Matthew 26:2
You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) After two days is the feast of the passover.—Assuming (as the facts of the case lead us to assume, but see Notes on John 13:1) the Last Supper to have coincided with the actual Paschal Feast, the point of time at which the words were spoken would either be some time on what we should call the Tuesday evening of the Passion week, or, following the Jewish mode of speech which found three days in the interval between our Lord’s entombment and resurrection, on the morning or afternoon of Wednesday.

26:1-5 Our Lord had often told of his sufferings as at a distance, now he speaks of them as at hand. At the same time the Jewish council consulted how they might put him to death secretly. But it pleased God to defeat their intention. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and his death and resurrection rendered public.After two days is - the feast of the Passover.

See the notes at Matthew 12:1-8. The festival of the Passover was designed to preserve among the Jews the memory of their liberation from Egyptian servitude, and of the safety of their first-born in that night when the firstborn of the Egyptians perished, Exodus 12. The name "Passover" was given to the feast because the Lord "passed over" the houses of the Israelites without slaying their first-born, while the Egyptians were cut off, Exodus 12:13. It was celebrated seven days, namely, from the 15th to the 21st of the month Abib or Nisan (April), Exodus 12:15-20; Exodus 23:15. During all this period the people ate unleavened bread, and hence the festival was sometimes called the "feast of unleavened bread," Exodus 12:18; Leviticus 23:6. On the evening of the fourteenth day, all the leaven or yeast in the family was removed with great care, as it is to the present time - a circumstance to which the apostle alludes in 1 Corinthians 5:7.

On the tenth day of the month the master of a family separated a lamb or a goat of a year old from the flock Exodus 12:1-6, which he killed on the 14th day before the altar, Deuteronomy 16:2, Deuteronomy 16:5-6. The lamb was commonly slain at about 3 o'clock p. m.. The blood of the paschal lamb was, in Egypt, sprinkled on the door-posts of the houses; afterward it was poured by the priests at the foot of the altar, Exodus 12:7. The lamb thus slain was roasted whole, with two spits thrust through it - one lengthwise and one transversely - crossing each other near the forelegs, so that the animal was in a manner, crucified. Not a bone of it might be broken - a circumstance strongly representing the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, the Passover slain for us, John 19:36; 1 Corinthians 5:7. Thus roasted, the lamb was served up with wild and bitter herbs, Not fewer than ten, nor more than twenty persons, were admitted to these sacred feasts. At first it was observed with their loins girt about, with sandals on their feet, and with all the preparations for an immediate journey. This, in Egypt, was significant of the haste with which they were about to depart from the land of bondage. The custom was afterward retained.

The order of the celebration of this feast was as follows: The ceremony commenced with drinking a cup of wine mingled with water, after having given thanks to God for it. This was the "first cup." Then followed the "washing of hands," with another short form of thanksgiving to God. The table was then supplied with the provisions, namely, the bitter salad, the unleavened bread, the lamb, and a thick sauce composed of dates, figs, raisins, vinegar, etc. They then took a small quantity of salad, with another thanksgiving, and ate it; after which, all the dishes were removed from the table, and a second cup of wine was set before each guest, as at first. The dishes were removed, it is said, to excite the curiosity of children, and to lead them to make inquiry into the cause of this observance. See Exodus 12:26-27. The leading person at the feast then began and rehearsed the history of the servitude of the Jews in Egypt, the manner of their deliverance, and the reason of instituting the Passover. The dishes were then returned to the table, and he said, "This is the Passover which we eat, because that the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt;" and then, holding up the salad and the unleavened bread, he stated the design, namely, that the one represented the bitterness of the Egyptian bondage, and the other the suddenness of their deliverance.

This done, he repeated Psalm 113:1-9; Psalm 114:1-8, offered a short prayer, and all the company drank the wine that had been standing some time before them. This was the "second cup." The hands were then again washed, and the meal then eaten with the usual forms and solemnities; after which they washed the hands again, and then drank another cup of wine, called "the cup of blessing," because the leader was accustomed in a particular manner, over that cup, to offer thanks to God for his goodness. This is the cup which our Saviour is supposed to have taken when he instituted the Lord's Supper, called by Paul "the cup of blessing," 1 Corinthians 10:16. There was still another cup, which was drunk when they were about to separate, called the "Hallel," because in connection with it they were accustomed to repeat the lesser Hallel, or Psalm 115; 116; Psalm 117:1-2; 118. In accordance with this, our Saviour and his disciples sang a hymn as they were about to go to the Mount of Olives, Matthew 26:30. It is probable that our Saviour complied with these rites according to the custom of the Jews. While doing it, he signified that the typical reference of the Passover was about to be accomplished, and he instituted in place of it "the supper" - the communion - and, of course, the obligation to keep the Passover then ceased.

