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§ 159. Healing of the Leper on the Road to Capernaum.415415   Matt., viii., 1. I follow Matthew’s account, which suits the chronology, in preference to Luke’s (v. 12), which says nothing about the locality of the event. It was not customary, under the Mosaic law, for lepers to reside within the cities. Cf. Joseph., c. Apion, i. xxxi.; Archaeol., iii., 11, § 3.

After Christ had concluded his deeply impressive discourse, he dismissed the multitude and came down from the mountain with his disciples. Hosts of people attended him to Capernaum. A leper, who had probably heard of his miracles, and learned that he would pass that way, had planted himself by the road-side. Full of faith, he threw himself at the Saviour’s feet and said, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” After Christ had granted his petition, he bade him (as was his wont in such cases) first to do what the law—which He had come to “destroy” only by “fulfilling”—demanded,416416   Levit., xiv., 1. viz., to 238show himself to the priests and offer the prescribed sacrifice, in order to readmission into the Theocratic community, from which he had been excluded as unclean.


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