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Elias is come already, and they | 14 9 And when they were come knew him not, but have done unto to the multitude, there came to him him whatsoever they fisted : like-a certain man kneeling down to wise shall also the Son of man him, and saying, suffer of them.
15 Lord, have mercy on my son ; 13 Then the disciples understood for he is lunatic, and sore vexed, that he spake unto them of John for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, the Baptist.
and oft into the water.
listed. Listed is a word formerly used | 15. Lord, have mercy on my son. for chose. Not knowing John, that is, “Mine only child.” Luke ix. 38. The not recognizing him as the inessenger father was in a state of great anxiety. sent in the power and spirit of Elijah, His only son was diseased, frightfully Herod had put him to death; the Jews diseased. He had heard of the power having first treated him with indignity, of Jesus to remove such diseases. He saying he had a devil, and bringing had, at first, been disappointed at not against him other railing accusations. finding him; then, by the inability of 1 Also the Son of man, &c. The Mes-the disciples to perform the cure. But siah has been treated thus far with like now, having found the physician, he indignity, and will share a similar fate, implores relief in moving terms. T Luin being cut off from the earth by a natic. “A spirit taketh him, and he violent death.
suddenly crieth out,” &c. Luke ix. 39. 13. Then the disciples understood, He “ hath a dumb spirit." Mark ix. &c. They saw that Jesus had refer- 17. On the general subject of posence to John the Baptist, and were sat-sessions, see note on Mark, ch. v. isfied that Malachi referred to him." It was very usual to the Jews to Perhaps the remarks of Jesus brought attribute some of the more grievous to their mind his former testimony to diseases to evil spirits, especially those the identity of John with the expected wherein the body was distorted, or the Elijah.
mind disturbed and tossed with a frenzy. 14–21. See Mark ix. 14—29, where 'If any one, vexed with an evil spirit, the relation is more minute and partic- shall say, when their disease did first ular. Also Luke ix. 37–42.
invade him, write a bill of divorce for 14. When they were come to the mul- my wife,' &c. "If any, whom Kordititude. Mark informs us, that, on his cus vexeth, say, write a bill of divorce descent from the mountain, our Lord for my wife,' &c. "Kordicus, say the found certain scribes questioning his Glossers is a demon, which rules over disciples in the presence of a multitude. those that drink too much new wine. The character of the questions is not What is Kordicus ? Samuel saith, named ; but we may be certain that when new wine out of the press hath they were designed not so much to caught any one.' Rambam, upon the draw out useful information from the place, hath these words : 'Kordicus is disciples, as to entrap and confound | a disease, generated from the repletion them. For when Jesus asked the of the vessels of the brain, whereby the scribes what was the subject of their understanding is confounded; and it is questioning, they answered not a word ; a kind of falling sickness. Behold the a tolerably convincing evidence that same, a demon and a disease! to which they were ashamed to speak the truth, the Gemarists applied exorcisms and a in reply to his demand. When the diet.-From this vulgar opinion of the people saw Jesus approaching, they nation, namely, that devils are the were amazed at his sudden and unex- | authors of such kind of di pected appearance, and ran towards him, evangelist brings in the father of this and saluted him, after the Eastern child, saying of him, he is a lunatic;' manner. See Mark ix. 14–16. T Man another, he hath a spirit.' He had kneeling down to him. Kneeling, or been dumb and deaf from his birth; to even a more humble prostration, was that misery was added a frenzy, or a commonly practised in the East, by lycanthropy, which kind of disease it those who besought favors of the pow- was not unusual with the nation to erful.
I attribute to the devil; and here, in truth,
16 And I brought him to thy and he departed out of him : and disciples, and they could not cure the child was cured from that very him.
hour. 17 Then Jesus answered and 19 Then came the disciples to said, O faithless and perverse gen- Jesus apart, and said, Why could eration, how long shall I be with not we cast him out? you? how long shall I suffer you? | 20 And Jesus said unto them, Bring him bither to me.
Because of your unbelief: for ver18 And Jesus rebuked the devil, ily I say unto you, If ye have faith
a devil was present."-Lightfoot. Il exclaimed, with energetic grief and think the argument, in this passage, “ with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou that the disease of the child was not mine unbelief." His appeal was not caused by a demon, overbalances the ineffectual. See Mark ix. 20–24. assertion, at its close, that it was thus 18. Jesus rebuked the devil, &c. The caused.
common language of the Jews is here 16. They could not cure him. It does used ; and the cure of the disease is not distinctly appear, whether the disci- represented as an expulsion of a demon. ples who attempted this cure, and failed, Was cured from that very hour. were of the Twelve or not: though, I Here the expression denotes that a disfrom Mark ix. 28, it seems probable ease, not a demon, had been removed. they were, for Jesus seldom had others The cure was instantaneous, and therewith him, when in private. The reason fore miraculous; a cure by ordinary of their failure appears in ver. 20. means being very slow and gradual.
