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They resolve on his death, and Jesus retires to Ephraim. 129 54 Jesus therefore For this reason Jesus, who knew the secret re- SECT. walked no more openly solution they had formed to take away his life, the among the Jews; but went thence into a walked no more openly among the Jews in those Too

John country near to the parts till the appointed hour for his suffering XI. 54. wilderness, into a city was come ; but, instead of visiting Jerusalem, called Ephraim, and tbere continued with he went away from thence, even from Bethany bis disciples.

where he now was, into the country near the wil.
derness of Judea, to a little city called Ephraim',
which lay not far from Bethel on the confines of
the tribe of Benjamin ; and there he continued a
while with a few of his select disciples, and af,
terwards took a little journey eastward, towards
the banks of the river Jordan 4, from whence
he had lately come to Bethany on account of

Lazarus's death. 55 And the Jews And soon after this the Jewish passover dreno 55 passover was nigh at near; and many went up from all parts of the hand : and many went out of the country up country to Jerusalem, some little time before the to Jerusalem before passover, that they might purify themselves by the passover to purify some preparatory sacrifices e, in order to be themselves.

ready for the celebration of that solemn festival, 56 Then sought (Compare 2 Chron. xxs. 17.) Then, as the 56

od people came together, they diligently sought for spake among themselves as they stood vese

ney stood Jesus there, some of them being desirous to see in the temple, What and bear him, and others wanting to discover think ye, that he will him to his avowed enemies the Pharisees : and pot come to the feast?

as it could not but be generally known that the
surprising miracle which he had lately wrought
had very much inflamed the rage and envy of
his persecutors, they were suspicious whether
he would venture to appear in public, and said
one to another, as they stood in the temple, IVhat
think ye of his coming to the passover - Do you

suppose that, after this alarm, he will not have 57 Now both the the courage to come to the feast? But both the 57 chief priests and the chi

ene chief priests and the Pharisees, concluding that commandment, that if he would not fail to come according to his usual any man know where custom, no longer dissembled their malice, but he were, he should publice

o published a mandate, by which they had given

an express command, that if any one knew where
he was, he should immediately declare [it] to

them,

Jesus, and

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To a city called Ephraim. This city lem, which yet we find that Jesus passed (which is mentioned with Bethel, 2 Chron. through in his return. See Luke xix. 1, xii. 19.) is by some called Ephrem, and sect. cxlii. is generally supposed to bave lain in the e That they might purify themselves by north-east part of the lot of Benjamin. some preparatory sacrifices.] Dr. Lightfoot See Reland's Palestin. p. 376, and com. (in his Hor. Heb. on this place) has shewn, pare note a on Luke xiii. 23, p. 15. that as a variety of circumstances might

d Took a little journey eastward, &c.] happen to multitudes which would require This we bave reason to suppose, or Jericho purification, so some sort of cleansing reWould not have lain ia his way to Jerusae quired no less than seven days.

130 Reflections on the malice and rage of Christ's enemies. SECT. them, that they might apprehend and bring him shew it, that they might cxli.

'_ to his trial, as a disturber of the public peace, ta John and a person dangerous to the state, X1. 57.

IMPROVEMENT.

Ver. WHERE shall we find such restless, such causeless, such incor47 rigible malice, as was in the hearts of these rulers against

our blessed Saviour? What but Divine grace can reclaim men, when to have heard of the resurrection of Lazarus from their own friends and confidants, who had just been eye-witnesses of it, instead of conquering their hearts, served only to inflame their

murderous rage! 48--50 This is an instance where we evidently see the place of judg

ment, that wickedness was there ; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity wus there, (Eccles. iii. 16.) The high-priest lays down a most dangerous, though plausible, maxim, which is in effect no other than this, " That the murder of an innocent person by forms of law” (which, as a noble sufferer observed, is surely the worst kind of murder), “ nay, even of a person who by mira. cles demonstrated that he was an ambassador from God, was to be chosen, rather than by protecting and obeying him, to give umbrage to an earthly power, which seemed superior to their own." When will the politicians of this earth learn to trust God in his own ways, rather than to trust themselves, and their own wisdom, in violation of all the rules of truth, honour, and conscience ? Till then, like this foolish ruler, they will be caught in their own craftiness; and it is more than possible that they may, in many instances, hasten the very distress they are contriving to avoid. For this was here the event : the Romans (called therefore the people of. Messiah the Prince, Dan. ix. 26.) were sent as executioners of the Divine vengeance, and the Jews were given up to a spirit of discord and madness, the terrible effects of which were such as cannot be read without horror, till their place and nation were taken away ; nor could even the Roman general forbear declaring that the hand of God was apparent in their

destruction. 31, 52 Let us attend to this Divine oracle which God saw fit to put

into the mouth of so wicked a man. Jesus has actually died for the people, even for all the children of God that are scattered abroad. His death is substituted instead of theirs ; and by it they are redeemed and delivered, and shall ere long be incorporated together, and all the happy colony be raised to an abode of eternal glory. Blessed harvest, which springs up from redeeming blood! Heroic love of the dear Redeemner, which at the proper time brought

bim

the people, is substituted und shall ere long babode of eternal

He

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Jesus sets out on his last journey to Jerusalem.

