« PreviousContinue »
118. Luke xii. 28. Grass which is to day in the field.
on page 89.
Luke xii. 31. And all these things shall be added. See 1 Kings iii. 5--13.
Luke xii. 35. Let your loins be girded about. The garments among the Easterns were flowing and loose. They who travel on foot are obliged to fasten their garments at a greater height from their feet than they do at other times. This is what is understood by girding up their loins. Chardin observes that all persons that travel on foot always gather up their vest, by which they walk more commodiously, having the leg and knee unburthened and disembarrassed by the vest, which is not the case, when it hangs over them. After this manner he supposes the Israelites were prepared for their going out of Egypt, when they eat the first passover.
Exod. xii. ii.- -Harmer 120. Luke xii. 54. A cloud rise out of the west. Shaw
that the westerly winds in the Holy Lands are still generally attended with rain, but that the easterly winds are usually dry.
Harmer. See 1 Kings xviii. 43, 44.
Luke xii. 55. The south wind blow. Le Brun tells us that there blew, when he was at Kama, a south-east wind, which coming from the desert beyond Jordan, caused a great
heat, and that it continued some days.--Harmer. 121. $ 48. The slaughter of the Galileans, and the destruction
of those on whom the tower of Siloam fell, are retorted by our Saviour on the uncharitable Jews, with this prophetical addition, “ Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” This seems an evident allusion (supported by the parable that follows of the fig-tree) to the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred not long after, in a manner totally similar. A considerable number were slain by the ruins of the walls and towers; the temple was everywhere polluted by the blood of its priests; many, who came from far to attend the passover, fell before their sacrifices; and when Titus took
the city, a multitude of dead bodies lay round the altar. 131. Matt. xiii. 31. Like to a grain of mustard seed, &c. Wil
&. lan thinks this plant the Sinapi Erucoides of Linnæus.
Matt. xiii. 32. Becometh a tree. In the soil and climate of Palestine, the Hebrew authors speak largely of its size. Simon had a mustard tree capable of being ascended by climbing. Another mustard tree had three branches, which furnished a shade for potters to work under. Jerusalem
Talmud Pol. Syn.--Newcome. 135. Matt. viii. 22. Let the dead bury their dead. The sense
conveyed in the text is, Turn not aside to temporal affairs, but leave them to those solely attached to them. --Grotius.
Luke ix. 62. Put his hand to the plough and looking back, Hesiod's rule to the plougher, is that he should not look about on his companions, but make a straight furrow.
Newcome. 136. Matt. viii. 26. A great calm. The wind will sometimes
cease on a sudden; but the sea will not be smooth till some
time after, therefore the miracle was most evident.-Jortin. 137. § 51. The reader on perusing this section must observe a
considerable degree of inconsistency in relation, on comparing the three Evangelists; yet, however striking, on mere in. spection, such incongruities may appear, it is presumed the following remarks will tend to remove the difficulty. Matthew says, The country of the Gergesenes, Mark and Luke, Gadarenes. Gadara, according to Josephus, was the metropolis of Peræa, or of the region beyond Jordan over against Galilee; Gergesa was an adjoining town; hence the district named from either of these included the two cities.
In Matthew mention is made of two Dæmoniacs, in Mark and Luke of one only. Here the maxim of Le Clerc is true, "He who relates many things comprehends the few or minute, whilst he who relates the few only, denies not the relation of the more." A reason for this difference is usual. ly assigned from Augustin, that one of the Dæmoniacs had been a person of greater respectability, and that the country was in greater anxiety respecting him. Farmer and Wetstein are nearly of the same opinion. And supposing this observation in general true, these Dæmoniacs, from natural causes, or a divine impulse, as it is probable they were sometimes God's instruments for the promotion of the gospel, might now unite in seeking relief from Jesus, and yet might live apart at other times. We may collect one reason from the gospels themselves, why Mark and Luke mention only one Dæmoniac; because one only being grateful for this mi. racle, his cure was only recorded by the two Evangelists, who mention this gratitude; and who are more intent on inculcating the moral, than in magnifying our Lord's power. Mark says, the Dæmoniac met him coming out of the tombs, Luke, out of the city. The proper translation is, he was a man of, or belonging to, the city, and is a passage similar in construction with John i. 45 ; and thus one is supplementary to the other to this effect, that He was a man of, or belonging to, the city, and coming out of the tombs, met him.
