And behold, two blind men
Mark and Luke make mention but of one; which is no contradiction to Matthew; for they neither of them say that there was but one. A greater difficulty occurs in Luke's account; for whereas Matthew and Mark both agree, that it was when Jesus came out of Jericho, that this cure was wrought, Luke says it was "when he came nigh unto it"; which some reconcile by observing, that that phrase may be rendered, "while he was near Jericho"; and so only signifies his distance from it, and not motion to it; but this will not solve the difficulty, because we after read of his entrance into it, and passing through it. Some therefore have thought, that Christ met with, and cured one blind man before he entered the city, and another when he came out of it and that Matthew has put the history of both together: but to me it seems, that there were three blind men cured; one before he went into Jericho, which Luke only relates, and two as he came out of Jericho, which Matthew here speaks of; and one of which, according to Mark, was by name Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus; for so Bartimaeus signifies. Tima, or Timaeus, was a name in use among the Jews: we often read of R. Judah (amyt Nb) , Ben Tima F11, the son of Tima, or Timaeus. Origen F12 thinks, he had his name from the Greek word (timh) , which signifies "honour"; and so (ymyj) , "Time", with the Jews, is used for honour and profit F13. This man's father might have been a very honourable and useful man, though the son was fallen into poverty and distress, through blindness; for which reason he may be mentioned, as being a person well known to the Jews.
Sitting by the wayside;
Mark says, "begging", where such were wont to sit, in order to ask alms of persons, as they passed by;
when they heard that Jesus passed by;
who, upon perceiving that there was an unusual concourse of people, might ask the reason of it, when it was told them that Jesus of Nazareth was coming that way: or, without asking, they might hear the people speak of him; and inasmuch as they had heard many things concerning him, and the miracles he wrought, applied to him for help, and
cried out, saying, have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David:
in which may be observed the titles of honour they give him, which declare their faith in him; calling him Lord, expressing their sense of his deity, dominion, and power; and "Son of David", thereby owning and professing him to be the Messiah, that being a common name of him, well known among the Jews; (See Gill on Matthew 1:1), the petition they make is, that he would "have mercy on them", who, through blindness, were in a poor, helpless, and miserable condition; and this was made with great vehemency: they "cried" out aloud, that he might hear them, and take pity on them; being eagerly desirous of having their sight, and firmly believing that he was able to restore it to them.
F11 T. Hieros. Nazir, fol. 52. 1. Erubin, fol. 19. 4. T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 84. 1. Bava Metzig, fol. 94. 1. Massech. Semachot, c. 9. Juchasin, fol. 159. 2.
F12 Comment. in Matt. vol. 1. p. 428. Ed. Huet.
F13 Targum in Esth. iii. 8. & v. 13. T. Hicros. Peah, fol. 15. 4.