Matthew 11
Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
Matthew 11:1. Ἐτέλεσεν, concluded) Our Lord did nothing abruptly. See Gnomon on ch. Matthew 26:1; and Luke 7:1.—κηρύσσειν, to preach) sc. everywhere. Cf. John 3:2, etc.[507]—αὐτῶν, of them) the Israelites [the people, namely, who were deserving of His ‘compassion,’ ch. Matthew 9:36.—V. g.]

[507] The verb διδάσκειν implies private instruction, as κηρύσσειν implies public instruction.—V. g.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
Matthew 11:2. Τοῦ Χριστοῦ, of Christ) Those works which it was the part of the Messiah to perform.[508]—μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, of His disciples) whom He wished to confirm and resign to Christ.[509]

[508] Jesus had done similar works before John was imprisoned; but now. He did such works in much greater numbers.—V. g.

[509] He does not seem to have entertained any doubt himself as to Christ.—V. g.

And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
Matthew 11:3. Ὁ ἐρχόμενος, he that should come) cf. Psalm 40:7; Hebrews 10:37.—, κ.τ.λ., or, etc.) There was not at that time any other, for John excludes himself by this disjunctive particle.—ἕτερον, another) They recognise as a certain fact that there is some one who should come.—προσδοκῶμεν, must we await) sc. with longer delay.[510]

[510] The time of waiting in expectation was now by this time coming to an end; for the Seventieth week of Daniel was close at hand.—V. g.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
Matthew 11:4. Ἃ ἀκούετε καὶ βλέπετε, those things which ye do hear and see) The testimonies of facts of seven kinds, enumerated in Matthew 11:5-6. The miracles which our Lord performed had been foretold; they were beneficent, many, and various.[511]

[511] Sight in other cases is wont to precede hearing; but the word of Christ [heard by them] answered more closely, as it were, to the desires of faith than the works of Christ [seen by them], John 14:11. Even in this place, Jesus speaks humbly, as in ch. Matthew 12:17; Matthew 12:41-42. He does not say, Those things which I speak and do.—V. g.

The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
Matthew 11:5.[512] Εὐαγγελίζονται, are evangelized) The word is passive; cf. Luke 16:16. For the works of our Lord Himself, which the disciples of John then saw and heard, are meant; cf. Luke 4:18, concerning the prediction of this work.[513] Nor did all poor men as yet preach the Gospel, but only the apostles. See Matthew 10:7.

[512] Τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσι) At that very moment (period of time) such miracles were being performed (Luke 7:21), which were the very miracles reserved for the Christ. In ancient times, sinners used to be punished with blindness, leprosy, and death.—νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται) A miracle which had been very recently performed in the case of the young man of Nain, Luke 7:14.—V. g.

[513] Which was peculiarly a work of the Christ, who was anointed for that very purpose, Isaiah 61:1.—V. g. Comp. Luke 4:1.—ED.

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Matthew 11:6. Μακάριος, blessed) A rare felicity. That very circumstance, that many should be offended in Him, was foretold as a sign of the Messiah.[514] He loaded others with benefits; He Himself was weak, poor, despised.—ὃς ἐὰν, whosoever) especially of the disciples of John, who saw the difference between his mode of living and that of our Lord. See Matthew 11:18-19.

[514] Isaiah 52:14. That very fact was an argument likely to be easily appreciated, especially by the disciples of John. See Matthew 11:18, with which comp. Matthew 11:19.—V. g.

And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
Matthew 11:7. Πορευομένων, as they departed) Otherwise they might have become puffed up. The world praises to the face, reviles behind the back. Divine truth does the opposite.—ἤρξατο, began) The multitude would not have begun, had He not done so first.—περὶ Ἰωάννου, concerning John) The state of John is described in Matthew 11:7-9, with reference to men, to himself, to God.—θεάσασθαι, to see as a spectacle) idly. See John 5:35.—κάλαμον, a reed) The ford of Jordan abounded with them. They would have wished John to be such in conduct as they liked to be themselves, and as they are described in this verse and the following. They sought a man of easy disposition, and one ready to second their desires, whom they would not themselves style a reed; but Jesus calls a reed, a reed. For often does truth attribute to man a speech, not such as he frames himself, but such as expresses the reality. See Jeremiah 18:12. The people themselves did not sufficiently know why they had gone forth. On the other hand, the character of John is described (cf. Matthew 11:18), and at the same time the stumbling-block is taken away, which might have arisen from the imprisonment of our Lord’s precursor.—ἀνέμου, by the wind) of favour (by his having been supposed to be the Messiah) or persecution.—σαλευόμενον, agitated) The word is here in the middle voice, and signifies permitting himself to be agitated. This opinion is not refuted like those which follow, because it refutes itself.

But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Matthew 11:8. Ἀλλὰ, but) The conjunction is employed to show that the preceding hypothesis has been dismissed.—ἐν μαλακοῖς ἱματίοις ἠμφιεσμένον, clothed in soft raiment) They would have wished the forerunner, and the Messiah Himself, to have been such.—τὰ, the) The article refers to the preceding μαλακοῖς.[515]—φοροῦντες, who wear) John, if he had wished it, might have been a courtier.—οἴκοις, houses) Not in the desert or the prison.—τῶν βασιλείων,[516] of palaces) See Esther 4:2. The LXX. have τὰ βασιλεία in Esther 1:9; Esther 2:13.—ΟἾΚΟΙ ΤῶΝ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΩΝ = the halls of the palace.

[515] Thus identifying μαλακὰ with μαλακοῖς ἱματίοις, and showing that the μαλακαsoft things,” now spoken of are, as in E. V., “soft clothing.”—(I. B.)

[516] E. M. has “τοῖς οἴκοις τῶν βασιλέων” which E. V. renders “Kings’ Palaces.”—(I. B.)

The reading τῶν βασιλείων is regarded as equal to the other in the margin of the larger Ed.: but the margin of Ed. 2, as well as the Germ. Vers., prefer βασιλέων.—E. B. All the primary authorities read βασιλέων. But Griesb. and Scholz, with some inferior Uncial MSS., read βασιλείων or βασιλειῶν.—ED.

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
Matthew 11:9. Προφήτην, a prophet) For a long time they had had no prophets.[517]—ΝΑῚ, yea) A prophet, I say unto you, and something greater than a prophet.—περισσότερονmore) Neuter, as in τὶ, what: sc. when ye went out ye saw something more, etc., although ye did not know it.—προφήτου, than a prophet) For a prophet announces only distant events.

[517] He cannot be accounted as such, unless he were one far removed from (reed-like) fickleness and (courtier-like) effeminacy.—V. g.

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Matthew 11:10. Οὗτος γάρ ἐστι, κ.τ.λ., for this is he, etc.) This makes John much greater than that what is spoken of[518] in Matthew 11:7-8, could.—ἸΔΟῪ ἘΓῺ ἈΠΟΣΤΈΛΛΩ ΤῸΝ ἌΓΓΕΛΌΝ ΜΟΥ ΠΡῸ ΠΡΟΣΏΠΟΥ ΣΟΥ, Ὃς ΚΑΤΑΣΚΕΥΆΣΕΙ ΤῊΝ ὉΔΌΝ ΣΟΥ ἜΜΠΡΟΣΘΈΝ ΣΟΥ, behold I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee) In the S. V. of Malachi 3:1, we read, ἰδοὺ ἐξαποστελῶ τὸν ἄγγελόν Μου, καὶ ἐπιβλέψεται ὀδὸν πρὸ προσώπου Μου, καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἥξει, κ.τ.λ., behold I will send forth My messenger, and he shall survey the road before My face, and suddenly shall arrive, etc.—Ἐγὼ, I) The Father addressing the Son.—τὸν ἄγγελόν Μου, My messenger) John was sent by God as a messenger, after whom came the Messenger of the Covenant Himself.—πρὸ προσώπου Σου, before Thy face) Immediately before Thee. The LXX. have ἐξαίφνης (immediately) in the passage just quoted. John was not a prophet of distant events.—See Luke 1:76. The advent of the Father and of the Son are the same, and so is the language which applies to them. It is one of the strongest arguments for the divinity of Christ, that those things which are said of Christ in the New Testament are quoted from the Old Testament, where they are predicated as exclusively belonging to God.—See Gnomon on John 12:41; Acts 2:33; Romans 9:33; Romans 14:11; 1 Corinthians 1:31; 1 Corinthians 10:9; Ephesians 4:8; Hebrews 1:6; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 1:10-11; Revelation 1:8; Revelation 1:17.

