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28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, k ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
k Luke xxii. 30.
reflections upon the case of the young Lord trained his disciples during his perman. He felt that, had he followed the sonal abode with them as their teacher, advice of Christ, and forsaken all his was the regeneration spoken of, a sense riches, he must in some way have been which it will not well bear; but if greatly the gainer; and, knowing that we connect this clause with the time he and his fellow-apostles, if they had when the rewards promised should be not sacrificed as much, yet had given up conferred upon the apostles, then we must all, asks what they should have, ti apa eotan either refer it to the perfected gospel dismwy, what should be their reward. This pensation, or to what is called the milappears.to have been an inquiry dictated lennial state ; or to the resurrection from by the predominance of a spiritual mind; the dead, and the day of judgment. Each for he must have perceived, from what of these has been advocated by eminent bad been just said, that no hope of men ; but the two last with little reason. earthly advantages was held out by their At the day of judgment, not only the Master. The answer shows, that Christ twelve tribes of Israel are to be judged, had approved of their conduct. By giv- but all mankind; nor do we find that the ing up all, though little, they had given apostles upon “twelve thrones” are to full proof of their sincerity, and, as Gro- take that prominent part in the proceedtius well observes, Christ did not esti- ings of that last day which is here assigned mate their attachment to him, “ from the them. The whole doctrine of a millenquantity and measure of the things relin- nium, as it is supposed to imply a persoquished, but from the mind and intention nal appearance and visible reign of Christ with which they had relinquished them.” upon earth, will be shown to be contra
Verse 28. In the regeneration, &c.- dictory to certain passages, which will Ilaringeveria signifies the reproduction, come under notice in their proper place; restoration, renovation. It is used by and if there be no scriptural ground to Cicero to express the restoration of his expect such an appearance of Christ on fortune and dignity; by Josephus, for the earth in glory, then what is here said of re-occupation of Judea, after the capti. the apostles must be referred to some vity; and by Pbilo, both for the renova- other time. It remains therefore only, tion of the earth after the deluge, and to that “the regeneration” must be underexpress the new condition of the soul in a stood to signify the perfected dispensafuture state. It is only once more used in tion of Christ's gospel, under which the the New Testament, Titus ' iii. 5; and great and divine work of human restorathere is explained by the clause which tion from a state of guilt and sin, to the follows, “the renewing of the Holy favour and image of God, and that “reGhost ;" which gives it an entirely moral newing of the Holy Ghost,” by which St. sense, and refers it to the spiritual change Paul explains the word maliyyeveria, was which divine influence produces in the commenced in its power and efficacy, and whole character of individual believers. shall continue as long as the dispensaThe sense of this passage is greatly de- tion itself. The Syriac version renders termined by the punctuation. If we con- it “ the new world,” which seems to annect the words, ev tn Taliyyeverią, with swer to the Jewish “ age to come,” which following Christ, these then mean, that commenced with Messiah's manifestation, the course of discipline in which our and continued to the end of all things. In this view, therefore, the promise thus Judges xii. 7: for Kpivw answers to the made to the apostles is, that in this new Hebrew yaw, which often signifies to go. age, to commence at our Lord's return vern; and hence the judges who succeeded to his giory, when his renewing and Joshua are called Upw. The twelve restoring religion should be fully intro- tribes of Israel are mentioned here and in duced, they should receive the reward of other places of the New Testament, betheir following him as his disciples at the cause, though the ten tribes which were expense of their entire renunciation of carried away by Shalmanezer never rethe world.
turned in a body, yet many of each tribe When the Son of man shall sit in the remained in the land, and many more rethrone of his glory.—This further marks turned at different times; so that, at and the time of the reward. From this ex- before the time of Christ, the twelve pression being used in chap. xxv. 31, tribes were commonly spoken of. Thus when Christ's second coming to judge Josephus says, that six persons out of each the world is certainly spoken of, it has of the twelve tribes were sent to Ptolemy been concluded that the same event is king of Egypt, to translate the scriptures here also intended ; and it is this which into Greek: so also in Acts xxvi. 7, St. appears to have misled many with re- Paul speaks in the familiar language of spect to the sense of the passage. But the day, when he says. “Unto which in chap. xxv. 31, this coming of Christ promise our twelve tribes, instantly servis connected with circumstances which ing God day and night, hope to come;" oblige us to understand it of Christ's and St. James's epistle is addressed “10 coming to judge the world ; and this sense the twelve tribes scattered abroad." follows from them, not from the mode There is no need, therefore, to look for 2 of expression. In fact, when he ascended future restoration of the twelves tribes, into heaven, he sat upon the throne of his in order to fix the time of which our glory, or his glorious throne ; he“ entered Lord is speaking, because they were then into his glory," all power was given to existing in Judea, and the neighbouring him in heaven and earth, and “angels, countries, though mingled with each principalities, and powers were made sub- other, and without distinct governments iect unto him.” The expression, there- or tribes. But these words, like the former, fore, is not less literally true of his glori- are figurative. The Christian church is fication and entrance upon his mediato. “the Israel of God," and every believer rial kingdom, than of his coming from is a son of Abraham. From the first, the heaven to judge the world.
natural descendants of Abraham by Isaac Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones - and Jacob were invested with a typical The allusion is here to the punapxai, or character, and the grand antitype was the ancient heads of the tribes, who sat near whole body of true believers, the spiritual the throne, and assisted the king of Israel seed of the spiritual Isaac. To have auin his judgments; or, still more proba. thority under Christ in this spiritual bly, to the Jewish Sanhedrim, in which church, to convey immediately from him the high-priest sat surrounded by the its doctrines and laws, to regulate its principal rulers, and doctors of the law. discipline and its services, to encourage The pre-eminence and authority of the the humble spirits by promises, to direct apostles in the church are thus finely and the perplexed by counsel, to excite the strongly expressed. They are next to languid by exhortation, to restrain the Christ, and he instructs and governs the vicious by rebukes, to exhibit as the mochurch through them.
tives to submission and obedience to Judging the twelve tribes of Israel - Christ all the hopes of heaven, and all The figure is still continued. To judge the terrors of future punishment, with an is here, not to condemn, but to have au- authority which they only possessed, and thority; to preside over, or rule. Thus, continue to possess to this day : these "Jephthah judged Israel six years,” were to be the rewards of the fishermen
29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands,
and publicans of Galilee, who had left all our Lord speaks of the twelve collectively, to follow Christ. And who of mankind to which number the eleven was raised have been raised to equal honour and in- by the election of Matthias, a disciple fluence? where are the men whose names who, as well as the apostles, had “ solare so venerable, and so often pro- lowed” Christ, and was one of those who, nounced? where the authority which is so as St. Peter says, Acts i. 21, had “comoften appealed to on all moral questions? panied with them all the time that the where the writings which lay such hold Lord Jesus went in and out among us.” upon the consciences of men and where The above is the primary meaning of the teachers who have trained up such a this promise of Christ to his apostles. host of immortal beings to holiness here, but that it has an ultimate reference to and to a blissful immortality? And these their reward in another life, is probable, their rewards will ever increase until all the from the lofty terms inade use of. When world shall acknowledge them, under the discourses of our Lord rise into this Christ, to be their infallible guides, and the magnificence of diction, we shall almost rulers of a universal church. It is no ob- uniformly discover that a latent meaning jection to this view of the subject, that but lies under the more immediate and oba few of the apostles continue to exert their vious one. And every part of this proinfluence in the church as writers : the mise has an easy application to the headoctrine was that of all, though in venly state. There the maliyyeveria, the particular modes taught by individuals ; restoration, of man is complete, both in it was specially taught and inspired, and his glorified body and soul; there the the illuminations of all compared together Son of Man sits upon his glorious heaperfectly agreed ; and so at first was col- venly throne; there the Israel of God, lectively taught in the metropolis of represented by the twelve tribes, are Judea. All wrought miracles at Jeru- glorified with him; and there the twelve salem, when they united together for its apostles will have their pre-eminence of first propagation; for “ many wonders glory, and, as in heaven all is order, and and signs were done BY THE APOSTLES ;” rank rises above rank, probably, also, the large church there, of between three their pre-eminence of mild and directive and four thousand souls, the mother and authority. pattern of the rest, “ continued in the Verse 29. And every one that hath forAPOSTLES' DOCTRINE;" regarding them, saken.—This is a general promise, not collectively, as infallible authority; and confined to the apostles; and refers to "the twelve” remained for a considerable those times of persecution and distress time at Jerusalem, to settle any essential which our Lord foresaw would invade his point of discipline and rule, and to be church and put many of his followers to appealed to in matters of difficulty; and the severe test of forsaking or giving up, thus, as rulers of the spiritual Israel, they not only fishing-boats and fishing-nets, not " at upon their thrones” glorious in only such possessions as the young ruler moral majesty, and mighty in influence, refused to part with, but, what would ordering that kingdom of their Lord which prove an infinitely severer trial to flesh was to endure for ever. With respect to and blood, their tenderest relations, Judas, this reward might have been his through banishment, imprisonment, or but for his own fault. But he was known death. by our Lord, and excluded in his inten- A hundred fold.—St. Mark adds,“ now tion from this promise. He was not one in this time with persecutions,” which who had left all to follow Christ; for he shows that our Lord meant the hun. was “covetous," and fell by that sin. But dred-fold reward of the present life
for my name's sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
i Christ, by the similitude of the labourers in the vineyard, sheweth that God is debtor
unto no man : 17 foretelleth his passion : 20 by answering the mother of Zebedee's children teacheth his disciples to be lowly : 30 and giveth two blind men their sight.
1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
Mait. xx. 16; Mark x. 31 ; Luke xiii. 30. * The Roman penny is the eighth part of an ounce ; which, after five shillings the ounce, is sevenpence halfpenny.
to be taken spiritually. This consists human eye, like the young ruler, and in the divine favour, in peace of mind, in who may be called first, are often last; those consolations and that intimate and those who, like the publicans and sin“communion of the Holy Ghost,” with ners of Judea, appear farthest from embrawhich Christ's suffering servants are so cing a religion of truth and purity, often uniformly favoured ; and, says an ancient most readily accept it; and this natuwriter, " that inward savour and re- rally brings in the calling of the Gentile lish, which every man is sensible of that world, who were always associated by the relinquishes any thing for the glory of Jews with publicans and other detested God, is a hundred fold more valuable characters. Still, in St. Mark, we find it and excellent than any enjoyment which connected with the preceding verses, incould have arisen from the possession of timating that as to faithful endurance of the thing itself.” But the future reward suffering for the cause of Christ, many is more than "a hundred fold,” and is would be last who appeared first from emphatically expressed by EVERLASTING their boldness and decision. LIFE.
Verse 30. But many that are first shall CHAPTER XX. Verse 1. For the king. be last.—This verse, it is generally dom of heaven is like, &c.—That shall take thought, belongs to the next chapter, in place under the gospel dispensation, the first verse of which the particle rap which may be said to resemble the conshows the connexion. It is a yuwun, or duct of a certain man, the master of a faadagial sentence, which the parable that mily, av pa TW OIKODETTOIN. follows was designed to illustrate ; but Early in the morning. -Apa agar, for still growing out of what preceded, as ap apa our tu rpwi, with the morning; that pears from its being connected with it by is, at day-break, which with the Jews was St. Mark, and then rising to what was of about six o'clock, and was called the first still more general application, as the re- hour. jection of the Jews and the calling of the Verse 2. For a penny a day.—The RoGentiles. Persons the most hopeful to man denarius, or about seven pence half
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle ?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard ; and whatsoever is right that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should
penny of our money. This was the usual would have to toil but one hour, till six rate of wages among the Romans, as ap- o'clock, at which time the day closed. pears from Tacitus, “ denarius, diurnum To these also he promises to give whatstipendium.”
soever is right, that is, an hour's wages Verse 3. About the third hour.-Or nine for the hour's work. o'clock; when he saw others standing Verse 8. His steward.—TY ETIQOTW, to idle, that is, unemployed, because not his agent or manager. bired, in the market-place, ayopa, where it Verse 9. Every man a penny.--All the was the custom for the labourers who labourers hired at the eleventh hour rewanted employment to assemble. And ceived the regular wages of a day, though as it was the custom for the Jews often they had wrought but one hour, and this to hire day by day, and sometimes for a contrary to the practice ; for, as stated few hours only of a day, this was their above, the rules of hiring and paying ladaily place of resort at different hours. bourers among the Jews were very exact
Verse 4. Whatsoever is right.-Accord and minute, as appears from a tract of ing to the number of hours they had to Maimonides, written on that subject, and labour before the day should terminate. it was the custom to hire by the hour as He promised only this just proportion of well as by the day. wages, though he might from his bounty Verse 10. They supposed that they should give more.
have received more.—The unexpected and Verse 5. The sixth and ninth hour.- unusual liberality of the master to those Twelve and three in the afternoon; con- who had laboured but one hour, led those sequently, the eleventh hour mentioned who had completed a full day's toil to in the next verse was five in the after- expect that they should receive in full noon, and they who were then hired proportion to this liberality; but they