|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-30 Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, to pray and praise. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit were upon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may be loosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace from the bondage of corruption. He came by the word of his gospel, to bring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power of his grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And he preached the acceptable year of the Lord. Let sinners attend to the Saviour's invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed. Christ's name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than in the word of his grace, and the power that went along with it. We may well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to such graceless wretches as mankind. Some prejudice often furnishes an objection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and while it is the word of God that stirs up men's enmity, they will blame the conduct or manner of the speaker. The doctrine of God's sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men. They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry when others have the favours they neglect. Still is Jesus rejected by multitudes who hear the same message from his words. While they crucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by our obedience.
Verse 20. - And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. This was the usual position adopted by a Jewish preacher. The chair of the preacher was placed near the spot where the lesson was read. These synagogues were built with the end pointed towards Jerusalem, in which direction the Jew ever loved to turn as he prayed (Daniel 6:10). The men sat on one side of the building, the women on the other. There was always at the end of the chamber an ark of wood, a memory of the sacred ark of the covenant, which once, with its golden mercy-seat, hallowed now and again with the presence of the visible glory, was the chief treasure of the temple ca Mount Zion. In the "ark" were kept the Law (the five books of Moses) and the rolls of the prophets.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he closed the book,.... "Or rolled it up"; and so the high priest did, after he read in the book of the law, on the day of atonement, all that was necessary to be read, , "he rolled the book of the law", and put it in his bosom (f):
and he gave it again to the minister; the Chazan (g), who was the minister, or servant of the congregation, who had the affairs of it upon him, to let in, and bring out, and to order all things; and particularly to take care of the book of the law, and the chest, or ark in which it was. If the same rule was observed giving and taking the book of any prophet, as the book of the law; then Christ gave it to the minister, and he received it with his right hand: for so it is said (h),
"he that gives the book of the law to his friend, may not give it but with the right hand; and he that receives it may not receive it but with the right hand; for so was the giving of it on Mount Sinai, according to Deuteronomy 33:2.''
And sat down; as was the manner of the Jews, when they taught, or preached; See Gill on Matthew 5:1.
and the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him: they looked very wistly at him, and were very attentive to what he should say, upon such a passage of Scripture, which they knew referred to the Messiah; and the rather, as they had known him formerly, and had heard that he was said to be the Messiah.
(f) Misn. Yoma, c. 7. sect. 1.((g) Bartenora in Misn. Sota, c. 7. sect. 7. (h) Massechet Sopherirn, c. 3. sect. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. the minister—the chazan, or synagogue-officer.
all eyes … fastened on Him—astounded at His putting in such claims.
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