[518] viz. His being “a reed shaken by the wind,” or “a man clothed in soft raiment.”—See Gnomon in loc.—(I. B.)

Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 11:11. Οὐκ ἐγήγερται, there has not arisen) or there hath not been raised up as yet. The verb ἐγείρεσθαι, denotes an office conferred.—ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν, among them that are born of women) An expression of universal extent. Thus, ἐν γυναίξιν, among women, of the blessedness of Mary, Luke 1:28.—μείζων, a greater, sc. prophet) See Luke 7:28; Luke 1:15, even if he be compared with Enoch, Moses, and Elias.—τοῦ βαπτισοῦ, the Baptist) He was already then distinguished by this surname, on account of the novelty and magnitude of the matter, not merely afterwards to distinguish him from John the apostle.—ὁ δὲ μικρότερος, but the least) The comparative with the article has the force of a superlative. As far as John excels every one, even the greatest of the ancient prophets, so far is John himself excelled by every one, even the least, in the kingdom of heaven, whether he be a preacher of Christ, or merely a citizen thereof. John himself was not yet in the kingdom of heaven, but he preceded it [as a herald].[519] Jesus is not the least IN the kingdom of heaven, but is the King Himself; and He Himself is implied by the kingdom of heaven, which John announced.—See Matthew 11:10; Matthew 11:3, and ch. Matthew 3:11. And the less and the greater are here spoken of as they are, not in the opinion of men, but in reality, in the knowledge of the revealed Christ.—See 1 Peter 1:12. The idea of external appearance, in Matthew 11:6, does not come in here. Jesus was despised and unknown amongst men, but He was not the least, as far as the kingdom of heaven was concerned; all the citizens of the kingdom of heaven already acknowledged Him as their King.—Cf. the phrase in ch. v. 19. He is never called less than John, nor least in the kingdom of heaven. The least in the kingdom of heaven, is the least of the citizens of the kingdom. In that THIRD point[520] in which John is greater than others, the least in the kingdom of heaven is less than the other citizens of the kingdom of heaven. John did not yet know all, which at present even catechumens know from the Apostles’ Creed. A noble climax—prophet, John, apostle or Christian. It is greater, in this kind of comparison of the Old and New Testament, to know things present than things future, however brief be the interval which separates them from the present;[521] but in another point of view, the knowledge of futurity is an especial distinction conferred by GOD.

[519] Even at that time the Apostles themselves already were superior to John in their baptizing and teaching, John 4:2; Matthew 10:7, etc.—Harm., p. 299), at the end.

[520] Beng. seems to me to use Tertium here in the logical sense of the intermediate term, affording a point of comparison between the other two: as here John stands midway between the Old Test. covenant and its prophets, on the one hand, and the N. Test. kingdom, and its preachers and members, on the other.—ED.

[521] In the original, “scire præsentia quam futura, quamvis proxime futura;” lit. “to know present than future [things], although most closely know the things that are, than those that are to be hereafter, however close that hereafter may be to the present.”—(I. B.)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Matthew 11:12. Δὲ, but) Used antithetically in this sense—viz., although John is less than the least in the kingdom of heaven, yet even from the beginning of the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven exercises force. The kingdom of heaven came not in John, but immediately after John.—βιάζεται, pushes itself forward as it were by violence) Consider attentively ch. Matthew 13:32-33, and Luke 14:23. The LXX. frequently use βιάζομαι, to signify, to employ force. John calls in a mournful, Jesus in a joyful strain.[522] And there is a metonymy of kingdom for King, i.e. the Messiah. See Gnomon on ch. Matthew 4:17.—βιασταὶ, they who employ force) See Luke 13:24. There is no complaint here of hostile force, for the complaint begins at Matthew 11:16. βιάζεται and ΒΙΑΣΤΑῚ are correlative.[523]—ἉΡΠΆΖΟΥΣΙΝ, seize) in order that by seizing it with swift force, all obstacles having been broken through, they may obtain the blessing which is offered them.[524] See Luke 7:29.

