Saturday, 28 June 2014

St Mark 15: 25-39

St Mark 15: 25-39:

25 Erat autem hora tertia: et crucifixerunt eum. 26 Et erat titulus causæ ejus inscriptus: Rex Judæorum. 27 Et cum eo crucifigunt duos latrones: unum a dextris, et alium a sinistris ejus. 28 Et impleta est Scriptura, quæ dicit: Et cum iniquis reputatus est. 29 Et prætereuntes blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua, et dicentes: Vah! qui destruis templum Dei, et in tribus diebus reædificas, 30 salvum fac temetipsum descendens de cruce. 31 Similiter et summi sacerdotes illudentes, ad alterutrum cum scribis dicebant: Alios salvos fecit; seipsum non potest salvum facere. 32 Christus rex Israël descendat nunc de cruce, ut videamus, et credamus. Et qui cum eo crucifixi erant, convitiabantur ei.33 Et facta hora sexta, tenebræ factæ sunt per totam terram usque in horam nonam. 34 Et hora nona exclamavit Jesus voce magna, dicens: Eloi, eloi, lamma sabacthani? quod est interpretatum: Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me? 35 Et quidam de circumstantibus audientes, dicebant: Ecce Eliam vocat. 36 Currens autem unus, et implens spongiam aceto, circumponensque calamo, potum dabat ei, dicens: Sinite, videamus si veniat Elias ad deponendum eum. 37 Jesus autem emissa voce magna expiravit. 38 Et velum templi scissum est in duo, a summo usque deorsum. 39 Videns autem centurio, qui ex adverso stabat, quia sic clamans expirasset, ait: Vere hic homo Filius Dei erat.

 [25] And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.[26] And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. [27] And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. [28] And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed. [29] And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again; [30] Save thyself, coming down from the cross. [31] In like manner also the chief priests mocking, said with the scribes one to another: He saved others; himself he cannot save. [32] Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. [33] And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole earth until the ninth hour. [34] And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabacthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [35] And some of the standers by hearing, said: Behold he calleth Elias. [36] And one running and filling a sponge with vinegar, and putting it upon a reed, gave him to drink, saying: Stay, let us see if Elias come to take him down. [37] And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. [38] And the veil of the temple was rent in two, from the top to the bottom. [39] And the centurion who stood over against him, seeing that crying out in this manner he had given up the ghost, said: Indeed this man was the son of God.

Commentary

de Lapide:

Ver. 25. And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. The third, not beginning, but ending, and going on to the sixth. For that Christ was crucified at the sixth hour, or midday, appears from the 33rd verse. Some suspect that there is an error, and that the sixth ought to be read for the third. For the Hebrews had divided the day and also the night into four parts or hours, each of which contained three of our hours. The first began at sunrise, and lasted for three hours. When they were over, Terce began, and lasted for three hours, or until midday, when Sect began, and ended three hours afterwards, when None began, and lasted till Vespers, or evening. When Sect was beginning, or the sixth hour, Christ was crucified; and when None, or the ninth hour, was beginning, He died.

Ver. 28. And with the wicked he was reputed: Heb. נמנה, nimma, i.e., was numbered, was counted. See what I have said on Isa. liii. 12. The reason is, because Christ took to Himself our place, our account and reckoning. But we were wicked. He therefore was reckoned with the wicked, that He might make us, instead of wicked, just, righteous, and holy.

Catena Aurea:

GLOSS. After the condemnation of Christ, and the insults heaped upon Him when He was condemned, the Evangelist proceeds to relate His crucifixion, saying, And led him out to crucify him. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Here Abel is brought out into the field by his brother, to be slain by him. Here Isaac comes forth with the wood, and Abraham with the ram caught in the thicket. Here also Joseph with the sheaf of which he dreamed, and the long robe steeped in blood. Here is Moses with the rod, and the serpent hanging on the wood. Here is the cluster of grapes, carried on a staff. Here is Elisha with the piece of wood sent to seek for the ax, which had sunk, and which swam to the wood; that is, mankind, which by the forbidden tree, fell down to hell, but by the wood of the cross of Christ, and by the baptism of water, swims to paradise. Here is Jonah out of the wood of the ship sent down into the sea and into the whale's belly for three days. 

