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bath-day. But he said unto them: Have ye not read what David did, 3 when he was an bungered, and they that were with him ? how he en- 4 tered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for thein which were with himn, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on 5 the sabbath-days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and
explain the opinions of the time, probably in the court of the taberand illustrate the text before us: nacle.—The shew-bread. Lev. xxiv. “He that reaps on the Sabbath, 5—9. This bread was so called though never so little, is guilty. because it was placed on a table in And to pluck the ears of corn is a the tabernacle, before the presence kind of reaping; and, whosoever of God, as there manifested. It plucks any thing from the spring. was the shown bread. Twelve fresh ing of his owo fruit is guilty under loaves, “an emblem of the offerings the name of a reaper." The Phari- of the Twelve Tribes,” were put sees nominally directed the charge there weekly; the old bread being of Sabbath-breaking against the removed, and eaten by the priests disciples, but in reality they aimed alone. David, in his extremity, and their blow at Jesus hiniself
. He by the permission of the priest, answered it in this light. They ap- partook of this holy bread, contrary peared to have been actuated on to the law, and gave it to his comthis and other occasions, when the panions. But he was justified by observance of the Sabbath was in the necessity of the case. He had question, by a union of superstition been pursued by Saul, and had no for outward ceremonies, and of per- time to provide for his journey. sonal hostility to Christ. See Mat. In violating therefore the letter of xii. 10. Luke xiii. 14, xiv. 1–3. the law, he might be said not to John v. 16, ix. 16. They gladly have violated-its living spirit. So seized hold of any pretext to black- the disciples were justified in their en his character. And his lofty in- seeming transgression by the necesdependence, though tempered by sity of nature. We may suppose, gentleness and prudence, gave perhaps, that Jesus does not admit them frequent opportunities of mis- that his disciples did break the Sabconstruing his words and actions. bath by plucking and eating of the
3. What David did. Jesus de- grain, but that he reasoned with the fevds himself and his disciples, Pharisees on their own ground, as first, by the example of David; an the readiest way to silence their authority which the Jews very calumpy. much respected. The history of 5. In the law, i. e. of Moses. the case referred to is contained in Numb. xxviii. 9, 10.—Profane the 1 Sam. xxi. 3-6.--An hungered. sabbath, and are blameless. It was Hungry.
a Jewish saying, “ There is no sab4. How he entered into the house batism at all in the temple.” The God. . David seems, from the nar labor of the priests was as much as ration, not actually to have entered on other days, in slaying, and prethe house, or tabernacle,--the tem- paring, and offering up the victims. ple had not yet been built,,but Yet they were blameless, because to have met the priest elsewhere, it was a law that sacrifices should
6 are blameless ? But I say unto you, that in this place is one greater 7 than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth : “I will have
mercy and not sacrifice,” ye would not have condemned the 8 guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath-day. 9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue. 10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And
be offered up on the Sabbath. you would not have condemned Thus the disciples were excusable, the necessary violation of a ritual because, although they did that law, or perhaps a mere tradition. which according to the mere letter This is the third answer of Jesus of the law might be called work, to the accusation of the Pharisees. yet they obeyed the higher law of 8. The Son of Man is Lord, or self-preservation. What the priests Master, &c. By the Son of Man did in the temple, my disciples may we are to understand Christ himdo here. Thus far he has justified self, as in verse 32. See note on himself and them by the necessity Mat. viji. 20. Jesus was authorized of the case, and the example of to establish a system of religion, David.
under which the Sabbath would be 6. Is one greater. The original changed from a day of physical is in the neuter gender. Something rest to one of spiritual awakening; greater than the temple. Jesus from a day of offering material sathus modestly expressed his claim crifices to one of worshipping God to superiority. Greater than the in spirit and truth. In his church temple may mean greater than also the Sabbath has been transferthose who serve in the temple, or red, in commemoration of his resurgreater than that system on account rection, from the seventh to the of which the temple was erected. first day of the week. He could He had power to supersede that therefore grant a freedom to his dissystem and its laws, and establish ciples unknown to the scrupulous one less ceremonial. What he al- Pharisees. This was his fourth juslowed his disciples to do was justi- tification.—Mark 'adds, ii. 27, “The fiable, though contrary to the tradi- Sabbath was made for man, and tions of the elders. Their health not man for the Sabbath ;" which and life were of more consequence signified that the day would be than external observances. His truly kept, if made subservient to second justification, therefore, is man's greatest good. drawn from the fact of his superi- 9~16. See Mark iii. 1-6, 12. ority to Moses.
