|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.
Verse 67. - The scene that ensued upon the verdict being pronounced is beyond measure hideous and unexampled. When the meeting broke up, Jesus was for a time left to the brutal cruelty and the unbridled insolence of the guards and servants. Involuntarily, by their profanity and coarseness, they fulfilled the words of the prophet, speaking in the Person of Messiah, "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:6). Did they spit in his face. A monstrous indignity, so regarded by all people at all times (Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:9; Job 30:10). Buffeted him (ἐκολάφισαν αὐτὸν); struck him with fists. Smote him with the palms of their hands (ἐῥῤάπισαν). There is some doubt whether the verb here means "to smite with a rod" or "to slap in the face with the open hand;" but as we have already had mention of striking with the hands, it is probable that beating with a stick is here intended.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then did they spit in his face,.... Not the judges, the members of the sanhedrim, but the servants of the high priest, and the officers that had Jesus in hold, and were the guard upon him; see Luke 22:63, who seeing him condemned as guilty of death, thought they might insult him at pleasure, and use him in the most indecent and barbarous manner; and therefore, in a way of contempt, spit in his face; than which nothing was more reproachful and disgraceful: the Jews (x) say, that he that spits before, or in the presence of his master, is guilty of death, so nauseous and filthy was it accounted; and how much more must it be so, to spit in the face of anyone? hereby a prophecy was fulfilled, Isaiah 50:6, "I hid not my face from shame and spitting": and hereby, together with his sweat and blood, his visage was more marred than any man's, and his form than the sons of men:
and buffeted him; cuffed, or boxed him with their double fists:
and others smote him, with the palms of their hands; gave him many a slap on the face with their open hands, or struck him on the face with rods, as the word will bear to be rendered: they rapped him with the wands they had in their hands, and struck him on the head with the rods or staves they had with them; whereby was accomplished the prophecy, in Micah 5:1, "they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek". This was very injurious treatment, the Jews themselves being witnesses; who have in their canons enjoined (y), that "if a man strikes his neighbour with his double fist, he must give him a shekel; R. Judah says, on account of R. Jose the Galilean, a pound: if he gives him a slap of the face, he must pay him two hundred zuzims, or pence; and if with the back of his hand (which was accounted (z) the more ignominious) four hundred zuzims: if he plucked him by his ear, or plucked off his hair, or spit, so as that the spittle came upon him, or took away his cloak--he must pay four hundred zuzims, and all according to his honour or dignity.
All these indignities were done to Christ; see Isaiah 50:6.
(x) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 99. 1.((y) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8. sect. 6. (z) Maimon. & Bartenora in ib.
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