Matthew 16:13
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Cæsarea Philippi.—The order of the journeyings of our Lord and His disciples would seem to have been as follows:—From the coasts of Tyre and Sidon they came, passing through Sidon, to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 7:31); thence by ship to Magdala and Dalmanutha, on the western shore (Matthew 15:39; Mark 8:10); thence, again crossing the lake (Mark 8:13), to the eastern Bethsaida (Mark 8:22); thence to Cæsarea Philippi. There is in all these movements an obvious withdrawal from the populous cities which had been the scene of His earlier labours, and which had practically rejected Him and cast in their lot with His enemies. This last journey took them to a district which He had apparently never before visited, and to which He now came, it would seem, not as a Preacher of the kingdom, but simply for retirement and perhaps for safety. Cæsarea Philippi (so called to distinguish it from the town of the same name on the sea-coast) does not appear (unless we identify it with Laish or Dan, and for this there is no sufficient evidence) in the history of the Old Testament. Its position at the foot of Hermon led Robinson (Researches, iii. 404, 519) to identify it with the Baal-gad of Joshua 11:17; Joshua 12:7; Joshua 13:5, or the Baal-hermon of Judges 3:3; but this also hardly extends beyond the region of conjecture. The site of the city was near the chief source of the Jordan, which flowed from a cave which, under the influence of the Greek cultus that came in with the rule of the Syrian kings, was dedicated to Pan, and the old name of the city, Paneas, bore witness to this consecration. Herod the Great built a temple there in honour of Augustus (Jos. Ant. xv. 10, § 3), and his son Philip the tetrarch (to whose province it belonged) enlarged and embellished the city, and re-named it in honour of the emperor and to perpetuate his own memory. From Agrippa II. it received the name of Neroneas, as a like compliment to the emperor to whom he owed his title; but the old local name survived these passing changes, and still exists in the modern Bâiâs. With the one exception of the journey through Sidon (Mark 7:31), it was the northern limit of our Lord’s wanderings; and belonging as it does to the same period of His ministry, His visit to it may be regarded, though not as an extension of His work beyond its self-imposed limits, as indicating something like a sympathy with the out-lying heathen who made up the bulk of its population—a sense of rest, it may be, in turning to them from the ceaseless strife and bitterness which He encountered at Capernaum and Jerusalem. How the days passed which were spent on the journey, what gracious words or acts of mercy marked His track, what communings with His Father were held in the solitude of the mountain heights—are questions which we may dwell upon in reverential silence, but must be content to leave unanswered. The incident which follows is the one event of which we have any record.

Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?—The Greek emphasises “men” by prefixing the article, so as to contrast the opinions of men, as such, with God’s revelation. The question comes before us, as possibly it did to the disciples, with a sharp abruptness. We may believe, however, that it occupied a fitting place in the spiritual education through which our Lord was leading His disciples. It was a time of, at least, seeming failure and partial desertion. “From that time,” St. John relates, speaking of what followed after the discourse at Capernaum, “many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him” (John 6:66). He had turned to the Twelve and asked, in tones of touching sadness, “Will ye also go away?” and had received from Peter, as the spokesman of the others, what was for the time a reassuring answer, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life;” and this had been coupled with the confession of faith which we now find repeated. But in the meantime there had been signs of wavering. He had had to rebuke them as being “of little faith” (Matthew 16:8). They had urged something like a policy of reticence in His conflict with the Pharisees (Matthew 15:12). One of the Twelve was cherishing in his soul the “devil-temper” of a betrayer (John 6:70). It was time, if we may so speak, that they should be put to a crucial test, and the alternative of faith or want of faith pressed home upon their consciences.

