« FöregåendeFortsätt »
say the same thing of this Simon: the latter says that he was called a Zealot: and the former that he was a Zealot-ite, i. e. of the party of Zealots.
X.-9. “In your purses.” The original word is girdles. These girdles were essentially necessary to the Eastern people to bind their flowing vestments about them. They were also used for carrying money through the means of a sort of fob-pocket made in their duplicature.
X.-10. “Neither shoes." Namely, they were not to put on the high kind of shoe or half boot which was the custom of the antients when about to make a long and arduous journey. Hence Horne, in speaking of the manner in which the Jews eat the passover, vol. iii. page 302. says, “ They were to eat the passover with shoes on their feet, for in those hot countries they ordinarily wore sandals, which were a sort of clogs, or went barefoot; but in travelling they used shoes, which were a kind of short boots reaching a little way up the legs. Between St. Matthew and Mark vi. 9. there is a singular kind of agreement, which may be termed negative : for St. Mark does not say that the Apostles went with shoes or half boots, nor does St. Matthew say that they went without sandals.
“Nor yet staves.” The Greek word is used in the singular number, and may signify a supernumerary staff; for as they were not to take two coats, neither for the same reason, were they to take two staves. See St. Mark vi. 8. The following remark is extracted from Horne's Introd. vol. iii. page 302. “So necessary in these countries was a staff or walking stick on a journey, that it was a usual thing for persons when they undertook long journies, to take a spare staff with them, for fear one should fail. When Christ, therefore, sent his Apostles on the embassy above mentioned, he ordered them not to take staves, that is, only one staff or walking stick, without making provision of a spare one, as was common in long journies.”
Xll. “ And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, &c.” Antiently they had no places of entertainment for the accommodation of travellers, but only houses for lodging them, called by the moderns, caravansaras, into which travellers brought their own provisions, and accommodated themselves in the best manner they could. But it was common for persons of humane dispositions, such as our Lord here calls worthy persons, to entertain strangers &ccording to their ability.-Ostervald. X.-14. “ Shake off the dust of your
feet.” This custom the Jews practised when they came to their own land from any heathen country, lest they should defile the holy inheritance.
X.-17. “And they will scourge you." The most common corporal punishment of the antient Mosaic law was scourging. (Lev. xix. 20.) After the captivity it continued to be the usual punishment for transgressions of the law, so late indeed as the time of Josephus; and the Apostle tells us that he suffered it five times. (2 Cor. xi. 24.) In the time of our Saviour it was not confined to the judicial tribunals, but was also inflicted in the synagogues. (Matt. x. 17. xxiii. 34. Acts xxii. 19.) The penalty of scourging was inflicted by judicial sentence. The offender having been admonished to acknowledge his guilt, and the witnesses produced against him as in capital cases, the judges commanded him to be tied by the arms to a low pillar : the culprit being stripped down to his waist, the executioner who stood behind him upon a stone, inflicted the punishment both on the back and breast with thongs ordinarily made of ox's hide or leather. The number of stripes depended upon the enormity of the offence. According to the talmudical writers, while the executioner was discharging his office, the principal judge proclaimed these words with a loud voice: If thou observest not all the words of this law, fc. (Deut. xxviii. 58. 59.) adding, keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do (Deut. xxix. 9.); and concluding with these words of the Psalmist (lxxviii. 38): But he being full of compassion forgave their iniquities ; which he was to repeat, if he had finished these verses before the full number of stripes was given. It was expressly enacted that no Jew should suffer more than forty stripes for any crime, though a less number might be inflicted. In order that the legal number might not be exceeded, the scourge consisted of three lashes or thongs : so that, at each blow, he received three stripes : consequently when the full punishment was inflicted, the delinquent received only thirteen blows, that is, forty stripes save one ; but if he were so weak, as to be on the point of fainting away, the judges would order the executioner to suspend his flagellation. Among the Romans however, the number was not limited, but varied according to the crime of the malefactor and the discretion of the judge.—Horne, vol. iii. page 137.
