16:1-4. EFFECTS.
S4  y  1. Sign desired.
     z  2,3-. Discernment. (Positive.)
     z  -3. Discernment. (Negative.)
    y  4. Sign refused.

28 A.D.

Matthew 16)

1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came (see Acts 15:5), and tempting desired Him that He would show them a sign out of the heaven. (Or sky, same as in v.2,3.)

2 And He answered and said to them, "When it is evening, you say, 'fair weather: for the heaven is red.'
3 And in the morning, 'It will be a storm today: for the sky is red and lowering.'

O you hypocrites, you get to know by experience and discern the face of the sky; but you can not discern the signs of the times?

4 An evil and adulterous (spiritually. See 12:39. Jer. 3:9. Ezek. 23:37. Hos. 1:2, &c.) generation is [constantly] seeking after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah." (see 12:39) And He left them, and departed.

16:5-12. TEACHING.
T4  a  5. Bread. Forgetfulness.
     b  6. Leaven. Warning.
    a  7-10. Bread. Remembrance.
     b  11,12. Leaven. Instruction.

5 And when His disciples came to the other side, they had forgotten to bring loaves.

6 Then Jesus said to them, "Look well and pay attention to of the leaven (leaven put by implication for the "doctrine" [v.12], because of its evil effects) from (away from: i.e. beware [and keep] away from, or keep clear of) the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread."
8 Which when Jesus perceived, He said to them, "O you of little faith (see 6:30), why do you reason among yourselves, because you have brought no bread?
9 Do you not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets you took up? (14:20)
10 Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets you took up? (15:37)

11 How is it that you do not understand that I spoke it to you not concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?"
12 Then they understood how that He bade them beware not of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (This was the word which the Lord had been implying in v.6. The woman of Canaan saw what was implied in the word "dog"; and her faith was called "great"; the disciples did not understand what the Lord implied by the word "leaven", and their faith was "little".)

U4  c  13. Question. Who say men.
     d  14. Answer of Disciples.
    c  15. Question. Who say you.
     e  16. Answer of Peter.

13 When Jesus came into the Parts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I the Son of man is?"

14 And they said, "Some say that You are John the Baptist (risen from the dead): others, Elijah; and different, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But whom do you say that I am?"

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."

L  e  17. Divine revelation.
    f  18-. The Foundation itself. Peter's Confession.
    f  -18,19. The Foundation. To be built on.
   e  20. Divine Injunction.

17 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed (= happy) are you, Simon son of Jonah (the Lord uses his human name and parentage in contrast with the divine origin of the revelation made to him): for flesh and blood (put for a mortal human being in contrast with God the Father in heaven. See 1 Cor. 15:50. Heb. 2:14) has not revealed it to you, but My Father which is in the heavens.

18 And I say also (as well as the Father, looking back to a preceding Agent with Whom the Lord associates Himself) to you, That you are Peter, (Gr. petros. A stone [loose and movable], as in John 1:42.)

and upon this rock (Rock here is Gr. petra = a rock immovable very emphatic, as though pointing to Himself: the Messiah, as being "the Son of the living God", Who is the foretold "foundation-stone" [Isa. 28:16]; and the rejected stone [Ps. 118:22. 1 of 3 important passages where "this" stands for the speaker. Therefore could not refer to Peter. Most Protestants as well as the ancient "Fathers" agree that Peter's confession is the foundation to which Christ refereed, and not Peter himself. He was neither the foundation nor the builder - [a poor builder, v.23]- but Christ alone, Whom he had confessed [1 Cor. 3:11]. Thus ends the great subject of this 2nd portion of the Lord's ministry.) I shall build (therefore then future, as in Hos. 1:10; 2:23) My assembly (defined as "Israel", and the "Remnant" [Rom. 9:25-27]. Not ecclesia of the mystery [or secret] revealed in Ephesians; but the referred to in Ps. 22:22,25,&c.); and the gates of hell (gates put for power = the gates of Hates = THE grave, denoting the power of the grave to retain, as in Isa. 38:10. Job 28:17. Ps. 9:13; 107:18.) shall not prevail against it. (= have full strength: i.e. THE grave shall not have power to retain its captives, because Christ holds the keys of those gates, and they shall be strong enough to triumph [Rev. 1:18. Cp. Ps. 69:20] Resurrection is the great truth asserted here. Cp. Ez. 37:11-14. Acts 2:29-31.)


