The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 5:1
And seeing the multitudes…
The great concourse of
people that followed him from the places before mentioned,
he went up into a mountain;
either to pray alone, which was
sometimes his custom to do, or to shun the multitude; or rather,
because it was a commodious place for teaching the people:
and when he was set:
not for rest, but in order to teach; for
sitting was the posture of masters, or teachers, see (Matthew 13:2)
(Luke 4:20) (5:3) (John 8:2) . The form in which the master and his disciples
sat is thus described by Maimonides F26.
``The master sits at the head, or in the chief place, and
the disciples before him in a circuit, like a crown; so
that they all see the master, and hear his words; and the
master may not sit upon a seat, and the scholars upon the
ground; but either all upon the earth, or upon seats:
indeed from the beginning, or formerly, (bvwy brh hyh) "the
master used to sit", and the disciples stand; but before
the destruction of the second temple, all used to teach
their disciples as they were sitting.''
With respect to this latter custom, the Talmudists say F1, that
``from the days of Moses, to Rabban Gamaliel (the master of
the Apostle Paul), they did not learn the law, unless
standing; after Rabban Gamaliel died, sickness came into
the world, and they learnt the law sitting: hence it is a
tradition, that after Rabban Gamaliel died, the glory of
the law ceased.''
His disciples came unto him;
not only the twelve, but the company,
or multitude, of his disciples, (Luke 6:17) which he made in the
several places, where he had been preaching; for the number of his
disciples was larger than John's.
F26 Hilch. Talmud Torah, c. 4. sect. 2.
F1 T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 21. 1. Vid. Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 15. &
Jarchi, Maimon, & Bartenora in ib.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 5:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=005&verse=001>. 1999.