Matthew 16:1

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, &c Not from Jerusalem, as in Matthew 15:1 but from the neighbouring places: these were Galilean Sadducees and Pharisees, of whom mention is made in the Misna {w};

"says ylylg yqwdu, "a Galilean Sadducee", (i.e. one that was of the land of Galilee, as Bartenora on the place observes,) I complain of you Pharisees, because ye write the name of a ruler with the name of Moses, in a divorce; say the Pharisees, we complain of you Galilean Sadducees, that you write the name of a ruler with the name of God, in the same leaf:''

but though these two sects could not agree in this, and in many other things, yet they could unite against Christ, to whom they bore an implacable hatred.

and tempting, desired him that he would show them a sign from heaven: they came with no sincere view to be taught by him, or learn anything from him; but if they could, to ensnare him, and get an opportunity of exposing him to the people; and therefore pretending dissatisfaction with the miracles he wrought on the earth, they ask of him to produce a sign from heaven, of his coming from thence, of his being the Son of God, and the true Messiah. They wanted some such sign, as the standing still of the sun and moon, in the times of Joshua; and as raining manna, in the times of Moses; or some such appearances of thunder and lightning, as at the giving of the law. The appearance of the rainbow, in a very extraordinary manner, is looked upon by the Jews as a sign of the Messiah's coming {x}.

"Says a certain Jew, when my father departed out of the world, he said thus to me; do not look for the Messiah until thou seest the bow in the world, adorned with light colours, and the world enlightened by it; then look for the Messiah, as it is written, Genesis 9:16.''

Some very unusual and uncommon sight in the heavens, was what these men asked of Christ in proof of his mission from God.

{w} Yadaim, c. 4. sect. 8.
{x} Zohar in Gen. fol. 53. 2.