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this fringe, or loose zhreads hanging down, is what is meant by the hem. The Jews were commanded to wear this in order to distinguish them from other nations. See Num. xv. 38, 39. Deut. xxii. 12.
Mark says that the woman, fearing and trembling, came and told him all the truth. She might have trembled at the prospect that he might rebuke her for presumption. 'Be of good comfort.' Jesus silenced her sears, commended her faith, and sent her away in peace. Her faith, her strong confidence in Jesus, had been the means of her restoration. It was the power of Jesus that cured her; but that power would not have been exerted but in connection with faith. So in the salvation of a sinner. No one is saved who does not believe; but faith is the instrument, and not the power, that saves.
23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
Jesus admitted only three of his disciples, Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and the father and mother of the damsel, to go in with him where the corpse lay, Mark v. 37–40. It was important that there should be witnesses of the miracle, and he chose a sufficient numbei. Five witnesses were enough to establish the fact. The witnesses were impartial. The fact that she was dead was established beyond a doubt. Of this the mourners, the parents, the messengers, the people were satisfied. If she was presented to the people alive, the proof of the miracle was complete. 'He saw the minstrels and the people making a noise.' Minstrels are persons who play on instruments of music. The people of the east used to bewail the dead by cutting the flesh, tearing the hair, and crying bitterly. See Jer. ix. 17; xvi. 6,7. Ezek. xxiv. 17. The expressions of grief at the death of a friend, in eastern countries, are extreme. As soon as a person dies, all the females in the family set up a loud and doleful cry: They continue it as long as they can without taking breath, and the shriek of wailing dies away in a low sob. They hire persons of both sexes, whose employment it is to mourn for the dead in the like frantic manner. See Amos v. 16. Jer. ix. 20. They employ minstrels to aid their grief, and increase the expression of their sorrow. This violent grief continues, commonly, eight days; it is exhibited in the procession to the grave; and the air is rent with the wailings of real and of hired mourners,
The Jews were forbidden to tear their hair and cut their flesti, See Lev. xix. 28. Deut. xiv. 1. They showed their grief by howling, by music, by concealing the chin with their garment, by rending the outer garmnent, by refusing to wash or anoint themselves, or to converse with people, by scattering ashes or dust in the air, or by lying down in them, 2 Sam. i. 2-4; xiv. 2 ; xv. 30. Mark xiv. 63.
24 He said unto therr, Give place; for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
The maid is not dead but sleepeth.' 'Our friend Lazarus sleepeth,' John xi. ll. The sacred writers, who held the doctrine of the resurrection, often speak of the dead as sleeping, 2 Peter iii, 4. Acts vii. 60. 1 Cor. xv. 6, 18. ] Thess. iv. 13–15. The meaning of this passage then, is, the maid has not ceased to exist; but though her body is dead, yet her spirit lives, and she sleeps in hope of the resurrection. ''Laughed him to scorn. Derided him, ridiculed him.
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
He went in. With the father and mother, and three disciples, Mark v. 37–40. "The maid arose.' She returned to life. There could be no deception here. Parents could not be imposed on in such a case. Nor could such a multitude be deceived. "The power of Jesus was undoubtedly manifest as sufficient to raise the dead. If he can restore the body to life, he can also the soul. A wora from him can raise up the sinner to life and power, and restore the soul to immortal life, so that it shall never see death.
27 And when Jesus depa thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
'Son of David.' By the Son of David the Jews meant the Messiah. He was the son or descendant of David by way of eminence, Isa. ix. 7. Luke i. 32. Matt. i. 1. and Rev. xxii. 16.
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him : and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. 30 And their eyes were opened : and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 32 | As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake : and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. 34 But the pharisees said, He casteth out de. vils through the prince of the devils.
' Prince of the devils.' That is, Beel-Zebub. See note Matt. xü. 24.
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and vi)lages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
The gospel of the kingdom.' That is, the good news of the reign of God, or the good news of the advent and reign of the Messiah, Mait. iii. 2.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
He saw the people burdened with the rites of religion and the doctrines of the pharisees-sinking down under their ignorance and traditions, and neglected by those who ought to have been enlightened teachers-scattered and driven out without care and attention. With great beauty he compares them to sheep, wandering without a shepherd. Judea was a land of flocks and herds. The faithful shepherd, by day and night, was with his flock. Without his care, they wandered. They were in danger of wild beasts. So, said he, is it with this people. No wonder that the compassionate Redeemer was moved with pity.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few ; 38 Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Another beautiful image. By the harvest,' here, he meant that the multitude of people that flocked to his ministry was great. The people expected the Messiah. They were prepared to receive the gospel. But the labourers were few. Few were engaged in instructing the multitude. He directed them, therefore, to pray to the Lord of the harvesi. God is the proprietor of the great harvest of the world, and he only can send men to gather it in. Without ceasing, we ought to entreat of God to pity the nations, and to send faithful men,
who shall tell them of a dying Saviour.
