Matthew 9:24
He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Matthew 9:24. He said unto them, Give place — Mark, whose narrative is more particular, says, When he was come in, namely, into the house, he said unto them, Why make ye this ado and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. — As the company at the ruler’s house, when Jesus entered it, were employed in making such lamentation for the damsel as they used to make for the dead, it is evident that they all believed she was actually and finally departed: and when Jesus told them she was not dead, he did not mean that her soul was not separated from her body, but that it was not to continue in a state of separation from it; which was the idea the mourners affixed to the word death. His words, it must be observed, were spoken to those who were preparing for her interment, and performing the funeral rites belonging to it, and therefore only intimate that she was not so dead that they needed to make these preparations. He therefore expresses her state by saying that she slept, using the word in a sense somewhat analogous to that which the Jews put upon it when, in speaking of a person’s death, they call it sleep, to intimate their belief in his existence and happiness in the other world, together with their hope of his future resurrection to a new life. On this occasion, the phrase was made use of with singular propriety to insinuate that, notwithstanding the maid was really dead, she should not long continue so. Jesus was going to raise her from the dead, and would do it with as much ease as they awaked one that was asleep. And they laughed him to scorn — Luke adds, knowing that she was dead; for they had seen all the marks and proofs of death about her. And yet, if they had given themselves time to consider, they might have understood that he spake in this manner to intimate that he was going to raise her from the dead; and the rather, as he had been sent for by her parents to heal her miraculously. But his words were ambiguous, and the mourners naturally took them in the wrong sense. Thus, while Jesus predicted the miracle, to show that it did not happen by accident, he, at the same time, delivered himself in such terms as modestly to avoid the reputation that might have accrued to him from so stupendous a work.

9:18-26 The death of our relations should drive us to Christ, who is our life. And it is high honour to the greatest rulers to attend on the Lord Jesus; and those who would receive mercy from Christ, must honour him. The variety of methods Christ took in working his miracles, perhaps was because of the different frames and tempers of mind, which those were in who came to him, and which He who searches the heart perfectly knew. A poor woman applied herself to Christ, and received mercy from him by the way. If we do but touch, as it were, the hem of Christ's garment by living faith, our worst evils will be healed; there is no other real cure, nor need we fear his knowing things which are a grief and burden to us, but which we would not tell to any earthly friend. When Christ entered the ruler's house, he said, Give place. Sometimes, when the sorrow of the world prevails, it is difficult for Christ and his comforts to enter. The ruler's daughter was really dead, but not so to Christ. The death of the righteous is in a special manner to be looked on as only a sleep. The words and works of Christ may not at first be understood, yet they are not therefore to be despised. The people were put forth. Scorners who laugh at what they do not understand, are not proper witnesses of the wonderful works of Christ. Dead souls are not raised to spiritual life, unless Christ take them by the hand: it is done in the day of his power. If this single instance of Christ's raising one newly dead so increased his fame, what will be his glory when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation!The maid is not dead, but sleepeth - It cannot be supposed that our Lord means "literally" to say that the child was not dead.

Every possible evidence of her death had been given, and he acted on that himself, and conveyed to the people the idea that he raised her "from the dead." He meant to speak in opposition to their opinions. It is not unlikely that Jairus and the people favored the opinions of the Sadducees, and that "they" understood by her being dead that she had "ceased to be," and that she would never be raised up again. In opposition to this, the Saviour used the expression "she sleepeth;" affirming mildly both that the "body" was dead, and "implying" that "her spirit" still lived, and that she would be raised up again. A similar mode of speaking occurs in John 11:11 "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth." The sacred writers often spoke of the pious dead as "sleeping," 2 Peter 3:4; Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 15:6, 1 Corinthians 15:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15. The meaning of this passage, then, is, the maid has not ceased to "exist;" but, though her body is dead, yet her spirit lives, and she sleeps in the hope of the resurrection.

