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1: His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and ate - Just
what sufficed for present necessity: dried corn was a common
food among the Jews. (Mk 2:23,Lu 6:1).
3: Have ye not read what David did - And necessity was a sufficient
plea for his transgressing the law in a higher instance.
4: He entered into the house of God - Into the tabernacle. The
temple was not yet built. The show bread - So they called the
bread which the priest, who served that week, put every Sabbath
day on the golden table that was in the holy place, before the
Lord. The loaves were twelve in number, and represented the
twelve tribes of Israel: when the new were brought, the stale
were taken away, but were to be eaten by the priests only.(1Sa 21:6).
5: The priests in the temple profane the Sabbath - That is, do
their ordinary work on this, as on a common day, cleansing all
things, and preparing the sacrifices. A greater than the temple
- If therefore the Sabbath must give way to the temple, much more
must it give way to me.
7: I will have mercy and not sacrifice - That is, when they
interfere with each other, I always prefer acts of mercy,
before matters of positive institution: yea, before all
ceremonial institutions whatever; because these being only
means of religion, are suspended of course, if circumstances
occur, wherein they clash with love, which is the end of it.(Mt 9:13).
8: For the Son of man - Therefore they are guiltless, were it only
on this account, that they act by my authority, and attend on me
in my ministry, as the priests attended on God in the temple: is
Lord even of the Sabbath - This certainly implies, that the Sabbath
was an institution of great and distinguished importance; it may
perhaps also refer to that signal act of authority which Christ
afterward exerted over it, in changing it from the seventh to the
first day of the week. If we suppose here is a transposition of
the 7th and 8th verses, then the 8th verse is a proof of the 6th.(Mt 12:6-8).
9: (Mk 3:1,Lu 6:6).
12: It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day - To save a beast,
much more a man.
18: He shall show judgment to the heathens - That is, he shall
publish the merciful Gospel to them also: the Hebrew word
signifies either mercy or justice. (Isa 42:1), &c.
19: He shall not strive, nor clamour; neither shall any man hear
his voice in the streets - That is, he shall not be contentious,
noisy, or ostentatious: but gentle, quiet, and lowly. We may
observe each word rises above the other, expressing a still
higher degree of humility and gentleness.
20: A bruised reed - A convinced sinner: one that is bruised with
the weight of sin: smoking flax - One that has the least good
desire, the faintest spark of grace: till he send forth judgment
unto victory - That is, till he make righteousness completely
victorious over all its enemies.
21: In his name - That is, in him.
22: A demoniac, blind and dumb - Many undoubtedly supposed these
defects to be merely natural. But the Spirit of God saw
otherwise, and gives the true account both of the disorder and
the cure. How many disorders, seemingly natural, may even now
be owing to the same cause? (Lu 11:14).
23: Is not this the son of David - That is, the Messiah.
24: (Mk 3:22).
25: Jesus knowing their thoughts - It seems they had as yet only
said it in their hearts.
26: How shall his kingdom be established - Does not that subtle
spirit know thin is not the way to establish his kingdom?
27: By whom do your children - That is, disciples, cast them out - It
seems, some of them really did this; although the sons of Sceva
could not. Therefore shall they be your judge - Ask them, if Satan
will cast out Satan: let even them be judges in this matter.
And they shall convict you of obstinacy and partiality, who
impute that in me to Beelzebub, which in them you impute to God.
Beside, how can I rob him of his subjects, till I have conquered
him? The kingdom of God is come upon you - Unawares; before you
expected: so the word implies.
29: How can one enter into the strong one's house, unless he
first bind the strong one - So Christ coming into the world, which
was then eminently the strong one's, Satan's house, first bound
him, and then took his spoils.
30: He that is not with me is against me - For there are no neuters
in this war. Every one must be either with Christ or against
him; either a loyal subject or a rebel. And there are none upon
earth, who neither promote nor obstruct his kingdom. For he that
does not gather souls to God, scatters them from him.
31: The blasphemy against the Spirit - How much stir has been made
about this? How many sermons, yea, volumes, have been written
concerning it? And yet there is nothing plainer in all the Bible.
It is neither more nor less than the ascribing those miracles to
the power of the devil, which Christ wrought by the power of the
Holy Ghost. (Mk 3:28,Lu 12:10).
