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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 19 - Verse 41
Verses 41-44. He wept over it. Showing his compassion for the guilty city, and his strong sense of the evils that were about to come upon it. See Barnes "Mt 23:37, also Mt 23:38-39. As he entered the city he passed over the Mount of Olives. From that mountain there was a full and magnificent view of the city. See Barnes "Mt 21:1".
the view of the splendid capital—the knowledge of its crimes— the remembrance of the mercies of god toward it— the certainty that it might have been spared if had received the prophets and himself—the knowledge that it was about to put him, their long-expected Messiah, to death, and for that to be given up to utter desolation —affected his heart, and the triumphant King and Lord of Zion wept! Amid all his prosperity, and all the acclamations of the multitude, the heart of the Redeemer of the world was turned from the tokens of rejoicing to the miseries about to come on a guilty people. Yet they might have been saved. If thou hadst known, says he, even thou, with all thy guilt, the things that make for thy peace; if thou hadst repented, had been righteous, and had received the Messiah; if thou hadst not stained thy hands with the blood of the prophets, and shouldst not with that of the Son of God, then these terrible calamities would not come upon thee. But it is too late. The national wickedness is too great; the cup is full; mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendour, the glow of her temple, and the pomp of her service, must perish!
For the days shall come, &c. This took place under Titus, the Roman general, A.D. 70, about thirty years after this was spoken.
Cast a trench about thee. The word trench now means commonly a pit or ditch. When the Bible was translated, it meant also earth thrown up to defend a camp (Johnson's Dictionary). This is the meaning of the original here. It is not a pit or large ditch, but a pile of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp, and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was done at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus informs us that Titus, in order that he might compel the city to surrender by famine, built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with incredible labour in ten days. The professed design of this wall was to keep the city in on every side. Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished.
Shall lay thee even with the ground, &c. This was literally done. Titus caused a plough to pass over the place where the temple stood. See Barnes "Mt 24:1, and following. All this was done, says Christ, because Jerusalem knew not the time of its visitation—that is, did not know, and would not know, that the Messiah had come. His coming was the time of their merciful visitation. That time had been predicted, and invaluable blessings promised as the result of his advent; but they would not know it. They rejected him, they put him to death, and it was just that they should be destroyed.
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