Mattityahu 26

1 6 And it came about when Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach completed all these divrei torah, he said to his talmidim,
2 You know, that after two days, there is Pesach, and the Ben HaAdam is handed over for talui al HaEtz (DEVARIM 21:23; DANIEL 7:13).
3 Then the Rashei Hakohanim and the Ziknei haAm (Elders of the People) were assembled in the courtyard of the residence of the Kohen Gadol (High Priest), the one being called Caiapha.
4 And they planned to arrest Yeshoshua by a trap and kill him.
5 But they were saying, Not during the Chag (Feast), lest a riot break out among the am haaretz. [T.N. A careful reading of this book shows that the Moshiach pointed to the One in Ps 110:1, Dan 7:13, and Isa 53 and Ps 118:22 and declared that the same person is being referred to in all these Scriptures: Moshiach Adoneinu.]
6 And, while Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was in Beit-Anyah in the bais of Shimon the leper,
7 An isha approached him with an alabaster flask of costly perfume, and she poured it out on Moshiach’s rosh, as he sat bimesibba (reclining at tish [table]).
8 And having seen this, Moshiach’s talmidim were angry, saying, For what is this waste?
9 For it would have been possible to sell this for a generous sum and give to the aniyim (poor ones).
10 Aware of this, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach said to them, Why are you bringing about difficulty for the isha for the ma’aseh tov (good deed) she does to me.
11 For the aniyim you have with you always, but you do not always have me.
12 For this isha (woman) has poured this ointment on my basar (body) in order to prepare me for kevurah (burial). [Isa 53:9Ps 16:9-10]
13 Omein, I say to you, wherever this Besuras HaGeulah is preached bchol HaOlam (in all the world), in her memory it will be spoken also what was done by her.
14 Then, one of the Shneym Asar (Twelve), Yehudah from Kriot, went to the Rashei Hakohanim
15 and said, What are you willing to give me? And I will hand him over to you. And they weighed out for him sheloshim shiklei kesef (thirty pieces of silver).
16 And from then on he was seeking an opportunity that he might hand Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach over.
17 But at the onset of Chag HaMatzot, Moshiach’s talmidim approached him, saying, Where do you wish we should prepare for you your Seder?
18 And he said, Go into the city to such and such person and say to him, Our Rebbe says, My time is at hand. With you I am observing Pesach with my talmidim.
19 And the talmidim did as Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach commanded them, and they prepared the Seder.
20 When erev came, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was sitting bimesibba (reclining) at tish with the Shneym Asar Talmidim.
21 And as they were eating with their Rebbe, he said, Omein, I say to you that one of you will be my betrayer.
22 And much distressed, each one began to say to him, Surely I am not the one, Adoni?
23 But, in reply, he said, The one having dipped the hand into the bowl [SHEMOT 12:8] with me, this one is my betrayer.
24 Indeed the Ben Adam [Moshiach] goes as it was written concerning him, but oy to that man through whom the Ben HaAdam is betrayed. It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.
25 And, in reply, Yehudah the betrayer of Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, said, Surely I am not the one, Rabbi? Moshiach says to Yehudah, You have said it.
26 And at the Seudah, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, having taken matzah, having made HaMotzi, he broke the [middle] matzah, giving the afikoman to the talmidim, and said, Take and eat, this is my basar.
27 And having taken the Cup of Redemption and having made the bracha, he gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you.
28 For this is my [Moshiach’s, see Isa 53:7-8] Dahm HaBrit HaChadasha [Isa 42:6; Jer 31:31-34], which is poured out LARABBIM (for many YESHAYAH 53:11-12) for the selicha (forgiveness) of chattaim (sins).
29 And I say to you, I will by no means drink from now on of this pri hagefen (fruit of the vine) until that Day when I drink it with you chadash (new) in the Malchut Avi.
30 And having sung the Hallel, they went out to the Har HaZeytim.
31 Then Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach says to them, All of you will be offended at me [Moshiach] during this night, for it has been written, HACH ES HAROEH UTEFUTSEN HATSON (Strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered ZECHARYAH 13:7).
32 But after I undergo Techiyas HaMoshiach I will go ahead of you to the Galil. [Mt 28:7]
33 And, in reply, Kefa said to him, If everyone will be offended at you, I never will be offended.
34 He said to him, Omein, I say to you that balailah hazeh (during this night), before a tarnegol (cock) crows, you will make hakhchashah (denial) of me [as Moshiach] shalosh paamim (three times).
35 Kefa says to him, Even if it is necessary for me to die al kiddush ha-Shem with you, by no means will I deny you. Likewise all the talmidim spoke also.
36 Then Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach comes with them to a place being called Gat-Shmanim, and Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach says to the talmidim, Sit here until I go over there and daven.
37 And having taken Kefa and the two sons of Zavdai, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach began to be sorrowful and distressed with agmat nefesh (grief).
38 Then he says to them, My nefesh is deadly grieved, even to the point of mavet. Remain here and stay awake with me.
39 And having gone forward a short distance, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach fell upon his face, davening and saying, Avi, if it is possible, let this Kos pass from me. But not as I will, but as you will (Mt 6:10; 12:50).
