Suppose you that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, No; but rather division:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Suppose ye that I am come to give peace?—See Notes on Matthew 10:34-35. The chief variations are “division” for “sword,” and, in Luke 12:53, the doubled statement of reciprocated enmity in each relationship.Matthew 10:34-36. See Poole on "Matthew 10:34", See Poole on "Matthew 10:35". Our Saviour in these words doth but pursue the same argument which began Luke 12:49, to show what would be the consequences of the doctrine of the gospel. And hereby they might have understood a design in our Saviour to convince them, that the business of the Messiah whom they expect was not to exercise a temporal but a spiritual kingdom and power, not to restore to their nation a civil peace, but to purchase their peace with God, and to bring them to that joy and peace which is consequent to believing. For as to the external state of things, it would be much more troubled than it was before; our Lord foresaw how tenacious both the Jews and pagans, and in succeeding ages Christians also, would be of their idolatries and superstitious rites and usages, with whom their believing relations not complying, there would be greater feuds and animosities arise than ever were before; the father would hate the son, the son the father, &c. Before the gospel came amongst the heathens, they were entirely the devil’s kingdom, which is not divided against itself. But when by Christ those who belonged to the election of grace should be separated, through the devil’s rage and men’s lusts, there would be continual feuds and divisions.
I tell you, nay; whatever suppositions you have made, or whatever notions you have entertained, I solemnly affirm, and you may depend upon it, I am not come into the world on any such account, as to establish outward peace among men;
but rather division; so he calls the Gospel, which in Matthew is styled a "sword"; and the Ethiopic version seems to have read both here, since it renders it, "but a sword that I may divide": the Gospel is the sword of the Spirit, which divides asunder soul and Spirit, and separates a man from his former principles and practices; and sets men apart from one another, even the nearest relations, at the greatest distance; and is, through the sin of man, the occasion of great contention, discord, and division.Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 12:51-53. See on Matthew 10:34 f., where the representation is partly simplified, partly, on the model of Micah 7:6, enriched.
ἀλλʼ ἤ] but only, originated from ἄλλο and ἤ, without, however, its being required to write ἄλλʼ ἤ. See on this expression in general, Krüger, de formula ἄλλʼ ἤ et affinium particul. etc. natura et usu, Brunsvig. 1834; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 31 ff. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 1:13. Otherwise Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaedr. p. 81 B.
ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν] Jesus already realizes His approaching death. Comp. Luke 22:69.
In Luke 12:53 are three hostile couples; the description therefore is different from that at Luke 12:52, not a more detailed statement of the circumstances mentioned in Luke 12:52 (Bleek).Luke 12:51. διαμερισμόν: instead of Mt.’s μάχαιραν, an abstract prosaic term for a concrete pictorial one; exactly descriptive of the fact, however, and avoiding possible misapprehension as to Christ’s aim = Jesus not a patron of war.51. Suppose ye] as they were far too much inclined to suppose, Luke 19:11that I am come to give peace on earth] It is only in His ultimate kingdom that Christ will be fully the Prince of Peace, as was understood even by Simeon, Luke 2:34-35; see too John 9:39.
Nay; but rather division] “I came not to send peace but a sword,” Matthew 10:34. “Near me, near the sword” (unwritten saying of Christ). “There was a division among the people because of him,” John 7:43.Luke 12:51. Οὐχὶ) Nay; not peace of such a kind as that which congregates together heterogeneous elements, the good and bad alike.—διαμερισμὸν, division) The sword has the power of ‘dividing,’ Hebrews 4:12. And the fire, of which Luke 12:49 treats, separates heterogeneous elements, and congregates together homogeneous ones.Verse 51. - Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division. But the Master quickly leaves himself and his own sad forebodings. He puts by for a season his own holy impatience and continues his warnings. "I have been dwelling on the troublous times quickly coming on. Do not deceive yourselves, my disciples; the great change about to be inaugurated will only be carried out in war and by divisions in the individual house as in the nation. I bring not peace, but a sword, remember." And then follows a curious picture of a home torn asunder by the conflict of thought which would spring up as the result of the cross and of the preaching of the cross.
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