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Matthew 26:45

Matthew 26:45

Then cometh he to his disciples
The three that were nearest to him, "the third time", as Mark says, ( Mark 14:41 ) , and as it was;

and saith unto them, sleep on now, and take your rest.
The Evangelist Mark adds, "it is enough", ( Mark 14:41 ) ; which has induced some interpreters to think, that these words were spoken seriously by Christ: though the sense cannot be that they had watched sufficiently, and now might sleep, and take their rest, for they had not watched at all; but rather, that he had now no need of them, or their watching with him; the conflict was over for the present; or, as the Syriac version renders it, "the end is come"; and so the Arabic; and to the same purpose the Persic, "the matter is come to an end", or to an extremity; the sense being the same with what is expressed in the following clause, "the hour is at hand"; and shows, that the words are to be understood in an ironical sense, sleep on and take your rest, if you can: I have been exhorting you to watchfulness, but to no purpose, you will be alarmed from another quarter; a band of soldiers is just at hand to seize and carry me away, and now sleep if you can: that this is the sense appears from the reason given, and from the exhortation in the following verse, and the reason annexed to that:

behold the hour is at hand, and the son of man is betrayed into the
hands of sinners:
by the son of man Christ means himself, and under this diminutive title expresses his Messiahship, this being a character of the Messiah in the Old Testament; and the truth of his human nature, and the weakness and infirmities of it: by the "betraying", or delivery of him, is intended either the betraying of him by Judas into the hands of the high priest, Scribes, and Pharisees; or the delivery of him, by them, into the hands of Pilate, and by him to the Roman soldiers; all which were by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. The high priest, elders, Scribes, and Pharisees, notwithstanding all their pretensions to religion, righteousness, and holiness, were very wicked persons; though the Gentiles, the band of Roman soldiers, Judas brought with him to take Christ, are here rather meant, it being usual to call the Gentiles sinners. This betraying and delivery of Christ into the hands of these, was determined by God; the time, the very hour was fixed, and was now approaching; the last sand in the glass was dropping; for as soon as Christ had said these words, Judas, with his band of soldiers, appeared.

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