For he loveth our nation
The Jewish nation, which was Christ's nation, as well as theirs, he being a Jew; see ( John 18:35 ) . This they mention as an argument to induce him to have a regard to the centurion, though he was a Gentile; since he was a friend of the Jews, and well affected and disposed to them, which was very rare: it was not common for the Gentiles to love the Jews, any more than the Jews the Gentiles; there was an hatred, yea, an enmity between them; but this man, very likely, was a proselyte to their religion, as the following instance seems to show:
and he hath built us a synagogue;
at his own private charge, and by the assistance of his soldiers under him, whom he might employ in this work: sometimes a single person built a synagogue at his own expense, and gave it to the citizens; of which the Jews say, F15
``if a man builds an house, and afterwards devotes it to a synagogue, it is as a synagogue.''
F15 Piske Harosh Megilia, c. 4. art. 1.