|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-10 Those who sincerely desire a sight of Christ, like Zaccheus, will break through opposition, and take pains to see him. Christ invited himself to Zaccheus' house. Wherever Christ comes he opens the heart, and inclines it to receive him. He that has a mind to know Christ, shall be known of him. Those whom Christ calls, must humble themselves, and come down. We may well receive him joyfully, who brings all good with him. Zaccheus gave proofs publicly that he was become a true convert. He does not look to be justified by his works, as the Pharisee; but by his good works he will, through the grace of God, show the sincerity of his faith and repentance. Zaccheus is declared to be a happy man, now he is turned from sin to God. Now that he is saved from his sins, from the guilt of them, from the power of them, all the benefits of salvation are his. Christ is come to his house, and where Christ comes he brings salvation with him. He came into this lost world to seek and to save it. His design was to save, when there was no salvation in any other. He seeks those that sought him not, and asked not for him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And behold there was a man named Zacchaeus,.... Or "Zaccai", a name in use among the Jews; see Ezra 2:9. We often read of , "Rabbi Zaccai", or "Zacchaeus" (a), and very frequently of R. Jochanan ben Zaccai, a famous doctor that lived in the times of Christ, and even till after the destruction of Jerusalem. The Jews also make mention of one R. Zaccai, a prince of the seed of David the king, in later times (b). So that this man, as appears by his name, was a Jew, though some have thought him to have been a Gentile (c), perhaps because of his employment: but it does not follow from thence; for there were Jews that were publicans, as Levi, or Matthew, afterwards one of Christ's disciples; and also in Jewish writings, mention is made, as of , "a stranger", or "a Gentile publican" (d), so likewise of , "an Israelite publican" (e); and such an one was Zacchaeus, as follows:
which was chief among the publicans; the head of them in that place, to whom the rest brought the tax, tribute, or toll; he was the receiver general of the tax: at the toll booths, at bridges, for people's going over the water, there was , "the greater publican", and , "the lesser publican" (f), who was deputy to the other. What sort of tax Zacchaeus was concerned in collecting, is not certain; however, he was a principal man in this employ, and had got great riches by it.
And he was rich; was a person of figure among the publicans, and of substance, which he had gained in his post. And though the instances of rich men being called by grace are few, yet there have been some; and the rather this circumstance is mentioned, because it had been observed in the preceding chapter, how difficult, but not impossible, as this instance proves, it was for rich men to enter into the kingdom of God.
(a) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 27. 2. & Yebamot, fol. 77. 2. Nazir, fol. 38. 1. & Nidda, fol. 41. 2. & Juchasin, fol. 90. 2.((b) R. Benjamin Itinerar. p. 61, 94. (c) Tertull. contr. Marcion. l. 4. c. 37. (d) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 113. 1.((e) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Bava Kama, c. 10. sect. 1.((f) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 78. 2.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
19:2 The chief of the publicans - What we would term, commissioner of the customs. A very honourable as well as profitable place.
Luke 19:2 Parallel Commentaries
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