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Matthew 3


 1 And (*) in (a) (♣) those days, (1) John the Baptist came and preached in the (b) (♠) wilderness of Judea,


(*) Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3 .

(a) Not when Joseph went to dwell at Nazareth, but a great while after, about the space of fifteen years; for in the thirtieth year of his age was Jesus baptized of John; therefore by those days is meant, at that time that Jesus remained as yet an inhabitant of the town of Nazareth.

(♣) In the first year of the reign of Tiberius, after Christ had long time remained in Nazareth, and was now about 30 years old.
(1) John, who through his singular holiness and rare austereness of life caused all men to cast their eyes upon him, prepareth the way for Christ following fast on his heels, as the Prophet Isaiah foretold, and delivereth the sum of the Gospel, which in short space after should be delivered more fully.
(b) In a hilly country, which was notwithstanding inhabited, for Zacharias dwelt there, Luke 1:40 , and there was Joab's house, 1 Kings 1:34 ; and besides these, Joshua maketh mention of six towns that were in the wilderness, Joshua 15:61 .

(♠) So called in respect of the plain country and fertile valleys; and not because it was not inhabited.


 2 And said, (c) (*) Repent, for the (d) (♣) kingdom of heaven is at hand.


(c) The word in the Greek tongue signifieth a changing of our minds and heart from evil to better.

(*) Or, be sorry for your past faults, and amend.
(d) The kingdom of Messiah, whose government shall be heavenly, and nothing but heavenly.

(♣) Which is, that God will reign over us, gather us unto him, pardon our sins, and adopt us by the preaching of the Gospel.


 3 For this is he of whom it is spoken by the Prophet Isaiah, saying, (*) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, (e) make his paths straight.


(*) Isaiah 40:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23 .

(e) Make him a plain and smooth way.


 4 And this John had his (*) garment of camelís hair, and a girdle of a skin about his loins, his meat was also (f) (♣) (♠) locusts and wild honey.


(*) Woven with hair, as gross hair cloth.

(f) Locust were a kind of meat which certain of the East use, which were therefore called devourers of Locusts. Obadiah 1:9 .

(♣) Such meats as nature brought forth without manís labor or diligence; read Leviticus 11:22 .

(♠) Or, grasshoppers.


 5  (*) Then went out to him (g) Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan.


(*) Mark 1:5, Luke 1:7 .

(g) The people of Jerusalem.


 6 And they were baptized of him in Jordan, (h) (*) confessing their sins.


(h) Acknowledging that they were saved only by free remission and forgiveness of their sins.

(*) Acknowledging their faults; for there is no repentance without confession.


 7  (2) Now when he saw many of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, (*) O (♣) generation of vipers, who hath forewarned you to flee from the anger to come?


(2) There is nothing that stopped up the way of mercy and salvation against us so much as the opinion of our own righteousness doeth.

(*) Matthew 12:34 .

(♣) Or, broods.


 8  (3) Bring forth therefore (*) fruit worthy amendment of life;


(3) True repentance is an inward thing which has its seat in the mind and heart.

(*) He meaneth those venomous and malicious Pharisees with the judgment of God, except they shew before men such works as are agreeable to the profession of the godly, whom Isaiah calleth the trees of righteousness. Isaiah 61:3 .


 9  (4) And (i) think not to say (k) with yourselves, (*) We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, that God is able even of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.


(4) The faith of the fathers availeth the unbelieving children nothing at all; and yet for all that God playeth not the liar, nor dealeth unfaithfully in his league which he made with the holy fathers.
(i) Think not that you have any cause to be proud of Abraham.
(k) In your hearts.

(*) John 3:39; Acts 13:26 .


 10 And now also is the (♣) axe put to the root of the trees; (*) therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.


(♣) The judgment of God is at hand to destroy such as are not meant to be of his Church.

(*) Matthew 7:19 .


 11  (*) (5) Indeed I baptize you with water to (l) amendment of life, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, he will baptize you with the holy Ghost, and with (♣) fire.


(*) Mark 1:8; Luke 5:16; John 1:26; Acts 1:5; Acts 2:4; Acts 8:17; Acts 19:4 .

(5) We may neither dwell upon the signs which God hath ordained as means to lead us unto our salvation, neither upon them; but we must climb up to the matter itself, that is to say, to Christ, who inwardly worketh that effectually, which is outwardly signified unto us.
(l) The outward sign putteth us in mind of this, that we must change our lives and become better, assuring us as by a seal, that we are engrafted into Christ; whereby our old man dieth and the new man riseth up; Romans 6:4 .

(♣) When God baptizeth inwardly with the virtue of his Spirit, he burneth, and consumeth the vices and inflameth the hearts with love towards him.


 12  (6) Which hath his (*) fan in his hand, and will (m) make clean his floor, and gather his wheat into his garner, but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.


(6) The triumphs of the wicked shall end in everlasting torment.

(*) Which is the preaching of the Gospel, whereby he gathereth the faithful as good corn, and scattereth the infidels as chaff.
(m) Will cleanse it thoroughly, and make a full riddance.


 13  ∂ (*) (7) Then came Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John to be baptized of him.


(*) Mark 1:9; Luke 3:21 .

(7) Christ sanctified our baptism in himself.


 14 But John earnestly put him back, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?


 15 Then Jesus answering, said to him, Let be now; for thus it becometh us to (*) fulfill (n) all righteousness. So he suffered him.


(*) We must render perfect obedience to God in all things, which he hath ordained.

(n) All such things as it hath appointed us to keep.


 16 And Jesus when he was baptized, came straight out of the water. And lo, the heavens were opened unto (o) him, and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a (*) dove, and lighting upon him.


(o) To John.

(*) To shew the state of his kingdom, which is in all meekness and lowliness.


17  (8) And lo, a voice came from heaven, saying, (*) (♣) This is my beloved Son, in whom I am (p) well pleased.


(8) Christ's full consecration and authorizing to the office of mediatorship, is shewed by the Father's own voice, and a visible sign of the holy Ghost.

(*) Matthew 17:5; Colossians 1:13; 2 Peter 1:17 .

(♣) The favor of God resteth on Jesus Christ, that from him it might be poured on us, which deserve of ourselves his wrath, and indignation.
(p) The Greek word betokeneth a thing of great account, and such as highly pleaseth a man. So then the Father saith, that Christ only is the man whom when he beholdeth, look what opinion he had conceived of us, he layeth it clean aside.



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1599 Geneva Bible Online

 1 Corinthians 14:8

And also if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to battle?

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