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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 9

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Matthew 9:2 . ἀφέωνται ] Lachm. Tisch. 8 : ἀφίενται (also Matthew 9:5 ), only according to B א , Or. (once). On the other hand, σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι (Lachm. Tisch.) for σοι αἱ ἁμ . is certainly supported by important testimony, but suspected, however, of being taken from Matthew 9:5 .

Matthew 9:4 . ἰδών ] Lachm.: εἰδώς , according to B M E** Π * Curss. Verss. Chrys.; a gloss. Comp. Matthew 12:25 ; Luke 6:8 .

Matthew 9:5 . σου ] Elz.: σοι , against decisive testimony.

ἔγειραι ] There is decisive testimony for ἔγειρε . Adopted by Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. Correctly; see the exegetical notes. In all the passages in which ἔγειρε occurs, there is found, as a diff. reading, ἔγειραι .

Matthew 9:6 . ἐγερθείς ] Lachm.; according to B, Vulg. Codd. of the It.: ἔγειρε . Mechanical repetition from Matthew 9:5 . Comp. Mark 2:11 .

Matthew 9:8 . ἐφοβήθησαν ] so also Lachm. and Tisch., according to B D א , Curss. Verss. (also Vulg. It.) and Fathers. ἐθαύμασαν of the Received text is a gloss.

Matthew 9:9 . ἠκολούθησεν ] Tisch. 8 : ἠκολούθει , on the too slender authority of D א and three Curss.

Matthew 9:12 . The omission of Ἰησοῦς , favoured by Lachm. and Tisch. 8, rests on too slender authority; while that of αὐτοῖς , which Lachm. and Tisch. leave out, has a preponderance of evidence in its favour.

Matthew 9:13 . ἔλεον ] Lachm. and Tisch.: ἔλεος ; see the exegetical notes.

ἁμαρτωλούς ] Elz., Fritzsche, and Scholz insert εἰς μετάνοιαν , which B D V* Γ * Δ א , Curss. Vulg. It. Syr. utr. Perss. Aeth. al. and several Fathers omit. Supplement from Luke 5:32 .

Matthew 9:14 . πολλά ] although deleted by Tisch. 8 (only according to B א * and three Curss.), has decisive testimony.

Matthew 9:17 . ἀπολοῦνται ] Lachm. Tisch. 8 : ἀπόλλυνται , after B א , Curss. Verss. The present is due to the other verbs around it.

ἀμφότεροι ] Elz.: ἀμφότερα , against decisive testimony. A correction.

Matthew 9:18 . εἷς ἐλθών ] Elz.: ἐλθών , only after Curss.; others: εἰσελθών ; others: τις εἰσελθών ; others: τις ἐλθών ; others: τις (or εἷς ) προσελθών ; Lachm.: εἷς προσελθών , after B א **. In the original, stood ΕΙΣΕΛΘΩΝ . [436]

Matthew 9:19 . Tisch. 8 (comp. on Matthew 9:9 ) has ἨΚΟΛΟΎΘΕΙ , after B C D.

Matthew 9:30 . Lachm. Tisch. have the rare Alexand. form ἘΝΕΒΡΙΜΉΘΗ , which has B* א in its favour, and was replaced by the more usual ἘΝΕΒΡΙΜΉΣΑΤΟ .

Matthew 9:35 . ΜΑΛΑΚΊΑΝ ] Elz. inserts ἘΝ Τῷ ΛΑῷ , against B C* D S Δ א **, Curss., and several versions and Fathers. Supplement from Matthew 4:23 .

Matthew 9:36 . ἘΣΚΥΛΜΈΝΟΙ ] Elz.: ἘΚΛΕΛΥΜΈΝΟΙ . The former, on which the latter is a gloss, rests on decisive testimony.

[436] But whether εἷς ἐλθών (Griesb. Scholz, Kuinoel, Fritzsche) or εἰσελθών (Tisch.) should be written, see the exegetical notes.

Verse 1

Matthew 9:1 ff. Mark 2:1 ff., Luke 5:17 ff., introduce the account somewhat earlier. Matthew reports, briefly and simply, only the essential points, following, it may be, an older form of the tradition.

Τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν ] Kapernaum ; ἣ μὲν γὰρ ἤνεγκεν αὐτὸν ἡ Βηθλέεμ · ἣ δὲ ἔθρεψεν ἡ Ναζαρέτ · ἣ δὲ εἶχεν οἰκοῦντα Καπερναούμ , Chrysostom. See Matthew 4:13 .

Verses 2-3

Matthew 9:2-3 . Αὐτῶν ] the paralytic, and those who were carrying him .

τέκνον ] affectionately; Mark 2:5 ; Mark 10:24 ; Luke 16:25 , and elsewhere. Comp. θύγατερ , Matthew 9:22 .

