Matthew 22:7
But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
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(7) He sent forth his armies.—As in other parables that shadow forth the judgment of the Son of Man, the words find an approximate fulfilment, first, in the destruction of Jerusalem, and afterwards, in all times of trouble that fall upon nations and churches as the punishment of unbelief and its consequent unrighteousness. The word “armies” suggests in its modern use, action on a larger scale than that indicated by the Greek. Better, troops.

Matthew 22:7. And when the king heard thereof, he was wroth — Inasmuch as “the invitation to the marriage-feast of his son, sent by this king to his supposed friends, was the highest expression of his regard for them, and the greatest honour that could be done to them; therefore, when they refused it for such trifling reasons, and were so savagely ungrateful as to beat, and wound, and kill the servants who had come with it, it was justly viewed as a most outrageous affront, an injury that deserved the severest punishment.” Accordingly the king resented it exceedingly, and sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, &c. — This branch of the parable plainly predicted the destruction of the Jews by the Roman armies, called God’s armies, because they were appointed by him to execute vengeance upon that once favourite, but now rebellions people. It is justly observed here by Dr. Doddridge, that “this clause must be supposed to come in by way of prolepsis, or anticipation; for it is plain there could not be time before the feast already prepared was served up, to attempt an execution of this kind.”

22:1-14 The provision made for perishing souls in the gospel, is represented by a royal feast made by a king, with eastern liberality, on the marriage of his son. Our merciful God has not only provided food, but a royal feast, for the perishing souls of his rebellious creatures. There is enough and to spare, of every thing that can add to our present comfort and everlasting happiness, in the salvation of his Son Jesus Christ. The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ's resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer. The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not. Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world. They were careless. Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Saviour. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ. The utter ruin coming upon the Jewish church and nation, is here represented. Persecution of Christ's faithful ministers fills up the measure of guilt of any people. The offer of Christ and salvation to the Gentiles was not expected; it was such a surprise as it would be to wayfaring men, to be invited to a royal wedding-feast. The design of the gospel is to gather souls to Christ; all the children of God scattered abroad, Joh 10:16; 11:52. The case of hypocrites is represented by the guest that had not on a wedding-garment. It concerns all to prepare for the scrutiny; and those, and those only, who put on the Lord Jesus, who have a Christian temper of mind, who live by faith in Christ, and to whom he is all in all, have the wedding-garment. The imputed righteousness of Christ, and the sanctification of the Spirit, are both alike necessary. No man has the wedding-garment by nature, or can form it for himself. The day is coming, when hypocrites will be called to account for all their presumptuous intruding into gospel ordinances, and usurpation of gospel privileges. Take him away. Those that walk unworthy of Christianity, forfeit all the happiness they presumptuously claimed. Our Saviour here passes out of the parable into that which it teaches. Hypocrites go by the light of the gospel itself down to utter darkness. Many are called to the wedding-feast, that is, to salvation, but few have the wedding-garment, the righteousness of Christ, the sanctification of the Spirit. Then let us examine ourselves whether we are in the faith, and seek to be approved by the King.But when the king heard ... - This doubtless refers to the Jews and to Jerusalem. They were murderers, having slain the prophets; and God was about to send forth the armies of the Romans under his providential direction, and to burn up their city. See the notes at Matthew 24.

Wroth - Angry; displeased.

7. But when the king—the Great God, who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

heard thereof, he was wroth—at the affront put both on His Son, and on Himself who had deigned to invite them.

and he sent forth his armies—The Romans are here styled God's armies, just as the Assyrian is styled "the rod of His anger" (Isa 10:5), as being the executors of His judicial vengeance.

and destroyed those murderers—and in what vast numbers did they do it!

and burned up their city—Ah! Jerusalem, once "the city of the Great King" (Ps 48:2), and even up almost to this time (Mt 5:35); but now it is "their city"—just as our Lord, a day or two after this, said of the temple, where God had so long dwelt, "Behold your house is left unto you desolate" (Mt 23:38)! Compare Lu 19:43, 44.

See Poole on "Matthew 22:14".

But when the king heard thereof,.... Of this maltreatment, and barbarous usage of his servants, their cries coming up into his ears, and their blood calling for vengeance at his hands; and he full well knowing what they did unto them, and upon what account, being the omniscient God; and observing their malignity and wickedness,

