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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Matthew 9

Verse 1

Matthew 9:1 . Διεπέρασε , He crossed over ) Being asked to do so by the Gergesenes. The Lord does not force His blessings on the unwilling. [390] ἰδίαν , His own ) sc. Capernaum, exalted by this inhabitant.

[390] And by that very fact He excited in men the more ardent desires after Him, inasmuch as He did not make too long delays in the one place. Harm. , 1. c.

Verse 2

Matthew 9:2 . Προσέφερον Αὐτῷ , they brought to Him ) Many such offerings were made to the Saviour, and they were pleasing to Him. τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν , their faith) i.e. of him who was borne, and of them who bare him. θάρσει , τέκνον , Son, be of good cheer [391] ) “Neither thy sins nor thy disease shall stand in thy way.” Thus, at Matthew 9:22 , θάρσει , θύγατερ , daughter, be of good comfort. “Be of good comfort ;” neither thy sins shall prevail against thee, nor thy disease. Thus also, “ Be of good comfort, daughter ,” in Matthew 9:22 . ἀφέωνταί σοι , are forgiven thee ) Without doubt, great was the sense of great sins in that man. [392] σοὶ has here both emphasis and accent, but in Mat 9:5 the same words are repeated after the manner of a quotation, and ΣΟΙ or ΣΟΥ is enclitic. [393]

[391] The word used by Bengel is “ confide ”, which is repeated each time in the remarks which follow. (I. B.)

[392] This was the principal benefit, by occasion of which chiefly the thoughts of the men present there were thrown open and made manifest, Matthew 9:3 ; Matthew 9:8 . Harm . p. 276.

[393] Never had that voice been heard put forth in this way, from the time that the earth had borne men on it. V. g.

Verse 3

Matthew 9:3 . εἶπον ἐν ἑαυτοῖς , οὗτος βλασφημεῖ , said within themselves, this man blasphemeth ) Blasphemy is committed when (1.) things unworthy of God are attributed to Him; (2.) things worthy of God are denied to Him; (3.) when the incommunicable attributes of God are attributed to others.

Verse 4

Matthew 9:4 . Εἰδὼς , knowing ) Besides many Greek codices, which Mill first began to notice on this passage, the Gothic version and the margin of Courcelles reads thus. ἰδὼν [394] appears to have been introduced by some persons from Matthew 9:2 . St Mark and St Luke have ἐπιγνοὺς in the parallel passages. Thus too we find ΕἸΔῺς in ch. Matthew 12:25 . ὙΜΕῖς , you ) The pronoun is expressed for the sake of emphasis. [395]

[394] Lachmann reads εἰδῶς with B, Goth. Vers, and probably a . D bc and Rec. Text read ἰδὼν . Vulg. “ Cum vidisset .” ED.

[395] Often one, whilst he is arraigning others for their sins, is sinning himself. And indeed the most heinous sins can be committed even in the heart alone. V. g.

Verse 5

Matthew 9:5 . Τί γὰρ , for which? ) In itself either is the sign of Divine authority and power; and the connection between sin and disease is in itself most close: the power which removes both is one. According to human judgment, it is easier to say, “ Thy sins are remitted ;” and he who can say “ Arise ,” which appears greater, can also say this, which appears less.

Verse 6

Matthew 9:6 . Εἰδῆτε , ye may know ) This word also breathes authority . [396] ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς , on earth ) This is exclusively the place where sins are committed and remitted. Earth was the scene of Christ’s works from the beginning. [397] See Proverbs 8:31 ; cf. the two clauses in Psalms 16:3 ; see [398] Jeremiah 9:24 ; John 17:4 ; Luke 2:14 . I have, says He, all authority in heaven, much more on earth; see ch. Matthew 16:19 , Matthew 28:18 . [399] This speech savours of a heavenly origin. ἐξουσίαν , authority ) The argument from power to authority holds good in this passage. λέγει , He saith ) A similar change of person between the protasis and apodosis occurs in Numbers 5:20-4.5.21 , and Jeremiah 5:14 .

[396] Bengel just below translates ἐξουσίαν (rendered in E. V. power ) by “ authority ,” and refers to it by anticipation. (I. B.)

[397] Nay more, it is the wrestling arena between sin and grace. V. g.

[398] E. B. inserts here “Genesis 6:5 ,” which has been adopted by the later editions. (I. B.)

