Matthew 11:25
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Answered and said.—The phrase is more or less a Hebraism, implying that the words rose out of some unrecorded occasion. St. Luke connects them (Luke 10:17-24) with the return of the Seventy; but as their mission is not recorded by St. Matthew, it seems reasonable to connect them, as here recorded, with the return of the Twelve, and their report of their work (Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10). Their presence, it may be noted, is implied in the narrative with which the next chapter opens. The words, however, were probably repeated as analogous occasions called for them.

I thank thee.—Literally, I confess unto Theei.e., “acknowledge with praise and thanksgiving.” The abruptness with which the words come in points to the fragmentary character of the record which St. Matthew incorporates with his Gospel. The context in St. Luke implies a reference to the truths of the kingdom which the disciples had proclaimed, and makes special mention of the joy which thus expressed itself. The two grounds of that joy are inseparably linked together. The “wise and prudent” (comp. the union of the same words in 1Corinthians 1:19) were the scribes and Pharisees, wise in their conceit, seeking men’s praise rather than truth as truth, and therefore shut out from the knowledge that requires above all things sincerity of purpose. The “babes” were the disciples who had received the kingdom in the spirit of a little child, child-like, and sometimes even childish, in their thoughts of it, but who, being in earnest and simple-hearted, were brought under the training which was to make them as true scribes for the kingdom of heaven. He, their Lord, taught them as they were able to bear it, giving (to use St. Paul’s familiar image) the milk that belonged to babes (1Corinthians 3:2); but beyond His personal teaching there were the flashes of intuition by which (as, conspicuously, in the case of Peter’s confession, Matthew 16:17) new truths were suddenly disclosed to them, or old truths seen with increasing clearness.

Matthew 11:25-26. At that time Jesus answered, &c. — This word does not always imply that something had been spoken, to which an answer is now made. It often means no more than the speaking in reference to some action or circumstance preceding. The following words Christ speaks in reference to the case of the cities above mentioned: I thank thee — That is, I acknowledge and joyfully adore the justice and mercy of thy dispensations. The original word, εξομολογουμαι, sometimes denotes to confess sins, sometimes to acknowledge favours, and sometimes also to adore or celebrate. It is chiefly in the last of these senses that the word is to be here understood. Because thou hast hid — That is because thou hast suffered these things to be hid from men, who are in other respects wise and prudent, while thou hast discovered them to those of the weakest understanding, to them who are only wise to God-ward. We have the same idiom, Romans 6:17, God be thanked that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed, &c. — The thanks are not given for their having been formerly the servants of sin, but for their being then obedient. “It seems they were but a few, and those generally the lower sort of people, who embraced Christ’s doctrine, and co-operated with him in erecting his kingdom; nor was his religion soon to meet with a better reception in the other countries where it was to be preached; circumstances which, in the eyes of common wisdom, were melancholy and mortifying. But our Lord foresaw that, by the direction of God, these very circumstances would become the noblest demonstrations of his personal dignity, the clearest proofs of the excellence of his religion, and the most stupendous instances of his power, who, by such weak instruments, established his dominion in every part of the habitable world, against the policy, the power, and the malice of devils and men combined to oppose it. Our Lord, therefore, properly made the rejection of the gospel by the great men of the nation, and the reception of it by persons in lower stations, the matter of a special thanksgiving, both now and afterward in Judea, Luke 10:21. Νηπιοι, babes, in Scripture language, are persons whose faculties are not improved by learning, but who, to that sagacity and understanding which is purely natural, join the dispositions of modesty, sincerity, humility, docility, and all the other engaging qualities that are to be found in children. This is plain from Matthew 18:3. Babes, therefore, stand in opposition, not to men of sound judgment and reason, but to proud politicians and men of learning, who are so full of themselves that they disdain to receive instruction from others, and who make all their abilities subservient to their advancement in this world.” — Macknight.

11:25-30 It becomes children to be grateful. When we come to God as a Father, we must remember that he is Lord of heaven and earth, which obliges us to come to him with reverence as to the sovereign Lord of all; yet with confidence, as one able to defend us from evil, and to supply us with all good. Our blessed Lord added a remarkable declaration, that the Father had delivered into his hands all power, authority, and judgment. We are indebted to Christ for all the revelation we have of God the Father's will and love, ever since Adam sinned. Our Saviour has invited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him. In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselves with fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and the sensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan and his own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labour to establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. The convinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and the tempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christ invites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alone gives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling their guilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, they seek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest of weary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This is the gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus come will receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfort in their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke, and submit to his authority. They must learn of him all things, as to their comfort and obedience. He accepts the willing servant, however imperfect the services. Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest. The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Such is the Redeemer's mercy; and why should the labouring and burdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let us come to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, from sin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. But forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, while the heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest for your souls.From the wise and prudent - That is, from those who "thought" themselves wise - "wise" according to the world's estimation of wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:26-27.

