Page images

V. Æ. 27.

k Ps. lxix. 9.

58. & xv, 29.

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and J; P. 4740. sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting :

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he Temple at Je. drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the Matt. xxi.12. oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew Luke xix. %. the tables ;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of norchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, * The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, 'What 1 Matt. xxvi. sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these 40. Mark xiv. things?

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? 21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

m Heb. viii. 2. 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his dis- Luke xxiv. ciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for • he knew what was in man.


ol Sam, xvi. 7.1 Chron. Xxviii. 9. Ch. vi. 64. Acts i,


pleted, the dawning of the new dispensation had begun. It is in the plans of 24. Rev. ii, Providence, as it is in the works of creation. The God of nature is the God of revelation. As in nature the seasons so beautifully and so gradually blend with each other, as the closing day insensibly changes into night, or the darkness of the night slowly gives place to the dawn of the morning, and the splendours of the rising sun; so do the various dispensations of an overruling and wise Providence gradually and slowly accomplish his own prophecies, appealing to our reason, as the visible creation appeals to our senses. This action of our Lord was a visible and open manifestation of his claim to the character of the Messiah (d); and it was the most significant proof that the temple of Jerusalem must be purified or overthrown, and that the Gentiles should be admitted into the Church of God bis Father.

(d) Vide Archbishop Newcome's notes to his Harmony of the New Testament,

p. 7



J. P.4740.
V. Æ. 27.

Conversation of Christ with Nicodemus.

JOHN iii. 1-22.
1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus,
a ruler of the Jews :

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God : for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I * Or, from say unto thee, Except a man be born * again, he cannot see

the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old ? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born ?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born + Or,from + again.

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth : so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen ; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in

heaven. p Num.xxi. 9. 14 P And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilder

ness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn


91 John iv. 9.

r Ch. xii. 47.

V. Æ. 27.

the world; but that the world through him might be J. P. 4740. saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but Jerusalem. he that believeth not is condemned already, be use he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, • that light is come s Ch. 1: 4. into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be * reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his vered. deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

* Or, disco


John's last Testimony to Christ.

JOHN iii. 22, to the end. 22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into Judæa. the land of Judæa ; and there he tarried with them, and t1 John iv. 2. baptized.

23 And John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim, because there was much water there : and they came, and were baptized.

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.

26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, " to whom thou

u Ch. 1. 1. 34. barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27 John answered and said, * A man can treceive no- Heb. v. 4.

+ Or, take ur. thing, except it be given him from heaven.

to himself. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am y l John ii.20. not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom : but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice 15 : this my joy therefore is fulfilled 16.

15 This final address of the Baptist cannot be understood, unless we keep in view a peculiar custom which prevailed among the Jews. At every wedding two persons were selected, who devoted themselves for some time to the service

16 See page 123.

J. P. 4740.
V. Æ. 27.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.


of the bride and bridegroom. The offices assigned to the paranymph, or ravi, were numerous and important; and, on account of these, the Baptist compares himself to the friend of the bridegroom. The offices of the paranymph were threefold-before-at-and after the marriage. Before the marriage of his friend it was his duty to select a chaste virgin, and to be the medium of communication between the parties, till the day of marriage. At that time he continued with them during the seven days allotted for the wedding festival, rejoicing in the happiness of his friend, and contributing as much as possible to the hilarity of the occasion. After the marriage, the paranymph was considered as the patron and friend of the wife and her husband, and was called in to compose any differences that might take place between them. As the forerunner of Christ, the Baptist may be well compared to the paranymph of the Jewish marriages.

One of the most usual comparisons adopted in Scripture to describe the union between Christ and his Church, is that of a marriage. The Baptist was the paranymph (a), who, by the preaching of repentance, and faith, presented the Church as a youthful bride and a chaste virgin to Christ. He still continued with the bridegroom, till the wedding was furnished with guests. His joy was fulfilled when his own followers came to inform him that Christ was increasing the number of his disciples, and that all men came unto him. This intelligence was as the sound of the bridegroom's voice, and as the pledge that the nuptials of heaven and earth were completed.

From this representation of John, as the paranymph; of Christ as the bridegroom; and the Church as the bride ; the ministers and stewards of the Gospel of God may learn, that they also are required, by the preaching of repentance and faith, to present their hearers in all purity to the head of the Christian Church. It is for them to find their best source of joy in the blessing of the most High on their labours—their purest happiness in the improvement and perfecting of the Church confided to their care (b).