17. O, faithless and perverse genera- It is added by Mark, that the young tion. This rebuke was administered to man appeared for a moment as one the multitude generally. The scribes dead; but that when Jesus touched his probably had scoffed at the failure of hand he immediately revived. Mark the disciples, in their effort to heal, and ix. 26, 27. See a particular notice of the multitude were induced by them to this case, its nature, symptoms, and doubt whether they might not have been cure, in note at the beginning of Mark, · previously deceived, and whether Jesus, ch. v. after all, might not be an impostor. | 19. To Jesus apart. This interview Their faith was wavering and unsteady. was in the house. Mark ix. 28. Why 1 How long shall I be with you? How could not we cast him out ? It is exlong must I continue to repeat the man- | tremely natural for men to overrate their ifestation of my miraculous powers. I own powers, and to be surprised at any before you will attain a steady faith? | failure in their efforts. It is natural, How long must I exercise patience and also, that they should not readily perlong-suffering, on account of your perceive that the difficulty lies in some versity and hardness of heart? In this imperfection in their own character: for exclamation, our Lord manifests the their vanity hides such imperfection grief which oppressed him, while con- from their sight. The disciples seem templating the stubbornness of some, to have been utterly unconscious of the the imbecility of others, and the diffi- cause of their failure; and insensible culty of removing both. Bring him that they lacked any qualification for to me. When the youth saw Jesus, he the work. fell down in a convulsiun, foaming at | 20. Because of your unbelief. We the mouth. On being questioned, the are not to understand that God was father declared that his son had been unable to remove this disease, on subject to this disease, from childhood, account of a lack of faith in the disciand often fell into the fire and into the ples. But such is his will, that he water. He then renewed his request, answers not by miracle, unless the faith that Jesus would afford relief, if he had of him who appeals be firm and unthe power. The form of his supplica- wavering. Such was not the faith of tion indicating some doubt, he was the disciples on this occasion. Perhaps informed that all things are possible they were made doubtful by the artful to him that believeth.” Confessing his questions of the scribes, or hesitated weakness and imploring aid, the father I somewhat to encounter such a violent
as a grain of mustard-seed, ye out, but by prayer and fasting. shall say unto this mountain, Re- 22 9 And while they abode in move hence to yonder place; and Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The it shall remove ; and nothing shall Son of man shall be betrayed into he impossible unto you.
the hands of men : 21 Howbeit, this kind goeth not 23 And they shall kill him, and and desperate disease. It is certain had there mentioned a kind of faith, to that their faith, in some respect, was which nothing would be impossible;
rain of mustard - | no, not the causing mountains to be seed. Some understand our Lord to removed. This faith Mark, in ch. xi., mean that such faith as from a small calls a faith of God, that is, a very beginning would increase and expand, strong one. What then is this kind like the stalk from the mustard-seed, which Matthew here represents Jesus should be effectual to the performance as speaking of ? Not a kind of devils of miracles. See Matt. xiii. 31, 32, or diseases, (I think,) but a kind of Others, with apparently better reason, faith. The sense seems to be this: understand him to mean that the small- this faith, so strong as in ver. 20, goeth est amount of genuine, firm, undoubting not out, that is, doth not exert itself, so faith, even were it like the mustard- as to have the proper effect, unless it be seed in appearance, should suffice to the first raised in the man by fasting and production of the most astonishing prayer. Besides, if fasting and prayer results. It is well known that the were absolutely necessary to be put in Jews were accustomed to use the mus- practice before that kind of devils could tard-seed as an emblem of minuteness. be cast out, it is probable that we should The idea is, that though apparently have been told that Jesus himself took great and far-reaching faith, when min- this previous method; but of this Matgled with doubt and misgiving, is inef-thew makes no mention. James, in ch. fectual, the mightiest results may be v. 15, 16, speaks of a prayer of faith, expected from a more circumscribed able to save the sick, in a miraculous faith, if it only be pure, confident, and manner, and he speaks of this faith as undoubting. Ye 'shall say unto this inwardly wrought in men. When such mountain, &c. Common oriental and a faith therefore operates so as to be proverbial phrases, to indicate great dis- able to cast out a devil, it goeth out of plays of power. 1 Cor. xiii. 2. If him, who hath this faith, in a sense not understood in a literal sense, it might difficult to be understood. See Knatchbe doubted whether any man ever pos- bull.”- Pearce. sessed faith, since such an evidence of it 22, 23. See Mark ix. 30–32; Luke has never been furnished. “The Jews | ix. 43–45. used to set out those teachers among 22. Abode in Galilee. They seem to them, that were more eminent for the have been travelling at this time, and profoundness of their learning, or the visiting sundry places in Galilee. Mark splendor of their virtues, by such ex- ix. 30. It was the evident design of pressions as this : 'He is a rooter up Jesus to avoid being apprehended, until (or a remover) of mountains.' 'He he could still further advance the great saw Resh Sachish in the school, as if he object of his mission. The Son of were plucking up of mountains and man shall be betrayed, &c. The exgrinding them one upon another.'”— pression denotes that he should be Lightfoot.
