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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 9

International Critical Commentary NTInternational Critical

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Verses 1-99

9:1-8. The healing of a paralytic, from Mark 2:1-12.

(M) 1. And He embarked into a boat, and crossed over, and came to His own city.] Mark 5:21a has: “And when Jesus had crossed over in the boat again to the other side.” The editor now wishes to return to Mark 2:1, which begins: “And He entered again into Capharnaum after some days, and it was reported that He is at home. And there were gathered together many, so that there was no longer room for them; no, not even about the door (R.V.): and He was speaking to them the Word.” The editor omits, as usual, the thronging of the multitude, cf. Introduction, p. xviii, and substitutes for εἰς Καφαρναούμ the words εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν. He has already (4:13) made it clear that Christ’s headquarters were at Capharnaum. For the omission of Mk.’s ἐν οἴκῳ, see on 15:15. He now inserts Mark 2:3-12, and thus completes his second series of miracles over forces natural (8:23-27), supernatural (8:28-34), and spiritual (forgiveness of sin, 9:1-8). He then adds Mark 2:13-22 simply because it is closely connected in Mk. with the preceding section, and in spite of the fact that it interrupts his series of illustrations of Christ’s healings.

(M) 2. And, behold, they were bringing to Him a paratytic lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, Be of good courage; Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.] Mk. has: “And they come, bringing to him a paratytic borne of four. And not being able to bring him to Him on account of the crowd, they unroofed the house where He was. And digging a hole, they let down the pallet upon which the paralytic lay. And Jesus, seeing their faith, saith to the paralytic, Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.”—καὶ ἰδου] See on 2:1.—προσέφερον] See on 8:16; and for the past tense for Mk.’s historic present, cf. Introduction, p. xx.—ἐπὶ κλίνης βεβλημένον] In these words the editor summarises Mk 3b-4, thus avoiding the emphasis on the multitude; cf. Introduction, p. xviii. For βεβλημένον, cf. 8:6. Here, as in 8:15, it takes the place of Mk.’s κατέκειτο. For κλίνη, Mk. has the vernacular and dialectic κράββατος.—θάρσει] inserted by the editor, as in 9:22.—πίστιν] as in 8:10, the quality of assurance, trust, confidence in the power of Christ to heal the patient.—σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι] See on v. 5.

(M) 3. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemes.] Mk. has: “And there were certain of the scribes there sitting, and reasoning in their hearts. Why doth this man so speak? He blasphemes.”—καὶ ἰδού] See on 1:20.—ἐν ἐαυτοῖς] for Mk.’s ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν refers to inward reasoning, not to outward expression. Mk. adds: “Who can forgive sins save one, God?”

(M) 4. And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Why do you think evil things in your hearts?] Mk. has: “And straightway Jesus, perceiving in His Spirit that they so reason within themselves, saith to them, Why do you reason these things in your hearts?” Mt. omits Mk.’s τῷ πνεύματι αὐτοῦ. Cf. the similar omission from Mark 8:12; and see Introduction, p. xxxi.

5. For which is easier,1 to say, Thy sins are forgiven; or to say, Arise, and walk?] Mk. has: “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Thy sins are forgiven, or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed and walk?” Mt. omits τῷ παραλυτικῷ after the first εἰπεῖν, and καὶ ἇρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου after ἐγείρου. εὔκοπος is a late and uncommon word. It occurs in Ecclus 22:15, 1 Malachi 3:18; εὐκοπία, 2 Mac 2:25.—σου αἰ�Mark 2:5, Mark 2:9, Mark 2:14:47, and parallels in Mt., also in Mark 6:52, Mark 7:19, Mark 10:37, Mark 14:3, Mark 15:19, Matthew 2:2, Matthew 2:5:16, Matthew 2:6:4, Matthew 2:7:24, 26, Matthew 2:9:2, Matthew 2:9:6, Matthew 2:12:13, 50, Matthew 2:17:15 etc.

(M) 6. But that you may know that the Son of Man upon earth hath authority to forgive sins, then He saith to the paralytic, Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thy house.] Mk. has: “But that ye may know that the Son of Man hath authority upon earth to forgive sins, He saith to the paralytic, Take up thy pallet, and go to thy house.” For the parenthetical clause breaking the construction as suggesting dependence of one Gospel upon another, cf. Hor. Syn. p. 42, and Mark 1:16 = Matthew 4:18, Mark 5:28 = Matthew 9:21, Mark 14:2 = Matthew 26:5, Mark 15:10 = Matthew 27:18. The construction of ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς is ambiguous. In Mk. it occurs as here before,�

κλίνη for Mk.’s κράβαττος, as in v. 2. For τότε in Mt., see on 2:7.—σου τὴν κλίνην] See on v. 5.

(M) 7. And he arose, and went away to his house.] Mk. has: “And he arose, and straightway took up the pallet, and went out before all.” Mt. omits the taking of the bed, as in v. 5. Mk. has it three times.

(M) 8. And the multitudes, seeing (it), feared and glorified God, who had given such power to men.] Mk. has: “So that all were amazed, and glorified God, saying that we never saw anything like it.” Mt. makes it clear that the πάντας of Mk. means the multitude.—ἐφοβήθησαν] Mk. has the strong word ἐξίστασθαι. Mt. once (12:23) uses this in reference to the effect produced by the healing of a blind and dumb demoniac, where its use is probably due to Mark 3:21. He twice omits verses of Mk. which have it (Mark 5:42, Mark 6:51). Here he substitutes “fear” as being more appropriate to the forgiveness of sin than “astonishment.” But Mk., no doubt, has chiefly in mind the effect produced by the miracle of healing, rather than by the exercise of forgiveness.


1-8. There are several small points of agreement between Mt. and Lk. against Mk. Both have a different introductory verse to that given by Mk. Matthew 9:1 is due to his alteration of Mk.’s order, and his omission of Mark 2:2 is in harmony with his omissions elsewhere, e.g. of Mark 1:33, Mark 1:45, Mark 1:2:13, Mark 1:3:9, Mark 1:20, Mark 1:32. He does not, like Mk., emphasise the pressure of the multitudes. But there seems no reason why Lk. should omit Mk.’s reference to Capharnaum and introduce the incident in such ambiguous terms. Both have καὶ ἰδού and κλίνη or κλινίδιον, Luke 5:19, Luke 5:24 for κράβαττος. Both omit τῷ παραλυτικῷ and καὶ ἆρον τὸν κράβαττόν σου from Mar_9. Both insert�Mar_12. Both have an expression of “fear” in the parallels to Mar_12. Lk. also has several details peculiar to himself.

Many commentators, therefore, think it necessary to suppose that Mt. and Lk. had before them a second documentary source which would account for these agreements, and in particular for Lk 17a. But it is questionable whether the facts are sufficient to warrant the conclusion. κλίνη, e.g., and the omissions from Mar_9 may well be independent alterations.�Mar_11 ὔπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου, whilst the insertion of “fear” at the end, and all these agreements, may be due to reminiscence of Mt. by Lk. It seems better to leave them unexplained than to build upon them the theory of a second source, which, whilst it affords an explanation of these details, introduces other difficulties.

9. The calling of Matthew from Mark 2:13, Mark 2:14.

(M) 9. And Jesus passing thence, saw a man sitting at the place of toll, called Matthew, and saith to him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him.] Mk. has here: “And He went out again by the sea. And all the multitude was coming to Him, and He taught them.” Capharnaum lay on the lake side, and the customs house was probably on the outskirts of the town. But Mt. in this section is not concerned with the teaching of the multitude, and omits. Mk. continues: “And passing by He saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the place of toll; and He saith to him, Follow Me; and he arose, and followed Him.” Mt. inserts ἐκεῖθεν. See on 4:21. In substituting “Matthew” for “Levi, son of Alphaeus,” he presumably follows tradition, which identified the Apostle Matthew 10:3, with Levi the toll-gatherer. Μαθθαῖος represents the Hebrew מתי shortened from מתניה or מתתיה. A similar name מתא occurs in a Palmyrene Inscription. Cf. Dalm. Gram. p. 178; Encycl. Bib. art. “Matthew.” The customs at Capharnaum were levied for Herod Antipas; cf. Schürer, I. ii. 67 f. For�

