Page images


39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. z Matt. vi. 18. 40 z And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray

ver. 46.

a John v. 30: vi. 38.

44 c

that ye enter not into temptation. 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down and prayed, 42 saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me nevertheless a not my will, but thine, be done. b Matt. iv. 11. 43 [ And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, e John xii. 27. strengthening him. 4 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.] 45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Heb. v. 7.


y ch. xxi. 37.

d ver. 40.

W render, willing to remove.

x verses 43, 44 are omitted in some of our oldest MSS., but contained in others, and in the most ancient versions. See the testimonies of the Fathers in my Gr. Test.

39-46.] CHRIST'S AGONY AT THE MOUNT OF OLIVES. Matt. xxvi. 36-46. Mark xiv. 32-42. John xviii. 1. For all comment on the general narrative, see notes on Matthew. Our account is compendious, combines the three prayers of our Lord into one, and makes no mention of the Three Apostles being taken apart from the rest. On the other hand it inserts the very important additional details of vv. 43, 44, besides the particularity of ver. 41, "about a stone's cast." 42.] The sentence is broken off at me If Thou be willing;-let it be so. The A.V. is not a correct reading in grammar. 43.] With the early and weighty evidence cited in my Gr. Test. in favour of verses 43, 44, it is impossible that they should have been an apocryphal insertion. The passage was perhaps expunged by the orthodox, who imagined they found in it an inconsistency with the divine nature of our Lord. We have reason to be thankful, that orthodoxy has been better understood since. The strengthening by means of the angel is physical-and the appearance likewise. It is strange how Olshausen can have so far deceived himself as to imagine that appeared unto him can imply a merely inward and spiritual accession of strength from above. It is strange likewise that the analogy of the ministration of angels in the Lord's former temptation should not have occurred to those modern Commentators who have objected

to this circumstance as improbable.
This strengthening probably took place be-
tween the first and the second prayer ;—
and the effect of it is, that He prayed more
earnestly, ver. 44, and arrived at the en-
tire resignation expressed in the second and
third prayer of St. Matthew's narrative.
44.] The intention of the Evan-
gelist seems clearly to be, to convey the
idea that the sweat was (not fell like, but
was) like drops of blood ;-i. e. coloured
with blood,-for so I understand the as it
were, as just distinguishing the drops
highly coloured with blood, from pure
blood. Aristotle, speaking of certain mor-
bid states of the blood, says, "when the
blood is watery, grievous disease ensues:
for it becomes serous and milky, to such
an extent that some have been known to
perspire a bloody sweat." To suppose that
it only fell like drops of blood (why not
drops of any thing else? and drops of
blood from what, and where?) is to nullify
the force of the sentence. We must
not forget, in asking on what testimony
this rests, that the marks of such drops
would be visible after the termination of
the agony. An interesting example of a
sweat of blood under circumstances of
strong terror, accompanied by loss of
speech, is cited in the Medical Gazette for
December, 1848. It occurred in the case
of certain Norwegian sailors in a tre-
mendous storm.
45.] for sorrow—
the effect of anxiety and watching. The


47 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 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: e but this e John xii. 27: is your hour, and the power of darkness.

xiii. 30.

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 words may possibly express an inference of the Evangelist: but I would rather understand them as exactly describing the cause of their sleeping.

47-53.] BETRAYAL AND APPREHENSION OF JESUS. Matt. xxvi. 47-56. Mark xiv. 43–52. John xviii. 2-11. Our narrative is here distinguished even more than before by minute and striking details (see on the whole the notes to Matthew). The first of these is the address to Judas, ver. 48, calling the traitor by name, and setting before him the whole magnitude of his crime in the very words in which the treason had lately (Matthew, ver. 45: Mark, ver. 41) and so often (Matt. xxvi. 2; xx. 18; xvii. 22) been announced. Another is in ver. 49, where the disciples, seeing what would follow, ask, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? which question refers to, and is the filling up of their misunderstanding of our Lord in ver. 38. Again ver. 51 is peculiar to Luke. 51.] Suffer ye thus far I understand as addressed, not to the disciples, but to the multitude, or rather to those who were holding Him; -His hands were held,and He says, Suffer, permit me, thus far: i. e. to touch the ear of the wounded perIf this. interpretation be correct, it furnishes an additional token of the truthfulness of our narrative; for the previous laying hold of Jesus has not been mentioned here, but in Matthew (ver. 50) and Mark (ver. 46). 53.] There is an



important addition here to the other re-
ports of our Lord's speech ;-but this is
your hour, and the power of darkness.
It stands here instead of the declaration
that this was done that the Scriptures
might be fulfilled (Matthew, ver. 56:
Mark, ver. 49). The inner sense of those
words is indeed implied here-but we can-
not venture to say that our report is of
the same saying.
Our Lord here
distinguishes between the power exercised
over Him by men, and that by the Evil
One-but so to make the power


which rules over them to be that of darkness-while His own assertion of this shews that all was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. In the word darkness there is also an allusion to the time-midnight. Compare with this declaration of the power of darkness over Him, the declaration, in ch. iv. 13, that the devil left Him "for a season.”

54.] Matt. xxvi. 57. Mark xiv. 53. John xviii. 13. Our narrative leaves it undecided who this high priest was, inasmuch as, ch. iii. 2, Annas and Caiaphas are mentioned as high priests. From St. John we find that it was Annas; who having questioned Jesus, sent Him bound to Caiaphas, before whom His trial took place. St. Luke omits this trial altogether-or perhaps gives the substance of it in the account (vv. 66-71) of the morning assembly of the Sanhedrim. See notes on Matthew.


f Acts-iv. 26. see Acts xxii.


hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among
them. 56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by
y 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 a fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilæan.
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 aa crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

63 And the men that held b Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 6 And when they had blindfolded him, they [c struck him 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

I literally, the light. So also Mark xiv. 54: but see note here.

Z omitted by some ancient authorities.

in the original.

a better, man: not expressed


aa read, crow this render, the assembly of the

read, him.


comitted by many ancient authorities. elders of the people, chief priests and scribes: see note.

JESUS. Matt. xxvi. 69-75. Mark xiv. 66-72. John xviii. 17, 18, 25-27. See throughout, table and notes in Matthew.


56.] The word light here seems to be used as accounting for the words beholding him not so in Mark xiv. 54, where it is merely “he warmed himself at the light." 58. another (masculine)] In Matthew it is feminine,-in Mark, the maid. 61.] See extract from Robinson's notes on Matthew, ver. 69. If, as there supposed, the trial was going on in an open chamber looking on the court, the look might well have been given from a considerable distance. We need not enquire, how our Lord could hear what was going on round the fire in the court, as some Commentators have done. But even were such an enquiry necessary, I see no difficulty in answering it. The anathemas of Peter, spoken to those who stood by with vehemence, and the crowing of the cock,were not these audible ? But our Lord needed not these to attract His attention.

63-65.] HE IS MOCKED. St. Luke does not, as some Commentators say, place this mocking before the trial in Caiaphas's house, but in the same place as Matthew, vv. 67, 68, and Mark ver. 65, viz. after what happened there. The trial he omits altogether, having found no report of it. How those who take this view of St. Luke's arrangement can yet suppose him to have had Matthew and Mark before him while writing, I am wholly at a loss to conceive.

66-71.] HEARING BEFORE THE COUNCIL. (Probably) Matt. xxvii. 1. Mark xiv. 1. It seems probable that St. Luke here gives us an account of a second and formal judgment held in the morning. The similarity of the things said at the two hearings may be accounted for by remembering that they were both more or less formal processes in legal courts, one the precognition, the other the decision, at which the things said before would be likely to be nearly repeated. soon as it was day] Some trace of a meet

66. as


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 [ee also] ask you, ye will not answer me [1, nor let
me go]. 69 g 8 Hereafter shall the
right hand of the power of God.
Art thou then the Son of God?
further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own

say that I am. 71 And they said, What need we any

XXIII. 1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he

ee omit.

viii. 1.

Son of man sit on the g Heb. i. 8: 70 Then said they all, And he said unto them,

• render, If thou art the Christ, tell us.

f omitted by some ancient authorities.

8 read and render, But from this time: or, But henceforth. h not expressed in the original. Better, man.

i read, with almost all the most ancient authorities, our.



ing of the Sanhedrim after daylight I be-
lieve our Evangelist to have found, see
Matt. xxvii. 1-and to have therefore re-
lated as then happening, the following
account of what really took place at the
former meeting. 67.] First, before
this enquiry, took place the "witness"
ferred to in ver. 71; and the person who
said this was the high priest, and with an
adjuration, Matthew, ver. 63. The render-
ing in the margin is the most natural and
correct: If thou art (not if thou be) the
Christ, tell us. The others, Tell us
whether thou be the Christ;' and, 'Art
thou the Christ? tell us,' are forced and
unusual renderings of the original.
68.] I believe these words to have been
said as a formal protest on the part of our
Lord against the spirit and tendency of
the question asked Him, before He gives
an answer to it: and as such, they form
an original and most valuable feature in
the report. It is with no view to examine
and believe, that you ask this question:
nor, were I to attempt to educe from your
own mouths my innocence, would you
answer Me [or release Me]. I am well
aware of the intention of this question:
BUT (Matthew, ver. 64) the time is come
for the confession to be made :-Hence-
forth &c. 69.] On henceforth, see
notes on Matthew. The words "sit on
the right hand of power" are common to
all Three only St. Luke adds "of God."

