« ÎnapoiContinuă »
weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42 And when they had nothing to'pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? 43 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45 Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49 And they that sat at meat with him. began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
See Matt. 18, 28.
Verse 5. "He hath built us a synagogue."-The Jews assigned no particular sanctity to their synagogues as buildings; their holiness lay in their being set apart to the service of religion. It often happened that synagogues were built by individuals, and presented to the community; this being considered a most meritorious and acceptable act. A person who had built a house might set it apart for a synagogue, if he pleased; and there was never the least hesitation in accepting a synagogue built by a Gentile. Lightfoot (Hor. Heb.' in loc.) specifies some much disputed questions concerning synagogues;-such as whether it was lawful to sell a synagogue, or alienate it to any civil use. A case is also supposed, of a person building a synagogue, and ultimately reserving it to his own proper use; which being however proposed as a matter of difficulty, shows that such a case was very uncommon, if at all practically known. The Romans, no doubt, soon found that there was no more effective method of gratifying the Jews than by treating their religion with respect.
11. "A city called Nain."-Eusebius places this town about two miles to the south of Mount Tabor; and the Jewish writers mention a town of this name in the tribe of Issachar, and describe it as so called from its pleasantness. This seems to be the same place that Eusebius had in view. It appears that Nain still exists as a village of little note; but it is only mentioned by travellers as being visible from Mount Tabor, in the direction indicated.
12. "A dead man carried out."-The place of burial being outside the city, according to the universal custom of the East, both in ancient and modern times.
"Much people of the city was with her.”—We know such customs of the Jews as tend to illustrate this. An infant, less than a month old, was carried out in the bosom of a woman, and buried by her and two men. An infant above a month, but less than three years old, was carried out in a little coffin, not borne on men's shoulders, but in their arms. A person dying above that age, was borne out on a bed or bier, without any coffin. When one was carried out in a coffin (implying that he was less than three years of age) few mourners attended; but when borne out on a bier, the attendance was numerous, particularly if the deceased were extensively known. The attendance was increased by the need of many persons to relieve each other in bearing the bier, particularly as the distance to the place of interment was often considerable. There were also those who attended the mourners to support and comfort them, so that the attendance was, altogether, very great. (See Lightfoot's Hor. Heb.' in loc.) The same custom, for a numerous attendance at funerals, is still observed by the modern Jews. The name of the deceased, with the hour and place of his interment, is announced in the synagogue of which he was a member, and it is usual for all who can do so to attend the funeral, as the respect with which the memory of the deceased is regarded is measured by the largeness or smallness of the attendance. Thus, when the person was a bastard, or of impure life, or grossly negligent of Jewish forms, such attendance is withheld, and is intended and understood as a mark of disrespect; but, in other cases, it is by no means uncommon for a corpse to be followed by a multitude, consisting of from a hundred to a thousand persons; as may frequently be seen in the Whitechapel Road, London, in the neighbourhood of which there are several Jewish burialgrounds. Females, however, very rarely, or never, attend a corpse to the grave. (See Hyam Isaacs's 'Ceremonies and Traditions of the Jews,' 1836.)
32. "The marketplace."-In the earlier times of the Jewish history, it appears that the markets were held near the gates of towns, sometimes within, sometimes without; where the different kinds of goods were exposed for sale, either in the open air or in tents. But we learn from Josephus that in the time of our Saviour the markets, at least in cities, had become such as they now are in the East, and which have been frequently described under their Oriental name of "Bazaars." These establishments are usually situated in the centre of the towns, and do not by any means answer to our notion of "a market "—which is usually appropriated to the sale of articles of food: for in these bazaars, all the shops and warehouses of the town are collected, and all the trade of the city carried on, of whatever description it may
be. In these also are the workshops of those who expose for sale the products of their skill or labour, such as shoemakers, cap-makers, basket-makers, smiths, &c. The result, of course, is, that the shops of the various tradesmen and artificers are not dispersed indiscriminately over the towns, as in this country, but are all collected in the bazaar: neither in the bazaar itself do they occur dispersedly; but every trade has its distinct place to which it is generally confined. Hence one passes along between rows of shops exhibiting the same kinds of commodities, and sometimes extending to the length of a moderate street. Other rows make a similar display of commodities of other sorts.
