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Book of Matthew
Chapter 9
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14: τοτε προσερχονται αυτω οι μαθηται ιωαννου λεγοντες διατι ημεις και οι φαρισαιοι νηστευομεν πολλα οι δε μαθηται σου ου νηστευουσιν— edit Textus Receptus
14: Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?— edit KJV text
14: Then came to him the disciples of John, saying: Why do we and the Pharisees, fast often, but thy disciples do not fast?— edit Douay text


Then came to him the disciples of John, etc. See also Mk 2:18ff, Lk 5:33ff. That is, of John the Baptist. It is probable that they had understood that John was the forerunner of the Messiah; and if such was the case, they could not account for the fact that there was such a difference between them and the disciples of Jesus. The Pharisees fasted often, regularly twice a week, besides the great national days of fasting, Lk 18:12. See Barnes "Mt 6:16ff".

This was the established custom of the land, and John did not feel himself authorized to make so great a change as to dispense with it. They were desirous of knowing, therefore, why Jesus had done it.

Besides, it is probable that this question was put to him when John was in prison; and his disciples, involved in deep grief on account of it, observed days of fasting. Fasting was the natural expression of sorrow, and they wondered that the followers of Jesus did not join with them in lamenting the captivity of him who was the forerunner and baptizer of their Lord.

This entry includes text from Barnes New Testament Notes.


-- edit commentary

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