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Verse 3. “ The carpenter.” —Some versions and MSS. have " the carpenter's son,” but this seems to have been copied over from Matt. xiii.. by those who had less discretion, than respect for what they supposed the dignity of our Lord. The general voice of the early ecclesiastical writers supports the conclusion which the text, as it stands, offers, that Christ wrought as a carpenter. There is every probability also. For even had not Joseph been so poor as to render it necessary that his reputed son should learn and practise a trade, it would still have been required by the customs of the Jews, which rendered it imperative upon every parent, whatever his station, to teach his son some handicraft employment, which might serve him as a resource in the day of need. It was their maxim that, “Whosoever teaches not his son to do some work, is the same as if he taught him robbery;" and the indispensable duties of a father towards his son, are said to be, * To circumcise him, to redeem him, to instruct him in the law, and to teach him some occupation.” Hence all their great doctors and teachers had some trade or other. We read of the most eminent of them as tailors, shoe. makers, blacksmiths, skinners, ditchers, hewers of wood, drawers of water, and so on. Some trades were disliked ; but that of a carpenter was not one of them. And although it was tenderly advised that the trade should not only be honest, but easy; this was not always attended to; as some of the most eminent persons were instructed in the meadest and most laborious employments. Whence Maimonides notes, “ The great wise men of Israel were, some of them, hewers of wood and drawers of water.” As it was therefore, even independent of necessity, requisite that Jesus should learn a trade, it was quite natural that the one of his reputed father should be selected.
37. “ Two hundred pennyworth.”—The penny being the Roman denarius of seven pence halfpenny—this would have been six pounds five shillings of our money:
For notes on the other contents of this chapter, see the parallel passages in Matthew and Luke.
may keep your own tradition. 1 The Pharisees find fault at the disciples for eat- 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father
ing with unwashen hands. 8 They break the commandment of God by the traditions of men.
and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father Meat dejileih not the man. 24 He healeth the
or mother, let him die the death: Syrophenician woman's daughter of an unclean 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his spirit
, 31 and one that was deuf, and stammered father or mother, It is *Corban, that is to in his speech.
say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be Then 'came together unto him the Phari-profited by me; he shall be free. sees, and certain of the Scribes, which came 1.2 And
suffer him no more to do from Jerusalem.
ought for his father or his mother; 2 And when they saw some of his disci. 13 Making the word of God of none ples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, effect through your tradition, which ye have with unwashen, hands, they found fault. delivered : and many such like things do ye.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, 14 I 'And when he had called all the except they wash their hands 'oft, eat not, people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken holding the tradition of the elders.
unto me every one of you, and understand: 4 And when they come from the market, 15 There is nothing from without a man, except they wash, they eat not. And many that entering into him can defile him: but other things there be, which they have re- the things which come out of him, those are ceived to hold, as the washing of cups, and they that defile the man. *pots, brasen vessels, and of stables.
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him 5 Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked hear. him, Why walk not thy disciples according 17 And when he was entered into the to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread house from the people, his disciples asked with unwashen hands?
him concerning the parable. 6 He answered and said unto them, Well 18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as without understanding also ? Do ye not perit is written, “This people honoureth me ceive, that whatsoever thing from without with their lips, but their heart is far from entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; me.
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, but into the belly, and goeth out into the teaching for doctrines the commandments draught, purging all meats ? of men.
20 And he said, That which cometh out 8 For laying aside the commandment of of the man, that defileth the man. God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the 21 For from within, out of the heart of washing of pots and cups: and many other
other men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, forsuch like things ye do.
nications, murders, 9 And he said unto them, Full well
ye 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, de
3 Or, diligently: in the original, with the fist: Theophylact, up to the elbow. Sextarius is about a pint and an half.
1 Matt. 15. 1.
2 Or, common
5 Or, beds. 6 Isa 29. 13. Matt. 15.8.
10 Gen. 6. 5, and 8. 21. Matt, 15. 19.
8 Matt. 15. 5.
9 Matt. 15. 10.
ceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, she found the devil gone out, and her pride, foolishness:
daughter laid upon the bed. 23 All these evil things come from with- 31 | And again, departing from the in, and defile the man.
coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the 24 "And from thence he arose, and sea of Galilee, through the midst of the went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, coasts of Decapolis. and entered into an house, and would have 32 And they bring unto him one that was no man know it: but he could not be deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; hid.
and they beseech him to put his hand upon 25 For a certain woman, whose young him. daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of 33 And he took him aside from the mulhim, and came and fell at his feet:
titude, and put his fingers into his ears, and 26 The woman was a "Greek, a Syro- he spit, and touched his tongue; phenician by nation; and she besought him 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, that he would cast forth the devil out of her and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be daughter.
opened. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the chil- 35 And straightway his ears were opened, dren first be filled : for it is not meet to take and the string of his tongue was loosed, and the children's bread, and to cast it unto the he spake plain. dogs.
