And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,…
If it really was so, as has been gathered from , that some of the ancient Christians, or persons who bore the name, wished to expunge from the canon of Scripture what is said of the Saviour's weeping on these two occasions, as if it had been unworthy of so glorious a Person to shed tears, it was very strange, and betrayed at once a sinful disrespect for the inspired Word of God, a leaning to the doctrines of Stoical pride and apathy, and an ignorance of what constitutes real excellence of human character. It is certainly a mark of imbecility to be given to weep for trifling reasons; but to weep occasionally, and when there is an adequate cause, instead of being a weakness, is perfectly compatible with true courage and manly sense, nay, is, in fact, a trait in the character of the majority of the most heroic and stout-hearted men of whom we read, either in sacred or profane history. As examples of this from Scripture may be mentioned, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, David, Jonathan, Hezekiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Peter, and Paul. Who more firm than the apostle of the Gentiles? — yet he thus writes to the Philippians, "Many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction." As for King David, that "mighty valiant man, and man of war," the ancestor, and, in some respects, the type of Christ, it is worthy of notice that he wept at the very place were Jesus now wept; for it is thus written, in the account of his fleeing from Jerusalem, on the rebellion of Absalom, "David went up by the ascent of Mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered; and all the people that were with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up." Nor is it foreign to the defence of this act of weeping, as consonant with the character of the brave, to produce the authority of heathen writers. Homer, then, attributes tears to several of his heroes, Virgil to AEneas, and their respective historians to Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cato, Brutus, Marcellus, and Scipio; and one of the Latin poets says, "Nature shows that she gives very tender hearts to mankind, by giving them tears. This is the best part of our disposition or feeling." Beyond a doubt, the tenderness which our Lord now displayed harmonized with, and set off by contrast, the wonderful resolution which animated Him, when "He turned not back," but "set His face like a flint" to what was now before Him.
(James Foote, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,