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33 mer is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, 34 know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, this 35 generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and 36 earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away. But of
that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but 37 my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the com38 ing of the Son of Man be. For, as in the days that were before the
flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage,
sitting, abounded in figs as well as son. It is not asserted that heaven olive-trees. Though the mind of and earth shall pass away, but the Jesus was filled with the pictures essence of the declaration is, that of astonishing events to come, we they shall sooner pass away than still find him gracefully drawing my words fail. Compare Mat. v. from Nature, at his side, the embel- 18 with Luke xvi. 17. The whole lishments of his speech.
material universe shall 33. All these things, i. e. the signs crumble to pieces, than the declarahe had before so graphically de- tions of Christ be falsified. scribed. It is near. Or, he, the
“Not earth stands firmer than thy word, Christ, in his kingdom, is near.
Nor stars so nobly shine." 34. This generation shall not pass, 36. But of that day and hour &c., i. e. those then living would knoweth no man. Or, no one. Jewitness the fulfilment of Jesus' sus had mentioned many harbinpredictions; which was the case, gers of the great event, but the exfor the destruction of Jerusalem act time was disclosed to no one; took place about forty years after, neither to men, angels, nor to the and many then living were involved Messiah 'himself; Mark xiii. 32, in the great catastrophe. John Acts i. 7; but was reserved in the long survived the event, and Light- omniscience of the Father alone. foot speaks of some Rabbins who This must ever stand as an invincialso outlived it. It is apparent from ble proof of the superiority of the this verse, that Jesus had been pre- Father over the Son, an evidence viously speaking of the downfall of clear as the sun at mid-day, that the Jews, not of future judgment. Jesus Christ was not God. Το At the time Jesus uttered these suppose, as is done by most comwords there was peace with the mentators, that " Jesus said this of Romans, and no prospect of the his human and not of his divine Jews venturing to contend with nature, and that one might know them; or, if they did, of the temple, what the other was ignorant of, is city, and nation being wholly de- to attribute a mental reservation to stroyed. Yet forty years accom our Saviour, fit only for a Jesuit.” plished it all. What boundless 37-39. Noe. The Greek, of confidence ought we ever to repose which the Hebrew form is Noah. in the promises and warnings of — They were eating and drinking, Jesus, since he has so clearly estab- &c. They were engaged in the lished his claim of an unerring ordinary occupations and amuseprophet!
ments of life, when the deluge burst 35. Shall pass away, &c. This upon them; so the manifestation verse contains a Hebrew compari- of the Son of Man, the overthrow
until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the 39 flood came and took them all away ; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be ta- 40 ken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the 41 one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch, therefore, for ye know 42 not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that, if the good- 43 man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye 44 think not, the Son of Man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise 45
of the Jewish state, would take the usefulness to the world depended nation by surprise, while they were upon their vigilance. The precise buried in a vain security, and still hour and day were not known, they expecting some deliverer would were therefore exhorted to be watchappear, though they were on the ful. It is an exhortation worthy of brink of ruin.-Knew not, i. e. re our attention in every age; for the garded not, considered not, though coming of the Son of Man to us inthey had been forewarned by the dividually, in the event of death, will righteous patriarch. Luke xii. 35, be, we know not how soon or how xvij. 34.
