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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Matthew Chapter 15

Matthew 15:1

mat 15:1

Mar 7:1.

Matthew 15:2

mat 15:2

The elders - The chief doctors or, teachers among the Jews.

Matthew 15:3

mat 15:3

They wash not their hands when they eat bread - Food in general is termed bread in Hebrew; so that to eat bread is the same as to make a meal.

Matthew 15:4

mat 15:4

Honour thy father and mother - Which implies all such relief as they stand in need of. Exo 20:12; Exo 21:17.

Matthew 15:5

mat 15:5

It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest have been profited by me - That is, I have given, or at least, purpose to give to the treasury of the temple, what you might otherwise have had from me.

Matthew 15:7

mat 15:7

Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying - That is, the description which Isaiah gave of your fathers, is exactly applicable to you. The words therefore which were a description of them, are a prophecy with regard to you.

Matthew 15:8

mat 15:8

Their heart is far from me - And without this all outward worship is mere mockery of God. Isa 29:13.

Matthew 15:9

mat 15:9

Teaching the commandments of men - As equal with, nay, superior to, those of God. What can be a more heinous sin?

Matthew 15:13

mat 15:13

Every plant - That is, every doctrine.

Matthew 15:14

mat 15:14

Let them alone - If they are indeed blind leaders of the blind; let them alone: concern not yourselves about them: a plain direction how to behave with regard to all such. Luk 6:39.

Matthew 15:17

mat 15:17

Are ye also yet without understanding - How fair and candid are the sacred historians? Never concealing or excusing their own blemishes.

Matthew 15:19

mat 15:19

First evil thoughts - then murders - and the rest. Railings - The Greek word includes all reviling, backbiting, and evil speaking.

Matthew 15:21

mat 15:21

Mar 7:24.

Matthew 15:22

mat 15:22

A woman of Canaan - Canaan was also called Syrophenicia, as lying between Syria properly so called, and Phenicia, by the sea side. Cried to him - From afar, Thou Son of David - So she had some knowledge of the promised Messiah.

Matthew 15:23

mat 15:23

He answered her not a word - He sometimes tries our faith in like manner.

Matthew 15:24

mat 15:24

I am not sent - Not primarily; not yet.

Matthew 15:25

mat 15:25

Then came she - Into the house where he now was.

Matthew 15:28

mat 15:28

Thy faith - Thy reliance on the power and goodness of God.

Matthew 15:29

mat 15:29

The sea of Galilee - The Jews gave the name of seas to all large lakes. This was a hundred furlongs long, and forty broad. It was called also, the sea of Tiberias. It lay on the borders of Galilee, and the city of Tiberias stood on its western shore. It was likewise styled the lake of Gennesareth: perhaps a corruption of Cinnereth, the name by which it was anciently called, Num 34:11. Mar 7:31.

Matthew 15:32

mat 15:32

They continue with me now three days - It was now the third day since they came. Mar 8:1.

Matthew 15:36

mat 15:36

He gave thanks, or blessed the food - That is, he praised God for it, and prayed for a blessing upon it.

Next: Matthew Chapter 16