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IN THE PALACE OF ANNAS.
THURSDAY NIGHT-BEFORE ANNAS AND CAIAPHAS
PETER AND JESUS.
(St. John xviii. 12-14; St. Matt. xxvi. 57, 58 ; St. Mark xiv. 53, 54; St. Luke xxii.
54, 55; St. John xviii. 24, 15–18; St. John xviii. 19-23; St. Matt. xxvi. 69, 70; St. Mark xiv. 66–68 ; St. Luke xxii. 56, 57; St. John xviii. 17, 18; St. Matt. xxvi. 71, 72; St. Mark xiv. 69, 70; St. Luke xxii. 58; St. John xviii. 25; St. Matt. xxvi. 59-68; St. Mark xiv. 55–65; St. Luke xxii. 67-71, 63–65; St. Matt. xxvi. 73-75; St. Mark xiv. 70-72 ; St. Luke xxii. 59-62 ; St. John xviii. 26, 27.)
It was not a long way that they led the bound Christ. Probably CHAP. through the same gate by which He had gone forth with His disciples after the Paschal Supper, up to where, on the slope between the Upper City and the Tyropæon, stood the well-known Palace of Annas. There were no idle saunterers in the streets of Jerusalem at that late hour, and the tramp of the Roman guard must have been too often heard to startle sleepers, or to lead to the inquiry why that glare of lamps and torches, and who was the Prisoner, guarded on that holy night by both Roman soldiers and servants of the HighPriest.
If every incident in that night were not of such supreme interest, we might dismiss the question as almost idle, why they brought Jesus to the house of Annas, since at that time he was not the actual High-Priest. That office now devolved on Caiaphas, his son-inlaw, who, as the Evangelist significantly reminds us, had been the St. John first to enunciate in plain words what seemed to him the political necessity for the judicial murder of Christ. There had been no • xi. 50 pretence on his part of religious motives or zeal for God; he bad cynically put it in a way to override the scruples of those old Sanhedrists by raising their fears. What was the use of discussing about forms of Law or about that Man? it must in any case be done; even the friends of Jesus in the Council, as well as the punctilious observers of Law, must regard His Death as the less of two evils. He spoke as the bold, unscrupulous, determined man that he was; Sadducee in heart rather than by conviction ; a worthy son-inlaw of Annas.
* Pes. 57 a
No figure is better known in contemporary Jewish history than that of Annas; no person deemed more fortunate or successful, but none also more generally execrated than the late High-Priest. He had held the Pontificate for only six or seven years; but it was filled by not fewer than five of his sons, by his son-in-law Caiaphas, and by a grandson. And in those days it was, at least for one of Annas disposition, much better to have been than to be High-Priest. He enjoyed all the dignity of the office, and all its influence also, since he was able to promote to it those most closely connected with him. And, while they acted publicly, he really directed affairs, without either the responsibility or the restraints which the office imposed. His influence with the Romans he owed to the religious views which he professed, to his open partisanship of the foreigner, and to his enormous wealth. The Sadducean Annas was an eminently safe Churchman, not troubled with any special convictions nor with Jewish fanaticism, a pleasant and a useful man also, who was able to furnish his friends in the Prætorium with large sums of money. We have seen what immense revenues the family of Annas must have derived from the Temple-booths, and how nefarious and unpopular was the traffic. The names of those bold, licentious, unscrupulous, degenerate sons of Aaron were spoken with whispered curses." Without referring to Christ's interference with that Temple-traffic, which, if His authority had prevailed, would, of course, have been fatal to it, we can understand how antithetic in every respect a Messiah, and such a Messiah as Jesus, must have been to Annas. He was as resolutely bent on His Death as his son-in-law, though with his characteristic cunning and coolness, not in the hasty, bluff manner of Caiaphas. It was probably from a desire that Annas might have the conduct of the business, or from the active, leading part which Annas took in the matter; perhaps for even more prosaic and practical reasons, such as that the Palace of Annas was nearer to the place of Jesus' capture, and that it was desirable to dismiss the Roman soldiery as quickly as possible—that Christ was first brought to Annas, and not to the actual High-Priest.
