John 12:1
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
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(1) Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany.—The whole question of the arrangement of days during this last great week depends upon the conclusion which we adopt with regard to the day on which our Lord was crucified. The discussion of this is reserved for a separate Note, where it may be fully dealt with. (Comp. Excursus F: The Day of the Crucifixion of our Lord.)



John 12:1 - John 12:11

Jesus came from Jericho, where He had left Zacchaeus rejoicing in the salvation that had come to his house, and whence Bartimaeus, rejoicing in His new power of vision, seems to have followed Him. A few hours brought Him to Bethany, and we know from other Evangelists what a tension of purpose marked Him, and awed the disciples, as He pressed on before them up the rocky way. His mind was full of the struggle and death which were so near. The modest village feast in the house of Simon the leper comes in strangely amid the gathering gloom; but, no doubt, Jesus accepted it, as He did everything, and entered into the spirit of the hour. He would not pain His hosts by self-absorbed aloofness at the table. The reason for the feast is obviously the raising of Lazarus, as is suggested by his being twice mentioned in John 12:1 - John 12:2.

Our Lord had withdrawn to Ephraim so immediately after the miracle that the opportunity of honouring Him had not occurred. It was a brave tribute to pay Him in the face of the Sanhedrim’s commandment {John 11:57}. This incident sets in sharpest contrast the two figures of Mary, the type of love which delights to give its best, and Judas, the type of selfishness which is only eager to get; and it shows us Jesus casting His shield over the uncalculating giver, and putting meaning into her deed.

I. In Eastern fashion, the guests seem to have all been males, no doubt the magnates of the village, and Jesus with His disciples.

The former would have become accustomed to seeing Lazarus, but Christ’s immediate followers would gaze curiously on him. And how he would gaze on Jesus, whom he had probably not seen since the napkin had been taken from his face. The two sisters were true to their respective characters. The bustling, practical Martha had perhaps not very fine or quickly moved emotions. She could not say graceful things to their benefactor, and probably she did not care to sit at His feet and drink in His teaching; but she loved Him with all her heart all the same, and showed it by serving. No doubt, she took care that the best dishes were carried to Jesus first, and, no doubt, as is the custom in those lands, she plied Him with invitations to partake. We do Martha less than justice if we do not honour her, and recognise that her kind of service is true service. She has many successors among Christ’s true followers, who cannot ‘gush’ nor rise to the heights of His loftiest teaching, but who have taken Him for their Lord, and can, at any rate, do humble, practical service in kitchen or workshop. Their more ‘intellectual’ or poetically emotional brethren are tempted to look down on them, but Jesus is as ready to defend Martha against Mary, if she depreciates her, as He is to vindicate Mary’s right to her kind of expression of love, if Martha should seek to force her own kind on her sister. ‘There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.’

Mary was one of the unpractical sort, whom Martha is very apt to consider supremely useless, and often to lose patience with. Could she not find something useful to do in all the bustle of the feast? Had she no hands that could carry a dish, and no common sense that could help things on? Apparently not. Every one else was occupied, and how should she show the love that welled up in her heart as she looked at Lazarus sitting there beside Jesus? She had one costly possession, the pound of perfume. Clearly it was her own, for she would not have taken it if Lazarus and Mary had been joint owners. So, without thinking of anything but the great burden of love which she blessedly bore, she ‘poured it on His head’ {Mark} and on His feet, which the fashion of reclining at meals made accessible to her, standing behind Him, True love is profuse, not to say prodigal. It knows no better use for its best than to lavish it on the beloved, and can have no higher joy than that. It does not stay to calculate utility as seen by colder eyes. It has even a subtle delight in the very absence of practical results, for the expression of itself is the purer thereby. A basin of water and a towel would have done as well or better for washing Christ’s feet, but not for relieving Mary’s full heart. Do we know anything of that omnipotent impulse? Can we complacently set our givings beside Mary’s?

II. Judas is the foil to Mary.

His sullen, black selfishness, stretching out hands like talons in eagerness to get, makes more radiant, and is itself made darker by, her shining deed of love. Goodness always rouses evil to self-assertion, and the other Evangelists connect Mary’s action with Judas’s final treachery as part of its impelling cause. They also show that his specious objection, by its apparent common sense and charitableness, found assent in the disciples. Three hundred pence worth of good ointment wasted which might have helped so many poor! Yes, and how much poorer the world would have been if it had not had this story! Mary was more utilitarian than her censors. She served the highest good of all generations by her uncalculating profusion, by which the poor have gained more than some few of them might have lost.

