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Ver. 1. And it came to pass afterwards , etc.;] After Christ had healed the centurion's servant at Capernaum, and had raised a widow's son that was dead, to life, at Naim; after John's disciples had been with and he had dismissed them, and had said many things in commendation of John, and in vindication both of him, and of himself: and after he had taken a meal in a Pharisee's house, where he met with a woman that had been a notorious sinner, who showed great affection for him, which occasioned much course between him and the Pharisee: that he went throughout every city and village : that is, in Galilee, where he now was, as is clear from the foregoing chapter, and from what follows in this, ( Luke 8:26) and besides, it was by the sea of Galilee that he delivered the following parable concerning the sower; (see Matthew 13:1) preaching, and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God ; of the Gospel dispensation, which was now taking place, and had been long expected; publishing the doctrines and mysteries of it, such as free and full remission of sins for his own sake, justification by his righteousness, acceptance in him the beloved Son of God, and complete salvation by him as the Saviour of his people, than which nothing could be more welcome news, or better tidings; pointing out the ordinances of that dispensation, and showing who were the proper subjects of them, and directing and encouraging such to submit unto them; as also signifying what the kingdom of grace lies in, not in meats and drinks, or any outward things, but in inward holiness, peace, and joy; and what is a meetness for entrance into the kingdom of glory, namely, regenerating grace; and what gives a right unto it, even a better righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, and which was no other than his own: and the twelve were with him ; the twelve apostles, whom Christ had chose, and ordained as such: these attended him wherever he went, that they might be witnesses of his miracles, and learn his doctrines; that so they might be thoroughly furnished for their future ministry, both in Judea, and among the Gentiles.
Ver. 2. And certain women which had been healed of evil spirits , etc.] Of devils, who had possessed them, and were healed by Christ, dispossessing them; (see Gill on “ Luke 7:21”). and infirmities : various diseases of body: some were dispossessed of devils, and others freed from bodily disorders; of the first sort was Mary Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils : by the order of Christ, for he cast them out, ( Mark 16:9) and which shows, that this is to be understood, in a literal sense, of devils, and the dispossession of them by Christ; and not in a figurative sense, of vices, and the expulsion of them by the power of divine grace; for this same phrase is used where real dispossessions are intended: nor need it be thought strange that seven devils should be in one person, when, in this same chapter, we read of a legion in one man, and which also Christ cast out, ( Luke 8:30,33,35).
This woman seems to be a different person from her spoken of in the latter part of the preceding chapter, seeing this looks as if it was the first time of her being taken notice of by this evangelist, and is described by a different character. She is called “Magdalene”, to distinguish her from others of the same name; the reason of which (see Gill on “ Matthew 27:56”). She is said to be a widow, and so not being bound to an husband, was at leisure to follow Christ.
Ver. 3. And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward , etc.] Joanna, or Juchan, as the Syriac version calls her, was a name, among the Jews, for a woman, as Jochanan, or John, was for a man. In the Talmud we read of one Jochani, or Joanni, the daughter of Retibi, the same name with this.
Her husband's name was Chuza. Dr. Lightfoot observes, from a Talmudic treatise f318 , such a name in the genealogy of Haman, who is called the son of Chuza; and Haman being an Edomite, and this man being in the family of Herod, who was of that race, suggests it to be an Idumean name. But in my edition of that treatise, Haman is not called the son of Chuza, but azyk rb , “the son of Ciza”; and besides, Chuza is a Jewish name, and the name of a family of note among the Jews: hence we read of R. Broka the Chuzite; where the gloss is, “for he was”, yazwj ybm , “of the family of Chuzai”. And elsewhere mention is made of two sons of Chuzai; and both the gloss, and Piske Harosh upon the place, say, “they were Jews”: so Abimi is said to be of the family of Chuzai, or the Chuzites f321 ; and the same is said of R. Acha f322 . This man, here mentioned, was Herod's steward; a steward of Herod the “tetrarch”, of Galilee. The Arabic version calls him his “treasurer”; and the Vulgate Latin, and the Ethiopic versions, his “procurator”; and some have thought him to be a deputy governor of the province under him; but he seems rather to be a governor, or “chief of his house”, as the Syriac version renders it: he was one that presided in his family, and managed his domestic affairs; was an overseer of them, as Joseph was in Potiphar's house; and the same Greek word that is here used, is adopted by the Jews into their language, and used of Joseph f323 : and who moreover say f324 , “let not a man appoint a steward in his house; for if Potiphar had not appointed Joseph, swpwrjwpa , “a steward” in his house, he had not come into that matter,” of calumny and reproach. It was common for kings, princes, and great men, to have such an officer in their families. We read of a steward of king Agrippa's, who was of this same family. The Persic version is very foreign to the purpose, making Chuza to be “of the family of Herod”. This man might be either dead, as some have conjectured; or, if living, might be secretly a friend of Christ, and so willing that his wife should follow him; or, if an enemy, such was her zeal for Christ, that she cheerfully exposed herself to all his resentments; and chose rather meanness, contempt, and persecution with Christ, and for his sake, than to enjoy all the pleasures of Herod's court without him. And Susannah ; this also was a name for a woman with the, Jews, as appears from the history of one of this name with them, which stands among the apocryphal writings. She, as well as Joanna, and perhaps also Mary Magdalene, were rich, and persons of substance, as well as note, as should seem by what follows: “and many others”; that is, many other women; for the words, are of the feminine gender: which ministered unto him of their substance ; four ancient copies of Beza's, and five of Stephens's, and the Syriac version read, “which ministered unto them”; that is, to Christ, and his disciples, as the Persic version expresses it. This shows the gratitude of these women, who having received favours from Christ, both for their souls and bodies, make returns to him out of their worldly substance, in a way of thankfulness; and also the low estate of Christ, and his disciples, who stood in need of such ministrations; and may be an instruction to the churches of Christ to take care of their ministers, and to communicate in all good things to them, of whose spiritual things they partake; and may be a direction to them to minister to them of what is their own substance, and not another's; and to minister a proper part, and not the whole, as these women ministered to Christ, and his apostles, of substance which was their own, and that not all of it, but out of it.
