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of the heathen world. His sensitive reserve revealed itself by seeking refreshment from the offensive atmosphere of their hypocritical spirit beyond the promised land, within the Gentile territory.
On the renewal of His labours in Galilee, there soon assenbled around Him a group of Pharisees, strengthened by certain scribes, who had come (been deputed) from Jerusalem. And when these saw some of His disciples eat bread with profane (in pharisaic-Levitical sense unhallowed) hands (seizing hold of a new case, for which, by previous incidents, they had been already prepared), they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, remarks the Evangelist, eat not without first with the fist washing their hands; and so hold they the tradition of the elders. Also, from the market, they eat nothing, if it be not first washed in a religious sense. And many other things there be, which they have received to observe, as holy washings (or pharisaical baptisms?) of cups and jugs, of pots and of tablebenches (so that thus all is washed—the persons who partake, the food, and all the utensils, even down to the benches). Then -after they had expressed their displeasure—the Pharisees and scribes--the whole order generally, as it was there numerously represented—asked the Lord : “Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwaslien hands?' He gave them for answer: '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; and in vain do they worship Me, teaching (for) doctrines, the commandments (and requirements) of men (without divine and objective warrant). For, laying aside the commandment of God, thus hold ye the tradition of men. Ye perform baptisms on jugs and cups, and many other such like things ye do. He
, added still further : Full well ye despise the commandment of God, that ye may maintain your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, If a man shall say
to his father or mother, Corban—that is to say, a temple
1 Regarding the expression suyun, see above, vol. iii. 206. Comp. Hottinger, Hisi. eccl. p. 8.
2 One may form a nearer conception of this by the analogy of the baptism of bells.
gift (is that), by which thou mightest be benefited by me(and so forth). Thus ye suffer him (the man) no more to do aught for his father or his mother, and make the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye yourselves practise (invent, which is not truly an ancient original tradition from the beginnings of the theocracy); and many such like things ye do.' Then calling all the people together unto Him, He said unto them, ' Hearken unto Me every one of you, and understand. There is nothing without a man, that enters into him, which can defile him ; but in those things which come out of the man, consists that which defiles him. If any man hath ears to hear, let him hear. And when He had retired from the people into the house, His disciples asked him concerning the meaning of this parable. And He saith unto them, “Are ye so without understanding also ? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever 'thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him? For it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, which purgeth the uncleanness of all meats;' so that, in this respect, not the religious washing, the baptism, but that outlet, accomplishes the last purification of food.? And, continued He further, “That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, overreachings (false charges or usuries), maliciousness, deceit, voluptuousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness (madness). All these evil things come from within, and make the man unclean (profane).'
Thus had the Lord publicly disposed of the attacks of the hierarchical party, together with their chiefs from Jerusalem. He had rebuked their hypocrisy, condemned their system of traditions. Then had He withdrawn Himself from His opposers with indignation, after He had spoken to the people a pregnant word, in which the transformation of the Old Testament laws concerning meats into their New Testament significance was enclosed. On this, He arose forthwith, and departed into the regions of Tyre and Sidon. In the first instance, His object seemed to be refreshment-refreshment from the oppressive
1 This sentence is a quotation intentionally broken off. See above, vol. iii. p. 207.
? See above, vol. iii. p. 211.
atmosphere of that incorrigible and hypocritical spirit of tradition. For He retired into a house, and would have no man know that He was there. But He could not remain concealed. A certain woman, whose daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of Him, and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek (heathen), a Syrophænician by nation; and she besought Him, that He would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 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. And she answered and said unto Him, “Yes, Lord; yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And He said unto her, “For this saying, go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed—probably exhausted by the last paroxysm, which had just taken place.
