« PoprzedniaDalej »
leading away to water,—which yet (and rightly) you do not omit; being at the same time offended with Me, who have but spoken a word, and with that word have released a soul.'' There lies at the root of this argument, as of so much else in Scripture, an implied assertion of the specific difference between man, the lord of creation, for whom everything else was made, on the one side, and all the inferior orders of beings which occupy the same earth with him, and to which upon the side of his body he is akin, on the other. He is, and at the same time is much more than, the first link in this chain and order of beings (cf. 1 Cor. ix. 9: 'Doth God take care of oxen?' Ps. viii. 8 ; Luke xii. 6, 7). But besides the common claims of humanity, this woman had other and still stronger claims to this help from Him. She was a daughter of Abraham ;'-an inheritress, as perhaps the Lord would imply, of the faith of Abraham, ' an Israelite indeed,'—however, for the saving of her soul in the day of the Lord, she had come under the scourge of Satan and this long and sore affliction of the flesh; at all events, she was a member of that house of Israel which had the first right to all the benefits and blessings, spiritual and temporal, by Him brought into the world (Matt. xv. 26; Rom. iii. 1, 2; xi. 1). The narrowhearted Scribe might grudge to behold her a partaker of this grace; but in his eyes it was only meet that she should receive it. So He puts to silence the malice of ignorant men.”
1 Chemnitz (Harm. Evang. 112): Tempus etiam inter se confert. Jumenta fortassis ad noctem unam aut paucos dies præsepi alligantur. At vero hæc femina vel saltem ob temporis prolixitatem omnium commiseratione dignissima est.
? In a Sermon on the Day of the Nativity (Serm. Inedd. p. 33) Augustine makes the following application of this history: Inclinavit se, cum sublimis esset, ut nos qui incurvati eramus, erigeret. Incurvata siquidem erat humana natura ante adventum Domini, peccatorum onere depressa ; et quidem se in peccati vitium spontaneâ voluntate curvaverat, sed sponte se erigere non valebat. . . . Hæc autem mulier formam incurvationis totius humani generis præferebat. In hâc muliere hodie natus Dominus noster vinculis Satanæ alligatos absolvit, et licentiam nobis tribuit ad superna conspicere, ut qui olim constituti in miseriis tristes ambulabamus, hodie venientem ad nos medicum suscipientes, nimirum gaudeamus.
21. THE HEALING OF THE MAN WITH A DROPSY.
LUKE xiv. 1-6.
LL which is most remarkable in the circumstances of this
miracle has been already anticipated in others, chiefly in the two just considered, to which the reader is referred. Our Lord in his great long-suffering did not even at this late period of his ministry treat the Pharisees as wholly and finally hardened against the truth; but still seeking to win them for his kingdom, He had accepted the invitation of a chief among them to eat bread' in his house. This was upon the Sabbath, with the Jews a favourite day for their festal entertainments : for it is an entire mistake to suppose that the day was with them one of rigorous austerity; on the contrary, the practical abuse of the day was rather a turning of it into a day of riot and excess. The invitation, though accepted in love, yet had not been given in good faith ; in the hope rather that the close and more accurate watching of his words and ways, which such an opportunity would afford, might furnish matter of accusation against Him. Mischief lurked in the apparent courtesy which was shown Him, nor could the sacred laws of hospitality defend Him from the ever-wakeful malice of his foes. They watched Him.'3
i On the abuses in this kind of the Jewish Sabbath at a later day see Chrysostom, De Lazaro, Hom. I; Augustine, Enarr. ii. in Ps. xxxii. 2 ; Enarr. in Ps. xci. 1; Serm. ix. 3. Compare Plutarch (Symp.iv. 6): “Orav σαββατον τιμούσιν [οι Εβραίοι], μάλιστα μεν πίνειν και οινούσθαι παρακαλούνται αλλήλους. .
? The emphasis, however, which Hammond finds in the xai avrol, even they that had invited Him treacherously watched Him, is questionable. Such a superabounding kai is frequent in St. Luke.
3 'Ησαν παρατηρούμενοι. For a similar use of παρατηρείν compare vi. 7 ; XX. 20; Mark iii. 2 ; Dan. vi. 11.
* And behold, there was a certain man before Him which had the dropsy' Some have even suggested that this sufferer was of design placed before Him. But although it is quite conceivable of these malignant adversaries, that they should have laid such a snare as this, still there is no warrant for ascribing to them such treachery here; and the difficulty which some find, that if no such plot had existed, the man would scarcely have found his way into the house of the Pharisee, rests upon an ignorance of the almost public life of the East, and a forgetting how easily in a moment of high excitement, such as this of our Saviour's presence must have been, the feeble barriers which the conventional rules of society might oppose to his entrance would have been overthrown (Luke vii. 36, 37). At any rate, if such plot there was, the man himself was no party to it; for the Lord • took him, and healed him, and let him go.'
