But thou, when thou fastest
Christ allows of fasting, but what is of a quite different kind from that of the Jews; which lay not in an outward abstinence from food, and other conveniences of life, and refreshments of nature; but in an abstinence from sin, in acknowledgment and confession of it; and in the exercise of faith and hope in God, as a God pardoning iniquity, transgression and sin; wherefore cheerfulness, and a free use of the creatures, without an abuse of them, best became such persons.
Anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
directly contrary to the Jewish canons, which forbid these things, with others, on fast days:
``On the day of atonement, (say F9 they,) a man is forbidden eating and drinking, (hkyobwhuyxrbw) "and washing and anointing", and putting on of shoes, and the use of the bed.''And the same were forbidden on other fasts: in anointings, the head was anointed first, and this rule and reason are given for it:
``he that would anoint his whole body, (hlyxt wvar Ko) , "let him anoint his head first", because it is king over all its members F11.''Anointing and washing were signs of cheerfulness and joy; see ( Ruth 3:3 ) ( 2 Samuel 12:20 ) .