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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 16

 

 

Verse 1

Pharisees . . . Sadducees. See App-120.

came = having come to [Him].

a sign. Compare Matthew 12:38.

from = out of. Greek. ek.

heaven = the heaven, or sky (singular), same as in verses: Matthew 2:3.


Verse 2

He = And He.

It will be. Omit.

fair weather. Greek. eudia. Occurs only here, and in Matthew 16:3.

the sky = the heaven (sing), as in Matthew 16:1 (see note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10). This is the point of the question.

red. Greek. purrazo. Occurs only here, and in Matthew 16:3.


Verse 3

foul weather = a storm.

can = get to know by experience. App-132.

discern. Greek. diakrino. App-122.


Verse 4

wicked = evil. See note on Matthew 11:16.

adulterous: spiritually. See Matthew 12:39. Jeremiah 3:9. Ezekiel 23:37, &c.

seeketh = is (constantly) seeking.

Jonas = Jonah. See Matthew 12:39.


Verse 5

to = unto. Greek. eis.

take = bring.

bread = loaves.


Verse 6

Take heed = Look well. Greek. horao. App-133.

beware of the leaven. Figure of speech Hypocatastasis. leaven put by implication for "doctrine" (Matthew 16:12), because of its evil effects. Compare notes on Matthew 15:26, and Matthew 13:33.

beware = pay attention to, so as to be careful of.

of = from. Here, away from: i.e. beware [and keep] away from, or keep clear of, as in Matthew 7:15. Greek. apo. App-104.

leaven. See note on Matthew 13:33.


Verse 8

O ye of little faith. See note on Matthew 6:30; and Compare Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:31, and Luke 12:28.


Verse 9

baskets. Greek. kophinos. Used in connection with the five thousand and the twelve full baskets left in Matthew 14:20.


Verse 10

baskets. Greek. spuris. A larger plaited basket or hamper. Used in connection with the seven baskets left in Matthew 15:37.


Verse 11

concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.


Verse 12

doctrine = teaching. This was the word which the Lord had been implying in Matthew 16:6, using the Figure of speech Hypocatastasis. App-6. The woman of Canaan saw what was implied in the word "dog"; and her faith was called "great" (Matthew 15:28); the disciples did not understand what the Lord implied by the word "leaven", and their faith was "little".


Verse 13

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

coasts = parts.

Whom = Who. The pronoun being governed by the verb "am", not by the verb "say", it must be "who" as in Acts 13:25 also.

men. Greek plural of anthropos. App-123.

the Son of man. See App-98.


Verse 14

John. Risen from the dead.

some = others. Greek. allos. App-124.

Elias = Elijah.

others = different ones. Greek. heteros.


Verse 16

the Christ = the Messiah. The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version reads "Thou art Christ".


Verse 17

Blessed = Happy. See note on Matthew 5:3.

Simon Bar-jona = Simon, son of Jonah. The Lord uses his human name and parentage in contrast with the divine origin of the revelation made to him.

Bar-jona. Aramaic. See App-94.:28. Occurs only here.

flesh and blood. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for a mortal human being in contrast with God the Father in the heavens. See 1 Corinthians 15:50. Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:16. Ephesians 6:12. Hebrews 2:14.

heaven = the heavens (plural) See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.


Verse 18

I say also = I also say (as well as the Father), looking back to a preceding Agent with Whom the Lord associates Himself.

thou art Peter. See App-147.

Peter. Greek. petros. A stone (loose and movable), as in John 1:42.

this. Very emphatic, as though pointing to Himself. See notes on John 2:19; John 6:58. One of three important passages where "this" stands for the speaker. See notes on John 2:19, and John 6:58.

this rock = Greek. petra. Petra is Feminine, and therefore could not refer to Peter; but, if it refers to Peter"s confession, then it would agree with homologia (which is feminine), and is rendered confession in 1 Timothy 6:13, and profession in 1 Timothy 6:12. Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 10:23. Compare 2 Corinthians 9:13. Whether we are to understand it (with Augustine and Jerome) as implying "thou hast said [it]" (see App-147), or "thou art Peter", most Protestants as well as these ancient "Fathers" agree that Peter"s confession is the foundation to which Christ referred, and not Peter himself. He was neither the foundation nor the builder (a poor builder, Matthew 16:23) but Christ alone, Whom he had confessed (1 Corinthians 3:11). Thus ends the great subject of this second portion of the Lord"s ministry. See App-119.

rock. Greek. petra. A rock (in situ) immovable: the Messiah, as being "the Son of the living God", Who is the foretold "foundation-stone" (Isaiah 28:16); and the rejected stone (Psalms 118:22).

will = shall. Therefore then future, as in Hosea 1:10; Hosea 2:23.

church = assembly. Defined as "Israel", and the "Remnant" (Romans 9:2, Romans 9:1-27). Not the ecclesia of the mystery (or secret) revealed in Ephesians; but that referred to in Psalms 22:22, Psalms 22:25, &c.

the gates. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for power.

the gates of hell = the gates of Hades (= THE grave), denoting the power of the grave to retain, as in Isaiah 38:10. Job 38:17 (Septuagint) Psalms 9:13; Psalms 107:18.

hell = THE grave. Greek. Hades. See App-131.

prevail. Greek. katischuo. Occurs only here and Luke 23:23 = have full strength, to another"s detriment: i.e. THE grave shall not have power to retain its captives, because Christ holdeth the keys of those gates, and they shall not be strong enough to triumph (Revelation 1:18. Compare Psalms 68:20). Resurrection is the great truth asserted here. Compare Ezekiel 37:11-14. Acts 2:29-31. 1 Corinthians 15:55. Hosea 13:14.


Verse 19

the keys. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the power to open. Christ has the keys of Hades; Peter had the keys of the kingdom. See next note.

the kingdom of heaven = the kingdom of the heavens. See App-112, and App-114. This power Peter exercised in Acts 2 in Israel, and Acts 10 among the Gentiles. Not the "Church" of the mystery (Eph 3).

thou shalt bind, &c. This power was given to the others (Matthew 18:18. John 20:23), and exercised in Acts 5:1-11, Acts 5:12-16. Whatever authority is implied, no power was given to communicate it to others, or to them in perpetuity. Binding and loosing is a Hebrew idiom for exercising authority. To bind = to declare what shall be binding (e.g. laws and precepts) and what shall be not binding.

on. Greek. epi. App-104.


Verse 20

Jesus. All the texts omit this, here, with Syriac.

the Christ = the Messiah. See App-98.


Verse 21

From that time, &c. This commences the third period of the Lord"s ministry, the subject of which is the rejection of Messiah. See App-119.

began, &c. This is stated four times (here, Matthew 17:22; Matthew 20:17; Matthew 20:28). See the Structure above; each time with an additional feature.

must. Note the necessity (Luke 24:26).

be raised again. Omit "again". Not the same word as in Matthew 17:9, but the same as in Matthew 17:23.

the third day. The first occurrence of this expression (canonically). See App-148.


Verse 22

took Him = took Him aside.

Be it far from Thee = "[God] be merciful to Thee". A pure Hebraism. See 1 Chronicles 11:19. not = by no means.


Verse 23

Get thee . . . Satan. The Lord saw in this a direct assault of Satan himself through Peter.

Satan. See note on Matthew 4:10.

an offence = a snare: i.e. an occasion of stumbling.

savourest = regardest.

be of = belong to.


Verse 24

If, &c. Assuming such a case.

will = is willing (Indic), or desireth. Greek. thelo. All hinges on the will. Compare John 5:40.

come = to come.

take up. The "cross "was always borne by the one condemned.

cross. Greek. stauros. See App-162. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the suffering associated with the burden.


Verse 25

will save = be willing (Subj.) to save, as above.

his life. Greek. psuche his soul. Should be "soul" here, if "soul" in Matthew 16:26; or, "life" in Matthew 16:26, if "life" here.


Verse 26

if he shall, &c. = if he should. Expressing an impossible condition.

world. Greek. kosmos. See App-129.

his own soul = his life, as in Matthew 16:25.

soul. Greek. psuche. App-110.


Verse 27

the glory. The sufferings are never mentioned apart from the glory (Matthew 16:21). See App-71, and Compare Matthew 17:1-9.

reward = render to.

according to. Greek. kata.

works = doing.


Verse 28

Verily. See note on Matthew 5:18.

be = are.

some = some of those.

till. The particle an, with the Subjunctive Mood, gives this a hypothetical force. Compare the four "tills" (Matthew 10:23; Matthew 16:28; Matthew 23:39; Matthew 24:34; Matthew 26:29).

see = may have seen. App-133. See notes on "an" above and below. Greek. eidon. App-133.

coming, &c. The promise of this coming was definitely repeated later, in Acts 3:19-26, and was conditional on the repentance of the nation. Hence the particle "an", which (though untranslatable) expresses the condition or hypothesis implied. Their continuing to live until Acts 28:25, Acts 28:26 was certain; but the fulfillment of the condition was uncertain. No "an"after "until" in Matthew 17:9.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 16:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/matthew-16.html. 1909-1922.

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