For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and you say, He has a devil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For John the Baptist came . . .—The substantives “bread” and “wine” are not found in St. Matthew’s report.Matthew 11:16-19. "And the Lord said." This clause is wanting in almost all the manuscripts, and is omitted by the best critics. See Poole on "Luke 7:31"
came neither eating bread, nor drinking wine; which were the common food and drink of men, but his diet were locusts and wild honey, and from this he often abstained; nor would he attend festivals and entertainments, or be free and sociable with men: "bread" and "wine" are here mentioned, which are not in Matthew:
and ye say, he hath a devil; is mad, or melancholy; for madness and melancholy, or the hypochondriac disorder, was by them sometimes imputed to a diabolical possession, and influence, as the cause of it; and though these men pretended to great austerity of life, and frequent fastings, yet John was too abstemious for them, and they could not agree with his doctrine nor method of living; See Gill on Matthew 12:18.For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)33. neither eating bread nor drinking wine] “His meat was locusts and wild honey,” Matthew 3:4. Being a Nazarite he drank no wine, Luke 1:15; see 2Es 9:24.
He hath a devil] They sneered at him for a moody or melancholy temperament which they attributed to an evil spirit. This in fact was their coarse way of describing any peculiarity or exaltation which struck them as strange. At a later period they said the same of Christ, John 7:20; John 10:20.Luke 7:33. Ἄρτον, bread) In the baking of bread, art intervenes: but John used whatever food was thrown in his way altogether unartificial.—καὶ λέγετε, and ye say) See Luke 7:39, where similar bad language was being spoken in the heart of a Pharisee.Verse 33. - For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine. Referring to his austere life spent in the desert, apart from the ordinary joys and pleasures of men, not even sharing in what are usually termed the necessities of life. He was, in addition, a perpetual Nazarite, and as such no wine or fermented drink ever passed his lips. And ye say, He hath a devil. Another way for expressing their conviction that the great desert-preacher was insane, and assigning a demoniacal possession as the cause of madness. Not very long after this incident the curtain of death fell on the earthly scene of John's life. "We fools accounted his life madness, and his end to be without honour: how is he numbered among the children of God, and his lot is among the saints!" (Wisd. 5:4, 5). We. may be quite sure that "in the fiery furnace God walked with his servant, so that his spirit was not harmed, and having thus annealed his nature to the utmost that this earth can do, he took him hastily away and placed him among the glorified in heaven" (Irving, quoted by Farrar).
Peculiar to Luke.
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