Annotations on the New Testament:
Compiled from the Best Critical
Authorities and Designed for Popular Use
Published by Hilliard and
CLICK HERE FOR PDF
FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK
TABLE OF CRITICAL AND OTHER WORKS USED IN THIS PUBLICATION.
Trans, of the N. T. Notes chiefly critical.
DR. WM. NEWCOME,
(Primate of Ireland.) Trans, of the N. T., with Notes, etc.
IMPROVED VERSION of the N. T., with
E. HARWOOD. Liberal Trans, of the N. T.
Trans. (French) of the N. T.
THEOD. BEZA. Trans. (Latin) of the N. T.,
SEE. CASTALIO. Trans. (Latin) of the N.
D. ERASMUS. Paraphrase (Latin) of the N.
Paraph, and Commentary on the N. T.
DR. JOSEPH PRIESTLEY.
Notes for Family Use on All Scripture.
Exposition of the N. T.
DR. JN. LIGHTFOOT.
Horae Hebraicie et Talmudics. in N.T.
Paraph, and Annotations on the N. T.
JN. LE CLERC.
Latin Trans, of Hammond, with Additional Ns.
Annotations (Latin) on the N. T.
JN. J. WETSTEIN.
Greek N. T., with Latin Notes.
J. F. SCHLEUSNER. Lexicon and Commentary
(Latin) on the N. T.
JN. C. WOLF. Philological and Critical
Remarks (Latin) on the N. T.
Commentary (Latin) on the Books of the N. T.
The Fratres Poloni (Latin) - [F. SOCINUS,
JN. CRELLIUS, WOLZOGEN, etc.]
ROSENMULLER. Comments (Latin) on the N.
CHR. F. KUINOEL. Commentary (Latin) on
the Historical Books of the N. T.
DR.. GEO. CAMPBELL. Trans, of the Four
Gospels, with Notes.
BP. (ZACH.) PEARCE.
Commentary on the Historical Books of the N. T., with Notes. - New
Trans, of 1 Corinthians, with Paraph, and Notes.
Exposition of the Historical Books of the N. T.
DR. JS. MCKNIGHT.
Harmony of the Gospels ; with Paraph and Notes.
- Literal Trans, of the Apostolical Eps.,
Paraphrase on the Acts and the Eps.
JN. LOCKE. Paraph,
with Notes on the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians.
J. PEIRCE. Paraph, with Notes on the
Colossians, Philippians, and Hebrews.
DA. GEO. BENSON. Paraph, with Notes on
the Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and the Catholic Eps. [The
three last works make a connected, complete, and for the most part,
harmonious commentary on the Eps. of the N. T.]
JN. TAYLOR. Paraph, with Notes on the
A. A. SYKES. Paraph, with Notes on the
S. CHANDLER. Paraph, with Notes on the
Galatians and Ephesians. Critical and Practical Commentary on the
JN. JONES. Illustrations of the Four
Critical Remarks on Important Passages of the N. T.
JN. SIMPSON. Essays on the Language of
SIR N. KNATCHBULL.
Annotations on Difficult Texts of the N. T.
H. FARMER. Essays on the Demoniacs and
LANT CARPENTER. Scriptural Grounds of
DR. SAM'L. CLARKE. The Scripture Doctrine
of the Trinity, etc.
JN. JAHN. Biblical Archaeology,
(translated by Upham.)
JOHN D. MICHAELIS.
Introduction to the N. T.
History of the Apostles and Evangelists.
DR. PALEY. Horae Paulinao.
Antiquities of the Jews. Jewish War.
TH. HARMER. Observations on Scripture,
derived from the travels of Maundrell, Pococke, Sir Jn. Chardin, Dr. Th.
WM. BOWYER. Conjectural Emendations on
the N. T.
ANTH. BLACKWALL. Sacred Classics.
The Christian Fathers of the first
centuries. - (Latin,)
The Early Versions : - LATIN VULGATE -
(Oriental), ARABIC, ETHIOPIC, COPTIC, and SYRIAC.
THE Prospectus of the following' work announced it as intended 'for popular
use' ; a description, to which, it is presumed, in a good degree, it has
well conformed. This form of speech was deemed equivalent to, ' mere English
readers.' The design was to serve hereby, the ends of those who were unable
to seek for scripture-truth at its fountain-head, or to derive directly the
light, which foreign critics have shed upon its pages. But to insure this
result, somewhat of cooperation is necessary in the reader. By the word
popular, was not meant, a work level to the lowest measure of understanding
or attainments ; a book, which might, like any English volume, be read right
onward, without interruption or delay ; read, not studied ; and in which,
every thing was found prepared to the hands of the most indolent reader.
This would certainly have been an egregious mistake. Those who cannot so far
task their patience and industry, as to seek out and compare the scripture
references with which this work abounds, will find it, not an unprofitable
purchase, perhaps, wholly ; but certainly, abridged of half its value.
These last remarks may serve also in answer to a complaint which has been
sometimes heard; to wit, the want of fulness in this compilation. The reply
might suffice, That 'fulness' can only be gained by the sacrifice of
something else ; and would have defeated the very end of this work, which
was to afford a cheap and convenient manual of scripture commentary. Beside,
what does this word import ? If it is not, that the reader's pains should be
wholly spared, by quoting in full, the numerous passages, which are now
briefly designated by chapter and verse, its meaning is not perceived : if
it is, this would be a lost labor both to the compiler and his readers. Much
further illustration or diversity of comment, than is given on a large
proportion of the passages noticed, it might not have been easy to adduce.