(M) 10. And it came to pass, as He was sitting in the house, that, behold, many toll-gatherers and outcasts came and sat with Jesus and His disciples.] Mk. has: “And it cometh to pass that he sat in his house, and many toll-gatherers and outcasts sat,” etc. Mt. avoids as usual the historic present γίνεται. In Mk. the αὐτόν is ambiguous. It might refer to Jesus, but more probably signifies Levi. However, the connection, “he arose, and followed Him. And it cometh to pass that he sat in his house,” is a harsh one. Mt. seems to have understood the house to be that of Jesus, and attempts to make this clear by altering the construction into the Septuagintal Hebraic: “And it came to pass as He ( = Jesus) was sitting in the house (= at home) and (= that),” etc. For καὶ ἐγένετο—καί, cf. Blass, p. 262. It seems improbable that Mt., who in 4:13 has spoken of Christ as settling at Capharnaum, and in 9:1 has referred to it as “His own city,” can mean by the simple ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ any other than Christ’s own house. By ἁμαρτωλοί are no doubt meant people who were regarded with suspicion by the orthodox Jews because their lives were immoral, or because, like the toll-gatherers, they practised a trade which was looked upon with disfavour. At the end Mk. has “for they were many, and they followed Him.” Mt. omits this as tautologous.

(M) 11. And the Pharisees seeing it, said to His disciples, Why does your Teacher eat with toll-gatherers and sinners?] Mk. has: “And the scribes of the Pharisees seeing that He eats with toll-gatherers and sinners, said to His disciples, (Why is it) that He eats with toll-gatherers and sinners?” Mt. avoids the iteration of the phrase ἐσθίει μετὰ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ τελωνῶν; cf. Introduction, p. xxiv. διὰ τί seems to be a grammatical correction of Mk.’s ὄτι = “why.” Cf. Mark 9:11, Mt. τί; 9:28, Mt. διὰ τί. We need not suppose that the Pharisees (Mk. the scribes of the Pharisees) were guests at the meal. They were acquainted with the fact that Christ had sat at table with outcasts, and took an early opportunity of remonstrating with the disciples.

(M) 12. And He hearing, said, The strong have no need of a physician, but they who are in evil plight.] Mk. has: “And Jesus hearing, saith to them that,” etc.—ὄτι] recitative, is characteristic of Mk. Mt. generally omits; cf. Introduction, p. xix f.

(L) 13. But go and learn what is (i.e. what the meaning is of the words), Mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.”

These words are not found in Mk. The quotation with a different introduction is also inserted by Mt. (12:7) after Mark 2:26. It is, therefore, probable that the words represent a traditional detached utterance of Christ inserted twice by the editor in what seemed to be suitable connections. Here they emphasise the different attitude of Christ and of the Pharisees to religion. They laid stress on obedience to the law and to its sacrifices. He emphasises the moral aspect of the Old Testament revelation. The quotation comes from Hosea 6:6, and is in the words of the Hebrew and LXX. (A Q); for καὶ οὐ B has ἤ.

(M) 13. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.] Mk. has: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”—ἦλθον] cf. on 5:17, has behind it the conception of the divine mission.—οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον καλέσαι δικαίους�Galatians 2:17 (εὑρέθημεν καὶ αὐτοὶ ἁμαρτωλοί).

10-13. Mt. and Lk. agree against Mk. in the following:

οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, Mat_11, Lk 30.