Hast revealed them unto babes - To the poor, the ignorant, and the obscure; the teachable, the simple, the humble. By the wise and prudent here he had reference probably to the proud and haughty scribes and Pharisees in Capernaum. They rejected his gospel, but it was the pleasure of God to reveal it to obscure and more humble people. The reason given, the only satisfactory reason, is, that it so seemed good in the sight of God. In this the Saviour acquiesced, saying, "Even so, Father;" and in the dealings of God it is proper that all should acquiesce. "Such is the will of God" is often the only explanation which can be offered in regard to the various events which happen to us on earth. "Such is the will of God" is the only account which can be given of the reason of the dispensations of his grace. Our understanding is often confounded. We are unsuccessful in all our efforts at explanation. Our philosophy fails, and all that we can say is, "Even so, Father; for so it seems good to thee." And this is enough. That God does a thing, is, after all, the best reason which we "can" have that it is right. It is a "security" that nothing wrong is done; and though now mysterious, yet light will hereafter shine upon it like the light of noonday. I have more certainty that a thing is right if I can say that I know such is the will of God, than I could have by depending on my own reason. In the one case I confide in the infallible and most perfect God; in the other I rely on the reason of a frail and erring man. God never errs; but nothing is more common than for people to err.

25. At that time Jesus answered and said—We are not to understand by this, that the previous discourse had been concluded, and that this is a record only of something said about the same period. For the connection is most close, and the word "answered"—which, when there is no one to answer, refers to something just before said, or rising in the mind of the speaker in consequence of something said—confirms this. What Jesus here "answered" evidently was the melancholy results of His ministry, lamented over in the foregoing verses. It is as if He had said, "Yes; but there is a brighter side to the picture; even in those who have rejected the message of eternal life, it is the pride of their own hearts only which has blinded them, and the glory of the truth does but the more appear in their inability to receive it. Nor have all rejected it even here; souls thirsting for salvation have drawn water with joy from the wells of salvation; the weary have found rest; the hungry have been filled with good things, while the rich have been sent empty away."

I thank thee—rather, "I assent to thee." But this is not strong enough. The idea of "full" or "cordial" concurrence is conveyed by the preposition. The thing expressed is adoring acquiescence, holy satisfaction with that law of the divine procedure about to be mentioned. And as, when He afterwards uttered the same words, He "exulted in spirit" (see on [1264]Lu 10:21), probably He did the same now, though not recorded.

O Father, Lord of heaven and earth—He so styles His Father here, to signify that from Him of right emanates all such high arrangements.

because thou hast hid these things—the knowledge of these saving truths.

from the wise and prudent—The former of these terms points to the men who pride themselves upon their speculative or philosophical attainments; the latter to the men of worldly shrewdness—the clever, the sharp-witted, the men of affairs. The distinction is a natural one, and was well understood. (See 1Co 1:19, &c.). But why had the Father hid from such the things that belonged to their peace, and why did Jesus so emphatically set His seal to this arrangement? Because it is not for the offending and revolted to speak or to speculate, but to listen to Him from whom we have broken loose, that we may learn whether there be any recovery for us at all; and if there be, on what principles—of what nature—to what ends. To bring our own "wisdom and prudence" to such questions is impertinent and presumptuous; and if the truth regarding them, or the glory of it, be "hid" from us, it is but a fitting retribution, to which all the right-minded will set their seal along with Jesus.

hast revealed them unto babes—to babe-like men; men of unassuming docility, men who, conscious that they know nothing, and have no right to sit in judgment on the things that belong to their peace, determine simply to "hear what God the Lord will speak." Such are well called "babes." (See Heb 5:13; 1Co 13:11; 14:20, &c.).

See Poole on "Matthew 11:26".

At that time Jesus answered, and said,.... The time referred to is, when the disciples returned to him, and gave him an account of the success of their ministry, Luke 10:17 who say nothing of the conversion of sinners, but of the spirits being subject to them; and may also refer to the several things spoken of in the context: it was at that time when Christ spoke to the multitude about John, and the excellency of his ministry, which yet was ineffectual to great numbers, who for a while attended on it; and when he took notice to the people, how he himself, as well as John, was rejected and vilified by the Pharisees, and received by publicans and sinners; and when he upbraided Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, for their impenitence and unbelief: taking occasion from hence, he "answered and said"; an Hebrew way of speaking, used when nothing goes before, to which what is said can be an answer; see Job 3:2.