The rule suggested in the Prospectus, of giving but one explication of a
passage, has not been very closely observed. The instances, in truth, are
very many, in which it is not easy to settle the claims of precedence,
(either from good sense or true criticism) between two and sometimes three
senses, which have been put upon a passage; and in such cases, common
justice requires that neither should be suppressed. A few passages there are
of peculiar perplexity, (chiefly in the Eps.) the interpretations of which
have even doubled the above number. .All that is left to the Compiler, in
such cases, has been to arrange in regular, and (of late) numerical scries,
the several solutions of the difficulty, offered ; leaving them, often
without indicating a preference, to the judgment of the reader.
The citation of authorities is not without its perplexity. Two or three
names have sometimes been annexed to comments' when less would have sufficed
; and others again, resting on a single name, might have been confirmed, if
necessary, by the aid of more. An annotation, in some instances, will not
need the authority which any name could give ; being commended, by its own
obvious good sense, to the judicious reader.
Where, however, the view given of a passage, is somewhat unusual or novel, a
different course is called for; and the Compiler accordingly, has in such
instances, been at some pains, (as far as convenience would permit) to
sustain, by the weight of anthorities, the position he has taken, where the
popular sense of a passage has been discarded as unsound and untenable. In
such a body of commentary, it is not to be expected that every part will be
equally satisfactory ; and it will be nothing strange, if opinions adduced,
are, to the eye of many, new, singular, and even offensive. Candor and
forbearance are, in respect to such, asked from the reader. He will do well,
not angrily or hastily to reject what, for the moment, revolts him ; and the
aspect of which is so often found to be sensibly changed by longer
acquaintance. That simple rule for the study of the scriptures, hinted at in
the Prospectus, may stand in lieu, to the English reader, of a learned
system ' f interpretation ; - viz. that the scripture-use of terms and
phrases is EVERY THING ; in the balance with which, modern associations and
senses are of no account. What this use is, he can only learn by a long-,
faithful, and attentive study of the sacred writings.
There is no fondness, it is hoped, manifest in the present work, for
far-fetched or figurative interpretations. Where the literal or popular
sense has been discarded, it has been not from vanity, but from conviction.
There are few instances (as it is pleasant, in review, to see) of such
explications, to which the above disadvantage (ifit can be so called) is not
compensated by the respectable patrons, which are subjoined. There are few,
which, so far as authorities can go, have not as good a title to adoption,
as their opposiles ; or, to command respect, where they fail to secure
assent. Those eminent lights of biblical learning, in the early period of
the Reformation, who were critics of no party, and whose names give place to
none, are found repeatedly on the side of what is, in our day, the obnoxious
The preparation of a work, like this, for ' unlearned readers,' so called,
is not unattended by difficulties, which even the intelligent and patient
study of such readers will not always obviate.
This remark has respect to those notes, properly called critical ; i. e.
having relation, in some way, to the original text in the N. T. ; and many
of which are of too important a kind to be dispensed with, merely because
they are critical. Many English readers have perhaps but an indistinct
notion of what is meant by the different formation of a Greek verb or noun,
a difference which is yet seen sensibly to affect the meaning of the passage
; or of those ' various readings' of the original, the claims of which, to
be the genuine text, are formally settled by the array of MSS., Versions,
and Fathers. This subject, however, admits of being made better understood
than it is at present; as the reader will find in Tract No. xxvi. of the
Unitarian Association, (lately issued), ' The History of the text of the N.T.'
This tract, which has well condensed into narrow limits, a large amount of
biblicalinformation, would make a useful appendix or preface to the present
The Compiler has known no impediment, in the prosecution of this work, like
that growing out of the necessity , forced upon him, of taking, as the basis
of his labors, the Received or Public Version. He was wholly unsuspicious,
when he began, of the extent of the mistakes, which the negligence,
prejudice, or ignorance of its authors, had created. Upon these, as they
have multiplied, he has felt, here and there, constrained to animadvert.
What comparative facility and abridgment of his task would have been found,
(had the case permitted) in substituting for it, the versions of Newcome or
Wakefield ; or of (on the Hist. Books) Pearce.or Campbell ! Whether any
other European translation, so indifferent, has chanced to attain the same
consequence and authority, may well admit of a doubt. The mention of the
prejudices, which disfigure the C. V., brings to mind, the animadversions of
Campbell upon Beza, in the same particular. What then must be the
condemnation of our Trs. ?
They were (by general admission], the obsequious imitators of Beza in their
own work, whose single authority sometimes outweighed in the scale, that of
the learned world beside ; and engrafted on the stock of his doctrinal
prejudices, which they partook, local and temporary ones of their own. In
connexion with the charge of igtiorance, it is well to add the remark of a
biblical orthodox friend, (than whom no one has for years been more
assiduously occupied in these studies), - That the authors of our version
seem often not to have looked into their grammar or lexicon, and (in despite
of the professipns of their title-page), to be little else than the
Translators from Translators. Even where they appear to be exempt from this
censure, praise is not to be inferred, as a necessary consequence. The
leading, characteristic fault (if any such) of this version, is its
servility to the letter of the Greek. Doubtless, there is an opposite error;
and into this, Wakefield not unfrequently falls. But the process of our Trs.
would seem literally to have been, - (let not this he thought caricature) -
duly to seek out, in the lexicon,each word of the original, and to place,
after the manner of the type, the first meanings there found, side by side,
till the sentence was complete. What result the aggregate might show, as to
construction or sense, - this they left to those who came after them, as
being no part of their province. That variety of meanings, which the most
esteemed philologists and critics now sanction, as deducible from the same
word, was clearly very foreign from their thoughts ; and perhaps (in their
reverence for God's word) they might deem all exercise of the judgment on
the literal result from a Greek passage, criminal ; even so much as was
necessary to shape it into propriety and sense.*
The Compiler has not included the book of the 'Revelation of John,' in the
following work. He has Whitby, for a precedent herein, as well as some other
expositors, whose nominal title embraces the N. T.- The dubious and yet
unsettled question, as to the subject and plan of this prophecy, well
justifies its omission.
