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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 3 - Verse 3

Verse 3. The prophet Esaias. The prophet Isaiah. Esias is the Greek mode of writing the name. This passage is taken from Isa 40:3. It is here said to have been spoken in reference to John, the forerunner of Christ. The language is such as was familiar to the Jews, and such as they would understand. It was spoken at first with reference to the return from the captivity at Babylon. Anciently, it was customary in the march of armies to send messengers, or pioneers, before them, to proclaim their approach; to provide for them; to remove obstructions; to make roads, level hills, fill up valleys, etc. Isaiah, describing the return from Babylon, uses language taken from that custom. A crier, or herald is introduced. In the vast deserts that lay between Babylon and Judea, he is represented as lifting up his voice, and, with authority, commanding a public road to be made for the return of the captive Jews, with the Lord as their deliverer. "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight," says he; or, as Isaiah adds, Let the valleys be exalted, or filled up, and the hills be levelled, and a straight, level highway be prepared, that they may march with ease and safety. See Barnes "Isa 40:3".

 

As applied to John, it means, that he was sent to remove obstructions, and to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah; like a herald going before an army on the march, to make preparations for their coming.

{m} "by the prophet Esais" Isa 40:3

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