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Christ in the garden.
said to him," Though all men should offend be34 cause of thee, I will never offend" Jesus said to him," Verily say to thee, That on this night, before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me 35 thrice:"Peter said to him, "Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." In like manner said also all the disciples. 36 Then cometh Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and saith to the disciples, "Sit ye 37 here, while I go and pray yonder." And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and full of 38 anguish. Then saith he to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death: abide 39 ye here, and watch with me." And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me; nevertheless not as 40 I will, but as Thou wilt." And he cometh to the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith to Peter, What, could ye not watch with me 41 one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but 42 the flesh is weak." He went away a second time,
and prayed, saying, "O my Father, if this cup cannot pass away from me, except I drink it, thy 43 will be done." And he came and found them 44 asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And
and Campbell, I shall prove a snare to you all.' I prefer the version gi-
36. Gethsemane. The oil-press, as the word signifies. It was a part of 'the mount of Olives, verse 30. Mark xiv. 26, 32. Luke xxii. 39. and is 'called a garden to which our Lord often resorted, John xviii. 1, 2.
37. Took with him Peter, &c. From that part of Gethsemane, where He had left the other apostles, Mark xiv. 32, 33.
38. My soul is, &c. This seems to be idiomatical to denote himself, 'I am exceedingly sorrowful, ready to die through excess of sorrow.' 39. Not as I will, &c. Campbell, “Not as I would, but as thou wilt." Wakefield, "Not my will, but thine be done." What I have given is the most literal. The sense I think is, though the sorrow I experience constrains me to desire the removal of the bitter cup, yet I perfectly acquiesce in what thou hast appointed.
Judas betrays Jesus,
he left them, and went away again, and prayed
"And while he was yet speaking, lo, Judas, one 47
40. To the disciples, &c. To Peter, James and John, verse 37————Findeth them asleep. From this it appears that it was now very late in the night.
41. The spirit indeed is, &c. Our Lord admonishes them to watch and pray; and by the concluding words intimates, that though he knew their regard to him, and how willing they were to suffer for his sake, yet their drowsiness and sleepiness showed their frailty, and unless they became more attentive they would soon offend in a far higher degree. Our Lord kindly alleges for their infirmity the only extenuation which it admitted.
45. Do ye now sleep on, &c. At such a time, when ye ought espe cially to be watchful. The common version supposes that our Lord spoke ironically. For that given, see Schleus. Lex. in λ and Luke xxii. 46.
50. Companion. See note xx. 13.
51. One of those who, &c. John only tells us who was the servant, and which of the apostles thus attempted to defend his master. The name of the servant was Malchus, and it was Peter who cut off his ear. As John wrote the last of the apostles, it is not improbable that Peter was then dead, and there existed no reason for keeping these things secret.
52. The sword will perish, &c. The expression seems to be proverbial, denoting, that they who use the sword in general perish by it. He thus reproves Peter for his rash and improper conduct; and had he not overawed the spirits of the multitude, they might have all been cut to pieces. John xviii. 4-8.
53. Thinkest thou, &c. Our Lord reminds Peter, that if it were his will to escape he could have had an army of the heavenly host to defend him. A legion was 6000, and perhaps he names twelve in allusion to the twelve apostles.
Taken before Caiaphas.
.. MATTHEW. XXVI. 55 fulfilled, that thus it must be ?" At that same time Jesus said to the multitudes, “Are ye come out as against a robber with swords and staves to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the But all 56 temple, and ye did not lay hold on me. this is done, that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled;"
57. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled. And those who had laid hold on Jesus led him away to the palace of Caiaphas the high priest, - where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58. But Peter followed him at a distance, to the court of the high priest, and went in, and sat 59 with the servants, to see the end. Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, that they 60 might put him to death; But found it not, though many false witnesses came near. At 61 last came near two false witnesses, And said, "This man said, I am able to destroy the temple 62 of God, and to build it in three days." And the high priest arose, and said to him, "Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness 63 against thee?" But Jesus continued silent. And the high priest spoke and said to him, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." 64 Jesus saith to him, "It is as thou hast said: moreover I say to you, That hereafter ye shall
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XXVI. 1. We see our Lord most actively employed as the time of his sufferings and departure
56. May be fulfilled. Such events are permitted to occur agreeable to what had been foretold; and there was a moral necessity for such predictions being fulfilled.
