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commentators: scarcely any, excepting to show, that by "the day that followed the day of the preparation," is to be understood the Jewish sabbath. However Grotius has a note, that may be proper to be observed. It is to this purpose: The council could not sit on that day. But after a private consultation some of the priests and senators of the sect of the pharisees went to Pilate, as if they had somewhat to say to him of the utmost importance. Nor had they much difficulty to obtain what they requested.'
III. I now proceed to the next article of my inquiry, concerning a visit to the sepulchre, which you suppose to have been intended, and attempted by some of the women from Galilee, but not performed by them.""
This is a visit or journey to the sepulchre, which I do not see in other commentators. Nor can I discern it in the gospels, after all that you have said in favour of it. A part of the title or contents of your 149th section, p. 619, is this: Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, go out to see the sepulchre: but are terrified by an earthquake.'
P. 620. Matt. xxviii. 1. " In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre," byσα, to see, if the stone was still at the door, because by that they could know, whether the body was within. For from John xix. 42. it would appear, that the friends of Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else-The women knowing this, had reason to think, that Joseph would remove the body, as soon as the sabbath was ended. Accordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper to send two of their number, to see, if Jesus was still in the se
pulchre and, if he was not, to inquire of the gardener where he was laid: that when the
spices were prepared,they might go directly to the place, and embalm him.'
All fiction, surely! Nor do I, as before said, find this in any commentators, with whom I am acquainted. However, let us see what this ingenious author says to support it.
P. 620, 621. This journey to the sepulchre, by the two Marys, is generally supposed to have been undertaken in the morning, according to our sense of the word, that is to say, some time after midnight. But this opinion, though universally received, may be justly called in question. For, first of all, what reason can be assigned for the women not going to see the sepulchre, as soon as the Jewish sabbath was ended, that is, on Saturday, immediately after sun-setting, when they had more than an hour's twilight to carry them thither?'
To which I answer, that they could not go then, because the spices were not yet prepared. For I shall show presently, that they were not bought, till after the Jewish sabbath was ended.
You go on: In the second place, since they delayed it at all, why did they go at two or three in the morning, rather than at some more seasonable time?" You should not say, at two or three in the morning. For that is not the time intended by the expositors, with whom you are arguing. You should say, four or five in the morning.' So the evangelist tells us, the women set out early, "at the dawning of the day," that is, between four and five in the morning, according to our way of computation. They could not go sooner with decency. And, if the body was to be embalmed, it was proper to take the first opportunity, and perform it as soon as could be conveniently done after decease. This, I think, accounts for the women's going to the sepulchre, early in the morning, at the time supposed by all commentators in general. They would have anointed the body sooner, if they had not been prevented by the coming in of the Jewish sabbath. That being over, and the spices prepared, they embrace the earliest season for going to the sepulchre.
Still you say, p. 621: The reader will be pleased to take notice, that the time here fixed for the women's first visit to the sepulchre, is capable of direct proof likewise from the words of the text. Matt. xxviii. 1. "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." According to the Jewish form of the day, the sabbath ended, and the first day of the week began at sun-setting, Lev. xxiii. 32. If so, Matthew's description of the time, when the women set out for the sepulchre, fixeth it expressly to the evening, notwithstanding the word "dawn,” in our translation, falsely protracts it to some hour after midnight, being very improperly used in this passage. The word in the original is wonзon. Which applied to the Jewish day,
a Non potuit eo die synedrium haberi. Sed privato consilio sacerdotum principes quidam et senatores aliqui, Pharisaïcæ factionis, Pilatum conveniunt, tamquam acturi de negotio ad
summam rempublicam pertinente. Nec difficulter ab eo impetrârunt rem, in quâ ille nihil situm existimabat. Gr. in Matt. xxvii. 62.
signifies simply, that "the day began," without conveying any idea of light at all. Contrary, I own, to its primary meaning, which doubtless includes the notion of light, gradually increasing in conformity to the commencement of the day among the Greeks, who formed the word, so as to denote their own idea. But however contrary to the analogy of the Greek language, this signification of the word, Twoи84, may seem, it could have no other in the mouth of a Jew, whose days all began at sun-setting. Besides, it has this meaning without dispute, Luke • xxiii. 54, where in the history of our Lord's burial, it is said: " And that day was the day of the preparation, and the sabbath dawned," ETQwxɛ, that is, was about to begin: or, as it is we!! rendered in our version, " drew on." For nobody ever fancied, that Joseph of Arimathea, and • Nicodemus laid Jesus in the sepulchre, when the Jewish sabbath "dawned," in the sense of its becoming light. But the meaning which this Greek word has in Luke, it may have in Matthew, or rather must have: as it cannot be imagined that an historian, capable of common accuracy, much less an inspired writer, would say, it dawned toward the first day of the 'week,' nine or ten hours after the first day of the week began.'
