"Smoking flax" indicated a lamp, nearly out of fuel, and almost ready to go out. How shameful it was that they linked the name of the Saviour with that false god. Also, since their disciples were doing the same thing, or professing to do so, their judgment of Christ was automatically a judgment of themselves. (6) Scriptures supporting this view are: Christ said he would rise "after three days" (Mark 8:31). the sepulchre, or tomb, Matthew 27:60. The traditional view that Christ was crucified on Friday and raised on Sunday draws its principal support from Matthew's word that Christ should be raised "the third day" (Matthew 16:21). Boles' comments that the passage speaks not of "a sin against," but of "blasphemy against" the Spirit does not exclude a class of sins which are unforgivable and known collectively as "the sin" against the Holy Spirit. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation. This is symbolic of the time Jesus would spend in the grave and then be raised from death. 12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath.  R. A. Bertram, A Homiletic Encyclopedia (New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls Company, thirteenth edition), Item 2690, p. 458. Behold my servant whom I have chosen; My beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, And he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Their blasphemy was of a kind that blotted out the hope of heaven; and there can be little doubt that the same type of blind, senseless opposition to the Lord today would have the very same consequences. He did work miracles for the benefit of John's disciples (Luke 7:18-22), and raised Lazarus that the people might believe (John 11:42). More of Bible resources you want and need: 110+ Commentaries, 28 Dictionaries, 8 Encyclopedias and 3 Lexicons, 12+ Devotionals! MATT. (3) God's specific permission was necessary in the satanic harassment of the patriarch Job (Job 1:12). Some commentators have drawn unjustifiable conclusions from this, as, for example, Dummelow, who wrote: Why then did Christ mention those unlawful actions of David? Christ's being greater than Jonah is seen in the contrast between the messages, one secular, the other spiritual; between the messengers, one true, the other untrue; and between the miracles that certified each, one disgorged by a sea-monster, the other raised from the dead. Those who spoke against the Spirit, rejecting the gospel which he delivered through the apostles, were not saved. ketos. 1:40, and Lu. Hatred and blind rage will always try to destroy that which cannot be removed by more conventional means. In the lore of the Pharisees, "Baal-zebul," or Beelzebub, as he came to be called, was said to be the prince of devils, or demons. The Pharisees, with one accord, made an exception for "the ox in the ditch," basing their view upon Exodus 23:4,5 and Deuteronomy 22:4. This sort of expression was a common way … Matthew 12:38-40. Textual witnesses. Many did speak against Christ, but when the Spirit of God came of Pentecost, they obeyed the gospel message and were saved.  J. W. McGarvey, Commentary on Matthew (Delight, Arkansas: The Gospel Light Publishing Company), p. 104. See notes on Jonah. Saturday, through the whole of which Christ was in the tomb, called the heart of the earth, was another day; and the Christian Sabbath, on the morning of which he rose from the dead, was the third day; or according to their mode of speaking, three days and three nights. Matthew 12:40 (cf. In the book of Jonah is related also how God "prepared" a gourd (Jonah 4:6), a worm (Jonah 4:7), and a sultry east wind (Jonah 4:8)! that they might accuse him. He returns to this verse whenever we begin to get anywhere and insists it proves the Catholic Church is in error… If Jesus was crucified and buried on Friday afternoon and was raised Sunday morning, that can not possibly equal “3 days and 3 nights”… See Jonah 1:17. the heart of the earth = in the earth: i.e. "This is now the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:31). And when He arose He too would be altered (compare Matthew 17:2; Acts 7:55-56). Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thy hand. But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how they might destroy him. But "three nights" forbids this interpretation. Accordingly they used to say a thing was done after three or seven days, if it was done on the third or seventh day, from that which was last mentioned. (Matthew 12:1). Why it should be considered for God a more difficult matter to prepare a great fish than any of those other "preparations" is surely a mystery! In the belly of the whale, or ‘great fish.’ (Comp. and Holtzmann in H.C. By Cete, is signified, any very large fish, and so it is said in the prophet Jonas to have been, piscem grandem. They repented without any command to repent, without any promise of relief if they did repent, with no invitation to repent, without even a small desire on the part of the preacher that they would repent (but, on the contrary, a fervent hope that they would not), and without any appreciation on Jonah's part when they did repent! Charges of the Pharisees were not honest. In this, Christ applied to them the principle expounded in the preceding verse. It even convinced Paul. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying. Verse Thoughts. Christ always refused to perform wonders for his enemies like Herod or the Pharisees. That is exactly what happened to Israel. A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment to victory. Whales may therefore have been common in the Mediterranean. So Jonah was a sign to his own generation and a foreshadowing of the greater Who was coming. There is nothing about "a whale" either in the Hebrew of Jonah (Matthew 1:17) or in the Greek here. It was enough, for the purposes of the illustration, that it was familiar and generally accepted. on StudyLight.org (7) He snatches the word of God from men's hearts, but he can do so only when hearts are hardened (Matthew 13:4). The peculiar aggravation of their wickedness springs from their reviling Christ although they knew him to be righteous. Extensive events developed from this gracious deed, the populace hailing him as the "Son of David" (a popular name for the Messiah), and the Pharisees accusing him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. Some of these may have been whales. The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. In the diabolical intentions of the wicked leaders, coupled with the relative "emptiness" of the people regarding any genuine righteousness, Christ clearly saw that the Pharisees would be able to deceive and command them all in a catastrophic rejection of himself as the Christ. The Twelve Apostles ... weeds are l the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. Digression 7 Matthew 10:16-39 And The Last Days Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Digression 8 Unclean Spirits in Mt. Note that John spoke not of sin "until," but "unto" death. Or have ye not read in the law, that on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless? (40) As Jonas was three days and three nights.âTo understand the words rightly, we have to remember the prominence which our Lord gives to the history of Jonah, and to the repentance of the men of Nineveh, in this and in the parallel passage of Luke 11:29, and in answer to another demand for a sign in Matthew 16:4. What is the problem about Advent? In the whale’s belly; in which he was a type of Christ’s burial. The obvious answer was affirmative. "Sleep" in this place is a euphemistic expression for death. From these and countless other implications in the Scriptures, it may be positively concluded that Satan does not share control of the universe with God. In the Pharisees' view, the disciples were guilty of threshing wheat! Alas, such is a true description of the spiritual condition of many. Nor is the day of death to be viewed as the day of judgment. Those expositors who assume the charge of the Pharisees to have been correct, making Jesus' justification of his disciples to be merely that "David did it too," appear totally to have misunderstood this portion of God's word. But it was also a sign of how God could deliver, even from the grave, and it cannot be doubted that this sign as recounted to the Ninevites played a great part in their response, along possibly with the unearthly pallor that had resulted from his sojourn in the fish and contact with its juices. How much then is a man of more value than a sheep! And I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment. So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights. And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons. Knowing of the evil plot to kill him, Christ withdrew, as Mark added, to the Sea of Galilee (Mark 3:7). This is fitly recorded with the first of Christ’s miracles, 1. He plainly declared that the ties of flesh and blood would not take precedence over the spiritual ties of the kingdom itself. Medieval theology has warped the views of expositors on such Scriptures as this and others like it. three nights. I came not to destroy but to fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places seeking rest, and findeth it not. To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, THE EMPTY HOUSE AND THE RETURN OF THE UNCLEAN SPIRIT. It was a “big fish,” possibly a white shark which is reported to be able to swallow a horse whole. "After three days" he would rise again (Mark 9:31; 10:34). In some real sense, Satan was "bound," else the Lord could not have cast out demons. These Scriptures plainly show that the ordinary sabbath was not meant. The argument in this and the following verse is simple, but profound. As John's gospel has it, "As many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12,13). Our Saviour was not in the tomb three days and three entire nights, according to our modes of calculation. Luke 23:53. Significantly, Mark spoke not of "the" but "an" eternal sin, showing that the transgression under consideration in this place is one of a class of sins designated as "eternal.". Evil and unbelieving words are not merely evil within themselves, but are like the escaping bubble to the surface of the lake, that betrays the rotten carcass beneath. Matthew 12:40 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Matthew 12:40, NIV: "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." The "adulterous generation" refers not merely to the morals of the people but to the rejection of Israel's covenant with their God. This action of Jesus' disciples should have been passed over and ignored altogether; but the bitter, hair-splitting Pharisees, finding no genuine fault in the conduct of Jesus and his disciples, attempted to make a case out of this. It does not necessarily follow that this use of the history as a prophetic symbol of the Resurrection requires us to accept it in the very letter of its details. See more on this subject under Matthew 13:55. Not a few critics have accordingly inferred from this difference that the explanation given by St. Matthew was an addition to the words actually spoken by our Lord, and that âthe sign of the prophet Jonasâ was sufficiently fulfilled by His preaching repentance to the wicked and adulterous generation as Jonah had done to the Ninevites. But to begin here is to begin with an assumption at best, and a conclusion at worst. Such full attention to the Pharisees' slanders endows the entire event with tremendous significance; and, when it is recalled that their sin consisted principally