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5 or mother, let him die the death.” But ye say: Whosoever shall say
to his father or his mother: It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest 6 be profited by me; and honor not his father or his mother, he shall be
free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect 7 by your tradition. Ye hypocrites! well did Esaias prophesy of you,
the filial obligations. All the at- taking a rash oath or vow, they tentions of children never can repay represented that it was alienated the debt of gratitude which they from the use of their parents as owe those from whom they derived much as it it had been given to their being, their education, and the God, which seems as rational an comforts and blessings of early life. interpretation, and one that is counReverence, love, and obedience, so tenanced by the different vows of far as parental commands are right, obligation or prohibition in the Talare, by the laws of natural and re mudic books, as Lightfoot has shown vealed religion, obligatory upon on this passage.— Jesus would not children, and the contrary is pro censure the practice of giving to hibited under the most awful penal- religious objects; but he would ties. If aged and infirm, or poor, condemn the practice of thus givparents are to be taken care of by ing at the expense of violating the their offspring, their last days to be filial obligations. made comfortable and happy, and 6. He shall be free. These words the descent to the grave smoothed in Italics are not in the original, but by filial sympathy and attention. are introduced by the translators;
5. But ye say. He contrasts their the sense would be unimpaired if iniquitous sayings with the divine they were omitted. The whole commandments. It is a gift. Mark might read thus, as Wakefield has says, “ It is Corban, that is to say, a translated it :-"A man may say to gift,” something devoted to the ser his father or mother, that is an ofvice of God. If a Jew wished to fering to God (by which I might evade the duty of supporting his have profited thee), and so honor parents, he might, according to the not his father or his mother."-Of doctrine of the Scribes and Phari- none effect by your tradition. By sees, the tradition of the elders, this wicked subterfuge they really, devote his property to the treasury though not nominally, nullified the of the Lord, or place it in the hands fifth commandment. of the priests. He would then say 7. Ye hypocrites. Ye false preto his parents, My property is Cor- tenders, ostensibly keeping the ban, a gift sacred to God, so far as commandments, but in reality setyou might be profited by it. He ting them aside to make room for was said to be free accordingly your own traditions.-Esaias. Is. from the obligation of providing xxix. 13, where there is a difference for the wants of his father and in language from the passage here mother. Thus, under the guise of quoted, since this was taken from a false piety, the coinmand of God the Greek Septuagint and not from was disobeyed. Some commenta the original Hebrew. The declarators suppose that what they refused tion of Isaiah is introduced not as to their parents was not actually implying the fulfilment of a prodevoted to a sacred purpose, but by phecy, but as a description given the use of the word Corban, or by by the prophet of the people of his
saying: “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and 8
-Then came his disciples, and said unto him: Knowest thou that 12 the Pharisees were offended, after they lieard this saying? But be 13
time, which was applicable to the unwashen bands, by an argumen-
who, in their eagerness to observe
9. All worship is necessarily in mouth, &c. This reters back to vain, if it spring not froni a heart verse 2, where they had objected obedient to God. He who is sub to the disciples because they ate servient to the will of man, or to with unwashen hands. Jesus would human institutions, in opposition to not destroy the law which authorizGod's laws, by that very state of ed a distinction of meats, but he mind disqualifies himself for offer- asserts that nothing is naturally uning acceptable worship, which im- clean, or could defile a bunian plies by the very act a supreme re mind; but that regard was chiefly gard to the Being who is worship- to be paid to the thoughts, intenped.-By these direct and searching tions, and words coming out of a applications of truth to their con These it was that had powsciences, Jesus gave them mortal er to stain his purity. offence, and stung their pride so 12. Were offended. - Were scanthat they were never satisfied until dalized. They were indignant that they saw him upon the cross. the veil of bypocrisy should be torn
