Luke 22 – The Plot to Kill Jesus & Coins and Numismatics

Most people in ancient time were poor and therefore they would starve if they couldn’t buy or find food.  If they became sick, they couldn’t afford a doctor.  Yet, even if they could afford a doctor  it would depend on where they were if they could be helped.

Tomorrow we’re going to look at...

Luke 22
The Plot to Kill Jesus

1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

Money changer and servant on a Roman era funerary stele from Hungary.

“Feast of unleavened bread…Passover” – “Passover” was used in two different ways: (1) a specific meal begun at twilight on the 14th of Nisan and (2) the week following the passover meal, otherwise known as the feast of unleavened bread, a week in which no leaven was allowed.

By New Testament times the two names for the week-long festival were virtually interchangeable.

2 And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.

3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.

“Then entered Satan into Judas” – in the Gospels this expression is used on two separate occasions: (1) before Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus (here), and (2) during the Last Super (Jn 13:27).

Thus the Gospel writers depict Satan’s control over Judas, who had never displayed a high motive of service or commitment to Jesus.

A Roman denarius, a standardized silver coin.
Coin collecting may have existed in ancient times. Caesar Augustus gave “coins of every device, including old pieces of the kings and foreign money” as Saturnalia gifts.

Petrarch, who wrote in a letter that he was often approached by vinediggers with old coins asking him to buy or to identify the ruler, is credited as the first Renaissance collector. Petrarch presented a collection of Roman coins to Emperor Charles IV in 1355.

4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.

5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.

6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.

“Passover must be killed” – the passover lamb had to be sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m. in the court of the priests – Thursday of Passion Week.

8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.

9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?

10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.

11 And ye shall say unto the Goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?

12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.

13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.

14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Ancient Anatolia is subdivided by modern scholars into regions named after the Indo-European (and largely Hittite, Luwian or Greek speaking) peoples that occupied them, such as Lydia, Lycia, Caria, Mysia, Bithynia, Phrygia, Galatia, Lycaonia, Pisidia, Paphlagonia, Cilicia, and Cappadocia.

Semitic Arameans encroached over the borders of south central Anatolia in the century or so after the fall of the Hittite empire, and some of the Neo-Hittite states in this region became an amalgam of Hittites and Arameans. These became known as Syro-Hittite states.

16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

“Until it be fulfilled” – Jesus yearned to keep this passover with His disciples because it was the last occasion before He Himself was to be slain as the perfect passover lamb (1 Cor 5:7) and thus fulfill this sacrifice for all time.

Jesus would eat no more passover meals until the coming of the future kingdom.  After this He will renew fellowship with those who through the ages have commemorated the Lord’s Supper. 

Finally the fellowship will be consummated in the Great Messianic “marriage supper” to come (Rev 19:9).

17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

“New Testament” – promised through the prophet Jeremiah (31:31-34) – the fuller administration of God’s saving grace, founded on and sealed by the death of Jesus.

The new covenant is for the Jews, but the Christian enters into the salvation aspects of that covenant, because Jesus would shed his blood once and for all – for the Jews and for all people.

Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian.

At its greatest extent, the Kingdom of Lydia covered all of western Anatolia. Lydia (known as Sparda by the Achaemenids) was a satrapy (province) of the Achaemenid Persian Empire, with Sardis as its capital. Tabalus, appointed by Cyrus the Great, was the first satrap (governor).

Lydia was later the name of a Roman province. Coins are said to have been invented in Lydia around the 7th century B.C.

21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.

22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!

23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

24 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.

25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

27 For weather is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.

29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;

30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

“Sift you” – the Greek for “you” is plural.  Satan wanted to test the disciples, hoping to bring them to spiritual ruin.

32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.

34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

Kyrgyzstan officially the Kyrgyz Republic is a country located in Central Asia.
Landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east. Its capital and largest city is Bishkek.

Despite Kyrgyzstan’s struggle for political stabilization among ethnic conflicts, revolts, economic troubles, transitional governments, and political party conflicts, it maintains a unitary parliamentary republic.

35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing.

36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

“Purse…scrip” – until now they had been dependent on generous hospitality, but future opposition would require them to be prepared to pay their own way.