Ver. 4. And when much people were gathered together , etc.] To Jesus, as he was by the sea side, the sea of Galilee, or Tiberias: and were come to him out of every city ; of Galilee, to hear him preach, and see miracles: he spake by a parable ; the following things.
Ver. 5. A sower went out to sow his seed , etc.] By whom Jesus Christ is chiefly designed; though it is true of every preacher of the Gospel: who goes forth, being sent by Christ, with the precious seed of the word: for the phrase, “his seed”, which only Luke has, best agrees with Christ, he being the proprietor and subject of it. The Alexandrian copy reads, “the seed of himself”, The Persic version reads the whole clause thus, “a sower chose ground, and there he sowed seed”: he fixed on the spot of ground to sow his seed in, as Christ did on the people of the Jews, and afterwards the Gentiles. And, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside ; on the road, which was by the side of the field, in which people commonly walked, and so was beaten hard, and the seed lay upon it, and was not received; which designs such hearers of the word, as are not susceptive of it, do not take it in, and have no manner of understanding of it. And it was trodden down ; by every one that passed by, as the Gospel preached to such hardened and ignorant hearers, is despised and trampled under foot by them. And the fowls of the air devoured it ; who generally flock about places where seed is sowing; and here intend the devil and his angels, that have their dwelling in the air; and frequent places of public worship to hinder the usefulness of the ministry of the word, as much as in them lies.
Ver. 6. And some fell upon a rock , etc.] Which the other evangelists call “stony places”, and “stony ground”; by which are meant such hearers whose hearts are, hardened through the deceitfulness of sin, and continue so notwithstanding the preaching of the word unto them. And as soon as it sprung up ; as it did immediately, as the other evangelists say; and that for this reason, which they give, “because it had no depth of earth”; only a small crust, or shell of earth over the rock; and signifies, that these hearers had only a superficial knowledge of the word, and hastily made a profession of it, which soon came to nothing: it withered away, because it lacked moisture ; the other evangelists say, “when the sun was up, it was scorched”; meaning tribulation and persecution, the grace of God being wanting to support under fiery trials: the reason given in Matthew and Mark why it withered, is, because it had no root ; and so read the Persic and Ethiopic versions here.
Ver. 7. And some fell among thorns , etc.] On ground which had within it the roots of thorns and briars; and design such hearers who have their hearts filled with worldly cares, and sensual lusts and pleasures: and the thorns sprang up with it ; and grew faster than that: and choked it ; as the above things do the word, and make it useless and unprofitable; so that though it took place for a while, and was professed, yet process of time was neglected and dropped; and, as Mark says, “it yielded no fruit”; at least that came to perfection.
Ver. 8. And other fell on good ground , etc.] The Syriac version reads, “on good and beautiful ground”; and so the Cambridge copy of Beza's; ground which both looked well, and proved well; and signifies such hearers who have good and honest hearts, made so by the Spirit of God; who receive the word in the love of it, have a spiritual understanding, and real experience of it; and sprang up, and bare fruit, an hundred fold ; or, “a hundred for one”, as the Syriac version renders it; a hundred grains for one that was sown.
The Ethiopic version adds, “and it was to thirty, and it was to sixty”: that is, as the other evangelists say, “some thirty”, and “some sixty fold”; for the word of God is more fruitful in some of those gracious hearers, than in others: and when he had said these things, he cried : with a loud voice, that what he was about to say might be attended to: he that hath ears to hear, let him hear ; see this parable more largely explained in the following notes. (See Gill on “ Matthew 13:3-9”) Ver. 9. And his disciples asked him , etc.] That is, as Mark says, “when he was alone”; after the multitude were departed, and they were by themselves, it may be in some house with other disciples: saying, what might this parable be ? what is the sense and meaning of it?
