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Matt. ix. 6.
Mark ii. 12.
Capernaum. is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins Mark ti. 9.
be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up
But that ye may know that the Son of man Mark ii. 10.
And immediately he rose up before them, and
Luke v. 25. took up the bed
Mark ii. 12. that whereon he lay,
Luke v. 25. and went forth before them all,
Mark ii. 12. and departed to his own house, glorifying God, Luke v. 25. insomuch that,
Mark ii. 12. when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and Matt, ix. 8. they were all amazed, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen Luke v. 26. strange things to-day; we never saw it on this fashion. and [they] glorified God, which had given such Matt. ix. 8. power unto men.
Mark ii, 12,
Mark ii. 12.
MATT. ix. part of ver. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. ver. 7. and part of ver. 8.
3 –certain of the Scribes said
6 But that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins-Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
MARK ii. part of ver. 4. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 12.
LUKE V. part of ver. 18. 20, 21, 22. ver. 23, 24. and part of ver. 25, 26.
18 men brought in a bed-
23 Whether, is easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up Capernaum. and walk ?
24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thine house.
25 And immediately—took up-
The calling of Matthew 30.
multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.
30 Lightfoot, Archbishop Newcome, and Doddridge, place the calling of St. Matthew in its present order, and separate that event from the feast which was given afterwards in his house. They reason, from Luke viii. 41. and Mark v. 22. that many events occurred, and much time elapsed, from the calling of Matthew to the visit of Jairus, which took place at the feast, Matt. ix. 10–18. Michaelis, Pilkington, and Bedford in his Scripture Chronology, unite these events.
Is it not probable, that our Lord proposed some useful lesson by thus calling Matthew from the receipt of custom? The Jews expressed the utmost contempt and hatred of all those of their countrymen, who accepted the office now held by St. Matthew. In their opinion, vows made to thieves, murderers, and publicans, might be broken. These persons were regarded by them as profane, shepherds, alms-gatherers, and publicans-702101 ,783) , 1977 gobba 958. Their repentance also was considered very difficult. The Jerusalem Targum has the following canon, Demai, fol. col. 3. nana mx 1717 *71nwygw yan. A pharisee, that becomes a publican, they remove from his order : but if he leaves his profession they restore him to his order again. St. Matthew appears to have been, from his official situation, which must have made him more generally known, the most suitable of all the apostles to become the writer of the first Gospel; and he was an eye-witness also of what he records. The others, excepting St. John, and perhaps St. Peter, who probably dictated, or at least superintended, St. Mark's Gospel, were men of but little education, and not much known to their countrymen. Our Saviour, by calling St. Matthew, intended perhaps to reprove the self-righteousness and arrogance of the Pharisees; and to shew them, that the most despised among men were preferred before them in the sight of God (a).
In addition to the reasons assigned by Lightfoot for separating the invitation
(a) See Talmud in Nedarim per 3. halaç 4. and Sanhed. per 1. fol. 24. ap Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 660.
Capernaum. and as he passed by
Mark ii, 14. from thence, he saw a man,
Matt. ix. 9. a publican, named Levi,
Luke v. 27. named Matthew,
Matt. ix. 9. the son of Alpheus,
Mark ii. 14. sitting at the receipt of custom.
Matt. ix. 9. and he said unto him, Follow me.
Luke v. 27. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. Luke v. 28.
MATT. ix. 9. 9 And as Jesus passed forth and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
MARK ii. part of ver. 13, 14. 13 -And
14 -he saw Levi-sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.
LUKE v. 27. . .
The Infirm Man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. J. P. 4740.
JOHN v. 1-16. Jerusalem. 1 After this there was a feast of the Jews 31 ; and Jesus
went up to Jerusalem.
z Levit. xxiii,
to the feast at the house of Matthew, from the call of that Apostle, it may be observed, at that feast our Lord spake in parables. But this mode of teaching was never adopted till the Scribes and Pharisees had imputed his casting out of devils to the agency of an evil spirit.
I have not thought it deserving of consideration, whether Matthew and Levi were different persons. It is the general, and, I cannot but think the correct opinion, that they were the same. I insert the words of Rosenmüller, as expressing my own opinion. An diversa tantum sint nomina unius ejusdemque personæ, an vero duo portitores simul vocati sint a Christo, equidem definire non ausim. Quum tamen Marcus et Lucas in plerisque cum Matthæo consentiant, et alii etiam apostoli binomines fuerint (Simon Petrus, et Lebbæus Thaddæus) præferenda esse videtur eorum sententia, qui Levin et Matthæum diversa tantum esse nomina unius ejusdemque personæ existimant. Rosenmüller, Scholia N. T. vol. i. p. 193.
31 ON THE NUMBER OF PASSOVERS DURING OUR LORD'S MINISTRY. There are four passages in St. John's Gospel which are considered, by the majority of harmonizers, as intending to express the number of passovers, and the consequent duration of our Lord's ministry. They are the following
ii. 13. και εγγύς ήν το πάσχα των Ιεδαίων, και ανέβη εις Ιεροσόλυμα
2 Now there is at Jerusalem, by the sheep-market *, a J. P.4740.
V.Æ. 27. pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Jerusalem. * Or, gate.
