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Pilate wishes to release Christ.


The Jews clamour for his death.

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13 And Pilate, when he had call-city, and for murder, was cast into A. N. 1033. An. Olymp. ed together the chief priests and the prison.)

An. Olymp. rulers and the people,

20 Pilate therefore, willing to release 14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this Jesus, spake again to them. man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: | 21 But they

21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, cruand, behold, “I, having examined him before cify him. you, have found no fault in this man touching 22 And he said unto them the third time, those things whereof ye accuse him :

Why, what evil bath he done? I have found no 15 No, nor yet Herod : for I sent you to him ; cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him, and let him go. him.

23 And they were instant with loud voices, 16. ^ I will therefore chastise him, and release requiring that he might be crucified. And the him.

voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. 17 * (For of necessity he must release one unto 24 And . Pilate "gave sentence that it should them at the feast.)

be as they required. 18 And they cried out all at once, saying,

25 And he released unto them him that for Away with this man, and release unto us Bar-sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom abbas :

they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to 19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the their will.

• Matt. 27. 23. Mark 15. 14. John 18. 38. & 19. 4.

Malt. 27. 26. John 19. 1.

over. 1, 2.fer. 4.

e Matt. 27. 15. Mark 13. 6. John 18. 39.- fActs 3. 14.—Matt. 27.

26. Mark 15. 15. Jolin 19. 16.- Or, assented. Exod. 23. 2.

tween Herod and Pilate, given by ancient authors: and the Instead of ανεπεμψα γαρ υμας προς αυτον, for I sent you to conjectures of the moderns on the subject, should be consi- him, BHKLM. and many other MSS. with some Versions, dered as mere guesses. It is generally supposed that this en read ανεπεμψεν γαρ αυτον προς ημας, for he hath sent him to us. mity arose from what is related chap. xiii. of the Galileans, As if he had said, “ Herod hath sent him back to us, which whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. I is a sure proof that he hath found no blame in him.” These were Herod’s subjects, and Pilate seems to have fallen Nothing worthy of death is done unto him.] Or rather, noon them at the time they were offering sacrifices to God at thing worthy of death is committed by him, - Terçayurvou auta, the temple. Wicked men cannot love one another : this be- not, done unto him. This phrase is of the same sense with ovean longs to the disciples of Christ. But when Christ, his truth,ETPO-Xev avtos, he hath done nothing, and is frequent in the or his followers are to be persecuted, for this purpose the purest Attic writers. See inany examples in Kypke. wicked unite their counsels and their influence. The Moab Verse 17. For of necessity he must release one] That is, he ites and Ammonites who were enemies among themselves, I was under the necessity of releasing one at this feast. The cusunited against poor Israel, and, as Rabbi Tanchum says, may tom, however it originated, had now been so completely esbe liked to two contending dogs, who, when the wolf comes, tablished, that Pilate was obliged to attend to it. See on join together to destroy him; each knowing that if he do not, Matl. xxvii. 15. the wolf will kill both in succession : whereas, by their union Verse 18. Away with this man] That is, put him to deaththey may now kill or baffle him. There is a proverb among cope ToutOY, literally, take this one away, i. e. to punishmentthe Rabbins that when the cut and weuscl marry together, mi-| to death. sery becomes increased.

Verse 22. I have found no cause of death in him] I find no Verse 15. No, nor yet Herod : for I sent you to him] That | crime worthy of death in him. There is nothing proved against is, to see whether he could find that Christ had ever attempted him that can at all justify me in putting him to death. So to raise any disaffection or sedition among the Galileans: here our blessed Lord was in the most formal manner justified among whom lie had spent the principal part of his life; and by his judye. Now as this decision was publicly known, and yet Herod has not been able to find out any evil in his con- perhaps registered, it is evident that Christ died as an innocent duet. Your own acensations I have fully weighed, and find person, and not as a malefactor. On the fullest eonviction, them to the last degree frivolous.

of his innocence his judge pronounced him guiltless, after having

He is led to Calvary, and


crucified between two malefactors.

