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calamity, or whose hearts are pressed or bruised by affliction or sin. To set them at liberty is the same as to free them from this pressure, or to give them consolation. The acceptable year of the Lord. The time when God is willing to accept of men, or to receive sinners coming to him. The gospel assures us that the guilty may return, and that God will graciously receive them. There is, perhaps, here, an allusion to the year of jubilee-the fiftieth year, when the trumpet was blown, and through the whole land proclamation was made of the liberty of Hebrew slaves, of the remission of debts, and the restoration of possessions to their original families, Lev. xxv. 8-13. The acceptable year.' The grateful, or pleasant, or agreeable time, appointed by God, who delighteth in mercy.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

'Were fastened on him.' Were intently fixed on him, waiting to see what explanation he would give of the words.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

"This scripture.' This writing, or this part of the scriptures. 'Fulfilled.' It is coming to pass; the thing originally intended by it is about to be accomplished. In your ears.' In your hearing; or you hear, in my preaching, the fulfilment of this prophecy. He said much more than is here recorded, but Luke has presented only the substance of his discourse.

22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

All were witnesses of the power and truth of what he said. Their reason and conscience approved of it, and they were constrained to admit its force and propriety. They wondered.' They were struck with the truth and force of his words, and especially when they remembered that he was a native of their own place, and that they had been long acquainted with him. "The gracious words.' The kind, affectionate, and tender exposition of the words, and explanation of the design of his coming, and the nature of the plan of redemption. It was so different from the harsh and unfeeling mode of the pharisees, that they were filled with astonishment and awe.

23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

Physician, heal thyself." This proverb was probably in common use at that time. "You profess to be the Messiah. You have wrought miracles at Capernaum. You profess to be able to deliver us from our maladies, our sins, our afflictions, &c. Show that you have the power, that you are worthy of our confidence, by working miracles here, as you profess to have done at Capernaum." It was a demand that he would show the proper evidence by miracles why they should trust in them, and he proceeds to show them why he would not give them this evidence. 'Whatsoever we have heard done.' Whatsoever we have heard that thou hast done. It would seem, from this, that Christ had before this wrought miracles in Capernaum, though the evangelist has not recorded them. 'In Capernaum.' Capernaum was on the north-west corner of the sea of Tiberias, and was not far from Nazareth.

24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

'No prophet is accepted.' Has honour, or is acknowledged as a prophet. See note, Matt. xiii. 57.

25 But I tell you of a truth, Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months when great famine was throughout all the land;

'Of a truth.' Truly, and therefore worthy of your credit. He calls attention to two cases where acknowledged prophets had so little honour in their own nation that they bestowed their favours on foreigners. 'In Israel.' In the land of Israel, or Judea. It was therefore the more remarkable, since there were so many in his own country whom he might have helped, that he should have gone to a heathen city, to relieve a poor widow there. "The days of Elias.' The days of Elijah. See the account of this in 1 Kings xvii. 8-24. Three years and six months.' From 1 Kings xviii. 1, 45, it would seem that the rain fell in the third year. That is, at the end of the third year after rain had ceased to fall at the usual time. There were two seasons of the year when rains fell in Judea, in October and April, called the early and latter rain. Consequently, there was an interval between them of six months. To the three years, therefore, when rain was withheld at the usual times, are to be added the previous six months, when no rain fell as a matter of course; and consequently three years and six months elapsed without rain. 'A great famine.' A great want of food, from long continued and distressing drought.

26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto

Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

Sarepta was a town between Tyre and Sidon, near the Mediterranean sea. It was not a Jewish city, but a Sidonian, and therefore a Gentile town. The meaning of the verse is this. He was not sent to any of the widows in Israel. He was not sent except to Sarepta, to a woman that was a Sidonian.

27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

For an account of the leprosy, see note on Matt. viii. 1. 'Time of Eliseus.' Time of Elisha. The word' Eliseus' is the Greek way of writing the word Elisha: as Elias is of Elijah. Saving Naaman the Syrian.' The account of his cure is contained in 2 Kings v. 14.

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

'Filled with wrath.' They saw the application of the cases to themselves, and would not receive the miraculous evidences of his mission. It was a part of Christ's design that the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, and not confined to them only. On these accounts their favour was soon turned to wrath.

29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

The region in which Nazareth was, is hilly. The place to which it is said they led the Saviour is still shown, and is called the mount of Precipitation. It is at a short distance to the south of Nazareth. 'Cast him down.' This was the effect of a popular tumult. They had no legal right to take away his life, and especially in this furious and irregular manner.

30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

It was very remarkable that he should escape out of their hands when their very object was to destroy him; and that he should escape in so peaceful a manner, without violence or conflict. A similar case is recorded in John viii. 59. Jesus, by Divine power, stilled their passions, arrested their purpose, and passed silently through them. That he had such a power over the spirits of men, we learn from the occurrence in Gethsemane, when Jesus said, 'I am he, and they went backward, and fell to the ground,' John xviii. 6.

31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Gali

lee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about. 38¶ And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40 ¶ Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ, the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. 43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

See this explained in the notes on Mark i. 21-39.


1 AND it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,

'The people pressed upon him.' There were times in the life of our Saviour when thousands were anxious to hear him, and when many, as we have no reason to doubt, became his true followers. 'The lake of Gennesaret.' Called also the sea of Galilee, and the sea of Tiberias. This was the region of the early toils of our Redeemer. Here he performed some of his first and most amazing miracles; here he selected his disciples; and here, on the shores of this lake, among people of poverty, and inured to the privations of fishermen, he laid the foundation of a religion which is yet to spread through all the world, and which has blessed millions of guilty and miserable men, and translated them to heaven.

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.

'Two ships.' Fishing boats, probably without decks, and easily drawn up on the beach. Josephus says there were two hundred and thirty of them on the lake, attended by four or five men each. A single large draught of fishes endangered them. 'Standing by the lake.' Anchored by the lake, or drawn up upon the beach.

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

'Which was Simon's.' Simon Peter's. 'Prayed him.' Asked him. He sat down.' This was the common posture of Jewish teachers. Compare Matt. v. 1. It is not improbable that the lake was still; that scarcely a breeze passed over it; that all was silence on the shore, and nothing to disturb his voice. In such a situation he could be heard by multitudes; and no spectacle could be more striking than the Son of God-the Redeemer of the world, thus speaking froin the bosom of a placid lake, the emblem of the peace of his own doctrines, to the poor, ignorant, but attentive multitudes assembled on the shore.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

'Launch out.' Go out with your vessels. "Into the deep.' Into the sea; at a distance from the shore. For a draught.' A draught of fish; or let down your nets for the taking of fish.

5 And Simon answering, said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.

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