I have made this long quotation that I might set your argument in its full light, and that you might not complain that justice had not been done to it. In answer to all which I say: all know very well, that the Jewish civil day, or vuxenμepov, began at the setting of the sun. But that day was divided into two parts, night and day, by day meaning the natural day, or that part of the civil day which is light. This sense of the word day is very common in scripture. Ps. lxxiv. 16. "The day is thine, the night also is thine." John xi. 9, 10. "Jesus answered: Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of the world. But if he walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." In Matt. xx. 1-16, is a parable of the labourers hired to work in a vineyard
for a penny a day :" meaning a day of twelve hours, whilst it is light, and a proper season for labour. Luke iv. 42. " And when it was day, yevoμevys de mμepas, ne departed, and went into a desert place." Acts xii. 18. " Now, as soon as it was day, yevoμevns de nuegas, there was no small stir among the soldiers." Where," as soon as it was day," cannot mean the Jewish civil day, but day-light. All which is agreeable to that ancient and original determination of the Deity himself. Gen. i. 5. "And God called the light day, and the darkness he called night."
Need I add any more examples? They are easily had, Luke vi. 13. "And when it was day, HAI OTE EYEVETO Yμege, he called unto him his disciples." Acts xxvii. 29. “ They cast four anchors out of the ship, and wished for the day." uxovтo пpeрav yεvecbai. Ver. 33. " And while the day was coming on, axpi de 8 eμeddev nμega yevεrbai, Paul besought them all to take meat." I add no other texts, but that of 2 Peter i. 19. "Until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.” έως 8 ημερα διαύγαση, και Φωσφορος ανατειλη εν καρδίαις υμου.
That must be the meaning of the text in Matt. xxviii. 1. " In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." With which I suppose to be parallel, Mark xvi. 1, 2. " And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun."
I beg leave to refer you to Grotius. And I intend to transcribe below the observations of Keuchenius, which appear to me to be very material.
I allow your interpretation of Luke xxiii. 54, to be right. But there the word, etɛDwonɛ, is used figuratively, and improperly, though elegantly, and significantly enough. I say improperly, for you yourself say, p. 621, That according to its primary meaning, doubtless, the word ⚫includes the notion of light gradually increasing.'
However, after all, you say, that this journey of which you are here speaking, though undertaken, was not performed.
a Matt. xxviii. 1. Τη επιφωσκεση εις μιαν σαββάτων, &c. Bene monuit vir illustris H. Grotius, phrasim hanc passim de solis luce usurpari. Ad quam sententiam adstruendam non possum non producere insignem locum, qui occurrit Neh. viii. 3. ubi Esras in libro legis fertur legisse a luce usque ad medium diei.' Quod 70 Senes hoc modo vertunt: Kai avεYVW EY AUTŲ ATO της ώρας το διαβωτισαι τον ήλιον έως ἡμισες τῆς ἡμέρας. Unde liquet, Interpretes hos per lucem,' non nisi solis lucem' vel ⚫ortum' intellexisse. Conf. LXX. ad Job xxxi. 16. Et sane
You proceed therefore at p. 622, 623. For these reasons I think it probable, that the two Marys attempted to visit the sepulchre in the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting of the sun, on our Saturday evening. I say, attempted to visit the sepulchre, because it does not appear that they actually went thither. While they were going, there was a great earthquake. This earthquake, I suppose, frightened the women to such a degree, that they immediately turned back. Or their return may have been rendered necessary by a storm, if this earthquake was attended with a storm--The guards, it is true, remained at the sepulchre all the while. But there was a great difference between the tempers of the persons
That these women did not go, you argue in this manner, in the notes, at p. 624. 'It is true,' Matthew says, that the women came to see the sepulchre." But the word ɛ, which he makes use of, does not imply that they arrived at the sepulchre. All, who understand the Greek, know that exfer signifies to go, as well as to come. See Mark vii. 31. Luke ii. 44, in • the original.'
Well, let us look into Mark vii. 31. "And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis." But how is this to your purpose? Translate he went, instead of he came: still he actually arrived at the place here spoken of, "the sea of Galilee." He did not attempt only, but he went.
Again Luke ii. 44. "But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went, 200v, a day's journey." Allowing that to be the right reading, still Joseph and Mary did actually go "a day's journey," and not attempt it only.
So it must be here also. "At the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came, [or went] Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre." They did go. Consequently, the journey attempted, but not performed,' at the setting of the sun, is a fiction, without any foundation: for St. Matthew speaks of a journey, or visit to the sepulchre, which these women actually made, early in the morning. Which visit shall be observed by and by, as related by the evangelists.