X.-25. “If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub.” Baal-zebub, was the idol-god of Ekron. This name, signifying Lord of flies, does not seem to be given him in contempt, since Abaziah his adorer called him by it; but either because he was painted as a fly, though others say he was figured as a king on his throne; or because he was supposed to chase off the hurtful swarms of flies; and might be the same as the god Achor at Cyrene, who was reckoned a preserver from flies. As the prince of devils is in the New Testament called by this name Beelzebub, one is tempted to suspect he might be the Pluto, or god of hell of the Greeks. 2 Kings i. 2. Matt. xii. 24. also x. 25.--Brown.
X.-27. “What ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house-tops.” In the synagogues of the Hellenists or Greek Jews, the law was always read in the Alexandrian or Greek version; but in those of the native Jews, the law was
always read in Hebrew; whence it became necessary, as soon as that language ceased to be vernacular among the Jews, to establish an interpreter, by whom the Jewish Scriptures were expounded in the Chaldee dialect, which was spoken by them after the return from the Babylonian captivity. The doctor, or reader, therefore, having the interpreter always by him, softly whispered in his ears what he said, and this interpreter repeated aloud to the people what had thus been communicated to him. To this custom our Saviour is supposed to have alluded when he said to his disciples, “What ye hear in the ear that preach ye upon the house tops."—Horne, vol. iii. page 246. .
According to this practice some suppose we are to explain Exodus iv. 16. The tops of the houses antiently, were flat and covered with a strong plaster of terrace, upon which several offices of the family were performed.
X.- —34. “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Here, as in other places, we must distinguish between the cause and the consequences of it; for Christ really did come to send peace on the earth (Luke ii. 14.) but between those who enjoy it and those who do not, a wide breach exists, and a sword does, as it were, rend them asunder.
X.-38. “He that taketh not his cross.' Wetstein shews that this is an allusion to the most degrading suffering, that of the punishment inflicted on slaves, who were whipped through the circus bearing a gallows (furca.)-Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 301.
XI. ll. “He that is least in the kingdom of Heaven, is greater than he.” John, the immediate messenger before Christ, is greater than any of the old prophets; but one, after the coming of Christ himself, who has the full doctrine of the Gospel, is greater than he.--Ostervald.
XI.-17. “We have piped unto you and ye have not danced,” &c. It was the custom of children among the Jews,
in their sports, to imitate what they saw done by others upon great occasions, and particularly the customs in festivities, wherein the musician beginning a tune on his instrument, the company danced to his pipe. So also in funerals, wherein the women beginning the mournful song, (as the preficæ of the Romans) the rest followed lamenting and beating their breasts. These things the children acted and personated in the streets in play, and the rest not following the leader as usual, gave occasion to this speech, --we have piped unto you, &c.—Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i. page 271.
XI.-25. “ Jesus answered,” &c. This is equivalent to-Jesus spake and said. Or, since no question appears to be waiting for his reply, he might answer from a reflection of the foregoing remarks.
XII.-4. “How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread,” &c. That is, he came to the priest's habitation, which was among those tents round the tabernacle, and which were reckoned as parts of the house of God; for that David did not go into the tabernacle itself, and take the shew-bread from the table that stood there, is evident from 1 Samuel, xxi. 6. where it is said that the shew-bread delivered by the priest to David, was indeed bread that had been hallowed, but was removed from before the Lord, other bread having been put in its place which was done every Sabbath day, according to the law Levit. xxiv. 8. So that the bread which was removed, belonging to the priest, came into his custody, and was properly under his hand, 1 Samuel xxi. 3. of which he gave David a share, whose present necessity justified the action.-See Horne, vol. iii. page 223.
XII. 27. “If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?” As Christ gave his twelve apostles and seventy disciples a power of dislodging evil spirits, and which, it is said in some degree continued in the church about two hundred years, the sons of Scheva and