The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 9:18
While he spake these things unto them…
To the Scribes
and Pharisees, and to John's disciples, concerning, and in
vindication of his, and his disciples, eating and drinking with
publicans and sinners, and their not fasting as others did; and
while he spake these parables, to expose the folly of self-righteous
persons, and justify his own conduct, in calling sinners to
behold, there came a certain ruler and worshipped him.
as both Mark and Luke say, was named Jairus; and was a ruler, not of
the sanhedrim, or lesser consistory, but of the synagogue that was at
Capernaum; and whom the Jews call, (tonkh var) , "the head of the
synagogue". Mark says, he was "one of the rulers": not that there
were more rulers than one, in one synagogue F17: but as in great
cities, so it is likely in Capernaum there were more synagogues than
one, of which he was one of the rulers: so we read of (twyonk yvar) F18,
"heads", or "rulers of synagogues". As this is one mistake, so it is
another to say, that Dr. Lightfoot speaks of this ruler, as the same
with the "minister" of the congregation; when both here, and in the
place referred to, he manifestly distinguishes them; as do the Jews:
for, by this ruler, as their commentators F19 say,
``the necessary affairs of the synagogue were determined, as
who should dismiss with a prophet, who should divide the
"shema", and who should go before the ark.''
Whereas the business of (txnkh Nzx) , "the minister of the synagogue",
was to bring in and out the ark, or chest, in which was the book of
the law; and particularly, when the high priest read, or pronounced
the blessings, "he" took the book, and gave it to "the ruler of the
synagogue"; and the ruler of the synagogue gave it to the "sagan",
and the "sagan" to the high priest F20. The doctor makes indeed
(rwbuh xylv) , "the messenger of the congregation", to be the same with
"the minister of the synagogue", and which is his mistake; for these
were two different officers F21: the former was the lecturer, or
preacher; and the latter, a sort of a sexton to keep the synagogue
clean, open and shut the doors, and do other things before
mentioned. This Jairus was a man of great power and significance;
who in such a very humble manner prostrated himself at the feet of
Jesus, and expressed such strong faith in him:
saying, my daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thine hand
upon her, and she shall live.
Luke says, she was "his only
daughter": and Mark calls her his "little daughter": though both he
and Luke say, she was about "twelve" years of age, and that with
strict propriety, according to the Jewish canons, which F23 say;
``a daughter, from the day of her birth until she is twelve
years complete, is called (hnjq) , "a little one" and when
she is twelve years of age, and one day and upwards, she
is called (hren) , "a young woman".''
Her case seems to be differently represented; Mark says, she was "at
the point of death", or "in the last extremity"; and Luke, that she
"lay dying": but Matthew here says, that she was "even now dead",
which may be easily reconciled: for not to observe, that (arti)
signifies "near", and the phrase may be rendered, "she is near
dead", or just expiring, the case was this; when Jairus left his
house, his daughter was in the agony of death, just ready to give up
the ghost; so, that he concluded, by the time he was with Jesus, she
had made her exit; as it appears she had, by a messenger, who
brought the account of her death, before they could get to the
house. The ruler's address to Christ on this occasion, is a very
considerable, though not so great an instance of faith as some
others; that he, who was a ruler of a synagogue, should apply to
Christ, which sort of men were generally most averse to him; that he
should fall down and worship him, if not as God, since as yet he
might be ignorant of his deity, yet behaved with the profoundest
respect to him, as a great man, and a prophet; that he should come
to him when his child was past all hope of recovery; yea, when he
had reason to believe she was actually dead, as she was; that even
then, he should believe in hope against hope; he affirms, that he
really believed, that if Christ would but come to his house, and lay
his hand upon her, an action often used in grave and serious
matters, as in blessing persons, in prayer, and in healing diseases,
she would certainly be restored to life again.
F17 Vid. Rhenfurd. de decem otiosis dissert. 2. c. 7.
F18 T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 60. 1.
F19 Jarchi & Bartenora in Misn. Yoma, c. 7. sect. 1. & Sota, c. 7.
F20 Misn. Sota, c. 7. sect. 7. & Bartenora in ib.
F21 Vid. Rhenfurd, dissert. 1. p. 81, etc.
F23 Maimon. Hilchot lshot, c. 2. sect. 1. & Bartenora in Misn. Nidda,
c. 5. sect. 6.
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 9:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=009&verse=018>. 1999.