11 ¶ And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
11 Verse 11. When the king came] When God shall come to judge the
Wedding garment] Among the orientals, long white robes were
worn at public festivals; and those who appeared on such occasions
with any other garments were esteemed, not only highly culpable,
but worthy of punishment. Our Lord seems here to allude to
Zep 1:7, 8,
The Lord hath prepared a SACRIFICE, he hath BIDDEN his guests.
And it shall come to pass, in the day of the Lord's sacrifice,
that I will PUNISH the princes, and the KING'S CHILDREN, and ALL
SUCH as are clothed with STRANGE APPAREL. The person who invited
the guests prepared such a garment for each, for the time being;
and with which he was furnished on his application to the ruler of
the feast. It was this which made the conduct of the person
mentioned in the text inexcusable; he might have had a proper
marriage garment, if he had applied for it.
To afford accidental guests clothing suitable to a marriage
feast, was a custom among the ancient Greeks. Homer relates that
Telemachus, and the son of Nestor, arriving at Lacedaemon when
Menelaus was making a marriage feast for his son and daughter,
were accommodated with garments suited to the occasion, after
having been bathed and anointed.
Among the Asiatics, garments called caftans, great numbers of
which each nobleman has ordinarily ready in his wardrobe, are
given to persons whom he wishes to honour: to refuse to accept or
wear such a dress would be deemed the highest insult.
This marriage feast or dinner (the communication of the graces
of the Gospel in this life) prepares for the marriage supper of
the Lamb, Re 19:7-9, the enjoyment of eternal blessedness in the
kingdom of glory. Now, as without holiness no man can see the
Lord, we may at once perceive what our Lord means by the marriage
garment-it is HOLINESS of heart and life: the text last quoted
asserts that the fine, white, and clean linen (alluding to the
marriage garment above mentioned) was an emblem of the
RIGHTEOUSNESS of the SAINTS. Mark this expression: the
righteousness, the whole external conduct; regulated according to
the will and word of God. Of the SAINTS, the holy persons, whose
souls were purified by the blood of the Lamb.