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26 [ * And as they led him away, they | 30 «Then shall they begin to say to A. M. 4038. An. Olymp. laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian the mountains, Fall on us, and to the An. Olymp.

coming out of the country, and on hills, Cover us. him they laid the cross, that he might bear it 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, after Jesus.

what shall be done in the dry? 27 And there followed him a great company

32 . And there were also two other maleof people, and of women, which also bewailed factors led with him to be put to death. and lamented him.

33 And 'when they were come to the place 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters which is called Calvary, there they crucified of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, yourselves, and for your children.

and the other on the left. 29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the

34 Then said Jesus, Father, “forgive them; which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, for i they know not what they do. And they and the wombs that never bare, and the paps parted his raiment, and cast lots. which never gave suck.

35 And 'the people stood beholding. And

& Matt. 27. 32. Mark 15. 21. See Jolin 19. 17.-Matt. 94. 19. ch. Matt. 27. 53. Mark 15. 22, John 19. 17, 18.--. Or, the place of a skull. 21. 23.-_ Isai. 2. 19. Hos. 10. 3. Rev. 6. 16. & 9. 6.-

* Math. 27. - Prov. 11. 31. - Matt. 5. 44. Acts 7. 60. 1 Cor. 4. 12.-i Acts 3. 17.Jer. 25.29. Ezek. 20. 47. & 21. 9,4. 1 Pet. 4. 17.-- Isai. 53. 12. Matt. 27. 38. 35. Mark 15. 24. John 19. 23.-Ps. 22. 17. Zech. 12. 10.

patiently heard every thing that the inventive malice of these struction of Jerusalem, and as the same expressions are used, wicked men could alledge against him; and when he wished Rev. vi. 6. Dr. Lightfoot conjectures that the whole of that to dismiss him, a violent mob took and murdered him. chapter may relate to the same event.

Verse 26. Simon, a Cyrenian) See on Matt. xxvii. 32. Verse 31. If they do these things in a green tree] This seems

Verse 27. Bewailed and lamented him.] EXOTTONTO, beat their to be a proverbial expression, the sense of which is: If they breasts. See on Matt. xi. 17.

spare not a tree which by the beauty of its foliage, abundVerse 28. Weep not for me) Many pious persons have been ance and excellence of its fruits, deserves to be preserved; then greatly distressed in their minds, because they could not weep the tree which is dry and withered, will surely be cut down. on reading or hearing of the sufferings of Christ. For the relief | If an innocent man be put to death in the very face of jusof all such, let it be for ever known, that no human spirit cantice, in opposition to all its dictates and decisions, by a peopossibly take any part in the passion of the Messiah. His suffer-ple who profess to be governed and directed by divine laws; ings were such, as only God manifested in the flesh could bear; what desolation, injustice and oppression may not be expected, and as they were all of an expiatory nature, no man can taste when anarchy and confusion sit in the place where judgment of, or share in them. Besides, the sufferings of Christ are and justice formerly presided ? Our Lord alludes prophetinot a subject of sorrow to any man; but on the contrary, of cally to those tribulations which fell upou the Jewish people eternal rejoicing to the whole of a lost world. Some have about forty years after. See the notes on Matt. xxiv, even prayed to participate in the sufferings of Christ. The Verse 32. Two other malefactors) Etipos duo xaxougyos, should legend of St. Francis and his stigmata is well known. He is certainly be translated two others, malefactors, as in the bibles fabled to have received the marks in his hands, feet and side. published by the King's printer, Edinburgh. As it now stands

Relative to this point, there are many unwarrantable expres- in the text, it seems to intimate that our blessed Lord, was also sions used by religious people in their prayers and hymns. To a malefactor. give unly one instance, how often do we hear these or similar Verse 33. The place--called Calvary) See on Matt. xxvii. 33. words said or sung:

They crucified him] See the nature of this punishment ex" Give me to feel thy agonies !

plained, Matt. xxvii. 35. “ One drop of thy sad cup afford.”

Verse 34. They know not what they do.] If ignorance do not Reader ! one drop of this cup would bear down thy soul to excuse a crime, it at least diminishes the atrocity of it. Howendless ruin; and these agonies would annihilate the universe. I ever, these persons well knew that they were crucifying an He suffered alone : for of the people there was none with him;| innocent man ; but they did not know that by this act of theirs, because bis sufferings were to make an atonement for the sins they were bringing down on themselves and on their country of the world: and in the work of redemption he had no the heaviest judgments of God. In the prayer, Father, forgive helper.

them! that word of prophecy was fulfilled, He made intercesVerse 30. Mountains, fall on us] As this refers to the de-lsion for the transgressors, Isai. liii. 12.

