Matthew 11:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

King James Bible
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Darby Bible Translation
Woe to thee, Chorazin! woe to thee Bethsaida! for if the works of power which have taken place in you, had taken place in Tyre and Sidon, they had long ago repented in sackcloth and ashes.

World English Bible
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Young's Literal Translation
'Woe to thee, Chorazin! woe to thee, Bethsaida! because, if in Tyre and Sidon had been done the mighty works that were done in you, long ago in sackcloth and ashes they had reformed;

Matthew 11:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Wo unto thee, Chorazin - Bethsaida! - It would be better to translate the word ουαι σοι, alas for thee, than wo to thee. The former is an exclamation of pity; the latter a denunciation of wrath. It is evident that our Lord used it in the former sense. It is not known precisely where Chorazin was situated; but as Christ joins it in the same censure with Bethsaida, which was in Upper Galilee, beyond the sea, Mark 6:45, it is likely that Chorazin was in the same quarter. Though the people in these cities were (generally) impenitent, yet there is little doubt that several received the word of life. Indeed, Bethsaida itself furnished not less than three of the twelve apostles, Philip, Andrew, and Peter. See John 1:44.

Tyre and Sidon - Were two heathen cities, situated on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, into which it does not appear that Christ ever went, though he was often very nigh to them; see Matthew 15:21.

They would have repented long ago - Παλαι, formerly, seems here to refer to the time of Ezekiel, who denounced destruction against Tyre and Sidon, Ezekiel 26, 27, and 28. Our Lord, then, intimates that, if Ezekiel had done as many miracles in those cities as himself had in Chorazin and Bethsaida, the inhabitants would have repented in sackcloth and ashes, with the deepest and most genuine sorrow.

A Hindoo who renounces the secular life, and becomes a religious mendicant, often covers himself with a coarse cloth sprinkled over with ashes. This is the sackcloth and ashes which our Lord refers to; and this covering was the outward sign of deep repentance, and forsaking of sin.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Woe.

Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

Matthew 23:13-29 But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves...

Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goes as it is written of him...

Jeremiah 13:27 I have seen your adulteries, and your neighings, the lewdness of your prostitution, and your abominations on the hills in the fields...

Luke 11:42-52 But woe to you, Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God...

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward...

Bethsaida.

Mark 6:45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before to Bethsaida...

Mark 8:22 And he comes to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man to him, and sought him to touch him.

Luke 9:10 And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them...

John 1:44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

John 12:21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

for.

Matthew 12:41,42 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas...

Ezekiel 3:6,7 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words you can not understand. Surely, had I sent you to them...

Acts 13:44-48 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God...

Acts 28:25-28 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word...

repented.

Job 42:6 Why I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

John 3:5-10 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God...

Library
The Friend of Publicans and Sinners
'The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children,'--MATT. xi. 19. Jesus very seldom took notice of His enemies' slanders. 'When He was reviled He reviled not again.' If ever He did, it was for the sake of those whom it harmed to distort His beauty. Thus, here He speaks, without the slightest trace of irritation, of the capricious inconsistency of condemning Himself and John
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

John's Doubts of Jesus, and Jesus' Praise of John
'Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3. And said unto Him, Art Thou He that should come, or do we look for another? 4. Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me. 7.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Again on the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xi. 28, "Come unto Me, all Ye that Labour and are Heavy Laden, and I Will Give You
1. It seems strange to some, Brethren, when they hear the Lord say, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." [2323] And they consider that they who have fearlessly bowed their necks to this yoke, and have with much submission taken this burden upon their shoulders, are tossed about and exercised by so great
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

The Sinner's Friend
"Savior of sinners they proclaim, Sinners of whom the chief I am." What the invidious Jews said in bitter spleen, has been turned by the Holy Spirit to the most gracious account. Where they poured out vials of hate, odours of sacred incense arise. Troubled consciences have found a sweet balm in the very sound. Jesus, "the friend of publicans and sinners," has proved himself friendly to them, and they have become friends with him; so completely has he justified the very name which his enemies gave
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 10: 1864

Cross References
Joel 3:4
"Now what have you against me, Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done.

Amos 1:9
This is what the LORD says: "For three sins of Tyre, even for four, I will not relent. Because she sold whole communities of captives to Edom, disregarding a treaty of brotherhood,

Matthew 11:22
But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

Matthew 15:21
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Mark 3:8
When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.

Mark 6:45
Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.

Mark 7:24
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.

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