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chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 11 h And Herod with his men of war set him at h Isa. liii. 3. nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 12 And the same day.
i Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before i Acts iv. 27. they were at enmity between themselves.
13 And Pilate, when he had 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 per- kvv. 1, 2. verteth the people: and, behold, 'I, having examined him 1 ver. 4. 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 an unto him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him. 17 [ For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.] 18 And m they cried out all at m Acts iii. 14.
▲ several of our early MSS. have, He sent him to us.
nn render, by him.
• omitted by most of the ancient authorities, but contained in some most ancient versions.
able to appreciate the latter.
How could St. John, if he composed his Gospel with that of St. Luke before him, have here given us a narrative in which so important a fact as this is not only not related, but absolutely cannot find any place of insertion? Its real place is after John ver. 38;-but obviously nothing was further from the mind of that Evangelist, for he represents Pilate as speaking continuously.
18-25.] FURTHER HEARING BEFORE PILATE, WHO STRIVES TO RELEASE HIM, BUT ULTIMATELY YIELDS TO THE JEWS. Matt. xxvii. 15-26. Mark xv. 6-15. John xviii. 39, 40. Our account, while entirely distinct in form from the others, is in substance nearly allied to them. In a few points it approaches John very nearly, compare ver. 18 with John ver. 40, also ver. 17 with John ver. 39. The second declaration of our Lord's innocence by Pilate is in St. John's account united with the first, ver. 38. In the three first Gospels, as asserted in our ver. 14, the questioning takes place in the presence of the Jews: not so, however, in John (see xviii. 28). 15.] Not as A. V., is done unto him, but is done by him: meaning, such is the issue of Herod's judgment: I assume that he has thus decided.
16.] Here, as Bengel observes, Pilate begins to shew culpable weakness in yielding to the Jews. If there be no fault in Him, why should He be corrected at all?-the Jews perceive their advantage, and from
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 were P instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them [PP and of the chief priests] prevailed.
n Exod. xxii. 24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they
required. 25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. 26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which [also] bewailed and lamented him. 28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your P i.e. urgent. PP omitted in some of our earliest MSS. romit.
o Heb. xii. 2.
a render, the people.
this moment follow it up.
26-33.] HE IS LED FORTH TO CRUCIFIXION. Matt. xxvii. 31-34. Mark xv. 20-23. John xix. 16, 17. Our account is an original one-containing the affecting narrative, vv. 27-32, peculiar to itself. 26. coming out of the country] See on Mark. after Jesus is peculiar to Luke, and a note of accuracy. 27.] These were not the women who had followed Him from Galilee, but the ordinary crowd collected in the streets on such occasions, and consisting, as is usually the case (and especially at an execution), principally of women. Their weeping appears to have
been of that kind of well-meant sympathy
19. ch. xxi.
I. ii. 19.
Hos. 1. 8.
children. 29 P For, behold, the days are coming, in the P Matt. xxiv. which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, a Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? 32 And there were also two other [,] malefactors [,]. led with him to be put to death. 33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 [Then said Jesus, Father, render, must.
8 render, to the green tree. render, to the dry. ▼dele the commas: see note. W render, a skull. I omitted by the Vatican MS., and by the original corrector of the Sinaitic MS.
speaks. 29. the days are coming] Between this and then, would be time for that effectual weeping, which might save both themselves and their children; see Acts ii. 37, 38,-but of which few availed themselves. These few are remarkably hinted at in the change to the -third person, which excludes them they shall say, i. e. not men in general,' nor My enemies,' but the impenitent among you, those who weep merely tears of idle sympathy for Me, and none of repentance for themselves;-those who are in Jerusalem and its misery, which My disciples will not be. On the saying itself, compare the whole of Hosea ix., especially vv. 12-16. 30. This is cited from the next chapter of Hosea (x. 8). It was partially and primarily accomplished, when multitudes of the Jews towards the end of the siege sought to escape death by hiding themselves in the subterranean passages and sewers under the city, as related by Josephus: who adds that more than two thousand were found dead in these hidingplaces, besides those who were detected there and killed. . . . But the words are too solemn, and too often used in a more awful connexion, for a further meaning to escape our notice: see Isa. ii. 10, 19, 21, and Rev. vi. 16, where is the striking expression "from the wrath of the Lamb"of Him who now was the victim about to be offered. And the whole warning-as every other respecting the destruction of Jerusalem-looks through the type to the antitype, the great day of His wrath. Now, the days are coming-then "the great day of His wrath is come," Rev. vi. 17. It is interesting to see how often David, who had passed so long in hiding among the rocks of the wilderness from Saul, calls the Lord his Rock (see Ps. xviii.
