I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and you visited me not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Ye cursed - That is, you who are devoted to destruction, whose characters deserve everlasting punishment, and who are about to enter into it. "To curse" is the opposite of "to bless." It implies a negation of all the blessings of heaven, and a positive infliction of eternal sufferings.
Everlasting fire - "Fire," here, is used to denote punishment. The image is employed to express extreme suffering, as a death by burning is one of the most horrible that can be conceived. The image was taken, probably, from the fires burning in the Valley of Hinnom. See the notes at Matthew 5:22. It has been asked whether the wicked will be burned in literal fire, and the common impression has been that they will be. Respecting that, however, it is to be observed:
1. that the main truth intended to be taught refers not to the manner of suffering, but to the certainty and intensity of it.
2. that the design, therefore, was to present an image of terrific and appalling suffering - an image well represented by fire
3. that this image was well known to the Jews Isaiah 66:24, and therefore expressed the idea in a very strong manner.
4. that all the truth that Christ intended to convey appears to be expressed in the certainty, intensity, and eternity of future torment.
5. that there is no distinct affirmation respecting the mode of that punishment, where the mode was the subject of discourse.
6. that to us it is a subject of comparatively little consequence what will be the mode of punishment.
The fact that the wicked will be eternally punished, cursed of God, should awe every spirit, and lead every man to strive most earnestly to secure his salvation. As, however, the "body" will be raised, it is not unreasonable to suppose that a mode of punishment will be adopted suited to the body - perhaps bearing some analogy to suffering here, in its various forms of flames, and racks, and cold, and heat, and disease, and ungratified desire, and remorse - perhaps the concentration of all earthly woes, all that makes man miserable here, poured upon the naked body and spirit of the wicked in hell forever and ever.
Prepared for the devil - The devil is the prince of evil spirits. This place of punishment was suited for him when he rebelled against God, Jde 1:6; Revelation 12:8-9.
His angels - His messengers, his servants, or those angels that he drew off from heaven by his rebellion, and whom he has employed as his "messengers" to do evil. The word may extend also to all his followers - fallen angels or people. There is a remarkable difference between the manner in which the righteous will be addressed, and the wicked. Christ will say to the one that the kingdom was prepared for them; to the other, that the fire was not prepared for "them," but for another race of beings. they will inherit it because they have the same character "as the devil," and are therefore suited to the same place - not because it was originally "prepared for them."See Poole on "Matthew 25:45".
naked, and ye clothed me not: sick and in prison, and ye visited me not: their conduct, behaviour, and character, are just the reverse of the righteous, and therefore it is no wonder that their sentence is different.I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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