[522] In the original, “Johannes lamentatur; Jesus canit,”—lit. “John laments; Jesus sings.”—(I. B.)

[523] It is in this way that the work goes on briskly, and advances as successfully as one could wish.—V. g.

[524] Just as happens in the case of wares exposed for sale in public.—V. g.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Matthew 11:13. Γὰρ, for) Now is fulfilled that which had been predicted up to the time of John.—προφῆταινόμοςἸωάννου, prophets—law—John) Cf. Mal. 1:1, 3:22, 23; and see Gnomon on Matthew 3:12. There were prophets also before Moses; and the law being put in the second place, makes a regular gradation; for Moses was the greatest of the prophets of the Old Testament. The law also is mentioned in this passage on account of its prophetic office. Where the Old Testament concludes at the end of Malachi, there the New Testament commences at the beginning of Mark. This phrase, therefore, even until John, holds good of Scripture. Its application extends also beyond Malachi, even to the father of John. Sec Luke 1:67. Even until, without change. Here was the boundary of prophecy and of the Old Testament dispensation; thenceforward is the fulfilling.—προεφήτευσαν, prophesied) This was the whole of their office, to bear witness to future things. John was something more. See Matthew 11:9.

And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Matthew 11:14. Εἰ θέλετε, if ye will) It is your interest that is at stake. The expression, βιασταὶ (used in the last verse), is explained: it is the willing only who are compelled. All is prepared: it only remains that you should be willing.—Ἡλίας, Elias) The absence of the article shows that the word is used antonomatically.[525] John makes ΒΙΑΣΤΑῚ of both fathers and children. Cf. δε, but, in v. 16.[526] The prophecy of the Old Testament concludes with this Elijah at the end of Malachi. John is called Elias on account of the office of forerunner, which he had in common with the Tishbite.—ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι, who is about to come) The language is, as it were, that of one looking forward from the Old Testament into the New.[527]

[525] See Append. Antonomasia here applies the name Elias to John, not literally, but analogously; as Elias was in the O. Test., so John in preparing for the coming N. Test. kingdom.—ED.

[526] i.e. John I have likened to Elijah; but to whom shall I liken this generation?—ED.

[527] Moreover John is not called absolutely ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι, but Ἥλιας ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι.—V. g.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 11:15. Ὦτα ἀκούειν, ears to hear) Thus the LXX. in Deuteronomy 29:4; cf. Romans 11:8. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,” was a form of commanding attention peculiar to our Lord, and indicates, that the other things which might be said more expressly, are contained in those which have just been uttered.

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,
Matthew 11:16. Τὴν γενεὰν ταύτην, this generation) the evil men of this best[528] time.—ΠΑΙΔΑΡΊΟΙς,[529] children) Jesus compared not only the Jews, but also Himself and John, in different ways, to children, with a condescension, in His own case, most wonderful.—ἀγοραῖς, market-places) A large city has often many market-places. The preaching of John and Jesus was public.

[528] “Hujus optimi temporis”—so called because it was that of our Lord’s Ministry—(I. B.)

[529] The margin of both Editions, as also the Germ. Vers., seem to prefer παιδίοις.—E. B. So BCDZ. The παιδαρίοις of Rec. Text is not supported by the primary authorities.—ED.

And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
Matthew 11:17. Ηὐλήσαμεν, we have piped) i.e., played on the pipe. See Matthew 11:19.—ἐθρηνήσαμεν, we have mourned) See Matthew 11:18. An instance of Chiasmus.[530]

[530] See Explanation of Technical Terms in Appendix.—(I. B.)

