From the blood of Abel - See this subject explained at large on Matthew 23:34; (note).
Required - Εκζητηθησεται may be translated either by the word visited or revenged, and the latter word evidently conveys the meaning of our Lord. They are here represented as having this blood among them; and it is intimated that God will come by and by to require it, and to inquire how it was shed, and to punish those who shed it.
See the notes at Matthew 23:29-36.
The wisdom of God - By the “wisdom of God,” here, is undoubtedly meant the Saviour himself. What he immediately says is not written in the Old Testament. Jesus is called “the word of God” John 1:1, because he is the medium by which God “speaks” or makes his will known. He is called “the wisdom of God,” because by him God makes his wisdom known in creation (Colossians 1:13-18 and in redemption 1 Corinthians 1:30. Many have also thought that the Messiah was referred to in the Proverbs 8:1 of Proverbs, under the name of Wisdom.
In the plague that follows, power is given to the sun “to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat.” Verses 8, 9. The prophets thus describe the condition of the earth at this fearful time: “The land mourneth; ... because the harvest of the field is perished.... All the trees of the field are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” “The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate.... How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture.... The rivers of water are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.” “The songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.” Joel 1:10-12, 17-20; Amos 8:3. GC 628.1
These plagues are not universal, or the inhabitants of the earth would be wholly cut off. Yet they will be the most awful scourges that have ever been known to mortals. All the judgments upon men, prior to the close of probation, have been mingled with mercy. The pleading blood of Christ has shielded the sinner from receiving the full measure of his guilt; but in the final judgment, wrath is poured out unmixed with mercy. GC 628.2Read in context »
How was it with the rebellious inhabitants of the antediluvian world? After rejecting the message of Noah, they plunged into sin with greater abandon than ever before, and doubled the enormity of their corrupting practices. Those who refuse to reform by accepting Christ find nothing reformative in sin; their minds are set to carry their spirit of revolt, and they are not, and never will be, forced to submission. The judgment which God brought upon the antediluvian world declared it incurable. The destruction of Sodom proclaimed the inhabitants of the most beautiful country in the world incorrigible in sin. The fire and brimstone from heaven consumed everything except Lot, his wife, and two daughters. The wife, looking back in disregard of God's command, became a pillar of salt. TM 75.1
How God bore with the Jewish nation while they were murmuring and rebellious, breaking the Sabbath and every other precept of the law! He repeatedly declared them worse than the heathen. Each generation surpassed the preceding in guilt. The Lord permitted them to go into captivity, but after their deliverance His requirements were forgotten. Everything that He committed to that people to be kept sacred was perverted or displaced by the inventions of rebellious men. Christ said to them in His day, “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?” And these were the men who set themselves up as judges and censors over those whom the Holy Spirit was moving to declare the word of God to the people. (See John 7:9-23, 27, 28; Luke 11:37-52.) TM 75.2Read in context »