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impossibility of believing that the Master in whom they trusted could meet such a fate at intervals reasserted itself. Amazed at the hazard he was assuming, they ceased to question or protest, and followed him, as he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. Thus, near the end of the week preceding the Passion, he came to the home of his friends in Bethany.
THE JERICHO ROAD. “He went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.” The Master led the way in that steep and weary climb. The Dead Sea is 1,300 feet below sea level, and Jerusalem, measured at the north-west angle of the present wall, is 2,589 feet above the Mediterranean. The road is one long climb. It skirts the edge of the deep ravine known as the Wady el-Kelt, on whose opposite side are several monasteries and the homes of many hermits, and passes the Brook Cherith, where Elijah hid from Jezebel, and then winds and climbs through the Wilderness of Judæ till it rounds the Mount of Olives. Midway to Jerusalem is an inn, known as The Inn of the Good Samaritan. Farther toward Jerusalem is a spring known as The Apostles' Fountain, so named from the tradition that on this last journey Jesus and his disciples rested and refreshed themselves there. The tradition has nothing in Scripture to support it, but is not only reasonable but probable. There is no reason to doubt that the spring was there in Jesus' day, and it not likely that foot travellers from Jericho would have passed the spring without stopping there for rest and refreshment by the way.
BETHANY. Bethany is situated a little less than two miles from Jerusalem, on the main road to Jericho. The modern village has about forty houses, and the population is almost wholly Moslem. Although so small, it is the largest, and indeed the only village between Jericho and Jerusalem, and while very near to the latter city is entirely cut off from sight or sound of it by the intervening shoulder of the Mount of Olives, on whose slope it rests, about 400 feet below the top. True to the custom of supplying sites for all scenes about which travellers inquire, the inhabitants display the home of Lazarus, the house of Simon the Leper, the tomb of Lazarus, the place where Martha met Jesus, and as many more places as the curiosity and credulity of tourists demands. It is enough to know that the place itself is the same place; that here, in this quiet village of vineyards and gardens, among true friends, Jesus rested during the weary hours of his last week.
SIMON THE LEPER. The supposition is reasonable that this Simon was a leper whom Jesus had healed. We do not know about him, but he was doubtless a true disciple, a friend of Lazarus and his sisters, and one whose larger home made the feast more convenient. Such a feast, given to one so famed as Jesus was in Bethany, and at the close of the Sabbath when people were free and out of doors, would bring out a large number of spectators, who gathered in the court, and at the doors of the room. It has been suggested, and the fact that the feast was in another home than that of Lazarus lends color to the suggestion, that this may have been in' some sort a public festival, in which the villagers shared, in gratitude for the signal benefits which Jesus had brought to this village.
OINTMENT OF SPIKENARD. Oriental women are exceedingly fond of perfumes and cosmetics. Probably the earliest picture discov
ered in Egypt of a people akin to the Jews is of a family coming to Egypt to sell eye-paint, which they highly esteemed. The ointment of spikenard was made from the blossoms of the Indian nard plant, and sealed in flasks. The nard is a variety of valerian, and is prized both as a cosmetic and a medicine. It grows at high elevations. The Latin poet, Horace, offered his friend Virgil about thirty-six quarts of wine in exchange for a small onyx box of spikenard (Carm., lib. iv., od., 12). Dioscorides mentions several ingredients, including myrrh, balm and oil, in this ointment. The odor is not now highly prized, but in that day was eagerly sought, as we learn from several sources.
ALABASTER BOXES. The tombs of Egypt and Palestine yield many alabaster flasks made for ointment, perfume or eye-paint. Two of these from Egyptian tombs are shown in the illustration. The material is stalactite, formed by the dripping of lime-water in caves. It is white or creamcolored, with a banded structure, as the water contains more or less iron or other coloring matter.
APRIL 2, 30 A. D. All four of the Evangelists tell of the Triumphal Entry. It occurred on the Sunday next before the Passover, and if the generally accepted chronology is correct, and the Crucifixion occurred in 30 A. D., the date of the entry into Jerusalem was Sunday April 2. Jesus and his disciples left Bethany attended by a company of friends, whose joy was increased by the Master's preparations to ride into the city. The prophet Zechariah had spoken of the King as coming “riding upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass”(9:9). The disciples regarded the act of Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy. Before the procession had gone far, it was met by another company, composed principally of Galilæans, coming out from Jerusalem to meet him; and as they found Jesus and his company approaching, they greeted him with a royal salutation. Where the road led over the shoulder of Olivet, the city of Jerusalem came into view, with the valley of the Kidron between. The appearance of Jerusalem from this point of view is most impressive. Jesus stopped and looked down on the city, and wept over its sin and its approaching calamities. The procession soon moved on, increasing in numbers and enthusiasm. Some of the disciples tore off branches from the trees, and others carpeted the way with their garments. Thus escorted by a happy and expectant company, Jesus entered Jerusalem and the temple. His sudden and public appearance surprised his enemies, and gave great joy to his friends. The Pharisees asked him to silence the multitude, but he refused. He remained in Jerusalem until evening, when he left the city, and went with his disciples to Bethany, where he spent the night.
THE ROUTE OF THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. Three roads lead from Bethany to Jerusalem, and it is altogether probable that they follow the lines of roads used in the time of Christ. One is a long circuit over the northern shoulder of Mount Olivet, and down through the valley that parts it from Scopus. Another is a footpath over the summit of the Mount of Olives. The third, and manifestly the only one that fulfills the conditions of the Triumphal Entry, is a continuation of the road from Jericho, and is that by which mounted travellers from that direction approach the city. It leads over the southern shoulder of the Mount of Olives between the summit containing the tombs of the prophets and the hill called the Mount of Offense. The view of Jerusalem, which the rounding of the shoulder brings in sight, is and must always have been very impressive.
THE MOUNT OF OLIVES. The Mount of Olives, or Olivet, is the name of the central part of the ridge east of Jerusalem. It is directly opposite the temple height. The summit called Mount Scopus is to the north, and the Mount of Offense is to the south. Its elevation is 2,682 feet, 259 feet higher than Moriah, the site of the temple. Between Olivet and Moriah is the Kidron Valley, formerly known as the Valley of Jehoshaphat.