διὰ τί, Mar_11, Lk 30; ὄτι, Mar_16.

εἶπεν, Mat_12, Lk 31; λέγει, Mk 17.

13.�Luke 5:32 to Mk. in order to explain why the δίκαιοι were not called. From Lk. they have crept into the authorities for Mt. and Mk., partly in order to assimilate the Gospels to each other, partly because the same motive that influenced Lk. probably still affected the later translators and copyists.

(M) 14. Then come to Him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Thy disciples do not fast?] Mk. has: “And the disciples of John, and the Pharisees were fasting (i.e. were performing one of the stated fasts), and they come and say to Him, Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Thy disciples do not fast?” The iteration of words and phrases here is characteristic of Mk. Mt. avoids by omitting clause a, inserting οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάνου as the subject of προσέρχονται, and substituting ἡμεῖς for these words in the next clause, with οἱ Φαρισαῖοι for οἱ μαθηταὶ τῶν Φαρ. He substitutes for Mk.’s ἔρχονται his favourite compound (see on 4:3), but, against his custom, retains the historic present. For fasting among the Jews, see Schürer, II. ii. 118 ff.; Bousset, Rel. Jud. 157 f.

(M) 15. And Jesus said to them, Can the sons of the bride-chamber mourn so long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast].—υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος] Hebrew בני חפה, Aramaic בני גננא. The guests at a wedding, in particular, the friends of the bridegroom.—πενθεῖν] Mk. has νηστεύειν. πενθεῖν is probably due to a desire to avoid iteration of the same word.—ἐφʼ ἕσον] for Mk.’s ἐν ᾦ, to compensate for the omission of ὄσον χρόνον in the next clause of Mt. The ὅσον is necessary to suggest that amongst the Jews the wedding festivities might last for some days.—μετʼ αὐτῶν ἐστὶν ὁ νυμφίος] We should expect some such phrase as “whilst the festivities last.” Christ singles out the bridegroom as essential to His application of the analogy; His disciples cannot fast in His company any more than the guests and friends of a bridegroom during the wedding festivities. Mt. omits here Mk.’s tautologous “so long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast.” Cf. Introduction, p. xxiv.—ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι, κ. τ. λ.] After His departure from them they will fast. The words need not be understood as a prophecy, nor as a command, but may be a way of saying “they cannot fast now, but there will be time and cause for such expressions of mourning then.”—νηστεύσουσιν] Mk. adds the tautologous ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ. For Mt.’s omission, cf. Introduction, p. xxiv.

14. πολλά] Om. א* B. א b vel a * πυκνά, S1 “eagerly,” as in Lk. The omission in א B may be due to desire for absolute antithesis between fasting and not fasting, and to assimilation to Mk. Mt. either found the word, which is very characteristic of Mk., in his copy of that Gospel, or added it to weaken the impression that Christ condemned fasting absolutely.

(M) 16. But no one places a patch from an undressed piece of cloth upon an old coat, for such a patch drags away from the coat, and a worse rent is made.] Mt. inserts δέ, thus connecting what follows with the foregoing incident, and substitutes ἐπιβάλλει for Mk.’s otherwise unknown ἐπιράπτει.—ῥάκος] = rags. Artemidorus, 27, uses it of strips of cloth wrapped round a mummy. In. Ox. Pap. I. cxvii. 14, ῥάκη δύο = two strips of cloth.—ἀγνάφου] A word ἄγναπτος = undressed, uncarded (so new ?), occurs in Plut. 169 C, 691 D. In the second clause Mk. has εἰ δὲ μὴ αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα�Mat_16, Lk 36; ἑπιράπτει, Mk 21.

εἰ δὲ μήγε, Mat_17, Lk 37; εἰ δὲ μή, Mk 22.

ἐκχεῖται, Mat_17; ἐκχυθήσεται, Lk 37. Mk. has no corresponding verb.

