And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus…
The gate of the city was, in the East, the favourite resort of the mendicant class; for there, not only must all travellers, and caravans, and peasants bringing their wares to market, pass them by, but the broad side arches of the gate, with their cool recesses and divans, were the justice halls in which suits and quarrels were adjusted, and the lounging place in which, when the labours of the day were over, the citizens gathered to discuss their local politics or to enjoy their neighbourly gossip. The very reason, therefore, which draws the beggars of Italy to the fountains or the steps of churches, and the beggars of Ireland to the doors of hotels, or to the spots haunted by tourists, and the beggars of England to the crowded thoroughfares and market places, drew the beggars of the East, and still draws them, to the gates of the cities. There men most congregate, and there they are most likely to meet some response to their appeals for pity and help.
(S. Cox, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.