“And thinke not to say within your selues, Wee haue Abraham to our father: For I say vnto you, that God is able of these stones to raise vp children vnto Abraham.”
1611 King James Version (KJV)
3:9 And say not confidently - The word in the original, vulgarly rendered, Think not, seems here, and in many places, not to diminish, but rather add to the force of the word with which it is joined. We have Abraham to our father - It is almost incredible, how great the presumption of the Jews was on this their relation to Abraham. One of their famous sayings was, Abraham sits near the gates of hell, and suffers no Israelite to go down into it. I say unto you - This preface always denotes the importance of what follows. Of these stones - Probably pointing to those which lay before them.
Mt 3:9 Think not to say . . . We have Abraham to [our] father. They believed that Abraham;s race was to be saved, if all else were destroyed. John destroys the refuge of sin. Of these stones. Pointing, perhaps, to the stones of the Jordan. In thus sinking the higher claims of Judaism, John points to the Gentiles, who were to become Abraham's children by faith (Ga 3:29).