Matthew 16:13-16. When Jesus came, &c. — There was a large interval of time between what has been related already, and what follows. The passages that follow were but a short time before our Lord suffered: came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi — “This city, while in the possession of the Canaanites, was called Lesheim, Joshua 19:47; and Laish, Jdg 18:27. But when the children of Dan took it, they named it after their progenitor. In latter times it was called Paneas, from the mountain beneath which it stood. The situation of Paneas pleased Philip the tetrarch so exceedingly, that he resolved to make it the seat of his court. For which purpose he enlarged and adorned it with many sumptuous buildings, and called it Cesarea in honour of the Roman emperor. The tetrarch’s own name, however, was commonly added, to distinguish it from the other Cesarea, so often mentioned in the Jewish history, and in the Acts of the Apostles, which was a fine port on the Mediterranean sea, and had been rebuilt by Herod the Great, and named in honour of Augustus Cæsar.” — Macknight. Josephus gives Philip so good a character, that some have thought our Lord retired into his territories for security from the insults of his enemies elsewhere. He asked his disciples, Who do men (Luke says, the people,) say that I, the Son of man, am — Who do they take me to be, who am really a man, born of a woman, and in outward appearance a mere man? Or, as some understand the expression, Who do men say that I am? the Son of man? Do they say that I am the Son of man, the Messiah? So Macknight, with some others, thinks the words ought to be placed and pointed, to make them agree with the question which Christ afterward proposed to his disciples, namely, But who say ye that I am? words which imply that he had not yet directly assumed the title of the Messiah, at least in their hearing. Dr. Lightfoot, however, conjectures that Christ here inquires, not barely whether the people thought him to be the Christ, but what kind of person they thought him to be: the Jews then doubting concerning the original of him who was to be the Messiah, and whether he was to come from the living or the dead. And it must be acknowledged, that the word τινα, whom, often relates to the quality of the person spoken of. So John 8:53, τινα, whom makest thou thyself? Christ made this inquiry, not because he was ignorant what the people thought and spoke of him, for their thoughts and words were perfectly known to him, but that he might have, from themselves, a declaration of their faith, and might therefrom take occasion of confirming and strengthening them in it. In answer to the question concerning the people, the disciples reply, Some say, thou art John the Baptist — Namely, risen from the dead, and with an additional power of working miracles; some, Elias — That thou art Elijah the prophet, come to prepare the way of the Messiah; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets — There was at that time a current tradition among the Jews, that either Jeremiah, or some other of the ancient prophets, would rise again before the Messiah came. Most part of the people took Jesus for a different person from what he was, because he had nothing of the outward pomp or grandeur in which they supposed the Messiah was to appear. Therefore, that he might give his disciples, who had long been witnesses of his miracles, and had attended on his ministry, an opportunity of declaring their opinion of him, he proceeded to ask, But who say ye that I am? And Peter, who was generally the most forward to speak, replied in the name of the rest, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God — That is, his son in a peculiar sense, and therefore a person of infinitely greater dignity than either John the Baptist, or Elias, or Jeremiah, or any other prophet.16:13-20 Peter, for himself and his brethren, said that they were assured of our Lord's being the promised Messiah, the Son of the living God. This showed that they believed Jesus to be more than man. Our Lord declared Peter to be blessed, as the teaching of God made him differ from his unbelieving countrymen. Christ added that he had named him Peter, in allusion to his stability or firmness in professing the truth. The word translated rock, is not the same word as Peter, but is of a similar meaning. Nothing can be more wrong than to suppose that Christ meant the person of Peter was the rock. Without doubt Christ himself is the Rock, the tried foundation of the church; and woe to him that attempts to lay any other! Peter's confession is this rock as to doctrine. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived. Our Lord next declared the authority with which Peter would be invested. He spoke in the name of his brethren, and this related to them as well as to him. They had no certain knowledge of the characters of men, and were liable to mistakes and sins in their own conduct; but they were kept from error in stating the way of acceptance and salvation, the rule of obedience, the believer's character and experience, and the final doom of unbelievers and hypocrites. In such matters their decision was right, and it was confirmed in heaven. But all pretensions of any man, either to absolve or retain men's sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the Jews, signified to forbid and to allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful.See also Mark 8:27-29, and Luke 9:18-20.

Cesarea Philippi - There were two cities in Judea called Caesarea. One was situated on the borders of the Mediterranean (See the notes at Acts 8:40), and the other was the one mentioned here. This city was greatly enlarged and ornamented by Philip the tetrarch, son of Herod, and called Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Tiberius Caesar. To distinguish it from the other Caesarea the name of Philip was added to it, and it was called Caesarea Philippi, or Caesarea of Philippi. It was situated in the boundaries of the tribe of Naphtali, at the foot of Mount Hermon. It is now called Panias or Banias, and contains (circa 1880's) about 200 houses, and is inhabited chiefly by Turks. The word "coasts" here now usually applied to land in the vicinity of the sea - means "borders" or "regions." He came into the part of the country which appertained to Cesarea Philippi. He was passing northward from the region of Bethsaida, on the coasts of Magdala Matthew 15:39, where the transactions recorded in the previous verses had occurred.

