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him.' His human nature, to sustain the great burden that was upon his soul. The man, Christ Jesus, was suffering. His human nature was in agony; and it is the manner of God to sustain the afflicted by the intervention of others. Nor was there any more unfitness in sustaining the human nature of his Son in this manner, than any other sufferer. 'In an agony. See this verse explained in the notes on Matthew xxvi. 42-44. Sleeping for sorrow.' On account of the greatness of their sorrow. See Matt. xxvi. 40.
47 T And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. 48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ? 49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword ? 50 T And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. 51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves ? 53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me : but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
See this explained in Matt. xxvi. 47–56. 'Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ? A kiss was the sign of affection. Jesus, with severity, reproaches him for it. Every word is emphatic, Betrayest thou-dost thou violate all thy obligations of fidelity, and deliver thy Master up to death? Betravest thou-thou. so long with him, so much favoured, so sure that this is the Messiah? Betrayest thou the Son of man—the Messiah, the hope of the nations, the desire of all people, the world's Redeemer ? " Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss—the sign of friendship and affection, prostituted to a base and wicked purpose, intending to add deceit, disguise, and an abuse of a mark of affection, to the crime of treason ? Every word of this must have gone to the very soul of Judas! Perhaps few reproofs of crime more resemble the awful searchings of the souls of the wicked in the day of judgment !
54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. 55 And when they had kindled a fire in the
midst of the hall, and were set-down together, Peter sat down among them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. 58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. 59 And about the space of one hour after, another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him; for he is a Galilean. 60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. 61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
See Matt. xxvi. 57, 58. 69—75.
63 | And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 64 And when they had blind-folded him, they struck hini on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. 66 | And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, 67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: 68 And if I also ask you ve will not answer me, nor let me go. 69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God ? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. 71 And they said, What need we any further witness ? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth. See notes on Matt. xxvi. 57—68.
CHAPTER XXII. 1 AND the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
See Matt, xxvii. 1, 2.
2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cesar, saying that he himself is Christ, a King.
“This fellow.' The word 'fellow' is not in the original. It conveys a notion of contempt, which no doubt they felt, but which is not expressed in the Greek. 'Perverting the nation. That is, exciting them to sedition and tumults. This was a mere wanton accusation, but it was plausible before a Roman magistrate. For the Galileans, as Josephus testifies, were prone to seditions and tumults. 'Forbidding,' &c. They did not say that he taught that men should not give tribute. That would have been too gross a charge, and would have been easily refuted. They said it followed from his doctrine. He professed to be a king. They inferred, therefore, if he was a king, he must hold that it was not right to acknowledge allegiance to any foreign prince, 'Tribute.' Taxes. “Cesar. The Roman emperor, called also Tiberius. The name Cesar was common to the Roman emperors, as Pharaoh was to the Egyptian kings.
3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews ? And he answered him, and said, Thou sayest it.
See Matt. xxvii. 11.
4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
I find no fault.' This was after Pilate had taken Jesus into the judgment hall by himself, and examined bim privately, and been satisfied in regard to the nature of his kingdom. See John xviii. 33–38. He was then satisfied, that though he claimed to be a king, yet his kingdom was not of this world; and that his claims did not interfere with those of Cesar.
5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
"The more fierce.' The more urgent and pressing. They saw there was a prospect of losing their cause, and they attempted to press on Pilate the point that would be most likely now to affect him. 'Stirreth up the people. Excites them to tumult and
dition. 'All Jewry. All Judea. 'From Galilee to this place.' To Jerusalem. That is, throughout the whole country.
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean.
• Whether he were a Galilean. He asked this because, if he
was, he properly belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, who reigned over Galilee.
7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
“Herod's jurisdiction.' Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great. This was the same Herod that put John the Baptist to death. Jesus had passed most of his life in the part of the country where he ruled, and it was, therefore, considered that he belonged to his jurisdiction.
84 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad : for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 9 Then he questioned with him in many words, but he answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood, and vehemently accused him. ‘Vehemently accused him.' Violently or unjustly accused him.
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
With his men of war.' With his soldiers, or his body guard. Set him at nought.' Treated him with contempt and ridicule. "A gorgeous robe. A white or shining robe, for this is the meaning of the original. The Roman princes wore purple robes, and Pilate, therefore, put such a robe on Jesus. The Jewish kings wore a white robe, which was often rendered very shining or gorgeous by much tinsel or silver interwoven. The Jews and Romans each decked him in the manner appropriate to their own country, for purposes of mockery.
12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Made friends together. What had been the cause of their quarrel is unknown. The occasion of their reconciliation seems to have been the civility and respect which Pilate showed to Herod in this case. It was not because they were united in haling Jesus, as is often the case with wicked men, for Pilate was certainly desirous of releasing him, and both considered him merely as an object of ridicule and sport. It is true, however, that wicked men, at variance in other things, are often united in opposing and ridiculing Christ and his followers; and that enmities of long standing are sometimes made up, and the most
opposite characters brought together simply to oppose religion, Compare Ps. lxxxiii. 5, 6, 7.
13 9 And Pilate, when he hail called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me as one that perverteth the people ; and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him : 15 No, nor yet Herod : for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
Worthy of death.' Deserving of death. The charges are not proved against him. They had had every opportunity of proving them, first before Pilate, and then before Herod, and yet after all he was declared by both to be innocent. There could be no better evidence that he was innocent.
16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
The word 'chastise,' here, means to scourge, or to whip. This was usually done before capital punishment, io increase the sufferings of the man condemned. It is not easy to see the reason why, if Pilate supposed Jesus to be innocent, he should propose publicly to scourge him. It was as really unjust to do that, as it was to crucify him. But probably he expected by this to conciliate the minds of his accusers; and perhaps he expected that by seeing him whipped, and disgraced, and condemned to ridicule, and contempt, and suffering, they would be satisfied. All
nis shows Pilate's want of firmness. He should have released Christ at once, but the love of popularity led him to the murder of the Son of God. Man should do his duty in all situations, and he that, like Pilate, seeks only for public favour and popularity, will assuredly 'be led into crime.
17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
See Matt. xxvii. 15.
18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: 19 (Who, for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) 20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. 21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. 22 And he said. unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done ? I have found no cause of death in him ; I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. 23 And they