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Matt. xxvii. 9, 10. "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." The words here quoted are not found in Jeremiah, but in Zechariah; and a variety of conjectures have been formed in order to reconcile this discrepancy. The most probable opinion seems to be, that the name of the prophet was originally omitted by the Evangelist, and that the name of Jeremiah was added by some subsequent copyist. It is omitted in two MSS. of the 12th century, in the Syriac, later Persic, two of the Itala, and in some other Latin copies; and what renders it highly probable that the original reading was dia rov πроpηrov, by the prophet, is, that St. Matthew frequently omits the name of the prophet in his quotations. See ch. 1. 22; 2. 5, 15; 13. 35; 21. 4. This omission is approved of by Bengel, Dr. A. Clarke, and Horne.*
Matt. xxvii. 28. "And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe." St. Mark (ch. xv. 17.) calls it a purple robe; but by πорovрa is denoted whatever is of a dazzling red; and the words KOKKIKOV, Scarlet, and oppvpa, purple, are not unfrequently interchanged.*
Matt. xxvii. 34. "They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink." St. Mark says, 'wine mingled with myrrh ;' but as the sour wine used by the Roman soldiers and common people was termed ovos, wine, and okos, vinegar, (vin aigre, French,) is sour wine; and as xoλn, gall, is applied to bitters of any kind, it is not difficult to reconcile the two accounts.
Mark v. 2. "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit." St. Matthew (ch. 8. 28..34.) gives a brief account of two demoniacs who were dispossessed on this occasion; but Mark and Luke omit the mention of one (who was perhaps not so remarkable), in order to record that of the other more fully.*
Mark vi. 8, 9." And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only, no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse but be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats." St. Matthew says, they were to take, 'neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves;' but this precept plainly means, Go just as you are; take no other coat, shoes, or staff, than what you already have."
Mark x. 46. "And they came to Jericho and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the highway side begging.' St. Luke (ch. 18. 35, &c.) says, that this took place, as he was come nigh unto Jericho,' and afterwards records an event which took place in that city. But the words εν τω εγγιζειν αυτον εις Ιεριχω, may be rendered, “ When he was nigh Jericho,' which is equally true of him who is gone a little way from
• Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.
it, as of him who is come near it; and as it is probable that Jesus staid some days in the neighbourhood, this might occur as he went out of the city during that time, and he might afterwards re-enter it. St. Matthew (Matt. 20. 29, &c.) mentions two blind men who received their sight on this occasion; but Bartimeus was probably the more remarkable of the two, and therefore mentioned by name.
Mark xiv. 3. "And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head." It appears to me more probable' says Dr. Doddridge, 'that Matthew and Mark should have introduced this story out of its place; that Lazarus, if he made this feast, (which is not expressly said by John,) should have made use of Simon's house, as more convenient; and that Mary should have poured this ointment on Christ's head and body, as well as on his feet; than that, within the compass of four days, Christ should have been twice anointed with so costly a perfume; and that the same fault should be found with the action, and the same value set upon the ointment, and the same words used in defence of the woman, and all this in the presence of many of the same persons; all which improbable particulars must be admitted, if the stories be considered as different.' The rebuke which Judas received from Christ at this unction determined him in his resolution to betray his Master; and therefore, Christ's rebuke, and Judas's revenge are united as cause and effect, by Matthew and Mark.*
Mark xvi. 1, 2. "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and annoint him. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun." Mr. West supposes, that the women made two different visits to the sepulchre; and in consequence of that, two distinct reports to the disciples; that Mary Magdalene, with the other Mary and Salome, set out not only early, but very early in the morning, Xav ρ, i. e. before the time appointed to meet Joanna and the other women there. (Lu. 24. 10.) This interpretation, which is adopted by several eminent writers, is very probable, and reconciles the apparent discrepancy in the Evangelists. Mary Magdalene, as well as Peter, was evidently at the sepulchre twice on the morning of the resurrection. The first time of her going was some short time before her companions, the other Mary and Salome, (Matt. xxviii. 1.); and observing that the stone had been removed, she returned to inform Peter and John. In the mean time, the other Mary and Salome came to the sepulchre, and saw the angel, as recorded by Matthew and Mark. While these women returned to the city, Peter and John went to the sepulchre, passing them at some distance, or going another way, followed by Mary Magdalene, who staid after their return.
This was her second journey, when she saw two angels, and then Jesus himself, as here related; and immediately after Jesus appeared to the other women, as they returned to the city. (Mat. xxviii. 9, 10.) In the mean time Joanna and her company arrived at the sepulchre, when two angels appeared to them, and addressed them as the one angel had done the other women. (Luke xxiv. 1-10.) They immediately returned to the city, and by some means found the apostles before the others arrived, and informed them of what they had seen; upon which Peter went a second time to the sepulchre, but saw only the linen clothes lying. (Luke xxiv. 12.) See Markland, Lampe, Tittman, &c.*
Mark xvi. 5. “And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment, and they were affrighted." This appears to have been a different angel from that mentioned by St. Matthew. The latter sat in the porch of the tomb, and had assumed a terrible appearance to overawe the guard (Matt. xxviii. 1.); but this appeared as a young man, within the sepulchre, in the inner apartment. The two angels spoken of by St. John (chap. xx. 11.) appeared some time after these; but whether they were the same or different cannot be ascertained; neither can it be affirmed that the angels which manifested themselves to the second party of women, recorded by St. Luke, (ch. xxiv. 4.), were the same or different.+ Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw only one angel in white, sitting on the stone which he had rolled from the door of the sepulchre; but the women here mentioned (Luke xxiv. 4.) saw no angel till they had entered the sepulchre, when two appeared to them in garments shining like lightning,' as the word imports. This, and several other variations, shew there were two distinct companies of women, who went successively to the tomb on the morning of the resurrection; which renders the whole account clear and consistent. See supra.†
Luke v. 3—11. This account of the calling of Peter and Andrew, James and John, will be found, as Dr. Townson observes, on a near inspection to tally marvellously with the preceding ones of Matthew and Mark; and is one of the evidences, that the Evangelists vary only in the number or choice of circumstances, and write from the same idea of the fact which they lay before us. Though St. Matthew and Mark do not exactly tell us, that St. Peter was in the vessel when he was called by Christ, they signify as much in saying that he was casting a net into the sea; and though only St. Luke informs us that James and John assisted Peter in landing the fish, yet it is implied, for Mark says, that when Christ had gone a little further, he saw them mending their nets, which had been torn by the weight of fish hauled on shore.+
Luke xxii. 34. “And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me." St. Matthew (ch. xxvi. 34.) and Mark (ch. xiv. 30.) say, 'this night;' but both
Comprehensive Bible, Note on John 20. 1.