In any case, the arrangement was most congruous, whether as regards the character of Annas, or the official position of Caiaphas. The Roman soldiers had evidently orders to bring Jesus to the late High-Priest. This appears from their proceeding directly to him, and from this, that apparently they returned to quarters immediately on delivering up their prisoner. And we cannot ascribe this to any
No further reference whatever is made to the Roman guard.
IN THE PALACE OF CAIAPHAS.
official position of Annas in the Sanhedrin, first, because the text implies that it had not been due to this cause,' and, secondly, because, as will presently appear, the proceedings against Christ were not those of the ordinary and regular meetings of the Sanhedrin.
No account is given of what passed before Annas. Even the fact of Christ's being first brought to him is only mentioned in the Fourth Gospel. As the disciples had all forsaken Him and fled, we can understand that they were in ignorance of what actually passed, till they had again rallied, at least so far, that Peter and another disciple,' evidently John, 'followed Him into the Palace of the High-Priest.' As, according to the three Synoptic Gospels, the Palace of the High-Priest Caiaphas was the scene of Peter's denial, the account of it in the Fourth Gospel a must refer to the same locality, and not to the Palace of Annas; while the suggestion that Annas and Caiaphas occupied the same dwelling is not only very unlikely in itself, but seems incompatible with the obvious meaning of the notice, Now Annas sent Him bound unto Caiaphas the 5 ver. 24 High-Priest.' But if Peter's denial, as recorded by St. John, is the same as that described by the Synoptists, and took place in the house of Caiaphas, then the account of the examination by the HighPriest, which follows the notice about Peter, must also refer to that St. John by Caiaphas, not Annas.? We thus know absolutely nothing of what passed in the house of Annas-if, indeed, anything passed except that Annas sent Jesus bound to Caiaphas.3
Of what occurred in the Palace of Caiaphas we have two accounts.
a St. John xviii, 15-18
We read (St. John xviii. 13): For he &TÉOTELNEV, which Canon Westcott renders : was father-in-law to Caiaphas.'
* Annas therefore sent Him.' But not? In this argument we lay little stress withstanding Canon Westcott's high on the designation, 'High-Priest,' which St. authority, we must repeat the critical John (ver. 19) gives to the examiner of remark of Meyer, that there are imChrist, although it is noteworthy that he portant witnesses' against as well as for carefully distinguishes between Annas the insertion of oùv, while the insertion of and Caiaphas, marking the latter as the other particles in other Codd. seems to High-Priest' (vv. 13, 24).
imply that the insertion here of any par• According to our argument, St. John ticle was a later addition. xviii. 24 is an intercalated notice, refer- On the other hand, what seem to me ring to what had previously been recorded two irrefragable arguments are in favour in vv. 15-23. To this two critical objec. of the retrospective application of ver. 24. tions have been raised. It is argued, that First, the preceding reference to Peter's as &TÉOTELMEY is in the aorist, not pluper- denial must be located in the house of fect, the rendering must be, Annas Caiaphas. Secondly, if vv. 19-23 refer to sent,' not · had sent Him.' But then it an examination by Annas, then St. John is admitted, that the pluperfect is occa- has left us absolutely no account of any. sionally used for the aorist. Secondly, thing that had passed before Caiaphasit is insisted that, according to the better which would seem incredible. reading, our should be inserted after
* St. John xviii. 19-23
That of St. John a seems to refer to a more private interview between the High-Priest and Christ, at which, apparently, only some personal attendants of Caiaphas were present, from one of whom the Apostle may have derived his information. The second account is that of the Synoptists, and refers to the examination of Jesus at dawn of day b by the leading Sanhedrists, who had been hastily summoned
St. Luke xxii. 66
for the purpose.
e St. John xviii. 20
It sounds almost like presumption to say, that in His first interview with Caiaphas Jesus bore Himself with the majesty of the Son of God, Who knew all that was before Him, and passed through it as on the way to the accomplishment of His Mission. The questions of Caiaphas bore on two points: the disciples of Jesus, and His teaching -the former to incriminate Christ's followers, the latter to incriminate the Master. To the first inquiry it was only natural that He should not have condescended to return an answer. The reply to the second was characterised by that openness ’ which He claimed for all that He had said.c 2 If there was to be not unprejudiced, but even fair inquiry, let Caiaphas not try to extort confessions to which he had no legal right, nor to ensnare Him when the purpose was evidently murderous. If he really wanted information, there could be no difficulty in procuring witnesses to speak to His doctrine: all Jewry knew it. His was no secret doctrine (“in secret I spake nothing '). He always spoke “in Synagogue and in the Temple, whither all the Jews gather together.'3 If the inquiry were a fair one, let the judge act judicially, and ask not Him, but those who had heard Him.
