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Matthew 9:14-15

The Superiority of the New

9:14 Then John’s 1  disciples came to Jesus 2  and asked, “Why do we and the Pharisees 3  fast often, 4  but your disciples don’t fast?” 9:15 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests 5  cannot mourn while the bridegroom 6  is with them, can they? But the days 7  are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, 8  and then they will fast.

1 sn John refers to John the Baptist.

2 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

4 sn John’s disciples and the Pharisees followed typical practices with regard to fasting and prayer. Many Jews fasted regularly (Lev 16:29-34; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11). The zealous fasted twice a week on Monday and Thursday.

5 tn Grk “sons of the wedding hall,” an idiom referring to wedding guests, or more specifically friends of the bridegroom present at the wedding celebration (L&N 11.7).

6 sn The expression while the bridegroom is with them is an allusion to messianic times (John 3:29; Isa 54:5-6; 62:4-5; 4 Ezra 2:15, 38).

7 tn Grk “days.”

8 sn The statement the bridegroom will be taken from them is a veiled allusion by Jesus to his death, which he did not make explicit until the incident at Caesarea Philippi in 16:13ff.

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