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MATT. xiv. 5. MARK vi. 17–21. Luke iii. 19.
for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all
For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful Mark vi. 18.
for thee to have thy brother's wife. * Os, an in. Therefore Herodias had * a quarrel against him, Mark vi, 19.
se and would have killed him; but she could not:
For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a Mark vi. 20. +Or,kept him, just man and an holy, and + observed him; and
when he heard him, he did many things, and heard
And when he would have put him to death, he Matt. xiv. 5 c Ch. xxi. 26. feared the multitude, because they counted him
as a prophet 19.
MARK vi. part of ver. 17. LUKE ïi. 20. and MATTHEW xiv. 3, 4.
LUKE fi. 20.
MATTHEW xiv. 3, 4.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
18 Lightfoot inserts the imprisonment of John immediately after the delivery of his decisive testimony to the divine mission and Messiahship of our Lord. He is followed in this order by Newcome, Michaelis, and Doddridge; and on these united authorities I have inserted this event in its proper place. Lightfoot has so arranged it, because no other speech of the Baptist is recorded respecting Christ; and the Evangelists are unanimous in relating that our Saviour's journey into Galilee (the next thing they all mention) did not occur till after the imprisonment of John. Pilkington has made another disposition of the events already related, and places the imprisonment of John after the temptation and baptism, which he supposes did not take place till after our Lord's first visit to Jerusalem. It is not however necessary to discuss his arguments, as the date assigned by him, and Whiston, to our Lord's baptism, has been already consi. dered.
19 This account of the Baptist is confirmed by Josephus, who has related at length the history of this incestuous marriage between Herod the tetrarch, and
V. Æ. 27. came into Galilee.
Judxa. Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip. The tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas, a petty king of Arabia Petræa. Some time after, however, when he was at Rome, lodging in the house of Herod Philip, he became enamoured of Herodias, and persuaded her to marry him, promising on her consent that he would divorce his present wife. Josephus takes care to conceal that John was imprisoned on account of his reproving the tetrarch's conduct, and represents Herod as proceeding upon more general grounds. He describes John as a good man, who persuaded the Jews to moral and virtuous living, to justice towards each other, devotion towards God, and to become united by baptism; and as he had many followers, who were entirely devoted to him, the tetrarch deemed it advisable to seize and imprison him, before any revolt or insurrection should actually begin. On this account he ordered him to be apprehended, and sent as a prisoner to the castle of Mechærus, where he was afterwards killed. Soon after this event, Josephus adds, Herod's army was defeated and destroyed by Aretas, and the Jews considered the tetrarch's loss and defeat as a punishment from God for the murder of John the Baptist.
It is possible there may be no real difference between the Evangelist and Josephus. The former relates the real cause of the Baptist's imprisonment, as part of the secret history of the court of Herod; the latter gives the public and ostensible reason. It is indeed a common mistake among historians to impute great effects to proportionate causes; the most important events in history have arisen, and do arise, more frequently from the caprice, resentment, or other private motives of individuals, than from any well planned, or long intended system of political conduct (a).
Laing is of opinion that John was imprisoned twice by order of Herod. The arguments by which this opinion may be supported appear to have been so ably combated by Archbishop Newcome, that it is only necessary to refer the reader to his Harmony, p. 10. of the notes.
It has been objected that the name of the brother of Herod the tetrarch was not Philip, but Herod. Griesbach (Luke iii. 19.) has omitted the word in the text, but placed pidin nou in the margin. The discrepancy is easily obviated by the supposition that Philip assumed the name of Herod to distinguish his family and descent.
1 The order of events hitherto adopted in this arrangement has been nearly the same as that proposed by the five principal harmonizers, by whose authority,
(a) See Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 591, 592, and Josephus Antiq. lib. 18. cap. 7.
J. P. 4740. Now when Jesus heard that John was * cast Matt. iv. 12.
into prison, he departed, Judæa. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit Luke iv. 14. a John iv. 43.: a. * Or, deliver. into Galilee 2
as well as by an examination of the internal evidence, I have been principally influenced. With this chapter the more difficult task arises of reconciling the clashing authorities of commentators, and assigning satisfactory reasons for the place of every fact recorded. The present section gives an account of the commencement of the more public ministry of our Lord, after the imprisonment of John. That this is the proper place for the insertion of that event, may be proved by comparing John iii. 24. with Matt. iv. 12. and Mark i, 14. These passages are considered by all harmonists as sufficiently demonstrating that Christ did not begin to preach till after the imprisonment of John; and it is worthy of remark, that our blessed Lord begins his ministry with the same words as his appointed forerunner, (whose divine commission he thereby established) calling on all men to repent and to believe. Compare Mark i. 15. and Matt. iv. 17. I have inserted, with Pilkington, in this section, many of the parallel passages, to render the preface to the narrative of our Lord's public ministry more complete and satisfactory.
The more public ministry of our Lord may be properly said to commence with his preaching in Galilee. Though at his inauguration into his office at his baptism, and yet further by his driving the buyers and sellers from the temple, he had manifested himself to the people, he does not appear to have assumed the public office of preaching and instructing the people, till John was cast into prison. The reason of this ordering of events seems to have been, that undivided attention might be now paid to the ministry of our Lord. The fame of the Baptist had gone through the country, preparing the way of the Lord ; his preaching was known to all ; and all held John as a prophet. The time was fulfilled when a greater prophet than Jobn the Baptist was to begin his ministration. The expectation of the people had been excited to the utmost by the declarations of the Baptist; and, at the moment when the glory of the Messiah was anticipated, according to the sublime, though confused and imperfect notions of the Jews, there appears among them the being whom John had declared to be from above. He establishes no temporal kingdom, but he heals the sick, calms the ocean, raises the dead, demonstrates his connexion with, and knowledge of, an invisible world ; and instructs his hearers in other ideas of the kingdom of God, than they had hitherto entertained. Through a great part of this period, the Baptist, though in prison, was still alive, a faithful witness of his own prophecy—" He must increase, but I must decrease." The beams of his setting sun still reflected their last lustre on the stone which was now becoming the mountain to fill the whole earth.
2 Idolatry was introduced into the tribe of Dan, which in after ages was called Lower Galilee, by Micah. The account is contained in the 18th chapter of Judges. The first who carried captive any part of the people of Israel was Benhadad, king of Syria, who subdued Sion, Dan, Abel-beth-Maachah, Cinneroth, and the land of Napthali, all of which were included in Galilee. A heavier calamity was brought upon the same country by Tiglath Pileser, who again took the same towns, when they had begun to recover their prosperity, and sent the inhabitants as captives to Assyria.
Mark 1. 14. preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God, J. P. 4740.
the Line V.Æ. 27. Mark i. 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the king
. dom of God is at hand : repent ye, and believe the Judæa.
region round about.
And he taught in their synagogues, being glo
rified of all.
Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the
Luke iv. 15.
The account of the manner in which the tribe of Dan became possessed of part of the land of Palestine so far north as the most northern part of Galilee, is given in the 17th chapter of Judges. The town of Laish, afterwards called Dan, was situated on the north-west boundary of Napthali, on the border of Syria (a).
Many of the Jewish traditions assert that Galilee was to be the place where the Messiah should first appear (6); but for the more complete statement of the reasons why Christ was to dwell in Galilee, and a critical discussion of Isa. ix. 1-3, &c. vide J. Mede's Works (c).
Isa. ii. 19. When he shall arise to smite terribly the earth, is expounded in the book Zohar, as referring to the Messiah. When he shall arise, Ky9x220 50627, and shall be revealed in Galilee ; and other instances are given in Schoetgen (d).
The country beyond Jordan was called Galilee, though properly Peræa, Matt. iv. 15.
Judas is called by Gamaliel, Judas of Galilee, yet Josephus calls him a Galilonite, of the city of Gamala.
Peræa, called Galilee, because Canaan was divided into four tetrarchies-Judæa, Samaria, Iturea, and Trachonitis ; the remaining fourth was called Galilee, and included Peræa.
The great estates of Galilee are said to have feasted with Herod. But the palace of Herodium was in the extreme part of Peræa. It is not probable that the great men of Peræa would have been utterly excluded.
Joshua xxii. Il. refers to a place in Peræa, and Lightfoot supposes that the word “ Galilee” was derived from the name of that place (e), 17771 nibba.
Moses had predicted that Zabulon and Issachar, which, with Napthali, were the tribes originally settled in that tract of country, afterwards called Galilee, should call the people unto the mountain of the Lord's house, to offer sacrifices of righteousness, Deut. xxxiii. 19.-And Jacob had before predicted that Napthali, the Galilæan, should give goodly words, Gen. xlix. 21. Both evident predictions of the diffusal of the Gospel in both places (f ).
(a) Vide the maps of the tribe of Napthali, and of Canaan, in Wyld's Scripture Atlas, an admirable compendium of sacred geography. (6) Johar. Genes. fol. 74. col. 293. Revelabitur Messias in terra Galilæa. Pesikta sotarta, fol. 58. 1, 2, adverba nuiner, 24. 17. Johar. Exod. fol. col. 1. Illo die, &c. &c. 52 kyn) nu. (c) Discourse xxvi. p. 101. See also Lowth's Isaiah on this passage. (d) Vol. ii. p. 525, and vol. i. p. 11, &c. &c. (e) Lightfoot's Works, vol. i. p. 362. (f) Lightfoot's Works, vol. i. p. 627.
J. P. 4740.
- Esaias the prophet, saying, Judæa. Isai. ix. 1, 2. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Neph- Matt. iv. 15.
thalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,
The people which sat in darkness saw great Matt. iv. 16. light; and to them which sat in the region and
shadow of death light is sprung up. e Mark i. 14. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to Matt, iv. 17.
say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Christ's Conversation with the Woman of Samaria.
John iv. 1–43. 1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
3 When it is remembered that the traditions of the Jews referred to Galilee as the place where the Messiah shonld be revealed—and that the prophecy of Isaiah was thus fulfilled-it seemed impossible to point out a spot on the whole world, in which the ministry of the Messiah could commence with so much propriety as in Galilee of the Gentiles. This country was the first that had offended, and the first taken captive; and, through the mercy of God, it was the first to whom the words of pardon and reconciliation were offered. In the most minute circumstances, the beautiful harmony of the divine dispensations is every where most evident.
* There is a remarkable coincidence here in the three most memorable events which had occurred at Samaria. At this place the first proselytes were admitted into the Church of Israel, Gen. xxxiv. 29. and xxxv. 2. It was here that Christ first announced himself to be the Messiah, John iv. 26. and it was here also that the Gospel was first preached out of Jerusalem, after the ascension of Christ. Lightfoot also (a) is of opinion, that in this address to the woman of Samaria, the prophecy of Hosea ii. 15. was accomplished I will give the valley of Achor for a door of hope. He endeavours to prove that the valley of Achor ran along by the city of Sichem, or Samaria. And thus, when our Saviour first begins to preach to strangers, and to convert them, it is in this very valley ; and so he makes it a door of hope, or of conversion, to the Gentiles.
Our Lord might have had another object in view in thus addressing himself to the woman of Samaria. By his own example, he taught his followers the propriety, or necessity, of breaking down the distinctions then existing between the Jews and the Samaritans: and by so doing, he gives them an evident proof of his superiority over the Jewish teachers, who encouraged the reciprocal enmity
(a) Works, vol. i. p. 596.