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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 26

International Critical Commentary NTInternational Critical

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Verses 1-99

26:1-5. From Mark 14:1, Mark 14:2.


(E) 1. And it came to pass, when Jesus finished all these words, that He said to His disciples.] for the formula, cf. 7:28, 11:11, 13:53, 19:1. Here it is an editorial link, enabling the editor to resume Mk.’s narrative, which he abandoned at 24:42.—πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους] i.e. the whole discourse, 24-25.

(M) 2. You know that after two days cometh the Passover, and the Son of Man is delivered up to be crucified.] Mk. has: “And the Passover and the Unleavened Bread was after two days.” The verse is a difficult one. The Passover was on the 14th of the month, and the Unleavened Bread followed on the 15th, lasting till the 21st. It is difficult, therefore, to understand how both feasts could be said to be “after two days.” The copyists in Mk. found the combination difficult. D a omit καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα. S3 and k have Pascha Azymorum.1 Mt. omits καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα as incorrect, because if the Passover was after two days, the Unleavened Bread was after three; and as unnecessary. Moreover, “after two days”is difficult. It is generally supposed to mean on the morrow. But although “after three days” seems to be equivalent to “on the third day,” it is doubtful whether any Jew would have used “after two days” as meaning on the morrow, any more than he would have said “after one day” if he meant “to-day.” It is possible that behind μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας lies the Aramaic בתר יומין, meaning “after a time,” the תר being misread as תרין = two. Dalman, Gram.2 p. 215, quotes for בתר יומין Pea 20a, Vay. R. 10, and for לבתר יומין vay. R. 23. We may therefore suppose that the original of Mk. ran: “And the Passover and the Unleavened Bread was after some days,”i.e. was drawing near. Lk. (22:1) has seen that this must be the meaning. Mt., by adding καὶ ὁ υἱός, κ.τ.λ. emphasises the fact that the Lord foresaw His arrest at the moment that the authorities were plotting it.—εἰς τὸ σταυρωθῆναι] Cf. 20:19.

(E) 3. Then were gathered together the chief priests and the elders of the people into the palace of the high priest, who was named Caiaphas.] The verse is not in Mk. But in the next verse he speaks of “the chief priests and the scribes.” Mt. substitutes for the latter “the elders of the people,” as being a more forcible element in the Sanhedrin.

(M) 4. And counselled one another that they should seize Jesus by craft, and kill Him.] Mk. has: “And sought how they might seize Him by craft, and kill Him.”—συνεβουλεύσαντο] reciprocal middle; cf. Moulton, p. 157.

(M) 5. And they said, Not during the feast, in order that there may not he a tumult amongst the people.] Mk. has: “For they said, Not during the feast, lest there be a tumult of the people,” thus laying greater emphasis on ἐν δόλῳ.—ἵνα μὴ—γένηται] for Mk.’s μή ποτε ἔσται, on which see Blass, p. 213; also Gould, in loc.


6-13. From Mark 14:3-9.


(M) 6. And when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper.] Mk. has: “And when He was,” etc.—τοῦ δὲ—γενομένου] a correction of καὶ ὄντος; cf. in 26:69 ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἐκάθητο, a similar correction of Mk.’s καὶ ὄντος τοῦ Πέτρου. Mk. adds: “as He sat at, meat,” which Mt. omits here, and transfers to the next verse.

(M) 7. There came to Him a woman having an alabaster vase of precious ointment.] Mk. has: “There came a woman having an alabaster vase of ointment, costly spikenard.” And poured it over His head as He sat at meat.] Mk. has: “She brake the alabaster vase, and poured it on His head.”—προσῆλθεν for Mk.’s ἦλθεν. For the word as characteristic of Mt., see on 4:3. Mt. omits the explanatory νάρδου πιστικῆς; cf. Introduction, p. xxv.—βαρυτίμοὒ for Mk.’s πολυτελοῦς. For βαπύτιμος in this sense, cf. Strabo, 798. Mt. omits the breaking of the vase.—κατέχεεν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς] Mk. has the common post-Homeric construction, with the simple gen.—ἀνακειμένου] for Mk.’s κατακειμένου; cf. a similar change to 9:10. Mar_4 times has κατακεῖσθαι; Mt. avoids it in each case. For “alabaster,” see Hastings, DCG. i. p. 41.


(M) 8. And the disciples saw it, and were vexed, saying, Why this destruction?] Mk. has: “And some were being vexed among themselves. Why was this destruction of the ointment?”

(M) 9. For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.] Mk. has: “For this ointment might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and given to the poor. And they were indignant with her.” For Mt.’s shortening, cf. Introduction, p. xxiv.

(M) 10. And Jesus perceived it, and said, Why do you trouble the woman ? for she did a good deed for Me.] Mk. has: “And Jesus said, Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? A good deed she did in Me.” Mt. inserts γνούς; cf. a similar insertion in 12:15. He omits ἄφετε αὐτήν as implied in the next clause; cf. Introduction, p. xxv.—εἰς ἐμέ] for Mk.’s ἐν ἐμοί, For ἐν, cf. ἐν αὐτῷ, Matthew 17:12, where Mk. has the simple dative.


(M) 11. For always you have the poor with you, but Me you have not always.] Mk. adds after “with you”: “And whensoever ye wish, you can always do well to them.” Mt. omits as redundant.

(M) 12. For in having cast this ointment upon My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial.] Mk. has: “What she could she did. She anointed My body beforehand, with a view to preparation for burial.”—ἐνταφιάζειν] late and uncommon; cf. Genesis 50:2; Plut. De Esu. Carnium, i. 995 C; Test. XII. Patr. Jud. 26.


