But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Matthew 26:1-16.
And of unleavened bread - So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast.
lest there be an uproar of the people—In consequence of the vast influx of strangers, embracing all the male population of the land who had reached a certain age, there were within the walls of Jerusalem at this festival some two million people; and in their excited state, the danger of tumult and bloodshed among "the people," who for the most part took Jesus for a prophet, was extreme. See Josephus [Antiquities, 20.5.3]. What plan, if any, these ecclesiastics fixed upon for seizing our Lord, does not appear. But the proposal of Judas being at once and eagerly gone into, it is probable they were till then at some loss for a plan sufficiently quiet and yet effectual. So, just at the feast time shall it be done; the unexpected offer of Judas relieving them of their fears. Thus, as Bengel remarks, did the divine counsel take effect.
The Supper and the Anointing at Bethany Six Days before the Passover (Mr 14:3-9).
The time of this part of the narrative is four days before what has just been related. Had it been part of the regular train of events which our Evangelist designed to record, he would probably have inserted it in its proper place, before the conspiracy of the Jewish authorities. But having come to the treason of Judas, he seems to have gone back upon this scene as what probably gave immediate occasion to the awful deed.See Poole on "Mark 14:1"
lest there should be an uproar of the people; or among them, lest they should rise in his favour, and rescue him out of their hands; See Gill on Matthew 26:5.But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 14:2. ἔλεγον γάρ is a more difficult reading than ἔλ. δὲ of Mt., hence the correction in T.R. The γάρ presupposes that the murder of Jesus during the feast was from the first regarded as out of the question, and the clause following partly makes that fact explicit, partly assigns a reason for it. They wanted to compass His death, but they were in a difficulty, for they felt and said to one another: it may not be on the feast, lest there be a popular disturbance.—μήποτε ἔσται: the fut. ind. instead of the more usual subjunctive after μήποτε (cf. Colossians 2:8, Hebrews 3:12), implying the almost certain occurrence of a θόρυβος if an attempt were made on the life of Jesus during the feast. This shows how highly the Sanhedrists estimated the influence of Jesus.Verse 2. - For they said (ἔλεγον γὰρ) literally, for they were saying - Not during the feast, lest haply there shall be a tumult of the people. The same cause induced them to avoid the time of the feast. The feast brought a great multitude of Jews to Jerusalem, amongst whom would be many who had received bodily or spiritual benefits from Christ, and who therefore, at least, worshipped him as a Prophet; and the rulers of the people feared lest these should rise in his defense. Their first intention, therefore, was not to destroy him until after the close of the Paschal feast; but they were overruled by the course of events, all ordered by God's never-failing providence. The sudden betrayal of our Lord by Judas led them to change their minds. For when they found that he was actually in their hands, they resolved to crucify him forthwith. And thus the Divine purpose was fulfilled that Christ should suffer at that particular time, and so the type be satisfied. For the lamb slain at the Passover was a type of the very Paschal Lamb to be sacrificed at that particular time, in the predetermined purpose of God; and to be lifted up upon the cross for the redemption of the world. St. Matthew (Matthew 26:3) tells us that they were gathered together "unto the court of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas." It was necessary to state his name, because the high priests were now frequently changed by the Roman power.
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