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)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.”See Poole on "Luke 19:39"
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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