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Verse 9

Matthew 9:9. And as Jesus passed from thence That is, from the house in which the paralytic had been cured, he saw a man named Matthew Modestly so called by himself: the other evangelists call him by his more honourable name, Levi; setting at the receipt of custom In the very height of his business. The expression επι το τελωνιον , here rendered the receipt of custom, seems properly to mean the place where custom was received. Some late translators render it, the custom-house; “but have we any reason,” says Campbell: “to say it was a house? ” The Syriac name is no evidence that it was; for, like the Hebrew, they use the word beth [ house ] with great latitude of signification. Most probably it was a temporary stall which could easily be erected in any place where occasion required. The word office, (signifying a place where any particular business is transacted, whether within doors or without,) seems an unexceptionable name for the place. And he saith unto him, Follow me A word which was immediately attended with a secret power, so that he arose and followed him He immediately obeyed the call, consigning, doubtless, his books and cash to some more careful hand. “Porphyry and Julian, two noted ancient enemies of Christianity, have blamed Matthew for thus rashly, as they are pleased to call it, following one of whom he had so little knowledge. But as it is evident that this publican lived in Capernaum, or near it, he must have often heard our Lord preach, (for it was the town where he ordinarily resided,) and may probably have been witness to a number of his miracles. Wherefore, the opposers of our religion must forgive us, if we affirm that there was neither rashness nor imprudence in the readiness which Matthew showed to follow Jesus when called. He may have been his disciple long before this, and only waited for permission to attend him.” Macknight.

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