sudden. 40, 41. Then shall two, &c. i. e. 43. He proceeds more imprestwo men, as the word is masculine sively to inculcate this duty by a in the original
. Men would be se- parable.—The goodman of the house, curely engaged in their usual affairs i. e. the householder would not have -such is the general sense of these slept and suffered his house to be illustrations when they would broken through, bad he known, not be swept off with such hurry and the hour, but even so much as the confusion that the nearest associ- watch, a space of several hours; ates would be separated from each but would have taken precautions other. Some interpret it, that a of resistance. There were four providential distinction would be watches during the night, of three made, one being lost, and another hours each.-Thief. The correct rescued.-Two women, &c. The translation is robber, one who steals machine for grinding grain in the with acts of violence or outrage, east consists of a simple mill of two not the stealthy pilferer.— Broken stones, a concave and a convex, up. Better, broken into. turned one upon the other by a fe 44. Therefore. Since you are in male hand. When the upper stone a similar condition with the houseis large, or unusual despatch is re- holder, and liable to be surprised at quired, two women are employed. any moment, be on the alert, and
42. Watch, therefore, &c. This is suffer not the overwhelming catasa particular precept, adapted to that trophe to come upon you upaexigency. They were to be on the wares; for it will descend sudwatch for the coming of those signs denly and unexpectedly. and wonders that preceded the fall 45–47. Jesus continues still furof the Jewish commonwealth, for ther to illustrate the need of vigitheir own personal safety and their lance and circumspection, by the
servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give 46 them meat in due season ? Blessed is that servant whom his lord, 47 when he cometh, shall find so doing. Verily, I say unto you, that he 48 shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant 49 shall say in his heart: My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin
to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; 50 the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for 51 him, and in an hour that he is not aware of; and shall cut him asunder,
and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites; there shall be weeping, and goashing of teeth.
parable of the wise and the evil ser custom of the east to punish crimivant.-Whom' his lord hath made nals in that manner. But what folruler, &c. To whom his master lows, the appointment of his porhath given the superintendence of tion with the hypocrites, is inconthe rest of the servants, to distri- sistent with his having been killed. bute the rations of food at the prop- Others, with greater probability, er times, which, according to gene- render the passage thus: will cut ral custom, were monthly, as some him off from his household, or discritics maintain.-Ruler over all his card him, and give him his portion, goods. For his fidelity he would be or punishment, with the unfaithful promoted to the office of treasurer and perfidious, who only served, as or steward. Luke xii. 42-46. hypocrites, with an eye-service.
48, 49. But and if. But if:- Weeping, and gnashing of teeth. SerThat evil servant. But if the ser vants, or slaves, who were unfaithvant thus intrusted with authority ful, were, according to Macknight, should prove vicious and unfaithful, sometimes condemned to the mines; and should presume upon his mas and as this was one of the severest ter's absence, and begin to conimit of punishments, when they first acts of outrage and oppression entered nothing was heard among against the other servants, and to them but weeping and grashing of indulge in revelry, he would be sur- teeth, on account of their fatiguing prised by bis lord's unexpected re and distressed life in those gloomy turn, and meet with condign pun- caverns, without the prospect of ishment. The reference of this ever being released. Though Jesus parable is, like the rest of the chap- spoke for the special warning of ter, to the destruction of Jerusalem, his little circle of followers seated for which the disciples were most around him on the Mount of Olives, solemnly warned to be ready. to prepare them for events that
51. Shall cut him asunder. A would descend upon that generaconsiderable difference of opinion tion, yet his words have a wider has existed among expositors rela- and more lasting significance, and tive to the nature of the punish- call forth an echo from the human ment here described. Some have, heart every where. His followers like our translators, supposed that of all times must watch and pray, it was a literal cutting in two of the lest they enter into temptation, body, and cite in proof of it the watch for the coming of sickness,
The Parables of the Virgins, the Talents, and the Judgment. MHEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which
accident, and death, and be prepar- ter. Are not the words of our ed to meet the will of Heaven with Lord rather designed to describe submission, and God in peace. the establishment of his kingdom
in a 'general sense ? a kingdom " Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow, While life is lent to man below,
which would be set up more maniOne duty stands confest,
festly indeed at the fall of the holy To watch incessant, firm of mind, city and the Mosaic system, but And watch where'er the post's assigned, And leave to God the rest."
which was already enthroning itself
in the hearts of his disciples, which CHAP. XXV.
would spread from them through
out the world, and last without end The following chapter contains here and hereafter; a kingdom in three parables, familiarly known which the duty of watchfulness, the as those of the Virgins, the Talents, faithful use of powers and means, and the Judgment.
