The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 9:23
And when Jesus came into the ruler's house…
and Luke relate, how that before this, whilst they were in the way,
and just as Christ had done speaking to the poor woman, that news
was brought to the ruler, that his daughter was actually dead, and
therefore need not give Jesus any further trouble; when Christ
encouraged him not to be cast down at the tidings, but believe, and
she should be restored again; and that he suffered none to follow
him, but Peter, James, and John: and
saw the minstrels,
or "pipers"; how many there were, is not known:
it is certain there were more than one; and it was a rule with the
F26 Jews that
``the poorest man in Israel (when his wife died) had not
less (Mylylx ynvm) , "than two pipes", and one mourning
And since this was a daughter of a ruler of the synagogue that was
dead, there might be several of them. These instruments were made
use of, not to remove the melancholy of surviving friends, or allay
the grief of the afflicted family; but, on the contrary, to excite
it: for the Jewish writers say F1, these pipes were hollow
instruments, with which they made a known sound, (lbahw hykbh rrwel) ,
"to stir up lamentation and mourning": and for the same purpose,
they had their mourning women, who answered to the pipe; and by
their dishevelled hair, and doleful tones, moved upon the
affections, and drew tears from others; and very likely are the
persons, that Mark says, "wept and wailed greatly". Sometimes
trumpets were made use of on these mournful occasions F2; but
whether these were used only for persons more advanced in years, and
pipes for younger ones, as by the Heathens F3, at least, at some
times, is not certain.
And the people making a noise;
the people of the house, the
relations of the deceased, the neighbours, who came in on this
occasion; and others, in a sort of tumult and uproar, hurrying and
running about; some speaking in the praise of the dead, others
lamenting her death, and others preparing things proper for the
funeral; all which shew, that she was really dead: among these also,
might be the mourners that made a noise for the dead;
``for since mourning was for the honour of the dead,
therefore they obliged the heirs to hire mourning men, and
mourning women, to mourn for the same F4.''
F26 Misn. Cetubot. c. 4. sect. 4. Maimon Ishot, c. 14. sect. 23.
F1 Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 23. sect. 4.
F2 Midrash Kohelet, fol. 77. 4.
F3 Vid. Kirchman. de funer. Roman. l. 2. c. 5.
F4 Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 12. sect. 1.
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 9:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=009&verse=023>. 1999.