|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-5 It is needless or useless to ask about the particular time of Christ's coming. Christ did not reveal this to the apostles. There are times and seasons for us to work in, and these are our duty and interest to know and observe; but as to the time when we must give up our account, we know it not, nor is it needful that we should. The coming of Christ will be a great surprise to men. Our Lord himself said so. As the hour of death is the same to each person that the judgment will be to mankind in general, so the same remarks answer for both. Christ's coming will be terrible to the ungodly. Their destruction will overtake them while they dream of happiness, and please themselves with vain amusements. There will be no means to escape the terror or the punishment of that day. This day will be a happy day to the righteous. They are not in darkness; they are the children of the light. It is the happy condition of all true Christians. But how many are speaking peace and safety to themselves, over whose heads utter destruction is hovering! Let us endeavour to awaken ourselves and each other, and guard against our spiritual enemies.
Verse 5. - Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day. Hebraistic expressions denoting, Ye all belong to the light and to the day. An affirmation, strengthening the previous declaration. The light and the day are synonymous expressions - the day being the period of light, as opposed to the night and darkness. We are not of the night, nor of darkness; rendering the positive assertion more emphatic.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Ye are all children of light,.... Or enlightened persons, whose understandings were enlightened by the spirit of God, to see their lost state by nature, the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the insufficiency of their righteousness to justify them before God, the fulness, suitableness, and excellency of Christ's righteousness, the way of salvation by Christ, and that it is all of grace from first to last; to understand in some measure the Scriptures of truth, and the mysteries of the Gospel; to have knowledge of some things that are yet to be done on earth, as the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles, the conversion of the Jews, the destruction of antichrist, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the change of living saints, and the rapture of both up into the air to meet Christ, the burning of the world, and the new heavens and new earth, where Christ and his saints will dwell; as also to have some glimpse of the heavenly glory, of the unseen joys, and invisible realities of the other world: and this the apostle says of them all, in a judgment of charity, as being under a profession of the grace of God, and in a church state, and nothing appearing against them why such a character did not belong to them:
and the children of the day; of the Gospel day, in distinction from the night of Jewish darkness; and of the day of grace which was come upon their souls, in opposition to the night of ignorance and infidelity, which was past; and of the everlasting day of glory, being heirs of, and having a right unto, and a meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light:
we are not of the night, nor of darkness; that is not the children of darkness, as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; and the former changes the person, and reads, "ye are not the children of the night", &c. of the night of the legal dispensation, or of Gentile ignorance; or of a state of natural darkness, in unregeneracy and was no need to write unto them concerning the time and season of Christ's coming, and lays a foundation for the following exhortations.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. The oldest manuscripts read, "FOR ye are all," &c. Ye have no reason for fear, or for being taken by surprise, by the coming of the day of the Lord: "For ye are all sons (so the Greek) of light and sons of day"; a Hebrew idiom, implying that as sons resemble their fathers, so you are in character light (intellectually and morally illuminated in a spiritual point of view), Lu 16:8; Joh 12:36.
are not of—that is, belong not to night nor darkness. The change of person from "ye" to "we" implies this: Ye are sons of light because ye are Christians; and we, Christians, are not of night nor darkness.
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