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CHRIST is transfigured on a Mountain,
holy Exercise (6).
Luke IX. 29. And as 29. be was suddenly in a most glorious Manner trans- transfigured before them,
[ figured in their Presence ; and the Form of bis Coun- and ] the Fashion of his tenance was changed (C), [So that] his Face shone Countenance was altered, with a Brightness like that of the Sun; and his [So that his Face did shine
as the Sun;] and his Raiment whole Body was clothed with such a Lustre, as was white and glistering, Thone thro' bis Raiment, infomuch that the Ap- [Mar. shining exceeding pearance of it was all white and dazzling (d), white as Snow,] (or as the Joining so exceedingly, that it seemed as white as Fuller on Earth can white Snow, (yea] as resplendent as the Light itself, to them.] (MAT. XVII. 2. so great a Degree as no Fuller on Earth could whiten Mark IX.—2, 3.1 it. Such a Glory did God confer on his Son, as an Earnest of that in which he was finally to appear ; and he permitted these his Servants to see it, that they might not be offended at those Scenes of deep Abasement, in which they were -fhortly to behold him. (Compare Mat. xxvi. 37
Sect. 182.) Mark IX. 4. And behold, there appeared to them, at the same MARK IX. 4. And (be
Time that they saw their Lord in this splendid hold,>, there appeared unto Form, Two Men, that were talking with Jesus in talking with Jesus, (Luk. a Language and Accent which the Three Apostles which were Moses and Eliheard and understood, who were known to be as :) (MAT. XVII. 3:
Luke IX. 30.) Moses the great Giver, and Elijah the zealous Luke X. Restorer of the Law. These were the persons Luke IX 31. Who apwhom they saw with Christ, in whose Honour peared in Glory, and spake
of his Decease which he their respective Ministrations terminated, who ap- should accomplish at Jerupearing to their View in Forms of Glory, fome- falem. what resembling that which he now wore himfelf, (pake of his Exit, or Departure out of the present Life and State, which he was shortly after, even at the ensuing Passover, to accomplish at ge
(6) To spend the Night in that holy Exercise.] This appears from Luke ix. 37. where we read of their coming down from the Hill on the next Day. See pag. 8.
(c) The Form of bis Countenance was changed.] This was so striking a Cireumstance, that Eunapius (Vit. Jambl
. pag. 22.) relates a Story of Jamblichus, which seems evidently to be borrowed from this ; as many Things which Philoftratus tells us of Apollonius Tyanæus, seein also to have been borrowed from other Histories recorded of Christ by the Evangelists.
(d) White and dazzling.] The Words acuxos etasparlw may literally be rendered, white as Lightning ; but as this Clause stands here connected with parallel Passages in the other Evangelifts, I chose to render it dazzling, that some proper Gradation might be observed, which would otherwise have been destroyed.
where Moses and Elijah appear, and speak of his Death.
3 rusalem (e) ; suggesting and enlarging on such Sect.go. Thoughts, as were proper to animate him to so
painful, and glorious a Conflict. 32 But Peter and they But Peter, and they that were with him, i. e, Luke IX. that were with him, were the two other Disciples, did not see the Begin- 32. they were awake, they saw ning of this glorious Vision, nor hear the whole bis Glory, and the Two Men of this wonderful and edifying Discourse; for, that stood with him.
wearied with the Labours of the preceding Day,
Conference, from whence they collected who 33-And it came to pass
, they were (f). And it came to pass, that just 33 as they departed from him; as they were departing from him, Peter answered unto Jesus, Master, it is good and said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to for us to be here'; and (if be here in such a Circumstance as this : Let this thou wilt] let us make [here) glorious Appearance and Converse be prolonged ; thee, and one for Moses, and for we could delight to spend all the Remainder one for Elias: (MAT. XVII. of our Days thus ; and therefore, if thou pleasest, 4. MARK IX. 5.] let us make three Tents here (8), for thee one, and for Moses one, and one for Elijah, that thou with
(e) Spake of his Exit, which he was shortly to accomplish at Jerusalem.] Dr. Hammond and Le Clerc leem greatly mistaken, in referring this to Christ's Victory over the impenitent Jews in the Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans ; for tho' the Word e todos does sometimes signify a Military Expedition, (see Elsner. Observ. Vol. i. pag. 219.) yet it is plainly used for Death, or a Departure out of the World, 2 Pet. i. 15. and Wisd. iii. 2. which suits much better here with the Construction, gy lepsparnu.