(M) 13. Verily I say to you, wheresoever this gospel is preached in all the world, there shall be told also what she did, for a memorial of her.] Mk. has: “And verily I say to you, Wheresoever this gospel is preached into all the world, also what she did shall be told for a memorial of her.”—ἐν] Mk has εἰς; cf. a similar change in 24:14.

7. βαρυτίμου] B al S1.—πολυτίμου] א A D al.


14-16. From Mark 14:10-11.


(M) 14. Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests.] Mk. has: “And Judas Iscarioth, the one of the twelve, went away to the chief priests.”—τότε] cf. on 2:7.—εἷς] is here equivalent to τις; cf. on 8:18. Mk.’s ὁ εἱς is paralleled in early papyri; cf. Moulton, p. 97.—Ἰσκαριώτης] cf. on 10:4.

(M) 15. And said, What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you ?] Mk. has simply: “In order that he might deliver Him to them.”

And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver.] Mk. has: “And they promised to give him silver.” Mt. alters, with a view to 27:9, where he quotes Zechariah 11:13. In the preceding verse, Zechariah 11:12, occur the words, ἔστησαν τὸν μισθόν μου τριάκοντα�


(M) 16. And from that time he was seeking a favourable opportunity that he might deliver Him.] Mk. has: “And he was seeking how he might favourably deliver Him.”—εὐκαιρίαν] = “opportunity.” Cicero, Ad Att. xvi.82; Plat. Phædr. 272 A; Ox. Pap. i. 123. 3 (third or fourth century a.d.).

14-16. Mt. and Lk. agree in the following:

Ἰσκαριώτης, Mat_14 = Ἰσκαριώτην, Luk_3; Ἰσκαριώθ, Mar_10.


ἐζήτει εὐκαιρίαν, Mat_16, Luk_6.



17-35. From Mark 14:12-31.


(M) 17. And on the first day of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover ?] Mk. has: “And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they were sacrificing the Passover, His disciples say to Him, Where will Thou that we go and prepare that Thou mayest eat the Passover?” The verse is chronologically difficult. The first day of Unleavened Bread followed the Passover day. And even if we admit that the name Unleavened Bread was popularly given to the whole eight days1 (cf. Jos. Ant. ii. 317: “a feast for eight days which is called the feast of Unleavened Bread”), the Passover day after 3 o’clock (when they were sacrificing the Passover) seems too late for the disciples to begin their preparation. It is more natural that this should have been completed on the day before. It is therefore probable that the text of Mk. rests upon an Aramaic original, which has been misunderstood by Mk. The original probably referred to a point of time prior to the Passover. It may have run, “And before the feast of Unleavened Bread.” If so, Mk. misunderstood “before” as meaning “on the first day,” and has still further confused matters by identifying this “first day” with the Passover day, adding, “When they were sacrificing the Passover.” He feels that the supper recorded in vv. 17ff could not have taken place after the Passover day. Having got from his original “on the first day of Unleavened Bread,” he is therefore obliged to identify this with the Passover day, and represent the meal as a Passover meal. In his source it was probably a meal two days before the Passover, after the necessary preparation had been made for the Passover meal on the 14th. Mt. and Lk. adopt without question the confused reckoning of Mk. and his identification of the meal with the Passover meal. Mt. omits ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον, either because the clause seemed unnecessary be cause implied in what follows, or perhaps to avoid the harsh juxtaposition of the first day of Unleavened Bread and the Passover.

προσῆλθον—λέγοντες] cf. on 8:3.—θέλεις ἑτοιμάσωμεν] cf. Luke 9:54, and Moulton, p. 185.


(M) 18. And He said, Go into the city to such a man, and say, The teacher saith, My time is at hand; I celebrate at thy house the Passover with My disciples.] Mk. has: “And He sendeth two of His disciples, and saith to them, Go into the city, and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he shall enter in, say to the master of the house that the teacher saith, Where is My chamber, where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” Mt. avoids questions in the mouth of the Lord (cf. Introduction, p. xxxii), and therefore omits ποῦ ἐστὶν τὸ κατάλυμά μου. He avoids also the obscure reference to the man with the pitcher, the ambiguity of which is probably due to the fact that the Lord had an understanding with one of His adherents in the city, which enabled Him to throw an atmosphere of secrecy over His movements. He ostensibly arranged to keep the Passover meal on the 14th, whilst He purposed to eat a substitute for it on the evening of His message. In this way He safeguarded Himself from arrest during that last evening meal, since even if the place of meeting had been known outside the circle of the Twelve, no one, not excluding the Twelve, could have suspected that He would be found there till the evening of the 14th.

ὁ καιρός μου ἐγγύς ἐστιν] The words seem to be a previously arranged password. “Prepare the Passover meal; but for to-day, not to-morrow: for My Passover must be eaten to-night.” Mk. adds here: “And He will show you a large upper room furnished (and) ready: there make ready for us.” Mt. omits.

(M) 19. And the disciples did as Jesus appointed them, and prepared the Passover.] Mk. has: “And the disciples went out, and came into the city, and found as He said to them: and made ready the Passover.”

17-19. Mt. and Lk. agree against Mark in ὁ δὲ εῖπεν, Mat_18, Luk_10 for καὶ λέγει, Mar_12; and in δἐ, Mat_17, Luk_7 for Mk.’s καἷ


Note on the dates in Mar_14.

1.Mark 14:1 ἦν δὲ τὸ πάσχα καὶ τὰ ἄζυμα μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας, κ.τ.λ. According to the usual interpretation, the authorities are here represented as plotting on Wednesday the 13th to arrest the Christ and to put Him to death, but as deciding not to effect this ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ. Did they then propose to postpone His capture until after the Feast of Unleavened Bread? If so, why did they arrest Him on the Thursday evening, the 14th-15th, and cause Him to be put to death on the 15th, i.e. ἐν τῇ ἐορτῇ, contrary to their intention?