he was wroth: who, though slow to anger, bears much, and suffers long; yet was now highly incensed and provoked, and stirred up all his wrath, determining to take vengeance on such a vile generation of men. Christ, when he was here on earth, was sometimes provoked by the Jews, through their unbelief, their obstinacy, and the hardness of their hearts and was angry with them, being grieved for them, Mark 3:5, but then was not the proper time to execute his wrath; he then appeared as the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world; he came to save men, and not to destroy their lives, nor to condemn the world: when his martyr Stephen was suffering, he was seen by him standing at the right hand of God, being risen from his seat, as one incensed at the usage his servant met with from the wicked Jews; but the time of his vengeance was not yet come, more patience and forbearance were to be exercised towards them: but now his kingdom came with power, and he appears as the Lion of the tribe of Judah; and pours out his wrath to the uttermost upon them, destroys their city and temple, and puts an end to their civil and ecclesiastical state, and cuts them off from being a nation; and now it was, that he ordered these his enemies, who would not have him to rule over them, brought before him, and slain in his presence; and in all this, he showed his kingly power and authority; and by removing the sceptre from them, and all show of dominion and government, made it fully appear that he, the Messiah, was come. Well had it been for them, had they taken the advice of the Psalmist, "Kiss the Son", the Son of God, believe in him as such, embrace him as the Messiah, yield subjection and obedience to his word and ordinances, "lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little", Psalm 2:12. But now his wrath was kindled very much, and was poured out like fire, and there was no standing before it; the day of the Lord burned like an oven, and destroyed the Jews root and branch: the manner and means, in and by which this utter ruin was brought about, are as follow:

and he sent forth his armies; not the angels, who are the armies and hosts of heaven; nor desolating judgments only, as pestilence and famine, though the latter was severely felt by the Jews, but chiefly the Roman armies are here meant; called "his", because they came by the Lord's appointment and permission; and were used by him, for the destruction of these people:

and destroyed those murderers; of Christ and his apostles, as their fathers had been of the prophets before them:

and burnt up their city; the city of Jerusalem, the metropolis of the Jews, and where the principal of these murderers dwelt; and which was burnt and destroyed by the Roman army, under Titus Vespasian. And a worse punishment than this, even the vengeance of eternal fire, may all the neglecters of the Gospel, and persecutors of the ministers of it expect, from him, whose vengeance is, and who will repay it; for if judgment began at the house of God, the people of the Jews who were so called, what will be the end of them that obey not the Gospel of Christ? How sore a punishment shall they be thought worthy of, who trample under foot the Son of God, count his blood a common thing, and do despite to the Spirit of grace? If the law, when transgressed; demanded a just recompense of reward, or inflicted deserved punishment, how shall the neglecters of the great salvation revealed in the Gospel escape?

{2} But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

(2) A dreadful destruction of those that condemn Christ.

Matthew 22:7. τὰ στρατεύματα: the plural appears surprising, but the meaning seems to be, not separate armies sent one after another, but forces.—ἀπώλεσε, ἐνέπρησεν: the allegory here evidently refers to the destruction of Jerusalem; no argument against authenticity, if Matthew 24:2 be a word of Jesus. Note that the destruction of Jerusalem is represented as taking place before the calling of those without = the Gentiles. This is not according to the historic fact. This makes for authenticity, as a later allegorist would have been likely to observe the historical order (vide Schanz).

7. he was wroth] For a subject to scorn the summons to the royal feast implied disloyalty and rebellion.

sent forth his armies] The soldiers of Titus literally achieved the purposes of God.

Matthew 22:7. Ἀκούσας δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς, but when the king heard thereof) The transgression of the disobedient was a crying sin.—τὴν πόλιν αὐτῶν, their city) sc. that of the murderers.—στρατεύματα, armies) sc. the Roman forces.[955]—ΦΟΝΕῖς, murderers) The chief crime provokes the whole punishment; see Amos 2.—αὐτῶν, of them) viz. of those murderers and despisers.

[955] Who were let loose upon Jerusalem forty years from this time.—V. g.

Verse 7. - When the king heard thereof. The text varies here. Some manuscripts have "that king," to whom the rejection of his messengers was a personal insult (comp. 2 Samuel 10:4, etc.). The Sinaitic, Vatican, and other authorities omit ἀκούσας, "heard thereof," and it may well be a gloss from the human view that the king, not being personally present, must have been informed of the incidents. At the same time, the King, regarded as God, needs no report to acquaint him with what is going on. He was wroth. The injury was done to him, and he resents it (comp. Luke 10:16; John 12:48). His armies. The Romans, under Vespasian and Titus, the unconscious instruments of his vengeance. So the Assyrians are called "the rod of God's anger" (Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 13:5; comp. Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 51:20). Some regard the "armies" as angels, the ministers of God's punishment, especially in war, famine, and pestilence, the three scourges which accomplished the ruin of the Jews. Probably both angels and men are included in the term. Destroyed... burned up their city. No longer his city, but theirs, the murderers' city, Jerusalem. So a little later foretelling the same fate, Jesus speaks of "your house" (Matthew 23:38). The Romans, in fact, some forty years after, put to the sword the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and burned the city to ashes. Matthew 22:7Armies (στρατεύματα)

Not in our grand sense of armies, but troops, soldiers. Compare Luke 23:11, where the word is rendered men of war; Rev., soldiers.

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