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Julian Period, 4740. Vulgar Æra,


Soon after the first Passover.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is

who devoted themselves for some time to the service of the
bride and bridegroom. The offices assigned to the paranymph,
or raww, were numerous and important; and, on account of
thesc, the Baptist compares himself to the friend of the bride-
groom. The offices of the paranymph were threefold-before-
at-and after the marriage. Before the marriage of his friend
it was his duty to select a chaste virgin, and to be the medium
of communication between the parties, till the day of marriage.
At that time he continued with them during the seven days
allotted for the wedding festival, rejoicing in the happiness of
his friend, and contributing as much as possible to the hilarity
of the occasion. After the marriage, the paranymph was con-
sidered as the patron and friend of the wife and her husband,
and was called in to compose any differences that might take
place between them. As the forerunner of Christ, the Baptist
may be well compared to the paranymph of the Jewish mar-

One of the most usual comparisons adopted in Scripture to
describe the union between Christ and his Church, is that of a
marriage. The Baptist was the paranymph (a), who, by the
preaching of repentance, and faith, presented the Church as a
youthful bride and a chaste virgin to Christ. He still conti-
nued with the bridegroom, till the wedding was furnished with
guests. His joy was fulfilled when his own followers came to
inform him that Christ was increasing the number of his dis-
ciples, and that all men came unto him. This intelligence was
as the sound of the bridegroom's voice, and as the pledge that
the nuptials of heaven and earth were completed.

From this representation of John, as the paranymph; of Christ as the bridegroom, and the Church as the bride, the ministers and stewards of the Gospel of God may learn, that they also are required, by the preaching of repentance and faith, to present their hearers in all purity to the head of the Christian Church. It is for them to find their best source of joy in the blessing of the most Highest on their labours-their purest happiness in the improvement and perfecting of the Church confided to their care (b).

Smaller circumstances and coincidences sometimes demonstrate the truth of an assertion, or the authenticity of a book, more effectually than more important facts. May not one of those unimportant yet convincing coincidences be observed in this passage. The Baptist calls himself the friend of the bridegroom, without alluding to any other paranymph, or raww. As the Jews were accustomed to have two paranymphs, there seems, at first sight, to be something defective in the Baptist's comparison. But our Lord was of Galilee, and there the custom was different from that of any other part of Palestine. The Galileans had one paranymph only (c).

(a) Exemplo et vità, says Kuinoel, communi depromto Johannes Baptista ostendit, quale inter ipsum et Christum discrimen iutercedat. Se ipsum comparat cum paranympho, Christum cum sponso; quocum ipse Christus se quoque comparavit, ut patet e locis. Matt. ix. 15. and xxv. 1. Scilicet, ò piλos тš vvμpís, est sponsi socius, ei peculiariter addictus, qui Græcis dicebatur apavuupios, Matt. ix. 15. vide rou vvμo@voc. Heb. aww, filius lætitiæ.-Com. in lib. N. T. Hist. vol. iii. p. 227. (b) Applicatio totius rei est facillima, Christus est sponsus, Ecclesia sponsa, Ministri Ecclesiæ raww, 2 Cor. xi. 2. et 1. quoque Johannes Baptista. Hi in eo elaborant, ut Christo virgi


Julian Period, 4740. Vulgar Era, 27.

of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that Juda.
cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth;

Soon after and no man receiveth his testimony.

the first Passover.

33 He that hath received his testimony, hath set to his seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him 18.

35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him.

nem puram et illabatam adducant, huc omnis eorum labor tendit, hâc re
gaudent.-Schoetgen. Hora Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 340. (c) Ketuvoth,
fol. 12. 1. Olim in judæa duos a constituebant, unum, sponso,
alterum sponsæ, ut illis ministrarent, quando in Chuppam ingrediuntur ;
sed in Galilæa tale quid observatum non est.-Schoetgen. Hor. Hebr.
vol. i. p. 337. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 605. I have not entered minutely
into all the circumstances of the comparison of the Baptist to the para-
nymph. They may be found at great length in Lampe, Comment. Evang.
sec. Joan. vol. i. p. 672. Hammond in loc. Lightfoot's Harmony, and
Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 335, &c. Dr. Adam Clarke has given a copious
abridgment of Schoetgen's remarks. Dr. Gill (in loc.) has inserted a
curions tradition, that Moses was the paranymph to present the Jewish
Church to God.

