for this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, 'A voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, straight make ye His paths.'
Matthew 3:3 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
The voice of one crying in the wilderness - Or, A voice of a crier in the wilderness. This is quoted from Isaiah 40:3, which clearly proves that John the Baptist was the person of whom the prophet spoke.
The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered upon an expedition, or took a journey through a desert country, sent harbingers before them, to prepare all things for their passage; and pioneers to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. The officers appointed to superintend such preparations were called by the Latins, stratores.
Diodorus's account of the march of Semiramis into Media and Persia, will give us a clear notion of the preparation of the way for a royal expedition.
"In her march to Ecbatane, she came to the Zarcean mountain, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without making a great compass about. Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as shortening the way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and, at a great expense, she made a shorter and more expeditious road, which, to this day, is called from her, The road of Semiramis. Afterwards she went into Persia, and all the other countries of Asia, subject to her dominion; and, wherever she went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to be leveled, raised causeways in the plain country, and, at a great expense, made the ways passable." Diod. Sic. lib. ii. and Bp. Lowth.
The Jewish Church was that desert country, to which John was sent, to announce the coming of the Messiah. It was destitute at that time of all religious cultivation, and of the spirit and practice of piety; and John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, by preaching the doctrine of repentance. The desert is therefore to be considered as affording a proper emblem of the rude state of the Jewish Church, which is the true wilderness meant by the prophet, and in which John was to prepare the way of the promised Messiah. The awful importance of the matter, and the vehemence of the manner of the Baptist's preaching, probably acquired him the character of the crier, Βοων. For the meaning of the word John, see the note on Mark 1:4.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Isaiah 40:3 The voice of him that cries in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Mark 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Luke 3:3-6 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins...
John 1:23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
Isaiah 57:14,15 And shall say, Cast you up, cast you up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling block out of the way of my people...
Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek...
Luke 1:17,76 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children...
Matthew 3:3 Parallel CommentariesAloud Crying Desert Esaias Highway Isaiah Paths Prepare Prophet Ready Referred Road Roads Straight Voice Waste Way WildernessAloud Crying Desert Esaias Highway Isaiah Paths Prepare Prophet Ready Referred Road Roads Straight Voice Waste Way WildernessTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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