I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth. This is an address to God, by way of thanksgiving; glorifying and praising him, confessing and acknowledging his wisdom, power, grace, and goodness, discovered in the things he after mentions: so far was he from being discouraged and dejected at the poor success of the Seventy: at his ill treatment by the Pharisees; and at the general impenitence and unbelief of the cities, where he preached and wrought his miracles; that he is abundantly thankful, and admires the distinguishing grace of God in the calling of a few in those places. This address is made to God as a "Father", as his Father, his own Father; for he was the only begotten of him, and dearly beloved by him: this epithet he makes use of, to show the near relation he stood in to him, and the freedom he could use with him: he also addresses him as "the Lord of heaven and earth"; he being the maker, upholder, and governor of both, and which he fills with his presence; the one is his throne, and the other is his footstool. This he mentions to show the sovereignty of his Father, in the conversion of men; and that it was not for want of power in him, that there were no more wrought upon under the ministry of John, himself, and his disciples. The things he expresses his thankfulness for, follow;

because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent. The "things" he means are the doctrines of the Gospel; such as respect himself, his person, as God, and the Son of God; his office, as Messiah, Redeemer, and Saviour; and the blessings of grace, righteousness, and salvation by him. The persons from whom these things were hid, are "the wise and prudent"; in things worldly, natural, and civil; men of great parts and learning, of a large compass of knowledge, having a considerable share of sagacity, penetration, and wisdom; or, at least, who were wise and prudent in their own conceits, as were the Scribes and Pharisees, and the schools of Hillell and Shammai, the two famous doctors of that day: and indeed the people of the Jews in common were so; who thus applaud themselves at the eating of the passover every year, and say, , "we are all wise, we are all prudent, we all understand the law" (s); the same is elsewhere (t) said of all Israel; in their opinion they were so, yet the things of the Gospel are hidden from them. God may be said to "hide" these things, when either he does not afford the outward revelation of the Gospel; or, if he does, it is given forth in parables, or he does not give along with it the light of his Spirit and grace, but leaves men to their own darkness and blindness; so that they cannot see, perceive, and understand the beauty, glory, excellency, and suitableness of the doctrines of it. Now, when Christ confesses this, or gives thanks to God for it, it is a declaration that God has done so, and denotes his acquiescence in it; and is not properly a thanksgiving for that; but rather, that forasmuch as he has thought fit, in his infinite wisdom, to take such a method, he has been pleased to make a revelation of these things to others;

and hast revealed them unto babes; foolish ones, comparatively speaking, who have not those natural parts, learning, and knowledge others have, that wisdom and prudence in worldly and civil things; and are so in their own account, and in the esteem of the world; and who are as babes, helpless, defenceless, and impotent of themselves, to do or say anything that is spiritually good, and are sensible of the same: now to such souls God reveals the covenant of his grace, Christ, and all the blessings of grace in him, the mysteries of the Gospel, and the unseen glories of another world. The veil of darkness and ignorance is removed from them; spiritual sight is given them; these things are set before them; they see a glory and suitableness in them; their desires are raised after them; their affections are set on them; their hearts are impressed with them; and they are helped to view their interest in them. The Jews themselves have a notion, that in the days of the Messiah, children and babes shall have knowledge of divine things.

"Says Simeon ben Jochai (u), it is not the pleasure of God that wisdom should be so revealed to the world; but when it is near the days of the Messiah, even , "little children", or the "babes that are in the world", shall find out the hidden things of wisdom, and know thereby the ends, and the computations of times; and at that time it shall be revealed to all:''

and there is more truth in what they own elsewhere (w), than they themselves are aware of, when they say, that

"from the day that the temple was destroyed, prophecy has been taken away from the prophets, and given "to fools and babes".''

(s) Haggada Shel Pesach, p. 5. Ed. Ritangel. (t) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 135. 1.((u) Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 1.((w) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 12. 2.

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 {g} revealed them unto babes.

