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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges
Matthew 26

 

 

Verses 1-5

1–5. WEDNESDAY, NISAN 12. THE APPROACH OF THE PASSOVER. JESUS AGAIN FORETELLS HIS DEATH. THE SANHEDRIN MEET

Mark 14:1-2; Luke 22:1-2

Cp. John 11:55-57, where we read that ‘the chief priests and Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.’

That Jesus should be able for so many days to ‘speak openly in the Temple,’ and shew Himself to the people without fear of capture is a proof of the deep hold He had taken on the enthusiasm and affection of His fellow-countrymen. The words of St John (quoted above) imply a combination of the priestly and aristocratic party—the Sadducees—with the democratic Pharisees, against the despised Galilæan, and yet it requires treachery of the deepest dye and a deed of darkness to secure Him.


Verse 2

2. μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας. According to the Jewish reckoning, any length of time including part of two days.

τὸ πάσχα. [1] The word is interesting in its (a) Hebrew, (b) Greek, and (c) English form. (a) The Hebrew pesach is from a root meaning ‘to leap over,’ and, figuratively, to ‘save,’ ‘shew mercy.’ (b) The Greek πάσχα represents the Aramaic or later Hebrew form of the same word, but the affinity in sound and letters to the Greek word πάσχειν, ‘to suffer,’ led to a connection in thought between the Passover and the Passion of our Lord: indeed, some of the early Christian writers state the connection as if it were the true etymology. (c) Tyndale has the merit of introducing into English the word ‘passover,’ which keeps up the play on the words in the original Hebrew (Exodus 12:11; Exodus 12:13). Before Tyndale the word ‘paske’ (for πάσχα) was transferred from the Vulgate, with an explanation: ‘For it is paske, that is, the passyng of the Lord’ (Wyclif).

the feast of the passover commemorated the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. The ordinances of the first Passover are narrated Exodus 12:1-14, but some of those were modified in later times. It was no longer necessary to choose the lamb on the 10th of Nisan. The blood was sprinkled on the altar, not on the door-post, those who partook of the paschal meal no longer ‘stood with loins girded, with shoes on their feet, with staff in hand,’ but reclined on couches, as at an ordinary meal; it was no longer unlawful to leave the house before morning (Exodus 12:22). The regular celebration of the Passover was part of the religious revival after the return from Captivity. During the kingly period only three celebrations of the Passover are recorded; in the reigns of Solomon, of Hezekiah and of Josiah. For the relation of the Last Supper to the Passover and for further notes on the paschal observance, see below.

The date of this Passover was probably April 3 (old style), A.D. 33 (Mr J. W. Bosanquet in Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. IV. 2). See note, ch. Matthew 2:1.

παραδίδοται, either [1] the present for the future, denoting greater certainty, or [2] the full relative present ‘is in the act of being betrayed;’ the treacherous scheme of Judas is already afoot.


Verse 3

3. οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς κ.τ.λ. i.e. the Sanhedrin, the supreme council, legislative and administrative, of the Jewish people. Sanhedrin is strictly a plural form, the old poetical plural termination, -in having become the ordinary form in later Hebrew in place of -im. But from similarity of sound Sanhedrin came to represent συνέδριον rather than σύνεδροι, and is used as a singular noun of multitude.

A. The history of the Sanhedrin. Many learned Rabbis endeavoured to trace the origin of the Sanhedrin to the council of 70 elders whom Moses, by the advice of Jethro, appointed to assist him. But it is improbable that this council existed before the Macedonian conquest. [1] The name is Greek, not Hebrew. [2] It finds its equivalent among the political institutions of Macedonia; finally, [3] no allusion to the Sanhedrin is to be found in the Historical Books or in the Prophets. Cp. Livy, XLV. 32, Pronuntiatum, quod ad statum Macedoniæ pertinebat, Senatores quos synedros vocant, legendos esse, quorum consilio res publica administraretur.

B. Constitution. The President or Nasi (prince) was generally, though not always, the high priest; next in authority was the vice-president or Ab Beth Dîn (father of the house of judgment); the third in rank was the Chacham (sage or interpreter). The members were 71 in number, and consisted [1] of the chief priests, see note ch. Matthew 21:15; [2] the scribes or lawyers; [3] the elders of the people or heads of families, who were the representatives of the laity.

C. Authority and functions. The Sanhedrin formed the highest court of the Jewish commonwealth. It originally possessed the power of life and death, but this power no longer belonged to it; John 18:31, ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,’ a statement which agrees with a tradition in the Talmud, ‘forty years before the temple was destroyed judgment in capital causes was taken away from Israel.’

All questions of the Jewish law, and such as concerned the ecclesiastical polity, religious life of the nation and discipline of the priests fell under the jurisdiction of the Sanhedrin.

This authority extended to settlements of Jews in foreign countries; e.g. it is exercised in Damascus. Acts 9:1-2.

D. Place of meeting. In the present instance the Sanhedrin met at the high priest’s house; from ch. Matthew 27:6 we may conjecture that the Temple was sometimes the place of meeting, but their usual house of assembly at this particular epoch was called the ‘Halls of Purchase,’ on the east of the Temple Mount (Dr Ginsburg in Kitto’s Encyc. Bib. Lit. and Lightfoot’s Hor. Hebr.).

τοῦ λεγομένου κ.τ.λ. Joseph Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Annas, was appointed high priest by the Procurator Valerius Gratus A.D. 26, and was deposed A.D. 38. The high priesthood had long ceased to be held for life and to descend from father to son; appointments were made at the caprice of the Roman government. Annas who had been high priest was still regarded as such by popular opinion, which did not recognise his deposition; cp. Luke 3:2, where the correct reading is ἐπʼ ἀρχιερέως Ἄννα καὶ Καϊάφα, and Acts 4:6, Ἄννας ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς καὶ Καϊάφας.


Verse 4

4. ἵνα δόλῳ κ.τ.λ. It was no longer possible [1] to entrap Him by argument (Matthew 22:46); [2] to discredit Him with the Roman government (Matthew 22:22); or [3] to take Him by force.


Verse 5

5. ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ. During the feast, including the Passover and the seven days of unleavened bread.