Judas’s criticism is still repeated. The world does not understand Christian self-sacrifice, for ends which seem to it shadowy as compared with the solid realities of helping material progress or satisfying material wants. A hundred critics, who do not do much for the poor themselves, will descant on the waste of money in religious enterprises, and smile condescendingly at the enthusiasts who are so unpractical. But love knows its own meaning, and need not be abashed by the censure of the unloving.

John flashes out into a moment’s indignation at the greed of Judas, which was masquerading as benevolence. His scathing laying bare of Judas’s mean and thievish motive is no mere suspicion, but he must have known instances of dishonesty. When a man has gone so far in selfish greed that he has left common honesty behind him, no wonder if the sight of utterly self-surrendering love looks to him folly. The world has no instruments by which it can measure the elevation of the godly life. Mary would not be Mary if Judas approved of her or understood her.

III. Jesus vindicates the act of His censured servant.

His words fall into two parts, of which the former puts a meaning into Mary’s act, of which she probably had not been aware, while the latter meets the carping criticism of Judas. That Jesus should see in the anointing a reference to His burying, pathetically indicates how that near end filled His thoughts, even while sharing in the simple feast. The clear vision of the Cross so close did not so absorb Him as to make Him indifferent either to Mary’s love or to the villagers’ humble festivity. However weighed upon, His heart was always sufficiently at leisure from itself to care for His friends and to defend them. He accepts every offering that love brings, and, in accepting, gives it a significance beyond the offerer’s thought. We know not what use He may make of our poor service; but we may be sure that, if that which we can see to is right-namely, its motive,-He will take care of what we cannot see to-namely, its effect,-and will find noble use for the sacrifices which unloving critics pronounce useless waste.

‘The poor always ye have with you.’ Opportunities for the exercise of brotherly liberality are ever present, and therefore the obligation to it is constant. But these permanent duties do not preclude the opportunities for such special forms of expressing special love to Jesus as Mary had shown, and as must soon end. The same sense of approaching separation as in the former clause gives pathos to that restrained ‘not always.’ The fact of His being just about to leave them warranted extraordinary tokens of love, as all loving hearts know but too well. But, over and above the immediate reference of the words, they carry the wider lesson that, besides the customary duties of generous giving laid on us by the presence of ordinary poverty and distresses, there is room in Christian experience for extraordinary outflows from the fountain of a heart filled with love to Christ. The world may mock at it as useless prodigality, but Jesus sees that it is done for Him, and therefore He accepts it, and breathes meaning into it.

‘Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.’ The Evangelist who records that promise does not mention Mary’s name; John, who does mention the name, does not record the promise. It matters little whether our names are remembered, so long as Jesus beam them graven on His heart.

John 12:1-2. Six days before the passover — Namely, on the sabbath; that which was called by the Jews, The great sabbath. This whole week was anciently termed, The great and holy week; Jesus came — From Ephraim, whither he had retired with his disciples, to preserve his life for a time from the murderous designs of the Jewish rulers; to Bethany — The village where he had lately (Calmet thinks about two months before) raised Lazarus from the dead. There they made him a supper — In testimony of their high esteem and great affection for him. It is not said that this supper was made at Lazarus’s house. For if, as is probable, this be the same story that is recorded Matthew 26:6, and Mark 14:3, the supper was made at the house of Simon who had been a leper. “Few passages,” says Dr. Doddridge, “in the harmony [of the gospels] have perplexed me more than this. I was long of opinion, with Origen and Theophylact, defended by Le Clerc and Dr. Whitby, and especially by Dr. Lightfoot and Mr. Whiston, that the story recorded by Matthew and Mark is different from this in John: but on maturer consideration, it appears to me more probable that Matthew and Mark should have introduced this story a little out of its place; that Lazarus, if he made this entertainment, (which is not expressly said by John,) should have made use of Simon’s house, as more convenient for it; 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 on 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. But, after all, I can assert nothing confidently; for there is no impossibility in the thing, taken either way.” Dr. Macknight, however, who supposes this story is not the same with that recorded by Matthew and Mark, thinks “It evidently appears that our Lord was anointed with spikenard three different times in the course of his ministry; once in the house of Simon the Pharisee, (Luke 7:37, &c.,) once in the house of Lazarus, and once in the house of Simon the leper. That this honour should have been done him so often,” adds he, “needs not be thought strange, for, in those countries, it was common at entertainments to pour fragrant oil on the heads of such guests as they designed to distinguish with marks of extraordinary respect; a custom alluded to Psalm 45:7 : God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” And Martha served — It seems Martha was a person of some figure, from the great respect which was paid to her and her sister, in visits and condolences on Lazarus’s death, as well as from the costly ointment mentioned in the next verse. And probably it was at their house our Lord and his disciples lodged, when he returned from Jerusalem to Bethany, every evening of the last week of his life, on which he now entered. But Lazarus was one that sat at the table — Lazarus’s sitting at the table showed still more the reality of the miracle wrought at his tomb; that it was not a spectre or illusion which then presented itself to the sight; and that Lazarus was not only restored to life, but likewise to perfect health.