ἀφέωνται ] are forgiven ; Doric (Suidas), not an Attic ( Etym. M .) form of the perf. ind. pass.; Herod, ii. 165, ἀνέωνται , [437] with ἀνεῖνται (so Bähr), however, as a different reading; Winer, p. 77 [E. T. 96]; Buttmann, neut. Gr . p. 42 [E. T. 49]. Beza correctly observes, that in the perf. is “emphasis minime negligenda.” The view that Christ’s words imply an accommodation to the belief of the Jews, and also of the paralytic himself, that diseases are inflicted by way of punishment for sins, is all the more to be rejected that Jesus elsewhere (John 9:3 ; Luke 13:1 ) contradicts this belief. He saw into the moral condition of the sick man, precisely as afterwards, Matthew 9:4 , He read the thoughts of the scribes (John 5:14 ; John 2:25 ), and knew how it came that this paralysis was really the punishment of his special sins (probably of sensuality). Accordingly, he first of all pronounces forgiveness, as being the moral condition necessary to the healing of the body (not in order to help the effect upon the physical system by the use of healing psychical agency, Krabbe), and then, having by forgiveness removed the hindrance, He proceeds to impart that healing itself by an exercise of His supernatural power.

εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτ .] as in Matthew 3:9 .

ΒΛΑΣΦΗΜ .] through the assumption of divine authority (Exodus 34:7 ; comp. with Matthew 20:5 f.). He thereby appeared to be depriving God of the honour that belongs to Him, and to be transferring it to Himself; for they did not ascribe to Him any prophetic authority to speak in the name of God.

[437] See also Phavorinus, p. 330, 49, and Göttling, Lehre vom Accent . p. 82; Ahrens, Dial. Dor . p. 344; Giese, Dor. Dial . p. 334 f.

Verse 4

Matthew 9:4 . The power to discern the thoughts and intentions of others (comp. on Matthew 9:3 ) was a characteristic mark of the expected Messiah (Wetstein), was present in Jesus in virtue of His nature as the God-man, and analogous to His miraculous power.

ἱνατί ] why? that is to say, ἵνα τί γένηται ; Hermann, ad Vig . p. 849; Klotz, ad Devar . p. 631 f.

πονηρά ] inasmuch, that is, as you regard me as a blasphemer, and that with a malicious intention; whereas the sick man, and those who carried him, were full of faith. In contrast to them is the emphatic ὑμεῖς ( you people! ), which, being ignored by important authorities, is deleted by Tischendorf 8.

Verse 5

Matthew 9:5 . Γάρ ] gives a reason for the thought expressed in the preceding question, the thought, namely, that they were not justified in thinking evil of Him.

τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον ] The meaning is unquestionably this; the latter is quite as easy to say as the former, and conversely; the one requires no less power than the other; the same divine ἐξουσία enables both to be done; but in order that you may know that I was entitled to say the one, I will now add the other also: Arise, and so on. The result of the latter was accordingly the actual justification of the former. For τί in the sense of πότερον , comp. Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phil . p. 168.

ἔγειρε (see the critical remarks) is not a mere interjection, like ἄγε , ἔπειγε (Fritzsche, ad Marc . p. 55 f.), seeing that it is followed by καί , and that the circumstance of the arising has an essential connection with the incident (see Matthew 9:2 , ἐπὶ κλίν . βεβλημένον ; comp. Matthew 20:6-7 ); but the transitive is used intransitively (Kühner, II. 1, p. 81 ff.), as is frequently the case, especially in verbs denoting haste (Bernhardy, p. 340). Eur. Iph. A . 624: ἔγειρʼ ἀδελφῆς ἐφʼ ὑμέναιον εὐτυχῶς .

Verses 6-7

Matthew 9:6-7 . Ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ] placed near the beginning of the sentence so as to be emphatic: that the Son of man is empowered upon earth (not merely to announce, but) to communicate the forgiveness of sins. ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς does not belong to ἀφ . ἁμ . (Grotius), in which case its position would convey an awkward emphasis, and the order of the words would naturally be ἀφ . ἁμ . ἐπὶ τ . γῆς (as Marcion read them), but it is joined to ἐξουσίαν ἔχει in the consciousness of the ἐξουσία brought with Him from heaven . “Coelestem ortum hic sermo sapit,” Bengel.

τότε λέγει τῷ παραλυτ .] is neither to be taken parenthetically, nor is τόδε to be understood (Fritzsche), in order to justify the parenthesis; but Matthew’s style is such that no formal apodosis comes after ἁμαρτίας , but rather the call to the paralytic ἐγερθείς , etc. Matthew reports this change in regard to the parties addressed with scrupulous fidelity ; and so, after concluding what Jesus says to the scribes with the anacoluthon ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε … ἁμαρτίας , he proceeds to add, in the narrative form , “then He says to the paralytic.” This is a circumstantial simplicity of style which is not to be met with in polished Greek writers, who would have omitted the τότε λέγει τῷ παραλ . altogether as a mere encumbrance. See passages from Demosthenes in Kypke, I. p. 48 f.

