And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home…
It would be
a difficulty whether it was a son or a servant he was so concerned
for; since (paiv) , the word here used, more commonly signifies a "son"
or "child"; but that Luke, supposing it to be the same case he
relates, expressly calls him (doulov) , "a servant", (Luke 7:2) . The
concern of the "centurion" for him, shows him to have been a good
servant, faithful and obedient to his master; since he was so much
affected with his case, and took so much care of him; and Luke says,
he "was dear unto him"; in great esteem, highly valued, and much
beloved: and also, that the centurion was a good master; he does not
put his sick servant from him, but takes care of him at home, and
seeks out for relief for him, being greatly desirous of his life.
And as his keeping him at home discovered a tender regard to him; so
his not bringing him forth, or ordering him to be brought out to
Christ, which was sometimes done in such cases, shows his great
faith in Christ, that he was as able to cure him lying at home, as
if brought before him; absent, as well as present. It is in the
original text, "is cast"; or, as it is rendered, (Matthew 8:14) "laid in
the house", as if he was dead, speechless, and without motion; and
Luke says, that he was "ready to die", being as one laid out for
dead. The phrase answers to (ljwm) , a word often used by the Rabbins;
sometimes of sick persons, as when they say F9 of anyone, that he
is (hjmb ljwmw hlwx) , "sick, and laid upon the bed"; and sometimes of
a person really dead, and laid out: and often this phrase is to be
met with, (wynpl ljwm wtmv ym) , "he that hath his dead cast", or
"laid out before him" F11; concerning whom they dispute many things;
as what he is free from, the reading of Shema, prayer, and the
phylacteries; and where he ought to eat and drink till such time his
dead is buried out of his sight. But this man's servant was not
dead, but lay as one dead;
sick of the palsy,
his nerves all relaxed, and he stupid, senseless,
or "punished", or rather "afflicted"; as the
Ethiopic version, and Munster's Hebrew edition read it; for
paralytic persons do not feel much pain and torment: but the meaning
is, that he was in a miserable afflicted condition. The account of
his disorder is given to move Christ's compassion, and recorded to
show the greatness of the miracle.
F9 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 146. 2. 147. l. Cetubot, fol. 103. 2.
F11 Misn. Beracot, c. 3. sect. 1. T. Bab. Moed. Katon, fol. 23. 2.
Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 4. sect. 7.