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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
One of the most usual comparisons adopted in Scripture to
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.
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
17 The expression "this my joy is fulfilled," "xapà ǹ kμỶ
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
18 These words allude to the opinion entertained by the Jews
etiam Spiritus אפילו רוח הקדש אינו שורה על הנביאים אלא במשקל:
S. non habitavit super prophetas, nisi mensurâ quadâm.
Julian Period, 4740.
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
And when he would have put him to death, he feared
LUKE iii. 20.
20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put
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
From the Commencement of the more public Ministry of
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.
tion towards God, and to become united by baptism; and as he
It is possible there may be no real difference between the
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.
Now when Jesus heard that John was cast into prison, Judæ. he departed,
And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into
after the imprisonment of John; and it is worthy of remark,
The more public ministry of our Lord may be properly said to
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).