“Buy one” – an extreme figure of speech used to warn them of the perilous times about to come.  They would need defense and protection, as Paul did when he appealed to Caesar (Acts 25:11) as the one who “beareth not the sword in vain” (Rom 13:4).

37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

“Reckoned among the transgressors” – Jesus was soon to be arrested as a criminal, in fulfillment of prophetic Scripture, and His disciples would also be in danger for being His followers.

38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.

“Two swords…It is enough” – sensing that the disciples had taken Him too literally, Jesus ironically closes the discussion with a curt “That’s plenty!”  Not long after this, Peter was rebuked for suing a sword (v. 50).

39 And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.

40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.

The daric was a gold coin used within the Persian Empire. It was of very high gold quality, with a purity of 95.83%. Weighing around 8.4 grams, it bore the image of the Persian king or a great warrior armed with a bow and arrow, but who is depicted is not known for sure.

The coin was introduced by Darius the Great of Persia some time between 522 BC and 486 BC and ended with Alexander the Great’s invasion in 330 BC. Upon the invasion of Persia by Alexander they were melted down and recoined as coins of Alexander. This is believed to be the main reason for their rarity in spite of their widespread usage at the time.

Close to the end of the 5th century BC, the Persian satraps in Asia Minor decided to strike their own coins. Darius considered such encroachment a crime punishable by death since the right of coinage was treated as an exclusively royal prerogative.

The numismatic evidence does not permit identification of the image on the darics and sigloi as anything but that of the king; it was adopted by Darius as a dynamic expression of his royal power expressly for his coin issues.

41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.

44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

“Drops of blood” – probably hematidrosis, the actual mingling of blood and sweat as in cases of extreme anguish, stain or sensitivity.

45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,

46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

47 And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.

48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

49 When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?

50 And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

“The servant of the high priest” – Malchus by name; Simon Peter struck the blow (Jn 18:10).

51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.

52 Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

Phoenicia, Tyre, Uzzimilk. Circa 347-332 BC. AR Didrachm. Dated year 15 (332 BC). Crowned & bearded deity riding right on winged hippocamp, holding reins & bow; two-line zig-zag wave & dolphin right below / Owl standing right, head facing, crook & flail behind; Phoenician letter Ayin with date below right.

54 Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off.

55 And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

56 But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him.

57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.

58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean.

60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

“Peter remembered” – that would be horrible, just imagine how Peter must have felt?  The thing is, He sees EVERYTHING that we do too (Heb 4:13).

62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?

4th c. Yehud Coin

65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.

66 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,

67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:

68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.

69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.

70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.

71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

“We ourselves have heard” – it was blasphemy to claim to be the Messiah and the Son of God – unless the claim was true.

Coins and Numismatics

Although silver and gold were highly valued in commercial exchange from very ancient times, throughout much of the Old Testament period precious metals were measured by weight and were not struck into coins.

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods.

Early money used by people is referred to as “Odd and Curious”, but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency (e.g., cigarettes in prison).

The Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins;[1] the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horse is not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, and gems.

The first coinage probably came from western Anatolia (Turkey) around the 7th century B.C.  The practice may have been initiated by commercial traders rather than by governmental authorities, but most experts suggest that the Lydian kingdom was the first to coin silver and gold.

The use of coins gained widespread acceptance when the Persian Empire issued standardized coinage.

Kings and emperors soon realized that coins were an effective propaganda tool; the image of the king’s face was stamped onto them, after which they were disseminated throughout his territories and beyond. Coinage was especially useful for the Phoenicians, since their economy was based on trade.

Coins were introduced in Jerusalem by the 5th century B.C.  Early Jewish coins of the Persian and Hellenistic periods often bear the inscription Yehud (“Judah”) and are called “Yehud coins.”

 It is surprising to observe that some of them also bear an image of the head of Pallas Athena, the Greek goddess, on the obverse and that of an owl, the sacred bird of Athena, on the reverse side.

After the Maccabean revolt, the success of which allowed the Jews to throw off Greek rule in Jerusalem, the Jews developed a more native coinage that reflected their religious sensitivities.

There is debate as to whether Alexander Jannaeus (103-76 B.C.) or John Hyrcanus I (135-104 B.C.) was the first Hasmonean ruler to strike coins.

For the most part Jewish rulers from this period avoided stamping an image of the ruler’s face on coins since such coins were not well received by pious Jews.

