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16住在黑暗中的人民,看见了大光;死亡幽暗之地的居民,有光照亮他们。”
16The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
16 Verse 16. The people which sat in darkness] This is quoted

from ,

where, instead of sitting, the prophet used the word walked. The

evangelist might on purpose change the term, to point out the

increased misery of the state of these persons. Sitting in

darkness expresses a greater degree of intellectual blindness,

than walking in darkness does. In the time of Christ's appearing,

the people were in a much worse state than in the time of the

prophet, which was nearly 700 years before; as, during all this

period, they were growing more ignorant and sinful.



The region and shadow of death] These words are amazingly

descriptive. A region of death-DEATH'S country, where, in a

peculiar manner, Death lived, reigned, and triumphed, subjecting

all the people to his sway.



Shadow of death] σκιαθανατου, used only here and in ,

but often in the Old Covenant, where the Hebrew is tsal

maveth, It is not easy to enter fully into the ideal meaning of

this term. As in the former clause, death is personified, so

here. A shadow is that darkness cast upon a place by a body

raised between it and the light or sun. Death is here represented

as standing between the land above mentioned, and the light of

life, or Sun of righteousness; in consequence of which, all the

inhabitants were, involved in a continual cloud of intellectual

darkness, misery, and sin. The heavenly sun was continually

eclipsed to them, till this glorious time, when Jesus Christ, the

true light, shone forth in the beauty of holiness and truth.

Christ began his ministry in Galilee, and frequented this

uncultivated place more than he did Jerusalem and other parts of

Judea: here his preaching was peculiarly needful; and by this was

the prophecy fulfilled.