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Him by force : but they fear the people, who look on Him as a prophet. Jesus afterwards, going out from the temple foretells its approaching ruin: and coming with his Apostles to the Mount of Olives, enters into a long and weighty discourse, on the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world. He admonishes his followers to watch and pray, that when He comes in judgment, they may be found prepared. This admonition He enforces in various parables, and ends with a vivid picture of the day of general judgment.” When his discourse was over, He turned suddenly, as it would seem, to the momentous events that were immediately impending, and reminded his Apostles that, after two days would be the Pasch, and the Son of Man would be delivered up to be crucified.3
On Wednesday the enemies of Jesus Christ took counsel together how they might get hold of Him by craft, and kill Him. Judas came to their aid, and agreed to deliver Him up for thirty pieces of silver.
Our Lord does not appear to have come to Jerusalem on Thursday morning, as had been his custom on the previous days. But in the afternoon He sent Peter and John into the city, to prepare the Paschal supper. Towards evening He arrived Himself with the rest of his Apostles, and they ate the Pasch together. Then He washed their feet, and instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist. Afterwards rising from table, He went forth from the supper hall and the city, to the garden of Gethsemani, entertaining his Apostles, on the way, with a long and beautiful discourse. Here He was betrayed with a kiss, and taken prisoner by the Jews. On the same night He was brought before Annas, and then before Caiphas, the High priest.
Early on the morning of Friday, He is condemned by the supreme council of the Jews, and delivered up to Pilate, the Roman Governor. From Pilate He is sent away to Herod; and back again from Herod to Pilate. Then He is scourged, crowned with thorns, clothed in a purple garment, and exhibited before the populace as a mock King. At last, condemned to death, He goes forth from the city, carrying his cross, and ascends the hill of Calvary. At noon, He is crucified, and about three o'Clock, He expires. Towards evening his sacred body is taken down from the cross, and laid in a sepulchre.
* Matt. xxi. 23.46 ; xxii ; xxiii ; Mark, xi. 27-33 ; xii. 1-44; Luke, xx. ; xxi.
* Matt. xxiv ; XXV; Mark, xiii ; see also Milman, History of Christianity, vol. i. pp. 293-300.
3 Matt. xxvi. I, 2. * See Luke, xix. 47 ; xxi. 37, 38.
discipulis suis : (2). Scitis quia post biduum Pascha fiet, et
Non in die festo ; ne forte tumultus fieret in populo.
sacerdotes et scribæ quomodo eum dolo tenerent, et occiderent.
Pascha. (2). Et quærebant principes sacerdotum et scribæ,
to his disciples : (2). You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified. (3). Then were gathered together the chief priests and ancients of the people, into the court of the High priest, who was called Caiphas : (4). and they consulted together, that by subtilty they might apprehend Jesus and put him to death. (5). But they said : Not on the festival day ; lest perhaps there should be a
tumult among the people.
days: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they
among the people.
at hand. (2). And the chief priests and the scribes sought how
HARMONY. Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Pasch, was at hand. And Jesus said to his disciples : You know that after two days will be the Pasch, and the Son of man will be delivered up to be crucified. Then were gathered together the chief priests, and the Scribes, and the elders of the people, into the palace of the High priest, who was called Caiphas: and they consulted together, how they might, by craft, lay hold on Jesus and put him to death. But they feared the multitude ; and they said : Not on the festival day, lest perhaps there should be a tumult among the people.
NOTES. After two days. These words were spoken on the evening of Tuesday, and the Pasch, as will appear in the sequel, was kept on the evening of Thursday, two days later.
The feast of the Pasch. Pascha, which in Greek is written Táo xa, in Latin, sometimes Pascha, sometimes Phase, is the
Chaldaic form of the Hebrew Pesach, and means literally a passing over : hence in English it is not inaptly translated, the passover. The origin of this feast is fully explained in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. On the day before the deliverance of the Hebrew people from the bondage of Egypt, they were commanded, in every household, to kill a lamb, at evening ; and to sprinkle with its blood the door posts of the house. The lamb was then to be roasted upon the fire, and eaten with unleavened bread. Afterwards when the Lord went through the land, at midnight, and slew the first born of the Egyptians, from the first born of Pharao, who sat upon the throne, to the first born of the captive woman that was in prison, He passed over every house that was sprinkled with blood. Thus, whilst His enemies were smitten, His chosen people were saved by the blood of the lamb. In memory of this event, He ordained that the day should be kept as a feast for ever : and it was called the feast of the Pasch, that is to say, of the passing over. The word Pasch, however, is not confined to the feast: it is often used of the lamb that was slain. Thus Moses, in this very chapter, tells the people to “ kill the Pasch”;and in Deuteronomy
“ Thou shalt sacrifice the Pasch to the Lord thy God.''3 Christ, too, in the New Testament, speaks of eating the Pasch ;4 and Saint Paul uses the word in this sense when he says that "Christ, our Pasch, has been sacrificed." '5
The Azymes. Closely connected with the Pasch was the feast of the Azymes, that is to say, of unleavened bread. It began on the evening that the Paschal lamb was eaten, anu lasted seven days. During this period the Jews were forbidden, under pain of death, to eat leavened bread: nor was it even allowed to keep leaven in their houses. As the feast of the Pasch coincided with the first day of the Azymes, this day was the most important of the whole solemnity. Hence it is sometimes called, by excellence, the festival of the Azymes : and so it is here styled by Saint Luke. On this day, and also on the seventh day of the feast, no manner of servile work was allowed to be done, save only what was necessary for the preparation of food.?
