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pened to Christ, similar to that which befel the Moabite, who, when cast into the sepulchre of Elisha, having touched the bones of the prophet, immediately revived. And truly he was worthy of a new sepulchre, who, by his death, has obtained a new name and new honour to sepulchres, having changed them into dormitories,* that is, beds of rest, where his people sleep in the hope of one day awaking to life and immortality.
xvi. Nor is it a circumstance of no moment, that this tomb is said to have been in a garden. As he was pleased to begin his last passion by a bloody sweat in a garden, so he concluded the last stage of his abasement by his burial in a garden. He thus showed, that by his passion and abasement, he has regained those heavenly blessings, which our first parents had forfeited for themselves and their posterity, by indulging luxury and ambition in a garden. And where could He be interred with greater propriety than in a garden, who, like Aaron's rod, was to bud forth again on the third day, and to whose death, burial, and resurrection, it is owing, that our bodies shall again, like reviving grass, come forth from the earth ?
xvii. In fine, this garden was “ in the place where “ Christ was crucified ;"s that is, in the immediate vicinity of the place of punishment, and, if we may give credit to travellers who have particularly examined the spot, at the distance of an hundred and eight feet. Thus the prediction of Isaiah was verified : “ He made his
grave with the wicked.” But of this we shall speak more at large, immediately. xvii. This burial of Christ took place according to
• Κοιμητήρια. + 2 Kings xiii. 21.
- John xix. 41. Is. lüi. 9.
the Scriptures ;u in which it was both predicted and prefigured. It was predicted in Psalm xxii. 15. “Thou “ hast brought me to the dust of death.” This bringing to the dust was begun in Gethsemane, when Christ, almost exhausted by the fire of divine wrath, “ fell on the ground;"v but it was completed in his death and burial. Our Lord's meaning is, that his vital moisture being exhausted by the agonies of his soul, and by the spiritual contest begun in the garden, and continued on the cross, he was brought sooner than usual to deathdeath, by which men are reduced to dust, and after which their dead bodies are usually deposited in the dust of the grave. We may here admit the interpretation of Kimchi: “I am ready to be laid in the grave, “ which is the dust of death.'
xix. Add to this Psalm xvi. 9, 10. "My flesh “ also shall rest in hope;" shall dwell securely, or rest in safety; shall enjoy sweet repose in the grave. “For “ thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,” my life in the power of death; or, my corpse in the grave. That nephesht sometimes denotes a corpse, or at least, a dead man, and sheol,f the grave, will be shown more fully in the proper place. “ Neither wilt thou suffer thine “ holy One to see corruption" I shall descend into the lowest parts of the earth, where death has his court and kingdom ; yet that tyrant shall not so far prevail against me, as to cause me to contract any corruption, or experience any symptom of putrefaction in my body; for I am “thy holy One,"S who have perfectly loved thee, and who am the object of thy supreme delight.
.אני מוכן להשימני בקבר שהוא עפר מות
.נפש + .שאול *
u 1 Cor. xv. 4.
Mark xiv. 35.
That David personated Christ in these prophetical notices
prediction referred to above, Isaiah liii. 9. which, literally rendered, runs thus: “ And appointed his grave with “ the wicked, and with the rich man in his deaths."* The purport of this prophecy may be, in the first member of the sentence, to show the intention of Christ's enemies, and in the second, the purpose of God. The perverse people mentioned in the preceding verse, intended that Christ, when dead, should be disgracefully cast with the thieves, into some ditch or pit, infamous as the receptacle of the dead bodies of malefactors. This was demanded by the laws of the Hebrews, as appears from the following quotation. “A man put
to death by the Council, was not buried in the se“pulchres of his fathers : but two burying places were
assigned by the Council; one for those that were
slain with the sword, and strangled; another for those " that were stoned,” who were also hanged, " and burn" ed.”+ Custom required, that Jesus should be buried in the last of these two places, and the people had in contemplation nothing else. Yet God adjusted matters otherwise, having determined that his Son should be joined" with a rich man in his death,” that is, with a man of first-rate dignity and opulence, such as Joseph was; for the word translated “rich” denotes senatorial dignity and rank.
-Et dedit cum im .ויתן את רשעים קברו ואת עשיר במותיו
probis sepulcrum ejus, et cum divite in mortibus suis.
* Eccles. x. 20. 11 See Note XXI.
The words of this prophecy, however, may be so explained as to be completely fulfilled in the burial of Christ. His grave was in the garden of the rich Joseph ; yet, as we have just observed from John, it was adjacent to Calvary, and thus among the wicked. At the urgent request of the Jews, too, it was surrounded and guarded by ungodly soldiers, as by a band of impure dogs.
XXI. Since we have thus an easy and obvious sense, there is no necessity for imagining that a twofold burial of Christ is here predicted; the one, the burial of the wicked, without interment, to wit, hanging on a tree; the other, the burial of the rich, in the lower parts of the earth As if Christ may be said to have been buried with the wicked while he hung upon the tree, whether living or dead; and to have been buried with the rich, when he was laid in Joseph's tomb. This interpretation is frigid, and supported by no similar expression in Scripture. Although lying in the field is represented as “the burial of an ass,”y it does not follow that to be exposed to the sun, * or to hang on a tree till the evening, is the burial of the wicked; since sacred writ distinguishes the burial even of the wicked, from hanging on a tree. I am aware of the expression of the slave in Plautus.f
The shameful cross, I know, will be my tomb;
Plaut. in Milite.
• Deut. xxi. 28.
But conceits of that sort, however allowable in comedy, are utterly inconsistent with the gravity of sacred prophecies; and critics would unanimously pronounce them extremely unbecoming in tragedy, or serious his
XXII. We have an illustrious Type of the burial of Christ in JONAH; of whom our Lord himself says: " For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the “whale's belly," in the belly of the great fish, " so shall " the Son of man be three days and three nights in " the heart of the earth.”a
XXIII. It is not necessary that by the word here employed,* we understand a whale; for the term is extensive, and is used of any large fish. Accordingly, in the history of Jonah, we find only that general designation,
a great fish.” † It is well known, too, that whales, though creatures of prodigious size, have such narrow throats, that, the entrance being scarcely half a foot wide, they are totally incapable of swallowing a complete man. Probably, therefore, it was a sea-dog, such as that which some call a shark, i on account of the sharpness of his teeth, and others a Lamia or Lamna,g on account of the largeness of his throat. Monsters of this kind, it is said, have been taken, containing entire armed men in their belly.
xxiv. To this also may be referred the fable of Hercules swallowed by a sea-dog sent upon him by Neptune; from which, after tearing its inwards for three whole days, he came forth with the loss of the hair of
Το κήτες. . Carcharia.
. § 'Azò txiy sy misyees datuor. a Mat, xü. 40. Sce Note XXII. s