βάλλουσιν, Mat_17; βλητέον, Lk 38.

(3) Three miracles of restoration, 9:18-34

18. The editor now, as before (see on 8:18), postpones Mar 2:23-34. He has already inserted 4:35-5:20. This brings him therefore to Mark 5:21-43, which contains two miracles, one set within the other. The editor probably counted this as one incident rather than as two miracles. He then adds two miracles from other sources, and thus completes a third series of three miracles illustrating Christ’s power to restore life, sight, and speech. Sir John Hawkins’ Horœ Synopticœ, p. 134, reckons ten miracles in 8:1-9:34, and quotes Pirke Aboth 5:5 and 8 “Ten miracles were wrought for our fathers in Egypt and ten by the sea.… Ten miracles were wrought in the sanctuary.” But ten is not by any means a number exclusively used of miracles or wonders in Jewish literature; cf. Ab 5:5 ten utterances at creation; 5:2 ten generations from Adam to Noah; 5:3 ten generations from Noah to Abraham; 5:4 ten temptations of Abraham; 5:6 ten temptations of God; 5:8 ten things created on the eve of the Sabbath; ten days of repentance, B. Rosh ha Sh 18a; ten things through which the world was created, B. Chagiga 12a; ten praise Psalms of David, B. Rosh ha Sh 32a; ten words at creation, ib.; ten things incompatible with study, B. Horayoth 13b; ten times Israel is called a bride, Midrash Shir, p. 123 (Wünsche); ten journeys of Shechinah, Midr. Echah. p. 32 (Wünsche); ten famines, Midr. Ruth, p. 12 (Wünsche); ten expressions of joy, Midr. Shir, p. 28 (Wünsche); ten terms for prophecy, ib. p. 84. Moreover, other numbers are used of wonders or miracles; cf. six wonders done by Phinehas, B. Sanh. 82a, and six miracles at the fiery furnace, ib. 92b. In both these cases the same word נסים is used as in Ab 5:5, 8. It is true that as a matter of fact there are ten miracles in 8:1-9:34, but 9:18-26 contains a miracle within another, and may be counted as one. And the fact that there are two previous series of three miracles, suggests that the editor reckoned this last series as three, not four. For the frequent use of three in this Gospel, see Introduction, p. lxiv.

(M) 18. Whilst He was saying these things, behold, a ruler came and was worshipping Him, saying that my daughter is just dead; but come, lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live.] Mk. has, “And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, by name Jairus; and seeing Him, he falls down at His feet and beseeches Him much, saying that my daughter is very ill, (I pray Thee) that Thou wilt come and lay hands on her, that she may be saved and clay live.”—ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος αὐτοῖς] inserted by the editor to form a connecting link; cf. Mark 5:35. This section is much loner in Mk. than in Mt. In part, this is due to the difference of situation in the two Gospels. In Mk. Jairus comes to Christ when He is by the lake side, and surrounded by a multitude (5:21). But when Mt. transfers the incident to 9:18, Christ is in a house discoursing to the disciples of John. Consequently he has to omit Mk vv. 30-33, which could not have taken place in a house. The shortening may also be due to the method adopted by the compiler, who, instead of unrolling his copy of Mk. from 2:22-5:20, may have summarised 5:20-43 from memory, purposely shortening (see on 8:28). It is certainly noticeable that the sections in which Mt. is considerably shorter than Mk., viz. Mark 4:35-41, Mark 4:5:Mark 4:1-20, 21-43, are just those to obtain which the editor must be supposed to have unrolled his copy of Mk. if he wished to see them before him.—ἰδού] See on 1:20.—ἄρχων εἶς] Mk. has εἶς τῶν�Mark 1:40.—ἡ θυγάτηρ] Mk. has τὸ θυγάτριον. Mk. is fond of diminutives; Mt. avoids them.—ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν] Mk. has ὲσχάτως ἔχει, and records later on that a message came that the girl was dead. Mt. summarises.—ἀλλά] Mk. has the pregnant ἴνα = “I pray thee that.”—καὶ ζήσεται] Mk. has ἵνα σωθῇ καὶ ζήσῃ. For Mt.’s omission of one of two synonymous clauses, see Introduction, p. xxiv.

