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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Matthew 9

 

 

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Verses 1-8

Matthew 9:1-8. The Healing of the Paralytic (Mark 2:1-12* Luke 5:17-26).—Mt. here resumes Mk.'s order; Matthew 8:18*. As usual he condenses the narrative, saying nothing of the dense crowd round the house or of the device employed by the sick man's friends. For faith winning blessings for others cf. Matthew 8:13, James 5:15. The beginnings of official opposition are seen in Matthew 9:3, they culminate in Matthew 12:14-24. The question in Matthew 9:5 implies that it is equally difficult to say effectually either "thy sins are forgiven" or "arise and walk" for suffering was universally held to be the sequence of sin (cf John 9:2), and the only possible proof of forgiveness would be a cure. It is quite permissible to take "Son of Man" in Matthew 9:6 as meaning "man," but human ability to forgive sins is delegated authority (Matthew 9:8) rather than inherent power.


Verses 9-13

Matthew 9:9-13. The Call of Matthew. Jesus Eats with Tax-collectors (Mark 2:13-17*, Luke 5:27-32).—We need not doubt the identification of Matthew (= gift of Yahweh) and Levi; Peter had a double Jewish name, Simon and Kephas. Lk. notes how this disciple "forsook all"; he could not return to his old calling, as a fisherman could. The meal was apparently in Jesus' house (cf. Matthew 9:13, "It is not my mission to invite the righteous); Capernaum was now "his own city" (Matthew 9:1). "As a Physician, the Lord was bound to come into close contact with those who were sick, regardless of the contagious pollution which the Pharisees shunned." Matthew 9:13 a (Hosea 6:6) is quoted again in Matthew 12:7; it hardly seems in place here (though "sacrifice" stands for ritual correctness generally), for Jesus had based His action on the ground of simple duty rather than mercy. The "righteous" and the "sinners" correspond to "the whole" and "the sick." Lk.'s addition, "to repentance," is an attempt to explain why the righteous were not called.


Verses 14-17

Matthew 9:14-17. Fasting. The Old and the New (Mark 2:18-22*, Luke 5:33-39).—Mt. makes the disciples of John (who were more numerous and important for two or three centuries than is usually recognized; cf. p. 797) put the question. "Sons of the bride-chamber" means, by a common Heb idiom, wedding-guests; John 3:29 has its root here. The "old garment" is the system deduced from the Law rather than the Law itself; there is no contradiction of Matthew 5:17. Lk. takes the patch from a new garment—a double disaster. Note the necessity of new forms (Matthew 9:17) unless the new spirit is to be lost; yet Jesus leaves it to His Church to provide them. On fasting cf. Matthew 6:16-18.


Verses 18-26

Matthew 9:18-26. Jairas' Daughter and the Woman with Haemorrhage (Mark 5:21-43*, Luke 8:40-56).—Mt. records in nine verses what Mk. takes twenty-three to tell. He again forsakes Mk.'s order, postponing Mark 2:23 to Mark 4:34 till later (chs. 12, 10, 13). Despite his compression Mt. remarks that the woman (? Veronica) touched the sacred tassel (Numbers 15:38) of Jesus' dress, and that the cure was immediate and permanent ("from that hour"). As with the paralytic (Matthew 8:10), faith (not magic) expelled both the disease and the sin thought to be linked with it.

In the story of the ruler (i.e. supervisor of synagogue-worship; for other uses of the word see Luke 14:1; Luke 18:18; John 3:1; Acts 4:5), Mt. alone mentions the flute-players among the crowd, which Jesus dismisses more authoritatively than in Mk. and Lk. like Mk., Mt. takes Jesus' words, "not dead but sleepeth," as literally true; Lk. alone clearly indicates a raising from death. The messengers (Mark 5:35), or Jairas himself (Matthew 9:18), were mistaken. Matthew 9:26 replaces the injunction to silence (cf. Matthew 9:30) in Mk. and Lk.; "that land" (cf. Matthew 9:31) is the district round Capernaum.


Verses 27-31

Matthew 9:27-31. Two Blind Men Healed.—Mt. only; perhaps a doublet of Matthew 20:20-34, with reminiscences (in Matthew 9:30 f.) of Mark 1:43-45. See M'Neile, 128f. "Son of David" first appears as a Messianic title in Ps. Sol. 17:23, but becomes frequent after A.D. 100.

Matthew 9:30. Jesus strictly charged them: the verb is that used in Mark 1:43; Mark 14:5, John 11:33, and connotes a rush of deep feeling.


Verses 32-35

Matthew 9:32-34. A Dumb Demoniac Healed.—Mt. only (but cf Luke 11:14); perhaps a doublet of Matthew 12:22 f.*

Matthew 9:35. A summary of ministry (Mark 6:6 b) almost identical with Matthew 4:23. Mark 6:1-6 a is deferred to the end of Matthew 13.


Verses 36-38

Matthew 9:36 to Matthew 10:4. The Sending of the Twelve.—Jesus sees the people "distressed and scattered"—better, "mishandled and lying helpless"—utterly unprepared, through lack of spiritual guidance and succour, for the Advent of the Kingdom. It was the hour of opportunity, and if there were enough heralds of the Kingdom, the flock could be folded, the ripe harvest garnered (cf. Luke 10:2—the charge to the Seventy; John 4:35). He has already chosen twelve disciples (Mt. assumes Mark 3:14), a number corresponding to that of the tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28); now He endows them with authority like His own over demons and disease. On the names see Mark 3:13 ff.* and Swete in loc. Andrew and Philip are pure Gr. names · Simon, "the first," holds a prominent place in Mt.'s Jewish-Chris tian gospel. Mt. groups the twelve in pairs. The Alphæus who was father of James is not necessarily the same as the father of Levi (Mark 2:14) or Matthew. Thaddæus is a better reading than Lebbæus (which is a gloss; it connotes "heart," while Thaddæus was thought to connote "breast"); in other lists he appears as "Judas (son) of James" (cf. John 14:22), which suggests that Thaddæus is a variant form of Judah or Judas. In Matthew 9:4 follow mg.; the evangelists, knowing that the "delivering up" (paradidomi) was part of God's plan, never use of Judas the verb that specifically denotes treachery (prodidomi).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Matthew 9:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/matthew-9.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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