Matthew 3:1

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
In those days, &c. This was in the fifteenth year of Tiberius, as S. Luke says, when John and Christ were about thirty years of age. Matthew passes at once from the childhood of Christ to His age of manhood, when He commenced His actual work of preaching and redemption, for which He had been sent by the Father into the world. He sent John before Him to announce to the Jews that He was the Messiah, lest, if Christ should appear in Juda abruptly, without one to point out who He was, or a witness worthy of credit, He should be despised of all. Christ lived in obscurity, and exercised a workman"s craft with his father Joseph for nineteen years, to give to the world a memorable example of humility. He began to preach in his thirtieth year, that He might conform Himself to the customs and laws of the Jews. Amongst them it was not lawful for any one to execute the office of a doctor or a priest before his thirtieth year. Such is the Hebrew tradition, and the same thing may be gathered from 1...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
"In those days "i.e. at the time of Jesus Christ, whose history this book contains. This expression does not always mean that what is going to be narrated, happened immediately after that which precedes. (Bible de Vence) 'Tis a way of speaking used by the Hebrews, even when there is no connection of time, as here are passed over 30 years of Christ's life. John the Baptist was so called from his baptizing the people in water. The Jews took this for some token of their Messias: for they said to him, (John i. 25,) why dost thou baptize if thou art not the Christ? In the desert, not in the house of his Father Zacharias, as some pretend, but in a true wilderness, as appears by the circumstances of his food, apparel (Witham) The Baptist was about 30 years of age. He, as well as our Lord, in conformity with the Jewish law, did not enter upon his public ministry before that age. (Haydock) ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
How in those days? For not then, surely, when He was a child, and came to Nazareth, but thirty years after, John comes; as Luke also testifies. How then is it said, in those days? The Scripture is always wont to use this manner of speech, not only when it is mentioning what occurs in the time immediately after, but also of things which are to come to pass many years later. Thus also, for example, when His disciples came unto Him as He sat on the Mount of Olives, and sought to learn about His coming, and the taking of Jerusalem: Matthew 24:3 and yet ye know how great is the interval between those several periods. I mean, that having spoken of the subversion of the mother city, and completed His discourse on that subject, and being about to pass to that on the consummation, he inserted, Then shall these things also come to pass; Matthew 24:23 not bringing together the times by the word then, but indicating that time only in which these things were to happen. And this sort of thing he do...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Not when the Lord was a child and was living in Nazareth, but rather the evangelist makes this simple statement, "at that time, before the present generation." John was sent by God to reprove the Jews and to persuade them to come to a consciousness of their own sins and so to accept the Christ. For if one is not conscious of his sins, he cannot come to repentance. This is why John was sent. ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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