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THE WOMEN GO TO THE SEPULCHER
Matthew 28:1 . “ And at the end of the Sabbath, at the dawn, toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulcher.” Mark 16:2-4 . “ And it being exceedingly early, on the first day of the week, they are coming to the tomb, the sun approaching the horizon. And they were saying to one another, Who shall roll for us the stone away from the door of the sepulcher? And looking up, they see that the stone has already been rolled away; for it was exceedingly great.”
Luke 24:1-3 : “ And on the first day of the week, at the depth of the dawn, they came to the sepulcher, bearing the aromatics which they prepared, and certain ones along with them. And they found that the stone had been rolled away from the sepulcher; and coming in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” John 20:1-2 : “ On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene comes to the sepulcher early in the morning, it being yet dark, and sees that the stone has been rolled away from the sepulcher.” The reason why on this item I quote all of the writers is because of the infidel criticism that has been concentrated upon this important point of the inspired history, vigorous efforts having been made to establish disharmony among the four historians. You see there is none, the E. V. translation of Mark, representing them as coming at sunrise, being here corrected, the Greek simply meaning, “the sun approaching the horizon,” and, as you see, perfectly harmonizing with Matthew, “at the dawn, toward the first day of the week,” Luke, “at the depth of the dawn,” and John, “early in the morning, it being yet dark.”
ANGELS AT THE SEPULCHER
Matthew 28:5-7 ; Luke 24:4-8 ; Mark 16:5-7 : “ Having come to the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right, clothed with a white robe; and they were affrighted. And he says to them, Be not alarmed; you are seeking Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified; He is risen; He is not here; behold the place where they laid Him. But go tell His disciples, and Peter, that He goes before you into Galilee; and there you shall see Him, as He said to you.” Luke: “ And it came to pass, while they were at a loss concerning Him, and two men stood before them in shining apparel, they being afraid, and inclining their face toward the ground, he said to them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. Remember how He spoke to you, being yet in Galilee, saying that it behooves the Son of man to be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and to be crucified, and to arise the third day; and they remembered His words.” These were angels in human form, and it is highly probable that Gabriel, who announced His conception, was one of them. We see here that these holy women were much alarmed, as in all ages it has been very trying to mortal nerves to meet glorified spirits. In this there is nothing condemnatory, but a demonstration of the simple fact of decisive, angelic superiority, so that their presence, when seen with mortal eyes, inundates us with the realization that we are actually in contact with the eternal world, and hence overawed, and even panic-stricken, by the certainty of the heavenly inhabitants literally present and looking us in the face. Here we observe an especial message sent to Peter, doubtless from the fact of the unhappy notoriety he gave himself by denying the Lord while under prosecution.
RETURN OF THE WOMEN
Matthew 28:8-10 ; Mark 16:8 ; Luke 24:9-11 ; John 20:2 . “ Then she runs, and comes to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and says to them, They have taken away the Lord from the sepulcher, and we know not where they have placed Him.” This is spoken of Mary Magdalene, the most prominent of our Lord’s female disciples, and the only woman John mentions in this early visit to the sepulcher. This is not out of harmony with the other three, from the simple fact that she was the leader of the heroic sisterhood who lingered last at the cross, and hastened first to greet the risen Lord and look into the empty sepulcher.
I must here observe, in reference to Mark’s Gospel, that this eighth verse, which you see in the above reference, winds it up, the following twelve verses having been added by an unknown hand after Mark had laid down his pen. This fact of these last twelve verses not appearing in the old and authoritative manuscripts, does not necessarily invalidate their claims to inspiration, the author might have been inspired for ought we know, though we can have no idea as to his name. As it is believed that Peter dictated this Gospel to Mark, his faithful amanuensis and gospel helper, while in Rome, about A. D. 63, some suppose his martyrdom stopped the work, and consequently some one took it on himself to finish it out somewhat after the order of Matthew’s, which had been written A. D. 48. From the simple fact that in all of this writing I have used the Greek Testament by Tischendorf, on the basis of the Sinaitic manuscript which he discovered in the Convent of St. Catherine, on Mt. Sinai, A. D. 1859, and has thrown a flood of light on the New Testament, being the oldest manuscript and the only one entire, and as it closes Mark’s Gospel with this eighth verse of the sixteenth chapter, I shall neither quote nor expound the ensuing twelve verses; for, like John 8:1-11, and not a few other isolated passages, they are not in my book.
