And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God has visited his people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A great prophet.—This, we must remember, was the first instance of our Lord’s power as put forth to raise the dead, that of Jairus’s daughter following in Luke 8:40-56. In the history of the Old Testament there were examples of such wonders having been wrought by Elijah (1Kings 17:22) and Elisha (2Kings 4:34), and the people drew the natural inference that here there was at least a prophet of the same order.Luke 7:16. And there came a fear on all — All the people present, being sensible that Jesus showed, in this instance, not only the greatness of his power, but the truth of his mission from God, were seized with a religious awe and reverence, which had him for its object. And they glorified God — For the Lord and his goodness, as well as the Lord and his greatness, are to be feared and glorified; saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us. This was the inference which they drew from the miracle, that God had again graciously regarded his ancient people, by raising up among them an extraordinary prophet, as he had often done in former ages. It was indeed reasonable to conclude that the person must be divinely inspired, who could thus restore the dead to life; nay, and that he was the great prophet they had been long looking for, and that in and by him God had visited his people to redeem them, as was expected, Luke 1:68. This would be life from the dead indeed, to all them that waited for the consolation of Israel. And when dead souls are thus raised to spiritual life, by a divine power going along with the gospel, we must glorify God, and look upon it as his graciously visiting his people. And this rumour of him went forth — Wherever this miracle was reported, which was not only in Judea, but in all the neighbouring regions, it produced the same opinion in those who heard of it, namely, that God had visited his people in an extraordinary way, and had raised up among them a very eminent prophet, which greatly heightened and increased the mighty expectations from him, which long before they had begun to entertain. “The ancients,” says Grotius, “observe, that in three of the miracles, performed by Jesus after his sermon on the mount, the three kinds of God’s benefits are represented to us: 1st, Of those which are conferred upon our suing to God for them ourselves, as in the case of the leper. 2d, Of those which are obtained for us by the prayers of others, as in the case of the centurion’s servant. And, 3d, Of those which God bestows out of his own free mercy, as in the present case. To which kind of mercy the apostles very justly refer the calling of the Gentiles.”
Glorified God - Praised or honored God that he had sent such a prophet.
And, That God hath visited his people - Some said one thing and some another, but all expressing their belief that God had showed special favor to the people.
Hath visited - See Luke 1:68.
The raising of this young man was one of the most decisive and instructive of our Lord's miracles. There was no doubt that he was dead. There could be no delusion, and no agreement to impose on the people. He came near to the city with no reference to this young man; he met the funeral procession, as it were, by accident, and by a word he restored him to life. All those who had the best opportunity of judging - the mother, the friends - believed him to be dead, and were about to bury him. The evidence that he came to life was decisive. He sat up, he spoke, and "all" were impressed with the full assurance that God had raised him to life. Many witnesses were present, and none doubted that Jesus "by a word" had restored him to his weeping mother.
The whole scene was affecting. Here was a widowed mother who was following her only son, her stay and hope, to the grave. He was carried along - one in the prime of life and the only comfort of his parent - impressive proof that the young, the useful, the vigorous, and the lovely may die. Jesus met them, apparently a stranger. He approached the procession as if he had something important to say; he touched the bier and the procession stood still. He was full of compassion for the weeping parent, and by a word restored the youth, stretched upon the bier, to life. He sat up, and spoke. Jesus therefore had power over the dead. He also has power to raise sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, to life. He can speak the word, and, though in their death of sin they are borne along toward ruin, he can open their eyes, and raise them up, and restore them revived to real life or to their friends. Often he raises up children in this manner, and gives them, converted to God, to their friends, imparting as real joy as he gave to the widow of Nain by raising her son from the dead, And every child should remember, if he has pious parents, that there is "no way" in which he can give so much joy to them as by embracing Him who is the resurrection and the life, and resolving to live to his glory.Luke 1:65. Such was this; for it issued in a predication of the name of God, and a giving to him praise and glory; for that a great Prophet was risen amongst them. Thus far God blessed this miracle, to make them look upon Christ as a Prophet, a great Prophet; and to look upon God’s act in his sending him as an act of great kindness to the Jews, for that is here plainly understood by them, saying,
God hath visited his people, as before, Luke 1:68; and this rumour was spread abroad throughout all that country.
and they glorified God; they praised him, and gave thanks to him, ascribing this amazing action to divine power, and gave God the glory of it; and blessed him for the Messiah, who was sent unto them, as they concluded Jesus to be, from this wonderful instance:
saying, that a great prophet is risen up among us; even that great prophet Moses wrote of, and said should be raised up from among the children of Israel, Deuteronomy 18:15 and that God hath visited his people. The Arabic version adds, "for good". For God sometimes visits for evil, in a wave of wrath and sore displeasure; but this was a visitation for good: they concluded that God had looked upon them with a look of love, and had a gracious regard to them, and had sent them the Messiah, who, they hoped, would deliver them from the Roman yoke; as he had formerly looked upon, and visited their fathers, and sent a redeemer to them, to deliver them from Egyptian bondage. The Ethiopic version renders it, "and God hath mercy on his people"; and the Persic version, "God hath looked upon his people, and hath taken care of them."And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 7:16-17. Φόβος] Fear, the first natural impression, Luke 5:26.
