Then drew near to him
To "Jesus", as the Persic and Ethiopic versions express it: this was on the sabbath day, and either when he was in the Pharisee's house, where he was invited to dinner, ( Luke 14:1 ) or rather when he came out of it, when the multitude, who could not come near him whilst there, took the opportunity of gathering about him;
even all the publicans and sinners;
whom the Pharisee would not admit into his house, it being contrary to their traditions to eat, and drink, and converse with persons of such an infamous character; (See Gill on Matthew 9:10) (See Gill on Matthew 9:11) The word "all" is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; but the Arabic version has it, and the Greek copies; and signifies that there were a very large number of them, even all that were in that place, and in the adjacent cities and towns, that got together
for to hear him,
or "from him", as the Arabic version; or "doctrine" from him, as the Persic version adds: these having heard much of him; and it may be, might be under some remorse of conscience on account of their vicious lives, came to hear him preach.