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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Matthew 17



Other Authors
Verse 1

Six days. Luke says, about a week. See Luke 9:28 and note .

Verse 4

Tabernacles; tents, or booths.

Verse 5

Overshadowed them; was spread or diffused over them.

Verse 10

The sublime and solemn scene which these disciples thus witnessed completed to their minds the proof that Jesus was the Messiah. They, however, knew not how to reconcile this truth with the fact that Elijah had not yet reappeared; as he, according to the general understanding of prophecy, was personally to precede Christ.

Verse 11

Restore all things; recall the nation, to the faith and obedience of their fathers.

Verse 12

Listed; chose.

Verse 17

Suffer you; bear with you.

Verse 18

The devil. It is observable that this sufferer is, in Matthew 17:15, called lunatic.

Verse 20

As a grain of mustard-seed, that is, even a small degree of faith.

Verse 24

Came to Peter. This seems to have taken place at Peter's house, where our Savior probably resided. For after Jesus left Nazareth, at the commencement of his public ministry, he made Capernaum his residence, (Matthew 4:13;) and for some time afterwards he made this city the centre of his movements and operations; it became, consequently, the scene of very many of his instructions and miracles. (Matthew 11:23.) Peter had a house in this city,--originally the dwelling of his wife's mother, (Matthew 8:14,) he himself being formerly of Bethsaida. (John 1:44.) This house of Peter"s was probably the place which Jesus made his is home when at Capernaum, and is several times spoken of as "the house." (Mark 2:1,9:33.) It was natural, therefore, that the officers should propose this question to Peter in respect to his master and guest.--Tribute. From the form of the expression used in the original, which is different from that employed in Matthew 22:17, where tribute due to Cesar is spoken of, this is supposed to have been a Jewish, not a Roman tax,--assessed for the payment of expenses connected with the worship of the temple.

Verse 25

Peter's ready answer indicates that it was our Savior's custom to conform to the regulations of society, and to pay all the customary taxes. And yet he knew, in regard to this case, that the service of the temple, which his payment would sustain, had become exceedingly corrupt. The case must be extreme which will justify us in refusing to support any divine institutions, on account of dissatisfaction with the form or manner in which they are temporarily administered.--Prevented him; anticipated him in the question that he was about to ask, by asking one, himself, relating to the subject. The word prevent, which now means to hinder, originally meant to go before,--whether for the purpose of hindering or merely of anticipating. In this case, it evidently means anticipate. For other striking examples of this, see Psalms 88:13,119:147; 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

Verse 26

That is, Jesus, as. the Son of God, might justly have claimed exemption from taxes assessed for the service of his Father.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Matthew 17:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

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