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ZECH. xi. 12, was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did 。 value; 10 and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord P appointed me.

11 And Jesus stood before the governor and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. 12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13 Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. 15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. 16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. 17 Therefore when they were

g 1 Tim. vi. 13. h ch. xxvi. 63. ch. xxvi. 62.

• render in both cases, set a price on.
P render, commanded, for perspicuity.
a render, at the feast-time.

similar instances in two places in the apology of Stephen, Acts vii. 4, 16,-and in Mark ii. 26. Various means of evading this have been resorted to, which are not worth recounting. Jer. xviii. 1, 2, or perhaps Jer. xxxii. 6-12, may have given rise to it or it may have arisen from a Jewish idea [see Wordsworth here], "that Zechariah had the spirit of Jeremiah." The quotation here is very different from the Septuagint, and not much more like the Hebrew. I put it to any faithful Christian to say, whether of the two presents the greater obstacle to his faith, the solution given above, or that given by a commentator of our own day, that the name of one prophet is here substituted for that of another, to teach us not to regard the prophets as the authors of their prophecies, but to trace them to divine Inspi


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said that He was Christ a King. This is presupposed in the enquiry of this verse. Thou sayest is not to be rendered as a doubtful answer-much less with Theophylact, as meaning, Thou sayest it, not I but as a strong affirmative. See above on ch. xxvi. 64. 12-14.] This part of the narrative occurs only in Mark besides, but is explained by Luke ver 5. The charges were, of exciting the people from Galilee to Jerusalem. On the mention of Galilee, Pilate sent Him to Herod, Luke, vv. 6-12.

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15-26.] BARABBAS PREFERRED ΤΟ HIM. HE IS DELIVERED TO BE CRUCIFIED. Mark xv. 6-15. Luke xxiii. 17-25. John xviii. 39, 40. In the substance of this account the Four are in remarkable agreement. St. John gives merely a compendium, uniting in one these three attempts of Pilate to liberate Jesus, and omitting any definite statement of the fact of Barabbas being liberated, and Jesus delivered to them. 15. at that feast] literally, feast by feast; i. e. at every feast. The name Bar-abbas, son of his father,' was not an uncommon one. It does not appear why this man was notable. The murderers in the insurrection in which he was involved were many (Mark ver. 7).

17.] In St. John's narrative, the suggestion of liberating Barabbas seems to come from the Jews themselves; but not necessarily so: he may only be giving, as

gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? 18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. 19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. 20k But the chief k Acts iii. 14. priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. 22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say, [unto him], Let him be crucified. 23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took 1 Deut. xxi. 6. water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this [ just] person to it. 25 Then answered all the people, and said, m His blood [t be] on us, and on our children. 26 Then released ii. 32. Acts

see ye m Deut. xix.

10. Josh. ii. 19. 2 Sam. i. 16. 1 Kings

v. 28.


omitted by several ancient authorities. t not expressed in the original: it may be, [is].

before, a general report of what passed.
The when they were gathered together
seems to imply that a great crowd had
collected outside the Prætorium while the
trial was going on. It is possible
that the addition, which is called Christ,
which Pilate could hardly have heard
from the Jews, may have been familiar to
him by his wife's mention of Jesus. See
18.] The whole narrative
presupposes what this verse and the next
distinctly assert, that Pilate was before
acquainted with the acts and character of
Jesus. 19.] The judgment seat was
in a place called in Hebrew Gabbatha, the
Pavement-John xix. 13, where however Pi-
late is not related to have gone thither, till
after the scourging and mocking of the sol-
diers. But he may have sat there when he
came out in some of his previous interviews
with the Jews. his wife] It had become
the custom in Augustus's time for the gover-
nors of Provinces to take their wives with
them abroad; under Tiberius, Cæcina at-
tempted to pass a law forbidding it, but
was vehemently opposed (by Drusus among
others) and put down. We know nothing

more of this woman than is here related.
Tradition gives her the name of Procla, or
Claudia Procula. In the apocryphal gospel
of Nicodemus, c. 2, we read that Pilate called
the Jews and said to them, "Ye know how
that my wife is a worshipper of God, and
is rather of your religion than mine.
They say unto him, Yea, we know it."
that just man is a term which
shews that she knew the character for
purity and sanctity which Jesus had. In the
gospel of Nicodemus, the Jews are made to
reply, "Did we not tell thee that he is a
magician? behold, he hath sent a dream-
token to thy wife." 20.] So St. Mark
also. St. Luke and St. John merely give,
that they all cried out, &c. The exciting
of the crowd seems to have taken place
while Pilate was receiving the message
from his wife. 21.] answered, not
necessarily to the incitements of the San-
hedrists which he overheard, but rather to
the state of confusion and indecision which
22.] They chose cruci-
fixion as the ordinary Roman punishment
for sedition, and because of their hate to
24.] The washing of the

n Isa. liii. 5.

Isa. liii. 3.