It is clear that something is wrong with the text, for τὸ πάσχα and τὰ ἄζυμα are not coincident, but successive periods. Both could not happen μετὰ δύο ἠμέρας Moreover, μετὰ δύο ἠμέρας is itself obscure. It is argued that μετὰ τρεῖς ἠμέρας is equivalent to τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ = “on the day after to-morrow,” cf. 16:21; but the analogy of this usage does not justify μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας in the sense of “on the morrow.” Greek and Aramaic alike used other expressions to denote this. We are therefore led by the general intention of the narrative to suppose that the authorities planned the arrest some days before the feast, and proposed to effect it before the feast. This is confirmed by the light thrown upon the following narrative, Mark 14:3-9, by John 12:1, where it is said that the feast at Bethany took place six days before the Passover. This would date the determination of the Sanhedrin in Mark 14:1 as six days or more before Passover.

2.Mark 14:12 καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν�

3.Mark 14:17 καὶ ὀψίας γενομένης ἔρχεται, Κ.Τ.λ. In the belief of the editor of the second Gospel this was the Passover meal eaten on the evening of the 14th. But this identification introduces confusion into the whole of the surrounding narrative. For (a) the authorities had decided against arrest ἐν τῇ ἐορτῇ. (b) Simon would not be “coming from work” (15:20) cf. B. Berakhoth 4b, nor would Joseph have bought a linen cloth on a feast day (15:46), nor would one of the disciples carry arms on such a day (14:47).

If, now, we put aside the chronological notices in Mk., the general tenor of the narrative is clear. In 14:1, 2 the authorities decide to arrest Christ before the Feast, i.e. before the Passover. The meal of Mark 14:3-9 took place, as the writer of the Fourth Gospel states, six days before the Passover. On or soon after the day of this feast, Judas arranged with the authorities to effect Christ’s arrest, Mark 14:10-11.

The Passover, the 14th, fell on the Sabbath. Two days before, i.e. on Thursday the 12th, Christ bade His disciples make the necessary preparations for the Passover meal, Mark 14:12-16. That same evening He sat down with His disciples at a meal in which He anticipated the Passover by two days, and instituted the Holy Communion, Mark 14:17-25. That evening He was arrested in the garden, and after trial before the Sanhedrin on the following morning (Friday the 13th), was condemned by Pilate and crucified. He was buried the same day at evening (Mark 14:42).


Thus, as the authorities had decided, His execution took place before the Feast, i.e. on the 13th, and the notices that Simon was “coming from work,” that one of the disciples was armed, and that Joseph bought a linen garment, are in harmony with the rest of the narrative, since the days on which these things took place were not feast days. With this arrangement the writer of the Fourth Gospel is agreed. The last supper was “before the Passover,” i.e. two days before, on Thursday. The authorities would not enter into Pilate’s palace on the following morning, i.e. Friday the 13th, because their purification in readiness for the Passover on the following day (Saturday the 14th) would have been rendered null1 (18:28). The crucifixion took place on the eve of the Passover (19:14; cf. the same statement, B. Sanh 43a, Ev. Pet 3), which was also the eve of the Sabbath (19:31, 42, cf. Das Leben Jesu; Krauss, p. 56: “The Passover fell in that year on a Sabbath.”

It is therefore clear that Mark 14:12, which seems to identify the first day of Unleavened Bread with the Passover day, and which suggests the identification of the last supper with the Passover meal, must be corrupt. The primary corruption no doubt lies in the words τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν�Mark 14:1, ὄτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον from Mark 14:14, ἐρχόμενον�Mark 15:20, and�Mark 15:46.


Chwolson in his note, Ueber Das Datum im Evangelium Matthäi, xxvi. 17,2 suggests that the original of Matthew ran ביומא מקמא פמיריא =“in the days before the feast of Unleavened Bread”; that the first מ‍ of מקמא was omitted, and the sentence translated as though it were בּיומָא קמָא דפמיריא. But Mt. is dependent on Mk., and the error must be sought in Mk. Chwolson’s Aramaic phrase or some similar expression very probably lies behind Mk.’s τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ In any case, Chwolson is right in regarding this phrase as impossible, and in seeing that what is wanted is some phrase meaning, “Before the feast of Unleavened Bread.”

Chwolson in his extremely valuable treatise, Das Letzte Passamahl Christi, suggests that the Passover fell on a Friday and was transferred to Thursday, because on the Friday there would not have been time for the roasting of the lambs before the beginning of the Sabbath. He thinks that whilst the offering of the lambs was therefore necessarily antedated, there was a difference of opinion as to the eating of the Paschal meal. Some, including Christ, eat it on the Thursday, others preferred to eat it according to the Mosaic law on the Friday the 14th, though the killing had been transferred to the previous day on account of the proximity of the Sabbath.

