And another of his disciples said unto him…
one of his disciples; for this does not suppose, that the other, the
Scribe before mentioned, was one. It is possible, he might be one of
the twelve. The Persic version makes him one of the disciples, whom
they call "Hawarion", apostles; and, according to ancient tradition,
it was F4 Philip. And certain it is, that he was one, who was
called to preach the Gospel; so that he was not a common ordinary
disciple; nor could he be one of the seventy disciples, since it was
after this, that they were called and sent forth; as appears from
Luke's account, (Luke 9:60,10:1) . But who he particularly was, cannot
be certainly known, nor is it of any great importance to know it:
his address to Christ is made with great respect and reverence, and
in a very modest and humble manner,
Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father:
for it seems,
according to Luke, that Christ had bid him "follow" him: he had
given him a call to be his disciple, and to go and preach the
Gospel, which he did not refuse; but desires leave "first" to attend
his father's funeral, who was now dead; as his requests, and
Christ's answer, both suppose: though some conjecture, that he was
only very aged, or was dangerously ill; and therefore it could not
be thought he would live long: hence he was desirous of doing this
last good office, before he entered on his public work; but these
are conjectures, without any foundation: it is plain, his father was
dead, and what he requested was, to go home, which perhaps might not
be a great way off, and perform the funeral rites, and then return.
This may seem very reasonable, since burying the dead was reckoned
by the Jews, not only an act of kindness and respect to the
deceased, but an act of piety and religion; and in which, men are
followers of God, and imitate him, who himself buried the body of
Moses F5. And though this man was called to preach the Gospel, yet
he might think he would be easily excused for the present, on this
account; since, according to the Jewish canons, such whose dead lay
before them, who were as yet unburied, were excused reading the Shema,
they were free from performing the duty of prayer, and were not obliged
to wear their phylacteries F6.
F4 Clement. Alex. Strom. l. 3. p. 436.
F5 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 30. 2. & Sota, fol. 14. 1.
F6 Misn. Beracot, c. 3. sect. 1.