Account of the two


malefactors who were crucified.

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the rulers also with them derided hanged railed on him, saying, If thou A. M. 4088 An.Olymp. him, saying, He saved others; let be Christ, save thyself and us.

An. Olymp. him save himself, if he be Christ, the 40 But the other answering rebuked chosen of God.

him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming thou art in the same condemnation? to him, and offering him vinegar,

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the 37 And saying, If thou be the king of the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath Jews, save thyself.

done nothing amiss. 38 "And a superscription also was written over 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, me when thou comest into thy kingdom! THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto 39 ‘And one of the malefactors which were thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

a Matt. 27. 32. Mark 15. 29.

ob Matt. 27. 37. Mark 15. 26.

John 19. 19.

• Matt. 27. 44. Mark 15. 52.

Verse 35. Derided bim] Trented him with the utmost con- person had been sanctified to him, so that his heart was open tempt, estuuxtngalov, in the most infamous manner. See the to receive help from the hand of the Lord: he is a genuine meaning of this word explained, chap. xvi. 14.

penitent: and gives the fullest proof he can give of it, viz. the Verse 36. Offering him rinegar] See on Matt. xxvii. 34. acknowledgment of the justice of his sentence. He bad sinVinegar, or small sour wine, was a common drink of the Ro- || ned, and he acknowledges his sin; his heart believes unto man soldiers : and it is supposed that wherever they were on righteousness, and with his tongue he makes confession unto duty they had a vessel of this liquor standing by. It appears salvation. While he condemns bimself he bears testimony that at least two cups were given to our Lord; one before he that Jesus was inocent. Bishop PEARCE supposes that these was nailed to the cross, viz. of wine mingled with myrrh, were not robbers in the common sense of the word, but Jews and another of vinegar, while he hung on the cross. Some who took up arms on the principle that the Romans were not think there were three cups; ONE of wine mixed with niyrrh, to be submitted to, and that their levies of tribute money the SECOND, of vinegar mingled with gall, and the Third, of were oppressive ; and therefore they made no scruple to rob all simple vinegar. Allow these three cups, and the different expres- the Romans they met with. These Jews Josephus calls ancie, sions in all the Evangelists will be ineluded. See Lightfoot. robbers, the same term used by the Evangelists. This opinion Verse 38. A superscription) See Matt. xxvii. 37.

gains some strength from the penitent thief's confession : we In letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew] The inscrip-receire the reward of our deeds-we rose up against the governtion was written in all these languages, which were the most ment, and committed depredations in the country; but this cominon, that all might see the reason why he was put to man hath done nothing amiss—UTOTON, out of place, disorderly, death. The inscription was written in Greok, on account of -nothing calculated to raise sedition or insurrection; por inconthe Hellenistic Jews, who were then at Jerusalem because of | sistent with his declarations of peace and good will towards all the pass-over: it was written in Latin, that being the lau- men; nor with the nature of that spiritual kingdom which he guage of the government under which he was crucified: and came to establish among men; though he is now crucified under it was written in Hebrew, that being the language of the place the pretence of disaffection to the Roman government. in which this deed of darkness was committed. But by the Verse 42. Lord, remember me, &c.] It is worthy of remark, good providence of God, the inscription itself exculpated him, that this man appears to have been the first who believed in and proved the Jews to be rebels against, and murderers of, the intercession of Christ. their king. See the note on Matt. xxvii. 37. It is not to Verse 43. To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.) Marbe wondered at, that they wished Pilate to alter this inscripcion and the Manichees are reported to have left this verse tion, John xix. 21. as it was a record of their own infamy. out of their copies of this Evangelist. This saying of our

Verse 39. One of the malefactors which were hanged] It is Lord is justly considered as a strong proof of the immaterilikely that the two robbers were not nailed to their crosses, but || ality of the soul; and it is no wonder that those who bare only tied to them by cords, and thus they are represented in embraced the contrary opinion, should endeavour to explain ancient paintings. If not pailed, they could not have suffered away this meaning. In order to do this, a comma is placed much, and therefore they were found still alive, when the after onespov, to day, and then our Lord is supposed to have soldiers came to give the coup de grace, which put a speedy end meant “ 'Thou shalt be with me after the resurrection; I tell to their lives. ,John xix. 31-33.

thee this, to day.” I am sorry to find men of great learning Verse 40. Dost not thou fear God] The sufferings of this and abilities attempting to support this most feeble and worth

Christ gives up the ghost.


