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ing the sun was set, and the evening come." And the 'Jews would, unquestionably, have reckoned it " the second day of the week."
This whole argument, as every one sees, depends upon the supposition, that this appearance of our Lord to his disciples, was after sun-set, and perhaps late in the night; as Grotius and some others have thought. But other learned men are rather of opinion, that our Lord showed himself to his disciples by day-light. Nor is it said, that the doors had been shut by the disciples because it was night, but" for fear of the Jews."
This appearance of our Lord was not made, until after the return of the two that had been at Emmaus. And it will be of great use to us to attend to that history, as it stands in St. Luke's gospel, ch. xxiv. 13–36.
"And behold two of them went that same day to a village, called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things, which had happened. Whilst they communed together, and reasoned, Jesus drew near, and went with them. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they were going. And he made as though he would have gone farther. But they constrained him, saying: Abide with us. For it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them: [or as he was sitting down to table with them:] he took bread, and blessed it, and brake unto them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him, and he vanished out of their sight:" that is, he retired, and went away. "And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known unto them in breaking of bread. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them : Peace be unto you."
When they entreated Jesus to "abide with them," they said: It is toward evening, and the day is far spent," or has already begun to decline, ότι προς έσπεραν εστι, και κεκλικεν ἡ quepa. It was past noon, and might be near our three after
Jam multâ nocte. Grot. in Jo. xx. 19.
h Existente vesperâ,
et quidem satis serâ, januis clausis. Quod licet a plerisque consideretur, ut signum provectæ noctis, nobis tamen minime ita videtur. Circumstantiis enim omnibus rite perpensis, videtur concludendum esse, quod adhuc ante sextam vespertinam hæc apparitio discipulis contigerit. Lampe, in Joh. loc. T. III. p. 685. Et confer Wolf. in loc.
noon. As they were sitting down to eat, looking more directly at Jesus, than they had yet done, they knew him. Our Lord thereupon retired, and they hastened to the disciples. Emmaus was about a two hours' walk from Jerusalem. They might get thither nore than an hour before sun-set. Soon after our Lord came in. He might have been there before them; but he was willing that the disciples, and they that were with them, should be prepared for his appearing among them by the testimony of these two, added to the testimonies of Peter, and the women who had already seen him.
All this may be confirmed by the history of the miracle of the five loaves and five thousand. Matt. xiv. 15, " And when it was evening, his disciples came unto him, saying; This is a desert place, and the time is now past." Mark vi. 35," And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said: This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed." Says Mr. Macknight in his instructive and edifying account of this miracle, The five 'thousand men, beside women and children, were all fed
with such expedition, that though the thing was not so 'much as proposed to the disciples, till about three, all was
over by five of the clock in the afternoon.'
I have endeavoured to show, that St. John followed the Jewish computation of the hours of the day. I am not now concerned to reconcile him with the other evangelists. Solutions of this difficulty may be found in editors and cominentators. Some think, that St. John's original number was "the third hour," as in St. Mark; and that his number has been since altered. Others propose different solutions. But so far as I am able to judge, a solution, depending upon the supposition, that St. John followed the Roman computation of the hours of the day, is not likely to be right.
The learned men, with whom I have been arguing, think, that St. John wrote his gospel very late, not before the year of our Lord ninety-seven, a little before his own death. But that is said without ground. It is more probable, that' St. John wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem, about the year of Christ sixty-eight; though not till after the other three evangelists, and after having read their gospels, as all the ancients testify. However, if he had * Vid. Mill.
See his Harmony of the Gospels. Sect. 60. p. 173. et Wetstein. Bengel. in Cris. et Gnomon. ad Jo. xix. 20. Vid. et Grot. et Wolf. et Lampe, in loc. et Bez. ad Marc xv. 29. Basnag. Ann. 33. n. vii.
See Vol. vi. ch. ix. sect. 9, 10.
written after the destruction of Jerusalem, it could not but be very proper to observe the Jewish computation in speaking of things done among the Jews, in their own country, and before that event.
PAGE 141. Diss. xxxv. The manner of embalming 'dead bodies among the Jews, and particularly that of our 'Saviour.'
Here it is said, p. 149, 150. The other Evangelists in'deed take notice, that the women afterwards carried spices
to the sepulchre. For, as Joseph and Nicodemus doubtless
• embalmed the body privately, after it was carried from the cross; the women, as they were not present, might know nothing of it. And considering the shortness of the time, they might imagine, that nothing had been done; and 'therefore were willing to do what they could themselves.'
