He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Let him deliver him now.—It seems at first hardly conceivable that priests and scribes could thus have quoted the very words of Psalm 22:8, and so have fulfilled one of the great Messianic prophecies. But (1) we must remember that they, ignoring the idea of a suffering Christ, would not look on the Psalm as Messianic at all, and (2) that their very familiarity with the words of the Psalm would naturally bring its phraseology to their lips when occasion called for it. Only they would persuade themselves that they were right in using it, while David’s enemies were wrong.
If he be the King of Israel ... - It may seem strange to some that Jesus did not vindicate by a miracle his claims to be the Messiah, and come down from the cross. But the time had come for him to make an atonement. He had given full and sufficient proof that he was the Christ. Those who had rejected him, and who mocked and taunted him, would have been little likely to admit his claims if he had come down from the cross, since they had set at naught all his other miracles. They said this for the purpose of insult; and Jesus chose rather to suffer, though his character was assailed, than to work a new miracle for their gratification. He had foretold his death, and the time had come; and now, amid revilings, and gibes, and curses, and the severe sarcasms of an angry and apparently triumphant priesthood, he chose to die for the sins of the world. To this they added "insult" to God, profanely calling upon him to interpose by miracle and save him, if he was his friend; and all this when their prophets had foretold this very scene, and when they were fulfilling the predictions of their own Scriptures. See the Isaiah 53 notes, and Daniel 9:24-27 notes. So wonderful is the way by which God causes His word to be fulfilled.
For the exposition, see on Joh 19:18-30.See Poole on "Matthew 27:44".
let him deliver him now; directly, from the cross, and the death of it:
if he will have him; or if he is well pleased with him as his own Son, or delights in him as such, and will show him any favour and good will; see Psalm 22:8, where are these very words, and which are predicted should be said by these men to Christ; and are a wonderful confirmation of the truth of that Psalm and prophecy belonging to him:He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 27:43 In the mouth of the members of Sanhedrim, who in Matthew 27:41 are introduced as joining in the blasphemies of the passers-by, and who, Matthew 27:42, have likewise the inscription over the cross in view, the jeering assumes a more impious character. They now avail themselves even of the language of holy writ, quoting from the 22d Psalm (which, moreover, the Jews declared to be non-Messianic), the 5th verse of which is given somewhat loosely from the LXX. (ἤλπισεν ἐπὶ κύριον, ῥυσάσθω αὐτόν, σωσάτω αὐτόν, ὅτι θέλει αὐτόν).
θέλει αὐτόν] is the rendering of the Heb. חָפִץ בּוֹ, and is to be interpreted in accordance with the Septuagint usage of θέλειν (see Schleusner, Thes. II. p. 51, and comp. on Romans 7:21): if He is the object of his desire, i.e. if he likes Him; comp. Tob 13:6; Psalm 18:19; Psalm 41:11. In other instances the LXX. give the preposition as well, rendering the Hebrew (1 Samuel 18:22, al.) by θέλειν ἔν τινι. Fritzsche supplies ῥύσασθαι; but in that case we should have had merely εἰ θέλει without αὐτόν; comp. Colossians 2:18.
ὅτι θεοῦ εἰμι υἱός] The emphasis is on θεοῦ, as conveying the idea: I am not the son of a man, but of God, who in consequence will be certain to deliver me.
Comp. Wis 2:18.
Observe further the short bounding sentences in which their malicious jeering, Matthew 27:42 f., finds vent.Matthew 27:43. his looks like a mere echo of Psalm 22:9 (not a literal quotation from the Sept, however, rather recalling Isaiah 36:5) rather than a word likely to be spoken by the Sanhedrists. What did they know about the personal piety of Jesus? Probably they were aware that He used to call God “Father,” and that may be the basis of the statement, along with the confession of Sonship before the Sanhedrim: θεοῦ εἰμι υἱός.—νῦν, now is the time for testing the value of His trust; a plausible wicked sneer.—εἰ θέλει αὐτόν, if He love Him, an emphatic if, the love disproved by the fact.—θέλει is used in the sense of love in the Sept (Psalm 18:20; Psalm 41:12). Palairet gives examples of a similar use in Greek authors.
 Septuagint.43. He trusted in God] See Psalm 22:8. The chief priests unconsciously apply to the true Messiah the very words of a Messianic psalm.Matthew 27:43. Πέποιθεν, He trusted) cf. the end of the verse.—εἶπε γὰρ, κ.τ.λ., for He said, etc.) We may consider that this was either uttered by those who were passing by, or added by the Evangelist for the sake of explanation. The LXX. in Psalms 22(21):8, have ἥλπισεν ἐπὶ Κύριον, ῥυσάσθω Αὐτόν· σωσάτω Αὐτὸν, ὅτι θέλει Αὐτόν, He trusted in the Lord, let Him deliver Him: let Him save Him, since He delighteth in Him.Verse 43. - He trusted in (ἐπὶ, on) God. These scoffers cite a passage from Psalm 22:8, "He trusted unto the Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighteth in him" (Hebrew); or, according to the Septuagint, "He hoped in the Lord; let him deliver him, let him save him, because he desires (θέλει) him." Let him deliver him now, if he will have him (εἰ θέλει). Θέλω is used in the Septuagint in the sense of "I love," "I wish for" (see Deuteronomy 21:14; Psalm 17:19; 40:11). But the Vulgate, by omitting the first αὐτόν, possibly takes the verb in the usual sense, Liberet nunc, si vult, eum. The Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts and others support this reading, which is followed now by Tischendorf, and Westcott and Hort, so that the clause will run, Let him now, if he will, deliver him. But the Received Text and the Authorized Version are in closer agree ment with the original language of the psalm. For he said, I am the Son of God. Insultingly they allude to his own assertions concerning his Divine nature, implying that, were he such as he pretended to be, he would not now be dying on the shameful cross. There are wonderful coincidences in thought and language between this passage and one in the Book of Wisdom (2:13-20), which speaks of the oppression of the righteous, e.g. "He professeth to have the knowledge of God; and he calleth himself the child of the Lord.... Let us see if his words be true; and let us prove what shall happen in the end of him. For if the just man be the Son of God, he will help him, and deliver him from the hand of his enemies." The similarity of expression is to be attributed to the typical nature of the treatment of Christ, which the writer of Wisdom, with remarkable insight, thus forcibly delineated.
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