|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:12-19 We often think one half hour a great deal to spend in meditation and secret prayer, but Christ was whole nights engaged in these duties. In serving God, our great care should be not to lose time, but to make the end of one good duty the beginning of another. The twelve apostles are here named; never were men so privileged, yet one of them had a devil, and proved a traitor. Those who have not faithful preaching near them, had better travel far than be without it. It is indeed worth while to go a great way to hear the word of Christ, and to go out of the way of other business for it. They came to be cured by him, and he healed them. There is a fulness of grace in Christ, and healing virtue in him, ready to go out from him, that is enough for all, enough for each. Men regard the diseases of the body as greater evils than those of their souls; but the Scripture teaches us differently.
Verse 16. - Judas the brother of James; more accurately, Judas, or Jude, son of James, or simply James's Jude. So this disciple is termed in both the writings ascribed to St. Luke (the Gospel and Acts). In St. Matthew's list we find a "Lebbaeus," and in St. Mark's a "Thaddaeus" occupying a position in the third division which in St. Luke's list is filled by "James's Jude." There is no doubt that Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus were surnames by which James's Jude, or Judas, was known generally in the Church. The necessity of some surname to distinguish this apostle was obvious. Already in the company of apostles there was a Judas, or Jude, who was afterwards known as 'the betrayer." One, too, of the Lord's so-called brothers, a figure well known in the society of the Church of the first days, was also named Jude. The meaning of the two epithets is somewhat similar; they both were probably derived from the apostle's character - Lebbaeus from the Hebrew לב (lev), the heart. Jude was probably so styled on account of his loving earnestness. Thaddaeus, from thad, a word which in later Hebrew meant the female breast, was suggested possibly by his even feminine devotedness and tenderness of disposition. The addition in St. Matthew's catalogue to "Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thad-daeus," which we read in our Authorized Version, does not occur in any of the older authorities, "Thaddaeus" being only found in St. Mark's list. And Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. Some scholars have derived "Iscariot" from as-cara, strangulation; or from sheker, a lie, ish sheker, the man of a lie; these derivations are, however, most improbable. The surname is evidently derived from the place whence this Judas came. Kerioth, possibly the modern town or village of Kuryetein, not far from Hebron in Judah. Kerioth is mentioned in Joshua 15:25, ish-Kerioth, a man of Kerioth.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Judas the brother of James,.... Of that James, that was the son of Alphaeus; though the Syriac and Arabic versions call him "the son of James", very wrongly: this Judas was also called Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus, and is the writer of the epistle that bears his name:
and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor; both his surname and his character are mentioned, to distinguish him from the other Judas: it is easy to observe, that these twelve are mentioned by pairs, or couples, and so they were sent out, two by two; see Mark 6:7 as were also the seventy disciples afterwards; see Luke 10:1 There seems to be an allusion to the pairs and couples of the Jewish fathers and doctors, who in their succession are thus paired: Jose ben Joezer, and Joseph ben Jochauan; Joshua ben Perachia, and Nathan the Arbelite; Simeon ben Shetach, and Judah ben Tabai; Shemain and Abtalion; the two sons of Bethira, whose names were Judah and Joshua; Hillell and Shammai (s): all before Christ's time.
(s) Pirke Abot, c. 1.
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