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Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

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      7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them--astonished at such a spectacle.
      O generation of vipers--"Viper brood," expressing the deadly influence of both sects alike upon the community. Mutually and entirely antagonistic as were their religious principles and spirit, the stern prophet charges both alike with being the poisoners of the nation's religious principles. In Mt 12:34; 23:33, this strong language of the Baptist is anew applied by the faithful and true Witness to the Pharisees specifically--the only party that had zeal enough actively to diffuse this poison.
      who hath warned you--given you the hint, as the idea is.
      to flee from the wrath to come?--"What can have brought you hither?" John more than suspected it was not so much their own spiritual anxieties as the popularity of his movement that had drawn them thither. What an expression is this, "The wrath to come!" God's "wrath," in Scripture, is His righteous displeasure against sin, and consequently against all in whose skirts sin is found, arising out of the essential and eternal opposition of His nature to all moral evil. This is called "the coming wrath," not as being wholly future--for as a merited sentence it lies on the sinner already, and its effects, both inward and outward, are to some extent experienced even now--but because the impenitent sinner will not, until "the judgment of the great day," be concluded under it, will not have sentence publicly and irrevocably passed upon him, will not have it discharged upon him and experience its effects without mixture and without hope. In this view of it, it is a wrath wholly to come, as is implied in the noticeably different form of the expression employed by the apostle in 1Th 1:10. Not that even true penitents came to John's baptism with all these views of "the wrath to come." But what he says is that this was the real import of the step itself. In this view of it, how striking is the word he employs to express that step--fleeing from it--as of one who, beholding a tide of fiery wrath rolling rapidly towards him, sees in instant flight his only escape!

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

Where In Scripture Does It Talk About Hypocrisy?

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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.

Outline
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)

Summary
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
Preaching
The Wilderness Of Judaea
Repent
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
Preaching
Camel's Hair
Leather Girdle
Locusts
Wild Honey
Confessing Sins
Vipers
Fruits
Stones
Axe
Purge His Floor
Gather His Wheat
Shoes
Dove

Ancient People
John the Baptist
Isaiah
Pharisees
Sadducees
Abraham
Jesus
The Holy Spirit
The Father
 

Geography
Wilderness Of Judaea
Kingdom Of Heaven
Jerusalem
Judea
The Jordan
Galilee
Heaven

Maps
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