καὶ ἐγερθεὶς , κ . τ . λ .] therefore an immediate and complete cure, which does not favour the far-fetched notion that the declaration of Jesus penetrated the nervous system of the paralytic as with an electric current (Schenkel).

Verse 8

Matthew 9:8 . Ἐφοβήθησαν ] not equivalent to ἐθαύμασαν (not even in Mark 4:41 ; Luke 8:35 ), but they were afraid . This was naturally the first impression produced by the extraordinary circumstance; and then they praised God, and so on.

τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ] Not the plural of category (Matthew 2:20 ), so that only Jesus is meant (Kuinoel), but men generally, the human race. In one individual member of the human family they saw this power actually displayed, and regarded it as a new gift of God to humanity , for which they gave God praise.

Verses 9-10

Matthew 9:9-10 . Comp. Mark 2:13 ff. (whom Matthew follows) and Luke 5:27 ff.

Καὶ παράγων ] not: as He went farther (as is commonly supposed), but (Matthew 20:30 ; Mark 1:16 ; Mark 15:21 ; John 9:1 ; 1 Corinthians 7:31 ): as He went away from where (He had cured the paralytic), and was passing by ( 3Ma 6:16 ; Polyb. v. 18. 4), the place, that is, where Matthew was. Exactly as in Mark 2:14 , and in Matthew 9:27 below.

Ματθ . λεγόμ .] Named Matthew (Matthew 2:23 , Matthew 26:36 , Matthew 27:33 ), anticipation of the apostolic name.

τὸ τελώνιον ] the custom-house of the place (Poll. ix. 28). On Matthew himself and his identity with Levi (Mark 2:14 ; Luke 5:27 ), further confirmed in Constitt. Ap . viii. 22. 1, see introduction, § 1. Considering the locality, it may be assumed that Matthew already knew something of Jesus, the extraordinary Rabbi and worker of miracles in that district, and that he does not now for the first time and all of a sudden make up his mind to join the company of His disciples ( ἀκολουθεῖν ). What is here recorded is the moment of the decision (in answer to Strauss, B. Bauer). This in opposition to Paulus, who interprets thus: “Go with me into thy house!” See Strauss, II. p. 570, who, however, sweeps away everything in the shape of a historical substratum, save the fact that Jesus really had publicans among His disciples, and that probably Matthew had likewise been one of this class; “that these men had, of course, left the seat at the custom-house to follow Jesus, yet only in the figurative sense peculiar to such modes of expression, and not literally, as the legend depicts it.”

Verse 10

Matthew 9:10 . Ἐγένετο … καί ] see note on Luke 5:12 .

ἀνακειμένου ] In classical Greek, to recline at table is represented by κατακεῖσθαι , as frequently also in the N. T. (Mark 2:15 ; Mark 14:3 ), though in Polybius, Athenaeus, and later writers ἀνακεῖσθαι , too, is by no means rare. Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, p. 217. On the custom itself (with the left arm resting on a cushion), comp. note on John 13:23 .

ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ ] With the exception of Fritzsche, Bleek, Holtzmann, Keim, Hilgenfeld (yet comp. already the still merely doubtful remark of Bengel), critics have gratuitously assumed the house to have been that of Matthew , which accords, no doubt, with Luke 5:29 (not Mark 2:15 ), but neither with the simple ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ (see Matthew 9:23 ; Matthew 13:1 ; Matthew 13:36 ; Matthew 17:25 ) nor with the connection. Seeing, then, that the publican who rose from his seat at the custom-house and followed Jesus cannot, of course, have gone to his own residence, nothing else can have been meant but the house of Jesus (in which He lived). There lies the variation as compared with Luke, and like many another, it cannot be disposed of. But de Wette’s objection, reproduced by Lichtenstein, Lange, and Hilgenfeld, that it is scarcely probable that Jesus would give feasts, has no force whatever, since Matthew does not say a single word about a feast ; but surely one may suppose that, when the disciples were present in his residence at Capernaum, Jesus may have eaten, i.e . have reclined at table with them. The publicans and sinners who came thither were at the same time hospitably received.

καὶ ἁμαρτωλοί ] and in general men of an immoral stamp , with whom were also classed the publicans as being servants of the Roman government, and often guilty of fraudulent conduct (Luke 3:13 ); comp. Luke 19:7 . Observe that Jesus Himself by no means denies the πονηρὸν εἶναι in regard to those associated with Him at table, Matthew 9:12 f. They were truly diseased ones, who were now, however, yielding themselves up to the hands of the physician.

Verse 11

Matthew 9:11 . Ἰσόντες ] How they saw it is conceivable in a variety of ways (in answer to Strauss, B. Bauer), without our requiring to adopt the precise supposition of Ebrard and de Wette, that they saw it from the guests that were coming out of the house. May not the Pharisees have come thither themselves either accidentally or on purpose? Comp. πορευθέντες , Matthew 9:13 ; ἐγερθείς , Matthew 9:19 ; and see note on Matthew 9:18 .