Joseph beg's the body from Pilate.

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44 | “And it was about the sixth 49 5 And all his acquaintance and A. 11,4083. An. Olymp. hour, and there was darkness over all the women that followed him from An. Olymp.

the earth, until the ninth hour. Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil | things. of the temple was rent in the midst.

50 "And, behold, there toas a man named 46 | And when Jesus had cried with a loud Joseph, a counsellor ; and he was a good man, voice, he said, “Father, into thy hands I com- and a just : mend my spirit : and having said thus, he gave 51 (The same had not consented to the counsel up the ghost.

and deed of them ;) he was of Arimathea, a city 47 [Now when the centurion saw what was of the Jews, i who also himself waited for the done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this kingdom of God. was a righteous man.

52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the 48 And all the people that came together to body of Jesus. that sight, beholding the things which were 53 *And he took it down, and wrapped it in done, smote their breasts, and returned. linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn

* Matt. 27. 45. Mark 15. 33.- Or, land.- -Matt. 27. 51. Mark 15. & Ps. 38. 11. Matt. 27. 55. Mark 15. 40. See John 19. 95. Matt. 27. 38.-Ps. 31. 5. 1 Pet. 2. 23. Matt. 27.50. Mark 15. 37. John 19. 57. Mark 15. 42. John 19. 38. Mark 15. 43. ch. 2. 25, 38.

- Matt. 50.—Matt. 27. 54. Mark 15. 39.

27. 59. Mark 15. 46.

less criticism. Such support a good cause caninot need ; | taken to the abode of the spirits of the just, where he and in my opinion, even a bad cause must be discredited should enjoy the presence and approbation of the Most High. by it.

In the Institutes of Menu, chap. Economics, Inst. 243. are In paradise. The gurden of Eden, mentioned Gen. ii. 8. is the following words. “A man habitually pious, whose of also called from the Septuagint, the garden of Paradise. The fences have been expiated, is instantly conveyed, after death, word 17 Eden, signifies pleusure and delight. Several places to the higher world, with a radiant form, and a body of were thus called; see Gen. iv. 16. 2 Kings xix. 12. Isai. etherial substance.” The state of the blessed is certainly what xxxvii. 12. Ezek. xxvii. 28. and Amos i. 5. and such places our Lord here means : in what the locality of that state conprobably had this name from their fertility, pleasant situation, sists, we know not. The Jews have a multitude of fables on &c. &c. In this light the Septuagint have viewed Gen. ii. 8. as the subject. they render the passage thus : εφυτευσεν ο Θεος παραδισον εν Εδεμ, Verse 44. Darkness over all the earth] See the note on God planted a paradise in Eden. Hence the word has been | Matt. xxvii. 45. The darkness began at the sixth hour, about transplanted into the New Testament; and is used to signify our twelve o'clock at noon, and lasted till the ninth hour, which a place of exquisite pleasure and delight. From this the an- | answered to our three o'clock in the afternoon. eient heathens borrowed their ideas of the gardens of the Verse 45. The sun was durkened] See an examination of Hesperides, where the trees bore golden fruit. And the gar- the accounts of Phlegon, Thallus, and Dionysius, on Matt. dens of Adonis, a word which is evidently derived from the xxvii. 45. Hebrew