17 The expression "this my joy is fulfilled," "xapà ǹ kμỶ
TETλnρwrαι, corresponds with the Hebrew expression

w b, a phrase which is used by the rabbinical writers to express even the happiness of heaven; and which most powerfully delineates therefore the joy and rapture which the Baptist felt, and which a Christian clergyman ought to experience, when he perceives that his labours in the vineyard are attended with success. Schoetgen gives several instances of this application of the phrase. Sohar. chadasch, fol. 42. 2. Quidnam ajunt animæ piorum in cœlo. Resp. Operam dant laudi divino

-et tunc gaudium coram te est perfec כדין חדוה קמך אשתלימת.


Ibidem, fol. 49. 4. Et Deus S. B. gaudebit cum justis

.gaudio perfecto בהריה בשלימו

Siphra, fol. 188. 4. Quamvis homo in hoc mundo gaudeat, gaudium tamen ejus non perfectum. Verum seculo futuro Deus

illud אותה השמחה ההיה שלימה S. B. deglutiet mortem in eternum

gaudium demum erit perfectum, q. d. Psalm cxxvi. 2. Tunc os
Rostrum risu, et lingua cantu implebitur.

18 These words allude to the opinion entertained by the Jews
that the Holy Spirit was given in measure only to the pro-
phets. Vaikra rabba, scct. 15, fol. 158. 2. Dixit R. Acha.

etiam Spiritus אפילו רוח הקדש אינו שורה על הנביאים אלא במשקל:

S. non habitavit super prophetas, nisi mensurâ quadâm.

Julian Period, 4740.

Vulgar Æra,


Luke iii. 19.


Imprisonment of John the Baptist 1.

MATT. xiv. 3-5. MARK vi. 17-20. LUKE iii. 19.

But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Judæ. Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,

Mark vi. 17. had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.





For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not.

For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just
man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard
him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

And when he would have put him to death, he feared
the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet ".
MARK vi. part of ver. 17. LUKE iii. 29. and MARK vi. 3, 4.
17 For Herod himself-

LUKE iii. 20.

20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
MARK VI. 3, 4.

3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put
him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.

4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.

19 Lightfoot inserts the imprisonment of John immediately after the delivery of his decisive testimony to the divine mission and Messiahship of our Lord. He is followed in this order by Newcome, Michaelis, and Doddridge; and on these united authorities I have inserted this event in its proper place. Lightfoot has so arranged it, because no other speech of the Baptist is recorded respecting Christ; and the Evangelists are unanimous in relating that our Saviour's journey into Galilee (the next thing they all mention) did not occur till after the imprisonment of John. Pilkington has made another disposition of the events already related, and places the imprisonment of John after the temptation and baptism, which he supposes did not take place till after our Lord's first visit to Jerusalem. It is not however necessary to discuss his arguments, as the date assigned by him, and Whiston, to our Lord's baptism, has been already considered.

20 This account of the Baptist is confirmed by Josephus, who has related at length the history of this incestuous marriage between Herod the tetrarch, and Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip. The tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas, a petty king of Arabia Petræa. Some time after, however, when he was at Rome, lodging in the house of Herod Philip, he became enamoured of Herodias, and persuaded her to marry him, promising on her consent that he would divorce his present wife. Josephus takes care to conceal that John was imprisoned on account of his reproving the tetrarch's conduct, and represents Herod as proceeding upon more general grounds. He describes John as a good man, who persuaded the Jews to moral and virtuous living, to justice towards each other, devo

Julian Pe

riod, 4740.


From the Commencement of the more public Ministry of
Christ, to the Mission of the Twelve Apostles.


Valgar Era, General Introduction to the History of Christ's more public


Mark i. 14.

MATT. iv. 12-17.


MARK i. 14, 15. LUKE iv. 14, 15.
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Judæ.

tion towards God, and to become united by baptism; and as he
had many followers, who were entirely devoted to him, the
tetrarch deemed it advisable to seize and imprison him, before
any revolt or insurrection should actually begin. On this
account he ordered him to be apprehended, and sent as a pri-
soner to the castle of Mechærus, where he was afterwards killed.
Soon after this event, Josephus adds, Herod's army was defeated
and destroyed by Aretas, and the Jews considered the tetrarch's
loss and defeat as a punishment from God for the murder of
John the Baptist.

