Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

SECT. clxxxviii,

Pilate is afraid, and examines him again.

393 7 The Jews answer. The Jews then answered him, There is no cd him, We have a law, and by our law he

room to represent him as a faultless person, nor ought to die, because any reason to be backward to condemn him ; John he made himself the but these objections you have made oblige us Xlx. 7. Son of God.

to mention one circumstance which, for the
horror of it, we would willingly have concealed:
we have a Divine law which we received from
heaven, by which blasphemy is forbidden on
the highest penalties; and by this our law he
ought to die, though he were not chargeable
with sedition and treason, because he has made
himself the Son of the most high God, in such a
sense as no creature can be ; and this he declared
but this morning in open court. (Compare
Mat. xxvi. 63, 64. Mark xiv. 62. and Luke

xxii. 70, p. 372.),
8 When Pilate When Pilate therefore heard this expression, 8
therefore heard that he was still more afraid than before ; for the
saying, he
more afraid;

Romans believed many poetical stories of men
begotten by their deities, and thought them a
kind of demi-gods, who could not be injured

without engaging their divine parents in the
9 And went again quarrel. And therefore apprehending that his 9
into the judgment-hall, wife's dream might also take its rise from such a
Whence art thou? cause, he entered again into the palace, and
But Jesus gave him taking him aside, he said to Jesus, Tell me

plainly from whence thou camest, and from
whom art thou descended? and what is this
Divine original which thou art charged with
claiming 8? But Jesus, knowing that bis inno-
cence was already apparent, even to the con-
viction of Pilate’s conscience, gave him no answer
to that question.

Then

was the

no answer.

f He was still more afraid than before.] Whence art thou ?] It is strange Mr. Though I think, with Mr. Cradock, and Locke should think (as he does in his Reaseveral others, the interpretation given in sonableness of Christianity, Vol. I. p. 133.) the paraphrase the most natural; yet I can that Christ declined giving him an anszer, not forbear mentioning that of Dr. Lardner, lest, when he heard he was born at Bethle. who thinks he was afruid of a sedition as hem, he should have any such apprehenmong the Jews, from his knowledge of their sions as Herod had entertained. Pilate great obstinacy in any thing in which re. probably knew nothing at all of that proligion might seem to be concerned : and he phecy, as Herod hiinself indeed did not, adds, he might be the more reasonably till he had learnt it from the Jewish scribes alarmed on this head, as since the begins whom he consulted on Christ's birth. (Mat. ning of his governinent he had met with ii. 4, 5, 6, Vol. VI. p. 78.) The answer two remarkable instances of their stiffness; which our Lord had made to his former inone in an attempt he made to bring the quiries shewed how far he was from declin-' image of Cæsar into Jerusalem ; the other ing any danger; and the true reason of his in a design he had formed of supplying the present silence was that Pilate's unsteady city with water at the expence of the sacred conduct rendered him unworthy of any treasury of the temple. See Lard. Credib. farther information, part i. Vol. I. p. 330--338.

b Dost

394

SECT. clxxxviii.

Pilate, convinced of his innocence, sought to release him.
Then Pilate in surprise said to him, What, dost

10 Then saith Pilate thou make me no reply, and not so much as speak thou not 'unto me?

anto him, Speakest John to me in such a circumstance as this, in which Knowest

thou not, XIX. 10 thy life is so evidently concerned ? Dost thou that I have power to

not know that I have power and authority to crucify thee, and have crucify thee, and have power to release thee, if power to release thee? I please, notwithstanding all the clamorous de

mands of thine enemies h. 11 Jesus calmly replied, Thou couldst have no power Thou couldst have no

at all against me, except it were given thee from
above, from the God of heaven, whose provi- me, except it were

power at all against
dence I acknowledge in all these eventsi : there- given thee from above :
fore he who has delivered me to thee, even the therefore he that de-
Jewish high-priest with his council, having far hath the greater sin.
greater opportunities of knowing him and his
law, hath the greater and more aggravated sin ;
yet thou thyself canst not but know that on the
principles of natural equity an innocent person

ought not to be given up to popular fury. 12

And from this time Pilate was so far satisfied 12 And from thenceof the injustice of the prosecution, and of the forth Pitate sought to innocence of Jesus, that he endeavoured the more