But Chwolson’s investigations are concerned with the text of the first Gospel, and his suggestions leave unsolved the texts of Mk. and Lk. It is with Mk. that any attempted solution must begin. If we transfer Chwolson’s emendation to Mark 14:12, we may gladly admit that this writer is excellent authority for justifying us in substituting “Before the feast of Unleavened Bread” for τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν�Mark 14:12a is so certainly corrupt that no inference ought to be drawn from it as to the chronology of the succeeding narrative. And, apart from it, nothing is more clear than that the crucifixion of Christ did not take place on the 15th, from which it follows that the meal of vv. 17-25 was not the Passover meal of the 14th. But then what was it? Do not the disciples say, Where shall we make ready the Passover? And did not Christ bid them go and prepare it? But there is really no difficulty about the matter if we read vv. 12-16 in the light of the previous narrative. The Sanhedrin had decided on the removal of Christ before the feast, and had covenanted with Judas to arrange for His arrest at a convenient opportunity. Of all this Christ was aware. He knew that before the killing of the lambs in the Temple on the evening of the 14th, He himself would have fallen a prey to the plots of His enemies. And yet He proposed to eat the Passover meal with His disciples. Not, however, the technical Passover meal of the 14th, but a meal which should serve as such. Hence the mystery of vv. 12-16. Preparation for the Passover meal of the 14th had to be made early. In this case the disciples seem to have thought it well to begin on Thursday the 12th. They went, we read, and prepared the Passover. Not, of course, the lamb. That could only be offered in the Temple on the 14th, and then brought to the room afterwards. But they made other preparations, saw to it that the room was properly equipped, and perhaps purchased the necessary accessories of the feast. It may be thought that ἠτοίμασαν τὸ πάσχα must mean more than this, and include the actual preparation of the lamb itself, and so point to the 14th. But, in the first place, the phrase is due to the writer who has written v. 12a, who believed that the meal thus prepared was the technical Passover meal. The original may well have meant nothing more than “prepared for the Passover.” And, on the other hand, it is very unlikely that the two messengers should have acted as representatives of the whole body in the solemn service of the slaughter of the lamb in the Temple on the 14th. Preparation by two delegates could only be preparation of subordinate details, not the actual sacrifice of the lamb itself. But why the mystery about the place of the meal? No doubt because, in view of the danger of arrest, Christ wished to keep His movements secret. He had arranged with some one that a room should be ready. There He sent His disciples to make preparations as though for the Passover meal of the 14th. Then the material and place for a meal having been secured, He came suddenly on that same evening of the 12th and sat down with His disciples, secure at least for a time from arrest, for He had the betrayer in His company. It was not the technical Passover meal, but for Him and for His disciples it would serve as such. There was indeed no lamb. But there was bread symbolising Christ’s body, and that sufficed.


(M) 20. And when it was evening, He sat down with the twelve disciples.] Mk. has: “And when it was evening, He cometh with the twelve. And as they were sitting.”—ὀψίας δέ] for καὶ ὀψίας, as often.—ἀνέκειτο] for ἔρχεται—καὶ�

(M) 22. And being very grieved, they began to say to Him each one, Is it I, Lord ?] Mk. has: “They began to be grieved, and to say to Him one by one, Is it I ?”—καί] Mt. avoids Mk.’s asyndeton.—σφόδρα] is characteristic of Mt., see on 2:10.—εἷς ἔκαστος] see Blass, p. 179, for Mk.’s harsher εἷς κατὰ εἷς which occurs in John 8:9.


(M) 23. And He answered and said, He who dipped with Me his hand in the dish, he shall deliver Me up.] Mk. has: “And He said to them, One of the Twelve. He who dippeth with Me into the dish.” “One of the Twelve” reaffirms the treachery of the act. and ὁ ἐμβαπτόμενος, κ.τ.λ., is equivalent to ὁ ἐσθίων μετʼ ἐμοῦ. Not only one of the Twelve, but also a partaker in a common meal. The clause in Mk. does not give any clue to the individuality of the traitor, for probably all dipped into the dish, but only emphasises his treachery. Mt. in substituting ὁ ἐμβάψας—τὴν χεῖρα, and adding οὗτός με παραδώσει, may have understood the words to be a direct clue to the betrayer’s personality. Hastings. DCG. i. p. 464.

(M) 24. The Son of Man indeed goeth as it stands written about Him: but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is delivered up! good were it for him if that man had not been born.] Mk. has the same with ὄτι at the beginning and no ἦν after καλόν. “Mt. improves the Greek by adding ἦν, ” Moulton, p. 200.

The sentence is very Semitic in construction and idea. For ὑπάγειν = goes on his destined path, goes to his fate, dies, see Schlatter on John 7:33. For καθὼς γέγραπται, see Bacher, Exeget. Term. I. 88, II. 91. The solemn repetition of ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος and the αὐτῷ—ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος is also Semitic. The whole verse could be literally translated into Hebrew or Aramaic; cf. B. Chag. 11b “It were better for him if he had not come into the world,” Enoch 38:2 “It had been good for them if they had not been born.”

(E) 25. And Judas, who delivered Him up, answered and said. Is it I, Rabbi? He saith to him, Thou hast said.] The verse is not in Mk. Mt., who has understood ὁ ἐμβαπτόμενος as marking out the traitor in an indirect way, adds here a clause to make his identity still clearer.—σὺ εἶπας] For the tense. see Moulton, p. 140. The clause is an evasive or ambiguous affirmative, and is quite in the Semitic manner. For Rabbinic parallels. see Dalm. Words, 309 ff. But cf. Chwolsen, Das Letzte Passamahl, p. 88, who denies that it is a Rabbinic formula of affirmation. So also Merx, in loc.: “Du hast es gesagt ist keine rabbinische Formel.” But the passages quoted by Dalman seem sufficient to show that “thou hast said” is in harmony with the Jewish spirit. where an indirect affirmation is required. In the present instance it is needless to ask whether it can or cannot express a direct affirmative. because such a direct affirmative would mar the spirit of the whole narrative, as Mt. has well understood. Christ had stated the terrible fact that one of His chosen friends. who was at that very moment sharing with him in a common meal. would betray Him into the hands of His enemies. They answer Him in indignant words which are half-interrogative, half-negative, It is not I? And Judas amongst the others put the same question. Now it is inconceivable that Christ should have answered him with a simple affirmative. Such a statement made publicly could only have provoked an outburst of fury against Judas, and perhaps for a time at least have frustrated his purpose. If intended only for the ear of Judas, it was the sort of thing which could not have been said under the circumstances. It would only have led to angry denial. What was required was just what σὺ εἶπας expresses, an ambiguous affirmative, suggesting to the traitor himself the certainty that his treachery was known; to others, if they overheard it, a half uncertainty as to what was meant, and leaving opportunity to Judas of withdrawing from his course of treachery before its absolute and final exposure. See Gould on Mark 14:20.