  As explained in the notes, the two Greek words petros and petra are quite distinct, the former being masculine gender, and the latter feminine. The latter denotes a rock or cliff, in situ, firm and immovable. The former denotes a fragment of it, which one traveler may move with his foot in one direction and another may throw in another. This former word petros is the Greek translation kephas, a stone, which was Peter's name in Aramaic, as was his appellative "Barjona" (John 1:42).

  It is remarkable that there is only one other instance (Luke 22:34) in which our Lord addressed him as "Peter"; but, in all other cases, by his fore-name "Simon", reminding him of what he was before his call, and of the characteristics of his human nature. In that other instance it is used in connection with the coming exhibition of his weakness, in the prediction of his denial of the Lord.

  There is thus a special significance in the use of the word "Peter" in Matt. 16:18. It was the name connected with his commission and apostleship; another commission being about to be committed to him.

  It was not Peter, the man, who would be the foundation, for, as we have said, petra is feminine, and must refer to a feminine noun expressed or implied. that noun could hardly be any other than homologia, which means a confession; and it was Peter's confession that was the one subject of the Father's revelation and the Son's confirmation.

  Moreover, in 1 Cor. 3:11 it has once for all been declared by the Holy Spirit that "OTHER foundation can no man lay than that IS LAID, which is JESUS CHRIST".

  The earliest known reference to Matt. 16:18 is found in ORIGEN'S Commentary (A.D. 186-253), which is older than any extant Greek manuscript. He says :

  "If we also say the same as Peter, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God', not by the instruction of flesh and blood, but by the illumination of the heavenly Father in our hearts, we ourselves become the same thing as Peter.

  "If you should think that the whole church was built by God only on that one, Peter, what will you say of John ... or each of the apostles?"

  This is conclusive as to the interpretation. But there are other and later references to these words by AUGUSTINE (A.D. 378), and JEROME (A.D. 305), alike older than any Greek MSS. now extant.

  JEROME wrote thus in his exposition (Benedictine ed.) :

  "And I tell thee, that thou has said to Me, 'Thou art the Christ', &c., and I tell thee that thou art Peter, and on this rock, &c."

  AUGUSTINE wrote in his Retractationes (Benedictine ed., vol. i, p. 33) :

  "I have somewhere said, concerning the apostle Peter, that the Church was founded on him, as a petra, or rock; but I know that I have since very often explained what our Lord said to signify on Him Whom Peter confessed; but between these two opinions, let the reader choose that which is the more probable."

  In AUGUSTINE'S Sermon In die Pentecostis (Benedictine ed., tom. v. p. 1097; also Pusey's Translation, Sermons on the New Testament, vol. i. p. 215), he explains the reason for this retractation in a paraphrastic citation of the whole context :--

  "When our Lord had asked His disciples who men said that He was, and when, in reporting the opinions of others, they had said that some said He was John, some Elijah, others Jeremiah or one of the prophets, He said to them : 'But ye, Who do ye say that I am?' Peter (one alone for the rest, one for all) answered, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.' This, most excellently, most truly spoken, was deservedly rewarded with this reply : 'Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah, because flesh and blood revealed not this to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven; and I tell thee that thou hast said' : (hast said, observe, hast made confession unto Me : receive therefore the benediction) : 'and I tell thee that thou art Peter; and on this rock I will build My church.'"

  Some have conjectured from these words "tu dixisti" (thou hast said it) that AUGUSTINE and JEROME must have had in the MSS. from which they translated six letters, which they divided into two words "SU EIPS" (*5), taking EIPS as an abbreviation of EIPAS ( = thou hast said).

  There must have been another division of the same six letters into three words, which was current even then, for both these Fathers add "SU EI PETROS" = thou art Peter; taking the same "PS" as an abbreviation of PETROS.

  It is evident, however, that these Fathers give only a paraphrase; and do not profess to be giving an exact quotation.

