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vi. 02. q ver. 2. Matt. xxviii. 3. Mark xvi.5. Luke
ch. I. 3, 30. sch. ii. 7:
xiii.31. t Dan. vii. 13.
p Luke xxiv. all Judæa, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of
the earth. 9 P And when he had spoken these things, 0 Market, while they beheld, 9 he was i taken up; and a cloud John 11. 12. received nim out of Un
received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked Sch. 11:43. stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men 1 Dan. vii. 18. stood by them in white apparel ; 11 which also said, - Ye Soi Mark men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven ? this John xiv..same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, 10 ; iv. 16. . shall so come in like manner as ye k have seen him go into u Luke'zziv. heaven. 12 u Then returned they unto Jerusalem from
Luke xxi. 27.
i render, lifted up. It is not the same word as in ver. 2.
k render, beheld him going. See on verses 21, 22, and Introduction, a manifest propriety in the last withch. i. § 3, paragraph 5. both in Je. drawal of the Lord, while ascending, rusalem ..... By the extension of their not consisting in a disappearance of His testimony, from Jerusalem to Samaria, Body, as on former occasions since the and then indefinitely over the world, Resurrection; for thus might His abiding He reproves, by implication, their car- Humanity have been called in qnestion. nal anticipation of the restoration of the As it was, He went up, past the visible Kingdom to Israel thus understood. The boundary of Heaven, the cloud,- in human Kingdom was to be one founded on testi. form, and so we think of and pray to Him. mony, and therefore reignimg in the con
10.] as he went (or was going) up, victions of men's hearts; and not confined not " when He had gone up :" implying to Judæa, but coextensive with the world. that the cloud remained visible for some The Apostles understood this command only time, probably ascending with Him. of Jews scattered through the world, see two men] These were evidently angels. ch. xi. 19.-De Wette observes, that these See Luke xxiv. 4: John xx. 12. 11.) words contain the whole plan of the Acts : which (not only appeared but) also said. Ye shall receive power by the Holy There is a propriety in the address, Ye Ghost coming upon you, ch. ii. 1 to end; men of Galilee. It served to remind the witnesses in Jerusalem, ch. ii. 1-vi. them of their origin, their call to be 7; then the martyrdom of Stephen dis. His disciples, and the duty of obedience persed them through Judæa, vi. 8-viii. 3; to Him resting on them in consequence. they preach in Samaria, viii. 4-40; and, in like manner as;- to be taken from that point, the conversion of the literally; as you beheld Him going, so Apostle of the Gentiles, the vision of shall He be seen coming: in the same Peter, the preaching and journeys of Paul. human form, and in the clouds of heaven, In their former mission, Matt. x. 5, 6, Luke xxi. 27. His corporeal identity is they had been expressly forbidden from implied in the words, this same Jesus. preaching either to Samaritans or Gentiles. “Notice, it is not said that they who saw
9.) This appears (see Introduction, Him ascending should also see Him come ch. iv. § 4, paragraph 2) to be an account again. Between the Ascension and the of the Ascension furnished to St. Luke glorious Advent no exent is interposed subsequently to the publication of his which can be put in comparison with Gospel, more particular in detail than either of thein: and in consequence these that found in it. He has not repeated two are placed together. It was then with here details found there; see Luke xxiv. reason that the Apostles, before the giving 50–52. On the Ascension in general, see of the Apocalypse, looked to the day of note on Luke, as above.
he was Christ as very near. And it is agreeable lifted up] We may understand this of the to the Majesty of Christ, that He should commencing ascent, when He was first be expected without intermission during lifted from the ground where they were the whole interval between the Ascension standing: the next clause, a cloud re- and His Advent." Bengel. 12.] In ceived him out of their sight, describes so careful a writer (see Luke i. 3), there the close of the scene, as far as it was must be some reason why this minute visible to the spectators. There was specification of distance should be here in
the mount called 'Olivet, which is m from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 13 And when they were come in,
X ch. ix. 37, 39: n they went up * into an upper room, where abode both y Peter, *
Teler, XX. 8.
y Matt. 1. 2, 3, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Matt. . Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [o the son] of Alphæus, and 2 Simon Zelotes, and a Judas [o the brother] of James. z Luke vi. 15.
z Luke vi, 15.
a Jude 1. 14 b These all continued with one accord in prayer and sup
b ch. ii. 1, 46. I literally here, olive yard. m render, nigh unto Jerusalem, being a sabbath day's journey.
a render, they went up into the upper chamber where they were sojourning ; (namely],
o not expressed in the original. serted, when no such appears in the Gospel. stated (Luke xxiv. 53) that they were And I believe this will be found, by como “continually in the temple.” As if such bining the hint dropped by Chrysostom, an expression could be literally under“ It seems to me that these things must stood, or taken to mean more than that have happened on a Sabbath: for the they were there at all appointed times (see Evangelist would not have thus stated the ch. ii. 1). It is in the highest degree imdistance ... except they had had their jour. probable that the disciples would be found ney limited by its being the Sabbath day," assembled in any public place at this time. -with the declaration in the Gospel (xxiv. The upper chainber was perhaps that in 50) that he led them out as far as to which the last Supper bad been taken; proBethany. This latter was (John xi. 18) bably that in which they had been since fifteen stadia from Jerusalem, which is then assembled (John xx. 19, 26), but cer. more than twice the Sabbath day's jour- tainly one in a private house. Lightfoot ney (2000 cubits = about six furlongs). shews that it was the practice of the Jews Now if the Ascension happened on the to retire into a large chamber under the Sabbath, it is very possible that offence flat roof for purposes of deliberation or may have arisen at the statement in the prayer. Epiphanius relates that “when Gospel: and that therefore the Evan Hadrian came to Jerusalem, he found the gelist gave here the more exact notice, whole city levelled with the ground, and that the spot, although forming part of the temple of God trodden down, with the the district of Bethany, was yet on that exception of a few houses, and the church part of the Mount of Olives which fell of God, which was but small, where the within the limits of the Sabbath day's disciples, on their return, after the Saviour journey. This of course must be a mere had been received up from the Mount of conjecture; but it will not be impugned Olives, went up into the upper chamber. by the fact of the Ascension being kept by For there it was built, that is, in the the Church in after ages on a Thursday. region Zion; which survived the desolaThis formed no hindrance to Chrysostom tion .... even to the time of Bishop in making the above supposition : although Maximus, and the Emperor Constantine : the festival was certainly observed in his like a cottage in a vineyard, as it is time. Forty days from the Resurrection written.” And Nicephorus says that the is an expression which would suit as well Empress Helena enclosed in her larger the Saturday of the seventh week as the church the room where took place the Thursday. The distance of the Mount descent of the Holy Spirit in the upper of Olives from Jerusalem is stated by chamber. where they were sojourn. Josephus at five stadia, in one pas. ing] not to be taken, as in A. V. ‘where sage,-at six stadia, in another; different abode both Peter,' &c.; which gives the points being taken as the limit. The idea that Peter, &c. were already in the present church of the Ascension rather chamber, and the rest joined them there :exceeds the distance of six stadia from the but, on entering the city, they went up city. 13. when they were come in] into the upper chamber, where they viz. into the city.
the upper (usually) sojourned (not dwelt :' they did chamber] The idea that this was a cham- not all dwell in one house; see John xix. ber in the Temple has originated in low 27, note), namely, Peter, &c.—On the literal-harmonistic views, St. Luke having catalogue of the Apostles, see Matt. x. 2,
c Luke xxiii.
10. d Matt. xiii. 55.
1 Ps. xli. 9.
John xiii. 18. & Luke xxii.
c Luke stijl. plication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, o and [p with] d his brethren.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the v. iii. . disciples, and said, (the number e of names together were
about an hundred and twenty,) 16 r Men and brethren, this 18. scripture must needs have been fulfilled, ' which the Holy
Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Tenkes vi. 10. Judas, 8 which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 & For
h. 21:11. h he was numbered with us, and had obtained t part of k Matt. xvil. i this ministry. 18 k Now this man purchased a field with P omit.
9 read, brethren. r better render, for perspicuity's sake, simply, Brethren. The original is “Men [who are] brethren."
S render, Because. t better literally, the lot. The word is the same as that so rendered in rer, 26.
h Matt. x. 4.
5, 7, 8.
note. 14. with the women) viz. those would hardly be used except where the spoken of by St. Luke himself, Luke viii. number is small. See Rev. ii. 4, and note. 2, 3, — where, besides those named, he
an hundred and twenty] De mentions many others. Some have pro Wette asks, where were the 500 brethren posed to render the phrase “with their of 1 Cor. xv. 6?' We surely may answer, wives :" but many of these were certainly not in Jerusalem. 16.) We may not wives of the Apostles ; and that those enquire, by what change in mind and women who were last at the Cross and power Peter was able, before the descent of earliest at the tomb’ should not have been the Spirit, thus authoritatively to speak of assembled with the company now, is very Scripture and the divine purposes ? The improbable. and Mary the mother answer will be found in the peculiar gift of of Jesus] The and gives eminence to one the Spirit to the Apostles, John xx. 21, 23; among those previously mentioned. This where see note. — The pre-eminency of is the last mention of her in the N. T. Peter here is the commencement of the The traditions, which describe her as (1) fulfilment of Matt. xvi. 18, 19 (see note dying at the age of fifty-nine, in the fifth there).
