Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said to Baruch…
I. THE NATURAL DESIRE TO SOLVE IT.
1. This has its root in mere curiosity. A desire to know for the sake of knowing - laudable enough in itself, but in danger of passing into irreverence and idle speculation. Religious movements and supernatural phenomena have excited this wonder in all ages. Religion interests many as a problem, where it is refused attention or respect as a law.
2. This is increased by the attraction of the forbidden and unlawful. An anticipation of the "profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science [the knowledge] falsely so called," against which Timothy is warned (1 Timothy 6:20; cf. Colossians 2:8, 18, 19). The sin of Simon Magus was analogous.
3. It is also increased by the natural mind's intolerance of mystery. There are multitudes who would willingly inquire how a miracle may be wrought, who have no desire to learn why. It is humiliating to our natural pride to realize that there are so many things in the universe we cannot explain. The authority which the supernatural lends to the doctrines and revelations of religion is resented.
II. HOW IT IS SATISFIED.
1. The direction of their questioning. They asked concerning the mechanical process - the manner, etc., of the prophet, apparently unconscious that the real problem lay behind all that. "Did the prophet stammer whilst the inspiration was upon him? Was his manner wild or strange?" Now, we know that the manner of the person receiving Divine inspiration may be perfectly indistinguishable from that of those who are under ordinary human conditions. But they fell into the error of supposing that, when that was determined, the solution of the problem would be advanced.
2. Where it ended. There is no further curiosity; they remain at arm's length from the kernel of the whole question. The moral conditions of it are of no concern to them. Theirs is the radical carelessness with respect to religion as such which characterizes the carnal mind. Their inquiries ended just where they ought to have begun; just as those of many nowadays - lingerers or loiterers in the perch, who never enter into the temple. Conscience could answer much that curiosity leaves untouched. The deep necessity of God communion forevery man and nation to which it witnesses, is what the whole process of revelation presupposes. God will not leave man alone. His supernatural workings continually witness to his presence and authority. And man cannot do without God and his Word. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words.