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Verse 6. And made clay, &c. Two reasons may be assigned for making this clay, and anointing the eyes with it. One is, that the Jews regarded spittle as medicinal to the eyes when diseased, and that they forbade the use of medicines on the Sabbath. They regarded the Sabbath so strictly that they considered the preparation and use of medicines as contrary to the law. Especially it was particularly forbidden among them to use spittle on that day to heal diseased eyes. See instances in Lightfoot. Jesus, therefore, by making this spittle, showed them that their manner of keeping the day was superstitious, and that he dared to do a thing which they esteemed unlawful. He showed that their interpretation of the law of the Sabbath was contrary to the intention of God, and that his disciples were not bound by their notions of the sacredness of that day. Another reason may have been that it was common for prophets to use some symbolical or expressive action in working miracles. Thus Elisha commanded his staff to be laid on the face of the child that he was about to restore to life, 2 Ki 4:29. See Barnes "Isa 8:18".

In such instances the prophet showed that the miracle was wrought by power communicated through him; so, in this case, Jesus by this act showed to the blind man that the power of healing came from him who anointed his eyes. He could not see him, and the act of anointing convinced him of what might have been known without such an act, could he have seen him— that Jesus had power to give sight to the blind.

{c} "he spat on the ground" Mr 8:23 {1} "anointed", or "spread the clay upon the eyes of the blind man"

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