Coin with the image of the goddess Athena.

Hasmonean rule ultimately gave way to Herodian governance. The coins of Herod the Great and his sons made use of a number of symbols (the pomegranate, grape cluster, ship’s prow, helmet or tripod) but usually respected Jewish custom in not exhibiting the images of their faces.

A number of different coins were in use in the Holy Land during the New Testament period. The shekel was indigenous to the area.

The mite, a copper coin of little value (“mite” is an Old English translation of the Greek lepton), may have been the copper prutah, a cheap coin minted during the Hasmonean period but still in use during Jesus ‘lifetime.

The silver denarius from Rome was circulated throughout the empire, due in large part to the universal presence of the Roman army.  The coin given in tribute to Rome in Jesus’ day had the image of the emperor Tiberius Caesar on the obverse and of his mother Livia on the reverse side.

Therefore, when Jesus asked whose likeness was on the coin, the obvious answer was “Caesar’s” (Mt 22:20-21).

Goddess Athena was the mythological goddess of wisdom, but also the poetic symbol of reason and purity. Goddess Athena was very important to the Greeks, since they named her the Iliad’s goddess of fight, the warrior-defender, the protector of civilized life and artisan activities and so on…

Indeed, the Greek Mythology seems to be endlessly referring to Goddess Athena, one of the most known but also most influential Goddesses of all.

A single denarius was equal to a day’s wage; thus the loss of a single coin was significant (Lk 15:8).

Other coins, such as the copper shekel, dated from an earlier period but still may have been in circulation in Jesus’ time. Coins from the Hasmonean and earlier Herodian rulers also remained in circulation.

The variety of coins and the inconsistency of their weights made the money changer a practical necessity of economic life.

Numismatics, the scientific study of coins, is one of the archaeologist’s most useful tools, due to the particular advantages offered by coins as artifacts:

– Coins often bear the name and sometimes the likeness of the ruler of an area at the time of production. Therefore, they can be dated with a high degree of precision and can aid in the dating of surrounding structures.

– Coins tell much about the official propaganda of a particular period. By studying their portraiture and imagery, scholars gain insight into the persona a ruler attempted to create.

– Coins generally exist in large numbers, a fact that allows scholars to undertake highly accurate comparison and analysis of the numismatic evidence.

Still, scholars need to exercise caution, since some coins supposedly from the ancient world are actually modern forgeries.

…disease and medicine with Ancient Man.

Matthew 26 – The Plot to Kill Jesus & The Last Supper and the Passover

I have said before that to truly know who Jesus is we have to read the Old Testament because the Old Testament spoke of and/or prepared things that pertained to Jesus in the New Testament. 

For example, the Passover (Ex 12), as well as His birth (Is 7:14).

Tomorrow we’ll look at the location….

Matthew 26
The Plot to Kill Jesus

The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

The high priests belonged to the Jewish priestly families that trace their paternal line back to Aaron, the first high priest and elder brother of Moses.

1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,

2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.

3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,

“Caiaphas” – high priest 18-36 A.D. and the son-in-law of Annas, a former high priest who served 6-15 A.D.

4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.

5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

“An uproar among the people” – hundreds of thousands of Jewish pilgrims came to Jerusalem for Passover and riots were not unknown.  The religious leaders knew that many people admired Jesus.

“Bethany” – a village on the eastern slope of the mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem and the final station on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem.

“Simon the leper” – mentioned elsewhere only in Mk 14:3, though Simon was a common Jewish name in the 1st century.  He was probably a well-known victim of leprosy who had been healed by Jesus.

6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

Joseph Caiaphas, known simply as Caiaphas in the New Testament, was the Jewish high priest who is said to have organized the plot to kill Jesus. Caiaphas is also said to have been involved in the Sanhedrin trial of Jesus.

From the name written on two of the ossuaries the cave seems to be the family tomb of Qafa, in Greek Caiaphas, a name known to us from the New Testament and writings of Josephus, one of whom was the high priest who presided at the trial of Jesus.

One of these ossuaries is decorated beautifully in a rare and intricate pattern of two circles, each made up of six whorl rosettes, bordered by a pattern of palm branches. Inside were found bones from six different people, two infants, a child between 2 and 5, a young boy between 13 and 18, an adult woman and a male of about 60.