Verse 12

Matthew 9:12 . The whole and the sick of the proverb are figurative expressions for the δίκαιοι and the ἁμαρτωλοί , Matthew 9:13 . In the application the Pharisees are included among the former, not on account of their comparatively greater (de Wette), but because of their fancied , righteousness, as is evident from the sentiments of Jesus regarding this class of men expressed elsewhere, and likewise from Matthew 9:13 . The thought, then, is this: “the righteous (among whom you reckon yourselves) do not need the deliverer, but the sinners.” This contains an “ ironica concessio ” to the Pharisees, “in qua ideo offendi eos docet peccatorum intuitu, quia justitiam sibi arrogant,” Calvin. The objection, that in point of fact Jesus is come to call the self-righteous as well, is only apparent, seeing that He could not direct His call to these, as such (John 9:39 ff.), so long as they did not relinquish their pretensions, and were themselves without receptivity for healing.

Verse 13

Matthew 9:13 . After having justified His holding intercourse with publicans and sinners, Jesus with the δέ proceeds to tell the Pharisees what they would have to do in order to their receiving His invitation to be healed: “ but go and learn what is meant by that saying of the Scripture (Hosea 6:6 , LXX.), I will have mercy and not sacrifice .” You must understand that first of all, if you are to be of the number of those who are to be invited to enter the Messiah’s kingdom: “ for I am not come to call righteous, but sinners ” (1 Timothy 1:15 ). Through that quotation from the Scripture (mentioned only by Matthew here and Matthew 12:7 ), it is intended to make the Pharisees understand how much they too were sinners. According to others , Jesus wishes to justify His conduct , inasmuch as the exhibition of love and mercy constitutes the Messiah’s highest duty (Ewald, Bleek). This, however, is less probable, owing to the πορευθέντες with which He dismisses them from His presence, the analogy of Matthew 12:7 , and the very apt allusion in οὐ θυσίαν to the Pharisees with their legal pride.

πορευθ . μάθετε ] corresponds to the Rabbinical form צא ולמד , which is used in sending one away, with a view to fuller reflection upon some matter or other, or with a view to being first of all instructed regarding it; see Schoettgen.

γάρ ] assigns the reason for the πορευθέντες μάθετε , through which μανθάνειν they are first to be rendered capable of receiving the invitation to participate in the blessings of the kingdom. This invitation is uniformly expressed by the absolute καλεῖν .

The masculine ἔλεος is the classical form; the neuter, which rarely occurs in Greek authors (Isocr. 18, p. 378; Diod. iii. 18), is the prevailing form in the LXX., Apocrypha, and the New Testament, although the manuscripts show considerable fluctuation. In the present instance, the neuter, though possessing the authority of B C* D א (like Matthew 12:7 ), was naturally adopted from the LXX.

καὶ οὐ θυς .] The negative is absolute, in accordance with the idea aut … aut. God does not desire sacrifice instead of mercy, but mercy instead of sacrifice. The latter is an accessory (Calvin), in which everything depends on the right disposition, which is what God desires.

Verse 14

Matthew 9:14 . Concerning private fasting . See note on Matthew 6:16 . On the fasting of the Baptist , comp. Matthew 9:18 . On the fasting of the Pharisees (Luke 18:12 ), to whose authority on the rigid observance of the law the disciples of John adhere, see Lightfoot on this passage. Serar. de Trihaeresio , p. 36.

πολλά ] frequenter , Vulg., Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaed . p. 61 C, ad Parmen . p. 126 B; Kühner, II. 1, p. 270. A not inappropriate addition by Matthew (Weiss, Holtzmann).

οὐ νηστεύουσι ) comparatively, to be understood from the standpoint of the questioners, who hold the freedom of the disciples of Jesus, as contrasted with the frequent fasting of themselves and the Pharisees, to be equivalent to no fasting at all.

Verse 15

Matthew 9:15 . Οἱ υἱοὶ (Matthew 8:12 ) τοῦ νυμφῶνος ] ( of the bride chamber , Joel 2:16 ; Tob 6:16 ; Heliod. vii. 8) are the παρανύμφιοι , the friends of the bridegroom, who amid singing and playing of instruments conducted the bride, accompanied by her companions, to the house of her parents-in-law and to the bride-chamber, and remained to take part in the wedding feast, which usually lasted seven days. Pollux, Onom . Matthew 3:3 ; Hirt, de paranymph. ap. Hebr . 1748; on the Greek παρανυμφίοι , consult Hermann, Privatalterth . § 31, 18. Meaning of the figure: So long as my disciples have me with them, they are incapable of mourning (fasting being the expression of mourning): when once I am taken from them and that time will inevitably come then they will fast to express their sorrow . Christ, the bridegroom of His people until His coming, and then the marriage; see on John 3:29 . It is to be observed that this is the first occasion in Matthew on which Jesus alludes to His death , which from the very first He knew to be the divinely-appointed and prophetically-announced climax of His work on earth (John 1:29 ; John 2:19 ; John 3:14 ), and did not come to know it only by degrees, through the opposition which he experienced; while Hase, Wittichen, Weizsäcker, Keim, postpone the certainty of His having to suffer death the latter, till that day at Caesarea (chap. 16); Holsten even puts it off till immediately before the passion; see, on the other hand, Gess, op. cit. , p. 253 ff.

