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Matthew 11:20-24 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 5 Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

Matthew 11:20-24 – Reproached Cities a Lesson for Judgment Day

|| Luke 10:13-15

MT11:20 Then Jesus began to reproach the cities where most of his dynamic works[1] occurred, because they did not repent: MT11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin![2] Woe to you, Bethsaida![3] Because if the dynamic works which occurred in you took place in Tyre[4] and Sidon[5] of old it is most likely they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes.[6] MT11:22 Also, I tell you: it will be more bearable[7] for Tyre and Sidon on Judgment Day[8] than for you. MT11:23 And you, Capernaum,[9] will you be exalted[10] heaven-high? Down to Hades[11] you will descend! Because if those dynamic works which occurred in you had taken place in Sodom it is likely it would have remained until today. MT11:24 So, I tell you that it will be more bearable for the land of Sodom on Judgment Day than for you.”

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[1] Dynamic works: The Greek is DYNAMEIS as it is in verses 21, 23. Others rendered this: KJV: mighty works; TCNT: miracles; GDSP: wonders; PME: demonstrations of God’s power.

[2] Chorazin: A town at the north end of Galilee. Compare Luke 10:10-16. It was not far from Capernaum, the early home base of the Nazarene.

Ruins of Bethsaida village in summer 2011 (7).JPG

Beth-tsaida = Bethsaida in Lower Gaulanitis

[3] Bethsaida: This village was also on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee. Josephus mentions such a populous village near the Jordan River. This village was rebuilt by Philip the tetrarch and was named Julias in honor of the daughter of Caesar Augustus (Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 28 [ii, 1]).

[4] Tyre: This city had a long history with Israel (1 Chronicles 14:1; 1 Kings 9:10, 11). It was destroyed in fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Ezekiel 26:7-12; Zechariah 9:3, 4).

The Peutinger Map showing Tyre and Sidon in the 4th century

[5] Sidon: An ancient city of Canaan, called Phoenicia by the Greeks. The city exists today as Saida (Jeremiah 25:22; 27:3; 47:4; Joel 3:4; Zechariah 9:2; Isaiah 23:4, 12; Jeremiah 25:17, 22; 27:1-8; 47:4; Ezekiel 28:20-24; 32:30; Joel 3:4-8; Zechariah 9:1-4).

[6] Repented in sackcloth and ashes: This is not a mere “I’m sorry.” The repentance is severe in the Biblical and eastern manner. The first such occurrence is Genesis 37:34 for a total of 48 occurrences of mourning in sackcloth (2 Samuel 3:31; Nehemiah 9:1; Esther 4:1-3; Job 16:15; Psalm 35:8; Jeremiah 4:8; 6:26; 49:3; Jonah 3:6). The exact phrase “sackcloth and ashes” occurs only about half dozen times in the Bible.

[7] More bearable: See footnotes on Matthew 10:15. Or, endurable, tolerable.

[8] Judgment Day: See notes on Matthew 10:15.

[9] Capernaum: See notes on Matthew 4:13. Jesus’ original home base.

[10] Exalted: Was the problem of those cities which witnessed Jesus’ early work one of pride?

[11] Hades: The Greek is HADES and means un + seen. This is the first occurrence in the teachings of the Nazarene. The word occurs only in Matthew and Luke. Jesus is to use the word in only three settings (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15; 16:23). It occurs only ten times in the Christian Bible (Matthew 11:23; 16:18; Luke 10:15; 16:23; Acts 2:27, 31; Revelation 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14). The English word “hell” (hel) is drawn from the Latin cel as in “cellar.” It meant an unseen storage place for such things as potatoes, thus the old English “helin potatoes.” In the Bible it is the abode of the dead who await Judgment Day and the resurrection from the dead. The idea of eternal torment of the soul in Hell is a Greek notion borrowed from Egyptians and older cultures. See dictionaries or encyclopedias on the subject. It is the equivalent of the Hebrew sheol (Job 14:12-14; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10).