12:1-11 Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ's gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God's Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretence. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest. To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.Then Jesus came to Bethany - This was near to Jerusalem, and it was from this place that he made his triumphant entry into the city. See the notes at Matthew 21:1. CHAPTER 12

Joh 12:1-11. The Anointing at Bethany.

(See on [1836]Mt 26:6-13).

1-8. six days before the passover—that is, on the sixth day before it; probably after sunset on Friday evening, or the commencement of the Jewish sabbath preceding the passover.John 12:1-8 Mary anoints the feet of Jesus: Judas murmurs at the cost.

John 12:9-11 The people flock to see Lazarus: the chief priests

consult to kill him.

John 12:12-19 Jesus rideth into Jerusalem in triumph.

John 12:20-22 Certain Greeks desired to see him.

John 12:23-36 He showeth the benefit of his death to believers;

prayeth to his Father; is answered by a voice from

heaven; signifies the manner of his death; and

exhorteth to make good use of the present light.

John 12:37-41 The generality of the Jews believe not,

John 12:42,43 yet many chief rulers believe, but dare not confess him.

John 12:44-50 He urges faith in his Divine mission.

Ver. 1 From the country near to the wilderness, where Jesus continued with his disciples, John 11:54, he

came to Bethany, within less than two miles of Jerusalem, upon the sabbath day, or possibly the night before, six days before the passover: it was the place where (as we read in the former chapter) Lazarus died, and was by Christ

raised from the dead.

Then Jesus, six days before the passover,.... Or "before the six days of the passover"; not as designing the days of that feast, for they were seven; but as reckoning so many days back from it, that is, before the sixth day from the ensuing passover: if there were six complete days between this and the passover, as this way of speaking seems to imply; then this must be the day before the Jewish sabbath, and this is more likely, than that Christ should travel on the sabbath day: but if this was the sixth day before it, it was their sabbath day, and so at the going out of it in the evening, a supper was made for him, which with the Jews on that night, was a plentiful one; for they remembered the sabbath in its going out, as well as in its coming in (e), and this was to prevent grief at the going out of it: so some days before the passover, the lamb was separated from the flock, and kept up till the fourteenth day, Exodus 12:3 particularly it may be observed, that seven days before the day of atonement, the high priest was separated from his own house, and had to the chamber Palhedrin (f); and much such a space of time there was, between the day of the great atonement by Christ, and his unction by Mary; which is said to be against the day of his burial, which being the same day with his sufferings, was the great day of atonement: at this time Jesus

came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead; the last clause is left out in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions:

whom he raised from the dead; that is, "Jesus", as the Alexandrian copy, the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions express; and the Ethiopic version adds, "in Bethany". This was the town of Lazarus; here he lived, and here he died, and here he was raised from the dead; and here he continued and dwelt, after his resurrection; and hither Christ came to see him, and the rest of the family, though he knew he exposed himself to danger in so doing.

(e) Maimon. Hilchot Sabbat. c. 29. sect. 1. 11, 12, 29. (f) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 1.

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
John 12:1-2. Οὖν] is the simply resumptive particle by which the narrative returns to Jesus, whom it had quitted at John 11:55. To assume a sequence from John 11:57, so that He is supposed to go to Bethany, either on account of His safety, or of its nearness to Jerusalem (Luthardt: “so consciously and freely He went to meet death”), and in order to put to shame the thought mentioned in John 11:55-57 (Hengstenberg), as though δέ or ἀλλά were expressed,—is not supported by any indication in the text.