The τότε , which has the tragic emphasis of a sorrowful future (Bremi, ad Lys. p. 248, Goth.), expresses only the particular time specified , and not all time following as well , and while probably not condemning fasting in the church, yet indicating it to be a matter in which one is to be regulated, not by legal prescriptions (Matthew 9:16 f.), but by personal inclination and the spontaneous impulses of the mind. Comp. Matthew 6:16 ff.

Verses 16-17

Matthew 9:16-17 . No one puts a patch consisting of cloth that has not been fulled upon an old robe, for that which is meant to fill up the rent (the patch put on to mend the old garment) tears off from the (old rotten) cloak , when it gets damp or happens to be spread out, or stretched, or such like. That αὐτοῦ does not refer to the piece of unfulled cloth (Euth. Zigabenus, Grotius, de Wette, Bleek), but to the old garment, is suggested by the idea involved in πλήρωμα ( id quo res impletur , Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 469). Τί is not to be supplied after αἴρει , but the idea is: makes a rent . Comp. Revelation 22:19 , and especially Winer, p. 552 [E. T. 757]. The point of the comparison lies in the fact that such a proceeding is not only unsuitable , but a positive hindrance to the end in view . “The old forms of piety amid which John and his disciples still move are not suited to the new religious life emanating from me. To try to embody the latter in the former, is to proceed in a manner as much calculated to defeat its purpose as when one tries to patch an old garment with a piece of unfulled cloth, which, instead of mending it, as it is intended to do, only makes the rent greater than ever; or as when one seeks to fill old bottles with new wine, and ends in losing wine and bottles together. The new life needs new forms.” The Catholics, following Chrysostom and Theophylact, and by way of finding something in favour of fastings, have erroneously explained the old garment and old bottles as referring to the disciples , from whom, as “adhuc infirmes et veteri adsuetis homini” (Jansen), it was, as yet, too much to expect the severer mode of life for which, on the contrary (Matthew 9:17 ), they would have to be previously prepared by the operation of the Holy Spirit. This is directly opposed to the meaning of Jesus’ words, and not in accordance with the development of the apostolic church (Colossians 2:20 ff.), by which fasting, as legal penance, was necessarily included among the στοιχεῖα τοῦ κόσμου , however much it may have been valued and observed as the spontaneous outcome of an inward necessity (Acts 13:2 f., Matthew 14:23 ; 2 Corinthians 6:5 ; 2 Corinthians 11:27 ). Neander suggests the utterly irrelevant view, that “it is impossible to renovate from without the old nature of man” (the old garment) through fasting and prayers (which correspond to the new patch).

Leathern bottles , for the most part of goats’ skins (Hom. Il. iii. 247, Od. vi. 78, ix. 196, v. 265) with the rough side inward, in which it was and still is the practice (Niebuhr, I. p. 212) in the East to keep and carry about wine. Comp. Jdt 10:6 ; Rosenmüller, Morgenl . on Joshua 9:5 .

ἀπολοῦνται ] Future , the consequence of what has just been described by the verbs in the present tense. On εἰ δὲ μήγε , even after negative clauses, see note on 2 Corinthians 11:16 .


According to Luke 5:33 , it was not John’s disciples, but the Pharisees , who put the question to Jesus about fasting. This difference is interpreted partly in favour of Luke (Schleiermacher, Neander, Bleek), partly of Matthew (de Wette, Holtzmann, Keim), while Strauss rejects both. For my part, I decide for Matthew; first, because his simpler narrative bears no traces of another hand (which, however, can scarcely be said of that of Luke); and then, because the whole answer of Jesus, so mild (indeed touching, Matthew 9:15 ) in its character, indicates that those who put the question can hardly have been the Pharisees , to whom He had just spoken in a very different tone. Mark 2:18 ff., again (which Ewald holds to be the more original), certainly does not represent the pure version of the matter as regards the questioners, who, according to his account, are the disciples of John and the Pharisees, an incongruity, however, which owes its origin to the question itself.

Verse 18

Matthew 9:18 . Ἄρχων ] a president ; Matthew does not further define the office. According to Mark 5:22 , Luke 8:41 , it was the synagogue-president , named Jairus .

