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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT



MARK 7



CHAPTER VII.



Ver. 2. With common hands. It may be translated, with defiled hands; as also v. 15; but the circumstances plainly shew the sense. Wi.



Ver. 3. Often washing, &c.[1] Some would have the Greek to signify unless they wash up to the elbows, but I think without sufficient grounds. Wi.



Ver. 4. Washed: lit. baptized. By beds are not understood night beds, but couches to eat upon, as it was then the custom. Wi.



Ver. 7. See the annotations Matt. xv. 9, 11. It is groundless to pretend from this text, that the precepts and traditions of the Church are not binding and obligatory, for Christ himself has commanded all to hear his Church, and obey their lawful pastors. These indeed may be called the precepts of men, but they are precepts of men invested with power and authority from God, and of whom Christ himself said, (Luke x. 16.) He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me.



Ver. 9. Well do you. Christ here speaks by the figure called irony. Wi.



Ver. 17. Asked him the parable. Asked him to explain its meaning.



Ver. 24. If he desired to conceal himself, and could not, his will it seems was under control; but this is impossible. His will must always take place. On this occasion, therefore, he wished himself to be sought for by these Gentiles, but not to be made known by his own apostles. Wherefore it came to pass, that not the persons who were his followers, but the Gentiles who entered the house in which he was, published his fame abroad. S. Augustine. — Jesus Christ commanded his disciples not to publish that he was come into that country; not that he intended to cease from healing the infirm, and curing diseases, when he saw the faith of the inhabitants deserved it; for he informed the Gentile woman of his coming, and made it known to as many others as he thought worthy; but that he might teach us, by his example, to decline the applause of men. Ven. Bede.



Ver. 25. This part, in which S. Mark says that Christ was in the house, when the woman came to petition in behalf of her daughter, seems to differ from the narration of S. Matthew, who says that the disciples besought Christ to dismiss her, because she cried after them; by which he signifies, that she followed them as they were on the road. These apparent differences may thus easily be reconciled. The woman came to our Lord when he was in the house, and he, according to S. Matthew, not answering her a word, went out during the silence: the woman followed after, and by her perseverance obtained her request. S. Austin.



Ver. 32. Dumb.[2] The Greek signifies one that speaks little, or with difficulty. Wi. — They besought him. In the Greek it is, they beseech him, which agrees so well with they bring, that we have every reason to believe that this was the original reading.



Ver. 34. Ephphetha, a Syriac word. Jesus Christ, in the cure of this man, uses many and various actions; but as of their own nature they are no ways equal to such a cure, they shew: first, that the cure was miraculous; and secondly, the virtue, which his divinity communicated to his sacred body. V. — We must not suppose that our Saviour here groaned on account of any difficulty he experienced in working this miracle, but only from commiseration for the man, whom he was about to heal; as likewise to shew, how very difficult is the cure of those who are spiritually deaf and dumb by sin. He was affected in a similar manner when he raised Lazarus to life, to shew with what difficulty a man, dead and buried in sin by evil habits, can arise from that miserable state. Dion. Carth.

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[1] V. 3. Crebò, ean mh pugmh. Mr. Bois, prebend of Ely, defends the Latin version, and says pugmh comes from pukna and puknwV. But Theophylactus would have it to signify, up to the elbows; acri tou agkwnoV.

[2] V. 32. Mutum, dumb; Greek, mogilalon, qui parum loquitur.



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