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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 11



Other Authors
Verse 1

Jesus. App-98.

preach = proclaim. App-121. Continuing His mission (Matthew 4:17).

Verse 2

heard in the prison. John"s arrest had been mentioned in Matthew 4:12.

Christ = the Messiah. See App-98.

he sent. Greek. pempo. Sent as envoys. See notes on Luke 7:3 and Luke 7:6. This is not the same mission as that in Luk 7.

(1) In this (the former) no number of those sent is given (see note on "two" below): in the latter there were "two" (Luke 7:19). The antecedents and consequents are different.

(2) In the former, the Twelve had just been appointed, which may have raised questions in John"s mind; in the latter, the antecedent was the raising of the widow"s son, before the calling of the Twelve.

(3) In the former case, the Lord called them to see and note what He was then doing, "which ye are hearing and seeing" (Matthew 11:4).

(NB., the tenses are all Present. See Matthew 11:5.) In the latter case, they are to te11 John "what ye have seen and heard" (Matthew 11:22). The consequents are repetitions suited to the different circumstances. See App-97.

two. All the texts read dia = by means of (App-104. Matthew 11:1), instead of duo = two, as in Luke 7:18.

Verse 3

He That should come = He Who cometh, or the corning One: i.e. He Who was expected to come. Compare Matthew 3:11; Matthew 21:9; Matthew 23:39. John 3:31. Psalms 118:26. Genesis 49:10. Isaiah 35:4. Ezekiel 21:27. Zechariah 9:9.

do we look for = are we to expect.

another = a different [one].

Verse 4

Jesus = And Jesus. App-98.

answered and said. A Hebraism. See note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

shew = report.

again. Not in the Greek. in Matthew 11:7-8.

Verse 5

The blind = Blind (no Art. in this verse, because only some of each kind are meant. Not all the blind, &c.) These were the miracles foretold of Him (Isaiah 35:5, Isaiah 35:6; Isaiah 61:1). No others (qua, miracles) would have sufficed as His credentials.

the dead = dead (persons). No Art. See App-139.

raised up = raised to life.

have the gospel preached to them. This is one word in the Greek (euangelizo) = are told the good news or glad tidings (Isaiah 61:1).

Verse 6

blessed = happy. See note on Matthew 5:3.

not be offended = find nothing to stumble at.

Me: i.e. in My Person, My teachings, My grace, &c.; as many did. Compare Luke 4:22 with Luke 4:28.

Verse 7

departed = were going forward. See note on Matthew 11:1.

concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

What . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis, and Anaphora. See verses: Matthew 8:9.

to see = to gaze on. Greek. theaomai. App-133.

with = by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

Verse 8

for to see = to see. Greek. eidon. App-133.

soft raiment = soft, or effeminate [raiment]. Mantles are meant, made of silk or linen, as worn by the effendis or gentry, in the East, to-day.

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

Verse 9

prophet. See App-49.

more than = far more than.

Verse 10

of = concerning. Greek. peri, as in Matthew 11:7.

it is written = it standeth written.

I send, &c. Quoted from Malachi 3:1. See App-107 and App-117. Compare Mark 1:2. Luke 1:17, Luke 1:76; Luke 7:27.

messenger = angel. Greek. angelos.

Verse 11

Verily. See note on Matthew 5:18.

Among. Greek. en with plural

born of women = brought forth by women (see note on Matthew 1:2, Matthew 1:16, Matthew 1:18). A Hebraism (yelud "ishshah). See Job 14:1; Job 15:14; Job 25:4.

least = less: i.e. younger, meaning Himself.

the kingdom. John was only proclaiming it (but not "in" it). The kingdom was rejected both as announced by John (Matthew 3:2), by Christ (Matthew 4:17), and by Peter (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-26); and, since its final rejection in Acts 28:25, Acts 28:26, is postponed, and is now in abeyance. See Hebrews 2:8 ("not yet"). The possessor is greater than the proclaimer.

the kingdom of heaven. See App-114.

heaven = the heavens (plural)

he: i.e. John.

Verse 12

And = But.

suffereth violence = forceth itself upon men"s attention. Greek. biazomai. Occurs only here and Luke 16:16. Supposed to be only passive (as rendered here), but this agrees neither with the facts nor with the context. Deissmann (Bib. Stud., p. 258) tells of the discovery of an inscription of Xanthus the Lycian, found near Sunium (E. Attica), containing the regulations as to approaching the healing divinity of the sanctuary of Men Tyrannos: "If any one forces himself in, his offering was not acceptable. "Those who fulfilled the conditions had the founder"s good wishes. This last clause is conclusive and agrees with Luke 16:16.

the violent = forceful ones. No Art. Greek. biastes. Occurs only here.

take it by force = lay hold of it.

Verse 13

all the prophets. See Acts 3:21.

the law. See note on Matthew 5:17.

until John. And all would have been fulfilled then had the nation repented.