The Son of man is betrayed - Will be betrayed. He did not mean to say that they then knew that he would be betrayed, for it does not appear that they had been informed of the precise time; but they knew that the Passover was at hand, and he then informed them that he would be betrayed.

To be crucified - To be put to death on the cross. See the notes at Matthew 27:35.

CHAPTER 26

Mt 26:1-16. Christ's Final Announcement of his Death, as Now within Two Days, and the Simultaneous Conspiracy of the Jewish Authorities to Compass It—The Anointing at Bethany—Judas Agrees with the Chief Priests to Betray His Lord. ( = Mr 14:1-11; Lu 22:1-6; Joh 12:1-11).

For the exposition, see on [1361]Mr 14:1-11.

Ver. 1,2. Mark saith, Mark 14:1. After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread. Luke saith, Luke 22:1, Now the feast of unleavened drew nigh, which is called the passover. For our better understanding of what the evangelists say here, and in the following part of this history, we will consider the law of the passover in its institution, which we find in Exodus 12:3 &c., Leviticus 23:4 &c., Numbers 28:16 &c., In Exodus 12:1-51, we find its first institution, and the occasion of it. Upon the tenth day of the month Nisan, they were to take up a lamb for every household; or if the household were too small, they might take in their neighbours. This lamb was to be a male without blemish, and to be kept up to the fourteenth day; then to be killed in the evening; or between the two evenings, that is, as is most probably judged, some time that day after the sun began after noon to decline, before the sun did set. The flesh of this lamb was that night to be eaten, neither raw, nor sodden, but roasted with fire, with unleavened bread, and with bitter herbs: nothing was to remain till the morning; and if any did remain, it was to be burned. They were to eat it with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet, and their staff in their hands. They were to strike the blood of the lamb on the two first posts, and on the upper doorposts, of the houses where they did eat it. Seven days they were to eat unleavened bread, beginning on the fourteenth day of the month at even, and ending the one and twentieth at even. This was to be to them for a memorial of their deliverance in Egypt upon God’s destroying the firstborn of the Egyptians and sparing them, and their deliverance and coming out of Egypt; and was to be an ordinance unto them for ever. This may be read at large, Exodus 12:3-20. This also was a figure of the true Passover Jesus Christ, whom the apostle calleth our Passover, and the evangelist calls the Lamb of God. The law of the passover was again repeated, Leviticus 23:5-8 Numbers 28:16-25. The first and last of the days of unleavened bread (as may be seen there) were to be days of an holy convocation. There were some differences between the observation of the first passover in Egypt and their after observations of it. At the passover in Egypt the blood was to be sprinkled on the doorposts; in following times the blood and the fat were to be sprinkled upon the altar: at the passover in Egypt every paschal society slew the passover in their own house; but afterwards they were all slain in the temple, and then carried to be roasted and eaten by the several societies. The passover in Egypt was to be eaten standing, with their loins girded, their shoes on their feet and staves in their hands, in token of their being ready to take their journey out of Egypt; but in their following passovers they (in token of the liberty into which God had brought them) did eat it sitting: hence we shall find that Christ sat down with the twelve when he ate the passover. In other things the observation was much alike. They strictly kept to the time, the fourteenth day of the month Nisan or Abib, which answereth to part of our March and April. This great festival was to be kept after two days, saith our Saviour. Whether the two days are to be understood as including or excluding the day when he spake is uncertain, and not material for us to know; probably he spake this on the Tuesday, (as we call it), Friday being to be the passover day.

And the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Though he was not yet actually betrayed that we read of, yet he knew both what counsels his adversaries had already been taking, and were further about to take, and what was in the heart of Judas; he therefore forewarns his disciples, that when the thing should come to pass they might not be surprised, and might know that he was the Son of God, who could foretell future contingencies, though he was also as the Son of man to be crucified. Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover,.... Which was kept in commemoration of the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt; and was typical of Christ the passover, who was now to be sacrificed for his people. This was said on Tuesday, and on the Thursday following, the passover began. Christ speaks of this as a thing well known to the disciples, as it must be, since it always began on a certain day, the fourteenth of the month Nisan; which month answered to part of our March, and part of our April; and though there was very frequently an intercalation of a whole month in a year, made by the sanhedrim, to keep their festivals regularly in the proper season of the year; yet previous public notice was always given of this, either by fixing a paper upon the door of the sanhedrim (r), signifying such an intercalation made, which served for the inhabitants of Jerusalem; or by sending messengers with letters into all distant places (s), acquainting them with it. So that the times of these festivals were always well known; even to the common people:

and the son of man is betrayed to be crucified; it must not be thought that this was equally known by the disciples, as the former; for though they might know, or at least remember, that Christ had told them that he should suffer many things of the priests, Scribes, and elders, who would deliver him to the Gentiles, to be crucified; yet might not understand that this passover was to be the time, when this should be done: by "the son of man", Christ means himself, who was truly and really man, the seed of the woman, the son of Abraham and of David; a character by which the Messiah is described in the Old Testament, Psalm 80:17 Daniel 7:13, and hence frequently used by Christ of himself; which, as it expresses the truth of his human nature, so the weaknesses and infirmities he bore in it; and is very properly used here, when he is speaking of his being to be betrayed and crucified. What he says of himself is, that he is "betrayed"; that is, is to be betrayed, or will be betrayed, meaning at the passover, which was to be in two days time. Christ speaks of his being betrayed, as if it was already done; not only because it was so near being done, there being but two days before it would be done; but because it was a sure and certain thing, being determined in the purpose of God, and foretold in prophecy that it should be; and besides, Judas had now resolved upon it within himself, and was forming a scheme how to bring it about. And this respects not only the act of Judas in betraying him into the hands of the chief priests, but also the delivery, as the word here used signifies, of him by them, to the Roman governors; for they, as Stephen says, were also his betrayers and murderers; yea, it may include the delivery of him by Pilate, to the Jews and Roman soldiers; and the rather, because it follows, "to be crucified"; which was a Roman, and not a Jewish punishment. This was typified by the lifting up the brazen serpent on a pole, and foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament, Psalm 22:16, and predicted by Christ himself, sometimes more covertly, John 12:32, and sometimes in express words, Matthew 20:19, and was a very painful and shameful death, and which showed him to be made a curse for his people. It appears from hence; that the crucifixion and death of Christ, were not casual and contingent events, but were determined by the counsel of God, with all circumstances attending: the betraying and delivery of him were by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; and not only his death, but the manner of it by crucifixion, was pointed out in prophecy, and was a certain thing; and the very time of his death was fixed; which shows the early concern of God for the salvation of his people, and his wonderful grace and mercy to them: and it is clear from hence, that Christ had perfect knowledge of all this: he knew not only that he should be betrayed, but he knew from the beginning who would betray him; he not only knew that he should die, but he knew what kind of death he should die, even the death of the cross; and he knew the exact time when he should die, that it would be at the following passover, which was just at hand; and he had suggested this to his disciples, and therefore he speaks of it as a thing known unto them; at least what they might have known, and concluded from what he had said to them, Matthew 20:18, and the whole is a considerable proof of his being God omniscient. And he thought fit to put his disciples in mind of it, because the time drew nigh; that their memories being refreshed with it, they might be prepared for it, and not be surprised, shocked, and offended at it, when it came to pass; which shows the tender concern our Lord had for them.

(r) Targum in Cant. vii. 4. (s) Maimon Hilch. Kiddush Hachodesh, c. 4. sect. 17.

{2} Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

(2) God himself and not man appoints the time that Christ should be crucified.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 26:2. τὸ πάσχα, used both of festival, as here, and of victim, as in Matthew 26:17. The Passover began on the 14th of Nisan; it is referred to here for the first time in our Gospel.—παραδίδοται, present, either used to describe vividly a future event (Burton, M. T., § 15) or to associate it with the feast day as a fixture (γίνεται), “calendar day and divine decree of death fixed beyond recall” (Holtz., H. C.), or to imply that the betrayal process is already begun in the thought of the false-hearted disciple.2. the passover] (1) The word is interesting in its (a) Hebrew, (b) Greek, and (c) English form. (a) The Hebrew pesach is from a root meaning “to leap over,” and, figuratively, to “save,” “shew mercy.” (b) The Greek pascha represents the Aramaic or later Hebrew form of the same word, but the affinity in sound and letters to the Greek word paschein, “to suffer,” led to a connection in thought between the Passover and the Passion of our Lord: indeed, some of the early Christian writers state the connection as if it were the true etymology. (c) Tyndale has the merit of introducing into English the word “passover,” which keeps up the play on the words in the original Hebrew (Exodus 12:11; Exodus 12:13). Before Tyndale the word “phase” (for pascha) was transferred from the Vulgate, with an explanation: “For it is phase, that is, the passyng of the Lord” (Wyclif).

