Abbildungen der Seite

• day in the morning. And in like manner other interpreters. But the thing is so plain, as scarcely to need any paraphrase or explication, and therefore, is seldom found in commentators. But that the meaning of the original word is “ the next day,” according to our usual manner of speaking, is manifest from many texts, where it is found. So Acts xxv. 22, 23, “ Then Agrippa said unto Festus; I would also hear the man myself. To-morrow, avprov, said he, thou shalt bear him. On the morrow, in everavplov, when Agrippa was come, and Bernice with great pomp, and was entered into the place of hearing, with the chief captains, and principal men of the city, at Festus's commandment Paul was brought forth.” I presume, that by “to-morrow, [or] on the morrow,” is not meant the dark evening, or night, after sun-setting, but “ the next day," when it was light, the only proper season for such an assembly, and the important design of it.

Acts iv. 5, " And it came to pass, that on the morrow, eryeveto de eti mnv avplov, their elders, and rulers, and scribes, -were gathered together.” The context shows, that hereby is not meant the night-season, after sun-setting, but the next day when it would be light. For it is said at ver. 3, “ And they laid hands on them, and put them in bold until the next day,

Els TNV avplov. For it was now even-tide." Acts x. 23, 24, “ Then called be them in, and lodged them. And on the morrow, 77, de eravplov, Peter. went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied bimn. And on the morrow, in de en avplov, they entered into Cesarea." I do not see how the word can be here understood of any thing, but the morning of the next day, after the rising of the sun. Nor do I think, that it ever was understood otherwise. See also ver. 9, and chap. xx. 7, xxii. 30, and other like places, which may easily be found by yourself, or any other, that wants farther satisfaction. It seems to me somewhat



should misunderstand a phrase, which has in so many places, invariably, the same meaning, and has always been so understood. If the evangelist had intended the time mentioned by you, he would have expressed it, in some one of the phrases, not unusual in the gospels. He would have said: “And when the evening was now. come, [or] when the sun was now set,” of which examples may be seen, Matt. xiv. 23; yras δε γενομενης. .

John vi. 16; is de oyala eyeveto. Mark i. 32; οψιας δε γενομενης, οτε εδυ ο ηλιος. Luke iv. 40; δυνoντος δε το ηλιο. .

And why do you affix this unheard-of meaning to the


2 A

word in Matt. xxvii. 62! Let us attend. To have delayed • it to sun-rising would have been preposterous, as the dis• ciples might have stolen the body away during the pre. ceding night.' But, Sir, such reasonings are of no avail against the clear and express assertion of the evangelist, that the priests and pharisees did not go to Pilate, till the next day, or the morrow after our Saviour's crucifixion and burial.

And there are obvious reasons for such delay. The day, in which our Lord was crucified, bad been a day of full employment and great perplexity to Pilate. And the Jewish priests and pharisees might not judge it convenient to disturb bim in the evening of it. Possibly this thought of a guard, to watch the sepulchre, came not into the minds of any of them that evening. Whenever the thought arose in the minds of one, or two, or some few of them, it would require time to propose it to others, and gather them together, to go with the request to Pilate. And the morning of the next day was soon enough. For they could none of them suspect the disciples to be so horribly profane and desperate, as to attempt to remove a dead body on the sabbath! They therefore made provision against the night that followed after the sabbath. Which was all that could be reckoned needful in the opinion of the most suspicious. Indeed, it is not easily supposable, that any of those Jews did really suspect the disciples of a design to steal the body. But they were willing to cast upon them the scandal of such a supposition, the more to bring them under popular resentment. But the contrivance turned out to their own disadvantage.

I seem to myself to have now made good the common interpretation of this text. I have advanced nothing new. On the next day, after the crucifixion of Jesus, and probably in the morning of that day, some of the priests and pharisees went to Pilate, requesting a guard at the sepulchre, and he granted their request.

This paragraph of St. Matthew is so plain and easy, that I have found few notes upon it in commentators : searcely any, excepting to show, that by “ the day that followed the day of the preparation," is to be understood the Jewish sabbath. However Grotius bas a note, that may be proper to be observed. It is to this purpose: The council could

* Non potuit eo die synedrium haberi. Sed privato consilio sacerdotum principes quidain et sénatores aliqui, pharisaïcæ factionis, Pilatum conveniunt, tanquam acturi de

ad summa rempublicam pertinente. Nec difficulter ab eo impetrârunt rem, in quâ ille nihil situm existimabat. Gr. in Matt. Xxvii. 62.


• not sit on that day. But after a private consultation some ..of the priests and senators of the sect of the pharisees went * to Pilate, as if they had somewhat to say to him of the . utmost importance. Nor bad they much difficulty to ob• tain what they requested.'

III. I now proceed to the next article of my inquiry, concerning a visit to the sepulchre, which you suppose to have been intended, and attempted by some of the women from Galilee, but not performed by then.'

This is a visit or journey to the sepulchre, which I do not see in other commentators. Nor can I discern it in the gospels, after all that you have said in favour of it. A part of the title or contents of your 149th section, p. 619, is this:

Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, go out * to see the sepulchre; but are terrified by an earthquake.'

