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'And killed another.' See Luke xiii. 34. Heb. xi. 37. 1 Sam. xxii. 18. 1 Kings xix. 10. And stoned another.' This was among the Jews a common way of punishment, Deut. xiii. 10; xvii. 7. Josh. vii. 25. Especially was this the case in times of popular tumult, and of sudden indignation among the people, Acts vii. 58; xiv. 19. John viii. 59; x. 31. This does not imply of necessity that those who were stoned died; they might be only severely wounded. Mark says, ' at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away,' &c.

There is a little variation in the circumstances, as mentioned by Matthew, and by Mark and Luke; but the substance is the same. Mark and Luke are more particular, and state the order in which the servants were sent one after another. They all denote the ill conduct of the people to the prophets. All these things had been done to them. See Jer. xliv. 4-6. 2 Chron. xxiv. 20, 21; xxxvi. 16. Neh. ix. 26.

36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise. 37 But last of all, he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.

Mark adds, that this was an only son, greatly beloved. This beautifully and most tenderly exhibits the love of God, in sending his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to die for men. To' reverence,' denotes honour, esteem, deference-that feeling which we have in the presence of one greatly our superior-to give such a person, in our feelings and deportment, the honour which is due to his rank and character. God is often represented in the bible as giving his Son, his only begotten and wellbeloved Son, for a lost world, John íii. 16, 17. I John iv. 9, 14. Rom. viii. 3, 32. Gal. iv. 4.

38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

An 'heir' is one who succeeds to an estate, commonly a son; an inheritance' is what an heir receives.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.

This refers to the conduct of the Jews in putting the Saviour to death. So they understood it, ver. 45. This was done, by giving him into the hands of the Romans, and seeking his crucifixion, Matt. xxvii. 20-25. Acts ii. 23; vii. 51, 52. And cast him out of the vineyard.' The vineyard in this parable may represent Jerusalem. Jesus was crucified out of Jerusalem, on the north-west side; on mount Calvary, Luke xxiii. 33.

40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen ?

The design of asking them this question was, that they might condemn themselves, and admit the justice of the punishment that was soon coming upon them.

41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.

They answered according as they knew men would act, and would act justly in doing it. He would take away their privileges, and confer them on others. This was the answer which Jesus wished. He wished to show them the justice of taking away their national privileges, and punishing them in the destruction of their city and nation. They did not yet see the bearing of what they had admitted. 42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?

This passage is found in Ps. cxviii. 22, 23. It was first applicable to David; but no less to Jesus. The stone.' The figure is taken from building a house. The principal stone for size and beauty, is that commonly laid as the corner-stone. 'Which the builders rejected.' This represents the Lord Jesus, proposed to the Jews as the foundation, or corner-stone, on which to build the church: rejected by them-the builders-on account of his want of comeliness, or beauty; that is, of what they esteemed to be comely, or desirable, Isa. liii. 2, 3. 'The same is become,' &c. Though rejected by them, yet God chose him, and made him the foundation of the church. Christ is often compared to a stone, a corner-stone, a tried, that is, a sure, firm foundation: all in allusion to the custom of building, Acts iv. 11. Rom. ix. 33. Eph. ii. 20. 1 Pet. ii. 7. 'Marvellous in our eyes. That the Son of God should stoop so low, be despised and rejected, and put to death; that God should raise him up, and build a church on this foundation, embracing the Gentile as well as the Jew, and spreading through all the world, is a subject of wonder and of praise to all the redeemed.

43 Therefore say I unto you, the kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Jesus applies the parable to them-the Jews. They had been the children of the kingdom; or under the reign of God; having

his law and acknowledging him as King. They had been his chosen and peculiar people. But he says that now this privilege should be taken away, and they cease to be the peculiar people of God; and the blessing should be given to a nation who would bring forth the fruits thereof, or be righteous; that is, to the Gentiles, Acts xxviii. 28.