131 him to Jerusalem, where he knew that evil was determined against Sect. him! Let us follow him, in a courageous adherence to God and _cx1, our duty, in the midst of danger and opposition ; and not won- Ver. der if we are set up as the marks of infamy and reproach, when 56, 57 we see Jesus marked out by a public mandate, as if he had been a robber or a murderer ; and find so numerous and grand a court of judicature requiring their subjects to seize this most generous Friend of the whole world as the grand enemy of God and his country.

SECT. CXLII.

Christ, setting out on his last journey to Jerusalem, prophesies of his sufferings there; rebukes the ambition of James and John; and renews his exhortations to humility. Mat. XX. 17–28. Mark X. 32–46. Luke XVIII. 31–34.

Mark

MARK X. 32.

MARK X. 32. AND they were in Atlane

AT length our Lord departed from the place spot. the way going up A to Jerusalem: and Jes of his retreat, and though he knew the reso- cxlii. sns went before them; lution that his enemies had formed against him, and they were amaz- yet he set out with his disciples, and (taking x. 32. ed, and as they follow. ed they were afraid. Jericho in his road) was determined to make his And he took again appearance in the temple at the approaching (LUKE, unto bim)

passover: and as, in pursuance of this design,
the twelve [disciples
apart in the way, and they were in the way going up to Jerusalem, Jesus,
began to tell them to shew his readiness to meet sufferings and death
what things should in such a cause went before them; and they were
happen unto him ;
rand said unto them,í exceedingly amazed at the spirit and ardour
MAT. XX. 17. - which he discovered in so dangerous an expedi-
i.tke XVIII. 31.-] tion; and as they followed bim they were afraid,

both for themselves and him. And, while their
hearts were thus impressed, he took the twelve
disciples again apart to himself, into a conve-
nient retirement which they met with by the
way, and began particularly to tell them what
things should befall him in that important jour-
ney, that he might thus prepare them for the
sufferings he should undergo, and that the ac-
complishment of his predictions might be some
confirmation to their faith during a series of
events which he knew would so severely try it.

And he said to them, 33 Behold, we go up Behold, and observe what I say ; We are now 33 to Jerusalem, [LUKE, going up to Jerusalem, and it is the last journey and all things that are 5 written by the prophets of this kind we shall ever take ; for now all things concerning the son of which are written by the ancient prophets, con

cerning the sufferings of the Son of man, shall be p'ished :) and the Son of mau shall be fbe- exactly fulfilled ; and the Son of man shall be trayed

betrayed VOL. VII.

man shall

be accom

Mar

and the

132 By the way he foretells his death and resurrection. SECT. betrayed by one of his own company, who has trayed and] delivered cxlil, professed the greatest duty and affection to him, un

bim unto the chief priests,

%, and unto the scribes : hark fand] shall be ungratefully delivered to the chief and they shall condemin X. 33. priests and the scribes?, particularly to those him to dcath, (Mat. who constitute the sapbedrim, and who have XX. 18. LUKE XVIII.

-31.)
already published so severe an edict against him
(John xi. 57, sect. cxli.); and, when they have
him thus in their power, they shall with great

formality condemn him to death, as a public
34 enemy and disturber: and, as they have not 31 And shall deliver
now the power of capital executions in their him to the

and they shall mock own hands, they shall deliver hiin up to the (Luke, and spiteful.y Gentiles, even to the Roman governor and his entreat] bim, and soldiers ; and they, instigated by the malice of shall scourge him, and the Jews, and utterly ignorant of the dignity and shall kill him,

** shall spit upon him, and glory of his person, shall mock and spite- (and crucify him :) fully entreat him in the most contumelious and and

shall rise again. [MAT. reproachful manner, and shall cruelly scourge XX. 19. LUKE XVIII. him, and carry their rude outrage to such a 32, 33. height, that they shall even spit upon him; and, when this scene of mockery is over, they shall put him to a most ignominious and painful death; and, as if he was a common slave, shall even crucify himb, and leave bim to expire in the gradual agonies of the cross : and yet all their malice shall not be able to triumph over bim ; for on the third day he shall rise again, victorious over the powers of darkness, and take possession of that glorious and universal kingdom which the prophets assign to the Messiah. (Compare Mat. xvi. 21, sect. lxxxix. and Mat. xvii. 22,

sect. xcii.) XVIII. . And, plain as this declaration was, their pre- Luke XVIII. 34.

