Luke 22:39
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(39) And went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives.—The words agree with the previous statement in Luke 21:37, and with John 18:2. Here, as in the parallel passage of Matthew 26:30 (where see Note), we have to insert the discourses of John 14-17.

Luke

GETHSEMANE

Luke 22:39 - Luke 22:53
.

‘Put off thy shoes from off thy feet.’ Cold analysis is out of place here, where the deepest depth of a Saviour’s sorrows is partly disclosed, and we see Him bowing His head to the waves and billows that went over Him, for our sakes. Luke’s account is much condensed, but contains some points peculiar to itself. It falls into two parts-the solemn scene of the agony, and the circumstances of the arrest.

I. We look with reverent awe and thankfulness at that soul-subduing picture of the agonising and submissive Christ which Luke briefly draws.

Think of the contrast between the joyous revelry of the festival-keeping city and the sadness of the little company which crossed the Kedron and passed beneath the shadow of the olive-trees into the moonlit garden. Jesus needed companions there; but He needed solitude still more. So He is ‘parted from them’; but Luke alone tells us how short the distance was-’as it were a stone’s throw,’ and near enough for the disciples to see and hear something before they slept.

That clinging to and separation from His humble friends gives a wonderful glimpse into Christ’s desolation then. And how beautiful is His care for them, even at that supreme hour, which leads to the injunction twice spoken, at the beginning and end of His own prayers, that they should pray, not for Him, but for themselves. He never asks for men’s prayers, but He does for their love. He thinks of His sufferings as temptation for the disciples, and for the moment forgets His own burden, in pointing them the way to bear theirs. Did self-oblivious love ever shine more gloriously in the darkness of sorrow?

Luke omits the threefold withdrawal and return, but notes three things-the prayer, the angel appearance, and the physical effects of the agony. The essentials are all preserved in his account. The prayer is truly ‘the Lord’s prayer,’ and the perfect pattern for ours. Mark the grasp of God’s fatherhood, which is at once appeal and submission. So should all prayer begin, with the thought, at all events, whether with the word ‘Father’ or no. Mark the desire that ‘this cup’ should pass. The expression shows how vividly the impending sufferings were pictured before Christ’s eye. The keenest pains of anticipation, which make so large a part of so many sorrows, were felt by Him. He shrank from His sufferings. Did He therefore falter in His desire and resolve to endure the Cross? A thousand times, no! His will never wavered, but maintained itself supreme over the natural recoil of His human nature from pain and death. If He had not felt the Cross to be a dread, it had been no sacrifice. If He had allowed the dread to penetrate to His will, He had been no Saviour. But now He goes before us in the path which all have, in their degree, to travel, and accepts pain that He may do His work.

That acceptance of the divine will is no mere ‘If it must be so, let it be so,’ much as that would have been. But He receives in His prayer the true answer-for His will completely coincides with the Father’s, and ‘mine’ is ‘thine.’ Such conformity of our wills with God’s is the highest blessing of prayer and the true deliverance. The cup accepted is sweet; and though flesh may shrink, the inner self consents, and in consenting to the pain, conquers it.

Luke alone tells of the ministering angel; and, according to some authorities, the forty-third and forty-fourth verses are spurious. But, accepting them as genuine, what does the angelic appearance teach us? It suggests pathetically the utter physical prostration of Jesus. Sensuous religion has dwelt on that offensively, but let us not rush to the opposite extreme, and ignore it. It teaches us that the manhood of Jesus needed the communication of divine help as truly as we do. The difficulty of harmonising that truth with His divine nature was probably the reason for the omission of this verse in some manuscripts. It teaches the true answer to His prayer, as so often to ours; namely, the strength to bear the load, not the removal of it. It is remarkable that the renewal of the solemn ‘agony’ and the intenser earnestness of prayer follow the strengthening by the angel.

