Matthew 16:1

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and testing him desired that he would show them a sign from heaven.
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And there came unto Him Pharisees, &c. They had previously asked for a sign ( Matthew 12:38). But here again they asked for one because of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. For when they perceived that this miracle was celebrated by the multitudes who had been partakers of the bread, they called it an earthly sign, and insinuated that Christ was a magician, and by the help of the devil (who rules on the earth) had multiplied the loaves, and performed His other miracles. This may be gathered from chapter xii24 ( Matthew 12:24). They ask, therefore, of Christ a sign from Heaven—that God, Who reigns above, would by it give attestation that Christ was sent by Him. And that if He did it, they would believe Christ to be the Messiah. But the Sadducees, who were atheists, thought no sign could be given from Heaven by God, who in their opinion had no existence. Lyra explains otherwise. He is of opinion, that the Jews were given to judicial astrology, and asked a sign of Christ, w...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
The Pharisees and Sadducees. These were widely opposite in their religious sentiments to each other, but closely united in their design of persecuting Jesus Christ, and they come and ask of him a sign or prodigy from heaven, to convince them that he was the Christ, the Messias. (Bible de Vence) The Sadducees deny the immortality of the soul, and affirm that our only obligation is the observance of the law; insomuch, that they prided themselves on their right of disputing the most important points with their teachers. This sect is not numerous, and chiefly composed of men of condition, who, when properly qualified for offices of state, are compelled to conform, at least in appearance, to the principles of the Pharisees; otherwise, they would incur the resentment of the Pharisees. (Josephus, Book xviii. chap. ii.) See also note on ver. 7, chap. iii, above. St. Chrysostom is of opinion he would have granted them any sign they wished, had they been willing to believe; but as their object...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But Mark says, that when they had come unto Him, and were questioning with Him, He sighed deeply in His spirit, and says, Why does this generation seek after a sign? Mark 8:12 And yet surely their inquiry was deserving of anger and great displeasure; yet nevertheless the benevolent and provident One is not angry, but pities and bewails them as incurably diseased, and after so full a demonstration of His power, tempting Him. For not in order to believe did they seek, but to lay hold of Him. Since had they come unto Him as ready to believe, He would have given it. For He who said to the woman, It is not meet, Matthew 15:26 and afterwards gave, much more would He have shown His bounty to these. But since they did not seek to believe, therefore He also calls them hypocrites, because in another place they said one thing, and meant another. Yea, had they believed, they would not even have asked. And from another thing too it is evident that they believed not; that when reproved and ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Their inquiry was rightly deserving of anger and great displeasure. Yet the benevolent and provident one is not angry. He pities them even as they tempt him. He laments them as incurably diseased after so full a demonstration of his power. They did not seek him out in order to believe but to lay hold of him. Had they come with any readiness to believe, he would have given such a sign. For he who said to the woman, “It is not fair,” and afterwards gave, much more would he have shown his bounty to these officials. But since they did not seek to believe, he therefore calls them hypocrites, because in another place they said one thing and meant another. If they had believed, they would not even have asked. It is evident that they did not believe, since when reproved and exposed, they did not remain with him, nor did they admit “We are ignorant and seek to learn.” But for what sign from heaven were they asking? Either that he should stay the sun, or curb the moon, or bring down thunderbolts...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
Although the Pharisees and Sadducees were at odds over their teachings, they conspired together against Christ. They ask for a sign from heaven, such as making the sun or the moon stand still, as they believed that signs on earth were by demonic power and by Beelzebub. But they were mindless not to remember that even Moses in Egypt did many signs on the earth and that the fire from heaven which descended on Job’s flocks was from the devil. So, then, not all things from heaven are of God and neither are all things on the earth of the demons.

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

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