b see Matt.

a Acta xvii. 7. xvi. 27:


70.] We find here, and it is worth observing, the Son of God used as synonymous with the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, i. e. with the glorified Messiah. On Ye say that I am..... see note on Matthew, ver. 64. 71.] How would it have been possible that these words should have been said, if no "witness" had been brought forward at this examination, and if the very same question had been asked at the termination of the former one?


CHAP. XXIII. 1-5.] HE IS ACCUSED BEFORE PILATE. Matt. xxvii. 2, 11-14. Mark xv. 1-5. John xviii. 28-38. Our account, not entering at length into the words said, gives a particular and original narrative of the things transacted at this interview. 2.] This charge was intended to represent the result of their previous judgment, we found;-whereas, in fact, no such matter had been before them but they falsely allege it before Pilate, knowing that it was the point on which his judgment was likely to be most severe. The words themselves which they use are not so false, as the spirit, and impression which they convey. The forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar was, however, false entirely (see ch. xx. 22 ff.); and is just one of those instances where those who are determined to effect their purpose by falsehood, do so, in spite of the fact having been precisely the contrary to

01 Tim. vi. 18. himself is Christ a King. 3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. 4Then said Pilate to the d1 Pet. ii. 22. chief priests and to the 3 people, I find no fault in this man. 5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. 6 When Pilate heard of Galilee], he asked whether the man were a Galilæan. 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. 8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was g Matt.xiv. 1. desirous to see him of a long season, because & he had heard

fch. ix. 9.

[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
j render, multitudes.
k in the original, Judæa.

1 omitted by some ancient authorities.

e ch. iii. 1.

m omitted by many most ancient authorities. that which they assert. 3.] This question is related in all four Gospels. But in John the answer is widely different from the distinct affirmation in the other three, amounting perhaps to it in substance-at all events affirming that He was 'a King'-which was the form of their charge. I believe therefore that the Three give merely the general import of the Lord's answer, which St. John relates in full. It is hardly possible, if Jesus had affirmed the fact so strongly and barely as the Three relate it, that Pilate should have made the avowal in ver. 4-which St. John completely explains. 4.] The preceding question had been asked within the præ

torium-a fact which our Narrator does not adduce,―representing the whole as a continuous conversation in presence of the Jews; see John, ver. 38. We may remark (and on this see Matthew, ver. 18: Mark, ver. 10) that Pilate must have known well that a man who had really done that, whereof Jesus was accused, would be no such object of hatred to the Sanhedrim. This knowledge was doubtless accompanied (as the above-cited verses imply) with a previous acquaintance with some of the sayings and doings of Jesus, from which Pilate had probably formed his own opinion that He was no such King as His foes would represent Him. This is now confirmed by His own words (as related by St. John); and Pilate wishes to dismiss

Him, finding no fault in Him. 5.] Possibly they thought of the matter mentioned ch. xiii. 1, in introducing Galilee into their charge. The opening words may mean, they strengthened, redoubled, the charge- or perhaps, they became urgent, they were the more fierce, as in text.

6-12.] HE IS SENT TO HEROD, AND BY HIM RETURNED TO PILATE. Peculiar to Luke; see remarks on ver. 12. Pilate, conscious that he must either do the duty of an upright judge and offend the Jews, or sacrifice his duty to his popularity, first attempts to get rid of the matter altogether by sending his prisoner to Herod, on occasion of this word Galilee. This was Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peræa (see ch. iii. 1 and note on Matt. xiv. 1), who had come up to keep the feast. 7. he sent] or remitted him, to Herod. Grotius observes that this was the regular practice among the Romans, to remit a criminal to the ruler or judge of the district in which his crime was alleged to have been committed. 8, 9.] The reason of our Lord's silence is sufficiently shewn, in the account of Herod's feelings at seeing Him. He would not use His discourses or His miracles for liberating Himself from death, any more than He did for ostentation, or to gratify the curiosity of men. 10.] The accusations, of worldly kingship and of blasphemy, would probably be here united, as Herod was a Jew, and

« PreviousContinue »