58. To the court, &c. Not into the place where the high priest and elders sat, though near to it, as Luke informs us that our Lord turned and looked on Peter, after he had denied him with oaths, which could not have taken place unless he had been near: Luke xxii. 61. Peter might indeed have approached near to the door or entrance of the room where Jesus was.
58-62. Sought false witness. They had already determined on his death, but some pretence was requisite to hide or palliate their own injustice. The witnesses that came at last referred to what John relates chap, ii. 20, 21.; but how could this be worthy of death, even in the sense in which they understood it? Indeed the high priest seems to be at a loss how to criminate upon such a charge, and hence proceeds to adjure our Lord.
64. I say to you, That, &c When adjured in the name of the living God, to say whether or not he was the Christ, our Lord answered in effect, I am; and he adds, that hereafter they should see him on the right hand of power, coming as it were in the clouds of heaven to punish them.
65. Rent his garments, &c. This was an ancient custom to express indignation, sorrow or grief: Acts xiv. 14. Pearce, from Virgil and Josephus,
... Peter denies him.
see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, 65 He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye?" 66 They answered and said, "He is guilty of death." Then they spat in his face, and struck 67 him with the fist; and others beat him with the palms of their hands, Saying, "Prophesy to 68 us, thou Christ, Who is he that struck thee?"
Now Peter sat without in the court; and a 69 maid-servant came near to him, saying, “Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee." But he denied it 70 before them all, saying, "I know not what thou meanest." And when he was gone out into the 71 porch, another maid-servant saw him, and said to them that were there, "This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth." And he denied it 72 again with an oath, saying, "I do not know the mån." And after a while came near to him 73 those who stood by, and said to Peter, "Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech discovereth thee:" Then he began to curse and to 74 swear, saying, "I know not the man." And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remem- 75 bered the words of Jesus, who had said to him, "Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny me thrice." thrice." And he went out, and wept bitterly.
He seemed anxious to finish all that the Father had sent
concludes that it consisted not in rending the substance of the garment, but in laying the bosom bare, by pulling the forepart of the vest aside. Blasphemy. That is, speaking reproachfully and maliciously of God. How our Lord's words, even by construction, could be made to involve thisy I know not. It is probable that he considered his claim to be the Christ, and to sit on the right hand of God, as comprising a capital offence; to which punishment, without ever inquiring into the justice of his claims, he was immediately doomed.
68. Prophesy to us, &c. Both Mark and Luke inform us that our Lord's face was then covered as a condemned criminal, Mark xiv, 65, Luke xxii. 64.; and the design of the speakers was to ridicule his prophetic office.
69. Sut without in the court. For this sense of avan, see Schleus, and Campbell. It was properly the open yard, though inclosed with buildings. Luke, informs us that they kindled a fire in the midst of it, where Meow is opposed to ɑixos, the high priest's house. Mark says, Peter being in the avn nat rourt below; so that the room where Jesus was examined was raised some little above the ground.
70, I know not what thou, meanest. That is, what thou intendest. I do not understand of what thou art talking 35 đi sốt nền, li 71. Into the porch. Either that of the entrance into the court or rather
Christ is delivered to Pilate.
A. D. 33. Christ is delivered to Pilate, and Judas hangeth himself; Pilate convinced of his innocence tries to release him, but the clamours of the Jews induce him to give him up to be crucified.
L Now when morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel 2 against Jesus to put him to death. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate the governor. 3 Then Judas, who had delivered him up, when he saw that he was condemned, repented, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the 4 chief priests and elders, Saying, "I have sin71 ned in that I have delivered up an innocent person." And they said, "What is that to us?
delivered up and crucified. The chief priests had determined to cut him off; and Mary designing to show him the highest respect, had anointed him for his burial.. Judas had formed the design to betray him, and had gone and agreed with the chief priests for this purpose. Surely now was the hour and power of darkness! How many agents were employed in one infernal scheme!" Yet Jesus knowing all these things, and foretelling them, does not withdraw as he might have done, but pursues his glorious work. O let us imitate his courage, his prudence, submission, and inflexible integrity.