36 And he charged them that they should 28 And she answered and said unto him, tell no man: but the more he charged them, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table cat so much the more a great deal they pubof the children's crumbs.
lished it; 29 And he said unto her, For this saying 37 And were beyond measure astonished, go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy saying, He hath done all things well: he daughter.
maketh both the deaf to hear, and the 30 And when she was come to her house, dumb to speak.
Verse 3. “All the Jeu's, et cept they wash their hands oft, eat not."— Not all the Jews, or the disciples would have done 80; but all those who made great pretensions to ceremonial holiness, whether Pharisees or not-but in particular the Pharisees. Indeed we learn this much from the Rabbinical traditions, which state that the punctilious washing of hands before eating, was a matter by which these high professors distinguished themselves, not only from the heathen, but also from “the men of the earth,” as they called the common people of their own nation. Now, the disciples of onr Lord being of this class, the Pharisees would probably not, under ordinary circumstances, have expected them to be particular as to the washing of hands: it was rather as the disciples of One who appeared as a religious teacher, that this was expected from them; for all such persons, the followers of great doctors and teachers, were in general remarkably attentive to this and the other ceremonial " traditions of the elders.”
The practice appears to have been founded on the traditions which alleged that defilement was contracted by the touch of so many different things—far beyond what the law contemplated—that it was almost impossible for one who held these traditions to avoid the frequent defilement of his hands." And as it was held that the hands, being defiled, communicated their defilement to the meat which they touched, rendering it unclean, the hands were constantly and curiously washed before eating, even when the man knew not that his hands were defiled, as he could not be certain that they had not received accidental pollution. It was for this reason, among others, that the Pharisees refused to eat with the common people, who were less attentive to these solemn trifles. The Orientals, who take up with their fingers the food they eat, always, for the sake of cleanliness, wash their hands before they sit down to meat. So doubtless did our Lord's disciples; for the present occasion, on which they ate with unwashen hands, does not in the least appear to have been a regular meal, but some small incidental eating, in which only "some” of them indulged. The question therefore comes before us as one of ceremonial, not of merely personal, cleanliness, of which there is not the least reason to suppose the disciples neglectful.
It appears that the hand only was washed for the eating of ordinary food ; but the hand and arm, to the elbow, for, eating such food as had been offered at the altar. They also washed their hands in the common way, by having water poured upon them, for common food; but for the holy food, they were careful to dip their hands in the water. There were other minute regulations in this matter with which we shall not trouble the reader, and which distinguished ceremonial washings from those which had nothing but personal cleanliness in view. Such as the last, were accounted as nothing, ceremonially; and hence, that the disciples ate bread with unwashen hands, does not necessarily imply that.• they did not wash their hands, but that they did not wash them according to the regulations which the traditions prescribed. It should be observed that “ bread' is to be understood as a general term, including all kinds of food excepting fruits. For the eating of fruits, washing was deemed superfluous; and he who did wash, was regarded even by the Pharisees as an ostentatious man.
4. " When they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not.”—This they did, lest in the concourse they should have received some accidental pollution. This they could not well avoid, as it was held that the mere contact of the clothes of "the people of the earth "—the unwashed multitude~conveyed pollution, and rendered purification necessary. Hence we are told by Maimonides that, in walking the streets, they were careful to go by the side of the way, that they might not be defiled by touching the common people. This was indeed a literal exemplification of the feeling, "Stand by, for I am holier than thou.” On returning, they washed by plunging their hands in water; whereas, unless holy food were to be eaten, the common pouring of water (in the traditional manner) sufficed for those who
remained at home, and had not knowingly contracted any pollution. Gill supposes that the whole person was washed on returning from market; but we have the sanction of Lightfoot in thinking otherwise. There appears no good reason for the supposition, expressed in the Oriental versions, that the articles bought at the market were washed when brought home ; for there were necessarily many articles which could not be washed.
" The washing of cups...pots...brasen vessels.”—This is all to be uurderstood of vessels of wood and metal, as those of earthenware were to be broken, if they became defiled. (See the notes on Lev. vi. 38; xv. 12.) The Law prescribed that other vessels were to be washed or scoured, when defiled from causes which it specifies. But the "traditions of the elders” added numerous other defilements which produced the effect of rendering it necessary that earthen vessels should be very frequently broken, and that those of other materials should be washed and scoured every time they were used. The Rabbins give plenty of information on this part of the subject; but the only particulars which seem worth adding to our statements in Leviticus, are, that glass was not to be broken, like earthenware, but to be washed, when detiled. Vessels used for cold liquids were to be washed in the common way, or, if much defiled, to be dipped in much water ; but such pots and kettles as were used for hot things, were to be heated with hot water and scoured.
“ Tables.”—Tables might be polluted by the touch of unclean things or persons. They were to be purified by water, in which it was considered necessary that the water should come in contact with every part of the substance of the table. If any spots of grease, pitch, &c., prevented this, the purification went for nothing. From a distinction which the Talmud 'makes between tables of wood and marble, we observe, with some interest, that the Jews sometimes bad tables wholly or in part of marble.
But although this be true of tables, it does not seem that tables are meant in the present instance. Karvas denotas beds or couches in the general sense, and is supposed here to express the trichinia, or raised sofas, on which the ancients reclined at meals. Perhaps it is better to take it in its larger acceptation as denoting any thing on which one lies down or reclines, whether for sleep, rest, or eating. Hence the Oriental and many modern translations have - beds," instead of tables. These might be polluted in various ways. Cominentators have been rather perplexed to know how these were to be washed; particularly as the Rabbins are not very clear on the point. We venture to suggest that not the bed itself but its covering was washed. It is probable that the beds and cushions were formed of such cotton or wool-stuffed mattresses as are still used in the East; and these are furnished with coverings, frequently of printed cotton, which are stitched on loosely, and often taken off to be washed.
11. “ Corban, that is to say, a gift.”—The word corban denotes a sacred offering—a thing devoted to sacred uses, and the appropriation of which could not be altered or alienated. Here, we are scarcely to suppose that the man, in order to avoid assisting his father from his substance, deprives himself of all interest and benefit in it by dedicating it to the service of the Temple and altar. Our Lord himself införms us (Matt. xxii. 18) that to swear by "the gift," or corban, upon the altar was considered an oath of the most binding description. Taking this in connection with the illustrations which the Rabbins furuislı, we can collect that the son does not devote his property as corban, but that he swears by the corban already existing, declaring that his property shall be as corban, so far as any benefit from it to his father is concerned. A vow thus expressed was considered most binding; and although disregard for the wants of a father was far from being avowedly taught, it was considered so important to uphold the sacredness of the corban above all other considerations, that although such a vow did not bind a person in any manner to devote his property to sacred uses, it did most effectually exclude him from assisting his father, however he might repent of a declaration, uttered perhaps in a moment of excitement or displeasure, or however earuestly he might wish it recalled.
6 And he commanded the people to cit
down on the ground : and he took the seven 1 Christ feedeth the people miraculously : 10 re- loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave
fuseth to give a sign to the Phurisees : 14 admoni sheth his disciples to beware of the leaven of
to his disciples to set before them; and they the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod : 2:2
did set them before the people. giveth a blind man his sight: 27 acknowledgeth 7 And they had a few small fishes; and that he is the Christ, who should suffir and rise he blessed, and commanded to set them also again : 34 and erhorteth to patience in persecu- before them. tion for the profession of the Gospel.
8 So they did eat, and were filled : and In those days 'the multitude being very they took up of the broken meat that was great, and having nothing to eat, Jesuis left seven baskets.
. called his disciples unto him, and saith unto 9 And they that had eaten were about them,
four thousand : and he sent them away. 2 I have compassion on the multitude, 10 | And straightway he entered into a because they have now been with me three ship with his disciples, and came into the days, and have nothing to eat:
parts of Dalmanutha. 3 And if I send them away fasting to their 11 'And the Pharisees came forth, and own houses, they will faint by the way: for began to question with him, seeking of him a divers of them came from far.
sign from heaven, tempting him. 4 And his disciples answered him, From 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, whence can a man satisfy these men with and saith, Why doth this generation seek bread here in the wilderness?
after a sign? verily I say unto you. There 5 And he asked them, How many loaves shall no sign be given unto this generahave ye? And they said, Seven.
1 Matt. 15. 32.
2 Matt. 16, 1.
13 And he left them, and entering into and by the way he asked his disciples, saythe ship again departed to the other side. ing unto them, Whom do men say that I
14 Now the disciples had forgotten to am? take bread, neither had they in the ship 28 And they answered, John the Baptist : with them more than one loaf.
but some say, Elias ; and others, One of the 15 And he charged them, saying, Take prophets. heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, 29 And he saith unto them, But whom and of the leaven of Herod.
say ye that I am? And Peter answereth 16 And they reasoned among themselves, and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ. saying, It is because we have no bread. 30 And he charged them that they should
17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith tell no man of him. unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have 31 And he began to teach them, that the no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither un- Son of man must suffer many things, and be derstand ? have ye your heart yet hardened ? rejected of the elders, and of the Chief Priests,
18 Having eyes, see ye not? and having and Scribes, and be killed, and after three ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remem- ! days rise again. ber?