According to Matthew, they asked why he spake in parables to the people; and to such a question the following words are a proper answer.
Ver. 10. And he said, unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God , etc.] The doctrines of the Gospel, which to have spiritual knowledge is a special and peculiar gift of God. The Vulgate Latin and Persic versions read, “the mystery”, in the singular, as in Mark: “but to others in parables”; that is, the doctrines of the Gospel are delivered in a parabolical way to others; to such as “are without”, as the Evangelist Mark expresses it, who are strangers and foreigners, and not children, who are not the favourites of heaven, and the disciples of Christ: that seeing they might not see, and hearing, they might not understand ; what was delivered to them; see the following notes. (See Gill on “ Matthew 13:11-13”) Ver. 11. Now the parable is this , etc.] “Or this is the sense of the parable”, as the Arabic version renders it: “the seed is the word of God”, the Gospel, as preached by Christ, his apostles, and faithful ministers, which has God for its author, is concerning the grace of God, and is what he blesses, and makes effectual to answer any good purpose.
Ver. 12. Those by the wayside are they that hear , etc.] The word of God, though only by accident, and very carelessly, and without understanding what they hear: then cometh the devil ; signified by the fowls of the air: and taketh away the word out of their hearts , or memories; that little of it, which is retained there, and diverts their minds from it by other objects; so that they quite forget what they have heard; lest they should believe, and be saved : this clause is only in Luke; and with it may be compared ( 2 Corinthians 4:4) for with true faith in Christ the sum and substance of the word salvation is connected; and Satan being an enemy to the salvation of souls, does all he can to hinder their faith in him.
Ver. 13. They on the rock are they, which when they hear , etc.] The seed that fell upon the rock, or stony ground, signify such sort of hearers, who receive the word with joy . The Ethiopic version reads, “with joy of heart”. But, this sort of hearers receive not the word into their hearts, or with their hearts believe it, and from their hearts obey it, only into their heads; and have only, an historical faith of it; nor with hearty, spiritual, solid joy, or joy in the Holy Ghost: for their hearts remain like a rock, unbroken by the word; but with a flash of natural affection, which quickly goes off. And these have no root ; neither “in themselves”, as the other evangelists say, they have no true grace in them; nor have they any root in Christ, nor in the love of God: which for a while believe : their faith is a temporary one, like that of Simon Magus; which shows it is not true faith; for that is an abiding grace, Christ, who is the author, is the finisher of it, and prays for it, that it fail not. The Persic version renders it, “in the time of hearing they have faith”; and such sort of hearers there are, who, whilst they are hearing, assent to what they hear, but when they are gone, either forget it, or, falling into bad company, are prevailed upon to doubt of it, and disbelieve it. The Arabic version renders it, “they believe for a small time”; their faith do not continue long, nor their profession of it, both are soon dropped: and in the time of temptation fall away : “or go back”, as the Vulgate Latin version, they draw back unto perdition; or “forsake that”, as the Arabic version reads, the word, they have heard, and received, their faith in it, and profession of it: “and soon become apostates”, as the Persic version renders it. By “the time of temptation”, is not meant any particular and sore temptation of Satan, but a time of affliction and persecution, as appears from the other evangelists; which is a trying time to professors of religion, and when those who have not the root of the matter in them, fall away.
Ver. 14. And that which fell among thorns are they , etc.] The seed that fell among thorns, or were sown on thorny ground, represent such hearers: which, when they have heard, go forth ; from hearing the word to their worldly business; or go on in the pursuit of their worldly lusts and pleasures notwithstanding; for the word translated, “go forth”, belongs to the next clause; and are choked with cares and riches, and pleasures of this life ; and with it to be read thus, “and going on in or under”, that is, under the power and influence of, “the cares, and riches, and pleasures of life”, they are choked; to which agrees the Arabic version, which renders it, “in which they walk”, or “which they follow”. The Vulgate Latin version is, “and from the cares, and riches, and pleasures of life, going, they are choked”: but it is not going from them, but going on in them, which chokes them, or suffocates the word they have heard, whereby it becomes of no effect; unless it should be rendered, “by the cares”, etc. “they are choked, and bring no fruit to perfection”; for what fruit such hearers do bring forth, in a way of profession, soon drops off, and perishes.
