Matthew 4:23
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Preaching the gospel of the kingdom.—As far as regards St. Matthew this is the first occurrence of the phrase. It tells of a vast amount of unrecorded teaching, varying in form, yet essentially the same—a call to repentance—the good news of a kingdom of heaven not far off—the witness, by act for the most part rather than words, that He was Himself the Head of that kingdom.

Healing all manner of sickness.—In the Greek, as in the English, sickness implies a less serious form of suffering than “disease,” as the “torments” of the next verse imply, in their turn, something more acute. St. Matthew’s first mention of our Lord’s miracles cannot be read without interest. It will be seen that they are referred to, not directly as evidence of a supernatural mission, but almost, so to speak, as the natural accompaniments of His work; signs, not of power only or chiefly, but of the love, tenderness, pity, which were the true marks or “notes” of the kingdom of heaven. Restoration to outward health was at once the pledge that the Son of Man had not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them, and often, we cannot doubt, served to strengthen that faith in the love of the Father, some degree of which was all but invariably required as an antecedent condition of the miracle (Matthew 13:58).

Matthew 4:23. And Jesus went about all Galilee — Accompanied, it seems, by the four disciples above named; teaching in their synagogues — The word, συναγωγη, rendered, synagogue, may either signify the congregation, or the place in which they assembled. But it seems here, and generally, to mean the latter. Synagogues were in every city, from the time of the Babylonish captivity, and perhaps before that time. For, it is certain, the Jews neither did nor could assemble in the temple at Jerusalem for public worship every sabbath day, and therefore it is probable they had other places throughout the country to assemble in. This seems, indeed, to have been absolutely necessary, not only that the people might join in prayer together, but to bring them, in some degree, acquainted with the law of God. For, as copies of it were very scarce, the body of the people must, of necessity, have remained ignorant of it, unless it were read to them in public, and that in other places besides the temple, which the women in general could not visit at all, and the men but very seldom. Accordingly, in the 74th Psalm, which, by whomsoever it was composed, plainly speaks of the destruction of the temple, of Jerusalem, and of the Jews, by the Chaldeans, we read of all the synagogues of the land being burned up, which certainly implies that there were synagogues in the land before they were thus destroyed; and therefore before the captivity of Babylon. After the restoration from Babylon, they became very frequent. Even in Jerusalem itself, where one would have imagined they were less necessary, on account of the temple being there, the Hebrew doctors and other ancient and learned writers inform us, that there were above four hundred. It was usual to have service in them thrice a day, on three days of the week, when public prayer was put up, and the Scriptures were read and expounded. And though it belonged chiefly to the priests, Levites, and scribes to teach, yet it was the custom for any one of ability to do it. Preaching the gospel of the kingdom — Namely, that doctrine whereby the kingdom of heaven, that is, of grace here and glory hereafter, is revealed and offered to men, and, by obedience to which, they come to partake of it. Healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people — Intending by these beneficent actions to confirm his doctrine, at the same time that he relieved the temporal distresses of mankind.4:23-25 Wherever Christ went, he confirmed his Divine mission by miracles, which were emblems of the healing power of his doctrine, and the influences of the Spirit which accompanied it. We do not now find the Saviour's miraculous healing power in our bodies; but if we are cured by medicine, the praise is equally his. Three general words are here used. He healed every sickness or disease; none was too bad; none too hard, for Christ to heal with a word. Three diseases are named; the palsy, which is the greatest weakness of the body; lunacy, which is the greatest malady of the mind; and possession of the devil, which is the greatest misery and calamity of both; yet Christ healed all, and by thus curing bodily diseases, showed that his great errand into the world was to cure spiritual maladies. Sin is the sickness, disease, and torment of the soul: Christ came to take away sin, and so to heal the soul.All Galilee - See the notes at Matthew 2:22.

Synagogues - Places of worship, or places where the people assembled together to worship God. The origin of synagogues is involved in much obscurity. The sacrifices of the Jews were appointed to be held in one place, at Jerusalem. But there was nothing to forbid the other services of religion to be performed at any other place. Accordingly, the praises of God were sung in the schools of the prophets; and those who chose were assembled by the prophets and seers on the Sabbath, and the new moons, for religious worship, 2 Kings 4:23; 1 Samuel 10:5-11. The people would soon see the necessity of providing convenient places for their services, to shelter them from storms and from the heat, and this was probably the origin of synagogues. At what time they were commenced is unknown. They are mentioned by Josephus a considerable time before the coming of Christ; and in his time they were multiplied, not only in Judea, but wherever there were Jews. There were no less than 480 in Jerusalem alone before it was taken by the Romans.