2. Our Lord's strict observance of the Passover, should teach us to regard and observe in the most devout manner, the sacred supper which he instituted and appointed. In the same night in which he was betrayed, his heart, though full of sorrow, was melted with pity for his believing people; and in this simple but expressive rite, he provided for their consolation. It is the memorial of the death of Christ, and of the leading design of it, that he died for our sins. It is also the seal of the new covenant in his blood, that covenant which is ordered in all things and sure. Ever let us then approach and partake of this supper, in obedience to his injunction, that our own souls may be nourished, and that we may show forth his death to others. Let none who love our Lord Jesus neglect so plain a duty, nor deprive themselves of so great a privilege.
3. We see in the conduct of the chief priests, how frequently the sacred names of justice and religion are prostituted! They had
that of the room where our Lord was. I conceive this more probable, as soon after Jesus turned and looked on Peter.
72. Denied with an oath His first offence was a simple denial, or a kind of evasion; now he offends presumptuously, appealing to God to confirm a lie. When again suspected, he breaks out into the most sinful language. How necessary is it to guard against the least sin, lest we should go on to the commission of the greatest.
CHAP. XXVII. 1. Took counsel against, &c. From Mark xv. 1, it appears that Caiaphas, and those with him, who first examined our Lord, had summoned all the members of the Jewish sanhedrim, or chief council, who assembled to sanction what had been done, as early as possible.
2. Delivered him up to Pilate. From John xviii. 28, we learn that they led Jesus to the pretorium, where Pilate lived, and where he administered
Judas hangeth himself.
see thou to that." And he cast down the pieces 5 of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took 6 the pieces of silver, and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury; because it is the price of blood." And they took counsel, and 7 bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field is called, 8. The field of blood,' unto this day. (Then was 9 fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And I took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him who was valued, whom they of the children of Israel valued ; And gave them for the potter's field, as the 10 Lord appointed me.")
resolved to kill Jesus, though conscious of his innocence; and they descended to every low and mean artifice in order to cover their own wickedness. When they could not find any fault, any crime, false witnesses are suborned; and when their witness was insufficient, they pretend to condemn him for what he said in answer to a solemn adjuration. What law of Moses justified such a sentence? Nay, the sense of his whole law condemned this proceeding; and dreadful will be the judgment which, according to Moses, they will receive. Surely their conduct is recorded to warn all, and especially magistrates, against malice, injustice and oppression.
4. The fall of Peter forcibly teaches every professor to watch pray, that if he come into temptation he may not be induced to yield to it. No doubt Peter was sincere when he said, “though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee." He was not aware of his own weakness, nor the force of that fear which has often proved Amidst the various and successive events of that awful night, the mind of every disciple must have been unusually occupied and op pressed; conflicting passions must have nearly taken away all self-possession, and rendered them unfit for any manly exertion. O how was the bravest of them all vanquished! We feel pity for a character so dignified, tarnished by falsehood and profane oaths. Let the admoni tions of scripture, enforced by this example, teach us to fly to God for support. "Be not high-minded, but fear. "Be not high-minded, but fear. Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
Pilate desires to release Christ,
11 And Jesus stood before the governor; and the governor asked him, saying, "Thou art then the King of the Jews?" And Jesus said to him, 12 "Thou sayest truly." And when he was ac
cused by the chief priests and elders, he answered 13 nothing. Then Pilate saith to him, "Hearest thou not how many things they testify against 14 thee?" And he answered him to no one matter; so that the governor wondered greatly.
Now at that feast the governor was wont to release to the people a prisoner, whom they 16 would. And they had then a noted prisoner, 17 called Barabbas. When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom will ye that I release to you? Barabbas, or 18 Jesus who is called Christ?" (For he knew
that through envy they had delivered him up. 19 And while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, "Have thou nothing to do with that righteous man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because 20 of him.") But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask 21 for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor spoke and said to them, "Which of the two will ye that I release to you? " They said, 22 Barabbas." Pilate saith to them, "What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?"
9, 10. Then was fulfilled, &c. These verses create difficulties not easily removed. The reader may see them in the Note, Zech. xi. 12, 13.
11. Thou art then, &c. Campbell supposes that this oblique manner of putting a question, which involves an affirmative, gave rise to the idiom, Thou sayest, or, It is as thou hast said.