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.
Matthew 11:18. Ἦλθε, came) A striking instance of Anaphora;[531] cf. Matthew 11:19.—ΜΉΤΕ ἘΣΘΊΩΝ, neither eating) John did not eat with others, nor even in the presence of others. His mode of life agreed with the character of his teaching, and so did that of Christ [with the character of HIS teaching.] Therefore the one is, as it were, implied by the other.—μήτε πίνων, nor drinking) See Luke 1:15.—λέγουσι, they say) The world disparages virtue, representing it as the extreme; it advocates the cause of vice, representing it as the mean.—δαιμόνἱον, a devil) in common parlance, a familiar spirit.—ἔχει, He has) A reproach common to the Jews, by which they denoted one who was mad, or silly, or proud. They who abstain from the society of men, easily incur this suspicion.

[531] See Append. The same word repeated in the beginnings of sentences or sections, in order to mark them.—ED.

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Matthew 11:19. Ἄνθρωπος φάγος, κ.τ.λ., a gluttonous man, etc.) They distinguish Him, as one out of many, by a distinction opposed to that mentioned in the preceding verse.—τῶν τέκνων, children) we have shown, in the Apparatus,[532] that τῶν ἔργωνworks—was anciently a widely received reading. Ambrose, on Luke 7:35, says:—“Therefore wisdom is justified of all her children.[533] It is well said ‘of all,’ because justice is observed towards all [i.e. in God’s dealings with all], so that the faithful may be accepted, the unfaithful rejected. Very many of the Greeks adopt the reading, ‘Wisdom is justified of all her works,’ because it is the work of justice to observe the due measure towards the merit of every single individual.” He, however, appears to mean the codices of St Matthew, not those of St Luke, for he is in the habit of recurring to them from time to time, although he is commenting on St Luke.[534]—ΑὐΤῆς[535]) Valla[536] thinks that this refers to γενεᾶς; but see Luke 7:35, where there are more remarks on the present passage. Cf. Luke 11:31. [No doubt Christ is the Wisdom meant. The children of Wisdom are those who suffer themselves to be gathered by her into her company. It is for this reason that Wisdom is blamed on the ground of too simple and ready indulgence towards such persons, and she is therefore thus compelled at last to justify herself. Luke 15:1-2, etc.—V. g.]

[532] In the Apparatus, p. 117, he says—

[533] The first sentence is not quoted by Bengel, but, on referring to the original. I considered the meaning so much plainer with it than without it, that I took the liberty of inserting it. The passage in Ambrose stands thus:—

[534] Luke, Luke 7:35, adds πάντων. B corrected later, reads, as the MSS. alluded to by Ambrose, τῶν ἔργων: so MSS. in Jerome, both Syriac and Memph. Versions. But Dac Vulg., Orig., Hil. and Rec. Text, read τέκνων.—ED.

[535] Gen. fem. sing, of αὐτὸς. E. V. renders it her, sc. Wisdom’s. Valla would render it of it, sc. of this generation.—(I. B.)

[536] LAURENTIUS VALLA, one of the most distinguished Latin scholars of the fifteenth century. Born in Rome about 1406; became Professor of Eloquence, first at Pavia, and afterwards at Milan; went to Rome in 1443, and became canon of St John the Lateran. Died 1457. He published, besides many other works, annotations on the N. T.—(I. B.)

Justificata est ergo Sapientia ab omnibus filiis suis. Bene ab omnibus, quia circa omnes justitia servatur; ut susceptio fiat fidelium rejectio perfidorum. Undeplerique Græci sic habent: Justificata est Sapientia ab omnibus operibus suis; quod opus justitiæ sit, circa unius cujuscunque meritum servare mensuram.”—(I. B.)

“19) τέκνων) operibus notat Hieronymus in Evangeliis quibusdam legi, in Comm. ad h. l. sic vero etiam Æth. Copt. Pers. Syr. Videtur Græcus librarius antiquissimus pro τῶν τέκνων in maxima literarum similitudine, legisse τῶν ἔργων. Quæ strictura docere nos possit, ex Græco Matthæi Evangelio deductum esse Evangelium Nazarenorum [an apocryphal gospel so called], quippe quod hoc loco sine dubio respexit Hieronymus. Eundem varietatem, ex Hieronymo, ut apparet, notavit Hafenrefferus in edit. suâ N. T.”—(I. B.)

Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
Matthew 11:20. Τότε ἤρξατο, then He began) He had not previously upbraided them. This upbraiding is the prelude to the Last Judgment. Every hearer of the New Testament is either much more blessed (v. 11) or much more miserable than them of old time.—δυνάμεις, mighty works) See Matthew 11:5. [Repentance and the knowledge of Jesus Christ are always conjoined.—V. g.]

Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Matthew 11:21. Οὐαὶ, woe) This interjection is not imprecatory, but enunciatory. See ch. Matthew 24:17. Its opposite is blessed. This should be observed everywhere.

Matthew 11:21; Matthew 11:23. Ὑμῖνσοὶ, you—thee) Two cities in the neighbourhood are compared with two mentioned in the Old Testament history, and one more miserable than the former is compared to one more miserable than the latter.—πάλαι, long ago) In that ancient time, in which it was more difficult to repent. See Acts 17:30. We must not say, “What doest thou?” Cf. Ezekiel 3:6.—ἐν σάκκῳ, in sackcloth) understand sitting, or some such word.

But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
Matthew 11:22. Ἀνεκτότερον, more tolerable) Because they were less impenitent, and would have repented, and have already been punished.—κρίσεως, judgment) The Judge will be the very same in whom they were then offended.

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Matthew 11:23. Καπερναοὺμ, Capernaum) This city had been more highly blessed than Chorazin and Bethsaida, but from its sin became more miserable. It is therefore compared with Sodom, not with Tyre and Sidon.—ἓως τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, even unto heaven) For the Lord from heaven had come to dwell there, and in bringing Himself, had brought heaven thither.[537]—ὑψωθεῖσα, exalted) In the sight of God, of Christ, and of the angels.—ᾅδου, hell) Which is lowest in the nature of things.—ἔμειναν ἄν, they would have remained) Instead of having been destroyed. Great is the effect of the conditional form.[538] The same verb occurs in John 21:22.

[537] For specimens of this exaltation, see John 2:12; John 4:47; Matthew 4:13 to Matthew 13:53; John 6:24; Matthew 17:24.—Harm., p. 301.

[538] For they, in that case, either would not have perpetrated the enormities which they did, or else would have repented of having committed them: in which case they would not have been destroyed, either then or subsequently.—V. g.

But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
Matthew 11:25. Ἀποκριθεὶς, answering) Sc. to those things which He was considering concerning His Father’s design, His own thoughts, and the character of His disciples.[539]—ἐξομολογοῦμαι, I praise) Nothing can be predicated with praise of God,[540] which is not so in fact: תּודה, praise,[541] is predication.[542] Jesus returned thanks to His Father afterwards in the same words, when the seventy disciples had well performed the work which He had appointed them.—Πάτερ, Κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, Father, Lord of heaven and earth) He is frequently called the Father of Jesus Christ, sometimes also His God; never His Lord, but the Lord of heaven and earth. Let us learn, from the example of Jesus Christ, to apply to God those titles which are suitable to the subject of our prayers. The Jews also forbid to cumulate divine titles in prayers. The address in this passage is indeed most magnificent.—ὅτι ἀπέκρυψαςκαὶ ἀπεκάλυψας, κ.τ.λ., because Thou hast hid—and revealed, etc.) A double ground of praise. For ἀπέκρυψας, Thou hast kept concealed, cf. Matthew 11:27; for ἀπεκάλυψας, Thou hast revealed, cf. again Matthew 11:27, at the end.—ταῦτα, these things) Concerning the Father and the Son, concerning the kingdom of heaven.—σοφῶν, the wise) i.e. those who arrogate to themselves the character of wisdom.[543]—συνετῶν, prudent) i.e. those who arrogate to themselves the character of prudence.[544] Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:19.—ἀπεκάλυψας, Thou hast revealed) See ch. Matthew 16:17.—νηπίοις, to infants) Such as the twelve apostles and seventy disciples were: See Luke 10:21; they were very young, for they bore witness for a long time afterwards. They were infants, as being ready to believe and simple-minded; see Matthew 18:3.

[539] He uttered the words which follow with an exulting spirit.—V. g.