πρὸ ἕξ. ἡμ. τοῦ π.] six days before the Passover. Comp. Amos 1:1. Frequently thus in Plutarch, Appian, Josephus. See Kypke, I. p. 393 f. Analogously in definitions of space, as in John 11:18. It is no Latinism. As regards the reckoning of the six days, it is to be observed that, since the 14th Nisan, on the evening of which the paschal meal was kept, was wont to be counted as already belonging entirely to the feast (see on Matthew 26:17), and hence also had been already called ἡμέρα τοῦ πάσχα (see Introd. § 2), the 13th Nisan is most naturally assumed to be the first day before the Passover; consequently the sixth day will be the 8th Nisan, i.e. (since the 14th Nisan, on which Jesus, according to John, died, was a Friday) the Saturday before Easter. So also Ebrard, Godet, and Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 511, who, however, in the Johann. Schr. I. p. 329, without any sufficient grounds, finds the previous evening probable, so that John at once names the full day of the sojourn, with which Godet also substantially agrees. But according to the Synoptics—because they make the 14th Nisan a Thursday—it would have been the Friday before Easter.[101] Against the above assumption of the Saturday as the day of arrival, the law of the Sabbath day’s journey (see on Matthew 24:20) is no objection (against Grotius, Tholuck, Wieseler, and several others), since it is not clear from what place Jesus started on that day; He may, indeed, have arrived from a place that lay very near at hand. Others, reckoning the 14th Nisan as the first day before Easter, regard the 9th Nisan as the day of arrival.[102] Others, again, including in their calculation even the 15th Nisan, arrive at the result of the 10th Nisan (Monday); so Hilgenfeld, Baur, Scholten, where we have the twofold interest directed against the historical truth of the Gospel, to obtain the day of the month for the selection of the paschal lamb (Exodus 12:3), and find the day of the week which opened the Christian Easter week, and from this chronology to demonstrate the secondary relation of our evangelist to the Synoptics. Yet Baeumlein also reckons in this way.

ἦλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν] according to the Harmonists (including Hengstenberg and Godet), making a circuit by Jericho, which is as inappropriate to the Johannean as to the synoptical account (see on Matthew 21:1). The return by Jericho is not reconcilable with the notice in John 11:54, where He, in fact, by the healing of the blind men, and by the visit to Zacchaeus, awakened so much attention.

ὍΠΟΥ ἮΝ ΛΆΖΑΡΟς, Κ.Τ.Λ.] added, on account of the great importance of the matter, without any further special purpose, yet with emphatic circumstantiality.

ἘΠΟΊΗΣΑΝ] the family of Bethany, namely, John 11:1-2, which is clear from the following Κ. Ἡ Μ. ΔΙΗΚ.[103] On this and the other variations from the narrative of Matthew 26:6 ff., Mark 14:3 ff., which, however, do not set aside the identity of the occurrence (different from Luke 7:3 ff.), see on Matthew 26:6 ff. The peculiarity of John’s account is founded on the fact of the writer’s being an eye-witness; but is referred by Baur, p. 256 ff., to an eclectic and arbitrary treatment, dependent on an ideal point of view; comp. also Hilgenfeld.

ὁ δὲ Λάζαρος εἶς ἦν, κ.τ.λ.] appears, indeed, a matter of course (hence Baeumlein and others believe Simon the leper to be indicated as the entertainer); but the complete restoration of him who had been raised from the dead is so weighty a consideration with John, that he further specially brings him forward as the present table companion of his Restorer. This also in answer to Marcker, Passim, p. 17.

[101] As also Wieseler, Hengstenberg, and others assume, who (see on John 18:28) regard the account of John, in respect to the day of Jesus’ death, as agreeing with that of the Synoptics.

[102] This must therefore, according to the calculation which gave Saturday for the 8th Nisan, have been the Sunday (Hase, De Wette). But if we hold that John does not fix the day of death differently from the Synoptics, we get as the result the Saturday (Wichelhaus and several others), reckoning backwards from Thursday the 14th Nisan inclusive. Further, the 9th Nisan is expressly fixed as the day of arrival in Bethany by Theophylact, and recently by Lücke and several others.

[103] That this meal is to be placed still on the same day, therefore Saturday, at the usual time of the evening repast, appears from the fact that the ἐπαύριον does not follow before ver. 12 (against Wichelhaus, p. 153 f.). The Sabbath is not opposed to this, since the preparations which had possibly been necessary for the meal might already have been made on the preceding day, if the family—which is a supposition sufficiently obvious—knew that Jesus was coming.—But the supposition that the meal was a solemn banquet, where Godet, following Bengel, introduces a company of the inhabitants of Bethany as the subject of ἐποίησαν, finds no support in the text, where, besides Jesus and the disciples, only the members of the family (no other participators) are named, and has the serving of Martha against it, which only bespeaks the usual domestic entertainment, although the gratitude and respect of the family had more richly set forth the meal expressly given to Him, to which the description δεῖπνον ποιεῖν (Mark 6:21) with the dative points.

