Page images
PDF
EPUB

13.

f ZECH. xi. 12, was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, ' And they

took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was o valued, whom they of the children of Israel did o value ; 10 and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord P appointed me.

11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the go

vernor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews ? 8 1 Tim. vi. 13. And Jesus said unto him, 8 Thou sayest. 12 And when h ch. xxvi. 83. he was accused of the chief priests and elders, h he an

swered nothing. 13 Then said Pilate unto him, i Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. 15 Now 9 at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. 16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 Therefore when they were

ch. xxvi. 62.

o render in both cases, set a price on.
P render, commanded, for perspicuity.
9 render, at the feast-time.

siinilar instances in two places in the said that He was Christ a King. This is apology of Stephen, Acts vii. 4, 16,- and presupposed in the enquiry of this verse. in Mark ii. 26. ^ Various means of evading

Thou sayest is not to be rendered this have been resorted to, which are not as a doubtful answer-much less with worth recounting. Jer. xviii. 1, 2, or per- Theophylact, as meaning, Thou sayest it, haps Jer. xxxii. 6-12, may have given not I :' but as a strong affirmative. See rise to it: or it may have arisen from a above on ch. xxvi. 64. 12–14.7 This Jewish idea [see Wordsworth here), that part of the narrative occurs only in Mark Zechariah had the spirit of Jeremiah.besides, but is explained by Luke ver 5. The quotation here is very different from The charges were, of exciting the people the Septuagint,and not much more like from Galilee to Jerusalem. On the menthe Hebrew. I put it to any faithful tion of Galilee, Pilate sent Him to Herod, Christian to say, whether of the two pre Luke, vv. 6-12. sents the greater obstacle to his faith, the 15-26.] BARABBAS PREFERRED TO solution given above, or that given by a HIM. HE IS DELIVERED TO BE CRUCI. commentator of our own day, that the FIED. Mark xv. 6–15. Luke xxiii. 17-25. name of one prophet is here substituted for John xviii. 39, 40. In the substance of this that of another, to teach us not to regard account the Four are in remarkable agreethe prophets as the authors of their pro. ment. St. John gives merely a compenphecies, but to trace them to divine Inspi. dium, uniting in one these three attempts ration.

of Pilate to liberate Jesus, and omitting any 11-14.7 HE IS EXAMINED BY PILATE. definite statement of the fact of Barabbas Mark xv. 2-5. Luke xxiii. 2-5. John being liberated, and Jesus delivered to xviii. 29-38. Our narrative of the hearing them. 15. at that feast] literally, before Pilate is the least circumstantial of feast by feast; i.e. at every feast. The the four-having however two remarkable name Bar-abbas, son of his father,' was additional particulars, vv. 19 and 21. not an uncommon one. It does not appear John is the fullest in giving the words of why this man was notable. The mur. our Lord. Compare the notes there. derers in the insurrection in which he

11.7 Before this Pilate had come was involved were many (Mark ver. 7). out and demanded the cause of his being 17.] In St. John's narrative, the sugdelivered up; the Jews not entering the gestion of liberating Barabbas seems to Prætorium. The primary accusation come from the Jews themselves; but not against Him seems to have been that He necussarily so: he may only be giving, as s omitted by several ancient authorities. t not expressed in the original : it may be, [is]. before, a general report of what passed. more of this woman than is here related. The when they were gathered together Tradition gives her the name of Procla, or seems to imply that a great crowd had Claudia Procula. In the apocryphal gospel collected outside the Prætorium while the of Nicodemus, c.2, we read that Pilate called trial was going on. It is possible the Jews and said to them, “ Ye know how that the addition, which is called Christ, that my wife is a worshipper of God, and which Pilate could hardly have heard is rather of your religion than mine. from the Jews, may have been familiar to They say unto him, Yea, we know it.him by his wife's mention of Jesus. See

gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or. Jesus which is called Christ ? 18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. 19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man : for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. 20 k But the chief k Acts iii. 14. priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say, [r unto him], Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took 1 Deut. xxi. 6. water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this [8 just] person : see ye m Deut. tir. to it. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, m His 19. san.'i. blood [t be] on us, and on our children. 26 Then released 1. 32. Acts

16.

Kings

[ocr errors]

r omit.

that just man is a term which below. 18.] The whole narrative shews that she knew the character for presupposes what this verse and the next purity and sanctity which Jesus had. In the distinctly assert, that Pilate was before gospel of Nicodemus, the Jews are made to acquainted with the acts and character of reply, Did we not tell thee that he is a Jesus. 19.] The judgment seat was magician ? behold, he hath sent a dreamin a place called in Hebrew Gabbatha, the token to thy wife.20.] So St. Mark Pavement-John xix.13, where however Pi- also. St. Luke and St. John merely give, late is not related to have gone thither, till that they all cried out, &c. The exciting after the scourging and mocking of the sol. of the crowd seems to have taken place diers. But he may have sat there when he while Pilate was receiving the message came out in some of his previous interviews from his wife. 21.] answered, not with the Jews. his wife] It had become the custom in Augustus's time for the gover- hedrists which he overheard, but rather to nors of Provinces to take their wives with the state of confusion and indecision which them abroad; under Tiberius, Cæcina at prevailed. 22.] They chose crucitempted to pass a law forbidding it, but fixion as the ordinary Roman punishment was vehemently opposed (by Drusus among for sedition, and because of their hate to others) and put down. We know nothing Jesus. 24.] The washing of the

nad become

necessarily to the incitements of the Sen.

r Num. xv. 35,

xxi. 13. Acts

he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus,

he delivered him to be crucified. n Isa. liii. 5. 27 n Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into

the a common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band

of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a, • PsIxia. 1o. scarlet robe. 29 ° And when they had platted a crown of

thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right

hand : and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked p Iga. 1. 6. 67. him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews. 30 And P they spit

upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. Isa. liii.7. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the * 36." Kings robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and Tii:58.. Heb. led him away to crucify him. 32 ? And as they came out,

u literally, the prætorium. hands, to betoken innocence from blood- soldiers' cloaks. 29.] It does not apguiltiness, is prescribed Deut. xxi. 6-9, pear whether the purpose of the crown was and Pilate uses it here as intelligible to to wound, or simply for mockery-and the Jews. 25.] blood here has been equally uncertain is it, of what kind of supposed to mean the punishment of blood: thorns it was composed. The acanthus, but more probably there is a much wider with its large succulent leaves, is singularly reference--as the adherence of blood to unfit for such a purpose: as is the plant the hands of a murderer is an idea not with very long sharp thorns commonly bearing any necessary reference to punish- known as spina Christi, being a brittle ment, only to guilt.

26.7 The acacia (robinia), -and the very length of custom of scourging before execution was the thorns, which would meet in the general among the Romans. After the middle if it were bent into a wreath, prescourging, John xix. 1-16, Pilate made a cluding it. Some flexile shrub or plant last attempt to liberate Jesus-which must be understood-possibly some variety answers to “I will chastise him and let of the cactus or prickly pear. “Hasselhim go,” Luke, ver. 16. delivered quist, a Swedish naturalist, supposes a him—to the Roman soldiers, whose office very common plant, naba or nubka of the execution would be.

the Arabs, with many small and sharp 27-30.] JESUS MOCKED BY THE SOL spines; soft, round, and pliant branches; DIERS. Mark Xv. 16-19 Comitted in leaves much resembling ivy, of a very deep Luke). John xix. 1-3. The assertion green, as if in designed mockery of a vicdelivered him to be crucifiedin ver. 26 tor's wreath. Travels, 288. 1766 (cited by is not strictly in its place there. Before F. M.). a reed—for a sceptre. that, the contents of this passage come in, 30.] Here follows the exhibition of Jesus and the last attempt of Pilate to liberate by Pilate, and his last attempt to release Him. 27. the common hall] literally, him, John xix. 4-16. the prætorium. The residence of the Ro- 31–34.7 HE IS LED TO CRUCIFIXION. man governor was the former palace of Mark xv. 20--23. Luke xxiii. 26–33. Herod, in the upper city. the whole John xix. 16, 17. The four accounts are band] The band is the cohort-the tenth still essentially and remarkably distinct. part of a legion. The term the whole is St. Matthew's and St. Mark's are from the of course not to be pressed. unto him same source, but varied in expression, and -to make sport with Him. This happened in detail ; St. Luke's and St. John's stand in the guard-room of the cohort : and the each alone; St. Luke's being the fullest, and narrative of it we may well believe may giving us the deeply interesting address to have come from the centurion or others the daughters of Jerusalem. 31.) Pecu(see ver. 54), who were afterwards deeply liar to Matt. and Mark. led him impressed at the crucifixion.

28.) away) or out, as in Mark. Executions Possibly the mantle in which He had been usually took place without the camp, see sent back from Herod-see note on Luke, Num. xv. 35, or city, 1 Kings xxi. 13, ver. 11: or perhaps one of the ordinary Acts vii. 58, Heb. xiii. 11-18. Grotius

they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they v compelled to bear his cross. 33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 s they gave him vinegar to drink mingled se verb: with gall : and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots [t w that it might be fulfilled which was t Ps. xii. 18. spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots]. 36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 and set up over his

v the word is the same as in Matt. v. 41 : see note there. W omit. brings examples to shew that the same was aware of its purpose. In St. Mark's the custom of the Romans.

32.] account it is “wine mingled with myrrhPreviously, Jesus had borne his own cross : - and though wine and vinegar might mean John, ver. 17. We have no data to ascer- the same thing, myrrh and gall cannot. tain any further particulars about this We may observe here (and if the remark Simon of Cyrene. The only assumption be applied with caution and reverence, it which we are perhaps justified in making, is a most useful one), how St. Matt. often is that he was afterwards known in the adopts in his narrative the very words of Church as a convert : see note on Mark, prophecy, where one or more of the other ver. 21. He was coming from the coun. Evangelists give the matter of fact detail ; try, Mark, ibid.; Luke, ver. 26. Meyer see above on ch. xxvi. 15, and compare suggests, to account for the selection of with this verse, Ps. Ixix. 21. one out of the multitude present, that pos 3 5—38.] HE IS CRUCIFIED. Mark xv. sibly he was a slave; the indignity of the 24-28. Luke xxiii. 32-34, 38. John xix. service to be rendered preventing their 18-24. The four accounts are distinct taking any other person. 33.] Gol. from one another, and independent of any gotha, a skull: the name is by Jerome, one source in common.

35. they and generally, explained from its being crucified him] The cross was an upright the usual place of executions, and abound. pale or beam, intersected by a transverse ing with skulls - not however unburied, one at right angles, generally in the which was not allowed. This last con- shape of a T. In this case, from the 'title' sideration raises an objection to the ex- being placed over the Head, the upright planation, and as the name does not beam probably projected above the hori. import a place of skulls, but a place of a zontal one, as usually represented 1. skull or simply a skull (Luke), many To this cross, the criminal, being stripped understand it as applying to the shape of his clothes, was fixed by nails driven of the hill or rock. But neither does this through the hands and (not always, nor seem satisfactory, as we have no analogy perhaps generally, though certainly not to guide us, and no such hill or rock is

seldom - see note at Luke xxiv. 39) through known to have existed. As regards

the feet, separate or united. The body the situation, we await some evidence

ence was not supported by the nails, but by a which inay decide between the conflicting piece of wood which passed between the claims of the commonly-received site of legs. On the rest of the verse, see notes Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, and that on John. The words omitted in the text upheld by Mr. Ferguson, who holds that as not found in any of the ancient the Dome of the Rock, usually known as manuscripts, are clearly interpolated from the Mosque of Omar, is in reality the spot John, ver. 24, with just the phrase which of our Lord's entombment. See his Arti- was spoken by the prophet assimilated cle “Jerusalem” in Dr. Smith's Biblical to St. Matthew's usual form of citation. Dictionary: and on the other side, Wil

