Matthew 10:21
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) The brother.—The nouns are in the Greek without the article, “brother shall deliver up brother,” and are thus, perhaps, more forcible as statements of what should happen often. Our English idiom, however, allows the use of the article with nearly the same meaning. The words reproduce almost verbally the prophecy of Micah 7:6, and are there followed by the prophet’s expression of his faith, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation,” answering to the “endurance” of which our Lord speaks in the next verse.

Matthew 10:21. And the brother, who believeth not, shall deliver up the believing brother to death, and the father the child, &c. — As if he had said, All the wisdom and justice of your apologies, though divinely inspired, will not disarm the malice of your unreasonable enemies, which shall prevail to such a degree as even to triumph over natural affection, and break asunder the strictest bonds of social life: for the nearest relations shall betray one another, not only to some slighter punishments, but even to violent and tormenting deaths. And fathers shall thus become the murderers, instead of being the guardians and protectors, of their children: and children, on the other hand, forgetting all the obligations of filial duty and affection, shall rise up, as witnesses, against their own parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men — Namely, of all that know not God. You, my apostles, notwithstanding all the humanity of your character, and benevolent design of your office, shall be the objects of general aversion, censure, and persecution, and all this for my name’s sake — That is, for your attachment to me and my cause, though it be the cause of righteousness and truth, of the redemption and salvation of the human race. But he that endureth to the end shall be saved — But be not discouraged at the prospect of these trials, for he that perseveres in the faith and practice of the gospel, and who bears constantly and with invincible patience these persecutions, (which my grace is sufficient to enable you all to do,) shall be finally and eternally saved from all sin and misery, into the kingdom and glory of God: whatever extremities he may be called to suffer in this world, God will not only deliver him from the destruction which shall come upon the wicked, but will repay his fidelity with unspeakable and everlasting felicity in the next.

10:16-42 Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent's wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God's opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God's love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ's work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God's people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ's disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.And the brother shall deliver up the brother ... - Were there no evidence that this had been done, it would scarcely be "credible." The ties which bind brothers and sisters, and parents and children together, are so strong that it could scarcely be believed that division of sentiment on religious subjects would cause them to forget these tender relations. Yet history assures us that this has been often done. If this be so, then how inexpressibly awful must be the malignity of the human heart by nature against religion! Nothing else but this dreadful opposition to God and his gospel ever has induced or ever can induce people to violate the most tender relations, and consign the best friends to torture, racks, and flames. It adds to the horrors of this, that those who were put to death in persecution were tormented in the most awful modes that human ingenuity could devise. They were crucified; were thrown into boiling oil; were burned at the stake; were roasted slowly over coals; were compelled to drink melted lead; were torn in pieces by beasts of prey; were covered with pitch and set on fire. Yet, dreadful as this prediction was, it was fulfilled; and, incredible as it seems, parents and children, husbands and wives, were found wicked enough to deliver up each other to these cruel modes of death on account of attachment to the gospel. Such is the opposition of the heart of man to the gospel! That hostility which will overcome the strong ties of natural affection, and which will be satisfied with nothing else to show its power, can be no slight opposition to the gospel of God. 21. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death—for example, by lodging information against them with the authorities. The deep and virulent hostility of the old nature and life to the new—as of Belial to Christ—was to issue in awful wrenches of the dearest ties; and the disciples, in the prospect of their cause and themselves being launched upon society, are here prepared for the worst. See Poole on "Matthew 10:22".

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death,.... Christ having fortified the minds of his disciples by the foregoing promises of divine influence and assistance, proceeds to open more largely and particularly the sorrows, troubles, and afflictions they must expect would attend the faithful ministration of his Gospel; as, that the true followers of Christ should not only be persecuted and betrayed, and delivered up into the hands of the civil magistrate, by persons that were strangers to them; but even by their nearest relations, brethren, whom the nearness of blood, should oblige to the tenderest regards to each other, to the securing of property and preserving of life: these should deliver up those that were so nearly related to them in the bonds of consanguinity, into the hands persecuting men in power, in order to be put to death; than which scarce anything can be more barbarous and unnatural, though the next instances exceed it:

and the father the child, and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. The father laying aside his natural affection for his child, whom he has begotten, and brought up, and has took so much care of, and delight in, and perhaps his only one, his son aud heir; and yet, professing a faith different from his, such is his blind zeal and bigotry, that, breaking through all the ties of parental relation and affection, he delivers him up into the hands of wicked magistrates, to put him to death: and, on the other hand, children, forgetting the bonds they are in, and the obligations they lie under to their aged parents, rise up against them, and either with their own hands murder them, or appear as witnesses against them, and give their hearty consent to the taking away of their lives; even of them who have been the means and instruments of bringing them into the world, and of bringing them up in it. This shows the sad corruption of human nature, its enmity to the Gospel of Christ, and the inveterate malice and hatred of Satan against Christ, and his interest. Something like this is said by the Jews themselves, as what shall be in the times of the Messiah; for a little before his coming, or in the age in which the son of David comes, they say,

"the son shall deal basely by his father, the daughter shall rise up against her mother--a man's enemies shall be of his own household; the face of that generation shall be as the face of a dog; and the son shall not reverence his father (g).''

(g) Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 15.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 10:21. Comp. Micah 7:6.

ἐπαναστής.] not merely before the judges, but generally. It is the expression in classical Greek for rebellious rising (ἐπανάστασις, 2 Kings 3:4; Krüger, ad Dion. p. 55); in Greek authors usually with the dative, also with ἐπί τινι.

θανατώσουσιν] take away life (Matthew 26:59), i.e. bring about their execution. A vivid expression. Comp. also Matthew 27:1. The reason of this hostile treatment is self-evident, but may be further seen from Matthew 10:22.

21. the father the child] The history of persecutions for religion affords many instances of this. It is true even of civil disputes. Thucydides, describing the horrors of the Corcyrean sedition, says (3:82), “The ties of relationship became weaker than those of party.”

Matthew 10:21. Ἀδελφὸς, the brother) Those who are most near, are most easily divided.—θανατῶσουσιν, shall cause to be put to death) By an atrocious death, even by the agency of the magistrates.

Verse 21. - The persecutors shall be found among those most closely connected with you by blood and natural affection. Observe that our Lord does not mention this until he has reminded them that they are connected by still deeper family ties with One above. The thought and partly the language of vers. 21, 22 comes in 4 Esdr. 6:24, 25, "Et erit in illo tempore debellabunt amici amicos ut inimici... et erit, omnis qui dcrelictus fuerit ex omnibus istis quibus praedixi tibi, ipse salvabitur et videbit salu-tare meum et finem saeculi mei. [5. 1. vestri]." The author is speaking of the signs of the cud of the world. It seems probable that he was acquainted with some form of the original discourse of our Lord in Mark 13:12, 13 (see ver. 17, note). (For other references somewhat similar cf. Schurer, II. 2:155.) And (δέ). In contrast to the preceding encouragement (Kubel). The brother. The omission of the article by the Revised Version throughout this verse is justified, not only by grammar, but also by the consideration that it thus becomes less possible to interpret the phrase of a false "brother" in the Church. And the father the child. Philip It. of Spain is reported to have said of the Protestants, "If it were my own son, I would bring the faggot." And the children shall rise up against their parents. The verb (ἐπαναστήσονται) is perhaps a reminiscence of Micah 7:6, other words of which arc quoted below (ver. 35). The plural suggests the plurality of cases. And cause them to be put to death; put them to death (Revised Version margin); but perhaps through the agency of others. Observe that more direct cruelty is predicated of the children than of the brothers and fathers. Past kindness received will go for nothing. Matthew 10:21
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