Matthew: “ Having quickly come out from the sepulcher, with fear and great joy, they were running to tell His disciples.” You see how these women take the report of the angels, and run with all expedition to render obedience. “ And while they were going to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, Hail! And they having come, embraced His feet, and worshipped Him. Then Jesus says to them, Fear not; go, tell My brethren, that they may depart into Galilee, and there they shall see Me.” Luke: “ And returning from the sepulcher, they proclaimed these things to the eleven, and all the rest, And they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women along with them, who continued to tell these things to the apostles. And their words appeared unto them like a dream, and they believed them not.” Though Jesus had three different times distinctly prophesied to them His crucifixion and resurrection, they had never understood it; but were all settled in the common conviction that the Christ would never die, but abide and reign forever. Luke says that these prophecies were withheld from them, so they understood them not. That was all right. It was absolutely necessary that these most salient facts of redeeming mercy should be prominent in the prophetical curriculum, which, along with miracles, constitutes the basis of all faith in the Christhood.
Then why withhold it from their understanding until after it was all over? Good reason! If the disciples had understood it, they would have fought, bled, and died in His defense. Thousands would have helped them, and a bloody civil war broken out at the time of His arrest. Through fear of the people, His enemies were often restrained from laying hands on Him, finally attacking Him at midnight, doing their best to kill Him before day; and despite the tardiness of Pilate and Herod, actually had Him nailed to the cross at the early hour of 9 A.M., Pilate finally signing His death-warrant as a sheer peace measure, as he saw the crowd gathering rapidly, and knew they were going to fight for Him, and thus involve the whole country in a terrible civil war. In the good providence of God, the prophecies revealing His crucifixion and resurrection were withheld from the understanding of His disciples till after the momentous tragedy of the world’s redemption was consummated. When they saw Him expire on the cross, they gave up all hope of His Messiahship, settling down in the conclusion that He was the greatest prophet the world ever saw and no more, so that when those women came and told them that He was absent from the sepulcher, and the angels had said He was risen, and that they had actually seen Him, their words seemed like a dream the news was too good to be believed.
JOHN AND PETER RUN TO THE SEPULCHER
Luke 24:12 . “ And Peter, rising, ran to the sepulcher, and sees the grave-clothes lying alone, and departed, wondering to himself over that which has taken place.” John 20:3-10 : “ Then Peter and the other disciple went out, and were coming to the sepulcher. And the two were running together; and the other disciple was running before more rapidly than Peter, and came first to the sepulcher, and looking down, he sees the grave-clothes lying; indeed he did not go in. Then Simon Peter comes, following him, and went into the sepulcher, and sees the grave-clothes lying, and the napkin, which was upon His head, not lying with the grave- clothes, but rolled up separate in one place. Then when he went in, and the other disciple, the one having come first to the sepulcher, he both saw and believed; for they did not yet understand the Scripture, that it behooved Him to rise from the dead. Then they departed again to their lodging.” When the women, who had gone at the early dawn to finish the embalmment of the body, came with the thrilling news of His resurrection, being literally wild with enthusiasm and excitement, the apostles signally recoiled from the reception of a message so wonderful and paradoxical, and at the same time so infinitely go, inspiring, and electrifying, that their faith swooned away into a delectable rhapsody, culminating in the impression that as it was too good to be true, it was certainly a dream, flitting by in their waking moments, the grasping of which would but prove like the fugitive vision of an ambrosial night. They were afraid to venture out and exercise appropriative faith. Peter and John, however, who seem as a rule to have been blessed with deeper spiritual insight than their comrades, credited the paradoxical report of the women enough to set out at once for the sepulcher, running with all their might, hopeful to arrive on the spot before the delectable scenes described by the women should all have evanesced. John, the youngest of the twelve, in perfect health, and naturally superlatively nimble and active, outran Peter, arriving some time before the senior apostle. Looking into the sepulcher, he sees it vacant, the grave-clothes lying, but does not venture in. Meanwhile, bold old Peter, two hundred yards behind, rushed on, arrived at the sepulcher, looked in, and, unhesitatingly entering it, searched everything diligently, and coming out, certified that He was not there. Consequently these two were constrained to credit the wonderful report of the women.