36.7 watched him—this was usual, liams's Holy City, and Stanley's Sinai and to prevent the friends taking crucified Palestine, edn. 3, p. 459 ff. 34.] It persons down. There were four soldiers, was customary to give a stupefying drink John, ver. 23; a centurion and three others. to criminals on their way to execution :

37.7 St. Matthew finishes relating of which our Lord would not partake, what the soldiers did, and then goes back having shewn by tasting it, that he was to the course of the narrative. The "title'

cix. 25.

head his accusation written, This is Jesus the King of the v Isa. liii. 12. Jews. 38 v Then were there two thieves crucified with

him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. w Ps. xxi.7: 39 And w they that passed by reviled him, wagging their schn... heads, 40 and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, y ch. xxvi. 63. and buildest it in three days, save thyself. y If thou be

the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 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 believe him. 43 z He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him : for

he said, I am the Son of God. 44 y The thieves also, which a Amos vii. 9. were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. 45 a Now

from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the z land * most ancient copies read, He is King of Israel.

I render, In like manner did the thieves also revile him, which were crucified with him.

Z render, earth.

z Ps. xxii. 8.

[ocr errors]

appears to have been written by Pilate dignities are onnitted by St. John. (see John, ver. 19) and sent to be affixed 39. they that passed by] These words on the cross. It is not known whether say nothing as to its being a working-day, the affixing of this title was customary or as to the situation of the spot. A In Dio Cassius and others, we read of such matter of so much public interest would a title being hung round the neck of a be sure to attract a crowd, among whom criminal on his way to execution. On the we find, ver. 41, the chief priests, scribes, difference in the four Gospels as to the and elders. These passers-by were the words of the inscription itself, it is hardly multitude going in and out of the city, worth while to comment, except to re some coming to see, others returning mark, that the advocates for the verbal wagging their heads) see Ps. xxii. 7. The and literal exactness of each gospel may first reproach refers to ch. xxvi. 61; the here find an undoubted example of the second to the same, ver. 64. 42.] absurdity of their view, which may serve St. Luke gives, more exactly, the second to guide them in less plain and obvious reproach in this verse as proceeding from cases. (See this further noticed in the the soldiers. 43.) This is omitted by Introduction.) A title was written, con- St. Mark and St. Luke. 44.) Neither taining certain words; not four titles, all St. Matt. nor St. Mark is in possession of different, but one, differing probably from the more particular account given by St. all of these four, but certainly from three Luke, vv. 39–43, where see notes. For of them. Let us bear this in mind, when the other incident which happened at this the narratives of words spoken, or events, tine, see John, vv. 25-27, and notes. differ in a siinilar manner. Respecting 15--50.] SUPERNATURAL DARKNESS. the title, see further on John, vv. 20—22. LAST WORDS, AND DEATH OF JESUS.

38.] Then, i.e. after the crucifixion Mark xv. 33–37. Luke xxiii. 44-46. of Jesus was accomplished. These thieves John xix. 28-30. The three accounts were led out with Jesus, and crucified, are here and there very closely allied ; perhaps by the same soldiers, or perhaps, Matthew and Mark almost verbally. Luke from ver. 36, by another band.

only, however, contains the words which 39-44.7 HE IS MOCKED ON THE CROSS. the Lord uttered before He expired, Mark xv. 29–32. Luke xxiii. 35-37, omits the incident which takes up our 39–43. Our narrative and that of St. Mark vv. 46-49, and inserts here the rending are from a common source. St. Luke's is of the veil. John is entirely distinct. wholly distinct. The whole of these in

45.] According to Mark, ver. 25,

« PreviousContinue »