27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
27 Verse 27. What I tell you in darkness] A man ought to preach
that only which he has learned from God's Spirit, and his
testimonies; but let him not pretend to bring forth any thing new,
or mysterious. There is nothing that concerns our salvation that
is newer than the new covenant; and in that there are, properly
speaking, no mysteries: what was secret before is now made
manifest in the Gospel of the ever-blessed God. See Eph 3:1-12.
What ye hear in the ear] The doctor who explained the law in
Hebrew had an interpreter always by him, in whose ears he softly
whispered what he said; this interpreter spoke aloud what had been
thus whispered to him. Lightfoot has clearly proved this in his
Horae Talmudicae, and to this custom our Lord here evidently
alludes. The spirit of our Lord's direction appears to be this:
whatever I speak to you is for the benefit of mankind,-keep
nothing from them, declare explicitly the whole counsel of God;
preach ye, (κηρυξατε proclaim,) on the house-tops. The houses in
Judea were flat-roofed, with a ballustrade round about, which were
used for the purpose of taking the air, prayer, meditation, and it
seems, from this place, for announcing things in the most public
manner. As there are no bells among the Turks, a crier proclaims
all times of public worship from the house-tops. Whoever will
give himself the trouble to consult the following scriptures will
find a variety of uses to which these housetops were assigned.
De 22:8; Jos 2:6; Jud 9:51; Ne 8:16; 2Sa 11:2;
2Ki 23:12; Isa 15:3; Jer 32:29, and Ac 10:9.
Lightfoot thinks that this may be an allusion to that custom,
when the minister of the synagogue, on the Sabbath eve, sounded
with a trumpet six times, upon the roof of a very high house, that
from thence all might have notice of the coming in of the Sabbath.
The first blast signified that they should heave off their work in
the field: the second that they should cease from theirs in the
city: the third that they should light the Sabbath candle, &c.