[100] The Talmud discusses the question whether Psalm 92 bears reference to the Sabbath of creation, or to that final Messianic Sabbath of the Kingdom--according to Rabbi Akibah, the day which is wholly a Sabbath.' (See Delitzsch on the Psalm.) It is a curiously uncritical remark of some Rabbis to ascribe the authorship of this Psalm to Adam, and its composition to the beginning of the first Sabbath--Adam having fallen just before its commencement, and been driven from Paradise, but not killed, because God would not execute the punishment of death on the Sabbath.

[101] The term Sabbath' is also applied to a week,' as in Leviticus 23:15; 25:8; and, for example, in Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1. This seems to indicate that the Sabbath was not to be regarded as separate from, but as giving its character to the rest of the week, and to its secular engagements. So to speak, the week closes and is completed in the Sabbath.

[102] By depositing a meal of meat at the end of a Sabbath-day's journey to make it, by a legal fiction, a man's domicile, from which he might start on a fresh Sabbath-day's journey. The Mishnic tractate Eruvin treats of the connecting of houses, courts, etc., to render lawful the carrying out of food, etc. On the other hand, such an isolated expression occurs (Mechilta, ed. Weiss, p. 110 a): The Sabbath is given to you, not you to the Sabbath.' If we might regard this as a current theological saying, it would give a fresh meaning to the words of our Lord, Mark 2:27.

[103] Sepphoris, the Dio-Caesarea of the Romans, was near Nazareth. It is often referred to by Josephus, and, after the destruction of Jerusalem, became for a time the seat of the Sanhedrim. (See Robinson's Researches in Pal. vol. ii. p. 345.)

[104] The expression, Luke 6:1, rendered in our version the second Sabbath after the first,' really means, the first Sabbath after the second' day of the Passover, on which the first ripe sheaf was presented, the Jews calculating the weeks from that day to Pentecost.

[105] The altar was whitened twice a year, before the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles. But no tool of iron was used in this.

[106] This must have been the case on the Thursday of Christ's betrayal.

[107] The table on the Arch of Titus seems only one cubit high. We know that it was placed by the victor in the Temple of Peace; was carried about the middle of the fifth century to Africa, by the Vandals under Genseric, and that Belisarius brought it back in 520 to Constantinople, whence it was sent to Jerusalem.

[108] We have been thus particular on account of the inaccuracies in so many articles on this subject. It ought to be stated that another Mishnic authority than that we have followed seems to have calculated the cubit at ten handbreadths, and accordingly gives different measurements for the shewbread'; but the result is substantially the same.

[109] According to other authorities, however, the incense of the shewbread was burned along with the morning sacrifice on the Sabbath.

[110] The year of Jubilee began on the 10th of Tishri, being the Day of Atonement.

[111] Idleness is quite as much contrary to the Sabbath law as labour: not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words' (Isa 58:13).

[112] The manumission of Jewish slaves took place in the seventh year of their bondage, whenever that might be, and bears no reference to the Sabbatical year, with which, indeed, some of its provisions could not easily have been compatible (Deut 15:14).

[113] These are: the first and the seventh days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread,' Pentecost, New Year's Day, the Day of Atonement, the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and its Octave.

[114] The term is rendered in the Authorised Version, Sabbath of rest,' Leviticus 16:31; 23:32.

[115] Because on a Thursday Moses had gone up to Mount Sinai, and came down on a Monday, when he received for the second time the Tables of the Law.

[116] The only public offerings, with imposition of hands,' were the scapegoat on the Day of Atonement, and the bullock when the congregation had sinned through ignorance.

[117] This happened therefore on eighteen days of the year. These will be specified in a subsequent chapter.

[118] Tradition has it, that neither high-priest nor king ever took part in these deliberations, the former because he might object to a leap-year as throwing the Day of Atonement later into the cold season; the king, because he might wish for thirteen months, in order to get thirteen months' revenue in one year!

[119] The Megillath Taanith (roll of fasts'), probably the oldest Aramean post-biblical record preserved (though containing later admixtures), enumerates thirty-five days in the year when fasting, and mostly also public mourning, are not allowed. One of these is the day of Herod's death! This interesting historical relic has been critically examined of late by such writers as Derenbourg and Gratz. After their exile the ten tribes, or at least their descendants, seem to have dated from that event (696 BC). This appears from inscriptions on tombstones of the Crimean Jews, who have been shown to have descended from the ten tribes. (Comp. Davidson in Kitto's Cycl. iii. 1173.)

[120] Abib is the month of 'sprouting' or of green ears.' Esther 3:7; Nehemiah 2:1.

[121] These computations, being derived from official documents, can scarcely have been much exaggerated. Indeed, Josephus expressly guards himself against this charge.

[122] It is deeply interesting that the Talmud (Pes. 53) specially mentions Bethphage and Bethany as celebrated for their hospitality towards the festive pilgrims.

[123] The article in Kitto's Cyc. (3rd edition), vol. iii. p. 425, calls this day, the preparation for the Passover,' and confounds it with John 19:14. But from the evening of the 14th to that of the 15th is never called in Jewish writings the preparation for,' but the eve of, the Passover.' Moreover, the period described in John 19:14 was after, not before, the Passover. Dean Alford's notes on this passage, and on Matthew 26:17, suggest a number of needless difficulties, and contain inaccuracies, due to a want of sufficient knowledge of Hebrew authorities. In attempting an accurate chronology of these days, it must always be remembered that the Passover was sacrificed between the evenings of the 14th and the 15th of Nisan; that is, before the close of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th. The Paschal Supper, however, took place on the 15th itself (that is, according to Jewish reckoning--the day beginning as the first stars became visible). The preparation' in John 19:14 means, as in verse 31, the preparation-day for the Sabbath, and the Passover,' as in 18:39, the whole Paschal week.

