They say h , "If a man is worthy of the world to come, i.
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And of Moses, they say i , "there was or will be no generation like that in which he lived, until the generation in which the King Messiah comes, which shall "behold the glory" of the holy, blessed God, as he. This our evangelist, and the other disciples of Christ have seen: John bare witness of him, Which was his office and business, for which purpose he was sent, John 1: And by the prophets, who spake much of him, and sparingly of John; and of him as the Messiah and Saviour, and of John only as his harbinger: And of his fulness have all we received, These are the words not of John the Baptist; but of the evangelist carrying on his account of Christ, after he had inserted the testimony of the Baptist, in connection with John 1: Faith is the hand which receives Christ, and grace from him; and the act of receiving, being expressed in the past tense, seems to regard first conversion, when faith is first wrought, and along with it abundance of grace is received; for a believer has nothing but what is given him, and what he has, is in a way of receiving; so that there is no room for boasting, but great reason for thankfulness, and much encouragement to apply to Christ for more grace, which is the thing received, as follows: If it designs the original, and moving cause, the meaning is, grace is for the sake of grace; for there is no other cause of electing, justifying, pardoning, adopting, and regenerating grace, and even eternal life, but the grace, or free favour of God; and the one is the reason why the other is received: Some think the phrase only designs the freeness of grace, and the free and liberal manner in which it is distributed, and received; along with which, I also think, the abundance of it, at first conversion, with all after supplies, is intended; and that grace for grace, is the same with grace upon grace, heaps of grace; and that the phraseology is the same with this Jewish one k , , "goodness upon that goodness", an additional goodness; so here, grace upon grace, an abundance of it, an addition to it, and an increase of it: For the law was given by Moses, Both moral and ceremonial.
The moral law was given to Adam, in innocence, which having been broken, and almost lost out of the minds, and memories of men, was given by Moses, in a new edition of it in writing; and points out what is man's duty both to God and men; discovers sin, accuses of it, convicts of it, and condemns for it; nor could it give strength to perform its demands; nor does it give the least hint of forgiveness; nor will it admit of repentance: The ceremonial law pointed out the pollution of human nature, the guilt and punishment of sin; was a type and shadow of deliverance by Christ, but could not give the grace it shadowed, and therefore is opposed both to grace and truth.
Now both these were given by Moses to the people of the Jews, not as the maker, but the minister of them: And "truth", not only because it contains truth, and nothing but truth, it coming from the God of truth; and the substance of it being Christ, who is the truth; and being revealed, applied, and led into by the Spirit of truth; but because it is the truth of the types, and the substance of the shadows of the law: No man hath seen God at any time, That is, God the Father, whose voice was never heard, nor his shape seen by angels or men; for though Jacob, Moses, the elders of Israel, Manoah, and his wife, are said to see God, and Job expected to see him with his bodily eyes, and the saints will see him as he is, in which will lie their great happiness; yet all seems to be understood of the second person, who frequently appeared to the Old Testament saints, in an human form, and will be seen by the saints in heaven, in his real human nature; or of God in and by him: God is seen in the works of creation and providence, in the promises, and in his ordinances; but above all, in Christ the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person: The Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 3: And to the same purpose the Targum of Jonathan, and also Jarchi, on the same place.
The Syriac version here renders it, "the only begotten, God which is in the bosom of the Father"; clearly showing, that he is the only begotten, as he is God: The Persic and Ethiopic versions further add, "to us"; he has clearly and fully declared his nature, perfections, purposes, promises, counsels, covenant, word, and works; his thoughts and schemes of grace; his love and favour to the sons of men; his mind and will concerning the salvation of his people: Somewhat like this the Jews n say of the Messiah, "there is none that can declare the name of his Father, and that knows him; but this is hid from the eyes of the multitude, until he comes, "and he shall declare him".
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He is come, and has declared him: Moses Haddarsan in Psal. And this is the record of John, The evangelist proceeds to give a large, and full account of the testimony John the Baptist bore to Christ, which he had hinted at before, and had signified was his work, and office, and the end of his being sent, When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem, to ask him, who art thou?