44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

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'Whosoever shall fall, &c. There is a reference here, doubtless, to Isa. viii. 14, 15. Having made an allusion to himself as a stone, or a rock, ver. 42, he proceeds to state the consequences of coming in contact with it. He that falls upon it, shall be broken; he that runs against it shall be injured, or broken in his limbs, or body. He that is offended with my being the foundation, or opposes me, shall, by the act, injure himself; making himself miserable by so doing. On whom this stone falls, it will grind him to powder.' There is an allusion here, doubtless, to the custom of stoning, as a punishment among the Jews. A scaffold was erected twice the height of the man to be stoned. Standing on its edge, he was violently struck off by one of the witnesses; if he died by the blow and the fall, nothing further was done; if not, a heavy stone was thrown down on him, which at once killed him. So the Saviour speaks of the falling of the stone on his enemies. They who oppose him, reject him, and continue impenitent, shall be crushed by him in the day of judgment, and perish for ever.

45 And when the chief priests and pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. 46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

They at last perceived that he spoke of them, and would have gratified their malice at once, but they feared the people.


1 AND Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for

his son,

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Spake by parables.' See note, Matt. xiii. 3. This parable refers undoubtedly to the rejection of the Jews, and to the calling of the Gentiles. The gospel, with all its privileges, was offered to the Jewish people; but through their wickedness and pride they rejected it, and all its blessings were offered to the Gentiles,

and accepted. This is the general truth. Many circumstances are thrown in which need not be particularly explained. 'A marriage for his son.' Rather a marriage-feast, or a feast on the occasion of the marriage of his son. The king here doubtless represents God, providing for the salvation of the world.

3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

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'And sent forth his servants.' These represent the messengers God has sent to invite men to his kingdom. To call them that were bidden.' That is, to give notice to those who had before been invited, that the feast was ready. It appears that there were two invitations, one considerably before the time, that they might have opportunity to prepare for it, and the other to give notice of the precise time when they were expected. The wedding.' The marriage-feast. The same word in the original as in verse 2. They would not come.' They might have come if they chose, but they would not. So all the difficulty that sinners ever labour under in regard to salvation is in the will. It is a fixed determination not to come, and be saved.

4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

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6 Other servants.' Who might press it on their attention. Sc God repeats his message to sinners, when they reject it. My dinner. As marriages were, among eastern nations, in the evening, it refers here to a meal taken at that time. Fatlings.' This word denotes any fat animals. As oxen are also mentioned, however, it refers here probably to lambs, or roes, or calves, 2 Sam. vi. 13. 1 Chron. xv. 26.

- 5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

But they made light of it.' Treated it with contempt, as a thing of no consequence: an exact representation of the conduct of sinners in regard to the gospel. 'One to his farm,' &c. Thus men are engaged so much in their worldly employments, that they pretend they have no time to attend to religion. The world is in their view of more value than God. 'Merchandise.' Traffic; trading.

6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

The others showed positive malignity. Some sinners seem to be well satisfied by merely neglecting religion; while others proceed against it with open violence and bitter malice.


treated them spitefully.' Reviled and abused them. This was done because they hated and despised the king. So sinners often abuse and calumniate ministers of religion, because they hate God.

7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

This doubtless refers to the Jews. They were murderers, having slain the prophets; and God was about to send forth the armies of the Romans to burn up their city. Note, Matt. xxiv.

8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. 9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

'The highways.' It means the square, or principal street, into which a number of smaller streets enter; a place where many persons would be seen, and persons of all descriptions. By this is represented the offering of the gospel to the Gentiles.

10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good and the wedding was furnished with guests.

'Bad and good.' All descriptions of people. None are good by nature; if they were, they would not need the gospel. But some are worse than others; and all need the gospel.

11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a weddinggarment:

Anciently kings and princes were accustomed to make presents of changes of raiment to their friends and favourites, to refuse to receive which was an expression of the highest contempt, Gen. xlv. 22. 2 Kings x. 22. Esther vi. 8; viii. 15. The garments worn on festival occasions, were chiefly long white robes; and it was the custom of the person who made the feast to prepare such robes to be worn by the guests. This renders the conduct of this man more inexcusable. He came in his common ordinary dress, though one had been provided for him, if he had applied for it. His not doing it, was expressive of the highest disrespect for the king. This represents the conduct of the hypocrite in the church. A garment of salvation might be his, but he chooses the filthy rags of his own righteousness, and thus offers the highest contempt for that provided in the gospel.

12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou

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