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that onμepov, in the first of those passages, though it properly means to-day, is used for this night. It is so used in a still more unquestionable instance, Luke xxii. 34, Mark xiv. 30, where it can denote nothing but this night. It is still less seriously to be objected that what occurred with respect to Zaccheus, after passing through Jericho, occurred immediately after, or as soon as Jesus had left the city; and not, very possibly, some hours later, when he had accomplished proportionably so much more of the journey to Jerusalem.
But if Jesus actually stopped with Zaccheus on the way between Jericho and Jerusalem, and actually for the night, it seems a necessary inference that he stopped with him for the night which preceded his own arrival at Jerusalem. If so, he stopped with him on the night before the eighth of Nisan; that is, he stopped with him on the seventh, preparatory to the night of the eighth. This conclusion confirms our preceding deductions in a manner which almost places them beyond a question. For if our Saviour stopped with Zaccheus on the seventh of the Jewish Nisan, and spent with him the night of the eighth, he stopped with him just before the sabbath; and the reason for his stopping at all was not merely to distinguish the exemplary faith and goodness of disposition displayed by this Publican's recent conversion, but also the necessity of observing the sabbatic rest. I have shewn that, at the close of an ordinary day's journey after the passage through Jericho, he might
and to travel until the middle of the afternoon, (3 o'clock, the ninth hour,) when they began to look out for a place to pass the night in. Mr. Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. chap. v.
Obs. Ixiii. 238.
This is exactly what I should conceive our Lord to have done on the day that he passed through Jericho, and remained with Zaccheus.
be as much as three or four miles distant from Bethany; and possibly even more. It is not to be sup
posed that he would stop until the usual day's journey had been accomplished; nor that he would continue his route, especially if the sabbath was at hand, when it had. The Taраσкεvǹ, or preparation of the sabbath, began on the Friday at the ninth hour of the day, or three in the afternoon; which was also among the Romans, at this period, the usual time of supper *; though perhaps among the Jews supper-time was much later than that. At the ninth hour of the day on Friday, the seventh of Nisan, our Lord, having set out aμa poi, that is, at the first hour, from wheresoever he was in Peræa, and travelled through Jericho, at the rate of three Roman miles to the hour, might yet be within three or four miles of Bethany.
This distance it would be easy to accomplish, by setting out at sunset on the following day, so as to arrive at Bethany before the actual fall of night. There is an instance in Josephus which proves that, even upon ordinary occasions, supper-time among the Jews might be so late as the second hour of the night; that is, at the period of the vernal equinox, within an hour from the fall of night: and after the expiration
Sic ignovisse putato | Me tibi, si cœnas hodie mecum. . Ut libet. T. Ergo 1 Post nonam venies. Horace, Epistolarum i. vii. 69. Exul ab octava Marius bibit. Juvenal, i. 49—that is, an hour earlier than usual. Verum ubi declivi jam nona tepescere sole | Incipiet, seræque videbitur hora merendæ, &c. Calpurnius, Ecloga v. 60. Pollionem Asinium . . . nulla
res ultra decimam retinuit: ne epistolas quidem post eam horam legebat... sed totius diei lassitudinem duabus illis horis ponebat. Seneca, De Tranquillitate, cap. 15. §.13. Cf. iii. Macc. v. 14: Pseudo-Aristeas apud Josephum, vol. ii. 130. ad calc. Appendix: Nicolaus Damascenus, Vita Augusti, xiii: Pliny, Epistolarum iii. 1. §. 8.
c Vita, 44.
of the sabbath, it is probable that such would be always the case. It is not absolutely certain that the Jews, at this period of their history, observed an entire abstinence on the sabbath; though both Suetonius, and Justin the abbreviator of Trogus, seem to imply it but it
* To these we may perhaps add Martial: Quod bis murice vellus inquinatum, | Quod jejunia sabbatariorum. Lib. iv. iv. 6. No one at least, I should think, would be disposed to produce, as decisive evidence to the contrary, the testimony of the book of Judith, viii. 6. Plutarch, Symposiaca, iv. 5: Operum viii. 671, indeed observes : αὐτοὶ δὲ τῷ λόγῳ μαρτυροῦσιν ὅτι σάββατον τιμῶσι, μάλιστα μὲν πίνειν καὶ οἰνοῦσθαι παρακαλοῦντες ἀλλήλους· ὅταν δὲ κωλύῃ τι μεῖζον, ἀπογεύεσθαί γε πάν τως ἀκράτου νομίζοντες: but he has so many other statements in the same part of his works, concerning the Jews and their usages, which are false, that this may very probably be added to the number. Tertullian, Operum v. 45. Apologeticus, 16, implies, apparently, quite the reverse: Æque si diem solis lætitiæ indulgemus, alia longe ratione quam de religione solis, secundo loco ab eis sumus qui diem Saturni otio et victui decernunt, exorbitantes et ipsi a Judaico more, quem ignorant. Cf. Ibid. 154. ad Nationes, i. 13. It may be inferred, too, from the following passage of Persius, that the Jews in his time did not devote the sabbath to eating and drinking and making merry, but on the contrary to fasting and abstinence. At cum | Herodis ve
nere dies, unctaque fenestra | Dispositæ pinguem nebulam vomuere lucernæ, Portantes vio.. las, rubrumque amplexa catinum Cauda natat thynni, tumet alba fidelia vino: | Labra moves tacitus recutitaque sabbata palles. v. 179. It seems the most natural construction of these words, that the occurrence of a dies Herodis, (which being intended, as I suppose, of a day such as Agrippa the younger, the contemporary of Persius, would observe, may denote the sabbath,) at a period of rejoicing among the Romans, like the celebration of the Ludi Florales, or any thing of the same kind, would, under the influence of Jewish superstition, throw a damp over the festivity, as out of season upon one of their holydays.
I know not, too, whether Horace, Sermonum ii. iii. 290, Illo | Mane die, quo tu indicis jejunia, in the supposed apostrophe to Jupiter, is not to be understood of the Jewish sabbath, rather than of the Dies Jovis. It is agreed, that the allusion is clearly to a piece of superstition, borrowed from the Jews by such of the Romans as observed it. And the passage cited from Suetonius in his Vita Augusti, proves that in Horace's time the sabbath was considered to be kept
v Suetonius, Augustus, 76. Justin, xxxvi. 2. VOL. III. F
is certain that they observed a comparative one; and in particular, that they would neither light a fire nor cook meat of any kind upon that day. ̓Απείρηται δὲ κατὰ ταύτην πῦρ ἐναύειν-Μηδὲ ὅτι θερμὸν πίνομεν ἐν τοῖς σάβα βασι δεινὸν ἡγεῖσθε—Καὶ ταῖς ἑβδομάσιν ἔργων ἐφάπτεσθαι διαφορώτατα Ἰουδαίων ἁπάντων (φυλάσσονται)· οὐ μόνον γὰρ τροφὰς ἑαυτοῖς πρὸ ἡμέρας μιᾶς παρασκευάζουσιν, ὡς μηδὲ πῦρ ἐναύοιεν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ, ἀλλ ̓ οὐδὲ σκεῦός τι μετακινῆσαι θαῤῥοῦσιν, οὐδὲ ἀποπατεῖν W.
On this account, at the first repast which followed upon the expiration of the sabbatic vuxenμepov, that is, at the supper of the first evening of the ensuing week, they were accustomed, as was natural, to allow themselves in somewhat of more liberal an indulgence. The arrival of our Lord at Bethany was followed by a supper; which, if it was given on the evening of his arrival, was given on the evening in question; and otherwise it was manifestly such as to answer to this extraordinary character *. That it was so given will be seen hereafter, when we compare St. John's account
of the unction with that of St. Matthew or of St.Mark. Moreover, it is a certain fact that the time of the mid
by the Jews with the strictest abstinence from morning until sunset. We do not know this of Thursday, though the old Scholiast, in locum, asserts it. But this Scholiast is much later than the time of Horace. In a word, many of the customs ascribed to the Jews of this time, on the authority of the rabbis, in my opinion are falsely ascribed to them; and were not true at the Gospel period of their history. Of this number, I should consider the alleged observance of the sabbath-day as a feast, not
w Philo Judæus, Operum ii. 282. 1. 45: De Septenario et Festis Diebus. Justin Martyr, 194. line 18. Jos. Bell. Jud. ii. viii. 9.
day's repast was one hour later on the sabbath than usual; and this is presumptively an argument that the time of the evening's on the same day was proportionably later also. Hence if its ordinary time on a weekday might be before sunset, its ordinary time on the sabbath-day might be after: if it was delayed, on a week-day, until the first hour of the night, or if the first hour of the night on a week day was its usual time, (which I believe to have been the case,) it would be nothing extraordinary that its time, on the sabbath, should have been the second*.
*The evening's repast, even among the Romans, might be delayed until the time in question; for so it is that Augustus writes in the passage from his Life referred to above: Ne Judæus quidem, mî Tiberi, tam diligenter sabbatis jejunium servat, quam ego hodie servavi ; qui in balneo demum, post horam primam noctis, duas bucceas manducavi priusquam ungi inciperem: cap. 76. There is no proof that the Roman custom of supping at the ninth or tenth hour of the day was generally observed among the Jews: while the passage from the Life of Josephus, which shews him to have been supping, as matter of course, at the second hour of the night, seems to be decisive to the contrary. It may have been the case, however, that the ninth hour was the usual period of some meal among them; such as the evening's strictly so called, or what Calpurnius termed the merenda; but not their principal meal-as the supper is known to have been-and which
x Jos. Vita, 54.
there is every reason to suppose was always taken in the night. It appears to have been their practice to make about four hours' interval between the time of one meal, and that of another; for the first was taken at Tрwi, the next at the fifth hour of the day, the third at the ninth; and on the same principle the fourth, which would be properly the supper, would be taken at the first hour of the night. The old Roman custom also was to sup at sunset, or soon after it: and hence, probably, an ancient standing order of the Roman senate, alluded to by Seneca; Majores quoque nostri novam relationem post horam decimam in senatu fieri vetabant: De Tranquillitate, xv. §. 14. Varro, Fragmenta, Lib. iv. p. 195: Senatus consultum,ante exortum aut post occasum solem factum,ratum non fuit. Moreover, the fashionable Roman world was as much addicted to late hours, and as fond of turning day into night, and night into day, as the modern. L. Piso.. usque in horam sextam fere dormiebat-Jam lux proy Vide Jos. Vita, 44.