VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Tormented (basanizomenov). See on torments, Matt. iv. 24.
Heal (qerapeusw). So A.V. and Rev. The word, however, originally means to attend, and to treat medically. The centurion uses another and stronger word, shall be healed (iaqhsetai). Luke, who as a physician is precise in the use of medical terms, uses both words in one verse (ix. 11). Jesus healed (iato) all who had need of treatment (qerapeiav). Still, Luke himself does not always observe the distinction. See on Luke v. 15.
Also (kai). Omitted in A.V., but very important. "I also am a man under authority," as well as thou. (Tynd., I also myself). The centurion compares the Lord's position with his own. Christ had authority over disease. The centurion also was in authority over soldiers. As the centurion had only to say to a soldier "Go!" and he went, so Christ had only to say to disease "Go!" and it would obey him.
Shall sit down (anakliqhsontai). Lit., recline. The picture is that of a banquet. Jews as well as Romans reclined at table on couches.
The outer (to exwteron). The Greek order of words is very forcible. "They shall be cast forth into the darkness, the outer (darkness). The picture is of an illuminated banqueting chamber, outside of which is the thick darkness of night.
Was healed (iaqh). Note that the stronger word of the centurion (ver. 8) is used here. Where Christ tends, he heals.
Sick of a fever (puressousan). Derived from pur, fire. Our word fever comes through the German feuer.
Bare (ebastasen). This translation is correct. The word does not mean "he took away," but "he bore," as a burden laid upon him. This passage is the corner-stone of the faith-cure theory, which claims that the atonement of Christ includes provision for bodily no less than for spiritual healing, and therefore insists on translating "took away." Matthew may be presumed to have understood the sense of the passage he was citing from Isaiah, and he could have used no word more inadequate to express his meaning, if that meaning had been that Christ took away infirmities.
Holes (fwleouv). Wyc. has ditches, with burrows in explanation.
Nests (kataskhnwseiv). Only here and in the parallel, Luke ix. 58. Nests is too limited. The word, derived from skhnh, a tent, has the more general meaning of shelter or habitation. In classical Greek it is used of an encampment. The nest is not to the bird what the hole is to the fox, a permanent dwelling-place, since the bird frequents the nest only during incubation. The Rev. retains nests, but puts lodging-places in the margin.
Tempest (seismov). Lit., shaking. Used of an earthquake. The narrative indicates a sudden storm. Dr. Thomson ("Land and Book") says: "Such winds are not only violent, but they come down suddenly, and often when the sky is perfectly clear.... To understand the causes of these sudden and violent tempests we must remember that the lake lies low - six hundred and eighty feet below the sea; that the mountainous plateau of the Jaulan rises to a considerable height, spreading backward to the wilds of the Hauran, and upward to snowy Hermon; that the water-courses have worn or washed out profound ravines and wild gorges, converging to the head of this lake; and that these act like great funnels to drawn down the cold winds from the mountains."
The tombs (mnhmeiwn). Chambers excavated in the mountain, which would afford a shelter to the demoniac. Chandler ("Travels in Asia Minor") describes tombs with two square rooms, the lower containing the ashes, while the upper, the friends performed funeral rites, and poured libations through a hole in the floor. Dr. Thomson ("Land and Book") thus describes the rock-cut tombs in the region between Tyre and Sidon: "They are nearly all of the same form, having a small chamber in front, and a door leading from that into the tomb, which is about six feet square, with niches on three sides for the dead." A propensity to take up the abode in the tombs is mentioned by ancient physicians as a characteristic of mad-men. The Levitical uncleanness of the tombs would insure the wretches the solitude which they sought. Trench ("Notes on the Miracles") cites the following incident from Warburton ("The Crescent and the Cross"): "On descending from these heights I found myself in a cemetery whose sculptured turbans showed me that the neighboring village was Moslem. The silence of night was not broken by fierce yells and howling, which I discovered proceeded from a naked maniac who was fighting with some wild dogs for a bone. The moment he perceived me he left his canine comrades, and bounding along with rapid strides, seized my horse's bridle, and almost forced him backward over the cliff."
Fierce (calepoi). Originally, difficult, hard. Hence hard to manage; intractable.
A steep place (tou krhmnou). Much better the steep (Rev.). Not an overhanding precipice, but a steep, almost perpendicular declivity, between the base of which and the water was a narrow margin of ground, in which there was not room for the swine to recover from their headlong rush. Dr. Thomson ("Land and Book") says: "Farther south the plain becomes so broad that the herd might have recovered and recoiled from the lake." The article localizes the steep as in the vicinity of the pasture.
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