When Jesus came - The original is, "when Jesus was coming." Mark says Mark 8:27 that this conversation took place when they were in the way, and this idea should have been retained in translating Matthew. While in the way, Jesus took occasion to call their attention "to the truth that he was the Messiah." This truth it was of much consequence that they should fully believe and understand; and it was important, therefore, that he should often learn their views, to establish them if right, and correct them if wrong. He began, therefore, by inquiring what was the common report respecting him.

Whom do men say ... - This passage has been variously rendered. Some have translated it, "Whom do men say that I am? the Son of man?" Others, "Whom do men say that I am - I, who am the Son of man - i. e., the Messiah?" The meaning is nearly the same. He wished to obtain the sentiments of the people respecting himself.

Mt 16:13-28. Peter's Noble Confession of Christ and the Benediction Pronounced upon Him—Christ's First Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection—His Rebuke of Peter and Warning to All the Twelve. ( = Mr 8:27; 9:1; Lu 9:18-27).

The time of this section—which is beyond doubt, and will presently be mentioned—is of immense importance, and throws a touching interest around the incidents which it records.

Peter's Confession, and the Benediction Pronounced upon Him. (Mt 16:13-20).

13. When Jesus came into the coasts—"the parts," that is, the territory or region. In Mark (Mr 8:27) it is "the towns" or "villages."

of Cæsarea Philippi—It lay at the foot of Mount Lebanon, near the sources of the Jordan, in the territory of Dan, and at the northeast extremity of Palestine. It was originally called Panium (from a cavern in its neighborhood dedicated to the god Pan) and Paneas. Philip, the tetrarch, the only good son of Herod the Great, in whose dominions Paneas lay, having beautified and enlarged it, changed its name to Cæsarea, in honor of the Roman emperor, and added Philippi after his own name, to distinguish it from the other Cæsarea (Ac 10:1) on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea. [Josephus, Antiquities, 15.10,3; 18.2,1]. This quiet and distant retreat Jesus appears to have sought with the view of talking over with the Twelve the fruit of His past labors, and breaking to them for the first time the sad intelligence of His approaching death.

he asked his disciples—"by the way," says Mark (Mr 8:27), and "as He was alone praying," says Luke (Lu 9:18).

saying, Whom—or more grammatically, "Who"

do men say that I the Son of man am?—(or, "that the Son of man is"—the recent editors omitting here the me of Mark and Luke [Mr 8:27; Lu 9:18]; though the evidence seems pretty nearly balanced)—that is, "What are the views generally entertained of Me, the Son of man, after going up and down among them so long?" He had now closed the first great stage of His ministry, and was just entering on the last dark one. His spirit, burdened, sought relief in retirement, not only from the multitude, but even for a season from the Twelve. He retreated into "the secret place of the Most High," pouring out His soul "in supplications and prayers, with strong crying and tears" (Heb 5:7). On rejoining His disciples, and as they were pursuing their quiet journey, He asked them this question.

See Poole on "Matthew 16:14". When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi,.... The towns that were in the neighbourhood of this city; which city went by several names before, as Leshem, Joshua 19:47 which being taken by the Danites, they called it Dan; hence we read of "Dan, which is Caesarea" (b). It was also called Paneas, from the name of the fountain of Jordan, by which it was situated; and which Pliny says (c) gave the surname to Caesarea; and hence it is called by Ptolomy (d) Caesarea Paniae; and by the name of Paneas it went, when Philip the (e) tetrarch rebuilt it, and called it Caesarea, in honour of Tiberius Caesar; and from his own name, Philippi, to distinguish it from another Caesarea, of which mention is made in the Acts of the Apostles, built by his father Herod, and so called in honour of Augustus Caesar; which before bore the name of Strato's tower. The Misnic doctors speak of two Caesareas (f), the one they call the eastern, the other the western Caesarea. Now, as Mark says, whilst Christ and his disciples were in the way to these parts; and, as Luke, when he had been praying alone with them,