(M) 26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body.] Mk. has the same, omitting ὁ Ἰησοῦς and φάγετε: and with καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς καί for καὶ δοὺς τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ.—δέ] for καί, as often.—ἄρτον] א B C D S1; τὸν ἄρτον, A al.—εὐλογήσας] i.e.“uttered a form of thanksgiving.”—τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου] The ἐστιν is quite unemphatic, and in Aramaic would be unexpressed. “This is My body,” i.e. “this broken bread, of which you all eat, represents My body.” The inference that in some sense the disciples were to partake of Christ’s body is unexpressed, but is implicit in the words τοῦτο = “this broken loaf”; the neuter is due to attraction to τὸ σῶμα.

(M) 27. And He took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave (it) to them, saying, Drink ye all from it.] Mk. has: “And He took a cup, and gave thanks, and gave (it) to them, and they all drank from it.” Mt. assimilates ἕπιον to the imperative of the previous verse.—ποτὴριον] So א B E al S1; τὸ ποτήριον, A C D al. The article here and before ἄρτον in v. 26 has probably been added to signify the Eucharistic bread and cup.

(M) 28. For this is My blood of the covenant, which is being shed for many unto remission of sins.] Mk. has: “And He said to them, This is My blood of the covenant, which is being shed on behalf of many.”—τοῦτο] = this wine.—τὸ αἶμά μου τῆς διαθήκης] This wine represents My blood, i.e. My covenant blood, i.e. My blood shed to ratify a covenant. Nothing is said in Mk. to define the nature of the covenant, except that the blood was being shed on behalf of many, i.e. to give them a right to the privileges of the covenant. The covenant might be regarded as a covenant between Christ and the many, or, more naturally, between God and the many. Mt., by adding εἰς ἅφεσιν�Exodus 24:8.—τῆς διαθήκης]So א B L Z; τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης, A C D al; τὸ τῆς καινῆς διαθήκης, A C al S1 has: “My blood, the new covenant.”

(M) 29. And I say to you, I will not drink from now of this fruit of the vine urtil that day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of My Father.] Mk. has: “Verily I say to you, that I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” The words are striking and unexpected. They seem to be a solemn farewell. But instead of a promise of a future return, we have this allusion to the joys of the Messianic kingdom. For the banquet as symbol of that joy, cf. on 8:11, and add Enoch 62:14 “With that Son of Man will they eat and lie down, and rise up for ever and ever,” where, however, the picture is hardly so much that of a banquet as of perpetual fellowship.—οὐ μή] cf. Moulton, 187 ff.—γένημα] from γίνεσθαι as opposed to γέννημα from γεννάω. Cf. Deissm. Bible Studies, p. 184.—γένημα τῆς�Luke 22:30. But in the Messianic kingdom all things will be new; cf. Isaiah 43:18, Revelation 21:5.—ἀπʼ ἂρτι] is not in Mk. Lk. also adds�


(M) 30. And they sang a hymn, and went out to the Mount of Olives.] So Mk.

(M) 31. Then saith Jesus to them, All ye shall be made to stumble in Me on this night; for it stands written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered.] Mk. has: “And Jesus saith to them, that all ye shall be made to stumble: because it stands written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.”—τότε] see on 2:7. Mt., as often, omits Mk.’s ὄτι.—σκανδαλισθήσεσθε] see on v. 29. Mt. adds ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐν τῃ νυκτὶ ταύτῃ to make the point of the following quotation explicit.—πατάξω, κ.τ.λ.] The quotation is from Zechariah 13:7.—πατάξω] LXX. and Heb. have the imperative.—τὸν ποιμένα] so Heb. and LXX. אc a c b A Q Γ.—καὶ διασκορπισθήσονται τὰ πρόβατα] so Heb., LXX., A Q. Mk. transposes subject and verb.—τῆς ποίμνης] not in Heb., but so LXX. A. Since Mt. does not elsewhere ad extraneous words to Mk.’s quotations, and does add words which are found in the LXX. (cf. 19:5, where he adds καὶ (προς)κολληθήσεται τῇ γυναικί: 22:32, where he adds εἰμί), it is more probable that he here adds τῆς ποίμνης because he found it in a LXX. text, than that LXX. A should have been assimilated to the Gospel. The order καὶ διασκ. τὰ πρόβατα is another assimilation to the LXX.


(M) 32. But after I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.] So Mk., with�

36-56. From Mark 14:32-50.


(M) 36. Then Jesus cometh with them to an estate called Gethsemanei, and saith to the disciples, Sit here until I have gone away yonder and prayed.] Mk. has: “And they come to an estate of which the name (was) Gethsemanei, and He saith to His disciples, Sit here until I have prayed.”—τότε] see on 2:7.—ἔρχεται] Mt., against his custom, retains the historic present.—Γεθσημανεὶ] = “oil-press”; cf. Dalm. Gram.2 p. 191.—αὐτοῦ] for Mk.’s ὧδε, on which see Blass, p. 58.—ἕως οὗ] = “until,” Blass, p. 272.1

(M) 37. And He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distracted.] Mk. has: “And He taketh Peter and James and John with Him, and began to be amazed and distracted.”—παραλαβών] Mt. avoids, as usual, the historic present.—λυπεῖσθαι] a softer word than Mk.’s strong ἐκθαμβεῖσθαι; cf. Introduction, p. xxxi. Mt., however, retains the striking�Philippians 2:26, Gould and Swete on Mk. Lk. omits the whole clause.—ἀδημονεῖν] occurs in Ox. Pap. ii. 298, 45, first century a.d. λίαν�

(M) 38. Then He saith to them, My soul is very grieved unto death; stay here and watch with Me.] Mk. has the same, without “with Me,” and with καί for τότε, on which see 2:7.—ἕως θανάτου] Cf. Jonah 4:9, Ecclus 51:8. For ψυχή of the human soul of Christ, cf. John 12:27. Lk. omits the whole clause. See on Luke 22:42.


(M) 39. And He went forward a little, and fell on His face, praying, and saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; but not as I will, but as Thou (willest).] Mk. has: “And He went forward a little, and fell (imp.) (on His face, D al curss S1 k) upon the ground, and was praying that, if it were (ἐστίν) possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, Abba Father, all things are possible to Thee. Take this cup from Me. But not what I will, but what Thou (willest).” k omits�

(M) 41. Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak.] So Mk., with ἔλθητε1 for εἰσέλθητε; cf. Introduction, p. xxvi. Lk. also has εἰσέλθητε.—εἰς πειρασμόν] cf. 6:13. The words seem to be suggested by Christ’s own experience. He, too, had entered into “temptation,” v. 36. See Gould on Mark 14:38.


(M) 42. Again a second time He went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass, except I drink it, Thy will be done.] Mk. has: “And again He went away, and prayed, saying the same word” The prayer added in Mt. expresses more strongly than v. 39 the submission of Christ to the Father’s will.—γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου] cf. 6:10.

(M) 43. And He came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were weighed down.] Mk. has: “And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were being weighed down. And they knew not what to answer Him.”—βεβαρημένοι] Sc. ὕπνῳ, cf. Hom. Od. iii. 139, οἴνῳ βεβαρηότες. Mk. has καταβαρυνόμενοι. For Mt.’s omission of καὶ οὐκ ᾔδεισαν, κ.τ.λ., cf. similar omissions from Mark 6:52, Mark 9:6, and Introduction, p. xxxiii f.


(M) 44. And He left them again, and went away, and prayed the third time, saying the same word again.] Mk. has no corresponding third withdrawal, but in v. 41 presupposes one in the words, “and He cometh the third time.” Mt. fills the lacuna by slightly enlarging Mk v. 39. For�

(M) 51. And, behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched forth his hand, and drew his sword, and smote the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.] Mk. has: “And one of those who stood by drew his sword, and struck the servant of the high priest, and struck off his ear.”—ἰδού] See on 1:20.—εἷς] Mk. has εἶς δέ τις, on which see Blass, p. 144.—τῶν μετὰ Ἰησοῦ] for Mk.’s vaguer τῶν παρεστηκότων.—πατάξας] Mk. has ἔπαισεν, cf. Matthew 26:68. Lk. also has ἐπάταξε. See on Luke 22:50.


E 52-54. Mt. adds here three verses which have no parallel in Mk. or Lk.

Then saith Jesus to him, Return thy sword to its place: for all who take the sword shall perish with the sword. Or thinkest thou that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He shall now furnish Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must happen?]—τότε] See on 2:7.—πλείω] indecl. א* B D; see Moulton, p. 50.

The insertion seems intended to throw light upon the meaningless incident of Mk v. 47. This was an act which might have led to an attempt to prevent Christ’s arrest. But He Himself checked it. He did not desire the plans of His enemies to be thwarted.

(M) 55. In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, As against a robber did you come out with swords and staves to take Me ? Daily in the Temple I sat teaching, and you did not seize Me.] So Mk. with “daily I was with (πρός) you in the temple teaching” for “daily in the Temple I sat teaching.”—ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ] see on 8:13. For Mk.’s ἤμην πρὸς ὑμᾶς, see Abbott, Johannine Grammar, 2363a.

(M) 56. And all this has come to pass that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.] Mk. has simply: “But that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (you have arrested Me in this treacherous way).” Mt. supplies the ellipse by inserting the formula τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν (on which see Introduction, p. lxi), and so making an independent sentence.

(M) And all the disciples left Him, and fled.] Mk. has: “And they all left Him, and fled.” Mt. here omits Mk vv. 51-52; cf. Introduction, p. xviii.


57-75. From Mark 14:53-72.


(M) 57. And they seized Jesus, and led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.] Mk. has: “And they led Jesus away to the high priest. And there come together all the high priests and the elders and the scribes.”—οἱ δέ] δέ (also in Lk.) for καί, as often. —πρὸς τὸν�

(M) But afterwards two came, (61) and said, This man said, I can destroy the temple of God, and build (it, another) after an interval of three days.] Mk. has: “And certain rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, That we heard Him saying, That I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and will build after an interval of three days another made without hands. And not even so was their witness agreed.” The narrative in Mk. is not free from difficulty. The authorities sought false witnesses, two at least being necessary according to law, cf. Deuteronomy 19:15, but could not find them (55). For many offered witness, but two could not be found to agree (56). An example of the testimony offered by these discordant witnesses is given in 57-58. It seems to be a garbled version of words spoken by Christ, and was no doubt represented as a threat to destroy the Temple. But even these witnesses could not agree. The attempt, therefore, to produce the requisite number of witnesses failed, and it was necessary to find other grounds for condemning the accused. Mt., however, seems to have regarded Mk vv. 57-58 as at least part of the ostensible ground for condemnation. He therefore distinguishes between the witness here recorded and that of the previous false witnesses by introducing it with ὔστερον, “later,” and by inserting “two.” “At last the requisite agreement between the legal minimum number of witnesses was obtained.” Mt. seems to have interpreted the “Temple” of Mk 58 of the literal Temple, and adds τοῦ θεοῦ. At the same time he seems to have found difficulty in attributing to Christ even in the mouth of false witnesses a direct threat to destroy the Temple, and alters the words into an assertion that Christ had power to do so (δύναμαι καταλῦσαι), and to build another in three days. The insertion of δύο in v. 59 carries with it the omission of Mk v. 59, because the consent of two witnesses in the statement was sufficient to make it a ground of accusation.