No one of the numerous theories in regard to it, so far prevails over the
rest, as to be assumed for correct in a work of this sort ; nor could any
one be even faintly understood by the commentary alone, without the extra
aid of a copious introduction.
Scattered parts there may be, which do not depend upon the general theory,
assumed ; hut these are too few, to make it worth while to give to the whole
book, the same distinct and regular notice, as to the other books of the N.
T. It may be remarked further, that in the view of many respectable writers,
the Revelation (or, Apocalypse) is a series of yet unaccomplished prophecies
; a good reason surely, if this view be probable, for leaving ils solution
to time. Those readers, whose curiosity prompts them to know more of this
remarkable production, are referred to the works of Eichhorn, Newton,
Lowrnan, Croly, and Woodhouse.
In an undertaking so novel, that the Compiler could not enjoy the benefit of
any volume which could he called a model, there will, doubtless, be many
imperfections. That which accounts for these, may (in another light) secure
for them proportionate indulgence. Such a work will, it is presumed, be felt
to have been a desideratum, though it should require much allowance for its
execution. That even theologians, until the appearance of the connected
works of Elsley and Slade, a few years since, and the more recent one of
Bloomfield, possessed nothing of the kind, is singular enough, almost to
create skepticism as to the fact.
To the community at large, that want has continued to this time.
Whether it is here supplied, is yet to be seen. The Compiler's wish and
prayer is, that whatever information this book imparts, may not be such as
needs to be unlearned ; but that it may have, at least, that conformity to
the oracles of truth, as will ensure his blessing, on whom all its utility
depends. HE, who only can decide, What is the chaff to the wheat, will, it
is believed, so sift and separate the mixture, that the influence of the
whole shall be, not for evil or error, but to the furtherance of knowledge
and of truth.
Cambridge, August 10, 1829,
Matthew 5:"5. They shall inherit the earth : or, as Campbell and
Wakefield, the land : i. e. the land of Judea. This phrase is
supposed by Hammond and Whitby to allude to the language of the fifth
commandment in the decalogue ; the general sense being the same, of temporal
blessings. It implies a calm, placid enjoyment of life, to promote which,
meekness greatly tends, and which anger obstructs." (p. 10)
Matthew 8:"32. They went into the herd of
swine : " not into the bodies of the animals, for how with the natural sight
could demons be seen to enter thus ? But the sense is this : these raving
men rushed down the fields upon the swine, and drove them headlong into the
sea. What the maniacs said and did, is ascribed indiscriminately to them or
the supposed demons." Rosenmuller. Dr. Lardner favours also this view. The
objection to it, which is most insisted upon, is, that it was impossible for
two men, however fierce, to put so vast a herd of swine as two thousand into
motion in an instant, and to cause them all to rush with violence down a
precipice into the sea ; swine, contrary to the nature of most other
animals, running different ways, when they are driven : further, that it was
next to impossible, that these two men should overcome all those who tended
the swine ; especially, as in order to compassthe herd, they must have
separated from each other; and in fine, that had they under the influence of
their disorder, driven the swine into the sea, it is strange that they did
not follow them there.
The solution of Farmer, who exhibits these
objections, supposes the madness with which the men wereaffected, to be
transferred to the swine. His remarks are worthy of being given at length. "
Possession and madness were supposed to bear to each other the relation of
cause and effect, and accordingly to commence and cease together. When
demons were supposed to enter any creature, he immediately grew mad ;
whenthey departed, this disorder was removed. When therefore, it is said in
the case under consideration, that the demons went out of the madmen, and
entered the swine ; the evangelists, their language being interpreted
agreeably to the popular opinion on which it is founded, must mean, that the
madmen in consequence of the departureof the demons, were cured, and
restored to their right mind ; and that the swine in consequence of the
demons entering them, were infected with rage and madness ;the cure of the
former, and the madness of thelatter, being the very ground on which it was
concluded that the demons had quitted one and taken possession of the other.
It is imported too in this, that the men were cured before the swine were
disordered, otherwise the demons would not be spoken of, as passing out of
the former into the latter." (pp. 14,15)
Matthew 10 "23. Till the Son of man be
come : Le Clerc supposes that this coming, in the present instance, can
only well be referred to the destruction of the Jewish state and of
Jerusalem ; and so also Whitby. Grotius would understand it of the full
effusion of the Holy Spirit at the day of Pentecost ; while Priestley,
less naturally and probably than either, applies it to Christ's second
coming, to raise the dead and judge the world. For this explication, he
assigns no reasons." (p. 18)
Matthew 10:"32. Either in this age or that which is to
come : Wakefield's Tr. He adds, " though the Christian be a
dispensation of mercy, this sin shall no more be forgiven by the law of the
gospel, than it is by the law of Moses, under which the punishment
was death. (Levit. xxiv. 16)." By others, these phrases are considered
as an expressive mode of affirming that it can never be forgiven ; as
Kuinoel and Whitby." (p. 21)
Matthew 12:"45. When the unclean spirit etc. :
Priestley thinks "that by this parable, our Lord describes changes in the
state of the Jewish nation ; which, greatly corrupted before the Babylonish
captivity, had been reformed by calamity, but afterwards sunk into greater
depravity than ever, for which they were doomed to severer judgments, and of
longer continuance." (p. 21)
Matthew 16: "28. Coming to his kingdom :
so Wakefield. " Or, - coming to reign, meaning probably till they shall
see the Christian religion established in the world." Mss. Notes. See
Note on Ch. x. 7- This coming of Christ, however, is very variously
understood. Hammond refers it to the great destruction of Jerusalem (as
in Matt. xxiv. 3) ; Whitby, to the last day, from the similarity of the
language used, to that of Matt. xxv. 31; 2 Thes. i. 7 ; Matt. xiii. 41.