[540] The word used by Bengel is “Confiteor,” which occurs in the Vulgate, both here and in 1 Chronicles 16:35 with the same sense. That such is his meaning, is clear from his employing in his German Version the phrase, Ich preise Dick, which, when applied to God, signifies “I PRAISE or MAGNIFY Thee.” Bengel employs the word “Confiteor” in preference to any other, because, like the Greek ἐξομολογοῦμαι, it signifies both generically, with an accusative, to confess, acknowledge, proclaim, etc., and specifically, with a dative, to laud, praise, or magnify [GOD].—See Riddle and Schleusner in voce.—E. V. renders ἐξομολογοῦμαι, I thank.—(I. B.)

[541] The word used by Bengel is “Confessio,” which he employs with direct reference to his previous “Confiteor,” on which see preceding footnote.

[542] And conversely, therefore, Predication is Praise. They are the two sides of an eternal and immutable equation. Much to the same effect, Bengel says elsewhere (ch. Matthew 6:9), “Deus est sanctus, i.e., Deus sanctificatur ergo, quando ita, ut est, agnoscitur et colitur et celebratur.” Consequently, in confessing, acknowledging, and proclaiming, or in any other mode PREDICATING the truth cuncerning GOD (and not otherwise), we PRAISE Him.—(I. B.)

[543] Beng. attributes to the σοφοὶ the “habitus noëticus;” to the συνετοὶ, the “habitus dianoëticus;” the same difference as between νοῦς and διάνοια, mind and discriminative intelligence or discernment.—Ed.

[544] Beng. attributes to the σοφοὶ the “habitus noëticus;” to the συνετοὶ, the “habitus dianoëticus;” the same difference as between νοῦς and διάνοια, mind and discriminative intelligence or discernment.—Ed.

On the meaning of תּי̇דָה, Gesenius says:—(1.) Confession, Joshua 7:19; Ezra 10:11. (2.) Thanksgiving, Psalm 26:7; Psalm 42:5. זָבַח תּו̇דָה to offer praise to God (for a sacrifice), Psalm 50:14; Psalm 50:23; Psalm 107:22; Psalm 116:17 (where the phrase is not to be taken as though proper sacrifices were spoken of). זֶבַח תּו̇דָה, Leviticus 22:29; זֶבַח תּיֹדַת הַשְׁלָמִים Leviticus 7:13; Leviticus 7:15, comp. 12, and ellipt. תּו̇דָה, a sacrifice of thanksgiving, Psalm 56:13. (3.) A choir of givers of thanks, praising God. Nehemiah 12:31; Nehemiah 12:38; Nehemiah 12:40.—(I. B.)

Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Matthew 11:26. Ναὶ, yea) Even so. Jesus assents to the good pleasure of the Father. “Even so, oh Father!” is an epitome of filial confession.—ὁ πατήρ is in this passage more significant than πάτερ would have been.[545]—εὐδοκία ἔμπροσθέν Σου, well-pleasing in Thy sight[546]) The will and the intellect of God put forth His decrees. His good pleasure is the highest limit, beyond which we are not permitted to go, in examining the causes of the Divine decrees. Thus presently, concerning the Son, we find the expression, βούληται, may will, Lat. voluerit.

[545] The latter, a simple vocative; the former, in form, a nominative with the article prefixed, in effect, an emphatic vocative of a peculiar character, similar to the analogous ὁ Θεὸς.—(I. B.)

[546] In the original, “Beneplacitum coram Te.” It is difficult to render Beneplacitum in this place so as to show its intimate connection, or rather identity, with “Beneplacitum” a few lines below, where I have rendered it, as elsewhere, good pleasure.—(I. B.)

“Thou, who art the Father” (par excellence).—Ed.

