Jesus answered and said unto him…
Upbraiding him with
his continued and invincible ignorance, which was aggravated by his
art thou a master in Israel?
or "of Israel", as all the Oriental
versions render it, as it literally may be rendered he was one of
the (larvy ymkx) , "wise men", or "doctors of Israel" F18, so often
mentioned by the Jews. One of the Jewish doctors was answered, by a
boy, just in such language as is here used; who, not understanding
the direction he gave him about the way into the city, said to him,
(larvy lv Mkx awh hta) , "art thou he, a doctor", or "master of Israel?"
did not I say to thee so? &c. F19. He was not a common teacher; not
a teacher of babes, nor a teacher in their synagogues, or in their
"Midrashim", or divinity schools, but in their great sanhedrim; and
the article before the word used will admit it to be rendered, "that
master", doctor, or teacher; that famous, and most excellent one,
who was talked of all over Jerusalem and Judea, as a surpassing one:
and now, though he was not only an Israelite, with whom were the
laws, statutes, judgments, and oracles of God, the writings of
Moses, and the prophets; but a teacher of Israelites, and in the
highest class of teachers, and of the greatest fame among them, yet
was he ignorant of the first and most important things in religion:
and knowest not these things?
which were so plainly to be suggested
in the sacred writings, with which he was; or ought to have been
conversant: for the same things Christ had been speaking of, are
there expressed by a circumcision of the heart; by a birth, a
nation's being born at once; by sanctification; by the grace of God
signified under the metaphor of water; and by quickening persons,
comparable to dry bones, through the wind blowing, and breathing
into them, (Deuteronomy 30:6) (Isaiah 49:21) (66:8) (Ezekiel 36:25) (37:9,10) .
F18 Derech Eretz, fol. 18. 1.
F19 Echa Rabbati, fol. 44. 4.