Grotius supposes it to signify the first manifestation of Christ's
power, by his resurrection, ascension, and sending the Holy Spirit,
which our Lord declares would speedily take place. It is the common
opinion of critics, that in the minds of the disciples, the destruction
of the Jewish state and the final judgment were frequently conjoined,
from the near resemblance in the language used by our Saviour, in
respect to both. " (p. 28)
21:"18 Let no fruit grow on thee: " This
was probably a fig- tree on the public road, and therefore no individual
property ; and as with the prophets in the O. T., it was usual to teach by
actions as well as by words, so our Saviour, who often chose to express
himself by parables and symbols, took this opportunity to show in the case
of a fig-tree, what fate the Jewish nation in general, who had been
unfruitful under such cultivation, had to expect." Priestley." (p. 39)
22:"7. And he sent forth his armies: " This was accomplished by the Roman
forces in the destruction of Jerusalem ; which may with propriety be called
the army of God, as fulfilling his will, and as the Median army (Isa. xiii.
4, 5), is called." Le Clerc and Whitby. " The armies of God are his angels,
by whose ministry he acts, (l Kings xxii. 19; Luke ii. 13), they distribute
his judgments, and by the Romans, brought them, (that is, pestilence and
famine,) on Jerusalem." Grotius." (p. 40)
23:"36. Shall come upon this generation : " That is, with every species of
guilt which had been exemplified in former ages, they of that age would be
found chargeable ; inasmuch as they permitted no kind of wickedness to be
to those who had preceded them. There is no hyperbole in the representation
; according to the account, given of them by Josephus, who was no christian,
but one of their own people." Campbell. "As no more than forty years elapsed
from the time these words were spoken, to the destruction of Jerusalem, it
might, with little extravagance be said, that the calamities denounced
should come upon that generation, many of whom would live to see them."
Kenrick." (p. 46)
24:"2. See ye not all these things ? C. V. Do ye gaze on all these things ?
Wakefield's Tr. Most of the early Eastern
versions also omit the negative. Campbell renders, - All this ye see. One
stone upon another: " Titus commanded the soldiers, according to Josephus,
to dig up the foundations of the temple and city." Whitby. - " He that never
saw the temple of Herod, say the Rabbins, never saw a fine building."
Lightfoot - The strength and splendor of its buildings are celebrated by the
Roman historian, Tacitus, by Josephus, and by Philo." (p. 46)
3. What shall be the sign of thy coming:
"Our Lord here commences that most remarkable prophecy concerning the utter
demolition of the temple and the dispersion of the Jews, as to be
accomplished in that generation, when there was far from being any
appearance of such an event. The Jews were then at peace with the Romans,
with whom they could have no prospect of successfully contending ; or if
they should have revolted and been subdued, there was no example in all the
Roman conquests of so utter a devastation as that predicted. It is
remarkable that almost every country flourished under the Roman government
more than they had done under their own ; so that it was in general a
blessing to the world. Least of all was it probable that any conqueror would
wish to destroy so fine a building as the temple. And history assures
us, that Titus, the Roman general, did use his utmost efforts, but in vain,
to preserve it." Priestley.
And of the end of the world: C. V. - or, of the age : Wakefield and
Imp. Vers. ; and so also Kenrick. And of the conclusion of this state :
Campbell's Tr. By the end of the age, the disciples understood to be meant
the period, when the Messiah would as they thought, assume his temporal
authority and subvert the political economy which then subsisted, under
which they were governed by Roman procurators. This was a time of joyous
anticipation to the Jews, and they were of course eager to know when it
would begin. '' The phrase which is here translated end of the
world, is applied in other parts of S. S., to particular aeras, to the end
of certain dispensations of religion ; such as the Antideluvian, the
Patriarchal, the Mosaic. It is as correctly applied to the end of a
political period, or to the termination of the Roman dominion in Judea.
That Christ did not understand his disciples to mean literally the end of
the present scene, is evident from his language, v. 34. This generation
shall not pass etc. See also Heb. ix. 26; 1 Cor. x. 11, where end of
the world obviously means, as the connexion demands, the termination of the
Mosaic economy." Kenrick. According to the above view, the three
questions in the text, viz. the coming of Christ, the destruction of
Jerusalem, and the end of the age, are not distinct, but coincide in one.
But the disciples, say the Rabbins, first inquired of the destruction of the
temple, (when shall these things be ?) then of Christ's last advent, and
next of the consummation of all things. Hammond remarks, " that as the words
of their question are somewhat ambiguous, our Lord's answer may be so too ;
so far, that part of if corresponds with the destruction of the temple, and
part of it, more justly, to the end of the world. The destruction of
Jerusalem may also, in some measure, prefigure the final destruction."
"The Rabbins taught that at the coming of the Messiah, there should be a
resurrection of the just ; this world should be wasted or ended, and a new
one introduced for a thousand years ; and after that, eternity should
succeed. The disciples ask, when Christ will come, not finally to judgment,
but in the demonstration of the Messiah to produce this change." Lightfoot.
" (pp. 46-48)
24:"5. Shall come in my name : C.
V. or, will assume my character : Campbell's Tr. He adds, " that to come in
name, signifies more properly, to come by one's authority or order, real or
pretended ; as the Messiah came in the name of God, the apostles came in the
name of the Messiah. But those here spoken of, would usurp the title,
office, and character of Christ, and mislead their followers to their own
Saying, I am Christ: Theudas, Simon
Magus, and others mentioned in the Acts or by Josephus, are supposed to be
here alluded to. The last historian mentions, " that the time of the advent
of their King Messiah prevailed with many to set up for kings." Some are
specified by name. (pp. 48)
6. Shall hear of wars, and rumors of
wars: " There were great convulsions in the Roman Empire previous to the
revolt of the Jews. But the reference more probably is to insurrections in
Palestine." Priestley. Kenrick, who accords with the above, mentions, that
when the Emperor Caligula 'ordered his statue to be placed in the temple of
Jerusalem, six years after the death of Christ, the Jews furiously resisted
it, and the command to carry it into effect, created so strong an
expectation of hostilities, that the inhabitants left their lands
uncultivated. The seasonable death of the Emperor prevented matters from
coming to extremity." (pp. 48)
24:"7. There shall be famines and
earthquakes in divers places : See the prophecy of Agabus, Acts xi. 28.