The Jews that sent were the great sanhedrim that sat at Jerusalem, whose business it was to inquire into, examine, and try prophets, whether true or false p ; and John appearing as a prophet, and being so esteemed by the people, they deputed messengers to him to interrogate him, and know who he was. The persons sent were very likely of their own body, since priests and Levites were in that council.
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For it is said q , "they do not constitute, or appoint in the sanhedrim but priests, Levites, and Israelites, who have their genealogiesand it is commanded, that there should be in the great sanhedrim priests and Levites, as it is said, Deuteronomy Such a sanhedrim is a lawful one; but priests and Levites, if such could be found, that had proper qualifications, were to be admitted in the first place. A message from so august an assembly, at so great a distance, for Jordan was a day's journey distant from Jerusalem r ; according to Josephus s , it was furlongs, or 26 miles and a quarter, and by the hands of persons of such character and figure, was doing John a great deal of honour, and serves to make his testimony of Christ the more public and remarkable; and it also shows what a noise John's ministry and baptism made among the Jews, that it even reached Jerusalem, and the great council of the nation; and likewise the question put to him, which by John's answer seems to intimate as if it was thought he was the Messiah, shows the opinion that was entertained of him, and even the sanhedrim might not be without thoughts this way: Jarchi in Isaiah And he confessed, and denied not, He freely, and without any reserve, declared, and in the plainest and strongest terms professed to the messengers before all the people, that he was not the Messiah; nor did he retract his confession, or draw in his words again, or drop any thing that looked doubtful or suspicious, but confessed, I am not the Christ: And they asked him, what then?
Elijah, the prophet; the Tishbite, as Nonnus in his paraphrase expresses it; who was translated, soul and body, to heaven: Jeremiah, whom some of the Jews t have thought to be the prophet Moses spoke of, in Deuteronomy Siphre in Jarchi in Jer. Then said they unto him, who art thou? Since, as yet, he had only answered in negatives, who he was not, that he was not the Christ, nor Elias, nor that prophet; they desire he would give them a positive account who he was: And he said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, These words are cited by the other evangelists, and applied to John the Baptist; but then they are only to be considered as their citation, and as an application of them to him by them: The Jews give a different interpretation of the words; though one of their celebrated commentators u owns, that the comforts spoken of in the preceding verses are what will be in the days of the King Messiah: The Hebrew writers generally understand the passage, of the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, and of removing all obstructions in their way to Jerusalem; to which sense the Targum on the place inclines, which paraphrases it thus, "the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare the way before the people of the Lord, make in the plain, paths before the congregation of our God: The words this voice cried were, make straight the way of the Lord; he called upon persons to reform their ways, and walk in the way of the Lord, to repent of their sins, believe in Christ, and submit to the ordinance of baptism: And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.
Who were the straitest sect of religion among the Jews; were very zealous of the traditions of the elders, and professed an expectation of the Messiah; and were famous in the nation for their knowledge and learning, as well as for their devotion and sanctity: And they asked him, and said unto him, They put a question, by saying to him, why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? The ordinance John administered was such, as they apprehended that no one ought to practise, unless he was the Messiah, or his forerunner, or some eminent prophet; they insist upon it therefore, that since he denied he was either of these, that he would show his credentials, and what commission he had from God to baptize; or they suggest he was liable to be called to an account by their sanhedrim, and be condemned as a false prophet, or an innovator in religious affairs.
From hence it appears, that the Jews expected that baptism would be administered in the times of the Messiah, and his forerunner; but from whence they had this notion, it is not easy to say, whether from Zechariah Or in water, so the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions render it. The sense of the answer is, that he indeed baptized persons in water, which was all that he could do, or pretended to do; and he owned, that this was a new rite, and that he was the administrator of a new ordinance; but he suggests, as may be supplied from Matthew 3: The Ethiopic version renders it, there is one about to stand among you, as he did the next day: He it is who coming after me, Both into the world, and into the ministry of the word; for John was before Christ, in both these respects, though greatly behind him in others, and therefore he adds, is preferred before me: Whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose; which was one of the meanest services done by a servant to his master; see Gill on Matthew 3: These things were done in Bethabara, That is, this testimony was bore by John; and this discourse passed between him and the Pharisees, at the place here mentioned; which was a passage over Jordan, where much people walked to go on the other side, beyond Jordan; and where also John was baptizing; which brought a great concourse of people together: Bethabara signifies "the house of passage", and is thought to be the place where the Israelites passed over Jordan, to go into the land of Canaan, Joshua 3: And which, as it must be a very convenient place for the administration of baptism by immersion, used by John, so it was very significant of the use of this ordinance; which is, as it were, the passage, or entrance, into the Gospel church state; for persons ought first to be baptized, and then be admitted into a Gospel church, according to the example of the primitive Christians, Acts 2: There was a bridge over it, between the lake of Samochon and Gennesaret, now called Jacob's bridge, where Jacob is supposed to have wrestled with the angel, and to have met with his brother Esau; and there was another over it at Chainmath, near Tiberias, and in other places: Some have thought, that this place is the same with Bethbarah, in Judges 7: However, be it what place soever, and wheresoever, it was no doubt very proper for John's purpose; and therefore he chose it, and for a while continued at it: Origen says b , that in his time it was said, that Bethabara was showed by the banks of Jordan, where they report John baptized, a De Locis Hebraicis, fol.
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, Not to be baptized, for he had been baptized before by him. This seems to have been after Christ had been forty days in the wilderness, from whence he now returned, and came to attend on John's ministry; both to do honour to him, and that he might be made manifest by him; and this was the day after John had bore such a testimony concerning him, to the priests and Levites; and which Christ the omniscient God, knew full well, and therefore came at this season, when the minds of the people were prepared by John's testimony, to expect and receive him: For John, the day before Christ Lord, came to him, had signified to the priests and Levites, that the Messiah was already come; and now on the day following, seeing him, pointed as with his finger to him, and saith, behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world: And Christ is styled the Lamb "of God", in allusion to the same, whom the Cabalistic Jews e call the secret of the mystery, and , "the Lambs of God"; because God has a special property in him; he is his own Son; and because he is of his providing and appointing, as a sacrifice for sin, and is acceptable to him as such; and to distinguish him from all other lambs; and to give him the preference, since he does that which they could not do, "taketh away the sin of the world": The phrase "taking away sin", signifies a taking it up, as Christ did; he took it voluntarily upon himself, and became responsible to divine justice for it; and also a bearing and carrying it, for taking it upon himself, he bore it in his own body on the tree, and carried it away, as the scape goat did under the law; and so likewise a taking it quite away: Christ has removed it as far as the east is from the west, out of sight, so as never to be seen any more; he has destroyed, abolished, and made an utter end of it: Abraham ben David in Misn.
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This is he, of whom it is said, Either the day before, as in John 1: After me cometh a man; not a mere man, but the man God's fellow: And I knew him not, John was in the deserts, until the day of his showing unto Israel; and Christ dwelt with his parents at Nazareth, in a very mean and obscure manner, till he came from thence to Jordan to John, to be baptized by him; and which was the first interview they had: And John bare record, The same day that he said the above things, and at the same time: And it abode upon him; for some time; so long as that John had a full sight of it, and so was capable of giving a perfect account of it, and bearing a certain and distinct testimony to it.
That is, before he came to be baptized by him; when it was secretly suggested to him who he was, and the following signal was given him, to confirm him in it: The Spirit descending from heaven as a dove, and lighting upon Jesus, and remaining some time on him; this he saw with his bodily eyes: The third day from the priests and Levites having been with John, to know who he was.