Increased strength increased the conflict of feeling, and the renewed and intensified conflict increased the earnestness of the prayer. The calmness won was again disturbed, and a new recourse to the source of it was needed. We stand reverently afar off, and ask, not too curiously, what it is that falls so heavily to the ground, and shines red and wet in the moonlight. But the question irresistibly rises, Why all this agony of apprehension? If Jesus Christ was but facing death as it presents itself to all men, His shrinking is far beneath the temper in which many a man has fronted the scaffold and the fire. We can scarcely save His character for admiration, unless we see in the agony of Gethsemane something much more than the shrinking from a violent death, and understand how there the Lord made to meet on Him the iniquity of us all. If the burden that crushed Him thus was but the common load laid on all men’s shoulders, He shows unmanly terror. If it were the black mass of the world’s sins, we can understand the agony, and rejoice to think that our sins were there.

II. The arrest.

Three points are made prominent-the betrayer’s token, the disciples’ resistance, the reproof of the foes, and in each the centre of interest is our Lord’s words. The sudden bursting in of the multitude is graphically represented. The tumult broke the stillness of the garden, but it brought deeper peace to Christ’s heart; for while the anticipation agitated, the reality was met with calmness. Blessed they who can unmoved front evil, the foresight of which shook their souls! Only they who pray as Jesus did beneath the olives, can go out from their shadow, as He did, to meet the foe.

The first of the three incidents of the arrest brings into strong prominence Christ’s meek patience, dignity, calmness, and effort, even at that supreme moment, to rouse dormant conscience, and save the traitor from himself. Judas probably had no intention by his kiss of anything but showing the mob their prisoner; but he must have been far gone in insensibility before he could fix on such a sign. It was the token of friendship and discipleship, and no doubt was customary among the disciples, though we never hear of any lips touching Jesus but the penitent woman’s, which were laid on His feet, and the traitor’s. The worst hypocrisy is that which is unconscious of its own baseness.

Every word of Christ’s answer to the shameful kiss is a sharp spear, struck with a calm and not resentful hand right into the hardened conscience. There is wistful tenderness and a remembrance of former confidences in calling Him by name. The order of words in the original emphasises the kiss, as if Jesus had said, ‘Is that the sign you have chosen? Could nothing else serve you? Are you so dead to all feeling that you can kiss and betray?’ The Son of man flashes on Judas, for the last time, the majesty and sacredness against which he was lifting his hand. ‘Betrayest thou?’ which comes last in the Greek, seeks to startle by putting into plain words the guilt, and so to rend the veil of sophistications in which the traitor was hiding his deed from himself. Thus to the end Christ seeks to keep him from ruin, and with meek patience resents not indignity, but with majestic calmness sets before the miserable man the hideousness of his act. The patient Christ is the same now as then, and meets all our treason with pleading, which would fain teach us how black it is, not because He is angry, but because He would win us to turn from it. Alas that so often His remonstrances fall on hearts as wedded to their sin as was Judas’s!

The rash resistance of the disciple is recorded chiefly for the sake of Christ’s words and acts. The anonymous swordsman was Peter, and the anonymous victim was Malchus, as John tells us. No doubt he had brought one of the two swords from the upper room, and, in a sudden burst of anger and rashness, struck at the man nearest him, not considering the fatal consequences for them all that might follow. Peter could manage nets better than swords, and missed the head, in his flurry and in the darkness, only managing to shear off a poor slave’s ear. When the Church takes sword in hand, it usually shows that it does not know how to wield it, and as often as not has struck the wrong man. Christ tells Peter and us, in His word here, what His servants’ true weapons are, and rebukes all armed resistance of evil. ‘Suffer ye thus far’ is a command to oppose violence only by meek endurance, which wins in the long run, as surely as the patient sunshine melts the thick ice, which is ice still, when pounded with a hammer.

If ‘thus far’ as to His own seizure and crucifying was to be ‘suffered,’ where can the breaking-point of patience and non-resistance be fixed? Surely every other instance of violence and wrong lies far on this side of that one. The prisoner heals the wound. Wonderful testimony that not inability to deliver Himself, but willingness to be taken, gave Him into the hands of His captors! Blessed proof that He lavishes benefits on His foes, and that His delight is to heal all wounds and stanch every bleeding heart!