This is said by our learned author, for removing a difficulty, arising from what is said by St. John, and the other evangelists. St. John says, ch. xix. 38-40, not only, that Joseph of Arimathea," who is also mentioned by the other evangelists, "besought Pilate, that he might take the body of Jesus, and that Pilate gave him leave:" but adds,
There came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight:" including, as I imagine, the bandage, as well as the spices. "Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury," meaning such persons as were of eminence and distinction.
Nevertheless, St. Mark says, xvi. 1, 2, " And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun." See also Luke xxiii. 55, 56, and chap. xxiv. 1, 2.
As our Lord's female friends prepared spices, and brought them to the sepulchre; our author concludes that they knew nothing of what had been done by Joseph and Nicodemus.
• Matt. xxvii. 57–60; Mark xv. 42—46; Luke xxiii. 50—53.
But it is manifest from all the evangelists, that the women who attended our Lord's crucifixion, attended also his interment. St. John himself says, ch. xix. 25," Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene." And St. Matthew, ch. xxvii. 55 61, " And many women were there, beholding afar off-Among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.- Joseph of Arimathea -went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.-And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre." And St. Mark expressly says, xv. 47," And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he was laid." See likewise ch. xvi. 1-3. From which two evangelists, and also from Luke xxiv. 1, 2, it appears, that the women knew every thing concerning our Saviour's interment, to the placing of the stone at the door of the sepulchre. But they knew nothing of the watch or guard of soldiers, set there afterwards, as related, Matt. xxvii. 52-66. And St. Luke says, ch. xxiii. 52-56, "That Joseph having begged the body of Jesus, took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man was laid- -And "the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how the body was laid." Or, as in Dr. Clarke's paraphrase, And the women of Galilee, who had stood at a distance, seeing the 'crucifixion, followed the body of their Lord, when it was 'taken away, and observed where Joseph laid it.'
To imagine therefore, that these women knew nothing of what had been done by Joseph and Nicodemus, is to suppose them extremely negligent about an object that engaged all their attention. I am not for obviating, or removing difficulties, by denying any parts of a history that are manifest. Nor do I recollect one commentator who has been of opinion, that these good women were unacquainted with the einbalming of our Lord's body, so far as it had been done, before he was laid in the sepulchre.
We may conceive of the case in this manner. When Pilate, at the request of the Jews, had given leave," that the legs of the two malefactors might be broken," for hastening their death, and "that they might be taken away :"
and when, at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, Pilate had also given leave "for taking away the body of Jesus;" the crucifixion was over, and the crowd would disperse. And the women, who before had stood at some distance, would come nearer. They must have been exceedingly solicitous about the disposal of the body of their beloved Lord, as no preparations had been made for his burial. And the coming of Joseph and Nicodemus, with their attendants, bringing a fine linen cloth, and rollers or bandages, and myrrh and aloes, must have afforded them much satisfaction. When the body was taken down from the cross, they would follow those who carried it away. Nor would they lose sight of the body, or at least of those who took care of it. They were not now agents, but spectators, or standers-by. But they would be as near to those, who were employed in embalining the body, or in swathing it with rollers, as they could be, without interrupting them. And it may be well supposed, that Joseph and Nicodemus, and their attendants, whether their own servants, or perfumers and apothecaries, would be civil to them, and not be at all offended at the respect which they showed to Jesus.
Where the precious body was washed from the blood of the wounds, and embalmed, and wrapped up in the rollers, may not be easy for us to say; whether in a shed, or lodge of the garden, or in the sepulchre itself, or before the door, at the entrance of it. But this last seems to me as likely as any. Wherever it was done, the women were near the place, and saw, or at least knew what was done. They sat over against the sepulchre, and saw where and how the body was laid:" and that a great stone was rolled at the door of it.
After which they went away; and when the sabbath was over, they bought spices, and came with them to the sepulchre early on the first day of the week. The reason of their so doing is differently assigned by learned com
Grotius and Beza were of opinion, that our Lord's body was not anointed or embalmed; that is, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea did not make use of the spices, but laid them by in the sepulchre, intending to come again to
Cum aromatibus.'] Non unxerunt, ob temporis angustias, sed aromata apposuerunt, uncturi primo commodo tempore. Grot. in Jo. xix. 40.
Non est tamen pollinctum Christi cadaver, mulieribus alioqui non accessuris post alterum diem ad illud ungendum. Sed tumultuarie fuit, propter instantem, et quasi jam præsentem parascǝven, in illo monumento proximo civitati positum, cum aromatibus a Nicodemo allatis, dilatâ in alterum a sepulto diem integrâ funeris pollinctura. Bez. in loc.