ἵνα μὴ θόρυβος κ.τ.λ. The great danger at the time of the Passover, when the people, numbering hundreds of thousands, filled the city and encamped in tents outside the walls like a vast army. At a Passover, less than 30 years before, the people, partly to avenge the death of two Rabbis, rose against Archelaus, and were cruelly repressed with a slaughter of 3000 men (Joseph. Ant. XVII. 9. 3); see also XVII. 10. 2, where a similar rising against Sabinus, during the feast of Pentecost, is described.


Verse 6

6. τοῦ λεπροῦ. i.e. he had been a leper. St John, in the parallel passage, says ‘they made him a supper, and Martha served; but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.’ Nothing further is known of Simon. He was evidently a disciple of Jesus and probably a near friend of Lazarus and his sisters.


Verses 6-13

6–13. THE FEAST IN THE HOUSE OF SIMON THE LEPER

Mark 14:3-9; John 12:1-8

St John’s narrative places this incident on the evening of the Sabbath—the last Sabbath spent by Jesus on earth—before the triumphal entry. St Matthew has here disregarded the strictly chronological order. A comparison with St Mark will shew how accurately the words of Jesus are remembered, the rest of the incident is told in somewhat different language.

Compare a similar act of devotion on the part of a ‘woman that was a sinner’ (Luke 7:36-39).


Verse 7

7. ἀλάβαστρον κ.τ.λ. ἀλάβαστρον μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτελοῦς (Mark). λίτραν μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτίμου (John). The ‘alabaster box’ was ‘a flask of fragrant oil;’ the special kind of ointment named by the Evangelists—nard or spikenard—was extracted from the blossoms of the Indian and Arabian nard-grass (Becker’s Gallus).

These alabastra or unguent-flasks were usually made of the Oriental or onyx alabaster, with long narrow necks, which let the oil escape drop by drop, and could easily be broken (Mark 14:3). But the shape and material varied. Herodotus (III. 20) mentions a μύρου ἀλάβαστρον—the precise expression in the text—sent among other royal gifts of gold and purple by Cambyses to the king of Æthiopia.

The costliness of Mary’s offering may be judged from this. The other Evangelists name three hundred pence or denarii as the price (St Mark says, ‘more than three hundred pence’). Now a denarius was a day’s wages for a labourer (see ch. Matthew 20:2); equivalent, therefore, to two shillings at least of English money; hence, relatively to English ideas, Mary’s offering would amount to £30. It was probably the whole of her wealth.


Verse 8

8. ἠγανάκτησαν. ‘There were some that had indignation’ (Mark); ‘Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot’ (John).

ἡ ἀπώλεια. Cp. Polyb. VI. 59. 5, πρὸς τὴν ἀπώλειαν εὐφυεῖς, where ἀπώλ, is opposed to ἡ τήρησις.


Verse 9

9. The weight of evidence is against τὸ μύρον after τοῦτο.


Verse 10

10. γνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς. The murmurings had been whispered at first. St Mark says, ‘had indignation within themselves, and said, &c.’

ἔργον καλόν. A noble and beautiful work, denoting a delicate and refined sense of the fitness of things, which was lacking to the blunter perception of the rest.

The Lord passes a higher commendation on this than on any other act recorded in the N.T.; it implied a faith that enabled Mary to see, as no one else then did, the truth of the Kingdom. She saw that Jesus was still a King, though destined to die. The same thought—the certainty of the death of Jesus—that estranged Judas made her devotion more intense.


Verse 12

12. πρὸς τὸ κ.τ.λ. For this use of perfumes cp. 2 Chronicles 16:14, ‘They laid him (Asa) in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and divers kinds of spices prepared by the apothecaries’ art.’


Verse 13

13. εἰς μνημόσυνον qualifies λαληθήσεται (not ἐποίησεν) as a final or consecutive clause. So either [1] ‘to be a record or memorial of her’—something by which she will be remembered. Cp. Hdt. II. 135, τοῦτο ἀναθεῖναι ἐς Δελφοὺς μνημόσυνον ἑωυτῆς. Or [2] with a sacrificial sense, ‘for her memorial offering,’ a meaning which μνημόσυνον bears in the only other passage where (with the exception of the parallel Mark 14:9) the word occurs in N.T., Acts 10:4, αἱ προσευχαί σου καὶ αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου ἀνέβησαν εἰς μνημόσυνον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ θεοῦ. In the LXX. μνημόσυνον is used of the portion of the minchah, or flour-offering, which was burnt upon the altar: ἐπιθήσει ὁ ἱερεὺς τὸ μνημόσυνον αὐτῆς ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον· θυσία ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας τῷ Κυρίῳ, Leviticus 2:2. Cp. the expression in John 12:3, ἡ δὲ οἰκία ἐπληρώθη ἐκ τῆς ὀσμῆς τοῦ μύρου, where, though the word μνημόσυνον does not occur, ὀσμὴ suggests the odour of sacrificial incense. See Leviticus 24:7. ‘Thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row that it may be upon the bread for a memorial (ἀνάμνησιν, LXX.), even an offering by fire unto the Lord;’ and Philippians 4:18. τὰ παρʼ ὑμῶν ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας θυσίαν δεκτήν, ἐυάρεστον τῷ θεῷ.


Verses 14-16

14–16. THE TREACHERY OF JUDAS

Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6

St Mark, like St Matthew, connects the treachery of Judas with the scene in Simon’s house. His worldly hopes fell altogether at the thought of ‘burial.’ It is a striking juxtaposition: as Mary’s is the highest deed of loving and clear-sighted faith, Judas’ is the darkest act of treacherous and misguided hate.

The motive that impelled Judas was probably not so much avarice as disappointed worldly ambition. Jesus said of him that he was a ‘devil’ (diabolus or Satan), the term that was on a special occasion applied to St Peter, and for the same reason. Peter for a moment allowed the thought of the earthly kingdom to prevail; with Judas it was the predominant idea which gained a stronger and stronger hold on his mind until it forced out whatever element of good he once possessed. ‘When the manifestation of Christ ceased to be attractive it became repulsive; and more so every day’ (Neander, Life of Christ, Bohn’s trans., p. 424).


Verse 15

15. κἀγώ. Here the form of the sentence is probably an example of colloquial simplicity, but the use of καὶ where in classical Greek the sentences would be joined by a consecutive (ὥστε) or final (ἵνα, ὅπως) particle, is a mark of Hebrew influence. Such sentences are connected by coordinate particles, and the relation between them is left to inference from the context.

ἔστησαν αὐτῷ τριάκοντα ἀργύρια. ‘Weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver.’ For this use of ἵστημι, cp. μὴ στήσῃς αὐτοῖς ταύτην τὴν ἁμαρτίαν, Acts 7:60, and στατήρ, which, like its equivalent ‘shekel,’ originally meant ‘a weight.’

τριάκοντα ἀργύρια. ‘Thirty silver shekels.’ St Matthew alone names the sum, which = 120 denarii. The shekel is sometimes reckoned at three shillings, but for the real equivalent in English money see note on Matthew 26:7. Thirty shekels was the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32); a fact which gives force to our Lord’s words, ch. Matthew 20:28, and to the passage there cited from Philippians 2:7-8.


Verse 16

16. εὐκαιρίαν. See Lob. Phryn. 126. εὐκαιρία is admitted as a classical word, but the verb εὐκαιρεῖν is rejected. προκόπτειν and προκοπὴ are an instance of the reverse. Cp. Cic. de Offic. I. 40, ‘Tempus actionis opportunum Græce εὐκαιρία, Latine appellatur occasio.’


Verse 17

17. τῇ δὲ πρώτῃ κ.τ.λ. This was the 14th of Nisan, which commenced after sunset on the 13th; it was also called the preparation (παρασκευή) of the passover. The feast of unleavened bread followed the passover, and lasted seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of Nisan. Hence the two feasts are sometimes included in the term ‘passover,’ sometimes in that of ‘unleavened bread.’ On the evening of 13th of Nisan every head of the family carefully searched for and collected by the light of a candle all the leaven, which was kept and destroyed before midday on the 14th. The offering of the lamb took place on the 14th at the evening sacrifice, which on this day commenced at 1.30; or if the preparation fell on a Friday, at 12.30. The paschal meal was celebrated after sunset on the 14th, i.e. strictly on the 15th of Nisan.

The events of the Passover are full of difficulty for the harmonist. It is however almost certain that the ‘Last Supper’ was not the paschal meal, but was partaken of on the 14th, that is after sunset on the 13th of Nisan. It is quite certain, from John 18:28, that Jesus was crucified on the preparation, and although the synoptic narratives seem at first sight to disagree with this, it is probably only the want of a complete knowledge of the facts that creates the apparent discrepancy.

The order of events in the ‘Passion’ was as follows: when the 14th commenced, at sunset, Jesus sent two disciples to prepare the feast for that evening, instead of for the following evening. A sign of hastening on the meal may be detected in the words ὁ καιρός μου ἐγγύς ἐστιν, Matthew 26:18, cp. Luke 22:15, ‘with desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.’ The supper succeeds, which bears a paschal character, and follows the paschal ceremonial. Early in the morning of the 14th of Nisan the irregular sitting of the Sanhedrin took place. Then followed the formal sitting of the Sanhedrin, and the trial before Pilate, the ‘remission’ to Herod, and, finally, the Crucifixion. This view meets the typical requirements of our Lord’s death completely. During the very hours when our Great High Priest was offering Himself as a sacrifice for our sins upon the cross, the Jewish people were engaged in slaying thousands of lambs in view of the paschal feast about to commence.


Verses 17-19

17–19. PREPARATIONS FOR THE LAST SUPPER

Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13

Nisan 13—from the sunset of Wednesday to the sunset of Thursday—Jesus seems to have passed in retirement; no events are recorded.


Verse 18

18. πρὸς τὸν δεῖνα. ‘To a certain man’ (one who is known, but not named), with whom the arrangements had been previously made. He was doubtless a follower of Jesus. It was usual for the inhabitants of Jerusalem to lend guestchambers to the strangers who came to the feast, and no other payment was accepted save the skin of the paschal lamb.


Verse 20

20. ἀνέκειτο κ.τ.λ. Reclined with the Twelve. ἀνακεῖσθαι in this sense is late for the classical κατακεῖσθαι. This posture had not only become customary at ordinary meals, but was especially enjoined in the passover ritual. The Paschal ceremonial, so far as it bears on the Gospel narrative, may be described as follows:

(a) The meal began with a cup of red wine mixed with water: this is the first cup mentioned, Luke 22:17. After this the guests washed their hands. Here probably must be placed the washing of the disciples’ feet, John 13.

(b) The bitter herbs, symbolic of the bitter bondage in Egypt, were then brought in together with unleavened cakes, and a sauce called charoseth, made of fruits and vinegar, into which the unleavened bread and bitter herbs were dipped. This explains ‘He it is, to whom I shall give a sop,’ John 13:26.

(c) The second cup was then mixed and blessed like the first. The father then explained the meaning of the rite (Exodus 13:8). This was the haggadah or ‘shewing forth,’ a term transferred by St Paul to the Christian meaning of the rite (1 Corinthians 11:26). The first part of the ‘hallel’ (Psalms 113, 114) was then chanted by the company.

(d) After this the paschal lamb was placed before the guests. This is called in a special sense ‘the supper.’ But at the Last Supper there was no paschal lamb. There was no need now of the typical lamb without blemish, for the antitype was there. Christ Himself was our Passover ‘sacrificed for us’ (1 Corinthians 5:7). He was there being slain for us—His body was being given, His blood being shed. At this point, when according to the ordinary ritual the company partook of the paschal lamb, Jesus ‘took bread and blessed it, and gave it to his disciples’ (Matthew 26:26).

(e) The third cup, or ‘cup of blessing,’ so called because a special blessing was pronounced upon it, followed: ‘after supper he took the cup’ (Luke). ‘He took the cup when he had supped’ (Paul). This is the ‘cup’ named in Matthew 26:27.

(f) After a fourth cup the company chanted (see Matthew 26:30) the second part of the ‘hallel’ (Psalms 115-118). (Lightfoot Hor. Hebr., Dr Ginsburg in Kitto’s Encycl., Dr Edersheim Temple Services.)


