Matthew 21:38

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’

Read Matthew 21:38 Using Other Translations

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.'
“But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’

What does Matthew 21:38 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Matthew 21:38

But when the husbandmen saw the son
Whom many of them knew, though some did not: some were entirely ignorant of him; some knew him, but durst not confess him, yet were not injurious to him; others acted against light and conscience, with spite and malice, as did these men. They expected the Messiah about this time; they knew, by prophecy, it could not be long ere he appeared: when they saw Jesus of Nazareth, they knew by various circumstances, by all the characters of the Messiah meeting in him, and by his miracles, that he must be the same.

They said among themselves;
privately, not openly to the people,

this is the heir;
as indeed he is of all things, as the Son of God, and as the mediator of the new covenant: he is heir of all that his Father has, as he is his natural, essential, and only begotten Son; and as mediator, he is heir of all things, natural, spiritual, and eternal, for the use and benefit of his church and people, who are also his portion and inheritance: but here it seems to denote, his being heir to the throne of Israel, the government of the Jewish nation, as he was the son of David; and the Jews confess F25, that because it was said that Jesus of Nazareth was (twklml bwrq) , "near to the kingdom", therefore they put him to death:

come let us kill him, and seize on his inheritance:
concluding, that could they be rid of him, their nation would be in peace, their temple would stand, and temple worship and service continue, and they remain in their office and authority undisturbed; the contrary of which they feared, should he be suffered to live; though what they feared from his life, befell them upon, and in consequence of his death, quite beyond all their counsels and expectations.


F25 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1.
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