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Verse 68.


{l} See Barnes on "Mt 5:3".


Hath visited. The word here rendered visited means properly to look upon; then to look upon in order to know the state of anyone; then to visit for the purposed of aiding those who need aid, or alleviating misery. Comp. Mt 25:43. In this sense it is used here. God looked upon the world— he saw it miserable— he came to relieve it, and brought salvation.

And redeemed. That is, was about to redeem, or had given the pledge that he would redeem. This was spoken under the belief that the Messiah, the Redeemer, was about to appear, and would certainly accomplish his work. The literal translation of this passage is, "He hath made a ransom for his people." A ransom was the price paid to deliver a captive taken in war. A is a prisoner taken in war by B. B has a right to detain him as a prisoner by the laws of war, but C offers B a price if he will release A and suffer him to go at liberty. The price which he pays, and which must be satisfactory to B—that is, be a reason to B why he should release him—is called a price or ransom. Men are sinners. They are bound over to just punishment by the law. The law is holy, and God, as a just governor, must see that the law is honoured and the wicked punished; but if anything can be done which will have the same good effect as the punishment of the sinner, or which will be an equivalent for it—that is, be of equal value to the universe—God may consistently release him. If he can show the same hatred of sin, and deter others from sinning, and secure the purity of the sinner, the sinner may be released. Whatever will accomplish this is called a ransom, because it is, in the eye of God, a sufficient reason, why the sinner should not be punished; it is an equivalent for his sufferings, and God is satisfied. The blood of Jesus — that is, his death in the place of sinners—constitutes such a ransom. It is in their stead. It is for them. It is equivalent to their punishment. It is not itself a punishment, for that always supposes personal crime, but it is what God is pleased to accept in the place of the eternal sufferings of the sinner. The king of the Locrians made a law that an adulterer should be punished with the loss of his eyes. His son was the first offender, and the father decreed that his son should lose one eye, and he himself one also. This was the ransom. He showed his love, his regard for the honour of his law, and the determination that the guilty should not escape. So God gave his Son a ransom to show his love, his regard to justice, and his willingness to save men; and his Son, in his death, was a ransom. He is often so called in the New Testament, Mt 20:28; Mr 10:45; Tit 2:14; Heb 9:12.

For a fuller view of the nature of a ransom, see Barnes "Ro 3:24,25".


{l} Ps 72:18

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