Matthew 21:18

18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,

Matthew 21:18 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 21:18

Now in the morning
Greek "in the first", or morning light, in the dawn, or break of day, the first spring of light; so the Latins F19 use "prima luce" for early in the morning, as soon as ever day breaks: so early did Christ rise, and return from Bethany to Jerusalem;

and as he returned to the city.
The Persic version renders it, "they returned"; which, though not a good version, gives a true sense; for, as Christ went with the twelve to Bethany, as Mark affirms, so these returned with him, as is clear from what follows. Thus Christ, day after day, went to and from Jerusalem: in the evening he went to Bethany, or to some part of the Mount of Olives, and there abode all night, and returned in the daytime to Jerusalem, and taught in the temple; for it does not appear that he was one night in Jerusalem, before the night of the passover.

He hungered,
rising so early before his friends were up, he had eaten nothing that morning, and so before he had got far from Bethany, found himself hungry; which proves the truth of his human nature, which was in all respects like to ours, excepting sin.


F19 Caesar. Comment. 1. 1. p. 14. & passim. Curtius, 1. 5. c. 5. passim. Apulei Metamorph. 1. 9. p. 134.

Matthew 21:18 In-Context

16 They asked Jesus, “Do you hear what these children are saying?” “Yes,” Jesus replied. “Haven’t you ever read the Scriptures? For they say, ‘You have taught children and infants to give you praise.’ ”
17 Then he returned to Bethany, where he stayed overnight.
18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry,
19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” And immediately the fig tree withered up.
20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”