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Mark vii. 24. And from thence he arose and went into the bor. ders (615 TH psFogue, the parts which bordered upon Galilee, Matt. TOC pign, the parts, the country) of Tyre and Sidon, 25. And entered into an house, and would have no man know it (him); but he could not be hid. It seems he was personally known to many of the heathens in this country, who no doubt had often heard and seen him in Galilee, (see on Mark iii. 8. $ 47.) And as for the rest, they were sufficiently acquainted with him by his fame, which had spread itself very early through all Syria, (see on Matt. iv. 24. § 25.) In one of the towns of this remote country, there lived a Canaanitish woman whose daughter was possessed with a devil, and who for that reason 'received the news of his arrival with great joy. For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him. This person was a descendant of the ancient inhabitants, and * by religion a heathen. So Mark informs us afterwards, verse 26. She was therefore ignorant of the true religion. Nevertheless, she had conceived a very great, and honourable, and just opinion, not only of our Lord's power and goodness, but even of his character as Messiah, which she had learned the notion of, by conversing with the Jews. For when she heard of his arrival, she went in quest of him, and meeting him accidentally as he passed along the street, she addressed him by the title of Son of David, and cried after him for a cure to her daughter. Matt. xv. 22. And behold a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of


sisting chiefly upon fishing, who seem to be preserved in this place by Di. vine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, viz. that it should be as tbe top of a rock, a place for fishers to dry their nets on.

It appears from Joshua xxii. 9. that the whole country westward of Jor. dan was called Canaan, that on the east being named Gilead. From the same book, ch. xix. 28, 29. we learn, that Tyre and Sidon were cities in the lot of Asher; which tribe having never been able wholly to drive ont the natives, their posterity remained even in our Lord's time. Hence he did not preach the doctrine of the kingdom in this country, because it was mostly inhabited by heathens to whom he was not sent, (see on Matt. X. 5. $ 40. p. 185.) neither did he work miracles here with that readiness which he shewed every where else. The reason was, he proposed by concealing himself to shun the Pharisees.

* By religion a heathen.] I think this plain from Mark, who calls her a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation. For since the woman's nation is men. tioned in the latter clause, the title of a Greek that is given her in the for. mer, must certainly be the denomination of her religion. Keuchenius thinks, that the epithet X ve YAcio denotes the woman's occupation, she merchandizel, and supports his notion by the like use of the word in the Olut Testament. But his conjecture will not hold, because our Lord's reply to her, It is not meet to gite the childrens bread to dogs, plainly imports, that she was a heathen. I think this evident likewise from what he said to the disciples, verse 24. I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

David, my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23. But lue answered her not a word: he did not seem to regard her, in, tending that the greatness of her faith, should be made to appear, an end highly worthy of the wisdom of Jesus, because it not only shewed how great the fame of his miracles now was, on which the woman's faith was built, and justified his conduct in working a miracle for an heathen, but it was a sharp rebuke to the Jews for their infidelity. In the mean time, his disciples being ignorant of his design, were uneasy at the woman's importunity, thinking, if she was permitted to follow them, they would soon be discovered. Desiring therefore to get rid of her, they intreated their Master to dismiss her. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she crieth after us. 24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel: though I am come to save all the nations of the world, my ministry must be confined to the Israelites, (see on Matth. x. 5. § 40.) Thus at the first, Jesus seemed to refuse both the woman's request, and the disciples' intercession in her behalf. She however, far from being discouraged by the repulse, drew near, and falling on her knees before him, urged her petition with much earnestness. 25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. Mark expresses the matter thus, And came and fell at his feet. 26. (The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation) and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. Matth. xv. 26. But he answered and said, (Mark, unto her, Let the children first be filled, For It is not meet to take the childrens bread, and to cast it to (Mark, the) dogs. The Jews gloried greatly in the honourable title of God's children, because of all nations they alone knew and worshipped the true God. They gave the name of dogs unto the heathens, for their idolatry and other pollutions, by which they had degraded themselves from the rank of reason.ble creatures. This appellation therefore marked the impurity of the Gentiles, and their odiousness in the sight of God. At the same time, conveying an idea of the contempt in which they were held by the holy nation, though in some respects it was applicable, it must have been very offensive to the heathens. Nevertheless this good woman neither refused it, nor grudged the Jews the honourable title of children. She acknowledged the justness of what Christ said, and by a strong exercise of faith drew an argument from it, which the candour and benevolence of his disposition could not resist. Matth. xv. 27. And she said, Truth, Lord, yet the dogs (Mark, under the table) eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table: (Mark, eat of the childrens crumbs) let me have such kindness as the dogs of any family enjoy. From the plenty of miraculous cures which thou bestowest on the Jews, drop the offal of this one to me, who am a poor dis


tressed heathen; for by it they will suffer no greater loss, than the children of a family do by the crumbs which are cast to the dogs. Jesus having thus made it evident, that the womam posa sessed a very high degree of fith, a just notion of his power and goodness, and of her own unworthiness, wrought with pleasure the cure which she solicited in behalf of her daughter, and at the same time gave her faith the praise that was due to it. 28. Then Jesus ariswered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou wilt. Mark vii. 29. And he said una to her, For this saying go thy way, the devil is gone out of thy daughter. As soon as she had uttered the sentiment that was so acceptable to Chiist, he had willed the ejection of the demon. And though scarce any time passed between her uttering that sen. timent and his answer, so great was his power and goodness, that the devil was expelled before he spake; go thy way, the devil is gone out. Matth. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. Mark vü. 30. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. *

The success which this Canaanitish woman's suit met with from Jesus, teaches us two lessons of great importance : First, That God is no respecter of persons, but always accepts sincere faith and fervent prayer, proceeding from an humble penitent heart. Secondly, That it is our duty to continue in prayer with earnestness, although the answer thereof should be long deferred.