Verse 14

if, &c. Assuming it as a fact. See App-118., as in verses: Matthew 11:21, Matthew 11:23.

will = are willing. Greek. thelo.

receive = to receive. Compare Acts 2:41.

this is = he represents. Had the nation repented, John would have been reckoned as Elijah.

is = represents. Figure of speech Metaphor. App-6.

Elias = Elijah.

was for to come = is about to come. See Malachi 4:5, and Luke 1:17.

Verse 15

He that hath ears to hear. A Hebraism. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6. Used only by the Lord, and marking a dispensational crisis (as this was) on fourteen different occasions. See App-142.

Verse 16

this generation? A significant expression, occurring sixteen times (Matthew 11:16; Matthew 12:41, Matthew 12:42; Matthew 23:36; Matthew 24:34. Mark 8:12, Mark 8:12; Mark 13:30. Luke 7:31; Luke 11:30, Luke 11:31, Luke 11:32, Luke 11:50, Luke 11:51; Luke 17:25; Luke 21:32). Characterized by other epithets, "evil" and "adulterous" (Matthew 12:39, Matthew 12:45; Matthew 16:4. Mark 8:38. Luke 11:29); "faithless and perverse" (Matthew 17:17. Mark 9:19. Luke 9:41); "untoward" (Acts 2:40). All this because it was the particular generation that rejected the Messiah.

children = little children. Dim. of pais. App-108.

fellows = companions. Greek. hetairos. Some of the texts read "others" (i.e. heteros for hetairos). Occurs only here; Matthew 20:13; Matthew 22:12; and Matthew 26:50 ("friend").

Verse 17

have not = did not. danced . . . lamented. Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6) in the Greek orchesasthe . . . ekopsasthe; but Figure of speech Parechesis, also in Ararnaic = rakkedton . . . arkkedton. In Eng. "ye did not leap . . . did not weep"; or "stept not . . . wept not". A common custom to this day; such response on the part of the audience being greatly appreciated.

Verse 18

came. In the Greek this is the Figure of speech Hyperbaton (put out of its place by commencing the verse), causing the Figure of speech Anaphora (App-6).

eating nor drinking. Supply the Ellipsis, eating nor drinking [with others].

devil = demon.

Verse 19

The Son of Man. See App-98.

winebibber = drinking to excess.

publicans and sinners. See notes on Matthew 5:46; Matthew 9:10.

But = And: i.e. And [for all that] Wisdom was [in each case] vindicated by her children; so with Messiah (the Wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24, 1 Corinthians 1:30. Compare Matthew 23:34 with Luke 11:49).

of = by. Greek. apo. App-104.

children. App-108. Tr. reads "work".

Verse 20

Then. Marking another stage of His rejection. Figure of speech Chronographia.

cities. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject) for their inhabitants. App-6.

wherein = in which. Greek. en, as in Matthew 11:1.

mighty works. Greek plural of dunamis (App-172.) See note on John 2:18.

were done = had taken place.

repented. Greek. metanoeo. App-111.

Verse 21

Woe, &c. Figure of speech Maledictio. App-6. A testimony as to His rejection.

Chorazin. Not named elsewhere, and no miracles recorded as performed there, or at Bethsaida. See App-169.

been done = taken place.

Tyre and Sidon. No mention of the Lord"s having been there.

Tyre. Now es Sur.

Sidon. The Zidon of the O.T.; now Saida, twenty-five miles south of Beirout.

Verse 22

at = in, as in Matthew 11:1.

the day, &c. Now drawing near. See note on Matthew 16:23.

Verse 23

Capernaum. See note on Matthew 4:13, and App-169.

art = wast.

heaven = the heaven. Sing, because in contrast with the earth. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

hell. Gr. Hades. See App-131.

Verse 25

that time. Of His rejection. Figure of speech Chronographia (App-6), emphasizing the lesson.

time = season.

answered and said = prayed and said. A Hebraism. See note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

I thank Thee = I openly confess to Thee.

Father. See App-98.

earth = the earth. App-129.

hast hid = didst hide.

the wise = wise ones (no Art.)

prudent = prudent ones: i.e. in their own eyes.

Verse 26

seemed good = became well-pleasing. Occurs with ginomai, only here and Luke 10:21.

Verse 27

are delivered = were [at some definite time] delivered.

of = by. Greek. hupo.

No man = no one. Greek. odes, or compound of. App-105.

knoweth = fully knoweth.

will reveal = intendeth (Greek. boulomai) to reveal.

reveal = unveil. Greek. apokalupto.

Verse 28

Come, &c. Here Christ refers, not to sins, but to service; not to guilt, but to labour; not to the conscience, but to the heart; not to repentance, but to learning; not to finding forgiveness, but to finding rest.

all. Here limited to those seeking "rest".

labour = toil.

heavy laden = burdened.

give. His rest is given. Ours must be found in His gift. We have none to give.

Verse 29

your souls = your own selves (emph.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 11:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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