Matthew 26:64
Jesus said to him, You have said: nevertheless I say to you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(64) Thou hast said.—The silence was broken as they expected. He was indeed what the words they had uttered implied. More than this, He was also the Son of Man of Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:13), the Head of an everlasting kingdom. No words in the whole Gospel records are more decisive against the views of those who would fain see in our Lord only a great moral teacher, like Socrates or Cakya Mouni. At the very crisis of His history, when denial would have saved His life. He asserts His claim to be much more than this, to be all that the most devout Christians have ever believed Him to be. At such a moment, when men stand face to face with seeming failure and with death, dreams and delusive claims for the most part melt away. Here claims that men have presumed to think of as delusive were strengthened and intensified, and reproduced as in the calmness of assured conviction.

The right hand of power.—The Greek article here can hardly be reproduced in English, but it is well to remember that our Lord speaks of “the power,” that which belonged pre-eminently to the Eternal.

26:57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.Thou hast said - This is a form of assenting or affirming. Thou hast said the truth; or, as Luke Luk 22:70 has it, "Ye say that I am." This was not, however, said "immediately." Before Jesus acknowledged himself to be the Messiah, he said to them Luke 22:67-68, "If I tell you ye will not believe, and if I also ask you" - that is, propose the proofs of my mission, and require you to give your opinion of them "ye will not answer me, nor let me go."

Nevertheless - This word should have been translated: "moreover or furthermore." What follows is designed to explain and give confirmation to what he had said.

Sitting on the right hand of power - That is, of God, called here the Power - equivalent to "the Mighty, or the Almighty." It denotes dignity and majesty; for to sit at the right hand of a prince was the chief place of honor. See the notes at Matthew 20:21.

Coming in the clouds of heaven - See the notes at Matthew 24; 25. The meaning of this is, You shall see "the sign from heaven" which you have so often demanded; even the Messiah returning himself "as the sign," with great glory, to destroy your city and to judge the world.

Mt 26:57-75. Jesus Arraigned before the Sanhedrim Condemned to Die, and Shamefully Entreated—The Denial of Peter. ( = Mr 14:53-72; Lu 22:54-71; Joh 18:13-18, 24-27).

For the exposition, see on [1366]Mr 14:53-72.

Mark saith, Mark 14:62, And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see, &c. Luke saith, Luke 22:67-69, And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. What all the evangelists say put together, makes up our Saviour’s perfect answer. To what purpose (saith Christ) should I answer you? This is now but a captious question, not propounded by you to that end that you might be satisfied as to the truth, but only to ensnare me, for if I should tell you I am, you would not believe it. If I should argue the matter with you, you would give me no answer. I have given you proof enough, but yet, Caiaphas, thou hast said the truth, I am the Christ, the Son of the ever living, blessed God; and, to confirm you further, hereafter you shall see me, whom you think to be no more than the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. There is a time for a man to speak, and a time for him to hold his peace; in the matter of confession of truth. The seasons for silence, or speech, are to be judged from the honour and glory of God; when we cannot be silent without betraying the truth, we are bound to speak. Our Lord therefore, being so solemnly adjured in the name of God to tell them what was the truth, now confesseth, and denieth not, that he was the Son of God, and tells them, hereafter they should see it. Whether the term hereafter refers to the time soon following, (as ap’ arti, in this evangelist, and ’ Apo tou nun, in Luke, seem to signify), and be to be understood of Christ’s resurrection, his ascension into heaven, the coming of the Holy Ghost, and the carrying of the gospel to all nations, or to the day of judgment (which the New Testament often speaks of as a thing at hand, and that phrase, coming in the clouds of heaven, seems rather to signify); or (as others think) to both, referring the sitting on the right hand of power to the former, and the coming in the clouds to the latter; is hard to determine. Jesus saith unto him, thou hast said,.... That is, thou hast said right; or as Mark expresses it, "I am", Mark 14:62, the Christ, the anointed of God, who was so from everlasting, and in time; being before the world was, installed into, and invested with the office of mediator; and in the fulness of time, anointed with the holy Spirit without measure: he might truly say he was the Messiah, since all the characters of him in the books of the prophets, met in him; and all the miracles he was to work in proof of his Messiahship were wrought by him: as also that be was the Son of God, not by creation, as angels and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor as man, or in the human nature, in which he was the son of man, and not the Son of God; nor was he begotten as man, whereas he is called the only begotten Son, and the begotten of the Father; and was he the Son of God as man not the first, but the third person must be his Father; besides, he was the Son of God before his incarnation: nor as mediator neither; be was the Son of God, antecedent to his office as mediator; his sonship is distinct from it, is an illustration of it, and what puts virtue into it; but he is so as God, as a divine person, by natural and eternal filiation; being begotten of the Father in the divine essence, and of the same nature; and having the same perfections with him, and in all things equal to him; and is the sense in which he always affirmed God to be his Father, and himself to be his Son. For this phrase, "thou hast said", as answering to an affirmation, "I am"; see Gill on Matthew 26:25. Now, though Christ had so fully answered to the adjuration, and so strongly affirmed himself to be the Messiah, the Son of God, yet he knew they would not believe; and therefore refers them to an after proof thereof, which whether they would or not, would oblige them to acknowledge the whole:

nevertheless, I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the son of man, sitting at the right hand of power: the Vulgate Latin, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel, read "the power of God", as in Luke 22:69, though it is not absolutely necessary; for "power" designs God himself, who is all powerful; as appears by the creation of all things out of nothing, the upholding of all things in their being, the redemption of men, the conversion of sinners, and the preservation of his saints. In the Jewish writings (e), God is frequently called,

"the power": such a thing, say they, we have heard,

"from the mouth of power", or might; that is, from God himself: and so he is by the Grecians called "power" (f): by "the son of man", is meant Christ in the human nature; who then appeared at their bar as a mere man, in a very despicable form and condition, but hereafter they should see him in a more glorious one, and at "the right hand of God": a phrase expressive of his exaltation, above all creatures whatever: respect is had to the prophecy of him in Psalm 110:1. "Sitting" there, denotes his having done his work; and his continuance in his exalted state, until all enemies are subdued under him: and when he says they should "see" him, his meaning is not, that they should see him at the right hand of God with their bodily eyes, as Stephen did; but that they should, or at least might, see and know by the effects, that he was set down at the right hand of God; as by the pouring forth of the holy Spirit upon his disciples, on the day of pentecost; by the wonderful spread of his Gospel, and the success of it, notwithstanding all the opposition made by them, and others; and particularly, by the vengeance he should take on their nation, city, and temple; and which may be more especially designed in the next clause,

and coming in, the clouds of heaven. So Christ's coming to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, as it is often called the coming of the son of man, is described in this manner, Matthew 24:27. Though this may also be understood of Christ's second coming to judgment, at the last day; when as he went up to heaven in a cloud, he will return, and come also in the clouds of heaven; see Acts 1:9 Revelation 1:7, when he will be seen by the eyes of all, good and bad; and when this sanhedrim, before whom he now was, will see him also, and confess that he is Lord and Christ, and the Son of God. Though the former clause seems to have regard to what would quickly come to pass, and what they should soon observe, and be convinced of; for , rendered "hereafter", may be translated "henceforwards"; or as it is in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions, "from this time"; meaning, that in a very little while, they should begin to see the effects of his being set down at the right hand of God, and which would be full proofs of it, and should see him come in the clouds of heaven, at the last day: reference seems to be had to Daniel 7:13, where one like unto the son of man is said to come in the clouds of heaven, and which is understood of the Messiah by many, both of the ancient and modern Jews (g): with whom one of his names is "Anani" (h), which signifies "clouds",

(e) T. Bab. Maccot, fol. 24. 1. & Horayot, fol. 8. 1. Debarim Rabba, fol. 245. 4. Maimon. Hilch. Memarim, c. 5. sect. 15. & Melacim, c. 8. sect. 10. & alibi passim. (f) Sententiae Secundi, p. 21. Ed. Gale. (g) Zohar in Gert. fol. 85. 4. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 13. fol. 209. 4. R. Jeshuah in Aben Ezra, in Daniel 7.13. & Jarchi & Saadiah Gaon in loc. (h) Targum in 1 Chronicles 3.24. & Beckius in ib. Midrash Tillim apud Galatin. de arcan. Cathol. ver. l. 10. c. 1.

Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, {d} Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting {e} on the right hand of power, and coming in the {f} clouds of heaven.

(d) This word distinguishes his first coming from the latter.

(e) Sitting with God in like and equal honour at the right hand of his power, that is, in greatest power: for the right hand signifies among the Hebrews that which is mighty and of great power.

(f) Clouds of heaven; see above in Mt 24:30.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 26:64. Σὺ εἶπας] see on Matthew 26:25. Mark 14:62 : ἐγώ εἰμι. A distinguished confession on the part of the Son in presence of the Father, and before the highest tribunal of the theocratic nation.

πλήν] not profecto (Olshausen), nor quin (Kuinoel), but: however, i.e. (comp. Klotz, ad Devar. p. 725) apart from what I have just affirmed, ye shall henceforward have reason to be satisfied, from actual observation, that I am the Messiah who was seen by Daniel in his vision (Daniel 7:13).

ἀπάρτι] is not to be taken with λέγω ὑμῖν (Schulz in 3d ed. of Griesbach), but—since in any other connection it would lose its force—with ὄψεσθε; nor is it to be understood in any other sense than that of henceforth, i.e. from the time of my impending death, through which I am to enter into my δόξα. But seeing that ἀπάρτι forbids us to understand ὄψεσθε as denoting only a single momentary glance (comp. on the contrary, John 1:51), we are bound to suppose that Jesus used it somewhat loosely to express the idea of coming to perceive in the course of experience (as in the passage of John just referred to) the fact of His being seated at the right hand of God (in allusion to Psalm 110:1), and that He did not intend ἐρχόμενον, κ.τ.λ. to refer to the second advent, but (Beza, Neander, Holtzmann, Schenkel, Gess, Weissenbach) to a coming in the figurative sense of the word, namely, in the shape of those mighty influences which, from His place in heaven, He will shed upon the earth,—manifestations, all of them, of His sovereign sway. We are shut up to this view by the fact that the sitting cannot possibly be regarded as an object of actual sight, and that ἀπάρτι ὄψεσθε can only be said of something that, beginning now, is continued henceforth.

τῆς δυνάμ.] The Mighty One is conceived of as power (the abstract for the concrete). Similarly in the Talmud הַגְּבוּרָה, Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 385. Such abstract terms (as for instance our: majesty) have somewhat of an imposing character. Comp. 2 Peter 1:17.Matthew 26:64. σὺ εἶπας: in current phrase = I am. Was Jesus morally bound to answer? Why not continue silent? First, the whole ministry of Jesus had made the question inevitable. Second, the high priest was the proper person to ask it. Third, it was an important opportunity for giving expression to His Messianic self-consciousness. Fourth, silence would, in the cirumstances, have amounted to denial.—πλὴν not = “nevertheless,” but rather = nay more: I have something more startling to tell you. What follows describes the future of the Son of Man in apocalyptic terms, and is meant to suggest the thought: “the time is coming when you and I shall change places; I then the Judge, you the prisoners at the bar”.64. Thou hast said] See note Matthew 26:25.

Hereafter shall ye see] Cp. Daniel 7:13; ch. Matthew 16:27, Matthew 24:30, Matthew 25:31.Matthew 26:64. Σὺ εἶπας, Thou hast said) “With regard to the question of Caiaphas, our Lord declares that He is the Christ, as though it were affirmed in the words of the interrogator. Nor is this form of speech uncommon in ordinary Greek discourse. In the Hyppolytus of Euripides, we find, σοῦ τάδʼ οὐκ ἐμοῦ κλύεις,[1160] Thou hearest those things from thyself, not from me. And in the third book of Xenophon’s Memorabilia, αὐτὸς, ἔφη, τοῦτο λέγεις, ὦ Σώκρατες, Thou thyself, said he, sayest this, O Socrates,”—CAMERARIUS.—πλὴν, nevertheless) although ye do not believe it.—πλὴν as well as ἈΛΛᾺ is frequently used epitatically.[1161]—ἀπʼ ἄρτι, κ.τ.λ., From this time forward, etc.[1162]) From this time forward, it shall come to pass that ye shall see and know, by visible proofs, that I am HE who shall sit on the right hand of power, and come in the clouds of heaven. A pregnant mode of expression (sermo complexus). Henceforward YE SHALL SEE me sitting and COMING.[1163] The return to judgment is combined with the sitting on the right hand: and after the Lord’s Passion they believed (see John 8:28), that which hereafter they shall see. They did not believe in the past; therefore Jesus (as He frequently did) appeals to the future. In the glory of Jesus this is the first thing, that He is the Son of God: that He will come to judgment is the last. The former is the foundation of the latter; the latter the most glorious proof of the former. In the most adverse circumstances, it always especially consoles the sons of God to contemplate the consummation of all things: cf. Gnomon on 2 Corinthians 11:15.—τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Ἀνθρώπου, the Son of Man) He speaks in the third person, modestly but openly.—καθήμενον, sitting) Jesus was then standing. On His ascension, He sat down at the right hand of God.—ἐκ δεξιῶν, κ.τ.λ., on the right hand, etc.) A manifestation of the deity of Christ.—δεξιῶν, the rigid hand) The neuter plural, τὰ δεξιὰ, is used in this sense.—Τῆς ΔΥΝΆΜΕΩς, of power) that is of God. The Hebrews often call God הגבורה [Power]. Power is manifested most widely and openly in all the works of God.

[1160] Ed. Dindorf, line 352.—(I. B.)

[1161] See explanation of technical terms in voc. Epitasis.—(I. B.)

[1162] In the original a modo, which is found in the Vulgate. In his German Version Bengel renders it, Von nun an, i.e. from this moment, henceforth. E. V. renders it, hereafter.—(I. B.)

[1163] Ye shall soon after this present time believe in my being the Son of God, and in this sense, by faith shall see me sitting; and thereby shall perceive also that I am coming as Judge.—ED.Verse 64. - Thou hast said; σὺ εϊπας (ver. 25); in St. Mark, ἐγώ εἰμι. This is a strong affirmative asseveration, and on Christ's lips carries with it the full meaning of the words used by Caiaphas, "I am the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One, God of God, of one substance with the Father." Nevertheless (πλὴν); i.e. in spite of your incredulity. But there is no direct opposition intended between the previous and the following statements; so πλὴν would be better translated, but moreover, or what is more. Hereafter; ἄπαρτι. From this moment, beginning from now, from my Passion, my triumph and my reign are inaugurated. Shall ye see. Ye, the representatives of Israel, shall see the events about to be consummated, the preludes of the great assize, and the coming of Messiah's kingdom. The Son of man. God and yet man; man now in weakness and humility, about to display and give incontestable proofs of his Godhead. Right hand of power. Of Omnipotence, of Almighty God. Coming in the clouds of heaven (Matthew 24:30). Christ thus distinctly asserts his Divinity, and claims to apply to himself the utterance in Psalm 110:1, and the great prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 7:13, 14). This was the plainest and most specific declaration of his real nature, power, and attributes, made with calm majesty, though he knew it was to seal his condemnation, and open the immediate way to his death. Thou hast said

An affirmation. You have spoken the truth. What thou hast asked me is the fact. Compare Matthew 26:25.

Nevertheless (πλὴν)

However. Apart from my affirmation, you shall see for yourself.

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