Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Matthew 3:10 "And the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

< Matthew 3:9
Matthew 3:11 >

      10. And now also--And even already.
      the axe is laid unto--"lieth at."
      the root of the trees--as it were ready to strike: an expressive figure of impending judgment, only to be averted in the way next described.
      therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire--Language so personal and individual as this can scarcely be understood of any national judgment like the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, with the breaking up of the Jewish polity and the extrusion of the chosen people from their peculiar privileges which followed it; though this would serve as the dark shadow, cast before, of a more terrible retribution to come. The "fire," which in another verse is called "unquenchable," can be no other than that future "torment" of the impenitent whose "smoke ascendeth up for ever and ever," and which by the Judge Himself is styled "everlasting punishment" (Mt 25:46). What a strength, too, of just indignation is in that word "cast" or "flung into the fire!"

      The third Gospel here adds the following important particulars in Lu 3:10-16.

Lu 3:10:
      And the people--the multitudes.
      asked him, saying, What shall we do then?--that is, to show the sincerity of our repentance.

Lu 3:11:
      He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat--provisions, victuals.
      let him do likewise--This is directed against the reigning avarice and selfishness. (Compare the corresponding precepts of the Sermon on the Mount, Mt 5:40-42).

Lu 3:12:
      Then came also the publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master--Teacher.
      what shall we do?--In what special way is the genuineness of our repentance to be manifested?

Lu 3:13:
      And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you--This is directed against that extortion which made the publicans a byword. (See on Mt 5:46; Lu 15:1).

Lu 3:14:
      And the soldiers--rather, "And soldiers"--the word means "soldiers on active duty."
      likewise demanded--asked.
      of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man--Intimidate. The word signifies to "shake thoroughly," and refers probably to the extorting of money or other property.
      neither accuse any falsely--by acting as informers vexatiously on frivolous or false pretexts.
      and be content with your wages--or "rations." We may take this, say WEBSTER and WILKINSON, as a warning against mutiny, which the officers attempted to suppress by largesses and donations. And thus the "fruits" which would evidence their repentance were just resistance to the reigning sins--particularly of the class to which the penitent belonged--and the manifestation of an opposite spirit.

Lu 3:15:
      And as the people were in expectation--in a state of excitement, looking for something new
      and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not--rather, "whether he himself might be the Christ." The structure of this clause implies that they could hardly think it, but yet could not help asking themselves whether it might not be; showing both how successful he had been in awakening the expectation of Messiah's immediate appearing, and the high estimation and even reverence, which his own character commanded.

Lu 3:16:
      John answered--either to that deputation from Jerusalem, of which we read in Joh 1:19, &c., or on some other occasion, to remove impressions derogatory to his blessed Master, which he knew to be taking hold of the popular mind.
      saying unto them all--in solemn protestation.

      (We now return to the first Gospel.)


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Unfaithfulness?

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Unfruitfulness?

Where in scripture does it mention the punishment of the Wicked?

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Matthew 3 Images and Notes

Brief Summary: John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Jesus is baptized, and John sees the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and he hears a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew Chapter 3

Matthew 3:16-17 - And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The preaching of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-6)
John reproves the Pharisees and Sadducees
(Matthew 3:7-12)
The baptism of Jesus
(Matthew 3:13-17)

1 The King's Herald
13 The King's baptism

Jesus is Baptized
Painting of Jesus being baptized by John the baptist by Dore.
Jesus is baptized, the dove descends, he hears the Father's voice

Topics for Bible Study
In Those Days Came
John The Baptist
The Wilderness Of Judaea
The Kingdom Of Heaven Is At Hand
This Is He
Spoken Of By The Prophet Isaiah
The Voice Of One Crying In The Wilderness
Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord
Make His Paths Straight
John Had His Raiment Of Camel's Hair
Leather Girdle About His Loins
His Meat Was Locusts And Wild Honey
Then Went Out To Him Jerusalem
All Judea
All The Region Round About Jordan
Baptized Of Him In Jordan
Confessing Their Sins
Pharisees And Sadducees
Generation Of Vipers
Who Hath Warned You To Flee From The Wrath To Come
Bring Fruits Meet For Repentance
Do Not Think We Have Abraham To [Our] Father
God Is Able Of These Stones To Raise Up Children Unto Abraham
Axe Is Laid Unto The Root Of The Trees
Every Tree Which Bringeth Not Forth Good Fruit Is Hewn Down
Cast Into The Fire
Baptize You With Water Unto Repentance
He That Cometh After Me Is Mightier Than I
Whose Shoes I Am Not Worthy To Bear
He Shall Baptize You With The Holy Ghost
He Shall Baptize You With Fire
Fan [Is] In His Hand
He Will Throughly Purge His Floor
Gather His Wheat Into The Garner
He Will Burn Up The Chaff With Unquenchable Fire
Then Cometh Jesus From Galilee To Jordan Unto John
To Be Baptized Of Him
John Forbad Him
I Have Need To Be Baptized Of Thee, And Comest Thou To Me
Suffer [It To Be So] Now
Thus It Becometh Us To Fulfil All Righteousness
Jesus, When He Was Baptized, Went Up Straightway Out Of The Water
The Heavens Were Opened Unto Him
He Saw The Spirit Of God Descending Like A Dove
And Lighting Upon Him
A Voice From Heaven, Saying
This Is My Beloved Son, In Whom I Am Well Pleased

Dove Descending
Painting of a dove descending out of Heaven
Painting of a dove descending out of Heaven

Historical Background
John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, Jesus is baptized, and John sees the Holy Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and he hears a voice from heaven saying this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Ancient Customs
Camel's Hair
Leather Girdle
Wild Honey
Confessing Sins
Purge His Floor
Gather His Wheat

Ancient People
John the Baptist
The Holy Spirit
The Father

Wilderness Of Judaea
Kingdom Of Heaven
The Jordan

Map of Ancient Israel - The Jordan River

Jesus Written in Hebrew
Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Matthew Resources

Map of Ancient Israel - The Jordan River