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Verses 16-21

Matthew 12:16-21 . And charged them that they should not make him known Partly that he might avoid the envy and rage of his persecutors, and partly because the time was not yet come for him to declare himself openly to be the Messiah. That it might be fulfilled, &c. Here the evangelist assigns another reason why the Lord Jesus prosecuted his ministry in this humble, meek, quiet, and unostentatious way: it was, that he might fulfil Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah 42:1-4, in which it was foretold that he should conduct himself in this manner. It must be observed, that the passage here referred to is not quoted exactly according to the Hebrew original, the evangelist contenting himself with giving us the substance of it in a contracted form: nor is it quoted according to the version of the LXX., who have given but a very indifferent interpretation of it. He shall show judgment The word κρισις , judgment, here used by Matthew, answers to משּׁפט , in the prophet, a word which, in the Old Testament, is often put for the laws of God in general. And by Christ’s showing judgment to the Gentiles, is evidently meant his declaring the laws of religion, the eternal rules of righteousness, or the will of his heavenly Father, not only to the single nation of the Jews, but also, and especially, to the Gentile nation. He shall not strive, nor cry, &c. He shall not be contentious, noisy, or ostentatious; but gentle, quiet, and lowly. A bruised reed shall he not break Such as are convinced of their sinfulness and guilt, and bruised under the weight thereof. Smoking flax shall he not quench The least good desire, the faintest spark of grace. He alludes to the wick of a lamp when it is first beginning to kindle, and is put out by any little motion. Till he send forth judgment unto victory Till he make righteousness completely victorious over all its enemies. And in his name, that is, in him, shall the Gentiles trust, for salvation, present and eternal. See notes on Isaiah 42:1; where the original passage is explained at large.

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