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but neither in the law of Moses, nor in any other authentic account of the passover, is there any mention of such a day preceding the fourteenth of Nisan; and it appears from Mark xv. 42, that the word napao xeun is of the same meaning with uporabbatov: “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath.” When, therefore, the Friday is called, (John xix. 14,) " the preparation of the passover,” the meaning can only be, that it was that preparation for the sabbath which fell in the paschal week.
Mr. Mann accounts for the difference between John and the rest of the evangelists, by supposing, with Scaliger, * that it was “the custom with the Jewish priests,-long before the ruin of the second temple,” to carry “ over the new moon of Tisri, or Nisan,” in certain cases, “to the day following, to prevent the burden of two holidays coming together;" but that this rule being, in the time of our Saviour, of no long standing, was not universally observed ; so that he kept the passover on the Thursday, according to the law of Moses, and the Jews, according to their own rule, on the day following. † But I believe no instance can be produced of any order of the Jewish high-priests, respecting the regulation of the year and of the festivals, not being universally observed, or of any difference of customs among the Jews on such a ground.
$ 8. Of the Transactions of the Wednesday in the Passion-week.
There is no particular transaction of our Lord's recorded for the Wednesday of the passion-week. For Matthew expressly says, that all the discourses in the temple and about it were finished two days before the passover, which he always places on the Thursday. It should seem, however, that the final agreement between the high-priests and Judas was made on the Wednesday. For this transaction is related by Matthew and Mark immediately after their account of our Lord's discourses above-mentioned, and before the events of the Thursday following. Matt. xxvi. 14 ; Mark xiv. 10. Tradition also favours this supposition ; for Wednesday is said to have been an ancient fast, in commemoration of the treachery of Judas. I Luke relates this transaction as imme. diately preceding the events of the Thursday. Luke xxii. 3-6,
Can. Isog. pp. 228, 309. Mann. + See his Dissertation, pp. 198, 199. (P.) See Pilkington. (P.)
§ 9. Of the Supper at which Jesus washed his Disciples' Feet.
Pilkington and many other harmonists contend, that the supper at which our Lord washed his disciples' feet was not the same with that on which he ate the passover, but one preceding it, at Bethany, and probably the same with that on which Mary anointed him. But it is evident from John, that our Lord foretold Peter's denial of him on the same night on which he washed his disciples' feet; so that we are obliged to suppose that our Lord foretold this event twice, and nearly in the same words ; which, accordingly, some suppose. But I think it extremely improbable, that, after the very solemn manner in which our Lord had foretold this event once, Peter should deliberately give him a second occasion of doing it, by repeating the same solemn assurances of his fidelity and attachment the day following.
It is evident that there is no place in the Gospel of John, in which we can suppose that any thing intervened between the supper on which our Lord washed his disciples' feet, and the scene in the garden, but at the end of the fourteenth chapter, where it is said, Arise, let us go hence,” which is therefore supposed by some to have been spoken at Bethany, and that what follows was delivered after the passover the next day. But these words might have been pronounced by our Lord upon their rising from the table only. And this is the more natural supposition, as there is no other mark of the time of the ensuing discourse, which is introduced exactly as it would have been on the supposition of their rising from the table, and our Lord's continuing the discourse either in the same house, or in the open air, on their way into the garden. The very next words after " arise, let us go hence, are “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman," &c. Whereas John is particu. larly careful to note the time and place of all the events and discourses that he relates,
It is said that the construction which the disciples put upon our Lord's saying to Judas, " What thou doest, do quickly," viz. that he was intimating to him to buy what they needed against the feast, implies, that some time must have intervened between that supper and the passover. But the feast continued a whole week.
It is also alleged that it could not properly have been said,
• Pilkington, p. 50. (P.)
that from this time Judas sought an opportunity how he might conveniently betray Jesus, in the absence of the multitude, unless it had been on some day before the Thursday. But this is not said by John, but by the other evangelists, who date the treacherous design of Judas from the time that our Lord reproved him for his censure of Mary. John only says, that "after the sop Satan entered into him," and that “when he had received it he went out, it being then night.” But it might have been said more emphatically at this time, though, in fact, Satan or his base designs had entered into him before.
SECTION XVI. *
Observations on the Order of Events from the Examination of
Jesus before the High-priest, to the Conclusion of the
History § 1. Of the Insults which Jesus received at the House of the
High-priest. Luke speaks of the denial of Peter, and the insults which Jesus received at the house of the high-priest, as preceding the assembling of the chief priests to examine him, and his confession that he was the Christ. This assembling and examination, he says, were “as soon as it was day" (xxii. 66). Matthew expressly says, that the insults were after his examination (xxvi. 67). Indeed, both Matthew (xxvii. 1) and Mark (xv. 1) speak of an assembly of the chief priests when it was day ; but this was after his examination, and was only for the purpose of consulting among themselves in what manner they should get their sentence put in execution ; and therefore they make no mention of Jesus being brought before them at that time. The resolution which they came to at this second meeting, was, to carry Jesus bound to Pilate, which they did inmediately.