Ver. 15. But that on the good ground are they , etc.] The seed that fell on good ground design such hearers, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it : who hear with an honest and good intention, and faithfully keep it, and hold it fast: and bring forth fruit with patience ; with great constancy, suffering much for the sake of it; and the more they suffer, the more fruitful they are. See this explanation of the parable more largely insisted on in the following notes. (See Gill on “ Matthew 13:19-23”) Ver. 16. No man, when he hath lighted a candle , etc.] Christ by this, and some proverbial sentences following, observes to his disciples, that though the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven were delivered in parables for the present, that they might not be seen and understood by some; and though he gave to them the explanation of such parables, as of the above, in a private manner; yet his intention was not, that these things should always remain a secret with them; but as they were the lights of the world, they should communicate them to others; and that that light of the Gospel, and the knowledge of the doctrines of it, which he had imparted to them, were not to be retained and concealed in their bosoms, but to be diffused and spread among others: even as no man, when he lights a candle, covereth it with a vessel ; any sort of vessel, as with a bushel, (See Gill on “ Matthew 5:15”), or with a bucket, or with a shell, as the Persic version here interprets, rather than translates: or putteth it under a bed ; whether a bed to sleep on, or a couch to sit or lie upon at meals: but setteth it on a candlestick ; a vessel, or instrument made for that use and purpose, to put and hold a candle in: that they which enter in ; to the house, or room, where it is, may see the light of it , and be enlightened by it: even so it is the will of Christ, that what evangelical light and knowledge he bestows on any persons, they should not hide it, nor their gifts and talents, or keep it back from the view of others, but should hold it forth both in their preaching, and in their practice.
Ver. 17. For nothing is secret that shall not be made manifest , etc.] Meaning, whatever was then wrapped up in parables and dark sayings, or was secretly, and in a private manner, committed to them, should be made manifest by them to others hereafter: neither any thing hid, that shall not be made known, and come abroad ; for what had been whispered to them, in the most secret and silent manner, was to come abroad not only in Judea, but in all the world, and to be published upon the house tops; (See Gill on “ Matthew 10:26”) (See Gill on “ Matthew 10:27”) Ver. 18. Take heed therefore how ye hear , etc.] That ye hear not in a careless and negligent manner, since what truths and doctrines ye now hear with the ear, are to be preached by you unto others: for whosoever hath ; that is, hath knowledge of the doctrines of the Gospel, and hath gifts and abilities to preach them to others: to him shall be given ; more knowledge, and by using his gifts they shall be increased: but he that hath not ; true, solid, spiritual knowledge of divine things, though he has had considerable advantages and opportunities of learning it, as the apostles especially had: from him shall be taken, even that which he seemeth to have ; or “that which he thinks he has”, as the Syriac version renders it; that which he seemed to others to have, or thought himself he had: the knowledge he had of truth, and which was rather a show of knowledge than real, shall be taken from him; his seeming gifts and parts shall die, and vanish away, and he shall be left to fall into ignorance, error, and heresy. Observe that this is to be understood not of internal grace, and experimental knowledge, but of speculative notions of the Gospel, and of external gifts; and so furnishes out no argument against the final perseverance of real saints; (See Gill on “ Matthew 13:12”). (See Gill on “ Matthew 25:29”).
Ver. 19. Then came to him his mother and his brethren , etc.] It was when Christ was preaching in an house at Capernaum, that Mary his mother, and some of his near kinsmen with her, came from Nazareth to him: these brethren of his were relations according to the flesh, either by Joseph, or his mother's side: who they were, cannot be said with certainty: it may be they were Joses and Simon; for as for James and Judas, they were among the twelve apostles, and with him; and these are the four only persons that are mentioned by name, as his brethren, ( Matthew 13:55) though there were others that were so called, who did not believe in him, ( John 7:5) and could not come at him for the press; the multitude of people that were about him, who were so thick, that there was no coming near him, much less was there an opportunity of speaking privately, with him. The Syriac version renders it, “they could not speak unto him for the multitude”.
Ver. 20. And it was told him by certain, which said , etc.] The phrase, “which said”, is omitted in the Vulgate Latin version, and in Beza's most ancient copy. The Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions only read, “and they said unto him”; and the Persic version renders it, “a certain person said”; some one person, as in ( Matthew 12:47) thy mother, and thy brethren, stand without, desiring to see thee; and to speak with thee, as in ( Matthew 12:47).
Ver. 21. And he answered and said unto them , etc.] Not to his mother and brethren, but to those that told him of them, who either designed to reproach him with them, by reason of the meanness of them, or to interrupt him in his work: my mother and my brethren are these ; pointing to his disciples: which hear the word of God ; which he had been preaching, and was meant by the seed in the preceding parable: and do it ; behave in their lives and conversations agreeably to it; and observe the precepts and ordinances in it; elsewhere called the will of God his Father; (See Gill on “ Matthew 12:49-50”).
