|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.
Verse 49. - Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets. "'Therefore" - in other words, 'Because of the determined, irreconcilable hatred of you Pharisees, and the people whom you guide, to all that is noble and true and real; because, in spite of your seeming piety, you are fast rooted in impiety' - 'Therefore said the wisdom of God, I will send.'" The expression, "wisdom of God," has been a difficulty to commentators. The words have been referred
(1) to a quotation of the Lord's from a lost apocryphal book of that name; but we have no instance of Jesus ever quoting from an apocryphal book, known or unknown.
(2) St. Luke is here quoting from the similar passage in St. Matthew's Gospel, which, when he was compiling his Gospel, lay before him, and alludes to the earlier memoir as "The Wisdom of God." Against this we have no proof that St. Luke ever saw St. Matthew's Gospel, but a strong probability exists to the contrary; besides which, the expression is never used by an apostolic writer in such a sense.
(3) A reference is here intended to the Book of Proverbs, which in the early Church was known by the title of "The Wisdom of God," and the passage referred to is Luke 1:20 and 31. Putting aside all these, it seems best to consider the expression simply as a solemn utterance of the Lord, in which he identifies himself with the "Wisdom of God." And this certainly is borne out by a comparison with the report of St. Matthew of a similar announcement made by Jesus on another occasion (Matthew 23:34). There we read that the Master said, "Behold, I send unto you prophets," etc. The I is emphatic, and betrays the Divine self-consciousness of Jesus. For a moment the poor Rabbi of Galilee is forgotten, and in his lofty indignation, in his profound sorrow over the stubborn heart of Israel, on both the occasions in which he is reported to have spoken these words of awful prophecy, the Redeemer identifies Himself with God. St. Matthew, "Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets," etc.; St. Luke, "Therefore also said the Wisdom of God, I will send them prophets," etc. The form of the prediction and the original thought were both, no doubt, derived by Jesus from the solemn passage in 2 Chronicles 24:19, "Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the Lord;... but they would not give ear," etc. This was followed immediately by the account of the preaching of Zechariah (the instance chosen here by the Lord, ver. 51), and how the faithful witness was stoned by the people in the court of the house of the Lord (2 Chronicles 24:20, 21). And apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute. The title "apostle" is joined here with the well-known title of "prophet." The earthly reward that these his servants, the apostles, will meet with at the hands of the people of Israel will be the same as that meted out to those old martyr-prophets, viz. persecution and death.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore also said the wisdom of God,..... The Syriac version only reads "wisdom"; by which seems to be meant not the perfection of God's wisdom: though it is usual with the Jews to represent the divine perfections as speaking, as the justice and mercy of God. They say (b), that
"when the holy blessed God sought to make Hezekiah the Messiah, and Sennacherib, Gog, and Magog, , "the property of judgment", or "justice, said" before the holy, blessed God, Lord of the world, &c.''
and so the sense may be here, that the infinite wisdom of God said within himself, determined in his own breast, to do what follows. But I rather think that Christ is intended, who, as God, is the essential wisdom of God; and, as man and mediator, has the spirit of wisdom resting on him, and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid in him; since this is said by Christ, Matthew 23:34 though the words here seem to be the words of the evangelist relating what Christ had said. Some have thought, that some book, under the name of "The Wisdom of God", is here cited, which had in it the following words,
I will send them prophets and apostles; which, in Matthew, are called prophets, wise men, and Scribes; and by whom are meant the apostles of Christ, and the ministers of the Gospel. The Persic version reads, "lo, I send to you", as in Matthew 23:34,
and some of them they shall slay and persecute; some of them they shall put to death, and others they shall persecute from one place to another; See Gill on Matthew 23:34.
(b) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1. Vid. Targum in Eccl. x. 8. & in Lam. i. 1. & ii. 20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
49-51. said the wisdom, &c.—a remarkable variation of the words in Mt 23:34, "Behold I SEND." As there seems plainly an allusion to ancient warnings of what God would do with so incorrigible a people, so here Christ, stepping majestically into the place of God, so to speak, says, "Now I am going to carry all that out." Could this be other than the Lord of Israel in the flesh?
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