(M) 19. And Jesus arose, and was following him, and His disciples.] Mk. has “And He went with him; and a great multitude was following Him, and they were thronging Him.” Mt. elsewhere omits the references to the pressure of the multitude. Cf. Introduction, p.xviii.

(M) 20. And, behold, a woman, with an issue of blood for twelve years, came behind, and touched the tassel of His cloak.] Mk. has: “And a woman, being with an issue of blood for twelve years, and having suffered much from many physicians, and having spent all her substance, and being not at all benefited, but rather having become worse, having heard about Jesus, came in the crowd behind and touched His cloak.” καὶ ἰδού] See on 2:1.—αἱμορῥοοῦσα] for Mk.’s awkward αὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος, cf. on 8:28. Mk. has a long and awkward string of participles, which Mt. omits.—προσελθοῦσα] the editor substitutes his favourite word for Mk.’s ἐλθοῦσα. See on 4:3.—ὄπισθεν] Mt. omits ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ, see above, on v. 19.—τοῦ κρασπέδου] the editor adds to assimilate to 14:36, where Mk. has it.—κράσπεδα] are the tassels attached to the corner of a garment, in accordance with Numbers 15:38, Deuteronomy 22:12. See DB., art. “Fringes.”

(M) 21. For she said to herself, If only I shall touch His cloak, I shall be saved.] Mk. has: “For she said that, If I shall touch but His garments, I shall be saved.” For Mt.’s omission of ὅτι, cf. Introduction, p. xix.—μόνον] Mk. has κἄν; for a similar change, cf. Mark 6:56 = Matthew 14:36.

(M) 22. And Jesus turned and saw her, and said, Be of good courage, daughter, thy faith hath saved thee.] In these words the editor summarises Mk vv. 30-34.—θάρσει]is inserted by Mt. as in 9:2. For his insertion of καὶ ἐσώθη ἡ γυνὴ�

ἰδού, Matthew 18:0, Lk 41.

ἄρχων, Matthew 18:0 = ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς, Lk 41, for Mk.’s εἶς τῶν�

θυγάτηρ, Matthew 18:0, Lk 42, for Mk.’s θυγάτριον.

τοῦ κρασπέδου, Matthew 20:0, Lk 44.

προσελθοῦσα, Matthew 20:0, Lk 44, for Mk.’s ἐλθοῦσα.

ἐλθὼν—εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν, Matthew 23:0, Lk 51, for Mk.’s ἔρχονται εἰς τὸν οἶκον.

γάρ, Matthew 24:0, Lk 52.

αὐτῆς, Matthew 25:0, Lk 54, for Mk.’s τοῦ παιδίου.

27. Mt. here inserts two miracles which illustrate Christ’s power to quicken defective physical senses. The first of these, that of the two blind men, is noticeable for two reasons—(a) Mk records two healings of a blind man, 8:22-26, 10:46-52. Mt. omits the first of these, but both here and in the parallel to 10:46-52 has two blind men. The case is similar to that of the demoniacs. Mk. records two healings of a man ἐν πνεύματι�Mark 1:43-45, should here (vv. 30-31) have ἐνεβριμήσατο followed by just such an act of disobedience. It looks as though the editor, both in his insertion of v. 26, cf. v. 31, and in his record of the fact that the blind men spread Christ’s fame, was preparing for the extension of Christ’s work in the mission of the Twelve, which forms the subject of the next chapter.

