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Son of God ? Are you come here to torment us before the time ? 30 Now there was at some distance from them, a great herd of swine feeding : 31 And the devils intreated him, saying; If you cast us out, permit us to enter into the herd of swine. 32 JESUS said to them ; Go. The devils therefore, coming out of the possessed, went into the herd of swine, and immediately all the swine were seen to run headlong down a precipice into the sea, and perished in the waters. 33 Then the keepers ran away, and coming into the city, related all, and what had happened to the possessed. 34 Whereupon the whole city went out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they desired him to depart out of their country.

v. 30. At some distance from them.] This is literally in the original, a great way from them. But by comparing Mark v. 11. and Luke viii. 32. with St. Matthew it will be found, that the true meaning of the word (uaxpav) is that which we have given here. The Latin translator hath rendered it, not far from them.

A great herd of swine.] St. Mark says, there were about two thousand; which will not seem strange, if it be considered, that the generality of the inhabitants of that country were heathens. Gadara is ranked by Josephus among the cities that lived according to the Greek customs and manners, which is the reason why it was taken off from the dominions of Archelaus, and annexed to the province of Syria. Joseph. Ant. Jud. l. xvii. 13. We learn from the same author, that the Gadarenes and Gergesenes were for the most part beathens, though there were Jews in their cities. Joseph. de Bello Jud. I. 2. c. 20.

v. 33. Into the city.] In Gergesa, otherwise called Gereza, or else in Gadara,

v. 34. Whereupon the whole city.] Gr. And behold the whole city.

They desired him, &c.] This they did out of dread, for so extraordinary a person ; or perhaps, they were afraid of suffering more losses. See Luke viii. 37. Compare 1 Kings xvii. 18. Job xxi. 17. See also the pote on Mark v. 17.

CHAPTER IX.

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The paralytic cured, 1-8. Calling of St. Matthew.

Jesus eats with publicans, 9—13. His disciples fast not ; and why, 14–17. A woman with an issue of blood healed, 20-22. Jairus's daughter raised from the dead, 23—26. Two blind men restored to their sight, 27—31. Of one dumb and possessed, 32, 33. Blasphemy of the Pharisees, 34. Jesus preaches in Galilee. The lost sheep. The harvest, 35—39.

i JEsus going again into the bark, crossed over the lake and came into his own city. 2 They brought to him there a paralytic, lying on a bed, and Jesus perceiving their faith, said to the paralytic ; Son, be of good courage, your sins are forgiven. 3 Upon which, some scribes that were present, said within themselves; This man blasphemes. 4 But Jesus knowing their thoughts, Why, says he to them, do you think ill of me in your hearts ? 5 For which is easiest to say, Your sins are forgiven; or to say, Rise up and walk ? 6 However, to let you see that the Son of Man has

ver. 1. Mark ii. 1. Matt. iv. 13. v. 2. Luke v. 18. Deut. xxvii. 15, 22, 27. Jobn v. 14. ix. 2. 1 Cor. xi. 30. James v. 15.

v. 1.

Into his own city.] i. e. Into Capernaum, to which he removed from Nazareth. See Matt. iv. 13. Mark. ii. 1.

v. 2. Perceiving their faith.] This remark is made by the Evangelist, upon occasion of what the persons that carried this man sick of the palsy did, when not being able, by reason of the crowd, to bring him into the room where Jesus was, they let him down through the roof; which was a plain demonstration of the full reliance they had on our blessed Saviour's power and goodness. See Mark ii. 4, 5. Luke v. 19, 20.

Your sins are forgiven.] The Jews were persuaded that diseases, especially such as were grievous, were sent for the punishment of some sin. Though they carried this matter too far (See John ix. 3) it is notwithstanding certain that human calamities are often no more than the just punishment of men's iniquities. See Deut. xxviii. 21. i Cor. xi. 30. John v. 14. James v. 15. 1 John v. 16. This is the reason why Jesus Christ said to the man sick of the palsy, when he healed him, your sins be forgiven you. Compare Isa. xxxiii. 24. and observe that what is in Mark iv. 12. and their sins should be forgiven them, is thus expressed Matt. xiii. 15. and I should heal them.

power to forgive sins on earth ; Rise, says he then to the paralytic, take up your bed and go home. 7 Immediately the paralytic arose, and went home.

8 And the people having seen what was done, were filled with admiration, and glorified God for having given such power to men.

9 After this, Jesus departed from thence, saw a

v. 9. Mark ii. 13, 14.

ver. 3. Isa. xlii. 25. xliv. 22. Job xiv. 4. Luke v. 27, 28.

V. 3. Upon which some scribes that were present.] Gr. And behold some of the scribes.

Blasphemes.] This word denotes in general, any impious word or expression whatsoever. Jesus Christ would have actually rendered himself guilty of impiety, had he been no more than a mere man. This was the opinion of the scribes, who acknowledge that none but God hath authority to forgive sins. Luke v. 21.

v. 5. Which is easiest.] The meaning of Jesus Christ here, is ; That since he had the power of curing diseases, he must consequently have at the same time, and for the very same reason, the power of forgiving sins, that were the cause of them.

v. 8. Filled with admiration.] This amazement was attended with fear. Several Greek copies as also some ancient versions read, They were seized with fear. See Luke v. 26, and the note on Matt. viii. 34.

Glorified God.] Blessed God. See Matt. v. 16. What was to the scribes an occasion of blaspheming, proved to the people an incitement to bless God.

