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u Isa. xiii. 10.

Ezek. xxxii. 7. Joel ii. 10, 81: iii. 15. Amos v. 20: viii. 9. Acts 1i. 20. Rev. vi. 12.

is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall [d also] the coming of the Son of man be. 28 * For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the + Job xxxix. 30. eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days u shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her Aets ii: 20

d omit. enthusiasm or superstition, but seeing and times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,”) shall the looking for Him who is invisible. On the coming of the Lord Himself happen. On signs and wonders, see 2 Thess. ii. 9–12: the indefiniteness of this assigned period Deut. xiii. 1-3. 27, 28.] The coming in the prophecy, see note on ver. 3. (The of the Lord in the end, even as that in the expression in Mark is equally indicative of type was, shall be a plain unmistakeable a considerable interval : “ In those days, fact, understood of all ;-and like that after that tribulation.) The fact of His also, sudden and all-pervading. But here coming, and its attendant circumstances, again the full meaning of the words is only being known to Him, but the exact time to be found in the final fulfilment of them. unknown,-He speaks without regard to the The lightning, lighting both ends of hea. interval, which would be employed in His ven at once, seen of all beneath it, can only waiting till all things are put under His find its full similitude in His Personal feet: see Rev. i. 1; xxii. 6—20. In coming, Whom every eye shall see, Rev. i. what follows, from this verse, the Lord 7. 28.] The stress is on wheresoever speaks mainly and directly of His great and there, pointing out the universality. second coming. Traces there are (as e. g. In the similar discourse, Luke xvii. 37, be in the literal meaning of ver. 34) of slight fore this saying, the disciples ask, “Where, and indirect allusions to the destruction Lord ? The answer is, -—first, at Jeru- of Jerusalem ;- as there were in the former salem: where the corrupting body lies, part to the great events of which that is a thither shall the vultures (see below) gather foreshadowing:- but no direct mention. themselves together, coming as they do The contents of the rest of the chapter from far on the scent of prey. Secondly, may be set forth as follows: (ver. 29) in its final fulfilment over the whole signs which shall immediately precede world; for that is the carcase now, and (ver. 30) the coming of the Lord to judg. the eagles the angels of vengeance. See ment, and (ver. 31) to bring salvation to Deut. xxviii. 49, which is probably here His elect. The certainty of the event, referred to; also Hosea viii. 1: Heb. i. 8. and its intimate connexion with its preThe interpretation which makes the car. monitory signs (vv. 32, 33); the endur. case our Lord, and the eagles the elect, is ance (ver. 34) of the Jewish people till quite beside the purpose. Neither is any the end-even till Heaven and Earth allusion to the Roman eagles to be for a (ver. 35) pass away. But (ver. 36) of moment thought of. The birds meant by the day and hour none knoweth. Its the original word are the vultures (vultur suddenness (vv. 37–39) and decisiveness percnopterus, Linn.), usually reckoned by (vv. 40, 41), - and exhortation (vv. 42the ancients as belonging to the eagle kind. 44) to be ready for it. A parable setting

29. Immediately] All the difficulty forth the blessedness of the watching, and which this word has been supposed to in misery of the neglectful servant (vv. 45volve has arisen from confounding the end), and forming a point of transition to partial fulfilment of the prophecy with its the parables in the next chapter. ultimate one. The important insertion in shall the sun be darkened] The darkening Luke (xxi. 23, 24) shews us that the tribu. of the material lights of this world is used lation includes wrath upon this people, in prophecy as a type of the occurrence which is yet being inflicted : and the treads of trouble and danger in the fabric of ing down of Jerusalem by the Gentiles, human societies, Isa. v. 30; xiii. 10; still going on (see note there): and imme. xxxiv. 4: Jer. iv. 28: Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8: diately after that tribulation which shall Amos viii. 9, 10: Micah iii. 6. But the happen when the cup of Gentile iniquity is type is not only in the words of the profull, and when the Gospel shall have been phecy, but also in the events themselves. preached in all the world for a witness, Such prophecies are to be understood liteand rejected by the Gentiles, (in Luke, the rally, and indeed without such understand.

Rev. i. 7.

y ch. xlii. 41.