of "speaking against" Christ, the implication is mandatory that an evil mouth can damn the soul forever. But Dr. Thomson has the following remarks on this subject: “The Bible says that the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up the prophet; but in Matthew it is called a. by our Saviour. Three days and three nights. And there are instances on record of the appearance of huge marine creatures in this sea in ancient days. for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. The heart of the earth is a figurative expression for the grave which is also called "the lower parts of the earth" (Psalms 63:9; Ephesians 4:9). John 19:40. We here register a protest against those expositors who are so wise above their Saviour in casting a reflection of doubt upon this astounding incident from the Old Testament. What state is worse than being unsaved? He referred to his body as "the temple," stating that he would raise it up in three days (John 2:19). In any case it is not "the centre", any more than the heart is in the centre of the body, instead of near the top. Not even the exact year of his birth can be determined. The Old Testament had plainly indicated the Messiah would rise from the dead (Psalms 16:10); but, in keeping with his usual methods, Christ again laid claim to Messiahship, but in such terminology, and in such analogies, that his enemies would not see it, or if they did, would be unable to prove what he meant! To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use the convenient, Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament, International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, three days and three nights in the whale‘s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, As Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights, for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights, For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale. The sabbath should be ignored and rejected utterly, unless Christ commanded it (which he did not); for Paul said, "He took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Colossians 2:14). (Note there is no “whale” there. Enjoy our FREE online Bible study tools to enhance your study. And one said unto him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking to speak to thee. If it is an interpolation, it must have become an accepted part of the text before the date of our earliest copies. But the Jews reckoned the entire twenty-four hours in an unbroken piece, as a. . Jonah's case was analogous to this, as being a signal judgment of God; reversed in three days; and followed by a glorious mission to the Gentiles. Likewise, if and when that occurs it will prove Jesus to have been a true prophet at the time he spoke this to the Jews. Nothing is said about his being "preserved alive". On Times Square in New York City, one often sees screaming advocates of this or that doctrine jostling the throngs pouring forth out of the theaters; and, although their zeal may be commendable, one cannot help remembering that the Christ drew the throngs to himself. Since the Passover (15th of Nisan) in the year 30 A.D. fell on Thursday, the "day before" would make it Wednesday on which Christ was crucified. Test drive it and tell us about your experience. The original text was written in Koine Greek. Barnes wrote: The "sign of the prophet Jonah" refers to the resurrection of Christ, the greatest and most wonderful miracle of all time. The analogy holds in the spiritual realm; and the eternal sin is the one that destroys the soul of the sinner. What, then, is THE sin that does all this? Then goeth he and taketh with him seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first. This is a Jewish expression. Satan is still "bound." Matthew 12 12 1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. Christ offered his own blood within the holiest place of all for the sins of all men (Hebrews 9:14). One's words can justify when they confess Christ, or teach the truth, or serve to make peace, bestow a blessing, or give encouragement; but on the other hand, when words condemn, cast a reflection, subvert the truth, utter profanity, vulgarity, hatred, or malice, or any one of a million other evil things - then such words bring the condemnation of those who speak them. Thus in Jewish terminology Friday to Sunday would be ‘three days and three nights’. 12:44,45 Digression 9 Mary’s Mid-Life Crisis Chapter 13 Digression10:ThePARABLEOFTHEWHEATANDTARES IN A LAST DAYS CONTEXT Chapter 14 3 m The harvest is n the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Matthew 12 – The Religious Leaders Continue to Reject Jesus A. Sabbath controversies. Luke stated that they sought a "sign from heaven" (Luke 11:16). This added to the difficulties confronting Christ in a situation where he was constrained to convince as many as possible of his Messiahship, yet without giving grounds for his legal punishment as a mere plotter against the government. The metaphor of the smoking flax referred to the string-like fabric, or wick, one end of which was contained in the bowl of ancient lamps, and the other end lighted. The purely chronological difficulty is explained by the common mode of speech among the Jews, according to which, any part of a day, though it were but a single hour, was for legal purposes considered as a whole. And then, to go forward and formulate a law authorizing in prescribed circumstances the breaking of God's laws, is to forget that Jesus said, "Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19). But surely the rock is a part of the earth, as truly as the soil. Our Lord vouches for the main fact. In the heart of the earth. Our Saviour was not in the tomb three days and three entire nights, according to our modes of calculation. The evil