Jesus answered and said unto him
Upbraiding him with his continued and invincible ignorance, which was aggravated by his dignified character:
art thou a master in Israel?
or "of Israel", as all the Oriental versions render it, as it literally may be rendered he was one of the (larvy ymkx) , "wise men", or "doctors of Israel" F18, so often mentioned by the Jews. One of the Jewish doctors was answered, by a boy, just in such language as is here used; who, not understanding the direction he gave him about the way into the city, said to him, (larvy lv Mkx awh hta) , "art thou he, a doctor", or "master of Israel?" did not I say to thee so? &c. F19. He was not a common teacher; not a teacher of babes, nor a teacher in their synagogues, or in their "Midrashim", or divinity schools, but in their great sanhedrim; and the article before the word used will admit it to be rendered, "that master", doctor, or teacher; that famous, and most excellent one, who was talked of all over Jerusalem and Judea, as a surpassing one: and now, though he was not only an Israelite, with whom were the laws, statutes, judgments, and oracles of God, the writings of Moses, and the prophets; but a teacher of Israelites, and in the highest class of teachers, and of the greatest fame among them, yet was he ignorant of the first and most important things in religion:
and knowest not these things?
which were so plainly to be suggested in the sacred writings, with which he was; or ought to have been conversant: for the same things Christ had been speaking of, are there expressed by a circumcision of the heart; by a birth, a nation's being born at once; by sanctification; by the grace of God signified under the metaphor of water; and by quickening persons, comparable to dry bones, through the wind blowing, and breathing into them, ( Deuteronomy 30:6 ) ( Isaiah 49:21 ) ( 66:8 ) ( Ezekiel 36:25 ) ( Ezekiel 37:9 Ezekiel 37:10 ) .
F18 Derech Eretz, fol. 18. 1.
F19 Echa Rabbati, fol. 44. 4.