It must be admitted, that the answer sounds not like that of one accused, who seeks either to make apology, or even greatly cares to defend himself. And there was in it that tone of superiority which even injured human innocence would have a right to assume before a nefarious judge, who sought to ensnare a victim, not to elicit the
i Canon Westcott supposes that the Apostle himself was present in the audience-chamber. But, although we readily admit that John went into the house, and was as near as possible to Christ, many reasons suggest themselves why we can scarcely imagine John to have been present, when Caiaphas inquired about the disciples and teaching of Jesus.
? I cannot think that the expression TQ kóduq,'to the world,' in ver. 20 can have any implied reference to the great world in opposition to the Jews (as so many inter
preters hold). The expression the world' in the sense of 'everybody' is common in every language. Christ proves that He had had no 'secret'doctrine, about which He might be questioned, by three facts : 1. He had spoken rappnoia, 'without reserve'; 2. He had spoken tớ kódue, to everybody, without confining Himself to a select audience; 3. He had taught in the most public places-in Synagogue and in the Temple, whither all Jews resorted.
3 So according to the better reading, and literally.
JOHN AND PETER IN THE HIGH-PRIEST'S PALACE.
truth. It was this which emboldened one of those servile attendants, CHAP. with the brutality of an Eastern on such an occasion, to inflict on the Lord that terrible blow. Let us hope that it was a heathen, not a Jew, who so lifted his hand. We are almost thankful that the text leaves it in doubt, whether it was with the palm of the hand, or the lesser indignity—with a rod. Humanity itself seems to reel and stagger under this blow. In pursuance of His Human submission, the Divine Sufferer, without murmuring or complaining, or without asserting His Divine Power, only answered in such tone of patient expostulation as must have convicted the man of his wrong, or at least have left him speechless. May it have been that these words and the look of Christ had gone to his heart, and that the now strangelysilenced malefactor became the confessing narrator of this scene to the Apostle John ?
2. That Apostle was, at any rate, no stranger in the Palace of Caiaphas. We have already seen that, after the first panic of Christ's sudden capture and their own flight, two of them at least, Peter and John, seem speedily to have rallied. Combining the notices of the Synoptists & with the fuller details, in this respect, of the Fourth St. Matt. Gospel, we derive the impression that Peter, so far true to his word, St. Mark had been the first to stop in his flight, and to follow afar off.'
If St. Luke he reached the Palace of Annas in time, he certainly did not enter it, St. John but probably waited outside during the brief space which preceded the transference of Jesus to Caiaphas. He had now been joined by John, and the two followed the melancholy procession which escorted Jesus to the High-Priest. John seems to have entered the court' along with the guard, while Peter remained outside till his fellowApostle, who apparently was well known in the High-Priest's house, had spoken to the maid who kept the door-the male servants being probably all gathered in the court and so procured his admission.
Remembering that the High-Priest's Palace was built on the slope of the hill, and that there was an outer court, from which a door led into the inner court, we can, in some measure, realise the scene. As previously stated, Peter had followed as far as that inner door, while John had entered with the guard. When he missed his fellow-disciple, who was left outside this inner door, John went out,' and, having probably told the waiting-maid that this was a friend of his, procured his admission. While John now hurried up to be in
c St. John xviii, 15
1 The circumstance that Josephus (Ant. vii. 2. 1) on the ground of 2 Sam. iv. 6 (LXX.) speaks of a female 'porter,' and that Rhodapoponed the door in the house
of the widowed mother of John Mark (Acts xii. 13), does not convince me, that in the Palace of the High-Priest a female servant regularly discharged that office.