It is possible there may be no real difference between the
Evangelist and Josephus. The former relates the real cause of
the Baptist's imprisonment, as part of the secret history of the
court of Herod; the latter gives the public and ostensible rea-
son. It is indeed a common mistake among historians to impute
great effects to proportionate causes; the most important
events in history have arisen, and do arise, more frequently
from the caprice, resentment, or other private motives of indivi-
duals, than from any well planned, or long intended system of
political conduct (a).

Laing is of opinion that John was imprisoned twice by order of Herod. The arguments by which this opinion may be supported, appear to have been so ably combated by Archbishop Newcome, that it is only necessary to refer the reader to his Harmony, p. 10. of the notes.

It has been objected that the name of the brother of Herod the tetrarch was not Philip, but Herod. Griesbach (Luke iii. 19.) has omitted the word in the text, but placed pixins in the inargin. The discrepancy is easily obviated by the supposition that Philip assumed the name of Herod to distinguish his family and descent.

(a) See Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 591, 592. and Josephus Antiq. lib. 18. cap. 7.

The order of events hitherto adopted in this arrangement, has been nearly the same as that proposed by the five principal harmonizers, by whose authority, as well as by an examination of the internal evidence, I have been principally influenced. With this chapter the more difficult task arises of reconciling the clashing authorities of commentators, and assigning satisfactory reasons for the place of every fact recorded. The present section gives an account of the commencement of the more public ministry of our Lord, after the imprisonment of John. That this is the proper place for the insertion of that event, may be proved by comparing John iii. 24. with Matt. iv. 12. and Mark i. 14. These passages are considered by all harmonists as sufficiently demonstrating that Christ did not begin to preach till

Matt. iv. 12.

Luke iv. 14.

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Now when Jesus heard that John was cast into prison, Judæ. he departed,

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into
Galilee 2,

after the imprisonment of John; and it is worthy of remark,
that our blessed Lord begins his ministry with the same words
as his appointed forerunner, (whose divine commission he
thereby established,) calling on all men to repent and to believe.
Compare Mark i. 15. and Matt. iv. 17. I have inserted, with
Pilkington, in this section, many of the parallel passages, to
render the preface to the narrative of our Lord's public ministry
more complete and satisfactory.

The more public ministry of our Lord may be properly said to
commence with his preaching in Galilee. Though at his inaugu-
ration into his office at his baptism, and yet further by his driving
the buyers and sellers from the temple, he had manifested himself
to the people, he does not appear to have assumed the public
office of preaching and instructing the people, till John was cast
into prison. The reason of this ordering of events seems to have
been, that undivided attention might be now paid to the mi-
nistry of our Lord. The fame of the Baptist had gone through
the country, preparing the way of the Lord; his preaching was
known to all; and all held John as a prophet. The time was
fulfilled when a greater prophet than John the Baptist was to
begin his ministration. The expectation of the people had
been excited to the utmost by the declarations of the Baptist;
and, at the moment when the glory of the Messiah was anti-
cipated, according to the sublime, though confused and imper-
fect notions of the Jews, there appears among them the being
whom John had declared to be from above. He establishes no
temporal kingdom, but he heals the sick, calms the ocean,
raises the dead, demonstrates his connection with, and know-
ledge of, an invisible world; and instructs his hearers in other
ideas of the kingdom of God, than they had hitherto entertained.
Through a great part of this period the Baptist, though in pri-
son, was still alive, a faithful witness of his own prophecy-
"He must increase, but I must decrease." The beams of his
setting sun still reflected their last lustre on the stone which
was now becoming the mountain to fill the whole earth.

2 Idolatry was introduced into the tribe of Dan, which in after ages was called Lower Galilee, by Micah. The account is contained in the 18th chapter of Judges. The first who carried captive any part of the people of Israel was Benhadad, king of Syria, who subdued Sion, Dan, Abel-beth-Maachah, Cinneroth, and the land of Napthali, all of which were included in Galilee. A heavier calamity was brought upon the same country by Tiglath Pileser,who again took the same towns, when they had begun to recover their prosperity, and sent the inhabitants as captives to Assyria.

The account of the manner in which the tribe of Dan became possessed of part of the land of Palestine so far north as the most northern part of Galilee, is given in the 17th chapter of Judges. The town of Laish, afterwards called Dan, was situated on the north-west boundary of Napthali, on the border of Syria (a).

Many of the Jewish traditions assert that Galilee was to be the place where the Messsiah should first appear (b); but for the more complete statement of the reasons why Christ was to dwell in Galilee, and a critical discussion of Isa. ix. 1-3, &c. vide J. Mede's Works (c).

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