He wept over it - Showing his compassion for the guilty city, and his strong sense of the evils that were about to come upon it. See the notes at Matthew 23:37-39. As he entered the city he passed over the Mount of Olives. From that mountain there was a full and magnificent view of the city. See the notes at Matthew 21:1. The view of the splendid capital - the knowledge of its crimes - the remembrance of the mercies of God toward it - the certainty that it might have been spared if it had received the prophets and himself - the knowledge that it was about to put “him,” their long-expected Messiah, to death, and “for” that to be given up to utter desolation - affected his heart, and the triumphant King and Lord of Zion wept! Amid all “his” prosperity, and all the acclamations of the multitude, the heart of the Redeemer of the world was turned from the tokens of rejoicing to the miseries about to come on a guilty people. Yet they “might” have been saved. If thou hadst known, says he, even thou, with all thy guilt, the things that make for thy peace; if thou hadst repented, had been righteous, and had received the Messiah; if thou hadst not stained thy hands with the blood of the prophets, and shouldst not with that of the Son of God, then these terrible calamities would not come upon thee. But it is too late. The national wickedness is too great; the cup is full: mercy is exhausted; and Jerusalem, with all her pride and splendor, the glory of her temple, and the pomp of her service, “must perish!”
For the days shall come - This took place under Titus, the Roman general, 70 a.d., about thirty years after this was spoken.
Cast a trench about thee - The word “trench” now means commonly a “pit or ditch.” When the Bible was translated, it meant also “earth thrown up to defend a camp” (Johnson‘s “Dictionary”). This is the meaning of the original here. It is not a pit or large “ditch,” but a pile of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp, and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was done at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus informs us that Titus, in order that he might compel the city to surrender by “famine,” built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with incredible labor in ten days. The professed design of this wall was “to keep” the city “in on every side.” Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished.
Shall lay thee even with the ground - This was literally done. Titus caused a plow to pass over the place where the temple stood. See the notes at Matthew 24. All this was done, says Christ, because Jerusalem knew not the time of its visitation - that is, did not know, and “would not” know, that the Messiah had come. “His coming” was the time of their merciful visitation. That time had been predicted, and invaluable blessings promised as the result of his advent; but they would not know it. They rejected him, they put him to death, and it was just that they should be destroyed.
The things which belong unto thy peace! - It is very likely that our Lord here alludes to the meaning of the word Jerusalem, ירושלים from ירה yereh, he shall see, and שלום shalom, peace or prosperity. Now, because the inhabitants of it had not seen this peace and salvation, because they had refused to open their eyes, and behold this glorious light of heaven which shone among them, therefore he said, Now they are hidden from thine eyes, still alluding to the import of the name.
As they are separated from the loyal ones, Christ looks upon them with deep sorrow. They occupied high positions of trust in God's work, but they have not the life insurance policy that would have entitled them to eternal life. From the quivering lips of Christ come the mournful words of regret, “I loved them; I gave My life for them; but they persisted in rejecting My pleadings, and continued in sin. O that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” UL 301.4Read in context »
The cloud of divine wrath was gathering over Jerusalem. Christ saw the city beleaguered. He saw it lost. In a voice full of tears he exclaimed, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Verse 42). TDG 109.7Read in context »
Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure. The Lord knoweth them that are His. The sanctified minister must have no guile in his mouth. He must be open as the day, free from every taint of evil. A sanctified ministry and press will be a power in flashing the light of truth on this untoward generation. Light, brethren, more light we need. Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in the holy mountain. Gather the host of the Lord, with sanctified hearts, to hear what the Lord will say unto His people; for He has increased light for all who will hear. Let them be armed and equipped, and come up to the battle—to the help of the Lord against the mighty. God Himself will work for Israel. Every lying tongue will be silenced. Angels’ hands will overthrow the deceptive schemes that are being formed. The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel's message. As the Captain of the Lord's host tore down the walls of Jericho, so will the Lord's commandment-keeping people triumph, and all opposing elements be defeated. Let no soul complain of the servants of God who have come to them with a heaven-sent message. Do not any longer pick flaws in them, saying, “They are too positive; they talk too strongly.” They may talk strongly; but is it not needed? God will make the ears of the hearers tingle if they will not heed His voice or His message. He will denounce those who resist the word of God. TM 410.1Read in context »
Importance of Parental Counsel—You have been giving the complexion to your life. How stands your case as registered in heaven's record book? Above everything else seek for those things which make for your peace. Place yourself under influences which will not be deteriorating, destroying the fine sensibility of the soul. Keep your soul unspotted from the world. Let not any familiarity with young men put a blot on your life. You are in danger of giving up Christ, of becoming reckless and unwilling to listen to wise counsel. The counsel of parental affection is lost upon deaf ears. Will you, my sister, think seriously whether you will receive advice from the experienced? Will you be guided by your friends? Will the parental counsel be unheeded? Will you take your case in your own hands? TSB 60.2Read in context »