Mark 7

1-23. Traditions of the scribes and Pharisees. Mt 15:1-20. Tables; the word in the original signifies couches, on which they were accustomed to recline at meals. Formal and hypocritical teachers of religion are prone to add to the commands of God traditions and ceremonies of their own, and to be very anxious that men should observe them, while they neglect his appointments, and connive at, if they do not encourage, similar neglect in others. Esaias; Isaiah. Isa 29:13-16. Human additions to the word and worship of God tend to lessen the influence of divine institutions, and should be carefully avoided. Corban--profited by me; what might have gone to thy maintenance is Corban, that is, consecrated as a religious gift to the service of the sanctuary. To understand divine things, men must hearken diligently to the teachings of Christ in his works, his word, and his providence, and seek of him habitually the illuminating and purifying influences of his Spirit. Men may take any kind of healthful food without spiritual defilement, whether human traditions allow it or not. If they acknowledge the goodness of God in giving it, and seek his blessing upon it, they may expect that it will promote their good. Entereth not into his heart; does not reach or pollute the soul. The various ways in which the different evangelists describe the same transaction, show that they did not copy one from the other. Each gives a true account, and relates those circumstances which impressed his own mind under the teaching of the Holy Ghost. 24-30. The Syrophenician woman. Mt 15:21-28. A Greek; that is, a Gentile.

Syrophenician; belonging to Syrophenicia, that is, the Syrian Phenicia, so called to distinguish it from the Libyan Phenicia, on the north coast of Africa.
Let the children; God's covenant children, that is, the Jews.

First be filled; the gospel was first to be offered to the Jews, and to them our Lord's personal ministry on earth was chiefly restricted. See notes on Mr 7:29 and Mt 10:5,6.
For this saying--is gone out; though our Lord's mission was "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel," Mt 15:24, yet he always honored personal faith in himself wherever found. Mt 8:5-13. The string of his tongue; more literally, the band of his tongue, meaning that which hindered its use.
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