Imágenes de páginas

John xi. 52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should Jerusalem.

gather together in one the children of God that were
scattered abroad.

The Sanhedrim resolve to 'put Christ to Death.

JOHN xi. 53.
John xi. 53. Then from that day forth they took counsel together

for to put him to death.

שונה אליו לצורך שעה לכבוד ישרצל וכרי לברכם

expression of Caiaphas must be considered as a real prophecy,
yet the High Priest bimself was unworthy of the honourable
name of prophet. To this purpose he quotes the accurate con-
clusions of Origen; and thus sums up his remarks-Quamobrem
bene horum, de quibus loquimor, congruens in unam sententiam
divinatio descripta a Basilio est, catena, a Dan. Heinsio e MS.
edita-πώς δε και Βαλαάμ προφητεύει και Καϊάφας; ότι κακείνοι τες
πειθομένες είχον, ο μεν ως αρχιερεύς, ο δε ως μάντις ε γάρ ψυχής
καθαρότης, ουδε διαύγεια να ενορώντος εις θεόν, και την εκείθεν
δύναμιν σπώντος· αλλ' οικονομικός εν αυτοίς ο λόγος, και κατά την
ažiav, állà apòs tov kaipóv. Idem de Bileamo judicium est R.
Isaaci Abarbenelis ad Jos. xiii. 27. 727 mar 213V 7D 77977

Grotius (b) quotes several curious opinions of the ancients re-
specting the communion of their chiefs and superiors with an
invisible world. Homer tells us that a dream was only to be
depended upon when it occurred to Agamemnon. The Spar-
taos esteemed those dreams only as prophetical which were pre-
sented to the Ephori. Oracular responses were given both to
Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, to Lamech and Balaam. And in
the former dispensation it belonged to the kings, or to the chief
magistrate, to consult by Urim and Thummin (c).

Ďr. Lardner observes on these words, by prophesying-"I understand foretelling the event; which it was in a peculiar manner the office ofthe priest to do, when he was inquired of, or when God was inquired oč by him, concerning any important matters under deliberation.”-See 1 Sam. xxii. Il-13. xxiii. 9-11. and 2 Sam. v. 22–25. He thus paraphrases the whole passage

“ Caiaphas, who was the High Priest at that time, when it came to bis turn to deliver his opinion, said, You have hitherto talked very weakly and ignorantly; you may proceed in the case before you without hesitation. The taking away the life of this man will be so far from being ruinous to the whole nation in this country, and in other parts, as some of you fear, that it will be much for the advantage of the people of God, every where. This however he said, not merely of himself, but being then High Priest, he foretold the issue and event of their counsels, and of the death of Jesus : and that it would come to pass that Jesus would die for that nation, and not for that nation only; but that through his death he would gather together in one the children of God, which were scattered abroad (d).".

The advice of Caiaphas is such, indeed, as might have been expected from an unprincipled and worldly politician. He recommends them to save the stato, by sacrificing the author of their supposed danger. One man must die for the peoplethat is, the life of this Jesus, although he has performed sach mighty works, is of no value when compared with the possibi.

Christ retires to Ephraim, or Ephrata.

JOHN xi. 54.
John xi. 54.

Jesus therefore, walked no more openly among the Ephraim. Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

State of the public Mind at Jerusalem, immediately preced-
ing the last Passover, at which Christ attended.

JOHN xi. 55. to che end.
John xi. 55. And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand : and many

went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the pas

sover, to purify themselves.
56. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among them-

selves as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he

will not come to the feast ?
57. Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given

a commandment, that if any man knew where he were, he
should shew it, that they might take him.

Christ comes to Bethany, where he is anointed by Mary *.
MATT. xxvi. 6-13. MARK xiv. 3-9. JOHN xii. 1-11.

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Beth- Bethany.
any, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he
raised from the dead.

John xii. 1.

lity of danger. The Evangelist certainly refers to this speech
of Caiaphas, as if it had been spoken under a divine impulse, of
which he was totally unconscious.

Diodati, in his Annotations, writes "God guided the tongue
of the High Priest: so that thinking to utter a speech accord-
ing to his own wicked meaning, he pronounced an oracle ac-
cording to God's meaning; as the High Priest bad oftentimes
inspirations from God." Exod. xxviii. 15. Numb. xxvii. 21.