Jews earnestly to release him. But the Jews still in. sisted on his passing sentence on him to be cruci. fied; and apprehensive of the governor's design,

that

livered me unto thee

release him : but the

h Dost thou not know that I have power to i Thou couldest hate no power at all against crucify thee &c.] Even they who main me, ercept it were given thee from above.] tajn that the Jews had a power of executing Some have thought that the word ayubiy, capilal sentences in Chiist's time, acknow- from abose, refers to the situation of the Icdge that power to have been under the temple, which stood much higher than the control of the Roman governor ; and that it pratorium ; and that it is as if Jesus had was in fact so often controlied, that at last the said, “ I know that wliatever thou dost Jewish sanhedrim removed from the cham- against me is only in consequence of the ber in which alone they could regularly sentence passed in yonder court held above; pass them, that they might not have the so that their guilt is greater than thine." mortification of seeing continually how lit But though this would very well account tle their decisions availed, when the most for the connection of the latter part of the notorious criminal, if he bad but money, verse, I cannot think it altogether just; could buy a pardon from their common for had providence peripitted Pilate to masters. So that the dispute, after all the seize Christ as one dangerous to Cæsar's noise it has made in the learned world, dignity, he would have had as much seems at last to terminate in this nicety, power of putting him to death as he now “ whether the consent of the Roman gover- bad. It is therelorc much more reasonnor were expressly asked before the Jews able to suppose it refers to the permission proceeded to an execution, or were taken of God's providence. No thought was for granted if the contrary did not appear?" more proper to the occasion ; and I think Or, in other words, “ Whether the efficacy the interpretation I have given to the latter of a sentence passed by the Jews were clause in this view is natural, though not owing to the express consent or the connivance very common. But if any are not satisfied of the Romans?” The conduct of the Jews with it, they may consider whether die in this case seems to prove the former of 3xlo may not be connected with the begins these to have heen the true state of the ning of the verse, so that it might be transaffair ; and vindicates not only the sub. lated, Thou couldest have no power at all stance of what Dr. Lardner has maintained, against me, unless it were gren thee frum but the particular manuer in which he above for this purpose. (Compare note' on expresses it. See note con Mat, xxvii. 2, John vii. 21, sect. xcix. Vol. VI. p. 515.

* As

p. 375,

sar.

13

When

Pilate

About the third hour Pilate brings him out as their king. 395 Jews cried out, saying, that they effectually might put a stop to his in- SECT: if thou let this man tention of discharging nim, they eagerly cried

clxxxviii sar's friend: whosoever out, saying, If thou let this mun go off with his

John maketh himself a king, life, ihou art not Cæsar's friend, though thou XIX.12. speaketh against Ce- bearest his commission, and representest bis

person ; for every one that makes himself a king
of Judea speaks against Cæsar our emperor, and
in effect arraigns the legality of his government
here.

IVhen Pilate therefore heard that speech, he 13 therefore heard that

was very much alarmed, as he well knew how saying, he brought Je. suis forth, and sat down suspicious a prince Tiberius was, and how many in the judgment-seat

, spies he kept on all his officers, that nothing in a place that is called might be done or permitted by them in any of the Hebrew, Gabba. the provinces, wbich could at all interfere with ta.

bis authority k: and, that he might not then be
charged with any want of zeal for Cæsar's inte-
rest, he brought Jesus out of the palace again, and
once more sate down on the tribunal, which was
then erected (as was said before, p. 377.) with.
out the palace, in a place called in Greek, Li-
thostraton, or the Pavement, on account of a
beautiful piece of Mosaic work with which the
floor was adorned: but in Hebrew it was called
Gabbatha, or the High-place, because it stood
on an eminence, so that the judge, being seated
there on his tribunal, might be heard and seen

by a considerable number of people's
14 And it was the And it was then the preparation of the pass- 14
preparation of the pass-
over, and about the over, or the sixth day of the week, and conse-
sixth hour and he quently the day which fell before the paschal
saith unto the Jews, sabbath, which was observed with some peculiar
Behold your king!

solemnity (see John xix. 31, sect. cxcii.); and
the morning was so far advanced, that it (was]
drawing on apace towards the sixth hour, and
was now about the third hour, or nine in the
morning “, which obliged them to dispatch, that

they

* As he well knew how suspicious a lic, and especially on judicial, occasions. prince 'Tiberius was, &c.] Every body that I plainly appears from the connection of knows the character of Tiberius, especially the words that it was not in his house, but as illustrated by Suetonius in his excellent somewhere without, probably in some open History, will see how naturally Pilate might place. be apprehensive on this head.