delivered up by a professed friend,-a 21. This kind goeth not out, &c. traitor to his professions and to his Many have supposed our Lord to mean duty. This was literally fulfilled by this kind of demon, or disease, or what- Judas. Matt. xxvi. 47-49; xxvii. ever might be the cause of the young 3-5. man's affliction. In my judgment, how- 23. They shall kill him, &c. Jesus ever, it is more proper to apply his knew that his disciples still continued remark to the kind of faith of which he ignorant of his true character; that, had been speaking, as in the following while they believed him to be the Mes. criticism. “Jesus had, in ver. 20, siah, their ideas were earthly, not spir. ascribed their not being able to cast out itual ; that they savored not the things the devil to their unbelief only; and he l of God but those of men. Matt. xvi.
the third day he shall be raised 25 He saith, Yes. And when again. And they were exceeding he was come into the house, Jesus sorry.
prevented him, saying, What M 24 And when they were thinkest thou, Simon? of whom
come to Capernaum, they that re- do the kings of the earth take cusceived tribute-money, came to Pe- tom or tribute ? of their own chil
ter, and said, Doth not your Master | dren, or of strangers ? Ex pay tribute ?
26 Peter saith unto him, Of 23. Hence he repeated the assurance snade me that this is to be understood all that a violent death awaited him; so of the half-shekel, to be yearly paid
that when it should occur, they need into the treasury of the Temple. (1.)
not be surprised or disheartened. He The word itself whereby this tribute is di added, as usual, that, though thus called, didrachma, (didoa xua.) Con
killed, he should rise from the dead on cerning this, Josephus writes thus: 'He Ex: the third day. And as they did not laid a tax upon all the Jews where11 then comprehend his meaning, he re-soever they were, namely, two drachms; E peatedly reminded them of the facts, commanding every one, of whatever le probably for the reason assigned by | age, to bring it into the Capitol, as
himself, on another occasion : “These before they had paid it into the Temple exi things have I told you, that when the at Jerusalem.' "(2.) The answer of i time shall come, ye may remember that Christ sufficiently argues that the dis
I told you of them." John xvi. 4. course is concerning this tax, when he W "Now I tell you before it come, that saith, He is son of that king for whose beled when it is come to pass, ye may believe use that tribute was demanded; for,
that I am he." John xiii. 1g. This from thence were brought the daily al effect was produced. He foretold his and additional sacrifices, and their
death and resurrection by the figure of drink-offerings, the sheaf, the two at destroying the temple and raising it up loaves, (Lev. xxiii. 17,) the showist in three days. “When therefore he bread, all the sacrifices of the congre
was risen from the dead, his disciples gation, the red cow, the scape-goat, and remembered that he had said this unto the crimson tongue, which was between them; and they believed the Scripture, his horns,' &c." - Lightfoot. The value and the word which Jesus had said." of the half-shekel, or two drachms, was John. ii. 22. And they were exceed- equal to about one quarter of an Ameriing sorry. "They understood not that can dollar. saying, and were afraid to ask him." 25. He saith, Yes. Peter took the libMark ix. 32. Their sorrow furnishes erty to speak for his Master, as he gensufficient evidence that they did not erally did for his fellow-disciples.
fully comprehend his meaning. See 1 Prevented him. The word prevent, T John xiv. *28, 29. Their minds were according to its Latin origin, formerly
clouded with prejudice, and they could denoted to go before, or anticipate.