Verses 20-30

20–30. THE LAST SUPPER

Mark 14:17-26; Luke 22:14-38, where the dispute as to who should be the greatest is recorded, and the warning to Peter related as happening before Jesus departed for the Mount of Olives. St John omits the institution of the Eucharist, but relates the washing of the disciples’ feet by our Lord, and has preserved the discourses of Jesus, chs. 13–17 end. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; where the institution of the Eucharist is narrated nearly in St Luke’s words.


Verse 22

22. λυπούμενοι σφόδρα. St John (John 13:22) has the graphic words Ἔβλεπον οὖν εἰς ἀλλήλους οἱ μαθηταὶ ἀπορούμενοι περὶ τίνος λέγει. It is this moment of intense and painful emotion which Leonardo da Vinci has interpreted by his immortal picture, so true to the spirit of this scene, so unlike the external reality of it.


Verse 23

23. ὁ ἐμβάψας μετʼ ἐμοῦ κ.τ.λ., John 13:26, Ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ᾦ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αἠτῷ; here we have the words of the disciple who heard the reply of Jesus, which was probably whispered and not heard by the rest.

Ὁ ἐμβάψαςἐν τῷ τρυβλίῳ τὴν χεῖρα. i.e. in the charoseth, see above, Matthew 26:20 (b).


Verse 24

24. καλὸν ἦν αὐτῷ κ.τ.λ. A familiar phrase in the Rabbinical Schools, used here with awful depth of certainty. The omission of ἂν makes the expression more emphatic. The condition is unfulfilled, but assuredly it would have been well if it had been fulfilled. In later Greek the tendency to this omission grows: cp. εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν, John 9:33. In modern Greek ἂν is always omitted in such cases. The same construction occurs in Latin. ‘Antoni gladios potuit contemnere si sic │omnia dixisset,’ Juv. Sat. X. 123. ‘Me truncus illapsus cerebro │sustulerat nisi Faunus ictum │ dextra levasset,’ Hor. Od. II. 17. 27 (Winer, p. 382; Goodwin, pp. 96, 97).

εἰ οὐκ ἐγεννήθη. οὐ not μὴ after εἰ. Here οὐκ so entirely coalesces with ἐγεννήθη as to form with it a single verbal notion and to remain uninfluenced by εἰ. Cp. εἰ καὶ οὐ δώσει, Luke 11:8, where οὐ δώσει = ‘will refuse.’ Cp. also 1 Corinthians 11:6, εἰ γὰρ οὐ κατακαλύπτεται γυνή, καὶ κειράσθω. Soph. Aj. 1131, εἰ τοὺς θανόντας οὐκ ἐᾷς θάπτειν. Plat. Apol. Socr. 25 B, ἐάν τε σὺ καὶ Ἄνυτος οὐ φῆτε ἐάν τε φῆτε. (Winer, p. 599 foll.; Goodwin, p. 88.)


Verse 25

25. Σὺ εἶπας. This is a formula of assent both in Hebrew and Greek, and is still used in Palestine in that sense. These words seem also to have been spoken in a low voice inaudible to the rest.

The special mention of Judas is omitted by St Mark and St Luke.


Verse 26

26. τοῦτό ἐστιν κ.τ.λ. Accurately, ‘this is the body of me;’ St Luke adds, ‘which is in the act of being given for you’ (τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον); St Paul, ‘which is in the act of being broken for you’ (τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν κλώμενον. Lachmann and Tischendorf omit κλώμενον); the sacrifice had begun, the body of Christ was already being offered. The expression may be paraphrased: ‘This—the bread—and not the paschal lamb, represents—is to the faithful—the body of Me, who am even now being offered a sacrifice for you.’ Without entering on the great controversy of which these four words have been the centre, we may note that; [1] the thought is not presented now for the first time to the disciples. It was the ‘hard saying’ which had turned many from Christ, see John 6:51-57; John 6:66. [2] The special form of the controversy is due to a mediæval philosophy which has passed away leaving ‘the dispute of the sacraments’ as a legacy. St Luke and St Paul have the addition, ‘this do in remembrance of me’—now, as a memorial of Me, not of the Passover deliverance.


Verse 27

27. ποτήριον. See note Matthew 26:20 (e).


Verse 28

28. τοῦτο γάρ κ.τ.λ. The blood of the sacrifice was the seal and assurance of the old covenant, so wine, which is the blood of Christ once shed, is the seal of the new covenant.

The thought of shedding of blood would certainly connect itself with the ratification of a covenant in the minds of the apostles. From a covenant ratified by the victim’s blood (Genesis 15:18) began the divine and glorious history of the Jewish race. By sprinkling of blood the covenant was confirmed in the wilderness: see Exodus 24:8, where the very expression occurs τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης (cp. 1 Peter 1:2, ῥαντισμὸν αἵματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ), and now a new B’rith or covenant (cp. Jeremiah 31:33) confirmed by the victim’s blood is destined to be the starting point of a still more divine and glorious history. The Mediator of the New Covenant is ratifying it with the Princes of the New Israel.

καινῆς. See critical notes and ch. Matthew 9:17.

διαθήκη means either [1] a ‘covenant,’ ‘contract,’ or [2] ‘a will.’ The first is the preferable sense here, as in most passages where the word occurs in N.T. the new covenant is contrasted with ‘the covenant which God made with our fathers,’ Acts 3:25. For this reason it is to be regretted that the title ‘new testament’ rather than ‘new covenant’ has been adopted. The effect has been partly to obscure the continuity of the earlier and later dispensations.

περὶ πολλῶν, i.e. ‘to save many:’ this force of περὶ comes from the thought of encircling a thing or person, or fighting round him for the sake of protecting him: cp. ἀμύνεσθαι περὶ πάτρης, Il. XII. 243. ἀμυνέμεναι περὶ Πατρόκλοιο θανόντος, Il. XVII. 182.

πολλῶν. See note ch. Matthew 20:23.

ἐκχυννόμενον. Now being shed. The sacrifice has already begun.

εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. St Matthew alone records these words in this connection. Cp. Hebrews 9:22, χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις—a passage which bears closely upon this. For the expression cp. βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, ‘having for its end forgiveness.’ The figure in ἄφεσις is either [1] that of forgiving a debt, the word being frequently used of the year of release: ἔσται ἡ πρᾶσις ἕως τοῦ ἕκτου ἔτους τῆς ἀφέσεως καὶ ἐξελεύσεται ἐν τῇ ἀφέσει, Leviticus 25:28, or [2] from ‘letting go’ the sacrificial dove or scape-goat to symbolise the putting away of sins.


Verse 29

29. ὅταν αὐτὸ πίνω κ.τ.λ. The reference is to the feast, which is a symbol of the glorified life, cp. Luke 22:30. The new wine signifies the new higher existence (ch. Matthew 9:17), which Christ would share with his Saints. The expression may also symbolize the Christian as distinguished from the Jewish dispensation, and be referred specially to the celebration of the Eucharist, in which Christ joins with the faithful in the feast of the Kingdom of God on earth.


Verse 30

30. ὑμνήσαντες. ‘Having chanted’ the second part of the hallel. See note on Matthew 26:20 (f).


Verse 31

31. γέγραπται. See note ch. Matthew 2:5.

πατάξω κ.τ.λ., Zechariah 13:7. The words do not literally follow the Hebrew. Both Hebrew and LXX. have imperative for future. The difference in form is as slight in Hebrew as in Greek (πατάξω, πάταξον). The context describes the purification of Jerusalem in the last days—‘in that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem’—the discomfiture of the false prophets, and the victory of Jehovah on the Mount of Olives.

It may be fitly remembered that the Valley of Jehoshaphat (in N.T. the Valley of Kedron) according to the most probable view derived its name—the Valley of the Judgment of Jehovah—not from the king of Judah, but from the vision of Joel (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 3:9-17), of which the prophecy of Zechariah is the repetition in a later age. If so, there is deep significance in the words recurring to the mind of Christ, as He trod the very field of Jehovah’s destined victory. The prophecy carried on from age to age rested here in its fulfilment. Nor is it irreverent to believe that the thought of this vision brought consolation to the human heart of Jesus as he passed to his supreme self-surrender with the knowledge that He would be left alone, deserted even by his chosen followers.


Verses 31-35

31–35. ALL SHALL BE OFFENDED

Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-34. Cp. John 13:36-38; John 16:32


Verse 32

32. The expression, προάξω, lit., ‘I will lead you as a shepherd,’ falls in with the thought of the quotation.


Verse 34

34. πρὶν ἀλέκτορα κ.τ.λ. ‘This day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice’ (Mark). A curious difficulty has been raised here from the fact that it was unlawful for Jews to keep fowls in the Holy City. Such rules, however, could not be applied to the Romans.


Verse 35

35. κἂν δέῃ με κ.τ.λ. Accurately, ‘Even if I shall be obliged to die with thee.’ σὺν denotes the closest possible union. Contrast σὺν σοὶ ἀποθανεῖν with γρηγορῆσαι μετʼ ἐμοῦ (Matthew 26:38). He who swore to die by the side of (σὺν) Christ could not even watch in his company (μετά).


Verse 36

36. Γεθσημανεί = ‘the oil press;’ πέραν τοῦ χειμάρρου τῶν Κέδρων ὅπου ἦν κῆπος (John 18:1), χωρίον is an enclosed place or garden, answering to κῆπος.


Verses 36-46

36–46. THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE

Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:39-46; John 18:1

In St Luke’s account Matthew 26:43-44 are peculiar to his Gospel. The use of ἀγωνία (ἅπαξ λεγ. in N.T.) by the same Evangelist has given the title to this passage.

St Luke also relates that ‘there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.’ There is, however, some reason for doubting the genuineness of these verses.


Verse 37

37. τὸν Πέτρον κ.τ.λ. See ch. Matthew 17:1 and Mark 5:37. The Evangelist, St John, was thus a witness of this scene; hence, as we should expect, his narrative of the arrest of Jesus is very full of particulars.

ἀδημονεῖν. This word is found in the parallel passage, Mark 14:33 and in Philippians 2:26, not elsewhere in N.T. Buttmann, Lex. p. 29 foll. connects it with ἄδημος, as if the train of thought were,—absence from home—perplexity—distress. It is better however to recur to the older derivation connecting it with ἄδην, ἀδῆσαι (see Bp. Lightfoot, on Philippians 2:26), where the idea of the word would be either [1] ‘satiety,’ so painful weariness of life and life’s work; cp. the use of the rare word ἄδος of the weary woodcutter: ἐπεί τʼ ἐκορέσσατο χεῖρας | τάμνων δένδρεα μακρὰ ἄδος τέ μιν ἵκετο θυμόν (Il. XI. 88), loathing of his work, dislike to go on with it. Or [2] from the sense of physical derangement transferred to mental pain, ‘distress,’ ‘agony of mind,’ which agrees very well with the instance quoted by Buttmann of a woman threatened with violence: ἀδημονούσης τῆς ἀνθρώπου, Dem. de F. L. p. 402. The old lexicons give as synonyms, ἀγωνιᾶν, ἀλύειν, ἀπορεῖν, ἀμηχανεῖν.


Verse 38

38. ἡ ψυχή μου. Comp. John 12:27, the only other passage in which Jesus ascribes to Himself a human ψυχὴ in this particular sense—the seat of the feelings and emotions.

γρηγορεῖτε μετʼ ἐμοῦ. The Son of man in this dark hour asks for human sympathy.

μετʼ ἐμοῦ. Only in Matthew.


Verse 39

39. προσελθὼν μικρόν. The paschal full moon would make deep shadow for the retirement of Jesus.

Πάτερ μου. St Mark has the Aramaic Abba as well as πάτερ.

τὸ ποτήριον τοῦτο. See note, ch. Matthew 20:22. Were these words over-heard by the sons of Zebedee? Christ was probably praying aloud, according to the usual custom. If so, the thought of their ambition and of their Master’s answer would surely recur to them (ch. Matthew 20:20-23).

οὐχ ὡς ἐγὼ θέλω. In the ‘Agony,’ as in the Temptation, the Son submits Himself to his Father’s will.