The last incident here is Christ’s piercing rebuke, addressed, not to the poor, ignorant tools, but to the prime movers of the conspiracy, who had come to gloat over its success. He asserts His own innocence, and hints at the preposterous inadequacy of ‘swords and staves’ to take Him. He is no ‘robber,’ and their weapons are powerless, unless He wills. He recalls His uninterrupted teaching in the Temple, as if to convict them of cowardice, and perchance to bring to remembrance His words there. And then, with that same sublime and strange majesty of calm submission which marks all His last hours, He unveils to these furious persecutors the true character of their deed. The sufferings of Jesus were the meeting-point of three worlds-earth, hell, and heaven. ‘This is your hour.’ But it was also Satan’s hour, and it was Christ’s ‘hour,’ and God’s. Man’s passions, inflamed from beneath, were used to work out God’s purpose; and the Cross is at once the product of human unbelief, of devilish hate, and of divine mercy. His sufferings were ‘the power of darkness.’

Mark in that expression Christ’s consciousness that He is the light, and enmity to Him darkness. Mark, too, His meek submission, as bowing His head to let the black flood flow over Him. Note that Christ brands enmity to Him as the high-water mark of sin, the crucial instance of man’s darkness, the worst thing ever done. Mark the assurance that animated Him, that the eclipse was but for an ‘hour.’ The victory of the darkness was brief, and it led to the eternal triumph of the Light. By dying He is the death of death. This Jonah inflicts deadly wounds on the monster in whose maw He lay for three days. The power of darkness was shivered to atoms in the moment of its proudest triumph, like a wave which is beaten into spray as it rises in a towering crest and flings itself against the rock.Luke 22:39-46. He went, as he was wont — As was his custom every night; to the mount of Olives — See on Matthew 26:30-32. And when he was at the place — When he had entered the garden of Gethsemane; he said, Pray that ye enter not into temptation — Having forewarned them of the lamentable effect which his sufferings would have upon them; that they would all stumble that very night, according to the prophecy of Zechariah, he exhorted them to pray that the temptation might not entirely prevail against them, and cause their faith to fail altogether. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast — Namely, not only from the other disciples, whom he had left at the entrance into the garden, but from Peter, James, and John, whom he had taken with him farther into it: kneeled down — Matthew, fell on his face; Mark, fell on the ground; and prayed, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup — The Greek rather means, “O that thou wouldst remove this cup!” ει being evidently a particle of wishing. Therefore, in Mark it is, He prayed, that if it were possible the hour might pass from him; saying, Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; take away this cup from me. It seems, he first kneeled and prayed, as Luke here says; then, in the vehemence of his earnestness, he fell on his face, and spake the words recorded by Matthew and Mark. In the mean time, his prayer, though most fervent, was accompanied with due expressions of resignation; for he immediately added, (Matthew,) Nevertheless, not as (Mark, what) I will, but as (Mark, what) thou wilt; or, as Luke here has it, not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared an angel — Probably standing near him in a visible form; strengthening him — Lest his body should sink and die before the time; and perhaps suggesting such holy consolations as were most proper to animate his soul in such a struggle. It is probable, that during this time of suffering the divine nature had withdrawn its usual support. And being in an agony — Probably now conflicting with the powers of darkness; feeling the weight of the wrath of God, due to the sins of mankind, and at the same time surrounded with a mighty host of devils, who exercised all their force, subtlety, and malice to persecute, distract, and oppress his wounded spirit; he prayed more earnestly — Than before, even with stronger cries and tears; and his sweat — Cold as the weather was; was as it were great drops of blood — Which, by the vehement distress of his soul, were forced out of the pores of his body, in so great a quantity as afterward united in large, thick, grumous drops, and even fell to the ground. Thus Jesus suffered unspeakable sorrows in his soul, as long as the divine wisdom saw fit. At length he obtained relief, being heard in that which he feared, (Hebrews 5:7,) or, on account of his piety, or perfect submission to the will of his Father, as απο της ευλαβειας, may be translated.22:39-46 Every description which the evangelists give of the state of mind in which our Lord entered upon this conflict, proves the tremendous nature of the assault, and the perfect foreknowledge of its terrors possessed by the meek and lowly Jesus. Here are three things not in the other evangelists. 1. When Christ was in his agony, there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. It was a part of his humiliation that he was thus strengthened by a ministering spirit. 2. Being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Prayer, though never out of season, is in a special manner seasonable when we are in an agony. 3. In this agony his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down. This showed the travail of his soul. We should pray also to be enabled to resist unto the shedding of our blood, striving against sin, if ever called to it. When next you dwell in imagination upon the delights of some favourite sin, think of its effects as you behold them here! See its fearful effects in the garden of Gethsemane, and desire, by the help of God, deeply to hate and to forsake that enemy, to ransom sinners from whom the Redeemer prayed, agonized, and bled.See the Matthew 26:30-46 notes; Mark 14:26-42 notes.Lu 22:39-46. Agony in the Garden.

