Page images

Joseph begs the body.


43 sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a senator of rank, who also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly to Pilate, and asked for 44 the body of Jesus. And Pilate wondered that he was already dead; and calling to him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been 45 any while dead. And when he knew it from the 46 centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rol47 led a stone to the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.



A. D. 33. An angel announceth to three women the resurrection of Christ ; he appeareth to Mary Magdalene; to two going into the country, and then to the Apostles; and having commissioned them to preach the gospel,

ascended to heaven.



AND when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, having bought sweet spices, that they might

[ocr errors]

Jesus rises again. go and embalm him, Very early in the morning 2 of the first day of the week, about the rising of the sun, came to the sepulchre. And they said 3 among themselves; Who shall roll away the stone for us from the door of the sepulchre? (For it was very large.) And when they looked 4 they saw that the stone was rolled away; And 5 entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed in a white robe, and they were astonished. And he saith 6 to them, "Be not astonished: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But depart, tell his disciples, and Peter, that he 7 goeth before you into Galilee; there ye shall see him, as he said to you." And they went 8 out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for trembling and amazement seized them; nor said they any thing to any one; for they were afraid.


Now early on the first day of the week, Jesus 9 arose, and appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven demons. And 10 she went and told those who had been with him,

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XV. We e see prophecy ful-pity of the people, to soften the spirit of his persecutors, or to infilled in the malice of the Jewish priests and in the sentence pronounced on him by Pilate. He was then the servant of rulers, and despised of men,” (Is. xlix. 7.) He was subject to the civil power of Pilate, and arraigned before him; and to him he submitted, that the purposes of God's mercy might be accomplished. "In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away." There was no justice for him,-there was none to take his part and to support his cause. Innocence was no security against malice on the one hand, and mean compliant policy on the other. Of a truth both Herod and Pilate, and the people of Israel rose up against him; but while gratifying their different views they only did what God's hand and counsel had before determined to be done. O the depth of the wisdom of God!

2. In the arraignment, condemnation and sufferings of Jesus, we see his greatness and dignity. He uses no mean arts to move the

42. Evening was come, &c. The Jews used the term evening with some latitude, signifying the time after three to six, as well as the close of the day. As the sabbath commenced at six o'clock, it is probable that the former evening is meant here. Comp. Matt. xxvii. 62. and note 57.

CHAP. XVI. 1, 2. And when the sabbath, &c. The order and construction of the text is confused; but by a small transposition of the last clause, it becomes clear. "About the sun rising," is often taken for the dawn of the morning, as Matthew and Luke express it, and when according to John it was yet dark, or comparatively so. Pearce suspects that we should read, "The sun not having yet risen," as some Latin mss. of the Vulg. read. This would render Mark more direct and consistent with the other Evangelists; but the text may be supported.

terest the judge in his favour. He made no protestation of his innocence; took no legal objections against the crime with which he was charged; nor did he defend himself before Pilate as he could and might have done. He was meek under the greatest provocations; patient under the accumulated load of his sufferings; and no contemptuous treatment excited resentment or provoked him to speak with bitterness and wrath. He had a joy set before him, which enabled him to endure the cross and to despise the shame ;-the joy of displaying the perfections of deity in the salvation of men. Placid and resigned, only one emotion seemed to rule in his heart, that of pity for his mur. derers. Father, forgive them," was his prayer, and in respect to many it was heard, and they were forgiven and saved by the blood which was shed. May my Reader look to this slain lamb, and obtain and enjoy the same blessings.


3. For it was very large. With Campbell and others, I have transposed this clause from the end of the next verse, as it contains the reason for what they said. Pearce includes the chief part of the fourth verse in a parenthesis, to join this clause with the words to which it refers.

4. Stone was, &c. See how this was done, related Matt. xxviii. 2-4. 5. A young man, &c. An angel in the form of a young man. Both Matthew and Mark only mention one angel, but Luke and John two. From Matthew I think it is clear that one only appeared at first, whose appearance alarmed the soldiers, and who addressed the women; but after another appeared in the sepulchre. John xx. 12. See note, Matt. xxvii. 5. Jesus had told them that he would go before them comp. with Matt. xxvi. 32.

7. As he said to you. into Galilee. Ch. xiv. 28.

[ocr errors][merged small]

He appeared to many.

11 as they mourned and wept. And when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they believed not.

After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the 13 country. And they went and told it to the rest; but they believed them not.


Afterwards he appeared to the eleven as they were at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not those who had seen him after he was 15 risen. And he said to them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 16 creature. He that believeth and is baptized



REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XVI. 1. In the conduct of Mary Magdalene, and the other pious women, we have a proof of their gratitude and unabated attachment to their Lord. They had followed him from Galilee; and as their sex did in some degree preserve them from insult, they had witnessed with the most painful emotions, his crucifixion. They had followed his corpse, when conveyed to the tomb of Joseph, and saw where it was laid. Having bought sweet spices for embalming the body, they appeared so anxious to perform this last office of affection, that they had employed the night after the sabbath, in getting all things ready; and before it was fully light, they posted to the sepulchre. Happy women, you were rewarded by having the first sight of a risen Saviour! Ye sought Jesus who was crucified; and had the happiness first to hear that he was risen, and then to behold him! So may we seek him, and he will appear to our joy, and finally to our salvation.

2. What pleasure must the resurrection of Jesus have afforded

8. Trembling, &c. seized them. As they went to carry the news to the Apostles. Matt. xxviii. 8, 9.

9-11. Now early on, &c. John relates how Jesus addressed Mary, and the kind and encouraging language he used. John xx. 16.

12. In another form. Under a different appearance from what had been usual. Pearce supposes only another dress may be intended, as he had before appeared in that of a gardener. John xx. 15. Luke relates the particulars of this appearance to the two disciples going to Emaus. Ch. xxiv. 13, &c. 14. Appeared to the eleven. John mentions three appearances to the eleven, Ch. xx. 19, 26, and xxi. 1.; but Luke only relates one, Ch. xxiv. 36, &c. which seems to be the same as Mark refers to here.

15, 16. Go ye into all, &c. See note, Matt. xxviii. 19.- -Be saved. From everlasting punishment, John iii. 18, 36.; while those who resist the evidence of divine truth, and reject the Saviour shall suffer the due reward of their sins.

His last commission.

shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned. And these signs shall fol- 17 low those who believe; In my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak in new languages; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink 18 any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."



So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, 19 he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and 20 preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

to his disciples. When he mentioned his own death sorrow filled their hearts; and doubtless on witnessing it, they felt a thousand anxieties, and mingled emotions of pity, love, and grief. They spent the night of the sabbath in deep affliction and sorrow. When they first heard that he was risen they could not believe it; but by degrees the evidence of the fact became overpowering, and even Thomas, the most incredulous, admitted it. How must this event have affected their minds! Grief and sorrow were turned into joy and gladness; mourn ing and heaviness, into songs of praise and thanksgiving; and disappointment and despondency, into lively hope and assurance. On that morning the sun rose upon them with new splendour; and the clouds and darkness fled away. Thus is it when we are first led to believe on a erucified and risen Saviour! O what pleasure the soul experiences, from the well-grounded hope of pardon, peace, and happiness! And what will be the pleasure, the bliss, when we shall behold Jesus in all his power and glory.


17, 19. These signs shall, &c. These miracles were wrought by our Lord's disciples. See Acts v. 16.; viii. 7.; xvi. 18. for casting out demons; and for speaking in new languages: Acts ii. 4.; x. 46.; xix. 6. and I Cor. xiv. 18. Paul took up a serpent without injury: Acts xxviii. 15. Laying hands on the sick was usual: Acts v. 16.; xxviii. 8. We have no instance recorded of their drinking poison without receiving injury, but doubtless even this might occur.

19. So then after, &c. This was sometime after; for as what Mark relates occurred in Galilee, and as Jesus ascended from Bethany, near Jerusalem, the disciples must have had time to return there. Comp. Luke xxiv. 50, 51. with Acts i. 4.-— -Sat on the right, &c. So had David predicted Ps. cx. 1.; and so had Jesus said it would be, Ch. xiv. 62.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


LUKE, the author of the third account of the life of our Lord and Saviour, was not an Apostle, but an Evangelist, or an attendant qu the apostles, and especially of the apostle Paul. It does not appear that he had seen or heard Christ; but had derived his information from those who had, from such as had been with him from the beginning,-the ministers of his word. As an Evangelist, he was endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit; and we have as much reason to give credit to his narrative as to those of Matthew and John. He has supplied us with many interesting particulars which the preceding writers had omitted; as the account of the birth of the baptist-the annunciation, and other circumstances concerning the nativity. These events would be recorded and communicated by Mary, Joseph and other branches of the holy family; and as to the truth of them, they are supported by historical data, by prophecy, and by the testimony of other sacred writers. See Introd. Vol. i. page 6, &c.


[merged small][ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


FORASMUCH as many have undertaken to compose a narative of those things which have been 2 accomplished among us; Even as they delivered them to us, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and then ministers of the word; 3. It seemed good to me also, having gained exact "knowledge of every thing from the very first, to write a particular account to thee, most excel-office, 4 lent Theophilus, That thou mayest know the certainty of those things in which thou hast been instructed.'


In the days of Herod, the king of Judea, there

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


CHAP. I. 1. To compose a narrative, &c. These narratives might in the main be true, though very defective; and on this last account Luke might form the design of composing his gospel. From what he here says, he could not have seen either Matthew's or Mark's Gospel.- Been accomplished: For this sense of the Greek term, see Campbell's excellent note.

2. Even as they, &c. Pearce applies what is here said to the narratives composed by those to whom Luke before refers; but with Campbell and others I think this only relates to "things which had been accomplished among them," Even as they delivered them to us, who, &c. Hence Luke meant to state that he had received his information from those who had first been eye-witnesses of the things and then ministers of the word.

3. Having gained exact, &c. Campbell renders, "having exactly traced every thing," which nearly agrees in sense.- -A particular account. I agree with those critics who consider xa as not refering to time, but as opposed to incoherence and obscurity. For Luke has not followed the exact order of events in his gospel.Most excellent Theophilus. We have no information who this person was, or where be lived. Theophylact asserts

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was a certain priest named Zechariah, of the course of Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walk- 6 ing unblameably according to all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. And they 7 had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both far advanced in years.

Now it came to pass, that while he executed 8 the priest's office before God in the order of his course, According to the custom of the priest's 9 his lot was to go into the temple of the Lord to burn incense. And the whole 10 multitude of the people were praying without, at the time of incense. And there ap- 11 peared unto him an angel of the Lord,

that he was a person of Senatorian rank, and perhaps a prefect or governor, as Paul called Felix, "most excellent."

5. Herod the king. See note, Matt. ii. 1. Zechariah, &c. This was the eighth of the twenty-four courses appointed by David. 1 Chron. xxiv. 10.

7. Far advanced, &c. See Gen. xviii 11. It is a mere Hebraism for, 'they were both aged.'

9. His lot was, &c. Each course served a week at Jerusalem; and the course was divided into seven classes, so that each class had its day of attendance at the temple. The priests of this attending class were appointed by lot to their part of the service. See Jos. Antiq. vii 14. 7.-Temple, &c. The holy place, or sanctuary, where the altar of incense stood before the veil. Exod. xxx. 1-8.; xl. 26.

10. Praying without. That is, in the court of Israel. When the priest began to burn the incense, notice was given to the people without by the sound of a bell; and they then silently poured out their requests to God. Revel. viii. 1-4.

13. Thy prayer, &c. Which he had formerly offered up, that he might

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Gabriel sent to Zechariah,



and then to the Virgin Mary.

And after those days his wife Elizabeth 24 conceived, and concealed herself five months, saying, "Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in 25 the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”

standing on the right side of the alter of in12.cense. And when Zechariah saw him, he was 13 troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Fear not, Zechariah: for thy prayer hath been heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his 14 name John. And thou shalt have joy and glad15 ness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even 16 from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord 17 their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers with the children, and, by the wisdom of the just, to make the disobedient a 18 people prepared for the Lord." And Zecha

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel 26 was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose 27 name was Joseph, of the family of David;' and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel 28 entered in unto her, and said, "Hail, thou that art highly favoured; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women." And she was 29 troubled at this saying, and considered what kind of salutation this could be. And the angel 30 said to her, "Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou 31 shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a riah said to the angel,. "Whereby shall I know son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall 32 this? for I am an old man, and my wife ad-be great, and shall be called the Son of the 19 vanced in years.' And the angel answering said to him, "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to 20 thee, and to tell thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.".


Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him
the throne of his father David: And he shall 33
reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of
his kingdom there shall be no end." Then said 34
Mary to the angel, "How shall this be seeing
I know not man?" And the angel answered 35
and said to her, "The Holy Spirit shall come
upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee; therefore also that holy
child, shall be called the Son of God. And 36
behold, thy kinswoman Elizabeth, she also hath
conceived a son in her old age; and this is the
sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible."


And Mary said, " Behold the handmaid of the 38Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her.


Now the people waited for Zechariah, and wondered that he tarried so long in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he could not speak


to them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned 23 unto them, and remained speechless. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

have children.Call his name John. Which signifies the grace or favour
of God;
and in consequence of this favour he should have joy and gladness.
15 Strong drink. Wine made from fruits, and particularly from the
palm. See note, Isa, v. 11. John was to be a Nazarite. Numb. vi. 3.

17. To turn the hearts, &c. I have followed Pearce and Campbell in the version given; and it has at least the merit of precision and perspicuity! See Mal. iv. 6

[ocr errors]

18-20. Whereby shall I know, &c. Zechariah wanted some sign, or miraculous token, that what was promised should be granted; and the angel, while he announceth as a punishment for his doubting and unbelief, 'that he should be dumb,' by this grants the sign of the thing promised.

24, 25, Concealed herself. Or lived in retirement,' to preserve her

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

health, and to give thanks to him who had taken away her reproach. See Gen. xxx. 23.

26. Is the sixth month. After Elizabeth's conception. See verse 36. 28. Hail, thow that art, &c. The language of this verse is in the style of the east, and denotes that God had greatly distinguished her. Comp. Judg. v. 24, and Judith xiii. 18. d 29. And she was troubled, &c. I follow Griesbach's text; and the rejection of ¡dova is well supported.

70 6



30-33. His nameḥJesus, &c. Comp. Matt.. i. 21. with Isa ix. 7. Dan. ii. 44; ;' vii. 13, 14. Our Lord's spiritual kingdóm will be everlasting; and when the Jews, as a people, shall believe in him, he shall then eminently reign over the house of Jacob. →→→ Of his father David. Pearce remarked, that Mary

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mary visits Elizabeth.


And Mary arose in those days, and went into the mountainous country with haste, into a city 40 of Judah; And entered into the house of 41 Zechariah, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and 42 Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit : And she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Bles-be sed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit 43 of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that

the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my 45 womb for joy. And happy is she who hath believed that there would be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." 46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifieth the Lord, 47 And my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour. 48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his hand




maid: for, behold, from henceforth all gene49 rations shall call me happy. For he that is ⠀⠀ mighty hath done for me great things; and holy 50 is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear 51 him from generation to generation. He showeth He showeth strength with his arm; he scattereth those who 52 are proud in the imagination of their hearts. He putteth down the mighty from their thrones, 53 and exalteth those of low degree. He filleth the hungry with good things; and the rich he things; and the rich he

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

was espoused to Joseph before Jesus was conceived; and that she was, in the eye of the law, his wife, so that Joseph was his legal father when conceived, and in consequence David was too."


35. Shall be called, &c. That is, shall be; see also verse 32. This idiom is common in the scriptures. Wakefield has here followed the eastern versions, “Thy offspring shall be holy, and be called the Son of God." None of our present Greek mss. justify this version.

38. Behold the handmaid, &c. Pearce would render, Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; be it, &c. I prefer the common version as more just to the Hebrew idiom, and expressing her humble submission to God. 1 Sam. XXV. 41.

39. Into the mountainous, &c. The land occupied by the tribe of Judah was divided into several parts. One called the south, Josh. xv. 20-32; another the valley or low land, ver. 33-47.; a third, the mountains, ver. 48—60.; and a fourth, the waste, or wilderness, ver. 61, 62. Some have thought that the city to which she went was Hebron ; but Michaelis ingeniously conjectures 'that it was Juttah, Josh. xv. 55. a city given to the priests, and that this was probably the reading of Luke, which has been changed to Judah.

40. Saluted, &c. In the usual eastern form, "Peace be unto thee." 41-44. Filled with the Holy Spirit. In consequence of this she knew that Mary was pregnant, that the child conceived was the Messiah her own Lord; and that she, as well as John, her unborn son, felt an unusual, a supernatural joy.


45. Happy is she, &c. Zechariah had not believed, and was so unhappy

John the baptist born. sendeth empty away. He helpeth his servant 54 Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he 55 promised to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed, for ever." And Mary abode with her 56 about three months, and returned to her own house.

Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should 57 delivered'; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her kindred heard how 58 the Lord had showed great mercy towards her ; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass 59 on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zechariah, after the name of his father. And his mother spoke 60 and said, "Not so; but he shall be called John."... John."... And they said to her, "There is none 61 among thy kindred that is called by this name." And they made signs to his father, bow he 62 would have him called. And he beckoned for 63 a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, "His name is John." And they all wondered. For his 64 mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke and praised God. And 65 fear came on all who dwelt round about them: and all these things were reported throughout all the mountainous country of Judea. And all 66 those that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be!" And the hand of the Lord was with him.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as to be for a season speechless; but Mary had believed, and her faith was not

in vain.

46-55. Mary said, &c. This song of Mary has much affinity in its sentiments with that of Hannah. 1 Sam. ii. 1-10. The aorists used bere have no relation to a particular time; and I have with others rendered in the present.

[ocr errors]

51. Those who are proud. Campbell renders, "He dispelleth the vain imaginations of the proud," which is formed on the explanation of Grotius.

55. As he promised, &c. Comp. Gen. xvii. 19.; xxii. 18. Ps. cxxxii. 11, 12. This will not be fully accomplished until all Israel be converted, and by faith embrace the Messiah, which we are assured shall be. Comp. Rom. xi. 25-27.

56. About three months. She probably staid until Elizabeth was delivered of her son.


59. Zechariah. Mary thought it natural to call the son after the name of the father to keep up his name in Israel; but his mother, to whom Zechariah had made known the vision he had had, doubtless by the use of his pen, said that his name should be called John.

62. Made signs, &c. From this it appears that he was deaf as well as dumb; at least this seems highly probable.

63. His name is John. He meant that his name was already given to him by the angel; ver. 13. At this they all wondered, as they had not before heard of the circumstance.

65, 66. And fear came, &c. These two verses Pearce considered as a

« PreviousContinue »