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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MATTHEW 26

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    CHAPTER XXVI

    2. Is betrayed (paradidotai). The present tense expresses here something which, though future, is as good as present, because already determined, or because it must ensue in virtue of an unalterable law. Thus the passover is (ginetai): it must come round at the fixed season. The Son of Man is betrayed according to the divine decree. Compare ver. 24.

    3. Palace (aulhn). But the word never means palace in the New Testament. It is the court, the open court or hall, forming the center of an oriental building, and often used as a meeting-place. Rev., court. Wyc., hall.

    7. An alabaster box (alabastron). Rev., cruse; flask in margin. Lit., an alabaster, just as we call a drinking-vessel made of glass a glass. Luther renders glass. It was a kind of cruet, having a cylindrical form at the top. Pliny compares these vessels to a closed rosebud, and says that ointments are best preserved in them.

    8. To what purpose is this waste? Wyc., Where to this loss? Tynd., What needed this waste? See on John xii. 3.

    10. When Jesus understood it (gnouv de o Ihsouv). The A.V. implies that some time elapsed before Jesus was aware of the disciples' complaint. But the statement is that Jesus perceived it at once. Rev., rightly, Jesus perceiving it.

    Good work (kalon). Lit., beautiful, but in a moral sense: an excellent, morally beautiful deed.

    15. What will ye give? (ti qelete moi dounai?) Rather, What are ye willing to give me? It brings out the chaffering aspect of the transaction. So Rev. They covenanted with him for (esthsan autw). But the meaning is, they weighed unto him; or, very literally, they placed for him (in the balance). Although coined shekels were in circulation, weighing appears to have been practiced, especially when considerable sums were paid out of the temple-treasury.

    Thirty pieces of silver (triakonta arguria). Matthew refers to Zech. xi. 12. These pieces were shekels of the sanctuary, of standard weight, and therefore heavier than the ordinary shekel. See on Matthew xvii. 24. Reckoning the Jerusalem shekel at seventy-two cents, the sum would be twenty-one dollars and sixty cents. This was the price which, by the Mosaic law, a man was condemned to pay if his ox should gore a servant (Exod. xxi. 32). Our Lord, the sacrifice for men, was paid for out of the temple-money, destined for the purchase of sacrifices. He who "took on him the firm of a servant" was sold at the legal price of a slave.

    18. Such a man (ton deina). The indefiniteness is the Evangelist's, not our Lord's. He, doubtless, described the person and where to find him.

    20. He sat down (anekeito). But this rendering missed the force of the imperfect tense, which denotes something in progress. The Evangelist says he was sitting or reclining, introducing us to something which has been going on for some time.

    22. Began to say (hrxanto). Denoting the commencement of a series of questions; one after the other (every one) saying, Is it I?

    Is it I? (mhti egw eimi). The form of the negative expects a negative answer. "Surely I am not the one."

    23. The dish (trubliw). Wyc., platter. A dish containing a broth made with nuts, raisins, dates, figs, etc., into which pieces of bread were dipped.

    25. Which betrayed (o paradidouv). The article with the participle has the force of an epithet: The betrayer.

    28. Testament (diaqhkhv). From diatiqhmi, to distribute; dispose of. Hence of the disposition of one's property. On the idea of disposing or arranging is based that of settlement or agreement, and thence of a covenant. The Hebrew word of which this is a translation is primarily covenant, from a verb meaning to cut. Hence the phrase, to make a covenant, in connection with dividing the victims slain in ratification of covenants (Gen. xv. 9-18). Covenant is the general Old Testament sense of the word (1 Kings xx. 34; Isa. xxviii. 15; 1 Sam. xviii. 3); and so in the New Testament. Compare Mark xiv. 24; Luke i. 72; xxii. 20; Acts iii. 25; vii. 8. Bishop Lightfoot, on Gal. iii. 15, observes that the word is never found in the New Testament in any other sense that that of covenant, with the exception of Heb. ix. 15-17, where it is testament. We cannot admit this exception, since we regard that passage as one of the best illustrations of the sense of covenant. See on Heb. ix. 15-17. Render here as Rev., covenant.

    Is shed (ekcunnomenon). The present participle, is being shed. Christ's thought goes forward to the consummation.

    29. New (kainon). Another adjective, neon, is employed to denote new wine in the sense of freshly-made (Matt. ix. 17; Mark ii. 22; Luke v. 37, 38, 39). The difference is between newness regarded in point of time or of quality. The young, for instance, who have lately sprung up, are neoi or newteroi (Luke xv. 12, 13). The new garment (Luke v. 36) is contrasted as to quality with a worn and threadbare one. Hence kainou. So a new heaven (2 Pet. iii. 13) is kainov, contrasted with that which shows signs of dissolution. The tomb in which the body of Jesus was laid was kainon (Matt. xxvii. 60); in which no other body had lain, making it ceremonially unclean; not recently hewn. Trench ("Synonyms") cites a passage from Polybius, relating a stratagem by which a town was nearly taken, and saying "we are still new (kainoi) and young (veoi) in regard of such deceits." Here kainoi expresses the inexperience of the men; neoi, their youth. Still, the distinction cannot be pressed in all cases. Thus, 1 Corinthians v. 7, "Purge out the old leaven that ye may be a new neon lump;" and Col. iii. 10, "Put on the new (neon) man," plainly carry the sense of quality. In our Lord's expression, "drink it new," the idea of quality is dominant. All the elements of festivity in the heavenly kingdom will be of a new and higher quality. In the New Testament, besides the two cases just cited, neov is applied to wine, to the young, and once to a covenant.