Was drawing on apace towards the I In Hebrew, Gabbalha.] There are va. sirth hour, and was now about the third rious etymologies of this word. I think the hour, &c.] Difficulties, which seem to most probable is that which derives it from me quite invincible, attend the reailing 1701, elevavit, and so it intimates its be- which is generally received, [1t was about ing raised on high. It was, perhaps, a kind the sixth hour,] whether we reckon it, acof stage, or scaffolul

, in the midst of a spa. cording to the Roman method of compucious urea belonging to the palace, in which tation, şir in the morning, or, according the govcruor might place hinself on pube to the Jewish computation, twelve at noon, V01., il. 3D

The

396 But they cried out, Away with him, Crucify him.

sict. they might have execution done, as usual, beclxxxvui

fore noon. And Pilate, finding he must, after John all, yield to the people, and consent to the death xix.14. of Jesus, lest bis former struggle should be mis

represented at Rome, was resolved to manage
this incident so as to procure from the Jews a
public acknowledgment of Cæsar's authority :
and therefore, pointing to Jesus, as he now ap-
peared in this mock pomp of royalty, he says to
the Jews, who were present in vast numbers,

Behold your hing, if you think fit to own him,
15 as it is said many of you bave done. But 15 But they cricd
they again cried out with indignation and dis ont, Away with han,

away with him, crudain, sway with [him] away with [him); we cify him. Pilate saith are so far from owning bim, that we desire thee unto them, Shall ! to crucify him. Pilate says to them, What, shall crucify your king I crucify your king? How strange, and how ex- swered, We have no travagant a demand is this! And the chief priests king bui Cesar. answereil, in the name of all the people, Ti'e have no king but the emperor Tiberius Cesar, whose royal authority we all of us acknowledge, and will always maintain. And Pilate, seeing that it signified nothing any when Pilate saw that

MAT. XXVII. 94. XXVII. longer to oppose the popular torrent, but that 24

they

Mat.

he

- The best commentators I know (and conferences with the Jews about him, as also
among the rest of late Dr. Guyse) think the the change of dress, scourging, crowning ucith
whole difficulty of reconciling these words thorns, &c. should be dispatched by sin ?
of John with Mark, who tells us (chap. xv. The very contents of the preceiling sections
25, seci. clxxxix.) that Christ was crucified seem to demonstrate the contrary,- On the
at the third hour ; and with Matthew and other hand, it could not now be teelte nt
Luke', who exactly agree with bim in fix noon, since Mark assures us to the contrary,
ing the time of that darkness which hape and his account is confirined both by Mat-
pened while Christ hung upon the cross thew and Luke. (See the places just now
(compare Mat. xxvii. 45; Luke xxiii. 44 ; quoted, and noted on Maik xv. 25, sect.
and Mark xv. 53, sect. cxci.); is casily clxxxix.) -I cannot therefore but conclude
solved by understanding it, according to the with Coluinelus (Ohsere. p. 77), Beza, and
Roman account, of sir in the morniny. But Erasmus, that instead of the sixth we should
as John was a Jeix, and elsewhere seems to read the third hour, that is, nine in the morn-
use the Jewish account (John i. 31, iv. 6, ing. For this we have the authority of the
52), that very supposition is in general Cambridge manuscript, and of Peter of Aler-
improbable. Or il, out of regard to the andria, who expressly asserts it was opinie
considerations which the learned, but here the third, in the original copy, which he says
dubious and perplexed, wellnerus has urged continued till his time; and though, as Dr.
(see Jeitner. Ilor. Pilut. p. 14, & seq.) we Willabundantly shows in his Annotation on
were to grant itin general a supposable case, this place, all the best manuscripts and an-
very strong obje: tions will lie against sup- cieni versions are on the other side, I am
posing it here. For though we should, with obliged here to follow the superior authority
many critics, take it for granted that the of common sense; however, in submission
passover here fell late in April (which was to the greatest number of copies, I have still
the latest it could ful), the sun would not retained the common reading in the version,
rise at Jerusalem till near five o'clock, and and have only given what I apprehend to
one cannot suppose the sanhedrim assem be the true reading in the paraphrase.
bled till about break of day. How tien is it some other unsatisfactory hypotheses will be
possible that theircondemnation of Christ, bis touched on in the note last referred to. See
arraignment anderamination, first before Pi a large and accurate view of them in Wolf,
late, then before Herod, together with Cur. Phil. Yol, 1. page 969–976.
Pilate's repeated esaminations of Liin, and

H.

