New International Version
For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
King James Bible
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
Darby Bible Translation
For *I* also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say to this [one], Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my bondman, Do this, and he does it.
World English Bible
For I am also a man under authority, having under myself soldiers. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and tell another, 'Come,' and he comes; and tell my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Young's Literal Translation
for I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers, and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Be coming, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it.'
Matthew 8:9 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For I am a man under authority - That is, under the authority of others. This verse has given considerable embarrassment to commentators and critics. I believe the paraphrase given above to be the true meaning of the evangelist. To make this matter more plain, let it be observed, that the Roman foot was divided into three grand parts, Hastati, Principes, and Triarii. Each of these grand divisions was composed of thirty manipuli or companies; and every manipulus made two centuries or companies of one hundred men. Every manipulus had two centurions; but these were very far from being equal in rank and honor, though possessing the very same office. The Triarii and Principes were esteemed the most honorable, and had their centurions elected first; and these first elected centurions took precedency of the centurions of the Hastati, who were elected last. The centurion in the text was probably one of this last order; he was under the authority of either the Principes or Triarii, and had none under him but the hundred men whom he commanded, and who appear to have been in a state of the most loving subjection to him. The argument of the centurion seems to run thus. If I, who am a person subject to the control of others, yet have some so completely subject to myself, that I can say to one, Come, and he cometh, to another, Go, and he goeth, and to my slave (τω δουλω μου) Do this, and he doeth it; how much more then canst thou accomplish whatsoever thou willest, being under no control, and having all things under thy command: He makes a proper use of his authority, who, by it, raises his mind to the contemplation of the sovereign power of God, taking occasion from it to humble himself before Him who has all power in heaven and earth, and to expect all good from him.
There are two beautiful passages in Arrian that tend much to illustrate this speech of the centurion.
Καταταγεις Αγαμεμνων, λεγει μοι, πορευου προς τον Αχιλλεα, και αποσπασον την Βρισηιδα, πορευομαι. Ερχου, ερχομαι.
"He who personates Agamemnon says to me, Go to Achilles, and bring hither Briseis: I go. He says, Come hither: Icome."
Dissert. l. i. c. 25. p. 97.
Οταν ο Θεος ειπῃ τοις φυτοις ανθειν, ανθει. Οταν ειπῃ βλαϚανειν, βλαϚανει. Οταν εκφερειν τον καρπον, εκφερει. Οταν πεπαινειν, πεπαινει. Οταν παλιν αποβαλλειν, και φυλλορροειν, και αυτα εις αυτα συνειλουμενα εφ' ησυχιας μενειν, και αναπαυεσθαι, μενει και αναπαυεται.
"When God commands the plants to blossom, they bear blossoms.
When he commands them to bear seed, they bear seed.
When he commands them to bring forth fruit, they put forth their fruits.
When he commands them to ripen, they grow ripe.
When he commands them to fade, and shed their leaves, and remain inactive, involved in themselves, they thus remain, and are inactive."
Cap. 14. p. 62. See Raphelius.
This mode of speech fully marks supreme and uncontrolled power, and that power put forth by a sovereign will to effect any purpose of justice or mercy. And God said, let there be light, and there was light, is a similar expression.
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'When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 1. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. 3. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; he thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.'--MATT. viii. 14. THE great collection …
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Twenty-Seventh Day. Activity in Duty.
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him."
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
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