New American Standard Bible
"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
King James Bible
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Darby Bible Translation
and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn nigh.
World English Bible
"Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!"
Young's Literal Translation
and saying, 'Reform, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens,'
Matthew 3:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Repent ye - Repentance implies sorrow for past offences 2 Corinthians 7:10; a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God Psalm 51:4; and a full purpose to turn from transgression and to lead a holy life. A true penitent has sorrow for sin, not only because it is ruinous to his soul, but chiefly because it is an offence against God, and is that abominable thing which he hates, Jeremiah 44:4. It is produced by seeing the great danger and misery to which it exposes us; by seeing the justice and holiness of God Job 42:6; and by seeing that our sins have been committed against Christ, and were the cause of his death, Zechariah 12:10; Luke 22:61-62. There are two words in the New Testament translated "repentance," one of which denotes a change of mind, or a reformation of life; and the other, sorrow or regret that sin has been committed. The word used here is the former, calling the Jews to a change of life, or a reformation of conduct. In the time of John, the nation had become extremely wicked and corrupt, perhaps more so than at any preceding period. Hence, both he and Christ began their ministry by calling the nation to repentance.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand - The phrases kingdom of heaven, kingdom of Christ, kingdom of God, are of frequent occurrence in the Bible. They all refer to the same thing. The expectation of such a kingdom was taken from the Old Testament, and especially from Daniel, Daniel 7:13-14. The prophets had told of a successor to David that should sit on his throne 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25; Jeremiah 33:17. The Jews expected a great national deliverer. They supposed that when the Messiah should appear, all the dead would be raised; that the judgment would take place; and that the enemies of the Jews would be destroyed, and that they themselves would be advanced to great national dignity and honor.
The language in which they were accustomed to describe this event was retained by our Saviour and his apostles. Yet they early attempted to correct the common notions respecting his reign. This was one design, doubtless, of John in preaching repentance. Instead of summoning them to military exercises, and collecting an army, which would have been in accordance with the expectations of the nation, he called them to a change of life; to the doctrine of repentance - a state of things far more accordant with the approach of a kingdom of purity.
The phrases "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" have been supposed to have a considerable variety of meaning. Some have supposed that they refer to the state of things in heaven; others, to the personal reign of Christ on earth; others, that they mean the church, or the reign of Christ in the hearts of his people. There can be no doubt that there is reference in the words to the condition of things in heaven after this life. But the church of God is a preparatory state to that beyond the grave - a state in which Christ pre-eminently rules and reigns and there is no doubt that the phrases sometimes refer to the state of things in the church; and that they may refer, therefore, to the state of things which the Messiah was to set up his spiritual reign begun in the church on earth and completed in heaven.
The expression "the kingdom of heaven is at hand" would be best translated, "the reign of God draws near." We do not say commonly of a kingdom that it is movable, or that it approaches. A reign may be said to be at hand; and it may be said with propriety that the time when Christ would reign was at hand. In this sense it is meant that the time when Christ should reign, or set up his kingdom, or begin his dominion on earth, under the Christian economy, was about to commence. The phrase, then, should not be confined to any period of that reign, but includes his whole dominion over his people on earth and in heaven.
In the passage here it clearly means that the coming of the Messiah was near, or that the time of the reign of God which the Jews had expected was coming.
The word "heaven," or "heavens," as it is in the original, means sometimes the place so called; and sometimes it is, by a figure of speech, put for the Great Being whose residence is there, as in Daniel 4:26; "the Heavens do rule." See also Mark 11:30; Luke 15:18. As that kingdom was one of purity, it was proper that the people should prepare themselves for it by turning from their sins, and by bringing their hearts into a state suitable to his reign.
LibraryThe Dove of God
'He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.' MATT. iii. 16. This Gospel of Matthew is emphatically the gospel of the Kingdom. It sets forth Jesus as the long-promised Messiah, the Son of David. And this conception of Him and of His work, whilst it runs through the whole of the Gospel, is more obviously influential in shaping the selection of incidents and colouring the cast of the language, in the early portion. Hence the genealogy with which the Gospel begins dwells …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
My Beloved is White and Ruddy, the Chiefest among Ten Thousand.
"Because I have Lived So Many Years"
"In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.
'Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
"And he will turn many of the sons of Israel back to the Lord their God.
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