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and emphatical to import an extraordinary and sublime devotion; so the high mountains and great cedars are called the mountains and cedars of God. Though some good critics, as Prideaux, Hammond, Whitby, interpret the original expression-In the place of prayer, or prayer house. -See Ostervald.
VI.--38. “Give into your bosom." The eastern garments being long and folded, and girded with a girdle, admitted of carrying much corn or fruits of that kind in the bosom. -Burder's 0. Customs, vol. i. p. 304.
. VII.-37. “And, behold, a woman in the city," &c. It is generally supposed that the woman who anointed our Lord in the house of Simon, was Mary Magdalene ; but Mary Magdalene seems rather to have been a woman of high station, and opulent fortune, being mentioned by St. Luke eren before Joanna, though the wife of so great a man as Herods steward. This must therefore have been some woman who had formerly been a great and scandalous sinner.-Ostervald.
VII.-44. “Thou gavest me no water for my feet," &c. Dr. Shaw informs us that these customs still subsist among the eastern nations to this very day, particularly among
the Arabs, who are remarkable for retaining their antient manners; and that the person who first presents himself to welcome a stranger, and wash his feet, is the master of the family; for, as they still walk bare-footed, or with sandals only, this mark of civility is absolutely necessary.
VII. 47. “For she loved much.” The Greek particle here translated for, should have been rendered therefore: the sense is,--Because her sins are forgiven, therefore she hath loved me much, as being persuaded that she can never sufficiently express her sense of the obligation.—Doddridge.
VIII.-10. “That seeing they might not see, and hearing, might not understand.” The blindness of the Jews was the reason of our Lord's teaching them by parables, and not his teaching them by parables, the reason of their blindness.Valpy's Greek Testament. VIII.
-55. And her spirit came again.”. This was providently added by St. Luke to the account of the other Evangelists, as he, writing for the Gentile converts, was more solicitous to instil just notions concerning the soul and its state after death; as an intimation, Grotius remarks, that the human soul is not a temperament of the body, or any thing that dies with it, but somewhat subsisting by itself; which, after the conclusion of this mortal life, is not in the same place with the body: for this is taught in saying it came again.Valpy's Greek Testament. : IX.-_-49. “We saw one casting out devils in thy name." Whitby and Clark are of opinion, that this was one of the Baptist's disciples, who, though he did not follow Christ with the rest, had been taught by his master to acknowledge him as the Messiah, and entertained so great a veneration for him, that he attempted to cast out devils in his name.
X.-4. “ And salute no man by the way.". Dr. Lightfoot, from the Rabbis, observes, that it was the custom of the Jews during the days of their mourning not to salute any one. He conceives therefore that Christ would have his disciples appear like mourners : partly as representing himself who was a man of
that so from these messengers the people might guess in some measure what sort of person he was that sent them : partly as they were to summon the people to attend upon Christ in order to be healed both of their spiritual and bodily diseases; and it was therefore fit that their behaviour should be mournful and solemn, in token of their fellow-feeling with the afflicted and miserable.-See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 331.
X.-18. “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” To be exalted to heaven signifies to be raised to great power and privileges, especially to sovereign dominion. To fall from heaven, therefore, may signify, to lose one's dominion and precedency. Similar expressions are found in Greek and Latin authors : Cicero says of Pompey, ex astris decidisse.
X.-20. Your names are written in heaven." i. e. In the book of life. This alludes to the custom of enrolling the names of those who are made free of a city. The phrase signifies,-their being approved and accepted of God, on account of their sincere love of truth and practice of virtue.Ostervald.
XI. —5. 6. “Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, friend, lend me three loaves,” &c. The eastern journeys are often performed in the night, on account of the great heat of the day. This is the time in which the caravans chiefly travel : the circumstance therefore of the arrival of a friend at midnight is very probable. It was usual with the Jews to borrow bread of one another; and certain rules are laid down when and upon what condition this is to be done : as, for instance, on a sabbath-day. “So said Hillel, let not a woman lend bread to a friend till she has fixed the price, lest wheat should be dearer, and they should be found coming into the practice of usury." What was lent could not be demanded again under thirty days.-See Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. page 331 and. 332.
