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Matthew 3:1-12 . John the Baptist ( Mark 1:2-8 *, Luke 3:1-17)— The common Synoptic material begins here. The chief difference from Mk. is the addition of Matthew 3:7-10 from Q (p. 672), cf. Luke 3:7-9, where the words are addressed not to the Pharisees and Sadducees, but to the crowd. In Mt.’ s view the Pharisees thought to escape the coming judgment by the mere rite of baptism, and he makes John ask who indicated to (not “ warned” ) them that such escape was possible. More than outward repentance is needed— a better life, and more than a claim to Abrahamic descent ( cf. John 8:33-59). Judgment goes by character, not by race; for unrighteousness there is no escape. Matthew 3:11 f. expands Mark 1:7 f. and intensifies the idea of judgment. Mt. combines Mk.’ s “ Holy Ghost” and Q’ s “ fire.” For the figure in Matthew 3:12 cf. Jeremiah 15:7.
Matthew 3:3 . kingdom of heaven: lit. “ of the heavens.” Mt. in accordance with the Jewish practice of avoiding the Divine name, uses this phrase, as Jesus probably did. Mk. and Lk., writing rather for Gentile readers, employ “ kingdom of God.” Both phrases have the same meaning ( cf. p. 662; also Matthew 21:43 *)
Matthew 3:7 . Pharisees ( Matthew 5:20 *) and Sadducees ( cf. p. 624).— brood of vipers: scorpions and snakes are frequently driven from their holes by moorland and forest fires in Palestine.
Matthew 3:11 . bear: better “ take off” ( cf. John 12:6).
Matthew 3:13-17 . The Baptism of Jesus ( Mark 1:9-11 *, Luke 3:21 f.).
Matthew 3:14 f. (Mt. only) meets the objection to the acceptance by a sinless Jesus of a baptism connected with repentance (p. 661). Jesus maintains (“ suffer it now” ) that a temporary necessity must be acknowledged. Until the new revelation is ready, all righteousness, i.e. Divine ordinances, must be duly observed. For John’ s sense of unworthiness cf. Luke 5:8 (Peter). The message of the voice ( Matthew 3:17) is a combination of Psalms 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1 (the Gr. word for “ servant” also means “ child” ), where the context speaks of the spirit. Read, therefore, “ This is my Son, the Beloved,” the Beloved being a Messianic title ( Ephesians 1:6). There is some reason for holding that the original announcement was simply, “ Thou art my Son” ( cf. Cod. Bezæ in Luke 3:22), and that we have here the influence of the Transfiguration narrative, an influence much expanded in the Ebionite Gospel and Justin ( Tryph. 88) by reference to a light. Jesus Himself probably realised His Sonship before His Messiahship. There is nothing in Mt. (especially if we omit Matthew 3:14 f; cf. Matthew 11:2-6 *), as there is nothing in Mk. and Lk., to suggest that vision or voice came to anyone but Jesus.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Matthew 3". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
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