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15Let anyone with ears listen!

16 “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,

17

‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;

we wailed, and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; 19the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Woes to Unrepentant Cities

20 Then he began to reproach the cities in which most of his deeds of power had been done, because they did not repent. 21“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I tell you, on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 23And you, Capernaum,

will you be exalted to heaven?

No, you will be brought down to Hades.

For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I tell you that on the day of judgment it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than for you.”


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2. Now when John had heard in the prison—For the account of this imprisonment, see on Mr 6:17-20.

the works of Christ, he sent, &c.—On the whole passage, see on Lu 7:18-35.

Mt 11:20-30. Outburst of Feeling Suggested to the Mind of Jesus by the Result of His Labors in Galilee.

The connection of this with what goes before it and the similarity of its tone make it evident, we think, that it was delivered on the same occasion, and that it is but a new and more comprehensive series of reflections in the same strain.

20. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.

21. Woe unto thee, Chorazin!—not elsewhere mentioned, but it must have lain near Capernaum.

woe unto thee, Bethsaida—"fishing-house," a fishing station—on the western side of the Sea of Galilee, and to the north of Capernaum; the birthplace of three of the apostles—the brothers Andrew and Peter, and Philip. These two cities appear to be singled out to denote the whole region in which they lay—a region favored with the Redeemer's presence, teaching, and works above every other.

for if the mighty works—the miracles

which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon—ancient and celebrated commercial cities, on the northeastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, lying north of Palestine, and the latter the northernmost. As their wealth and prosperity engendered luxury and its concomitant evils—irreligion and moral degeneracy—their overthrow was repeatedly foretold in ancient prophecy, and once and again fulfilled by victorious enemies. Yet they were rebuilt, and at this time were in a flourishing condition.

they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes—remarkable language, showing that they had done less violence to conscience, and so, in God's sight, were less criminal than the region here spoken of.

22. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you—more endurable.

23. And thou, Capernaum—(See on Mt 4:13).

which art exalted unto heaven—Not even of Chorazin and Bethsaida is this said. For since at Capernaum Jesus had His stated abode during the whole period of His public life which He spent in Galilee, it was the most favored spot upon earth, the most exalted in privilege.

shall be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom—destroyed for its pollutions.

it would have remained until this day—having done no such violence to conscience, and so incurred unspeakably less guilt.

24. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee—"It has been indeed," says Dr. Stanley, "more tolerable, in one sense, in the day of its earthly judgment, for the land of Sodom than for Capernaum; for the name, and perhaps even the remains of Sodom are still to be found on the shores of the Dead Sea; while that of Capernaum has, on the Lake of Gennesareth, been utterly lost." But the judgment of which our Lord here speaks is still future; a judgment not on material cities, but their responsible inhabitants—a judgment final and irretrievable.




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