(g) Through the ministry of Christ, who alone shows the truth of all things pertaining to God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 11:25. Ἀποκρ. means, like עָנָה, to take up speech, and that in connection with some given occasion, to which what is said is understood to refer by way of rejoinder. Comp. Matthew 22:1, Matthew 28:5; John 2:18; John 5:17, al. However, the occasion in this instance is not stated. According to Luke 10:21 (Strauss, Ebrard, Bleek, Holtzmann), it was the return of the Seventy, of whom, however, there is no mention in Matthew. Ewald, Weissenborn, and older expositors find it in the return of the apostles. See Mark 6:12; Mark 6:30; Luke 9:6; Luke 9:10. This is the most probable view. Luke has transferred the historical connection of the prayer to the account of the Seventy, which is peculiar to that evangelist; while in Matthew 12:1, Matthew assumes that the Twelve have already returned. The want of precision in Matthew’s account, which in Matthew 10:5 expressly records the sending out of the Twelve, but says nothing of their return, is, of course, a defect in his narrative; but for this reason we should hesitate all the more to regard it as an evidence that we have here only an interpolation (Hilgenfeld) of this “pearl of the sayings of Jesus” (Keim), which is one of the purest and most genuine, one of Johannean splendour (John 8:19; John 10:15; John 14:9; John 16:15).

For ἐξομολογ. with dative, meaning to praise, comp. on Romans 14:11; Sir 51:1.

ταῦτα] what? the imperfect narrative does not say what things, for it introduces this thanksgiving from the collection of our Lord’s sayings, without hinting why it does so. But from the contents of the prayer, as well as from its supposed occasion,—viz. the return of the Twelve with their cheering report,—it may be inferred that Jesus is alluding to matters connected with the Messianic kingdom which He had communicated to the disciples (Matthew 13:11), matters in the proclaiming of which they had been labouring, and at the same time been exercising the miraculous powers conferred upon them.

The σοφοί and συνετοί are the wise and intelligent generally (1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 3:10), but used with special reference to the scribes and Pharisees, who, according to their own opinion and that of the people (John 9:40), were pre-eminently so. The novices (פְּתָאִים), the disciples, who are unversed in the scholastic wisdom of the Jews. Comp. on this subject, 1 Corinthians 1:26 ff. Yet on this occasion we must not suppose the reference to be to the simple and unsophisticated masses (Keim), which is not in keeping with Matthew 11:27, nor with the idea of ἀποκάλυψις (comp. Matthew 16:17) generally, as found in this connection; the contrast applies to two classes of teachers, the one wise and prudent, independently of divine revelation, the others mere novices in point of learning, but yet recipients of that revelation.

Observe, further, how the subject of thanksgiving does not lie merely in ἀπεκάλυψ. αὐτὰ νηπίοις, but in the two,—the ἀπέκρυψας etc., and the ἀπεκάλυψας, etc., being inseparably combined. Both together are the two sides of the one method of proceeding on the part of His all-ruling Father, of the necessity of which Christ was well aware (John 9:39).

Matthew 11:25-27. Jesus worshipping (Luke 10:21-22). It is usual to call this golden utterance a prayer, but it is at once prayer, praise, and self-communing in a devout spirit. The occasion is unknown. Matthew gives it in close connection with the complaint against the cities (ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ), but Luke sets it in still closer connection (ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ) with the return of the Seventy. According to some modern critics, it had no occasion at all in the life of our Lord, but is simply a composition of Luke’s, and borrowed from him by the author of Matthew: a hymn in which the Pauline mission to the heathen as the victory of Christ over Satan’s dominion in the world is celebrated, and given in connection with the imaginary mission of the Seventy (vide Pfleiderer, Urchristenthum, p. 445). But Luke’s preface justifies the belief that he had here, as throughout, a tradition oral or written to go on, and the probability is that it was taken both by him and by Matthew from a common document. Wendt (L. J., pp. 90, 91) gives it as an extract from the book of Logia, and supposes that it followed a report of the return of the disciples (the Twelve) from their mission.

25. answered and said] A Hebraism=“spake and said.”

prudent] Rather, intelligent, acute. The secrets of the kingdom are not revealed to those who are wise in their own conceit, but to those who have the meekness of infants and the child-like eagerness for knowledge. In a special Jewish sense “the wise and prudent” are the Scribes and Pharisees.

25–27. The revelation to “Babes.”

St Luke 10:21-22, where the words are spoken on the return of the Seventy.

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.)