— " There
were many earthquakes in Asia, and the islands of the Egean sea, described
by the historians of Claudius and the following emperors." Le Clerc."
24:"8. The beginnings of sorrows :
" the first calamities of the Jews under Caligula and Claudius, were not
to those from Nero to Adrian." Le Clerc. " (pp. 49)
24:"12. The love of many shall wax cold
: C. V. Wakefield supplies alter many - of my disciples." (pp. 49)
14. Shall be preached in all the world
: " That is, in all the Roman empire." Priestley ; and so Kenrick. - " The
original word does not by any means denote the whole inhabited globe, but
sometimes the Roman empire (as Luke ii. 1), and sometimes a large part of
that empire, and primarily, Judea (as Acts xi. 28)." Ros. This limitation of
the sense is required too by the obvious truth of history ; and thus the
language of Paul is to be understood, (Rom. i. 8, x. 13 ; Col. i. 6, 23)."
15. The abomination of desolation :
C. V. or, the abomination which desolateth, according to our common idiom,
as Campbell observes. On the Roman ensigns which are, thus denoted, were
sculptured the images of the Gods and the Caesars, which as they were
objects of adoration to the soldiers, were detestable in the eyes of the
Jews. Comp. Dan. ix. 27; Luke xxi. 20, where the same terms are employed.
Thus Tertullian, Grotius, and most critics. In the holy place : " Not in the
temple ; for that could not happen by the presence of armies, till the
immediate destruction of it ; but in the circuit ofthe holy city." Grotius
and Whitby. Campbell renders, - on holy ground. (Whoso readeth etc. :
Campbell gives this parenthesis, as an insertion of Matthew, who wrote about
the time when these things began to be realized and wished to quicken the
attention of the reader to this prophecy, - (Reader, attend) So also Kenrick
and Priestley consider it." (p. 49)
24:"17- Let him which is upon the
house-top: "The houses in Judea were flat roofed, and the roof used for
walking and retirement. Some persons think that ' the sparrow on the
house-top ' in the Psalms, alludes to this solitary exercise." Hammond."
24:18. "Neither let him which is in the field: C. V. And let not him
that is at his farm, (or, country residence), turn back (i. e. to the city)
even to take his clothes: So Wakefield translates." (p. 50)
20. "That your flight be not in the
winter, nor on the Sabbath-day : C. V. Be not in rainy weather, nor on a
sabbatical year : Wakefield's Tr. Josephus, he thinks, represents that event
as happening on a sabbatical year. Hammond accords with this translation. -
Assuming the C. V. as correct, the first difficulty (that from the winter)
arose from the impassable roads, the shortness of the days, and the severity
of the weather ; the last, from the superstitious regard of the Jews for the
Sabbath-day ; the allowed journey on which, did not exceed two miles. So
Grotius, Kenrick, and others." (p. 50)
"21. As was not from the beginning of
the world to this time etc. : " This is an hyperbolical expression to
denote any thing extreme, rather than strictly importing that no future
calamity should compare with it. Similar force of language is found, Joel
ii. 2 ; Exod. x, 14." Whitby. - " This is best restricted to the history of
that people; among whom these
calamities were unparalleled, and would so remain. Josephus, whose account
of the siege is minute, speaks of the animosity of the opposite factions
within the city as such, that they filled all places, even the temple itself
with carnage ; and to such a height did their madness rise, that they
destroyed the very granaries of corn that should have sustained them, and
burnt the magazine of arms which was their defence. Hence at the lapse of
not more than two months from the opening of the siege, a famine began to
rage, which brought them to such extremities that mothers ate their own
children. The number of those destroyed in Jerusalem, down to the taking of
the city, by faction, by famine, by pestilence, and by the enemy, is
computed at 1,100,000. Besides these, 237,000 are supposed to have been
destroyed in other places ; not to speak of numbers, who are not within the
sphere of calculation, swept away by the nameless and numberless casualties
of a state of war. The number of captives throughout the whole war, was
97,000." Kenrick. " (pp. 50-51)
"22. But for the elect's sake: By
the elect here may be meant either the Jewish nation styled so commonly,
God's chosen people (Isa. xlv. 4), for whose sake those calamitous days were
brought to a close, that so a remnant might be left to fulfil the future
purposes of God's providence : or, on the other hand, the term may refer to
the christians, as Le Clerc, and Whitby suppose, who are thus designated in
the N. T. as the Jews were in the O. T. In this last sense the word seems to
be used a little below, v. 24.
Those days shall be shortend; " The
Sicarii, or bands of assassins, and afterwards the Zealots, committed such
devastations that Vespasian hastened the preparations of the siege to save
the remnant of the people." Grotius." (p. 51)
24:28. "Wheresoever the carcase is etc. : i.
e. " the Roman armies will detect and subdue all opposition, as easy as the
eagle finds and seizes its prey. Here may also be another allusion to the
figure of eagles in the Roman standards." Priestley." (pp. 50-51)
29. Shall the sun be darkened and the moon
etc. : By these expressive images, the prophets were wont to depict the
subversion of cities and states, as well as of the Jewish state, civil and
ecclesiastical. See Isa. xiii. 10, xxiv. 23. So Ezekiel of the destruction
of Egypt. Joy and prosperity are prefigured, on the other hand, by an
increase of light in the sun and moon (Isa. xxx. 26). The origin of this use
of language is obvious enough ; for as the sun and moon are the highest
sources of physical benefit to mankind, the darkness of these luminaries is
a fit emblem of any signal calamity. Kenrick, Le Clerc &c" (p. 51)
30. The sign of the son of man who is
in heaven : That is, the evidences that he is in heaven, or in his
exalted state of glory and power ; such as are these signal retributions on
his enemies. So Hammond, and Le Clerc. Both these writers however, suppose
with Priestly, that vvs. 29, 30, 31, in a sublimer and figurative sense,
relate to the final advent.