16. Barabbas. Some copies have Jesus Barabbas, which Michaelis and others suppose to be the genuine reading, but rejected in honour of our Saviour. Griesbach does not insert Jesus, and it is wanting in the best mss.
18, 19. For he knew, &c. With Pearce and others I include these two verses in a parenthesis, as containing first a remark of the writer, and second a circumstance which occurred while Pilate was examining our Lord.———This day. As the Jews begun their dày at the sixth hour of the evening, Pilate's wife meant, during the night. Her dream had made a strong impression on her mind. One design of it might be, that Pilate should bear his testimony to the innocence of Jesus.
but consents to his crucifixion.
They all say to him, "Let him be crucified." And the governor said, "Why, what evil hath 23 he done?" he done?" But they cried out exceedingly, saying, "Let him be crucified."
21. They said Barabbas. As Barabbas had most probably espoused the opinion that it was lawful to oppose the Romans, and sinful to submit to them; and in consequence had excited the people to sedition, they would be strongly disposed to favour him. Comp, Luke xxiii. 19.
23. Why, what evil, &c. Pearce observes that the text is elliptical: "Why should I crucify him? For what evil hath he done?" Comp. 1 Cor. ix. 10.; x. 20.; xii. 31. During the examination, and after he had acknowledged himself king of the Jews, the conversation between him and Pilate, Joh. xviii. 36, &c. must have passed.
: 24. Washed his hands, &c. Comp. Deut. xxi. 6, 7, and Ps. xxvi. 6. The
Now when Pilate saw that he could prevail 24 nothing, but rather that a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person see ye to it." Then answered all the people, and said, "His blood 25 be on us, and on our children." Then he 26 released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him up to be crucified.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus 27 into the common hall; and gathered unto him the whole band. And they stripped him, and put on 28 him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted 29 a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled before him, and derided him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!" And they spat on him, and took the 30 reed, and struck him on the head. And when 31 they had derided him, they took off the robe, and put on him his own raiment, and led him away to crucify him. And as they were coming 32 out, they met a man of Cyrene, named Simon, whom they compelled to carry his cross. And 33
heathens had a similar custom to that of the Jews, as appears from Virgil, Aen. 2. v. 715. Pilate yielded through fear of a popular tumult; and considered the guilt of shedding the blood of one innocent as attaching to those who desired it, and to which the Jews so readily consented. His blood be on us, &c. 26. He had scourged, &c. That is, had ordered him to be scourged. It was usual with the Romans to scourge those who were sentenced to crucifixion; and some think that Pilate hoped that the Jews would have been satisfied with this punishment. Comp. Joh. xix. 4, 5.
28. Scarlet robe. This was the colour of the robe which the Roman nobility chiefly wore, as white was that of the Jewish nobles. It is called purple by Mark xv. 17. and Joh. xix. 2. It should seem that it only contained a light shade of blue, as the words scarlet and purple are used promiscuously by the Evangelists. See Schleus. in verb.
29. Crown of thorns. How this was made I know not; but it was most probably designed both to ridicule his claim of being a king, and to produce pain. Hence when crowned, they treated him with every mark of contempt, spitting on him, and striking him on the head.
32. Whom they compelled, &c. From Joh. xix. 17, we learn that our Lord carried his own cross, or that part of it called autenna, to which the arms were fastened. The stipes or upright beam which was fixed in the earth, was what they compelled Simon to carry; or at least to assist our Lord in carrying, if the two pieces were fastened together.
33. Golgotha. Perhaps some criminals had been buried there. This was a part of mount Calvary: Luke xxiii. 33.
The priests revile him.
when they had come to a place called Golgotha, 34. (that is to, say, a place of a skull,) They gave him vinegar, mixed with a bitter ingredient, to drink; but when he had tasted of it, he would 35 not drink. And when they had crucified him, 36 they parted his garments, casting lots. And 37 sitting down there they watched him. And they
set up over his head his accusation written; "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE 38 JEWS. Two robbers were also crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
39 And those who passed by reviled him, sha40 king their heads, And saying, "Thou who destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, 41 come down from the cross." In like manner the chief priests and, the scribes and the elders, de42 rided him, and said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will 43 believe him. He trusted in God; let him now
IS THW DI
CHAP. XXVII. 35. so that it was fulfilled which was spoken by the
34 Mixed with a bitter ingredient. Mark says that they gave him "wine mingled with myrrh," which Doddridge supposes was presented by some of his friends, and different from what Matthew relates. But as the time and circumstances were the same, I see no reason for this opinion. I have rendered xoàn bitter ingredient, as it is used with great latitude by the Seventy, and as such ingredients were given to criminals to stupify them, and to render them insensible to the horrors of death. Hence our Lord, when he had tasted this potion, would not drink it. Mark says, he received it not.