Verse 40

40. οὐκ ἰσχύσατε; Had you not the ἰσχύς—the physical strength to watch? This was an instance of failing to serve God with their strength (ἐξ ὅλης τῆς ἰσχύος, Mark 12:30). ἰσχύω, not a mere synonym of δύναμαι, seems always to retain some sense of physical power, cp. οἱ ἰσχύοντες, ch. Matthew 9:12; ὥστε μὴ ἰσχύειν τινὰ παρελθεῖν διὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἐκείνης, ch. Matthew 8:28; σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω, Luke 16:3, ‘am not strong enough to dig.’

Note that the verb is in the plural. As Peter took the lead in the promise of devotion, Jesus by naming him singles him out for rebuke. St Mark has ‘Simon (the name of the old life), sleepest thou? Couldest not thou watch one hour?’


Verse 41

41. τὸ μὲν πνεῦμα πρόθυμον κ.τ.λ. The touch of clemency mingled with the rebuke is characteristic of the gentleness of Jesus.


Verse 44

44. τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών. This repetition of earnestness must be distinguished from the vain repetitions of ch. Matthew 6:7.


Verse 45-46

45, 46. Καθεύδετεἐγείρεσθε κ.τ.λ. The sudden transition may be explained either [1] by regarding the first words as intended for a rebuke, or else [2] at that very moment Judas appeared, and the time for action had come. The short, quick sentences, especially as reported by St Mark, favour the second suggestion. The words ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου παραδίδοται mark the approach of the band, ἰδοὺ ἤγγικεν ὁ παραδιδούς με that of Judas himself, who is now distinctly seen.


Verse 47

47. ὄχλος πολὺς κ.τ.λ. St John more definitely, ‘having received a (strictly, the) band (of men) and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees’ (Matthew 18:3). The band of men here = the maniple of Roman soldiers, placed at the service of the Sanhedrin by the Procurator. The same word is used Acts 10:1; Acts 21:32; Acts 27:1. St Luke names the ‘captains of the Temple’ (Luke 22:52). Hence the body, guided by Judas, consisted of [1] a maniple (σπεῖρα, see note ch. Matthew 27:27) of Roman soldiers; [2] a detachment of the Levitical temple-guard (Luke); [3] certain members of the Sanhedrin and Pharisees.

ξύλων. ‘clubs,’ as Hdt. II. 63, μάχη ξύλοισι καρτέρη γίνεται. So also Polybius, Lucian, and other late authors. St John has μετὰ φανῶν καὶ λαμπάδων καὶ ὅπλων, Matthew 18:3.


Verses 47-56

47–56. THE ARREST OF JESUS

St Mark 14:43-50; St Luke 22:47-53; St John 18:3-11


Verse 49

49. Χαῖρε, ῥαββί. The joyous Greek salutation ‘be glad,’ and the Jewish term of respect ‘my master.’

κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν, ‘kissed him with fervour, or repeatedly;’ cp. Xen. Mem. II. 6. 33, ὡς τοὺς μὲν καλοὺς φιλήσοντὁς μου, τοὺς δὲ ἀγαθοὺς καταφιλήσοντος.


Verse 50

50. Ἑταῖρε. See ch. Matthew 20:13. In relation to the word ῥαββί (Matthew 26:49) the meaning of ἑταῖρε would be: ‘thou, my disciple.’

ἐφʼ . The sentence is best explained by an ellipse of ποίησον or some equivalent word, ‘Do that for which thou art come.’ ὃς is never used for τίς in the N.T. unless this be an instance. St Luke preserves the question to Judas: φιλήματι τὸν υἱὸν τὸν ἀνθρώπου παραδίδως;

ἐπέβαλον τὰς χεῖρας. ἐπιβάλλειν τὰς χεῖρας is a technical term, ‘to arrest,’ so frequently in the Acts: ἐπέβαλον αὐτοῖς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ ἔθεντο εἰς τήρησιν (Acts 4:3).

τότε προσελθόντες ἐπέβαλον τὰς χεῖρας ἐπὶ τὸν Ἰησοῦν. St John, who does not mention the kiss of Judas, sets the self-surrender of Jesus in a clear light: ‘I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.’


Verse 51

51. εἷς τῶν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ. This was St Peter, named by St John, but not by the earlier Evangelists, probably from motives of prudence.

τὴν μάχαιραν. Probably a short sword or dirk, worn in the belt.

τὸν δοῦλον. The servant, or rather slave. St John gives his name, Malchus. St Luke alone records the cure of Malchus.

τὸ ὠτίον. ὠτάριον (Mark). Lobeck, on Phryn. p. 211, remarks the tendency in common speech to express parts of the body by diminution, as τὰ ῥινίατὸ ὀμμάτιονστηθίδιονχελύνιονσαρκίον.


Verse 52

52. πάντες γὰρ κ.τ.λ. To this reason for non-resistance Christ added another, ‘The cup which my Father has given me shall I not drink it?’ (John.)

λαβόντες μάχαιραν, i.e. against rightful authority. There may be some force in λαβόντες, ‘take’ the sword, handle it of their own pleasure and impulse; λαβὴ is a sword-hilt. Cp. οὐ γὰρ εἰκῆ τὴν μάχαιραν φορεῖ, Romans 13:4, where φορεῖν the legitimate wearing of the sword may be contrasted with λαβεῖν. The truth of this saying was exemplified by the slaughter of nearly a million and a half of Jews, who ‘took the sword’ against Rome A.D. 67–70.

ἐν μαχαίρῃ. For instrumental ἐν see note, ch. Matthew 3:11.


Verses 52-54

52–54. These verses are peculiar to Matthew; each Evangelist has recorded sayings unnoticed by the others. It is easy to understand that in these exciting moments each bystander should perceive a part only of what was said or done.


Verse 53

53. δοκεῖς ὅτι οὐ δύναμαικαὶ παραστήσει. The form of the sentence is Aramaic, the real subject of the whole sentence being ὁ πατήρ: a regular Greek construction would express the thought of παρακαλέσαι by a participle or by a conditional clause. But though the form is irregular it throws into emphasis the certainty that the prayer would be granted. ‘Can I not summon my Father to my aid as an ally in my extremity, and swiftly He will draw up by my side twelve legions of angels against the single maniple of the Roman guard.’ παρακαλεῖν and παριστάναι are both military terms: cp. Hdt. XVII. 158, ἐτολμήσατε ἐμὲ σύμμαχον παρακαλέοντες ἐλθεῖν, advocantes socium, ‘Summoning me to be your ally.’ For παριστάναι cp. Polyb. III. 72. 9, τοὺς ἱππεῖς διελὼν ἐφʼ ἑκάτερον παρέστησε τὸ κέρας, ‘posted them,’ &c., and Hdt. VIII. 80, ἔδεε γὰρ ὅτε οὐκ ἑκόντες ἔθελον ἐς μάχην κατίστασθαι, ἀέκοντας παραστήσασθαι. For the omission of after πλείω, the usual Attic construction, cp. Plato, Apol. Socr., p. 17, ἔτη γεγονὼς πλείω ἑβδομήκοντα. So also in Latin, ‘plus septima ducitur æstas,’ Verg. Georg. IV. 207. For the neuter pl. πλείω (instead of πλεῖον), standing independent of the construction, see Lob. Phryn, p. 410, where several instances are given of constructive laxity in the case of numerals, e.g. οὐσίᾳ πλεῖον ἢ δέκα ταλάντων, Dem. c. Aphob. II. 341; ὑπὲρ τετρακισχίλιοι ὄντες, Joseph. Ant. XVIII. 1. 871. But none of the instances there given precisely meet this case.

δώδεκα λεγεῶνας κ.τ.λ. It is characteristic of this gospel that the authority and kingly majesty of Jesus should be suggested at a moment when every hope seemed to have perished.

λεγεῶνας. One of the few Latin words in this gospel, perhaps used with a special reason, as in the case of κῆνσον (ch. Matthew 22:17). Here probably the intention was to preserve the very term used by Jesus. The word might be suggested by the sight of the maniple (σπεῖρα) of the Roman soldiers; see note above.


Verse 55

55. λῃστήν, ‘a robber,’ not ‘thief,’ as A.V. Cp. St John 10:1, where the two words are distinguished. See note, ch. Matthew 21:13.

ἐκαθεζόμην διδάσκων. See note, ch. Matthew 5:1 (καθίσαντος).

According to St Luke these words were addressed to ‘the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and elders,’ where it appears that some members of the Sanhedrin had in their evil zeal joined in the capture. The same Evangelist adds, ‘this is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53).


Verse 56

56. τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν κ.τ.λ. These are probably the words of Christ, and not a reflection by the Evangelist (cp. Mark 14:49); if so, they were, for most of the disciples, their Master’s last words.

For the tense of γέγονεν see notes, ch. Matthew 1:22, Matthew 21:4.

τότε, closely connected with the preceding words. If this was the fulfilment of prophecy, their interpretation was indeed mistaken. It was the death-blow to temporal hopes.

τότεἔφυγον. Note the beauty and nervous strength of this short clause. Each word has its special force and its true position. ἔφυγον ‘fled,’ as though by the capture of the leader the whole enterprise had failed. ‘Quantæ in periculis fugæ proximorum!’ (Cicero.)


Verse 57

57. ἀπήγαγον. ἀπάγειν is used technically of carrying off to prison. Cp. Acts 12:19, ἐκέλευσεν ἀπαχθῆναι, ‘to be led off to execution.’

συνήχθησαν. St Mark describes the members of the Sanhedrin entering with Jesus (συνέρχονται αὐτῷ) to this pre-arranged irregular meeting.


Verses 57-68

57–68. JESUS IS BROUGHT BEFORE CAIAPHAS. THE FIRST AND INFORMAL MEETING OF THE SANHEDRIN

St Mark 14:53-65; St Luke 22:54; Luke 22:63-65

St Luke reports this first irregular trial with less detail than the other synoptists, but gives the account of the second formal sitting at greater length.

It is not clear whether the private examination, related by St John 18:19-23, was conducted by Annas or Caiaphas. Jesus was first taken to the house of Annas, whose great influence (he was still high priest in the eyes of the people) would make it necessary to have his sanction for the subsequent measures. Possibly ‘the high priest’ (John 18:19) was Caiaphas, but the expression ‘therefore Annas sent him bound unto Caiaphas’ (Matthew 26:24) makes this improbable.

The subjoined order of events is certainly not free from difficulties, but is the most probable solution of the question:

[1] From the garden Gethsemane Jesus was taken to Annas; thence, after brief questioning (St John 18:19-23),

[2] To Caiaphas, in another part of the Sacerdotal palace, where some members of the Sanhedrin had hastily met, and the first irregular trial of Jesus took place at night; Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:52-65; Luke 22:54; Luke 22:63-65.

[3] Early in the morning a second and formal trial was held by the Sanhedrin. This is related by St Luke ch. Luke 22:66-71; and is mentioned by St Matthew ch. Matthew 27:1; and in St Mark 15:1.

[4] The trial before Pontius Pilate, consisting of two parts: (a) a preliminary examination (for which there is a technical legal phrase in St Luke 23:14); (b) a final trial and sentence to death.

[5] The remission to Herod, recorded by St Luke only, Matthew 23:7-11; between the two Roman trials, (a) and (b).

The question is sometimes asked, Was the trial of Jesus fair and legal according to the rules of Jewish law? The answer must be that the proceedings against Jesus violated both [1] the spirit, and [2] the express rules of Hebrew jurisdiction, the general tendency of which was to extreme clemency.

[1] The Talmud states: ‘The Sanhedrin is to save, not to destroy life.’ No man could be condemned in his absence, or without a majority of two to one; the penalty for procuring false witnesses was death; the condemned was not to be executed on the day of his trial. This clemency was violated in the trial of Jesus Christ.

[2] But even the ordinary legal rules were disregarded in the following particulars: (a) The examination by Annas without witnesses. (b) The trial by night. (c) The sentence on the first day of trial. (d) The trial of a capital charge on the day before the Sabbath. (e) The suborning of witnesses. (f) The direct interrogation by the High Priest.


