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2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready : come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise :
fy a reply to what precedes, nor indeed whose right, it was instituted. St. Luke the continuance of the same subject; but has a similar parable; but it was uttered sometimes the commencement of a new on another occasion. discourse. Here our Lord addresses the Verse 3. Sent forth his servants to call people in the temple, the scribes and them that were bidden.-Servants were on Pharisees, who had not only understood, some occasions first sent round to invite but keenly felt the force of the parables the guests; these were called vocatores by he had just uttered, having, as St. Mark the Romans, and Kantopes by the Greeks; informs us, departed.
and thus notice was given of the time of Verse 2. A marriage feast.—The pro- the entertainment. But, on the evening cedure of God under the gospel dispen- of the day appointed, messengers were sation, and the conduct of men, are com- sent to call or summon them that were bidpared to that of a sovereign who made den ; that is, those who were previously a marriage feast, and invited many invited. Hence St. Luke says,
“ And sent guests. Tapos, and yapot, are used simply . his servant at supper time to say to them for a feast, sometimes for a marriage feast, that were bidden, Come, for all things are the plural intimating the number of days now ready." occupied by the festivity, and which ren- Verse 4. He sent forth other servants, dered it rather a succession of feasts, 8c.—Thus he urged even those to come, than one only.
Some modern critics, who had insolently and disloyally refused as Michaëlis, Rosenmuller, Koinoel, and his servants, setting forth the abundance Schleusner, understand it as a feast of and sumptuousness of the banquet, in inauguration, in which, according to the order to give effect to their invitation : eastern mode of speaking, sovereigns My oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all were solemnly united to their country as things are ready ; come to the feast. The by the conjugal bond. Thus Rosenmuller, dinner, to apustov, was the early meal of Nam ex moribus orientalium reges die in- the day; and what we call such, as being augurationis considerantur ut sponsi et ma- the principal meal, was deferred till the riti, rite et solemniter jungendi civitati et business and heat of the day was over, subditis, qui sponse et conjugi comparan- that is, till the evening, and was called tur. Whatever the occasion was, the TO DELAVOV, which we render supper. Both point turns upon its being a great and terms are, however, often used generally munificent royal feast, to which all who
for a feast. were invited were bound to come, not Verses 5, 6. But they made light of it, only for their own honour and advantage, 8c.—Two classes are here particularly but in respect of their loyalty, and to marked : 1. The CARELESS, who neglected show this by acknowledging the Son, for the invitation, and went to their occupawhose dignity, and in recognition of tions. 2. The PERSECUTING,
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth : and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
01 Noittou; all who were not simply care- our Lord. We are, therefore, to underless, who resisted the servants, treated stand by these servants the apostles, and them ignominiously, and put them to other disciples in succession, who, after death.
the day of pentecost, and before the deSo far the parable applies to the Jews struction of Jerusalem, repeatedly urged exclusively. Under the figure of a royal upon their countrymen the acceptance of feast is doubtless represented that fulness those gracious offers of pardon and reconof spiritual blessings, to which they were ciliation which they had been authorized invited by the first preachers of the gos- to make; but who were treated either pel immediately upon our Lord's exalta- with careless neglect, or with contumely, tion. But whether this feast is to be persecution, or martyrdom. Then folconsidered as a marriage feast, is doubt- lowed the destruction and burning of ful; and the mystical expositions which their city by the Romans; a standing rest upon this supposition are therefore monument to the world, in all future without sufficient basis. It is at least ages, of the aggravated offence of slightequally probable, that the allusion is to ing the overtures of mercy, and of de. the inauguration of the son of a king, spising the gospel. This calamity is, into a joint government with his royal however, spoken of by anticipation, as father ; but this also is not sufficiently Gentiles were invited long before the clear to warrant any inference being Jews were finally rejected ; but it is drawn from it. It is safer therefore to introduced to complete that branch of the consider it simply as a feast given by a parable which relates to the Jews as a king in honour of his son, whatever people. What follows has respect both migh be the occasion. The Syriac to Jews and Gentiles; to all, in fact, version renders gauous simply a feast. who, to the end of time, may profess to The Jews are said to be twice in- embrace the great evangelical invitation, vited; first, bidden, and then sum- and come into the church under promoned when the feast ready. fession of a desire to partake of the blessThe servants, the Kantopes, who performed ings promised to her true members, both this service, were the prophets down to in this and a future life. John the Baptist ; all of whom, in suc- Verse 8. The wedding is ready, 8c.cession, announced this royal feast, or Γαμος ετοιμος εστιν, , the feast is prepared, but the blessings to be bestowed in the age of they which were bidden were not worthy. Messiah, and held them out to the hope Here afios is not to be understood in the of Israel. Thus the Jews were already sense of meritoriousness, but well DISthe invited, or those bidden. The servants Posed; as in chap. x. 11, where the apos. who were repeatedly sent after all things tles when sent forth are directed to inwere ready cannot, as Whitby thinks, re- quire, when they entered a city, who in it present the seventy disciples sent forth worthy,” disposed to entertain such by our Lord; for all things were not then messengers, and receive religious instrucready; the feast was not fully prepared, tion; or it may be taken in the sense of until after the sacrifice and exaltation of fitness, or congruity, as Christ declares