Verses 25-27. - Parallel passage: Luke 10:21, 22, where the verses are recorded immediately after the return of the seventy. We know no other occasion which would be so likely to evoke this utterance. Although it is just possible that the seventy returned when our Lord was addressing the people in the manner related in the preceding verses of this chapter, it seems much more likely that a sense of a moral and not of a temporal connexion guided St. Matthew in his arrangement. What is true in a time of success (Luke 10:17, 18) is equally true in a time of failure (vers. 20-24). Observe the difference in the style of ver. 27 (Luke 10:22) from that of vers. 25, 26, suggesting the use of another, apparently Johannine, source. But this must have been added before either St. Matthew or St. Luke incorporated the passage. Observe that the comparatively early date thus indicated for Johannine phraseology suggests that the language and form of the Fourth Gospel underwent a long process of development before St. John completed his work. Verse 25. - At that time; season (Revised Version); ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ. St. Luke's phrase ("in that very hour," ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ) is more precise, definitely connecting the utterance with the return of the seventy. St. Matthew's refers rather to that stage or period in his ministry (cf. Matthew 12:1; Matthew 14:1). Jesus answered. Only in Matthew. If we could suppose this to be the original context of the passage, the" answer" would probably refer to some expression of astonishment or complaint at his solemn statement in vers. 20-24. Professor Marshall's derivation of both "answered" and "rejoiced" (Luke) from a common Aramaic original (Expositor, April, 1891) appears very strained. And said, I thank thee; better, as the Revised Version margin, praise (ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι). There is no thought of gratitude, but of publicity in assent (Luke 22:6), in confession (Matthew 3:6) and in acknowledgment (Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:11), and thus of praise (Joshua 7:19; Ezra 10:11 (Lucian); 2 Chronicles 30:22; Romans 15:9). It implies a profession of personal acceptance by Christ of God's methods. "I profess to thee my entire and joyful acquiescence in what thou doest." Hence St. Luke introduces the utterance by ἠγαλλάσατο, adding τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ, thus giving us a glimpse of the unity of purpose and feeling inherent in the Trinity, even during the time that the Word "tabernacled among us." O Father. Father occurs in Matthew 6:9; Matthew 26:39; Luke 23:34, 46; John 11:41; John 12:27; John 17:1; in fact, in all the recorded prayers of our Lord except Matthew 27:46, which is a quotation, and where the phrase, "My God, my God," emphasizes his sense of desolation. The word expresses perfect relationship and intimate communion. It points to the trust, the love, and the obedience of Christ, and to the depth of natural affection and confidence (if we may say so) between him and the First Person of the Trinity. It suggests mercies in the past, care in the present, and provision for the future. Lord of heaven and earth. Acts 17:24, by St. Paul, who may have derived it from these words of our Lord (Resch, ' Agmpha,' p. 150), or perhaps from Psalm 146:6 or Isaiah 42:5. As "Father" was the note of personal relationship, so is this of sovereign majesty. Christ unites the thought of God's love to himself with that of his ownership of all creation, thus paving the way for the main subject of the prayer - his Father's method of dealing with men of various kinds and tempers. Because; that (Revised Version), perhaps as more idiomatic with "thank." But ὅτι here gives, not the contents of the "thanksgiving," but the reason for it. Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. The laws by which religious impressions are received, whether ultimately for good or for evil (2 Corinthians 2:15, 16; John 9:39), are here attributed to God. Observe that the sentence is not a kind of hendiadys, but that Christ accepts his Father's action in both directions. The one is the subject of his entire acquiescence as much as the other. Hast hid... hast revealed. The aorists (cf. ver. 19, note) may be understood here as either

(1) describing what took place in each case, or

(2) regarding God's action as a whole from the standpoint of the hereafter (cf. Romans 8:29, 30). These things. The truths respecting Christ's teaching and work. In this context the reference would be to the general contents of vers. 2-24. From the wise and prudent; i.e. as such (there is no article). For mental excellence and intelligence (vide infra)in themselves cannot grasp spiritual truths, but are, on the contrary, often means by which the veil between man and God is made thicker. On the difference between "wise" (σοφοί) and "prudent" (συνετοί, understanding, Revised Version), see Bishop Lightfoot, on Colossians 1:9. (For the general truth, cf. Job 37:24; 1 Corinthians 1:19-27.) And hast revealed them (Matthew 13:11, note); for even the most guileless heart has no power to see spiritual truths unless God draws back the veil. Unto babes (νηπίοις). The thought is of their helplessness and dependence. In comparison with the Pharisees and scribes, all our Lord's disciples were little more (cf. Matthew 11:16).