• ’Inooūs. The second is, v. 1. Merà raūra ñv dopri tûv 'Ixdaiwv, kai ávébn ó 'Incoûc eis 'Ieposódvua. The third vi. 4. iv dè šyyùs to háoxa, i copth) Tūv 'Iodaloy. The fourth xi. 55. ny od tyyds TÒ Adoxa Tūv '18daiwy. Upon the right construction indeed of the second of these, the question of the duration of our Lord's ministry may be said to depend. The generally received opinion is, that our Lord's ministry lasted three years and a half, during which time four passovers were celebrated. The second of these passages, however, does not appear to warrant the supposition that a passover is the feast intended, and consequently no argument can be deduced from these passages to ascertain the duration of our Lord's ministry.
In all the other three passages, St. John uses the words TÒ mdoxa, to express the passover, in the second he uses only the word word èopri). Now this, it is evident, does not assert that the feast here meant was a passover. If we may judge from the other passages of St. John, without taking into consideration the other Gospels, we may say that the omission of the article demonstrates that he could not mean a passover; as the article is inserted in every other passage where the word coprn is used, as referring to the feast of the passover. It is found also in the seventh chapter, where the same expression is given in reference to the feast of tabernacles. On examining the other Gospels, we shall see, that though St. Mark has once used the word without the article, when speaking of the feast of the passover, and St. Luke also has done the same thing, yet St. Matthew, like St. John, has uniformly preserved it; and so indeed have all the evangelists, with these two deviations only. Matt. xxvi. 2. Tò máoya yivetal,
5. ur) év tý lopty. xxvii, 15. Karà dé tijv oprnv. Mark xiv. 1. jv dè tò adoxa, &c.
2. ur) év tỹ lopty. The exception referred to is,
xv. 6. carà đề opthv. Luke ii. 4I. Tỷ eoprỹ T8 ITáoxa. But in
xxiii. 17. kad' éopri)v. John in this instance only uses the word lopty), without the article. Compare the passages John ii. 23.-iv. 45.-vi. 4.-vii. 2.-vii. 8. 10. 11. 14. 37.-xi. 56.-xii. 12. 20.-xiï. 1. 29.
These passages, in which ¿opra) is without the article, may denote the feast of the passover, may in fact be considered as the same: and it may be observed, therefore, that the expression Kal' opriv is an idiomatical phrase, similar and equivalent to κατ' έτος, the construction of which depends on πας, or έκατος, understood. In this manner we must supply the ellipsis by St. Luke, who uses the expression κατά πάν σάββατον, (Acts xiii. 27.) καθ' εορτήν therefore will mean ward tão av éopriv, or feast by feast; as kar' (ros, signifies year by year : and as the propriety of the latter expression would be destroyed by the insertion of the article to, so, to render the phrase kall' éopriiv, analogous in its construction, it was necessary that the article should be omitted. This there
J. P. 4740. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of
21. blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
fore is done ; and though some MSS. since the time of Theophylact, have inserted the article, yet the quotations from Origen have not the article, and Irenæus refers to the verse in such a manner, that there is no reason for supposing that it was found in his MS. It is omitted too in the Codex Alexandrinus, Cod. Vaticanus, Cod. Beza, and most of the Greek MSS (a).
The course of St. John's history seems to imply rather that this feast was not a passover. He relates that our Saviour remained in Judæa after the first passover in his ministry, till he knew “how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John." He then left Judæa, and departed through Samaria into Galilee. He then went to Capernaum, (vide chap. iv.) and after this, says the Evangelist, was a feast of the Jews. It is therefore, Mr. Benson (6) observes, natural to imagine that this was a feast of Pentecost, or tabernacles; because there has been nothing related by the Evangelist which can imply so great a lapse of time, as intervened between passover and passover.
On the other hand it has been argued, that the feast, mentioned in ver. 1, was a passover, from what Jesus says to his disciples at Sychar, (John iv. 35.) “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest." From this expression it is supposed that it then wanted four months to harvest; that is, to the passover, at which time the Jews' barley harvest began, (Lev. xxiii. 11, &c.); consequently the next of the three great feasts of the Jews would be that of the passover ; and as Christ had so lately left Jerusalem for fear of the Jews, it is concluded, by those who maintain this opinion, that no other inducement but that of a great feast would have carried him thither so soon again. In reply to this, it is said, that our Saviour in these words merely alluded to a proverbial expression among the Jews, that between the seed-time and harvest there elapsed a period of four months. And, from the context, we are still more induced to suppose it was a prevailing idiom, signifying there was no necessity for delay; that the fields were already ripe, and ready for the labourers to begin their work, figuratively alluding to his reception among the Samaritans. The words, “ lift up your eyes and look upon the fields, for they are white already to harvest," seem most pointedly to refer to the actual appearance of the surrounding country; for it does not appear probable, particularly as our Saviour was accustomed to draw bis illustrations from surrounding objects, that he would have adopted this metaphor had be been encompassed with the desolation of winter, or that season of the year which preceded harvest.
The history, therefore, of this portion of our Lord's ministry, is as follows: at his first passover he went up to Jerusalem, and continued in Judæa for two or three weeks after it, baptizing, “though he himself baptized not, but his disciples,” (John iv. 2.) His rapid and extensive success having excited the observation of the Pharisees, he thought it prudent to quit Judæa, and passing through Samaria in the midst of the harvest, impressed upon his disciples the readiness of the Samaritans to receive his doctrines, by an illustration very beautifully drawn from the scenes and operations which were passing before them. He then con
(a) Vide Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iñ. notes, p. 60; Benson, p. 253.