39. as … wont—(See Joh 18:2).

Both Matthew and Mark say, he went to a place called Gethsemane; but that makes no difference, for whether Gethsemane signifieth a village, or a garden, or a valley, all agree it was at the foot of the mount of Olives. It was a place to which our Saviour had used to go ever since he came to Jerusalem, and lay in his way to Bethany. He went thither to pray, and his disciples followed him. And he came out,.... That is, "Christ", as the Persic version; or the "Lord Jesus", as the Ethiopic version expresses; he came out of the guestchamber, or upper room, and out of the house where he had been keeping the passover with his disciples; and he came out of the city of Jerusalem, to begin his sorrows and sufferings without the camp, where he was to end them:

and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives. This had been his practice and custom for several nights past, as appears from Luke 21:37. Hence Judas knew the place he now went to, and could direct the soldiers and officers where to go, and apprehend him; and this shows the willingness of Christ to be taken, in order to suffer and die; otherwise he would have gone to another place, and not this. The Ethiopic version adds, "to pray", as he did; and, as very likely he was used; for he would sometimes continue a whole night in prayer on a mountain; see Luke 6:12

and his disciples also followed him; eleven of them, for Judas was now gone to the chief priests to inform them where Christ was going, that they might seize him: but the other disciples followed him, which was so ordered, that they might be witnesses of his sorrows and agonies in the garden, and of his being betrayed by Judas, and apprehended by the Jews; though upon this they forsook him and fled.

And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 22:39-46. See on Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42. The originality is on the side of Matthew and Mark. Luke by condensing disturbs the clearness of the single narrative, and mixes up with it legendary elements.

Luke 22:40. ἐπὶ τοῦ τόπου] at the place whither He wished to go,—had arrived at the spot. On γίνεσθαι in the sense of come, see Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 295.

προσεύχεσθε, κ.τ.λ.] which Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38 do not insert till later. Luke abbreviates, but to the prejudice of the appropriateness of the narrative. He is not to be supposed capable of having confounded the prayer of Jesus (Matthew 26:36) with that of the disciples (de Wette).

Luke 22:41. αὐτός] He on His part, in contrast with the disciples.

ἀπεσπάσθη] avulsus est, Vulgate; He was drawn away from them, not involuntarily, but perchance in the urgency of His emotion, which forced Him to be alone, so that He, as it were, was forcibly separated from His disciples, with whom He otherwise would have remained. Ancient scholium on Soph. Aj. 1003, ἀποσπᾶν τὸ βιαίως χωρίζειν τὰ κεκολλημένα. Comp. Acts 21:1, and the passages in Kypke, also Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec. 225. It might indeed also mean simply: secessit (Kuinoel, de Wette, Bleek, and many others); comp. 2Ma 12:10; 2Ma 12:17; Xen. Anab. ii. 2. 12; but the above view explains the choice of the word, which is not elsewhere used in the New Testament for the frequent idea, “He withdrew Himself.”

ὡσεὶ λίθου βολήν] a distance of about a stone’s throw, therefore not so far that He could not be heard by the disciples in the still night. On the expression, comp. Il. xxiii. 529; Thuc. v. 65. 1; LXX. Genesis 21:16. On the accusative of measure, see Kühner, § 556.

Luke 22:42. εἰ βούλει παρενεγκεῖν κ.τ.λ.] if Thou art willing to bear aside (Mark 14:36) this cup from me.

The apodosis (παρένεγκε) is in the urgency of the mental excitement suppressed by the following thought (comp. Luke 19:41). The momentary longing after deliverance yields immediately to unconditional submission. See Winer, p. 529 [E. T. 750]; Buttmann, p. 339 [E. T. 396].

