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Verse 11

Matthew 22:11. And when the king came in to see the guests The members of the visible church; he saw there a man which had not on a wedding- garment To explain this, it must be observed, it was usual in the eastern countries to present the guests at marriages, and other solemnities, with garments wherein they were to appear, and the number of them was esteemed an evidence of the wealth and magnificence of the giver. This king, therefore, having invited so many from the lanes, and hedges, and highways, who could never have provided themselves with proper raiment in which to make their appearance at this marriage-feast, according to the custom of the country, must be supposed to have ordered each, on his applying to the ruler of the feast, to be presented with a proper garment, that they might all be clothed in a manner becoming the magnificence of the solemnity. But this man either neglected to apply, or refused to accept and put on, the garment offered him, which was the circumstance that rendered his conduct inexcusable. “That persons making an entertainment sometimes furnished the habits in which the guests should appear, is evident from what Homer ( Odyss., lib. 8. ver. 402) says of Ulysses, being thus furnished by the Phæacians.” See also Odyss., lib. 4. ver. 47-51, where Homer tells us, that Telemachus and Pisistratus, happening to arrive at Menelaus’s house in Lacedæmon, while he was solemnizing the nuptials of his son and daughter, the maids of the house washed the strangers, anointed them, dressed them, and set them down by their master at table. “It is manifest also, from the account which Diodorus gives of the great hospitality of Gellias the Sicilian, who readily received all strangers, and at once supplied five hundred horsemen with clothes, who, by a violent storm, were driven to take shelter with him; (Diod. Sic., lib. 13., p. 375, edit. Steph.) Now it was usual, more especially at marriage-feasts, for persons to appear in a sumptuous dress, adorned, as some writers tell us, with florid embroidery, (see Dr. Hammond,) though many times white garments seem to have been used on such occasions: (compare Revelation 19:8-9.) We must therefore conclude, not only from the magnificence of the preparations, to which we must suppose the wardrobe of the prince corresponded, but likewise from the following circumstance of resentment against this guest, that a robe was offered but refused by him. And this is a circumstance, which, as Calvin observes, is admirably suited to the method of God’s dealing with us; who indeed requires holiness in order to our receiving the benefits of the gospel; but is graciously pleased to work it in us by his Holy Spirit; and therefore may justly resent and punish our neglect of so great a favour.” Doddridge.

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