Matthew 3:5 MEANING

Matthew 3:5
(5) All the region round about Jordan.--This would include the whole length of the river-valley, and would therefore take in parts of Peraea, Samaria, Galilee, and Gaulonitis.

Verse 5. - Then. Not merely temporal, as probably in ver. 13, but almost consequential, "thereupon"; so also ver. 15; Matthew 2:7, 16. John's preaching and manner of life were not without effect. Went out; ἐξεπορεύετο (similar in the parallels). Our Lord, when referring to this (Matthew 11:7, 8, 9), uses the commoner ἐξήλθατε, merely indicating the crowds leaving for a while their present surroundings. The synoptists here point rather to the trouble involved and the distance traversed (cf. Mark 6:11 with 12). The singular is used (as often in the Hebrew) because the writer's first thought was of Jerusalem; the other parts were added as an afterthought. All (cf. Matthew 8:34); i.e. from all parts and in large numbers. Judaea. Strictly speaking, this would, of course, include part of the next expression, but the reference here is especially to the hill-country. And all the region round about Jordan; i.e. the inhabitants of the Ghor, the Jordan valley. They presumably came from either side of the river. "Strabo, concerning the plain bordering on Jordan, hath these words: It is a place of an hundred furlongs, all well watered, and full of dwellings" (John Lightfoot, 'Her. Heb.').

3:1-6 After Malachi there was no prophet until John the Baptist came. He appeared first in the wilderness of Judea. This was not an uninhabited desert, but a part of the country not thickly peopled, nor much enclosed. No place is so remote as to shut us out from the visits of Divine grace. The doctrine he preached was repentance; Repent ye. The word here used, implies a total alteration in the mind, a change in the judgment, disposition, and affections, another and a better bias of the soul. Consider your ways, change your minds: you have thought amiss; think again, and think aright. True penitents have other thoughts of God and Christ, sin and holiness, of this world and the other, than they had. The change of the mind produces a change of the way. That is gospel repentance, which flows from a sight of Christ, from a sense of his love, and from hopes of pardon and forgiveness through him. It is a great encouragement to us to repent; repent, for your sins shall be pardoned upon your repentance. Return to God in a way of duty, and he will, through Christ, return unto you in the way of mercy. It is still as necessary to repent and humble ourselves, to prepare the way of the Lord, as it then was. There is a great deal to be done, to make way for Christ into a soul, and nothing is more needful than the discovery of sin, and a conviction that we cannot be saved by our own righteousness. The way of sin and Satan is a crooked way; but to prepare a way for Christ, the paths must be made straight, Heb 12:13. Those whose business it is to call others to mourn for sin, and to mortify it, ought themselves to live a serious life, a life of self-denial, and contempt of the world. By giving others this example, John made way for Christ. Many came to John's baptism, but few kept to the profession they made. There may be many forward hearers, where there are few true believers. Curiosity, and love for novelty and variety, may bring many to attend on good preaching, and to be affected for a while, who never are subject to the power of it. Those who received John's doctrine, testified their repentance by confessing their sins. Those only are ready to receive Jesus Christ as their righteousness, who are brought with sorrow and shame to own their guilt. The benefits of the kingdom of heaven, now at hand, were thereupon sealed to them by baptism. John washed them with water, in token that God would cleanse them from all their iniquities, thereby intimating, that by nature and practice all were polluted, and could not be admitted among the people of God, unless washed from their sins in the fountain Christ was to open, Zec 13:1.Then went out to him Jerusalem,.... The uncommon appearance of this person, the oddness of his dress, the austerity of his life, together with the awfulness and importance of his doctrine, and the novelty of the ordinance of baptism he administered, and the Jews having had no prophet for some hundreds of years, and imagining he might be the Messiah, quickly drew large numbers of people to him. Some copies read "all Jerusalem": that is, the inhabitants of that city, a very large number of them; and "all Judea", a great number of people from all parts of that country. "All" is here put for "many". And

all the region round about Jordan; multitudes from thence, which seems to be the same country with that which is called "beyond Jordan", Matthew 4:25 and is distinguished from Judea as here. The Septuagint in 2 Chronicles 4:17 use the same phrase the Evangelist does here, and likewise in Genesis 13:10.

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