Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
And he preached the word unto them; probably in the court. The buildings constituting an ancient dwelling of the better class, were generally arranged in a square, so as to bring the yard or court in the centre, which was thus enclosed and protected. This is still the case in countries where the people do not feel secure from public commotions and acts of violence.
Borne of four. Palsy is a disease which renders the patient peculiarly helpless. A considerable portion of the body is deprived, in a great measure, of the power of sense and motion.
Uncovered the roof; removed such a portion as to allow of letting the patient down into the court.
The reasoning of the Savior seems to be this,--that to perform a miraculous cure was as truly an exercise of divine power, as to forgive sins; but as the former act only could be made evident to the senses, they ought to be satisfied, by seeing him exercise the one, that he possessed power to perform the other.
Levi. This collector is called Matthew, by the other evangelists. (Matthew 9:9.)--The receipt of custom; the office where he transacted the business of collecting the taxes or customs of this port.
Levi, or Matthew, seems to have been possessed of property, and to have had many other officers either associated with him in his business, or acting under him.
The meaning is, that, while Christ was with his disciples, it was proper for them to rejoice, and not to mourn. The days for mourning and fasting would come when he should be taken away.
New cloth; cloth which had not been fulled.--Taketh away from the old; shrinks and draws the old, so that it is easily torn again, and made worse than before.
Burst the bottles; by its fermentation.--New bottles; which, being made of skins, and consequently elastic, yield to the expansion, and are not easily torn. These two cases are designed to express the incongruity of mourning and fasting on the part of the disciples, while their Lord was with them.
1 Samuel 21:2-6. It was in fact Ahimelech who gave David the bread. Saul afterwards slew him for this act, and then Abiathar, his son, succeeded him. Abiathar was more prominent as a public character, and thus his name is used to designate the historical period at which the event occurred.
The doctrine taught is, that ceremonial laws are not, like moral precepts, of perpetual and unchanging obligation. In great emergencies, they yield to the necessity of relieving human suffering.
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