Smaller circumstances and coincidences sometimes demonstrate the truth of an assertion, or the authenticity of a book, more effectually than more important facts. May not one of those unimportant yet convincing coincidences be observed in this passage ? The Baptist calls himself the friend of the bridegroom, without alluding to any other paranymph, or favw. As the Jews were accustomed to have two paranymphs, there seems, at first sight, to be something defective in the Baptist's comparison. But our Lord was of Galilee, and there the custom was different from that of any other part of Palestine. The Galileans had one paranymph only (c).

(a) Exemplo et vitâ, says Kuinoel, communi depromto Johannes Baptista ostendit, quale inter ipsum et Christum discrimen intercedat. Seipsum conparat cum paranympho, Christum cum sponso; quocum ipse Christus se quoque comparavit, ut patet e locis. Matt. ix. 15. and xxv. 1. Scilicet, ò pidos Toû vuppiov, est sponsi socius, ei peculiariter addictus, qui Græcis dicebatur mapavoudíos, Matt. ix. 15. viòs roũ vuupāvos. Heb. janv, filius lætitiæ.—Com. in lib. N. T. Hist. vol. iii. p. 227. () Applicatio totius rei est facillima, Christus est sponsus, Ecclesia sponsa, Ministri Ecclesiæ O'dan, 2 Cor. xi. 2. et h. I. quoque Johannes Baptista. Hi in eo elaborant, ut Christo virginem puram et illabatam adducant, huc omnis eorum labor tendit, hâc re gaudent.-Schoetgen. Horæ Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 340. (c) Ketuvoth, fol. 12. 1. Olim in Judæa duos


31 He that cometh from above is above all : he that is J. P. 4740.

V. Æ. 27. of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth : he that cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.

33 He that hath received his testimony, 'hath set to his z Rom, il 4. seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him 17.

35 - The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things a Matt, xl. 27. into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: 5 Hab. ii. 4 and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

1 John v. 10,

.et tunc gaudium coram te est perfectum אשתלימת.

16 The expression “this my joy is fulfilled," xapà ý fun menúpurai, corresponds with the Hebrew expression inov zabv, a phrase which is used by the rabbinical writers to express even the happiness of heaven; and which most powerfully delineates therefore the joy and rapture which the Baptist felt, and which a Christian minister ought to experience, when he perceives that his labours in the vineyard are attended with success. Schoetgen gives several instances of this application of the phrase. Sohar. chadasch. fol. 42. 2. Quidnam agunt animæ piorum in cælo. Resp. Operam dant laudi divinæ 73p 01971 1972

. Ibidem, fol. 49. 4. Et Deus S. B. gaudebit cum justis 125va 7190a gaudio perfecto.

Siphra, fol. 188. 4. Quamvis homo in hoc mundo gaudeat, gaudium tamen ejus non est perfectum. Verum seculo futuro Deus S. B. deglutiet mortem in æternum obv non nnoun any illud gaudium demum erit perfectum, q. d. Psalm cxxvi. 2. Tunc os nostrum risu, et lingua cantu implebitur.

17 These words allude to the opinion entertained by the Jews that the Holy Spirit was given in measure only to the prophets. Vaikra rabba, sect. 15, fol.

. : etiam Spiritus S. non habitavit super prophetas, nisi mensurâ quâdam.

אפילו רוח הקדש אינו שורה על הנביאים אלא במשקל:

.Dixit R. Acha

.2 .158

D'J'AVIV constituebant, unum sponso, alterum sponsæ, ut illis ministrarent, quando in Chuppam ingrediuntur; sed in Galilæa tale quid observatum non est.-Schoetgen. Hor. Hebr. vol. i. p. 337. Lightfoot, vol. i. p. 605. I have not entered minutely into all the circumstances of the comparison of the Baptist to the paranymph. They may be found at great length in Lampe, Comment. Evang. sec. Joan. vol. i. p. 672. Hammond in loc. Lightfoot's Harmony, and Schoetgen. vol. i. p. 335, &c. Dr. Adam Clarke has given a copious abridgment of Schoetgen's remarks. Dr. Gill (in loc.) has inserted a curious tradition, that Moses was the paranymph to present the Jewish Church to God.

« PreviousContinue »