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Preceding

Matthew 11:1 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 1 Twelve Sent out to Teach

Matthew 11:2-6 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 2 Imprisoned Baptist Encouraged

Matthew 11:7-15 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 3 John the Baptist and the Kingdom Goal

Matthew 11:16-19 Encouragement for John and Reproach for cities 4 Impossibility of Pleasing Everyone

We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”

Matthew 10:11-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for the Sheep

Matthew 10:11-15 – Searching for the Sheep

|| Mark 6:8-11; Luke 9:3-5; 10:4-7

MT10:11 “When you enter a town or village search carefully for the worthy[1] and stay there[2] until you leave. MT10:12 Greet the house[3] when you enter. MT10:13 If the house is worthy let your peace[4] rest on it. But, if it is not worthy[5] keep your peace.[6] MT10:14 And any who do not accept you,[7] nor listen to your message,[8] on leaving that house or that village, shake the dust off your feet.[9] MT10:15 I tell you the truth: It will be more bearable[10] for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah[11] on the Day of Judgment[12] than for that village.”

[1] Search carefully for the worthy: It is not explained how this “search” (KJV: inquire; NRSV: find out; IB: ask) is to be accomplished. It is possible the pair would go to the village square or gate and wait for a “worthy” and hospitable person to invite them to stay at their home. This was common in the ancient Middle East, famous for its hospitality (Judges 19:15, 16). Compare Lydia’s example at Acts 16:14, 15. The Greek EXETASATE (to examine or probe) may be rendered: test thoroughly, search carefully. The word (HAXIOS) is also rendered: WEY: deserving; LAM: trustworthy.

[2] Stay there: Luke 10:7 adds, “Do not go from house to house” – that is, staying with this house and then that house, perhaps even tempted to improve shelter or find better hospitality.

[3] Greet the house: Luke 10:5 gives the address as, “May this house have peace.” Some cultures offer this kind of blessing on a charitable household. KJV: salute; GDSP: wish it well.

[4] Your peace: Compare Luke 10:5. KJV TCNT: let your blessing rest upon it.

[5] If it is not worthy: After presentation of their message about the Kingdom that house, or even the whole village, may not be receptive to the Messiah.

[6] Keep your peace: Or, KJV: let your peace return; TCNT: let your blessing return; WMS: may your good wish bring peace to yourselves.

[7] Do not accept you: Or, KJV: receive; GDSP: where no one will welcome you; WEY: whosoever refuses to receive you; BAS: take you in.

[8] Your message: The Greek is TOUS LOGOUS; KJV: words; WEY: message.

[9] Shake the dust off your feet: Something Paul does (Acts 13:51; 18:6). People wore sandals, often with bare feet. Interestingly the Greek word for servant or minister is DIAKONOS or one whose feet are dusty from running errands. This gesture means that one does not accept responsibility for the future outcome (Nehemiah 5:13). Compare Luke 10:10, 11; Acts 13:51.

[10] More bearable: The Greek is ANEKTOTERON and is rendered: KJV: more tolerable; WEY: more endurable. Paul (2 Corinthians 5:10) and John (1 John 2:28) states all must stand before the judgment of Christ with two outcomes: a clear conscience manifest by free speech or shame manifest by embarrassment (John 5:29; Daniel 12:2). One is more bearable or endurable than the other. Jesus explains this in more detail in the next two chapters.

[11] Sodom and Gomorrah: Perhaps the most disgusting example Jesus can mention (Genesis 19:4ff). Note also Sodom and Gomorrah intended to abuse the angelic visitors who were under “the shadow” of Lot’s roof. Lot had been worthy by his display of hospitality and thus was saved from the destruction of those cities. Compare Hebrews 13:2. The city of Sodom is mentioned 5 times in Matthew and Luke.

[12] The Day of Judgment: The Nazarene clearly taught about a judgment day. The term occurs many times in the Gospels (Matthew 11:22, 24; 12:36, 41, 42; 23:33; Luke 10:14; 11:31, 32; John 5:30). Some times Jesus refers to it as “that Day.” (Matthew 7:22; 24:36; 26:29; Mark 13:32; 14:25; Luke 10:12; 17:27, 30, 31; 21:34) On the subject of Judgment Day see elsewhere. (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29; Romans 2:3, 5-11, 12-16; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Peter 2:9; 3:7; 1 John 4:17; Revelation 11:15-18; 20:4, 12-14) The Nazarene makes clear a person is judged on their words and actions – as well as non-action – in this life (Matthew 12:36, 37; 25:31-46).

 

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Preceding

Matthew 10:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Twelve Given Authority

Matthew 10:1-4 – Calling of the apostles – by Calvin

Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust

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Related

  1. You Summon and Send Us, three prayers based on Matthew 10
  2. Wolf To Sheep

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