There follows: And they compel Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

THEOPHYL Now John says that He Himself bare His cross, for both took place; for He first bore the cross Himself, until some one passed, whom they compelled, and who then carried it. But he mentioned the name of his sons, to make it more credible and the affirmation stronger, for the man still lived to relate all that had happened about the cross. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Now since some men are known by the merits of their fathers, and some by those of their sons, this Simon, who was compelled to carry the cross, is made known by the merits of his sons, who were disciples. By this we are reminded, that in this life, parents are assisted by the wisdom and the merits of their children, wherefore the Jewish people is always held worthy of being remembered on account of the merits of the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles. But this Simon who carries the cross, because he is compelled, is the man who labors for human praise. For men compel him to work, when the fear and love of God could not compel him. 

BEDE; Or, since this Simon is not called Be a man of Jerusalem, but a Cyrenian, (for Cyrene is a city of Libya,) fitly is he taken to mean the nations of the Gentiles, which were once foreigners and strangers to the covenants, but now by obedience are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Whence also Simon is fitly interpreted 'obedient,' and Cyrene 'an heir.' But he is said to come from a country place, for a country place is called 'pagos' in Greek, wherefore those whom we see to be aliens from the city of God, we call pagans. Simon then coming out from the country carries the cross after Jesus, when the Gentile nations leaving pagan rites embrace obediently the footsteps of our Lord's Passion. 

There follows: And they bring him to the place Golgotha, which is being interpreted, the place of Calvary. There are places without the city and the gate, in which the heads of condemned persons are cut off, and which receive the name of Calvary, that is, of the beheaded. But the Lord was crucified there, that where once was the field of the condemned, there the standards of martyrdom might be lifted up. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; But the Jews relate, that in this spot of the mountain the ram was sacrificed for Isaac, and there Christ is made bald, that is, separated from His flesh, that is, from the carnal Jews. There follows: And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh. 

AUG. This we must understand to be what Matthew expresses by, mixed with gall; for he put gall for any thing bitter, and wine mingled with myrrh is most bitter; although there may have been both gall and myrrh to make the wine most bitter. 

THEOPHYL Or, they may have brought different things, in order, some vinegar and gall, and others wine mixed with myrrh. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Or else, wine mingled with myrrh, that is, vinegar; by it the juice of the deadly apple is wiped away. 

BEDE; Bitter the vine which bore the bitter wine, set before the Lord Jesus, that the Scripture might be fulfilled which said, They gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink. 

AUG. That which follows, But he received it not, must mean, He received it not to drink, but only tasted it, as Matthew witnesses. And what the same Matthew relates, he would not drink, Mark expresses by, he received it not, but was silent as to His tasting it. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; He also refused to take sin for which He suffered, wherefore it is said of Him, I then paid the things that I never took. There follows: And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. In this place salvation is figured by the wood; the first wood was that of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; the second wood is one of unmixed good for us, and is the wood of life. The first hand stretched out to the wood caught hold of death; the second found again the life which had been lost. By this wood we are carried through a stormy sea to the land of the living, for by His cross Christ has taken away our torment, and by His death has killed our death. 

With the form of a serpent He kills the serpent, for the serpent made out of the rod swallowed up the other serpents. But what means the shape itself of the cross, save the four quarters of the world; the East shines from the top, the North is on the right, the South on the left, the West is firmly fixed under the feet. Wherefore the Apostle says: That we may know what is the height, and breadth, and length, and depth. Birds, when they fly in the air, take the shape of a cross; a man swimming in the waters is borne up by the form of a cross. A ship is blown along by its yards, which are in the shape of the cross. The letter Tau is written as the sign of salvation and of the cross. 

