Matthew 26:24

24 The Son of Man goes 1as it is written of him, but 2woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! 3It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."

Matthew 26:24 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 26:24

The son of man goeth
Meaning himself, not to the Mount of Olives, or Gethsemane, or the garden, whither he went a little after this, but out of the world, to his Father: the phrase is expressive of his death, as in ( Joshua 23:14 ) ( Psalms 39:13 ) , and denotes the voluntariness of it, and which is no ways inconsistent with the divine determinations about it: nor the violence that was offered to him by his enemies.

As it is written;
in the book of God's eternal purposes and decrees; for Luke says, "as it was determined" ( Luke 22:22 ) : or as it was recorded in the books of the Old Testament; in ( Psalms 22:1-31 ) , ( Isaiah 53:1-12 ) and ( Daniel 9:1-27 ) for Christ died for the sins of his people, in perfect agreement with these Scriptures, which were written of him:

but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed;
for God's decrees concerning this matter, and the predictions in the Bible founded on them, did not in the least excuse, or extenuate the blackness of his crime; who did what he did, of his own free will, and wicked heart, voluntarily, and to satisfy his own lusts:

it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
This is a Rabbinical phrase, frequently, used in one form or another; sometimes thus; as it is said F6 of such that speak false and lying words, and regard not the glory of their Creator, (amlel Nwtyy ald) (Nwl bj) , it would have been better for them they had never come into the world; and so of any other, notorious sinner, it is at other times said F7, (yrba ald hyl bj) , or F8, (arbn alv wl xwn) , "it would have been better for him if he had not been created"; signifying, that it is better to have no being at all, than to be punished with everlasting destruction; and which was the dreadful case of Judas, who fell by his transgression, and went to his own place.


F6 Zohar in Gen. fol. 41. 1. Vid. Misn. Chagiga, c. 2. sect. 1. T. Bab Chagiga, fol. 16. 1.
F7 Zohar in Gen. fol, 46. 4. & in Exod. fol. 1. 4. & 36. 3. & 62. 3. & 66. 3. & 105. 4. & 106. 1.
F8 T. Hieros. Sabbat, fol. 3. 2. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 17. 1. & Erubin, fol. 13. 2. Midrash Kobelet, fol. 79. 1.

Matthew 26:24 In-Context

22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"
23 He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.
24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."
25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, "Is it I, Rabbi?" He said to him, "You have said so."
26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

Cross References 3

  • 1. ver. 54, 56; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; Luke 24:25-27, 46; Acts 17:2, 3; Acts 26:22, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 1:10, 11
  • 2. Matthew 18:7
  • 3. John 17:12
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