Verse 58

58. τῶν ὑπηρετῶν. ‘Attendants,’ ‘retinue.


Verse 59

59. ἐζήτουν κ.τ.λ. See above [1]: to seek witnesses at all was against the spirit of the law. The imperfect ἐζήτουν implies anxious and continued search.


Verse 60

60. καὶ after οὐχ εὗρον, and a second οὐχ εὗρον after ψευδομαρτύρων, deleted on the authority of the oldest but not the majority of MSS. and Versions. Among those which support the textus receptus are A and E.

ψευδομάρτυρες after δύο is almost certainly a gloss, though found in A2CD and a mass of later MSS.


Verse 61

61. δύναμαι καταλῦσαι κ.τ.λ. The actual words of Jesus spoken (John 2:19) in the first year of his ministry were, λύσατε τὸν ναὸν τοῦτον καὶ ἐν τρίσιν ἡμέραις ἐγερῶ αὐτόν, not ‘I am able to destroy’ (note that ἐγερῶ is appropriate to raising from the dead, and is very different from οἰκοδομῆσαι). The attempt was to convict Jesus of blasphemy in asserting a superhuman power.


Verse 63

63. ἐξορκίζω. Here only in N.T. Used in classical authors in the sense of ‘to administer an oath,’ especially the military oath (sacramentum). Possibly the word may be used here in reference to the charge against Jesus, δαιμόνιον ἔχει.

ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. The Jews might have recognised Jesus as the Messiah, but not as the Son of God.


Verse 64

64. σὺ εἶπας. See note, Matthew 26:25.

ἀπʼ ἄρτι ὄψεσθε κ.τ.λ. Cp. Daniel 7:13; ch. Matthew 16:27, Matthew 24:30, Matthew 25:31.

ἐπὶ τῶν νεφ. See ch. Matthew 24:30.


Verse 65

65. διέρρηξεν. This act was enjoined by the Rabbinical rules. When the charge of blasphemy was proved ‘the judges standing on their feet rend their garments, and do not sew them up again.’ τὰ ἱμάτια in the plural, because according to Rabbinical directions all the under-garments were to be rent, ‘even if there were ten of them.’


Verse 66

66. ἔνοχος κ.τ.λ. i.e. ‘has incurred the penalty of death.’ The Sanhedrin do not pass sentence, but merely re-affirm their foregone conclusion, and endeavour to have sentence passed and judgment executed by the Procurator. For ἕνοχος see note, ch. Matthew 5:22.


Verse 67

67. κολαφίζειν, ‘to strike with clenched fist,’ from κόλαφος, late for Attic κονδυλίζειν (κόνδυλος). Cp. ποῖον γὰρ κλέος εἰ ἁμαρτάνοντες καὶ κολαφιζόμενοι ὑπομενεῖτε, 1 Peter 2:20. See also 1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 12:7.

ῥαπίζειν, from ῥαπίς, ‘a rod,’ ‘to strike with cudgels’ (Hdt. Xen. Dem. Polyb. al.), later, to strike with the flat of the hand.

For οἱ δὲ with οἱ μὲν of the first clause suppressed cp. οἱ δὲ ἐδίστασαν, ch. Matthew 28:17.


Verse 68

68. προφήτευσον ἡμῖν. Observe the coarse popular idea of prophecy breaking out, according to which prophecy is a meaningless exhibition of miraculous power. A similar vein of thought shews itself in the second temptation (ch. Matthew 4:6).


Verse 69

69. ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ. In the court. In Oriental houses the street door opens into an entrance hall or passage: this is the ‘porch’ (πυλῶνα) of Matthew 26:71; beyond this is a central court (αὐλή) open to the sky and surrounded by pillars. The reception rooms are usually on the ground floor, and are built round the central court. Probably the hall or room in which Jesus was being tried opened upon the court. Thus Jesus was able to look upon Peter.


Verses 69-75

69–75. THE DENIAL OF PETER

St Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:54-62; John 18:15-18; John 18:25-27

The accounts differ slightly, and exactly in such a way as the evidence of honest witnesses might be expected to differ in describing the minor details (which at the time would appear unimportant) in a scene full of stir and momentous incidents. Discrepancies of this kind form the strongest argument for the independence of the different gospels. St Luke mentions that ‘the Lord turned and looked upon Peter.’ St John states that the third question was put by a kinsman of Malchus.


Verse 73

73. λαλιά. An Aristophanic word, λαλιὰν ἀσκῆσαι, ‘to talk (practise), gossip.’ The same notion of contempt underlies the word, John 4:42, οὐκέτι διὰ τὴν σὴν λαλιὰν πιστεύομεν. Here thy ‘talk’ or ‘speech,’ as in A.V., not definitely ‘a dialect’ (Schleusner). In the LXX. it is used generally for ‘word’ or ‘speech.’

ἡ λαλιά σου κ.τ.λ. Peter was discovered by his use of the Galilæan dialect. The Galilæans were unable to pronounce the gutturals distinctly, and they lisped, pronouncing sh like th. Perhaps Peter said, ‘I know not the ith,’ instead of, ‘I know not the ish’ (man).


Verse 74

74. καταθεματίζειν. See critical notes supra. Cp. Revelation 22:3, where κατάθεμα is restored for κατανάθεμα. No other instance is cited either of noun or verb. They appear to be used as synonymous with ἀνάθεμα, ‘an accursed thing,’ and ἀναθεματίζειν, ‘to devote to destruction,’ ‘to curse.’ Two explanations may be given: [1] the meanings of ἀνὰ and κατὰ in composition so often coincide that an interchange of the two prepositions in noun- or verb-forms is quite explicable; [2] the original forms may have been κατανάθεμα, καταναθεματίζειν, and have fallen by usage to κατάθεμα, καταθεματίζειν, the Greek language shrinking from the union of κατὰ and ἀνὰ in composition, of which the instances are extremely rare.


Verse 75

75. ἔκλαυσεν, of loud and bitter wailing, in distinction from δακρύειν, ‘to weep silently.’ The latter verb is found once only in N.T., John 11:35, ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς.

 


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Bibliography Information
"Commentary on Matthew 26:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/matthew-26.html. 1896.

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