Laughed him to scorn - Derided him; ridiculed him.

Mt 9:18-26. The Woman with the Issue of Blood Healed.—The Daughter of Jairus Raised to Life. ( = Lu 8:40-56; Mr 5:21-43).

For the exposition, see on [1244]Mr 5:21-43.

Mark saith, Mark 5:39,40, When he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and mother, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. Luke saith, Luke 8:51-53, When he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, ( that is, into the chamber where the dead body lay), save Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. The history is plain: when Christ came into the house, there was a mixed noise of fiddlers or pipers, and mourners. Christ coming in, with Peter, James, and John, asked them what they made such ado for? The maid was not dead, but asleep. They apprehending that she was dead, mocked him. He desires to go into the chamber where the corpse lay; but would suffer none but Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the maid, to go in with him; the reason appeareth afterward, because he did not desire that this miracle should be presently published. The only question is, in what sense our Saviour saith, she is not dead, but sleepeth; whereas they knew she was dead.

1. Some think our Saviour speaketh ambiguously, for death is in Scripture often called a sleep, 1 Kings 14:20 John 11:11 Acts 7:60 1 Corinthians 15:6 with respect to the resurrection.

2. Others think that our Saviour speaks ironically, knowing that some of them would so diminish the miracle, to calumniate him, or abate his reputation. But it is a better answer to say that he speaks with reference to their opinion; she is not dead in that sense you judge her dead, so as she shall not come to life before the resurrection; she is not so dead but she shall come to life again; as he said to Mary concerning Lazarus, John 11:23.

3. Or, to me she is not dead.

4. Or shall we say, as soon as Christ was come into the house, who is the resurrection, and the life, John 11:25, her soul again returned into her body, which though to their appearance it was separated from her body, was not yet fixed in its eternal mansion?

In what sense soever he spake it, they judged it ridiculous, and laughed him to scorn.

And he said unto them, give place,.... Depart, be gone; for he put them out of the room, and suffered none to be with him, when he raised her from the dead, but Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the child, who were witnesses enough of this miracle.

For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth: not but that she was really dead; and Christ signifies as much, when he says, she "sleepeth"; a phrase that is often used in (e) Talmudic writings, for one that is dead: but Christ's meaning is, that she was not so dead as the company thought; as always to remain in the state of the dead, and not to be restored to life again: whereas our Lord signifies, it would be seen in a very little time, that she should be raised again, just as a person is awaked out of sleep; so that there was no occasion to make such funeral preparations as they did. The Jews say (f) of some of their dead, that they are asleep, and not dead: it is said, Isaiah 26:19 "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust".

"These, say they, are they that sleep and die not; and such are they that sleep in Hebron, for they , "do not die, but sleep", --the four couples in Hebron (Adam and Eve, &c.) they "sleep, but are not dead".''

And they laughed him to scorn; they mocked at his words, and had him in the utmost contempt, as a very weak silly man; taking him either to be a madman, or a fool; knowing that she was really dead, of which they had all the evidence they could have; and having no faith at all in him, and in his power to raise her from the dead.

(e) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 6. 1. Avoda Zara, fol. 42. 3. Bereshit Rabba Parash. 91. fol. 79. 3.((f) Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 4.