(E) 27. And as Jesus passed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying and saying, Have mercy on us, Thou Son of David.]—ἐκεῖθεν] (see on 4:21) i.e. from the ruler’s house.—παράγοντι] cf. 20:30.—κράζοντες καὶ λέγοντες] cf. Mark 10:47.—Ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς υἱὲ Δαβίδ] cf. Mark 10:47 υἱὲ Δαβὶδ Ἰησοῦ ἐλέησόν με. For “Son of David” as a current Messianic title, see Dalm. Words, pp. 319 f.

(E) 28. And when He came into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus saith to them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They say to Him, Yes, Lord.]—εἰς τὴν οἰκίον] presumably the house to which Christ lived at Capharnaum.—προσῆλθον] Mt.’s favourite word. See on 4:3.—πιστεύετε] See on 8:10.—κύριε] See on 8:2.—ἐλθόντι δέ] D a b c g1 h k have καὶ ἔρχεται.

(E) 29. Then He touched their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it to you.]—ἥψατο] cf. 8:15 of the hand, 20:34 of the eyes, Mark 7:33 the tongue.—κατὰ τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν] cf. Mark 10:52 ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκεν σε.—πίστις] as in 8:10, 9:2, 22.

(E) 30. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus urgently charged them, saying, See, let no one know it.]—ἐνεβριμήσατο] The verb is used of horses snorting (Æsch. Theb. 461), of men fretting or being downcast (Luc. Nec. 20), or being angry (Daniel 11:30 LXX.). It occurs twice in Mark 1:43; Mark 14:5Mark 14:5, where Mt. both times omits it. In Mt. it occurs only here. It is found twice in a different sense in John 11:33, John 11:38, followed by τῷ πνεύματι or ἐν ἑαυτῷ. Here, as in Mark 1:43, it presumably means “to command with emphasis.”1

(E) 31. But they went out and spread abroad His fame in all that land.]—διαφημίζειν occurs in Mark 1:45 and again in Matthew 28:15.

(E) 32-34. And when they were going out, behold, they brought to Him a dumb man possessed with a demon. And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, Never was it so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, By the prince of the demons He casts out demons.] A similar story is substituted by Matthew 12:22-24 for Mark 3:19-21. But no mention is there made of the casting out of the demon, as in ἐκβληθέντος τοῦδαιμονίου , Matthew 9:33. It is curious that Mt. should not have reversed the order. 9:32-34 would suit the discourse (Matthew 12:25-30) better than does 12:22-24. Another curious fact is that Luke 11:14-15 also substitutes for Mark 3:19-21 an incident which has greater similarity to Matthew 9:32-34 than to Matthew 12:22-24. If, however, Matthew 9:34 be omitted, see below, this agreement is much lessened. It would seem that Mt., wishing to find a miracle to conclude his series, has fashioned a short account of the healing of a dumb demoniac from phrases which for the most part occur again in the Gospel. αὐτῶν δὲ ἐξερχομένων is a mere connecting link. ἰδού and προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ are Mt.’s favourite words. See on 1:20 and 4:3. For κωφὸν δαιμονιζόμενον, cf. Mark 7:32 and 9:25, both of which Mt. omits. ἐκβάλλειν is the word used frequently of the expulsion of demons. When he comes to Mark 3:19-21 the editor wishes to substitute a more suitable introduction to the following discourse. He therefore inserts 12:22-24. Lk. omits Mark 3:19-21, and at a later point in the narrative substitutes for the discourse which follows in Mk, another similar one from a different source which Mt. has also seen. As an introduction to it, Lk. inserts 11:14-15, very possibly by reminiscence of Matthew 9:32-33.

34. Om. S1 D a k. It may be due to assimilation to 12:24 = Mark 3:23.

C. (4) Extension of His work in the mission of the Twelve, 9:35-11:1. 9:35-38 an expansion of Mark 6:6b.

35. Having finished his illustrations of Christ’s teaching (5-7) and healing (8-9:34), the editor now proposes to show how this ministry found extension in the mission work of the Twelve. The fame of Jesus had gone forth into all the land of Israel (9:26-31), and men were everywhere desirous to see Him. He therefore sent forth the Twelve to carry on His work. In order to introduce his account of this sending, the editor postpones Mark 6:1-6a, and expands Mark 6:6b into an introduction to this mission, modelled on the similar introduction to his illustrations of Christ’s preaching and healing (4:23-25).