  One thing, however, is certain, and that is our only point in this Appendix, viz. that the earliest references made to this passage disclaim all idea of its having any reference to the apostle Peter, but only to HIM Who was the subject of Peter's confession.
(Taken from Appendix 147 of the Companion Bible)

  Gr. hades, from a (privative) and idein; used by the Greeks for the unseen world.

  The meaning which the Greeks put upon it does not concern us; nor have we anything to do with the imaginations of the heathen, or the traditions of Jews or Romanists, or the teachings of demons or evil spirits, or of any who still cling to them.

  The Holy Spirit has used it as one of the "words pertaining to the earth", and in so doing has "purified" it, "as silver tried in a furnace" (see notes on Ps. 12:6). From this we learn that His own words "are pure", but words belonging to this earth have to be "purified".

  The Old Testament is the fountain head of the Hebrew language. It has no literature behind it. But the case is entirely different with the Greek language. The Hebrew Sheol is a word Divine in its origin and usage. The Greek Hades is human in its origin and comes down to us laden with centuries of development, in which it has acquired new senses, meanings, and usages.

  Seeing that the Holy Spirit has used it in Acts 2:27, 31 as His own equivalent of Sheol in Psalm 16:10, He has settled, once for all, the sense in which we are to understand it. The meaning He has given to Sheol in Ps. 16:10 is the one meaning we are to give it wherever it occurs in the N.T., whether we transliterate it or translate it. We have no liberty to do otherwise, and must discard everything outside the Word of God.

  The word occurs eleven times (Matt. 11:23; 16:18. Luke 10:15; 16:23. Acts 2:27, 31. 1Cor. 15:55. Rev. 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14); and is rendered "hell" in every passage except one, where it is rendered "grave" (1Cor. 15:55, marg. "hell").

  In the R.V. the word is always transliterated "Hades", except in 1Cor. 15:55 (where "death" is substituted because of the reading, in all the texts, of thanate for hade), and in the American R.V. also.

  As Hades is the Divine Scriptural equivalent of Sheol, further light may be gained from Ap. 35, and a reference to the 65 passages there given. It may be well to note that while "Hades" is rendered "hell" in the N.T. (except once, where the rendering "the grave" could not be avoided), Sheol, its Hebrew equivalent, occurs 65 times, and is rendered "the grave" 31 times (or 54%); "hell" 31 times (4 times with margin "the grave", reducing it to 41.5%); and "pit" only 3 times (or 4.5 %).

  "The grave", therefore, is obviously the best rendering, meaning the state of death (Germ. sterbend, for which we have no English equivalent); not the act of dying, as an examination of all the occurrences of both words will show.

   1. The rendering "pit" so evidently means "the grave" that it may at once be substituted for it (Num. 16:30, 33. Job 17:16).

   2. The rendering "the grave" (not "a grave", which is Hebrew keber or bor) exactly expresses the meaning of both Sheol and Hades. For, as to direction, it is always down: as to place, it is in the earth: as to relation, it is always in contrast with the state of the living (Deut. 32:22-25 and 1Sam. 2:6-8); as to association, it is connected with mourning (Gen. 37:34, 35), sorrow (Gen. 42:38. 2Sam. 22:6. Ps. 18:5; 116:3), fright and terror (Num. 16:27, 34) mourning (Isa. 38:3, 10, 17, 18), silence (Ps. 6:5; 31:17. Ecc. 9:10), no knowledge (Ecc. 9:5, 6, 10), punishment (Num. 16:29, 34. 1Kings 2:6, 9. Job 24:19. Ps. 9:17 (R.V. = re-turned), corruption (Ps. 16:10. Acts 2:27, 31); as to duration resurrection is the only exit from it (Ps. 16:11. Acts 2:27, 31; 13:33-37. 1Cor. 15:55. Rev. 1:18; 20:5, 13, 14).
(Tken from Appendix 131 of the Companion Bible.)

CHURCH (Gr. Ekklēsia).