θέλημα] not βουλή or βούλημα, which would not have been appropriate to μου. Comp. on Matthew 1:19; Ephesians 1:11Luke 22:43. The appearance of the angel, understood by Luke historically and externally (ὤφθη ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ), is by Olshausen (see, in answer to him, Dettinger in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1838, p. 46 f.) erroneously taken as an internal phenomenon (but see Luke 1:11, Luke 24:34; Acts 2:3; Acts 7:2; Acts 7:30; Acts 9:17; Acts 16:9; Acts 26:16), and interpreted as signifying an “influx of spiritual powers.” But of the strengthening itself is not to be made a bodily invigoration, as at Acts 9:19 (Hofmann, Schriftbew. I. p. 391; Schegg), but it is to be left as an enhancement of spiritual powers,[256] as, according to the just narrated prayerful disposition, the context suggests. His submission to the Father’s will, just expressed in the prayer, was the subjective condition of this strengthening, and on this submission being manifested the strengthening was objectively effected by the angel. Thus the narrative of Luke; but the circumstance that neither Matthew (John does not give the narrative of the agony at all) nor Mark relates this singular and remarkable angelic strengthening, although the latter would have had the testimony of Peter on his side, authorizes all the more the view of a legendary origination of the narrative (Gabler in Theolog. Journ. I. pp. 109 ff., 217 ff.; Schleiermacher, Strauss, Hase, Theile, Holtzmann, comp. Bleek, Schenkel, and others), the nearer the decisive resolve of Jesus (whether regarded in itself, or as compared with the history of the temptation and such expressions as John 1:52) approached to such an increase of strength, which decisive resolve, however, in the tradition took the shape of an external fact perceived by the senses. Dettinger, l.c.; Ebrard, p. 528; Olshausen, Schegg; Lange also, L. J. II. 3, p. 1430, and others, adduce insufficient grounds in favour of the historical view. The older dogmatic devices to explain the manner in which this strengthening came about, wherein orthodoxy comforted itself with the doctrine of the κένωσις, may be seen in Calovius.

Luke 22:44. Further particulars. According to Luke, the decisive resolve of Jesus: τὸ σὸν γενέσθω, was crowned with the strengthening angelic appearance; and thus decided and equipped for resistance, He now endured (comp. Hebrews 5:7 f., and thereupon Lünemann and Delitzsch) the agony (ἀγωνία, Dem. 236. 19; Polyb. viii. 21. 2; 2Ma 3:14; 2Ma 15:19), which was now beginning, fervently praying (as before the appearance), which agony increased even to the bloody sweat. Luke has conceived the strengthening influence as increasing as the agony increased. The sweat of Jesus (in the height of the agony) was like to drops of blood falling down. This is referred by Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius, Calixtus, Hammond, Michaelis, Valckenaer, and most of the later commentators, including Paulus, Kuinoel, Olshausen, Bleek, merely to the size and consistence of the drops of sweat. So also Dettinger, l.c., and Hug, Gutacht. II. p. 145. Comp. Lange, II. 3, p. 1433. Thus in a naturalistic direction the point of comparison found in αἵματος is robbed of its characteristic importance, and Luke would have concluded his description, rising to a climax, with nothing but this: and Jesus fell into the most violent sweat! No! αἵματος only receives its due in being referred to the nature of the sweat, and this nature is viewed as foreshadowing the coming bloodshedding. Hence also the strongly descriptive word θρόμβοι is chosen; for θρόμβος is not simply a drop (σταγών, στάλαγμα), but a clot of coagulated fluid (milk and the like), and is often used especially of coagulated blood (Aesch. Eum. 184; Choeph. 533, 545; Plat. Crit. p. 120 A: θρόμβον ἐνέβαλλον αἵματος; Dioscor. 13 : θρόμβοις αἵματος). See Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. p. 379; Blomfield, Gloss. Choeph. 526. Consequently that sweat of Jesus was indeed no mass of blood (opposed to which is ὡσεί), but a profusion of bloody sweat, which was mingled with portions of blood, and as it flowed down appeared as clots of blood trickling down to the ground.[257] So in substance most of the Fathers, Erasmus, Calvin, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, and others, including Strauss, Ebrard, Schegg. As to the historical character of the matter, it would come under the same judgment as that of the angelic strengthening, were it independent of the analogies of sweat of blood elsewhere occurring (Aristotle, H. A. iii. 19; Bartholinus, de Cruce, pp. 184 ff., 193 ff.; Gruner, de J. C. morte vera, pp. 33 ff., 109 f.; Loenartz, de sudore sanguin., Bonn 1850).