Heard the Conclusion of their Conference, &c.] It might not, perhaps, have been proper, they fhould have heard the whole of it: God might intend to reveal some of those Things to them by the Spirit, and the Knowledge of others might be reserved to the Discoveries of the Heavenly State.
(8) Let us make three Tents here.] Mr. Fleming thinks, it is as if he had said, “ Lord, " let this Mountain be to Israel now, what Sinai was to our Fathers : Hold, as it were, thy " Court here; and let the People resort hither, to learn thy Will, and pay their Homage " to thee, attended by these thy glorified Servants.” (See Fleming's Christology, Vol
. i. p. 46.) But this seems too great a Refinement, and too deep a Scheme. I rather chuse to interpret them, as Words of rapturous Surprize, intended merely to express the Pleasure they had, in what they saw and heard.' The Proposal was, as St. Mark observes, very improper ; but perhaps few, in such an astonishing Circumstance, could have been perfectly Masters of themselves. —The Tents, they proposed to build, must be only flight Huts, or Bowers; and there is no Reason at all to suppose, they meant any sumptuous Tabernacles, like that of Moses in the Wilderness : And that no such Idea might accidentally be raised, I chose to use the Word Tents.
MARK IX. 6. For he
4 A Voice from Heaven declares him to be the Son of GOD. Sect.go. them mayest lodge here in a more convenient
Manner. This was indeed a wild Kind of
Proposal, ill suiting the State of these glorified or] what to say, for they
unexpected a Manner.
Luke IX. 34. While he a bright Cloud, which in a most surprizing Man- came a [bright] Cloud, and
thus spake, [behold,) there ner spread itself over the Top of the Mountain, overshadowed them : and and overshadowed them all. And they feared, and they feared, as they entred were seized with a kind of religious Horror, when into the Cloud. (MAT.
XVII. 5. — MARK IX. they entered into the Cloud, and saw it diffused on 7.-) 35 every Side of them.
And behold, an ever-me- 35 And [behold,] there morable Circumstance then happened; for there came a Voice out of the came a most awful Voice out of the Cloud, as the my beloved Son, [in whom sacred Symbol of God's immediate Presence, which I am well
pleased, ) hear [ye} said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well him. [M A T. XVII. -5.
of your Prophets. Mat. XVII. And when the Disciples beard [this Voice,] they fell prostrate on their Faces to the Ground with they fell on their Face, and
when the Disciples heard it, the humbleft Reverence, and were exceedingly were fure afraid.
terrified by this tremendous Manifestation of the 7 present Deity. And Jefus, knowing their Con- 7 And Jesus came and fusion, came and toucbed them, and said, Rise up, rife, and be not afraid.
touched them, and said, Aand be not afraid ; infusing into them, at the fame Moment, a secret Strength and Fortitude of Mind. (Compare Dan. x. 10, 19.)
MAT. XVII. 6. And
(b) In whom I am well pleased.] Tho'neither Mark nor Luke have given us these Words, we may be sure that they were really spoken, as we have the concurrent Testimony both of Matthew, and Peter, who has thus quoted them, 2 Pet. i. 17. Some have thought their being omitted by Mark, an Intimation, that Peter did not review that Gospel with any great Accuracy, supposing it was (as Clemens Alexandrinus reports,) put into his Hands. -Perhaps the Command that is added to hear him, may refer to that solemn Charge to bear the great Prophet, Deut. xviii. 15.
