stone which was laid aside as sion were not exhausted, but he worthless, by the builders, finally still gave a beautiful manifestation becomes the main strength and orof his long-suffering and love, by nament of the edifice. So it was sending his beloved Son. For, in things spiritual. The stone desthough they had maltreated his pre- pised by Jewish builders proved to vious messengers, yet it seemed that be the Rock of ages, the chief corthey would surely reverence the ner-stone—the crucified Jesus, to be brightness and image of God, the Messiah of the world.--Head of
39. Slew him. A virtual predic- the corner. Not the foundation, but tion of Jesus' own death.
the uppermost stone of the corner, 40. The lord, i. e. the owner. which binds all below it firinly to
41. Miserably destroy those wicked gether. Some critics ingeniously men. To preserve the paronomasia, transpose the 42 and 43d verses, or play upon words, contained in so that the 41st and 43d, the 420 the original, Campbell translates it, and 44th verses, come together, as he will put those wretches to a the sense seems to require.
44 and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whoso
ever shall fall on this stone shall be broken ; but on whomsoever it 45 shall fall, it will grind him to powder. And when the chief priests
and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of 46 them. But when they sought to lay hands op him, they feared the
multitude; because they took him for a prophet.
CHAPTER XXII. The Parable of the Marriage Supper.-Conversations of Jesus. ND Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and 2 3 made a marriage for his son, and sent forth bis servants to call them
43. The kingdom of God shall be his application so direct, that they taken from you. The ecclesiastical could not mistake his meaning, and superiority of the Jews shall be des- their anger was kindled to such a troyed. Their privileges shall be flame, that they were ready to have taken away, and given to a nation, done him personal violence on the i. e. the Gentiles, who will be spot, if his popularity had not been more faithful, and, in the language so great as to overawe them. But of the parable, render the owner they bided their time, wove more the fruits in their season. This has thickly the meshes of their conspibeen fulfilled. The hearers of Je- racy, and, ere many more days had sus could no longer mistake his passed, they had so far turned the meaning, after he had made this tide of popular favor by their ca. declaration.
bals, as to be able to gratify their 44. An evident continuation of envenomed passions. the metaphor in verse 42, expressing the different degrees of criminality
CHAP. XXII. and punishment of neglecting and 1. Jesus answered and spake. rejecting the Christ. Isa. viii. 14. Proceeded to speak. A similar parCriminals in the east were some- able is related, Luke xiv. 15—24. times put to death by being thrown 2. Kingdom of heaven. The adfrom a pillar or eminence upon a ministration of the Gospel.-Amarrock below, or, if that did not ter- riage. More properly, a marriage minate life, large stones were cast feast. The object of this parable upon them to crush them. Jesus appears to be similar to that of the probably alludes to this custom. vineyard let out to husbandmen, in Whoever runs against the corner the last chapter. The Gospel was stone, whoever is offended with first proffered to the Jews, but they Christ, shall injure himself; but he rejected it as a nation, and were on whom it falls shall be ground to destroyed by the Romans. It was powder; they who reject and perse- then made free to the Gentiles, cute me shall perish miserably. whom they esteemed the offscour
45, 46. Mark xii. 12. A prophet. ing of the world. Stories resemBut not the prophet, the Messiah. bling this parable are found in the His parables were so simple, and Rabbinical writings.