§ 2. Of the Circumstances attending Peter's Denial of Jesus.
There is a pretty considerable variation in the accounts which the different evangelists give of the circumstances attending Peter's denial of Jesus. According to Matthew, (xxvi. 34,) our Lord told Peter, that before the cock crew, he should deny him thrice. And he represents him as denying him three times distinctly, before the cock crew; the two first times at the interrogation of two different women, and lasily, of those who were standing by.. xxvi. 69–75.
* Theol. Repos. III. pp. 462-469.
Murk says, (xiv. 13,) that our Lord told Peter, that before the cock crew twice, he should deny him thrice. And he represents the first cock crowing after the first denial. The two first denials, according to this evangelist, were occasioned by the interrogations of the same woman, and the third, by that of the standers-by. xiv. 66—72.
Luke, like Matthew, says, (xxii. 34,) that Jesus told Peter, that before the cock crero, he should deny him thrice; but he represents the first denial only as occasioned by the interrogation of a woman, and the second and third at that of two different men. He also mentions the circumstance of our Lord's looking at Peter after the crowing of the cock, as if that alone had not been sufficient to awaken his recollection. xxii, 61, 62.
John says, (xiii. 38,) that Jesus told Peter, that before the cock crew, he should deny him thrice; and he says, that the first denial was at the interrogation of a woman who kept the door, on his entrance (for it is mentioned before the fire is spoken of); the second time, at that of several persons who were warming themselves ; and the third time at that of a relation of the man whose ear was cut off, and who alleged that he had seen Peter in the garden.
It seems probable that Matthew and John, who heard Jesus, and who were present when Jesus foretold the denial of Peter, have given the true account with respect to the number of cock-crowings, and that the second crowing of the cock was an addition, which the opposition of twice and thrice might, perhaps, recommend to those persons from whom Mark (who was not present) had his account. Matthew and John, however, differ with respect to the persons who interrogated Peter. Matthew also mentions no interrogation till after the insults which Jesus met with ; and yet having probably heard something of his being interrogated at the door, he speaks of his going to the door afterwards, and being then interrogated the second time.
The account of John, who was in the house at the time, may certainly be depended upon as the most exact, especially as he had seen those of the other evangelists. John makes no mention of Jesus's looking on Peter.
§ 3. Of the Circumstances which allended the Resurrection of
Jesus. Much has been written by several modern divines, on the harmony of the different accounts which are given by the four evangelists, of the circumstances attending the resurrection of Jesus ; and I believe it may be possible to draw up a narrative which shall comprise all the different accounts, and be consistent with itself; but to me it is evident, that if the different writers had had exactly the same ideas of the circumstances attending that event, they would not have written as they have done concerning it.
Matthew says, (xxviii, 1–10,) that “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” went, at the break of day, “ to see the sepulchre," but an angel had rolled away the stone, “and sat upon it.” The angel bade them tell the disciples that Jesus was risen from the dead; and as they were making haste to deliver that message, Jesus himself appeared to them, and they fell down and held him by the feet; but he bade them go and tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee.
Mark says, (xvi, 1–11,) that at sun-rise, “ Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome," going to anoint the body of Jesus, found the sepulchre open; and going in, saw a young man sitting on the right hand, who told them that Jesus was risen, and bade them tell his disciples to meet him in Galilee. Afterwards this evangelist informs us that Jesus, having risen early in the morning, appeared “first to Mary Magdalene,” who went and informed the disciples, but was not believed by them.
Luke says, (xxiii. 55, 56, xxiv. 1-12,) that many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee, and others with them, going with spices, found the stone rolled away; and going into the sepulchre, found not the body of Jesus ; and that while they were in doubt, two men stood by them, who said that he was risen ; and that they went and told the disciples, who did not believe them; but that Peter ran to the sepulchre, and seeing the grave-clothes, wondered very much.
John, who is the most circumstantial in his relation, says, (xx. 1, &c.) that while it was yet dark, Mary Magdalene went to the sepulchre; and upon seeing the stone taken away, ran to inform Peter and John. Upon this, these two disciples ran to the place, and finding the clothes only, returned ; but that Mary, who stood without, and wept, on looking into the sepulchre, saw two angels, sitting one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body had lain ; and