17.] Because gives the year of Claudius, or (2) accompanying St. reason of the previous assertion, viz. that John to Ephesus, and being buried there, Judas held, and had betrayed, that place are untrustworthy. Other accounts, with of high trust of which the prophecy spoke. the authorities, may be seen in Butler's Thus it has reference to the substance of Lives of the Saints, Aug. 15. The fable of the prophecy, already in Peter's mind, and the Assumption has no foundation even in serves to explain the words “his habitatradition. and his brethren] This tion,” and “his bishoprick,” which occur clearly shews, as does John vii. 5 compared in the prophecy. had obtained the with vi. 67, 70, that none of the brethren lot] not literally, but inasmuch as the lot of our Lord were of the number of the of every man is regarded as being cast and I'welve. When they were converted, is appointed by God. 18.] This verse quite uncertain. See the whole subject cannot be regarded as inserted by St. discussed in note on Matt. xiii. 55, and in Luke; for, 1. the place of its insertion the Introduction to the Epistle of James. would be most unnatural for an historical
15 - 26.7 ELECTION OF A TWELFTH notice : 2. the form of its introduction in APOSTLE TO FILL THE ROOM OF JUDAS the original forbids the supposition : 3. the ISCARIOT. 15. in those days] In the whole style of the verse is rhetorical, and days between the Ascension and Pentecost: not narrative, e.g. “ this man,” “the reduring which it appears that the number of ward of iniquity.”—The statement, that the assembly had increased, not probably he bought a field, does not appear to agree by fresh conversions, but by the gathering with the account in Matt. xxvii. 6–8; round the Apostles of those who had pre- nor, consistently with common honesty, viously been disciples. the number of can they be reconciled, unless we kneto names] that is, of persons : but the term more of the facts than we do. If we com
the reward of a iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst 1 Matt. IXVI.
16. 2 Pet. asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out, f. 15. 19 and it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem;
a render, his iniquity. pare the two, that of St. Matthew is the probable, and will only be assumed by more particular, and more likely to give those who take a very low view of the rise to this one, as a general inference accuracy of the Evangelists. Dismissing from the buying of the field, than vice then this solution, let us compare the versá. Whether Judas, as Bengel sup- accounts themselves. In this case, that in poses, began the purchase, and so gave Matt. xxvii. is general,-ours particular. occasion for its being completed by the That depends entirely on the exact sense Chief Priests, we cannot say : such a thing to be assigned to the word which we is of course possible, but is certainly not render “hanged himself;" whereas this contemplated by St. Matthew's account, directly assigns the manner of his death, where the priests settle to buy the field, without stating any cause for the falling on deliberation, what they should do with on his face. It is obvious that, while the the money. At all events we hence clearly general term used by Matthew points see that St. Luke could not have been mainly at self-murder, the account given acquainted with the Gospel of St. Matthew here does not preclude the catastrophe at this time, or surely this apparent dis. related having happened, in some way, as a crepancy would not have been found. divine judgment, during the suicidal at. The various attempts to reconcile the two tempt. Further than this, with our prenarratives, which may be seen in most of sent knowledge, we cannot go. An accurate our English commentaries, are among the acquaintance with the actual circumstances saddest examples of the shifts to which would account for the discrepancy, but otherwise high-minded men are driven by nothing else. Another kind of death is an unworthy system. A notable example assigned to Judas by Ecumenius, quoting occurs in a solution lately proposed, that from Papias : “ Papias, the disciple of the as the Jews are said to have crucified Apostle John, relates, that Judas, as he our Lord when they were only the occa- walked about, was a great example of God's sion of his being crucified, so Judas may be judgments on impiety in this world; for said to have bought the field when he only that he swelled up to a fearful size, and gave occasion to its being bought by the once on attempting to pass through (a Chief Priests. I need hardly say to any gateway) at the same time with a waggon intelligent and ingenuous reader, that this which left ample space, he was crushed by is entirely precluded here by the words the waggon, so that his bowels gushed with the reward of his iniquity, which out.” This tradition may be in accordance plainly bind on the purchase to Judas with, and may have arisen from an exas his personal act. and falling aggerated amplification of, our text. See headlong] The connexion of this with more in the note in my Greek Test. the former clause would seem to point to be burst asunder: the word implies burstthe death of Judas having taken place ing with a noise. It is quite possible that in the field which he bought. See also this catastrophe happening in the field, ver. 19. falling headlong will hardly as our narrative implies, may have sugbear the meaning assigned to it by those gested its employment as a burial-place who wish to harmonize the two accounts, for strangers, as being defiled. 19.] - viz. that, having hanged himself, he fell It is principally from this verse that it has by the breaking of the rope. It would been inferred that the two verses 18, 19 are rather point, as the word used is ex- inserted by St. Luke. But it is impossible plained, to a sudden fall forward on the to separate it from ver. 18; and I am face by a stroke from God, or by an acci. disposed to regard both as belonging to dent. Nor again is it at all probable that Peter's speech, but freely given by St. the Apostle would recount what was a Luke, inserting into the speech itself the mere accident accompanying his death, explanations, “ in their proper tongue," when that death itself was the accursed one and “ that is to say, the field of blood,” as of hanging. What then are we to decide if the speech had been spoken in Greek respecting the two accounts ? That there originally. This is much more natural, should have been a double account actually than to parenthesize these clauses ; it is, in current of the death of Judas at this fact, what must be more or less done by all early period, is in the highest degree im- who report in a language different from
insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue
Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20 For it is m Ps. lis. 26. written in the book of Psalms, m Let his habitation be n Ps. cix. 8. desolate, and let no man dwell therein : and, His
vbishoprick let another take. 21 Wherefore of these men
which have companied with us all the time that the Lord o Mark i.l. Jesus went in and out among us, 22 ° beginning from the p ver. I.
