Matthew 13:17

17 1For truly, I say to you, 2many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:17 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 13:17

For verily I say unto you
This is added for the further confirmation of what is before said, concerning the happiness of the disciples, in seeing and hearing what they did:

that many prophets, and righteous men;
Luke says, ( Luke 10:24 ) "kings"

have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen
them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard
To see Christ in the flesh, and have a clearer insight into the knowledge of the mysteries of grace, were things very desirable to men of the highest class in church and state, and of the best characters, such as Abraham, ( John 8:56 ) . Jacob, ( Genesis 49:18 ) . David, ( Psalms 14:7 ) . Solomon, and the church in his time, ( Song of Solomon 8:1 ) . Isaiah, and the saints with him, ( Isaiah 25:9 ) with many others. These indeed had a sight of Christ, but a very distant one; they saw him afar off in the promises and prophecies of him; and not very clearly, but through dark types and cloudy sacrifices; whereas the disciples saw him in person, heard him preach, took in the evidence of his miracles, and felt the power of his doctrines, and spiritually and savingly understood them. A way of speaking, somewhat like this, stands in the Talmud F16;

``Many have watched to expound in Mercavah (the beginning of Ezekiel's prophecy), (Mhymym htwa war alw) , "and have not seen it all their days".''


F16 T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 24. 2.

Matthew 13:17 In-Context

15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower:
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.

Cross References 2

  • 1. [See ver. 16 above]
  • 2. Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:10-12; [John 8:56]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.