Luke 19:40
And he answered and said to them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) If these should hold their peace.—Here, then, at the very moment when He foresaw most clearly His own approaching end, and the failure of all earthly hopes of the city over which He wept, our Lord accepted every word that disciples or multitude had uttered of Him as being in the fullest sense true.

The stones would immediately cry out.—The startling imagery had a precedent in the language of Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:11), “The stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.”

19:28-40 Christ has dominion over all creatures, and may use them as he pleases. He has all men's hearts both under his eye and in his hand. Christ's triumphs, and his disciples' joyful praises, vex proud Pharisees, who are enemies to him and to his kingdom. But Christ, as he despises the contempt of the proud, so he accepts the praises of the humble. Pharisees would silence the praises of Christ, but they cannot; for as God can out of stones raise up children unto Abraham, and turn the stony heart to himself, so he can bring praise out of the mouths of children. And what will be the feelings of men when the Lord returns in glory to judge the world!The stones would ...cry out - It is "proper" that they should celebrate my coming. Their acclamations "ought" not to be suppressed. So joyful is the event which they celebrate - the coming of the Messiah - that it is not fit that I should attempt to impose silence on them. The expression here seems to be "proverbial," and is not to be taken literally. Proverbs are designed to express the truth "strongly," but are not to be taken to signify as much as if they were to be interpreted literally. The sense is, that his coming was an event of so much importance that it "ought" to be celebrated in some way, and "would" be celebrated. It would be impossible to restrain the people, and improper to attempt it. The language here is strong proverbial language to denote that fact. We are not to suppose, therefore, that our Saviour meant to say that the stones were "conscious" of his coming, or that God would "make" them speak, but only that there was "great joy" among the people; that it was "proper" that they should express it in this manner, and that it was not fit that he should attempt to repress it. 40. the stones, &c.—Hitherto the Lord had discouraged all demonstrations in His favor; latterly He had begun an opposite course; on this one occasion He seems to yield His whole soul to the wide and deep acclaim with a mysterious satisfaction, regarding it as so necessary a part of the regal dignity in which as Messiah He for this last time entered the city, that if not offered by the vast multitude, it would have been wrung out of the stones rather than be withheld (Hab 2:11). See Poole on "Luke 19:39" And he answered and said unto them, I tell you,.... As a truth, which may be depended on, and you may be assured of; this he spake with great earnestness, fervour, and courage:

that if these should hold their peace; be silent, and not sing the praises of God, and ascribe glory to him, and profess the Messiah, and make this public acknowledgment of him:

the stones would immediately cry out; either against them, or in a declaration of the Messiah: by which expression our Lord means, that it was impossible it should be otherwise; it would be intolerable if it was not; and rather than it should not be, God, who is able out of stones to raise up children to Abraham, would make the stones speak, or turn stones into men, who should rise up and praise the Lord, and confess the Messiah; hereby commending his disciples, and tacitly reflecting upon the Pharisees, for their stupidity; and also giving a hint of the conversion of the Gentiles, who might be compared to stones, especially in the opinion of the Jews.

And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 19:40. ἐὰν σιωπήσουσιν: ἐὰν with future indicative instead of subjunctive as in classic Greek, one of the divergent ways in which the N.T. expresses a future supposition with some probability (vide Burton, M. and T., §§ 250–256).—οἱ λίθοι κράξουσιν, the stones will cry out; possibly there is a reference to Habakkuk 2:11, but the expression is proverbial (instances in Pricaeus, Wetstein, etc.) = the impossible will happen rather than the Messianic kingdom fail of recognition. Some, e.g., Stier and Nösgen, find in the words a reference to the destruction of the temple and the witness it bore to Jesus = if I receive not witness from the Jewish people the scattered stones of the ruined temple will witness for me. An attractive idea, not refuted by Hahn’s objection that if it had been in view we should have had ὅταν οὗτοι σιωπ. instead of ἐὰν, etc. ἐὰν with future may express a future supposition with some probability.40. the stones would immediately cry out] There seems to be an allusion to the passage “For the stone shall cry out of the wall,” which occurs amid denunciations of destruction on covetousness and cruelty in Habakkuk 2:11.Luke 19:40. Οἱ λίθοι, the stones) When power hath once gone forth from God, it does not return without accomplishing its purpose. It is wont to find something which it may rouse to act, whatever be the objects which come in its way. There were stones in that place.—κεκράξονται) The LXX. translators use this tense of the verb.
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