Matthew 8:16
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
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(16) 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.

Matthew 8:16-17. When even was come, they brought unto him many, &c. — The news of this miracle being spread through the town, those who had sick relations or friends resolved to apply to Jesus for a cure. Only, because it was the sabbath, they did not come immediately to him. They waited till the holy rest was ended, which, according to the Jewish form of the day, was at sunsetting, at which time, according to Mark 1:32, and Luke 4:40, they brought the sick in great numbers to him: and he took pity on them and healed them all, casting out the devils from the demoniacs with his word — His authoritative and powerful word, the same by which he made the world, and all things therein. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias — That is, whereby was fulfilled, namely, in a lower sense than that primarily intended by the prophets; saying, Himself took our infirmities, &c. — Isaiah spoke it in a more exalted sense. The evangelist here only alludes to those words as being capable of this lower meaning also. Such instances are frequent in the sacred writings, and are elegances rather than imperfections. He fulfilled these words in the highest sense, by bearing our sins in his own body on the tree: in a lower sense, by sympathizing with us in our sorrows, and healing us of the diseases which were the fruit of sin.

8:14-17 Peter had a wife, yet was an apostle of Christ, who showed that he approved of the married state, by being thus kind to Peter's wife's relations. The church of Rome, which forbids ministers to marry, goes contrary to that apostle upon whom they rest so much. He had his wife's mother with him in his family, which is an example to be kind to our relations. In spiritual healing, the Scripture speaks the word, the Spirit gives the touch, touches the heart, touches the hand. Those who recover from fevers, commonly are weak and feeble some time after; but to show that this cure was above the power of nature, the woman was at once so well as to go about the business of the house. The miracles which Jesus did being noised abroad, many thronged to him. He healed all that were sick, though the patient was ever so mean, and the case ever so bad. Many are the diseases and calamities to which we are liable in the body; and there is more, in those words of the gospel, that Jesus Christ bore our sicknesses and carried our sorrows, to support and comfort us under them, than in all the writings of the philosophers. Let us not grudge labour, trouble, or expense in doing good to others.When the even was come ... - The fame of the miracles of Jesus would probably draw together a crowd, and those who had friends that were afflicted would bring them. All that were brought to him he healed. This was proof of two things: first, of his great benevolence; and, secondly, of his divine mission. He might have established the latter by miracles that would do no good. None of his miracles were performed, however, merely to make a display of power, unless the cursing of the barren fig-tree be an exception. Compare Mark 11:11-14. What is here recorded occurred on the evening of the Sabbath, Mark 1:21-32. The Jews kept the Sabbath from evening to evening, Leviticus 23:32. On the Sabbath they would not even bring their sick to be healed Luke 13:14; but as soon as it was closed, on the evening of the same day, they came in multitudes to be cured.

Possessed with devils - See the notes at Matthew 4:24.

With his word - By his command; by a word.

Mt 8:14-17. Healing of Peter's Mother-in-law and Many Others. ( = Mr 1:29-34; Lu 4:38-41).

For the exposition, see on [1235]Mr 1:29-34.

See Poole on "Matthew 8:17".

When the even was come,.... The other evangelists say, when "the sun was set", or "setting"; which circumstances are observed, not as some think, because the cool of the evening, and when the sun was set, it was more seasonable and convenient, in those hot countries, to bring out their sick, than in the heat of the day: nor are they remarked, as others think, because it was an unseasonable time to bring them to Christ, when he had been fatigued all day long, and yet he healed them; such was his goodness and compassion: but the true reason of the mention of them is, because it had been their sabbath day, as appears from Mark 1:21 and they could not, according to their canons, bring them sooner. Their sabbath began at sun setting; hence they say (s), that on the eve of the sabbath, that is, immediately preceding it, when the sabbath is about to begin, it is lawful to work , "until the sun sets"; and so it ended at sun setting the next day, which they judged of by the appearance of three stars (t).

"R. Phinehas, in the name of R. Aba Bar Papa, says, if but one star appears, it is certainly day; if two, it is a doubt whether it is night or not; if three, it is certainly night. On the eve of the sabbath, if he sees one star and does any work, he is free; if two, he brings a trespass offering for a doubt; if three, he brings a sin offering; at the going out of the sabbath, if he sees one star, and does any work, he brings a sin offering; if two, he brings a trespass offering for a doubt; if three, he is free.''

So that till the sun was set, and three stars appeared as a proof of it, it was not lawful to do any sort of business; but as soon as it was out of doubt, that the sun was set, they might do anything: and this being the case,

they brought to him (Christ) many that were possessed with devils; whose bodies Satan had been suffered to enter into, and were acted, and governed, and thrown into strange disorders by him. Such possessions, through divine permission, were frequent; that Christ, who was come in the flesh, might have an opportunity of showing his power over Satan, and giving proof of his deity and Messiahship.

And he cast out the spirits with his word; only by speaking to them; who were obliged, at his command, and by his orders, to quit their tenements, though unwillingly enough.

And healed all that were sick; whoever they were, without any respect of persons, of whatsoever disease attended them: the most stubborn, inveterate, and otherwise incurable disorder, was not too hard for him, which he cured without the help of medicine, and where that could be of no use, and either by speaking, or touching, or some such like means.

(s) T. Hieros. Sheviith, fol. 33. 1.((t) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 2. 2. Maimon. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 4.

When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed {c} all that were sick:

(c) Of all sorts.

Matthew 8:16-17. Events of that Sabbath evening (Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41). A general statement, which, after Matthew 4:23 f., might have been dispensed with; but it is in the source (Mark) in the same context, and it gives our evangelist a welcome opportunity of quoting a prophetic text in reference to Christ’s healing work.

16. with his word] not by a touch, as in the case of leprosy and fever. Christ never laid his hand on demoniacs.

Matthew 8:16. Ὀψίας, evening) of that day on which so much had been said and done. Diseases are wont to be more oppressive at eventide.—τὰ πνεύματα, the spirits) i.e. the devils.—λόγῳ, with a word[374]) by that alone.[375]—πάντας, all) without exception: some men are said to have a healing power in the case only of certain special diseases.

[374] That such is Bengel’s meaning is clear from his German Version, where he renders it “mit einem wort.” E. V. has “By His word.”—(I. B.)

[375] “Solo,” i.e. without using any other means.—(I. B.)

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. Matthew 8:16
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