|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:29-39 Wherever Christ comes, he comes to do good. He cures, that we may minister to him, and to others who are his, and for his sake. Those kept from public ordinances by sickness or other real hinderances, may expect the Saviour's gracious presence; he will soothe their sorrows, and abate their pains. Observe how numerous the patients were. When others speed well with Christ, it should quicken us in seeking after him. Christ departed into a solitary place. Though he was in no danger of distraction, or of temptation to vain-glory, yet he retired. Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God.
Verses 38, 39. - These two verses indicate the extent and duration of our Lord's first missionary journey. It must have been considerable. He preached in the synagogues. This would be on successive sabbaths. According to Josephus, Galilee was a densely populated district, with upwards of two hundred villages, each containing several thousand inhabitants.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he said unto them, let us go into the next towns,.... Instead of returning with his disciples to Capernaum, as they expected he would, and especially since there was such a concourse of people got together, he proposes to go to "the next towns"; or "village cities"; towns that were neither villages, nor cities, but between both, as the word signifies: hence the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Persic versions render it, "villages and cities": and it designs such towns in which there were synagogues. The Jews distinguish between walled towns, villages, and large cities (r). They ask,
"what is a large city? every one in which there are ten leisure men; if less than so, lo! it is a village.''
"every place in which there were ten Israelites, they were obliged to provide a house into which they might go to prayer, at every prayer time, and that place is called a synagogue (s).''
These were the places Christ judged it advisable to go to; he had preached already at Capernaum, the day before, and had confirmed his doctrine by miracles, which was sufficient for the present, and therefore thought fit to go elsewhere, and orders his disciples to go likewise; for the Syriac version renders it, "go ye to the next cities"; and in the same way read the Arabic and Persic versions:
that I may preach there also; as well as at Capernaum, that so the Gospel may be spread, and have its usefulness in other parts as well as there: the Arabic version renders it, "that we may preach"; both I and you; but without any foundation; nor does the reason following suit such a version,
for therefore came I:forth: meaning, not from Simon's house, nor from Capernaum, though there may be a truth in that; for Christ might come from thence, with that view, to preach the Gospel elsewhere; but from God his Father, from whom he came forth, and by whom he was sent to preach the Gospel to other cities also, both in Galilee and Judaea; even to all the inhabitants of that country, to all the lost sheep of the house of Israel; so that this was but answering the end of his coming, and acting according to the commission given him.
(r) Misn. Megilla, c. 1. sect. 1, 2, 3. T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 2. 2. & 3. Maimon. Megilla, c. 1. sect. 4, 5, 8. Moses Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora, affirm. pr. 154. (s) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 11. sect. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38. And he said unto them, Let us go—or, according to another reading, "Let us go elsewhere."
into the next towns—rather, "unto the neighboring village-towns"; meaning those places intermediate between towns and villages, with which the western side of the Sea of Galilee was studded.
that I may preach there also; for therefore came I forth—not from Capernaum, as De Wette miserably interprets, nor from His privacy in the desert place, as Meyer, no better; but from the Father. Compare Joh 16:28, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world," &c.—another proof, by the way, that the lofty phraseology of the Fourth Gospel was not unknown to the authors of the others, though their design and point of view are different. The language in which our Lord's reply is given by Luke (Lu 4:43) expresses the high necessity under which, in this as in every other step of His work, He acted—"I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also; for therefore"—or, "to this end"—"am I sent." An act of self-denial it doubtless was, to resist such pleadings to return to Capernaum. But there were overmastering considerations on the other side.
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