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And so the King bade the servants--diakóvous—-not the same who had previously carried the invitation (doúrous), but others—evidently here the Angels, His ministers,' to bind him hand and foot, and to cast him out into the darkness, the outer-that is, resistless, he was to be cast out into that darkness which is outside the brilliantly lighted guestchamber of the King. And, still further to mark that darkness outside, it is added that this is the well-known place of suffering and anguish : “there shaļl be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
And here the Parable closes with the general statement, applicable alike to the first part of the Parable-to the first invited guests, Israel—and to the second, the guests from all the world: For' (this is the meaning of the whole Parable) many are called, but few chosen.' For the understanding of these words we have to keep in view that, logically, the two clauses must be equally supplemented. Thus, it would read : Many are called out of the world by God to partake of the Gospel-feast, but few out of the world— not, out of the called--are chosen by God to partake of it. The call to the feast and the choice for the feast are not identical. The call comes to all; but it may be outwardly accepted, and a man may sit down to the feast, and yet he may not be chosen to partake of the feast, because he has not the wedding-garment of converting, sanctifying grace. And so one may be thrust even from the marriage board into the darkness without, with its sorrow and anguish.
Thus, side by side, yet wide apart, are these two—God's call and God's choice. The connecting-link between them is the taking of the wedding-garment, freely given in the Palace. Yet, we must seek it, ask it, put it on. And so here also, we have, side by side, God's gift and man's activity. And still, to all time, and to all men, alike in its warning, teaching, and blessing, is it true: “Many are called, but few chosen !'
ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES.
THE EVENING OF THE THIRD DAY IN PASSION-WEEK-ON THE MOUNT OF
OLIVES : DISCOURSE TO THE DISCIPLES CONCERNING THE LAST THINGS.
(St. Matt. xxiv. ; St. Mark xiii.; St. Luke xxi. 5–38; xii. 35-48.)
The last and most solemn denunciation of Jerusalem had been uttered, the last and most terrible prediction of judgment upon the Temple spoken, and Jesus was suiting the action to the word. It was as if He had cast the dust off His Shoes against the House' that was to be left desolate.' And so He quitted for ever the Temple and them that held office in it.
They had left the Sanctuary and the City, had crossed black Kidron, and were slowly climbing the Mount of Olives. A sudden turn in the road, and the Sacred Building was once more in full view. Just then the western sun was pouring his golden beams on tops of marble cloisters and on the terraced courts, and glittering on the golden spikes on the roof of the Holy Place. In the setting, even more than in the rising sun, must the vast proportions, the symmetry, and the sparkling sheen of this mass of snowy marble and gold have stood out gloriously. And across the black valley, and up the slopes of Olivet, lay the dark shadows of those gigantic walls built of massive stones, some of them nearly twenty-four feet long. Even the Rabbis, despite their hatred of Herod, grow enthusiastic, and dream that the very Temple-walls would have been covered with gold, had not the variegated marble, resembling the waves of the sea, seemed more beauteous. It was probably as they Baba B. now gazed on all this grandeur and strength, that they broke the 618 silence imposed on them by gloomy thoughts of the near desolateness of that House, which the Lord had predicted. One and St. Matt. another pointed out to Him those massive stones and splendid buildings, or spake of the rich offerings with which the Temple was adorned. It was but natural that the contrast between this and the predicted desolation should have impressed them; natural, also,
4 0; Succ.
« St. Matt. xxiv, 1
a St. Matt. xxiv. 3 b St. Mark xiii, 1
c St. Mark xiii. 3
that they should refer to it—not as matter of doubt, but rather as of question. Then Jesus, probably turning to one-perhaps to the first, or else the principal ---of His questioners, spoke fully of that terrible contrast between the present and the near future, when, as fulfilled with almost incredible literality,' not one stone would be left upon another that was not upturned.
In silence they pursued their way. Upon the Mount of Olives they sat down, right over against the Temple. Whether or not the others had gone farther, or Christ had sat apart with these four, Peter and James and John and Andrew are named C as those who now asked Him further of what must have weighed so heavily on their hearts. It was not idle curiosity, although inquiry on such a subject, even merely for the sake of information, could scarcely have been blamed in a Jew. But it did concern them personally, for had not the Lord conjoined the desolateness of that ‘House' with His own absence? He had explained the former as meaning the ruin of the City and the utter destruction of the Temple. But to His prediction of it had been added these words: Ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.' In their view, this could only refer to His Second Coming, and to the End of the world as connected with it. This explains the twofold question which the four now addressed to Christ : Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy Coming, and of the consummation of the age ? ? ?
Irrespective of other sayings, in which a distinction between these two events is made, we can scarcely believe that the disciples could have conjoined the desolation of the Temple with the immediate Advent of Christ and the end of the world. For, in the very saying which gave rise to their question, Christ had placed an indefinite
According to Josephus (War vii. 1, 1) That may be so, but the inference of the city was so upheaved and dug up, Godet is certainly incorrect, -that neither that it was difficult to believe it had ever the question of the disciples, nor the been inhabited.
later period discourse of our Lord on that occasion Turnus Rufus had the ploughshare primarily referred to the Second Advent drawn over it. And in regard to the (the papovola). When that writer remarks, Temple walls, notwithstanding the that only St. Matthew, but neither S. massiveness of the stones, with the ex- Mark nor St. Luke refer to such a quesception of some corner or portion of tion by the disciples, he must have over. wall-left almost to show how great had looked that it is not only implied in the been the ruin and desolation—there is, 'all these things' of St. Mark, and the certainly, nothing now in situ' (Capt. 'these things 'of St. Luke-which, surely, Wilson in the ‘Ordnance Survey '). refer to more than one thing, but that
2 της συντελείας του αιώνος. Godet the question of the disciples about the argues that the account in the Gospel of Advent takes up a distinctive part of St. Matthew contains, as in other parts what Christ had said on quitting the of that Gospel, the combined reports of Temple, as reported in St. Matt. xxiii. addresses, delivered at different times.
