Matthew 4:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

King James Bible
The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Darby Bible Translation
-- the people sitting in darkness has seen a great light, and to those sitting in [the] country and shadow of death, to them has light sprung up.

World English Bible
the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, to those who sat in the region and shadow of death, to them light has dawned."

Young's Literal Translation
the people that is sitting in darkness saw a great light, and to those sitting in a region and shadow of death -- light arose to them.'

Matthew 4:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The people which sat in darkness - This is quoted from Isaiah 9:2, where, instead of sitting, the prophet used the word walked. The evangelist might on purpose change the term, to point out the increased misery of the state of these persons. Sitting in darkness expresses a greater degree of intellectual blindness, than walking in darkness does. In the time of Christ's appearing, the people were in a much worse state than in the time of the prophet, which was nearly 700 years before; as, during all this period, they were growing more ignorant and sinful.

The region and shadow of death - These words are amazingly descriptive. A region of death - Death's country, where, in a peculiar manner, Death lived, reigned, and triumphed, subjecting all the people to his sway.

Shadow of death - Σκια θανατου, used only here and in Luke 1:79, but often in the Old Covenant, where the Hebrew is צל מות tsal maveth, It is not easy to enter fully into the ideal meaning of this term. As in the former clause, death is personified, so here. A shadow is that darkness cast upon a place by a body raised between it and the light or sun. Death is here represented as standing between the land above mentioned, and the light of life, or Sun of righteousness; in consequence of which, all the inhabitants were, involved in a continual cloud of intellectual darkness, misery, and sin. The heavenly sun was continually eclipsed to them, till this glorious time, when Jesus Christ, the true light, shone forth in the beauty of holiness and truth. Christ began his ministry in Galilee, and frequented this uncultivated place more than he did Jerusalem and other parts of Judea: here his preaching was peculiarly needful; and by this was the prophecy fulfilled.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

which sat in darkness.

Psalm 107:10-14 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron...

Isaiah 42:6,7 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people...

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen on you...

Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O my enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light to me.

Luke 1:78,79 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us...

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

shadow.

Job 3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell on it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.

Job 10:22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.

Job 34:22 There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.

Psalm 44:19 Though you have sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death.

Jeremiah 13:16 Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and...

Amos 5:8 Seek him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night...

Library
Temptation
Eversley, 1872. Chester Cathedral, 1872. St Matt. iv. 3. "And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Let me say a few words to-day about a solemn subject, namely, Temptation. I do not mean the temptations of the flesh--the temptations which all men have to yield to the low animal nature in them, and behave like brutes. I mean those deeper and more terrible temptations, which our Lord conquered in that great struggle with
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

The Early Welcome and the First Ministers of the King
'From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 18. And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19. And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. 21. And going on from thence, He saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Knox -- the First Temptation of Christ
John Knox, the great Scottish reformer, was born at Giffordgate, four miles from Haddington, Scotland, in 1505. He first made his appearance as a preacher in Edinburgh, where he thundered against popery, but was imprisoned and sent to the galleys in 1546. In 1547 Edward VI secured his release and made him a royal chaplain, when he acquired the friendship of Cranmer and other reformers. On the accession of Mary (1553) he took refuge on the Continent. In 1556 he accepted the charge of a church in Geneva,
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

The Temptation in the Wilderness.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, if thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
George MacDonald—Unspoken Sermons

Cross References
Isaiah 9:1
Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan--

Isaiah 9:2
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.

Isaiah 60:1
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

Luke 1:79
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Luke 2:32
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel."

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