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ten persons in a place, they were obliged to build a synagogue. The blessing of the bridegrooms, which consisted of seven blessings, was not said but in the presence of ten persons. To this there may be an allusion here.

GILL, in loc.

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No. 1213.-xxv. 1. Lamps.] Euripides in his Medea (p. 349. ed. Steph.) mentions the lighting up and exbibition of lamps, referring it too to the female, as one part of the ceremony belonging to the celebration of a marriage. So likewise Homer describes it:

Νυμφας δ' εκ θαλαμων, δαιδων υπολαμπομεναων
Ηγινεον ανα ασυ. .

Il. xviii. from their chambers forth leading the brides, they usher'd them along with torches through the streets.

Statius in his Thebaid (lib. 8.) puts them into other hands apon the same occasion.

No. 1214.-88v. 6. And at midnight there was a great cry made, behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him.] In The Customs of the East Indians and the Jews compared,” the following statement is given of the marriage ceremonies of the former, which is remarkable for the affinity it bears to the usages of the latter people. “On the day of their marriage, the husband and the wife, being both in the same palki or palanquin, go out between seven and eight o'clock at night, accompanied with all their kindred and friends. The trumpets and drums go before them; and they are lighted by a number of massals, which are a kind of flambeaux. Immediately behind the palanquin of the new married couple walk many women, whose business it is to sing verses, wherein they wish them all kind of prosperity. The new married couple go abroad in this equipage for the space of some hours, after which they

return to their own house, where the women and domestics wait for them, the whole house is enlightened with little lamps, and many of these massals already mentioned are kept ready for their arrival, besides those that accompany them, and go before their palanquin. This sort of lights are nothing else but many pieces of old linen, squeezed hard against one another in a round figure, and thrust down into a mould of copper. Those who hold them in one hand have in the other a bottle of the same metal with the mould of copper, which is full of oil, and they take care to pour out of it from time to time upon the linen, which otherwise gives no light."

No. 1215.-xxv. 21. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.] This is an allusion to an apartment or diningroom, which was called by, or had inscribed upon it, the name xapa joy. See Pignarius de Servis, p. ii. 89.

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No. 1216.-xxvi. 20. He sat down with the twelve,] or lay down, as the word signifies; for the posture of the Jews at the passover table especially, was not properly sitting, but reclining or lying along on couches on their left side. This posture was reckoned so necessary, that it is said, “ the poorest man in Israel might not eat, until he lies along.” This was to be done in the manner of free men, in remembrance of their liberty. One of the Jewish writers says, “ we are bound to eat lying along, as kings and great men eat, because it is a token of liberty.” This custom was uniformly observed at the passover.

GILL, in loc.

No. 1217.-xxvi. 26, 27. And as they were eating Jesus took bread.] Though this supper is distinct from the passover, and different from any ordinary meal, yet there are in it allusions to both, and to several Jewish customs. He that asked a blessing upon bread used to

take it into his hands: this is a stated rule, that all may see that he blesses over it. It was also common with the Jews to ask a blessing upon their bread; the form in which they did it was this: “ Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the king of the world, that producest bread out of the earth.” If there were many at table, one asked a blessing for the rest. The blessing always preceded the breaking of the bread. The rules concerning the breaking of the bread are: “ the master of the house recites and finishes the blessing, and after that he breaks: he does not break a small piece, lest he should seem to be sparing; nor a large piece, lest he should be thought to be famished; it is a principal command to break a whole loaf.” He that broke the bread put a piece before every one, and the other took it into his hand. The Jews in eating the passover used to say of the unleavened bread, “ This is the bread of affliction, which our fathers eat in the land of Egypt.” The Jews blessed and gave thanks for their wine, as well as their food; they generally did it in this form. 66 Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the king of the world, who hast created the fruit of the vine." GILL, in loc.

No. 1218.--xxvi. 26. Jesus took bread and blessed it.] The person of the greatest dignity amongst the Jews always pronounced the Baraca or benediction on the bread and wine; for which reason our blessed Lord performed it himself, being with his disciples as their master and doctor.

Picart's Religious Cerem. vol. i. p. 124.

No. 1219.-xxvi. 26. This is my body.] It is very probable that our Lord, after he had blessed and broken the bread according to the Jewish custom, imitated also the Jews in these words, This is my body; for they say when they eat unleavened bread, “ this is the bread

of affliction which our fathers eat in the land of Egypt." But Christ signified to his disciples, that they were no longer required to eat that bread of affliction which their fathers had eaten when they came out of Egypt; but that being the author of a new covenant, he gave them his own body and blood instead thereof.

Picart's Religious Ceremonies, vol. i. p. 125.

No. 1220.-xxvi. 28. For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.] The wine used on this occasion was an emblem and representation of the blood of Christ about to be shed for the remission of sin. It was usual even among the heathens, to make and confirm their covenants by drinking human blood, and that sometimes mixed with wine. (Aler, ab Aler. Genial, Dier. I. v. c. 3.)

No. 1221.-xxvi. 29. I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my father's kingdom.] This declaration of Christ is in allusion to an usage at the passover, when after the fourth cup they tasted of nothing else all that night but water. It intimates that he would drink no more, not only that night, but never after.

Gill, in loc.

No. 1222.-xxvi. 30. When they had sung a hymn.] This was the hallel, which the Jews were obliged to șing on the night of the passover. It consisted of six psalms, the hundred and thirteenth, and the five following ones. This they did not sing all at once, but in parts. Just before the drinking of the second cup and eating of the lamb they sung the first part; and on mixing the fourth and last cup they sung the reinainder; and said over it what they call the blessing of the song, which was Psalm cxlv. 10. They might, if they would,

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mix a fifth cup, and say over it the great hallel, which was Psalm cxxxvi. but that they were not obliged to.

Gill, in loc.

No. 1223.-xxvi. 39. And fell on his face, and prayed.] This gesture was sometimes used by the Jews in prayer, when they were in circumstances of peculiar perplexity. One of their own writers thus describes it: “when they fall upon their faces, they do not stretch out their hands and their feet, but incline on their sides, saying, O my father, abba, father.”

Gill, in loc.

No. 1224.---xxvi. 67. Then did they spit in his face. This instance of contempt and reproach offered to Christ was at the same time an expression of malice, and a compliance with custom. The practice has descended to later generations; for in the year 1744, when a rebel prisoner was brought before Nadir Shah's general," the soldiers were ordered to spit in his face, an indignity of great antiquity in the East.” Hanway's Travels, vol. i. p. 298.

No. 1225.-xxvi. 68. Who is he that smote thee.] Some learned men have observed that there was a play formerly used, called by the ancients no&bioplos; at which, one person having his face covered, the rest smote him; or one put his hands over his eyes, and another smote, or asked him who it was that smote. In this ludicrous way did they use and mock Christ.

Gill, in loc.

No. 1226.--xxvii. 11, And Jesus stood before the governor.] It was the custom for the judge to sit, and those who were judged to stand, especially whilst witness was given against them. The rabbins observe that the witnesses in giving their testimony should also stand.

GILL, in loc,

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