Verse 1. To Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives - The limits of Bethany reached to the mount of Olives, and joined to those of Bethphage. Bethphage was part of the suburbs of Jerusalem, and reached from the mount of Olives to the walls of the city. Our Lord was now come to the place where the boundaries of Bethany and Bethphage met. Matt. xxi, 1; Luke xix, 29; John xii, 12.
- It was net (as we say) a good year for figs; at least not for that early sort, which alone was ripe so soon in the spring. If we render the words, It was not the season of figs, that is, the time of gathering them in, it may mean, The season was not yet: and so (inclosing the words in a parenthesis, And coming to it, he found nothing but leaves) it may refer to the former part of the sentence, and may be considered as the reason of Christ's going to see whether there were any figs on this tree. Some who also read that clause in a parenthesis, translate the hollowing words, for where he was, it was the season of figs. And it is certain, this meaning of the words suits best with the great design of the parable, which was to reprove the Jewish Church for its unfruitfulness at that very season, when fruit might best be expected from them.
16. He suffered not that any should carry a vessel through the temple
- So strong notions had our Lord, of even relative holiness! And of the regard due to those places (as well as times) that are peculiarly dedicated to God.
Verse 17. Isaiah lvi, 7; Jer. vii, 11.
18. They feared him
- That is, they were afraid to take him by violence, lest it should raise a tumult; because all the people was astonished at his teaching - Both at the excellence of his discourse, and at the majesty and authority with which he taught.
- And who could find fault, if the Creator and Proprietor of all things were to destroy, by a single word of his mouth, a thousand of his inanimate creatures, were it only to imprint this important lesson more deeply on one immortal spirit?
Verse 25. When ye stand praying - Standing was their usual posture when they prayed. Forgive - And on this condition, ye shall have whatever you ask, with. out wrath or doubting. Matt. vi, 14.