Matthew 13Sea-side; the shore of the Sea of Tiberias.
Mysteries; truths before unknown.
Lest at any time, &c., that is, their eyes and ears were wilfully closed against the truth. The sentiment of this answer of our Savior's, the meaning of which is rendered still more plain by the parallel passages, (Mark 4:11, 12, Luke 8:10,) is, that, while divine truth is so revealed that the docile and spiritually-minded, and all really desirous to learn of him, can easily understand it, yet it is so presented that the captious, the proud, and the evil-minded, may hear and not understand. A veil covers and conceals the spiritual meaning, though it is a veil easily to be removed by all who wish to remove it.
Hear ye; hear ye the explanation.
Are offended; take offence at the gospel, and apostatize.
Mustard-seed. The mustard plant of Palestine is said to have been of much larger growth than the one known by that name among us.
The idea intended by both these similitudes is, that the Redeemer's kingdom, though destined to be great and widely extended at last, was to commence by small beginnings, and in a noiseless and unobtrusive manner,—entirely contrary to the prevailing expectations among the Jews.
The house; the house in which he dwelt in Capernaum.—Declare unto us; explain unto us.
It would seem impossible to teach more plainly than it is taught in this language, that there is day of judgment and retribution to come, after this life is ended; and that those who shall then be condemned will find themselves involved in hopeless and eternal ruin.
Every scribe instructed, &c.; every well-instructed teacher of the gospel.
His own country; Nazareth.
His brethren; near relatives, perhaps cousins. The words signifying the various degrees of relationship were used among the Jews with great latitude. The reason for supposing the persons here referred to to be the cousins of our Lord, is that apparently the same person who is named in John 19:25, as our Savior's mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, is mentioned, in Matt. 27:56, as the mother of James and Joses.
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