35. Casting lots. The remainder of this verse is wanting in the best manuscripts, the old versions, and the fathers. Griesbach has rejected it. Probably it is added from John xix. 23, 24,
37. His accusation, &c. It was usual with the Romans, to affix to the instrument of their punishment, or to order to be carried before them, a writing, expressing the crime for which they suffered. See Sueton. in Calig, ch, 24. This accusation was called title. Luke and John tell us that it was written in Latin, for the majesty of the Roman empire; in Greek, for the information of the many Helenists who spoke that language; and in Hebrew as it was the vulgar language of that place.
42. Himself he cannot, &c. Campbell renders interrogatively, “Cannot he save himself?", and so one or two manus nuscripts; but Griesbach, with the
He resigneth his spirit,
deliver him, if he will have him; for he said,
Now from the sixth, hour there was darkness 45 over all the land until the ninth hour. And 46 about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani ?" : (that is to say ;). "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". Some of those who stood 47 there, when they heard it, said, "This man calleth for Elijah." And immediately one of 48 them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, drink. The rest said, "Forbear, let us see 49 whether Elijah will come to save him," Jesus, 50 when he cried again with a loud voice, resigned his spirit...
best mss. reads as the common text.
44. The robbers also, c. Matthew does not relate what respected p these men so circumstantially as Luke xxiii. 39, whence we learn that it was only one of them that derided our Lord.
.,, 45, Darkness over all, &c.. It is probable that Jesus was fixed on the cross about the third hour or nine in the morning; and that the darkness began at the sixth, or twelve o'clock, and continued until Josus expired, about three in the afternoon, called the ninth hour. This darkness must have been miraculous, as the Passover was kept at the full moon, when no eclipse could happen. With our translators, I render y land, as it is probable that this darkness did not extend farther than through all Judea,
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent 51 in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent; And 52 the graves were opened; and many bodies of
46. Eli, Eli, lama, &c. This shows that our Lord spoke the common language of the people, a mixture of Hebrew and Chaldee or Syriac, The of the p quotation is from Ps. xxii. 1, only using a Syriac or Chaldee synonymous verb; and Pearce thought that our Lord quoted this Psalm to lead the Jews to consider it as prophetical of him. Mark gives the Syriac pronunciation of the two first words, Eloi, Eloi, which is probably genuine, as some of the hearers thought that he called for Elijah, which in Syriac is pronounced, Elohi. 48. Took a spunge, &c Jesus said, I thirst, Joh. xix. Hence some one took a spunge and filling it with vinegar, put it on a long reed and reached it to his mouth. Vinegar mixed with water was the common beverage of the Some Roman soldiers; and the vessel containing this might be for their use. were for denying our Lord this small favour, saying, "Forbear," that is, give him nothing, and, let us see, &c.
50. Resigned his spirit. Doddridge renders, " dismissed his spirit ;" and he supposed that, this was the effect of our. Lord's own power and volition. Campbell, whom I have followed, shows that the Sept. use the verb respecting Rachel's death, Gen. xxxv. 18, and that Euripides has the very words a for expired. It is however certain that our Lord had power to lay πνευμα down his life and to take it again, Joh. x. 18.; and I do conceive that he exer cised this power, when he had fulfilled all things given him to do.
51. The veil of the, &c. That which separated the most holy place from the sanctuary, and which was made of the richest and strongest tapestry. This was done to show that the Jewish ceremonies were to be abolished, and that the way to heaven, the true holy place, was now opened to men of all nations: Heb. vi. 19.; ix. 8.- -Rocks were rent. A singular fisure now res mains as evidence of this fact, which Maundrel has described as about a span wide at the top, but opens a few spans below, and runs downward to an un» known depth.
52. The graves were opened. These were without the city; and it is most probable that they remained open until after our Lord's resurrection For as the next day was the sabbath, the Jews would not approach them, lest