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condeimathea, anden were presentart. xxvi. 67. him, and to combine
rent his clothes, and soith, (Matt. He hath spoken blasphemy) What need we any further witnesses? 64. re have heard the blasphemy. (Matt. behold 110W ye have heard his blasphemy.) The council replied, As you have justly observed, what need have we of witness now, seeing we ourselves have heard in what manner he has blasphemed ? Luke xxii. 71. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth. And being asked what punishment he deserved, they answered that he deserved death. Matt. xxvi. 66. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death, Mark xiv. 64. And they all condemned him to be guilty of death : They condemned him unanimously, excepting Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea, and a few more, who being his disciples (John xii. 42.) would, if they were present, remonstrate no doubt against the iniquity of this sentence, Matt. xxvi. 67. Then did they spit in his face, (Mark, and some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him) and buffeted him (xodapose is to strike with the fist) and others smote him with the palms of their hands (panilev, from paris, baculus, is properly to strike with a staff or stick; but Matthew uses it to signify smiting with the palms of the hands, chap. v. 39.) 68. Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ who is he that smote thee? Mark xiv. 65. And the sera vants did strike him with the palms of their hands. Because Matthew says that they who condemned Jesus spit in his face and buffeted him, and Mark mentions the indignities in particular which the servants put upon him, it appears that he was smitten, blindfolded, and buffeted even by some of the council, who, to ridicule him for having pretended to be the great prophet foretold by Moses, bade him exercise his prophetical gift in guessing who it was that struck him : Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee? It was, I think, hardly possible for those miscreants to invent any thing more expressive of the contempt in which they held our Lord's pretensions to be the Messiah.
Thus was the Judge of the world placed at the bar of his own creatures, falsely accused by the witnesses, unjustly condemned by his judges, and barbarously insulted by all.' Yét because it was agreeable to the end of his coming, he patiently submitted, though he could with a frown have made his judges, his accusers, and those who had him in custody, all to drop down dead in a moment, or shrivel into nothing *.
to rend his ordinary garments on account of public calamities, or instances of gross wickedness, as a testimony of his grief for the one, and abhorrence of the other. See r Maccab. xi. 71. That the high-priest was clothed in ordinary apparel on this occasion, appears from Exod. xxix. 29, 30. where the pontifical garments are ordered to descend from father to son; and therefore were to be worn only at their consecration, and when they mis nistered. • Luke tells us, xxii. 66. that Jesus was placed before the council about
break of day, ws SyEveto pusgabe. If the passover this year fell late in April, , the sun must at that season have risen to the inhabitants of Jerusalem about twenty-three minutes after five, and the day have dawned about fitteen minutes after three. Wherefore, since Luke fixes the appearing of Jesus before the council to the lawning, his trial must have begun about thice in the morning. This is confirmed by the account which Matthew gires of the hour when Jesus was led away to the governor, xxvij. I. After has ing condemned Jesus, the priests consulted among themselves how they might get him put to death. The result of their deliberation was, that he should be Inaded with chains as a noiorious malefactor, and in that condition carried before the governor, in order to his passing sentence against him. This happened when the morning was come, or when it was light, The history given of Peter's denials agrees likewise to these suppositions. For the first denial happened as he followed his Master into the high-priest's palace. probably a while before the priests came into the hall, being ques. tioned by the damsel who kept the door, John xvü. 17. Luke says the second denial happened a little while after the first, xxii. 58.; aad that between the second and third there passed the space of an hour, perhaps some minutes less ; so that the whole was over in little more than an hour. But the third denial is connected with the conclusion of our Lord's trial, John xviii. 27, 28. Wherefore, from his arrival at the palace to his de parture, there passed hardly two hours of time. Or we may suppose that he was in the palace much longer ; for the words a little after, by which
Luke's space of an hour ; and almost as much time may be allowed to have passed between the first and second ; at least the evangelists have mentioned nothing that is inconsistent with these suppositions. They have indeed fixed the time of Christ's appearing before the council and the governor, but have said nothing of the time of his arrival at the bigh-priest's palace. We may therefore believe that he came a little after midnight; that more than an hour was spent in preparing for the trial; that the judges assembled in the hall half an hour after two ; that they spent some time in des liberating what measures they were to follow in the trial; that when all matters were prepared, Jesus was brought in about three; that he continued before the council but a little while, perhaps not above an hour, the trial being cut short by his own declaration; that they carried him away to the governor as soon as it was fully light, perhaps about four, the time which Matthew seems to have fixed. This indeed was much earlier than Pilate was wont to hear causes ; but as there was the appearance of a tus mult, he thought proper to get up and see what the matter was. When the governor understood that Jesus was a Galilean, he sent him to Herod, who happened then to be in Jerusalem, and perhap's was lodged near the prætorium. Herod soon sent him back without finding him guilty, which confirmed the governor in the opinion he had conceived of his innocence. Wherefore he tried several stratagems to save his life, but to no purpose. At last he brought him out to the people, when it was (John xix. 14.) agu Woh satn, about six o'clock in the morning, perhaps half an hour after. It is true, that three hours and a balf, the time allotted for our Lord's trials, before the council, the governor, and Herod, may seem small, considering the number and nature of the things which happened in the course of those trials. Yet as that time is stated and divided above, it might be sufficient, especially if we add this consideration, that the extreme carnest. ness of the rulers to get him crucified before the holy convocation came on, would make them burry every thing with the utmost impetuosity. The reason was, had they suffered this opportunity to pass, they might not soon have obtained another ; the governor, by whèse sentence alone death could be infiicted, usually leaving Jerusalem immediately after the passover, to go to Cesarea, the place of his ordinary residence. See the beginning of 138. See also the note one Mark xv. 25. ( 149.