1 Cor. xy.52. 11 hess.iv. 18.

light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers v Dan. vii. 18. of the heavens shall be shaken : 30 V and then shall appear w Zech. xii. 12. the sign of the Son of man in heaven : Wand then shall all s chevxvi,727. the tribes of the earth mourn, * and they shall see the Son

of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and 1.1.. great glory. 31 y And he shall send his angels with a great

e sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the

other. 32 Now learn f a parable of the fig tree; When his e render, voice.

f render, the parable from the fig-tree: When now his branch becometh tender, ing would lose their truth and significance. not the Son of Man Himself, as some The physical signs shall happen (see Joel explain it (even Bengel, generally so valu. ii. 31 : Hagg. ii. 6, 21, compared with able in his explanations, says, He Himself Heb. xii. 26, 27) as accompaniments and shall be the sign of Himself," and quotes 'intensifications of the awful state of things Luke ii. 12 as confirming this view ; but which the description typifies. The Sun there the swaddling clothes and the manger of this world and the church (Mal. iv. 2: were the sign,' not the Child), nor any Luke i. 78: John i. 9: Eph. v. 14: 2 Pet. outward marks on His body, as His i. 19) is the Lord Jesus—the Light, is the wounds; for both these would confuse Knowledge of Him. The moon-human what the prophecy keeps distinct-the knowledge and science, of which it is said seeing of the sign of the Son of Man, (Ps. xxxvi. 9), “In thy light shall we see and all tribes of the earth mourning, light : reflected from, and drinking the and afterwards seeing the Son of Man beams of, the Light of Christ. The stars Himself. This is manifestly some sign in - see Dan. viii. 10-are the leaders and the Heavens, by which all shall know that teachers of the Church. The Knowledge the Son of Man is at hand. The Star of of God shall be obscured—the Truth nigh the Wise Men naturally occurs to our put out-worldly wisdom darkened- the thoughts--but a star would not be a sign Church system demolished, and her teachers which all might read. On the whole cast down. And all this in the midst of I think no sign completely answers the the fearful signs here (and in Luke, vv. conditions, but that of the Cross :-and 25, 26, more at large) recounted : not accordingly we find the Fathers mostly setting aside, but accompanying, their thus explaining the passage. But as our literal fulfilment. the powers of the Lord Himself does not answer the question, heavens) not the stars, just mentioned; “What is the sign of thine appearing ?

-nor the angels, spoken of by and by, we may safely leave the matter. all ver. 31: but most probably the greater the tribes of the earth] See Zech. xii. 10— heavenly bodies, which rule the day and 14, where the mourning is confined to the night, Gen. i. 16, and are there also dis. families of Israel :-here, it is universal : tinguished from the stars. See notes on see Rev. i. 7; also vi. 15–17. This com2 Pet. iii. 10-12, where the stars seem ing of the Son of Man is not that spoken to be included in the elements. Typically, of ch. xxv. 31, but that in 1 Thess. iv. 16, the influences which rule human society, 17, and Rev. xix. 11 ff.,-His coming at which make the political weather fair or the commencement of the millennial reign foul, bright or dark; and encourage the to establish His Kingdom : see Dan. vii. fruits of peace, or inflict the blight and 13, 14. The power is the power of desolation of war. 30.] This then, so this Kingdom, not, the host of heaven. emphatically placed and repeated, is a

31.] This is not the great Trumpet definite declaration of time, -not a mere of the general Resurrection (1 Cor. xv. sign of sequence or coincidence, as e. g. in 52), except in so far as that may be spoken ver. 23 :-when these things shall have of as including also the first resurrection : been somewhile filling men's hearts with see on this verse the remarkable opening fear,—THEN shall &c. It is quite of Ps. l., which is itself a prophecy of uncertain what the sign shall be :-plainly, these same times. 32, 33, 34.] The

& be fulfie shall not baneno man, was the

branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh : 33 so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that a it is near, even at the doors. z James v. 0. 34 Verily I say unto you, a This generation shall not pass, a chi le 28 till all these things & be fulfilled. 35 b Heaven and earth.bps.cii. 20. shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 c But of that day and hour knoweth 5 no man, no, not Actress the angels of heaven, but i my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall [k also] the coming of the Son of man be. 38 d For as in the days that were before the a Gen. vi. 3,6, flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving 1 Pet. lii. 20.

8 render, shall happen. h render, none. i or, the. E omit.

ch. v. 18.

Heb. i. 11. c Acts i. 7.

1 Theks. v. 9. 2 Pet. iii. 10.

Gen. vi. 3, 4, 5: vii. 5.

English version in ver. 32 is ambiguous, word is the same in verses 34, 35) should besides being unfaithful. By ofis evi. have saved the Commentators from the dently meant from : but it seems as if it blunder of imagining that the then living were only concerning. “Learn,” says our generation was meant, seeing that the proLord, “ from the fig-tree the parable :” the phecy is by the next verse carried on to natural phænomenon which may serve as the end of all things: and that, as matter a key to the meaning. This coming of fact, the Apostles and ancient Christians of the Lord shall be as sure a sign that did continue to expect the Lord's coming, the Kingdom of Heaven is nigh, as the after that generation had passed away. putting forth of the tender leaves of the But, as Stier well remarks, “there are men fig-tree is a sign that summer is nigh. foolish enough now to say, heaven and Observe all these things,-every one of earth will never pass away, but the words these things,—this coming of the Son of of Christ pass away in course of time ; Man included, which will introduce the of this, however, we wait the proof.” ü. millennial Kingdom.