John 12:1. Ὁ οὖν ἸησοῦςΒηθανίαν. οὖν takes us back to John 11:55; the Passover being at hand, Jesus therefore came to Bethany.—πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ πάσχα, not, as Vulgate, “ante sex dies Paschae,” but with Beza “sex ante Pascha diebus”. So Amos 1:1, πρὸ δύο ἐτῶν τοῦ σεισμοῦ. Josephus, Antiq., xv. 14, πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας τῆς ἑορτῆς. Other examples in Kypke; cf. John 10:18, John 21:8, and see Viereck’s Sermo Graecus, p. 81. Six days before the Passover probably means the Sabbath before His death. According to John Jesus died on Friday, and six days before that would be a Sabbath. But it is difficult to ascertain with exactness what day is intended. Bethany is now described as the place ὅπου ἦν Λάζαρος ὁ τεθνηκώς. This description is given to explain what follows.

1. Then Jesus] The ‘then’ or therefore simply resumes the narrative from the point where it quitted Jesus, John 11:55. This is better than to make it depend on John 11:57, as if He went to Bethany to avoid His enemies. His hour is drawing near, and therefore He draws near to the appointed scene of His sufferings.

six days before the Passover] The Passover began at sunset on Nisan 14: six days before this would bring us to Nisan 8. Assuming the year to be a. d. 30, Nisan 8 would be Friday, March 31. We may suppose, therefore, that Jesus and His disciples arrived at Bethany on the Friday evening a little after the Sabbath had commenced, having performed not more than ‘a Sabbath-Day’s journey’ on the Sabbath, the bulk of the journey being over before the day of rest began. But it must be remembered that this chronology is tentative, not certain.

which had been dead] These words are omitted by a large number of the best authorities, which give where Lazarus was, whom Jesus raised from the dead. They made Him therefore, &c.

1–36. The Judgment of Men

Note the dramatic contrast between the different sections of this division; the devotion of Mary and the enmity of the hierarchy, Christ’s triumph and the Pharisees’ discomfiture, &c.

John 12:1. Πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ πάσχα) Six days before the Passover took place. So the Septuagint, πρὸ δύο ἐτῶν τοῦ σεισμοῦ, πρὸ τριῶν μηνῶν τοῦ θερισμοῦ [two years before the earthquake,—three months before the harvest], Amos 1:1; Amos 4:7. Add 2 Maccabees 15 :(36) 37. The day before had been the Sabbath;[308] and that was called by the Jews the great Sabbath, שבת הגדול: as the Greeks distinguish the subsequent week and the several days of it by an epithet expressive of greatness.—ΕἸς ΒΗΘΑΝΊΑΝ, to Bethany) For He had departed from it after having raised up Lazarus: ch. John 11:54, “Jesus—went thence—into Ephraim.” [After the Saviour had passed the night in this place (Bethany—to which He had come by way of Jericho from Ephraim), on the following day He left Bethany and came to Bethphage, which was nearer Jerusalem; and, having procured the ass and foal from a village in that quarter, He rode into the city in solemn state.—Harm., p. 440.]—ἘΚ ΝΕΚΡῶΝ) The Lat. has ‘Jesus;’ several other copies have ἐκ νεκρῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς: ἐκ νεκρῶν is extant at John 12:9.[309]

[308] Therefore it was on the first day (Sunday) of the great week that the paschal Lamb, the one who bore the name in the true sense [the antitype], was set apart (comp. Exodus 12:3, “In the tenth day of the month Abib, they shall take to them every man a lamb,” etc.); and from that supper, at which Jesus was made ready [by the anointing] for His burial, to the supper at which on the day of His resurrection He appeared to His disciples, a space of eight days elapsed.—Harm., p. 440.

[309] The Vers. Germ. omits this clause in the present verse, but retains the name ὁ Ἰησοῦς.—E. B.

ABDa Rec. Text retain ἐκ νεκρῶν. b and Vulg. omit the words. ABDLΔ have ὁ Ἰησοῦς (B omitting ): Vulg. also has ‘Jesus.’ Xabc and Rec. Text omit it.—E. and T.