spirit cast out of a man is ever lurking and seeking an opportunity to return with seven companions worse than himself, and to take over and plunge the soul in greater wickedness than ever. Behold my servant whom I have chosen; My beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, And he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. The burial of Christ took place on Friday. At least, this would appear to be a logical inference from what Christ said and did. Christ's view of the judgment envisioned a day of wrath and glow toward which all the world is moving, a day on which God shall rise in righteous anger and cast evil out of his universe. "Judgment," as used in this place, means "God's truth." That principle was honored by the Pharisees, as it applied to animals; but, in their blindness, they rejected the same principle applied by Christ to a man! (See 1 Samuel 30:12-13; Esther 4:16; Esther 5:1; Matthew 27:63-64; etc.). Just as certainly as Jonas spent three days and three nights within the whale, so the Son of man will spend that much time in the heart or inner part of the earth. This, however, would not tie in with the women seeking to anoint Jesus’ body on the first day of the week, for had Jesus been crucified on the Wednesday they would have sought to anoint him when the festal Sabbath was over on the Friday. Significantly, he healed them all. It would be impossible to sum up all the sins of mankind in the area of sinful speech. The Saturday/Sunday resurrection issue has been a focal point of debate in many circles because of the impact that it could have on the correct day of worship. Jonah had been to them a very sign from God. 5:12, that this passage, though placed, by St. Matthew, after the sermon on the mount, because he would give account of his doctrine first, and then of his miracles, happened some time before; but that is not at all material. If it be genuine, then Jesus points to His resurrection as the appropriate sign for an unbelieving generation, saying in effect: you will continue to disbelieve in spite of all I can say or do, and at last you will put me to death. Whatever one thinks of Torrey's argument, it must be admitted that it is supported by more Scriptures than the traditional view. In this, Christ turned their own arguments against them.  R. A. Torrey, Difficulties in the Bible (Westwood, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1907), p. 109. Who but God Himself could be greater than the temple God ordained? People should keep the heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). Matthew 12:30. (6) He sowed tares in the wheat, but could do so only "while men slept" (Matthew 13:25). Following so closely on the preceding, this question amounted to a continuation of the conflict regarding the sabbath day: Their question, Matthew declared, sprang not from a desire to learn, but from hope of a chance to accuse. It was because the Pharisees wholeheartedly approved of that far more flagrant case of sabbath-breaking by David (for David's action WAS unlawful; the disciples' was not), and yet were willing to press an accusation of wrongdoing against the Christ for something of infinitely less consequence. But the second was incongruous because in Daniel 7:13-14, instead of going into the grave, the Son of Man was to come in the clouds of Heaven from earth to the throne of God. For more on "Son of David," see under Matthew 1:1. ‘The sign of Jonah’ may be traced at some length; the following words of our Lord suggest, that as Jonah emerged to preach repentance to the Gentiles, so He rose to send the gospel to all nations. Whale — Rather, sea monster. See Jonah 1:17. (Matthew 12:1) Torrey said, "There is absolutely nothing in favor of Friday crucifixion, but everything in Scripture is perfectly harmonized by Wednesday crucifixion. Characteristic of Matthew are the numerous appeals to the writings of the prophets of the Old Testament. It continues the narrative about Jesus' ministry in Galilee Text. (1-2) The Pharisees condemn the disciples of Jesus for supposedly harvesting grain on the Sabbath. In fact, there is more than a suggestion that the Pharisees' request for a sign was but a renewal of Satan's temptation of the Lord in the wilderness. The Son of Man was not supposed to be buried. You need the real meat that is the Holy word of God so you can discern the times and see how near the Masters coming is. We shall note the whole class of eternal sins first and then consider the example of it, committed by the Pharisees. Christ demonstrated the principle he had just enunciated. In the same way that Jonah. Matthew 12:43-45. The second incongruous thing was that ‘the Son of Man’ would similarly spend three days and three nights in the body of the earth, prior to His coming to the throne of God. (3) That if we believe that our Lord had a distinct prevision of His resurrection, and foretold it, sometimes plainly and sometimes in dark sayingsâand of this the Gospels leave no room for doubt (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:32; John 2:19)âthen the history of Jonah presented an analogy which it was natural that He should notice. At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. This parable of a wandering demon applies to the Jewish nation, which is "the man." (4) And regarding certain violations of the Lord's table, Paul declared, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and some sleep" (1 Corinthians 11:30). " In keeping with these words concerning Christ, some of the antics of certain religionists appear to be totally improper. (5) That the Holy Spirit in one's heart can be "quenched" is evident from the admonition, "Quench not the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19). 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