§ CXXXVIII." Jesus is brought before the governor Judas
hangs himself. Matt. xxvii. 1,-10. Mark xv. 1. Luke xxiii. 1. John xviii. 28.
The priests and elders having condemned Jesus for the pretended crime of blasphemy, consulted together again, and resolved to carry him before the governor, loaded with chains, that he likewise might give sentence against him. They could not otherwise accomplish their purpose; the power of life and death being now taken out of their hands. Mark xv. 1. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders (Matt. of the people) and scribes, and the whole council, (Matt. against
Jesus to put him to death) and bound Jesus,' and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate (Matt. Pontius Pilate the governor.). John xviii. 28. Then led they Jesus. from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment, to gaitwgrov, * the pretorium, the governor's palace. From the history of the Acts it appears, that the Roman governors of Judea resided commonly at Cesarea, and that there was only an inferior officer in Jerusalem, with a single legion to keep the peace of the city. At the great festivals, however, they came up to prevent or suppress tumults, and to administer justice; for the governors of provinces frequently via sited the principal towns under their jurisdiction on this latter account. Accordingly it is insinuated, John xviii. 39. that Pilate was wont to give judgment in Jerusalem at the passovers : « Yes have a custom that I should release unto you one at the passover.” Being come, therefore, as usual, a while before the feast, Pilate heard of the stir that was among the rulers, and was informed of the character of the person on whose account it was made, Matt. xxvii. 18. Mark xy. 10. It seems Nicodemus, or Joseph of Arimatheat, or some other friend, had told him of the affair ; VOL. II." 3.U
for * Properly speaking, the prætorium was that part of the palace where the soldiers kept guard, Mark xv. 16.; but in common language it was applied to the palace in general.
+ Joseph of Arimathea seems to have been personally acquainted with Pilate; for after Jesus expired, he went to him and bezged leave to bury his body. We can have no doubt of their being acquainted, if Joseph was one of the council who assisted Pilate in managing the affairs of his province, and particularly in judging causes. All governors of provinces had a council of this kind. See Lardn. Cred. book I. chap. ii. 16. Accord. ingly we find it mentioned, Acts xxv. 12. by the name of cupbx110, It is objected, indeed, to Joseph's being a member of Pilate's council, that it was composed of Romans only. Yet even on this supposit on he might be a member of it, since he might enjoy the privileges of a citizen as well as the apostle Paul. What other reason can be assigned for his being called BEREUTAS, Luke xxiii. 5o. and evoxnuwr Brasytus, Mark xv. 43. a name not coinmonly given to the members of the sanhedrim, whose proper tidle was agxortes. Farther, Luke tells us, xxiii. 51. that Joseph did not consent
to the counsel, Bran, and deed of them : he did not agree to the advice which - the governor's council gave, when they desired him to gratify the Jews,
for he entertained a just notion of it, “ He knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy." He knew the cause of their envy, was impressed with a favourable opinion of Jesus, and wished by all means to acquit him. And it was early: and they themselves went not into the judgment-hall, lest they should be difiled, but that they might eat the passover. Having purified them. selves in order to eat the passover, they would not enter the palace which was the house of a heathen, for fear of contracting such defilement as might have rendered them incapable of eating the paschal supper. See Chronolog. Dissert. VI. They stood, therefore, before the palace, waiting for the governor, who on such occasions came out to them. See the beginning of the following section.