27 n Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the "common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28 And they stripped him, and put on him a o Ps. Ixix. 19. scarlet robe. 29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews. 30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the


q Isa. liii. 7. r Num.

36. 1 Kings robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and


vii. 58. Heb. led him away to crucify him.

32 And as they came out,

xiii. 12.

p Isa. 1. 6.

he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

ch. xxvi. 67.

a literally, the prætorium.

hands, to betoken innocence from blood-
guiltiness, is prescribed Deut. xxi. 6-9,
and Pilate uses it here as intelligible to
the Jews.
25.] blood here has been
supposed to mean the punishment of blood:
but more probably there is a much wider
reference as the adherence of blood to
the hands of a murderer is an idea not
bearing any necessary reference to punish-
ment, only to guilt.
26.] The
custom of scourging before execution was
general among the Romans. After the
scourging, John xix. 1-16, Pilate made a
last attempt to liberate Jesus-which
answers to " I will chastise him and let
him go," Luke, ver. 16.
him to the Roman soldiers, whose office
the execution would be.

27-30.] JESUS MOCKED BY THE SOLDIERS. Mark xv. 16-19 (omitted in Luke). John xix. 1-3. The assertion "delivered him to be crucified" in ver. 26 is not strictly in its place there. Before that, the contents of this passage come in, and the last attempt of Pilate to liberate Him. 27. the common hall] literally, the prætorium. The residence of the Roman governor was the former palace of Herod, in the upper city. the whole band] The band is the cohort-the tenth part of a legion. The term the whole is of course not to be pressed. unto him -to make sport with Him. This happened in the guard-room of the cohort and the narrative of it we may well believe may have come from the centurion or others (see ver. 54), who were afterwards deeply impressed at the crucifixion. 28.]

Possibly the mantle in which He had been sent back from Herod-see note on Luke, ver. 11: or perhaps one of the ordinary

soldiers' cloaks. 29.] It does not ap-
pear whether the purpose of the crown was
to wound, or simply for mockery-and
equally uncertain is it, of what kind of
thorns it was composed. The acanthus,
with its large succulent leaves, is singularly
unfit for such a purpose: as is the plant
with very long sharp thorns commonly
known as spina Christi, being a brittle
acacia (robinia), -and the very length of
the thorns, which would meet in the
middle if it were bent into a wreath, pre-
cluding it. Some flexile shrub or plant
must be understood-possibly some variety
of the cactus or prickly pear. 'Hassel-
quist, a Swedish naturalist, supposes a
very common plant, naba or nubka of
the Arabs, with many small and sharp
spines; soft, round, and pliant branches;
leaves much resembling ivy, of a very deep
green, as if in designed mockery of a vic-
tor's wreath.' Travels, 288. 1766 (cited by
F. M.).
a reed-for a sceptre.
30.] Here follows the exhibition of Jesus
by Pilate, and his last attempt to release
him, John xix. 4-16.

31-34.] HE IS LED TO CRUCIFIXION. Mark xv. 20-23. Luke xxiii. 26-33. John xix. 16, 17. The four accounts are still essentially and remarkably distinct. St. Matthew's and St. Mark's are from the same source, but varied in expression, and in detail; St. Luke's and St. John's stand each alone; St. Luke's being the fullest, and giving us the deeply interesting address to the daughters of Jerusalem. 31.] Peculiar to Matt. and Mark. led him away] or out, as in Mark. Executions usually took place without the camp, see Num. xv. 35, or city, 1 Kings xxi. 13, Acts vii. 58, Heb. xiii. 11-18. Grotius



see ver. 48.

they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. 33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 they gave him vinegar to drink mingled Ps. xix. 21. with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots [w that it might be fulfilled which was t Ps. xxii. 18. spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots]. 36 And sitting down they watched him there; 37 and set up over his


41: see note there.

W omit.

the word is the same as in Matt. v. brings examples to shew that the same was the custom of the Romans. 32.] Previously, Jesus had borne his own cross: John, ver. 17. We have no data to ascertain any further particulars about this Simon of Cyrene. The only assumption which we are perhaps justified in making, is that he was afterwards known in the Church as a convert: see note on Mark, ver. 21. He was coming from the country, Mark, ibid.; Luke, ver. 26. Meyer suggests, to account for the selection of one out of the multitude present, that possibly he was a slave; the indignity of the service to be rendered preventing their taking any other person. 33.] Golgotha, a skull: the name is by Jerome, and generally, explained from its being the usual place of executions, and abounding with skulls-not however unburied, which was not allowed. This last consideration raises an objection to the explanation, and as the name does not import a place of skulls, but a place of a skull or simply a skull (Luke), many understand it as applying to the shape of the hill or rock. But neither does this seem satisfactory, as we have no analogy to guide us, and no such hill or rock is known to have existed. As regards the situation, we await some evidence which may decide between the conflicting claims of the commonly-received site of Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre, and that upheld by Mr. Ferguson, who holds that the Dome of the Rock, usually known as the Mosque of Omar, is in reality the spot of our Lord's entombment. See his Article "Jerusalem" in Dr. Smith's Biblical Dictionary and on the other side, Williams's Holy City, and Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, edn. 3, p. 459 ff. 34. It was customary to give a stupefying drink to criminals on their way to execution: of which our Lord would not partake, having shewn by tasting it, that he was

