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said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings ? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
The principal things in this chapter are fully explained in notes on the xxivth chapter of Matthew.
What manner of stones. The stones here referred to were those used in the building of the temple, and the walls on the sides of Mount Moriah on which the temple stood. The temple was constructed of white marble, and the blocks were of a prodigious size. Josephus says that these stones were some of them fifty feet long, twenty-four broad, and sixteen in thickness.
What buildings. The buildings connected with the temple, the main building, and the courts, and porches that surrounded it.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled ? 5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: 6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled : for such things must needs be ; but the end shall not be yet. 8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles : these are the beginnings of sorrows.
Upon the mount of Olives, over against the temple. The mount of Olives was directly east of Jerusalem, and from it there was a fine view of the temple.
9 But take heed to yourselves : for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. 10 And the gospel must ürst be published among all nations.
• Take heed to yourselves.' Take care of your lives, not to run into unnecessary danger. “To councils.' The higher ecclesiastical courts of the Jews, including the sanhedrim, or great council of the nation. 'Rulers and kings.' Referring to Roe m2?) Officers. For a testimony against them.' Rainer to bear
testimony to them; or to be witnesses before them of the truth because they were attached to him. See Acts iv, vi, vii. xxiii. xxiv. 24, 25,
11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
'Neither do ye premeditate.' Do not think beforehand, or prepare an answer. You know not what the accusations will be ; and God will furnish you with a reply that shall be adapted to the occasion. Not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.' This is a full promise that they should be inspired, and consequently their defences recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, are the words of the Holy Ghost. There could be no more explicit promise that they should be under an infallible guidance; and we are not left to doubt that they were taught of God. He gave them power, and they spake with a wisdom, fearlessness, pungency, ar ability, which no other men have ever manifested-full proof that these illiterate fishermen were under the influence of the Holy Ghost.
12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. 13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake : but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 | But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let him that readeth understand) then let them that be in Judea tlee to the mountains : 15 And let him that is on the house-top not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house : 16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. 17 But wo to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. 19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. 20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. 21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, hier is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible even the elect. 23 But take ye heed : behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 | But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28 Now learn a parable of the figtree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near : 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, That this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
'The brother shall betray,' &c. The brother shall give up in a treacherous manner his brother to be put to death, on account of his attachment to Jesus. Through fear, in the hope of reward and the hatred of the gospel, he will overcome all the natural ties of brotherhood, and give up his own kindred to be burnt or crucified. Perhaps nothing could more clearly show the dreadful evil of those times, as well as the natural opposition of the heart to the religion of Christ. 'On the house-top.' See Matt. ix. 1-8.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray : for ye know not when the time is.
'Neither the Son.' This passage has no more difficulty than that in Luke ii. 52, where it is said that Jesus increased in wis. dom and siature. He had a human nature. He grew as a man in knowledge. As a man, his knowledge must be finite. As a man, he often spoke, reasoned, inquired, felt, feared, read, learned, ate, drank, and walked. All these imply that he was a man; and that, as a man, he was not infinite
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far jour. dey, who left his house, and gave authority to his serTants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
“Who left his house.' The word ' house often means family. Our Saviour here represents himself as going away, leaving his household, the church, assigning to the apostles, and all his servants, their duty, and leaving it uncertain when he would return, As his return was a matter of most consequence, and as the af fairs of his kingdom were intrusted to them, just as the affairs of a house to servants, when the master was absent: so it was of vast importance that they should be faithful at their post : defend the house from danger, and be ready for his return. "The porter.' The door-keeper. To the door-keeper was intrusted, particularly, the faithful care of the house, whose duty it was to attend carefully on those who came, and those who leit the house.
35 Watch ye therefore : for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning:
Watch ye.' Be diligent, faithful, and waiting for the return of your Lord who will come at an unexpected hour, "Master of the house.' Denoting here the Lord Jesus. “At even or at inid. night, or,' &c. This refers to the four divisions into which the Jews divided the night.
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
Find you sleeping. Inattentive to your post, neglecting your duty, and unprepared for his coming.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
"All, Watch. This command was proper, not only for those who were expecting the calamities that were soon to come upon the Jews, but for all. The Son of man may come at any moment, and we should, therefore, be ready. If we are his friends, if we have been renewed and pardoned, if we have repented of our sins, and believed on him, and are leading a holy life-we are ready. If not, we are unprepared, and soon, probably while we are not expecting it, the cold hand of death will be laid on us, and we shall be hurried to the place where is weeping, and wail. ing, and gnashing of teeth. O how important it is to be ready, and to escape the awful sufferings of an eternal hell!
CHAPTER XIV. 1 AFTER two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread : and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and
put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feastday, lest there be an uproar of the people.
See this passage explained in notes on Matt. xxvi. 1-16. 'And of unleavened bread.' So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast. 'By craft.' By subtilty (Matt.), that is, by some secret plan that would secure possession of him without exciting the opposition of the people,
3 T And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman hay. ing an alabaster-box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone : why trouble ye her ? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good : but me ye have not always, 8 She hath done what she could : she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 10 | And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money, And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
• Ointment.' This was a perfume: it was used only to give a pleasant odour: it was liquid. Of spikenard.' The nard from which this perfume was made, is a plant of the East Indies, with a small slender stalk, and a heavy, thick root. The best perfume is obtained from the root. • And she brake the box. This may mean no more than that she broke the seal of the box, so that it could be poured out. Boxes of perfumes are often s made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. * Three hundred pence.' About nine pounds, thirteen shillings. ‘She hath done what she could. She hath showed the highest attachment in her power; and it was a sufficient argument against