As regards 505. all these thingsall the signs the parable,- there is a reference to the hitherto recounted-so that both these withered fig-tree which the Lord cursed: words, and ye (in ver. 33), have their and as that, in its judicial unfruitfulness, partial, and their full meanings. emblematized the Jewish people, so here it is near- viz. the end. On ver. 35 see the putting forth of the fig-tree from its Ps. cxix. 89: Isa. xl. 8; li. 6: Ps. cii. 26. state of winter dryness, symbolizes the 36.] that day, viz. of heaven and future reviviscence of that race, which the earth passing away; or, perhaps referring Lord (ver. 34) declares shall not pass to ver. 30 ff. day and hour - the exact away till all be fulfilled. That this is time—as we say, 'the hour and minute.' the true meaning of that verse, must The very important addition to this verse appear, when we recollect that it forms in Mark, and in some ancient MSS. here, the conclusion of this parable, and is itself neither the Son, is indeed included in joined, by this generation passing away, but my Father only,bat could hardly to the verse following. We cannot, in have been inferred from it, had it not been seeking for its ultimate fulfilment, go back expressly stated : ch. xx. 23. All attempts to the taking of Jerusalem and make the to soften or explain away this weighty words apply to it. As this is one of truth must be resisted: it will not do to the points on which the rationalizing in- say with some Commentators, “He knows terpreters lay most stress to shew that the it not as regards us,which, however well prophecy has failed, I have taken pains meant, is a mere evasion :- in the course to shew, in my Gr. Test., that the word of humiliation undertaken by the Son, in here rendered generation has the meaning which He increased in wisdom (Luke ii. of a race or family of people. In all the 52), learned obedience (Heb. v. 8), uttered places there cited, the word necessarily desires in prayer (Luke vi. 12, &c.),- this bears that signification : having it is true matter was hidden from Him : and as I a more pregnant meaning, implying that have already remarked, this is carefully to the character of one generation stamps be borne in mind, in explaining the proitself upon the race, as here in this verse phecy before us. 37–39.] This comalso. The continued use of pass away (the parison also occurs in Luke xvii. 26, 27,

f 1 Thess. v. 2.

2 Pet. iii. 10. Rev. iii. 3: Xvi. 15.

1 Thess. v. 6.

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1 Cor. iv..

1 omit.

in marriage, until the day that Ņoe entered into the ark, 39 and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall [1 also] the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one m shall be taken, and the other left. 41 Two women shall be grinding at

the mill; the one m shall be taken, and the other left. e ch, zxv. 18. 42 e Watch therefore : for ye know not what hour your . Pee. 1. 16. Lord doth come. 43 ? But know this, that if the goodman De 26.. 3:

of the house had known in what watch the thief would

come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered 8 ch.xxv. 13., his house to be o broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also

ready : for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of h Acts xi. 28. man cometh. 45 h Who then is a faithful and wise servant, Heb. iii. 6. whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give

m render, is. B read, day.