Matthew 11:26 Verse 26. - Even so; yea (Revised Version); ναί. A renewed acceptance of the immediately preceding facts. Father. In ver. 25, Πάτερ: here, ὁ Πατήρ. There the term referred more directly to God as his own Father; here to him as Father of all, notwithstanding the methods he used. For. Giving the reason of Christ's acceptance. That (Revised Version margin) would make this clause closely dependent on the preceding. But this seems unnatural. So; i.e. in this double method. It seemed good (it was well-pleasing, Revised Version) in thy sight (εὐδοκία ἐγένετο); literally, it was good pleasure before thee - an Aramaism equivalent to "it was thy will" (compare the Targum of Judges 13:23; 1 Samuel 12:22 [רעוא קדם יו]; see also Matthew 18:14). The phrase implies, not merely that it seemed good to God, but that, in a sense, it was his pleasure. For the workings out of the laws of truth must give pleasure to the God of truth. (On the aorist ἐγένετο, see ver. 25, note.)

Matthew 11:27 Verse 27. - All things. Not in the widest sense, for this would forestall ch. 28:18 but all things that are required for my work of manifesting the truth. The utterance is thus both closely parallel to John 8:28, and also in most intimate connexion with the preceding verses. God's twofold action in hiding the truth from some and revealing it to others is, our Lord says, all of a piece with my whole work. This is all arranged by my Father, and the knowledge of God by any man is no chance matter. Are delivered unto me; have been delivered (Revised Version); rather, were delivered (παρεδόθη). Here also it is possible to interpret the aorist from the standpoint of the hereafter (ver. 25, note); but, as it is immediately followed by the present tense, it more probably refers to some time earlier than that at which our Lord was speaking. The time of his entrance on the world naturally suggests itself. Observe when bringing out his dependence upon his Father, our Lord lays stress on the notion of transmission (παρεδόθη); but in Matthew 28:18, where he is bringing out his post-resurrection greatness (Philippians 2:9), he merely mentions his authority as an absolute gift (ἐδόθη). Notice the contrast implied in παρεδόθη to the Jewish παράδοσις. The Pharisees boasted that their tradition came from God, though through many hands; Christ claimed to have received his from God himself. Of (ὑπό). For the transmission was immediate; there were no links between the Giver and the Receiver (cf. Bishop Lightfoot, on Galatians 1:12). My Father; me... my. Observe the double claim; his unique position as Teacher is due to his unique relation by nature. And no man knoweth; i.e. with a gradual, but at last complete, perception (ἐπιγινώσκει). In the Gospels this word is used of the knowledge of God and of Christ in this verse alone, though such a reference is especially suited to its meaning of perfection of know. ledge (cf. Bishop Lightfoot, Colossians 1:9). The Son. Not "me," because Christ wished to bring out more clearly his unique relation to God, and thus to emphasize the impossibility of any one, even an advanced disciple, fully knowing him. But the Father. Not "his Father." It may be that Christ wishes to include the suggestion that after all there is a sense in which his Father is the Father of all men, but more probably, by making ὁ πατήρ completely parallel to ὁ υἱός, he wishes to suggest that the full idea of Sonship and Fatherhood is nowhere else so fully satisfied. Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. The connexion is - You may think this (i.e. ver. 25) strange, but I alone have that knowledge of God which enables me to understand his ways; I alone, yet others also, if I reveal him to them. As St. Luke expressed it in his form of our ver. 19, "Wisdom is justified of her children" (comp. also John 14:9). To whomsoever. Though but a babe (ver. 25). Will reveal; willeth to reveal (Revised Version); βούληται... ἀποκαλύψαι. Not "is commanded," for Christ claims equality (see Chrysostom). Notice the idea of plan and deliberation, and not that of mere desire, unable, perhaps, to assign a reason for its existence (θέλω); cf. Philemon 1:13, 14. Matthew 11:25Answered

In reply to something which is not stated.

I thank (ἐξομολογοῦμαι)

Compare Matthew 3:6, of confessing sins. Lit., I confess. I recognize the justice and wisdom of thy doings. But with the dative, as here (σοι, to thee), it means to praise, with an undercurrent of acknowledgment; to confess only in later Greek, and with an accusative of the object. Rev. gives praise in the margin here, and at Romans 14:11. Tynd., Ipraise.

Prudent (συνετῶν)

Rev., understanding; Wyc., wary. From the verb συνίημι, to bring together, and denoting that peculiarity of mind which brings the simple features of an object into a whole. Hence comprehension, insight. Compare on Mark 12:33, understanding (συνέσεως). Wise (σοφῶν) and understanding are often joined, as here. The general distinction is between productive and reflective wisdom, but the distinction is not always recognized by the writer.

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