Matthew 16:4

A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah. And he left them, and departed.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
De Cons. Ev., ii, 51: Mark says Dalmanutha; no doubt the same place under adifferent name; for many copies of the Gospel according to Mark have Magedan. This Matthew has already given; whence we may store up for our information, that the Lord spoke the same things many times, that where there are contradictions which cannot be explained, it may be understood that the same sayings were uttered on two different occasions.
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Chromatius of Aquileia

AD 407
Just as that whale was not able to digest Jonah nor was able to keep him alive inside himself for long, so too voracious Death assuredly received the Lord. But since he was not able to keep him alive and in custody inside himself, Death regurgitated him on the third day, just as the whale had regurgitated Jonah. For Death, though accustomed always to eat and digest the dead, was nauseated and vomited out the Lord alive. Truly he was not able to digest him, for he was a rock—as the apostle says: “Moreover, Christ was a rock.” And indeed the whale gulped and expelled only Jonah. But Death in ingesting the Lord cast out not that very one alone but many with him. For we read that many corpses of the holy had risen up with the Lord.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
You know then how to discern the face of the sky Jesus Christ does not condemn every observation made upon the weather, from external appearances in the heavens. He only upbraids the Jews for so closely examining these signs, and neglecting at the same time to notice the many signs and predictions which so plainly manifested him to be the promised Messias. (Denis the Carthusian) The reasoning of Jesus Christ is this: you know how to judge of the weather from observation, and cannot you then know the certain signs so often promised, and now completed in my coming? The signs of this event were, the taking away the sceptre from the tribe of Juda. (Genesis xxxix. 10.) The completion of the 70 weeks of years of Daniel ix. 25, amounting to 490 years, which were now on the eve of being completed. The miracles of Jesus Christ, as the curing of the blind, the lame, the deaf and dumb, foretold by Isaias xxxv. 5. and lxi. 1. To which may be added the apparition of angels to the shepherds at Beth...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Otherwise; “The sky is red and lowring;” that is, the Apostles suffer after the resurrection, by which ye may know that I shall judge hereafter; for if I spare not the good who are mine from present suffering, I shall not spare others hereafter; “Ye can therefore discern the face of the sky, but the signs of the times ye cannot.”. interlin.: He says, “Evil and adulterous generation,” that is, unbelieving, having carnal, and not spiritual understanding.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Observe, we do not read here as in other places, that He sent the multitudes away and departed; but because the error of unbelief held the minds of the presumptuous, it is said that He left them.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
But he descended from the sky and established for these an earthly sign that he might preserve among them a conviction of bodily humility, saying that the sign was to be given by Jonah. The Lord compares himself by means of like appearance with this one whom he had dispatched to Nineveh to accomplish the coming suffering for the proclamation of repentance. Indeed, Jonah was thrown from the ship by furiously raging winds and was devoured by the whale. After the space of three days he was cast out alive, not retained by the monster. He was not digested as food, but contrary to the nature of the human body, he escaped whole and unharmed into the open air. He prefigured the Lord. Therefore Jesus demonstrated that this sign of his own power had been divinely constituted, thus proclaiming in himself the forgiveness of sins through repentance. For he was soon to be cast out of Jerusalem and the synagogue by the blast of unclean spirits and by the power of Pontius Pilate.


AD 420
This is not found in most copies of the Greek text . But the sense is clear, that fair and rainy days may be foretold by the condition and harmony of the elements. But the Scribes and Pharisees who seemed to be doctors of the Law could not discern the Saviour’s coming by the predictions of the Prophets. That is, leaving the evil generation of the Jews, He passed over the strait, and the people of the Gentiles followed Him.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
But see their hardened heart, how on being told, that no sign should be given them but the sign of the prophet Jonas, they do not ask. And yet, knowing both the prophet, and all that befell him, and having been told this a second time, they ought to have inquired and learned what the saying could mean; but, as I said, there is no desire of information in these their doings. For this cause He also left them, and departed.
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
As then in the sky there is one sign of fair weather, and another of rain, soought ye to think concerning me; now, in this My first coming, there is need of these signs which are done in the earth; but those which are done in heaven are reserved for the time of the second coming. Now I come as a physician, then as a judge; now I come in secret, then with much pomp, when the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. But now is not the time of these signs, now have Icome to die, and to suffer humiliations; as it follows, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign he given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.”. And when the Pharisees heard this, they ought to have asked Him, What it was Hemeant? But they had not asked at first with any desire of learning, and therefore the Lord leaves them, as it follows, “And he left them, and went his way.”

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
This Magedan is the country opposite Gerasa, and is interpreted ‘fruits,’ or ‘amessenger.’ It signifies a garden, of which it is said, “A garden enclosed, afountain sealed,” wherein the fruits of virtues grow, andwhere the name of the Lord is announced. It teaches us that preachers having ministered the word to the multitude ought to be refreshed themselves with the fruits of the virtues within the chamber of their own heart. It follows; “And there come unto him Pharisees and Sadducees tempting him, and desired him to show them a sign from heaven.”. “The signs of the times” He means of His own coming, or passion, to which the evening redness of the heavens may be likened; and the tribulation which shall be before His coming, to which the morning redness with the lowring sky may be compared. To this generation that thus tempted the Lord is not given a sign from heaven, such as they sought for, though many signs are given on the earth; but only to the generation of such as sought the Lo...

Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
Wondrous blindness of the Pharisees and Sadducees! They asked a sign from heaven, as though the things they now saw were not signs. John shows what signit was they desired; for he relates, that after the feeding with the five loaves, the multitudes came to the Lord and said, “What sign doest thou, that we may see it and believe on thee? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, asit is written, He gave them bread to eat from heaven.” Therefore when they say here, Shew us asign from heaven, they mean, Cause that it rain manna for one or two days, that the whole people may eat, as was done for a long time in the desert. He looking into their thoughts as God, and knowing that even if a sign from heaven should be showed them they would not believe, would not give them the sign for which they asked, as it follows, “But he answered and said unto them, When the evening is come, ye say, It will be fair weather; for the sky is red”

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
He reproves them for their request, the purpose of which was only to test, and He calls them hypocrites, saying, "As it is with the phenomena of the sky where the sign of a storm differs from the sign of calm weather, and one who sees the sign of a storm would not expect calm weather, nor would one seeing the sign of calm weather expect a storm, so too must you think about Me. For this time of My appearing differs from that which is to come. Now there is need for signs on earth, but signs in heaven are reserved for that time when the sun will be extinguished, the moon will be hidden, and the heavens will be changed." . He calls them "a wicked generation" for tempting Him, and "adulterous" for deserting God and going over to the devil’s side. Although they asked for a sign from heaven, He gives only the sign of Jonah, which is, that for three days He will be in the belly of the great whale of death, and then He will rise. Yet you might say that this sign too is from heaven, for at His...

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

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