Luke 19:42
Saying, If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things which belong to your peace! but now they are hid from your eyes.
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(42) If thou hadst known, even thou.—The emphatic repetition of the pronoun, as in Isaiah 48:15; Isaiah 51:12; Ezekiel 5:8; Ezekiel 6:3; Ps. ixxvi. 7, speaks of the strongest possible emotion. The broken form of the sentence, “If thou hadst known . . .,” with no corresponding clause as to what would then have followed; the “at least in this thy day,” the day that was still its own, in which it was called to repentance and action, all point to the words as being the utterance of the deepest human sorrow that the Son of Man had known.

The things which belong unto thy peace.—Literally, the things that make for, or tend to, peace. The Greek is the same as that translated “conditions of peace” in Luke 14:32 (where see Note); in this case, obviously, the “things that make for peace” are repentance, reformation, righteousness.

Now they are hid.—The Greek tense implies, by a distinction hard to express in English, in conjunction with the adverb “now,” that the concealment of the things that made for the peace of Jerusalem, was a thing completed in the past.

19:41-48 Who can behold the holy Jesus, looking forward to the miseries that awaited his murderers, weeping over the city where his precious blood was about to be shed, without seeing that the likeness of God in the believer, consists much in good-will and compassion? Surely those cannot be right who take up any doctrines of truth, so as to be hardened towards their fellow-sinners. But let every one remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind. May he then come and cleanse our hearts by his Spirit, from all that defiles. May sinners, on every side, become attentive to the words of truth and salvation.He wept over it - Showing his compassion for the guilty city, and his strong sense of the evils that were about to come upon it. See the notes at Matthew 23:37-39. As he entered the city he passed over the Mount of Olives. From that mountain there was a full and magnificent view of the city. See the notes at Matthew 21:1. The view of the splendid capital - the knowledge of its crimes - the remembrance of the mercies of God toward it - the certainty that it might have been spared if it had received the prophets and himself - the knowledge that it was about to put "him," their long-expected Messiah, to death, and "for" that to be given up to utter desolation - affected his heart, and the triumphant King and Lord of Zion wept! Amid all "his" prosperity, and all the acclamations of the multitude, the heart of the Redeemer of the world was turned from the tokens of rejoicing to the miseries about to come on a guilty people. Yet they "might" have been saved. If thou hadst known, says he, even thou, with all thy guilt, the things that make for thy peace; if thou hadst repented, had been righteous, and had received the Messiah; if thou hadst not stained thy hands with the blood of the prophets, and shouldst not with that of the Son of God, then these terrible calamities would not come upon thee. But it is too late. The national wickedness is too great; the cup is full: mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendor, the glory of her temple, and the pomp of her service, "must perish!"

For the days shall come ... - This took place under Titus, the Roman general, 70 a.d., about thirty years after this was spoken.

Cast a trench about thee - The word "trench" now means commonly a "pit or ditch." When the Bible was translated, it meant also "earth thrown up to defend a camp" (Johnson's "Dictionary"). This is the meaning of the original here. It is not a pit or large "ditch," but a pile of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp, and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was done at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus informs us that Titus, in order that he might compel the city to surrender by "famine," built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with incredible labor in ten days. The professed design of this wall was "to keep" the city "in on every side." Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished.

Shall lay thee even with the ground ... - This was literally done. Titus caused a plow to pass over the place where the temple stood. See the notes at Matthew 24. All this was done, says Christ, because Jerusalem knew not the time of its visitation - that is, did not know, and "would not" know, that the Messiah had come. "His coming" was the time of their merciful visitation. That time had been predicted, and invaluable blessings promised as the result of his advent; but they would not know it. They rejected him, they put him to death, and it was just that they should be destroyed.

42. at least in this, &c.—even at this moving moment. (See on [1704]Lu 13:9.)

thy peace—thinking perhaps of the name of the city. (Heb 7:2) [Webster and Wilkinson]. How much is included in this word!

now … hid—It was His among His last open efforts to "gather them," but their eyes were judicially closed.

Speeches which are the products of great passion, are usually abrupt and imperfect:

If thou hadst known, that is, Oh that thou hadst known, or, I wish that thou hadst known. We are said in Scripture not to know more than we believe, are affected with, and live up to the knowledge of. They had heard enough of the things which concerned their peace, Christ had told them to them, but they attended not to them, they believed them not, and so cared not to direct their lives according to any such notions.

At least in this thy day; the time in which I have been preaching the gospel to thee (for so I had rather interpret it, than of this last journey of our Saviour’s to Jerusalem). This was properly the Jews day, for the first preachers of the gospel spent all their time and pains amongst them.

The things which belong unto thy peace, that is, to thy happiness, for so the term often signifies, and it refers as well to the happiness of the outward as of their inward man.

But now they are hid from thine eyes: God will not suffer his Spirit always to strive with man, because he is but flesh, not fit to be always waited on by the great Majesty of heaven. First men shut their eyes against the things that do concern their peace, then God hideth them from them. No man hath more than his day, his time of grace: how long that is none can tell: if he sleepeth out that, his case is desperate, past remedy. Saying, if thou hadst, known, even thou,.... As well as other cities; or who hast been so long a flourishing city, the metropolis of the nation, the seat of the ancient kings of Judah; yea, the city of the great God, the place of divine worship, whither the tribes came up, time after time, to serve the Lord; a city so highly honoured of God and man: or, who hast despised the messages of the servants of God, mocked and misused the prophets in time past, beat one, killed another, and stoned another: if such a city, after all this, had but known its true interest,

at least in this thy day; the day of thy visitation, the last day thou art to have, though it is so late:

the things which belong unto thy peace; meaning, not peace with God, and the things belonging, or conducing to that, which are not men's works of righteousness, nor tears of repentance, nor even faith itself, but the obedience and righteousness, the blood, sacrifice and death of Christ; nor spiritual peace, or internal peace of conscience, which comes in a Gospel way, through believing, in a course of obedience, and all from Christ, the peacemaker, and peace giver; nor eternal peace hereafter, which the grace of God gives a meetness for, and the righteousness of Christ a right unto; the knowledge of all which is not natural to men, or to be obtained of themselves, but is the gift of God's grace, and the operation of his Spirit: but supposing such a peace, and such things relating to it, were intended, nothing more can be inferred from hence, than that if the Jews had known these things, they had been happy; and since they had the means of knowing them, they were, of all men, inexcusable; and that Christ, as man, and one of their nation, and as a minister of the circumcision, had a passionate concern for their welfare: but not that these Jews, or any men, can of themselves, and without the unfrustrable grace of God working upon their hearts, and enlightening their understanding, know these things; or that Christ acted any insincere part in wishing for these things for them, as man, and a minister of the word, when he knew, as God, it was not consistent with the will of God that they should have them; since Christ, as man, sometimes earnestly prayed for that, which he, as God, knew could not be, as in the case of his own sufferings and death; nor is this irreconcilable to his dying intentionally only for those who are actually saved: but after all, these words are, only spoken of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of that city, and not of all mankind, and regard only their temporal peace and welfare, whose destruction Christ knew was near at hand; and of which he afterwards speaks in the following verses:

but now they are hid from thine eyes; their eyes were blinded; they were given up to a judicial blindness, and hardness of heart; a spirit of slumber and stupidity had seized them; they could not discern the signs of the times and so disbelieved Jesus as the Messiah, and rejected him as such; whom, had they received only in a notional way, though they had not believed in him spiritually, to the saving of their souls, they would have been secured from outward calamities, and would have enjoyed peace and prosperity, and the things belonging to it our Lord speaks of. Christ alludes to the name of Jerusalem, which signifies the vision of peace; or they shall see peace; but her name and case now did not agree. His wish is the same the Psalmist encourages in Psalm 122:6 which, in the Septuagint version, is rendered, "pray for the things" that belong "to the peace Jerusalem".

{g} Saying, {h} If thou hadst known, even thou, {i} at least in this {k} thy day, the things which belong unto thy {l} peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

(g) Christ stops his speech, which partly shows how moved he was with compassion over the destruction of the city that was surely to come: and partly to reprove them for their treachery and stubbornness against him, such as has not been heard of before.

(h) You at the very least, O Jerusalem, to whom the message was properly sent.

(i) If after slaying so many prophets, and so often refusing me, the Lord of the prophets, if only now, especially in my last coming to you, you had any concern for yourself.

(k) The good and prosperous time is called the day of this city.

(l) That is, those things in which your happiness stands.

Luke 19:42. εἰ ἔγνως: εἰ with the aorist indicative in a supposition contrary to fact, the apodosis being omitted by an impressive aposiopesis.—ἐν τ. ἡμέρα τ., in this (late) day, not too late yet.—καὶ σὺ, thou too, as well as my disciples: their insight will save them, but not you and the nation; you must know for yourselves.—καὶ γε (T.R.): the combination καὶ σὺ καί γε (vide critical notes) is suspicious. Coming before ἐν τ. ἡμέρᾳ, etc., as in T.R., it will mean: even at this late hour.—τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην, the things tending to thy peace = thy salvation.—νῦν δὲ, but now as things stand; the day of grace therefore is already past.—ἐκρύβη: judicial blindness has set in, the penalty of a long course of moral perversity.42. at least in this thy day] Isaiah 55:6; 2 Corinthians 6:2.

which belong unto thy peace] Perhaps with a paronomasia on the name of Salem or ‘Peace,’ and on the sound though not the derivation of Jerusalem (Yeroo Shalom ‘they shall see peace,’ comp. Psalm 122:6-7). Such plays on words often spring from deep emotion. (See my Chapters on Language-pp. 269-276.) Isaiah 48:18, “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river.”Luke 19:42. Εἰ) Would that! לוּ, which the LXX. render εἰ, Joshua 7:7.—ἔγνως, thou hadst known) the things which make for (belong unto) thy peace. Comp. Luke 19:44 [where, knowing the time of thy visitation, answers to, knowing the things which make for thy peace, here].—καὶ σὺ) even thou, thou also, after the example of the disciples, Luke 19:37.—καί γε) even truly (“at least,” Engl. Vers.), as yet [even still], after so many acceptable days.—ἡμέρᾳ σου, in this thy day) A day altogether peculiar and extraordinary. See the end of Luke 19:44; Psalm 118:24 [“This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice,” etc.]—ταύτῃ, in this) after so many other days, when thou mightest have taken measures to ensure thy salvation.—τὰ) This word depends upon ἔγνως.—εἰρήνην, peace) In antithesis to οἱ ἐχθροί, enemies, in the following verse. [There is included in the idea heavenly peace;[212] comp. Luke 19:38.—V. g.]—ἘΚΡΎΒΗ, they have been hidden) also[213] by the just judgment of God.

[212] i.e. Peace with heaven.—E. and T.

[213] Even as thou knewest not when thou mightest have known, so now, when thou wouldest wish, thou canst not know.—E. and T.Verse 42. - If thou hadst known,' even thou, at least in this thy day. The emphatic repetition of the "thou" and the broken form of the sentence, tell of the intense feeling of the Divine Speaker. "In this thy day." There was still time, still one day left, before his terrible trial-time began, Which filled up the measure of Jerusalem and her people's iniquity. Still one day in which, had they only known "the things which belonged to their peace," they might have won a forgiveness for all the past centuries of sin. Wept (ἔκλαυσεν)

With audible weeping.

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