And they understood 'ere so great, that they alu hlou unaci- none of these things : stand any of these things thoroughly, being at a

and loss to reconcile bis being slain with the pos. session of that kingdom which he was to inherit :

and

Luke

a Shall be betrayed and delivered, &c.] zealous transport of popular fury, than that The word wo.ceedogno slai is the same both in he should have been thus solemnly conMatthew and Mark; but plainly includes demned, and delivered up to crucifirion; a both his being treacherously discovered by Roman punishment with which we do not Judas and given up into the hands of his find he had ever been threatened. Indeed enemies. I have therefore retained the when the Jews condemned him for blas. different words by which our translatorsphemy, for which the punishment appointed render it, in the one place and the other in the law was słoning, and Pilate at last

b They shall-scourge him, and spit upon gave them a general permission to take him him,- and crucify him.] This prediction is and judge him according to their own law a remarkable proof of the prophetic Spirit (Mat. xxvi. 65, 66. John xviii. 31. and which dwelt in Christ ; for, humably xix. 7.) it is wonderful they did not choose speaking, it was much more probable that to stone himn : but all this was done that the he should have been privately assassinated or scriptures might be fulfilled. (Compare Mat. stoned, (as was before attempted) by some xxvi. 56. and John xix. 36.)

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James and John ask for the highest posts in his kingdom. 133 and this 'saying was and this matter was hid from them to so great a de- SFCT. bid from them, peither kaew they the things

gree that, after all our Lord bad said, they knew cx which were spoken. not the meaning of the things which were spo- Vat

ken. (Compare Luke ix. 44, 45, Vol. VI. p. 483.) XX. 20. MAT. XX. 20. Then Nevertheless they apprehended thus much, came to him the mo- that whatever difficulties lay in the way, they ther of Zebedee's chil. dren, with her sons should certainly end in his triumph and glory. (James and John,] And upon this presumption then the mother of worshipping kim, and Zebedee'schildren came at their instigation to him, desiring a certain thing of him, saying, Mas- with her sons James and John, who were pecu. ter, we would that thou liar favourites of our Lord ; and they all three should do for us what- fell down at his feet 1201

at, fell down at his feet, worshipping [him) in a most
8oCve we shall desire
(Mark X. 35.]

respectful manner, and desiring a certain ! fa-
vour] of him with great importunity, weakly
saying, Master, we would earnestly beg, that
thou shouldest give us a general promise to do
for us whatsoever we shall request of thee; for
it would be a very great grief to us if we should
not succeed in the important petition we have

to present, MARK X. 96. And And he said to her [andto them, You cannot Mark he said (unto her, and expect that whatsoever kindness I have for yoll, 1. 00. unto them, [What wilt expect that, whatsoever kindness I have for yoll, thou ! or] What would I should at all adventures enter mrself into so ye that I should do for rash an engagement; tell me therefore particoyou? (MAT. XX.21.] arts w

larly, IVhat wouldest thou have? (or) What

at uldest th
would you so earnestly desire that I should do for
you, if I was fully disposed to grant your re-

quest?
37 (She saith unto She says unto him, I entreat thee to grant that 37
him, Grant that these these my two dear sons, to whom thou hast shewn
my two sons, and they
Grant unto us,

so much regard, and who are so zealous for thy that we may sit, the cause and interest, may be preferred to stations 03thy right-hand, of the bigbest dignity, trust, and profit ; (and and the other on thy the left-hand, in the sking. They

they joined with her in the same request, and said, dumand glory. [Mat. Grant us, that when thou art established in thy XX.-21.)

glorious kingdom, which, as we apprehend, will
shortly be erected in the world, we may not
only have a place there, but may be fixed near
thy throne, and sit in distinguished honour and
authority, the one at thy right-hand, and the other

at thy left, as thy chief ministers of state. MAT. XX. 22. But But jesus said to them in reply, Alas! you are Mat.

under XX. 23.

Jesus

We may sit, the one at thy right-hand, dent of the court; the one called Ab Beth and the other at thy lift.] There may per- Din, or the father of the justiciary, who sat haps be an allusion in these words to a cir- on the right-hand of the president; the other cumstanice which the Talmudical writers Chacham, or the sage , who sat on the left. relate concerning the sanhedrim : that there See, among many ouer writers on this Were t.co officers of peculiar distinction, bead, Whits. Misc Sacr. Vol. I. lib. ji. Who sat on each side of the nasi, or presi- Dissert. 3, § 46, 4**

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