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came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying : Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of Man be risen again from the dead. —And his disciples asked him, saying : Why 10 then say
the scribes that Elias must first come ? And Jesus 11
9. Came down from the mountain. was the Christ. Here was a sign Luke states, ix. 37, that they did from heaven, to satisfy the most not come down till the next day, skeptical. — The transfiguration affrom which it has been inferred that fects the question of Christ's perthe transfiguration took place in the son, for he appears here, not in his night, which they had passed on the state of humiliation, but of glory. mountain, and that this might have And what is his glory? It is that partially influenced Peter in propos- of a Divine messenger; a beloved ing to build three tents. - Tell the Son of God, not God himself, in vision to no man, fc. Or, as Mark which character it would seem that has it, “ that they should tell no this was the time and place for him man what things they had seen. to appear, if he was in reality the The vision then was not what we Supreme. Risen again from the understand by that word now, as dead. Mark says that they were in some have contended, but a sight, doubt about his meaning. They an appearance. The purpose of the did not yet understand how, if he transfiguration, as already intimated, were the Messiah, he could suffer was to strengthen Jesus for his ap- death, nor, accordingly, how he proaching sufferings by the sympa- could be literally raised from the thy of the great worthies of the old dead. dispensation, and the approving voice 10- 13. Parallel to Mark ix. 10of Heaven ; and to confirm the be- 13. lief of the disciples in Jesus' as the 10. Elias must first come, i. e. Christ, and remove the discourage- Elijah. This was the popular opinments lately produced by the pre- ion entertained by the Jews, founded diction of his death, through an ex- on Mal. iv. 5, 6. The error conhibition of his glorified state. The sisted in supposing that the identireasons, therefore, of Jesus' enjoin- cal Elijah of old times would reaping this secrecy were similar to pear amongst men, and not that an those, which prompted him to make Elijah, i. e. a man of like character the same prohibition on other occa- and office, a hardy reformer, was to sions. Matt. xvi. 20. The disci- come before the advent of the Mesples did not yet sufficiently under- siah. It would appear that this stand the nature of his kingdom to conversation took place whilst Jesus proclaim his Messiahship. Their and the three were coming down minds rather needed to be held in from the mountain, before they restraint. - The people also were in reached the other disciples and the too inflammable a state for this fact, multitude. They asked the queswhich, had it been made known, tion, because they had been prohibwould have proved like a spark in ited from proclaiming the Messiah, a magazine of powder. With that though Elijah his precursor had alwisdom which never failed him, he ready come, as they thought, being therefore commanded them to keep seen by them on the mountain, and secret what they had witnessed. no reason therefore seemingly exThe Jews had often required a sign isting why they should not immedifrom heaven as a proof that Jesus ately publish their Master's Messianswered and said unto them : Elias truly shall first come, and 12 restore all things ; but I say unto you, that Elias is come
already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him what
soever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer 13 of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto
them of Jobn the Baptist. 14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to 15 him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying : Lord,
have mercy on my son ; for he is lunatic and sore vexed ; for 16 oft-times he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I
ahship. Or, to construe their ques- 14 - 18. Parallel to Mark ix. 14 tion differently, Why do the Scribes 27; Luke ix. 37 – 43. say that Elias must first come, when 14. When they were come to the the Messiah has already appeared, multitude. Mark states that “all and no forerunner has preceded the people, when they beheld him, him? If_thou art the Messiah, were greatly amazed, and, running where is Elijah that was to herald to him, saluted him.” Some have thy advent? Are the Scribes right conjectured that a certain glorious or wrong in their instructions on lustre still lingered around his perthis point ?
son, as there did around Moses when 11. Jesus replies, that the Scribes he came down from the mount. are right; they say truly that Eli- Ex. xxxiv. 29, 30.
But the probajah is to come first and restore' all bility is that he came to them by things, or establish, or consummate surprise, and they rejoiced to see the whole,- or prepare for the Mes- him. - Man, kneeling down to him. siah by a great moral reformation, " The ancients consecrate the ear Matt. iii. 1-7; Luke iii. 3 – 15, i.e. to Memory, the forehead to Genius, such is the purpose of God; not the right hand to Faith, and the but what Elijah had already come. knees to Mercy.” The man threw In Mark the present tense is used. himself into a posture of earnest
12. That Elias is come already, supplication. He was pleading for i. e. John the Baptist, who might an only son.
Luke ix. 38. be properly called an Elijah, from 15. Lunatic, i. e. moonstruck, or his austere life, and his energetic affected with a disorder which was spirit of reform.
