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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - MATTHEW 27

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    CHAPTER XXVII

    3. Repented himself (metamelhqeiv). See on Matt. xxi. 29.

    What is that to us? They ignore the question of Christ's innocence. As to Judas' sin or conscience, that is his matter. Thou wilt see to that.

    5. In the temple. But the best reading is eijv ton naon, into the sanctuary. He cast the pieces over the barrier of the enclosure which surrounded the sanctuary, or temple proper, and within which only the priests were allowed, and therefore into the sanctuary.

    6. It is not lawful. In such cases the Jewish law provided that the money was to be restored to the donor; and if he insisted on giving it, that he should be induced to spend it for something for the public weal. This explains the apparent discrepancy between Matthew's account and that in the book of Acts (i. 18). By a fiction of the law the money was still considered to be Judas', and to have been applied by him to the purchase of the potter's field.

    Scarlet (kokkinhn). From kokkov, cochineal, which grew in several parts of Greece. Garments of this color would seem to have been rare among the orientals. Herodotus relates that the admiration of Darius, then an officer in the army, was excited by the scarlet cloak of a Samian exile, who, on his offering to purchase it, presented it to him, and was afterward richly rewarded when Darius came to the throne (iii. 139).

    28. Robe (clamuda). The short military cloak which kings and emperors as well as soldiers wore.

    32. Compelled to go (hggareusan). See on Matt. v. 41. Rev., has impressed in margin.

    33. Golgotha. An Aramaic word, Gulgoltha, = the Hebrew, Gulgoleth, and translated skull in Judg. ix. 53; 2 Kings ix. 35. The word Calvary comes through the Latin calvaria, meaning skull, and used in the Vulgate. The New Testament narrative does not mention a mount or hill. The place was probably a rounded elevation. The meaning is not, as Tynd., a place of dead men's skulls, but simply skull.

    34. Wine (oinon). The older texts read oxov, vinegar. The compound of wine and gall was intended as a stupefying draught.

    36. Watched (ethroun). Or, to give the force of the imperfect tense, kept watch. This was to prevent the infliction of wanton cruelties, and also to prevent what sometimes happened, the taking down and restoring of the victim.

    37. Accusation (aitian). Lit., cause, and so rendered by Wyc. Tynd., cause of his death. The word accusation is compounded with the Latin causa, a cause. It is the cause of his condemnation and suffering.

    38. Thieves (lhstai). Rev., robbers. See on Matt. xxvi. 55.

    42. He saved others, etc. The Greek order is, Others he saved; himself he cannot save.

    43. If he will have him (ei qelei auton). Rev., correctly, If he desireth him: i.e., If he likes him. Compare Ps. xviii. (Sept. 17) 19; because he delighted in me (hqelhse me), Ps. xli. (Sept. 40) 11 (teqelhkav me).

    46. Ninth hour. "Early on Friday afternoon the new course of priests, of Levites, and of the 'stationary men' who were to be the representatives of all Israel, arrived Jerusalem, and having prepared themselves for the festive season went up to the temple. The approach of the Sabbath, and then its actual commencement, were announced by threefold blasts from the priests' trumpets. The first three blasts were blown when one-third of the evening-sacrifice service was over, or about the ninth hour; that it, about 3 P.M. on Friday" (Edersheim, "The Temple").

    48. Vinegar (oxouv). Sour wine; the posca or ordinary drink of the Roman soldiers.

    Gave him to drink (epotizen). The imperfect tense implies was in the act of giving, or about to give. At this point the Jews standing near interposed, saying Let be (afev)! "Stop! Do not give him the drink. Let us see if Elijah will come to his aid."

    50. Yielded up the ghost (afhke to pneuma). Lit., dismissed his spirit. Rev., yielded up his spirit. The fact that the evangelists, in describing our Lord's death, do not use the neuter verb, eqanen, he died, but he breathed out his life (ejxepneuse, Mark xv. 37), he gave up his spirit (paredwke to pneuma, John xix. 30), seems to imply a voluntary yielding up of his life. Compare John x. 18. Augustine says, "He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it."

    51. The veil of the temple. According to the Rabbis this was a handbreadth in thickness, and woven of seventy-two twisted plaits, each plait consisting of twenty-four threads. It was sixty feet long and thirty wide. Two of them were made every year, and according to the exaggerated language of the time it needed three hundred priests to manipulate it. This veil was the one which covered the entrance to the holy of holies, and not, as has been asserted, the veil which hung before the main entrance to the sanctuary. The holy of holies contained only a large stone, on which the high-priest sprinkled the blood on the day of atonement, occupying the place where the ark with the mercy-seat had stood.

    54. The Son of God. But there is no article. The words must not be construed as a recognition of Christ's divine sonship. They were uttered by a pagan soldier in his own sense of a demigod or hero. Yet they may have taken color from the fact that the soldiers had heard from the chief priests and others that Christ had claimed to be God's son.

    55. Which had followed (aitinev). Denoting a class: who were of the body of women that had followed him.

    56. Magdalene (h Magdalhnh). Neither Mary of Bethany (Matthew xxvi. 6-13) nor the woman who had been a sinner (Luke vii. 37-48). The word denotes merely her town: She of Magdala.

    57. When even was come. The Hebrews reckoned two evenings, an earlier and a later. The former began midway between noon and sunset, or at three o'clock in the afternoon. The latter began at sunset, six o'clock. The reference here is to the earlier evening, though the time may have been well on toward the beginning of the later. The preparations had to be hurried because the Sabbath would begin at sunset.

    60. New tomb (kainw). See on Matt. xxvi. 29. Not newly hewn, but fresh, undefiled by anybody.

    A great stone. Though in the Jews' sepulchres in general there were doors hung on hinges, the grooves and perforations for which may still be seen. Joseph's tomb may have been differently constructed, or else was in an unfinished state.

    63. We remember (emnhsqhmen). Lit., we remembered: i.e., it occurred to us: we have just remembered, and have come to tell you before it shall be too late.

    That deceiver (ekeinov o planov). The pronoun that is very picturesque; being used of distant objects, and therefore here as pointing to one who is out of the way and far removed. Planov, deceiver, is akin to planaw, to wander; and hence a vagabond imposter.

    64. Error (planh). Not, as many render, deceit or imposture, referring to planov above; but error on the people's part. The last error, namely, the false impression that he has risen from the dead, will be worse than the first error - the impression made by his impostures that he was the Messiah.

    65. Ye have (ecete). Or, as some render, imperatively: Have a guard! Rev., in margin, take.

    66. Sealing the stone and setting a watch (sfragisantev ton liqon, meta thv koustwdiav). Lit., having sealed the stone with the watch. Rev., Sealing the stone, the guard being with them. This is rather awkward, but the rendering rightly corrects the A.V. The idea is that they sealed the stone in the presence of the guard, and then left them to keep watch. It would be important that the guard should witness the sealing. The sealing was performed by stretching a cord across the stone and fastening it to the rock at either end by means of sealing clay. Or, if the stone at the door happened to be fastened with a cross beam, this latter was sealed to the rock.

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