Then shall all the tribes of the earth
: C. V. or, of the land, i. e. of Judea : Campbell. So Wakefield, Kenrick,
and Le Clerc." (p. 52)
34. "This generation shall not pass
: Kenrick, with others, considers this text as decisive evidence that the
preceding prophecy, in its literal application solely referred to the
destruction of Jerusalem." (p. 52)
36,37 "But as the days of Noah were, so
shall also etc. : " That is, there will be the same security and
unconcern about the coming of the Son of man among the Jews, as there was in
the antideluvian world about the deluge." Keurick. " (p. 52)
Matthew 26: "64. The Son of man sitting
on the right hand of power : This language' very nearly corresponds to
that, Ch. xxiv.30, and like that, describes the approaching doom of
Jerusalem." (p. 56)
Matthew 28:"20. Unto the end of the world : C. V. To the conclusion
of this state : Campbell's Tr., or, nf the age : as Wakefleldand Imp. Vers.
i. e. to the end of the Jewish economy, the destruction of Jerusalem and the
temple ; soon after which miraculous powers were withdrawn, and no personal
appearances of J.C. are recorded." So Bp. Pearce. At the present time,
into is known to be preferred in the performance of this rite by many
pastors, without distinction of doctrinal belief." (p. 60)
Luke 3:7 - "From the wrath to come : C. V. or, from the impending
vengeance : Campbell's Tr. - from the wrath that is approaching :
Wakefield's Tr. So Matt. iii. 7-, " i- e. the vengeance about to be taken on
the Jewish nation." Bp. Pearce and Priestley interpret the phrases which
follow, viz. the axe laid unto the root (v. 9.) - baptizing with fire (v.
16.) - the fan in his hand (v. 17-), as bearing the same allusive
application. Comp. Matt. iii. 7-12, and Note on ver. 11." (p. 91)
Luke 17:22. "One of the days of the Son of man:
Hammond applies this to the Pharisees, in the destruction of Jerusalem, as
wishing for one of the opportunities of mercy they now rejected. Le Clerc,
taking the phrase in this last sense, contrasts it however with the display
of visible power and splendor, just alluded to; and in their anxiety to
witness and enjoy which, they did not value the other." (p. 123)
Luke 17:26, 27. As it was in the days of Noah :
See Notes on Matt. xxiv. 36, 38. 31. Which shall be upon the house top : See
Notes on Matt. xxiv. 17, 18. 34-36. The one shall be taken and the other
left : " That is, meaning a signal interposition for the preservation of the
christians, at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem." Pearce." (p. 123)
Luke 23:31. "If they do these things in a green tree,
etc. : " This was a Hebrew proverb, in which the worthy and the pious
answered to the green flourishing tree ; and corrupt men to the dry. See
Ezek. xvii. 24 ; Ps. i. 3. The sense, therefore, is, - if I, an innocent
man, encounter such indignities and cruelties, with how much heavier evils'
will those who are reprobate, as the Jews, be visited." Kuinoel ; and also,
Hammond and Priestley. Wakefield applies the two states of the tree, to the
Jewish nation. " If there be such lamentation now, while your condition is
green and flourishing, what will it be when it withers, and is brought to
ruin." With this, the general notion of Le Clerc coincides, - '' The
condition of the Jews is bad at present ; what will it be, when they take up
arms." (p. 134)
John 12: 31. "Now is the judgment of this world:
C. V., or, must this world be judged: Campbell, i. e. the time is near when
the unbelieving Jews will incur punishment." Imp. V., and Pearce. Newcome
also cites, to show that the world is often used of the Jewish state and
dispensation in Gal. iv. 3 ; Eph. ii. 2 ; Col. ii. 8, 20. See Ns. on Luke
ii. 2 ; Matt. xxiv. 14, 30.
The prince of this world : " i. e. the Jewish magistracy and
dispensation will be abolished, and the political existence of the Jews, as
a nation, will be destroyed.' If the first clause of the vs. is to be taken
of the Jewish nation, the last is to be so, of course, of its rulers." Imp.
V. Kenrick's par., however, gives a larger scope to the above ; - ' Now is
sentence of condemnation to be passed on the heathen world, by the preaching
of my G. among them ; now is Satan, the supposed patron of idolatry and
darkness, and head of the heathen world, (see N. on Luke x. 18,) to be cast
out from his authority, etc.' (pp. 199,200)
"John 16:9-11. He will convince the world, i. e.
