HE (JESUS) Drove Out The Evil Spirits With A Word, And Healed All Who Were Sick
When the even was come.–Or, as St. Luke has it, “While the sun was setting.” There were two reasons why the time should be thus specified. (1) It was natural that the sick should be brought in the cool of the evening, rather than in the scorching heat of the afternoon; and (2) it was the Sabbath, and the feeling which made the Pharisees question the lawfulness of a man’s carrying the bed on which he had been lying (John 5:10), would probably have deterred the friends of the sick from bringing them as long as it lasted. But with sunset the Sabbath came to a close, and then they would feel themselves free to act. The prominence given to “those that were possessed with devils,” both by St. Matthew and St. Mark, shows that it was the work of the Sabbath morning that had most impressed itself on their minds.
Verses 16, 17. – The great number of his miracles, and the secret of his performing them. Verse 16. – Parallel passages: Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40. When the even was come; Revised Version, and when even-According to the original connexion, preserved, as it seems, in Mark and Luke, this was the evening of the day in which our Lord had healed the man with the withered hand in the synagogue. Probably, therefore, the day had been a sabbath. But with the setting sun (parallel passage in Luke), or rather, according to Talmudic teaching, when three stars were visible after sunset (vide Lightfoot, ‘ Her. Hebr.,’ in lee.), the sabbath was over (Leviticus 23:32), and people were free to carry out their sick. Should the day not have been a sabbath, we may presume that the evening was chosen as cooler for the sick to be moved, and as more convenient to those who carried them, the day’s work being done. They brought unto him many that were possessed with devils (Matthew 4:24, note): and he cast out the spirits with his (Revised Version, a) word (ver. 8). In contrast to saying over them the long formulas of exorcism used by others. And healed all that were sick. The stress is on all. None were so ill as to be beyond his power, and no kind of disease too great for him to subdue.
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