Luke vi. 6-11. 7. I.will have mercy and not sacri
9. He went into their synagogue. fice. Hos. vi. 6. 1 Šam. xv. 22. A This was, according to Luke vi. 6, Hebrew idiom. The sense is not on another Sabbath-day. The two that God did not require sacrifice, narratives are introduced together but that he preferred acts of right- because they relate to the same eousness to mere external observ- subject. We see that by studying
He looks at the heart rather the parallel passages of the Evanthan at the hand. The verse may gelists we gain a more complete be paraphrased thus : “ If you had knowledge of the history of our considered the superiority of right Lord. affections over outward ceremonies, 10. Which had his hand withered.
they asked him, saying: Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath-days ? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them: What man shall 11 there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath-day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How 12 much then is a man better than a sheep! Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath-days. Then saith he to the man: Stretch 13 forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole,
Who had a withered hand. This but if he cannot, let him bring was probably a species of palsy, of clothes and litters and bear up the which there were several kinds; beast, whence if he can come up, but which is never suddenly cured let him come up,” &c. Jesus by natural means. Luke mentions would therefore justify bis conduct that it was the right hand.—Is it upon grounds of their own admislawful, &c. It had been decided sion, and by their actual practice in by some of the Jewish teachers, as relation to the inferior creation. we learn from their books, that it 12. How much then is a man betwas not lawful to heal on the Sab- ter than a sheep! Of how much bath-day, except in case of immi
more importance and value. Jesus nent danger.-That they might ac intimates that the restoration of the cuse him. They asked questions withered hand of a human being not for information, but for accusa was of more consequence than the tion. How malignant must that life of an animal; and as the Jews hatred have been, which the quiet admitted that the one might be resof the Sabbath did not mitigate; cued, so they must also admit that which followed Jesus in his circuits the other might be healed. It is of doing good, only to slander and lawful to do well, &c. To perform accuse, and which converted his beneficent acts. We learn from acts of mercy into crimes of the this that moral laws are superior to deepest dye! Whilst, on the other ceremonial institutions. Our Lord hand, with what wisdom, patience, reasoned with the Jews upon their magnanimity, and calminess, did own maxims and conduct; for the divine Teacher meet all his dif even they allowed that the Sabbath ficulties! Who can look upon him did not free thern from the obligaand not love so noble a being ? tions of mercy.
Strange indeed Who can love and not imitate would it be, if that day, set apart as him?
sacred to God, could be lawfully 11. Pit. A cistern or well, at abused by the transgression of the which cattle were watered. The laws of God. Jews had carried their notions to 13. Stretch forth thine hand. Jesuch an extravagant length as to sus having answered their insidi. question whether it were lawful to ous question performs the miracle. rescue an animal from danger on By his command to stretch forth the Sabbath-day; but it had been the helpless, palsied hand he puts decided in the affirmative, as we the faith of the man to the proof. learn from the Rabbinical books. —He stretched it forth, &c. He has “If a beast fall into a ditch, or into such confidence in Jesus as to a pool of water, let the owner bring lead him to obey implicitly this him food in that place, if he can; commund, although apparently in
14 like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council 15 against him, how they might destroy him.- But when Jesus knew
it, he withdrew himself from thence; and great multitudes followed 16 him; and he healed them all, and charged them that they should not 17 make him known; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by 18 Esaias the prophet, saying: “Behold, my servant, whom I have cho
capable of it. Where there is a also mentions from what places the disposition to obey, there is strength multitudes came; and that he gave given sufficient for our duty. Faith directions to have a small ship in recognizes no impossibilities. The waiting to receive hiin on account complete and sudden recovery of of the crowd. Jesus withdraws the palsied hand is a proof of mir- from danger less on account of aculous power. The palsy was a himself than because the objects of disease not admitting of a speedy his mission would be defeated by
Jesus exculpated his disci- his premature death— Great multiples on the previous occasion by tudes. Notwithstanding the oppothe plea of necessity; at this time sition of their teachers, the great he justified himself by the plea that mass of the people welcomed his he performed a deed of benevo- instructions and confided in his Jence.
