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Verse 24.

Were of the Pharisees. For an account of this sect, See Barnes "Mt 3:7".


they are particularly mentioned is not certainly known. Many of the Sadducees came to his baptism (Mt 3:7) , but it seems that they did not join in sending to him to know what was the design of John. This circumstance is one of those incidental and delicate allusions which would occur to no impostor in forging a book, and which show that the writers of the New Testament were honest men and knew what they affirmed. For,

1st. The Pharisees composed a great part of the Sanhedrim, Ac 23:6. It is probable that a deputation from the Sanhedrim would be of that party.

2nd. The Pharisees were very tenacious of rites and customs, of traditions and ceremonies. They observed many. They believed that they were lawful, Mr 7:3,4. Of course, they believed that those rites might be increased, but they did not suppose that it could be done except by the authority of a prophet or of the Messiah. When, therefore, John came

baptizing—adding a rite to be observed by his followers— baptizing not only Gentiles, but also Jews—the question was whether he had authority

to institute a new rite; whether it was to be received among the ceremonies of religion. In this question the Sadducees felt no interest, for they rejected all such rites at once; but the Pharisees thought it was worth inquiry, and it was a question on which they felt themselves specially called on to act as the guardians of the ceremonies of religion.

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