he asked his disciples, saying, whom do men say that I the Son of man am? He calls himself "the son of man", because he was truly and really man; and because of his low estate, and the infirmities of human nature, with which he was encompassed: he may have some respect to the first intimation of him, as the seed of woman, and the rather make use of this phrase, because the Messiah was sometimes designed by it in the Old Testament, Psalm 80:17 or Christ speaks here of himself, according to his outward appearance, and the prevailing opinion of men concerning him; that he looked to be only a mere man, born as other men were; was properly a son of man, and no more: and therefore the question is, not what sort of man he was, whether a holy, good man, or not, or whether the Messiah, or not; but the question is, what men in general, whether high or low, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, under the notion they had of him as a mere man, said of him; or since they took him to be but a man, what man they thought he was; and to this the answer is very appropriate. This question Christ put to his disciples, they being more conversant with the people than he, and heard the different opinions men had of him, and who were more free to speak their minds of him to them, than to himself; not that he was ignorant of what passed among men, and the different sentiments they had of him, but he was willing to hear the account from his disciples; and his view in putting this question to them, was to make way for another, in order to bring them to an ingenuous confession of their faith in him.

(b) Targum Hieros. in Genesis 14.17. (c) Hist. l. 5. c. 15, 18. (d) Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. (e) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 18. c. & de Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 13. (f) Misn. Oholot, c. 18. sect. 9.

{3} When Jesus came into the coasts of {h} Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

(3) There are many judgments and opinions of Christ, nevertheless he is known by his followers alone.

(h) There were two Caesareas, the one called Stratonis upon the Mediterranean Sea, which Herod built extravagantly in the honour of Octavius; Josephus lib. 15. The other was Caesarea Philippi, which Herod the great the Tetrarch's son by Cleopatra, built in the honour of Tiberius at the foot of Lebanon; Josephus lib. 15.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 16:13 ff. Comp. Mark 8:27 ff.; Luke 9:18 ff. (which latter evangelist rejoins, at this point, the synoptic narrative, having left it immediately after recording the first miraculous feeding of the multitude, a circumstance which is sometimes alleged as a reason for doubting the authenticity of the second miracle of this kind).

Caesarea Philippi, a town in Gaulonitis, at the foot of Mount Lebanon, which was formerly known by the name of Paneas, Plin. N. H. v. 15. Philip the tetrarch enlarged and embellished it (Joseph. Antt. xviii. 2, Bell. ii. 9. 1), and called it Caesarea in honour of Caesar (Tiberius). It received the name of Philippi in order to distinguish it from Caesarea Palestinae. Robinson, Pal. III. pp. 612, 626 ff., and neuere Forsch. p. 531 ff.; Ritter, Erdk. XV. 1, p. 194 ff.

τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου] See, in general, note on Matthew 8:20. The words are in characteristic apposition with με. That is to say, Matthew does not represent Jesus as asking in a general way (as in Mark and Luke) who it was that the people supposed Him to be, but as putting the question in this more special and definite form: whom do the people suppose me, as the Son of man, to be? He had very frequently used this title in speaking of Himself; and what He wanted to know was, the nature of the construction which the people put upon the designation in Daniel, which He had ascribed to Himself, whether or not they admitted it to be applicable to Him in its Messianic sense. Comp. Holtzmann in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1865, p. 228. From the answer it appears that, as a rule, He was not being taken for the Messiah as yet (that consequently the more general appellation: ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρ., was not as yet being applied to Him in the special sense in which Daniel uses it), He was only regarded as a forerunner; but the disciples themselves had understood Him to be the Son of man in Daniel’s sense of the words, and, as being such, they looked upon Him as the Messiah, the Song of Solomon of God. Accordingly it is not necessary to regard τ. υἱὸν τ. ἀνθρ. as interpolated by Matthew (Holtzmann, Weizsäcker), thereby destroying the suggestive correlation in which it stands to the expression, Son of God, in Peter’s reply. It is not surprising that Strauss should have been scandalized at the question, seeing that he understood it in the anticipatory sense of: “whom do the people suppose me to be, who am the Messiah?” Beza inserts a mark of interrogation after εἶναι, and then takes the following words by themselves thus: an Messiam? But this would involve an anticipation on the part of the questioner which would be quite out of place. De Wette (see note on Matthew 8:20) imports a foreign sense into the passage when he thus explains: “whom do the people say that I am, I, the obscure, humble man who have before me the lofty destiny of being the Messiah, and who am under the necessity of first of all putting forth such efforts in order to secure the recognition of my claims?” Keim’s view is correct, though he rejects the με (see critical notes).