LXVI. In Decapolis Jesus cures one who was deaf, and who had

'an impediment in his speech. Mark vii. 31,-37. Ar length Jesus departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, returned to the sea of Galilee through the region of Decapolis, on the east side of Jordan. Mark vii. 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. Somewhere in this country, they brought to him a man who was deaf, and who had an impediment in his speech. 32. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech, poyidador: He was not absolutely dumb, but stammered to such a degree, that few understood his speech (ver. 35.) However the circumstance of his being able to speak in any manner, shews that his deafness was not natural but accidental. He had heard formerly, and had learned to speak, but was now deprived of hearing, perhaps through some fault of his own, which was the reason that Jesus sighed for grief when he cured him. And they beseech him to put his hand upon him. His friends interceded for him, because he was not able to speak for himself, so as any one could understand him. His desire however of a cure, may have prompted him to do his utmost in speaking, whereby all present were



made sensible of the greatness of the infirmity under which he laboured. Our Lord's exuberant goodness easily prompted him to give this person the relief which his friends begged for him. Yet he would not do it publicly, lest the admiration of the spectators should have been raised so high as to produce bad effects; for the whole country was now following him, in expectation that he would soon set up his kingdom. Or as Gadara, where his miracle upon the demoniacs had been so ill received, was part of this region, (see on Luke viii. 26. § 32.) he might shun performing the miracle publicly, because it would have no effect upon so stupid a people. Whatever was the reason, he took the man with his relations aside from the crowd, and because the deaf are supposed to have their ears shut, and the dumb their tongue so tied or fastened to the under part of their mouth, as not to be able to move it, (see ver. 35.) he put his fingers into the man's ears, and then touched or moistened his congue with his spittle, to make him understand that he intended to open his ears, and loose his tongue. 33. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit and touched his tongue. 34. And that the deaf man, whom he could not in. struct by language, might consider from whence all benefits proceed, looking up to heaven, * he sighed, and saith unto him, Epla phatha, that is, be opened. 35. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain, 36. And he charged them that they should tell no man. When Jesus formerly cured the demoniac in this country, he ordered him, Luke viii. 39. “ saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee.” At this miracle the deaf and dumb man's relations seem to have been present. Wherefore, as they had no need to be informed of the miracle, he required that it should be concealed; and the rather, that the publishing of it might have prompted the multitude to raise tumults." See on Matth. viii. 4.9 37. However, neither the man nor his friends obeyed Jesus in this; especially the man, who having the use of his speech given him, was very fond of exercising it in praise of so great a benefactor. Accordingly he published the miracle every where, and the more that Jesus was not desirous of glory: but the more he charged him, so much the more a great deal they published it,—37. And were beyond mea



Ver. 34. He sighed.] Perhaps there were the circumstances above mentioned, on ver. 12. or some others to us unknown, which made this dumb person a peculiar object of pity. Or by this example of bodily deat. ness and dumbness, our Lord might be led to reflect on the spiritual deaf. ness and duminess of men. But whatever was the cause, Christ's sighing on this occasion, evidently displayed the tender love he bare to our kind. For certainly it could be nothing less which moved him to condole our miseries, whether general or particular, in so affectionate a manner. Sen more instances of his compassion, Luke xix. 41. John xi. 33.

sure astonished at the greatness of the miracle, (see on Matt, xv. 30. $ 67.) and at the modesty of him who had performed it, saying, He hath done all things well; hath fully executed what he took in hand: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak; and in doing this he has no view but the benefit of mankind.

LXVII. The second miraculous dinner is given to right thousand people on a mountain near the sea of Galilee. (see j 60.) After this Jesus goes a way to Dalmunutha, Matth. xv. 29,-39. Mark viii. 1,-10.

Jesus having tarried in Decapolis a considerable time, the fame of his being in that country reached every corner. Wherefore, to avoid the crowds, he retired into a desert mountain beside the sea of Galilee. Matth. XV. 29. And Jesus departed from thence, and came high unto the sea of Galilee, (12.98 napo on Soom destay Tng Pandesas) and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. Here the sick, the lame, the dumb, the blind, and the maimed, were brought to him from all quarters, and laid down around him by their friends, who followed him thither. 30. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, many other sorts of sick persons, and cast them down at Jesus' feet. And he healed them. The sight of so many people in distress, moved the compassion of the Son of God exceedingly, for he graciously healed chem all. Particularly on the dumb, who are commonly deaf also, he not only conferred the faculty of hearing and pronouncing articulate sounds, but he conveyed into their mind at once the whole language of their country, making them perfectly acquainted with all the words in it, their significations, their forms, their powers, and their uses, so as to comprehend the whole ditinctly in their memories, and, at the same time, he gave them the habit of speaking it, both fluently and copiously. This was a kind of miracle vastly astonishing. The change that was produced in the borlies of the men, was but the least part of it. What passed in their minds was the grand and principal thing, being an effect so extensive, that nothing inferior to infinite power could produce it. With respect to the maimed, that is, persons who had lost their legs and arms, Jesus gave them new members in their stead. But when he thus created such parts of their bodies as were wanting, without having any thing at all as a subject to work upon, the spectators could not have been more surprised, had they seen him make a whole human body out of the dust of the carth. The Jewish multitude seem to have apprehended the greatness of these miracles, more distinctly than the generality of Christians; for we are told, Mat. ix. 33. when Jesus opened the mouth of a dumb mali, the multitude marvelled,

“ saying,

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