    30. Sung a hymn. Very probably the second part of the Jewish Hallel or Hallelujah, embracing Psalms 115, 116, 117, 118.

    They went out. In the original institution of the Passover it was enjoined that no one should go out of his house until morning (Exod. xii. 22). Evidently this had ceased to be regarded as obligatory.

    32. I will go before you. The thought links itself with what Christ had just said about the shepherd and the sheep. Compare John x. 4. I will go before you, as a shepherd before his flock.

    34. Before the cock crow. A little more graphic if the article is omitted, as in the Greek. Before a single cock shall be heard, early in the night, thou shalt deny me. Dr. Thomson ("Land and Book") says that the barn-door fowls "swarm round every door, share in the food of their possessors, are at home among the children in every room, roost overhead at night, and with their ceaseless crowing are the town-clock and the morning-bell to call up sleepers at early dawn."

    35. Though I should die (kan deh me apoqanein). The A.V. misses the force of deh: "Though it should be necessary for me to die." Wyc., "If it shall behove me to die." Rev., excellently, "Even if I must die."

    36. Gethsemane. Meaning oil-press. Beyond the brook Kedron, and distant about three-quarters of a mile from the walls of Jerusalem. Dean Stanley says of the olive-trees there: "In spite of all the doubts that can be raised against their antiquity, the eight aged olive-trees, if only by their manifest difference from all others on the mountain, have always struck the most indifferent observers. They will remain, so long as their already protracted life is spared, the most venerable of their race on the surface of the earth. Their gnarled trunks and scanty foilage will always be regarded as the most affecting of the sacred memorials in or about Jerusalem; the most nearly approaching to the everlasting hills themselves in the force with which they carry us back to the events of the gospel history" ("Sinai and Palestine").

    40. What! It is hardly possible to convey the exact force of the Greek outwv, thus or so. The idea is, "are ye thus unable, or so utterly unable to watch?"

    45. The hour is at hand. He probably heard the tramp and saw the lanterns of Judas and his band.

    47. One of the twelve. Repeated in all three evangelists, in the narratives both of the betrayal and of the arrest. By the time Matthew's Gospel was written, the phrase had become a stereotyped designation of the traitor, like he that betrayed him.

    A great multitude. The Sanhedrin had neither soldiery nor a regularly-armed band at command. In John xviii. 3, Judas receives a cohort of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees. Part of the band would consist of this regularly-armed cohort, and the rest of a crowd armed with cudgels, and embracing some of the servants of conspicuous men in the Sanhedrin.

    49. Kissed him (katefilhsen). The compound verb has the force of an emphatic, ostentatious salute. Meyer says embraced and kissed. The same word is used of the tender caressing of the Lord's feet by the woman in the Pharisee's house (Luke vii. 38), of the father's embrace of the returned prodigal (Luke xv. 20), and of the farewell of the Ephesian elders to Paul (Acts xx. 37).

    50. Wherefore art thou come? (ef o parei). The interrogation of the A.V. is wrong. The expression is elliptical and condensed. Literally it is, that for which thou art here; and the mind is to supply do or be about. The Lord spurns the traitor's embrace, and says, in effect, "Enough of this hypocritical fawning. Do what you are here to do." So Rev., Do that for which thou art come.

    51. The servant (ton doulon). The article marks the special servant; the body-servant.

    Ear (wtion). A diminutive in form but not in sense; according to a Greek popular usage which expressed parts of the body by diminutives; as rJinia, the nostrils; ojmmation, the eye; sarkion, the body. Peter aimed his blow at the servant's head, but missed.

    52. Put up again. Peter was still brandishing his sword.

    53. Twelve legions of angels. Compare the story of Elisha at Dothan (2 Kings vi. 17).

    55. A thief (lhsthn). Better Rev., a robber. See John x. 1, 8; and Luke xxiii. 39-43. It is more than a petty stealer; rather one with associates, who would require an armed band to apprehend him. Hence the propriety of the reference to swords and staves.

    I sat (ekaqezomhn). The imperfect tense, denoting something habitual. I was accustomed to sit.

    63. I adjure thee. I call upon thee to swear. The high-priest put Christ upon oath.

    That (ina). In order that; signifying the design with which he adjured the Lord.

    64. Thou hast said. An affirmation. You have spoken the truth. What thou hast asked me is the fact. Compare ver. 25. Nevertheless (plhn). However. Apart from my affirmation, you shall see for yourself.

    66. Guilty of death (enocov qanatou). Rev., worthy of death. See on Matt. xxiii. 18. ejn, in, ecw, to hold. The idea is, literally, holden of death; in bonds to death.

    67. Buffet (ekolafisan). With the fist.

    Smote with the palms of their hands. All expressed by one word, ejrapisan, from rJapiv, a rod, and meaning to smite with rods, not with the palms. The same word is employed Matt. v. 39. It came to mean generally to strike.

    69. A damsel (mia paidiskgh). Lit., one damsel, because the writer has in mind a second one (ver. 71).

    71. Gone out. Through fear of being further questioned.

    72. The man. As if he did not know Jesus' name.

    74. To curse (kataqematizein). A new development of profanity. Hitherto he had merely sworn. Now he adds imprecation; invoking curses on himself if the case be not as he says.

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