baptism of John, unto that same day that P he was taken , John IV. 27. up from us, must one z be ordained 9 to be a witness with us Ws8 h. of his resurrection. 23 And they appointed two, Joseph
V render, office. S the original has merely, become a witness. that actually used by the speaker. The there one adversary is even more pointedly words and idioms of a mother tongue con- marked out. See also Ps. lv. bishoptain allusions and national peculiarities rick] not necessarily such, in technical which never could have been in the mind accuracy: the word may signify any of one speaking in a different language; overseership, office, or charge. But, con. but the ear tolerates these, or easily sepa. sidering the usage of the word and its rates them, if critically exercised. it cognates, in this and the following books was known....) See Luke xxiv. 18. of the N. T., and in the church, I regard it The field of blood ] In Matt. xxvii. 8, the as best to keep every where the literal name 'the field of blood' is referred to rendering, leaving each passage to explain the fact of its baving been bought with the itself. 21.7 Wherefore, since all this price of blood : here, to the fact of Judas has happened to Judas, and since it is the having there met with a signal and bloody divine will that another should take the death. On the whole, I believe the result charge which was his. all the time to which I have above inclined will be found This definition of the necessary qualificathe best to suit the phenomena of the two tion of an apostle exactly agrees with our passages,-viz. that, with regard to the Lord's saying in John xv. 27: “And ye purchase of the field, the more circum- also are witnesses, because ye have been stantial account in Matthew is to be with me from the beginning.” See Introadopted; with regard to the death of Judas, duction, ch. i., 83, paragraph 5. 22.] the more circumstantial account of Luke. the baptism of John is mentioned as a The clue which joins these has been lost to well-known date, including of course the us : and in this, only those will find any opening event of our Lord's ministry, His stumbling-block, whose faith in the veracity own baptism by John. That John conof the Evangelists is very weak indeed. tinued to baptize for some time after that,
The field originally belonged to a can be no possible objection to the assignpotter, and was probably a piece of land ment of John's baptism' generally, as the which had been exhausted of its clay fit for date of the commencement of the apostolic his purposes, and so was useless. Jerome testimony. We may notice, that from this relates that it was still shewn on the South point, the baptism of John, the testimony side of Mount Sion, in which neighbour of the Evangelists themselves in their hood there is even now a bed of white clay. Gospels properly begins, Matt. iii. 1, Mark
20.] For, the connexion being, all i. 1, Luke iii. 1, John i. 6. a witness this happened and became known,' &c., 'in .... of his resurrection] This one event accordance with the prophecy,' &c. Ps. was the passage-point between the Lord's lxix. is eminently a Messianic psalm, - life of humiliation and His life of glory, spoken in the first place of David and his the completion of His work below and be. kingdom and its enemies, and so, according ginning of His work above. And to give to the universal canon of Old Testament witness with power of the Resurrection interpretation, of Him in whom that king (ch. iv. 33), would be to discourse of it as dom found its true fulblment, and of His being all this : in order to which, the whole enemies. And Judas being the first and ministry of Jesus must be within the cycle most notable of these, the Apostle applies of the Apostle's experience. It is remarkeminently to him the words which in the able that Peter here lays down experience Psalm are spoken in the plural of all such of matters of fact, not eminence in any enemies. The same is true of Ps. cix., and subjective grace or quality, as the con.