  1. The Greek word ekklesia means assembly, or a gathering of called-out ones. It is used seventy times in the Septuagint for the Hebrew kahal (from which latter we have our word call), rendered in Sept. by sunagoge and ekklesia. (*1) This latter word occ. in N.T. 115 times (36 in plural), and is always transl. "church" except in Acts 19:32, 39, 41 (assembly).

  2. kahal is used (1) of Israel as a People called out from the rest of the nations (Gen. 28:3); (2) of the tribal council of Simeon and Levi, those called out from each tribe (Gen. 49:6); (3) of an assembly of Israelites called out for worship or any other purpose (Deut. 18:16; 31:30. Josh. 8:35. Judg. 21:8); (4) any assembly of worshippers as a congregation (Ps. 22:22, 25. Ekklesia in Matt. 16:18; 18:17. 1Cor. 14:19, 35, &c.); (5) the equivalent ekklesia of separate assemblies in different localities (Acts 5:11; 8:3. 1Cor. 4:17, &c.); (6) of the guild or "union" of Ephesian craftsmen (Acts 19:32, 41), and v. 39 (the lawful assembly). Finally, the special Pauline usage of ekklesia differs from all these. Other assemblies consisted of called-out ones from Jews, or from Gentiles (Acts 18:22), but this new body is of called-out ones from both.

  3. Our word "church" (*2) has an equally varied usage. It is used (1) of any congregation; (2) of a particular church (England, or Rome, &c); (3) of the ministry of a church; (4) of the building in which the congregation assembles; (5) of Church as distinct from Chapel; (6) of the church as distinct from the world, and lastly, it is used in the Pauline sense, of the body of Christ.

  4. It is of profound importance to distinguish the usage of the word in each case, else we may be reading "the church which was in the wilderness" into the Prison Epistles, although we are expressly told that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the "church which is His body". And when our Lord said "On this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18), those who heard His words could not connect them with the "mystery" which was "hid in God" and had not then been made known to the sons of men. Confusion follows our reading what refers to Israel in the past or the future into the present dispensation. Readers are referred to the various notes in the connexions.

  5. The word where qualified by other terms occurs thus: --

   Church of God; Acts 20:28. 1 Cor. 1:2; 10:32; 11:16 (pl.), 22; 15:9. 2 Cor. 1:1. Gal. 1:13. 1Thess. 2:14 (pl.). 2 Thess. 1:4 (pl). 1 Tim. 3:5, 15 (c. of the living God).
   Churches of Christ; Rom. 16:16.
   Church in .. house; Rom. 16:5. 1 Cor. 16:19. Col. 4:15. Philem. 2.
   Churches of the Gentiles; Rom. 16:4.
   Churches of Galatia; 1 Cor. 16:1. Gal. 1:2. Of Asia; 1 Cor. 16:19. Of Macedonia; 2Cor. 8:1. Of Judaea; Gal. 1:22. Of the Laodiceans; Col. 4:16. Of the Thessalonians; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess .1:1.
   Church of the firstborn (pl); Heb. 12:23.
   Church in Ephesus, Smyrna, &c. Rev. 2 and 3; and
   Churches; Rev. 22:16.

  (*1) kahal occurs in the Old Testament 123 times; congregation eighty-six, assembly seventeen, company seventeen, and multitude three times. The Sept. uses sunagoge and ekklesia as practically synonymous terms. But the sunagoge concerns the bringing together of the members of an existing society or body excluding all others, whereas the ekklesia calls and invites all men, including outsiders everywhere, to join it. Sunagoge being permanently associated with Jewish worship, was dropped by the early Christians in favor of ekklesia as of wider import.

  (*2) Is derived from the Gr. kuriakos, of or belonging to the Lord, house (Gr. oikos) being understood. It comes to us through A.S. circe (Scottish kirk).
(Taken from Appendix 186 of the Companion Bible.)

19 And I will give to you the keys (fig. put for the power to open. Christ has the keys of Hades; Peter has the keys of heaven. See next note) of the kingdom of the heavens (this power Peter exercised in Acts 2 in Israel, and Acts 10 among the Gentiles. Not the "Church" of the mystery [Eph. 8]): and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (This power was given to the others [18:18. John 20:23], and exercised in Acts 5:1-11, given to communicate with other, or to them in perpetuity. Binding and loosening is a Hebrew idiom foe exercising authority)

20 Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Messiah.