Newcome, &c. 137. Matt. viii. 28. Out of the tombs. Shaw observes, that
among the Moors, the graves of the principal citizens have cupolas or vaulted chambers, of four or more yards square, built over them; and that they are frequently open, and afford an occasional shelter from the inclemency of the weather.
139. Matt. viii. 31, &c. A punitive miracle may be allowed in
the destruction of swine, the keeping of which by Jews was a breach of the law; and by. Gentiles, within the confines of Palestine, and in the midst of the Jews, å snare to the Jew
ish people and a contempt of their religion.--Newcome. 143. Matt. ix. 15. Children of the bride-chamber.. Great mirth
and cheerfulness accompanied the celebration of nuptials among the Jews. The children of the bride chamber were the friends and acquaintances of the parties, and assisted in
these rejoicings. 144. Matt. ix. 17. Put new wine into old bottles. The vessels
used by the ancients for preserving wine, &c. were made of skins sewed together. Hence the putting of new wine, when approaching to fermentation, into old bottles, would burst them more readily. See Josh. ix. 4 and 13. They are now
used in Spain, and called Borrachas. 145. Matt. ix. 18. My daughter is even now dead. According
to Matthew, Jairus thought his daughter to be actually dead. According to Mark and Luke, she was only at the point of death. Perhaps the father did not know certainly whether she was dead or not; but having heard that Jesus had raised from the dead the son of the widow at Nain, he might have no doubt of his power to raise even his daughter from the dead.--Priestley.
Matt. ix. 18. Come and lay thy hand upon her. This was an ancient ceremony practised by the prophets, which they joined with the prayers they made for any person. See Numb. xxvii. 18. Matt. xix. 13. Jairus desires Jesus to come and pray for his daughter, not doubting, but that, as
, he was a great prophet, God would hear his requests. See
and compare Gen. xx. 7.--Beausobre and Lenfant. 147. Matt. ix. 23. And saw the minstrels and the people making
a noise. Observed the musicians who customarily attended funerals, and the noisy lamentations of the multitude. When it was supposed Josephus was slain, great lamentations were made, and many people hired pipers, who led the
in these lamentations. Newcome.
Chardin says, that in the East the concourse of people, where persons lie dead, is incredible. Every body runs thither, the poor and the rich; and the former more especially
make a strange noise. -Harmer. 151. Mark vi. 3. Is not this the carpenter ? Justin Martyr, in his
dialogues with Trypho, expressly says that Christ assisted his supposed father in his trade of a carpenter, and his townsmen, in this instance, address him to that purport. Amongst the Jews, all fathers were enjoined to teach their children a trade ; and their most distinguished Rabbins exercised one.
Grotius and Whitby.
Page 154. Mark x. 14. Shake off the dust of your feet. This action
expressed the greatest abhorrence and final renunciation of all intercourse. It originated primarily from the Jewish idea, that the dust of Gentiles polluted them, even if brought
into Judea. See Acts xiii 5i. xviii. 6.-Willan 155. Matt. x. 27. What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon
the house tops. In addition to note on page 63, on the construction of houses in Judea, to clearly comprehend the above passage, the following remarks are added. The terrace on the top is as much frequented as any part of the house. On this, as the season favours, they walk, they eat, they sleep, they transact business (1 Sam. ix. 25) and they perform their devotions, Acts x. 9. The house is built with a court within, into which chiefly the windows open ; those that open to the street are so obstructed with lattice work, that no one either without or within can be seen through them. Whenever therefore any thing is to be seen or to be heard in the streets, any public spectacle, or any alarm of a public nature, every one immediately goes to the house top to satisfy his curiosity. In the same manner, when any one had occasion to make any thing public, the readiest and most effectual way of doing it was to proclaim it from the house
tops to the people in the streets.-Note from Lowth's Isaiah. 168. Matt. xiv. 26. Walking on the sea. A power ascribed to
God only. See Job ix. 8. The Egyptian hieroglyphic, to denote an impossibility, was two feet walking on water.