[399] We also in our turn may now say: Seeing that He had that power, when sojourning on the earth, why should He not also have the same, now that He has been raised from the dead and taken up into heaven? Acts 5:31 . V. g.

Verse 8

Matthew 9:8 . Ἐξουσίαν τοιαύτην , such authority ) sc. to heal and save (see Mat 9:6 ), and that close at hand in the man Jesus Christ. τοῖς ἀνθρώποις , to men ) so long afflicted with sin. [400] An expansive expression (lata oratio), as in Matthew 9:6 . [401] They rejoiced that there was one of the human race endued with this authority.

[400] A Dativus Commodi . V. g. i.e. for the good of men. ED.

[401] Beng seems to me, not to take ἀνθρώποις as Engl. V., “God who had given such power to men ,” but, as the Dative of advantage, “Who had bestowed such power (in the person of the man Christ Jesus) for the benefit of men, so long afflicted as they had been with sin. Thus the meaning of Bengel’s “lata oratio, uti v. 6” is, that the words “on earth,” in Matthew 9:6 , imply the same wide range of the Saviour’s power for the good of men as ἀνθρώποις here. ED.

Verse 9

Matthew 9:9 . Ματθαῖον , Matthew ) A Hebrew by nation, and yet a publican. In St Mark and St Luke, he is called Levi. [402] It is possible that Matthew did not like the name which he had borne as a publican. καθἡμενον , sitting ) actually employed in the business of his calling. And yet Matthew followed. A great miracle and example of the power of Jesus. A noble instance of obedience [403] [ productive of eternal joy . V. g.]

[402] J. D. Michaelis, Einleitung T. ii. p. m. 932, etc., conjectures that Levi was the chief of the publicans, and Matthew his subordinate assistant. But it is not likely that either Matthew, consistently with his modesty, would have omitted to record the obedience of Levi to the Lord’s call Levi being, by the hypothesis, Matthew’s principal and also host at the large entertainment given on the occasion or that Mark and Luke should have omitted the call of Matthew, who was more distinguished than Levi on account of his apostleship. It is no objection, that Matthew is not mentioned by the men of Nazareth. Matthew 13:55 . among the four sons, i.e. sister’s sons of Mary: for not even Levi (who in Mar 2:14 is explicitly made the son of Alpheus) is reckoned among those four. What suppose we say that Levi, or Matthew, was the son of Alpheus though not by Mary, but by a different wife, and so connected with the Saviour by no tie of blood. At all events, the very etymological root of the names seems to establish the identity of the persons. For לוי (Levi) is from לוה adhered, attached to, and מַתָּיַ or מַתַּתָּי (Matthew) is from the Arab word מהת , he formed a tie of connection or propinquity. Moreover: in the same way as Saul, from that period of time in which, after being solemnly set apart to the work of preaching, he gained over Sergius Paulus as the first-fruits of his mission, and so became superior to Barnabas, was distinguished by the name of Paul, even by Luke himself (Acts 13:2 ; Act 13:9 ): so also Levi ( Luk 5:27 ), from the moment in which by solemn election he was enrolled among the Apostles, obtained the name of Matthew even in Luke (c. Luk 6:15 ). These considerations will enable the reader to decide the question. E. B.

