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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 17



Other Authors
Verse 1

After six days. The Transfiguration (see App-149) is date in all three Gospels (Mark 9:2. Luke 9:28). It was thus connected with the first mention of His sufferings and death (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:9, Matthew 17:12), and would counteract any doubts that the disclosure might give rise to. By it the glory is connected with the sufferings, as it always is (Compare Matthew 16:21 with Matthew 17:27 and Luke 24:26, and see App-71. 1 Peter 1:11; 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 5:1); and it gives a glimpse of His coming (2 Peter 1:16-18).

after. Greek. meta. App-104.

Jesus. App-98.

taketh = taketh [Him aside].

Peter, &c. These three were with Him at the raising of Jairus"s daughter (Mark 6:37), and in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37).

James = and James.

an high mountain. Not the traditional "Tabor", for it was then inhabited, with a fortress on the top, according to Josephus. More probably Hermon.

Verse 2

transfigured. Greek. metamorphoomai = to change the form. Occurs only here, Mark 9:2, and in Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 3:18. Marking the change TO a new condition, while metaschematizo = change FROM a former condition. See note on Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:21.

was = became.

light. App-130.

Verse 3

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6), for emphasis.

appeared. App-106.

Moses. Representing the Law, and those to be raised from the dead. See note on Matthew 8:4.

Elias = Elijah. Representing those "caught up" without dying. Both mentioned in Malachi 4:4, Malachi 4:5.

talking = talking together. In Luke 9:31 "they spake of His decease".

Verse 4

if, &c. See the condition in App-118. Not the same as in Matthew 17:20.

wilt. App-102.

tabernacles = booths.

Verse 5

spake = was speaking.

a bright cloud. Was this the Shekhinah, the symbol of Jehovah"s glory?

out of. Greek. ek.

This is My beloved Son. The Divine formula of consecration of Messiah as priest; in Matthew 3:17 as prophet. In Psalms 2:7. Acts 13:33, and Hebrews 1:5; Hebrews 5:5, as king.

am well pleased = have found delight.

hear ye Him. Compare Deuteronomy 18:18, Deuteronomy 18:19.

Verse 6

on. Greek. epi.

sore = exceedingly.

Verse 7

not. Greek. me. App-105.

saw. App-133.

Verse 8

no man = no one.

save = except, used for alla (= but). See note on "but", Matthew 20:23.

only = alone.

Verse 9

from = away from. Greek. apo. App-104.

the Son of man. See App-98.

be risen again = have risen. Here, "again" is part of the verb. Not so in Matthew 17:23, and Matthew 16:21.

from = from among. Greek. ek. App-104. The first occurance of ek in this connection. Always associated with Christ and His People (not with the wicked dead). See all the other occurrences: Mark 6:14; Mark 9:9, Mark 9:10; Mark 12:25. Luke 9:7; Luke 16:31; Luke 20:35; Luke 24:46. John 2:22; John 12:1, John 12:9, John 12:17; John 20:9; John 21:14. Acts 3:15; Acts 4:2, Acts 4:10; Acts 10:41; Acts 13:30, Acts 13:34; Acts 17:3, Acts 17:31. Romans 4:24; Romans 6:4, Romans 6:9, Romans 6:13; Romans 7:4; Romans 8:11, Romans 8:11; Romans 10:7, Romans 10:9; Romans 11:15. 1 Corinthians 15:12, 1 Corinthians 15:20. Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:1. Ephesians 5:14. Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:11 (see note). Colossians 1:18; Colossians 2:12. 1 Thessalonians 1:10. 2 Timothy 2:8. Hebrews 13:20. 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Peter 1:21. On the other hand, with apo See Matthew 14:2; Matthew 27:64; Matthew 28:7. Compare Luke 16:30, Luke 16:31. In all other cases it is used simply of a resurrection of dead bodies, or of dead people.

the dead = dead people (no Art.) See App-139.