G  G  K  16:21-17:13. Sufferings. First announcement.
       L  17:14-21. Miracle. The lunatic son.
        H  M  17:22,23. Sufferings. Second Announcement.
            N  17:24-27. Gentiles. Authority. Sons free.

21 From that time forth (this commences the 3rd period of the Lord's ministry, the subject of which is the rejection of Messiah.) began Jesus to show to His disciples, how that He must (note the necessity [Luke 24:26]) go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed,

and be raised the third day. (1st occurrence of this expression [canonically])

In the first mention of His sufferings (Matt. 16:21) the Lord mentions the fact that He would be "raised again the third day". In John 2:19 He had already mentioned "three days" as the time after which He would raise up "the Temple of His body".

The expression occurs eleven times with reference to His resurrection (Matt. 16:21; 17:23; 20:19. Mark 9:31; 10:34. Luke 9:22; 18:33; 24:7, 46. Acts 10:40. 1Cor. 15:4.).

We have the expression "after three days" in Mark 8:31, used of the same event.

This shows that the expression "three days and three nights" of Matt. 12:40 must include "three days" and the three preceding "nights". While it is true that a "third day" may be a part of three days, including two nights; yet "after three days", and "three nights and three days" cannot possibly be so reckoned.

This full period admits of the Lord's resurrection on the third of the three days, each being preceded by a night, as shown in Ap. 144 and 156.

But, why this particular period? Why not two, or four, or any other number of days? Why "three" and no more nor less?

1. We notice that the man who contracted defilement through contact with a dead body was to purify himself on the third day (Num. 19:11, 12).

2. The flesh of the peace offering was not to be kept beyond the third day, but was then to be burnt (Lev. 7:17, 18) as unfit for food.

3. John Lightfoot (1602-75) quotes a Talmudic tradition that the mourning for the dead culminated on "the third day", because the spirit was not supposed to have finally departed till then (Works, Pitman's ed., vol. xii. pp. 351-353).

4. Herodotus testifies that embalmment did not take place until after three days (Herod. ii. 86-89).

5. The Jews did not accept evidence as to the identification of a dead body after three days.

This period seems, therefore, to have been chosen by the Lord (i.e. Jehovah, in the type of Jonah) to associate the fact of resurrection with the certainty of death, so as to preclude all doubt that death had actually taken place, and shut out all suggestion that it might have been a trance, or a mere case of resuscitation. The fact that Lazarus had been dead "four days already" was urged by Martha as a proof that Lazarus was dead, for "by this time he stinks" (John 11:17, 39).

We have to remember that corruption takes place very quickly in the East, so that "the third day" was the proverbial evidence as to the certainty that death had taken place, leaving no hope.

22 Then Peter took Him aside, and began to rebuke Him, saying, "[God] be merciful to You (a pure Hebraism. See 1 Chron. 11:19), Lord: this shall by no means be to You."

23 But He turned, and said to Peter, "You get behind me, Satan (the Lord saw in this a direct assault of Satan himself through Peter. See 4:10): you are a snare (i.e. an occasion of stumbling) to me: for you regard not the things that belong to God, but those that be of men."

24 Then said Jesus to His disciples, "If any man is willing to come after Me, let him deny himself (assuming such a case), and take up his cross, and follow Me. (The "cross" was always borne by one condemned. The cross is used as a fig. of speech put for the suffering associated with the burden.)
25 For whosoever be willing to save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever be willing lose his soul for My sake shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited, if he should gain the whole world (expressing an impossible condition), and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory (the sufferings never mentioned apart from the glory) of His Father with His angels; and then He shall render to every man according to his doing.
28 Verily I say to you, There are some of those standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they may have seen the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (The promise of this coming was definitely repeated later, in Acts 3:19-26, and was conditional on the repentance of the nation. Hence the particle "an", which [although untranslatable] expresses the condition or hypothesis implied. Their continuing to live until Acts 28:25,26 was certain; but the fulfillment of the condition was uncertain. No "an" after "until" in 17:9)

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