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They offer him vinegar.

St. MATTHEW.

He gives up the ghost. A. M, 1033. when they heard that, said, This man 49 The rest said, Let be, let us An. Olymp. calleth for Elias.

see whether Elias will come to save 48 And straightway one of them ran him. and took a spunge, `and filled it with vinegar, 50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

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a Ps. 69. 21. Mark 13. 56. Luke 23. 36. John 19. 29.

Mark 15. 37. Luke 23. 46.

and argue imbecillity, impatience, and despair.” This is by subject is difficult :- but whatever may be thought of the no means fairly deducible from the passage. However, some above mode of interpretation, one thing is certain, viz That think that the words, as they stand in the Hebrew and Syriac, the words could not be used by our Lord, in the sense in are capable of a translation which destroys all objections, which they are generally understood. This is sufficiently eviand obviates every difficulty. The particle nes lamah, may dent ; for be well knew why he was come unto that hour ; nor be translated to what to whom to what kind or sort-to what could he be forsaken of God, in whom dwelt all the fulness of purpose or profit : Gen. xxv. 32. xxxii. 29. xxxiii. 15. Job ix. the Godhead bodily. The Deity however, might restrain so 29. Jer. vi. 20. xx. 18. Amos v. 18. and the verl, gis azub much of its consolatory support, as to leave the human nature signifies to Icare-to depositto commit to the cure of. See fully sensible of all its sufti rings; so that the consolations Gen. xxxix. 6. Job xxxix. 11. Psal. x. 14. and Jer xlix. 1. might not take off any part of the keen edge of his passion : The words taken in this way, might be thus translated : My and this was necessary to make his sufferings meritorious. God! my God! to what sort of persons hast thou left me? And it is probable, that this is all that is intended by our The words thus understood are rather to be referred to the Lord's quotation from the twenty-second P:alın. Taken in wicked Jews, than to our Lord, and are an exclamation indi- this view, the words convey an unexceptionable sense, even cative of the obstinate wickedness of his crucifiers, who steel- in the common translation. ed their hearts against every operation of the Spirit and power Verse 47. This mani culleth for Elias.] Probably these were of God. See Ling. Brit. Reform. by B. Martin p.

36. hellenistic Jews, who did not fully understand the meaning of Through the whole of the Sacred Writings, God is repre- our Lord's words. Elijah was daily expected to appear as the sented as doing those things, which, in the course of his pro- forerunner of the Messiah; whose arrival, undert he character vidence, he only permits to be done ; therefore, the words, to l of a mighty prince, was generally supposed to be at hand whom hast thou left or given me up, are only a form of expres- throughout the East. See Mal. iii. 23. Matt. ii. 244. xvii. sion for, “ How astonishing is the wickedness of those persons 10–12. into whose hands I am fallen !” If this interpretation be ad- Verse 48. Took a spunge] This being the most convenient mitted, it will free this celebrated passage from much embar- way to reach a liquid to his mouth, tied it on a reed, that they rassment, and make it speak a sense consistent with itself, and might be able to reach his lips with it. This reed, as we with the dignity of the Son of God.

learn from St. John, was a stalk of hyssop, whicb, in that The words of St. Mark, chap. xv. 34. agree pretty nearly country, must have grown to a considerable magnitude. This with this translation of the Hebrew : Еış to je EY XOTIAITtes; To appears also to have been done in mercy, to alleviate his sufwhat sort of persons, understood) hast thou left me ? A lite ferings. See ver. 34. ral translation of the passage in the Syriac Testament, gives Verse 49. After this verse, BCL. and five others add, anoa similar sense : Ad quid dereliquisti me ? “ To what hast ther taking a spear, pierced his side, and there came out blood thou abandoned me?” And an ancient copy of the old Itala and water. Several of the Fathers add the same words here: version, a Latin translation before the time of St. Jerom, ren- they appear, however, to be an interpolation from John xix. ders the words thưs : Quare me in opprobrium dedisti ? “Why | 34. hast thou abandoned me to reproach ?”

Verse 50. Yielded up the ghost.] AQNXE TO TYEUMO, he dismissed It may be objected, that this can never agree with the ivari,' the spirit. He himself willingly gave up that life, wbich it was why, of Matthew. To this it is answered, that ivari must have impossible for man to take away. It is not said that he hung here the same meaning as :to—as the translation of nes la- on the cross till he died through pain and agony ; nor is it said ma; and that if the meaning be at all different, we must follow that his bones were broken, the sooner to put him out of pain, that Evangelist who expresses most literally the meaning of the and to hasten his death ; but that himself dismissed the soul, original : and let it be observed, that the Septuagint often that he might thus become, not a forced sacrifice, but a freetranslate no's by ivorí, instead of Es th, which evidently proves, will offering for sin. that it often bad the same meaning. Of this criticism I say, Now, as our English word ghost, from the Anglo-Saxon Valet quod valet, Let it pass for no more than it is worth : the gast gust, an inmate, inhabitant, guest, (a casual visitant), Extraordinaay occurrences

CHAP. XXVII.

at his death

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51 | And behold, the veil of the bodies of the saints which slept A. M. 1933. An. Olymp. temple was rent in twain from the top arose,

to the bottom; and the earth did 53 And came out of the graves after quake, and the rocks rent;

his resurrection, and went into the holy city, 52 And the graves were opened ; and many and appeared unto many.

• Exod. 26. 31. 2 Chron. S. 14. Mark 15. 38. Luke 23. 45.

bCh. 26. 53. Acts 10. 11.

also a spirit, is now restricted among us to the latter meaning, the dead. Of the patriarchs, &c. the Septuagint use the word always signifying the immortal spirit or soul of man, the guest EX2167w, failing; or xatsTUVOIY, he ceused, or rested. of the body; and as giving up the spirit, ghost, or soul, is Verse 51. The veil of the temple wus rent] That is, the veil an act not proper to man, though commending it to God, in which separated the holy place where the priests ministered, our last moments, is both an act of faith and piety; and as from the holy of holies, into which the high priest only entered, giving up the ghost, i. e. dismissing his spirit from his body, is and that once a year, to make a general expiation for the sins attributed to Jesus Christ, to whom alone it is proper, I there of the people. This rending of the veil was emblematical, and fore object against its use in every other case.

pointed out, that the separation between Jews and Gentiles was Every man, since the fall, has not only been liable to death, now abolished, and that the privilege of the high priest was but has deserved it; as all have forfeited their lives because now communicated to all mankind : All might henceforth of sin. Jesus Christ, as born immaculate, and having never have access to the throne of grace, through the one great sinned, had not forfeited his life; and therefore may be con- atonement and mediator, the Lord Jesus. See this beautifully sidered as naturally and properly immortal. No man, says illustrated in Heb. x. 19, 20, 21, 22. he, taketh it, my life, from me, but I lay it down of myself :

Verse 52. And the graves were opened] By the earthquake, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it and many bodies of saints which slept, i. e. were dead, sleep again; therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down being a common expression for death in the scriptures. my life that I might take it again, John x. 17, 18. Hence Verse 53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection] we rightly translate Matt. xxvii. 50. a@uxe to avevua, he | Not before, as some have thought, for Christ was himself the gave up the ghost ; i. e. he dismissed his spirit, that he might FIRST Fruits of them who slept, 1 Cor. xv. 20. The graves die for the sin of the world. The Evangelist St. John (xix. were opened at his death, by the earthquake, and the bodies 30.) makes use of an expression to the same import, which came out at his resurrection. we translate in the same way : magidwxe

TO Troupe, he de- And appeared unto many. ] Thus establishing the truth of livered up his spirit. We translate Mark xv. 37. and Luke our Lord's resurrection in particular, and of the resurrection xxiii. 46. he gave up the ghost, but not correctly, because the of the body in general, by many witnesses. Quesnel's reword in both these places is very different-EŠETVEUTS, he flections on these passages may be very useful. 1.The veil breathed his last, or expired; though in the latter place, being rent, shews, that his death is to put an end to the figuraLuke xxiii. 46. there is an equivalent expression - 0 Futher, tive worship, and to establish the true religion. 2. The earthinto thy hands, Taçatıb.j. 41 TO THEUue pou, I commit my spirit ; quake; that this dispensation of the gospel is to make known i. e. I place my soul in thy hand : proving that the act was his through the earth the judgments of God against sin and sinown ; that no man could take his life away from him; that he 3. The rocks being rent, declare that the sacrifice of did not die by the perfidy of his disciple, or the malice of the Christ is to make way for the grace of repentance. 4. The Jews, but by his own free act. Thus he laid down his life graves being opened, that it is to destroy the death of sin, for the sheep. Of Ananias and Sapphira, Acts v. 5, 10. and and confer the life of grace on sinners. 5. The rising of of Herod, Acts xii. 23. our translation says they gave up the the bodies of the saints, shews that this death of Christ is to ghost ; but the word in both places is eft tuše, which simply | merit, and his gospel publish the eternal happiness of body and means to breathe out, to expire, or die: but in no case, either soul for all that believe in his name.” by the Septuagint in the Old, or any of the sacred writers in It is difficult to account for the transaction mentioned in the New Testament, is αφηκε το πνευμα, οι παρεδωκε το πνευμα, verses 52 and 53. Some have thought that these two verses he dismissed his spirit, or delivered up his spirit, spoken, of any have been introduced into the text of Matthew from the gospel person but Christ. Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, &c. breath of the Nazarenes; others think that the simple meaning is this: ed their last ; Ananias, Sapphira, and Herod, expired; but By the earthquake several bodies that had been buried were none, Jesus Christ excepted, gave up the ghost, dismissed, thrown up and exposed to view, and continued above ground or delivered up his own spirit, and was consequently free among till after Christ's resurrection, and were seen by many persons

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Joseph of Arimathea begs

St. MATTHEW.

the body, and buries it.

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54 · Now when the centurion, and a rich man of Arimathea, named Jo- A.M.4:33. An. Olymp. they that were with him, watching || seph, who also himself was Jesus' dis. An. Olymp.

Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those ciple: things that were done, they feared greatly, say 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of ing, Truly this was the Son of God.

Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be 55 And many women were there beholding delivered. afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he ministering unto him :

wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 56 · Among which was Mary Magdalene, and 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a mother of Zebedee's children.

great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and 57 [ When the even was come, there came departed.

a Ver. 36. Mark 15. 39. Luke 23. 47.

6 Luke 8. 2, 3.- Mark 15. 40.

Mark 15. 42. Luke 23. 50). John 19. 38. Isai. 53. 9.

in the city. Why the graves should be opened on Friday, and wife of Cleopas, John xix. 25. 3. MARY MAGDALENE, or the bodies not be raised to life till the following Sunday, is | Mary of Magdala ; and 4. Mary, the sister of Martha and difficult to be conceived. The place is extremely obscure. Lazarus, John xi, 1. Though Baronius asserts, and Lightfoot

Verse 54. The centurion] The Roman officer who superin- is of the same opinion), that Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the tended the execution, called centurio, from centum, a hundred, | sister of Martha and Lazarus, was one and the same person. because he had the command of one hundred men.

It is difficult to ascertain and distinguish these women where Truly this was the Son of God.) An innocent, holy, and their names occur in the gospels, so many being called by the divine person; and God thus shews his disapprobation of this name of Mary. bloody tragedy. It is not likely that this centurion had any Joses] Several MSS. and Versions read Joseph. knowledge of the expectation of the Jews, relative to the Mes Verse 57. When the even] This must have been about three siah, and did not use the words in this sense. A son of God, o'clock, or a little after; for our Lord having expired about as the Romans used the term, would signify no more than a three o'clock, ver. 46. and the Jewish pass-over beginning about very eminent or divine person ; a hero.

four, it was necessary that Joseph, who would not fail to eat Verse 55. Many women] To their everlasting honour, these the pass-over at the usual time, should have obtained, and buwomen evidenced more couruge, and affectionate attachment | ried the body of Christ sometime before four o'clock. But to their Lord and master, than the disciples did, who had such was the general consternation occasioned by the prodipromised to die with him rather than forsake him.

gies that took place on this most awful occasion, that we may Beholding afar of] At a distance—«To marçobry, though this safely conjecture, that nothing was done in order, and perhaps expression may be understood to refer, rather to the distance | the pass-over itself was not eaten at the usual hour, if at all, from which they came, (viz. from Galilee) than the distance that day. See at the end of the preceding chapter. they stood from the cross; yet as all malefactors were crucified A rich man] He was a counsellor of the great Sanhedrin, naked, perhaps this may account for the distance at which | Luke xxiii. 50. and from the accounts givin of him by the these modest women stood.

Evangelists, we learn that he was a man of the greatest reVerse 56. Mary Magdalene] She probably had her name spectability. He now acted a more honourable part than all from Magdala, a village or district in Lower Galilee. See the disciples of our Lord. He was of Arimathea, or Rama, chap. xv. 39. Some think she was called Magdalene from in the tribe of Benjamin, Matt. ii. 17. but lived ordinarily in rozun magdala, which signifies a plaiter of hair. See Light-Jerusalem, as being a member of the great council. foot.

Verse 58. Begged the body] That he might bury it honourMary the mother of James] She was mother of him called || ably; otherwise, by the Jewish customs, he would have either James the lesser, or junior, who was son of Alpheus or Cle- || been burned, or buried in the common place appointed for opas. See chap. x. 3. Mark xv. 40. John xix. 25. and she executed criminals. was sister to the Holy Virgin. Thus it appears

that there were Verse 59. Wrupped it in a clean linen cloth] The Jews, as four remarkable Maries mentioned in the gospels. 1. Mary well as the Egyptians, added spices to keep the body from the Virgin, wife of JOSEPH. 2. Mary Salome, her sister, putrefaction, and the linen was wrapped about every part

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Women watch the sepulchre.

CHAP. XXVII. The priests require it to be secured. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, || 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that A. M. 4038. An. Olymp. and the other Mary, sitting over that deceiver said, while he was yet An.Olymp. against the sepulchre.

alive, . After three days I will rise 62 | Now the next day that followed the day || again. of the preparation, the chief priests and Phari- 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be sees came together unto Pilate,

made sure until the third day, lest his disciples

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a Ch. 16. 21. & 17. 23. & 20. 19. & 26. 61. Mark 8. $1.

& 10. 34. Luke 9. 22. & 18. 33. & 24. 6,7. Jolin 2. 19.

to keep the aromatics in contact with the flesh. From John the surface; and that the great stone spoken of here, covered xix. 39, 40. we learn that a mixture of myrrh and aloes of one over the entrance to it. The stone, no doubt, was intended to sehundred pounds weight, had been applied to the body of cure the place as much as possible. Jesus when he was buried. And that a second embalmment was Verse 61. Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary] The mointended, we learn from Luke xxiii. 56. and xxiv. 1. as the ther of James and Joses, ver. 56. The mother of our Lord hurry to get the body interred before the sabbath, did not per- had probably, by this time, been taken home to the house of mit them to complete the embalming in the first instance. See John. See John xix. 26, 27. an account of the mode of embalming among the Egyptians, Sitting over against the sepulchre.] These holy women, filled in the note on Gen. L. 2. and 26.

with that love to their Lord which death cannot destroy, Verse 60. Laid it in his own new tomb] To all human ap- cleaved to him in life, and in death were not divided. They pearance the body of Christ must have had the same burial came to the grave to see the end, and overwhelmed with sorrow place with those of the two robbers, as he was numbered with || and anguislı, sat down to mourn. the transgressors, and suffered with them; for then he was a Verse 62. The next day] This was the seventh, or Saturday, sacrifice, bearing the sin of the world in his own body on the land might be what we should term the evening of the sixth, or tree ;—but now the sacrifice is offered, the atonement made | Friday, because the Jews always ended their day when the and accepted, he is no longer to be enrolled with the transgres- sun set, and then began the next. sors, and according to a prophecy delivered nearly seven hun- That followed the day of the preparation] That is, of the dred years before that time, he is to have the burying place of sabbath. The victuals, &c. which were to be used on the a rich man. See Isai. liii. 9, 10. Had our Lord been buried sabbath by the Jews, were always prepared the preceding evenin the common burial ground of the malefactors, his resur- ing before the sun set. It is of this preparation that the Evanrection could not have been so distinctly remarked, as the gelist speaks here; and it is the same which is mentioned by chief priests would never have thought of sealing the stone || Mark, chap. xv. 42. by Luke, chap. xxiii. 54. and by John, there, or setting a watch; but now that the body is got into chap. xix, 31. But there was another preparation which hapthe hands of a friend, they judge it necessary to make use of pened in the same day: viz. The preparation of the pass-over; these precautions, in order, as they said, to prevent imposture; this begau about twelve o'clock, and continued till four, the and from this very circumstance the resurrection of Christ time in which they ate the paschal lamb. See Jolin xix. 14. had its fullest evidence, and was put beyond the power of suc- Verse 63. Sir, we remember, &c.] While these wicked men cessful contradiction. What a number of objections would are fulfilling their own vicious counsels, they are subserving not human prudence have made to Joseph's conduct, bad he the great cause of Christianity. Every thing depended on the consulted it on this occasion ? It would have represented to resurrection of Christ; if it did not appear that he rose from bim, that “this was to expose himself, to bring himself into the dead, then the whole system was false, and no atonement trouble, to render himself suspected, to put himself out of all was made. It was necessary therefore that the chief priests, capacity of doing good, to ruin himself irrecoverably, and &c. should make use of every precaution to prevent an imposnow it could do no good to his teacher, he is now dead, and ture, that the resurrection of Christ might have the fullest evineeds no longer any office of kindness from men.” There is, dence to support it. See on ver. 60. sometimes in our whole life, but one opportunity in which The word Kugis, is here very properly translated Sir, which, God designs signally to employ us; and through our general in many other places, is as improperly translated Lordå When backwardness to every good work, we are for reserving our || a Roman is the speaker, or the person addressed, Kugie should selves to other opportunities, in which God neither requires always be translated Sir : when strangers, address our Lord, nor will accept our services.

