« AnteriorContinuar »
ra ge Iuded to this particular manner of it, viz. Crucifixion, which was a punishment peculiar to the Romans. Thus he says (John xii. 32.) “If I be lifted up from the earth.” (John iii. 14.) “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so shall the Son of man be lifted up.”—Priestley. 387. Matt. xxvii. 26. When he had scourged jesus. It was customary among the Romans to scourge those who were sentenced to crucifixion.—Newcome. 388. Matt. xxvii. 28. Put on him a scarlet robe. Mark and John say the colour was purple. Instances occur among the ancient writers, where these two colours are confounded. Horace, in his second book of satires, has a striking example of it. See Sat. 6, line 102–106. It is also a probable circumstance, that the colour might be of that intermediate shade between purple and scarlet, as to render it difficult for a superficial observer to discriminate with precision. Matt. xxvii. 30. And they spit upon him. This was an instance of the utmost contempt and detestation. It was ordered by the law of Moses, as a severe punishment, carry. ing with it a lasting disgrace, Deut. xxv. 9. Among the Medes and Persians it was highly offensive to spit in any one’s presence. “They abhor me; they flee far from me; they forbear not to spit in my face.” Job xxx. 10. And Jehovah said unto Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days * Numb. xii. 14. On which place Sir John Chardin remarks, “That spitting before, or spitting on the ground, in speaking of any one’s actions, is through the East an expression of extreme detestation.”—Harmer. And according to Neibuhr, the Arabs entertained the same motions. It so evidently appears that in these countries it has ever been an expression of the utmost detestation, that the learned doubt whether in the passages above mentioned, any thing more is meant than spitting (not in the face, which perhaps the words do not necessarily imply, but only) in the presence of the person affronted. If spitting in a person’s presence was such an indignity, how much more spitting upon him : See Luke xviii. 32. Mark x. 34.—Note from Lowth's Isaiah. 390. Matt. xxvii. 24. Took water and washed his hands. It was the custom among the ancients, when they had shed blood, to wash their hands in water, in order to purify themselves. Whitby. 392. Matt. xxvii. 6. Because it is the price of blood. The Jews and the first Christians esteemed it not lawful for executioners to make any offerings or alms; so by analogy, money by which a life was bought was not to be put into the treasury. Hammond.
* Acts 18. Now this man purchased a field. The word in Greek (szrna aro) signifies, was the occasion of purchasing. It is very frequent in sacred as well as other writings, to represent a man as doing that, which he is only the cause or occasion of another’s doing. See Acts i. 23. John xix. 1. Matt. xxvii. 59–60. 393. Matt. xxvii. 33. And as they came out, &c. Grotius observes, that in the time of Moses capital punishment was inflicted out of the camp. Numb. xv. 35. And that the Romans also executed offenders out of their encampments and out of their cities. See Hebrews xiii 11, 12, 13. John xix. 17. And he bearing his cross. Those who suf. fered crucifixion among the Romans bare their own cross (i. e. the transverse piece of wood to which the arms were afterwards fastened) to the place of execution; an act which was considered as part of the infamy.—Grotius. 394. Luke xxiii. 31. If they do these things in a green tree, what will be done in the dry 3 In many passages of the Old Testament, a green or flourishing tree is used as an emblem of prosperity, peace and plenty; a dry withered tree denotes the contrary state. The proper sense of this expression therefore is as follows: “If such outrages be committed, if innocent people be put to death, in a time of general tranquility, what must be expected in those times of war and desolation, which are approaching : Compare Ezek. xvii. and xix. and xx. 47. Hosea x. 1, 8, xi. 6., and Eccl. vi. 3. Psalms i. 3. lxxx. 10, &c. Job xxix. 19. xviii. 16. and viii. 16.—Willan. 395. Matt. xxvii. 34. They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. Mark says, wine mingled with myrrh. Several commentators have given elucidations, and reconciled these varying accounts. Their mode of reconciliation is ingenious, yet depending in such a particular manner on the critical nicety of the languages, as may in this place be more pro... perly avoided. Should the biblical reader wish for information, Marsh’s Translation of Michaelis' Introduction to the New Testament, vol. 3, page 159; Grottii Annotationes in Libros Evangel in loc.; Newcome’s notes in the folio edition of his Greek Harmony, page 52 ; and Beausobre and Lenfant’s version of St. Matthew, note on Matt. xxvii. 34. furnish interesting information on the subject. 396. Matt. xxviii. 37, and parallel verses. No two Fvangelists, you observe, agree in reciting exactly in the same words the written inscription, which was put over Christ when he was crucified. I admit that there is an unessential verbal difference; and are you certain that there was not a verbal difference in the inscriptions themselves? One was written in Hebrew, another in Greek, another in Latin; and though 3 P
they had all the same meaning, yet it is probable, that if two
399. Matt. xxvii. 44. Mark xv. 32. What is true only of one
of the malefactors, related by Luke, is attributed to both in in the concise relations of Matthew and Mark, the plural being often used in the gospels for the singular. This the
Evangelists themselves shew, in some instances. Compare page 179. Matt. xv. 15. and Mark vii. 17, Page 147, Mark v. 31, Luke viii. 45. Page 164, Matt xiv. 17. Miark vi. 38. Luke ix. 13. John vi. 8, 9. In the following places the plural is used, and the sense shews that one is spoken of. John xi. 8. I.uke xx. 21, 39. xxiv. 5. Matt. xv. 1, 12. The Evangelists therefore, when from attention to brevity they avoid particularising, often attribute to many what is said or done by single persons; nor does any striking peculiarity in the case omitted lead them to deviate from their manner; for instance, the case of Judas. See Matt. xxvi. 8. and the parallel places.—Newcome.