Ver. 22. Now it came to pass on a certain day , etc.] The same day at even, as Mark says, ( Mark 4:35) in which he delivered the parables of the sower, and of the seed cast into the ground, and of the grain of mustard seed: that he went into a ship with his disciples ; they following him into it, ( Matthew 8:23) and he said unto them, let us go over unto the other side of the lake ; of Gennesaret, or sea of Galilee: and they launched forth ; into the sea; they set sail, and proceeded: this clause is omitted in the Syriac and Persic versions.
Ver. 23. But as he sailed he fell asleep , etc.] On a pillow, in the hinder part of the ship, as in ( Mark 4:38) and there came down a storm of wind on the lake , (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:24”). and they were filled ; with water: not the disciples, but the ship in which they were; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, “their ship was filled with water”. The Syriac and Persic versions render it, “the ship was almost sunk”, or immersed: and were in jeopardy ; of their lives, in the utmost danger, just ready to go to the bottom. This clause is left out in the Syriac and Persic versions.
Ver. 24. And they came to him, and awoke him , etc.] That is, the disciples came from some part of the ship, to the hinder part of it, where Christ was asleep; and by their shrieks and cries, and repeated vociferations, awaked him out of sleep: saying, Master, Master, we perish . The Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, only read “master”, without a repetition of the word, as in Matthew and Mark; but the Syriac and Persic versions repeat it, and render the words, “our master, our master”; (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:25”). Then he rose, and rebuked the wind, and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there was a calm ; (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:26”).
Ver. 25. And he said unto them, where is your faith ? etc.] That is, he said so to his disciples, who had professed faith in him, but now discovered very little: and they being afraid, wondered ; being filled with awful sense of his majesty, were amazed at his power and authority, in rebuking the wind and sea, which at once obeyed him, and were still: saying one another ; among themselves, privately: what manner of man is this? for he commandeth even the winds and water ; or the sea, as the Vulgate Latin. The Syriac version reads both, “the floods and the sea”; and they obey him : according to Matthew, these words seem to be spoken by the men of the ship, the mariners; but here, according to Luke, they seem to be the words of the disciples; (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:27”) (See Gill on “ Mark 4:41”).
Ver. 26. And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes , etc.] In ( Matthew 8:28) it is called the country of the Gergesenes,as it is here, in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions; and “of the Gerasenes”, in the Vulgate Latin; but the Syriac and Persic versions read, “of the Gadarenes”, as in ( Mark 5:1). which is over against Galilee : from whence the ship launched, and Christ and his disciples came.
Ver. 27. And when he went forth to land , etc.] The Persic and Ethiopic versions read, when they went forth to land ; when Christ and his disciples came out of the ship, and went ashore: there met him out of the city a certain man ; or rather, there met him a certain man of the city; that is, one that belonged to, and was an inhabitant of Gadera, or some city thereabout; who had been born and brought up, and had lived there; for certain it is, that he did not now come out of the city, but out of the tombs, as in ( Matthew 8:28, Mark 5:2) and to which agrees the account of him that follows here; in the Vulgate Latin version, these words, “out of the city” are omitted; which the interpreter not understanding, might leave out, as carrying in it a seeming contradiction to the accounts of him: which had devils long time . The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Arabic versions, read in the singular number, which had a devil: and which agrees with ( Luke 8:29) for though more are after mentioned, yet the many might be under one head, and chief of them; but in all the copies, it is read in the plural number, “devils”; and to this agrees the name of legion, for there were many devils in him, and they had a possession of him a long time which aggravates the miserable condition of this man, and illustrates the power of Christ in freeing him from them: and wore no clothes ; but went naked, and when any were put upon him, would tear them in pieces: neither abode in any house , but in the tombs; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:3”).
Ver. 28. When he saw Jesus , etc.] Even afar off, at some considerable distance, he ran towards him, ( Mark 5:6). He cried out, and fell down before him ; that is, the man possessed with the devil did so, under his impulse, and through his agitation of him: and with a loud voice said ; which was the unclean spirit in the man: what have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God, most high? I beseech thee torment me not ; i.e. before the time; (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:29”).
Ver. 29. For he had commanded the unclean spirit . etc.] That had the rest of the devils under his authority, and power, to come out of the man ; this he had done, either before, or just as he came up to him; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:8”). For oftentimes it had caught him ; possessed him, and wrought so strongly in him, and with so much fury, that there was no governing him: and he was kept bound with chains and fetters ; attempts were made to bind him, and keep him bound, but in vain: and he brake the bands; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:4”). And was driven of the devil into the wilderness : into some desert and desolate place, where were the tombs and sepulchres of the dead; this was done by the prince of the legion.
Ver. 30. And Jesus asked him, saying, what is thy name ? etc.] This question was put, not out of ignorance in Christ, but for the sake of those that were with him; and partly, that the miserable condition of this man might be the more known; and partly, that his own power might be the more manifest in the dispossession: and he said, legion, because many devils were entered into him ; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:9”).
