|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-9 Additions to God's laws reflect upon his wisdom, as if he had left out something which was needed, and which man could supply; in one way or other they always lead men to disobey God. How thankful ought we to be for the written word of God! Never let us think that the religion of the Bible can be improved by any human addition, either in doctrine or practice. Our blessed Lord spoke of their traditions as inventions of their own, and pointed out one instance in which this was very clear, that of their transgressing the fifth commandment. When a parent's wants called for assistance, they pleaded, that they had devoted to the temple all they could spare, even though they did not part with it, and therefore their parents must expect nothing from them. This was making the command of God of no effect. The doom of hypocrites is put in a little compass; In vain do they worship me. It will neither please God, nor profit themselves; they trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompence.
Verses 1-20. - Discourse concerning ceremonial pollution. (Mark 7:1-23.) Verse 1. - Then. This is after the third Passover, which whether our Lord attended or not, has been a matter of some dispute. Moral considerations would make us infer that he was present, fulfilling all righteousness, though there is no direct statement in our narratives on the subject. Came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying. The Sinaitic, B, and some other manuscripts read, Came to Jesus from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees. This, which is virtually the reading of the Revised Version, whether original or not, seems to represent the fact correctly. The bigoted rabbis of the capital, aroused to fresh action by the news of Christ's success in Galilee, send emissaries from Jerusalem to see if they cannot find some cause of offence in the words or actions of this rash Innovator which may give the desired opportunity of crushing him. An occasion offered itself, and was immediately seized.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then came to Jesus Scribes and Pharisees,.... After he had wrought so many miracles, particularly that of feeding five thousand men; besides women and children, with five loaves and two fishes: the fame of which had reached Jerusalem, and occasioned much talk there about him: the Scribes and Pharisees, who were his inveterate enemies, hearing thereof, came to him, where he was, in Galilee: to know the truth of these things, to converse with him, and to watch, and observe, what he said and did;
which were of Jerusalem, saying. There were Scribes and Pharisees throughout the land, but those of Jerusalem were the chief; they were men of the greatest learning and abilities, and were more expert in their religion and customs: these were either sent by the sanhedrim at Jerusalem, or came of themselves; taking upon them a greater power, and authority of examining, correcting, directing, and advising.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mt 15:1-20. Discourse on Ceremonial Pollution. ( = Mr 7:1, 23).
The time of this section was after that Passover which was nigh at hand when our Lord fed the five thousand (Joh 6:4)—the third Passover, as we take it, since His public ministry began, but which He did not keep at Jerusalem for the reason mentioned in Joh 7:1.
1. Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem—or "from Jerusalem." Mark (Mr 7:1) says they "came from" it: a deputation probably sent from the capital expressly to watch Him. As He had not come to them at the last Passover, which they had reckoned on, they now come to Him. "And," says Mark (Mr 7:2, 3), "when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen hands"—hands not ceremonially cleansed by washing—"they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft"—literally, "in" or "with the fist"; that is, probably washing the one hand by the use of the other—though some understand it, with our version, in the sense of "diligently," "sedulously"—"eat not, holding the tradition of the elders"; acting religiously according to the custom handed down to them. "And when they come from the market" (Mr 7:4)—"And after market": after any common business, or attending a court of justice, where the Jews, as Webster and Wilkinson remark, after their subjection to the Romans, were especially exposed to intercourse and contact with heathens—"except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups and pots, brazen vessels and tables"—rather, "couches," such as were used at meals, which probably were merely sprinkled for ceremonial purposes. "Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him,"
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