Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub
[ocr errors]

Page

the great

different from what it is generally among us. We read of his going before, leading, calling his sheep, and their following, and knowing his voice; this practice is alluded to by

both Virgil and Theocritus. 229. Luke x. 18. I beheld Satan as lightning fail from Heaven.

This destruction of his kingdom is described by a fall from heaven, in a phrase familiar both to sacred and profane writers. So of the king of Babylon, Isaiah xiv. 12.

" How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer !” And when Pompey was overthrown, he is said by Cicero to have fallen from the

stars.-Grotius and Le Clerc. 232. Luke xi. 5. At midnight. It is common in the east to tra

vel by night, on account of the heat of the day.
Luke xi. 12. A Scorpion. The body of a scorpion, es.

.
pecially of the white kind, as its head can scarcely be distin-
guished, bears a general resemblance to an egg. Bochart
has produced testimonies to prove that the scorpions in Ju-

dea were about that size.- Macknight. 237. Luke xiv. 13. When thou makest a feast call the poor. Faint

traces remain of indiscriminate invitation to oriental feasts. Dr. Pococke speaks of admission of the poor to the tables of

The Arabs never set by any thing that is brought to the table ; but calling in their neighbours and the poor, finish every thing. An Arab prince will often dine in the street, before his door, and call to all that pass, even beg

gars; who come and sit down..Harmer. 241. Luke xv. 15. To feed swine. A most hateful employment to a Jew, by whose law these animals were unclean.

Newcome. 243. Luke xvi. 9. Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of

unrighteousness. Mammon was the Syrian god of riches; whence the mammon of unrighteousness was used to signify worldly riches. The sense of the above passage is, By a proper use and distribution of the riches ye possess in this world, endeavour to obtain the favour and approbation of God, that hereafter ye may be received into the mansions of

everlasting happiness.-Willan. 245. Luke xvi. 22. Into Abraham's bosom. John is said (John

xiii. 23.) to have reclined on the bosom of our Saviour.at supper, hence is borrowed the phrase of Abraham's bosom, as denoting a state of celestial happiness. Abraham being esteemed the most honourable person, and the father of the Jewish nation, to be in his bosom, signifies, in allusion to the order in which guests were placed at an entertainment, the highest state of felicity next to that of Abraham himself.

Burder. Luke xvi. 23. Seeth Abraham afar off Our Saviour adapts this to the popular opinion of the Jews. The Rab

Page

The Jews

To pray.

bins say that the place of torment and paradise are so situated, that what is done in the one may be seen from the other.

Lightfoot. Luke xvi. 29. They have Moses and the Prophets, which were read in the synagogue every sabbath day. had the five books of Moses and eight of the Prophets, namely, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, the Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve minor prophets as one book.

Lightfo'it. 251. Luke xviii. 10.

“ From the time of Moses down to the establishment of the great synagogue, there were no certain or fixed modes of

prayer ; but

every man prayed for himself and to his own situation, according to his gift of knowledge, wisdom, or eloquence.”

R. Becchai by Willan. 253. John. X. 22. The feast of the dedication. This feast was

kept in the ninth month, the Jewish year beginning in March. It was instituted to commemorate the cleansing of the temple by Judas Maccabæus, after its pollution by Antio

ochus Epiphanes. See 1 Maccab. iv. 52–59.-Newcome. 256. John xi. 17. He had lain in the grave four days. It was

customary among the Jews to go to the sepulchres of their deceased friends, and visit them for three days. After three days, if the visage began to change, as in that warm climate it generally did, all hopes of a return to life were at an end. About this period, or a little later, putrefaction generally takes place, and therefore Martha had reason to say that her brother's body (which appears by the context to have been laid in the sepulchre the same day on which he died) would

now on the fourth day, have become offensive.-Stackhouse. 259. John xi. 48. The Romans shall come, &c. Because the

people will make this man their king, the Romans will send

their armies and destroy us.--Newcome. 266. Matt. xix, 24. It is easier for a camel, &c. The Rabbins,

. . as well as Arabs, were accustomed, in describing an impossibility, or a high degree of improbability, to say, it will not happen before a camel or an elephant has crept through the

eye of a needle.--Michaelis. 267. Matthew xix. 30. But many that are first shall be last, and

the last shall be first. This verse evidently ought to begin this next chapter, as the parable which follows is an illustration

of it. 271. Matthew xx. 20. Mark x. 35. These two accounts are no

ways contradictory, the mother and children being together, they jointly put up their petitions. Besides, nothing is more common in the style of eastern nations than to say, a man hath done a thing himself, when he hath caused it to be done by another. The sons of Zebedee having

Page

[ocr errors]

therefore got their mother to make this request, are said by Mark to have done it themselves.--Beausobre and Lenfant.

See note on page 95. 273. § 108. Various elucidations or solutions have been given

by different commentators, respecting the beginning of this section. A reference to the latter part of the note of g 51. page 137, will point out what may be principally said upon the subject. As this, and the similar circumstance referred to, occur in Matthew, it may not be inapplicable to intro.

duce in addition what Michaelis has said on the subject ; "premising that it has been a matter of great uncertainty, and

is not yet determined, in what language the gospel of Matthew was originally written. 66 If the dialect in which St. Matthew wrote was the Syriac, this contradiction may be ascribed to the translator. For in Syriac, when a noun is in what is called the status emphaticus, it has the very same orthography in the singular, as it has in the plural number, the difference being merely in the punctuation ; and even in the verb the third person plural is sometimes written like the third

person singular.”-Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. 156. 282, Matt. xxi. 8, 9. These two verses contain the various cea

remonies and rejoicing of many of the Jews on the acknowoutledgment of the Messiah as their king. That the spreading of their garments was usual on this occasion, appears 2 Kings

2 ix. 13. “ Then they hasted and took every man his gari ment, and put it under him (Jehu) at the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king” ; and the strewing of flowers and branches were not uncommonly used before great men of the east.

The word Hosanna, signifying, "Save, I beseech thee," was a form of acclamation used by the Jews at their feast of Tabernacles, and on any great or unusual occasion of rejoicing. 1 Maccab. xiii. 51. By these ceremonies, the people acknowledged Jesus to be the Messiah or Shiloh, whom they expected, “ He that cometh or was sent of God;" thus also completing the prophecy of

Zechariah. See Zech. ix. 9. and Matt. xxi. v. 283. Luke xix. 40. The stones would immediately cry out. A

proverbial expression, to denote the moral impossibility that

his kingdom should not be acknowledged by some.-Grotius. 286. John xii. 24. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and

die. See 1 Corinth. xv. 36. Unless it die according to appearance; the body of the seed actually wasting, and the germ alone springing up. But perhaps the word is used figu. ratively, for being consigned to the earth, as a human body

is when dead.--Newcome. 296. Matt. xxi. 33. Digged a wine press. Chardin found wine.

presses in Persia, which were hollow places in the ground, lined with stone-work.Harmer.

3

[ocr errors]

a

.

Chardin says,

Page 298. Matt. xxi. 44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, &c.

In this passage Christ is supposed to allude to the different methods of stoning to death then practised. When a criminal was stoned to death, they threw him headlong from an eminence, in such a manner as to dash him against some great stone ; if this did not dispatch him they threw another

: upon him, thereby to crush him in pieces.- Lamy. 300. Matt. xxii. 11. Had not on a wedding garment. It was a

custom for the bridegroom to furnish, at the marriage feast,

garments suitable for his guests. 306. Matt. xxii. 36. The great commandment in the law. They

not only wrote this commandment on their phylacteries, and houses and door posts; but they made the last Hebrew letter of the words which began and ended the sentence much lar

ger than usual in their copies of the law.-Hammond. 308. Matt. xxii. 44. Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

“ Chairs are never used in Persia (it being their general custom to sit on floors, carpets, or mattresses) but at the coronation of their kings. The king is seated in a chair of gold, set with jewels, three feet high. The chairs, which are used by the people in the East, are always so high as to make a footstool necessary. And this proves the propriety of the style of scripture, which always joins the footstool to the throne.” Isaiah lxvi. 1. 2 Chron. ix. 18. This passage, which is taken from Psalm cx. 1. is strongly expressive of the exaltation of our Lord, when the depression of his enemies is denoted by their becoming his footstool.

