While he spoke these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshiped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay your hand upon her, and she shall live.
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George Leo Haydock
A certain ruler. Literally, a prince of a synagogue. He is called Jairus. (Mark v. Luke viii.)
My daughter is just now dead: or, as the other evangelists express it, is at the point of death; and her father having left her dying, he might think and say she was already dead. (Witham)
In effect, news was shortly after brought him that she was dead. It is thus that some commentators explain the apparent difference found in Mark v. 22, and Luke viii. 41.
But come, lay thy hand Let us admire and imitate the humility and kindness of our Redeemer; no sooner had he heard the request of the ruler, but rising up, he followed him. Though, says St. Chrysostom, he saw his earthly disposition, requesting him to come and lay his hand upon her.
The prayers of the ruler, the faith of the woman, the gathering of the crowd in the house and the shouting of the two blind men, as well as the bringing of the deaf and dumb demoniac … are all interrelated. The ruler here is understood to be the law. He prays to the Lord for the people. The law has nourished them on Christ in the expectation of his foretold coming, and he restores life to the dead girl. Now we do not read of any ruler who was a believer. Hence the person of this praying ruler may rightly be taken as a model of the law. The Lord promised to help him, and he made good on his promise.
The deed overtook the words; so that the mouths of the Pharisees were the more stopped. For both he that came was a ruler of the synagogue, and his affliction terrible. For the young damsel was both his only child, and twelve years old, the very flower of her age; on which account especially He raised her up again, and that immediately.
And if Luke say that men came, saying, Trouble not the Master, for she is dead; Luke 8:49 we will say this, that the expression, she is even now dead, was that of one conjecturing from the time of his journeying, or exaggerating his affliction. For it is an usual thing with persons in need to heighten their own evils by their report, and to say something more than is really true, the more to attract those whom they are beseeching.
But see his dullness: how he requires of Christ two things, both His actual presence, and the laying on of His hand: and this by the way is a sign that he had left her still breathing. This Naaman also, that Syrian, requ...
His action overpowered his speech. This caused the jaws of his critics to drop all the further. In this case, the one who came running was himself a ruler of his synagogue! And the crisis was appalling. For the child was his only daughter, only twelve years old, in the very flower of her life. It was especially for this reason that he raised her up and did so immediately. Luke says that people came who said, “Do not bother the teacher any longer, because she has already died.” Because of this we will say that Matthew’s statement, “She has just now died,” came from one who was making a guess based on the time that had elapsed since he had started on his journey. Another possibility is that the man was overstating the misfortune. For it is the habit among people who are in need to exaggerate their personal problems and to say a little more than what actually is the case. They do this to get a response more effectively from those with whom they are pleading their cause. But note the ruler...