the word is a title of civil respect; and should, in general, be Rolled a great stone to the door] Some are of opinion that | translated in the same way. this tomb was cut down into the rock, perpendicularly from After three days I will rise again.) This they probably took

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A watch is set,

St. MATTHEW.

and the stone sealed.

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come by night, and steal him away, go your way, make it as sure as ye An. Olymp. and say unto the people, *He is risen can.

from the dead: so the last error shall 66 So they went and made the sebe worse than the first.

pulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch : watch.

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a John 11. 48, &c. & 12. 32. 2 Thess. 2. 11.

b Dan. 6. 17.

build it up.

from his saying, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will demonstrated ; and it cannot take place without being incon

If so, they destroyed, by their own words, the testible, such are the precautions used here to prevent all imfalse accusation they brought against him to put him to death; | posture. then they perverted the meaning, now they declare it. Thus 2. The more the circumstances of the death of Christ are the wise are taken in their own craftiness. Neither the Devil examined, the more astonishing the whole will appear. The nor his servants ever speak truth, but'when they expect to ac death is uncommon—the person uncommon-and the obcomplish some bad purpose by it.

ject uncommon; and the whole is grand, majestic, and awful. Verse 64. Lest his disciples come by night] Nuxtos by night, Nature itself is thrown into unusual action, and by means is wanting in ten of the uncial MSS. and in several others, and and causes wholly supernatural. In every part, the finger of in most of the Versions. Erasmus, Aldus, Bengel and Bog-God most evidently appears. hard, with Griesbach, leave it out of the text.

3. How glorious does Christ appear in his death! were it Verse 65. Ye have a watch] The Jews had a corps of not for his thirst, his exclamation on the cross, and the Roman troops consisting of several companies, as a guard for piercing of his side, we should have found it difficult to be. the temple, Acts iv. 1. These companies mounted guard by lieve that such a person could ever have entered the empire turns, see Luke xxii. 4. Some of these companies which of death; but the divinity and the manhood equally appear, were not then on duty, Pilate gave them leave to employ to and thus the certainty of the atonement is indubitably estabwatch the tomb.

lished. Verse 66. Mude the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and set

4. But who can reflect on the state of the poor disciples, ting a watch.] Or rather, made the tomb secure by the guard, during the whole of the time in which our blessed Lord lay and by seuling the stone. I follow Kypke in construing usta under the empire of death, without sharing their sorrows! της κουστωδίας, with ησφαλισαντο. The guard was to take care When he expired on the cross, their expectation was cut off; that the disciples should not steal him away; and the seal | and when his body was laid in the grave, their hopes were which was probably the seal of the governor, was to prevent buried : and nothing but the resurrection of Christ from the the guards from being corrupted so as to permit the theft. dead, could have given a resurrection to their hopes. It is So every thing was done which human policy and prudence true they had heard him say, that he would rise again the could, to prevent a resurrection, which these very precautions third day; but in this it is evident, their faith was very imhad the most direct tendency to authenticate and establish. perfect; and the uncertainty, perplexity, anxiety, and distress How wonderful are the wisdom and goodness of God! and how which they, in consequence, must have suffered, can neither true is it, that there is neither might nor counsel against him. be described nor imagined. Though we know the glorious

1. The death of Christ was ordered so as to be witnessed | result, yet who can help sympathising with the pious father, by thousands : and if bis resurrection take place, it must be || the virgin mother, and the disconsolate disciples !

CHAPTER XXVIII. The resurrection of Christ declared by an angel to the two Marys at the sepulchre, 1–6. They are commissioned

to announce this to the disciples, 7. They go, and are met by Christ himself, who promises to meet the disciples in Galilee, 8—10. The watch go into the city, and report to the chief priests what had taken place, 11. They give them money, to say that his disciples had stolen the body by night, while they slept, 12–15. Christ meets the eleven disciples in a mountain of Galilee, 16, 17. He gives them a commission to preach the gospel throughout the earth; to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and promises to be with them to the end of the world, 18-20.

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