διὰ τριῶν ἡμερῶν] cf. Mark 13:2 D. For διά =“after the lapse of an interval,” cf. Galatians 2:1. It seems to mean “during” in Acts 1:3, so Blass, p. 132. So perhaps here “within three days.” But see against this Abbott (Johannine Grammar, 2331c], who renders Acts 1:3 “after an interval of forty days.”


δύο] add ψευδομάρτυρες, A2 C D al latt. S1.

(M) 62. And the high priest rose up, and said to Him, Dost Thou answer nothing? what do these witness against Thee?] Mk. has: “And the high priest rose up into the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Dost Thou not answer anything? what do these witness against Thee?” Mt. omits Mk.’s οὐκ; see on 27:14.

(M) 63. And Jesus was silent.] Mk. has: “And He was silent, and answered nothing.” Mt. omits the last clause as redundant; cf. Introduction, p. xxv.

(M) And the high priest said to Him, I adjure Thee by the livin God, that Thou tell us if Thou art the Anointed, the Son of God?] Mk. has: “Again the high priest was asking Him, and saith to Him, Art Thou the Anointed, the Son of the Blessed?”—ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ] Mk. has ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ εὐλογητοῦ Since, according to Mk., the endeavour to procure the legal number of witnesses had failed, the high priest directly interrogates the accused. He was popularly regarded as one who claimed to be the Messiah, and had been greeted as such by the populace, Mark 11:9, Mark 11:10. It is very doubtful whether the high priests, the Sadducees, held any definite Messianic doctrine, but, no doubt, the Pharisees (cf. Ps.-Sol.) anticipated the coming of a Davidic “king”; and other conceptions of the Messiah were current, as, e.g., in the Apocalyptic literature. Wellhausen argues that the claim to be the Messiah could not, according to Jewish conceptions, have been regarded as a blasphemous claim. But quite apart from the exact meaning of the relationship of the Messiah to God, which is implied in such terms as “Son of God,” “Son of the Blessed,” the nature of the Messiah, as depicted in the literature of the period as of earthly and heavenly origin (cf. Volz, Jüd. Eschat. pp. 214 f.), is such that claims to be Messiah might quite well be regarded as blasphemous, if they were untrue. And the high priest, no doubt, knew quite well that the idea of Messiahship, as used of Himself by Christ, involved and implied the conception of heavenly origin (cf. Mark 12:37). Mk.’s τοῦ εὐλογητοῦ is an abbreviation of a common Rabbinical formula, and is no doubt original. Mt. changes into the Christian and universal τοῦ θεοῦ. “The Son of the Blessed” occurs in the Acta Pauli (Schmidt), p. 26, and “the Blessed,” p. 29.—ἵνα ἡμῖν εἴπῃς] Lk. also has εἰπὸν ἡμῖν.

(M) 64. Jesus saith to him, Thou saidst: but I say to you, Henceforth you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.] Mk. has: “And Jesus said, I am; and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”—σὺ εἶπας] Mk. has ἐγώ εἰμι. On σὺ εἶπας, see v. 25. The phrase implies a fine understanding of the circumstances of the scene. Christ was not “the Son of God” in any sense in which the words could be understood by the high priest, and a question such as that addressed to Christ, where questioner and questioned lived in a different atmosphere of thought, could not, nor ever can be, answered with a word. Yet the phrase is an implied affirmative. “Thou hast expressed in a phrase the inference which seems to follow from My teaching, and that inference is a half truth. But more is implied. From henceforth,” etc. The same evasive affirmative lies behind Luke 22:67 and John 18:37: “Thou sayest that I am a king. That is a right inference from My teaching; but the kingship which I claim is a kingship of spiritual supremacy.”—ἀπʼ ἄρτι] is difficult.1 It seems to be equivalent to “soon,” “hereafter.” “I am the Messiah, but the Messiah of the future, not of the present; you will understand when you shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.” Lk. also has�Daniel 7:13. See Gould on Mark 14:60.


(M) 65. Then the high priest rent his garments, saying, He has blassphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? lo, now ye have heard the blasphemy.] Mk. has: “And the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What further need have we of witnesses? ye have heard the blasphemy.”—τότε] see on 2:7.—τὰ ἱμάτια] a more ordinary word than Mk.’s τοὺς χιτῶνας. See DCG. i. p. 209.

(M) 66. What think ye ? And they answered and said, He is worthy of death.] Mk. has: “What seemeth it to you? And they all adjudged Him to be worthy of death.”

(M) 67, 68. Then they spat in His face, and buffeted Him; and some smote Him, saying, Prophesy to us, Thou Anointed One, Who is he who struck Thee ?] Mk. has: “And some began to spit upon Him, and to cover His face, and to buffet Him, and to say to Him, Prophesy. And the servants received Him with blows.”—τότε] see on 2:7.—ἐνέπτυσαν] Mt. frequently avoids Mk.’s ἤρξαντο. He telescopes Mk.’s ἐμπτύειν αὐτῷ καὶ περικαλύπτειν αὐτοῦ τὸ πρόσωπον into ἐνέπτυσαν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτου: but his added clause,τίς ἐστιν ὁ παίσας σε, seems to imply reminiscence of the omitted words. In οἱ δὲ ἐράπισαν he abbreviates Mk.’s καὶ οἱ ὑπηρέται ῥαπίσμασιν αὐτὸν ἔλαβον. The addition, “Who is he that struck Thee?” which Lk. also has, is no doubt intended to explain προφήτευσον. It may, however, be doubted whether the verb in Mk. has not a more general reference, such as “Prophesy now the destruction of the Temple”; cf. Mk v. 58. In view of Mt.’s explanatory clause, it is extraordinary that he should have omitted the “covering” of the face.