Ver. 31. And they besought him , etc.] That is, all the devils, the whole legion of them, entreated Jesus, under whose power, and at whose dispose they were: that he would not command them to go out into the deep ; meaning, not the deep waters of the sea, for thither they ran the swine at their own request; but the bottomless pit of hell, where others of these spirits lay in chains of darkness; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, “into hell”: they desired, that when they went out of this man, they might not be ordered thither, or remanded to their former prison; for they knew that if he gave the word of command, they must obey; but that they might be suffered to continue in that country, and range about on earth, or be any where, rather than in hell.
Ver. 32. And there was there an herd of many swine , etc.] About two thousand, ( Mark 5:13), Feeding on the mountain; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:11”) And they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them; which they could not do, without his leave: and he suffered them: (See Gill on “ Mark 5:12-13”) Ver. 33. Then went the devils out of the man , etc.] Being obliged by the power of Christ, sore against their wills, having had possession of him a long time: and entered into the swine ; possessed them: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake ; that is of Gennesaret; or the sea, as the Syriac and Persic versions read; that is, the sea of Galilee, the same with the former: and were choked ; in the waters, and died, as the Ethiopic version adds.
Ver. 34. When they that fed them saw what was done , etc.] That the devils went out of the man possessed by them, and entered into the herd of swine, which becoming mad therewith, ran furiously down the precipice into the sea, and were drowned: they fled ; as persons affrighted, at these uncommon and surprising events, and as afraid to see their owners: and went and told it in the city ; that is, of Gadara, or some other city near at hand; the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, “in the cities”; in all the cities round about, in that country: and in the country , or “fields”, in the villages adjacent, and in the houses which were scattered about in the fields for conveniency, for rural business.
Ver. 35. Then they went out to see what was done , etc.] That is, the inhabitants of the city, or cities and villages, and houses in the fields; these went out from their respective places of abode, to see with their own eyes, what the swine herds had related to them, concerning the man that had been possessed with devils, and what was become of the swine: and came to Jesus ; where he was, which was not far from the sea shore: and found the man out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus ; quiet and serene, in an humble posture, and as a disciple of Christ, receiving instructions from him: clothed, and in his right mind, and they were afraid ; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:15”).
Ver. 36. They also which saw it , etc.] The disciples of Christ, or the men of the ship, or persons who lived hard by in the fields, who were eyewitnesses of these several things: told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed ; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:16”).
Ver. 37. Then the whole multitude , etc.] For it seems, a very large number of people were presently gathered together, from all parts of the country, upon the report of the swine herds, who fled, it is very likely, some one way, and some another: of the country of the Gadarenes round about ; of the country that was round about Gadara. The Vulgate Latin reads, “of the Gergesenes”; and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions, “of the Gergesenes”: and they all, with one accord, besought him to depart from them, for they were taken with great fear : lest they should suffer other and greater losses, than the loss of the swine; choosing rather that the devils should be retained among them, than Christ continue with them: and he went up into the ship ; directly, granted their request at once; not desirous of staying with such an ungrateful people, that loved their swine more than him, yea, than the bodily health and welfare of their countrymen: and he returned back again ; to Galilee, at least in a very little time, after some short discourse with the dispossessed man; having staid but a very small time in that place, just landed as it were, and not having proceeded far from the seashore.
Ver. 38. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed , etc.] Sensible of the power of Christ, and of the favour he had received from him, was of a quite different mind from his countrymen: and besought him that he might be with him ; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:18”). But Jesus sent him away ; from him, into the country: saying , as follows.
Ver. 39. Return to thine own house , etc.] Which very likely was in the city of Gadara, whither he went, and throughout the whole of which he published the account of the dispossession of the devils from him: Mark adds, “to thy friends”; relations, acquaintance, and countrymen: and show how great things God hath done unto thee ; for none but God could effect such things, tacitly suggesting to him hereby, that he himself was God. Mark adds, “and hath had compassion on thee”: signifying, that what he had done for him, did not arise from merit in the man, but from mercy in himself; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:19”). And he went his way ; he obeyed the orders of Christ, as love and gratitude obliged him: and published throughout the whole city ; of Gadara, and not only there, but in the rest of the ten cities, called Decapolis, ( Mark 5:20) one of which was this of Gadara, as Pliny relates f326 : how great things Jesus had done unto him ; having cast out a legion of devils from him, clothed him, and brought him to his right mind; and had not only delivered his body from a diabolical possession, but had given him spiritual and saving instructions for his soul, on which he had wrought a real work of grace.
Ver. 40. And it came to pass, that when Jesus was returned , etc.] From the country of the Gadarenes, to the other side of the sea of Tiberias, to Galilee; and particularly to his own city, Capernaum; ( Matthew 9:1). The people gladly received him ; who were of a different cast from those he had just left; being sensible of the benefits they received from him, both by his ministry and miracles; and which was the reason of their receiving him with so much joy and gladness: for they were all waiting for him ; on the shore, looking out very eagerly for him, being earnestly desirous of his speedy return to them; having many that wanted his assistance, both for their souls and bodies, of which the following are instances.
