Page images
[graphic][merged small]

Verse 13. "Emmaus."-There were two or three places of this name, although none of them are mentioned in the Old Testament, and only this one in the New. This has occasioned some error, all the historical intimations in Josephus concerning any places called Emmaus, having been applied to this place. The most important place of the name is evidently not this, but the Emmaus on the Lake of Tiberias, and which will be seen, by a little attention, to have been the place which Josephus most frequently mentions. We think, however, that the present is the Emmaus which the historian describes as having been burnt by Varus, the president of Syria, when putting down a sedition which arose after Archelaus had proceeded to Rome to get his father's will confirmed. It was rebuilt, of course; but it was surely the other Emmaus near the Lake, and not this one, as commonly stated, which at a later day rose to importance under the name of Nicopolis.

Emmaus is situated between seven and eight miles north-west of Jerusalem, and, being out of any usual road has not been much visited by travellers. It still, however, subsists as a poor village, inhabited chiefly by Christians. The old rhyming traveller, in Purchas, thus notices the place:

"And the Castell of Emus also,

In the wiche a Chirche doth stande,
Where the ij Discipelez were walkand,
And metton wit Ihesu after his rysyng,
And knew him by the brede breaking.

Also in that same place,
Is the grave of Cleofas;
Which was oan of the too,
And Sent Luke that other also."

This last assertion that St. Luke was the "other disciple," expresses what has been a very common opinion. It has been founded chiefly on the supposition, that Luke was not likely to have been ignorant of the "other disciple's" name, and would probably have given the name had it been any other person than himself; but that, being himself, he withholds the name, with the same modesty which induces John to omit his own name in his Gospel. The introductory note to this Gospel, shows that we are not of this opinion. Some think this disciple was Peter, or Nicodemus, or Bartholomew: but he was more probably some unimportant person whom Luke did not think it worth while to name. Returning to Emmaus,-we may quote Sandys' description of the place as it appeared in his time:

"The way thither (from Jerusalem) is mountainous, and in many places as if paved with continual rock; yet where there is earth, sufficiently fruitful. It was seated (for now it is not) upon the south side of a hill, overlooking a little

valley, fruitful in fountains. Honoured with the presence of our Saviour, who was known by the breaking of bread in the house of Cleophas. On the self-same spot a temple was erected by Paula, a Roman lady, whose ruins are yet extant, near the top of the mountain; unto which the Arabians would not allow us to ascend, who inhabit below in a few poor cottages, until we paid the Caphar they demanded. Nicephorus and the Tripartite history report of a miraculous fountain by the way side, where Christ would have departed from the two disciples: who, when he was conversant upon earth, and wearied with a longer journey, there washed his feet-from thenceforth retaining a durable virtue against all disorders. But relations of that kind have credit only in places far distant.”

44. "In the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms."-There is here a manifest allusion to the three parts or classes, into which the Hebrew Scriptures were at this time divided. These were the Law-the Prophets-and the Cetubim, or Hagiographa.

The Law comprehended, of course, the five books of Moses.

The Prophets. This division contained not only the proper prophetical books, Daniel excepted, but also the books of Joshua and Judges, the first and second books of Samuel, and the first and second of Kings. They were probably thus placed because it was concluded that they were written by eminent prophets. The order of the books in this division was this:-Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve. The four first (the two books of Samuel and the two of Kings, being respectively counted as one book each,) or the historical books, were called the former prophets," and the remainder the later prophets." In this latter subdivision it is remarkable that Jeremiah is placed first, and Isaiah after Jeremiah and Ezekiel. The reason for this, is thus given in the B. Talmud: Since Isaiah was before both Jeremiah and Ezekiel, he ought to have been placed before them; but since the book of Kings ends with destruction, and all Jeremiah is about destruction; and since Ezekiel begins with destruction and ends with comfort, and all Isaiah is about comfort, they joined destruction with destruction, and comfort with comfort." That is, as Lightfoot explains, they placed those books together which treat of comfort, and those together which treat of destruction.

The Cetubim, or Hagiographa, or “Holy Writings," contained all the other books of Scripture-as the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Solomon's Song, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah (reckoned as one), and the two books of Chronicles, which were also reckoned as one book. The books in this class were believed to have been indeed written by men divinely inspired, and hence their name of " Holy Writings," but not by commissioned prophets; nor, say the Jews, as another ground of distinction, were they revealed by dreams, visions, and oracles, like the Law and the Prophets, but by immediate impression upon the minds of the writers. The readings in the synagogues were confined to the Law and the Prophets, excluding the writings of the Hagiographa: which is partly explained when we recollect that the Law alone originally furnished the public readings, and that the reading even of the prophets, was only adopted in consequence of the interdiction of the Law by Antiochus. The singular anomaly of placing Daniel in this class, instead of among the prophets, is supposed to have proceeded from a desire to exclude his book from the public lessons of the synagogue; lest the singular precision with which he fixes the time for the coming of the Messiah, before the destruction of the city and Temple, should direct attention to Jesus Christ, or, at least, throw doubt on the cherished belief that the Messiah has not yet appeared.