HE WAS SEEN BY PETER
1 Corinthians 15:5. As He appeared to the women on their first visit to the sepulcher before it was clear light; also to Mary Magdalene (and doubtless other women, as it is hardly probable she was alone), on the second visit to the sepulcher, which occurred very early in the morning, for the women hastened back immediately after delivering the glorious tidings to the apostles, there is at least a probability that they arrived the second time at the sepulcher before the first arrival of Peter and John. Then, sometime in the morning, He evidently appeared to Peter, as we see here, indefinitely revealed by Paul.
THE WALK TO EMMAUS
Luke 24:13-35 . “ Behold, two of them on the same day were going to a village, sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, to which was the name Emmaus, and they were conversing with one another concerning all those things which had taken place. And it came to pass, while they are talking and surmising, Jesus also drawing nigh, fell in company with them; and their eyes were held so as not to recognize Him. And He said to them, What are these words which you are interchanging to one another while walking along? And they stood sad. And one, to whom was the name Cleopas, responding, said to Him, Art Thou only a sojourner at Jerusalem, and dost not know the things which have taken place in it in these days? And He said to them, What? And they said to Him, Those things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word before and all the people, and how our high priests and rulers delivered Him to the condemnation of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that He is the One who is going to redeem Israel.” You see that these disciples are still solid in their conviction that the Christ, when He comes, will redeem Israel and abide forever (Daniel 9:7-14), which is true when He comes the second time. They never succeeded in dividing the prophecies descriptive of His two advents respectively, but applied them all simultaneously.
Cleopas was the brother of the Apostle James the Less, and some believe his traveling companion to have been the Writer of this Gospel. That is at least very uncertain, as we never hear of Luke till about eight years subsequently, when he becomes the traveling companion and amanuensis of Paul in his second evangelistic tour, starting out from Antioch, the metropolis of Syria, and doubtless the nativity, and at least the residence, of Luke, who, in all probability, was a practicing physician in that city till converted by the preaching of Paul and Barnabas.
“ And in addition to all these things, it is even now the third day since they took place. But certain women from us astonished us, being early at the sepulcher, and not finding His body, came, saying that they have seen a vision of angels, who say that He is alive. And certain ones of those along with us departed to the sepulcher, and found it even as the women said; but they saw Him not.” You see clearly that these disciples had not yet received light on His resurrection, but were still clinging pertinaciously to the idea that when Christ comes He will redeem Israel and reign forever, which is true of the second, but not of His first advent, in which He came to suffer and to die.
“ And He said to them, O ye foolish, and slow in heart to believe in all those things which the prophets spoke.” “Foolish” here is anoetos, meaning spiritual blindness, and not moros, natural imbecility, which He condemns in His Sermon on the Mount, pronouncing a woe on the man who says to his brother, “Thou fool.” You see here that the heart, and not the intellect, is the faculty of faith. Since the Holy Spirit alone can quicken and enlighten the heart, it is in vain to appeal to the intellect. “With the heart, man believeth unto righteousness.” (Romans 10:10.) The trouble with infidels and skeptics is not intellectual, but spiritual.
“ Did it not behoove Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into His glory? Beginning from Moses and all the prophecies, He interpreted unto them, in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself. And they were drawing nigh to the village, whither they were journeying; and He made as if He were going farther.” This statement is not at all vulnerable to criticism. When they stopped, He walked directly on, and in all probability would have continued, or have manifested Himself to them on the spot, if they had not constrained Him to come in and abide with them.
“ And they constrained Him, saying, Abide with us; because it is evening, and the day has already declined. He came in to abide with them. And it came to pass, while He was sitting at the table, He took bread, and blessed it, and breaking it, gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him; and He vanished away from them. And they said to one another, Was not our heart burning within us, while He spoke to us on the way, as He opened unto us the Scriptures? Rising up that hour, they returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven assembled, and those along with them, and saying that the Lord truly is risen, and appeared unto Simon . And they were expounding those things on the road, and how He was made known to them in the breaking of bread.” You see here that Emmaus is seven and a half miles from Jerusalem, through that rugged, mountainous country, as the metropolis is situated on the high summit of Mount Zion, Moriah, Akra, Bezetha, and Calvary being, respectively, prominences of that great mountain, the culmination of the great interior mountain ranges, rising from the plain of the Mediterranean on the west and the Jordan and the Dead Sea on the east. Though the moon, which was full on the preceding Friday and now, two hours after sunset, is not yet risen, dropping their edibles, they run back with all expedition over the rugged rocks, arriving at Jerusalem in good time for the night meeting, whose thrilling and absorbing theme is the wonderful reports of the sisters and Peter, who assure them that they actually saw Him that morning. No wonder their hearts did burn along the way as Jesus walked with them, opening the Scriptures. O that He may ever walk with you and me, filling and thrilling us with the blessed Word, revealed to our hearts by His heavenly presence!
HE APPEARS TO THE TWELVE
1 Corinthians 15:5. How could that be when Judas was gone? You know Matthias, an old disciple, took the place of fallen Judas. Though he had not been elected at this date for you must remember we are still expounding the events of that wonderful Sabbath, forever immortalized and sanctified by the resurrection of our Lord yet he had been in his place and on duty long before the Pauline writing to the Corinthians, A. D. 57; i. e., twenty- four years subsequently to this date.
JESUS APPEARS TO THE APOSTLES SUNDAY NIGHT
Luke 24:36-49 ; John 20:19-23 . “ Then, it being evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors being shut where the disciples were assembled on account of the fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and says to them, Peace be unto you!” Soon after the arrival of the two disciples from Emmaus, who at once joined Peter and the sisters in their testimony to the resurrection, Jesus climaxes all and puts every doubt to flight by standing in their midst, ringing out His familiar salutation, “Peace be unto you.”
Luke: “ And being affrighted and terrified, they were thinking that they see a spirit.” Such is the heterogeneity between mortality and immortality that the sight of an angel or a disembodied spirit always fills mortals with trepidation. “ And He said to them, Why are you disturbed? and why do reasonings arise in your heart? Behold My hands and My feet, that I am He; handle Me, and see; because a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see Me having.” When Omnipotence comes to the solution of all difficulties, faith should have complete swing. Christ appeared to Nebuchadnezzar in the fiery furnace with the Hebrew children nearly six hundred years before His incarnation, and actually visited Abraham at Mamre and ate with him, 1900 B. C., in both cases exhibiting a physical body so far as human senses could apprehend. Hence e need not conclude from this Scripture that His glorification was postponed till His ascension, as the facts are rather preponderant in favor of the conclusion that He was glorified when He arose from the dead. During the forty days, we read of His appearing to them but eleven times:
1. To the women.
2. To Mary Magdalene, and doubtless other women.
3. To Peter.
4. To Cleopas and his comrade at Emmaus.
5. To the twelve apostles.
6. On Sunday night, to the apostles and saints in their meeting.
7. On the Monday night a week following.
8. At the Sea of Galilee.
9. To the apostles and five hundred brethren in a Galilean mountain.
10. To James.
11. To all the apostles.
We are assured that He never lodged with them, and did not habitually eat with them after the resurrection; doubtless spending the nights and, so far as the record extends, at least nine-tenths of the day-time, in heaven.
Doubtless we have in the life of our Lord during these forty days a beautiful photograph of His millennial reign, when He will doubtless appear and disappear, ever and anon, in different parts of the world, and, I trow, much of the time will be absent in heaven. In a similar manner, the transfigured saints, who shall rule the world as the subordinates of Christ, since they will no longer need mortal food nor sleep, will ever and anon appear at their posts of duty during the day, disappearing ad libitum, and spending the night in heaven.