numbers of the Jews ; making them to see, as they did not before, their sin
in rejecting me. He will make my righteousness or innocence clearly to
appear, through these miraculous powers, the effusion of which follows my
ascension. He will cause it to be owned, that there is a just judge of the
world, who will punish those who oppose his designs ; exemplified in the
ruin of the Jewish state, for their crime, in my crucifixion. So, Kenrick,
Priestley, Pearce and others." (p. 207)
John 21:22, 23. "Tarry till I come : " By which
coming of Christ, is clearly meant, the destruction of Jerusalem. (See N. on
Matt. xxiv. 3.) This event took place A. D. 70, and John survived it about
thirty years." Hammond ; and so, Lightfoot, Le Clerc, Kenrick, etc. Many of
the early Christians understood by Christ's coming, the final judgment ; and
from this error, derived another ; viz. that of supposing, most strangely,
that John was to live till this event." (p. 220)
Acts 3:19 "Times of refreshing shall come: "These
are thought to refer to the ease and security which the Jewish converts to
the faith of J. would enjoy, when the persecution of their countrymen was
checked by the destruction of the Jewish state and city." Kenrick ; and so,
Hammond. Comp. Luke xxi. 28. Whitby, with the ancients, inclines to refer it
to the second advent of J., and to the rest of heaven, which would follow, 2
Thess. i. 6-8. Ros. says, " that it may be applied not only to this, but to
spiritual blessings of all sorts, enjoyed by christians in this or a future
Acts 3:21. "Times of restitution of all things :
"C. V. or, of the completion of all things, which God had spoken, etc. :
Kenrick ; " i. e. in the subversion of the Jewish city and polity. The
phrase coming of Christ, is, in the N. T., applied not only to his personal
appearance, but to any special display of divine power in his favor, or on
his account ; and eminently, to this event." See N's. on Matt. xxiv. Pearce
also considers this phrase, and that just noticed, (vs. 19,) to mean the
same thing ; though what this is, he does not very precisely define.
Newcome's comment, which is very similar to that of P., seems to give the
sense of both, - " when all things shall be disposed, ordered, settled in a
perfect state ; from their present imperfect one." Priestley and Whitby, on
the other hand, apply this to the general resurrection, or the end of time.
Since the world began: or, from the beginning : or, the most ancient times :
Ros., VVakefield, Kenrick. See N's. on Luke i. 70 ; Matt. xxiv. 3."
(pp. 227, 228)
Acts 6:14. "Shall destroy this place, etc. : " He
had probably spoken of the destruction of the temple ; which J. had foretold
to his disciples ; involving with it, the cessation of the ceremonial law."
Pearce." (p. 223)
Romans 13:11. Now is our salvation nearer, etc. : "
i. e. the second coming of J., to raise the dead, and reward the just; which
the primitive Chs., and perhaps the Aps. themselves, expected to take place
in a very few years, and before the generation then living, became extinct."
Grotius. Locke. Taylor repels this explanation, * and remarks, "that Paul
had no such belief, is almost put beyond dispute, from 2 Thess. ii. 1. He
there rectifies the mistake of the Thessalonians, who had been led by his
former Ep. (v. 2-4) into the same error with Mr. Locke. Those expressions
which represent our L.'s coming as at hand, as drawing nigh, etc., are
otherwise to be interpreted, viz. This coming coincides, to each man, with
the time of his death : for then certainly, our Cn. course of duties,
sufferings, watchings, etc. ends." Hammond and Whitby understand this
salvation to mean, deliverance from the persecution of hostile Jews, by the
fall of Jerusalem. McKnight's comment is less natural than any : " We ought
the rather, to lay aside all indolence in the discharge of Cn. duty, as the
G. is so much better understood by us than at first."
* The opinion that Paul, and the aps. generally,
cherished the belief above-mentioned, as supposed by Grotius, Locke, and
other critics indeed, does not at all affect their inspiration; which
secured them from error, only on what belonged to the system of Cn.
doctrine. The precise lime, when the consummation of all things should
happen, it is well urged, were no parts of that doctrine; but open, like
any common subject, to misapprehension. The passages in the Eps., in
which the above persuasion is thought to be expressed, are, - Rom. xiii.
11, 12; Phil. iv.5 ; 1 Thess. V. 2; Heb. ix. 37 ; James v.7-9 ; 1 Pet.
iv. 7 ; 2 Pet. iii. 10-12." (p. 322)
"Romans 16:20. Shall bruise Satan : " i.
e. bad man ; the persecuting Jews and Judaizers being here meant." Newcome.
So, Whitby. Grotius, etc. etc., who add, " that the bruising under their feet,
must then designate the fall of Jerusalem and the entire dispersion of the
Jews ; this Ep. being written within eight years of the breaking out of the
Jewish war." (Annotation, p. 328)
I Corinthians 2:6. "Howebeit, we speak wisdom, etc.
: " Howbeit, that which we preach is wisdom, and known to be so, among those
that are thoroughly instructed in the Cn. religion." Locke's par. - Of this
world: or, of this age: Locke. Pearce. Whitby. L. observes, " that this
phrase seems to him, to signify commonly, if nnt always, in the N. T., that
state which men, whether Jews or Gentiles, were in during the Mosaic
economy, as contra-distinguished to the G. economy or state, which is
commonly called the world [age] to come - that come to nought : i. e. who
are vanishing. The Jewish rulers (comp. vs. 8) and their very constitution
itself, were upon the poinT of being abolished and swept away." Locke's
par." (p. 331)
Phil. 4:5. The Lord is at hand: "Coming for the
subversion of Jerusalem, and your deliverance from persecution. See 1 Pet.
iv. 7 ; James iv. 9." Whitby, Harwood, etc. Grotius refers it, however, to "
the final coming of our S., to judge the world ; believed by them to be just
at hand.'' See N., Rom. xiii. 11. (p. 446)
II Thess. 2: "A falling away first : i.e. a
great defection or aposta- cy. Benson, Priestley, Harwood, etc., with Bp.