Ver. 41. And behold, there came a man named Jairus , etc.] (See Gill on “ Mark 5:22”). and he was a ruler of the synagogue ; at Capernaum; and it was the more remarkable, that such an one should come to Christ, and express any regard to his person, or faith in his power, and therefore a “behold” is prefixed to this account; (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:18”). And he fell down at Jesus' feet ; showing great reverence and humility, and as Matthew says, “worshipped him”; if not in a religious, yet in a civil way: and besought him that he would come into his house ; which was at some distance from thence, as appears by what follows.
Ver. 42. For he had one only daughter , etc.] And so exceedingly dear to him: about twelve years of age ; (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:18”) And she lay a dying , or “was near death”, as the Syriac and Persic versions; or “was just ready to die”, as the Ethiopic version. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it, “she was dead”, or “now dead”, and which agrees with ( Matthew 9:18). but as he went ; along the streets of Capernaum, from Matthew's house; where he had been entertained with his disciples, and others, and where he had a conversation with some of the Pharisees and John's disciples, to the ruler's house: the people thronged him ; such a vast multitude followed him to see the cure, that he was even crowded, and so pressed on all sides, that it was difficult to walk along.
Ver. 43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years , etc.] The Persic version reads, “there was a woman in that city”, etc. in the city of Capernaum; (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:20”). Which had spent all her living upon physicians ; she had applied to one physician and another, and had consumed all her substance in this way: neither could be healed of any ; though she had followed the directions and prescriptions of many, who pretended they were able to cure her; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:26”).
Ver. 44. Came behind him , etc.] In the press and crowd of people, being ashamed to come before him, and tell him her case: and touched the border of his garment the fringe the Jews were obliged to wear at the bottom of their garments, ( Numbers 15:38, Deuteronomy 22:12) and which the more religious sort did, for by this they were distinguished from the common people: it is asked f327 , “who is a plebeian, or one of the common people? every one that does not read “Keriat Shema”, (i.e. hear, O Israel), etc. ( Deuteronomy 6:4) morning and evening, with the blessings belonging to it, the words of R. Meir: but the wise men say, whoever does not put on the “Tephillin” (the frontlets, ( Deuteronomy 6:8)) Ben Azzai says, whoever has not tyxyx , “the fringe” on his garment” (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:20”). This woman was persuaded in her own mind, if she could but touch the clothes of Christ, she should be healed, and accordingly she was: and immediately her issue of blood staunched ; stopped, and was dried up; ( Mark 5:28,29).
Ver. 45. And Jesus said, who touched me ? etc.] This he said, not as ignorant of the person that had done it, but in order to discover her to the people, and the cure she had received, as well as her faith; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:30”). When all denied ; both the disciples and the multitude, as many as were near him, and who might be thought to have done it; all excepting the woman, who afterwards came and declared it; for it is very likely, that as soon as she had touched his garment, and got her cure, she drew further off: Peter, and they that were with him ; the rest of the disciples, who were in company together, as appears from ( Mark 5:31) Said, Master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, who touched me ? or “my garment”, as the Ethiopic version reads; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:31”).
Ver. 46. And Jesus said, somebody hath touched me , etc.] Not in a common and accidental way, but with design, and in the strength of faith: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me : for the cure of the person that had touched him, and that not without his knowledge and will; (See Gill on “ Luke 6:19”).
Ver. 47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid , etc.] From Christ, among the crowd, nor the thing that she had done. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, “that he had not forgot her”; she hoping he would be diverted from taking any notice of her and her action, through the crowd of people about him; she came trembling ; for fear of the anger and resentment of Christ, and lest the favour would be revoked, and the penalty of the law inflicted; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:33”). And falling down before him ; in the most humble manner, “at his feet”, as the Arabic version reads; “and worshipped him”, as the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions have it; gave him the glory of the cure, and thanks for it: she declared unto him before all the people ; the whole truth of the matter, what a disease she had laboured under for so long a time, what means she had used to no purpose: for what cause she had touched him ; namely, in order to have a cure, which she believed she should have in that way: and how she was healed immediately ; as soon as ever she had touched him.
Ver. 48. And he said unto her, daughter , etc.] Instead of frowning upon her, and chiding her for what she had done, he addressed her in a very affable and affectionate manner; bidding her be of good comfort ; and not be afraid; this clause is left out in the Vulgate Latin version, as in ( Mark 5:34) but is in the copies, and other versions: thy faith hath made thee whole, go peace ; (See Gill on “ Matthew 8:2”). (See Gill on “ Mark 5:34”). (See Gill on “ Luke 7:50”).