[403] This may be supposed to have been the series of the events: Matthew a short while before went to Jesus as a publican, and even then, at that early time, beyond all that he could have conceived, was called to the apostolic office, Matthew 5:1 , Luke 6:15 (comp. Num 11:26 ): whereby is evinced the extraordinary clemency of the Saviour towards this publican, thus selected out from the rest of his fellows. He was present, as an apostle freshly-appointed, at the Sermon on the Mount: where there is no doubt but that the words, Do not even the publicans the same ? recorded by Matthew himself. ch. Matthew 5:46 . made the deepest impression on his mind. He did not, however, on that very day commence following the Lord daily, but had still some occupation in levying taxes, therein without doubt being observant of that righteousness which is commanded in Luke 3:13 . There was, on the part of the Jews, a great abhorrence of publicans, even though they were themselves Jews; and it is to this abhorrence that the Saviour adapted His language. Matthew 18:17 . However, the publicans were not altogether excluded from the temple, whether they had the same degree of access to it open to them as the Pharisees had, or an access more remote: Luke 18:13 . John admitted the publicans to baptism, on condition that, in the discharge of their office, they would allow themselves to be stirred up to the duty of justice: nay more, not even did the Saviour command them altogether to leave their employment, but to “make to themselves friends of the Mammon of unrighteousness.” Luke 15:1 ; Luke 16:1 ; Luke 16:9 . Neither Christ nor His fore-runner were bound by the Jewish traditions, which excluded publicans from church-communion. And besides, it is probable that the Jews, from malice against Christ, subsequently established more severe enactments as to publicans. Accordingly Matthew, being called to the apostleship, and not as yet at that time ordered to leave the receipt of customs, may have discharged this duty up to the time that he was called to follow Jesus. But if Matthew did the same as Zaccheus, before his conversion, he was in duty bound to make amends to those whom he had defrauded on the same principle as Zaccheus, or even to compare and make up ail accounts whatever with the other publicans. Jesus , therefore, when he saw him sitting at the receipt of custom, saith. Follow Me . And he arose and followed Him. Independently of the general crowd of hearers and disciples, coming to Him and going away from time to time, Jesus admitted certain followers to daily intimacy (Luke 9:59 ; Luke 18:22 ; Act 1:21 ), and twelve apostles, i.e. extraordinary messengers of the kingdom of heaven. Peter and Andrew, James also, with John, were made followers before that they were made apostles : Matthew was called to the apostolic dignity sooner than he was admitted to the intimacy of daily following the Lord, although not even this could have been put off for long, and in matter of fact was not delayed for more than a few days . At all events, he was not present in the journey to the country of the Gergesenes, who perhaps knew him well as a publican; but he may have been a spectator of the other acts of the Lord at Capernaum previous and subsequent to that journey. Even though he were ever so much behind the other apostles in following Christ: yet he followed soon enough for attaining the object proposed, as an apostle, Acts 1:21 . Harm . 281, etc.

Verse 10

Matthew 9:10 . Ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ , in the house ) Cf. Matthew 9:28 ; or, if you take it of Matthew’s house, Mark 2:15 ; Luke 5:29 . Matthew appears in this feast to have bid adieu to his former companions, [404] nor does he call the house any longer his own. τελῶναι καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ , publicans and sinners ) who had sinned grievously against the sixth and seventh [seventh and eighth] commandments. συνανέκειτο , sat down together with ) Kind and condescending was the intercourse of Jesus. [405]

[404] He seems also hereby to have afforded them an opportunity of going to the Lord, such as would hardly have been given to so great a number of such characters at any other time. Shortly after, Matthew came to know the glory of Jesus by His acts, and especially by the raising of Jairus’ daughter, ch. Matthew 9:19 ; and he was sent forth, at no long interval afterwards, with the rest of His apostles: on which occasion he has called himself Matthew the publican , ch. Matthew 10:3 ; and, from the deepest sense of gratitude (as is natural), has recalled to remembrance with what marvellous speed grace transferred him from his state as a publican (ch. Mat 18:17 ) to an Apostolic embassy which was distinguished by miracles. Harm . p. 282.

[405] For whose sake the banquet was given, to which, without any command on His part, publicans and sinners came. Therefore the objection of the Pharisees, even looking at it in a mere external point of view, was void of all justice. V. g.

Verse 11

Matthew 9:11 . Τοὶς μαθηταῖς , to the disciples ) The Pharisees acted in an oblique manner, with cunning, or at least with cowardice; to the disciples they said, Why does your Master do so? to the Master, Why do your disciples do so? see ch. Matthew 12:2 , Matthew 15:2 ; Mark 2:16 ; Mark 2:18 . διατί , κ . τ . λ ., why, etc .) The sanctity of Jesus was held in the highest esteem by all, even His adversaries. See Luke 19:7 .

Verse 12

Matthew 9:12 . [406] ΧΡΕΊΑΝ , need ) χρεῖαι , needs , are to be seen everywhere. [407] ΚΑΚῶς , ill ) Such is indeed the case with sinners. [408]

[406] Jesus, as a faithful master, brings help to his disciples. V. g.

[407] Dost thou feel infirmity ( οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες ), as opposed to strength ( οἱ ἰσχύοντες )? In that case betake thyself to the Physician, and seek His help. V. g.

[408] In the original, “Sic sane habent peccatores.” There is a play here on the word habent, sc. χρείαν ἔχουσιν κακῶς ἔχοντες . (I. B.)

