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Matthew 3:3

    Matthew 3:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For this is he that was spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For this is he of whom Isaiah the prophet said, The voice of one crying in the waste land, Make ready the way of the Lord, make his roads straight.

    Webster's Revision

    For this is he that was spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.

    World English Bible

    For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight."

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For this is he that was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.

    Definitions for Matthew 3:3

    Esaias - Before.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 3:3

    The voice of one crying in the wilderness - Or, A voice of a crier in the wilderness. This is quoted from Isaiah 40:3, which clearly proves that John the Baptist was the person of whom the prophet spoke.

    The idea is taken from the practice of eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered upon an expedition, or took a journey through a desert country, sent harbingers before them, to prepare all things for their passage; and pioneers to open the passes, to level the ways, and to remove all impediments. The officers appointed to superintend such preparations were called by the Latins, stratores.

    Diodorus's account of the march of Semiramis into Media and Persia, will give us a clear notion of the preparation of the way for a royal expedition.

    "In her march to Ecbatane, she came to the Zarcean mountain, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without making a great compass about. Being therefore desirous of leaving an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as shortening the way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and the hollows to be filled up; and, at a great expense, she made a shorter and more expeditious road, which, to this day, is called from her, The road of Semiramis. Afterwards she went into Persia, and all the other countries of Asia, subject to her dominion; and, wherever she went, she ordered the mountains and precipices to be leveled, raised causeways in the plain country, and, at a great expense, made the ways passable." Diod. Sic. lib. ii. and Bp. Lowth.

    The Jewish Church was that desert country, to which John was sent, to announce the coming of the Messiah. It was destitute at that time of all religious cultivation, and of the spirit and practice of piety; and John was sent to prepare the way of the Lord, by preaching the doctrine of repentance. The desert is therefore to be considered as affording a proper emblem of the rude state of the Jewish Church, which is the true wilderness meant by the prophet, and in which John was to prepare the way of the promised Messiah. The awful importance of the matter, and the vehemence of the manner of the Baptist's preaching, probably acquired him the character of the crier, Βοων. For the meaning of the word John, see the note on Mark 1:4.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 3:3

    The prophet Esaias - The prophet Isaiah. Esaias is the Greek mode of writing the name. This passage is taken from Isaiah 40:3. It is here said to have been spoken in reference to John, the forerunner of Christ. The language is such as was familiar to the Jews. and such as they would understand. It was spoken at first with reference to the return from the captivity at Babylon. In ancient times, it was customary in the march of armies to send messengers, or pioneers, before them to proclaim their approach; to provide for them; to remove obstructions; to make roads, level hills, fill up valleys, etc. Isaiah, describing the return from Babylon, uses language taken from that custom. A crier, or herald, is introduced. In the vast deserts that lay between Babylon and Judea he is represented as lifting up his voice, and, with authority, commanding a public road to be made for the return of the captive Jews, with the Lord as their deliverer. "Prepare his ways, make them straight," says he. The meaning in Isaiah is, "Let the valleys be exalted, or filled up, and the hills be levelled, and a straight, level highway be prepared, that they may march with ease and safety." See the notes at Isaiah 40:3-4. The custom here referred to is continued in the East at the present time. "When Ibrahim Pasha proposed to visit certain places on Lebanon, the emeers and sheiks sent forth a general proclamation, somewhat in the style of Isaiah's exhortation, to all the inhabitants, to assemble along the proposed route and prepare the way before him. The same was done in 1845, on a grand scale, when the present sultan visited Brousa. The stones were gathered out, the crooked places straightened, and the rough ones made level and smooth." - The Land and the Book, Vol i. pp. 105, 106.

    As applied to John, the passage means that he was sent to remove obstructions, and to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah, like a herald going before an army on the march, to make preparations for its coming.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 3:3

    3:3 The way of the Lord - Of Christ. Make his paths straight - By removing every thing which might prove a hinderance to his gracious appearance. Isaiah 40:3.