Synagogues were built in any place where ten men were found who were willing to associate for the purpose, and were the regular customary places of worship. In them the law, i. e. the Old Testament, divided into suitable portions, was read, prayers were offered, and the Scriptures were expounded. The law was so divided that the five books of Moses, and portions of the prophets, could be read through each year. The Scriptures. after being read, were expounded. This was done, either by the officers of the synagogue, or by any person who might be invited by the officiating minister. Our Saviour and the apostles were in the habit of attending at those places continually, and of speaking to the people, Luke 4:15-27; Acts 13:14-15.

The synagogues were built in imitation of the temple, with a center building, supported by pillars, and a court surrounding it. See the notes at Matthew 21:12. In the center building, or chapel, was a place prepared for the reading of the law. The law was kept in a chest, or ark, near to the pulpit. The uppermost seats Matthew 23:6 were those nearest to the pulpit. The people sat around, facing the pulpit. When the law was read, the officiating person rose; when it was expounded, he was seated. Our Saviour imitated their example, and was commonly seated in addressing the people, Matthew 5:1; Matthew 13:1.

Teaching - Instructing the people, or explaining the gospel.

The gospel of the kingdom - The good news respecting the kingdom he was about to set up; or the good news respecting the coming of the Messiah and the nature of his kingdom.

Preaching - See the notes at Matthew 3:1.

All manner of sickness - All kinds of sickness.

23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues—These were houses of local worship. It cannot be proved that they existed before the Babylonish captivity; but as they began to be erected soon after it, probably the idea was suggested by the religious inconveniences to which the captives had been subjected. In our Lord's time, the rule was to have one wherever ten learned men or professed students of the law resided; and they extended to Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, and most places of the dispersion. The larger towns had several, and in Jerusalem the number approached five hundred. In point of officers and mode of worship, the Christian congregations are modelled after the synagogue.

and preaching the gospel of the kingdom—proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom,

and healing all manner of sickness—every disease.

and all manner of disease among the people—every complaint. The word means any incipient malady causing "softness."

Jesus Christ having now called four disciples, did not judge it sufficient to send them about, but himself went about all the places of that dark country of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues; the word signifieth both the congregation convened and the place. Here it signifieth both. Synagogues were of old time, Acts 15:21; how ancient we know not. Some think that they were no older than the return out of the captivity of Babylon: but I am posed then in determining where the body of the Jews ordinarily worshipped God on the sabbath days, for it is certain they did not all go up to the temple at Jerusalem. In the Old Testament we read of them only, Psalm 74:8, as at that time burnt up. As to the order of them, we only read, that they had some rulers, Acts 13:15, who directed those who were to speak words of exhortation. The Scriptures were read in them, Acts 15:21; the law and the prophets, Acts 13:15. They prayed in them, Matthew 6:5; they expounded Scripture in them, Luke 4:16-19. Christ preached in the synagogues; not only there, we shall find him preaching on the mount in the next chapter, and in private houses; but he did not decline the synagogues, either as to preaching or hearing, not wholly separating from a church corrupt enough through traditions, but not idolatrous. But what did he preach?

The gospel of the kingdom; the glad tidings for lost sinners, that was come into the world, by the revelation of him, who was the true Messias, and the true and only way by which men might come to the kingdom of God, and be eternally saved. This is what all his ministers should publish; not their own conceits, or dictates of men, or things impertinent to the salvation of souls, but

the gospel of the kingdom. And healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease amongst the people: the Greek is, all diseases and sicknesses, yet surely some died in Galilee in that time. This is another text, to prove that the term all in Scripture doth not always signify every individual, but some individuals of every, species. Christ confirmed his doctrine, and Divine mission, by these miraculous operations. And Jesus went about all Galilee,.... Having called four of his disciples, he took a tour throughout Galilee; a country mean and despicable, inhabited by persons poor, illiterate, vile, and wicked: such had the first fruits of Christ's ministry, and messages of his grace; which shows the freeness, sovereignty, and riches, of his abounding goodness. He went about "all" this country, both upper and nether Galilee, which was very populous: Josephus says (l), there were two hundred and four cities and towns in it; he means, which were places of note, besides villages. He went about, not like Satan, seeking the destruction of men; but as one that went along with him says, "doing good", Acts 10:38, both to the bodies and souls of men; for he was

teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom. The places where he taught were "their synagogues": he did not creep into private houses, as the Pharisees then, and false apostles afterwards did; but he appeared openly, and declared his doctrine in places of public worship; where the Jews met together for divine service, to pray, read the Scriptures, and give a word of exhortation to the people; for though they had but one temple, which was at Jerusalem, they had many synagogues, or meeting places, all over the land: here Christ not only prayed and read, but "preached"; and the subject matter of his ministry was, "the Gospel of the kingdom": that is, the good news of the kingdom of the Messiah being come, and which now took place; wherefore he exhorted them to repent of, and relinquish their former principles; to receive the doctrines, and submit to the ordinances of the Gospel dispensation: he also preached to them the things concerning the kingdom of heaven; as that except a man be born again, he cannot see it; and unless he has a better righteousness than his own, he cannot enter into it: he was also

healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people. It is in the Greek text, "every sickness and every disease"; that is, all sorts of maladies, disorders and distempers, which attend the bodies of men; and is another instance, besides Matthew 3:5 in which the word "all", or "every", is to be taken in a limited and restrained sense, for "some", or "some of all sorts"; which teaches us how to understand those phrases, when used in the doctrine of redemption by Christ.

(l) In vita ejus.

And {4} Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in {h} their {i} synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the {k} kingdom, and healing {l} all manner of sickness and all manner of {m} disease among the people.

(4) Christ assures the hearts of the believers of his spiritual and saving virtue, by healing the diseases of the body.

(h) Their, that is, the Galilaeans.

(i) Synagogues, that is, the Churches of the Jews.

(k) Of the Messiah.

(l) Diseases of all kinds, but not every disease: that is, as we say, some of every kind.

(m) The word properly signifies the weakness of the stomach: but here it is taken for those diseases which make those that have them faint and wear away.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 4:23-24 serve by way of introduction to the Sermon on the Mount, where the description is manifestly exaggerated as regards the time of the first ministry of Jesus, and betray the work of a later hand in the redaction of our Gospel. Comp. Matthew 9:35.

The synagogues were places of assembly for public worship, where on Sabbaths and feast days (at a later period, also on the second and fifth days of the week, Jerusalem Megillah, f. 75. 1; Babylonian Bava Cama, f. 82. 1) the people met together for prayer, and to listen to the reading of portions of the Old Testament, which were translated and explained in the vernacular dialect. With the permission of the president, any one who was fitted might deliver addresses. Vitringa, de synagoga veterum, Franecker 1696; Keil, Archäol. § 30; Leyrer in Herzog’s Encykl. XV. p. 299 ff.; Keim, Gesch. J. I. p. 432 ff.

αὐτῶν] of the Galileans.

πᾶσαν] every kind of sickness which was brought to Him. See Hermann, ad Viger. p. 728, μαλακία, weakness, deprivation of strength through sickness. Herod. Vit. Hom. 36, and often in the LXX. Comp. μαλακίζομαι and μαλακιῶ, Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 389. In the N. T. only in Matthew (Matthew 10:35, Matthew 10:1).

ἐν τῷ λαῷ] belongs to θεραπ. Comp. Acts 5:12; Acts 6:8.