BEDE; Or else, in the transverse beam of the cross, where the hands are fixed, the joy of hope is set forth; for by the hands we understand good works, by its expansion the joy of him who does them, because sadness puts us in straits. By the height to which the head is joined, we understand the expectation of reward from the lofty righteousness of God; by the length, over which the whole body is stretched, patience, wherefore patient men are called long-suffering; by the depth, which is fixed in the ground, the hidden Sacrament itself. As long therefore as our bodies work here to the destruction of the body of sin, it is the time of the cross for us. 

AUG. If Jesus was given up to the Jews' to be crucified, when Pilate sat down at his tribunal about the sixth hour, as John relates, how could He be crucified at the third hour, as many persons have thought from not understanding the words of Mark? First then let us see at what hour He might have been crucified, then we shall see why Mark said that He was crucified at the third hour. It was about the sixth hour when He was given up to be crucified by Pilate sitting on his judgment seat, as has been said, for it was not yet fully the sixth hour, but about the sixth, that is, the fifth was over, and some of the sixth had begun, so that those things which are related of the crucifixion of our Lord took place after the finishing of the fifth, and at the commencement of the sixth, until, when the sixth was completed and He was hanging on the cross, the darkness which is spoken of took place. 

Let us now consider, why Mark has said, It was the third hour. He had already said positively, And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments; as also the others declare, that when He was crucified His garments were divided. Now if Mark had wished to fix the time of what was done, it would have been enough to say, And it was the third hour why did He add, and they crucified him, unless it was that he wished to point to something which had gone before, and which if inquired into would be explained, since that same Scripture was to be read at a time, when it was known to the whole Church at what hour our Lord was crucified, by which means any error might be taken away, and any falsehood be refuted. But because he knew that the Lord was fixed to the cross not by the Jews but by the soldiers, as John very plainly shows, he wished to intimate that the Jews had crucified Him, since they cried out, Crucify Him, rather than those who executed the orders of their chief according to their duty. It is therefore implied, that it took place at the third hour when the Jews cried out, Crucify Him, and it is most truly shown that they crucified Him, when they so cried out. But in the attempt of Pilate to save the Lord, and the tumultuous opposition of the Jews, we understand that a space of two hours was consumed, and that the sixth hour had begun, before the end of which, those things occurred which are related to have taken place from the time when Pilate gave up the Lord, and the darkness overspread the earth. Now he who will apply himself to these things, without the hard-heartedness of impiety, will see that Mark has fitly placed it at the third hour, in the same place as the deed of the soldiers who were the executors of it is related. Therefore lest any one should transfer in his thoughts so great a crime from the Jews to the soldiers, he says it was as the third hour, and they crucified him, that the fault might rather by a careful inquirer be charged to them, who, as he would find, had at the third hour cried out for His crucifixion, whilst at the same time it would be seen that what was done by the soldiers was done at the sixth hour. 

PSEUDO-AUG. Therefore he wishes to imply that it was the Jews who passed sentence, concerning the crucifixion of Christ at the third hour; for every condemned person is considered as dead, from the moment that sentence is passed upon him. Mark therefore showed that our Savior was not crucified by the sentence of the judge, because it is difficult to prove the innocence of a man so condemned. 

AUG. Still there are not wanting persons who assert that the preparation, mentioned by John, Now it was the preparation about the sixth hour, was really the third hour of the day. For they say that on the day before the sabbath day, there was a preparation of the passover of the Jews, because on that sabbath, they began the unleavened bread; but however that the true passover, which is now celebrated on the day of our Lord's Passion, that is, the Christian not the Jewish passover, began to be prepared, or to have its parasceue, from that ninth hour of the night, when His death began to be prepared by the Jews; for parasceue means preparation. Between that hour therefore of the night and His crucifixion occurs the sixth hour of preparation, according to John, and the third hour of the day, according to Mark. 