CHAPTER X. 1 AND when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease.
This account of sending the apostles forth is recorded also in Mark vi. 7, and Luke ix. 1. Mark says that ne sent them out two and two. This was a kind arrangement, that each one might have a companion; and that they might visit more places, and accomplish more labour, than if they were all together. These twelve were the original number of apostles. The word apostle means one that is sent, and was given to them because they were sent forth to preach the gospel. They were ambassadors of Christ. To this number Matthias was afterwards added, to supply the place of Judas, Acts i. 26. And Paul was specially called to be an apostle to the Gentiles, Rom. i. 1. 1 Cor. xv. 8, 9. Gal. i. 1.
Their office was clearly made known. They were to heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the gospel, &c. They were to be with him, receive his instructions, learn the nature of his religion, be witnesses of his resurrection, and bear his gospel around the globe. The number twelve was for these purposes sufficiently large to answer the purpose of testimony. They were not learned men, and could not be supposed to spread their religion by art, or talents, or learning. They were not men of wealth, and could not bribe men to follow them. They were not men of rank and office, and could not compel men to believe. l'hey were just such men as are always found the best witnesses in courts of justice-plain men, of good sense, of fair character, of great honesty, and with favourable opportunities of ascertaining tne facts to which they bore witness. Such men every body believes, and especially wnen they are willing to lay down their lives to prove their sincerity.
It was important that he should choose them early in his ministry, that they might be fully acquainted with him. No witnesses were ever so well qualified to give testimony as they ; and none ever gave so much evidence of their sincerity as they did. See Acts i, 21, 22.
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: the first, Simon, who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother. 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus; and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus ;
The account which follows is more fully given in Mark iii. 13—18, and Luke vi. 12–19. Each of those evangelists has recorded the cireumstances of their appointment. They agree in saying it was done on a mountain ; and, according to Luke, it was done before the sermon on the mount was delivered. Luke adds that the night previous had been spent in prayer to God. See note on Luke vi. 12. 'Simon, who is called Peter.' Peter means a rock. He was also called Cephas, John i. 42. 1 Cor. i. 12; jji. 22; xv.5. Gal. i. 9. This was a Syro-Chaldaic word, signifying the same as Peter. This name was given probably in reference to the resoluteness and firmness which he was to exhibit in preaching the gospel. Before the Saviour's death he was rash, impetuous, and unstable. Afterwards, as all history affirnıs, he was firm, zealous, stedfast, and immovable. “James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother.' This James was slain by Herod in a persecution. Acts xii. 2. The other James, the son of Alpheus, was stationed at Jerusalem, and was the writer of the epistle that bears his name. See Gal. ii. 9. Acts xv. 13. He is here called the son of Alpheus, that is, of Cleophas, John xix. 25. Alpheus and Cleophas were but uifferent ways of writing and pronouncing the same name. Lebbeus, called Thaddeus. These two words have the same signification in Hebrew. Mark and Luke call him Judas, by a slight change from the name Thaddeus. Such changes are common in all writings.
4 Simon the Canaanite ; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
*Simon the Canaanite.' Luke calls him Simon Zelotes, the zealous. His native place was probably Cana. Judas Iscariot.' It is probable this name was given to him to designate his native place. Carioth was a smali town in the tribe of Judah.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
• Into the way of the Gentiles.' That is, among the Gentiles, or no where but among the Jews. The full time for preaching the gospel to the former was not come. It was proper that it should be first preached to the Jews, the ancient covenant people of God, and the people among whom the Messiah was born. . And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not.' The Samaritans occupied the country formerly belonging to the tribe of Ephraim, and the half tribe of Manassah.
That region was situated between Jerusalem and Galilee; so that in passing from the one to the other, it was a direct course to pass through. Samaria. The capital of the country was Samaria, formerly a large and splendid city. It is now a small village called Naplose, or Nablous, containing but forty or fifty inhabitants. They are still tenacious of the opinions of their fathers, and still inveterate in their hatred of the Jews. This people was formerly composed of a few of the ten tribes, and a mixture of foreigners. When the ten tribes were carried away into captivity to Babylon, the king of Assyria sent peopie from Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, to inhabit their country, 2 Kings xvii. 24. Ezra iv. 2--1). These people at first worshipped the idols of their own