To call them that were bidden (kalesai tou keklhmenou). "Perhaps an unconscious play on the words, lost in both A.V. and Rev., to call the called" (Vincent). It was a Jewish custom to invite a second time the already invited ( Esther 5:8 ; Esther 6:14 ). The prophets of old had given God's invitation to the Jewish people. Now the Baptist and Jesus had given the second invitation that the feast was ready. And they would not come (kai ouk hqelon elqein). This negative imperfect characterizes the stubborn refusal of the Jewish leaders to accept Jesus as God's Son ( John 1:11 ). This is "The Hebrew Tragedy" (Conder).