The bazaar itself consists of a series of avenues or streets, with an arched, or some other roof, to afford protection from the sun and rain. These avenues are lined by the shops, which are generally raised two or three feet above the ground upon a platform of masonry, which also usually forms a bench in front of the whole line. The shops are in general very small, and entirely open in front, where the dealer sits with great quietness and patience till a customer is attracted by the display of his wares. No one lives in the bazaar; the shops are closed towards evening with shutters, and the bazaar itself is closed with strong gates, after the shopkeepers have departed to their several homes in the
It sometimes happens that a part of the bazaar consists of an open place, or square, around which are shops under an arcade. When this occurs, the shops are generally those of fruiterers, greengrocers, and other dealers in vegetable produce, the frequent renewals of whose bulky stock renders it undesirable that their shops should be placed in the thronged and narrow avenues.
In these bazaars, business begins very early in the morning-as soon as it is light. During the day it seems to be the place in which all the activities of the town are concentrated, and presents a scene remarkably in contrast with the characteristic solitude and quietness of the streets, which seem exhausted of their population to supply the teeming concourse which it offers. And this is partly true; for the market is the resort not only of the busy, but of the idle and the curious-of those who seek discussion, or information, or excitement, or who desire "to be seen of men;" and where, consequently, the exterior aspect of Oriental life and manners is seen in all its length, and breadth, and fulness, 37. "A woman in the city, which was a sinner.”—It is commonly supposed that this woman was Mary Magdalene, so that "Magdalen" has become, as it were, a name for a penitent harlot. But there does not seem the least reason for this conclusion; and it is difficult to see on what it could have been founded, unless from the circumstance that Mary Magdalene is, a few verses on in the next chapter, mentioned first among the females who followed Christ and “ministered to him of their substance." These were surely women of property, and as Mary is mentioned even before the wife of so considerable a person as Herod's steward, we may perhaps infer even that she was a woman of superior station and wealth, and all the less likely to have been a harlot, which we concede was probably the case of the woman who now anoints our Lord's feet, although there were certainly many other acts-of lesser moral offence, or only of ceremonial offence-which, among the Jews, brought upon a woman an ill fame. Mary's surname of Magdalen probably denotes that she was a native of Magdala, near Bethsaida, on the coast of the Lake of Tiberias; whereas, the present woman appears to have belonged to Capernaum. Mary doubtless, like this woman, "loved much," for, even as to this world, she had received much," Jesus having cast out of her seven devils; and, whether for this, or because of her superior character and station, she is usually first named by the Evangelists when they have occasion to mention the female friends of our Saviour. The fact that, till Jesus knew her, Mary Magdalene had been a demoniac, affords another, and the strongest possible, reason against identifying her with a woman who is supposed to have been a harlot till her heart received the pure and purifying doctrine of Christ.
38. "Stood at his feet behind him.”—This is an expression applied often to servants in waiting at meal-times. The painters do not correctly represent this scene. It was at this time the custom among the Jews, as well as the Romans, to recline, at meal-time, on couches, set around the table. Of such couches we shall have another occasion to speak. It is only necessary at present to observe that the guests so reclined on these couches that their feet were behind them, towards the open space or passage, between the couch and the wall, where the servants stood in attendance. It was in this open place, to which access without obtrusiveness was easy, that the woman came and washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and anointed them with ointment, without appearing before his face: indeed he could not perhaps have seen her without turning his head. Hence the force of expression "behind him."
"Began to wash his feet with tears."-From what our Lord presently says to Simon, as well as from passages of the earlier Scriptures which have already engaged our attention, we know that it was the custom of the entertainer to provide water, and direct his servants to wash the feet of his guests. In towns, however, the custom does not appear to have been invariably observed; for we see it was neglected by Simon, without the omission appearing to have been intended as a mark of disrespect, our Saviour's allusion to it being rather incidental than reproachful. It was, however, as might be expected, an invariable custom to wash the feet previously to being anointed.
3 Women minister unto Christ of their substance.
4 Christ, after he had preached from place to place, attended with his apostles, propoundeth the parable of the sower, 16 and of the candle : 21 declareth who are his mother, and brethren: 22 rebuketh the winds: 26 casteth the legion of
devils out of the man into the herd of swine: 37 is rejected of the Gadarenes : 43 healeth the woman of her bloody issue, 49 and raiseth from death Jairus' daughter.
AND it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
1 Mark 16. 9.
2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, 'out of whom went seven devils,
3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance. 4 And when much people were ga thered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
5 A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
2 Matt, 13. 2.
6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
8 And other fell on good ground, and Asprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath cars to hear, let him hear.
9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: 'for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken ven that which he 'seemeth to have.