miraculous power.--Healed them 14. The Pharisees went out. The all. This is one of those universal closeness of our Lord's reasoning 'expressions that require to be limitand his independence had exas- ed by the nature of the subject. perated these malicious men, so that He healed all who sought to be they go out immediately to plot his healed. destruction. The tumult of their 16. Should not make him known. passions showed how ill they were See note on Mat. viii. 4. This comqualified 10 discuss moral questions. mand arose from the wish to avoid Stung with envy at bis popularity, any tumult of the people, who and enraged at his superiority in might desire to make hiin king, word and deed, they already began and also to shun his foes who were to lay those plans which finally re- plotting against his life. sulted in his crucifixion.—Held a 17. That. Implying that the council. Not a formal assembly; preceding circumstances rendered the sense rather is, they counselled the quotation from Isaiah approtogether. Mark adds, that the Her- priate.--Esaias. Isa. xlii. 1-4. odians also joined with them, proba- The prophet seems to have had in bly a political party attached to the view the character of the Messiah reigoing sovereign, and opposed to
great deliverer. any change in the state, as the Evangelist applies the description Pharisees
to the present conduct of Jesus. church.-Him, i. e. Jesus, not the See note on Mat. i. 22. man who is last mentioned.
18. The quotation made by Mat. 15–21. See Mark iij. 7-12. agrees in substance, though not in
15. When Jesus knew it, he with all points of phraseology, with the drew. When he had learned it, or passage in Isaiah. It describes the when it came to his knowledge, he mild and humane character of Jewithdrew, as Mark states, to the sus, who, though he did not distrust sea, i. e. the Sea of Galilee. He his cause or his God, yet gave way
any in the
sen, my beloved, in whom iny soul is well pleased; I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles. He 19 shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he 20 not quench ; till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in bis 21 name shall the Gentiles trust."
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and 22 dumb;
and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said: Is not this 23
before his enemies to avoid their ness of his disciples, forgiving
21. In his name. In him shall the Gentiles. A law; meaning a sys- the Gentiles trust. The most extem of religion, which was to be tensive benefits were to follow from preached not only to the Jews, but the Gospel. In Jesus, the descendalso to the Gentiles.
ant of Abraham, all the nations of 19. Images of peace. He would the world were to be blessed. Gennot be clamorous or violent, like tile as well as Jew was to be ada warrior, but gentle and meek, mitted to the privileges and hopes shunning rather than seeking pub- of his religion. We witness at the licity.
present day the fulfilment of his 20. Bruised reed. The reed was prediction. used as an emblem of weakness. 22-32. See Mark iii. 19-30. Ezek. xxix. 6. 2 Kings xviii. 21. Luke xi. 14-23. Smoking flax, i. e. the wick of an 22. Possessed with a devil. With expiring lamp. The general mean a demon; a denionjac. See note, ing of these figures is, that his con- Mat. iv. 24.-Blind and dumb. The duct would be characterized by individual was probably afflicted meekness and kindness; that he with insanity, one symptom of would not crush the contrite and which is taciturnity, and in some feeble, but encourage the faintest blindness.- Insomuch. So aspirations after virtue; and that he that. would not seek applause. Such 23. The people were amazed. As was in fact the character of our they believed in the reality of posLord. He was tender to the weak- session by evil spirits, they were