What Christian would not give in to this solution of the question, provided that we could find some circumstance, from which we might gather that this preparation of our Passover, that is, of the death of Christ, began at the ninth hour of the night,? For if we say that it began when our Lord was taken by the Jews, it was still early in the night, but if when our Lord was carried away to the house of the father in law of Caiaphas, where also He was heard by the chief priests, the cock had not crowed; but if when He was given up to Pilate, it is very plain that it was morning. 

It remains therefore that we must understand the preparation of our Lord's death to have commenced when all the Chief Priests pronounced, He is guilty of death. For there is nothing absurd in supposing that that was the ninth hour of the night so that we may understand that Peter's denial is put out of its order after it really happened. It goes on: And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 

THEOPHYL. They wrote this superscription, as the reason why He was crucified, thus wishing to reprove His vainglory in making Himself a king, that so the passers by might not pity Him, but rather hate Him as a tyrant. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; He wrote it in three languages, in Hebrew, Melech Jeudim; in Greek, in Latin, Rex confessorum. These three languages were consecrated to be the chief, in the superscription on the cross, that every tongue might record the treachery of the Jews. 

BEDE; But this superscription on the cross shows, that they could not even in killing Him take away the kingdom over them from Him who was about to render to them according to their works. There follows: And with him they crucify two thieves, the one on his right hand, the other on his left. 

THEOPHYL. They did this that men might have a bad opinion of Him, as though He also were a robber and a malefactor. But it was done by Providence to fulfill the Scriptures. There follows: And the Scripture was fulfilled which said, And he was numbered with the transgressors. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Truth was numbered with the wicked; He left one on His left hand, the other He takes on the right, as He will do at the last day. With a similar crime they are allotted different paths; one precedes Peter into Paradise, the other Judas into hell. A short confession won for him a long life, and a blasphemy which soon ended is punished with endless pain. 

BEDE; Mystically, however, the thieves crucified with Christ signify those, who by their faith and confession of Christ undergo either the struggle of martyrdom, or some rules of a stricter discipline. But those who do these deeds for the sake of endless glory, are signified by the faith of the right hand robber; those again who do them for worldly praise copy the mind and the acts of the left hand robber. 

THEOPHYL Or else; the two robbers were meant to point out the two people, that is, the Jews and the Gentiles, for both were evil, the Gentile as transgressing natural law, but the Jew by breaking the written law, which the Lord had delivered to them; but the Gentile was penitent, the Jew a blasphemer to the end. Between whom our Lord is crucified, for He is the corner stone, which binds us together.

PSEUDO-JEROME; The foal of Judah has been tied to the vine, and his clothes dyed in the blood of the grape, and the kids tear the vine, blaspheming Christ, and wagging their heads. Wherefore it is said: And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, you that destroys the temple. 

THEOPHYL. For the passers by blasphemed Christ, reproaching Him as a seducer. But the devil moved them to bid Him come down from the Cross; for he knew that salvation was being won by the Cross, therefore he again proceeded to tempt Christ, so that if He came down from the Cross, he might be certain that He is not truly the Son of God, and so the salvation, which is by the Cross, might be done away. But He being truly the Son of God, did not come down; for if He ought to have come down, He would not have ascended there at all; but since He saw that in this way salvation must be effected, He underwent the crucifixion, and many other sufferings, to the finishing of His work. 

It goes on: Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking said among themselves with the Scribes, He saved others, himself he cannot save. They said this, to do away with His miracles, as though those which He had done were but the semblance of them, for by working miracles He saved many. 

BEDE; Thus also they confess, though against their will, that He saved many. Therefore your words condemn you, for He who saved others could have saved Himself. It goes on: Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Afterwards they saw Him arise from the grave, though they would not believe that He could come down from the tree of the Cross. Where, O Jews, is your lack of faith? Your own selves I appeal to; your own selves I bring as judges. How much more wonderful is it that a dead man should arise, than that one yet living should choose to come down from the cross. you asked but small things, till greater should have come to pass; but your want of faith could not be healed by signs much greater than those for which you sought. Here all have gone out of the way, all are become abominable. Wherefore it goes on: And they that were crucified with him reviled. 

