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durst question him any more, Matt. xxii. 41-46, Mark xii. 35-37, Luke xx. 41-44.
Here we seem warranted to introduce a conversation, introduced earlier in Luke's miscellaneous gospel.
"The same day, (Wednesday,) some Pharisees came to him, saying, Depart, and go hence, for Herod desireth to kill thee. But he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that [crafty] fox, [in my name,] Lo, I expel demons, and I do cures to-day, and to-morrow; and the third day I shall be perfected [by sufferings, Heb. ii. 10.] Nevertheless, I must [work] to-day, and tomorrow, and depart on the [day] following: for it cannot be, that a prophet should perish out of Jerusalem!" Luke xiii. 31-33; and this was followed by that inimitably tender and passionate apostrophe in Luke, which is appropriated by Matthew to this very day, (Wednesday.)
"O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent forth unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a bird gathereth its brood together under its wings, but ye would not!” Luke xiii. 34, Matt. xxiii. 37.
This malignant advice of these Pharisees, who might naturally wish to get rid of one whom they feared and hated, after he had baffled, silenced, and exposed them before the multitude to scorn and disgrace, furnished a proper occasion and introduction to that finished model of divine eloquence, his last most animated, dignified, and severe censure; in which, no longer acting on the reserve, when his hour was come, he boldly and authoritatively denounced repeated "woes" to the Scribes and Pharisees, for their complicated vices, their hypocrisy, ostentation, pride, arrogance, extortion, rapacity, and long continued persecution of the prophets, from the earliest times to the sacrilegious murder of one of the last and greatest, Zechariah; (see Vol. II. p. 480,) concluding with the prediction of the desolation of their temple, and the withdrawing of his presence, till their final conversion, Matt. xxiii. 1-38, Luke xiii. 35.
OUR LORD'S PROPHECIES ON MOUNT OLIVET.
After this formal close of his public ministry, our Lord communicated to his confidential disciples, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, the signs, or prognostics of, 1. the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; 2. his next personal appearance in
glory; and 3. his last, at the end of the world, Matt. xxiv. xxv; the consideration of these most important prophecies is postponed till the close of the period, not to interrupt the course of the history.
Immediately after, our Lord formally announced to his disciples the precise day of his death. "Ye know that two days after, [Friday,] the passover is to be kept [by the chief priests,] and THE SON OF MAN is [then] to be delivered up [to the Romans,] to be crucified," Matt. xxvi. 1, 2. At this very time, it seems, the chief priests and scribes, and elders of the people, were actually assembled in privy council, at the high priest's palace, plotting his destruction! ver. 3-5.
From Mount Olivet our Lord proceeded to Bethany, that evening, to the house of Simon the leper, (whom he probably had cured,) and there he took his last supper with his friends.
CHRIST'S HEAD ANOINTED.
On this occasion, during the entertainment, he received bis last unction; when another woman, whose name is not mentioned, poured costly and fragrant spikenard upon his head, completing that of Mary the sister of Lazarus, on the preceding Sunday, ver. 6, 7. If we may be allowed to hazard a conjecture, where the Evangelists are silent, this woman was no other than the rich and respectable Mary Magdalene, who had been indebted to JESUS for the cure of a most grievous malady, Luke viii. 2. and who, according to some commentators, Lightfoot, &c. was the first of the three women that anointed him at Capernaum, the first year of his ministry, at the house of Simon the Pharisee, Luke vii. 36-40. probably confounding Simon the leper with him, and the first unction with the last: whereas they differed in several respects; for the first woman was a notorious sinner, and only anointed the feet of CHRIST. The tradition, therefore, might have been incorrect only in these respects; and if we substitute Mary Magdalene as the last woman instead of the first, we offer no disgrace to her memory, which was so highly honoured by our Lord himself, on this occasion, with the encomium, that "she had wrought a good work upon him, in
This annunciation was evidently made on Wednesday evening. The generality of Harmonists, Newcome, &c. arbitrarily transfer it to Wednesday morning; and thereby derange the harmony of the Passion week; leaving the supper of Simon the leper as the only occurrence of Wednesday, after it.
preparing for his embalmment; and that it should be recorded to her honour, wheresoever his gospel should be preached throughout the whole world,” ver. 10—13.
That Mary Magdalene, indeed, was a woman of the highest rank and respectability, and of the most affectionate attachment to CHRIST, and therefore the most likely to give this public testimony of her veneration, so grateful to Him, we collect from the sequel: for she is named the first of all the women who attended his funeral, before Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and our Lord's own relations; and on the morning of the resurrection he appeared to her, the first of all his disciples, Mark xvi. 9, as if to signalize her superior worth and attachment, by this distinguished honour. And as it was customary for the Jews to entertain their friends who came to celebrate the passover, more sumptuously on the four preceding days of preparation, or purification, from the tenth to the thirteenth of the month, there is reason to think that Mary Magdalene was among the guests at Bethany, both in the houses of Lazarus and of Simon; and might now have been led to complete the pious unction on the last day, begun by Mary, the sister of Lazarus, on the first, to which she had been witness.
This additional costly tribute of veneration, again excited the indignation of his disciples in general, as before chiefly of Judas, "To what purpose is this waste? for this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor." And our Lord's repeated rebuke, involving Judas among the rest, completed the traitor's resentment, whereby Satan led him (Luke xxii. 3, John xiii. 2.) to retire immediately from the company, and bargain with the chief priests, (whom he probably found still sitting in council,) to deliver up his master to them for thirty pieces of silver, or thirty shekels, the paltry price of a slave, gored by an ox, Exod. xxi. 32, unwittingly fulfilling, on both sides, Zechariah's prophecy, xi. 12, 13. (See Vol. II. p. 478.)
This unexpected treachery, offered by one of his own disciples, made the chief priests alter their resolution of not seizing and putting him to death during the Paschal feast, for fear of exciting a tumult among the people; "and from that time Judas sought opportunity to deliver him up," in the absence of the multitude, ver. 14, 15, Luke xxii. 1-6.
* On this occasion the chief priests probably settled the plan with Judas, upon which
CHRIST CELEBRATES THE PASSOVER.
The next morning, (Thursday,) JESUS sent his two favourite disciples, Peter and John, to prepare the passover, on this, the proper day, to a particular householder in the city, whom he knew to be a correct observer of the Paschal law, on the fourteenth day of the month, which the high priest incorrectly appointed for the fifteenth. (See Vol. I. p. 65, &c.) And he gave them a sign whereby they might find him. Ye shall meet a man carrying a pitcher of water, &c. Matt. xxvi. 17, 18, Mark xiv. 12, 13, Luke xxii. 7-12.
It was customary with the citizens of Jerusalem, on this occasion, to accommodate strangers with the free use of their houses and furniture. Our Lord, therefore, availed himself of the ancient hospitality. And we learn from tradition, that the cœnaculum, or "guest chamber," of which he made use on this occasion, was situate in the city of David, and near his sepulchre. See the map of Jerusalem, and its explanation, Vol. I. p. 425, 437.
The Jewish mode of celebrating the passover was as follows. 1. The males of the family or company met together in the evening to eat the passover; then the master of the family, or of the company, who acted as priest on that occasion, according to patriarchal usage, after the company had first washed their feet, and placed themselves at table in a reclining posture *, on couches, first distributed to them pieces of the paschal lamb, and unleavened bread, and cups of red wine, until it was all eaten.
2. After this first repast, they washed their feet again, and placed themselves at table, to eat the second course, consisting of a dish of sallad, or bitter herbs, seasoned with a kind of sauce made of bruised palm branches, berries, or raisins, mixed with vinegar. This sauce was called haroseth, (from haras, " a brick,") to represent the tempered clay of which their forefathers made bricks during the Egyptian bondage. Then the master of the
they afterwards acted; namely, to seize JESUS privately, at night, to have him condemned by the high priest and Sanhedrim; and then sentenced by the Roman governor, early in the morning, before the people could be assembled: concluding, that if they could put him into the hands of the Roman soldiery, there could be no further fear of rescue. As proved by the event.
At the original institution they ate the passover "standing, with their staff in their hands, in haste," like pilgrims setting out on a journey to the promised land, Exod. xii. 11.
family divided the bread into two parts, and laying one part aside, he covered it with a napkin, but he blessed the other part with the following grace, "Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, the king of the whole world, in the eating of unleavened bread."
3. Then he took the covered bread, reserved for the third course, and dividing it into as many parts as there were guests, he gave to each a part. And one of the youngest of the company, or a child, asking the meaning of this mysterious rite, according to Exod. xii. 6, he answered by repeating the hagadah, or "shewing forth," "This is the bread of affliction, which our fathers ate in the land of affliction. Let him that is hungry, come and eat the passover; let him that hath need, come and eat the passover; for this passover is our saviour and our refuge." Then taking the cup, he first tasted it himself, and presented it to each of them, saying, "Blessed be thou, O Lord, our God, king of the world, who hast created the fruit of the vine." This last cup, therefore, was usually called "the cup of blessing," 1 Cor. x. 6, or "the cup of salvation," Psalm cxvi. 13.
4. The whole ceremony ended with singing the 113th and the five following psalms of praise and thanksgiving, for all God's mercies; of which the last, the 118th, was peculiarly significant of the coming of CHRIST. This they called the great Halleluiah.
This account, collected from Lightfoot and Dodd's Commentaries on Matt. xxvi. 20, Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, and Scaliger de emendat. Temp. p. 573, throws considerable light on the concise and intricate accounts of the Evangelists, and tends to detect that remarkable inversion of the historical order of time in Luke's narrative, noticed before.
1. When the disciples had prepared the passover, or dressed the paschal lamb, in the evening, at the appointed time, Exod. xii. 6, (see Vol. I. p. 15,) JESUS reclined, or placed himself at table, with the twelve, and said unto them, " I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I say unto you, that I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of GOD. And He took the cup, and blessed, and said, Take, and divide this among yourselves; for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come," Luke xxii. 13—18.
It has been imagined, that this prediction was fulfilled when "JESUS ate and drank with his Apostles after his resurrec