not understand the plainest declarations, Such is its meaning here. See the like the if they seemed inconsistent with their use of the word, 1 Thess. iv. 15. In
hopes and expectations. See notes on deed, its present signification embraces Matt. xvi. 22, and xvii. 9.
the same idea; namely, to hinder, or 24. Capernaum. The city where Je-obstruct, by interposing some obstacle sus generally resided, after leaving to the accomplishment of an object. Nazareth. It is called “his own city." But, originally, it did not denote hinMatt. ix. 1. 1 They that received drance, but merely precession. | Kings tribute-money. Some understand this of the earth, &c. * Earthly monarchs. of a civil tax, imposed by the Roman Their own children. Their natural government. But others, as I think I offspring.
g, or the members of their own more properly, regard the tribute families. Strangers. Probably meanmoney as the half-shekel which every ing no more than those who did not be. Jew was bound to pay for the service long to the royal household. This is a of the Temple, to defray the expense sufficient contrast to children. Of of sacrifices and other religious offer- course, kings would not ordinarily imings and duties. "Two things per- pose taxes on foreigners, unless they
strangers. Jesus saith unto him, | that take, and give unto them for Then are the children free.
me and thee. 27 Notwithstanding, lest we
CHAPTER XVIII. should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take up LA T the same time came the disthe fish that first cometh up: and n ciples unto Jesus, saying, when thou hast opened his mouth, Who is the greatest in the kingthou shalt find a piece of money : 1 dom of heaven? had acquired some degree of authority necessary to pay the tribute for Jesus over them, and rendered them, thus far, I and Peter. In this transaction, a mirasubjects. The true question was, cle was displayed, either of knowledge do kings, when taxing their subjects, or power. Jesus could not know that include their own families in the de- the first fish taken would be the one mand, or not?
having the money, (supposing the 26. Then are the children free. The money to have been previously in the argument is this: if kings do not re- mouth of the fish,) except by miracle ; quire their children to pay taxes. this and if he created and placed it there, tribute should not be demanded of me; for this purpose, there was surely a for I am Son of that God for whose ser: miracle of power. “The former is the vice the tribute is collected. A mild most probable supposition. It is by reproof was thus administered to Peter no means absurd, that a fish should for his forwardness in admitting that have swallowed a silver coin. Many his Master was subject to this tax; of them bite eagerly at anything and he was made to condemnu himself bright, and would not hesitate, thereby his own replies to his Master's ques. | fore, at swallowing a piece of money." tions.
-Barnes. It should be observed, that 27. Lest we should offend them. Our this is the only instance, in which JeLord was careful to conform to all the sus is recorded to have performed a proper laws and customs of his coun miracle for his personal benefit; and try. In this case, although he knew, even now, his disciple shared the beneand his di believed, that he was fit; and the great object of the miracle the Son of God, and therefore not liable was, to comply with a demand made by to pay tribute, yet this fact was by no the constituted authorities of his counmeans so manifest to the collectors of try, and to furnish to them, as well as
he would not to his disciples, additional evidence of create a disturbance, or cause any his Messiahship. . unnecessary offence, by declining a
CHAPTER XVIII. compliance with the demand. It were well, if all his professed followers were 1--5. Parallel with Mark ix. 33– as careful of giving offence. Though | 37, and Luke ix. 46–48. men may feel persuaded that reasons 1. At the same time. That is, imexist, why they should not be required mediately succeeding the events narto perform certain duties, or to make rated in the previous chapter. Mark ceriain sacrifices, yet while the “pow- and Luke connect this account with ers that be " think differently, it is bet- what is related in Matt. xvii. 22-23, ter to avoid giving otsence, by submit omitting the demand of tribute-money; ting to every ordinance of man for the and one of them says the disciples disLord's sake, 1 Pet. ii. 13, than, hy re- cussed the question of superiority, sisting authority, to give offence, and while journeying to Capernaum. Mark incur reproach and legal penalties. See ix. 33. Came the disciples to Jesus, also Rom. xiii. 147. Go thou to the saying, &c. Mark says Jesus first sea. That is, the sea of Galilee ; for inquired of them the subject of their they were now at Capernaum, situated dispute on the way to Capernaum ; but on its shore. Piece of money. In they held their peace, being ashamed the original, the word is stater, the to acknowledge the fact. Mark ix. name of a Roman coin, equal in value 33, 34. Luke says Jesus perceived to four drachms, or the Jewish shekel, their thoughts. Luke ix. 47. When and consequently the precise amount they discovered that their thoughts