: and hence the origin of sacred groves, The veil-was rent] See Matt. xxvii, 51. gardens, and other enclosures dedicated to purposes of de- Verse 46. Into thy hands I commend my spirit] Or, I will votion, some comparatively innocent, others impure. The commit my spirit-I deposit my soul in thy hands. Another word paradise is not Greek, but is of Asiatic origin. In proof of the immateriality of the soul, and of its separate exArabic and Persian it signifies a garden, a vineyard, and also istence when the body is dead. the place of the blessed. In the Kushuf ul Loghat, a very Verse 48. And all the people] All were deeply affected excelebrated Persian dictionary, the well as Jenet al cept the priests, and those whom they had employed to serve Berdoos, Garden of Paradise, is said to have been created by their base purposes. The darkness, earthquake, &c. had God out of light, and that the prophets and wise men ascend brought terror and consternation into every heart. How

dreadful is the state of those, who, in consequence of their Paradise was, in the beginning, the habitation of man in long opposition to the grace and truth of God, are at last his state of innocence, in which he enjoyed that presence of given up to a reprobate mind! his maker, which constituted his supreme happiness. Our Verses 50, 51. Joseph--of Arimathea] See the notes on Lord's words intimate that this penitent should be immediately || Matt. xxvii. 57—60. and those especially on Mark xv. 43.

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Christ is laid in a new tomb.


They prepare to embalm him.

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laid. 54 And that day was the prepara 56 And they returned, and d pretion, and the sabbath drew on.

pared spices and ointments; and rested the 55 [ And the women also, which came with sabbath day, according to the commandhim from Galilee, followed after, and beheld ment.

a Matt. 27. 69.ch. 8. 2. - Mark 15. 17.

Mark 16. 1.- Exod. 20. 10.

Verse 54. And the sabbath drew on.] Or, the sabbath was allowed all works, necessary for the dead, to be done, even on lighting up, ezepuske, i. e. with the candles which the Jews light the sabbath, such as washing and anointing, provided they just before six in the evening, when the sabbath commences. moved not a limb of the dead person ; yel as the Jews had The same word is used for the dawning of the day, Matt. put Christ to death, under the pretence of his being a malexxviü. 1. Wakefield. The Jews always lighted up candles on factor, it would not have been either prudent or safe to appear the sabbath : and it was a solemn precept, that“ if a man too forward in the present business ; and therefore they rested had not bread to eat, he must beg from door to door to get a on the sabbath. little oil to set up his sabbath light.” The night of the sabbath drew on, which the Jews were accustomed to call the Certain copies of the Itala have some remarkable additions light. See Lightfoot.

in these concluding verses. The conclusion of the 48th verse Verse 55. The women also, which came] These were Mary of in one of them, is read thus: beating their breasts and their foreMagdala, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, chap. xxiv. heads, and saying, woe to us because of what is done this day, on 10. To these three, Mark in chap. xvi. 1. adds Salome, but some account of our sins; for the desolation of Jerusalem is at hand. think that this was only a surname of one of these Marys. To ver. 52. another adds, And when Pilate heard that he was

Verse 56. Prepared spices and ointments] This was in order dead, he glorified God, and gave the body to Joseph. On the cirto embalm him; which sufficiently proves that they had no cumstances of the crucifixion, see the observations at the end of hope of his resurrection the third day.

Matt. xxvii. and consider, how heinous sin must be in the sight And rested the sabbath day] For though the Jewish canons I of God, when it required such a sacrifice!

CHAPTER XXIV. The women coming early to the sepulchre on the first day of the week, bringing their spices, find the stone rolled away,

and the tomb empty, 1-3. They see a vision of angels who announce Christ's resurrection, 4–8. The women return and tell this to the eleven, 9, 10. They believe not, but Peter goes and examines the tomb, 11, 12. Christ

, unknown, uppears to two of the disciples who were going to Emmaus, and conterses with them, 13—29. While they are eating together, he makes himself known, and immediately disappears, 30, 31. They return to Jerusalem, and announce his resurrection to the rest of the disciples, 32-35. Jesus himself appears to them, and gives them the fullest proof of the reality of his resurrection, 36–43. He preaches to them, and gives them the promise of the Holy Spirit, 44—49. He takes them to Bethany, and ascends to heaven in their sight, 50, 51. They worship him, and return to Jerusalem, 52, 53.

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week, very early in the morn- prepared, and certain others with An. Olyrup. CCII. 1. ing they came unto the sepulchre, them.

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a Matt. 28. 1. Mark 16. 1. Jolin 20. 2.

b Ch. 23. 56.


this before the body was laid in the tomb. See John xix. 39, Verse 1. Bringing the spices] To embalm the body of our 10. but there was a second embalming found necessary: the Lord: but Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea had done i first must have been hastily and imperfectly performed; the

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