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Matthew 3:3

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm.: Unless one repent him of his former life, he cannot begin a new life.
< 1 min1/12

Bede

AD 735
Gloss. ord. in cap. iv. 1: In like manner has He cried from the beginning through the voice of all who have spoken aught by inspiration. And yet is John only called, “The voice;” because the Word which others shewedafter off, he declares as nigh.
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Isaias spoke these words of the deliverance of the Jews from Babylon; but this was a figure of the freedom of mankind through Jesus Christ. The Jews expected Elias would come in person to prepare the ways of the Messias; but John the Baptist was raised up by God in the spirit and power of Elias, to precede the first coming of Jesus Christ, as Elias in person was to precede the second coming of this divine Saviour. (Bible de Vence) ...
< 1 min3/12

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap. Anselm: The desert typically means a life removed from the temptations of the world, such as befits the penitent. ord.: “The Kingdom of Heaven” shall come nigh you; for if it approached not, none would be able to gain it; for weak and blind they had not the way, which was Christ. John then is, as it were, the voice of the word crying. The word is heard bythe voice, that is, Christ by John. interlin.: Or, faith is the way by which the word reaches the heart; when the life is amended the paths are made straight. ...
< 1 min4/12

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
Hom. in Ev., i. 7: It is well known that the Only-begotten Son is called the Word of the Father; as in John, “In the beginning was the Word.” But itis by our own speech that we are known; the voice sounds that the words may beheard. Thus John the forerunner of the Lord’s coming is called, “The voice, "because by his ministry the voice of the Father is heard by men. Hom. in Ev., i. 7. 2: “Crying in the desert,” because he shows to deserted and forlorn Judaea the approaching consolation of her Redeemer. Hom. in Ev. i. 20. 3: Every one who preacheth right faith and good works, prepares the Lord’s way to the hearts of the hearers, and makes His paths straight, in cleansing the thoughts by the word of good preaching. ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Or, he came to Judaea, desert by the absence of God, not of population, that the place of preaching might witness the few to whom the preaching was sent.
< 1 min6/12

Jerome

AD 420
In Isa 40. 3: consider how the salvation of God, and the glory of the Lord, is preached not in Jerusalem, but in the solitude of the Church, in the wilderness to multitudes. John Baptist is the first to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, that the forerunner of the Lord may have this honourable privilege. ...
< 1 min7/12

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The Sun as he approaches the horizon, and before he is yet visible, sends outhis rays and makes the eastern sky to glow with light, that Aurora going before may herald the coming day. Thus the Lord at His birth in this earth, and before He shows Himself, enlightens John by the rays of His Spirit’s teaching, that hemight go before and announce the Saviour that was to come. Therefore after having related the birth of Christ, before proceeding to His teaching and baptism, (wherein he received such testimony,) he first premises somewhat of the Baptist and forerunner of the Lord. "In those days”. But why must John thus go before Christ with a witness of deeds preaching Him? First; that we might hence learn Christ’s dignity, that He also, as the Father has, has prophets, in the words of Zacharias, “And thou, Child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest.” . In the very commencement he shows himself the messenger of a merciful Prince; he comes not with threats to the offender, but with of...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Thus the prophet says that he shall come saying, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Isaiah 40:3 And he himself when he had come said, Bring forth fruits meet for repentance, Matthew 3:8 which corresponds with, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Do you see that both by the words of the prophet, and by his own preaching, this one thing is manifested alone; that he had come, making a way and preparing beforehand, not bestowing the gift, which was the remission, but ordering in good time the souls of such as should receive the God of all? But Luke expresses somewhat further: not repeating the exordium, and so passing on, but setting down likewise all the prophecy. For every valley, says he, shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:5-6 Do you perceive how the prophet has anticipated all by his words; the concourse of the peop...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
For because Christ was to preach, as soon as it seemed the fit time, that is, about thirty years of age, he began by his preaching to make ready the way forthe Lord. He is rightly called, “The voice of one crying,” on account of the loud sound of his preaching. Three things cause a man to speak loud; when the person he speaks to is at a distance, or is deaf, or if the speaker be angry; and all these three were then found in the human race. ...
< 1 min10/12

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
In these words we have not only time, place, and person, respecting St. John, but also his office and employment. First the time, generally; “In those days.”. The man is mentioned in the words “came John,” that is, showed himself, having abodeso long in obscurity. ap. Anselm: His office; “the Baptist;” in this he prepared the way of the Lord, for had not men been used to be baptized, they would have shunned Christ’sbaptism.His employment; “Preaching.”. The place; “the desert of Judaea.”Maximus, Hom. in Joan. Bap. nat. 1: Where neithera noisy mob would interrupt his preaching, and whither no unbelieving hearer would retire; but those only would hear, who sought to his preaching from motives of divine worship. “The Kingdom of Heaven” has a fourfold meaning. It is said, of Christ, as “The Kingdom of God is within you.” And all these significations may be here understood. Though as far as historical fact is concerned, he chose the desert, to be removed from the crowds of people. What the p...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
(Is. 40:3). "The way," that is, the highway, means the Gospel. The "paths" are the ordinances of the law, which are well-trodden and ancient. He is saying, therefore, "Prepare yourselves for the evangelic life, the life that is lived according to the Gospel, and make the commandments of the law straight, that is, make them spiritual." For the Spirit is straight and right. So then, when you see a Jew who understands the content of the law in a fleshly manner, you may say, "This man has not made straight the paths," that is, he does not understand the law spiritually. ...

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

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