Matthew 15Tradition of the elders; rules and precepts not recorded in the Scriptures, but handed down orally, or by tradition, from former times. The Pharisees had many such traditions, to which they attached ideas of great value; and by means of them, as our Savior shows, they often virtually annulled the requisitions of the written word of God.
Let him die the death; a phrase of intensity,—let him surely die.
It is a gift; that is, to God,—consecrated to his service. The tradition authorized a son to withdraw from his parents whatever they stood in need of from him, by going through such a form of consecrating it to God.
Doctrines; the duties of religion.—Commandments of men; these pretended traditions, which were merely human inventions.
Referring to the charge made by the Pharisees in v. 2. The Pharisees taught that sin consisted mainly in the neglect of prescribed rites, and the contracting of outward and ceremonial impurities. Jesus shows that moral and spiritual corruption and impurity is what they ought to be most anxious to shun.
Every plant, &c. These traditions were of human origin.
Let them alone; do not regard their displeasure.
Went thence; from near Capernaum.—Tyre and Sidon; important cities on the coast of the Mediterranean, beyond the limits of the Jewish countries. He retired to this distant region for concealment and safety; but he could not be hid. (Mark 7:24.)
Of Canaan; of Canaanitish descent, not a Jewess.—Thou son of David. By this address she seems to have expressed her belief that he was the promised Messiah.
Of the house of Israel; the Jews. Our Savior's ministry was confined almost entirely to the Jews. This restriction of the gospel to them, made for reasons not revealed, was not removed until the time of our Savior's ascension, when the disciples were commanded to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Meet; suitable or proper. The blessings of the Savior's ministry were designed, specially, for the Jewish nation; and this woman was a foreigner.
Crumbs; her idea was, that, as so slight an exercise of the Savior's goodness and power was required to save her daughter, she thought the favor might be bestowed, although it was asked by a sufferer who was not one of the favored descendants of Abraham.
Magdala; south of Capernaum.
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