|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:26-40 Philip was directed to go to a desert. Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his ministers in very unlikely places. We should study to do good to those we come into company with by travelling. We should not be so shy of all strangers as some affect to be. As to those of whom we know nothing else, we know this, that they have souls. It is wisdom for men of business to redeem time for holy duties; to fill up every minute with something which will turn to a good account. In reading the word of God, we should often pause, to inquire of whom and of what the sacred writers spake; but especially our thoughts should be employed about the Redeemer. The Ethiopian was convinced by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, of the exact fulfilment of the Scripture, was made to understand the nature of the Messiah's kingdom and salvation, and desired to be numbered among the disciples of Christ. Those who seek the truth, and employ their time in searching the Scriptures, will be sure to reap advantages. The avowal of the Ethiopian must be understood as expressing simple reliance on Christ for salvation, and unreserved devotion to Him. Let us not be satisfied till we get faith, as the Ethiopian did, by diligent study of the Holy Scriptures, and the teaching of the Spirit of God; let us not be satisfied till we get it fixed as a principle in our hearts. As soon as he was baptized, the Spirit of God took Philip from him, so that he saw him no more; but this tended to confirm his faith. When the inquirer after salvation becomes acquainted with Jesus and his gospel, he will go on his way rejoicing, and will fill up his station in society, and discharge his duties, from other motives, and in another manner than heretofore. Though baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, with water, it is not enough without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Lord, grant this to every one of us; then shall we go on our way rejoicing.
Verse 33. - His generation who shall declare? for and who shall declare his generation? A.V. and T.R. The preceding quotation is taken verbatim from the LXX., which, however, varies somewhat from the Hebrew. In this verse, for the Hebrew as rendered in the A.V., "He was taken from prison and from judgment," the LXX. has, "In his humiliation his judgment was taken away," having evidently read in their copy מֵעֹצְרו מִשְׁפָטו, or perhaps בְעצְרו, "Through [or, 'in'] his oppression [humiliation] his judgment was taken away." Mr. Cheyne translates the Hebrew, "Through oppression and through a judgment [sentence] he was taken "away [to death]." For the Hebrew of the A.V., "He was cut off out of the land of the living," the LXX. has, "His life is taken from the earth," where they must have read חַיו, "his life," as the subject of the verb, instead of חַיִּים, the living, taken in construction with אֶרֶץ , the earth. The differences, however, are not material in regard to the general meaning of the passage. His generation who shall declare? The explanation of this difficult expression belongs tea commentary on Isaiah. Here it must suffice to say that the explanation most in accordance with the meaning of the Hebrew words (יְשׂחֵחַ and דורו), with the context, and with the turn of thought in Isaiah 38:10-12 and Jeremiah 11:19, is that given in the 'Speaker's Commentary:' "Who will consider, give serious thought to, his life or age, seeing it is so prematurely cut off?" which is merely another way of saying that Messiah should "be cut off" (Daniel 9:26)" from the land of the living, that his Name be no more remembered" (Jeremiah, as above). It was the frustration of this hope of Jesus being forgotten in consequence of his death that so troubled the Sanhedrim (Acts 5:28).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
In his humiliation his judgment was taken away,.... The humiliation, or low estate of Christ, lay in his assumption of human nature, with the weaknesses and imperfections of it; in the meanness of his parentage and education; in the sorrows he endured from his cradle to his cross; in his last conflict with Satan in the garden; in his being apprehended, bound, scourged, and condemned, both by the sanhedrim, and the Roman governor; and in being enclosed with the assembly of the wicked soldiers, who put on him their own clothes, and a crown of thorns on his head, and a reed in his hand, and then in a mock manner bowed to him as king of the Jews; and last of all in his obedience to death, even the death of the cross, and in his being laid in the grave. Now in this his low estate, "his judgment was taken away"; in the text in Isaiah 53:8 the words are, "he was taken from prison and from judgment"; which some understand of his sufferings, and render the words thus, "by an assembly, and by judgment he was taken away"; that is, by the Jewish sanhedrim, and by the judgment or sentence of Pontius Pilate, his life was taken away: and others interpret it of his resurrection from the dead, when he was taken or delivered from the prison of the grave, and could not be held any longer by the cords and pains of death; and from the judgment or condemnation under which he lay, being justified in the Spirit, when he was raised from the dead. The words, as here cited, differ from the original text; which have caused some to think, that there was a different reading of these words, which the Septuagint followed, and Luke after them. Dr. Pocock (u) has proposed a translation of the Hebrew text, as agreeable to this citation, without supposing a various reading, thus, "because of affliction, even from judgment he is taken; or when he was humbled, he was taken from judgment"; it being all one whether he was taken from judgment condemnation, and punishment, as at his resurrection, or whether his punishment was taken from him: though the sense of the words, as they are here cited, rather seems to be this; when he was taken and bound by the Jews, and detained by them a prisoner, and arraigned before the high priest, and at Pilate's bar, and false witnesses suborned, which was his time of humiliation and affliction; when he was reproached, blasphemed, buffeted, and spit, upon, justice was not done him, right did not take place, but was removed from him, and he was treated in a most unjust and unrighteous manner:
and who shall declare his generation? not his divine or human generation; nor the sorrows of his life; or the duration of his life since his resurrection; nor the numbers of his spiritual seed and offspring; senses put upon the words they will by no means bear; but the generation or age in which Christ lived, which for its wickedness among themselves, and their barbarity to him, and ill usage of him, cannot be sufficiently described and declared; and a great deal of it they themselves own; See Gill on Matthew 10:36, Matthew 12:39.
for his life is taken from the earth, not in a common, but in a judicial way; in the most cruel, barbarous, and unjust manner, in a violent way; though not without his Father's will, and his own consent; and though his life was taken from the earth, he now lives in heaven, and that for evermore.
(u) Not. Miscell. c. 4. p. 72.
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