XI.-7. “My children are with me in bed.” That is, in bed in the same room. Sir John Chardin observes, it is usual in the East for the whole family to sleep in the same chamber on different beds or mattresses laid on the floor.
XI.-44. “ Ye are as graves which appear not.” The graves of the poor were oftentimes so neglected, that if the stones by which they were marked, happened to fall, they were not set up again, by which means the
themselves did not appear, and the men that walked over them were not aware of them.-See Horne, vol. iii. page 511.
XI.-52. “ Key of knowledge." It is said that authority to explain the laws and the prophets, was given among the Jews by the delivery of a key; and of one Rabbi Samuel we read, that after his death they put his key and his tablets into his coffin, because he did not deserve to have a son to whoin he might leave the ensigns of his office. If the Jews really had such a custom in our Saviour's time, the expression, the key of knowledge, may seem a beautiful reference to it. Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. i. page 310.
XII.-24. “ Consider the ravens.” Aristotle, Pliny, and other naturalists, tell us that the young ravens are deserted by the mother bird as soon as they are hatched; which circumstance renders our Saviour's reference to them very appropriate and beautiful.--Valpy's Greek Testament.
XII. 35. 36. “Let your loins be girded about,” &c. This is spoken in allusion to the customs of the east, where antiently great entertainments were made in the evening, and so prolonged to the latest hours : on such occasions, servants shewed their faithfulness by watching, and keeping their lamps burning, and their loins girded, that they might be ready to open the door to their master at his first knock Ostervald.
XII.-39. “ What hour the thief would come.' The coming of Christ is compared to the coming of a thief, not in respect of theft, but of the sudden surprise. Cicero says, Non enim res tota loti rei necesse est similis sit; sed ad ipsum, ad quod conferetur, similitudinem habeat, oportet. i. e. It is not necessary that there should be a perfect resemblance of one thing in all respects to another ; but it is necessary that a thing should bear a likeness to that with which it is compared. --See Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. page 622.- The above remark may be applied to passages of a similar nature. .XII.
-54. “ When ye see a cloud rise out of the west.” The Greek article should have been translated here, and the
passage would have read thus : when ye see the cloud rise, &c. In our Lord's time the appearance of this cloud was a well known prognostic of wet weather.
XIII.-8. “ Till I shall dig about it.” It is very probable that a spade was not used in the time of our Saviour in their vineyards. We are, therefore, to understand the turning up of the ground between the rows of trees with an instrument proper for the purpose, drawn by oxen : or in other words, ploughing about the tree.-See Valpy's Greek Testament.
XIII.-24. “Strive to enter in at the strait gate." Namely, agonize. This is a metaphor taken from those who wrestled, or contended in the Olympic and other Grecian games : which shows that it is a great conflict and requires constancy, courage, and perseverance.- Valpy's Greek Testament. XIV.
-12. 14. " When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends," &c. The New Testament speaks frequently after this manner, and pronounces many things simply and absolutely, which must be understood with a limitation, i. e. She is not dead, but sleepeth, Mark v. 39. Labour not for the meat that perisheth, John vi. 27. i. e. labour more for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life than for this.-Edwards. The sabbath was to be devoted to cheerful rest, that not only the Israelites, but also strangers living with them, as well as their cattle might be refreshed, Exod. xxiii. 12. Hence, it is not improbable, that they celebrated sacrificial or offering feasts, to which, from the commencement of their polity, the poor were invited. In later times, at least we know from history, that the Jews purchased and prepared the best viands they could procure for the sabbath day in order to do it honor; and that they actually had sabbath feasts, to which they even invited persons with whom they were unacquainted. Horne, vol. iii. page 291.