19 Then came to him his mother and is brethren, and could not come at him for he press.
20 And it was told him by certain which id, Thy mother and thy brethren stand thout, desiring to see thee.
21 And he answered and said unto them,
3 Matt. 13. 18.
My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
22 ¶ Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
26 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilce.
27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
33 Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
4 Matt. 5. 15. 5 Matt. 10, 26. 6 Matt. 13. 12. 10 Matt. 8. 28.
34 When they that fed them saw what
7 Or, thinketh that he hath,
was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
36 They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
38 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him for they were all waiting for him.
41 "And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:
42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
43¶ And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.
50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
52 And all wept, and bewailed her but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.
56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.
11 Matt. 9. 18.
Verse 26. "The country of the Gadarenes.”—Luke agrees with Mark; but Matthew (viii. 28) has “the country of the Gergesenes." Some copies and translations have sought to obviate the apparent discrepancy by supposing "Gerge senes" in Matthew, was inserted through the error of some copyist who should have written Gadara. But this method of removing difficulties is so replete with danger, and should be used with such extreme caution and reluctance, as a last resource, that we are not disposed to allow it on the present occasion. It is better and easier to conclude, the there were two towns, Gadara and Gergesa, in the same district, so near to each other that the district itself was some times named from the one and sometimes from the other. Or, with equal probability, we may suppose that the tw names from the same country co-existed from the circumstance that "the country of the Gergesenes" was the anciert name, derived from the Girgashites by whom it was formerly occupied, and who were expelled by Joshua; while “the country of the Gadarenes," was a modern name derived from the important town of Gadara. What renders this a mere probable solution of the difficulty is, that if there were two names, one ancient and another modern, it would be is itself likely that Matthew, writing for Jews, should use the former, while Mark and Luke, who wrote for the Gentiles, would as naturally use the modern name.
It will be observed that the text only informs us that the country of the Gadarenes was on the other side of the sea of Tiberias, and over against Galilee. It says nothing as to the situation of either the towns of Gadara or Gergesa, which, for what we know from Scripture, may have been in a part of the district to which they gave name. distant from that part of it which bordered on the sea of Tiberias. "The city" mentioned in the narrative may possibly have been one of the two, or quite as possibly some other city distinct from either, and perhaps nearer than either to the
lake. As the sites are still the subject of dispute, it is necessary thus to premise that the Evangelists are not committed to any alternative with respect to the towns of Gadara and (the supposed) Gergesa; although they distinctly inform us that a district eastward-or probably south-eastward of the lake, was called the country of the Gadarenes, or Gergesenes.
Gadara is mentioned by Josephus as the capital of Perea, a place of strength, many of whose inhabitants were wealthy persons (De Bel. 1.' 4. c. 7). The other passages in which this historian mentions Gadara, intimate clearly that it was situated at some slight distance to the south-east of the lake; see in particular his Life,' sect. 9. 10. Correspondingly Polybius (1. v. c. 6) mentions it as the strongest city in the part of the country, east of the Jordan, opposite the plain of Esdraelon. Pliny mentions it among the cities of Decapolis (which derived its name from the number of cities it contained), and says that it was situated near the river Hieromax, or Jarmuth. These intimations, concurring with those of Eusebius and Jerome, lead us to expect to find Gadara upon a mountain, near the Hieromax, not far from the lake to the south-east, and nearly equidistant, on the opposite side of the river, from Tiberias and Bethshan, or Scythopolis. In a situation corresponding very well to these intimations, near the village of Om-keis, about eight miles from the lake, and between two and three from the river Jarmuth, Seetzen found considerable ruins which he supposed to be those of the ancient Gadara. Burckhardt however thought them to be the ruins of Gamala, as did also Buckingham, who argues the question at considerable length. But Colonel Leake, Burckhardt's editor, re-asserts the opinion of Seetzen, and we are disposed to acquiesce in his conclusion; and this we the more readily do, as, for the reason already stated, we see no cause to conclude that Gadara was the town near which the present transaction took place. It therefore suggests no objections to find that these ruins, whether those of Gadara or not, seem to be too distant from the lake to be regarded as representing the town whose people desired Jesus to depart from them. As therefore the spot does not appear to be of any Scriptural interest, we shall not describe its remains, for ample details concerning which we may refer to Burckhardt and Buckingham. The following, from the latter traveller, is of more immediate interest.
"The account given of the habitation of the demoniac, from whom the legion of devils was cast out here, struck us very forcibly, while we were ourselves wandering among rugged mountains, and surrounded by tombs, still used as habitations by individuals and whole families of those residing there. A finer subject for a masterly expression of the passions of madness in all their violence, contrasted with the serenity of benevolence and virtue in him who went about doing good, could hardly be chosen by the pencil of an artist; and a faithful delineation of the rugged and wild majesty of the mountain scenery here on the one hand, with the still calm of the water of the lake on the other, would give an additional charm to the picture." (Travels in Palestine,' ii. 289. 8vo.)