10. He called the multitude. Turn off and their idle pretensions to hoing from the Scribes and Pharisees, liness exposed to contempt. They he now_addressed the people at did not venture openly to denounce large. Thus far he had been enga Jesus, but the disciples observed ged in rebutting the charge against that they had taken offence. The his disciples, because they ate with question of the disciples carries the
answered and said: Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not 14 planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone ; they be blind leaders
of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the 15 ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him: Declare unto us 16 this parable. And Jesus said : Are ye also yet without understand17 ing? Do not ye yet understand that whatsoever entereth in at the 18 mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those
impression that they regretted that their errors.—Blind leaders of the the Pharisees were offended, think- blind. A proverbial expression ing it necessary, perhaps, to propi- common to the Hebrews, Greeks, tiate their favor, in order to estab- and Romans, and aptly illustrating lish their Master's kingdom. the point our Lord wished to con
13. Every plant. Every planta- vey. The common people were tion, according to many critics, re- blind through ignorance. The ferring to the Scribes and Pharisees Scribes and Pharisees, their guides, as a body who would be over- were blind through perversity and thrown by the advance of truth ; or, hypocrisy. The consequence of as is more likely, erroneous doc- one leading the other would be that trines and customs are meant. It both would go astray and fall into was the business of our Lord to destruction.-Ditch. More properextirpate these, to make way for ly, pit, which was dug to hold wathe truth. We have the proinise of ter in a country exposed to severe Jesus that these in due time shall, drought. by the reformation of the world 15. Then answered Peter. Here and the elevation of the church, again is inwoven in the history a be finally rooted up. Truth is bright thread of reality, in the chargreat, and it will eventually prevail. acteristic representation of this disThere are many plants in the Chris- ciple as the spokesman of the comtian church, unscriptural doctrines, pany. The slighter such an inciidle rites, and groundless preten- dent, the greater the evidence of sions, which cannot abide the uudesignedness, nature, and truth. searching investigation of free and -Declare unto us this parable. Exindependent minds. It becomes us, plain your maxim or figure, which therefore, abandoning all other had been given in verse 11. The foundations, to repose upon Christ, word parable is used with a conthe corner-stone, fearless of the fu- siderable latitude of meaning. See ture.
pote on Mat. xiji, 3. “Nought endures but thou, O Lord;
16. Are ye also yet without underEverlasting is thy word!
standing ? Still without understandThou, the first, the midst, the end ; Thou, the deathless, changelose friend :
ing. He appeals to their common Grant us, Lord, heyond the skies, sense. You must be obtuse indeed, Flowers whose fragrance never dies.”
after all my instructions, not to uns 14. Let them alone. Have done derstand my comparison. with them. Have nothing to do 17. Food enters the bodily syswith their doctrine, dread not their tem, but not the spiritual constituopposition. It is to be expected tion, Mark vii. 19, and consequentthat they will be enraged at those ly does not affect the character. who endeavor to convict them of 18. But what is spoken comes
things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts; 19 murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashen 20 hands defileth not a man.
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and 21 Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same 22 coasts, and cried unto him, saying: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David ; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he 23 answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought hiin,
from the abundance of the heart, bly to escape from the importunity and that defiles the character. As of the Scribes and Pharisees, or the a poet says:
snares of Herod. This supposition “Our outward act is prompted from within, is strengthened by what is said in
And from the sinner's mind proceeds the sin.” Mark, that he would have no man Christ in this passage taught, in op- know the place where he was. On position to the Pharisees, Ist, that Tyre and Sidon see note, Mat. xii. outward things do not pollute the 22. character; and 2d, that evil words 22. Woman of Canaan. Palesand thoughts, coming from the tine was formerly called Canaan. heart, defile the inan.