Observe that such summary accumulations of the activity of Jesus in healing as Matthew 5:23 f. (Matthew 8:16, Matthew 12:15) are not mentioned in John’s Gospel. They are, moreover, especially at so early a date, not in keeping with the gradual progress of the history, although explicable enough in the case of a simple historian, who, easily anticipating the representation which he had formed from the whole history, gives a summary statement in the account of a single portion of the narrative.Matthew 4:23-25. Summary account of the Galilean ministry. A colourless general statement serving as a mere prelude to chapters 5–9. It points to a ministry in Galilee, varied, extensive, and far-famed, conceived by the evangelist as antecedent to the Sermon on the Mount; not necessarily covering a long period of time, though if the expression “teaching in their synagogues” be pressed it must imply a good many weeks (vide on Mk.). The ministry embraced three functions: διδάσκων, κηρύσσων, θεραπεύων (Matthew 4:23), teaching, preaching, healing. Jesus was an evangelist, a master, and a healer of disease. Matt. puts the teaching function first in accordance with the character of his gospel. The first gospel is weak in the evangelistic element compared with the third: διδαχή is more prominent than κήρυγμα. The healing function is represented as exercised on a large scale: πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν, every form of disease and ailment. Euthy. Zig. defines νόσος as the chronic subversion of health (ἡ χρονία παρατροπὴ τῆς τοῦ σώματος ἕξεως), μαλακία as the weakness in which it begins (ἀρχὴ χαυνώσεως σώματος, προάγγελος νόσου). The subjects of healing are divided into two classes, Matthew 4:24. They brought to Him πάντας τ. κ. ἐχ. ποικίλαις νόσοις, all who were Afflicted with various diseases (such as fever, leprosy, blindness); also those βασάνοις συνεχομένους, seized with diseases of a tormenting nature, of which three classes are named—the καὶ in T. R. before δαιμον. is misleading; the following words are epexegetical: δαιμονιζομένους, σεληνιαζομένους, παραλυτικούς = demoniacs, epileptics (their seizures following the phases of the moon), paralytics. These forms of disease are graphically called torments. (βάσανος, first a touch-stone, lapis Lydius, as in Pindar, Pythia, x. 105: Πειρῶντι δὲ καὶ χρυσὸς ἐν βασάνῳ πρέπει καὶ νόος ὀρθός; then an instrument of torture to extract truth; then, as here, tormenting forms of disease.) The fame, ἡ ἀκοὴ, of such a marvellous ministry naturally spread widely, εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν, throughout the whole province to which Palestine belonged, among Gentiles as well as Jews. Crowds gathered around the wonderful Man from all quarters: west, east, north, south; Galilee, Decapolis on the eastern side of the lake, Jerusalem and Judaea, Peraea. With every allowance for the exaggeration of a popular account, this speaks to an extraordinary impression.23. their synagogues] The synagogue, built on a hill or on the highest place in the city, distinguished sometimes by a tall pole corresponding to a modern steeple, was as familiar and conspicuous in a Jewish town as the Church is in an English village. Sometimes, however, the synagogue was placed on the bank of a river. Sometimes it was constructed without a roof and open to the sky.

1. Divine service was held in the synagogue on the Sabbath and also on the second and fifth day of each week.

2. The service consisted in reading the Law and the Prophets by those who were called upon by the “Angel of the Church,” and in prayers offered up by the minister for the people; the people responding “Amen” as with us.

3. But the Synagogues were not churches alone. Like Turkish mosques they were also Courts of Law in which the sentence was not only pronounced but executed, “they shall scourge you in their synagogues.” Further, the Synagogues were Public Schools, “the boys that were scholars were wont to be instructed before their masters in the synagogue” (Talmud). Lastly, the Synagogues were the Divinity Schools or Theological Colleges among the Jews.

4. The affairs of the Synagogue were administered by ten men, of whom three, called “Rulers of the Synagogue,” acted as judges, admitted proselytes and performed other important functions. A fourth was termed the “Angel of the Church” or bishop of the congregation; three others were deacons or almoners. An eighth acted as “interpreter,” rendering the Hebrew into the Vernacular; the ninth was the master of the Divinity School, the tenth his interpreter; see ch. Matthew 10:27.

It is interesting to trace in the arrangements of the Synagogue part of the organization of the Christian Church. This note is chiefly due to Lightfoot ad loc.

preaching the gospel of the kingdom] i. e. “heralding the good tidings,” for the thought see ch. Matthew 4:3 note, and cp. Isaiah 40.

The word translated gospel does not occur in St Luke or St John, it is a favourite word with St Paul, but is elsewhere used twice only in the N. T., viz. 1 Peter 4:17 and Revelation 14:6.

It is desirable to observe the original and spiritual form of the expression, “to preach the gospel,” for the words are sometimes used in a narrow and polemical sense.