Various inter- and the exercise of love and benevopretations of this passage have been lence to others, in connection of proposed by different commenta course with other virtues, would tors. Some have referred the whole be of the highest importance, and to the coming of Christ at the de a criterion of discipleship, as the struction of Jerusalem; others to a several parabolical descriptions repday of general judgment. While resent. This view would avoid the a third class unite both of these difficulties of double senses; or of views, and consider the words of an abrupt change the discourse Jesus as containing two senses; a at the 31st verse, from speaking of primary one, relating to his coming the coming of Christ's kingdom at at the establishment of his religion the overthrow of the temple, to an on the ruins of Judaism; and a account of the scenes of eternity; secondary one, his coming to judg- or of forcing the whole chapter to ment in a future state. Yet oth- refer to the future state, contrary to ers believe the parables of the the use of language in verses 13,31, virgins and the talents to relate to the son of man shall come, &c., which the overthrow of Jerusalem, but elsewhere is explained in allusion the representation of the judgment to the destruction of the Jews by as limited in its application to an the Romans; see chap. xvi. 28, xix. other life. Great names, which it 28, xxiv. 27, 30, 34, 44. This view is needless to mention, have espous would also escape the rather frigid ed these several views, and ad- explanation which refers the whole, vanced plausible arguments to sus- including the judgment scene, to tain them. But we would inquire, the period of the fall of the Jews. whether there has not been an un It also harmonizes with the fact of reasonable and injurious promi- the elevated tone of feeling in which nence given to the question of time Jesus was then speaking, and the in the interpretation of this chap- solemn visions of his mighty kinga
3 five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish 4 took their lamps, and took no oil with them. But the wise took oil 5 in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they 6 all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Be7 hold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those 8 virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto 9 the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. But the wise
dom, his universal religion, then pany then repaired to the briderising and glowing before his mind. groom's house, where the nuptial To his spiritual glance, Time was services were performed and the but an accident and a circumstance, marriage feast beld. Death but a night between today 2-4. Wise. More exactly, pruand tomorrow, a door between this dent, and so throughout the parable. apartment and that of the Father's -Lamps. Or, torches made of mansion. He saw his kingdom iron or earthen ware, to which rags coming in the hearts of men, search- soaked in olive oil were attached, ing, and trying, and judging them, and which were carried on a wooderecting the standard of eternal rec- en stick or handle. They gave a titude, and, now and forever, in all brilliant light, but needed replenishworlds and ages, connecting sin ing from time to time with oil. and misery, goodness and happi- Many circumstances in a parable ness together in bonds never to be are merely ornamental. Thus ten broken. The above interpretation was a favorite Jewish number, and is in substance advanced by some has no special significance here. eminent critics of a recent date. 6. An Armenian wedding was thus
1. Then is used rather as an in- described by a traveller:-“ The troductory word to the sentence, large number of young females who than as specifying a particular time. were present naturally reminded
-The kingdom of heaven. The me of the wise and foolish virgins Christian dispensation, or the com- in our Saviour's parable. These ing of Christ in his kingdom.-To being friends of the bride, the virmeet the bridegroom. This refers to gins, her companions, (Ps. xlv. 14,) a marriage custom among the Jews had come to meet the bridegroom. and other eastern nations. It was It is usual for the bridegroom to usual for the bridegroom, accom- come at midnight; so that literally panied by other young men, his at midnight the cry is made, Behold, friends, and attended by music, to go the bridegroom cometh ; go ye out by night and wait upon his bride at to meet him. But on this occasion her father's house, from which she the bridegroom tarried; it was two returned to his home in a proces- o'clock before he arrived." sion, in which her female compan- 7. Trimmed their lamps. Or, ions joined, carrying lighted torches snuffed them, for they had burned or flambeaux. It is to the virgins low and dim, while they waited. who attended on the bride and 8. Our lamps' are gone out. Or, awaited the coming of the bride- going out or expiring. They had groom, that reference appears to be made no provision for the delay of made in the text. The whole com- the bridegroom, and were unable