oi, e. broken into. with the addition of the days of Lot' to judgment of ch. xxv. 31, for then (ver. 32) it: see also 2 Pet. ii. 4-10; ii. 5, 6. It all shall be summoned: but they refer is important to notice the confirmation, to the millennial dispensation, and the by His mouth who is Truth itself, of the gathering of the elect to the Lord then. historic reality of the flood of Noah. The “women grinding at the mill ” has The expression drinking may serve to been abundantly illustrated by travellers, as shew that it is a mistake to imagine that even now seen in the East. See especially we have in Gen. ix. 20 the account of the The Land and the Book, pp. 526, 7. first wine and its effects. The security 42–44.] Our Lord here resumes the tone here spoken of is in no wise inconsistent of direct exhortation with which He comwith the anguish and fear prophesied, menced. To the secure and careless He Luke xxi. 25, 26. They say, there is will come as a thief in the night: to His peace, and occupy themselves as if there own, as their Lord. See Obad. 5: Rev. iii. were : but fear is at their hearts. On the 3 ; xvi. 15: 1 Thess. v. 1-10, where the addition in Luke xxi. 34–36, see notes idea is expanded at length. Compare ver. there. 40, 41.] From this point (or 7 there with our ver. 49, and on the disperhaps even from ver. 37, as historic re- tinction between those who are of the day, semblance is itself parabolic) the discourse and those who are of the night, see notes begins to assume a parabolic form, and there. 45–47.] Our Lord bad given gradually passes into a series of formal this parabolic exhortation before, Luke xii. parables in the next chapter. These 42–46. Many of these His last sayings verses set forth that, as in the times of in public are solemn repetitions of, and Noah, men and women shall be employed references to, things already said by Him. in their ordinary work : see Exod. xi. 5: That this was the case in the present inIsa. xlvii. 2. They also shew us that the stance, is almost demonstrable, from the elect of God will to the last be mingled in implicit allusion in Luke xii. 36, to the companionship and partnership with the return from the wedding, which is here children of this world (see Mark i. 19, 20). expanded into the parable of ch. xxv. 1 ff. We may notice, that these verses do not How much more natural that our Lord refer to the same as vv. 16–18. Then should have preserved in his parabolic disit is a question of voluntary flight; now courses the same leading ideas, and again of being taken (by the angels, ver. 31: the and again gathered his precepts round present tense graphically sets the incident them,--than that the Evangelists should before us; or perhaps describes the rule of have thrown into utter and inconsistent proceeding. It is interesting to know that confusion, words which would have been the word “takenis the same verb in the treasured up so carefully by them that original as “receive" in John xiv. 3) or heard them; - to say nothing of the pro. left. Nor again do they refer to the great mised help of the Spirit to bring to mind

wii. 29.

them meat in due season ? 46 i Blessed is that servant, i Rev. xvi. 16. whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That k he shall make him ruler kcha muda, over all his goods. 48 But [Pand] if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and a to eat and drink with the drunken ; 50 the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites : 1 there 1 ch. vill. 12: shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

XXV. 1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth

P not expressed in the original. I read, shall. all that He had said to them. Who see Dan. ii. 5; ii. 29: Sus. ver. 59: see then is] A question asked that each one also Heb. iv. 12; xi. 37. The expression may put it to himself,--and to signify the here is perhaps not without a symbolical high honour of such an one. faithful reference also to that dreadful sundering and wise] Prudence in a servant can be of the conscience and practice which shall only the consequence of faithfulness to his be the retiective torment of the conmaster. This verse is especially ad. demned :--and by the mingling and condressed to the Apostles and Ministers of founding of which only is the anomalous Christ. The give them (their) meat life of the wilful sinner made in this world (= portion of meat, Luke xii. 42) answers tolerable. to the description of the workman that CHAP. XXV. 1–13.] PARABLE OF THE need not be ashamed in 2 Tim. ii. 15. On VIRGINS. Peculiar to Matthew. ver. 47, compare ch. xxv. 21: 1 Tim. iii. 1.7 Then- at the period spoken of at the 13: Rev. ü. 26; iii. 21, which last two end of the last chapter, viz. the coming passages answer to the promise here, that of the Lord to His personal reign-not each faithful servant shall be over all his His final coming to judgment. ten master's goods. That promotion shall not virgins] The subject of this parable is not, be like earthly promotion, wherein the as of the last, the distinction between the eminence of one excludes that of another, faithful and unfaithful servants; no out- but rather like the diffusion of love, in ward distinction here exists, all are virwhich, the more each has, the more there gins--all companions of the bride--all fur. is for all. 48–51.] The question is nished with brightly-burning lamps-all, not here asked again, who is &c., but the up to a certain time, fully ready to meet transition made from the good to the bad the Bridegroom-the difference consists in servant, or even the good to the bad mind some having made a provision for feeding of the same servant, by the epithet evil. the lamps in case of delay, and the others

delayeth] then manifestly, a long none-and the moral of the parable is the delay is in the mind of the Lord: see blessedness of endurance unto the end. above on ver. 29. Notice that this servant “ The point of the parable consists,” as also is one set over the household-one Calvin remarks, in this, “that it is not who says my lord- and began well--but enough to have been once girt and prepared now begins to, &c.—falls away from his for duty, unless we endure even to the end.” truth and faithfulness ;-the sign of which There is no question here of apostasy, or is that he begins (lit. shall have begun) to unfaithfulness- but of the want of provi. lord it over the elect (1 Pet. v. 3), and to sion to keep the light bright against the revel with the children of the world. In coming of the bridegroom, however delayed. consequence, though he have not lost his

Ten was a favourite number with belief (“my lord), he shall be placed the Jews-ten men formed a congregation with those who believed not, the hypo- in a synagogue. In a passage from Rabbi crites. 51.] The reference is to the Salomo, cited by Wetstein, he mentions punishment of cutting, or sawing asunder: ten lamps or torches as the usual number

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