Therefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
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Cornelius a Lapide
If, therefore, they shall say, &c. Christ here denotes Simon of Gerasa, who collected a multitude of robbers and soldiers in the deserts and mountains, on the pretext that, being Messiah, he would defend the Jews against the Romans. He was admitted into Jerusalem to be a check upon the Zealots, but he acted as tyrannically towards the citizens as the Zealots themselves. (Josh. Bell57.)
In the secret chambers; that Isaiah , the innermost and secret places of the Temple, where God is accustomed to manifest His presence and aid the Jews, that He may now protect them by means of His Messias from the Romans. Christ here signifies Eleazar and John , the leaders of the Zealots, who occupied the inner court of the Temple, on the pretext of defending the city against the Romans , but in reality that they might rule over it and despoil it. So Josephus (de Bell61,4 , and711). He relates that when the Temple was on fire, many Jews fled to the porch without the Temple, because a certain false prophet had said that those who fled to the Temple on that day would be safe under God"s protection. But those all perished—either by the flames or the sword of the Romans.
Luke adds, The days shall come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of Prayer of Manasseh , and shall not see it. That Isaiah , "The time shall come when ye shall desire my Presence which ye have now, both for your consolation in so great tribulation, and for the manifestation and confutation of the errors and heresies which shall arise."