The correct reading is εἰσελθών (comp. the critical remarks), and not εἷς ἐλθών (Gersdorf, Rinck, de Wette, Tischendorf, Ewald), yet not as though the εις following were at variance with Matthew’s usual style (Matthew 22:35 , Matthew 23:15 , Matthew 26:40 ; Matthew 26:69 , Matthew 27:14 ; see, on the other hand, Matthew 5:41 , Matthew 6:27 , Matthew 12:11 , Matthew 18:5 , Matthew 21:24 ); but since this, like the former incident, also occurred at that meal in the residence of Jesus (according to Matthew, not according to Mark and Luke), and as this fact was misapprehended, as most critics misapprehend it still, consequently it was not seen to what εἰσελθών might refer, so that it was changed into εἷς ἐλθών . According to Matthew, the order of the incidents connected with the meal is as follows: (1) Jesus sends away the Pharisees, Matthew 9:11-13 . (2) After them, the disciples of John approach Him with their questions about fasting, and He instructs them, Matthew 9:14-17 . (3) While he is still speaking to the latter, a president enters , Matthew 9:18 , and prefers his request. Thereupon Jesus rises, i.e. from the table (Matthew 9:10 ), and goes away with the ἄρχων , Matthew 9:19 ; and it is not till Matthew 9:28 that we read of His having returned again to His house.

ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν ] has just now died . The want of harmony here with Mark 5:23 , Luke 7:49 , is to be recognised, but not (Olearius, Kuinoel) to be erroneously explained as meaning jam moritur, morti est proxima. Others (Luther, Wolf, Grotius, Rosenmüller, Lange) interpret, with Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus: στοχαζόμενος εἶπεν , ὑπέλαβε γὰρ , ὅτι μέχρι τότε πάντως ἂν ἀπέθανεν . A harmonizing expedient.

Laying on of the hand , the symbol and medium in the communication of a divine benefit, Matthew 19:13 ; Luke 4:40 ; Luke 13:13 . See on Acts 6:6 ; Acts 8:17 f., Matthew 13:3 , Matthew 19:5 ; Genesis 48:14 ; Numbers 27:18 .

The account of Mark 5:22-42 , which is followed by Luke 8:41 ff., is so unique and fresh in regard to the detail which characterizes it, that it is not to be regarded as a later amplification (Strauss, Baur, Hilgenfeld, Keim, Bleek); that of Matthew follows a condensed form of the tradition, which, moreover, is responsible for straightway introducing the ἐτελεύτησεν as if forming part of what the president addressed to Jesus.

Verse 20

Matthew 9:20 . The particular kind of haemorrhage cannot be determined. Some: excess of menstruation. Others: haemorrhoids. From its having lasted twelve years , it may be inferred that the ailment was periodical .

ὄπισθεν ] out of modesty. κράσπεδον ] LXX. Numbers 15:38 , צִיצִת . Such was the name given to the tassel which, in accordance with Numbers 15:38 f., the Jew wore on each of the four extremities of his cloak, to remind him of Jehovah’s commands. Lund, Jüd. Heiligth. ed. Wolf, p. 896 f.; Keil, Archäol. § 102; Ewald, Alterth. p. 307.

The article points to the particular tassel which she touched. Comp. Matthew 14:36 .

Verse 22

Matthew 9:22 . Jesus immediately (see on Matthew 9:4 ) perceives her object and her faith, and affectionately ( θύγατερ , as a term of address, like τέκνον , Matthew 9:2 , occurs nowhere else in the New Testament) intimates to her that ἡ πίστις σοῦ σέσωκέ σε , on account of thy faith thou art saved (healed)! The perfect describes what is going to happen directly and immediately, as if it were something already taking place. See Kühner, ii. 1, p. 129. Comp. Mark 10:52 , Luke 18:42 , and the counterpart of this among tragic poets, as in ὄλωλα , τέθνηκα , and such like. The cure, according to Matthew, was effected by an exercise of Jesus’ will, which responds to the woman’s faith in His miraculous power, not through the mere touching of the garment (in answer to Strauss). The result was instantaneous and complete. To try to account for the miraclo by the influence of fear (Ammon), religious excitement (Schenkel), a powerful hope quickening the inactive organs (Keim), is not sufficiently in keeping with the well authenticated result, and is inadequate to the removal of so inveterate a malady (the twelve years’ duration of which must indeed be ascribed to legend).

ἀπὸ τῆς ὥρ . ἐκ .] not equivalent to ἐν τῇ ὥρ ἐκ . (Matthew 8:14 ), but the thing begins to take place from that hour onward . Comp. Matthew 15:28 , Matthew 17:18 . Ἀπό and ἐν therefore express the same result, the instantaneous cure, in forms differing according to the manner in which the thing is conceived .

According to Eusebius, H. E. vii. 17, the woman’s name was Veronica ( Evang. Nicod . in Thilo, I. p. 561), and a Gentile belonging to Paneas, where she erected a statue to Jesus. However, see Robinson, neuere Forsch . p. 537.

Verse 23

Matthew 9:23 . The use of the lugubrious strains of flutes (and horns), such as accompanied the funerals of the Jews (Lightfoot on this passage; Geier, de luctu Hebr. v. § 16; Grundt, die Trauergebräuche d. Hebr . 1868), was known also among Greeks and Romans.