Verse 13

Matthew 9:13 . Πορέυθεντες , having gone ) sc. into the synagogue, where you may refer to Hosea [sc. Matthew 6:6 .] Our Lord often said to those who were not His own, [409] πορεύου ,” “ depart ,” see John 8:11 . His style of quoting the Scriptures is full of suitableness and majesty, and different from that of the apostles; for He does it in such a manner as not Himself to rest upon, but to convince His hearers by their authority; and He employs it more towards His adversaries than towards the disciples who believed on Him. μάθετε , learn ye ) ye who think that ye are already consummate teachers. ἔλεον θέλω , I will have mercy ) A few read with the LXX. in Hosea 6:6 , with whom the other words in this passage agree, ἔλεον θέλω . [410] The LXX. more commonly use ΤῸ ἜΛΕΟς in the neuter, as in Hosea 6:4 . Sometimes, however, Ὁ ἜΛΕΟς , like the ancient Greeks. Isaiah 60:10 ; Isaiah 63:7 ; Daniel 1:9 ; Daniel 9:20 ; Psa 101:1 ; 1Ma 2:57 ; 1Ma 3:44 ; and especially in the minor prophets, Jonah 2:9 ; Micah 6:8 (which passage is also parallel with the evangelist), Ibid. Matthew 7:20 ; Zechariah 7:9 ; Hosea 12:6 . Thus Ὁ ἜΛΕΟς occurs in the present passage, in Matthew 12:7 ; Matthew 23:23 ; Titus 3:5 ; Hebrews 4:16 ; but ΤΌ ἜΛΕΟς occurs frequently in St Luke, St Paul, St James, St Peter, St John, and St Jude; and in Micah 7:18 , the LXX., have ΘΕΛΗΤῊς ἘΛΈΟΥς ἘΣΤῚΝ , He is a willer of mercy . We have here an axiom of interpretation, nay, the sum total of that part of theology which treats of cases of conscience. On mercy , cf. ch. Matthew 23:23 . The word θυσίαν , sacrifice (victimam), is put synecdochically. [411] It is an act of mercy to eat with sinners for their spiritual profit. [412] ἦλθον , I have come ) sc. from heaven. καλέσαι , to call ) Such is the mission, such the authority of Christ. ἁμαρτωλοὺς , sinners ) The word is purposely and emphatically repeated by our Lord. Cf. Matthew 9:11 .

[409] In the original “Alieniores,” an expression which is used several times by Bengel in the course of this gospel, and which it is easier to understand than to translate. (I. B.)

[410] So BC corrected later, D. This is the Hellenistic form, as τὸ πλοῦτος , τὸ ζῆλος found in LXX. and oldest MSS. of N. T. for ὁ πλοῦτος , ὁ ζῆλος . Rec. Text has ἔλεον , the classic form. ED.

[411] A part for the whole of positive performances. ED.

[412] So far ought you to be from despising repentance; for repentance is in fact the curing of the soul. V. g.

Καὶ οὐ θυσίαν ) This is one portion of the rigorous observance of those things, which are contained in the Law. V. g.

Verse 14

Matthew 9:14 . Τότε , then ) At the time of the Feast. [413] προσέρχονται Αὐτῷ , come to Him ) of set purpose. οἱ μαθηταὶ Ἰωάννου , the disciples of John ) They were half-way between the Pharisees and the disciples of Jesus, and appear on this occasion to have been instigated by the Pharisees. [414] Cf. Luke 5:33 . Σοῦ μαθηταὶ , Thy disciples ) They proceed modestly, and do not enquire concerning John or Jesus Himself.

[413] It was also the day of the public fasts, as it appears, which were celebrated not by the enactment of divine Law, but according to the private will of certain individuals. Harm. , p. 283.

[414] For Matthew in this passage mentions the disciples of John; Mark (ch. Mar 2:18 ) mentions the same persons in company with the Pharisees; Luke mentions the Scribes and Pharisees. Harm . 1. c.

Verse 15

Matthew 9:15 . Καὶ , and ) Our Lord replies calmly and cheerfully: He draws joyful parables from the garments and the wine (which were being employed in the Feast) to condemn the sadness of those who questioned Him. οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ νυμφῶνος , the children of the bridechamber ) The companions of the bridegroom. [415] Parables and riddles are suited to feasts and nuptials, and are employed to illustrate this nuptial period. [416] πενθεῖν , to mourn ) Mourning and fasting are joined together. ἐλεύσονται , shall come ) He means His departure, which should take place at a future period. καὶ τότε , and then ) Neither before nor after. [417] νηστεύσουσιν , they shall fast ) necessarily and willingly. [418]

[415] The Bridegroom Himself, if you except the forty days in the wilderness. is nowhere recorded as having fasted. V. g.