And now Judas Iscariot, who, from the motives mentioned above, $ 125. had delivered his Master into the hands of the council, finding his project turn out quite otherwise than he ex: pected, was pierced with the deepest remorse on account of what he had done. Therefore, to make some reparation for the injury, he came and confessed his sin openly before the chief priests, scribes, and elders, and offered them the money with which they had hired him to commit it, earnestly wishing that they would take it back. It seems he thought this the most public testimony he could possibly give of his Master's innocence, and of his own repentance. Matt. xxvii. 3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4. Saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. But they would not relax their sentence in the least, nor abate the violence of their malicious prosecution; affirming, that notwithstanding he might think the prisoner innocent, and for that reason had sinned in bringing mischief upon him, they were not to blame, because they knew him to be a blasphemer who deserved to die. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. They would not so much as take back their money from him. When Judas found that he could give his Master no help, his conscience being enraged, griped him harder and lashed him more furiously than before, suggesting thoughts which by turns made the deepest wounds in his soul. His Master's innocence and benevolence, the usefulness of his life, the favours he had received from him, with many other considerations, crowded into his mind, and racked him to such a degree, that his torment became intolerable; he was as if he had been in the suburbs of hell. Wherefore, unable to sustain the misery of those agonizing passions and reflections, he threw down the wages of his iniquity in the temple, probably in the treasury before the Levite porters and others who happened to be there, with a confession of his sin and of his Master's innocence, like
that which he had before made to the priests, then went away in despair and hanged himself, making such an end of a wicked life as the evil dispositions by which it had been governed deserved. 5. * And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, † and went and hanged himself. Thus perished Judas Iscariot the traitor, a miserable example of the fatal influence of coyet.usness, and a standing monument of the Divine vengeance, fit to deter future generations from acting contrary to conscience through love of the world, for which this wretch betrayed his Master, Friend, and Saviour, and cast away his own soul. See Matt. xxvi. 24. The thirty pieces of silver which Judas threw down in the temple, were gathered up and delivered to the priests; for they consulted among themselves about the use they were to make of the money, and at length agreed to buy the Potter's field with it, for burying strangers in, whether Jews ar Gentiles, who happening to die at Jerusalem had no burial place of their own. But because the deliberation of the priests concerning this matter, and their buying the Po:ter's field, had an
immediate * Matt. S. And be cast down the pieces of silver, &c.] Because Judas cast' down this money in the temple, it is thought that the council adjourned thither before they carried Jesus to the governor, and that Judas found them there. But they were too much in earnest to delay their revenge one moment. Besides, they had now no time to spend in the temple. See the last note, Ø 137. He might come to the priests immediately afier They had condemned his Master, and while they were yet in the highpriest's palace : or he might accost them as they were passing along the sreet to the prætorium; or he might find them standing before the price torium, into which they wouki not enter let they should be defiled. This latter s:ems to be the true supposition ; for the historian insinuates that Judas addressed the priests after they had carried Jesus to the governor. When they refused the money, he left them, and wen: to hang himself ; but taking the temple in his way, he ihrew down the whole sum in the treasury, or that part of the women's court where the chests were placed for receiving the offerings of the people who came to worship. See 122. This money might be gathered up by the Levite porters who always waited at the gates of the temple, i Chron. xxvi, and might be carried by them to the priests, with an account how they got it.
+ Ibid. And went and hanged kimself!) Peter seems to give a different account of the traitor's death, Acts i. 18. “ Falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushell out.” And no reconcile the two passages, Tobit jii, 10. is adduced to prove, that the word aanvue, in Matthew, may signify suffocation with grief, in cons:quence of which a man's bowels may gusk out ; and instances are cited from Virgil, Ecl. vii. 27.
Invidia ruinpantur ut ilia Codro. and from Josephus, Antiq. xv. 13, &c. where one Zenodorus is mentioned, who is supposed to have diell in this manner. But as these instances may Le otherwise onderstood, it is more natural to suppose that Judas hanged limself on some tree growing out of a precipice; and that the branch hreaking, or the knot of the handkerchief, or whatever else he hanged himself with, opening, he fili down headlong, and dashed himself to pieces, so that his bowels gushed out. Peter's phrase, & ANKST PESSOs, be burst asunder, favours this conjecture, for name signifies properly lacero cum strepitu : and so may imply, that Judas burst asunder bę falling from an height.