For the present, I stay a while, to make some reflections. For, sir, I cannot forbear to complain of you, and expostulate with you. Is this to do honour to the sacred history? In support of this fictitious journey, attempted, but not performed,' you have made many suppositions, without any authority from the evangelists. I shall observe some of them as distinctly as I can, in so perplexed an argument as yours is.
Supp. 1. You say, From John xix. 42, it would appear, that the friends of Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else.' p. 620.
Supp. 2. You suppose that the women knew this. Your words, in the same page, are: The women knowing this, had reason to think that Joseph would remove the body as soon as the • sabbath was ended.'
Where is your authority for these suppositions? If the friends of Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else, and the women knew this, that intention would have manifested itself when the women came to the sepulchre, and missed the body: or when John and Peter came thither, and likewise found not the body. If they had before known, that such a removal was intended by any of their own number, or by Joseph, they would not have been in such surprise at not finding the body, as they were. Some of them would presently have said: The body indeed is gone. But we need not be very uneasy about it. Undoubtedly Joseph has removed it to some other place, and taken good care of it. Let us therefore go to him and inquire.' But no such speeches as these drop from any of them. When Mary Magdalene had been at the sepulchre, and saw the stone to be taken away, and the body not within: "she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre. And we know not where they have laid him," John xx. 1, 2. She did not suppose that to have been done by friends, but by strangers, whom she knew nothing of. And Peter, as related by St. Luke xxiv. 12. " ran to the sepulchre, and stooping down he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.'
Nevertheless this notion of the intention of Joseph, or the disciples, to remove the body elsewhere, has taken such possession of your mind, that in your argument to support the early attempted journey, you impute to the women an apprehension, that the body had been removed even during the sabbath, and before it ended. For you say, p. 621, It is much more probable that by appointment of the rest, and in conformity to their own inclinations, the two set out
for the sepulchre on Saturday evening, according to our form of the day, perhaps, at about six or seven at night.' And p. 620. Accordingly, having bought the spices, they judged it proper to send two of their number, to see if Jesus was still in the sepulchre, and if not, to inquire of the gardener where he was laid.' And at the And at the top of p. 621, you ask, What reason can be assigned for the women's not going to see the sepulchre, as soon as the Jewish sabbath was ended, that is, on Saturday immediately after sun-setting, when they had more than an hour's twilight to carry them thither?' And at the bottom of p. 622, you suppose this visit was attempted, In the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting of the sun, on our Saturday evening.'
Therefore, before their setting out, which, according to you, was, as soon as the Jewish sabbath was ended, immediately after sun-setting, or about the setting of the sun,' they had a suspicion that Joseph had already removed the body, and were in great doubt about it; but, if at that time they had any suspicion or doubt whether the body was still in the sepulchre,' they must have had a suspicion, that it had been removed by Joseph, before the sabbath was over. But I apprehend, that none could admit in their minds any suspicion, that a pious Jew (as Joseph certainly was) would remove a dead body on the sabbath day!
Supp. 3. p. 623. While they were going, there was a great earthquake.' For this you have no authority from the gospels. The women as you say, set out for the sepulchre at about six or seven in the evening, immediately after sun-setting.' But there is no reason to think from St. Matthew, or any other evangelist, that there was an earthquake at Jerusalem at that time. The earthquake, of which you speak, must have happened soon after the women set out, near Jerusalem, and early in the evening, which scems not to be the time of the earthquake mentioned by St. Matthew.
Supp. 4. You say, p. 624, This earthquake, I suppose, terrified the women to such a degree that they immediately turned back." Yet the guards remained at the sepulchre all the while.' Suppositions for which there is no ground: for there is no intimation in the gospels that any of the women followers of Jesus were affrighted by an earthquake: nor that the Roman soldiers stayed near the sepulchre, after the earthquake mentioned by St. Matthew, which is the only earthquake spoken of at all about this season. Nor is it said, that the soldiers were seen by the women, or by the disciples, who came to the sepulchre, early in the morning.
Supp. 5. You say, at p. 625, That the angel's appearance was ushered in with a great earthquake and a storm, which lasted several hours.' I do not see any intimation of this long storm in the gospels. It is a contrivance of yours, to support your fictitious journey, begun and attempted, but not finished, early in the evening, soon after sun-setting. The earthquake, mentioned by St. Matthew, was sudden and instantaneous, or however, of no long duration, immediately preceding, or accompanying the appearance of the angel.
