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Verse 23

Matthew 9:23. When Jesus came into the ruler’s house It appears from the parallel places in Mark and Luke, that while Jesus spake the last-mentioned words to the woman healed by touching his garment, a messenger came from the ruler’s house to inform him that his daughter, whom he had left at the point of death, was now actually dead, and that therefore he did not need to trouble our Lord any further, her case being now determined and hopeless. This affecting news no doubt moved her father greatly: but Jesus, pitying his grief, bid him not fear, but only believe, and she should be made whole He did not say she should be raised from the dead, but expressed himself as if she had not been dead, but only sick; for, as he was infinitely above praise, so he never courted it. On the contrary, he generally refused those honours which, as it were, obtruded themselves upon him. Thus, when he came to the ruler’s house, though a great many friends and others accompanied him, he suffered none of them to go in with him except the three disciples whom he treated with the greatest familiarity, namely, Peter, James, and John, with the father and mother of the maiden. And even these he admitted for no other reason but that the miracle might have proper witnesses, who should publish it in due time for the benefit of mankind. With these attendants, having entered the house, he saw the minstrels and the people making a noise Or, as Mark expresses it, he saw the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. By minstrels, musicians are meant. The original word means flute-players. Musical instruments were used by the Jews, as well as the heathens, in their lamentations for the dead, to sooth the melancholy of surviving friends by soft and solemn notes. And there were persons who made it their business to perform this, while others sung to their music. Flutes were used especially on the death of children; louder instruments on the death of grown persons. Chardin says, that even now, in the East, the concourse of people where persons lie dead is incredible. Every body runs thither, the poor and the rich: and the former more especially make a strange noise.

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