And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Ten men that were lepers.—On the general character of leprosy, see Notes on Matthew 8:2. As only one of these was a Samaritan, it seems probable that the unnamed village was, as has been said, on the border-land of the two provinces. It is, perhaps, significant that our Lord takes neither of the usual caravan roads—one of which passed through Samaria, the other through Peræa—but chooses one for Himself that led through the one district into the other. The herding together of those who were shut out from all other fellowship has its parallel in the four lepers of 2Kings 7:3.
Which stood afar off.—In this case, then, there was no running and falling at the feet of Jesus, as in the earlier case of healing. They kept, it would seem probable, to the legal limit of one hundred paces.Leviticus 13:46; Numbers 5:2-3.
Lepers - See the notes at Matthew 8:2.
Stood afar off - At a distance, as they were required by law. They were unclean, and it was not lawful for them to come near to those who were in health. As Jesus was traveling, they were also walking in the contrary way, and seeing him, and knowing that they were unclean, they stopped or turned aside, so that they might not expose others to the contagion.See Poole on "Luke 17:11"
there met ten men that were lepers; who either were confined to this place, this village, for they might not be in the larger cities, and walled towns; See Gill on Matthew 8:2 or else having heard that Jesus of Nazareth was going to such a place, got together, and met him as he entered in it, in hope of being cured by him:
which stood afar off; from Christ, by reason of their uncleanness, as they were obliged to by the law, in Leviticus 13:46.And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 17:12. δέκα λεπροὶ: ten, a large number, the disease common. Rosenmüller (das A. and N. Morgenland) cites from Dampier a similar experience; lepers begging alms from voyagers on the river Camboga, when they approached their village, crying to them from afar. They could not heal them, but they gave them a little rice.12. ten men that were lepers] So in 2 Kings 7:3 we find four lepers together. The one Samaritan would not have been allowed to associate with the nine Jews had not leprosy obliterated religious distinctions, as it still sadly does in the leper-houses (Biut el Masakin, ‘Abodes of the Unfortunate’) at Jerusalem, where alone Jews and Mahometans will live together.
which stood afar off~] as the Law required, Leviticus 13:45-46. See on Luke 5:12. Usually they stood at the roadside, as they still do, clamorously demanding alms, but they had heard the fame of Jesus, and asked from Him a vaster benefit.Verses 12, 13. - And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their vetoes, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. These met him somewhere outside the village-separated by the fact of their unhappy malady, leprosy, from their fellows, in accordance with the old Mosaic Law of Leviticus 13:46, "He is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be." These had no doubt heard of the many lepers who had been healed by the Galilaean Teacher who was then drawing nigh the village. They did not venture to approach him, but they attracted his attention with their hoarse, sad cry. The legal distance which these unfortunates were compelled to keep from passers-by was a hundred paces. He does not seem to have touched them, or talked with them, but with an impressive majesty bids them go and return thanks for their cure, which his will had already accomplished. They evidently believed implicitly in his healing power, for without further question they went on their way as he had commanded, and as they went the poor sufferers felt a new and, to them, a quite strange thrill of health course through their veins; they felt their prayer was granted, and that the fell disease had left them. They were not sent to the capital city; any priest in any town was qualified to pronounce on the completeness of a cure in this malady (Leviticus 14:2-32).
See on Luke 5:12.
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