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The Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, leave out the word "again": John the Baptist stood, and these disciples by him, in some certain place near Jordan, where he was preaching and baptizing. And looking upon Jesus as he walked, Either by them; or as he was going from them to his lodgings; it being toward the close of the day, when John had finished his work for that day, and the people were departing home: John fixed his eyes intently on Christ, with great pleasure and delight, and pointing at him, he saith, behold the Lamb of God; as in John 1: And the two disciples heard him speak, The above words, and took notice of them; faith in Christ came by hearing them; they reached their hearts, and they found their affections, and the desires of their souls, to be after Christ: Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, That is, "him", as the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions add: This he said, not as ignorant of whom, and what they were seeking, and desirous; but to encourage them to speak to him, which, through fear and bashfulness, they might be backward to do; and therefore, he who will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, but cherishes and encourages the first motions of grace, begins first with them, and treats them in a free and familiar manner; thereby to animate and engage them to use freedom with him, and which end was answered: These are the words of the evangelist, interpreting the word "Rabbi", and not of the disciples, and are left out in the Syriac and Persic versions, who, for "Rabbi", read "our master", or our "Rabbi"; being said by both the disciples, or by one in the name of both, putting the following question: He saith unto them, come and see, He gave them an invitation, to go along with him directly, and see with their own eyes, where he dwelt, and there and then converse with him, and at any other time; to which they had a hearty welcome: Lightfoot conjectures was at Capernaum, which is very probable; since that was his own city, where he paid tribute, where he frequently resorted, and was on the banks of Jordan, near the lake of Gennesaret; and these disciples were Galilaeans: The Arabic version renders it, "they remained with him that his own day"; and Dr.
Lightfoot thinks the next day is meant, and that it was the sabbath day, which they kept with him in private devotion and conference: The Ethiopic version renders it, "they remained with him that day unto the tenth hour", f Misn. One of the two which heard John speak, The above things, concerning Jesus being the Lamb of God: He first findeth his own brother Simon, Either before the other disciple, or before he found any other person: This name, Messiah, was well known among the Jews, for that who was promised, and they expected as a Saviour and Redeemer; though it is not very often mentioned in the books of the Old Testament, chiefly in the following places, Psalm 2: Elias Levita g says, he found it in more than fifty verses; and Buxtorf h has added others to them, and the word appears in "seventy one" places, which he takes notice of, and are worthy of regard; for they show the sense of the ancient synagogue, concerning the passages of the Old Testament, respecting the Messiah: And it is from him the saints receive the anointing, or grace in measure; and are from him called Christians, and are really anointed ones; see 1 John 2: These words were delivered by Andrew, in a very exulting strain, expressing great joy; as indeed what can be greater joy to a sensible soul, than to find Christ?
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And he brought him to Jesus, That is, Andrew brought his brother Simon to Jesus; he persuaded him to go along with him, and showed him where he was; which discovered great zeal for Christ, being desirous of, gaining souls unto him; and great affection to his brother, being heartily concerned that he might know Christ, as well as he; nor did he choose that he should take up with the bare account that he gave of him, but would have him go to him himself, that he might be personally acquainted with him, and instructed by him: Simon, or Simeon, was a common name among the Jews, being the name of one of the twelve patriarchs; see Gill on Matthew Christ not only calls Simon by his present name, at first sight of him, but tells him what his future name should be; and which imports, not only that he should be a lively stone in the spiritual building, the church, but should have a considerable hand in that work, and abide firm and steadfast to Christ, and his interest, notwithstanding his fall; and continue constant and immoveable until death, as he did.
The Jews also, in their writings, call him Simeon Kepha l , k Vid. Not the day after John had pointed out Christ, as the Lamb of God, to two of his disciples; but the day after Simon had been with him, being brought by Andrew: Jesus would go forth into Galilee; from whence he came to Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him; and which being done, and his temptations in the wilderness over, it was his will, resolution, and determination, to return to Galilee, the place of his education and conversation, till this time; and therefore chose to begin his ministry, and miracles, there, both to give honour to it, and to fulfil a prophecy in Isaiah 9: Now Philip was of Bethsaida, A town on the lake of Gennesaret, afterwards made a city by Philip the tetrarch, and called Julias, after the name of Caesar's daughter m: Who was of Cana of Galilee, John This man is thought, by some, to be the same with Bartholomew; and so he is called Bartholomew, in a Syriac dictionary o ; and the rather, since he and Philip are always mentioned together in the account of the apostles, Matthew And certain it is, from the above mentioned place, that Nathanael was among the apostles after our Lord's resurrection; and it is highly probable was one of them?
