|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:18-26 The death of our relations should drive us to Christ, who is our life. And it is high honour to the greatest rulers to attend on the Lord Jesus; and those who would receive mercy from Christ, must honour him. The variety of methods Christ took in working his miracles, perhaps was because of the different frames and tempers of mind, which those were in who came to him, and which He who searches the heart perfectly knew. A poor woman applied herself to Christ, and received mercy from him by the way. If we do but touch, as it were, the hem of Christ's garment by living faith, our worst evils will be healed; there is no other real cure, nor need we fear his knowing things which are a grief and burden to us, but which we would not tell to any earthly friend. When Christ entered the ruler's house, he said, Give place. Sometimes, when the sorrow of the world prevails, it is difficult for Christ and his comforts to enter. The ruler's daughter was really dead, but not so to Christ. The death of the righteous is in a special manner to be looked on as only a sleep. The words and works of Christ may not at first be understood, yet they are not therefore to be despised. The people were put forth. Scorners who laugh at what they do not understand, are not proper witnesses of the wonderful works of Christ. Dead souls are not raised to spiritual life, unless Christ take them by the hand: it is done in the day of his power. If this single instance of Christ's raising one newly dead so increased his fame, what will be his glory when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation!
Verse 24. - He said unto them, Give place; withdraw (ἀναχωρεῖτε). This is no room for mourners (cf. Acts 9:40). For the maid; damsel (Revised Version). to assimilate this and ver. 25 to the other passages where κοράσιον is found. Is not dead, but sleepeth. Our Lord looks forward to the result of his coming. So also probably Acts 20:10. To take our Lord's words here as a literal statement of a present fact, meaning that she was only in a trance, is to contradict the words of the messenger (parallel passages), our next succeeding clause, and Luke's addition to it, "knowing that she was dead." And they laughed him to scorn. Bengel suggests that they were afraid of losing the payment for their work.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he said unto them, give place,.... Depart, be gone; for he put them out of the room, and suffered none to be with him, when he raised her from the dead, but Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the child, who were witnesses enough of this miracle.
For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth: not but that she was really dead; and Christ signifies as much, when he says, she "sleepeth"; a phrase that is often used in (e) Talmudic writings, for one that is dead: but Christ's meaning is, that she was not so dead as the company thought; as always to remain in the state of the dead, and not to be restored to life again: whereas our Lord signifies, it would be seen in a very little time, that she should be raised again, just as a person is awaked out of sleep; so that there was no occasion to make such funeral preparations as they did. The Jews say (f) of some of their dead, that they are asleep, and not dead: it is said, Isaiah 26:19 "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust".
"These, say they, are they that sleep and die not; and such are they that sleep in Hebron, for they , "do not die, but sleep", --the four couples in Hebron (Adam and Eve, &c.) they "sleep, but are not dead".''
And they laughed him to scorn; they mocked at his words, and had him in the utmost contempt, as a very weak silly man; taking him either to be a madman, or a fool; knowing that she was really dead, of which they had all the evidence they could have; and having no faith at all in him, and in his power to raise her from the dead.
(e) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 6. 1. Avoda Zara, fol. 42. 3. Bereshit Rabba Parash. 91. fol. 79. 3.((f) Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 4.
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