Observe, moreover, how it was, after He had performed such mighty deeds in His character of Messiah, and had prepared His disciples by His previous training of them, and when feeling now that the crisis was every day drawing nearer, that Jesus leads those disciples to avow in the most decided way possible such a conviction of the truth of the Christian confession as the experience of their own hearts might by this time be expected to justify. Comp. note on Matthew 16:17. As for themselves, they needed a religious confession thus deeply rooted in their convictions to enable them to confront the trying future on which they were about to enter. And to Jesus also it was a source of comfort to find Himself the object of such sincere devotion; comp. John 6:67 ff. But to say that it was not till now that He Himself became convinced of His Messiahship (Strauss, before 1864, Schenkel), is to contradict the whole previous narrative in every one of the evangelists. Comp. Weizsäcker, Keim, Weissenborn, p. 41 ff.Matthew 16:13-28. At Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27 to Mark 9:1; Luke 9:18-27). The crossing of the lake (Matthew 16:5) proved to be the prelude to a second long excursion northwards, similar to that mentioned in Matthew 15:21; like it following close on an encounter with ill-affected persons, and originating in a kindred mood and motive. For those who regard the two feedings as duplicate accounts of the same event these two excursions are of course one. “The idea of two journeys on which Jesus oversteps the boundaries of Galilee is only the result of the assumption of a twofold feeding. The two journeys are, in truth, only parts of one great journey, on which Jesus, coming out of heathen territory, first touches again the soil of the holy land, in the neighbourhood of Caesarea Philippi.” Weiss, Leben Jesu, ii. 256. Be this as it may, this visit to that region was an eventful one, marking a crisis or turning-point in the career of Jesus. We are at the beginning of the fifth act in the tragic drama: the shadow of the cross now falls across the path. Practically the ministry in Galilee is ended, and Jesus is here to collect His thoughts and to devote Himself to the disciplining of His disciples. Place and time invite to reflection and forecast, and afford leisure for a calm survey of the whole situation. Note that at this point Lk. again joins his fellow-evangelists in his narrative. We have missed him from Matthew 14:23 onwards (vide notes on Lk.).13. Cesarea Philippi] The most northerly point reached by our Lord. The city was rebuilt by Herod-Philip, who called it by his own name to distinguish it from Cæsarea Stratonis on the sea coast, the seat of the Roman government, and the scene of St Paul’s imprisonment.

The Greek name of this Cæsarea was Paneas, which survives in the modern Banias. Cæsarea was beautifully placed on a rocky terrace under Mount Hermon, a few miles east of Dan, the old frontier city of Israel. The cliffs near this spot, where the Messiah was first acknowledged, bear marks of the worship of Baal and of Pan. See Recovery of Jerusalem, and Tristram’s Land of Israel.

Song of Solomon of man] See note ch. Matthew 8:20. The question of Jesus is: In what sense do the people believe me to be the Son of man? In the sense which Daniel intended or in a lower sense? Observe the antithesis in Peter’s answer:—the Son of man is the Son of God.

13–20. The great Confession of St Peter, and the Promise given to him

Mark 8:27-30 : The question is put “while they were on the way,” the words “the Son of the living God” are omitted, as also the blessing on Peter. Luke 9:18-20 : Jesus was engaged in prayer alone; the words of the confession are “the Christ of God;” the blessing on Peter is omitted.Matthew 16:13. Ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, κ.τ.λ., But when Jesus had come, etc.) A noticeable interval of time occurred between the things just narrated and those which are now declared.[728] The connection, therefore, of the passages is not close. The matters which follow took place a short time before our Lord’s Passion; and the shortness of this interval[729] assists the right interpretation of the promises made in Matthew 16:18; Matthew 16:28, and of the prohibition uttered in Matthew 16:20, ch. Matthew 17:9, etc.[730]—Καισαρείας, of Cœsarea) This very name, which had not heretofore been given to the towns of Palestine, might have warned all that the Jews were subject to Cæsar, that the sceptre had departed from Judah, and that the Messiah had therefore come. See, however, James Alting,[731] Schilo, pp. 147, 153. In Scriptural exegesis, the reader ought to place himself, as it were, in the time and place where the words were spoken, or the thing was done, and to consider the feelings[732] of the writer, the force of the words, and the context.—τῆς Φιλίππου, Philippi) Thus the inland Cæsarea is distinguished from that on the sea-shore.[733]—τίνα, whom) The disciples had profited by listening and inquiry; now their Master examines them by questioning, and gives an example of catechising.—τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ Ἀνθρώπου, the Son of Man) i.e. Me, whom I myself am wont to call the Son of Man. Peter gives the right antitheton [in his reply[734]], Matthew 16:16 : Thou art the Son of the living God.—Cf. John 5:19; John 5:27. This title, the Son of Man, which frequently occurs in the Evangelists, should be carefully observed: no one was so called but Christ Himself, and no one, whilst He walked on earth, so called Him except Himself. He first applies this appellation to Himself in John 1:51, when they were first found who acknowledged Him as the Messiah and the Son of God (ibid. John 1:50), and thenceforth very frequently, both before and after His prediction of His Passion. For they who expressed their faith in Him, called Him the Song of Solomon of David. The Jews rightly suspected (John 12:34), that by this title He claimed to be the Messiah. For as the first Adam, with all his progeny, is called Man, so the second Adam (see 1 Corinthians 15:45) is called Song of Solomon of Man, not with that notion with which בְּנֵי אָדָם (filii hominis), i.e. the weak, are opposed to בְּנֵי אִישׁ (filii viri), i.e. the powerful (in Psalm 49:2 (Psalm 48:2); or that in which men are called generally, sons of men (filii hominum), as in Mark 3:28; Ephesians 3:5; Ezekiel 2:1, etc.: but with the article, Ὁ ΥἹῸς ΤΟῦ ἈΝΘΡΏΠΟΥ. The article appears to refer to the prophecy of Daniel, Daniel 7:13. This, in sooth, is that One Man whom Adam, after the fall, expected by promise for his whole race: Ὁ ΔΕΎΤΕΡΟς, the second (1 Corinthians 15:47), to whom every prophecy of the Old Testament pointed, who holds the rights and primogeniture of the whole human race (see Luke 3:23; Luke 3:38), and to whom alone we owe that we are not ashamed of the name of man: see Psalms 49(48):20, and cf. Romans 5:15. Moreover, our Lord, whilst walking amongst men, by this appellation, both expressed, and as suitable to the circumstances (pro economiâ) of that time, concealed amongst men (cf. ch. Matthew 22:45) and hid from Satan the fact that He was ὁ Υἱὸς, the Son, absolutely so called, i.e. the Son of God promised and given to man, Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 9:6; and sprung from man, Hebrews 2:11; and at the same time, as it were, reminded Himself of His present condition, Matthew 20:28; Php 2:7-8. In the same manner, He expressed both His crucifixion and His ascension by one word, ὑψωθῶ, I be lifted up, John 12:32. Neither is this appellation suited only to the state of His humiliation, but the expression, the Son of man, is used for every conspicuous situation of His, either in humiliation or exaltation; see John 12:34, and compare therewith, in the following verse, the light is with you. And it agrees with the very form of His body, as implying youth; see Daniel 7:13. Consider the following passages:—Matthew 16:27-28; ch. Matthew 12:32, Matthew 24:27; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 24:37; Matthew 24:39; Matthew 24:44, Matthew 25:31; Luke 17:22; John 12:23-36; John 5:27; Acts 7:56. Therefore also this appellation does not once occur in the whole of the twenty-one apostolic epistles, but instead of it, the appellation, the Son of God; for in Hebrews 2:6 the article is not added, and the words are those of David, not of St Paul, who yet frequently calls Christ both ἌΝΘΡΩΠΟς (homo), and ἌΝΗΡ (vir). See the Gnomon on Romans 5:15. And even in the Apocalypse Revelation 1:13 and Revelation 14:14, as long before in Daniel 7:13, that appellation is only alluded to, not actually applied to our Lord. The agreement of the apostles, even in the case of this single phrase, shows that they wrote by the same Divine inspiration.

