Matthew 12:39
Parallel Verses
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
Commentary
Clarke'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).

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

adulterous.

Isaiah 57:3 But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore.

Mark 8:38 Whoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation...

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?...

no sign.

Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas...

Luke 11:29,30 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign...

Library
An Attempt to Account for Jesus
'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'
'A greater than Solomon is here.'--MATT. xii. 42. It is condescension in Him to compare Himself with any; yet if any might have been selected, it is that great name. To the Jews Solomon is an ideal figure, who appealed so strongly to popular imagination as to become the centre of endless legends; whose dominion was the very apex of national glory, in recounting whose splendours the historical books seem to be scarce able to restrain their triumph and pride. I. The Man. The story gives us a richly
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

What are Evidences of Backsliding in Heart.
1. Manifest formality in religious exercises. A stereotyped, formal way of saying and doing things, that is clearly the result of habit, rather than the outgushing of the religious life. This formality will be emotionless and cold as an iceberg, and will evince a total want of earnestness in the performance of religious duty. In prayer and in religious exercises the backslider in heart will pray or praise, or confess, or give thanks with his lips, so that all can hear him, perhaps, but in such a
Charles G. Finney—The Backslider in Heart

Lesser and Fuller Forms.
Moreover, we have endeavoured to use the fullest form, including the words of those Gospels which have the lesser forms of sentences, except where the sentence ends in a period, in which case have given the least form, so that the larger form of the other Gospels might be made apparent; as, for instance, this sentence, taken from Matt. xii. 47; Mark iii. 32; Luke viii. 20: ^c 20 And it was told him, ^a Behold, thy mother and thy brethren bseek for thee. ^c stand without desiring to see thee. ^a seeking
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
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.

Jonah 1:1
The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai:

Matthew 16:4
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.

Mark 8:12
He sighed deeply and said, "Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it."

Luke 11:29
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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