Matthew 3:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And do not think you can say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

King James Bible
And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Darby Bible Translation
And do not think to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for [our] father; for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

World English Bible
Don't think to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.

Young's Literal Translation
and do not think to say in yourselves, A father we have -- Abraham, for I say to you, that God is able out of these stones to raise children to Abraham,

Matthew 3:9 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Pharisees - A very numerous sect among the Jews, who, in their origin, were, very probably, a pure and holy people. It is likely that they got the name of Pharisees, i.e. Separatists, (from פרש pharash, to separate), from their separating themselves from the pollution of the Jewish national worship; and hence, the word in the Anglo-saxon version is, holy persons who stand apart, or by themselves: but, in process of time, like all religious sects and parties, they degenerated: they lost the spirit of their institution, they ceased to recur to first principles, and had only the form of godliness, when Jesus Christ preached in Judea; for he bore witness, that they did make the outside of the cup and platter clean - they observed the rules of their institution, but the spirit was gone.

Sadducees - A sect who denied the existence of angels and spirits, consequently all Divine influence and inspiration, and also the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees of that time were the Materialists and Deists of the Jewish nation. When the sect of the Pharisees arose cannot be distinctly ascertained; but it is supposed to have been some time after the Babylonish captivity. The sect of the Sadducees were the followers of one Sadok, a disciple of Antigonus Sochaeus, who flourished about three centuries before Christ. There was a third sect among the Jews, called the Essenes or Essenians, of whom I shall have occasion to speak on Matthew 19:12.

Come to his baptism - The Ethiopic version adds the word privately here, the translator probably having read λαθρα in his copy, which gives a very remarkable turn to the passage. The multitudes, who had no worldly interest to support, no character to maintain by living in their usual way, came publicly, and openly acknowledged that they were Sinners; and stood in need of mercy. The others, who endeavored to secure their worldly interests by making a fair show in the flesh, are supposed to have come privately, that they might not be exposed to reproach; and that they might not lose their reputation for wisdom and sanctity, which their consciences, under the preaching of the Baptist, told them they had no right to. See below.

O generation of vipers - Γεννηματα εχιδνων. A terribly expressive speech. A serpentine brood, from a serpentine stock. As their fathers were, so were they, children of the wicked one. This is God's estimate of a Sinner, whether he wade in wealth, or soar in fame. The Jews were the seed of the serpent, who should bruise the heel of the woman's seed, and whose head should be bruised by him.

Who hath warned you - Or, privately shown you. Τις υπεδιξεν - from υπο, under, and δεικνυμαι, to show. Does not this seem to allude to the reading of the Ethiopic noticed above? They came privately: and John may be supposed to address them thus: "Did any person give you a private warning? No, you received your convictions under the public ministry of the word. The multitudes of the poor and wretched, who have been convinced of sin, have publicly acknowledged their crimes, and sought mercy - God will unmask you - you have deceived the people - you have deceived yourselves - you must appear just what you are; and, if you expect mercy from God, act like the penitent multitude, and bring forth Fruit worthy of repentance. Do not begin to trifle with your convictions, by thinking, that because you are descendants of Abraham, therefore you are entitled to God's favor; God can, out of these stones (pointing probably to those scattered about in the desert, which he appears to have considered as an emblem of the Gentiles) raise up a faithful seed, who, though not natural descendants of your excellent patriarch, yet shall be his worthy children, as being partakers of his faith, and friends of his God." It should be added, that the Greek word also signifies plain or ample information. See on Luke 6:47 (note).

The wrath to come? - The desolation which was about to fall on the Jewish nation for their wickedness, and threatened in the last words of their own Scriptures. See Malachi 4:6. Lest I come and smite the earth את הארץ (et ha-arets, this very land) with a curse. This wrath or curse was coming: they did not prevent it by turning to God, and receiving the Messiah, and therefore the wrath of God came upon them to the uttermost. Let him that readeth understand.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

think.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father...

Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said to them, What reason you in your hearts?

Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet...

Luke 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

We.

Ezekiel 33:24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land...

Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water...

John 8:33,39,40,53 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say you, You shall be made free...

Acts 13:26 Men and brothers, children of the stock of Abraham, and whoever among you fears God, to you is the word of this salvation sent.

Romans 4:1,11-16 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found...

Romans 9:7,8 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall your seed be called...

Galatians 4:22-31 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman...

God.

Matthew 8:11,12 And I say to you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob...

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said to them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Acts 15:14 Simeon has declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who vivifies the dead...

1 Corinthians 1:27,28 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...

Galatians 3:27-29 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ...

Ephesians 2:12,13 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise...

Library
February 14. "He Shall Baptize You with Fire" (Matt. Iii. 11).
"He shall baptize you with fire" (Matt. iii. 11). Fire is strangely intense and intrinsic. It goes into the very substance of things. It somehow blends with every particle of the thing it touches. There are the severe trials that come to minds more sensitive, to the minds that have more points of contact with what hurts; so that the higher the nature the higher the joy, and the greater the avenues of pain that come. And then there are deeper trials that come as we pass into the hands of God, as we
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Herald of the King
'In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. 4. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Conversion --Human Agency In
What part and responsibility pertain to the human will in this matter? Before we leave the subject of conversion, it is important that we consider and understand this question also. For on this point also grievous and dangerous views and practices prevail. Human nature tends to extremes. Here too, there is a tendency to go too far, either in the one direction or the other. There are those, on the one hand, who virtually and practically make this change of heart and of nature a human work. They
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Present, a Dispensation of Means.
We have seen that the carnal, sinful nature of the child unfits it for the kingdom of heaven; that, therefore, there must be a change in that nature, even the birth of a new life, and the life of a new creature, before there can be either part or lot in the kingdom of God. We have also expressed our firm conviction that it is the good and gracious will of God in Christ to bestow upon the poor sin-sick and unholy child the Grace needed to so change it as to make it a partaker of His great salvation.
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

Cross References
Luke 3:8
Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.

Luke 16:24
So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.'

John 8:33
They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?"

John 8:37
I know that you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word.

John 8:39
"Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do what Abraham did.

Acts 13:26
"Fellow children of Abraham and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.

Romans 4:1
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?

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