(a) Printed in the collection of tracts which compose the 13th volume of the Critici Sacri, p. 528. (6) Critici Sacri in loc. vol. vii. p. 221, and Joh. Pricæi Annotata, at the end of vol. vii. p. 356. (c) I may here take the opportunity of observing a contradiction in the folio edition of Lightfoot's works. In his gleanings on Exodus, Lightfoot supports the opinion that the High Priest heard a voice, when consulting the Oracle by Urim and Thummim; but in his sermons be advocates the opinion, that he was suddenly inspired by the spirit of prophecy.-Vide Life of Lightfoot, prefixed to his works, folio edition. (d) Lardner's Works, vol. i. 4to. edit. p. 211.

36 Harmonists have been much divided on the proper place of the anointing our Lord at Bethany. Some have supposed that this unction was performed twice, others but once. Lightfoot and Pilkington bave advocated the hypothesis of a twofold unc

Mark xiv, 3.

And being in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, Bethany.

tion. Archbishop Newcome supposes there was one only, which
he places two days before the passover. Doddridge and Mi-
ebaelis have concluded that our Lord was anointed once only,
and refer the event to the sixth day before the passover.

After an attentive perusal of the several reasons adduced by
each harmonist, I have adopted the opinion of Miebaelis and
Doddridge. The German harmonist, in his chapter on the
Rules to be observed in making a Harmony of the Gospels, has
selected this event as the example by which to illustrate the
position “that two or more relations may be very similar, and
yet not the samo ; and these must be carefully distinguished
from each other. The following instance, he observes, may
serve to shew the manner in which I apply the rules in ques-
tion. The Evangelists, St. Matthew (chap. xxvi. 6. 13.) and
St. Mark (chap. xiv. 3. 9.) have related that Christ was anoint-
ed in the week preceding his death, and all the commentators
are agreed that both of them mean the same unction. St. Jobn
likewise (chap. xiii. 1. 8) relates that Christ was anointed in
the same week, and the unction which he describes, is, in my
opinion, the very same with that which St. Matthew and st.
Mark have recorded; but, according to others, it was totally
different, and happened four days earlier. Now that two dif
ferent unctions happened twice in the same week, is more than
I am able to believe. The two unctions above mentioned, if we
consider as two, what I believe to be one, agree in the follow-
ing circumstances :

1. Both happened at Bethany.

2. In both cases Jesus was anointed, not by his host, but by a woman. However, as Christ was frequently at Bethany, these circumstances are not so very remarkable.

3. Both unctions took place, as I shall prove in the sequel, not in the house of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, where we might soonest expect him, but at another house.

4. Both happened in the last week before the suffering of Christ.

5. In both eases the ointment was so expensive, that the unction had the appearance of profusion.

6. In both cases we meet with the remarkable circumstance,
that the ointment was not purchased for the purpose to which it
was applied, but that it had been preserved for some time by
the person who used it: for the disciples were offended that the
ointment was not sold and given to the poor; and in the ac-
count which is given by St. John (chap. xii. 7.) it is expressly
said by Jesus, " against the day of my burying hath she kept
this.” One migbt almost conjecture that it was the remainder
of the ointment which Mary and Martha had purchased for the
funeral of Lazarus : the thought presents itself at least, on
reading St. John's description, as not improbable (a).

7. In both cases the unction is censured by the disciples.
8. In both cases the ground of censure is the same.

9. In both cases the unction is defended by Jesus, and the
same answer given to the disciples.

10. The expression, vápoos FISIKI), which is not only very unusuah, apd therefore obscure, but occurs in not a single instance either in the Septuag or in the New Testament, except on this occasion, is used both by St Mark and by St. Jobn: the ointment therefore used in both cases was strictly the same.

John xii. 2.

There they made him a supper; and Martha served : Bethany, but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

These circumstances are too numerous and too particular, to bave bappened twice: not to mention the improbability that the disciples, after having been rebuked by Jesus six days befure Easter, for having censured the unction, should presume to repeat their cepsure on a similar occasion, on the second day before Easter. For it contained a manifest disregard to Jesus bimself, which they must have very sensibly felt, when he answered them, “The poor ye will always have with you, but me ye will not always,” John xii. 8. and of which, therefore, they would hardly have been guilty only four days afterwards.

In the two accounts, which are given by St. Matthew and St. John, I perceive not the least variation, except that in some points the one is more copious than the other; but their descriptions are so far from being inconsistent, that they have all the appearance of proceeding from two different eye-witnesses to the same fact.

1. According to St. Matthew and St. Mark, a woman anoints Jesus ; according to St. John, he is anointed by Mary, and, if we may judge from what he says in the second verse, by Mary, the sister of Lazarus. This however is no contradiction, when one historian omits the name of the woman, the other mentions it. Nay, even from the very silence of st. Matthew and St. Mark, with respect to the name, may be deduced an argument in support of the opinion, that the unction described by St. Matthew and St. John is the same. St. Matthew and St. Mark must bave bad particular reasons for concealing the name of the woman, since, according to their own relation, Jesus declared that what she had done should be preached in the whole world for a memorial of her. Now this cannot have happened unless she was the Mary mentioned by St. John: and it would follow, from the supposition of two different unctions, that the declaration of Jesus had remained unfulfilled. Perhaps the real state of the case is as follows: the two first Evangelists, who have made no mention of the raising of Lazarus from the dead, that they might not expose him to the persecution of the Jewish Sanhedrim, have probably, from the same reason, coucealed the name of his sister Mary, who anointed Jesus with the ointment which remained after the interment of Lazarus. St. John, on the contrary, expressly mentions it, because he wrote after the destruction of Jerusalem, and could therefore have no reason for concealing the pame either of Lazarus or Mary.

2. According to St. Matthew, the entertainment was given at the house of Šimon the leper ; according to St. John, Lazarus was one of them who sat at the table with him, (ELS twv avakalpevwv,) and his sister Martha served. Some commentators have considered this as a variation in the account, and have concluded, from St. John's description, that the entertainment was given at the house of Lazarus. But this is certainly not true, since no one in speaking of the master of the house would say, "he was one of those who sat at the table.” On the contrary, this very expression proves that he was only a guest, and that the entertainment was given at the house of a friend, in which bis sister, who was a diligent housewife, (see Luke x. 40.) prepared the table.

Mark xiv. 3. as he sat at meat,


3. According to St. Matthew, the woman poured the box of ointment on the head of Jesus; according to St. John she apointed his feet. But even this circumstance is not sufficient to prove two distinct unctions, thougb among all the variations it is the most considerable. That Mary did not leave the head of Jesus unanointed, we may take for granted, from the general practice of the easl; but this is not related by St. John, who mentions only the more extraordinary circumstance omitted by St. Matthew and St. Mark, that the woman anointed his feet. It is agreeable to John's peculiar manner to relate circumstances omitted by his predecessors.

4. According to St. Matthew, the disciples in general, according to St. Mark, only some of them had indignation, and censured the woman. This cannot be considered as a contradiction : for when St. Mattbew says, in general terms, “ the disciples," it does not necessarily follow that he meant all of them, without exception; nor is it probable that all of them expressed their opinion. But St. John mentions Judas Iscariot, as the person who censured the action. Still, however, we cannot conclude that the Evangelists have described two different unctions. One of the disciples must bave made a beginning, to whom others acceded, though probably not in the same words. This person is particularly named by St. John, who likewise adds the motive which induced him to cast the censure. Perhaps St. Matthew and St. Peter acceded to the opinion of Judas, but not St. Jobn; and hence St. Matthew and St. Mark speak openly in the plural number, that they might not conceal the part which St. Matthew and St. Peter had taken in this unjust censure.

It is further objected, that the clear and certain marks by which the time is determined by the different Evangelists, prove two distinct traosactions; that St. John mentions expressly the sixth day before Easter, (John xii. I.) and St. Matthew as expressly the second day before Easter, (Matt. xxvi. 2.) as the day on which the unction happened. But, as far as my eyes enable me to see, the assertion is really ungrounded. That St. John has determined the date to be the sixth day before the passover, is not to be disputed. But St. Matthew is silent as to the day on which the unction happened ; and it is owing only to the modern division of Matthew's text into chapters, that we suppose he has determined the time. The Evangelist bas not written, “On the second day before the passover, Jesus was at an entertainment at Bethany,” but after having related a discourse which Jesus bad made to his disciples, he adds, “ And it came to pass, when Jesus bad finished all those sayings, he said unto his disciples, ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” Immediately afterwards the Evangelist relates the plot which was formed against the life of Jesus, in the following manner: “ Then (TÓTE) assembled together the chief priests and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. But they said, not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.” Now the word Tóre, which is capable of a very extensive signification, not more determines this consultation to have happened on the same day on which Jesus

« AnteriorContinuar »