32 And he spake that saying openly. 19 When I brake the five loaves among And Peter took him, and began to rebuke five thousand, how many baskets full of frag- him. ments took ye up? I'hey say unto him, 33 But when he had turned about and Twelve.
looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, 20 And when the seven among four thou- saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou sand, how many baskets full of fragments savourest not the things that be of God, but took ye up? And they said, Seven. the things that be of men.
2) And he said unto them, How is it that 34 9 And when he had called the people ye do not understand ?
unto him with his disciples also, he said unto 22 | And he cometh to Bethsaida; and them, Whosoever will come after me, let they bring a blind man unto him, and be- him deny himself, and take up his cross, sought him to touch him.
and follow me. 23 And he took the blind man by the 35 For whosoever will save his life shall hand, and led him out of the town; and lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for when he had spit on his eyes, and put his my sake and the Gospel's, the same shall hands upon him, he asked him if he saw
save it. ought.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he 24 And he looked up, and said, I see shall gain the whole world, and lose his own men as trees, walking.
soul? 25 Afier that he put his hands again 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange upon his eyes, and made him look up: and for his soul? he was restored, and saw every man elearly. 38 "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed
26 And he sent him away to his house, of me and of my words in this adulterous saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it and sinful generation; of him also shall the to any in the town.
Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh 27 l 'And Jesus went out, and his dis- in the glory of his Father with the holy ciples, into the towns of Cæsarea Philippi: angels.
* Matt. 16.5.
4 Matt. 16.7.
8 Matt. 16, 13.
& Mutt. 10. 38.
7 Matt. 10.33.
Verse 6. “ Gave thanks." - It was at this time customary among the Jews to pronounce a short prayer, or, as we should call it, a grace, before meat. The earliest instance is that mentioned by Josephus as having been pronounced, standing, by Eleazer, at the feast which Ptolemy Philadelphus gave to the seventy-two interpreters (* Antiq. xii. 2), and expressly says that this was according to the custom of their own country. He also mentions the sect of Essenes as saying grace before and after meat ("War,' ii. 8). The Talmudists supply us with further information concerning this custom. They say that however large was the company, one persuni alone said the grace, the others saying ** Amen” at its conclusion. The form of words commonly used is said to have been, " Let us bless the Lord our God, the God of Israel, the God of hosts, who sitteth between the cherubiin.” It is to be observed, however, that there were graces for the different descriptions of food and drink. Thus, in the present instance, our Lord blessed” both for the loaves and the fishes, separately; as, at the last supper, he did also for the bread and the wine. This is in conformity with the still existing practice of the Jews, whose prayers for such occasions are of high antiquity; perhaps as old as the time of Christ—they say older. The following examples may be interesting :
Before eating bread, and the produce of other ground plants. Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe who hast created the fruit of the ground. ;
For fruit produced by trees. Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe ! who hast created the fruit of the tree.
Por every kind and preparation of animal food; and also for drinks, wine ex cepted. Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe! through whose word all things do exist.
For wine. Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe ! who hast created the fruit of the vine.
After eating. Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe! Creator of numberless beings, whose wants are supplied by all the varieties which thou hast created; wherewith to keep alive the soul of every living creature. Blessed be thou, O Life of the Universe !
“ And brake.”_We never read of cutting bread with a knife, in the Bible; nor is this now done in the East Bread was, and is, always broken. Not that there is any peculiar feeling on the subject : but the bread being baked in small cakes or in broad and thin ones-not in large and dense loaves—is easily broken into such portions as may be required. Bread was, among the Jews, always broken and distributed by the master of the family.
19. " How many baskets full of fragments took ye up ?”—The quantity of the fragments taken up, clearly enough shows that the miracle was exhibited by increasing the quantity of the loaves and fishes; not, as some suppose, by giving to the previously existing quantity the power, without increase, of satisfying the hungry multitude: for thea the part would have been greater than the whole; which is absurd.
24. “ ! see men as trees, walking.”—From this it is evident that the man was not born blind, but had become so by some accident or disease. It is clear that he could not otherwise have had such ideas of the appearance of men or trees, as could render them objects of comparison or recognition.