|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:47-53 Nothing can be a greater affront or grief to the Lord Jesus, than to be betrayed by those who profess to be his followers, and say that they love him. Many instances there are, of Christ's being betrayed by those who, under the form of godliness, fight against the power of it. Jesus here gave an illustrious example of his own rule of doing good to those that hate us, as afterwards he did of praying for those that despitefully use us. Corrupt nature warps our conduct to extremes; we should seek for the Lord's direction before we act in difficult circumstances. Christ was willing to wait for his triumphs till his warfare was accomplished, and we must be so too. But the hour and the power of darkness were short, and such the triumphs of the wicked always will be.
Verse 53. - When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. These words of the Lord may signify, "It was from a cowardly fear of the people whom you felt were my friends that you did not dare to arrest me in the full light of day." But it is better to take the last clause as possessing a deeper meaning: "I have often been in your power before, when, without concealment, I taught publicly in that sacred house where you are the appointed guardians; you never dared to lay hands on me then. But this, I know, is your hour, the moment God has given up to you to effect this sad triumph, and this (i.e. the power by which you work) is the power or' darkness (i.e. the power of the spirit of darkness)."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When I was daily with you in the temple,.... As he had been for some days past, teaching the people, and disputing with them, the chief priests, &c.
ye stretched forth no hands against me; to lay hold upon him, and kill him; the reason was, because his time was not come, and they had no licence or permission to hurt him, or any power given them against him from above:
but this is your hour; the time was now come for the betraying of him by Judas; for the seizing and apprehending him by the Roman soldiers and officers; and for the delivery of him into the hands of the "chief" priests and elders; and for them to insult, mock, buffet, scourge him, and spit upon him: and for the crucifixion of him, and putting him to death: the hour fixed for this was now come; it was now, and not before, and therefore they could not lay hold on him, and do to him what they listed, but now they might; yet this was but an hour, a short time that they had to triumph over him, in Caiaphas's palace, and Pilate's hall, upon the cross, and in the grave; for on the third day he arose again, notwithstanding all the precautions they took, and is ascended to heaven, and is received there, and is out of their reach: and since then, it has been his hour to take vengeance on them; on their nation, city, and temple, for their disbelief, rejection, and ill usage of him; and it will be likewise his hour at the day of judgment, when they shall look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn; and hide their faces from him, and call to the mountains to cover them, and when they will be punished with everlasting destruction from his presence: he adds,
and the power of darkness. The Persic version reads, "the power of your darkness"; that is, either the power granted to them, who were darkness itself, born and brought up in darkness; were walking in darkness, and in the ignorance of their minds; and did works of darkness, and shunned the light, because their deeds were evil; and for which reason they now chose the night, to execute their black designs upon Christ: or rather, the power of the prince of darkness is here meant; that power which he usurped, and was now permitted him to exercise against Christ: and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "the power of the lord of darkness"; who was, once an angel of light, but now full of darkness, and who darkens the minds of men, and for whom blackness of darkness is reserved: the Jews were used to call the evil angels by this name; for so they say (i),
"the destroying angels are called, , "darkness, and thick darkness".''
The sense of the whole passage is, that now was the time come, that Christ should be delivered up into the hands of wicked men and devils; that the former should have him in their power, and triumph over him for a season; and that hell was now let loose, and all the infernal powers were about him, throwing their poisoned arrows and fiery darts at him; all which Christ endured, to deliver his people from the present evil world, from the wrath of God, the curses of the law, and from the power of darkness.
(i) Raya Mehimna in Zohar in Lev. fol. 37. 2.
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