Perhaps she was a descendant of 19. Jesus proceeds to give a cata the ancient Canaanites. Mark vii. Jogue of those things which cor- 26, she is termed "a Greek, a Syrupt a man.—Evil thoughts. Or, rophenician by nation.” This counpurposes. He then particularizes try had been conquered and governwhat deeds they prompt.—Blas- ed by the Greeks under Alexander phemies. Calumnies, or, if it relates the Great. Besides, the Jews gave to the Creator, impious expressions. the name of Greek to all who beMark mentions not only the acts, longed not to their own nation. but the evil qualities, covetousness, The region in which Tyre and wickedness or malice, deceit, Jas- Sidon were situated was called civiousness, an evil eye, pride, fool- Phænicia, and was included in the ishness.
more general name of Syria. Hence 20. Unwashen hands.
This re the inhabitants were Syrophænifers back to verse 2, where the dis- cians, as distinguished from the ciples were accused of eating with- Phænicians of Lybia, or Carthagi. out washing their hands. It was nians.-Coasts. Borders.—Son of no sin to neglect an empty form. David. She might have learned Jesuis encouraged po superstitious this epithet of the Messiah from the or idle ceremonies, but what is real, multitude around him, and his berational, and indispensable.
neficent power to cure the sick. 21. Into the coasts of Tyre and -Vexed with a devil. A demon. Sidon. Or, towards the borders of See note on Mat. iv. 24. The Jews Tyre and Sidon, for it does not ap- ascribed all inveterate diseases to pear with certainty that he ever left the agency of demons, or the disthe country of Judea. His object embodied spirits of wicked men. in retiring to that region was proba 23. He answered her not a word.
24 saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us. But he answered
and said: I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Is25 rael. Then came she and worshipped him, saying: Lord, help me! 26 But he answered and said : It is not meet to take the children's bread, 27 and to cast it to dogs. And she said: Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of
The disciples, imbued with the pre 25. Worshipped him. Notwithjudices of their countrymen, would standing her seeming repulse, have been offended had he imme- strong in her materval heart she diately granted her request; but by ,throws herself in a suppliant posdeferring the matter, they them ture at his feet with the new enselves, moved by her pathos, join treaty, “ Lord, help me!" Beautiful with her in supplicating his aid. instance of persevering faith! Send her away, i. e. dismiss her, 26. It is not meet, &c. Or, fit or satisfy her, or despatch her busi- right. We may suppose Jesus here ness; whereas the common version expresses less his own sentiment makes it appear that they would than that of the disciples and the have him send her away disap- multitude. He assumes for the pointed of her object. So far from moment their style of speech. The it, her eloquent grief overcame their Jews regarded themselves as the rooted dislike to the Gentiles, and children of God, and they hesitated they became co-pleaders with her. not to call all other nations sinners,
24. Lost sheep of the house of dogs, and every thing most opproIsrael. An inage of a flock with- brious. This seemingly harsh lanout a shepherd, bewildered and ex guage is softened, therefore, when posed to the ravages of wild beasts. we know that words, highly offenThe ministry of Jesus was special- sive when first used, in time lose ly devoted to the Jews, as the na their rudeness, and sink into mere tion that had been particularly edu terms of designation. The manner cated by God to maintain his pure and look of Jesus, as we learn worship. Still, he preached to the from the sequel, were such as not Samaritans, he cured the servant of to intinuidate, but encourage the a Roman, and the daughter of a woman. The diminutive also is Greek, and thus iutinated, not used in the original, meaning little doubtfully, that his religion was dogs, which bespeaks likewise a a gift from Heaven to all meu. But mildness of address. this and the other objections Jesus 27. The dogs eat of the crumbs, made to the woman's petition may &c. Never was an answer more be understood, as has been truly apropos and ingenious.
I acsuggested, rather as an expression knowledge, she says, the force of of what was passing in the minds your words, and I ask but for the of his disciples, than of his own crunibs, which the dogs have by disinclination to relieve the Gentile. right of custom, that fall from the He wished to overcome their preju- abundant table spread for the endices, and bring back their hearts to iertainment of the Jews. Jesus pature and to truth, by exhibiting effected his purpose, and exhibited her sublime faith, which would not her humility and faith, in their nahave been manifested had he at tive grace and constancy, to the once granted her prayer.
admiration of his disciples.