SECT.

Mat.

Pilate washing his hands, they wish his blood on themselves. 397 he could prevail no they rather grew more tumultuous by the delay, thing, but that rather

clxxxviii was determined however to do all he could to a tuinult was made, he took wa'er, and make his own conscience easy in complying with washed his hands be. this their unjust request ; and therefore he took XXVII. fore the multitude, say, water, and washed his hands in the presence of 24 the blood of this just the multitude", saying, I cull heaven and earth to person : : see ye to it. witness that I am innocent of the blood of this

righteous (man) ; look you to the consequences

of shedding [it], and remember you are answer. 25 Then answered able for them, whatever they may prove. And 25 all the people, and all the people answered, saying, We will venture us, 'and on our chil- those consequences, may his blood, if innocent, dren. be on us, and on our children! and

ulay

the curse of shedding it lie upon us throughout all gene

rations! LUKE XXIII. 24. And when they had said this, Pilate, who now Luke And Pilate (willing to

XXIII. was something easier in his own mind, and was content the people]

2+ gave desirous to satisfy the people P, since be perceived

it

n He look water, and washed his hands, impresses and astonishes me beyond any &c.] It is well known that the Jews in other which I recollect in the whole story. some cases were appointed to wash their If this were not the very finger of God, hands as a solemn token that they were not pointing out their crime in crucifying his themselves concerned in the murder com. Son, it is hard to say that could deserve to mitted by some unknown person (see Deut. be called 50.- Elsner has abundantly xxi. 1—9): but, as this was also a rite that shewn, that among the Greeks, the perwas frequently used by the Gentiles in 10 sons vu whose testimony others were put ken of innocence, it is more probable that to death, used, by a very solcmn execration, Pilate, who was a Gentile, did it in con to devote themselves to the Divine ven. formity to thein. Sce Grolius in loc. and geance, if the person so condemned were Elsner. Observ. Vol. I. p. 122, 123. not really guilty. Elsner. Observ. Vol. I.

o May his blood be on us, and on our p. 123–125.)--We are told by Grotius children?] As this terrible imprecation was (de Jure Bell. & Pac. lib. ii. cap. 4. $ 9, dreadfully answered in the ruin so quickly No. 2) that Titus commanded the women brought on the Jewish nation, and the ca and children of the Jews to be exposed in launities which have since pursued that theatres, and there to be devoured hy wild wretched people, in almost all ages and beasts : a fact which I should have thinugbt countries ; so it was peculiarly illustrated it extremely proper to mention here, if in the severity with u bich Titus, merciful any authority were introduced to support as he naturally was, treated the Jews whom it. But as I cannot meet with any such he took during the siege of Jerusalem; of account in Josephus, I am ready to aseribe whom Josephus bimself writes (Bell

. Jud. what Grotius says of it to a slip of memolib. v. cap. 11 (al. vi. 12), § 1), that ry in that great critic; especially consipaces by leznai uvrsavarla, having been scourg- dering how improbable it was that so hued and tortured in a very terrible manner, mane a prince as Titus should be guilty of they were crucified, in the view, and near such almost uvexampled cruelty. On the the walls of this city; perhaps, among contrary, in the only passage i recollect, other places, on mount Calvary: and it is where Josephus speaks of exposing the very probable this might be the fate of some Jewish captives to wild beasts, (Joseph. of those very persons who now joined in Bell. Jul. lib. vi. cap. 9. [al. vii. 16), 2), this cry, as it undoubtedly was of many of it is expressly said that Titus sold all who their children. Por Josephus, who was an were under seventeen years old. eye-witness, expressly declares, “that the p Desirous to satisfy the people: TO BYCZYON number of those thus crucified was so wonga..] As his former administration had great, that there was not room for the given them a great deal of disgust, he might crosses to stand by each other; and that very probably think it absolutely necessary at last they had not wood enongh to make thus to appease them : yet they afterwards crosses of.” A passage which, especially followed him with their accusations to his wheo compared with the verse before us, ruin; and thus, by the righteous judg

3 D 2

ment

« FöregåendeFortsätt »