THE TWOFOLD QUESTION OF THE DISCIPLES.
period between the two. Between the desolation of the House and their new welcome to Him, would intervene a period of indefinite length, during which they would not see Him again. The disciples could not have overlooked this; and hence neither their question, nor yet the Discourse of our Lord, have been intended to conjoin the two. It is necessary to keep this in view when studying the words of Christ; and any different impression must be due to the exceeding compression in the language of St. Matthew, and to this, that Christ would purposely leave indefinite the interval between the desolation of the house and His own Return.
Another point of considerable importance remains to be noticed. When the Lord, on quitting the Temple, said: “Ye shall not see Me henceforth,' He must have referred to Israel in their national capacity—to the Jewish polity in Church and State. If so, the promise in the text of visible reappearance must also apply to the Jewish Commonwealth, to Israel in their national capacity. Accordingly, it is suggested that in the present passage Christ refers to His Advent, not from the general cosmic viewpoint of universal, but from the Jewish standpoint of Jewish, history, in which the destruction of Jerusalem and the appearance of false Christs are the last events of national history, to be followed by the dreary blank and silence of the
many centuries of the Gentile dispensation, broken at last by the events that usher in His Coming.
Keeping in mind, then, that the disciples could not have conjoined the desolation of the Temple with the immediate Advent of Christ into His Kingdom and the end of the world, their question to Christ was twofold: When would these things be ? and, What would be the signs of His Royal Advent and the consummation of the
Age'? On the former the Lord gave no information ; to the latter His Discourse on the Mount of Olives was directed. On one point the statement of the Lord had been so novel as almost to account for their question. Jewish writings speak very frequently of the so-called "sorrows of the Messiah' (Chevlej shel Meshiachbl). Shabb. These were partly those of the Messiah, and partly—perhaps chiefly -those coming on Israel and the world previous to, and connected with, the Coming of the Messiah. There can be no purpose in describing them in detail, since the particulars mentioned vary so much, and the descriptions are so fanciful. But they may generally be characterised as marking a period of internal corruption and of End of the
'If these are computed to last nine fanciful analogy with the sorrows' of a Sotah months, it must have been from a kind of VOL. II.
* St. Luke
xi. 21 &c.
a Comp. Sanb. 98 a and b
Comp. Jos. War ii. 13.4; and especially vi. 5.2
outward distress, especially of famine and war, of which the land of Palestine was to be the scene, and in which Israel were to be the chief sufferers. As the Rabbinic notices which we possess all date from after the destruction of Jerusalem, it is, of course, impossible to make any absolute assertion on the point; but, as a matter of fact, none of them refers to desolation of the City and Temple as one of the signs' or sorrows' of the Messiah. It is true that isolated voices proclaimed that fate of the Sanctuary, but not in any connection with the Advent of Messiah; and, if we are to judge from the hopes entertained by the fanatics during the last siege of Jerusalem, they rather expected a Divine, no doubt Messianic, interposition to save the City and Temple, even at the last moment. When Christ, therefore, proclaimed the desolation of the House,' and even placed it in indirect connection with His Advent, He taught that which must have been alike new and unexpected.
This may be the most suitable place to explain the Jewish expectancy connected with the Advent of the Messiah. Here we have first to dismiss, as belonging to a later period, the Rabbinic fiction of two Messiahs: the one, the primary and reigning, the Son of David; the other, the secondary and warfaring Messiah, the Son of Ephraim or of Manasseh. The earliest Talmudic reference to this second Messiah dates from the third century of our era, and contains the strange and almost blasphemous notices that the prophecy of Zechariah,a concerning the mourning for Him Whom they had pierced, refers to Messiah the Son of Joseph, Who was killed in the war of Gog and Magog ;' and that, when Messiah the Son of David saw it, He asked life’ of God, who gave it to Him, according to this in Ps. ii.: Ask of Me, and I will give Thee,' upon which God informed the Messiah that His father David had already asked and obtained this for Him, according to Ps. xxi. 4. Generally the Messiah, Son of Joseph, is connected with the gathering and restoration of the ten tribes. Later Rabbinic writings connect all the sufferings of the Messiah for sin with this Son of Joseph. The war in which “the Son of Joseph'succumbed would finally be brought to a victorious termination by the Son of David,' when the supremacy of Israel would be restored, and all nations walk in His Light.
It is scarcely matter for surprise, that the various notices about the Messiah, Son of Joseph, are confused and sometimes inconsistent, considering the circumstances in which this dogma originated. Its
c Succ. 52 a and 6
d Zech. xii. 12
e See espe-
Another Rabbinic authority, however, refers it to the evil impulse,' which was, in the future, to be annihilated.