[416] Bengel means to say, the period when our Lord was with His disciples. (I. B.)

[417] Bengel means, neither whilst the Bridegroom was with the Church on earth, nor when the Church should be with the Bridegroom in heaven. (I. B.)

[418] This is the very characteristic aspect of Christianity: At one time is the nuptial and festive season; at another time, the season for fasting and sorrow. V. g.

Verse 16

Matthew 9:16 . Οὐδεὶς , no one ) Our Lord chose, as His disciples, men who were unlearned, fresh and simple, and imbued with no peculiar discipline. See ch. Matthew 15:2 ; cf. Gnomon on Luke 7:20 . The old raiment was the doctrine of the Pharisees; the new, that of Christ. αἴρει , taketh away ) both itself and more. αὐτοῦ , his ) The word is here in the masculine gender. [419] χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται , the rent becomes worse ) Therefore, there was before some rent. A ragged garment, altogether ragged, is intended.

[419] Rosenmüller more naturally refers αὐτοῦ to ῥάκους , “pannus impexus a vestimento vetustate contrito aliquid aufert” Beng. seems to take αὐτοῦ with πλήρωμα , as “the portion put in by him to fill up the rent.” ED.

Verse 17

Matthew 9:17 . Ἀσκοὺς , leather bottles ) which were used instead of casks. The old bottles are the Pharisees; the new, the disciples; the wine, the Gospel. ἀπολοῦνται , will perish ) So that they can neither hold that, nor any other wine henceforward. ἀμφότεροι , both ) masculine, as τίς . in ch. Matthew 23:17 .

Verse 18

Matthew 9:18 . Προσεκύνει , worshipped ) Although in outward appearance Jairus was greater than Jesus. ἐτελεύτησεν , is dead ) Thus he said from conjecture, or after he had received intelligence of his daughter’s death, whom he, in the great strength of faith, had left at the point of death. See Mark 5:23 . ἐλθῶν , [420] coming ) cf. John 4:47 .

[420] Lachm. with BCD abcd Vulg. Hil. reads εἷς , and with BLU abc Vulg. (‘accessit’) προσελθών . Tischend. has εἰσελθών ; Beng and Griesb. εἷς ἐλθών . Both these last two readings are equally tenable, as the letters are not separated in different words in MSS.: CDX Δ support either reading. Matth. often uses εἷς as אֶהָד = τις ; ch. Matthew 8:19 , Matthew 19:6 . ED.

Verse 20

Matthew 9:20 . Γυνὴ , a woman ) Eusebius [421] narrates that the statue of this woman and of the Lord healing her was still in existence in his time. H. E., Bk. vii., c. 17. ὄπισθεν , from behind ) sc. out of modest humility. τοῦ κρασπέδου , the hem or fringe ) See Numbers 15:38 , S. V. Our Lord performed even that part of the law. There is no valid argument from the dress which our Lord then wore to the efficacy of relics.

[421] A celebrated ecclesiastical historian; born about A.D. 267; became Bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, A.D. 313 or 315; and died A.D. 338 or 340. (I. B.)

Verse 21

Matthew 9:21 . Τοῦ ἱματίου Αὐτοῦ , His garment ) The woman, from the sense of her own impurity, acknowledged the absolute purity of Jesus. σωθήσομαι , I shall be made whole ) The expression in Mat 9:22 σεσωκέ σε , hath made thee whole sweetly replies to this thought. [422]

[422] It is to a wonderful degree profitable to do simply, and without round-about methods, whatever the spirit of faith and love teaches; eh. Matthew 26:7 . V. g.

Verse 22

Matthew 9:22 . Θύγατερ , daughter ) She was, therefore, not advanced in years. [423] ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέ σε , thy faith hath placed thee in a state of health or salvation [424] ) Our Lord was wont to say thus to those who, of themselves, as it were drew the health of their body and soul to themselves; [425] see Luke 7:50 ; Luke 17:19 ; Luke 18:42 ; by which words He shows that He knew the existence and extent of their faith; He praises and confirms their faith; He ratifies the gift, and commands it to remain; and at the same time intimates, that if others remain without help, unbelief is the only cause. [426]

[423] Our gracious Saviour did not at all censure her on the ground that she neglected to offer a prayer to Him, and as it were stole help from Him. V. g.