With respect to Gergesa, we have explained that it is only a conjecture that this was a town giving its name to "the country of the Gergesenes," since "Gergesenes" may be a gentile name (Girgashites?), rather than taken from the name of a place. However, we may allow for a moment that the name of a town is involved. Those who contend for this theory, not being able to find any place called Gergesa, have supposed it the same as Geraza, one of the cities of the Decapolis. We have not any doubt that the interesting remains at the spot now called Jerash are the same as those of the ancient Geraza. But we have very great doubt that it gave its name to the district in question; and can be certain that this at least was not the city to which our Saviour came; for it is not "over against Galilee," and it is not less than fifty miles to the south-east of the Lake of Tiberias, and nearly forty from Gadara. If therefore a town is to be understood, it is better to look for one called Gergesa, near both to Gadara and the lake. This conclusion is It is as old as Origen; and from the time and place in which he lived, the opinion of that learned father is worth more than the mere conjectures that only now can be offered; and is the more valuable as it seems to convey an intimation that such a place as Gergesa in the required situation did actually exist, and was probably the town to which our Lord was going. He objects decidedly to the Geraza “in Arabia," observing truly, that there was no sea or lake near it, and could never have been intended by the Evangelists, who were so well acquainted with the country. To Gadara he also objects, as being the city to which our Lord approached, on the ground that this, although so much nearer than Geraza, was still too distant from the lake. "But," continues he, "Gergesa, from whence were the Gergesenes, is an ancient city, near the lake now called Tiberias; above which is a precipice, adjacent to the lake, where is still shown the place where the swine were cast down by the devils." (Comment. in Joannem,' ii. 131.) This is very clear; as it seems that the place still existed in the time of Origen, by the name of Gergesa, and that the Christian inhabitants of the place consider that the transactions here recorded occurred in the neighbourhood of their city, and that it gave name to the country of the Gergesenes. We are disposed to take this account as the most probable, as this Gergesa, though nearer the lake, was still so near to Gadara that the neighbourhood might be indicated indifferently as " the country of the Gergesenes," or "the country of the Gadarenes." Besides, as Gergesa is not historically mentioned, it would seem to have been a less important place than Gadara; for which reason, although the event may actually have occurred in the neighbourhood of the former town, Mark and Luke, not writing for natives of Palestine, might naturally be induced to indicate the locality by a reference to the more important city of the two.
32. "There was there an herd of many swine feeding.”—We have already intimated our belief that there was much error in supposing that the law, which declared that certain kinds of animals were not to be used for food, should be understood as prohibiting them from rearing, for any other purpose, the animals interdicted as food. There was certainly nothing in the law to prevent them from rearing hogs more than from rearing asses, if they saw fit to do so. It appears, in fact, that the Jews did rear pigs, for sale to their heathen neighbours, till this was forbidden, after the principle of refining upon the law had been introduced. The prohibition demonstrates the previous existence of the practice; and it did not take effect till about 70 years B.C., when it is alleged to have originated in a circumstance which occurred between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, the sons of king Alexander Janneus. Aristobulus was besieging Hyrcanus in Jerusalem, but not wishing to interrupt the services of the Temple, he permitted an arrangement, under which money_was let down from the Temple in a box; in return for which, the lambs required for the daily sacrifices were sent up. It at last occurred to a mischievous old man, "who understood the wisdom of the Greeks," that there would be no overcoming the adverse party while they employed themselves in the service of God, and therefore one morning he put a hog in the box instead of a lamb. When half-way up, the pig reared himself up, and happened to rest his fore feet upon the Temple wall; whereupon, continues the story, Jerusalem and the land of Israel quaked. In consequence of this, two orders were issued by the Council,-" Cursed be he that breedeth hogs;" and, "Cursed be he who teacheth his son the learning of the Greeks." Such is the origin of the order against rearing hogs, as related in the Babylon Talmud. One of the enforcements of this prohibition is curious, as showing for what purposes, besides sale, hogs had been reared by the Jews. "It is forbidden to rear any hog-even though hogs should come to a man by inheritance-in order to obtain profit from its skin, or from its fat, for anointing or for light." From this it would appear that the Jews had been wont to make ointments with hogs' lard, and that they did not exclusively use oil for lights, but fat