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2: A leper came - Leprosies in those countries were seldom
curable by natural means, any more than palsies or lunacy.
Probably this leper, though he might not mix with the people,
had heard our Lord at a distance.(Mk 1:40,Lu 5:12).
4: See thou tell no man - Perhaps our Lord only meant here, Not
till thou hast showed thyself to the priest - who was appointed
to inquire into the case of leprosy. But many others he
commanded, absolutely, to tell none of tho miracles he had
wrought upon them. And this he seems to have done, chiefly
for one or more of these reasons:
- To prevent the multitude from thronging him, in the manner
related (Mk 1:45).
- To fulfil the prophecy, (Isa 42:1), that he would not be
vain or ostentatious. This reason St. Matthew assigns,(Mt 12:17), &c.
- To avoid the being taken by force and made a king,(Joh 6:15). And,
- That he might not enrage the chief priests, scribes, and
Pharisees, who were the most bitter against him, any more than
was unavoidable, (Mt 16:20,21).
For a testimony - That I am the Messiah; to them - The priests,
who otherwise might have pleaded want of evidence.(Le 14:2).
5: There came to him a centurion - A captain of a hundred Roman
soldiers. Probably he came a little way toward him, and then
went back. He thought himself not worthy to come in person, and
therefore spoke the words that follow by his messengers. As it
is not unusual in all languages, so in the Hebrew it is peculiarly
frequent, to ascribe to a person himself the thing which is done,
and the words which are spoken by his order. And accordingly St.
Matthew relates as said by the centurion himself, what others said
by order from him. An instance of the same kind we have in the
case of Zebedee's children. From St. Matthew, (Mt 20:20), we
learn it was their mother that spoke those words, which,(Mk 10:35,37), themselves are said to speak; because she was
only their mouth.
Yet from ver. 13, (Mt 8:13), Go thy way home, it appears he at
length came in person, probably on hearing that Jesus was nearer
to his house than he apprehended when he sent the second message
by his friends. (Lu 7:1).
8: The centurion answered - By his second messengers.
9: For I am a man under authority - I am only an inferior officer:
and what I command, is done even in my absence: how much more
what thou commandest, who art Lord of all!
10: I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel - For the
centurion was not an Israelite.
11: Many from the farthest parts of the earth shall embrace the
terms and enjoy the rewards of the Gospel covenant established
with Abraham. But the Jews, who have the first title to them,
shall be shut out from the feast; from grace here, and hereafter
from glory. (Lu 13:29).
12: The outer darkness - Our Lord here alludes to the custom the
ancients had of making their feast in the night time. Probably
while he was speaking this, the centurion came in person.
14: Peter's wife's mother - St. Peter was then a young man, as
were all the apostles. (Mk 1:29,Lu 4:38).
16: (Mk 1:32,Lu 4:40).
17: Whereby was fulfilled what was spoken by the Prophet Isaiah
- He spoke it in a more exalted sense. The evangelist here only
alludes to those words, as being capable of this lower meaning
also. Such instances are frequent in the sacred writings, and
are elegancies rather than imperfections. He fulfilled these
words in the highest sense, by bearing our sins in his own body
on the tree: in a lower sense, by sympathizing with us in our
sorrows, and healing us of the diseases which were the fruit of
sin. (Isa 53:4).
18: He commanded to go to the other side - That both himself and
the people might have a little rest.
19: (Lu 9:57).
20: The Son of man - The expression is borrowed from(Da 7:13), and is the appellation which Christ generally
gives himself: which he seems to do out of humility, as having
some relation to his mean appearance in this world. Hath not
where to lay his head - Therefore do not follow me from any view
of temporal advantage.
21: Another said - I will follow thee without any such view; but I
must mind my business first. It is not certain that his father
was already dead. Perhaps his son desired to stay with him,
being very old, till his death.
22: But Jesus said - When God calls, leave the business of the
world to them who are dead to God.
23: (Mk 4:35,Lu 8:22).
24: The ship was covered - So man's extremity is God's opportunity.
26: Why are ye fearful - Then he rebuked the winds - First, he
composed their spirits, and then the sea.
28: The country of the Gergesenes - Or of the Gadarenes - Gergesa
and Gadara were towns near each other. Hence the country
between them took its name, sometimes from the one, sometimes
from the other. There met him two demoniacs - St. Mark and St.
Luke mention only one, who was probably the fiercer of the two,
and the person who spoke to our Lord first. But this is no way
inconsistent with the account which St. Matthew gives. The
tombs - Doubtless those malevolent spirits love such tokens
of death and destruction. Tombs were usually in those days in
desert places, at a distance from towns, and were often made in
the sides of caves, in the rocks and mountains. No one could
pass - Safely.(Mk 5:1,Lu 8:26).
29: What have we to do with thee - This is a Hebrew phrase, which
signifies. Why do you concern yourself about us? (2Sa 16:10).
Before the time - The great day.
30: There was a herd of many swine - Which it was not lawful for
the Jews to keep. Therefore our Lord both justly and mercifully
permitted them to be destroyed.
31: He said, Go - A word of permission only, not command.
34: They besought him to depart out of their coasts - They loved
their swine so much better than their souls! How many are of
the same mind!