ὅτι … καὶ ὅτι] not recitative (so usually), but argumentative (Bornemann), as Luke 1:25 : (we praise God) because … and because. The recitative ὅτι occurs nowhere (not even in Luke 4:10) twice in the same discourse; moreover, it is quite arbitrary to assume that in the second half, which is by no means specifically different from the first, we have the words of others (Paulus, Kuinoel, Bleek).
They saw in this miracle a σημεῖον of a great prophet, and in His appearance they saw the beginning of the Messianic deliverance (comp. Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78).
ὁ λόγος οὗτος] This saying, namely, that a great prophet with his claim made good by a raising from the dead, etc.
ἐν ὅλῃ τ. Ἰουδ.] a pregnant expression: in the whole of Judaea, whither the saying had penetrated. Comp. Thucyd. iv. 42: ἐν Λευκαδίᾳ ἀπῄεσαν. Judaea is not here to be understood in the narrower sense of the province, as though this were specified as the theatre of the incident (Weizsäcker), but in the wider sense of Palestine in general (Luke 1:5); and by ἐν πάσῃ τῇ περιχώρῳ, which is not to be referred to the neighbourhood of Nain (Köstlin, p. 231), it is asserted that the rumour had spread abroad even beyond the limits of Palestine.
περὶ αὐτοῦ] so that He was mentioned as the subject of the rumour. Comp. Luke 5:15.
The natural explanation of this miracle as of the awakening of a person only apparently dead (Paulus, Ammon; comp. Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 233) so directly conflicts with the Gospel narrative, and, moreover, places Jesus in so injurious a light of dissimulation and pretence, that it is decisively to be rejected, even apart from the fact that in itself it would be improbable, nay monstrous, to suppose that as often as dead people required His help, He should have chanced every time upon people only apparently dead (to which class in the end even He Himself also must have belonged after His crucifixion!). Further, the allegorical explanation (Weisse), as well as also the identification of this miracle with the narrative of the daughter of Jairus (Gfrörer, Heil. Sage, I. p. 194), and finally, the mythical solution (Strauss), depend upon subjective assumptions, which are not sufficient to set aside the objective historical testimony, all the more that this testimony is conjoined, in respect of the nature of the miracle, with that of Matthew (Jairus’ daughter) and that of John (Lazarus); and to suspect the three narratives of raisings from the dead taken together because of the gradual climax of their attendant circumstances (Woolston, Strauss: death-bed, coffin, grave) is inadmissible, because Luke has not the history of the raising on the death-bed until later (Luke 8:50 ff.), and therefore was not consciously aware of that progression to a climax. The raisings of the dead, attested beyond all doubt by all the four evangelists, referred to by Jesus Himself among the proofs of His divine vocation (Matthew 11:5; Luke 7:22), kept in lively remembrance in the most ancient church (Justin, Ap. i. 48. 22; Origen, c. Cels. ii. 48), and hence not to be left on one side as problematical (Schleiermacher, Weizsäker), are analogous σημεῖα of the specific Messianic work of the future ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν.Luke 7:16. φόβος: the awe natural to all, and especially simple people, in presence of the preternatural.—προφήτης μέγας, a great prophet, like Elisha, who had wrought a similar miracle at Shunem, near by (2 Kings 4).—ἐπεσκέψατο, visited graciously, as in Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78.16. a great prophet] The expectation of the return of Elijah, Jeremiah, or “one of the Prophets” was at that time widely spread. See on Luke 9:8; Luke 9:19.
God hath visited his people] Compare Luke 1:68; John 3:2.Luke 7:16. Προφήτης, a prophet) Hebr. נביא is not only one who predicts the future, but one who imparts to men divine gifts, lessons.—καὶ ὅτι) By this formula the two epiphonemata [exclamations subjoined to the narrative which gave rise to them] are divided from one another.—[ἐπεσκέψατο, hath visited) For that visitation we have even still reason to celebrate the divine love to man, φιλανθρωπία.—V. g.]Verse 16. - And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. With the exception of two or three like the centurion, whose sick servant was healed, this was the general conception which the people had of Jesus - a fear is mentioned in this place - the natural result of the marvellous works, especially those worked in the case of the already dead, but nothing more. The sublime humility of the great Wonder-worker failed to persuade the bulk of men and women with whom he came in contact. They could not look on this quiet Rabbi-Physician, who gently put all state and pomp and glory aside, as the Divine Messiah; but that in Jesus Israel possessed a great Prophet the people were persuaded - they recognized that at last, after four long centuries of absence, God again had visited his people. There had arisen in the coasts of Israel no prophet of the Highest since the far-back days of Malachi, some four hundred years before the days of the Lord and his forerunner John.
Lit., as Rev., fear took hold on all.
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