By this restoration of the daughter of a heathen woman on heathen ground, had the Lord already shown that the assertion of His spiritual freedom, over against the ordinances of the Pharisees, had entered on a new stage. But He made this further evident by the fact that in now taking His departure from the Phænician territory in order to return to the Galilean Sea, He passed through the midst of the regions of Decapolis (the territory of the ten cities), mostly inhabited by heathens. This sojourn in two different heathen territories, was doubtless designed especially to free His disciples from their prejudices against the calling of the heathen into the kingdom of God. In these regions there was brought unto Him one who was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought Him to lay His hand upon him. The Lord took him aside from the multitude and put His fingers into his ears, and He spit, and touched his tongue (therewith). And, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said, “Ephphatha! that is, Be opened! And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. Here also the heathen persons and objects around Him seem to have exercised an influence on the form and manner in which the Lord extended His help. He then charged them that they should tell no man. But the more He forbade, so much the more did they publish it. And the people were beyond measure astonished, and said, He hath
done all things well: he maketh the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
In those days, a very great multitude having assembled around Him, and having nothing to eat, the Lord felt Himself called upon a second time to provide the people with food. He called His disciples together, and said unto them, “I have compassion on the multitude, for they have now been with Me three days, and have nothing to eat. And if I send them away fasting to their own homes, they will faint by the way;' for some of them had come from far. And His disciples answered Him, From whence could one satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness ?' And He asked them, How many loaves have ye?' And they said, 'Seven.' 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 set them before the people. They had also a few small fishes. And when He had blessed them, He commanded to set these likewise before them. So they did eat and were filled; and they took up of the broken fragments that remained, seven baskets. And they that had eaten were about four thousand : and He sent them away.
This great feast of Christ formed a glorious termination to the sojourn which He had made in the heathen world, after repelling the reproach uttered by the Pharisees and scribes against His disciples for having eaten bread with unwashen hands. He had just returned again from heathen territory: nevertheless the people gladly set themselves in thousands at His table, and despised not the bread from His hands, and from the hands of His disciples. And these, His hands, which the hierarchs had pronounced to be unclean, were so holy, that they miraculously dispensed the richest blessing, and fed, with seven loaves and a few small fishes, about four thousand men.
1. Between the discussion of Jesus with the scribes from Jerusalem concerning the laws about meats, and the history of the first feeding of the multitude and what is therewith connected, belong several passages which the Evangelist had in part already communicated. On the other hand, the single incidents of this section correspond with the actual chronological order.
2. Peculiar to the Evangelist is the exact description here given of the Jewish washings, and the reference of Christ to them. The ordinance of the Pharisees which invalidated the fifth commandment, he has most literally stated, together with the term of designation, Korban. His list of the evil things which proceed out of the heart is the most complete. He informs us that Jesus desired to remain alone in a house on the Phænician territory. His description of the Canaanitish woman is the most exact. He has also the clause concerning the receptacle of the remains of the food as a place of purification. On the other hand, he leaves out the intercession of the disciples in behalf of the Canaanitish woman, and the declaration of Christ, I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. To him alone belongs the notice, that Jesus returned through the midst of Decapolis. He alone also narrates the cure of the deaf man having an impediment in his speech, which Jesus performed in returning from His great pilgrimage.
JESUS IS CONSTRAINED TO LEAVE GALILEE BY THE GALILEAN
PHARISEES. HIS RETURN OVER THE SEA, AND THE DISTINCT ANNOUNCEMENT OF HIS APPROACHING DEATH.
(Chap. viii. 10-ix. 29.)
On this occasion likewise, after the feeding of the multitude, Jesus hastened His departure. He entered into a ship, and cane with His disciples into the parts of Dalmanutha. However, notwithstanding His landing at an uncommon and less known place, the Pharisees were again speedily at hand. They came forth to meet Him, and began to question with Him; and tempting Him, they sought of Him a sign from heaven.
When they met Him with this categorical demand, He sighed deeply in His spirit, and said, “Why doth this generation seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, If a sign should be given this generation - -''(impossible!) And He left them, entered again into the ship, and departed to the other side.
1 The Hebrew formula of an oath.