Matthew 21:36
Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) Other servants more than the first.—There is, perhaps, a reference here to the greater power and fulness of the work of the later prophets, such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, stretching onward to that of the Baptist, as closing the whole line.

21:33-46 This parable plainly sets forth the sin and ruin of the Jewish nation; and what is spoken to convict them, is spoken to caution all that enjoy the privileges of the outward church. As men treat God's people, they would treat Christ himself, if he were with them. How can we, if faithful to his cause, expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from ungodly professors of Christianity! And let us ask ourselves, whether we who have the vineyard and all its advantages, render fruits in due season, as a people, as a family, or as separate persons. Our Saviour, in his question, declares that the Lord of the vineyard will come, and when he comes he will surely destroy the wicked. The chief priests and the elders were the builders, and they would not admit his doctrine or laws; they threw him aside as a despised stone. But he who was rejected by the Jews, was embraced by the Gentiles. Christ knows who will bring forth gospel fruits in the use of gospel means. The unbelief of sinners will be their ruin. But God has many ways of restraining the remainders of wrath, as he has of making that which breaks out redound to his praise. May Christ become more and more precious to our souls, as the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of his church. May we be willing to follow him, though despised and hated for his sake.And beat one - The word translated here as "beat" properly means to flay or to take off the skin; hence to beat or to whip so that the skin in many places is taken off.

And killed another - Isaiah is said to have been put to death by sawing him asunder.

Many other of the prophets were also put to death. See Luke 13:34; Hebrews 11:37; 1 Samuel 22:18; 1 Kings 19:10.

And stoned another - This was among the Jews a common mode of punishment, Deuteronomy 13:10; Deuteronomy 17:7; Joshua 7:25. Especially was this the case in times of popular tumult, and of sudden indignation among the people, Acts 7:58; Acts 14:19; John 8:59; John 10:31. This does not I imply, of necessity, that those who were stoned "died," but they might be only severely wounded. Mark says, "At him they cast stones and wounded him in the head, and sent him away," etc.

There is a little variation in the circumstances as mentioned by Matthew, and by Mark and Luke, but the substance is the same. Mark and Luke are more particular, and state the order in which the servants were sent one after another. They all denote the dealing of the people of Israel toward the prophets. All these things had been done to them. See Hebrews 11:37; Jeremiah 44:4-6; 2 Chronicles 36:16; Nehemiah 9:26; 2 Chronicles 24:20-21.

36. Again, he sent other servants more than the first; and they did unto them likewise—see 2Ki 17:13; 2Ch 36:16, 18; Ne 9:26.Ver. 34-36. Mark agrees in the substance, but mentions three single servants sent, and then many others. The first he saith they caught, and beat, and sent away empty. At the second he saith they cast stones, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled. The third he saith they killed; and for others, they did beat some, and kill some. Luke speaks to the same sense. I observed before, that we must not look to fit every particular phrase in a parable in the explication. By the servants here sent to the husbandmen are doubtless to be understood those extraordinary prophets, whom in the corrupt state of the Jewish church God sent to reprove the priests, and to admonish the priests, as well as the people, of the duty which they owed unto God, in obedience to his law. And the various phrases here used, to express the indignities offered to the servants, do but signify the various abuses offered to many of these prophets, of which are instances in 1 Kings 19:10 2 Chronicles 36:16 Nehemiah 9:26 Jeremiah 44:4,5. Jeremiah was beaten and imprisoned; so was Micaiah; Zechariah slain in the temple, &c.

Again he sent other servants,.... Meaning, perhaps, such as suffered in the times of the Maccabees:

more than the first; their number was greater, though their office was the same, at least not higher:

and they did unto them likewise; they beat them with rods, they killed them with the sword, and stoned them, Hebrews 11:36.

Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 21:36. πλείονας τ. π., more than the first. Some take πλ. as referring to quality rather than number: better than the former (Bengel, Goebel, etc.), which is a legitimate but not likely rendering. The intention is to emphasise the number of persons sent (prophets).—ὡσαύτως: no difference in the treatment; savage mood chronic.

Matthew 21:36.[938] Πλείονας, more) sc. superior (potiores), like the Hebrew רבים (great or numerous): superior, certainly in number, and without doubt also in virtue, dignity, etc. The increase of calling[939] is no sign of a more faithful people.

[938] πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους) We may regard the servants first sent as meaning the Prophets of the middle period, which is called that of the Kings, the servants subsequently sent, as meaning those who flourished about the time of the Captivity in Babylon.—V. g.

[939] i.e. An increase in the number of those who are sent to call men to repentance.—(I. B.)

Verse 36. - Other servants. God's loving kindness was not wearied out with the husbandmen's cruelty and violence. Each step of their wickedness and obstinacy was met with renewed mercy, with fresh calls to repentance. More (πλείονας). More in number. In the latter days the number of God's messengers was much greater than in earlier times; so it is unnecessary to take πλείονας in the sense of "more honourable," "of higher dignity," though such interpretation is supported by its use in Matthew 6:25; Mark 12:33; Hebrews 11:4. Likewise. They resisted these new envoys as they had resisted these first sent, treating them with equal cruelty and violence. Matthew 21:36
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