3) They first (i) They laid held on that Word.] So I think tov Roy ou expeélnou may moft literally be rendered ; the Verb often fignifying to lay hold on, and in Consequence of that, resolutely to rem tain; but never, that I can recollect, to keep a Secret. Compare Mat. ix. 25. xiv. 3. Mark xii. 12. and Rev. xx. 2.- I think the Words apos taules, should be joined with ouSn78vleso as they are with the same Word, Mark i. 27. ix. 16. Luke xxii, 23. and Arts ix. 29.
He chargès his Disciples to conceal it till he was risen. 5 MARK IX. 8. And sud
And on a sudden, while the Heavenly Voice was Sect.go. denly (Luk: when the uttered, Jesús was found alone, Moses and Elijah
Mark IX. 8. found alone and] when they disappearing in a Moment ; [and] the Disciples had [lift up their Eyes, and] lifting up their Eyes, upon the kind Encouragelooked round about, they ment that he had given them, [and] looking round Jesus only with themselves. about them for the Persons they had seen but just (MAT. XVII. 8. LUKE before, Saw no Man any more, but Jesus only with ix. 36.-)
themselves, who now again appearing in his usual
used to do. 9 And as they came down
And as they came down from the Mountain, in 9 from the Mountain, [Jesus] which this wonderful Transaction had passed, Jesus charged them, that they hould tell no Man what strictly charged them, that they should tell no one Things they had seen, till what they had seen, unless it were when the Son of the Son of Man were rifen Man was risen from the Dead; lest till that glofrom the Dead. [MAT. XVII. 9.]
rious Evidence was given of his Divine Mission,
this Story should appear as an idle Dream, or an
gave them, they were filent as to what had passed,
bad now seen and heard.
And bis Disciples, as they could not doubt but Mat. XV.II.. Scribes, that Elias must first forming themselves, as to a Scruple which had come ? (MARK IX. 15.] long lain on their Minds, and asked him, saying,
Why then do the Scribes, the Teachers of our Nă-
ing of that Prophet, which was to be expected ?
He discourses with them of the Coming of Elijah. Sect. 9o. first come to make Way for the Messiah, and re- truly shall first come, and gulate all Things (k), by preaching Repentance it is written of the Son of
how Mat. XVII.
and Reformation : And yet how little is the In- Man, that he must fuffer
runner also shall be disregarded, and his Preaching
answerable to it: Do not therefore expect another that Elias is (indeed] come
. 1.) and fuffer of them. [M A R K
gard to him, than to Elijah his Herald.
13 Then the Disciples unthem concerning John the Baptist
, who was fore- derstood that he spake unto
them of John the Baptist. told under the Name of Elijah, as the Messiah was under that of David. (Compare Mal. iv. 5. and Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24.)
(k) Shall first come, and regulate all Things.] It is plain, that amoxalasure here, (as amor xalasaoss, Aets iii. 21.) cannot, as it generally does, fignify restoring Things to their former State, but only in the general, reducing them to Order. It is strange, Tertullian (de Refur. cap. 35.) should infer from hence, that Elijah the Prophet is to come before Christ's second Appearance. Grotius has well confuted that wild Notion, in his Annotations, in loc.
(?) And yet how is it written of the Son of Man himself?] The Construction of this Verse in the Original, is as perplexed, as almost any in the New Testament. The Prusian Teftament, which is followed by the late English Version, renders it roundly, and elegantly enough: “ It is true, said he, that Elias muft first come to restore all Things, and that it is foretold “ of him, as well as of the Son of Man, that he should have much to suffer, and be rejected “ with Contempt.” But this is not strictly agreeable to the Original, nor can I find the Martyrdom of Yohn the Baptif any where foretold in the Old Testament : I chuse therefore to render this Clause, as a Question. -That xal sometimes fignifies (and yet, ] evidently appears from Yohn v. 40. Luke ix. 45. Mat. xxiii. 37. and other places.
(m) Elijah is indeed come already, as it is written of him.] For the Reason assigned in the preceding Note, I chuse to connect these two Clauses, and conclude that the Words which lic between, both in the Original, and in our. Translation, are to be included in a Parenthesis.