And one of the multitude answered and said
The Scribes made no reply, being afraid to engage with him, whom they had often found too hard for them; and the disciples, if they were spoken to, were silent, through shame, because they had not succeeded in the cure of the person brought to them, which gave their enemies an handle against them: wherefore the parent of the afflicted child made answer, saying; the occasion of this debate between the Scribes, and thy disciples, is as follows:
Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
signifying, that he had heard much of him, as a very great man, and he believed him to be a master in Israel, who was famous both for doctrine and miracles, and therefore he brought his son to him, to be cured by him; but Christ not being in the way, he proposed him to his disciples, who attempted it without success. The case of his son was, he had a "dumb spirit". The Evangelist Matthew says he was "lunatic", ( Matthew 17:15 ) ; and by his account of him it appears, that he had the "epilepsy", or falling sickness; and which, when upon him, took away the use of his speech. And so the Jews ascribe dumbness to the violence of a disease: thus they ask F7;
``what is "Cordiacus" ((kardiakov) )? one that has a disorder which affects the heart, and causes a deliquium (a fainting and swooning away), but a man, (Mla hvenv) , "who is become dumb", through the force of a disease;''which was the case of this child: though this disease did not arise from natural causes, but from a diabolical possession; for he had a spirit, a foul spirit, a devil, as he is called: some further account is given of this unhappy case, in the next verse.
F7 Jarchi in Misn. Gittin, c. 7. sect. 1.