Newton, Bp. Kurd, and the majority of protestant critics, apply this noted
passage to the rise and power of the Romish church, which was a monstrous
defection from pure Ctny. " Man of sin and man of perdition are Hebraisms,"
says Benson, " to denote an eminently notorious and wicked man, who shall
perish with a great and signal destruction.' " * The Papists seek to evade
this application of the passage by urging, that the epithets being in the
singular number, only one person can be meant by them. This, however, is
easily disproved from the scripture-use in many other examples ; as the
adversary, the deceiver, the antichrist, etc. ; terms which describe a
number, and therefore may here denote a spiritual tyranny exercised by a
succession of men. Thus, Benson and McKnight. Eminent critics there are,
however, who resolve and apply this prophecy wholly otherwise : - some of
them, curiously enough. Hammond takes Gnosticism (see marg.N., page 269) to
be the grand 'apostacy,' and Simon Magus, the ' man of sin' ; Grotius refers
the latter term to Caligula, explaining the ' apostacy,' of the wickedness
and impiety of his reign ; and Wetstein found a key to it, in another point
of the Roman history. Lastly, - Le Clerc, Whitby, and Ros. refer ' the day
of the Lord' to the destruction of Jerusalem ; the ' apostacy' to the revolt
of the Jews; the 'man of sin' to the false prophets and Messiahs who urged
them on to revolt, and to the zealots in particular (see N., Luke vi. 15).
He who ' restrained the apostacy' may have been the emperor Claudius, during
whose reign, the Jews remained quiet." (p. 466)
James 5:3. "Ye have heaped treasure : The Syriac Tr.,
which Wakefield follows, connects as it were fire with this sentence, —Ye
have laid up treasures to be as fire unto you, in the last day 1st ; Whitby,
and McKnight render, - Ye have treasured up (viz. misery) for the last days,
i. e. against the destruction of your country, which is at hand. 4. The Lord
of sabaoth : or, of hosts : as most Trs. So, Rom. ix. 29. 5. In a day of
slaughter : or, u As on a festival-day r, i. e. when animals were liberally
sacrificed.'' Grotius. Beza. Benson. 6. The just: By which term, most
critics understand Jesus Christ to be meant, of whom the same is used, Acts
iii. 14, vii. 52, xxii. 14. McKnight, Wakefield, and Imp. V., tr.
accordingly, - The just one. Le Clerc, Benson, and Ros. interpret the just
or righteous man, as a general expression ; meaning, those Cns. who were the
subjects of Jewish persecution." (p. 530)
8. The coming of the Lord : Priestley is perhaps
alone, in referring this to the final judgment. (See N. Rom. xiii. 11.) Ros.
seems to understand it of 'the time of death' ; but interpreters, most
generally, of the destruction of Jerusalem. "" (p. 530)
9. Grudge not one against another : Doddridge,
Benson, and Beza, tr. this, - Groan not secretly against each other, " i. e.
as expressing hereby, a suppressed impatience." Schleusner explains it, - '
to spread unfavorable reports.' Newcome trs., - Grieve not for one another,
i. e. the afflictions you mutually suffer." Lest ye be condemned : i. e.
Lest God punish you. "' (p. 530)
I Peter 4:7 "The end of all things : " Of the temple, of the law, of
the Jewish state." McKnight, Benson, Pyle, etc. Watch unto prayer : C. V.
Watchful in prayer : Wakefield." (p. 539)
II Peter 3:7- "The heavens and the earth reserved unto
fire : This is commonly interpreted of the consummation of all things ;
Benson refers to the Stoics and other heathen philosophers, and also to some
of the Greek and Roman poets, to show that an opinion existed among them,
that the world was to be destroyed by fire. Yet there are those, who take
this figuratively, (l.) Priestley says, " As the world was once destroyed by
a flood, there is no reason to believe that it will always retain its
present state. It may therefore be destroyed by fire, or any other means.
But the ap.'s language in this place, is probably figurative, and only
descriptive of those great changes which will precede the second coming of
Christ, and the commencement of his proper kingdom." (2) Hammond, Wetstein,
Cave, and Lightfoot, also take it figuratively ; but refer it to the
destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish state. In the prophetical language
of the Old Testament, future events are prefigured in a similar manner, by
convulsions in the whole system of nature. [These critics apply, of course,
the coming, spoken of, vs. 4, to the subversion of the Jewish state, [as
does Harwood] ; this phrase and the day of the Lord having generally in the
IS". T., as H. thinks, this application.] (Comp. Isa. xxxiv. 4; Ezek. xxxii.
7 ; Joel ii. 10, 30, 31 ; Haggai ii. 6 ; also Matt. ch. xxiv.) See Ns., Heb.
xii. 26 ; Luke xxi. 25.
II Peter 3:9. As a thousand years: Benson, contending against the
opinion of Hammond and others, just noticed, says, " Peter, if he had been
speaking of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, would hardly have talked
of a thousand years."
II Peter 3:10. The elements shall melt, etc. : Those who interpret the
language of this Ch. as having a literal reference to the end of the world,
do not agree as to what these comprehend ; McKnight and Benson say, only the
earth and the surrounding atmosphere. Mede, Wolf, and Whitby make it to
include the whole planetary system."
II Peter 3:13. New heavens and a new earth : The commentators spoken
of, vs. 7, interpret this, of the flourishing, happy, and peaceful state of
the Cn. church, after the destruction of Jerusalem. Whitby concurs with them
in this, though opposed to them on the preceding passage. (pp. 545,546)
I John 2:18 "The last time: " viz. of the Jewish
commonwealth." Grotius and critics generally. Antichrist : This word
strictly signifies, ' in place of Christ,' i. e. a false Christ. " We may
infer that hereby were meant those false teachers who were foretold by our
L. (Matt. xxiv.) to arise about the time of the fall of Jerusalem, and who
were now gone abroad. When John mentions these teachers collectively, he
calls them, Antichrist, (singular uum- ber,) as Paul in a like manner, uses
the expression, The man of sin. (See N., 2 Thes. ii. 3.) But when John
speaks of these teachers as individuals, he calls them, many." Benson.
Doddridge takes them to have been apostates from Ctny. (See vs. 19.) (p.