And said unto him, hearest thou what these say?
&c.] Suggesting, that if he did, he ought to reprove them, or else he would be a very vain, as well as a weak man, to take such things to himself, which did not belong to him, and that from such poor, little, silly creatures, so void of knowledge and understanding:
and Jesus said unto them, yea:
signifying he did hear, and well approved of what they said, and was ready to vindicate it; and did, by putting the following question to them,
have ye never read;
that passage of Scripture in ( Psalms 8:2 )
out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected
in the original text it is, "thou hast ordained", or "founded strength"; and which is rendered by the Septuagint, as it is by Matthew here; and glory and strength are mentioned together, as being to be given to God, ( Psalms 29:1 ) and so "strength" and "praise" by the Targumist in ( Isaiah 13:3 ) by which is meant strong glory, or glory and praise expressed with a strong voice, or in a very vehement manner, as it was by these babes and sucklings; and this owing to God's disposing them hereunto, putting it into their mouths, and strengthening them to declare it in a very strong and powerful manner; so that his strength was made perfect in their weakness, and his praise the more glorious. In the Psalm it is added, "because of thine enemies, that thou might still the enemy, and the avenger": by whom are meant the high priests, the Scribes and Pharisees, the mortal enemies of Christ, who were full of enmity against him, and wanted to revenge themselves on him for spoiling their market at this time; but were stilled by the "Hosannas" of the children, and Christ's defence of them. The Jews themselves seem to be conscious, that these words relate to the Messiah; for they say F12, that
``babes and sucklings, (apqwt Nybhy) , shall give strength to the king Messiah''manifestly referring to this passage.
F12 Zohar in Exod. fol. 4. 2.