The chief priests, oi ápxoepeis, were, most probably, the heads of the sacerdotal families; and must be carefully distinguished from the High priest, often called, by excellence, as in the present passage, the chief priest, ó ápxcepeńs, who was the head of the whole sacerdotal order.8
1 Exod. xii. 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14. 29, 30.
: Exod. xii. 21.
3 Deut. xvi. 2. - Mark, xiv. 14. et passim. i Cor. v. 7. 6.Exod. xii. 15-20.
7 Exod. xi. 16. 8 See Patrizzi, De Evang. Diss. xxviji; Maldonatus, in Matt. ii. 4.
The Scribes, o ypappareis, were doctors of the law, and filled, as it were the office of public notaries. It was their duty to preserve the sacred Books and other public documents, to study them, and to explain them to the people. They are mentioned here by Saint Mark and Saint Luke, but not by Saint Matthew, except in some Greek texts of doubtful authority.
The ancients of the people, οι πρεσβύτεροι του λαού, are introduced here by Saint Matthew, but not by Saint Mark or Saint Luke. They were probably the heads of the Jewish families, and are called elsewhere simply the elders, sometimes also the chiefs of the people. Combining the three narratives of this event, we find that the chief priests, the Scribes, and the elders of the people, were gathered together under the headship of the High priest. This was the supreme council of the Jews, called the Sanhedrim, to which belonged the highest judicial and administrative powers in things that concerned the Jewish religion and the Jewish law.3 Under the false pretence of religion, they were now assembled to conspire against the life of Jesus Christ, whose popularity with the people had excited their envy and hatred.
The court of the High priest. The Greek word is aúl, which sometimes meant the house or palace of a man of rank, sometimes a hall or court of the palace. It occurs frequently in the narrative of the Passion, and is used in both senses.4 Here it seems to mean the palace of the High priest.
Consulted together. They had long ago resolved upon his death : and when He was teaching openly in the Temple, a day or two before, they had wished to seize Him, but durst not on account of the people. Now therefore, probably on the morning of Wednesday, they took counsel together, how they might get Him into their hands by subtilty and craft.
They feared the people. For Jesus had many followers and friends among the people, who had been attracted to Him by his miracles, who had flocked round Him with acclamations on his entry into Jerusalem, spreading their garments in his way, and who had listened with admiration to his discourses in the Temple.?
I Patrizzi, De Evang. Diss. xxix ; Maldonatus, in Matt. ii. 4 ; Jans. Ypr. in Matt. ii. 4. 2 Patrizzi, De Evang. Diss. xxviii. n. 35.
3 See Smith, Dict. of the Bible ; Kitto, Cyclop. of Bib. Lit., Sanhedrim ; compare also Matt. xxvii. I, Mark, xv. I, Luke. xxii. 66.
* See Kitto, Cyclop. of Bib. Lit.; Smith, Dict. of the Bible, palace, hall.
5 John, xi. 53; Luke, xix. 47, 48. 6 Patrizzi, De Evang. Adnot. clv.; Diss., xlix.
7 Matt. xxi. 8-11, 46; xxii. 46; Mark, xi. 8-11, 18 ; xii. 12; Luke, xix. 35-38, 47, 48 ; xx. 26, 39, 40 ; xxi. 37, 38 ; John, xi. 45 ; xii. 9-13.
Not on the festival day. They were influenced by no religious motive, but feared a tumult amongst the people. As it was only in Jerusalem that the Pasch could be kept, the crowds that flocked into the city on the occasion of that feast must have been enormous. In the reign of Nero, according to Josephus, the number of people that kept the Pasch was upwards of 2,700,000. Those who could not find accommodation within the city encamped in tents without the walls. It is not strange that, in the presence of such a multitude, the enemies of our Lord should fear that His arrest might lead to a disturbance. Nevertheless, in the sequel it will appear that our Lord was, in fact, seized and put to death on the festival of the Pasch: and thus the event fell out rather in accordance with his prophecy than with the machinations of his enemies. They changed their plans, it would seem, when by the treachery of Judas, they were able secretly to arrest Him, on the evening of Thursday, in the garden of Gethsemani,
(To be continued.)
SANCTISSIMI IN CHRISTO PATRIS ET DOMINI NOSTRI
DOMINI PII DIVINA PROVIDENTIA PAPAE IX, CON-
Pius Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei ad Perpetuam rei
Memoriam. APOSTOLICAE Sedis officium, quod licet imparibus meritis, tenuitati Nostrae inscrutabili divinae providentiae Consilio demandatum est, inter multimodas curas, quibus hisce maxime temporibus premimur, hanc etiam Nobis imponit ut eas concessiones per Romanos Pontifices Praedecessores Nostros factas, quae temporis lapsu vel nimis ampla et prava interpretatione, magnum ecclesiasticae disciplinae detrimentum attulerunt, eas prout exigit necessitas, ad rectum mentis ipsorum Praedecessorum Nostrorum et Nostrae tramitem reducere,
* Smith, Dict, of the Bible, passover.