40 Then he comes to the talmidim and finds them sleeping, and he says to Kefa, So were you not strong enough to be awake for one hour with me?
41 Stay awake and offer tefillos, lest you enter lidey nisayon (Mt 6:13). Indeed the ruach is willing but the basar is weak.
42 Again, for a second time, having left, he davened, saying, Avi, if it is not possible for this to pass by except I drink it, let yeaseh rtzonechah (your will be done). [Mt 6:10]
43 And having come again, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach found the talmidim sleeping, for their eyes were too heavy to stay open.
44 And having left them again and having gone away, he was davening for the shlishit (third) time, saying the same words.
45 Then he comes to the talmidim and says to them, Sleep on now and take your rest. Hinei! The hour is at hand, and the Ben HaAdam Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach is being betrayed into the hands of choteim (sinners).
46 Arise, and let us go. Hinei! My betrayer has drawn near.
47 And while he was still speaking hinei! Yehudah, one of the Shneym Asar, came and with him came a great multitude with swords and clubs from the Rashei Hakohanim (Chief Priests) and the Ziknei HaAm (the Elders of the People).
48 Now the betrayer had given them a signal, saying, Whomever I may give the neshikah (kiss), he is the one. Chap (grab) him!
49 And immediately, he approached Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, and said, Shalom, Rebbe. And he gave him the neshikah.
50 And Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach said to him, Chaver, do what you came for. Then, having approached, they laid hands on Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach and arrested him.
51 And hinei! One of the ones with him stretched out his hand, drew his cherev, and struck the servant of the Kohen Gadol, cutting off his ear.
52 Then Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach says to him, Return your cherev into its place; for all who take the sword will die by the sword.
53 Or do you think that I am not able to call upon Avi, and He will provide me now more than Shneym Asar legions of malachim?
54 But how then may the Kitvei Hakodesh be fulfilled that say it must happen thus?
55 At that moment, he said to the crowd, Do you have the chutzpah (nerve) to come out, as against a revolutionary, with swords and clubs to arrest me? Daily in the Beis Hamikdash I was sitting saying my shiurim and you did not arrest me.
56 But this all happened that the Kitvei Hakodesh of the Neviim might be fulfilled. Then the talmidim deserted Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach and fled.
57 But the ones having arrested Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach led him away to Caiapha the Kohen Gadol, where the Sofrim and the Zekenim (Elders) were gathered together.
58 And Kefa was following Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach from far away. He followed him as far as the courtyard of the Kohen Gadol and, having gone inside it, Kefa was sitting down with the servants to see the maskana (outcome).
59 And the Rashei Hakohanim and the Sanhedrin all were seeking edut sheker (false testimony of false witnesses) against Yehoshua so that they might put him to death.
60 And they found none, though many shakranim (liars) came forward. At last, two came forward
61 and said, This one said, I am able to bring about a churban (destruction) of the Beis Hamikdash of Hashem and within shloshah yamim to rebuild it.
62 And having got up, the Kohen Gadol said to Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach, Do you answer nothing? For what do these men give edut (testimony) against you?
63 But Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach was silent. And the Kohen Gadol said to him, I adjure you by Hashem, Elohim Chayyim, to tell us if you are the Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Ben HaElohim.
64 Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach says to him, You said it. But I say to you, From now on you will see the Ben HaAdam [Moshiach] sitting at the right hand of Gevurah (Power) and his Bias (Coming) will be with ANENEI HASHOMAYIM (clouds of Heaven, DANIEL 7:13-14).
65 Then the Kohen Gadol made the keriah (rending, tearing of his garments), saying, He has committed Chillul Hashem. What further need do we have of edut? Hinei! Now you have heard the Chillul Hashem.
66 What does it seem to you? And, in reply, they said, He is deserving of mishpat mavet, the death penalty.
67 Then they spat into his face and they struck him and they slapped him,
68 saying, Give us a dvar nevuah, Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach. Who is the one who hit you?
69 Now Kefa was sitting outside in the courtyard. And one maid approached Kefa, saying, And you were with Yehoshua of the Galil!
70 But Kefa denied it before everyone, saying, I do not have daas of what you are saying.
71 And having gone out to the gate, another saw Kefa and says to the bystanders, There! This one was with Yehoshua of Natzeret!
72 And again Kefa denied it with a shevuah (oath), I do not know the man!
73 And after a little while the bystanders came and said to Kefa, Truly also you are one of them, for even your accent gives you away!
74 Then Kefa began to curse and swear, I do not know the man! And immediately a tarnegol (cock) crowed.
75 And Kefa remembered the word which Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach had said: Before a tarnegol (cock) crows you will deny me shalosh paamim (three times). And Kefa went out and wept bitterly. [T.N. Read the letters of this Kefa on p. 1104-1112, both attested by early Kehillah tradition or manuscript evidence.]

