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1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
Ver. 1. See Trapp on " Mat 15:1 "
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
Ver. 2. With defiled ] Gr. with common hands, κοιναις χερσι . Common and defiled is one and the same in Greek and other languages; to show that those that come to holy things with common affections and carriages, profane them.
They found fault ] εμεμψαντο . They mumped at it, as we say; they dispraised, accused, complained. Vituperant homines quam collaudant promptius, saith one: another being demanded, what was the easiest thing in the world? answered, to find fault with another. Μωμεισθαι ραον η μιμεισθαι , saith a third; it is easier to find a fault, than to mend it.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Ver. 3. Except they wash their hands oft ] Or up to the elbow, or with utmost diligence, sedulo et accurate. (Syr.) The Pharisees deemed it as great a sin to eat with unwashen hands, as to commit fornication. a Do not our modern Pharisees the Papists as much? Fornication is a money matter with them; but to eat an egg in Lent, or the like, a deadly sin. You may see them sometimes in Italy go along the streets with a great rope about their necks, as if they were dropped down from the gallows. And sometimes they wear a sausage or a swines’ pudding in place of a silver or gold chain. Is not this sufficient to deserve heaven by?
a Godwin’s Antiq. Heb.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
Ver. 4. Washing of cups ] βαπτισμους , baptisms. The Pharisees were great washers of the outside. Whence Justin Martyr calls them Baptists, by a peculiar epithet.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?
Ver. 5. See Trapp on " Mat 15:2 " See Trapp on " Mat 15:3 "
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Ver. 6. See Trapp on " Mat 15:2 " See Trapp on " Mat 15:3 "
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Ver. 7. In vain do they worship me ] Since they do lose their labour, and worse; for they commit sin. Displeasing service is double dishonour.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Ver. 8. Ye hold the tradition of men ] κρατειτε , With tooth and nail ye hold it, Mordicus retinetis, as if on that hinge hung all your happiness.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Ver. 9. Full well ye reject ] q.d. It is finely done of you, is it not? καλως . Sane, Bene. Ironice; ye are wise men therewhile. This was check to their masterships. Sapientes sapienter in infernum descendent, saith a father. The world’s wizards have not wit enough to escape hell.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Ver. 10. Moses said ] Matthew hath it, God commanded, saying. Holy men spake of old as they were acted by the Holy Ghost, 2 Peter 1:21 .
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free .
Ver. 11. It is Corban ] i.e. Consecrated, and cast into the treasury; therefore look for no duty from me. This is the Jews’ solemn oath, in this case.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Ver. 12. Ye suffer him ] i.e. Ye license him to deny his parents any further help.
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Ver. 13. See Trapp on " Mat 15:6 "
14 And when he had called all the people unto him , he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you , and understand:
Ver. 14. Called all the people ] For he saw there was no good to be done upon the Pharisees, and that he did but wash a tilestone, or a blackamoor; he turns him therefore to the common sort. Pearls must not be cast to pigs.
15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
Ver. 15. See Trapp on " Mat 15:11 "
16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
Ver. 16. See Trapp on " Mat 15:11 "
17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
Ver. 17. His disciples asked him ] St Matthew saith, "Peter asked him;" but then it was in the name of all the rest, and therefore they are all blamed for their ignorance.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
Ver. 18. Are ye so without understanding also? ] What, no wiser at 17 years of age than ye were at seven? as rude and unskilful in the sixth year of your apprenticeship, as at the first onset? God requireth and expecteth a proportion of knowledge according to the means we have had, the time we have enjoyed them, the capacities and natural abilities that he had given us, and according to the places and stations wherein he hath set us to do him service. If the leaders of God’s people cause them to err, how should those that are led by them do otherwise than be destroyed? Hence this sharp reprehension.
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
Ver. 19. And goeth out into the draught ] Or into the long and lowermost gut, as physicians use the word, αφεδρων : and as it is, 1 Samuel 5:9 ; 1 Samuel 5:12 . Robert Smith, martyr, made one of Bonner’s doctors that examined him, say, that his God must needs enter into the belly, and so fall into the draught. To which he answered, What derogation was it to Christ, when the Jews spit in his face? If the Jews (said Smith) being his enemies did but spit in his face, and we being his friends throw him into the draught, which of us deserveth the greater damnation? (Acts and Mon)
Purging all meats ] That is, leaving (by this separation) the nourishment of the body clear from the dregs.