Luke 22:45. ἀπὸ τῆς λύπης] by reason of the sorrow in which they were. An attempt to explain the strange sleep which had overmastered the whole band of disciples. Is it, however, sufficient? Hardly in this case, where in the chilly night of spring (John 18:18) Jesus was so near, and was in a situation exciting the deepest interest and the most intense participation in the sympathy of His disciples. In itself there is justice in the observation that continuous deep grief relaxes into sleep. See examples in Pricaeus, ad Apulej. Metam. p. 660 f., and Wetstein. Calvin suggests Satanic temptation as the cause first of this sleep, and then of the blow with the sword.

[256] Theodore of Mopsuestia (ed. Fritzsche, p. 16) says: δειλιᾷ τὸν θάνατον κατὰ φίσιν ἀνθρώπων καὶ εὔχεται καὶ ἐνισχύεται ὑπὸ ἀγγέλου.

[257] Justin, c. Tr. 103, relates from the ἀπομνημονεύμασι simply: ὅτι ἱδρὼς ὡσεὶ θρόμβοι κατεχεῖτο. Therein is found no essential variation from the passage before us. For θρόμβος, even in the classical writers, is used without αἵματος of a coagulated mass of blood. See Blomfield, l.c.Luke 22:39-46. Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:32-42). Lk.’s narrative here falls far short of the vivid realism of the parallels. Mt. and Mk. allow the infirmity of the great High Priest of humanity so graphically described in the Epistle to the Hebrews to appear in its appalling naked truth. Lk. throws a veil over it, so giving an account well adapted doubtless to the spiritual condition of first readers, but not so well serving the deepest permanent needs of the Church. This statement goes on the assumption that Luke 22:43-44 are no part of the genuine text, for in these, especially in Luke 22:44, the language is even more realistic than that of Mk., and is thus out of harmony with the subdued nature of Lk.’s narrative in general. This want of keeping with the otherwise colourless picture of the scene, which is in accord with Lk.’s uniform mode of handling the emphatic words, acts and experiences of Jesus, is, in my view, one of the strongest arguments against the genuineness of Luke 22:43-44.39-48. The Agony in the Garden.

39
. And he came out] St Luke here omits all the touching incidents which St John alone records—the discourses so “rarely mixed of sadness and joys, and studded with mysteries as with emeralds Peter’s question, “Lord, whither goest thou?”; the melancholy remark of Thomas about the way; Philip’s “Lord, shew us the Father;” the perplexed enquiry of Judas Lebbaeus; the rising from the Table; the Parable of the Vine and the Branches, perhaps suggested by the trellised vine under which they passed out into the moonlight; and the great High Priest’s prayer.

to the mount of Olives] down the valley over the brook, or, rather, dry wady of the Kedron, and then up the green slope beyond it to the garden or small farm (χωρίον) of Gethsemane, “the oil press,” which is about half a mile from the city. Probably (John 18:2) it belonged to a disciple; possibly to St Mark. Judas knew the spot, and had ascertained that Jesus was going there. He had gone out to get the band necessary for His arrest.