AUG. How can this be, when according to Luke one only reviled Him, but was rebuked by the other who believed on God; unless we understand that Matthew and Mark, who touched but slightly on this place, put the plural for the singular number?

THEOPHYL. Or else, both at first reviled Him, then one recognizing Him as innocent, rebukes the other for blaspheming Him.

BEDE; This most glorious light took away its rays from the world, lest it should see the Lord hanging, and lest the blasphemers should have the benefit of its light. Wherefore it goes on: And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 

AUG. Luke added to this account the cause of the darkness, that is, the darkening of the sun. 

THEOPHYL. If this had been the time for an eclipse, some one might have said that this that happened was natural, but it was the fourteenth moon, when no eclipse can take place. There follows: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; At the ninth hour, the tenth piece of money which had been lost is found, by the overturning of the house. 

BEDE; For when Adam sinned, it is also written that he heard the voice of the Lord, walking in paradise, in the cool after mid-day; and in that hour when the first Adam by sinning brought death into the world, in that same hour the second Adam by dying destroyed death. And we must observe, that our Lord was crucified, when the sun was going away from the center of the world; but at sunrise He celebrated the mysteries of His resurrection; because He died for our sins, but rose again for our justification. Nor need you wonder at the lowliness of His words, at the complaints as of one forsakes, when you look on the offense of the cross, knowing the form of a servant. For as hunger, and thirst, and fatigue were not things proper to the Divinity, but bodily affections; so His saying, Why have you forsaken me? was proper to a bodily voice, for the body is never naturally wont to wish to be separated from the life which is joined to it. For although our Savior Himself said this, He really showed the weakness of His body; He spoke therefore as man, bearing about with Him my feelings, for when placed in danger we fancy that we are deserted by God. 

THEOPHYL. Or, He speaks this as man crucified by God for me, for we men have been forsaken by the Father, but He never has. For hear what He says; I am not alone, because the Father is with me. Though He may also have said this as being a Jew, according to the flesh, as though He had said, Why have you forsaken the Jewish people, so that they have crucified Your Son? For as we sometimes say, God has put on me, that is, my human nature, so here also we must understand you have forsaken me, to mean my nature, or the Jewish people. 

It goes on: And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he called Elias. 

BEDE; These however I suppose were Roman soldiers who did not understand the peculiarity of the Hebrew tongue, but, from His calling Eloi, thought that Elias was called by Him. But if the Jews are understood to have said this, they must be supposed to do this, as accusing Him of folly in calling for the aid of Elias. 

It goes on: And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed: and gave him to drink saying, let alone: let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. John shows more fully the reason why the vinegar was given to the Lord to drink, saying, that Jesus said, I thirst, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. They however applied a sponge full of vinegar to His mouth.

PSEUDO-JEROME; Here he points out a similitude for the Jews; a sponge on a reed, weak, dry, fit for burning; they fill it with vinegar, that is, with wickedness and guile. 

AUG. Matthew has not related, that the man who brought the sponge filled with vinegar, but that the others spoke about Elias; from whence we gather that both said it. 

PSEUDO-JEROME; Though the flesh was weak, yet the heavenly voice, which said, Open me the gates of righteousness, waxed strong. Wherefore there follows: And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. We who are of the earth die with a very low voice, or with no voice at all; but He who descended from heaven breathed His last with a loud voice. 

THEOPHYL. He who both rules over death and commands it dies with power, as its Lord. But what this voice was is declared by Luke: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. For Christ would have us understand by this, that from that time the souls of the saints go up into the hands of God. For at first the souls of all were held in hell, till He came, who preached the opening of the prison to the captives.


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