on Matthew 20 :29
on Matthew 20 :29
See Mark 10:46-52, and Luke 18:35-43; Luke 19:1, where this account of his restoring to sight two blind men is also recorded. "And as they departed from Jericho." This was a large town about eight miles west of the Jordan, and about 19 miles northeast from Jerusalem. Near to this city the Israelites crossed the Jordan when they entered into the land of Canaan, Joshua 3:16. It was the first city taken by Joshua, who destroyed it to the foundation, and pronounced a curse on him who should rebuild it, Joshua 6:20-21, Joshua 6:26. This curse was literally fulfilled in the days of Ahab, nearly 500 years later, 1 Kings 16:34. It afterward became the place of the school of the prophets, 2 Kings 2:5. In this place Elisha worked a signal miracle, greatly to the advantage of the inhabitants, by rendering the waters near it, that were before bitter, sweet and wholesome, 2 Kings 2:21. In point of size it was second only to Jerusalem. It was sometimes called the city of palm-trees, from the fact that there were many palms in the vicinity.
A few of them are still remaining, 2 Chronicles 28:15; Judges 1:16; Judges 3:13. At this place died Herod the Great, of a most wretched and foul disease. See the notes at Matthew 2:19. It is now a small village, wretched in its appearance, and inhabited by a very few persons, and called "Riha, or Rah," situated on the ruins of the ancient city (or, as some think, three or four miles east of it), which a modern traveler describes as a poor, dirty village of the Arabs. There are perhaps fifty houses, of rough stone, with roofs of bushes and mud, and the population, two or three hundred, in number, is entirely Muslim. Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book, vol. ii. p. 443) says of this village, that there are some forty or fifty of the most forlorn habitations that I have seen. And this is Jericho! These houses, or rather huts, are surrounded by a special kind of fortification, made of nubk, a species of bush very abundant in this plain. Its thorns are so sharp and the branches are so platted together that neither horse nor man will attack it." The road from Jerusalem to Jericho lies through what is called the "wilderness of Jericho," and is described by modern travelers as the most dangerous and forbidding about Palestine. As recently as 1820, an English traveler, Sir Frederick Henniker, was attacked on this road by the Arabs with firearms, who left him naked and severely wounded. See the notes at Luke 10:30. Jesus was going to Jerusalem from the east side of the Jordan Matthew 19:1; his regular journey was therefore through Jericho.
As they departed from Jericho - Luke says, "As he was come nigh unto Jericho." The original word used in Luke, translated "was come nigh," commonly expresses approach to a place, but it does not of necessity mean that always. It may denote nearness to a place, whether going to it or from it. It would be rendered here correctly, "when they were near to Jericho," or when they were in the vicinity of it, without saying whether they were going to it or from it. Matthew and Mark say they were going from it. The passage in Luke 19:1 - "and Jesus entered and passed through Jericho" - which seems to be mentioned as having taken place after the cure of the blind man, does not necessarily suppose that. That passage might be intended to be connected with the account of Zacchaeus, and not to denote the order of time in which these events took place; but simply that as he was passing through Jericho, Zacchaeus sought to see him, and invited him to his house. Historians vary in the circumstances and order of events. The main facts of the narrative are observed; and such variations of circumstances and order, where there is no palpable contradiction, show the honesty of the writers - show that they did not conspire together to deceive, and are in courts of justice considered as confirmations of the truth of the testimony.
on Matthew 20 :29
20:29 Mark 10:46; Luke 18:35.