« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
19, not merely as a consequence of the failure of their previous remonstrance, but as a distinct admission of their own inability to arrest the tide of the popular feeling; which is most naturally accounted for by supposing that feeling to be now arrived at its height. From the place assigned to it in the context, it could not long have preceded the request of the Hellenes to see Jesus; as neither did that request the departure of Jesus for the night. But this brings us to the consideration of the time when our Lord entered the temple, and what stay he may be supposed to have made there.
That we may waive, for the present, the further question whether he cleansed the court of the temple on this occasion or not; (a question, which has nothing to do with the first of those two points, and but little with the second ;) St. Mark's account of proceedings, after the entrance into the city, is simply this— that our Lord went into the temple; looked round on the state of things there; and then departed with the Twelve to Bethany for the night. And it is assigned, as the reason for the shortness of his stay, that the hour was late. St. Luke, who mentions merely the cleansing of the temple, leaves every other circumstance doubtful; except that, by telling us elsewhere " that our Lord's practice, throughout the previous days, had been not to leave the temple until night, he may be considered to imply that he left it, on this occasion also, only at night. St. Matthew's account adds certain particulars to that of St. Mark; viz. the cure of some blind and lame persons in the temple; the acclamations of the children; and another remonstrance of the Pharisees, with our Lord, on that account: in none of which is there any thing inconsistent with St. Mark.
For first, the περιβλεψάμενος πάντα of this Evan
u Ch. xxi. 37.
gelist does not imply that Jesus did nothing else on this occasion; but simply prepares the reader for the cleansing of the temple on the following day. Secondly, the cures in question, though necessarily wrought after the entrance into the temple, would take up no time, nor require any long continuance there. Thirdly, the acclamations of the children had doubtless been going on from the first, and were not then merely begun, so as to have produced the remonstrance on the spot. Fourthly, as soon as our Lord had replied to this remonstrance, he left the temple immediately; and when he went out it was for the night; for he proceeded to Bethany, and slept there.
The account of St. John, so far as it belongs to the history of proceedings on the same day, consists of only one additional and supplementary particular, the request of the Hellenes to see Jesus, and the reflections which it drew from our Lord w. If these Hellenes were, as I apprehend, and as their name implies, not Jews of the Dispersion, whose proper denomination would have been Hellenists, but Gentile proselytes, numbers of whom attended every feast; the scene of this incident, or at least of the first part of it, the request addressed to Philip, was probably the outer court of the temple, to which only such proselytes had access; and therefore the time was either when our Lord was passing through that court out of the temple, or after he had already quitted it: and there is internal evidence, at verses 35 and 36, that, as this application to him was apparently the last event in the day, so it was made when the night was at hand. The 'allusion at least in those verses to the approach of the
v Ch. xi. II.
Ch. xii. 20-36.
x Jos. Bell. vi. ix. 3.
night, besides its spiritual meaning, becomes so much the more striking and impressive, if it contains a sensible meaning also.
The nation of the inquirers is further implied by the nature of their request itself; which was much more probably that they might be permitted to speak with, than merely to see Jesus. If they were really Gentiles, the former would be such a request as neither Philip nor Andrew, without first consulting his Master, could take upon himself to grant; and therefore it would account at once for the behaviour of both : but the latter was such a gratification of an innocent curiosity, as any one of the disciples might voluntarily have undertaken to concede. The strain of our Lord's reflections is in unison with the same supposition; for he takes occasion, from the coincidence of such a request at this time, to predict in obscure, yet significant terms the future success of his Gospel, in the preaching of Christ crucified among the Gentiles. When this conversation then took place, it is probable that he was either passing out of the temple,or had quitted it already. Nor is more implied at verses 28 and 29, by the mention of the people's standing and hearing the voice from heaven, than that, on being apprised of the application of these strangers, wheresoever he was, he had stopped for a time (which however could not be long) to deliver the sentiments which ensued.
Laying these particulars together with St. Mark's previous statement of the time when he left the temple —a statement, which cannot be understood of an earlier period than sunset-and making every allowance for the slowness and solemnity of the procession, after it set out from Bethany to traverse a distance which probably did not exceed three Roman miles in extent; we may come to the conclusion that Jesus must have
left Bethany about the ninth hour on the tenth of Nisan, Monday in Passion-week, and the Julian first of April; that he must have arrived in the temple before the eleventh hour; and must have left it again before sunset, or just on the eve of the Jewish eleventh of Nisan.
It would seem, then, that upon this occasion he must barely as it were have appeared in the temple, and as speedily departed from it again; which would be so far simply to present himself before God and if the Christian doctrine of the Atonement is scriptural and true, to present himself in his capacity of the Paschal sacrifice, now ready to be offered up. If we may assume then, that he did this in compliance with the legal equity; the legal equity required it to be done on the tenth of Nisan: for at the first institution of the Passover, it had been commanded that the lamb, which was to be sacrificed on the fourteenth, should be taken up and consecrated for that purpose on the tenth. It is true that Maimonides, and others of the rabbis, enumerate this requisition among the special circumstances, such as eating the Passover in haste, in the garb and attitude of travellers, and the like, which they consider peculiar to the Pascha Ægyptium, or the first Passover as such. Quod autem in Ægypto præscriptum erat, ut usque a decimo die primi mensis pararetur victima paschalis, . . . hæc omnia omnino semel in illo sacro paschali Ægyptio servata sunt; sed nunquam usitata fuêre postmodum 2. I am ready to admit the general probability of this statement, especially in the case of those who might arrive in Jerusalem on the morning of the Passover itself; of which we shall see an instance hereafter in the case of Simon of Cyrene. But if it was merely a circumstance essential to the z De Sacrificio Paschali, x. 15.
y Exod. xii. 3. 6.
ceremonial of the first Passover, that was sufficient to make it indispensable to the sacrifice of the death of Christ; and to explain the grounds of the legal requisition, which would otherwise be inexplicable.
But in addition to the character of the Paschal victim, our Lord had another to support, in the character of the daily sacrifice: with regard to which Maimonides himself informs us a that the lambs, intended for that purpose, were set apart to be kept in the Conclave Agnorum, within the sanctuary, quatriduum ante immolationem. On this principle the daily sacrifice, for the fourteenth of Nisan, must have been taken up and set apart on the tenth; the morning sacrifice in the morning, the evening one in the evening. On the same principle too, it would be nothing improbable to suppose that every lamb, which was wanted by any Paschal company on the fourteenth of Nisan, was set apart in some proper place, for the service of such a company, on the tenth. In all these coincidences, if our Saviour was really the true Paschal victim, and really the true ἐνδελεχὴς θυσία, and really presented himself in both these capacities before God, on the tenth of Nisan, four days before the fourteenth when he suffered, and about the same time of the day on the one, at which he suffered upon the other; we cannot but perceive a striking conformity between the type and the antitype, between the figures of things to come, and their fulfilment by the event: which correspondence, it would be great scepticism and incredulity, if not the height of inconsistency, to resolve into the effect of chance. will add to the difficulty of accounting for it on any principle but that of design; that the tenth of Nisan, when our Lord presented himself in the temple, according to the Jewish mode of reckoning, was his noa De Sacrificiis Jugibus, i. 8.