659. Games of Children

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Matthew 11:16-1716But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented. (Matthew 11:16‑17). It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.
There is allusion here to the habits of children, who, in the East as elsewhere, imitate in sport what they see performed in sober earnest by adults. The public processions and rejoicings on Oriental wedding occasions, and the great lamentations at funerals, make such an impression on the young mind that children introduce imitations of them into their plays. Some of them play on imaginary pipes, while others dance, as at weddings. Again, some of them set up an imitation of a mournful wail, to which others respond in doleful lamentations, as at funerals. Then at times there will be found some stubborn little ones, of perverse spirit, who will not consent to take part in any play that may be proposed. They will not dance while others pipe, neither will they lament when others mourn. They are determined not to be pleased in any way; they will play neither wedding nor funeral. Thus it was that the people would receive neither Jesus nor John; but, like perverse children, they refused to be satisfied with any proposition made to them.
Travelers have noticed that children in Palestine, at the present day, keep up this ancient custom of playing weddings and funerals.