Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.Chap. 15:1-5.] Jesus is led away to Pilate, and examined by him. Matthew 27:1, Matthew 27:2, Matthew 27:11-14.Luke 23:1-5Luk_23:1-5.John 18:28-38Joh_18:28-38. Our account is very nearly related to that in Matt.: see notes there. The ὅλον τὸ σ. is a touch of accuracy. From ch. 14:53 we know that πάντες were assembled. Lightfoot quotes from Maimonides Sanhedr. 3 b., “Synedrium septuaginta unius seniorum non necesse habet ut sedeant omnes … cum vero necesse est ut congregentur omnes, congregentur omnes.”
6-15.] Barabbas preferred to Him. He is delivered to be crucified. Matthew 27:15-26. Luke 23:17-25.Joh 18:39Joh 18:39, John 18:40. Our account is nearly cognate to, but distinct from that of Matt., where see notes. The principal points of distinction will be noticed.
6.] ἀπέλυεν—‘imperfectum ubi solere notat, non nisi de re ad certum tempus restricta dicitur,’ Herm. ad Viger. p. 745.
7.] The circumstance that Barabbas was one of a set of murderers, shewn by the τῶν στασ. and the οἵτινες, is peculiar to our narrative, and shews that it is not compiled from Matt. and Luke.
8.] This is also peculiar to Mark—in Matt. it is Pilate who first offers them the choice—in Luke they cry out, but it is αἶρε τοῦτον κ.τ.λ. ver. 18.
αἰτεῖσθαι καθώς—i.e. αὐτοῖς ποιεῖν, καθώς. ἀναβάς probably implies the rising of the crowd in excitement—or perhaps their coming up towards the palace, as συνηγμένων in Matt.
9.] Here our account differs from Matt. and agrees with John ver. 39.
10.] ἐγίνωσκεν, impert. He was aware, He perceived, His apprehension of it was concurrent with the action going on.
12.] ὃν λέγετε τ. βασιλ. τ. Ἰουδ. = Ἰησοῦν τὸν λεγόμενον χριστόν Matt. Neither of these expressions can well have been copied from the other.
13.] πάλιν only refers to ἔκραξαν: cf. ver. 8, where this is implied in ἤρξαντο αἰτεῖσθαι:—they had not cried out this before.
15.] τὸ ἱκ. ποι., to satisfy. . gives examples of the expression from Polyb., Diog. Laërt., and Appian.
16.] αὐλῆς, the court or guardroom, but open—see note on Matthew 26:69.
17.] We have here a curious instance of a word used in two accounts in the same part of the narrative, but applied to different things, in περιτιθέασιν, here said of the crown of thorns, in Matt. of the robe (see Prolegg. ch. i. § iii., iv.).
πορφύρα is vaguely used, to signify different shades of red, and is especially convertible with crimson = κοκκίνη Matt.
21. Ἀλεξάνδρου κ. Ῥούφου] It is quite uncertain whether Alexander be identical with either of the persons of that name mentioned Acts 19:33: 1Timothy 1:20: 2Timothy 4:14, or whether those, or any two of them represent one and the same person. There is a Rufus saluted Romans 16:13. The words ἐρχόμ. ἀπʼ ἀγρ. determine nothing as to its being a working day or otherwise, any more than οἱ παραπορευόμενοι, Matt. ver. 39: nothing is said as to the distance from whence he came.
22.] Γολγοθᾶν must be regarded as accusative from Γολγοθᾶς, the name being Græcised. The construction is varied in the interpretation.
23.] ἐσμ. οἶν. = ὄξος μετὰ χολῆς μεμ. Matt., which see.
ἐδίδουν, they were giving, i.e. ‘they offered.’
25. ὥρα τρίτη] This date is in agreement with the subsequent account, ver. 33, and its in Matt. and Luke, but, as now standing unexplained, inconsistent with John, 19:14, where it is said to have been about the sixth hour at the time of the exhibition of our Lord by Pilate. I own I see no satisfactory way of reconciling these accounts, unless there has been (see note on John) some very early erratum in our copies, or unless it can be shewn from other grounds than the difficulty before us, that John’s reckoning of time differs from that employed in the other Evangelists. The difficulty is of a kind in no way affecting the authenticity of the narrative, nor the truthfulness of each Evangelist; but requires some solution to the furnishing of which we are not competent. It is preposterous to imagine that two such accounts as these of the proceedings of so eventful a day should differ by three whole hours in their apportionment of its occurrences. So that it may fairly be presumed, that some different method of calculation has given rise to the present discrepancy. Meanwhile the chronology of our text,—as being carried on through the day, and as allowing time both for the trial, and the events of the crucifixion,—is that which will I believe be generally concurred in.
All the other solutions (so called) of the difficulty are not worth relating.
29-32.] He is mocked on the cross. Matthew 27:39-44.Luke 23:35-37Luk_23:35-37, Luke 23:39-43. (John 19:25-27.) Our narrative, derived from a common source with that of Matt., omits the scriptural allusion, ‘He trusted in God,’ &c. Matt. ver. 43.
29.] οὐά, an expression of reproach:—sometimes one of admiration and respect, as in Dio Cassius, lxiii. 20, where the Romans shout after Nero, on his triumphal entry after his victories in the Grecian games, ὀλυμπιονίκα, οὐά, πυθιονίκα, οὐὰ αὔγουστε, αὔγουστε.
32. κ. οἱ συνεστ.] See notes on Luke.
34.] ἑλωΐ, the Syro-chaldaic form, answering to ἡλί in Matt. Meyer argues that the words in Matt. must have been those actually spoken by our Lord, owing to the taunt, that He called for Elias.
36.] On the difference in Matt., see notes there.
39.] ὁ παρεστ. ἐξ ἐναντ. αὐτ., a minute mark of accuracy, so common in Mark.
οὕτως—οὕτω δεσποτικῶς, Thl. There was something in the manner of this last cry so unusual and superhuman, that the Centurion (see on Matt.) was convinced that He must have been that Person, whom He was accused as having declared Himself to be. Observe the Latin κεντυρίων = ἑκατόνταρχος in ║ Matt. Luke.
40, 41.] τοῦ μικροῦ—either in age, or in stature, so distinguished, hardly, at the time of this Gospel being written, from James the son of Zebedee, but more probably from James the brother of the Lord, the bishop of Jerusalem: see Prolegg. to Ep. of James, § i. 8. This Mary is the wife of Alphæus or Clopas: see John 19:25.
Σαλώμη = ἡ μήτηρ τῶν υἱῶν Ζεβεδαίου, Matt.: our Evangelist mentions that they had accompanied Him to Jerusalem;—and we may observe a curious variation of the wording, in ἠκολούθουν αὐτῷ ὅτε ἦν ἐν τῇ Γ., and ἠκολούθησαν τῷ Ἰ. ἀπὸ τῆς Γ.—the former rendering necessary the additional clause, αἱ συναναβᾶσαι κ.τ.λ.
42. παρασκ., ὅ ἐστι προσάβ.] The Friday afternoon (ἡ παρασκ., “the name by which Friday is now generally known in Asia and Greece.” Wordsw.) before sunset, at which time the Sabbath would begin, and the taking down, &c. would be unlawful. The three Evangelists do not imply that this παρασκ. had any thing especial in it, as John does, ver. 31. It is very remarkable, that ἐπεί occurs only here in this Gospel, but is found in the corresponding clause of John, ver. 31, shewing perhaps in this place a community of source in two accounts otherwise so essentially distinct.
43.] ἐλθών, or ἦλθεν, is common to Matt., Mark, and John, but in different connexion—see on Matt.
εὐσχήμων—probably in its later sense of noble, ‘honourable,’ i.e. in station. But Meyer supposes it rather to refer to something noble in the character or appearance of Joseph.
βουλευτής, a member of the Sanhedrim: see Luke ver. 51.
προσδ. τ. β. τ. θ., common to Mark and Luke.
τολμήσας εἰς., characteristic of Mark’s narrative. On the change of mind produced in Joseph and in Nicodemus by the crucifixion, see note, John 19:39.
44.] There is no inconsistency, or but a very trifling one, with the order in John, ver. 31, to break their legs and take them down. The circumstances related there had taken place, but no report of them had been made to Pilate. And the Body of the Lord had not been taken down, for some reason which does not appear, but which we can easily guess;—if Joseph had declared to the soldiers his intention of begging the Body, nay, had immediately gone (perhaps with them) to Pilate for that purpose,—and τολμήσας εἰσῆλθ. looks like a sudden and unannounced application,—they would have left the Body for him to take down.
ἐθαύμασεν εἰ ἤδη τέθνηκεν—he wondered at the fact thus announced to him of His death having already taken place. See Kühner, Gram. ii. p. 481, and the examples there adduced, which make this clear, e.g. Demosth. p. 24. 23,—θαυμάζω, εἰ Λακεδαιμονίοις μὲν πότε … ἀντήρατε, νυνὶ δʼ ὀκνεῖτε.…
45. ἐδωρήσατο] The passage cited (Meyer, De Wette) from Cicero (in Verrem, v. 45) to shew that it was customary to give money on such occasions, is not to the point; ‘mortis celeritatem pretio redimere cogebantur parentes’ is not said of the body after death, but of a fee given to the officer, ‘ne diu crucietur.’
46. ἀγορ.] Therefore it was not the first day of unleavened bread, which was one of sabbatical sanctity; as indeed the whole of this narrative shews, but such expressions as this more strikingly.
καθαιρεῖν is the technical word for taking down bodies from the cross. See the examples in Kypke from Philo and Josephus. So is κατατιθέναι for placing bodies in the tomb: cf. ibid.
ἐν μνημ.] It is not said, but implied, both here and in Luke and John, that the tomb was his own—for how should he place the Body there otherwise? The newness of the tomb is not mentioned here, but by the other three Evangelists.
47.] Μ. ἡ Ἰωσῆτος—understand, mother: see ver. 40. That she is so called here, and Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου in the next verse, points to a difference of origin in the two accounts here, of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
Luke generalizes, and says, the women who came with Him from Galilee.
Some have understood by Μ. Ἰωσῆτος or Ἰωσῆ or Ἰωσήφ, the wife or daughter of Joseph of Arimathæa—some, the mother of the Lord: but both unnecessarily, and without proof. The perf. τεθεῖται is to shew that they came up after the burial had taken place; the pres. (τίθεται, .) would imply that they were present at the entombment. So Meyer.