[728] Mark and Luke, it seems, as well as Matthew, here begin a new section, wherein, with a common design, they show how He proceeded upon His last journey (tour of preaching), replete with salvation, in the northern coasts of the land of Israel. Near Cæserea Philippi. He asks the disciples, when He was alone with them, “Whom do men say that I am?” and then He informs them of His Passion. Then He so arranges His departure (the course of His journey), as that He now imbues the whole land of Israel with the good seed. After having exhibited His glory on the mountain of Transfiguration, He returns to Capernaum, directing His course from thence through the midst of Samaria and Galilee; then onward beyond Jordan, bending His course towards Judea, He bids farewell to Bethabara [John 10:40, comp. with John 1:28], and, having crossed the Jordan afresh, He came finally to Jericho and Bethany, Matthew 16:13 to Matthew 20:34, etc.—Harm., p. 367.

[729] Consisting of about one month and a half.—V. g.

[730] A few weeks later, all the details of the truth concerning Him were published on every side, the restraints (which He had imposed on them, Matthew 16:20) being removed. The sum of all which the disciples heretofore learned was this, Jesus is the Christ: This is repeated and confirmed, Matthew 16:16Verses 13-20. - The climax of recognition of Christ's true nature declared in the great confession of Peter. (Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21.) Verse 13. - Coasts (μέρη); parts, as Matthew 15:21, etc. Caesarea Philippi. The addition to the name Caesarea is intended to commemorate its restorer and beautifier, the tetrarch Philip, and to distinguish it from the city of the same name on the coast between Joppa and Carmel (Acts 8:40, etc.). Our Lord had landed at Bethsaida, where the Jordan enters the Lake of Gennesaret, turned northwards, and, following the course of the river, had now arrived in the vicinity of one of its chief sources at Caesarea Philippi, the most northerly city of the Holy Land. It was, if not identical with, in close proximity to, the Dan of the Old Testament, whence arose the saying, "From Dan to Beersheba," to denote the whole extent of country from north to south. Later it was called Paneas, and now Banias. Philip altered the name to Caesarea in honour of Tiberius Caesar, his patron. Christ seems not to have visited the city itself, but only the outlying villages in the district. We may conjecture why at this Lime he moved to this remote region. It was probably, partly, a measure of precaution. He had excited the fiercest animosity of the dominant party, and even of the sceptical Sadducees; he was pertinaciously followed by their emissaries, always on the watch to lay hold of his words and actions, and to found upon them dangerous charges; and now, knowing it was time to announce to his followers in plain terms his claim to be Messiah, he would not do this in Judaea, where it might cause commotion, and embroil him with the authorities, but preferred to teach this great truth where he might speak freely without fear of immediate consequences, out of the reach of his persevering opponents. Virtually, also, his public work in Judaea and Galilee had reached its end. He had no chance of a hearing if he had made further attempts at teaching. The calumnies of the rabbis had affected the fickle populace, who would willingly have followed a military pretender, but had no heart to set at nought their national teachers in favour of One whom they were persuaded to regard as a dangerous innovator, not improbably upheld by Satanic agency. He asked his disciples. It was after a time of solitary prayer (Luke 9:18) that he put this question to his followers. Determined now to reveal himself, he desired to make them express the mistaken views which were rife concerning his Person and office, and to lead them to the more important inquiry - what opinion they themselves held touching this momentous mystery (ver. 15). Whom (who) do men say that I the Son of man am? Quem dicunt homines esse filium hominis (Vulgate); Who do men say that the Son of man is? (Revised Version). The versions represent the variation of manuscripts between τίνα με λέγουσιν κ.τ.λ., and τίνα λέγουσιν, omitting με. The pronoun is probably genuine and emphatic. In the other case, "the Son of man" is equivalent to με in ver. 15. I call myself the Son of man: what do the multitudes say of me? Who do they consider the Son of man to be? This was the term he used to show the truth of the Incarnation - "perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting." To Jewish ears it connoted Divinity (see Luke 22:69, 70; John 3:13).
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