Fill ye up then; Arab. ye fill up, &c. That Isaiah , by killing Me and the Apostles, as your fathers killed the Prophets. These words of Christ are not a command, but a prediction. It is as though He said, "I do not command, but I permit and foretell that you, 0 ye Scribes, by killing Me, will fill up the measure of your fathers, who slew the Prophets; and when this measure has been filled up, God will, at one and the same time, avenge both your own and your fathers" crimes, by the extreme destruction which He will bring upon Jerusalem by Titus and Vespasian."
From this and the35th and36th verses Theologians teach that God has decreed to kingdoms and states and individuals a certain measure of sins, before He fully and perfectly punishes them. But by and by, when they have been completed, then He punishes all at the same time most fully. Thus Christ looked for the killing of Himself and His Apostles before Jerusalem was overthrown. Song of Solomon , also, God said to Abraham ( Genesis...
Jesus Christ does not here persuade the Jews to continue on in their wicked ways, as if praising and sanctioning their conduct; but only predicts his own death, which they were about to compass, and which crime would greatly exceed that of their fathers: as he was the greatest, and even the Lord of all the other prophets, whom their fathers had put to death. (Denis the Carthusian)
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,...