[124] According to the Talmud, the daily (evening) sacrifice precedes that of the Paschal lamb; the Paschal lamb the burning of the incense, the incense the trimming of the lamps' (for the night).

[125] The words of the Mishnah (Pes. x. 3) are: While the Sanctuary stood, they brought before him his body of (or for) the Passover.' The term body' also sometimes means substance.'

 [126] The same root as employed in Exodus 13:8--'And thou shalt show thy son in that day,' and from this the term Haggadah' has unquestionably been derived.

[127] The Karaites are alone in not admitting women to the Paschal Supper.

[128] Every reader of the Bible knows how symbolically significant alike the vine and its fruit are throughout Scripture. Over the entrance to the Sanctuary a golden vine of immense proportions was suspended.

[129] Of this there cannot be the slightest doubt. Indeed, the following quotation from the Mishnah (Pes. vii. 13) might even induce one to believe that warm water was mixed with the wine: If two companies eat (the Passover) in the same house, the one turns its face to one side, the other to the other, and the kettle (warming kettle) stands between them.'

[130] Such, according to the best criticism, were the words of this prayer at the time of Christ. But I must repeat that in regard to many of these prayers I cannot help suspecting that they rather indicate the spirit and direction of a prayer than embody the ipsissima verba.

[131] The modern practice of the Jews slightly differs form the ancient here, and in some other little matters of detail.

[132] The distinction is also interesting as explaining Mark 7:3. For when water was poured on the hands, they had to be lifted, yet so that the water should neither run up above the wrist, nor back again upon the hand; best, therefore, by doubling the fingers into a fist. Hence (as Lightfoot rightly remarks) Mark 7:3, which should be translated: For the Pharisees . . . except they wash their hands with the fist, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.' The rendering of our Authorised Version, except they wash oft,' has evidently no meaning.

[133] It is a curious circumstance that the Mishnah seems to contemplate the same painful case of drunkenness at the Paschal Supper, which, as we know, actually occurred in the church at Corinth, that so closely imitated the Jewish practice. The Mishnah does not, indeed, speak in so many words of drunkenness, but it lays down this rule: Does any one sleep at the Passover meal and wake again, he may not eat again after he is awaked.'

[134] Exceptionally a fifth cup was drunk, and over it the great Hallel' was said, comprising Psalms 120-137. 

[135] In this, as in many other particulars, the teaching of Shammai differed from that of Hillel. We have followed Hillel, whose authority is generally recognised.

[136] We derive our account from all the four Gospels. The language of St. John (18:3-12) leaves no doubt that a detachment of Roman soldiers accompanied such of the elders and priests as went out with the Temple guard to take Jesus. There was no need to apply for Pilate's permission (as Lange supposes) before securing the aid of the soldiers.

[137] We cannot here enter on the evidence; the fact is generally admitted even by Jewish writers.

[138] The evidence that the expression in John 18:28, They went not into the judgment-hall . . . that they might eat the Passover,' refers not to the Paschal lamb, but to the Chagigah, is exceedingly strong, in fact, such as to have even convinced an eminent but impartial Jewish writer (Saalschutz, Mos. Recht, p. 414). It does seem strange that it should be either unknown to, or ignored by, Christian' writers.

[139] This would not necessarily disclose a view of the Most Holy Place if, as the Rabbis assert, there were two veils between the Holy and the Most Holy Place.

[140] The field was to be ploughed in the autumn, and sowed seventy days before the Passover.

[141] There was a controversy on this point between the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The article in Kitto's Cycl. erroneously names the afternoon of the 16th of Nisan as that on which the sheaf was cut. It was really done after sunset on the 15th, which was the beginning of the 16th of Nisan.

[142] The term is difficult to define. The Mishnah (Men. ii. 2) says, He stretcheth the fingers over the flat of the hand.' I suppose, bending them inwards.

[143] Owing to the peculiarity of the Jewish calendar, Pentecost did not always take place exactly on the 6th Sivan. Care was taken that it should not occur on a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. (Reland. p. 430.)

[144] The completion of the wheat harvest throughout the land is computed by the Rabbis at about a month later. See Relandus, Antiq. p. 428.

[145] This offering, accompanying the wave-loaves, has by some been confounded with the festive sacrifices of the day, as enumerated in Numbers 28:27. But the two are manifestly quite distinct.

[146] In the case of the first omer it had been thirteen sieves; but both specifications may be regarded as Rabbinical fancifulness. [147] These numbers are sufficiently accurate for general computation. By actual experiment I find that a pint of flour weighs about three-quarters of a pound and two ounces, and that 3 3/4 lbs. of flour, with half a teacup of barm and an ounce of salt, yield 5 3/4 pounds of dough and 5 1/4 lbs. of bread.

[148] The Rabbinical statement is, that the whole offering was to be waved together by a priest; but that if each loaf, with one breast and shoulder of lamb, was waved separately, it was valid. From the weight of the mass, this must have been the common practice.