ὄχλον ] consisting partly of the women hired to mourn, partly of the friends and relations of the president.

θορυβούμ .] did not require an article, as being a mere qualifying attribute. Therefore θορυβ . is not, with Fritzsche, Ewald, to be referred to ἰδών .

Verses 24-25

Matthew 9:24-25 . The maid, is not to be regarded as being permanently dead, but only as sleeping and certain to come to life again, like one who awakens out of sleep . Thus, from the standpoint of His own purpose , does Jesus clearly and confidently speak of her actual death. “Certus ad miraculum accedit,” Bengel. It is wrong to found upon these words the supposition of a mere apparent death (Paulus, Schleiermacher, Olshausen, Ewald, Schenkel; Weizsäcker, without being quite decided). See, on the other hand, John 11:4 ; John 11:11 . This hypothesis is as incompatible with the view of the evangelists as it is inconsistent with a due regard to the character of Jesus. See Krabbe, p. 327 ff. Keim, again, hesitates to accept the idea of an unreal death, yet continues to harbour doubts as to the historical character of the narrative. He thinks that, at least, the firm faith of the president may be accounted for by the later hopes of Christianity, which may have prompted the desire to see, in the risen Christ, the future restorer of the dead already manifesting Himself as such in His earthly ministry, a matter in connection with which the statement in Matthew 11:5 and the parallel of Elias and Elisha (1 Kings 17:17 ; 2Ki 4:8 ; 2 Kings 4:18 . Comp. Strauss) also fall to be considered. Surely, however, a legendary anticipation of this sort would have been far more fertile in such stories! Then, apart even from the raising of Lazarus related by John, we have always (Matthew 11:5 ) to show how hazardous it must be to relegate to the region of myths those cases in which Jesus raises the dead, considering what a small number of them is reported.

ἐξεβλήθη ] Comp. Matthew 21:12 . The request to retire ( ἀναχωρεῖτε , Matthew 9:24 ) not having been complied with, a thrusting out follows. Mark 1:43 ; Acts 9:40 .

Notice in εἰσελθών (viz. into the chamber of death) the noble simplicity of the concise narrative.

τὸ κορασιον ] See Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 74; on ἡ φήμη , Wyttenbach, ad Julian. Or. I. p. 159, Lps.

Verses 27-28

Matthew 9:27-28 . Δύο τυφλοί ] μαθόντες , περὶ ὧν ἐθαυματούργει , καὶ πιστεύσαντες , αὐτὸν εἶναι τὸν προσδοκώμωνον Χριστόν , Euth. Zigabenus. Matthew alone records the two miracles, Matthew 9:27-34 , but it is rash to regard them (Holtzmann) as a literary device in anticipation of Matthew 11:5 . The title “son of David” is surely conceivable enough, considering the works already done by Jesus, and so cannot serve as a ground for regarding the healing of the blind man here recorded as a variation of Matthew 20:29 ff. (Wilke, Bleek, Weiss, Keim).

παραγ . as Matthew 9:9 .

εἰς τ . οἰκίαν ] in which Jesus resided. Comp. Matthew 9:10 .

Verse 30

Matthew 9:30 f. Ἀνεῴχθησαν … ὀφθαλμοί ] they recovered their power of seeing . Comp. Joh 9:10 ; 2 Kings 6:17 ; Isaiah 30:5 ; Isaiah 42:7 ; Psalms 146:8 ; Wetstein on this passage.

ἐνεβριμήθη (see the critical remarks): He was displeased with them , and said (see on John 11:33 ). The angry tone (Mark 1:43 ) of the prohibition is due to the feeling that an unsuccessful result was to be apprehended. To such a feeling correspond the strict terms of the prohibition: take care to let no one know it!

διεφήμισαν , κ . τ . λ .] “propter memoriam gratiae non possunt tacere beneficium,” Jerome. ἐξελθόντες : out of the house. Matthew 9:28 . Paulus, notwithstanding the context, interprets: out of the town. See also Matthew 9:32 , where αὐτῶν ἐξερχομένων can only mean: whilst they were going out from Jesus, out of His house.

Verses 32-33

Matthew 9:32-33 . [438] Αὐτῶν ] Placed first for sake of emphasis, in contrast to the new sufferer who presents himself just as they are going out.