Luke i. 17. thought to be influenced by the Knew him not. Recognised him changes of the moon, though it was not in his official character, as the also believed that an evil spirit was messenger of God, and the forerun- implicated in the convulsions. For ner of the Messiah. - Whatsoever as Lightfoot remarks : “ It was very they listed. Have treated him with usual for the Jews to attribute some every indignity. Listed is old Eng- of the more grievous diseases to evil lish for chose. — Also the Son of spirits, specially those wherein eiMan. The Messiah will meet with ther the body was distorted, or the no better fate than his forerunner. mind disturbed and tossed with a
13. It appears that the Apostles frenzy." See note on Matt. iv. 24. did not know, before this, that John So far as the disease can now be was the predicted Elijah of Malachi. known by the symptoms that are
brought him unto thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said : O faithless and perverse gen- 17 eration ! how long shall I be with you ? how long shall I suffer you ? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil, 18 and he departed out of him ; and the child was cured from that very
hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, 19 and said : Why could not we cast him out ? And Jesus said 20 unto them: Because of your unbelief. For verily I say unto you,
if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say recorded, it would seem to have if some evil spirit were in him ; but been epilepsy, or a falling sickness, his words no more imply that he reattended with violent paroxysms, garded the demon as a conscious the victim foaming at the mouth, being, than his addressing the dead, gnashing with his teeth, wallowing or the winds and waves, or a fever, upon the ground, torn and bruised, as was the fact, would indicate that falling into the fire, or the water, he believed them to be conscious making violent outcries. He had a agents. - From that_very hour. dumb spirit, or lost his speech at From that moment. The suddentimes, and enjoyed only short inter- ness with which this desperate disvals of reason. Luke ix. 39. This order was cured proved that it was. desperate case was presented to our done by no coinmon means; for it Saviour to cure.
usually required a continued medical 16. Could not cure him. The treatment. reason why they could not is assign- 19. To Jesus apart. According ed in verse 20.
to Mark ix. 28, in the house. The 17. O faithless and perverse gen- disciples, like most transgressors, eration! Perverse in the original is little suspected that their difficulty derived from a word which signifies and failure arose from any personal to twist, to turn awry; as wrong in deficiency. The question they ask English, by a like metaphor, comes carries the idea that they had made from wrung, a participle from wrin- an attempt to cure the child, but gen, to twist.
This rebuke was had not succeeded. addressed to those present, in gen- 20. Because of your unbelief. Or eral; as well to his distrusting fol- rather, want of confidence and trust. lowers as to the cavilling Scribes, Perhaps the violence of the disease, Mark ix. 14, who, not unlikely, tri- perhaps the skeptical questionings umphed in the failure of the disci- of the Scribes, had shaken their asples to work a cure. - How long surance. — Faith as a grain of musshall I be with you, fc. How long tard seed. Understood by some as will my presence and assistance be meaning a living, growing faith, required among you? How long such as might be illustrated by the shall I endure with patience your vegetable kingdom. Matt. xiii. 31, perversity? The tone of Jesus' 32. But others take the sense to mind was rather that of regret and be, If you have the smallest genusorrow than of impatience.
ine faith, you can do all things; for 18. Rebuked the devil. Demon. the orientals frequently use the musJesus used the popular language of tard seed as an emblem of what is his day, and addressed the youth as extremely small. Mark xi. 23;
unto this mountain : Remove hence to yonder place, and it
shall remove ; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. 22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them : The 23 Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of men, and they
shall kill him; and the third day he shall be raised again. And
they were exceeding sorry. Luke xvii. 6. — Ye shall say unto 22. Abode in Galilee. Whilst they this mountain, fc. A hyperbolical were travelling or moving about in and proverbial phrase, denoting the Galilee. — Shall be betrayed. Betgreatest power. 1 Cor. xiii. 2. ter, delivered up, without reference The least true faith would enable to the mode in which it would be them to perform the mightiest won- done. It is so rendered in Mark ders. The Jews were accustomed and Luke. We learn from Mark to call those teachers eminent for that Jesus was at this time living as their virtues and genius, rooters up, far as possible in retirement. His removers of mountains, as descrip- mind seems to have been much tive of their power.