400. Matt. xxvii. 45. The sixth hour. There are two sorts of
days ; the natural one, which is the space of twenty-four hours from one sun-set to another; and the other, called artificial or civil, consisting of twelve hours, from the rising to the setting of the sun. The civil day, that is, the sun's stay above the horizon, was by the Jews divided into four parts, each of which consisted of three hours, that were longer or shorter according to the different seasons of the year. The first was from six o'clock in the morning till nine. And therefore they called the third hour what we call nine o'clock, because three hours were past from sun rising to that time. The second part of the day lasted from nine of the clock till moon. The third from noon to three. This they called the ninth hour of the day, because it actually was the ninth from the morning. The fourth was from three o'clock till six in the evening. They gave the name of hour to each of these four parts, as well as to the hours properly so called. Beausobre and Lenfant. Matt. xxvii. 45. There was darkness over all the land. This darkness could not be a regular eclipse of the sun, by the intervention of the new moon, as the passover was always held when the moon was at the full. From the quotations of ancient writers, adduced by Grotius, without specifying the extent of this darkness to any particular district, it evidently appears that it was universal, and could not have been restricted to the kingdom of Judea alone. Matt. xxvii. 46. Eli is Hebrew for my God. Mark xv. 34. Eloi is the Syriac for it.—Newcome. 400. Matt. xxvii. 46. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaÅen me 2 Our Saviour, by citing the beginning of the 22d Psalm, seems to have intended to refer the Jews to the Psalm itself, in which their present conduct and his circumstances are minutely described with a most amazing exactness. The Jewish mode of quoting scripture was by reciting only a few words at the beginning of a paragraph. Harwood. 401. John xix. 29. Vessel full of vinegar. The soldiers and lower class of people among the Jews made use of vinegar when mixed with water for a common drink. The Jews of better rank, however, looked on an offer of vinegar to drink as the greatest affront and outrage, as will appear from a remarkable passage in Psalm lxix. 21, 22. “Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for some to pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”—Willan. This passage is also highly prophetical. Matt. xxvii. 48. Mark xv. 36. Put it on a recd. John xix. 29. Put it upon hyssop . The Greek word zaxagos, properly signifies a reed; but it is also used to denote the stem and branches of such trees and plants as produce any kind of wood. The zaxauo; here spoken of, was a stick of hyssop, of which there is one kind in Judea that shoots forth boughs or stalks strong enough for the use it is put to here. Beausobre and Lenfant. 402. Matt. xxvii. 51. The veil of the temple. The veil of the temple was a curtain, which separated the sanctuary from the holy of holies, within which the high-priest only was allowed to enter. Exod. xxvi. 31. Numb. xviii. 7. and that but once a year, on the great day of expiation or atonement. Exod. xxx. 10. 406. John xix. 39. Brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. It appears from Josephus, that great quantities of spices were used by the Jews for embalming a dead body, when they intended to shew marks of respect to the deceased. Eighty pounds of spices were used at the funeral of Gamaliel the elder.—Pearce.
Josephus likewise says, that in the funeral procession of
king Herod were five hundred spice bearers. See likewise 2 Chron. xvi. 14.
410. Matt xxviii. 1. and parallel verses. The slight variation
of the Evangelists in regard to the time of the women’s com-
411. Mark xvi. 5. A young man sitting on the right side. Luke
xxiv. 4. Two men stood by them. Benson’s mode of accounting for this is very suitable to the manner of the evangelists. “St. Matthew and St. Mark take notice only of the angel who spake to the women. St. Luke says, that there was another in company with him, which the former Evangelists do not contradict. These angels are called men by St. Luke, and one of them is called a young man by St. Mark, from the shape which they assumed. Compare Luke *: 23. Acts i. 10. See also Judges xiii. 16. Gen. xix. 1, &c.