aware of its purpose. In St. Mark's account it is "wine mingled with myrrh -and though wine and vinegar might mean the same thing, myrrh and gall cannot. We may observe here (and if the remark be applied with caution and reverence, it is a most useful one), how St. Matt. often adopts in his narrative the very words of prophecy, where one or more of the other Evangelists give the matter of fact detail; see above on ch. xxvi. 15, and compare with this verse, Ps. lxix. 21.

35-38.] HE IS CRUCIFIED. Mark xv. 24-28. Luke xxiii. 32-34, 38. John xix. 18-24. The four accounts are distinct from one another, and independent of any one source in common. 35. they crucified him] The cross was an upright pale or beam, intersected by a transverse one at right angles, generally in the shape of a T. In this case, from the 'title' being placed over the Head, the upright beam probably projected above the horizontal one, as usually represented †. To this cross, the criminal, being stripped of his clothes, was fixed by nails driven through the hands and (not always, nor perhaps generally, though certainly not seldom - see note at Luke xxiv. 39) through the feet, separate or united. The body was not supported by the nails, but by a piece of wood which passed between the legs. On the rest of the verse, see notes on John. The words omitted in the text as not found in any of the ancient manuscripts, are clearly interpolated from John, ver. 24, with just the phrase which was spoken by the prophet assimilated to St. Matthew's usual form of citation. 36.] watched him-this was usual, to prevent the friends taking crucified persons down. There were four soldiers, John, ver. 23; a centurion and three others. 37.] St. Matthew finishes relating what the soldiers did, and then goes back to the course of the narrative. The 'title'

v Isa. liii. 12.

w Ps. xxii. 7: cix. 25.

John ii. 19.

Ich. xxv. 6 y ch. xxvi. 65.


head his accusation written, This is Jesus the King of the Jews. 38 v Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40 and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. y If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.



If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43 z He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him for he said, I am the Son of God. 44 The thieves also, which 45 a Now a Amos viii. 9. were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the


2 Ps. xxii. 8.

I most ancient copies read, He is King of Israel.

y render, In like manner did the thieves also revile him, which were crucified with him.

Z render, earth.

appears to have been written by Pilate (see John, ver. 19) and sent to be affixed on the cross. It is not known whether the affixing of this title was customary. In Dio Cassius and others, we read of such a title being hung round the neck of a criminal on his way to execution. On the difference in the four Gospels as to the words of the inscription itself, it is hardly worth while to comment, except to remark, that the advocates for the verbal and literal exactness of each gospel may here find an undoubted example of the absurdity of their view, which may serve to guide them in less plain and obvious cases. (See this further noticed in the Introduction.) A title was written, containing certain words; not four titles, all different, but one, differing probably from all of these four, but certainly from three of them. Let us bear this in mind, when the narratives of words spoken, or events, differ in a similar manner. Respecting the title, see further on John, vv. 20-22. 38.] Then, i. e. after the crucifixion of Jesus was accomplished. These thieves were led out with Jesus, and crucified, perhaps by the same soldiers, or perhaps, from ver. 36, by another band.

39-44.] HE IS MOCKED ON THE CROSS. Mark xv. 29-32. Luke xxiii. 35-37, 39-43. Our narrative and that of St. Mark are from a common source. St. Luke's is wholly distinct. The whole of these in

dignities are omitted by St. John.
39. they that passed by] These words
say nothing as to its being a working-day,
or as to the situation of the spot. A
matter of so much public interest would
be sure to attract a crowd, among whom
we find, ver. 41, the chief priests, scribes,
and elders. These passers-by were the
multitude going in and out of the city,
some coming to see, others returning.
wagging their heads] see Ps. xxii. 7. The
first reproach refers to ch. xxvi. 61; the
second to the same, ver. 64.
St. Luke gives, more exactly, the second
reproach in this verse as proceeding from
the soldiers. 43.] This is omitted by
St. Mark and St. Luke. 44.] Neither
St. Matt. nor St. Mark is in possession of
the more particular account given by St.
Luke, vv. 39-43, where see notes. For
the other incident which happened at this
time, see John, vv. 25-27, and notes.

15-50.] SUPERNATURAL DARKNESS. LAST WORDS, AND DEATH OF JESUS. Mark xv. 33-37. Luke xxiii. 44-46. John xix. 28-30. The three accounts are here and there very closely allied; Matthew and Mark almost verbally. Luke only, however, contains the words which the Lord uttered before He expired,omits the incident which takes up our vv. 46-49, and inserts here the rending of the veil. John is entirely distinct. 45.] According to Mark, ver. 25,

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