And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,…
There is always something heart-moving in the sight of a multitude of men. The Persian Xerxes shed tears as he watched the interminable ranks march past him on the way to Greece. The iron Napoleon once melted as he reviewed the vast army which followed him to his Russian campaign. And when the proudest, sternest, and most unfeeling hearts have shown emotion, what should we expect from the pitiful Son of God? Whenever He saw the multitude, and especially the city multitude, He was moved with compassion. That mass of life, heaving and throbbing like a troubled sea; that ceaseless tramp of eager feet and confused roar of innumerable voices; that measureless volume of mingled hope and despair; that infinitely varied array of faces, old and young, careless and anxious, joyous and miserable, — of laughing girls and broken-hearted widows, of jocund joys and haggard old men, with hungry looks; that incongruous procession of wealth and poverty, of want and superfluity, of rags and velvet, of vulgarity and refinement, of respectability and vice, of plump and well-fed life and vagrant homelessness, of purity and shame, of sweet religious hope and dismal despair, of titled splendour and nameless vagabondism, of feet winged with hope climbing to ambition's goal and of feet hurrying to the dark river to end the tragedy of bitter memories in one last cold plunge; that myriad-headed life, with all its selfish isolations, its fierce loneliness amid the jostling crowd, its every heart knowing its own bitterness or gloating over its own joy, unknown and unsympathized with by its neighbours; that awful race of passion and frenzied quest in which the runners forget that they are immortal souls with God's image stamped on every face. How was it possible for Him, to whom all souls were dear — all the children of the heavenly Father — how was it possible for Him to look upon that, or think of it, without emotion melting into tears? What man or woman of us can think of it without sharing in its pity and pathetic interest?
(J. Greenhough, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,