Supp. 6. In arguing for this imaginary journey, you suppose, that for a while the weather was cloudy and rainy. Your words at p. 621, are, To conclude, it cannot be said, that this journey was too great to be undertaken in the evening: for the sepulchre was nigh to the city. John xix. 20. It may be said indeed, that it was always full moon at the passover: and there'fore that the middle of the night was as proper a season for their visit as any. It would not, however, be a proper season, if the weather was either rainy or cloudy then, as it seems actually to have been. This I gather from John xx. 1, where we are told, that in the morning, when Mary Magdalene came to the sepulchre, it was dark.’
But those words "early [or in the morning] when it was yet dark," gwi onorias T Hove, denote no more, than that it was not yet full day-light, or that the sun was not risen, or, according to Dr. Clarke's paraphrase: Very early, before it was yet day-light.' To the same purpose are the two Latin versions of Beza and the Vulgate, which here agree exactly. Maria Magdalene venit mane, cum adhuc tenebræ essent. Those words do not denote the temperature of the air, but the time of the day.
However of the bad weather at that time, you speak also in some other places, particularly
a And just before, at the top of p. 620, you say, The women went to see the sepulchre," (ewprra) to see if the stone was still at the door, because by that they could know ⚫ whether the body was within.'
bTerræ motus factus est magnus.'] Motus hic signum fuit secuturæ orarias, satis notum Judaïco populo. Ps. Ixviii. 8, 9. xcix. 1. cxiv. 6, 7. Grot. ad Matt. xxviii. 2.
The storm, the earthquake, and the vision that accompanied this astonishing event, had driven the soldiers away from the sepulchre. Impelled therefore by their fears and the 'weather, they would take shelter in the first house they could find. And as they fled away
about the time that Jesus arose, they would, probably, sleep till morning. Or, though the 'terror they were in hindered them from sleeping, they would stay nevertheless, having no inclination to go out in such a stormy night.'
So you are pleased to write. Nevertheless I discern not any intimations in the evangelists what the weather was at that time. And if the evangelists have said nothing about it, we can form no determinations concerning it. And for aught that is said by them during the period of our Lord's lying in the grave, it may have been all calm and serene, till the time appointed for his rising out of it. When on a sudden, there was a forcible concussion of the earth and air, preceding, or accompanying the presence of the angel, who descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door of the sepulchre. After which also, so far as we know, the air was calm and serene. For the women, and some of the disciples, came early out of the city to the sepulchre, without any difficulties arising from bad weather, so far as we can observe.
The several suppositions above mentioned, appear to me to be made by you altogether without any ground or foundation from the evangelists: and therefore they are unjustifiable, and must be of bad consequence. What history can stand before such treatment? It must be perverted. It will be altered, and made somewhat very different from what it really is. Heedless and inattentive readers (of which there are too many) are amused and entertained, and not carefully consulting the original, they admit such suppositions as parts of the history, though they are not mentioned nor implied in it.
IV. I now proceed to my fourth inquiry, which relates to the preparing the spices by the women from Galilee to anoint the body of Jesus.'
The accounts which we have of this are in two evangelists only. St. Mark having at the end of ch. xv. said: " And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses, beheld where he was laid," begins the xvi. chapter in this manner: "And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought [or brought] sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him." St. Luke xxiii. 55, 56. xxiv. 1. "And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how the body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them."
I understand that narrative in this manner. When the crucifixion was over, and the women here spoken of had seen our Lord laid in the sepulchre, they returned to Jerusalem, to their apartment there, and rested on the sabbath day, which was now coming on, if not already begun. And when the sabbath was over, in the evening they bought sweet spices, and early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the sepulchre, carrying the spices with them. in order to anoint the body, according to their intention.
Your way of reconciling these two accounts is this. P. 617. This is not inconsistent with Mark xvi. 1, where we are told, that they bought spices after the sabbath was ended. It seems, the quantity, which according to Luke had been provided and prepared on the night of the crucifixion, was too small: or the sabbath coming on, they had not time to procure all the ingredients that were necessary. For which reason they went the first day of the week, and bought more.'
I rather think, that all the spices which they wanted were bought at once, and in the evening, after the sabbath was ended, as St. Mark says. Nor need St. Luke to be otherwise understood. You can help us out here. For you say, Prelim. Obser. iii. p. 14. Matthew and Luke giving the history of our Lord's public entry into Jerusalem, connect the purging the temple therewith, as if both happened in one day. Nevertheless, from the more particular account
⚫ which Mark gives of these affairs, it appears, that on the day of his public entry, Jesus did not
go into the temple till the evening, when the market, usually kept in the court of the
Gentiles, which he intended to prohibit, was over, and that he did not reform this abuse till • the next day.'
So it is here. Nor is St. Luke to be understood to say, that they prepared any spices that