§. 37. Of the wife of Chuzas case in ministering to Christ.
4. Obiect. Ioanna the wife of Chuza, Herods steward, mini∣stred vnto Christ of her substance without her husbands con∣sent.
Answ. If this could be proued it were somewhat to the purpose; but this clause without her husbands consent (wherein the maine state of the question consisteth) is not in the text, nor by any good probabilitie can be gathered out of it. All the shew of probabilitie that can be shewed for it is, that Ioanna is there said to be the wife of Chuza, Herods steward. But to shew that that is nothing, let it be noted,
1. That phrase doth not imply that Chuza was then liuing. It is said that Dauid begat Salomon of the wife of Vriah, but *Vriah was not then liuing: therefore the translators for perspi∣cuitie sake doe insert these words (her that had beene) the wife of Vriah. So likewise Onan is commanded to goe in to his *brothers wife, yet doth not this imply that his brother was then liuing.
Obiect. Why should mention be made of Chuza, Herods steward, if he were not then liuing?
Answ. To shew that Ioanna was a woman of great place, whereby this fruit of her faith in following Christ was the more commended. Thus in another kinde Matthew is intitled *the Publican, after he had cleane relinquisht that office, the more to commend his faith.
I doe not here directly affirme that Chuza was then dead, but for ought that this phrase doth imply, he might be dead.
2. Some gather that this steward was that Ruler whose * sonne Christ healed, who thereupon beleeued with all his house.Page 308 Which if he were, then it cannot be doubted, but that his wife followed Christ with his good liking and consent.
3. Chuza being Herods steward, and so a man of great place, and publike imploiment, might, if he were then liuing, depute the managing of all affaires at home to his wife, as the * husband of the good wife commended by Salomon, and so she might haue at least a generall consent.
I doe not certainly determine any of these expresly to be so, I doe but note them as probabilities, yet such as doe suffici∣ently ouerthrow the surmised libertie of a wife in giuing almes without any consent of her husband: for this of all other pro∣babilities seemeth to be most improbable. Into my heart it can neuer enter to imagine that Christ would giue such an occasion of slander vnto his enemies, as to say he caried about with him other mens wiues, without or against the consent of their husbands, and suffered them to spend the goods of their hus∣bands vpon him. I had much rather thinke that either such women as followed him had no husbands liuing, or if they had, that they did that which they did with the consent of their husbands.