Rev. vi. 16:
ix. 6. r Prov. xi. 31.
Jer. xxv. 29.
Ezek. xx. 47. 1 Pet. iv. 17. Isa. liii. 12.
2, 46; xlii. 9, &c.). They who have this defence, will not need to call on the rocks to hide them. 31.] This verse-the solemn close of our Lord's teaching on earth-compares His own sufferings with that awful judgment which shall in the end overtake sinners, the unrepentant human kind-the dry tree. These things -were a judgment on sin;-He bore our sins; He,-the vine, the green tree, the fruit-bearing tree,-of Whom His people are the branches,-if He, if they in Him and in themselves, are so treated, so tried with sufferings, what shall become of them who are cast forth as a branch and are withered? Read 1 Peter iv. 12-18; -ver. 18 is a paraphrase of our text. Theophylact's comment is excellent: "If they do these things to Me, fruitful and ever-flourishing and immortal from my Godhead, what will happen to you, unfruitful, and void of all life-giving righteousness?"-The explanations which make the green tree mean the young, and the dry, the old,-or the green tree mean the women comparatively innocent, the dry, the guilty, at the destruction of Jerusalem, -seem to me unworthy of the place which the words hold, though the latter agrees with the symbolism of Ezek. xx. 47, compared with xxi. 4. 32.] Since the publication of the first edition of this work, the additional evidence of the Sinaitic MS. has made it appear that we ought to read the text simply, two other malefactors: not, as I maintained before, "two others, malefactors."
33-49.] THE CRUCIFIXION, MOCKING, LAST WORDS, AND DEATH OF JESUS. Matt. xxvii. 35-50. Mark xv. 24-37. John xix. 18-30; with however some particulars inserted which appear later in the other gospels. 34.] Spoken ap
forgive them; for " they know not what they I do.] And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35 And the people
Cor. iv. 12,
u Acts iii. 17.
P. xxii. 17. stood beholding. And the rulers also [ with them] de
Zech. xii. 10.
rided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save or, are doing. Z the reading is uncertain. The best of our most ancient authorities have, the Christ of God, the chosen: see note.
t Matt. v. 44. Acts vii. 60.
parently during the act of the crucifixion, or immediately that the crosses were set up. Now, first, in the fullest sense, from the wounds in His Hands and Feet, is His Blood shed, for the forgiveness of sins (Matt. xxvi. 28), and He inaugurates His intercessional office by a prayer for His murderers-"forgive them." This also is a fulfilment of Scripture, Isa. liii. 12,where the contents of our verses 33, 34 are remarkably pointed out. His teaching ended at ver. 31. His High Priesthood is now begun. His first three sayings on the Cross are for others: see ver. 43: John xix. 26, 27. Father] He is the Son of God, and He speaks in the fulness of this covenant relation,"I knew that Thou always hearest Me:" -it is not merely a prayer-but the prayer of the Great Intercessor, which is always heard. Notice that even on the Cross, there is no alienation, no wrath of condemnation, between the Father and the Son. forgive them] Who are here intended? Doubtless, first and directly, the four soldiers, whose work it had been to crucify Him. The words they know not what they are doing point directly at this and it is surely a mistake to suppose that they wanted no forgiveness, because they were merely doing their duty. Stier remarks, "This is only a misleading fallacy, for they were sinners even as others, and their obedient and unsuspecting performance of their duty was not without a sinful pleasure in doing it, or at all events formed part of their entire standing as sinners, included in that sin of the world, to which the Lord here ascribes His Crucifixion." But not only to them, but to them as the representatives of that sin of the world, does this prayer apply. The persons pointed at by they are all mankind,-the Jewish nation, as the next moving agent in His death,--but all of us,-inasmuch as for our sins He was bruised. for they know not what they do, primarily, as before, spoken of the soldiers,-then of the