occupied with the thoughts of his 21. This kind goeth not out, $c. impending death. This was the Some suppose the signification to second time that he had mentioned be, that this kind of demons, or of this distressing subject. It is obbeings, cannot be dispossessed with- servable, that this prediction was out unusual spiritual exercises ; but made while Jesus was yet in Galino mention had been made, in this lee_ in security, before he went up conversation, of demons, or that this to Jerusalem and was subject to the kind of miracles cannot be perform- dangers that there surrounded him. ed without extraordinary prepara- What a fortitude must' his have tion. Other commentators suppose been, that he could with such calman allusion to be made to faith, of ness anticipate and speak of the sufwhich they had just been speaking. ferings, which he so clearly foreFor where that faith was possessed saw ! The common opinions eneven in the smallest degree, as a tertained of Jesus do him injustice. grain of mustard seed, all miracles They invest him chiefly with the were alike easy, even to the rooting character of meekness and inoffenup of trees and mountains, and hurl- siveness, qualities indeed, which he ing them into the sea, and all de- possessed in an eminent degree, but mons and diseases could be equally which were balanced by the purest well expelled. This kind of faith heroism ever seen among men. emanated not but by fasting and 23. They were exceeding sorry. prayer, by the most diligent use We learn from the other Evangeof the means of devotion, and spir- lists that the disciples did not unitual life. - This verse is left out derstand his prediction, and were by Wakefield, and Adam Clarke afraid to ask for an explanation. “strongly suspects it to be an inter- Their grief, therefore, was aggrapolation,” as it is wanting in some of vated by the indefiniteness of the the earliest manuscripts and versions. approaching danger. The dark and
22 - 23. Parallel to Mark ix. 30 unwelcome subject conjured up ap-32, and Luke ix. 43–45.
palling images of fear and terror.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received 24 tribute money came to Peter, and said : Doth not your master pay tribute ? He saith : yes. And when he was come into 25 the house, Jesus prevented him, saying : What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute ? of their own children, or of strangers ? Peter saith unto him : Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him : Then are the 26 children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, 27 go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up ; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money ; that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
24. Capernaum. The place where to acknowledge the fact on which he abode. They that received trib his conclusion was grounded. His ute money.
Supposed to be no argument was, that, as earthly kings those who collected the taxes paid exempted their sons from paying to the Romans, but persons who tribute, so he, being the Son of collected the contributions for the God, was, on the same ground, reservice of the temple, in the pay- leased from the obligation of payment of its necessary expenses for ing tribute for the temple of God. sacrifices and other things. Ex. The temple was God's palace. xxx. 13; Neh. x. 32. It was an Jesus, as his son, was accordingly annual tribute of half a shekel, free from paying a tax for its serlevied on all Jews twenty years old vice. and upwards. The Greek word 27. Lest we should offend them. translated tribute expresses the sum, Jesus ever manifested a spirit of two drachms, amounting to about prudence. He would avoid giving twenty-eight cents of our money. any unnecessary offence, setting thus This tax is supposed to have been an example of caution, and teaching in some degree a voluntary one, us, that it is better to waive our which would account for the ques- privileges and yield our rights, than tion put to Peter respecting his to insist upon them to the prejudice Master's paying it.
of the cause of truth. Something 25. The impetuous disciple an- is to be conceded to the captiousness swered in the affirmative before con
We should strive to be sulting Jesus. Prevented. For- blameless and irreproachable, as was merly meaning, according to its de- the Author and Finisher of our faith. rivation, to go before, or to antici- If Jesus had not paid the tribute, it pate. Jesus anticipated Peter. would have furnished his cavilling What thinkest thou. It would seem enemies with an occasion to say, that Jesus would delicately remind that he despised the temple and Peter that he had given an answer worship of God, and thus have without his authority. - Strangers, caused them still more obstinately i. e. those not related to the king, to reject him as the Messiah. A or members of his family.
piece of money. In the original a 26. Then are the children free. stater, a Roman silver coin, of the He had, by his question, led Peter value of one shekel in the Jewish