New International Version
He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
King James Bible
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
Darby Bible Translation
But he, answering, said to them, A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it save the sign of Jonas the prophet.
World English Bible
But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Young's Literal Translation
And he answering said to them, 'A generation, evil and adulterous, doth seek a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of Jonah the prophet;
Matthew 12:39 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
An evil and adulterous generation - Or, race of people; for so γενεα should be translated here, and in most other places in the Gospels; for our Lord, in general, uses it to point out the Jewish people. This translation is a key to unlock some very obscure passages in the evangelists.
Seeketh after a sign - Or, seeketh another sign, (επιζητει), so I think this word should be translated. Our Lord had already given the Jews several signs; and here they desire sign upon sign.
Our Lord terms the Jews an adulterous race. Under the old covenant, the Jewish nation was represented as in a marriage contract with the Lord of hosts; as believers, in the new covenant, are represented as the spouse of Christ. All unfaithfulness and disobedience was considered as a breach of this marriage contract; hence the persons who were thus guilty are denominated adulterers and adulteresses. But, independently of this, there is the utmost proof, from their own writings, that in the time of our Lord they were most literally an adulterous race of people: for, at this very time, R. Jochanan ben Zacchai abrogated the trial by the bitter waters of jealousy, because so many were found to be thus criminal. See on John 8:3 (note).
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'But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons.'--MATT. xii. 24. Mark's Gospel tells us that this astonishing explanation of Christ and His work was due to the ingenious malice of an ecclesiastical deputation, sent down from Jerusalem to prevent the simple folk in Galilee from being led away by this new Teacher. They must have been very hard put to it to explain undeniable but unwelcome facts, when they hazarded such a preposterous …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
'A Greater than Solomon'
What are Evidences of Backsliding in Heart.
Lesser and Fuller Forms.
2 Kings 14:25
He was the one who restored the boundaries of Israel from Lebo Hamath to the Dead Sea, in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher.
The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:
A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away.
He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it."
As the crowds increased, Jesus said, "This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.
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