“ And they, still disbelieving and wondering from joy, He said to them, Have you here any food? And they gave Him a piece of baked fish; and taking it, He ate in their presence.” You see here the terrible struggle of their faith to apprehend and appropriate clearly and unequivocally the grand and paradoxical fact of His resurrection from the dead, and at the same time the conflict of overwhelming joy, inundating them with transporting rapture, thus the excitement antagonizing the necessary deliberation for faith to appropriate the glorious reality. This appeal to their senses by eating in their presence, we are to regard as a miracle for their conviction and the establishment of their faith, as we have no account of His eating except in this instance.
John 20:20 . “ Saying this, He showed them His hands and His side, and His disciples rejoiced, seeing the Lord.” These appeals to their physical senses do not prove anything physical on His part, as you see He did the same to Abraham and Nebuchadnezzar, and even on a grander scale, long before His incarnation. We must not get so critical as to lay embargoes on Omnipotence.
Luke 24:44-45 : “ And He said to them, These are My words which I spoke to you, being yet with you, That it behooveth all things which have been written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms, concerning Me, to be fulfilled. Then He opened their mind, that they might understand the Scriptures.” Lord, help us to learn the indisputable fact that if Thou dost not open our minds, we will never understand the Scriptures. Preachers study till their heads are gray, and know so little about the Scriptures that an illiterate, sanctified Ethiopian would be an exceedingly profitable teacher. We must learn how to sit meek and lowly, like little children, at the feet of Jesus, trusting Him to open our minds, so we can understand His precious Word. The carnal wisdom of colleges will never reach the emergency.
“ And He said to them, that it has been thus written that Christ is to suffer, and rise from the dead on the third day; and that repentance unto the remission of sins is to be preached among all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” We here have the commission of our Lord, as given by Luke, in which repentance is the salient grace conducive to the remission of sins. The E. V. here omits eis, “unto,” much to the weakening of this wonderful passage, which Luke, in his Acts of the Apostles 2:38, parallels, “ Repent, and be baptized unto the remission of your sins;” the baptism being ceremonial and symbolic of the spiritual realities revealed in these two passages, in both of which Luke formulates repentance the condition and antecedent of remission, in the one, Peter, on the day of Pentecost, using the verb; while here, in the commission, our Lord uses the noun, and commands His apostles and their successors to preach it to all nations; i. e., “repentance unto remission of sins.” This is in perfect harmony with Paul’s commission (Acts 18:26), in which he offers remission of sins and sanctification through faith alone. These two commissions are in perfect harmony, as repentance breaks off the yoke of Satan, and faith receives that of Christ, these two fundamental graces constituting the positive and negative poles of the salvation battery, the one always including the other.
“ You are witnesses of these things. And I send upon you the promise of the Father; and you abide in the city until you may be endued with dynamite from on high.” There are two Greek words prominently used and translated “power.” Here rite word is dunamis, Anglicized “dynamite.” This is certainly very significant of the wonderful blessing they received at Pentecost; i. e., the dynamite of heaven, which blows all inbred sin out of us. How dares any Church to send out a preacher before he has complied with this great commandment of the Infallible! You see plainly that our Lord provides for the sanctification of all his preachers before they go out to battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The only reason why we have not conquered the world long ago, and brought back the Lord in his millennial victory and glory to transform the world into a paradise, is because of the departure from the Divine order, preachers and elders having the audacity to take the management of the Church into their own hands and run it to suit themselves, actually treating with contempt the positive and unequivocal commandment of our Savior requiring every preacher, in prayer and humiliation, to await the heavenly enduement of Pentecostal dynamite; i. e., the baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.
John 20:21-22 . “ Then Jesus said to them again, Peace be unto you; as the Father hath sent Me, I also send you.” O the transcendent honor and the momentous responsibility of going in the room of Jesus, by Him invested and endued, as He was by His Father when He came on the earth, preaching the everlasting gospel! “ Saying this, He breathed on them, and says to them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” We must not conclude that people do not receive the Holy Ghost in the regenerated experience. They do receive Him in a measure; while in sanctification He comes in His fullness to abide in the heart. You must remember that these apostles had all stumbled during that dark period from the Gethsemane midnight till the resurrection morn. He said to them, “You will all be offended in Me this night.” They were offended i. e., stumbled actually giving up their faith in His Christhood, and simply believed on Him as the greatest prophet the world had seen. Hence they needed the enduement of the Holy Ghost to restore and reestablish them in the faith of His Christhood.