followed him] The walk would be under the full Paschal moon amid the deep hush that falls over an Oriental city at night. The only recordedLuke 22:39. Κατὰ τὸ ἔθος, according to His custom) So the disciples were less struck by any immediate (present) sense of strangeness.—εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν, to the mount of Olives) It was to this mountain a red cow used to be led forth to be immolated. See S. R. Zeller on Maimon. as to the red cow, pp. 360, 501.—ἠκολούθησαν, followed) of their own accord.Verses 39-46. - The agony in the garden. This eventful scene is recounted in detail by all the three synoptists. St. Matthew's account is the most complete. St. Mark adds one saying of the Lord's containing a deep theological truth, "Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee." These remarkable words, occurring as they do in the midst of the most solemn scene of prayer in the Redeemer's earth-life, tell of the vast possibilities of prayer. What may not be accomplished by earnest supplication to the throne of grace? St. Luke's account is the shortest, but it contains the story of the angelic mission of help, and the additional detail of the "bloody sweat." St. John alone of the four omits the scene; but, as in other most important recitals where he refrains from repeating the story of things thoroughly known in his Master's Church at the period when he committed his Gospel to writing, he takes care, however, often to record some hitherto unrecorded piece of the Lord's teaching, which is calculated to throw new light upon the momentous twice and thrice told incident, the story of which he does not deem it necessary to repeat. So in ch. 2. he throws a flood of light upon Christian baptism. Ch. 6. is a Divine commentary on the Holy Eucharist. While in Luke 12:23-28 he gives us, in his Master's words, a new insight into that awful sorrow which was the source of the agony in Gethsemane. Canon Westcott suggests that the succession of the main events recorded by the four evangelists was as follows: - Approximate time: 1 a.m....

The agony.

The betrayal.

The conveyance to the high priest's house, probably adjoining "the Booths of Hanna." 2 a.m....

The preliminary examination before Annas in the presence of Caiaphas.

About 3 a.m....

The examination before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin at an irregular meeting at "the Booths."

About 5 a.m....

The formal sentence of the Sanhedrin in their own proper place of meeting - Gazith or Beth Midrash (Luke 22:66; Matthew 27:1, πρωι'´ας γενομένης; comp. Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66, ὡς ἐγένετο ἡμυέρα. The first examination before Pilate at the palace. 5.30 a.m....

The examination before Herod.

The scourging and first mockery by the soldiers at the palace. 6.30 a.m....

The sentence of Pilate (John 19:14, ὥρα η΅ν ὡς ἕκτη). 7 a.m....

The second mockery of the condemned "King" by the soldiers. 9 a.m....

The Crucifixion, and rejection of the stupefying draught (Mark 15:25, η΅ν ὥρα τρίτη). 12 noon...

The last charge. 12-3 p.m....

The darkness (Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 28:44 η΅ν ὡσεὶ ὥρα ἕκτη ἑως ὥρας ἐννάτης). 3 p.m....

The end. Verse 39. - And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives. In the other evangelists we find the place on the Mount of Olives described as Gethsemane. The word Gethsemane signifies "oil-press." It was a garden; one of the many charming gardens which Josephus tells us old Jerusalem abounded with. It perhaps belonged to a friend of Christ, or else was with others of these gardens, or "paradises," thrown open at the great festival seasons to the faithful pilgrims who on these occasions crowded the holy city and its suburbs. There is at the present day just beyond the brook Kedron, between the paths that go up to the summit of the mount, about three quarters of a mile from the Jerusalem wall, an enclosed garden called Gethsemane. It belongs to the Latin community in Jerusalem. In it are eight very ancient olive trees. When Henry Maundrell visited the spot, in 1697, these eight aged trees were believed to be the same that stood there in the blessed Savior's time. Bove the botanist, in Ritter's 'Geography of Palestine,' vol. 4, quoted by Dean Mansel, says these venerable olive trees are two thousand years old. Josephus, however, relates that in the great siege the soldiers of Titus cut down all the trees in the Jerusalem suburbs. Even if this be assumed, these soldiers, from some feeling of awe stirred up by the tradition which hung, of course, round this hallowed spot, might have spared this little sacred grove; or they might at the time have been still young saplings, of no use for the put-pose of the siege operations. "In spite of all the doubts that can be raised against their antiquity, the eight aged olive trees, if only by their manifest difference from all others on the mountain, have always struck even the most indifferent observers. They will remain, so long as their already protracted life is spared, the most venerable of their race on the surface of the earth. Their gnarled trunks and scanty foliage will always be regarded as the most affecting of the sacred memorials in or about Jerusalem - the most nearly approaching to the everlasting hills themselves in the force with which they carry us back to the events of the gospel history" (Dean Stanley, ' Sinai and Palestine,' p. 455).
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