It is the same name with Nethaneel, and which is read Nathanael, as here, in: Nathaniel, is mentioned in the Jewish writings p: He does not say, that he, and Andrew, and Simon, had found the Messiah; though he designs him by this circumlocution; Nathanael being, as is generally thought, a person well versed in the law, and the prophets, and so would at once know who Philip meant: And Philip having given this general account of him, proceeds to name him particularly; and affirms him to be Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph; that his name was Jesus, which signifies a saviour; and answers to the promises, and prophecies, and character of him in the Old Testament; that he was of Nazareth, a place not above three hours walk from Cana, as Adrichomius says, where Philip and Nathanael were: Nazareth was the place where Christ had lived almost all his days hitherto, and therefore is said to be of it; though Bethlehem was the place of his birth, which Philip might not as yet know; as Capernaum afterwards was his city, or the more usual place of his residence: And Nathanael said unto him, Taking notice of, and laying hold on what Philip said, that he was of Nazareth, which at once stumbled, and prejudiced him against Jesus being the Messiah; knowing very well that Bethlehem was to be the place of his birth: The whole country of Galilee was had in contempt with the Jews; but Nazareth was so mean a place, that it seems it was even despised by its neighbours, by the Galilaeans themselves; for Nathanael was a Galilean, that said these words.
It was so miserable a place that he could hardly think that any sort of good thing, even any worldly good thing, could come from thence; and it was so wicked, as appears from their murderous designs upon our Lord, that he thought no good man could arise from hence; and still less, any prophet, any person of great note; and still least of all, that that good thing, or person, the Messiah, should spring from it: The phrase, , "come, see", is often used in the book of Zohar q: Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, For notwithstanding his prejudices, he was a man of so much uprightness and honesty, that he thought Philip's request was very reasonable; and that it was but right, and fair, that he should see, and hear, and judge, for himself, whether the person Philip spoke of was the Messiah, or not; and therefore he came along with him; and as he was coming, Jesus saw him, who knew all that had passed between him and Philip: This Christ said to show how much such a character is approved by him; and that he knew the secrets of men's hearts, and the inward frames of their minds, s Addareth Eliahu apud Trigland de Sect.
Nathanael saith unto him, whence knowest thou me?
This he said as one surprised, that he, who was a stranger to him, should hit upon his general character, and describe the internal state and frame of his soul: Jesus answered and said unto him; in order to satisfy him, how he could know this inward temper of his mind, and to give him some undeniable proofs of his omniscience, which he himself must acknowledge, being such as none but an all seeing eye could discover: Christ knew what an account Philip had given of him, and what objection Nathanael had made; and what an invitation Philip had given him to go along with him to Christ, and judge for himself; which is here meant by calling him, and with which he complied: It was usual with the doctors to read, and study in the law, under fig trees, and sometimes, though rarely, to pray there.
It is said t , "R. Jacob, and his companions, were "sitting", studying in the law, , "under a certain fig tree". And the rule they give about praying, on, or under one, is thus u: It is said of Nathanael, in the Syriac dictionary x ; that his mother laid him under a fig tree, when the infants were slain, i. Yet most people today have never heard of John Gill. This is unfortunate, since his works contain priceless gems of information that are found nowhere except in the ancient writings of the Jews.
Presented here is a verse by verse exposition of the entire Testament. Ruth 1 Ruth 2 Ruth 3 Ruth 4. Lamentations 1 Lamentations 2 Lamentations 3 Lamentations 4 Lamentations 5. Joel 1 Joel 2 Joel 3. Jonah 1 Jonah 2 Jonah 3 Jonah 4.
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Nahum 1 Nahum 2 Nahum 3. Habakkuk 1 Habakkuk 2 Habakkuk 3. Zephaniah 1 Zephaniah 2 Zephaniah 3. Haggai 1 Haggai 2. Malachi 1 Malachi 2 Malachi 3 Malachi 4.