All Commentaries on Matthew 23:32 Go To Matthew 23
Then, because He was searching their temper of mind, which is to the more part obscure, He does, from those things also which they were about to perpetrate, which would be manifest to all, establish His words.
Fill ye up therefore the measure of your fathers, Matthew 23:32 not commanding, but declaring beforehand, what was to be, that is, His own murder.
Therefore, having brought in their refutation, and having shown that they were pretenses which they said in their own defense, as, for instance, We would not have been partakers with them, (for they who refrain not from the Lord, how should they have refrained from the servants), He makes after this His language more condemnatory, calling them serpents, and generation of vipers, and saying, How shall you escape the damnation of hell, at once perpetrating such things, and denying them, and dissembling your purpose?
Then rebuking them more exceedingly from another cause also, He says, I will send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes, and some of them shall you kill and crucify, and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues. For that they should not say, Though we crucified the Lord, yet from the servants we should have refrained, if we had been then; Behold, He says, I send servants also to you, prophets likewise themselves, and neither will you spare them. But these things He says, showing that it was nothing strange, that He should be murdered by those sons, being both murderous and deceitful, and having much guile, and surpassing their fathers in their outrages.
And besides what has been said, He shows them to be also exceedingly vainglorious. For when they say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with them, they spoke out of vainglory, and were practising virtue in words only, but in their works doing the contrary.
You serpents, you generation of vipers, that is, wicked sons of wicked men, and more wicked than those who begot them. For He shows that they are committing greater crimes, both by their committing them after those others, and by their doing much more grievous things than they, and this, while positively affirming that they never would have fallen into the same. For they add that which is both the end and the crown of their evil deeds. For the others slew them that came to the vineyard, but these, both the son, and them that were bidding them to the wedding.
But these things He says, to separate them off from the affinity to Abraham, and to show that they had no advantage from thence, unless they followed his works; wherefore also He adds, How can you flee from the damnation of hell, when following them that have committed such acts?