Doddridge. 176. Mark vii. 2. Eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with un
washen hands. The Pharisees and Scribes did not eat their food with unclean or unwashen hands, because they considered it as sanctified by prayer and thanksgiving before they partook of it. As an instance of this Pharisaical strictness, we are told, upon the authority of the Jewish Talmuds, that Rab. Akiba, being confined in prison with only a small allowance of water, when a part of it was casually spilt, chose rather to die of thirst than omit the ceremony of washing his hands.--Pearce and Lightfoot.
Mark vii. 3. Holding the tradition of the elders. Besides the written law or pentateuch, the Jews had what they termed the oral law. This was said to have been communicated to Moses on Mount Sinai, at the same time with the other, but not put in writing. It consisted of various ordinances respecting their religious rites, &c. and formed, according to the Rabbins, a sequel or supplement to the written law. They taught farther, that it was delivered by Moses to Jo. shua, and by him to the elders of the people, from whom the prophets derived it. After Malachi it was preserved by the members of the Sanhedrim, or the council of seventy. Some
learned Rabbins at length collected all the traditional ordinances and histories; composing out of them the Targums and the Mishna, which were published at different times between the birth of our Lord and the year 1300. To these the Gemara was added some time afterwards. They have since also been largely commented upon; the Jews consi. dering them of almost equal authority with the holy scrip. tures. Our Lord, by frequently condemning these traditions as absurd in themselves and contradictory to the real law, shews how little claim they have to be thought of divine original, and proves them to be indeed “the ordinances of men”.Willan.
To these books, as the custom and opinions of a nation must always be best illustrated by its own writers, Dr. Wil. lan makes frequent references; and from these writings he has enriched his History of the Ministry of Jesus Christ with a selection of many valuable notes not given by former writ
ers. 178. Mark vii. 11. It is Corban. Corban is the usual name for
an offering, gift, &c. All gifts to God were held most sacred by the Jews; hence the word Corban became a solemn and binding form of obligation or prohibition, to say, a thing shall be, as to any particular purpose, as if it was devoted to God. “Let it be Corban, as a gift devoted to God, wherein I may be profitable to thee,” signifies, I bind myself as solemnly not to give, as if my wealth was devoted to God. The Pharisees seem to have encouraged these rash vows which interfered with the offices of humanity and natural affection. A redemption from the obligation under some particular circumstances might be purchased for fifty shekels. See Levit.
xxvii. 2, 3.-Lightfoot. 178. Mark vii. 16. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
Our Lord, to distinguish such whose understandings were exercised “to discern the things of the spirit” from the unthinking multitude, calls them, those who have ears to hear. He that hath ears to hear, says he, let him hear. The same expression is used in the Apocalypse, a book of prophecies. And it deserves to be attended to, that Jesus Christ never employs these words in the introduction or conclusion of any plain moral instruction, but always after some parable, or prophetic declaration figuratively expressed. See Matt. xi. 15. xiii. 9. Luke viji. 8. Revel. ii. 7, 11, 17, 29.
Campbell. 179. Matt. xv. 15. This parable. Campbell and Newcome, in
their translations of the New Testament, render it “ this saying.” The Greek word (ascep@onn) signifying parable, may with propriety be rendered a proverb, a moral maxim, a forcible sentence, a weighty doctrine, as well as a comparison.