[424] E. V. Thy faith hath made thee whole. (I. B.)

[425] In the original, “qui salutem corporis et animæ ad se ultro quasi attraxere” “ attraxere,” “by their own instrumentality;” “ultro” “of their own accord.” See Reff. (I. B.)

[426] It more than once happened, that a person came to know that he had faith only when the Saviour announced the fact to him, and not before. V. g.

Verse 23

Matthew 9:23 . Τοὺς αὐλητὰς , the flute-players ) It was the custom to employ flutes at funerals, especially those of the young. τὸν ὄχλον , the crowd ) See Luke 7:12 .

Verse 24

Matthew 9:24 . Ἀναχωρεῖτε , depart ) That is, you are not needed here. Our Lord proceeds without hesitation [427] to perform the miracle, cf. ch. Matthew 14:19 . οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανε τὸ κοράσιον , for the damsel is not dead ) Jesus said this before He entered where she was lying dead. The dead all live to God; see Luke 20:38 ; and the girl, on account of her revival, which was to take place soon, quickly, surely, and easily, was not to be numbered amongst the dead who shall rise hereafter, but amongst those that sleep. κατεγέλων Αὐτοῦ , they laughed Him to scorn ) This very circumstance confirmed the truth of both the death and the miracle. They seem to have feared the loss of their funeral dues.

[427] In the original, “certus ad miraculum accedit” a phrase which loses half its force in the translation. (I. B.)

Verse 25

Matthew 9:25 . Ἠγέρθη , she was raised ) Jesus raised the dead from the bed, from the bier, from the grave; in this instance, in Luke 7:14 ; in John 11:44 . It would be inquisitive to speculate concerning the state of the souls which had been separated for a short time.

Verse 26

Matthew 9:26 . Ἡ φήμη , the fame ) see Matthew 9:31 . τῆν γῆν ἐκείνην , that land ) St Matthew, therefore, did not write this book in that land . See Matthew 9:31 , ch. Matthew 14:34-40.14.35 , Matthew 4:25 .

Verse 27

Matthew 9:27 . Τυφλοὶ , blind men ) Many blind men received faith, and afterwards sight. without doubt they sought for sight, more especially on the ground that, being alive at that time, they might see the Messiah; and they did see Him with joy incredible. ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς , have mercy upon us ) An expressive formula, containing a confession of misery, and a prayer for free mercy. Even those who are without have employed this form of prayer. [428] υἱέ Δαυὶδ , son of David ) that is, Christ. See ch. Mat 1:1 and Matthew 22:42 . [429]

[428] For instance, the woman of Canaan, the father of the lunatic, the ten lepers, etc. V. g.

[429] It was distressing to them, that, though living at that very time, in which the Son of David, who had been so long looked for, was living in the world, they were yet not permitted even to see Him. V. g.

Verse 28

Matthew 9:28 . Ἐλθόντι , when he was come ) They persevered in praying. δύναμαι , I am able ) The object of faith.

Verse 29

Matthew 9:29 . Κατὰ , according to ) He says this by way of affirmation, not of limitation. γενηθήτω , let it be done , or let it become ) corresponding with the Hebrew יהי . [430]

[430] Used in the celebrated passage, Genesis 1:3 , “And GOD said, ‘ Let there be Light:’ and there was Light.” (I. B.)

Verse 30

Matthew 9:30 . Ἀνεῴχθησαν , were opened ) The same verb is used also in the case of ears, Mark 7:34-41.7.35 , and of the mouth, Luke 1:64 . ἐνεβριμήσατο , straitly charged ) perhaps lest an opportunity might be given to the Pharisees. Cf. Matthew 9:34 . [431] ὁρᾶτε , see ) A word used absolutely; for neither does the following imperative depend on this.

[431] It would have been better for them to have obeyed His injunction of silence: and yet their conduct is not without affording us means of inferring, how great is the effect which the power of Christ has on those who have experienced it. V. g.

Verse 32

Matthew 9:32 . Προσήνεγκαν Αὐτῷ , κ . τ . λ ., they brought to Him , etc.) One who could scarcely come of his own accord.

Verse 33

Matthew 9:33 . Ἰσραὴλ , Israel ) In the nation in which so many wonderful things had been seen.

