|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:16-24 Christ reflects on the scribes and Pharisees, who had a proud conceit of themselves. He likens their behaviour to children's play, who being out of temper without reason, quarrel with all the attempts of their fellows to please them, or to get them to join in the plays for which they used to assemble. The cavils of worldly men are often very trifling and show great malice. Something they have to urge against every one, however excellent and holy. Christ, who was undefiled, and separate from sinners, is here represented as in league with them, and polluted by them. The most unspotted innocence will not always be a defence against reproach. Christ knew that the hearts of the Jews were more bitter and hardened against his miracles and doctrines, than those of Tyre and Sidon would have been; therefore their condemnation would be the greater. The Lord exercises his almighty power, yet he punishes none more than they deserve, and never withholds the knowledge of the truth from those who long after it.
Verse 24 (see notes supra, vers. 20-24 and Matthew 10:15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I say unto you,.... Capernaum, and the inhabitants thereof, as before, to Chorazin and Bethsaida.
It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, in the day of judgment, than for thee: though the punishment of the men of Sodom will be very great, their iniquities being horribly dreadful and enormous, yet more easy to be borne than the vengeance, which, in the last and general judgment, will fall upon such, who have had the means of grace, and have despised them; especially such as had the personal presence, ministry, and miracles of Christ among them, as the Capernaites had. Such a way of expressing and setting forth the severer punishment of others, by that of Sodom, is not unusual in the Old Testament; see Lamentations 4:6 nor in Jewish writers, who say (r), that
"the Israelites were fit for, or deserved, , "a far more heavy punishment than the punishment of Sodom": because they abounded with prophets, rising early, and sending them, but they did not hearken; whereas Sodom had no hands stayed on her, or prophets to warn them.''
(r) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 82. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee—"It has been indeed," says Dr. Stanley, "more tolerable, in one sense, in the day of its earthly judgment, for the land of Sodom than for Capernaum; for the name, and perhaps even the remains of Sodom are still to be found on the shores of the Dead Sea; while that of Capernaum has, on the Lake of Gennesareth, been utterly lost." But the judgment of which our Lord here speaks is still future; a judgment not on material cities, but their responsible inhabitants—a judgment final and irretrievable.
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