Luke 3Herod's kingdom was divided after his death.—A tetrarch is a ruler over a portion of a kingdom, possessing, in some respects, kingly powers. A governor, in the New Testament, is the ruler of a province, which was more directly dependent upon the government of Rome. Judea and the adjoining countries, which, in the days of Herod the Great, constituted a kingdom, were now separated, and Judea itself was a province.
There is historical evidence that it was Caiaphas who actually held the office of high priest from this time to a period beyond the crucifixion; but Annas, his father-in-law, seems to have been in some way connected with him in the duties of the office. (See John 18:13 and 24.) Various explanations of this have been attempted, but they are conjectural.—The word of God; special communications from the Holy Spirit.
The baptism of repentance. The baptism of John was the symbol and pledge of repentance.
Esaias; Isa. 40:3-5.
Generation of vipers. We learn from Matthew 3:7, that it was to the Pharisees and Sadducees that this severe language was applied.
Publicans; officers appointed to collect the taxes.
The evangelist John states that the Jews sent special messengers from Jerusalem to put this question to him. (John 1:19.)
Fan; an agricultural instrument, by which the chaff was separated from the wheat.—Garner; granary.
This event took place some time afterwards. It is inserted here in order to complete what Luke had to say of the bold and fearless character of John, as a preacher, and to show how his public ministrations were brought to a close.
In comparing this genealogical table with those contained in the Old Testament and in Matthew, extensive discrepancies are found, many of which are explained by the following considerations: 1. Between Jesus and David, Matthew is supposed to follow the line of Joseph, and Luke, on leaving the name of Joseph, to ascend in the line of Mary's ancestors. 2. Matthew begins the line with Abraham, Luke carries it back to Adam. 3. In the Old Testament, the spelling of the names corresponds with the Hebrew orthography; in the New, it follows the Greek. 4. In some cases, intermediate names are omitted in one table, while they are inserted in the other. Besides the discrepancies which these principles will account for, there are others which the research and ingenuity of learned men have yet been unable to explain.
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