But before He did this, He justified the work which He would accomplish, as more than once He had justified similar works of grace and love wrought upon the Sabbath, and demanded of these Lawyers and Pharisees, interpreters of the law, ' Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?' Here, as in so many matters of debate, it only needs for the question to be rightly stated, and all is so clear, that the possibility of its remaining a question any longer has for ever vanished ;' there can be but one answer. But as this answer they would not give, they did what alone was possible, “they held their peace;' for they would not assent, and they could not gainsay. He proceeds: Which of you shall have an ass? or an
1 Tertullian (Adv. Marc. iv. 12): Adimplevit enim et hic Legem, dum conditionem interpretatur ejus, dum operum differentiam illuminat, dum facit quæ lex de sabba si feriis excipit, dum ipsum sabbati diem, benedictione Patris a primordio sanctum, benefactione suâ efficit sanctiorem, in quo scilicet divina præsidia ministrabat.
Strange as the reading wióç instead of ovoc at first sight appears, 'a son,' and not "an ass,' the authorities for it are so overwhelming (I believe they include all the Uncial MSS.), that one has no right on the ground of internal difficulties to reject it. These, moreover, are not so serious as at first sight they seem. It is true the argument a minori ad
ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the Sabbath day?' Olshausen : “As on other occasions (Matt. xii. 11; Luke xiii. 15), the Lord brings back those present to their own experience, and lets them feel the keen contradiction in which their blame of Christ's free work of love sets them with themselves, in that, where their worldly interests were at hazard, they did that very thing whereof they made now an occasion against Him. We may observe, that as in that other case, where the woman was bound, He adduces the example of unbinding a beast (Luke xiii. 15),– so in this, where the man was dropsical, a sufferer from water, the example He adduces has an equal fitness,' 'You grudge that I should deliver this man on such a day from the water that is choking him ; yet if the same danger from water threatened ought of your own, an ass or an ox, you would make no scruple of extricating that on the Sabbath. Why then do you not love your neighbour as yourselves ? why are you unwilling that he should receive the help which you would freely render to your own?' “And they could not answer Him again to these things. They were silenced, but not convinced ; and the truth, which did not win them, did the only other thing which it could do, exasperated them the more; they replied nothing, biding their time (cf. Matt. xii. 14). majus is thus invalidated, but another is substituted in its room ; an appeal, namely, to the great ethical rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.' Griesbach recommended vióç; Scholz, Tischendorf, Lachmann all adopt it. Exod. xxi. 33, to which the favourers of ovog appeal, tells both ways.
It may support the reading ovos, but it may also have suggested it.
1 So Augustine (Quæst. Evang. ii. 29): Congruenter hydropicum animali quod cecidit in puteum, comparavit : humore enim laborabat ; sicut et illam mulierem quam decem et octo annis alligatam dixerat . .. comparavit jumento quod solvitur ut ad aquam ducatur. Grotius : Hy. dropicum submergendae pecudi, ut tiiv Guy úrovoa pecudi vincte, comparavit.
22. THE CLEANSING OF THE TEN LEPERS.
LUKE xvii. 11-19.
HE Jews who dwelt in Galilee, in their necessary journeys
to keep the passover at Jerusalem, very commonly took the longer route, leading them across the Jordan, and through the region of Peræa (the Gilead of the Old Testament), so to avoid the vexations and annoyances, or worse outrages,' to which they were exposed in passing through the unfriendly land of the Samaritans. For these, at all times unfriendly to Jews, were naturally most unfriendly of all to the pilgrims who, travelling up to the great feasts at Jerusalem, thus witnessed in act against the will-worship of Mount Gerizim, and against the temple of Samaria in which was no presence of the living God (John iv. 22). It is generally understood that now, notwithstanding the discomforts and dangers of that inhospitable route (see Luke ix. 51-56; John iv. 9), our Lord, with the band of his disciples, on this his last journey to the holy city, took the more direct and shorter way which led Him straight from Galilee "through the midst of Samaria' to Jerusalem. Certainly the words which we have translated, “And it came to pass as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, may bear this meaning; in our Version they must bear it. At the same time some understand the Evangelist to say that the
1 Josephus (Antt. xx. 6. 1) relates the massacre by the Samaritans of a great number of Galilæan pilgrims, which happened a little later than this.