For having given such power to men.] i. e. To a man, or to men in the person of Jesus Christ. Compare Mark ii. 12. Luke v. 26. They blessed God for his having sent among them a person, that had the power of curing their diseases and forgiving their offences, Compare Luke i. 68. &c. This meaning may also be put upon these words ; They glorified God, use h had granted unto men the power and privilege both of forgiving sins, and of healing diseases.

v. 9. Matthew.]' He is by St. Mark and St. Luke called Levi. See also Matt. x. 3. He went under both names.

man, named Matthew, sitting at the tax office : and he said to him, Follow me, Upon which, he rose up and followed him. 10 And as Jesus was sitting at table in the house of Matthew, several publicans and persons of a corrupt life, came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 The Pharisees seeing this, said to his disciples, why does your master eat with publicans and sinners ? 12 But JEsus overhearing them, answered ; Not those that are in health, but those that are sick, have need of a physician : 13 Go therefore and learn the meaning of this saying, I will have mercy and not sacrifice ; for I

ver. 11. Matt. xi. 19. Luke v. 30. xv. 2. John iv. 9. Acts x. 28. 1 Cor. v. 11. 2 John v. 10. Gen. xliii. 32. Dan, i. 8. v. 13. Matt. xii. 7. Hos. vi. 6. Micah vi. 6, 7, 8. Eccles. xxxv. 1, 2, 3. 1 Sam. xv. 22. Prov. xxi. 3. Isa. i. 11. Mark ii. 17. Luke v. 32. xv. 7. 10. 29. xix. 10. 1 Tim. i. 15.

The tax office.] Which was a place near the lake and harbour, Mark ii. 13, 14. There were toll-booths on the great roads, as also on the lakes and rivers.

V. 10. In the house of Matthew.] We have added these words (of Matthew) by way of supplement. See Mark ii. 15. and Luke v. 29.

Persons of a corrupt life.] Gr. sinners. This is the name the Jews were wont to give the publicans, and those that conversed with them. The former they looked upon as infidels and heathens, which are in scripture styled sinners. See Matt. xxvi. 45. Mark xiv. 41. Luke xxiv. 7. &c. They also thought that they would have defiled themselves, had they eaten with them. See the note on Mark ii. 16.

Came and sat down.] Gr. Behold many &c.

v. 12. Not those, &c.] This is a severe reflection on the presumption of the Pharisees, who were puffed up with a vain self conceit of their own righteousness. They were just and holy in their own eyes. It is to be noted, that this is a proverbial expression, which hath been known to some heathen philosophers, that have made use of it in return to such like reproaches.

v. 13. I will have mercy, and not sacrifice.] i. e. I will rather have mercy than sacrifice ; accordingly the Seventy have thus rendered the words in Hosea vi. 6. and the prophet explains his own meaning afterwards, when after those words, I will have mercy and not sacrifice ; he alters the turn of the expression, and adds, and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings. The meaning of Jesus Christ here, is, that a work of mercy, such as the conversion of sinners, is preferable to all sacrifices. See the like expressions, Matt. x. 20. John vii. See also this phrase explained, Matt. xxiii. 23.

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am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

14 Then the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus, and said to him, What is the reason that since we and the Pharisees fast often, your disciples fast not at all ? 15 JEsus made answer; Can the marriageguests mourn whilst the bridegroom is with them ? but the time will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they shall fast. 16 No man puts a piece of new cloth into an old garment, because the piece which is added would tear off part of the gar

ver. 14. Mark ii. 18. Luke v. 33. xviii. 12. Matt, vi. 16. xi. 19. v. 15. Acts. x. 30. xiii. 2, 3. xiv. 22. 1 Cor. vii. 5.

I am not come to call, &c.] This is an ironical reflection on the Pharisees. I came not to save such righteous persons as you are, &c.

v. 14. We- fast often.] As John the Baptist preached repentance, he not only lived on coarse diet, but also fasted often, and trained up his disciples thereto. See chap. xi. 18. Luke v. 33. concerning the fasting of the Pharisees. See the note on chap. vi. 16.

Your disciples fast not.] i. e. Do not fast often, or are not used to fast. See a like expression, Mark xiv. 12, and xv. 16.

v. 15. The marriage-guests.] The original Greek words signify, the children of the bride-chamber. This is a Hebrew phrase, used to denote the friends of the bridegroom, that were wont to provide what. ever was proper and necessary during the marriage festival. See John iii. 29. Ps. xlv. 19. Jesus Christ represents himself here under the idea of a bridegroom. St. John had described him under that name, John iii. 29. compare Matt. xxv. 6.

The time will come—] Our blessed Saviour speaks here of his death and sufferings, and foretels all the afflictions that were after it to happen to his disciples. This he hath expressed in a figurative manner, they shall fast.

v. 16. No man puts, &c.] The meaning of this comparison, as well as of the following one, is, that we must observe in every respect, the rules of prudence ; adapt our actions to times, places, and persons ; and not lay on raw and new disciples laws, the observance whereof is not suitable to their state.

Of new cloth.] The Greek word (pakovs ayvápov) signifies undressed cloth, that hath not yet been fulled ; which is a just representation of persons, that have not yet been trained up and instructed.

The piece which is added.] Gr. The filling up. This whole passage in the original is ambiguous ; and may signify, either that a piece of new cloth rends the old garment to which it is sewed ; or else, that he

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