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Mattityahu 26 Commentary

Chapter 26

The rulers conspire against Christ. (1-5) Christ anointed at Bethany. (6-13) Judas bargains to betray Christ. (14-16) The Passover. (17-25) Christ institutes his holy supper. (26-30) He warns his disciples. (31-35) His agony in the garden. (36-46) He is betrayed. (47-56) Christ before Caiaphas. (57-68) Peter denies him. (69-75)

Verses 1-5 Our Lord had often told of his sufferings as at a distance, now he speaks of them as at hand. At the same time the Jewish council consulted how they might put him to death secretly. But it pleased God to defeat their intention. Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and his death and resurrection rendered public.

Verses 6-13 The pouring ointment upon the head of Christ was a token of the highest respect. Where there is true love in the heart to Jesus Christ, nothing will be thought too good to bestow upon him. The more Christ's servants and their services are cavilled at, the more he manifests his acceptance. This act of faith and love was so remarkable, that it would be reported, as a memorial of Mary's faith and love, to all future ages, and in all places where the gospel should be preached. This prophecy is fulfilled.

Verses 14-16 There were but twelve called apostles, and one of them was like a devil; surely we must never expect any society to be quite pure on this side heaven. The greater profession men make of religion, the greater opportunity they have of doing mischief, if their hearts be not right with God. Observe, that Christ's own disciple, who knew so well his doctrine and manner of his life, and was false to him, could not charge him with any thing criminal, though it would have served to justify his treachery. What did Judas want? Was not he welcome wherever his Master was? Did he not fare as Christ fared? It is not the lack, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil. After he had made that wicked bargain, Judas had time to repent, and to revoke it; but when lesser acts of dishonesty have hardened the conscience men do without hesitation that which is more shameful.

Verses 17-25 Observe, the place for their eating the passover was pointed out by Christ to the disciples. He knows those hidden ones who favour his cause, and will graciously visit all who are willing to receive him. The disciples did as Jesus had appointed. Those who would have Christ's presence in the gospel passover, must do what he says. It well becomes the disciples of Christ always to be jealous over themselves, especially in trying times. We know not how strongly we may be tempted, nor how far God may leave us to ourselves, therefore we have reason not to be high-minded, but to fear. Heart-searching examination and fervent prayer are especially proper before the Lord's supper, that, as Christ our Passover is now sacrificed for us, we may keep this feast, renewing our repentance, our faith in his blood, and surrendering ourselves to his service.

Verses 26-30 This ordinance of the Lord's supper is to us the passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government. Meat looked upon, be the dish ever so well garnished, will not nourish; it must be fed upon: so must the doctrine of Christ. This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord's supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings. He takes leave of such communion; and assures them of a happy meeting again at last; "Until that day when I drink it new with you", may be understood of the joys and glories of the future state, which the saints shall partake with the Lord Jesus. That will be the kingdom of his Father; the wine of consolation will there be always new. While we look at the outward signs of Christ's body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink.