Ver. 49. While he yet spake , etc.] The above words to the woman; there cometh one : Mark suggests there were more than one, ( Mark 5:35), and the Persic version here reads, “some of the ruler's family came”; that is, to him, who was now with Jesus: from the ruler of the synagogue's house; so the word “house” is supplied by the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; otherwise the words would be, from the ruler of the synagogue ; which could not be, since he was still with Christ: hence some versions, as the Vulgate and Arabic, render them, “to the ruler of the synagogue”; and which give a true sense, and a right view of the case; for this messenger both came from his house, and to him: saying to him, thy daughter is dead, trouble not the master ; to bring him any further, since all hope of help was now gone. The Vulgate Latin version, instead of “master”, reads “him”; and the Ethiopic version, “Jesus”.
Ver. 50. But when Jesus heard it , etc.] The message that was brought to the ruler, and the hint that was given, that it was needless to give him any further trouble: he answered him ; not the messenger, but the father of the child, as the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read: saying, fear not : do not be dismayed at this message, nor despair of help, notwithstanding such is the case: believe only, and she shall be made whole ; exercise faith in me, that I am able to raise her from the dead, and I will do it; and she shall be restored to life, and to perfect health and strength again.
Ver. 51. And when he came into the house , etc.] Of the ruler of the synagogue; he suffered no man to go in : to the room, where the dead body lay: save Peter, James and John ; not one of the multitude that followed him, nor any of the disciples, but these three; who were his favourite ones, and were a sufficient number to be witnesses of the miracle: and the father and mother of the maiden ; these also were admitted. The Persic version very wrongly joins these last words with the beginning of the next verse, reading them thus, “the father and mother of the maiden, with the domestics, wept and bewailed her”.
Ver. 52. And all wept and bewailed her , etc.] Not only her relations and friends, and the servants of the house, but the mourning women, that were hired on this occasion, and employed for this purpose: but he said, weep not ; neither in show, as the mourning women did, nor in reality, as the friends of the deceased: she is not dead, but sleepeth ; (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:24”). (See Gill on “ Mark 5:39”).
Ver. 53. And they laughed him to scorn , etc.] The servants, neighbours, and relations, the pipers, and mourning women: these, from weeping for the dead, fell to laughing at Christ, having him and his words in the utmost derision: knowing that she was dead : some of them having been employed in laying her out, and all of them having seen her, and were satisfied, and thoroughly assured, that she was actually dead, as ever any person was, as she doubtless was; but they were ignorant in what sense Christ meant she was not dead, but asleep; (See Gill on “ Matthew 9:24”). (See Gill on “ Mark 5:39”).
Ver. 54. And he put them all out , etc.] Of the room, where the maiden lay, all the mourners and pipers; all excepting the parents of the child, and his three disciples, This clause is left out in the Vulgate Latin, and Ethiopic versions; nor was it in two of Beza's ancient copies, and in two of Stephens's; but in the rest, and in the other versions: and took hereby the hand, and called, saying ; in the Syriac language, “Talitha cumi”, as in ( Mark 5:41) Maid, arise ; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:41”).
Ver. 55. And her spirit came again , etc.] Her soul, which was departed from her, upon the all-powerful voice of Christ, returned to her body; and “re-entered”, as the Ethiopic version adds: this shows that the soul is immortal, and dies not with the body; that it exists in a separate state from it after death, and will hereafter re-enter the body, and be again united to it in the resurrection, of which this instance was a kind of pledge and emblem: where her spirit was during this time of separation, is needless, and would be curious and rash to inquire; it is enough to say with the Scripture, that it had returned, to God, that gave it, ( Ecclesiastes 12:7) and by whom it was sent back to its body again: and she arose straightway : from off the bed, and as Mark says, “walked”; for she was at an age capable of it, and which actions of arising and walking, clearly proved that she was alive, and in health: and he commanded to give her meat ; which was done, partly to show, not only that she was alive, but that her disorder was removed, and her appetite restored, and that she could eat and drink, as she had done before her illness; and partly, to observe that she was raised not to an immortal life, as none were before Christ, but to an animate life, which was to be supported by eating and drinking, and so a mortal one; (See Gill on “ Mark 5:43”).
Ver. 56. And her parents were astonished , etc.] At the miracle that was wrought, to see their child restored to life; to see her arise, walk, and eat, being in perfect health and strength, and no disorder attending her; but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done . The Ethiopic version reads, “what he had done, nor any thing that was done” not that the thing itself could be concealed, but the way and manner in which, and the means by which it was done, and the circumstances of it; how that by taking her by the hand, and commanding her to arise, she forthwith arose, and walked and ate: Christ's meaning is, that he would not have them take any pains to publish this affair, or to make it more known than was necessary; not to acquaint any person with the particulars of it, but keep them as private as they could: his reasons for this, (See Gill on “ Mark 5:43”).