And when he heard of Jesus, he sent to him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He sent unto him the elders of the Jews.—The noun has no article. Better, He sent unto Him elders; not as the English suggests, the whole body of elders belonging to the synagogue or town. This is peculiar to St. Luke, and is obviously important as bearing on the position and character of the centurion. He was, like Cornelius, at least half a proselyte.
Lu 7:1-10. Centurion's Servant Healed.
(See on Mt 8:5-13.)See Poole on "Luke 7:1"
he sent unto him the elders of the Jews: in whom he had an interest, judging himself, being a Gentile, very unworthy and unfit to go himself, and ask a favour of so great a person as Christ was, such was his modesty and humility. These elders he sent, were not the more ancient inhabitants of the city, called , "the elders of, or among the common people", as distinguished from , "the elders of the law", or those that were old in knowledge; of both which it is said by R. Simeon ben Achasia (m), that
"the elders of the common people, when they grow old, their knowledge fails in them, as it is said, John 12:20 but so it is not with the "elders of the law"; but when they grow old, their knowledge rests in them, as it is said, Job 12:12.''
But these were either some principal officers of the city, called the elders of the people elsewhere; particularly, who were members of the sanhedrim; for as elders, when they design the elders in Jerusalem, mean the great sanhedrim (n) there; so elders, in other places, intend the sanhedrim, consisting of twenty one persons, or the bench of three; and such were these, the centurion sent to Christ:
beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant: he besought him most earnestly by these messengers, that he would come to his house, and cure his servant of the palsy, by laying his hands on him, or commanding the distemper off, by a word speaking; or in what way he should think fit, for he made no doubt that he was able to heal him.And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 7:3. ἀκούσας: reports of previous acts of healing had reached him.—ἀπέστειλε: there is no mention of this fact or of the second deputation (in Luke 7:6) in Mt.’s version. Lk. is evidently drawing from another source, oral or written.—πρεσβυτέρους τῶν Ἰουδαίων, elders of the Jews; the reference is probably to elders of the city rather than to rulers of the synagogue. From the designation “of the Jews” it may be inferred that the centurion was a Pagan, probably in the service of Antipas.—διασώσῃ, bring safely through the disease which threatened life.3. when he heard of Jesus] Rather, having heard about Jesus.
he sent unto him the elders] Rather, elders (Zekanim), with no article. These ‘elders’ were doubtless some of the ten functionaries, whom the Jews also called Parnasim, ‘shepherds.’ Their functions were not in any respect sacerdotal.Luke 7:3. Ἀκούσας, having heard) He had not yet seen Jesus.—πρεσβυτέρους, elders) These, though they were not destitute of faith, Luke 7:4, yet had less faith than he by whom they were being sent, Luke 7:9. Yet nevertheless it is not in vain that they ask in his behalf. [The benefits of Christ at that time appertained especially to the Jews: hence it was becomingly that the Jews in this case acted as intercessors.—V. g.] Often those who have little weight of influence with God, have more power to be of service to others, who are their superiors, than to themselves.Verse 3. - And when he heard of Jesus; better rendered, having heard about Jesus. His fame as a good Physician, such as never had arisen before, coupled with his reputation as a Teacher, had now travelled far and wide. The devout centurion probably had watched with extreme interest the career of the strange and remarkable Teacher-Prophet who had risen up among the people, and had apparently (see note on ver. 7) made up his mind that this Jesus was no mortal man. He sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant; better rendered elders without the article; that is, some of the official elders connected with his own synagogue. These would be able, with more grace than himself, to plead his cause with the Master, telling him how well the centurion had deserved any assistance which a Jewish physician could afford him.
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