Verse 34

Matthew 9:34 . Ἐν τῷ ἄρχοντι , through the prince ) The Pharisees could not deny the magnitude of our Lord’s miracles; they ascribe them, therefore, to a great author, though an evil one. [432]

[432] At a subsequent period they even more wantonly poured out bitter remarks of this kind. Yet, however great their wickedness, they were at least more clear-sighted than those, who acknowledge the reality of neither demons, nor demoniacal possession, nor expulsion. V. g.

Verse 35

Matthew 9:35 . Τῆς βασιλείας , of the kingdom ) sc. of God. πᾶσαν , κ . τ . λ ., every , etc.) sc. of all who were brought to Him.

Verse 36

Matthew 9:36 . Ἐσπλαγχνίσθη , He was moved with compassion ) The disposition of Jesus was most fruitful in works of mercy. [433] ἐσκυλμένοι , tired out ) walking with difficulty; a word especially suitable to this passage, concerning which see the Gnomon Mark 5:35 . The reading, ἐκλελυμένοι , is clearly deficient in authority. [434] ἐῤῥιμμένοι , cast down ) i.e. lying down. A further step in the path of misery, [435] and yet such a condition is already the prelude of approaching help. Cf. concerning the harvest, John 4:35 . ὡσεὶ πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα , as sheep not having a shepherd ) Cf. Numbers 27:17 , S. V. ὡσεὶ πρόβατα οἷς οὐκ ἔστι ποιμήν , as sheep for whom there is not a shepherd . ποιμὴν is properly a shepherd of sheep . Concerning sheep, cf. ch. Matthew 10:6 .

[433] It was a striking work of mercy to bring wretched souls to a state of spiritual soundness by praying or teaching. V. g.

[434] E.M. ἐκλελυμένοι . (I. B.)

[435] In this condition properly are those, who are destitute of the knowledge of Christ. V. g.

BCD abc (‘vexati’) Vulg. Hil. read ἐσκυλμένοι : d , ‘fatigati.’ Rec. Text has ἐκλελυμένοι , evidently a marginal gloss to get rid of the strange expression, ἐσκυλμένοι . Σκύλλω Th. σκῦλον , torn off skin , as exuviœ from exuo . Here, worn out, as tired sheep, with the φόοτια of the Pharisees. ED.

Verse 37

Matthew 9:37 . Ὁ μὲν θερισμός , κ . τ . λ ., The harvest indeed , etc.) He repeated the same words [436] to the Seventy; see Luke 10:2 . θερισμὸς , harvest) i.e. in the New Testament, for in the Old Testament it was the time for sowing. See John 4:35-43.4.36 . And again, the present time is the season of sowing; the end of the world the harvest. πολὺς , plenteous ) See ch. Matthew 10:23 . ἐργάται , labourers ) Fit persons to whom the work should be entrusted.

[436] After the lapse of a year. B. H. E. p. 288.

Verse 38

Matthew 9:38 . Δεήθητε , pray ye ) See of how great value prayers are. The Lord of the harvest Himself wishes Himself to be moved by them. More blessings, without doubt, would accrue to the human race, if more men would, on men’s behalf, [437] meet the ever ready will of GOD. See Gnomon on 1 Timothy 2:3 . The reaping and sowing is for our advantage. The Lord Himself exhorts us to entreat Him. He prevents us, that He may teach us to prevent Him. [438] (Cf. John 16:5 .) And forthwith, whilst He is commanding us to pray, He implants the desire, to which it is He too that hearkens. See ch. Matthew 10:1 . These same persons who are commanded to pray [for labourers], are presently appointed labourers themselves (ibid.) Κυρίου , the Lord ) see ch. Matthew 10:1 , Matthew 13:37 . Christ is the Lord of the harvest. ὄπως ἐκβάλλῃ , [439] to send forth ) ἐκβάλλειν [440] does not always imply force, as it does in Matthew 9:33 .

[437] Those who are nearer to God praying in behalf of those who are further removed from Him. V. g.

[438] Prevent is here used in the old Engl. sense of anticipate, be before another in doing a thing ; as in the Book of Common Prayer, “ Prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour.” God would have us also, as it were , prevent Him, or be the first to ask those things, which He really knoweth and willeth to give us before we either desire or ask them, Isaiah 41:21 ; Isaiah 43:26 . ED.

[439] E. M. ἐκβάλῃ . (I. B.)

[440] See Author’s Preface. Sect. xiv. and footnotes. (I. B.)

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Matthew 9". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/matthew-9.html. 1897.