Verses 1-8. -

1. The feast of love and gratitude. Verse 1. - Jesus therefore, six days before the Passover. Every preliminary of that solemn feast is memorable to our evangelist. The coincidence of the Passover feast and the killing of the Paschal lamb, with the sacrifice of "Christ our Passover," cannot be concealed. [For the grammatical construction with πρὸ, cf. note, John 11:18, where a similar use of ἀπό occurs; not, however, a Latinism, as some have supposed, as similar phrases are found in good Greek (see Winer, ' Greek Gram.,' p. 69).] The date from which the calculation is made is complicated with the intricate controversy upon the day of our Lord's death, i.e. whether he suffered on the 14th or 15th of Nisan, and whether a "harmony" is possible or not with the statements of the synoptists, who all three assert that our Lord ate the Passover with his disciples (see Introduction, pp. 92-94.). However this matter be finally settled, if the 14th of Nisan was the day on which the Passover was killed, "between the evenings," the 13th was reckoned as the first day before the Passover, and the sixth day would be the 8th of Nisan. If the weekly sabbath occurred on the 16th, then the 9th also was a sabbath. The Lord would then have reached Bethany on the eve of the sabbath, and have rested on the sabbath itself. The evening of the 9th would be the occasion of the feast, and the 10th would correspond with Palm Sunday. If the Lord were crucified on the 14th, and the weekly sabbath coincided with the Passover-day of convocation, the 15th, then the previous sabbath was on the 8th, and our Lord must have reached Bethany in "the end of the sabbath," and then the feast was on the following day. When Jesus halted at Bethany, the vast crowd of pilgrims advanced into the suburbs of Jerusalem, encamping on the Mount of Olives, and would be ready for the great demonstration of the next day. Westcott, after Bengel, observes that John's Gospel begins and ends with a sacred week (cf. John 1:29-35, 43; John 2:1). Jesus therefore, sis days before the Passover, came to Bethany. The quiet rest of that last sabbath with the family at Bethany is a thought full of suggestion. Thoma accounts for the triumphal feast and anointing, "six days before the Passover," as answering to the day on which the lamb was separated from other and secular animals, and consecrated for this holy service (Exodus 12:3-6; Hebrews 7:26). The segregation, however, was partial or premature, and the anointing (see below) took place five days before the Passover. It is not said that the day of his arrival at Bethany is the day of the festive welcome. Bethany is described as the place where Lazarus was. The explanatory clause, he who had been dead, is not necessary, as the evangelist limits and explains sufficiently the great motive for his pause and presence at Bethany by adding, whom he (Jesus) raised from the dead. It is extraordinary that some most able expositors should be so unwilling to accept the synchronous statements of the synoptists. Their narrative is not out of harmony with the hypothesis that our Lord passed the previous days with the pilgrim-band from Peraea, and that, taking the head of the procession as it was passing through Jericho., he should thus have distinctly challenged the authorities, and taken up the public position to which they were anxious he should lay claim. By his visit to the house of Zacchaeus he proclaimed the new feature and spirit of his kingdom; by healing the blind man he gave a typical illustration of the work of grace needed by all his disciples; by resting at the home where human love and Divine power had been so wonderfully blended he called the most solemn attention to his supreme claims; by pressing on with urgency up the steep mountain pathway at the head of his disciples he seemed to be ready, in his own words, "to lay down his life, that he might take it again." The οϋν, according to Meyer, is simply the resumption of the narrative, but surely those are right who regard it as a distinct reference to John 11:55. The Sanhedrists had given the ἐντολή that if any knew where he was, they should declare it. Christ was resolved, now that his hour was come, to lift the whole responsibility from his friends, and take it upon himself. The other evangelists do not mention the halt. Their purpose was not a chronological one. They give the narrative of the anointing apart from its deepest meanings and consequences, apart from any references to Lazarus (see Matthew 26:6-12; Mark 14:1-11). There are other subtle omissions from the synoptists, the difficulties of which must be settled as between themselves. Thus, according to Mark 11:12 and 20, an interval of a whole day and night took place between the withering of the fig tree and the conversation about it, but Matthew makes the conversation follow immediately upon the miracle. In like manner, John abstains from any reference to the discussions in the temple, to the withering of the fig tree, to the cleansing of the temple, or to the parables which followed. John 12:1Which had been dead


He raised

For He, read Jesus.

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