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good : and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 9 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
that the man who will not take up his open to all who profess to accept the incross and follow him, cannot be “worthy of vitation ; but it follows not from this, him ;" that is, there was no congruity be- that no discipline is to be exercised in it tween such a disciple and his master, no before “the king comes in to see the correspondence of the one to the other. guests.” But it was not the design of the So here there was no correspondence be- parable to illustrate this subject; and it tween the dispositions and tastes of the is therefore passed over, that deficiency persons invited to the feast, and the ho- being abundantly supplied by other parts nours and blessings prepared for their ac- of the New Testament. It is, however, ceptance.
intimated, as in some other parables, that Verse 9. Into the highways, &c.—The the church would, after all, remain in a Letodoi were the ways leading out of a mixed state, and not be thoroughly purged city, converged into one great road, and of formalists and pretenders, till the day where, on that account, a number of tra- of judgment. Then indeed vellers would be met with. Extracts will come in to see the guests ; every have been brought from the Rabbinical one of whom must pass the scrutiny of writings to show, that it was customary an omniscient eye, from which none can with the rich to invite poor travellers to escape in the crowd. That piercing glance their feasts, in order to illustrate this part which “tries the reins and the heart," of the parable; but that this was not will search the whole as îhough they were common, at least in our Lord's day, ap- but one individual, and each individual pears from one of his parables, where he of the vast assemblage as though he were reproves the wealthy Jews for inviting alone. the rich only to their tables. The persons And the wedding was furnished with here invited by the king were evidently guests.—Here yapos is used metonymically those who are ordinarily overlooked and de- for the place where the guests were asspised, and so their invitation represented sembled. The Syriac and Ethiopic verthe universal call of the gospel to men of all sions render it, “the house of the feast.” classes and nations, poor as well as rich,
Verse 11. A man which had not on a wedpublicans, sinners, strangers, and Gen- ding garment. As there is nothing in the tiles ; a striking emblem of which was the parable to oblige us to consider this feast indiscriminate and promiscuous crowds as a wedding entertainment, so evdvua yauou of people, from every part, who would may be taken to signify generally a banalways be hastening to some populous queting robe ; for a certain style of dress, trading city of Palestine, where might be as far as respected the outer garment, found not only Jews from distant nations, was required at all feasts, and, in some but Gentiles also, Syrians, Egyptians, cases, it was a mark of the magnificence Greeks, Romans, Chaldeans, Edomites, of the entertainer to furnish his guests many
others. Yet all were bidden with them; to refuse which was, of to the feast.
course, a high indignity. Whether we Verse 10. Both bad and good.—The understand by it such robes as were worn doors of Christ's church are to be thrown at nuptial or other feasts, is, however,
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment ? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
a matter of indifference. Changes of his sovereign ; and take him away, separaiment furnished to the guests are men- rate him from a company into which he tioned in Homer, and the relics of the ought never to have intruded, exclude custom still remain in the east. The him from the joys of the festivity; and Romans wore a white robe at some of cast him into outer, or the external, darktheir public feasts; and the etiquette of a ness : there shall be weeping, &c. See note particular robe for certain occasions was on chap. viii. 12. much insisted upon. Thus Spartianus, in It would be wearisome to enumerate his Life of Severus, relates that this em- all the notions which have been enterperor had an omen of his future greatness tained of the mystical signification of this in this circumstance, that, being invited wedding or festal garment. One conto sup with the emperor, he went in tends for imputed righteousness, another his short cloak, pallium, instead of his for implanted, a third for both. Some gown, toga, when he was immediately have argued for baptism, others for faith, furnished with a gown worn by the em- others for charity and good works. Now peror himself. A similar occurrence is thing, however, can be more clear, than related of Maximinus, who, when a that, as this garment would have constiyouth, being invited with his father to tuted the MEETNESS of a man to be resup with the emperor Alexander Severus, ceived as a guest at the feast, so it must not having a supper-gown, vestis cænato- represent all those qualities colleCTIVELY, ria, he was supplied with one which be- which constitute our meetness for heaven. longed to the einperor.