He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 9:24-25. The maid, is not to be regarded as being permanently dead, but only as sleeping and certain to come to life again, like one who awakens out of sleep. Thus, from the standpoint of His own purpose, does Jesus clearly and confidently speak of her actual death. “Certus ad miraculum accedit,” Bengel. It is wrong to found upon these words the supposition of a mere apparent death (Paulus, Schleiermacher, Olshausen, Ewald, Schenkel; Weizsäcker, without being quite decided). See, on the other hand, John 11:4; John 11:11. This hypothesis is as incompatible with the view of the evangelists as it is inconsistent with a due regard to the character of Jesus. See Krabbe, p. 327 ff. Keim, again, hesitates to accept the idea of an unreal death, yet continues to harbour doubts as to the historical character of the narrative. He thinks that, at least, the firm faith of the president may be accounted for by the later hopes of Christianity, which may have prompted the desire to see, in the risen Christ, the future restorer of the dead already manifesting Himself as such in His earthly ministry,—a matter in connection with which the statement in Matthew 11:5 and the parallel of Elias and Elisha (1 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 4:8; 2 Kings 4:18. Comp. Strauss) also fall to be considered. Surely, however, a legendary anticipation of this sort would have been far more fertile in such stories! Then, apart even from the raising of Lazarus related by John, we have always (Matthew 11:5) to show how hazardous it must be to relegate to the region of myths those cases in which Jesus raises the dead, considering what a small number of them is reported.

ἐξεβλήθη] Comp. Matthew 21:12. The request to retire (ἀναχωρεῖτε, Matthew 9:24) not having been complied with, a thrusting out follows. Mark 1:43; Acts 9:40.

Notice in εἰσελθών (viz. into the chamber of death) the noble simplicity of the concise narrative.

τὸ κορασιον] See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 74; on ἡ φήμη, Wyttenbach, ad Julian. Or. I. p. 159, Lps.

Matthew 9:24. ἀναχωρεῖτε, retire! Hired mourners distasteful to Jesus, who gladly avails Himself of this opportunity of dismissing them.—οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανε: no need of you yet, for the maid (κοράσιον, dim. for κόρη, but = puella in late Greek) is not dead. A welcome word to naturalistic commentators, giving a plausible basis for the hypothesis of an apparent death or swoon (Schleier., Keim, etc.), not to be taken prosaically as meant to deny death. Yet Carr (C. G. T.) thinks it open to question whether it ought not to be taken literally, and doubtful whether κοιμᾶσθαι is ever used in a metaphorical sense in the N. T. or elsewhere. The derisive laughter of the crowd (κατεγέλων) is good evidence to the contrary.—ἐξεβλήθη: not to be pressed as implying physical force, non vi et manibus, sed voce jussuque (Fritzsche), a tone and manner not to be resisted, the house therefore soon cleared of the noisy crowd.

24. is not dead, but sleepeth] These words are reported without variation by the three Synoptists; it is open to question whether they ought not to be taken literally. The word for sleepeth (καθεύδει) does not bear the metaphorical force of κοιμᾶσθαι; and the statement of Jesus is very explicit.

Matthew 9:24. Ἀναχωρεῖτε, depart) That is, you are not needed here. Our Lord proceeds without hesitation[427] to perform the miracle, cf. ch. Matthew 14:19.—οὐ γὰρ ἀπέθανε τὸ κοράσιον, for the damsel is not dead) Jesus said this before He entered where she was lying dead. The dead all live to God; see Luke 20:38; and the girl, on account of her revival, which was to take place soon, quickly, surely, and easily, was not to be numbered amongst the dead who shall rise hereafter, but amongst those that sleep.—κατεγέλων Αὐτοῦ, they laughed Him to scorn) This very circumstance confirmed the truth of both the death and the miracle. They seem to have feared the loss of their funeral dues.

[427] In the original, “certus ad miraculum accedit”—a phrase which loses half its force in the translation.—(I. B.)

Verse 24. - He said unto them, Give place; withdraw (ἀναχωρεῖτε). This is no room for mourners (cf. Acts 9:40). For the maid; damsel (Revised Version). to assimilate this and ver. 25 to the other passages where κοράσιον is found. Is not dead, but sleepeth. Our Lord looks forward to the result of his coming. So also probably Acts 20:10. To take our Lord's words here as a literal statement of a present fact, meaning that she was only in a trance, is to contradict the words of the messenger (parallel passages), our next succeeding clause, and Luke's addition to it, "knowing that she was dead." And they laughed him to scorn. Bengel suggests that they were afraid of losing the payment for their work. Matthew 9:24
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