+ Idem, Note in loco,
expressions are right, because the Jewish day of twenty-four hours began with the evening, and ended with the evening of the following day.*
Luke xxii. 58. "And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not." A maid challenged Peter in the second instance according to Matthew and Mark, the latter of whom says expressly, n waidion, the maid,' not the one mentioned in v. 62, but aλλŋ, another, as St. Matthew states, (ch. xxvi. 71.) her who was the janitrix, or door-keeper, (John xviii. 17.)† yet here it is said Tepog, another (man) and he also answers to a man. But ετερος, as Wetstein shews, may be, and is in innumerable instances, applied to a female; and Matthew says, 'she said to them that were there,' and Mark, 'she began to say to them that stood by.' So that the maid gave the information to those around her, and some man charged Peter with it. Probably several joined in the accusation, though he answered to an individual, for St. John says, 'They said unto him,' &c.*
Luke xxiv. 33, 34. "And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." From Mark xvi. 13, we learn that the Apostles did not believe the testimony even of the two disciples from Emmaus, while it is here asserted they were saying, when they entered the room, The Lord is risen,' &c. This difficulty is removed by rendering interrogatively, Has the Lord risen,' &c.*
Jno. xix. 19. "And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS." The apparent discrepancy between the accounts of this title given by the Evangelists, which has been urged as an objection against their inspiration and veracity, has been most satisfactorily accounted for by Dr. Townson; who supposes, that, as it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, it might have slightly varied in each language; and that, as St. Luke and St. John wrote for the Gentiles, they would prefer the Greek inscription, that St. Matthew, addressing the Jews, would use the Hebrew, and that St. Mark, writing to the Romans, would naturally give the Latin.*
Jno. xix. 14. "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your king!" Instead of εTŋ, sixth, several MSS. and Fathers have rprη, third, as in the parallel place, Mark 15. 25, 33, 34.*
Jno. xix. 29. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth." This hyssop is termed a 'reed' by Matthew, (ch. 27. 34, 48.) and Mark, (ch. 15. 36.); and it appears that a species of hyssop, with a reedy stalk, about two feet long, grew about Jerusalem. See Bochart.
Acts i. 12. "Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey." A sabbath day's
journey was 7 furlongs; and the town of Bethany (whence our Lord ascended, according to Luke 24. 50) was 15 from Jerusalem. But the first region or tract of mount Olivet, called Bethphage, extended from the city a sabbath day's journey, where the tract called Bethany began; and from this place our Lord ascended. See Lightfoot.*
Acts vii. 4. "Then came he out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell." From Gen. 11. 26, it appears that Abram was born when Terah was 70 years of age; and he departed from Haran when 75, (Gen. 12. 4.); while Terah lived to the age of 205 years, (Gen. 11. 32.) Instead of 205, however, the Samaritan has 145, which reconciles this discrepancy; but it is not improbable, that Abram was in reality born when his father Terah was 130 years old; and that he is merely mentioned first in Gen. 11. 26, by way of dignity.*
Acts vii. 6. "And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years." St. Stephen here uses the round number 400, leaving out the odd tens; for it is evident, from the parallel passages, as well as Josephus, (Ant. l. ii. c. 1. § 9. Bel. l. v. c. 9. §4.) that the real number of years was 430.*
Acts vii. 14. " Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls." In the Hebrew text, (Gen. 46. 27.) the number of persons is threescore and ten; but St. Stephen quotes from the Septuagint, which adds the five sons of Ephraim and Manasseh to the account. After Gen. 46. 20, the Septuagint adds, 'These were the sons of Manasseh, whom his Syrian concubine bore unto him; Machir; and Machir begat Galead. The sons of Ephraim, Manasseh's brother; Sutalaam and Taam: and the sons of Sutalaam, Edem.* Threescore and six were before mentioned, (ver. 26.) so that Joseph and his two sons together with Jacob himself, complete the seventy persons enumerated in ver. 27; and the numbers in verses 15, 18, 22, 25, amount to that number. The addition of five persons in the Septuagint, in ver! 20, was either the cause or the consequence of another difference in this verse; for in that version, the number is seventy-five.*
Acts vii. 15, 16. "So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers. And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem." Of the two burying places of the patriarchs, one was at Hebron, the cave and field which Abraham purchased of Ephron the Hittite, (Gen. 23. 16, &c.); the other in Sychem, which Jacob (not Abraham) bought of the sons of Emmor, (Gen. 33. 19.) To remove this glaring discrepancy, Markland interprets apa, from, as it frequently signifies with a genitive, and renders, 'And were carried over to Sychem ;
* Comprehensive Bible, Note in loco.