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
Ver. 20. That defileth the man ] Far worse than any out-house. Sin is the devil’s excrement.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Ver. 21. Evil thoughts, adulteries, &c. ] Even all sorts of sins against both the tables of the law, as is well observed by Grotius in loc. Here is pride and folly against the first commandment; blasphemy against the second and third; of sins against the fifth commandment he had spoken before; and here are murders against the sixth; adultery and fornication against the seventh; thefts and covetousness against the eighth; guilt against the ninth; evil thoughts against the tenth. See what a foul fountain, what a seminary of sin, man’s heart is. If his tongue be not a city, or a country, but a world of wickedness, James 3:6 , what then is the heart!
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
Ver. 22. An evil eye ] Envious, and rejoicing at the miseries of others, which is the property of Edomites, abjects, witches, and devils. Those that are bewitched are said to be overlooked, sc. with an evil and malicious eye. Nescio quis teneros, &c. βασκαινω , fascino, i. q. φαεσι, καινω .
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Ver. 23. All these evil things ] Should God but break open that sink of sin that is within us, we should never endure the stench, but rid ourselves out of the world, as Judas, Ahithophel, &c.
24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it : but he could not be hid.
Ver. 24. Would have no man know, &c. ] There were therefore two wills in Christ: the one whereof rightly willed that which the other justly and wisely nilled.
But he could not be hid ] He is a God that hides himself, Isaiah 8:17 ; we must fetch him out of his retiring room by our fervent prayers.
25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
Ver. 25. For a certain woman ] Of a heroical faith, felt her want of Christ, and laid out for him.
26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
Ver. 26. A Greek ] i.e. a Gentile, as Romans 2:9 , profane by profession; a Canaanite, St Matthew saith she was: confer Zechariah 14:21 .
27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
Ver. 27. To cast it unto dogs ] τοις κυναριοις , unto whelps, for more contempt’ sake, as Beza noteth. The pope made Dandalus, the Venetian ambassador, to come before him, tied in iron chains, and to wallow under his table with dogs, while his Holiness sat at supper. Unde ei canis cognomentum apud suos, saith Revius. He was ever after called the dog ambassador.
28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.
Ver. 28. Yes, Lord ] See Trapp on " Mat 15:27 "
29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.
30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.
Ver. 31. Of Decapolis ] A little country consisting of ten cities. See Plin. lib. iii. cap. 18.
32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
Ver. 32. One that was deaf ] None of the evangelists have this story but only Saint Mark.
33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
Ver. 33. And he took him aside, &c. ] Though these men’s faith was but weak, yet he yieldeth unto them at the first word, who held off the Syrophenician before, to the third petition; he knew the strength of her faith. The skilful armourer trieth not an ordinary piece of arms with musket shot. The wise lapidist brings not his softer stones to the stithy. The good husbandman turns not the wheel upon his cummin, nor his flail upon his vetches. For his God doth better instruct him, Isaiah 28:26 ; Isaiah 28:29 .
34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
Ver. 34. He sighed ] As if himself had felt and fainted under the same burden; so the word εστεναξε signifieth. And he was so much the more sensible, as well weighing the cause.
35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
Ver. 35. His ears were opened ] So are the ears of all that belong to Christ, and their tongues loosed to his praise, which before were bound by Satan. Oh, pray that God would make the bore of our ears as wide as may be, and teach us that "pure language," Zephaniah 3:9 , that our tongues may run "as the pen of a ready writer,"Psalms 45:1; Psalms 45:1 .
36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it ;
Ver. 36. So much the more ] Eo magis praefulgebat utique quia non visebatur, as Tacitus saith of Brutus; the more he sought to secrete himself the more he was noticed.
37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Ver. 37. He hath done all things well ] Praise we him much more for his spiritual cures, of like kind, upon ourselves and others.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Mark 7". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany