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and the Croud a little dispersed, he would retreat and retire, as he had done before; and therefore they thought it highly concern'd them, to make all the haste they could, and not run the Hazard of losing so precious an Opportunity. Away therefore they carry the impotent Man: but when s they came to the Court-Yard (for so we may render rd Trpoi rhv Qtipcw) they found the fress so great, such a Multitude of People got together, in order to hear him preach, that, with all their Endeavours, they could not come nigh him: Whereupon, as h the Evangeli/i tells us, they uncovered the Roof, where he was, and when they had broken it up, they let down the Bed (through the Tiling, lays 'St. Luke) wherein the Sick of the Paljy lay. But, to have a right Notion of this Matter, we must observe, that the Manner of building among the yews, was, in many respects, different to what has been obtained among us. The way Their Houses were for the most part, of build- * very low, consisting but of two Floors sesgamoD_ or Stories, and the Roofs of them were, the jews, not ridg'd, but flat, surrounded with

a a Battlement about Breast-high, according k to God's own Injunction. Here it was l that they used to walk in the cool of the Day, m under a Tent, or other Cover, to serve them for a Shade; here n to talk and discourse together in private; here ° to pray, and meditate on religious Matters, P in little Closets built for that Purpose j and (1 as our Saviour's Words seem to imply) here sometimes to preach or discourse publickly to the People.

* -Dr. Peane's Vind. Part 4. p. 16. b Afarkn.^ 'Chap. r. 19. * Modern Travellers assure us, that the Houses in Judea are, at thjs Day, lowfruilt, and flat-roofed. See Sandy's, p. 3s. .

Now there were two Ways^ which Their the Jews had, of going up to the TopsStair* of their Houses; the one was by a Pair jJJ^1* of Stairs within the House, leading up to a Trap-Door which lay even with the Roof; and, though fastened within for security against Thieves, might, on any Occasion, be lifted up. The other Way was on the out-side of the House, where, by ar Ladder, or Pair of Steps or Stairs,

either

* Deut. xxii. 8. '2 Sam. xi. 12. m 2 Sam.

xvi. 22. "1 Sam. ix. 25. 1 Acts x. 0. V Lewis's Antiq. vol. 4. p. 75. * Matth. x. 27. 'Authors never differ about the reality and common Use of these exterior Steps, but only about the Form or Make of them. F. Lamy takes these KAi/xaxe; to be such, as are now generally used by Workmen; but I must beg Leave to differ from that Learned Author, because it seems more reasonable to snp-, pose them such, as were more safe and substantial, from the frequent use of Men, Women, and Children, Couch,

either fix'd or moveable, they could ascend to the Roof when they pleased, without ever going into the House itself j and to this our Saviour seems to allude, when he foretels to the Jews the Swiftness of that Destruction which ihould overtake them, s Let him, that is on the House-top^ not go down into the House, neither enter therein, to take any thing out os the House: For, unless we can suppose that his Advice was that Men mould venture their Necks, by throwing themselves down from the Tops of their Houses, his Words must imply, both that they had such Stairs placed on the out-fide of their Houses, and that it was an usual thing for them both to aseend and deseend by them. , Since this then was a general Fashion Yaraiytkkof Jewish Houses, it is not improbable, might be tnat this House at * Capernaum was of let down.the same Figure and Make; and that, for the better Convenience of being heard, both within Doors and without, Jesus might then be preaching at one of the Windows of an Upper-room, when this fick Man was brought in a Couch, or H sort of Elbow-Chair, by four Persons, who carried him. The Croud, however, was so great, and the Company so attentive to our Saviour's Discourse, that no Care was taken to make way for him, and therefore his Bearers bethought themselves of another Expedient. They went round a private way; and, coming to the Stairs, which stood on the out-fide of the House, up these they carry him, and presently gain" the Top: But finding the TrapDoor (or Way of the Roof, as the Jewish Rabbins call it *) shut, and fasten'd against them, immediately they go to work, and forcing it open (which Stf Mark calls uncovering and 1 breaking up the Roof because the Door, which lay

dren, to ascend to the House-Tops, and to cany

necessary Burdens up thither. Bp. Claverings, Charge, in 1750.

'Mark xiii, 1 % • Pr.Pearce, part 4. p. 28.

even even with the Roof, when let down and stiut, was reputed a.part of it) convey'd him down that way (which StLuke calls letting him down through z the filing, i. e. through the Roof, which (except where this Door was) was all pav'd with large Tiles; and by this means found it no difficult Matter to place him in the midjl before "Jesus. TheRea- This Account of the Matter, if it be fbpable- true (and it seems indeed, at first Sight,

"? St. Mark calls it Kfifr&lot, and St. Luke n\ivlJW: So that these two Words ate synonymous. Now Hesycbius explains the Word <rx//«r6JW by tVTihkt KKtvifiov (AoVoto'iTiov, from whence it may be remark'd, that there were xA/p/ef/« no larger than for one Person only, and os a much smaller Size, than the Word Bed conveys an Idea of to an English Reader. And this seems to be the Size of the Bed or Chair ia this Place; for though soar Persons help'd to carry the sick Man in it, yet it was no larger than what he alone could carry, as appears by the Story. Pearce's Vind. Part 4. p. 19. and Bp. Glavering's Charge. * Vid. Lkhtsoot in Locum. 1 Ch.ii.4. The Word i^ofu^ctyfit in

this Place does not so properly signify digging or psing Instruments to that purpose, as pulling and forcing the Door out of its Frame^ In this Sense

"ermit- to ^e ^ar ^TMm an improbable one) reting it. moves most of the Objections at once. It takes away the Necessity of having Ropes, Ladders, and Putties, &c. sent for upon this Occasion. It lessens considerably the supposed Damage done to the House, since the Roof-door is presiim'd large enough to receive the Chair or Couch, wherein the sick Man was, without any farther trouble. It recommends the Character of the good Man of the House, since he possibly might be

so

St. Paul uses the Word, Gal. iv. 15. Tj{ opHiK/xit v'f/ay S^ofu'farlef, pulling out your Eyes, i.e. by Force, but not by Digging, in the proper aud strict Meaning of the Word: For if the Couch or Chair was no larger than to hold one ("as we said before) it might commodioufly enough be let or carried down without widening the Passage, or making any Hole about ir. Pearce's Vind. P.trt 4. p. 50. * Kfyaftof and Ttytt (or, ffl'iyvi) are synonymous Words in the Greek Authors, as Sttfh. in Voce ldpa/w informs us* tiara's Vind. Part 4. p. 3a

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