23–25. Jesus preaches the Gospel and cures Diseases in Galilee

Special instances of cure are recorded in Mark 1:13 and foll.; Luke 4:31 and foll.Matthew 4:23. Καὶ περιῆγεν, κ.τ.λ., And Jesus went about, etc.) Thus, also, clearly in ch. Matthew 9:35.[161]—κηρύσσων, preaching) His teaching in the synagogues was public, but His preaching more public still.—See ch. Matthew 10:27, and Matthew 11:1; comp. also Luke 8:39 : John 3:2; John 3:4.—τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, the Gospel) The chief teaching of Christ was the Gospel: the other things which He taught concerned only the removing impediments [to its saving reception].—τῆς βασιλείας, of the kingdom) sc. of God. In Holy Scripture God is the perpetual object of contemplation.—πᾶσαν, every) No one sick or dead, whom Jesus met, remained in sickness or death.—νόσον disease) νόσος; signifies a disease of the whole body: μαλακία, an infirmity of any particular part, attended with pain: βἀσανος (Matthew 4:24), a torture, or malady accompanied by excruciating pain:μάστιξ (Luke 7:21), a scourge.—ἐν τῷ λαῷ, among the people) Among the people of Israel: and it was among the people, [i.e., in public,] that, as the sick were promiscuously brought to Him, even those were healed whose disease was a matter of public notoriety; see John 9:8, and Acts 3:10. But in the case of miracles of later times, men, or dumb images, to whom they are pretended to have happened, are thrust forth from some obscure nook or other by collusion.

[161] See also Mark 6:6; Acts 10:38, etc. It was by this system that He, in so short a mininstry, benefited a vast multitude of men by His teaching and miracles; thereby He the more trained His disciples; and, moreover, produced this effect, that men, so far from being weary of Him, even from time to time conceived the stronger yearning desire after Him.—Harm., p. 235, 236.Verses 23-25. - The firstfruits of popular enthusiasm. As on Christ's call a few followed him (vers. 20-22), so after his circuit in Galilee did crowds, from all parts of the Holy Land, also follow him (ver. 25), though less immediately and devotedly. As to these verses (23-25), notice -

(1) Nearly all ver. 23 recurs in Matthew 9:35.

(2) Vers. 24, 25 occur in the parallels in different connexions. St. Mark places them in Matthew 3:7, 8, after he has recorded details of many miracles which are found later in Matthew. St. Luke places them in Matthew 6:17, 18, immediately before the sermon on the mount (as in Matthew), but after the call of the Twelve.

(3) St. Matthew, therefore, did not arrange his Gospel with a sole regard to chronology.

(4) The verses are clearly a summary of our Lord's work and influence in the early part of his ministry.

(5) Weiss ('Manual,' 2:277, etc.) considers that vers. 23 and 24 are a heading to the description of the teaching and healing activity of Jesus (Matthew 4:25 - 9:34), and that the repetition of ver. 23 in Matthew 9:35 marks the heading of the next section (Matthew 9:36-14:12). It is, indeed, remarkable that in Matthew 9:35 it occurs just before the definite setting apart of the twelve, and again that the phrase, "And seeing the multitudes," is found both in Matthew 5:1 and in Matthew 9:36. Possibly the saying was part of the original setting of the two discourses, ch. 5-7. and ch. 10. Verse 23. - And Jesus went about all Galilee; in all Galilee (Revised Version, with the manuscripts). This indicates, not so much systematic itineration round the cities in order (contrast the simple accusative in Matthew 9:35 [Mark 6:6]; 23. 15), as going hither and thither among them (cf. Acts 13:11). All (Matthew 8:34, note). Teaching... preaching... healing. Our Lord, unlike the Baptist, takes men as and where he can find them; the religious, by teaching in the synagogues; the mass of people, by preaching, presumably in public places; the sick, by healing them wherever they are brought to him. Notice the threefold cord of all Christ-like ministry - teaching, especially those who have desires heavenwards; preaching, especially to the unconverted; healing, which cares for all physical life. Synagogues. (For a detailed account, vide Schurer, II. 2. pp. 52, etc.; and for a short account, vide Keil, 'Arch.,' § 30.) "The synagogues were places of assembly for public worship, where on sabbaths and feast-days (at a later period, also on the second and fifth days of the week) the people met together for prayer, and to listen to the reading of portions of the Old Testament, which were translated and explained in the vernacular dialect. With the permission of the president, any one who was fitted might deliver addresses" (Meyer). The gospel. The first time it occurs in the text of St. Matthew. Of the kingdom. The phrase is used thus absolutely only elsewhere in Matthew 9:35 and Matthew 24:14 (Mark 1:15 is a false reading). This expression (with ver. 17, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand") is the earliest form of the message. The good news centred in the kingdom, i.e. the realization of the position accepted by the nation at Sinai, with all that that involved, (vide Introduction, p. 23.). The phrase, "the gospel of the kingdom," refers only to the blessedness of its approach, and says nothing (unlike ver. 17)of the preparation for it. Healing (θεραπεύων). As compared with ἰάομαι (rare in Matthew, in the active only Matthew 13:15, which is from the LXX., but frequent in Luke) θεραπεύω thinks rather of the healer, who renders the service; ἰάομαι, rather of the healed, the completeness of the cure (cf. Matthew 8:7, 8), Sickness; disease, Revised Version; νόσον, laying stress on the pain and disorder. Disease; sickness, Revised Version; μαλακίαν, laying stress on the weakness. (For the two words in combination, cf. Deuteronomy 7:15.) Among the people (ἐν τῷ λαῷ). These words are wanting in the true text of Matthew 9:35. The people; i.e. the Jews, as contrasted with those included in ver. 24. Not that St. Matthew means to exclude any sick Gentile who happened to be living among the Jews; but in this verse he is thinking only of those who lived near, and he naturally uses the word which connotes the Jewish people. If others came, it was only because they lived ἐν τῷ λαῷ. Sickness, Disease, Torments, Taken, Lunatic

