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2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that. is to say, with unwashen, pands, they found fault.
• Defiled hands.' The hands were considered defiled, or pol. luted, unless they were washed previous to every meal.
3 For the pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Except they wash their hands oft.' The word 'oft,' means frequently, often; and here, diligently, accurately, carefully. Unless they wash their hands carefully, or according to rule, &c. “The tradition. Not what was delivered by writing ir the law of Moses, but what had been communicated from father to sun, as being proper and binding. "The elders. The ancients, not the old men then living, but those who had lived formerly.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and of tables.
Cups.' Drinking vessels. Those used at their meals. 'Pots.' Measures of liquids. Vessels made of wood, used to hold wine, vinegar, &c. "Brazen vessels.' Vessels made of brass, used in cooking or otherwise. These, if much polluted, were commonly passed through the fire; if slightly polluted, they were washed. Earthen vessels, if defiled, were usually broken. 'Tables.' This word means, in the original, beds or couches. It refers not to the tables on which they ate, but to the couches on which they reclined at their meals. See notes on Matt. xxii. 6. These were supposed to be defiled when any unclean or polluted person had reclined on them; and they deemed it necessary to purify them with water.
5 Then the pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
* For doctrines.' For commands of God, binding on the con science. Imposing your traditions as equal in authority to the commands of God.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups : and many other such like things ye do.
Laying aside.' Rejecting, or making it give place to traa.. tions ; considering the traditions as superior in authority to the divine law. This was the uniform doctrine of the pharisees. See Matt. xv. 1-9.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death : 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free, 12 And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered : and many such like things do ye.
*Full well.' These words are capable of different interpretations. Some read them as a question ; 'Do ye do well in rejecting ? &c. Others suppose them to be ironical. From conscientious attachment to your traditions, you have made void the law of God!' meaning io intimate by it that they had acted wickedly and basely.
14 | And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
The parable.' The word 'parable,' here, means obscure and difficult saying. They could not understand it. They had probably imbibed many of the popular notions of the pharisees, and they could not understand why a man was not defiled by exter nal things. It was moreover, a doctrine of the law, that men were ceremonially polluted by contact with dead bodies, &c.
18 And he saith unto them, 'Are ye so without un
derstanding also ? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him ;
Cannot defile him.' Cannot render his soul polluted; carnot make him a sinner, so as to need this purifying as a religious observance.
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
‘Entereth not into his heart.' Does not reach or affect the mind, the soul, and consequently cannot pollute it. The notions of the pharisees, therefore, are not founded in reason, but are mere superstition. 'Purging all meats. The word ' purging' here, means to purify, to cleanse. What is thrown out of the body is the innutritious part of the food taken into the stomach, and leaving only that which is proper for the support of life; and it cannot, therefore, defile the soul. ‘All meats.' All food; all that is taken into the body to support life. The meaning is, that the economy or process by which life is supported, purifies or renders nutritious all kinds of food. The unwholesome parts are separated, and the wholesome only are taken into the system.
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
“That which cometh out of the man. His words; the expression of his thoughts and feelings; his conduct, as the expression of inward malice, anger, covetousness, lust, &c. Defileth the man' Is really polluted, or offensive in the sight of God. They render the soul corrupt and abominable in the sight of God. See Matt. xv. 18—20.
24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.
See this miracle explained in Matt. xv.21–28. 'Would have no man know it.' To avoid the designs of the pharisees, he wished to be retired.
25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophe
nician by nation; and she besought him that he would cust forth the devil out of her daughter.
'A Greek.' The Jews called all persons Greeks who were not of their nation. Compare Rom. i. 14. The whole world was considered as divided into Jews and Greeks.
27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled : for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord : yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. 31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
'Departing from the coasts. The country, or regions of Tyre. Came unto the sea of Galilee. The sea of Tiberias. 'Decapolis,’ See Matt. iv. 25. He went into the retired regions around the sea of Galilee, to avoid the designs of the pharisees, who sought his life.
32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
That is, his friends brought, or the people brought. 'One that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech. Not entirely dumb, but who spoke indistinctly or with difficulty. "To put his hand upon him.' That is, to cure him. Blessings were commonly imparted by laying on the hands.
33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
And he took him aside from the multitude. Why this was done we have no means of information. And he put his fingers into his ears,' &c. This was intended, probably, as a sign that the power of 'healing came from Jesus; to satisfy the man by the touch that he had this power, and that it could come from no other quarter. Our Saviour often used signs in this way to denote his power to heal. See Mark viii. 23. John ix. 6.
34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
Looking up to heaven.' To lift up the eyes to heaven is an act of imploring aid from God, and denotes an attitude of prayer, Ps. cxxi. 1, 2. Mark vi. 41. John xi. 41. 'He sighed! Pitying the sufferings of the man who stood before him. “Ephphatha. This word is Syriac, the language which our Lord used in addressing the man, and means ' be opened.'
35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
• The string of his tongue was loosed.' The difficulty in his speaking was removed. He spake plain. Distinctly; without difficulty.
36 And he charged them that they should tell no man : but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;
“Tell no man.' Do not noise it abroad. He was not ambitious of being known.
37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Beyond measure.' Exceedingly; very much. "He bath done all things well. All things in a remarkable manner.
CHAPTER VIII. 1 IN those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto him, and saith unto them, 2 I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat: 3 And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the way: for divers of them came from far. 4 And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness ? 5 And he asked them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. 6 And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground : and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7 And they had a few small fishes • and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. 8 So they did eat, and were filled : and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven