« FöregåendeFortsätt »
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 sorrow, 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
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. 6. 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. IIence, 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.
Dr. Pocoke informs us that an Arab prince will often dine in the street, before his door, and call to all that pass, even beggars, in the usual expression of Bismillah, that is, in the name of God, who come and sit down, and when they have done, retire with the usual form of returning thanks.
XIV.-26. “And hate not his father," &c. In Scripture, one thing is said to be loved and another hated, when the former is much preferred, and especially when out of regard to it, the latter is neglected. Philo de Monarch says, that the high priest of the Jews was to put off all natural affection, even for father and mother, children and brothers, &c.See Ostervald.
XV.-16. “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks," &c. Thus Horace :-Vivit siliquis et pane secundo. B. ii. epist. i. 1. 122.
That the Greek word answers to siliqua, and signifies a husk or pod, wherein the seeds of some plants, especially those of the leguminous tribe, are contained, is evident. Both the Greek and Latin terms signify the fruit of the carob tree, a tree very common in the Levant, and in the southern parts of Europe, as Spain and Italy. This fruit still continues to be used for the same purpose, the feeding of swine. It is called also St. John's Bread, from the opinion that the Baptist used it in the wilderness. Miller says, it is mealy, and has a sweetish taste, and that it is eaten by the poorer sort, for it grows in the common hedges and is of little account.-See Burder's 0. Customs, vol. ii. p. 335.
XVI.-8. “The lord commended the unjust steward." Here we read that the lord commended the unjust steward (who in the parable had been represented as having defrauded his master) because he had done wisely: and hence Jesus Christ has been unjustly charged with countenancing dishonesty. The whole of the context, however, shews that it was the master or Lord of the steward, and not Christ, who is represented as commending his conduct, and it is in consequence of his master's so commending him, that Jesus made the reflection, that the children of this world are, in their generation, wiser than the children of light. The parable in question is to be interpreted solely in reference to the principal idea contained in it: and that idea is, from the conduct of a worldly minded man, to enforce upon the followers of Jesus Christ the necessity of their being at least as assiduous in pursuing the business of the next world,--the salvation of their souls,-as worldly minded men are in their management of the affairs of this world.See Horne's Introduction, vol. i. page 577.
XVI.-9. “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness." By the mammon of unrighteousness is not here meant riches unjustly acquired, but riches in gene. ral; the false, the uncertain, the transitory riches of this present world.-Ostervald.
XVI.-20. “ Named Lazarus.” This name is derived from the Hebrew, and signifies—a helpless person.
XVI.-21. “And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table.” The table was not an. tiently covered with linen, but was carefully cleansed with wet sponges. Thus Homer :
The seats with purple clothe in order due,
Odyss. b. ii. 189.
So also Martial :
Hæc tibi sorte datur tergendis spongia mensis.
They made no use of napkins to wipe their hands, but did so with the soft and fine part of the bread; this they afterwards threw to the dogs. Hence, we clearly understand what were the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table; and perceive the force of the words of the woman of Canaan. Matt. xv. 27. Mark vii. 28. See Burder's 0. Customs, vol. ii. p. 337.
XVI.-22. “And was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.” The custom of reclining at table, over one another's bosom, was a sign of equality and strict union among the guests. This custom, Beausobre well observes, will explain several passages of Scripture, particularly those in which mention is made of Abraham's bosom, (Luke xvi. 22.) and of the son's being in the bosom of the father, (John i. 18. compared with Phil. ji. 6. and John xiii. 23.)-Horne, vol. iii.
XVI.23. “And in hell he lift up his eyes." The general receptacle of departed spirits, in the intermediate state before the resurrection, was called in Hebrew, Sheol; and in Greek, Hades. This was supposed, says Dr. Hales, to be divided into two separate departments: the one for good souls called Paradise; into which our Saviour promised admission to the penitent thief on the cross, Luke xiii. 43.; to which St. Paul was caught up in vision, 2 Cor. xii. 4.; and wished to be there with Christ, Phil. i. 23.; and to which the soul of the beggar Lazarus was carried by the angels of death to Abraham's bosom. The other for bad souls, separated from the former by an impassable gulf, was called the lower Sheol, Tartarus, or Hades, where the rich man, in the parable,
up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.—Valpy's Greek Testament.
XVI.-24. “ Father Abraham, hare mercy on me," &c. Tillotson observes that this is the only instance we meet with in Scripture of any thing that looks like a prayer put up to a glorified saint. But even this instance, if it may be called so, taken from a parable, shows that the application was vain, and that the saint could give no relief.- Valpy's Greek Test.
XVII, -37. . “ Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.”. Wheresoever the Jews are,