(M) 69. And Peter sat outside in the court; and there came to him a maid-servant, saying, And thou wast with Jesus the Galilean?] Mk. has: “And whilst Peter was below in the court, there cometh one of the maid-servants of the high priest; and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and saith, And thou wast with the Nazarene, Jesus?”—ἔξω] in the outer court. Mk. has κάτω.—ἐκάθητο (Lk. also has καθήμενον) refers back to v. 58.—προσῆλθεν] see on 4:3. Mt. avoids thus Mk.’s hist. pres.—Γαλιλαίου] for Mk.’s Ναζαρηνοῦ, which Mt. elsewhere omits, e.g. in 20:30 and 28:5.

(M) 70. And he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.] Mk. has: “And he denied, saying, I know not, nor understand what thou sayest.” For Mt.’s omission of the redundant οὔτε ἐπίσταμαι, see Introduction, p. xxv.—οὐκ οἶδα] So Lk. Mk. has οὔτε οἶδα. See on Luke 22:57.


(M) 71. And another saw him when he had gone out into the gateway, and saith to those there, This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.] Mk. has: “And he went outside into the antecourt; and the maid-servant saw him, and began to say to those who stood by that this man is (one) of them.”—ἄλλη] Mt. infers from the change of scene that the ἡ παιδίσκη of Mk. was different from the maid-servant of the previous verse.—οὗτος ἦν, κ.τ.λ. ] Mt. assimilates to the previous charge, but substitutes for Mk.’s Ναζαρηνοῦ, Ναζωραίου: cf. 2:23.—λέγει] Avoiding, as often, Mk.’s ἤρξατο. Mt. omits Mk.’s ὅτι, as often, and πάλιν, which would not harmonise with ἄλλη.

(M) 72. And again he denied with an oath that, I know not the man.] Mk. has: “And he denied again.”—ἠρνήσατο] assimilating to v. 70, and avoiding Mk.’s imperfect ἠρνεῖτο.

(M) 73. And after a little while there came they who stood (there), and said to Peter, Truly thou also art (one) of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.] Mk. has: “And after a little again they who stood by were saying to Peter, Truly thou art (one) of them; for thou art a Galilean.” Mt. omits Mk.’s πάλιν, as often.—προσελθόντες] see on 4:3.—καὶ γάρ, κ.τ.λ.] is apparently an explanatory interpretation of Mk.’s “for thou art a Galilean.” Mt. supposes that this was an inference from S. Peter’s language or pronunciation. See Dalm. Words, p. 80.

(M) 74. Then he began to imprecate, and to swear that, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.] Mk. has: “And he began to imprecate, and to swear that, I know not this man of whom you speak. And immediately the cock crew a second time.”—τότε] see. on 2:7.—καταθεματίζειν] only here for Mk.’s�Act_23. With either word the meaning is “to invoke a curse on himself if his statement were not true.”—καὶ εὐθύς] Mk. adds ἐκ δευτέρου (om. א L); cf. δίς in v. 30 (om. א C* D) and v. 72 (om. א C* D).


(M) 75. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, who said that Before the cock crow, thrice thou shalt deny Me. And he went outside, and wept bitterly.] Mk. has: “And Peter remembered the word, how Jesus said to him that, Before the cock crow twice, thrice thou shalt deny Me. And ἐπιβαλών he was weeping.” If the text of S. Mark which lay before Mt. had δίς in vv. 30 and 72, and ἐκ δευτέρου in v. 72, Mt. has probably omitted all three for the same reasons that have caused so many changes in the Western copies of Mk. See WH., § 323, and p. 330.—τοῦ ῥήματος] so Lk. Mk. has τὸ ̔ῆμα. ἐξελθὼν ἔξω, which occurs also in Lk., seems to be a substitute for, or interpretation of, Mk.’s difficult ἐπιβαλών. See Swete, and especially Moulton, p. 131.—ἔκλαυσεν] aor., as often, for Mk.’s imperfect.—πικρῶς] is added by Mt. (and Lk.) to emphasise the point. See Hastings, DCG. i. p. 444.

73. δῆλόν σε ποιεῖ] D latt. S1 have ὁμοιάζει = “is like,” i.e. “resembles theirs.”









E editorial passages.

M the Second Gospel.

S Syriac version: Peshitta.

1 S1 has: “Two days before it was the Unleavened Bread of Pasek” (Burkitt).

DCG. Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels.

Plut. Plutarch.

al i.e. with other uncial MSS.

S Syriac version: Sinaitic MS.

Ox. Pap. Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

1 See against this Chwolson, Das Letste Passamahl Christi, p. 4.

Jos. Josephus.

1 Entry into the house of a heathen caused uncleanness for seven days (Chwolson).

2 Monatsschrift für Gesch. und Wissensehaft des Judenthums, lxxiii. 537-555.

B. Babylonian Talmud.

Dalm. Dalman.

L the Matthæan Logia.

LXX. The Septuagint Version.

1 Mk. has ἕως. Cf. the same change in 14:22 = Mark 6:45. Mk.’s ἔως may perhaps mean “while” here and in 6:45, but Mt. uses ἕως οὗ in five other cases (1:25, 13:33, 14:22, 17:9, 18:34) in the sense “until,” so that it probably bears that meaning here. In Aramaic עד ד has either meaning.


1 So אc B, but אc A C D have the compound verb.

latt. Manuscripts of the Old Latin Version.

Ps.-Sol. The Psalms of Solomon.

1 ἄρτι does not occur in Mk. or Lk. In Mt. ἄρτι occurs 4 times, and including�

Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Matthew 26". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/matthew-26.html. 1896-1924.
 
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