ἐφάνη οὕτως ] ἐφάνη is impersonal, as in Thucyd. vi. 60. 2 (see Krüger in loc. ), so that the general “ it ” is to be regarded as matter for explanation. See by all means Krüger, § 61. 5. 6. Nägelsbach, note on Ilias , p. 120, Exodus 3:0 . What the matter in question specially is, comes out in the context; Matthew 9:33-34 , ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια . Therefore to be taken thus: never has it , viz. the casting out of demons, been displayed in such a manner among the Israelites . According to Fritzsche, Jesus forms the subject; never had He shown Himself in so illustrious a fashion (Rettig in d. Stud. u. Krit . 1838, p. 788 f.). But in that case, how is ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ to be explained? Formerly it was usual to interpret thus: οὕτως stands for τοῦτο or τοιοῦτό τι , like the Hebrew כֵּן (1 Samuel 23:17 ). A grammatical inaccuracy; in all the passages referred to as cases in point (Psalms 48:6 ; Judges 19:30 ; Nehemiah 8:17 ), neither כֵּן nor οὕτως means anything else than thus , as in 1 Sam., loc. cit. , καὶ Σαοὺλ ὁ πατήρ μου οἶδεν οὕτως : and Saul my father knows it thus . That false canon is also to be shunned in Mark 2:12 .

[438] Holtzmann thinks that this story likewise owes its origin merely to an anticipation of Matthew 11:5 . According to de Wette, Strauss, Keim, it is identical with the healing mentioned in Matthew 12:22 ff. According to various sources “marked as a duplicate” (Keim). The demoniac, ch. 12, is blind and dumb . And see note on Matthew 12:22 .

Verse 34

Matthew 9:34 . What a contrast to those plaudits of the people!

ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων ] His power to cast out demons originates in the prince of demons; everything depends on the Devil, he is the power through which he works. Comp. on ἐν , Ellendt, Lex. Soph . I. p. 597; Winer, p. 364 [E. T. 486]; on ὁ ἄρχων τ . δαιμ ., Ev. Nicod . 23, where the devil is called ἀρχιδιάβολος ; see in addition, Thilo, p. 736.

Verse 35

Matthew 9:35 . Here we have the commencement of a new section, which opens, Matthew 9:35-38 , with the introduction to the mission of the Twelve, which introduction has been led up to by the previous narratives. Comp. Matthew 4:23-25 .

αὐτῶν ] Masculine . Comp. Matthew 4:23 , Matthew 11:1 .

Verse 36

Matthew 9:36 . Ἰδὼν δέ ] in the course of this journey.

τοὺς ὄχλους ] who were following Him

ἐσκυλμένοι ] What is meant is not a herd torn by wolves (Bretschneider), which would neither suit the words nor be a fitting illustration of the crowds that followed Him; but a dense flock of sheep which, from having no shepherd , and consequently no protection, help, pasture, and guidance, are in a distressing, painful condition ( vexati , Vulg.); and ἐῤῥιμμένοι , not scattered (Luther, Beza, Kuinoel, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bleek), which is not the meaning of ῥίπτειν , nor even neglecti (Soph. Aj. 1250), like the German weggeworfen (castaway), (Kypke, Fritzsche, de Wette), which would be too feeble , coming after ἐσκυλμ .; but prostrati, thrown down, stretched upon the ground (frequently in the LXX. and Apocrypha), like sheep exhausted, that are unable to walk any farther (Vulg.: jacentes ). Comp. Xenoph. Mem . iii. 1. 7; Herodian, iii. 12. 18, vi. 8. 15; Polyb. v. 48. 2. Jesus was moved with compassion for them, because they happened to be in such a plight ( essent; notice how He has expressed His pity in this illustration), and then utters what follows about the harvest and the labourers. We have therefore to regard ἐσκυλμ . and ἐῤῥιμμ . as illustrations of spiritual misery, which are naturally suggested by the sight of the exhausted and prostrate multitudes (that had followed Him for a long distance).

The form ῥεριμμένοι (Lachm. with spir. len .) is found only in D. See Lobeck, Paral . p. 13; Kühner, I. p. 508; and for the usual spir. asp. , Göttling, Accentl . p. 205. On the form ἐριμμένοι , adopted by Tischendorf after B C א , etc., consult Kühner, I. p. 903.

Verses 37-38

Matthew 9:37-38 . The μαθηταί in the more comprehensive sense. The Twelve are expressly specified in Matthew 10:1 immediately following.

ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς , κ . τ . λ .] The literal (John 4:35 ) meaning of which is this: Great is the multitude of people that may be won for the Messiah’s kingdom, and that is already ripe for being so, but small the number of teachers qualified for this spiritual work; pray God therefore , and so on. Luke 10:2 connects those words with the mission of the Seventy. They are as appropriate in the one case as in the other, and in both cases (according to Bleek, only in Luke 10:2 ) were actually used by Jesus. But to infer from the illustration of the harvest what season of the year it happened to be at the time (Hausrath, Keim), is very precarious, considering how the utterances of Jesus abound with all sorts of natural imagery, and especially considering that this present simile was frequently employed.

δεήθητε , κ . τ . λ .] so entirely was He conscious that His work was the same as a work of God , John 4:34 .

ἐκβάλῃ ] force them out , a strong expression under the conviction of the urgent necessity of the case. Comp. note on Mark 1:12 .

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Matthew 9". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/matthew-9.html. 1832.
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