Lowth and Newcome. 312. Matt. xxiii. 24. Strain at a gnat, &c. This passage may

with more propriety be read, strain out a gnat, &c. It is an allusion to a custom amongst the Jews of straining or filtering their wine, lest they should swallow any small animal forbidden by the law as unclean. It is probably their nicety in this respect might become proverbial for their exactness in small matters.

Matt. xxiji. 27. Ye are like whited sepulchres. Shaw in his travels gives a general description of the different sorts of tombs and sepulchres in the East, concluding with this paragraph. “Now all these, with the very walls of the inclosure, being always kept clean, white-washed, and beautified; they continue to this day to be an excellent comment upon the expression of our Lord, where he mentions the garnishing of the sepulchres, Matt. xxiii. 29. and compares the

Scribes and Pharisees to “whited sepulchres." 315. Luke xxi. 5. How it was adorned with goodly stones. Jos

sephus asserts, that the marble of the temple was so white, that it appeared to one at a distance like a mountain of snow, and the gilding of several of its external parts, which he there

Page

mentions, must, when the sun shone upon it, have rendered

it a most splendid and beautiful spectacle.-Doddridge. 816. Luke xxi. 6. There shall not be left one stone upon another.

This was exactly fulfilled in the time of Titus, who commanded the city and temple to be entirely ruined, and this was put in execution to that degree, that, as Josephus tells us, there was not left so much as any marks of an inhabited city. Eleazer in his speech to the Jews does affirm, that the city was taken away from the very foundation, and that the temple was dug up. Maimon tells us also, that after this, the temple was ploughed by Turnus Rufus. Our Saviour's words were exactly fulfilled, as appears by the foregoing tes

timonies of the Jews themselves.ķidder. 319. Matt. xxiv. 15. Abomination of desolation. By this term,

or the Abomination that maketh desolate, is intended, the Roman armies with their ensigns. As the Roman ensigns, especially the eagle, which was carried at the head of every legion, were objects of worship, they are, according to the usual style of scripture, called an abomination.-Lardner.

The completion of this event, attendant upon the destruction of Jerusalem, not to be foreseen by human skill, was very unlikely to happen. The great care which the Jews took at other times not to defile the holy place, and the small strength it had to defend them long from the Roman arms, were both circumstances, which in all human appearance would have kept them from the rash experiment. And against all probability, they fled to the temple, and there made a last and desperate resistance. Having thus defiled it with their own arms, they made it necessary for the Romans to follow them into the sanctuary, so that they took it by storm, and of consequence caused their military ensigns

to be seen standing there.Pearce. 319. Matt. xxiv. 16. Then let them which be in Judea flee into

the mountains. Cestius Gallus besieged Jerusalem some years before he raised the siege. This was a sign to the Christians to flee into the mountains. They accordingly removed to Pella, beyond Jordan, in the territories of Agrippa, who had continued faithful to the Romans, so that they avoided the desolation that overspread all Judea: and when Titus some months after sat down before the city, there was not one Christian remaining in it.-Grotius and Hammond.

Matt. xxiv. 17. Let him which is on the house top not come down, &c. For an account of the general construction of the houses, see notes on page 63 and 155. The flat roofs sometimes formed a continued terrace, extending from one end of the city to the other, and terminating at the gates. (1 Sam. ix. 26.) So that our Lord seems to advise them to

And yet,

a

« ПредишнаНапред »