And it came to pass, that as Jesus sat at meat in
In the house of Levi; not in the custom house, or toll booth, for that he left; but in his house in the city of Capernaum, where he had him, and made an entertainment for him, in token of gratitude, for the high favour bestowed on him:
many publicans and sinners sat also together, with Jesus,
being invited by Levi, and not objected to by Christ; (See Gill on Matthew 9:10).
for there were many, and they followed him;
either Christ whom they had observed to have called Matthew, and had heard preach by the sea side; or else Matthew; and so the Persic version renders it, "for many followed Matthew". The Ethiopic version reads the words, "and they were many", that is, publicans and sinners, "and the Scribes and Pharisees followed him"; mentioned in the next verse, from whence it seems to be taken; though true it is, that not only a large number of publicans and sinners followed Christ, but also many of the Scribes and Pharisees; yet with a different view from the former, not to get any advantage to themselves, but, if they could, an advantage against Christ.