In the scene to And as we are so expressly informed that which the parable conducts us, as the “ without holiness no man can see the guests were collected out of the highways, Lord ;” and as habits of dress are con. and consisted of travellers and strangers, stantly used figuratively to express moand it was required of each to sit down ral habits of the mind and life, the virin a particular robe, this part of their tues wrought in man by God's Spirit, and dress must have been prepared for them exhibited in a course of external obedience in the king's public wardrobe, which was to his will; that one word Holiness, imno doubt duly pointed out by the ser- plying, as it does in the Christian sense, vants who brought them in, and knew both the regeneration of those who have the rules of the festivity. It is equally penitently received Christ as the propitiaclear that not having on the robe which the tion for sin, and the maturing of all the established etiquette required, was entire- graces of their new nature by the same ly the fault of the guest singled out and influence of the Holy Ghost, will fully challenged by the Lord of the feast ; be- express all that is comprehended by cause he had no defence to offer,—and he having the wedding or festal robe. If was speechless, epruwan, was silenced, we are thus found of him without spot struck dumb; and, further, that a great and blameless,” we shall be welcomed offence had been committed by him, be- “into the joy of our Lord;” but if not, cause of his expulsion from the company, as we cannot escape detection, when the and the punishment inflicted upon him: king comes in to see the guests, so are Bind him hand and foot, arrest him as a we in the parable most forcibly premoprisoner of state, one who has slighted nished of our doom, and of that conthe favours and mocked the majesty of sciousness of guilt which shall leave us
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
15 q Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
b Matt. xx. 16.
c Mark xii. 13; Luke xx. 20.
Etaige, friend, is not a great diversity of opinion exists among word of recognition or affection, but one critics, some considering them as a poliused to a stranger; and, fws ecorides wde, tical sect attached to the Herodian family How camest thou in hither ? is a strong re- from the time of Herod the Great, who proof: by what right? under what pre- was always highly unpopular with the sumption ?
Jews in general; others, as a religious Verse 14. For many are called, &c.— sect, and the same as the Sadducees, from Many are summoned or invited, few whom, however, they are distinguished, chosen or APPROVED; for such is the verse 23. There are several other opimeaning of the word, which is not to be nions; but the probability is, that this was taken in the sense of arbitrary selection, both a political and a religious distinc. but as expressing an act of choice tion; political, as being confined to the founded upon sufficient reasons. See party of Herod; and religious, as this party note on chap. xx. 16, &c. This moral is was composed of Sadducees, whose opisubjoined to the whole parable, and nions Herod adopted, and who like him relates therefore both to the Jews and had little scruple in conforming, in comGentiles, and is to all awfully admoni- pliment to the Romans, to many pagan tory.
customs, which the Jews held in abhorVerse 15. Then went the Pharisees, &c.
Herod Antipas was at this time -As they feared the people too much to at Jerusalem, which was the time of the apprehend Christ at once, though passover ; and the Herodians here mengreatly enraged at the former parables he tioned were probably in attendance upon had spoken with direct reference to them, him. The union of these with the discithey determined to proceed by stratagem, ples of the Pharisees was artfully adapted and took counsel how they might entangle him to the designed plot laid to entrap our in his talk, Faydevowoiv, how they might Lord. The Pharisees were averse, on ensnare him, a term taken from ensnaring religious grounds, to pay tribute to the or entrapping birds, in his conversation. Romans, that is, to submit to their goThis they attempted to do by endeavour- vernment; and the feeling of the body of ing artfully to extract an opinion from the people was with them. Herod and him on the lawfulness of paying tribute to his party leaned chiefly upon the Roman the Romans, on which some of them power, and therefore supported their affected great tenderness of conscience. claims, though more out of fear than Thus they came to him under pretence of affection. The question therefore, Is it making a religious inquiry, hoping that lawful to give tribute to Cæsar or not? his answer might enable them to charge might seein naturally to have arisen behim before the Roman governor as the tween the parties in an accidental colliseditious leader of a multitude collected sion, and they come to Christ with abunto subvert the existing government. The dance of coinplimentary expressions, and persons sent were disciples of the Phari- affect to appeal to his superior wisdom to sees and the Herodians. As to the latter, decide it.