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and accepted. This is the general truth. Many circumstances are thrown in which need not be particularly explained. 'A marriage for his son.' Rather a marriage-feast, or a feast on the occasion of the marriage of his son. The king here doubtless represents God, providing for the salvation of the world.
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
'And sent forth his servants.' These represent the messengers God has sent to invite men to his kingdom. To call them that were bidden.' That is, to give notice to those who had before been invited, that the feast was ready. It appears that there were two invitations, one considerably before the time, that they might have opportunity to prepare for it, and the other to give notice of the precise time when they were expected. The wedding.' The marriage-feast. The same word the original as in verse 2. They would not come. They might have come if they chose, but they would not. So all the difficulty that sinners ever labour under in regard to salvation is in the will. It is a fixed determination not to come, and be saved.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
'Other servants.' Who might press it on their attention. Sc God repeats his message to sinners, when they reject it. My dinner. As marriages were, among eastern nations, in the evening, it refers here to a meal taken at that time. Fatlings.' This word denotes any fat animals. As oxen are also mentioned, however, it refers here probably to lambs, or roes, or calves, 2 Sam. vi. 13. 1 Chron. xv. 26.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
'But they made light of it.' Treated it with contempt, as a thing of no consequence: an exact representation of the conduct of sinners in regard to the gospel. One to his farm,' &c. Thus men are engaged so much in their worldly employments, that they pretend they have no time to attend to religion. The world is in their view of more value than God. 'Merchandise.' Traffic; trading.
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
The others showed positive malignity. Some sinners seem to be well satisfied by merely neglecting religion; while others proceed against it with open violence and bitter malice. En
treated them spitefully.' Reviled and abused them. This was done because they hated and despised the king. So sinners often abuse and calumniate ministers of religion, because they hate God.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
This doubtless refers to the Jews. They were murderers, having slain the prophets; and God was about to send forth the armies of the Romans to burn up their city. Note, Matt. xxiv.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
'The highways.' It means the square, or principal street, into which a number of smaller streets enter; a place where many persons would be seen, and persons of all descriptions. By this is represented the offering of the gospel to the Gentiles.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
'Bad and good.' All descriptions of people. None are good by nature; if they were, they would not need the gospel. But some are worse than others; and all need the gospel.
11 ¶ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a weddinggarment:
Anciently kings and princes were accustomed to make presents of changes of raiment to their friends and favourites, to refuse to receive which was an expression of the highest contempt, Gen. xlv. 22. 2 Kings x. 22. Esther vi. 8; viii. 15. The garments worn on festival occasions, were chiefly long white robes; and it was the custom of the person who made the feast to prepare such robes to be worn by the guests. This renders the conduct of this man more inexcusable. He came in his common ordinary dress, though one had been provided for him, if he had applied for it. His not doing it, was expressive of the highest disrespect for the king. This represents the conduct of the hypocrite in the church. A garment of salvation might be his, but he chooses the filthy rags of his own righteousness, and thus offers the highest contempt for that provided in the gospel.
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou
in hither, not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Friend. Rather, companion. The word does not imply friendship. He was speechless.' He had no excuse. So it will be with all hypocrites.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
'Cast him into outer darkness.' See note, Matt. viii. 12. This, without doubt, refers to the future punishment of the hypocrite. Matt. xxiii. 23-33; xxiv. 51.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Our Saviour often uses this expression. It was probably proverbial. The Jews had been called, but few of them had been chosen to life. The great mass of the nation were wicked, and showed by their lives that they were not chosen to salvation. The Gentiles also were called, invited to be saved, Isa. xlv. 22. Nation after nation has been called, or invited to be saved; but few have yet showed that they were real christians, the elect of God.
Then went the pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
The pharisees and Herodians endeavoured to entangle Jesus. This narrative is also found in Mark xii. 13-17. Luke xx. 20 -26. See note Matt. iii. 7. To 'entangle,' means to ensnare, as birds are by a net, artfully to lay a plan for enticing, to beguile by proposing a question, and by leading, if possible, to an incautious answer. This was the kind proposed here to Jesus.