It is important to notice that there is sometimes a reference to the whole of one of these divisions, when only one of its leading books is named. We have an instance of this before us, as "the Psalms," evidently is intended to denote the whole Hagiographa, that is, all the books not contained in the two other divisions named-the Law of Moses, and the Prophets. So also, Matthew (xxvii. 9) names Jeremiah in citing a passage from Zechariah, which might easily be explained, as a reference to the volume of the "later prophets," rather than to any particular book of prophecy; and this volume would, on the same principle, be naturally referred to in the name of Jeremiah, since the book of that prophet commenced the division. We observe also that St. Peter, when appealing to the testimony of prophecy, says, All the prophets, from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days" (Acts iii. 24): which clearly shows that Samuel was then included in the prophetical division, and, probably it is as the earliest writer in that division, that he is preferably named. Otherwise Isaiah, or some one of the later" prophets, would probably have been preferably mentioned, as it so happens that Samuel himself never delivered any distinct prophecy concerning Christ.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


1 The divinity, humanity, and office of Jesus Christ. 15 The testimony of John. 39 The calling of Andrew, Peter, &c.

[blocks in formation]

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6¶There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him


11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1 Gen. 1. 1. 2 Col. 1. 16.

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his 'fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent Priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou 'that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

5 Or, the right, or, privilege. Matt. 1. 16. 9 Or, a prophet. 10 Matt. 3. 3.


3 Matt. 3. 1. Heb. 11. 3.
81 Tim. 6. 16. 1 John 4 12.
† A.D. 26.

Col. 1. 19.

[graphic][merged small]

27 "He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which "taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

11 Matt. 3. 11. Acts 19. 4.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said. unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 18 Or, beareth. 13 Matt. 3. 16.

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where "dwellest thou?

59 He saith unto them, Come and sce. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was "about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, "A stone.

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him. Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the of Andrew and Peter.

[blocks in formation]


45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom 18 Moses in the Law, and the Prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

[blocks in formation]

Jous.-The distinguished apostle and evangelist, by whom this Gospel was written, was, as we learn from Matthew and Mark, the son of Zebedee and Salome, and the brother of James the elder. His father, whose occupation the tro sons followed, was a fisherman of Bethsaida, on the Lake of Tiberias, who, as he had a vessel of his own and hired servants (Mark i. 20), appears to have been in good circumstances for his station in life. In ch. i. 35-40, the evangelist gives a particular account of two disciples of John the Baptist, who hearing their master point out Jesus as "the Lamb of God," followed him, and remained with him. One of these disciples, we are told, was Andrew; and it has, not without reason though without certainty, been inferred that John himself was the other, If this were the case, however, he must subsequently have left Christ and returned home, as he, with his brother, received the regular call to the office of an apostle, when engaged in his occupation, at the sea of Galilee. It is generally believed that John was the youngest of the Apostles; but it is not agreed what age he was of when called to follow Christ. The more general opinion states it at twenty-five or twenty-six years; but others think he was not more than twenty-two; and some conceive him to have been about the same age as his Lord. Whatever his age may have been, it is certain that he became a most attached and faithful follower of Jesus, who appears to have regarded him with peculiar favour and affection, as while the evangelist modestly suppresses his own name, he distinguishes himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." This indeed appears from the history; as he was present at several scenes from which most of the other disciples were excluded; and, at the last supper, he sat next to Jesus, leaning on his bosom, on which occasion even Peter motioned him to ask a question which he did not himself like to propose. If we may judge from the writings of John, we may conclude that the favour with which he was honoured, arose from his mild and affectionate disposition. as well as from the strength and fervour of his attachment to his Lord. This attachment was, indeed, remarkably exhibited at the end: for although he, with the other disciples, fled when his Lord was taken in the garden; he yet followed at a distance, entered the palace of the high-priest, and was present at the scene of judgment. Peter was also present; but he did not come till afterwards, and when there, denied his Lord. Soon after John, with faith and courage more fully revived, was present at the crucifixion of his beloved Master, who there distinguished him by committing his mother to his care and affection; from which time he took her unto his own house. When the women brought the report that the body of Jesus had disappeared from the sepulchre, he ran, with Peter, to ascertain the fact; but he outran Peter, and was the first male disciple present at the spot. John was also a witness to the interesting circumstances which occurred after Christ's resurrection; and on one occasion, Jesus foretold that John should survive the destruction of Jerusalem, and, by implication, as opposed to the violent death foretold to Peter, that he should die a natural death.

The ecclesiastical historians state that John remained several years at Jerusalem, or at least in Judea, till after the death of Mary, who had been committed to his care. This is corroborated by the Acts of the Apostles, in which we find him at Jerusalem, as one of the chief Apostles of the circumcision. At first we find him. with Peter, working miracles, and preaching the Gospel with great success and boldness. John was also one of the Apostles present at the council held at Jerusalem in the year 49 or 50; and before this time, he had probably not travelled beyond Judea. But the ancient writers inform us, that, after the death of Mary, he travelled into Asia Minor, where he founded many churches, making Ephesus his principal residence, and which continued to bę, such until, towards the close of Domitian's reign, he was banished to the isle of Patmos, where he wrote the Revelation. Being released on

« PreviousContinue »