“ Whosesoever sins you may remit, are remitted unto them; whosesoever sins you may retain, have been retained.” This passage has, by the Romanists, been pressed far into ritualism and priestcraft. The apostles and their successors, as He here says, were invested with the gospel commission to preach and work for Jesus till He returns in His glory. The Word is our authority. Hence, in the application of God’s revealed truth, there is a sense in which the called and sent minister, as the substitute and subordinate of Christ, does remit or retain sins. It is the key-power (Matthew 16:0) which Jesus committed to Peter and all the apostles, and to their successors to the end of time.
Luke 24:50-53 . “ And He led them out even unto Bethany, and lifting up His hands, He blessed them. And it came to pass, while He was blessing them, He departed from them, and was borne up into heaven.” His eleventh and last appearing was in Jerusalem, where He began His ministry and sealed it with His blood. You see that His ascension took place during His final benediction, while, with uplifted hands, pronouncing blessings on them, they saw Him rise up from the earth, ascending perpendicularly toward the apex of the blue dome of the firmament, eventually passing into a cloud of unutterable whiteness and splendor, and thus disappeared from their vision.
“And saying these things, they gazing on Him, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him from their eyes. And while they were gazing up into heaven, He ascending, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who truly said, Ye Galilean men, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? The same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come, in the manner in which you saw Him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-12.)
These angels are called men by way of accommodation to human senses, because they had the form of men, though invested in apparel whiter than the snow and brighter than the light. Their testimony is unmistakable, assuring the disciples that the very same Jesus is coming back, and in the same manner that the glorified Man Jesus ascended. So rest assured the very same glorified human body will come back. He went up amid clouds of unutterable splendor, whiteness, beauty, grandeur, sublimity, and glory, accompanied by the angels. So, rest assured, He will return amid the clouds of His glory, accompanied by mighty hosts of angels. If you are not expecting the very same glorified Man Jesus who went up to come back, get on your knees, and ask God to forgive your unbelief, and give you grace to believe His precious Word; not because it suits your creed or your opinion, but for the simple reason that it is the Word of God, by which you are saved, sanctified, and will be judged in the last day.
“ Then they returned into Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, having a Sabbath-day ’ s journey.” Luke 24:52 : “ And they, worshipping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were constantly in the temple, praising and blessing God.” On the summit of Mount Olivet there is a church-edifice claiming to occupy the spot from which He ascended. There is also a stone tower, two hundred feet high, erected for the accommodation of pilgrims who desire to follow their Lord in His upward flight as far as possible. During both of my tours, I climbed it to its pinnacle.
You see in the above Scriptures that He led them out to Bethany, which is on the southeastern slope of Mount Olivet, and nearly a mile from the summit. However, a spur of the mountain runs down that way, jutting out over the village. The town was much larger in the days of Christ than now, and doubtless a portion of it was built on that mountain spur. Following the inspired history, stating that He led them to Bethany and ascended from Mount Olivet, I believe the above mentioned spur, hanging over the present village, to be the spot whence He ascended, rather than the summit of the mountain, which is pointed out to pilgrims as the place where the feet of our Lord last rested upon the earth. As Mount Olivet extends down to the bottom of the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which is very near the city i. e., under the wall the statement, “A Sabbath-day’s journey,” favors the conclusion of the more remote site of the ascension; i. e., at Bethany, which is one and seven-eighths miles, and just about the distance recognized as admissible for a Jew to travel on the Sabbath without desecrating it.
As to the statement of the disciples being “constantly in the temple, praising and blessing God,” you must remember that the Holy Campus, containing thirty-five acres of ground, with many great and valuable buildings besides the temple proper, and a vast open area for the congregating multitudes of Israel, was all designated “the temple.” Every Jew enjoyed free access to these holy grounds and many of the buildings, while the temple proper was used only by the priests.
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Godbey, William. "Commentary on Luke 24". "Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fifth Week after Epiphany