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
Matthew 11:27. Πάντα, all things) Here our Lord changes the direction of His words, and accosts His human auditors. After His resurrection, He more expressly said that all things in heaven and in earth were delivered to Him; see ch. Matthew 28:18; but in the present passage the same truth is implied; cf. Matthew 11:25. All things are delivered unto Him; also the authority to reveal them. All things are delivered unto Him; and therefore all men. See John 13:3; John 17:2; 1 Corinthians 15:25; 1 Corinthians 15:27.—παρεδόθη, have been delivered) The Father reserved nothing for Himself which He did not give to the Son. Cf. John 13:3; Matthew 28:18. The intimate relation of the Father and the Son is implied in Matthew 11:25-27, John 6:39-40, and so throughout the Apocalypse. See my exposition of the Apocalypse, p. 65.—οὐδεὶςοὐδὲ, no one—neither) On the order of the words, cf. John 8:19.—εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ, except the Father) He does not add, “and he to whomsoever the Father chooses to reveal Him,” because He has said that in Matthew 11:25, and here He is teaching us what the Father has delivered to Him. The Holy Spirit is not excluded; He is not, however, mentioned here, because His office was not as yet so well known to men.—βούληται, may will) shall choose. To whom, however, He wishes to do so, is clear from the following verse.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28. Δεῦτε, come ye) sc. immediately.—See Gnomon on ch. Matthew 4:19.—πρός Με, unto Me) Since the Pharisees, and even John himself, cannot satisfy you.—πάντες, all) Let not the limitation in Matthew 11:27 deter you.—οἱ κοπιῶντες, that labour) Refer to this ζυγὸν and ζυγὸς, yoke, in Matthew 11:29-30.—πεφορτισμένοι, heavy laden) To this should be referred μάθετε, learn, in Matthew 11:29, and φορτίον, burden, in Matthew 11:30. The Hebrew משא signifies a burden, i.e., doctrine, discipline.—κᾀγὼ, and I) Though you have sought elsewhere in vain, you will find it with Me, Matthew 11:29.—ἀναπαύσω, I will make you rest) This is explained in the next verse.—ὄτι, κ.τ.λ., because, etc.) “I will make you rest,” and “ye shall find rest,” are correlative.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Matthew 11:29. Ἄρατε, take ye) To take the yoke of Christ upon us, is to give oneself up wholly to His discipline.—ὅτι, κ.τ.λ., because, etc.) Hence it appears why we should willingly learn from Jesus. Our meekness and lowliness are consequent upon our so doing.—πρᾶός εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς, κ.τ.λ., I am meek and lowly, etc.) Although His language is fearful in Matthew 11:20; Matthew 11:24. Meekness produces easiness of yoke; lowliness of heart, lightness of burden. The Pharisees were austere and proud. Condescension (Demissio) is a much to be admired virtue of God, which is described as fully as possible, although it is not named in Scripture, by one word; whose likeness, humility, is found in the saints; whose opposite, pride, in Satan and the wicked. For it is condescension, that that highest Majesty should have deigned at all to make creatures, and especially men, however contemptible, however mean, and to look on them without disdain, and to unite them to Itself. And the Son of God in a most conspicuous manner manifested His humility in our flesh.—See Psalm 34:7; Psalm 113:6; Luke 1:48; Luke 1:52-53; Luke 12:37; Luke 22:27; John 12:26; John 13:14; Php 2:8; Hebrews 11:16.—τῇ καρδίᾳ, in heart) Lowly does not by itself express a quality of the heart, which meek does; therefore in heart refers rather to lowly than to meek. The word καρδίᾳ completes the expression: see Romans 2:5.—καὶ, and) καὶ is introduced as in κἀγὼ, and I, in Matthew 11:28. Thus the LXX. in Jeremiah 6:16, καὶ εὑρήσετε ἀγνισμὸν ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν and ye shall find purification[547] for your souls. Rest flows from the heart of Christ into our souls; see Matthew 11:29.—εὑρήσετε ἀνάπαυσιν, ye shall find rest) as yet unknown to you, but sought for and desired.

[547] In E. V. it is, “And ye shall find rest unto your souls.”—(I. B.)

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:30. Ζυγός Μου, My yoke) In one point of view, Scripture speaks of the cross, in another of the yoke of the godly, see ch. Matthew 10:38.—χρηστὸς, easy) for I am meek.—ἐλαφρὸν, light) for I am lowly.

Gnomon of the New Testament by Johann Bengel

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