In his talk.' The word 'his' is supplied here by the translators. It means in conversation, or by talking with him; not alluding to any thing that he had before said.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
The Herodians.' It is probable that they took their name from Herod the Great. The law of Moses was, that a stranger should not be set over the Jews as a king, Deut. xvii. 15. Herod, who had received the kingdom of Judea by appointment of the Romans, held that the law of Moses referred only to a voluntary choice of a king, and did not refer to a necessary submission,
where they had been overpowered by force. They supposed, therefore, that it was lawful in such cases to pay tribute to a foreign prince. This opinion was, however, extensively unpopular among the Jews. Hence the difficulty of the question. Whatever way he decided, they supposed he would be involved in difficulty. If he should say it was not lawful, the Herodians were ready to accuse him as being an enemy of Cæsar; if he said it was lawful, the pharisees were ready to accuse him to the people as being opposed to their rights. We know that thou art true. A hypocritical compliment not believed by them, but artfully said, as compliments often are, to attempt to conceal their true design. Neither carest thou for any man.' That is, thou art an independent teacher, delivering thy sentiments without regard to the fear or favour of man. 'For thou regardest not the person of men.' Thou art not partial. Thou wilt decide according to truth, and not from any bias towards either party. To regard the person, or to respect the person, is in the bible uniformly used to denote partiality; or being influenced in a decision, not by truth, but by previous attachment to a person, or one of the parties-by friendship, or bias, or prejudice, Lev. xix. 15. Deut. xvi. 19. 2 Sam. xiv. 14. Acts x. 34. James ii. 1,3, 9. 1 Pet. i. 17. Jude 16.
17 Tell us therefore, what thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not?
Tribute was the tax paid to the Roman government. 'Cæsar.' The Roman emperor. The name 'Cæsar,' after the time of Julius Cæsar, became common to all the emperors, as Pharaoh was the common name of all the kings of Egypt. The Cæsar who reigned at that time was Tiberius.
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
"Tempt ye me. Try me, or endeavour to lead me into difficulty by an insidious question. 'Hypocrites.' Dissemblers. Professing to be candid inquirers, when your only object is to lead me into difficulty. Note, Matt. vi. 2.
19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
The money in which the tribute was paid. This was a Roman coin. Their having that coin about them, and using it, was proof that they themselves held it lawful to pay the tribute; and their pretensions, therefore, were mere hypocrisy. A penny.'
See note on ch. xix. 2.
20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
'This image. The likeness of the reigning prince was struck
on the coins. Superscription.' The name and titles of the em
21 They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
Cæsar's image and name on the coin proved that it was his. It was proper therefore to give it back to him when he called for it. But while this was done, he took occasion to charge them also to give to God what he claimed; that they should give him their hearts, lives, property, and influence, as his due.
22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
'They marvelled.' They had been foiled in their attempt. Though he had apparently decided in favour of the Herodians, yet his answer confounded both parties, and wholly prevented the use which they intended to make of it.
The same day came to him the sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,
For the conversation of Jesus with the sadducees respecting the resurrection, see also Mark xii. 18–27. Luke xx. 27–38. For an account of the sadducees see note, Matt. iii. 7. 'No resurrection. The resurrection literally means the raising up the body to life after it is dead, John xi. 24; v. 29. 1 Cor. xv. 12. But the sadducees not only denied this, but also a future state at all; and the separate existence of the soul after death, as well as the existence of angels and spirits, Acts xxiii. 8. These doctrines have commonly stood or fallen together, but the answer of our Saviour more distinctly refers to the separate existence of the soul, and to a future state of rewards and punishments, than to the resurrection of the body.
24 Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
'Moses said,' &c. See Deut. xxv. 5, 6. This law was given by Moses in order to keep the families and tribes of the Israelites distinct, and to perpetuate them. 'Raise up seed unto his brother.' That is, the children shall be reckoned in the genealogy of the deceased brother; or, to all civil purposes, shall be considered as his.
25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and,