(E) 35. And Jesus passed about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease.] Mk. has: “And He passed about the villages in a circuit teaching.” For τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας, cf. Mark 6:56 εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις; for ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, 4:23; for καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ εὐαλλέλιον τῆς βασιλείας, 4:23; for καὶ θεραπεύων πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν, 4:23.

(E) 36. And when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and cast down as sheep that have not a shepherd.]—ἐσπλαγχνίσθη] σπλαγχνίζεσθαι occurs 5 times in Mt., 4 in Mk., 3 in Lk., in Testaments of XII. Patriarchs, in LXX. A, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 17:2 Mac 6:8, in Symm., 1 S 23:21, and Ezekiel 24:21.—ἐσκυλμένοι] σκύλλειν in Æsch. and the Anthol. = to “flay” or “mangle.” In the N.T. to “annoy,” “importune,” Mark 5:35, Luke 7:6, Luke 8:49. In Berlin Papyri, 757. 14 (12 a.d.), to “plunder”; in a 4th cent. papyrus (Fayûm Towns, 134. 2), σκῦλον σεαυτού = to “hasten”; cf. ποίησον αὐτὸν σκυλῆναι = “make him concern himself,” Ox. Pap. i. 123. 10. The substantive σκυλμός means “vexations,” Artemid. 11. xxxi.; “fatigue” of a journey, Fayûm Towns, iii. 5; “insolence,” Tebtunis Pap. 41. 7, b.c. 119; “violence,” ib. 48. 22, b.c. 113. Used here of the common people, it describes their religious condition. They were harassed, importuned, bewildered by those who should have taught them; hindered from entering into the kingdom of heaven (23:13), laden with the burdens which the Pharisees laid upon them (23:4). ἐριμμένοι denotes men cast down and prostrate on the ground, whether from drunkenness, Polyb. v. 48. 2, or from mortal wounds. Here “mentally dejected.”—ὡσεὶ πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα] An Old Testament simile. Cf. Numbers 27:17, Numbers 27:1 K 22:17, Ezekiel 34:5. The words are anticipated here from Mark 6:34.

(L) 37, 38. Then He saith to His disciples, The harvest indeed is abundant, but the labourers few; pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.]—τότε] See on 2:7.—ἐκβάλῃ] For the weakened sense, “bring out,” “send out,” cf. 12:20, 12:35, Mark 1:43. These two verses occur in Luke 10:2 at the beginning of the charge to the Seventy in identical words, except that Lk. has in the introductory clause “and He said to them.”

36. ἐσκυλμένοι] א B C D al; ἐκλελυμένοι, L

M the Second Gospel.

1 Which is easier. The reply expected is that it is easier to say Thy sins are forgiven, because such a claim could be neither proved nor disproved. On the other hand, to say Arise and walk would be to court ridicule when failure followed. Hence in v. 6 Christ supports His right to make the apparently easier statement, by demonstrating His power to make the seemingly harder.

Hor. Syn. Horœ Synopticœ (Hawkins).

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

S Syriac version: Peshitta.

1 For Mk as resting on an Aramaic basis, see Expository Tmes, xiii. 328 ff., and, more recently, Wellhausen’s Commentary.

Dalm. Dalman.

L the Matthæan Logia.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

E editorial passages.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

B. Babylonian Talmud.

Ox. Pap. Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

Plut. Plutarch.

DB. Dictionary of the Bible (Hastings).

Luc. Lucian.

1 See Abbott, Johannine Vocabulary, 1811, “Gk. usage seems to demand some such rendering as ‘roar.’”

Polyb. Polybius.

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Matthew 9". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/matthew-9.html. 1896-1924.
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