The description of the ailments to which our Lord's power was applied gains in vividness by study of the words in detail. In Matthew 4:23, the Rev. rightly transposes sickness and disease; for νόσος (A. V., sickness) carries the notion of something severe, dangerous, and even violent (compare the Latin noceo, to hurt, to which the root is akin). Homer always represents νόσος as the visitation of an angry deity. Hence used of the plague which Apollo sent upon the Greeks ("Iliad," 1:10). So Sophocles ("Antigone," 421) calls a whirlwind θείαν νόσον (a divine visitation). Disease is, therefore, the more correct rendering as expressing something stronger than sickness or debility. Sickness, however, suits the other word, μαλακίαν. The kindred adjective, μαλακος, means soft, as a couch or newly-ploughed furrow, and thus easily runs into our invidious moral sense of softness, namely, effeminacy or cowardice, and into the physical sense of weakness, sickness. Hence the word emphasizes the idea of debility rather than of violent suffering or danger.

In Matthew 4:24 we have, first, a general expression for ailments of all kinds: all that were sick (lit., all who had themselves in evil case; πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας). Then the idea of suffering is emphasized in the word taken (συνεχομένους), which means literally held-together or compressed; and so the Rev. holden is an improvement on taken, in which the A. V. has followed Wyc. and Tynd. The word is used of the multitude thronging Christ (Luke 8:45). Compare, also, "how am I straitened (Luke 12:50); and I am in a strait (Philippians 1:1-3). Then follow the specific forms of suffering, the list headed again by the inclusive word νόσοις, diseases, and the καὶ following having the force of and particularly. Note the word torments (βασάνοις). Βάσανος originally meant the "Lydian stone," or touchstone, on which pure gold, when rubbed, leaves a peculiar mark. Hence, naturally, a test; then a test or trial by torture. "Most words," says Professor Campbell ("On the Language of Sophocles") have been originally metaphors, and metaphors are continually falling into the rank of words," used by the writer as mere vehicles of expression without any sense of the picturesque or metaphorical element at their core. Thus the idea of a test gradually passes entirely out of Βάσανος leaving merely the idea of suffering or torture. This is peculiarly noticeable in the use of this word and its derivatives throughout the New Testament; for although suffering as a test is a familiar New Testament truth, these words invariably express simply torment or pain. Wycliffe renders, "They offered to him all men having evil, taken with divers sorrows and torments;" and Tyndale, "All sick people that were taken with divers diseases and gripings." Lunatic, or moon-struck, (σεληνιαζομένους), is rendered by Rev. epileptic, with reference to the real or supposed influence of the changes of the moon upon the victims of epilepsy.

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