And when Jesus came into the ruler's house
Both Mark and Luke relate, how that before this, whilst they were in the way, and just as Christ had done speaking to the poor woman, that news was brought to the ruler, that his daughter was actually dead, and therefore need not give Jesus any further trouble; when Christ encouraged him not to be cast down at the tidings, but believe, and she should be restored again; and that he suffered none to follow him, but Peter, James, and John: and
saw the minstrels,
or "pipers"; how many there were, is not known: it is certain there were more than one; and it was a rule with the
F26 Jews that
``the poorest man in Israel (when his wife died) had not less (Mylylx ynvm) , "than two pipes", and one mourning woman.''And since this was a daughter of a ruler of the synagogue that was dead, there might be several of them. These instruments were made use of, not to remove the melancholy of surviving friends, or allay the grief of the afflicted family; but, on the contrary, to excite it: for the Jewish writers say F1, these pipes were hollow instruments, with which they made a known sound, (lbahw hykbh rrwel) , "to stir up lamentation and mourning": and for the same purpose, they had their mourning women, who answered to the pipe; and by their dishevelled hair, and doleful tones, moved upon the affections, and drew tears from others; and very likely are the persons, that Mark says, "wept and wailed greatly". Sometimes trumpets were made use of on these mournful occasions F2; but whether these were used only for persons more advanced in years, and pipes for younger ones, as by the Heathens F3, at least, at some times, is not certain.
And the people making a noise;
the people of the house, the relations of the deceased, the neighbours, who came in on this occasion; and others, in a sort of tumult and uproar, hurrying and running about; some speaking in the praise of the dead, others lamenting her death, and others preparing things proper for the funeral; all which shew, that she was really dead: among these also, might be the mourners that made a noise for the dead;
``for since mourning was for the honour of the dead, therefore they obliged the heirs to hire mourning men, and mourning women, to mourn for the same F4.''
F26 Misn. Cetubot. c. 4. sect. 4. Maimon Ishot, c. 14. sect. 23.
F1 Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 23. sect. 4.
F2 Midrash Kohelet, fol. 77. 4.
F3 Vid. Kirchman. de funer. Roman. l. 2. c. 5.
F4 Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 12. sect. 1.