Verses 31-35 Improper self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a fall. There is a proneness in all of us to be over-confident. But those fall soonest and foulest, who are the most confident in themselves. Those are least safe, who think themselves most secure. Satan is active to lead such astray; they are most off their guard: God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.

Verses 36-46 He who made atonement for the sins of mankind, submitted himself in a garden of suffering, to the will of God, from which man had revolted in a garden of pleasure. Christ took with him into that part of the garden where he suffered his agony, only those who had witnessed his glory in his transfiguration. Those are best prepared to suffer with Christ, who have by faith beheld his glory. The words used denote the most entire dejection, amazement, anguish, and horror of mind; the state of one surrounded with sorrows, overwhelmed with miseries, and almost swallowed up with terror and dismay. He now began to be sorrowful, and never ceased to be so till he said, It is finished. He prayed that, if possible, the cup might pass from him. But he also showed his perfect readiness to bear the load of his sufferings; he was willing to submit to all for our redemption and salvation. According to this example of Christ, we must drink of the bitterest cup which God puts into our hands; though nature struggle, it must submit. It should be more our care to get troubles sanctified, and our hearts satisfied under them, than to get them taken away. It is well for us that our salvation is in the hand of One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. All are tempted, but we should be much afraid of entering into temptation. To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. Doubtless our Lord had a clear and full view of the sufferings he was to endure, yet he spoke with the greatest calmness till this time. Christ was a Surety, who undertook to be answerable for our sins. Accordingly he was made sin for us, and suffered for our sins, the Just for the unjust; and Scripture ascribes his heaviest sufferings to the hand of God. He had full knowledge of the infinite evil of sin, and of the immense extent of that guilt for which he was to atone; with awful views of the Divine justice and holiness, and the punishment deserved by the sins of men, such as no tongue can express, or mind conceive. At the same time, Christ suffered being tempted; probably horrible thoughts were suggested by Satan that tended to gloom and every dreadful conclusion: these would be the more hard to bear from his perfect holiness. And did the load of imputed guilt so weigh down the soul of Him of whom it is said, He upholdeth all things by the word of his power? into what misery then must those sink whose sins are left upon their own heads! How will those escape who neglect so great salvation?

Verses 47-56 No enemies are so much to be abhorred as those professed disciples that betray Christ with a kiss. God has no need of our services, much less of our sins, to bring about his purposes. Though Christ was crucified through weakness, it was voluntary weakness; he submitted to death. If he had not been willing to suffer, they could not conquer him. It was a great sin for those who had left all to follow Jesus; now to leave him for they knew not what. What folly, for fear of death to flee from Him, whom they knew and acknowledged to be the Fountain of life!

Verses 57-68 Jesus was hurried into Jerusalem. It looks ill, and bodes worse, when those who are willing to be Christ's disciples, are not willing to be known to be so. Here began Peter's denying him: for to follow Christ afar off, is to begin to go back from him. It is more our concern to prepare for the end, whatever it may be, than curiously to ask what the end will be. The event is God's, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master. When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it. It would have looked like declining his sufferings. He thus confessed, as an example and encouragement to his followers, to confess him before men, whatever hazard they ran. Disdain, cruel mocking, and abhorrence, are the sure portion of the disciple as they were of the Master, from such as would buffet and deride the Lord of glory. These things were exactly foretold in the fiftieth chapter of Isaiah. Let us confess Christ's name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father's throne.

Verses 69-75 Peter's sin is truly related, for the Scriptures deal faithfully. Bad company leads to sin: those who needlessly thrust themselves into it, may expect to be tempted and insnared, as Peter. They scarcely can come out of such company without guilt or grief, or both. It is a great fault to be shy of Christ; and to dissemble our knowledge of him, when we are called to own him, is, in effect, to deny him. Peter's sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas, with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten. Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others. The event has taught believers many things ever since, and if infidels, Pharisees, and hypocrites stumble at it or abuse it, it is at their peril. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall; let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord. Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ, never denied him again, but confessed him often in the face of danger. True repentance for any sin will be shown by the contrary grace and duty; that is a sign of our sorrowing not only bitterly, but sincerely.

Mattityahu 26 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.