32: Whosoever speaketh against the Son of man - In any other
respects: It shall be forgiven him - Upon his true repentance:
But whosoever speaketh thus against the Holy Ghost, it shall
not be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come
- This was a proverbial expression among the Jews, for a thing
that would never be done. It here means farther, He shall not
escape the punishment of it, either in this world, or in the
world to come. The judgment of God shall overtake him, both
here and hereafter.
33: Either make the tree good and its fruit good: or make the
tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt - That is, you must allow, they
are both good, or both bad. - For if the fruit is good, so is the
tree; if the fruit is evil, so is the tree also. For the tree is
known by its fruit - As if he had said, Ye may therefore know me
by my fruits. By my converting sinners to God, you may know that
God hath sent me. (Mt 7:16,Lu 6:43).
34: In another kind likewise, the tree is known by its fruit
- Namely, the heart by the conversation.
36: Ye may perhaps think, God does not so much regard your words.
But I say to you - That not for blasphemous and profane words
only, but for every idle word which men shall speak - For want of
seriousness or caution; for every discourse which is not conducive
to the glory of God, they shall give account in the day of judgment.
37: For by thy words (as well as thy tempers and works) thou
shalt then be either acquitted or condemned. Your words as
well as actions shall he produced in evidence for or against
you, to prove whether you was a true believer or not. And
according to that evidence you will either be acquitted or
condemned in the great day.
38: We would see a sign - Else we will not believe this.(Mt 16:1,Lu 11:16,29).
39: An adulterous generation - Whose heart wanders from God, though
they profess him to be their husband. Such adulterers are all
those who love the world, and all who seek the friendship of it.
Seeketh a sign - After all they have had already, which were
abundantly sufficient to convince them, had not their hearts
been estranged from God, and consequently averse to the truth.
The sign of Jonah - Who was herein a type of Christ.
40: Three days and three nights - It was customary with the eastern
nations to reckon any part of a natural day of twenty - four hours,
for the whole day. Accordingly they used to say a thing was done
after three or seven days, if it was done on the third or seventh
day, from that which was last mentioned. Instances of this
may be seen, (1Ki 20:29); and in many other places. And as
the Hebrews had no word to express a natural day, they used
night and day, or day and night for it. So that to say a thing
happened after three days and three nights, was with them the
very same, as to say, it happened after three days, or on the
third day. See (Es 4:16,5:1,Ge 7:4,12,Ex 24:18,34:28).(Jon 2:1).
42: She came from the uttermost parts of the earth - That part of
Arabia from which she came was the uttermost part of the earth
that way, being bounded by the sea. (1Ki 10:1).
43: But how dreadful will be the consequence of their rejecting
me? When the unclean spirit goeth out - Not willingly, but being
compelled by one that is stronger than he. He walketh - Wanders
up and down; through dry places - Barren, dreary, desolate; or
places not yet watered with the Gospel: Seeking rest, and findeth
none - How can he, while he carries with him his own hell? And is
it not the case of his children too? Reader, is it thy case?(Lu 11:24).
44: Whence he came out - He speaks as if he had come out of his own
accord: See his pride! He findeth it empty - of God, of Christ, of
his Spirit: Swept - from love, lowliness, meekness, and all the
fruits of the Spirit: And garnished - With levity and security: so
that there is nothing to keep him out, and much to invite him in.
45: Seven other spirits - That is, a great many; a certain number
being put for an uncertain: More wicked than himself - Whence it
appears, that there are degrees of wickedness among the devils
themselves: They enter in and dwell - For ever in him who is
forsaken of God. So shall it be to this wicked generation - Yea,
and to apostates in all ages.
46: His brethren - His kinsmen: they were the sons of Mary, the
wife of Cleopas, or Alpheus, his mother's sister; and came now
seeking to take him, as one beside himself, (Mk 3:21).(Mk 3:31,Lu 8:19).
48: And he answering, said - Our Lord's knowing why they came,
sufficiently justifies his seeming disregard of them.
49-50: See the highest severity, and the highest goodness!
Severity to his natural, goodness to his spiritual relations!
In a manner disclaiming the former, who opposed the will of
his heavenly Father, and owning the latter, who obeyed it.