council, who delivered Him up, see John xi. 49, "ye know nothing,”-then of all, whose sin is from lack of knowledge of the truth, of what sin is, and what it has done, even the crucifixion of the Lord. But certainly from this intercession is excluded that one sin-strikingly brought out by the passage thus cited as mitted by him who said it, viz. Caiaphas, -and hinted at again by our Lord, John xix. 11-and perhaps also by the awful answer Matt. xxvi. 64,- thou saidst it'— viz. in prophecy, John xi. 49; see also Matt. xxvi. 25,-and on the sin alluded to, Matt. xii. 31: 1 John v. 16. Observe that between the two members of this prayer lies the work of the Spirit leading to repentance-the prayer that they may have their eyes opened, and know what they have done which is the necessary subjective condition of forgiveness of sins, see 2 Tim. ii. 25, 26. 35.] The insults of the people are by no means exIcluded, even if the words with them be omitted: nay they are implied, by the and.... also which follows in the next verse. To find a discrepancy with Matthew and Mark here, surely unfair:the people's standing looking on, does not describe their mind towards Jesus : St. Luke reports no more than he had before him and the inference may be drawn that those whom he has related to have cried out an hour ago, Crucify him,' - would not have stood by in silence. On ver. 48, see note there. the rulers are the chief priests and members of the Sanhedrim, Matthew, ver 41. The concluding words may be rendered either (see the reading in the margin) the Christ of God, His elect one,-or, the elect Christ of God. I prefer the former: but either way, the Christ of God must be taken together. 36.] A different incident from that related in Matthew, ver. 48; Mark, ver. 36; John, vv. 28, 29. It was about the time of the mid-day meal of the soldiers, and they in mockery offered Him their posca or sour wine, to drink with
thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him [a in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew], This is the King of the Jews.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, b If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, © Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And dhe said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in
a omitted by some of the most ancient authorities.
the most ancient authorities have, Art not thou the Christ? C render, Dost thou also not.
d the most ancient authorities read, he said, Jesus, remember me. render, in.
them. 38.] See on Matthew, ver. 37. over him, on the projecting upright beam of the cross. 39-43.] Peculiar to Luke. St. Matthew and St. Mark have merely a general and less precise report of the same incident. All were now mocking; the soldiers, the rulers, the mob:-and the evil-minded thief, perhaps out of bravado before the crowd, puts in his scoff also. 40.] Bengel supports the notion that this penitent thief was a Gentile. But surely this is an unwarranted assumption. What should a Gentile know of Paradise, or of the kingdom of the Messiah as about to come? The silence of the penitent is broken by the us of the other compromising him in the scoff. also alludes to the multitude-Dost thou too not fear God? (as thou oughtest to do) seeing that. 41. we] He classes himself with the other in condemnation, but not in his prayer afterwards. amiss] literally unseemly. This is a remarkable testimony to the innocence of Jesus from one who was probably executed for his share in those very tumults which He was accused of having excited. 42.] The thief had heard of the announcements which Jesus had made,-or at all events of the popular rumour concerning his Kingdom. His faith lays hold on the truth that this is the King of the Jews in a higher and immortal sense. There is nothing so astounding in this man's faith dogmatically considered, as has been thought; he merely joins the common belief of the Jews of a Messianic King
dom, in which the ancient Fathers were to rise, &c.,-with the conviction, that Jesus is the Messiah. What is really astounding, is the power and strength of that faith, which, amidst shame and pain and mockery, could thus lift itself to the apprehension of the Crucified as this King. This thief would fill a conspicuous place in a list of the triumphs of faith supplementary to Heb. xi. in thy kingdom] The A. V., following the Latin Vulgate (so also Luther), renders this "into thy kingdom," which is a sad mistake, as it destroys the force of the expression. It is in thy kingdom-with thy kingdom, so "shall come in His glory," Matt. xxv. 31, which we (A. V.) have translated rightly. The above mistake entirely loses the solemn sense of comest-making it merely comest into,' just as we say to "come into" an estate: whereas it is the chief word in the clause, and "in Thy kingdom" its qualification, at thy coming in thy kingdom. It will be seen that there is no necessity for supposing the man to have been a disciple, as some have done. It is remarkable how, in three following sayings, the Lord appears as Prophet, Priest, and King: as Prophet, to the daughters of Jerusalem ;as Priest, interceding for forgiveness;— as King, acknowledged by the penitent thief, and answering his prayer. 43. Verily I say unto thee. .] The Lord surpasses his prayer in the answer; the verily I say unto thee, to day, is the reply to the uncertain "when (whensoever)” of the thief. To day] i. c.