Matthew 26:17

Matthew 26:17

Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
There were seven of these days, and this was the first of them, in which the Jews might not eat leavened bread, from the fourteenth, to the twenty first of the month Nisan; in commemoration of their being thrust out of Egypt, in so much haste, that they had not time to leaven the dough, which was in their kneading troughs: wherefore, according to their canons F3, on the night of the fourteenth day; that is, as Bartenora explains it, the night, the day following of which is the fourteenth, they search for leaven in all private places and corners, to bring; it out, and burn it, or break it into small pieces, and scatter it in the wind, or throw it into the sea. Mark adds, "when they killed the passover", ( Mark 14:12 ) ; and Luke says, "when the passover must be killed", ( Luke 22:7 ) ; which was to be done on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, after the middle of the day; and this was an indispensable duty, which all were obliged to: for so they say F4,

``every man, and every woman, are bound to observe this precept; and whoever makes void this commandment presumptuously, if he is not defiled, or afar off, lo! he is guilty of cutting off.''

The time of killing the passover was after the middle of the day; and it is said F5 that

``if they killed it before the middle of the day it was not right; and they did not kill it till after the evening sacrifice, and after they had offered the evening incense; and after they had trimmed the lamps, they began to slay the passovers, or paschal lambs, unto the end of the day; and if they slayed after the middle of the day, before the evening sacrifice, it was right.''

The reason of this was, because the lamb was to be slain between the two evenings; the first of which began at noon, as soon as ever the day declined: and this was not done privately, but in the temple; for thus it is F6 affirmed,

``they do not kill the passover but in the court, as the rest of the holy things.''

The time and manner of killing the lamb, and by whom, of the sprinkling of the blood, and of their flaying it, and taking out the fat, and burning it on the altar, may be seen in the Misna F7.

The disciples came to Jesus;
that is, Peter and John, as may be learnt from ( 22:8 ) , for these only seem to have had any notion of Judas's betraying Christ, from what had been said at the supper in Bethany, two days before; the rest thought he was gone to prepare for the feast, and therefore were under no concern about it; but these two judged otherwise, and therefore came to Christ to know his mind concerning it; for it was high time that a preparation should be made; for this was Thursday morning, and the lamb was to be killed in the afternoon, and ate at even.

Saying unto him, where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the
passover?
This question in Luke follows upon an order which Christ gave to these disciples; "saying, go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat", ( Luke 22:8 ) : for masters used to give their servants orders to get ready the passover for them; and which were expressed in much such language as this F8:

``he that says to his servant, (xop ta yle jwxvw au) , "go and slay the passover for me": if he kills a kid, he may eat of it.''

It is reported F9 of

``Rabban Gamaliel, that he said to his servant Tabi, (hluw au) , "go and roast" the passover for us upon an iron grate.''

The disciples having received such an order from their master, inquire not in what town or city they must prepare the passover, for that was always ate in Jerusalem; see ( Deuteronomy 16:5-7 ) ( Luke 2:41 Luke 2:42 ) , where they were obliged, by the Jewish canon F11, to lodge that night; though they might eat the unleavened bread, and keep the other days of the feast any where, and in every place F12; but they inquire in what house he would have it got ready; for they might make use of any house, and the furniture of it, where they could find room, and conveniency, without any charge; for they did not let out their houses, or any of their rooms, or beds, in Jerusalem; but, at festivals, the owners of them gave the use of them freely to all that came F13: and it is F14 observed among the wonders and miracles done at Jerusalem, that though there were such multitudes at their feasts, yet

``a man could never say to his friend, I have not found a fire to roast the passover lambs in Jerusalem, nor I have not found a bed to sleep on in Jerusalem, nor the place is too strait for me to lodge in, in Jerusalem.''


FOOTNOTES:

F3 Misn. Pesach. c. 1. sect, 1. Maimon. Chametz Umetzah, c. 2. sect. 3, 4. & 3. 11.
F4 Maimon. Hilch. Korban Pesaeh. c. 1. sect. 1. 2.
F5 Ib. sect. 4. Moses Kotsensis Mitavot Tora pr. affirm. 39.
F6 Maimon. lb. sect. 3.
F7 Pesachim, c. 5. sect. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10.
F8 Ib. c. 8. 2.
F9 Ib. c. 7. sect. 2.
F11 T. Bab. Pesach. fol. 95. 2. & Gloss in ib.
F12 Maimon. Hilch. Chametz Umetzah, c. 6. sect. 1.
F13 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 12. 1. Megilia, fol. 26. 1. & Gloss. in ib. Maimon Hilch. Beth Habbechira, c. 7. sect. 14. & Ceseph Misna in ib.
F14 Abot R. Nathan, c. 35. Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 5.
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