Verse 11

shall first come = cometh first.

restored will restore. Not the same, but better. The noun occurs only in Acts 3:21. The verb occurs eight times: Matthew 12:13; Matthew 17:11. Mark 3:5; Mark 8:25; Mark 9:12. Luke 6:10. Acts 1:6. Hebrews 13:19.

Verse 12

knew = recognized. Greek. epiginosko. App-132.

not. Greek. ou.

have done = did.

unto him = in his case. Greek. en. App-104.

listed = pleased, or willed. Greek. thelo. App-102.

shall . . . suffer = is about . . . to suffer. So in Matthew 17:22 and Matthew 20:22.

also the Son of man. = the Son of man also.

of = through or by. Greek. hupo. App-104.

Verse 13

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Verse 14

came = came down, &c. Compare Mark 9:14. Luke 9:37.

a certain man = a man. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

Verse 15

mercy = pity.

he is lunatick = moonstruck: i.e. epileptic, because epilepsy was supposed to be caused by the moon. Greek. seleniazomai. Occurs only in Matthew, here, and Matthew 4:24.

sore vexed = suffers miserably.

Verse 16

could not cure him = were not able to cure him.

Verse 17

faithless = unbelieving.

perverse = perverted.

generation. See note on Matthew 11:16.

how long . . . ? = until when . . . ? Figures of speech Erotesis and Ecphonesis. App-6.

suffer = put up with.

Verse 18

the devil = it, or him.

he = it: i.e. the demon.

out of = away from. Greek. apo. App-104. Not the same as Matthew 17:5.

child = boy. Greek. pais. App-108.

Verse 19

Why could not we cast him out? = Why were not we able to east it out? See notes on Matthew 21:21, and Luke 17:5.

Verse 20

Because = On account of. Greek. dia. See note on Luke 17:6.

unbelief. All the texts read "little faith", or "littleness of faith". See note on Matthew 6:38.

verily. See note on Matthew 5:18.

If, &c. Denoting a contingent condition. App-118.

say. The Rabbins were termed rooters up of mountains, because they were dexterous in removing difficulties. See note on Luke 17:6.

to yonder place = thither (as though pointing). See note on Luke 17:6.

Verse 21

this kind. Implying different kinds. See Matthew 12:45. Acts 16:17. 1 John 4:1. T Tr. [A] WH R omit this verse; but not the Syriac.

but = except.

prayer. Greek. proseuche. See App-134.

Verse 22

Galilee. App-169.

shall be = is about to be. This is the second of the four announcements. See the Structure, and note on Matthew 16:21.

betrayed = delivered up. This is added in this the second announcement of His sufferings. Compare Matthew 16:21.

Verse 23

shall = will.

the third day. See note on Matthew 16:21; and App-148.

be raised again = be raised up. Not the same word as in Matthew 17:9, but the same as in Matthew 16:21.

Verse 24

tribute = money = the didrachma = the half-shekels (Exodus 30:11-16). Occurs only here. See App-51.:8. Not the same word as in Matthew 17:25; Matthew 22:19.

Verse 25

Yes. Showing that the Lord did pay. Compare Matthew 17:27.

prevented = anticipated: i.e. spoke first, or forestalled. Greek. prophthano. Occurs only here.

of = from. Greek. apo, as in Matthew 17:9, not in verses: Matthew 17:17, Matthew 17:12, Matthew 17:13.

earth. Greek. ge App-129.

custom = toll, or duty.

tribute = tax. Greek. kensos, from Latin. census, which = registration, which involved taxation.

children = sons. App-108. Not the same as Matthew 17:18.

strangers = those of other families: i.e. not their own sons. Not foreigners. Greek. allotrios. App-124.

Verse 26

Then = It followeth, then, that.

Verse 27

lest we should offend, &c. But, not (Greek. me. App-105.) to give them an occasion of offence (either by neglecting their duty or by traducing the Lord). See Matthew 18:6.

an hook. A weighted line with several hooks, rapidly drawn through the water, is employed to-day at Tiberias. Greek. agkistron. Occurs only here.

a piece of money. Greek. stater: i.e. a shekel. Occurs only here.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 17:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Monday, August 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18
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