Then they sought to take him
By force, and carry him before the sanhedrim, in order to be tried and condemned as a blasphemer, being enraged to hear him claim a descent from God, whom they took to be a mere man, the son of Joseph the carpenter:
but no man laid hands on him;
though they had a good will to it, they had no power to do it, being restrained by the, secret providence of God from it, and awed by the majesty of Christ, which showed itself in his looks and words; and perhaps also they might be afraid of the people, lest they should rise in his favour; and so every man being fearful of being the first that should seize him, no man did: however, so it was ordered by divine providence, that he should not be apprehended at, this time,
because his hour was not yet come;
to suffer and die, to depart out of this world, and go to the Father: there was a precise time fixed for this in the council and covenant of God, by mutual compact, called "due time"; as his coming into the world is called "the fulness of time"; nor could he die before that time, and therefore no man was suffered to lay hands on him, whatever good will he had to it. And there is a time for every man's death, nor can any man die before that time, or live beyond it; see ( Ecclesiastes 3:2 ) ( Job 14:5 ) ; and this is the sense of the ancient Jews; for they say F8,
``a man before his years, or his time, does not die;''that is, before he comes to the years appointed for him: and they ask F9,
``who is there that goes before his time? i.e. dies before his time?''And it is said F11 of a certain person who was in his house, and (hynmz ajm) , "his time was come"; and he died without sickness: though it must be owned some of them were otherwise minded, and say F12, that death, by the hand of heaven, or God, shortens a man's years; and that there are some reasons for which righteous men depart out of this world before their time is come; and particularly of Enoch they say, God took him before his time was come F13.
F8 T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 114. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 29. 1. & Bava Metzia, fol. 85. 1.
F9 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 4. 2.
F11 Zohar in Exod. fol. 71. 4.
F12 Piske Tosephot. Sabbat, art. 113.
F13 Zohar in Exod. fol. 4. 4.