the feast of the passover commemorated the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. The ordinances of the first Passover are narrated Exodus 12:1-14, but some of those were modified in later times. It was no longer necessary to choose the lamb on the 10th of Nisan. The blood was sprinkled on the altar, not on the door-post, those who partook of the paschal meal no longer “stood with loins girded, with shoes on their feet, with staff in hand,” but reclined on couches, as at an ordinary meal; it was no longer unlawful to leave the house before morning (Exodus 12:22). The regular celebration of the Passover was part of the religious revival after the return from Captivity. During the kingly period only three celebrations of the Passover are recorded; in the reigns of Solomon, of Hezekiah and of Josiah. For the relation of the Last Supper to the Passover and for further notes on the paschal observance, see below.

The date of this Passover was probably April 3 (old style), a. d. 33 (Mr J. W. Bosanquet in Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch. vol. iv. 2). See note, ch. Matthew 2:1.

is betrayed] either (1) the present for the future, denoting greater certainty or (2) the full relative present “is now being betrayed;” the treacherous scheme of Judas is already afoot.Matthew 26:2. Μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας, after two days) Our Lord foretold His death by various measures of time.[1108] καὶ, and) sc. and therefore, as this time is suitable for the transaction.—παραδίδοται, is betrayed) The present tense. Our Lord was preparing Himself entirely[1109] for suffering, and His enemies were labouring to effect the same object: see Mark 14:1.

[1108] Just as there is said to be a space of three days from the evening of Friday to the dawn of light on the Lord’s day: so here a space of two days is said to intervene between Wednesday and Thursday, which latter was the day of the Passover and of unleavened bread, Mark 8:31; Mark 14:11-12. So among the Romans sometimes the expression ante diem Secundum Kalendas means the same as pridie Kal. Matthew narrates, in an abbreviated and condensed form, the delivering up of Jesus to be crucified. His being delivered up was accomplished step by step: through the instrumentality of Judas on the night of Thursday; through Caiaphas on the following morning; and through Pilate, after about two hours having intervened. Thus we come from the betrayal to the crucifixion.—Harm., p. 487. The day (Thursday) which intervened between this speech of our Lord and the crucifixion is mentioned in Matthew 26:17.—V. g.

[1109] In the original, “Totum se comparabat Jesus ad patiendum.—(I. B.)Verse 2. - Ye know. He speaks of a fact well known to his hearers - the day of the Passover Feast. And they had been forewarned of his death (see Matthew 20:17-19). After two days; μετὰ δύο ἡμέρας: post biduum. These words are ambiguous, as it is not certain how the time is reckoned - whether the current day is included or not. If, as is most probable, they were spoken on Wednesday, the phrase means the next day but one, which commenced on the afternoon of Friday. Jesus appears to have passed this day in peaceful seclusion, either in Bethany or its neighbourhood. Is the Feast of the Passover; τὸ Πάσχα γίνεται: the Passover cometh; Pascha fiet. The lambs were slain during the first evening of the 14th of Nisan, and were eaten within twelve hours. The word Pascha is the Greek form of the Hebrew Pasach, denoting "the passing over" of the destroying angel, when he destroyed the Egyptians, but left untouched the houses of the Israelites, on whose door posts was sprinkled the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12.). Etymologically, it has nothing to do with πόσχω, and the Latin patior, passio, etc, though pious writers have seen a providential arrangement in the apparent similarity of the words (see the possible paronomasia in Luke 22:15). Pascha (Pasach) is used in three senses:

(1) the transit of the angel;

(2) the Paschal lamb;

(3) the Feast of the Passover.

It is in this last signification that it is here employed And (equivalent to when) the Son of man is betrayed (delivered up, Revised Version) to be crucified. Christ connects his own death with the Passover, not only as indicating the day and hour, but to mark the typical meaning and importance of this solemnity, when he, our Passover, should be sacrificed for us. The present tense, "is betrayed," denotes the imminence and certainty of the event. He sees the event as actually present. Is betrayed (παραδίδοται)

The present tense expresses here something which, though future, is as good as present, because already determined, or because it must ensue in virtue of an unalterable law. Thus the passover is (γίνεται): it must come round at the fixed season. The Son of Man is betrayed according to the divine decree. Compare Matthew 26:24.

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