P. 620, . Matt. xxvii. 1, " In the end of the sabbath, as • it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary to see the sepulchre,” Oewpnoai, to see, if the stone was still at the door, because by that they could know, whether the body was within. • For from John xiv. 42, it would appear, that the friends of • Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else—The women • knowing this, had reason to think, that Joseph would remove the body, as soon as the sabbath was ended. Ac

cordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper • to send two of their number, to see if Jesus was still in • the sepulchre; and, if he was not, to inquire of the gar• dener where he was laid ; that when the spices were pre

pared,—they might go directly to the place, and einbalm • him.'

All fiction, surely! Nor do I, as before said, find this in any commentators, with whom I am acquainted. However, let us see what this ingenious author says to sup

P. 620, 621, This journey to the sepulcbre, by the two • Marys, is generally supposed to have been undertaken in * the morning, according to our sense of the word, that is to

say, some time after midnight. But this opinion, though • universally received, may be justly called in question. For • first of all, what reason can be assigned for the women • not going to see the sepulchre, as soon as the Jewish sab• bath was ended, that is, on Saturday, immediately after * sun-setting, when they had more than an hour's twilight ' to carry them thither ?

To which I answer, that they could not go ther, because the spices were not yet prepared. For 1 shall show pre

2 A 2




port it.


sently, that they were not bought, till after the Jewish sabbath was ended.

You go on : In the second place, since they delayed it • at all, why did they go at two or three in the morning, " rather than at some more seasonable time? You should not say, at two or three in the morning. For that is not the time intended by the expositors, with whom you are arguing. You should say, 'four or five in the morning.' So the evangelist tells us, the women set out early, “ at the dawning of the day,” that is, between four and five in the morning, according to our way of computation. They could not go sooner with decency. And, if the body was to be embalmed, it was proper to take the first opportunity, and perform it as soon as could be conveniently done after decease. This, I think, accounts for the women's going to the sepulchre, early in the morning, at the time supposed by all commentators in general. They would have anointed the body sooner, if they had not been prevented by the coming in of the Jewish sabbath. That being over, and the spices prepared, they embrace the earliest season for going to the sepulchre.

Still you say, p. 621, · The reader will be pleased to take • notice, that the time here fixed for the women's first visit ' to the sepulchre, is capable of direct proof likewise from • the words o. the text. Matt. xxviii, 1, “ In the end of the * sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcbre." According to the Jewish form of the day, the sabbath ended, and the first day of the week began at sun-setting, Lev. xxü. 32. If so, Matthew's description of the time, when the women set out for the sepulchre, fixeth it expressly to the evening, notwithstanding the word “ dawn," in our translation, falsely protracts it to some hour after midnight, being very improperly used in this passage. The word in the original is e Tidwokeon. Which applied to the Jewish day, signifies simply, that the day began,” without conveying any idea of light at all. Contrary, I own, to its primary meaning, which doubtless includes the notion of light, gradually • increasing in conformity to the commencement of the day • among the Greeks, who formed the word, so as to denote their own idea. But however contrary to the analogy of the Greek language, this signification of the word emiowoKeon may seem, it could bave no other in the mouth of a • Jew, whose days all began at sun-setting. Besides, it bas

this meaning without dispute, Luke xxiii, 54, where, in


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

the history of our Lord's burial, it is said: “ And that day was the day of the preparation, and the sabbath dawned, ETEDwoke, that is, was about to begin ; or, as it is well ren• dered in our version, “ drew on. For nobody ever fan

cied, that Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus, laid Jesus • in the sepulchre, when the Jewish sabbath “ dawned,” in

the sense of its becoming light. But the meaning which • this Greek word has in Luke, it may have in Matthew, or

rather must have; as it cannot be imagined that an histo• rian, capable of common accuracy, much less an inspired • writer, would say, it dawned toward the first day of the • week, nine or ten hours after the first day of the week • began.'

I have made this long quotation that I might set your argument in its full light, and that you might not complain that justice had not been done to it. In answer to all which I say; all know very well, that the Jewish civil day, or voxonuepov, began at the setting of the sun. But that day was divided into two parts, night and day, by day meaning the natural day, or that part of the civil day which is light. This sense of the word day is very common in scripture. Ps. Ixxiv. 16, “ The day is thine, the night also is thine.” John xi. 9. 10, “ Jesus answered ; Are there not twelve hours in the day ? If any walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of the world. But if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” In Matt. xx. 1—16, is the parable of the labourers bired to work in a vineyard " for a penny a day:" meaning a day of twelve hours, whilst it is light, and a proper season for labour. Luke iv. 42, “ And when it was day, yevojevns de quepas, he departed, and went into a desert place." Acts xii. 18, “ Now, as soon as it was day, yevojevns de quepas, there was no small stir among the soldiers.” Where, soon as it was day,” cannot mean the Jewish civil day, but day-light. All which is agreeable to that ancient and original determination of the Deity himself. Gen. j. 5, “ And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night."

Need I add any more examples ? they are easily had : Luke vi. 13, “ And when it was day, kai ote eyeveto quepa he called unto him his disciples.” Acts xxvii. 29, They cast four anchors out of the ship, and wished for the day, nuxovto inepavyevesai. Ver. 33, " And while the day was coming on, αχρι δε και εμελλεν ημερα γενεσθαι, Paul besought them all to take meat.” I add no other texts, but that of 2 Peter i. 19, “ Until the day dawn, and the day-star arise


« ZurückWeiter »