7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

“Alabaster box” – most “alabaster” of ancient times was actually marble.

8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,

“Iscariot” – probably means “the man from Kerioth,” the town Kerioth-hezron (Josh 15:25), 12 miles south of Hebron (Jer 48:24).  The man that betrayed Jesus.

These jars come from Egypt and can be dated to the 2nd century BC. It is likely that a larger jar of type was used for the anointing.
Matthew 26:7
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
Mark 14:3
While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
Luke 7:37
When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume.

15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

“Thirty pieces of silver” – equivalent to 120 denarii.  Laborers customarily received one denarius for a day’s work.  Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver.

It is said that Judas sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver.  Yet, some say Judas did what he did at Jesus request.  I am unable to agree or disagree because God does uncanny/unbelieveable things and His crucifixion was prophesied centuries and centuries before He was born:

“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.

And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD” (Zech 11:12-13).

“He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want.

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.

For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips” (Ps 22:16-18).

Of course, the Jews say Jesus was never crucified and try and use Psalm 91 to prove their evil lie or some of them through their ignorance. They say it because if Jesus would not have been killed and resurrected then we could not be saved.  They want to hold to their ridiculous idea that the Messiah has not yet come.

Ancient Village of Kerioth
Home of Judas Iscariot

Of course, Jesus told us that these Jews are of the devil (Jn 8:44; Rev 2:9, 3:9).

16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?

“The first day of the feast of unleavened bread” – the 14th of Nisan (March-April), it was also called the preparation of the Passover.  The Passover meal was eaten the evening of the 14th after sunset – and therefore technically on the 15th, since the Jewish day ended at sunset.

The feast of unleavened bread lasted seven days, from the 15th to the 21st of Nisan (Lev 23:5-6), but in the time of Christ the entire period, Nisan 14-21, was referred to under that name.

18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.

26:18-30 – these verses clearly indicate that Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples the night before His crucifixion.

Cave Dwellings at Kerioth

“My time” – a reference Jesus’ crucifixion.

19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

“Dippeth his hand with me in the dish” – it was the custom – still practiced by some in the Middle East – to take a piece of bread, and dip it into a bowl of sauce (made of stewed fruit) on the table.

“Shall betray me” – in the culture, as among Arabs today, to eat with a person was tantamount to saying, “I am your friend and will not hurt you.”  This fact made Judas’s deed all the more despicable (see Ps 41:9).

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Ancient Wine Press at Kerioth

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, 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.

30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

5th/6th Century Monastery at Kerioth

34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

“Gethsemane” – the name means “oil press,” a place for squeezing the oil from olives.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

“Peter and the two sons of Zebedee” – the latter were James and John.  These three disciples seem to have been especially close to Jesus.  They were the only disciples to accompany Jesus into Jairus’s house and to the mount of transfiguration.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

The city of Hebron is located 20 mi. [33 km.] southwest of Jerusalem. Roads from the Negev, from Arad to the south and Beersheba to the southwest join here making Hebron a natural meeting point of peoples from the Negev with those of the Hill Country of Judah.

Abraham purchased a cave here and buried his wife Sarah in it. In turn Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their spouses, were buried in Hebron. Joshua captured it and gave it to Caleb. Here David was made the king of Judah and later of both Judah and Israel. His son Absalom began his revolt here.

Today Hebron is a city of about 125,000 people – all of them Moslem Arabs save for about 500 Israelis who live in, or near, the city.

40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

R41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.

48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.

51 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear.

“A servant of the high priest’s” – Malchus.

52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

The Gospel of Judas is a fragmented Coptic (Egyptian)-language text that portrays Judas in a far more sympathetic light than did the gospels that made it into the Bible.

In this version of the story, Judas turns Jesus over to the authorities for execution upon Jesus’ request, as part of a plan to release his spirit from his body.

53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?

“Legions” – a Roman legion had 6,000 soldiers.

54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

“Scriptures be fulfilled” – in view of v. 56 and pro a reference to Zech 13:7.

55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.

26:57-27:26 – for a summary of the two stages (religious and civil) of the trial of Jesus .

58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;

60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,

Top row left to right: 157 BC Roman Republic, A.D 73 Vespasian, A.D 161 Marcus Aurelius, A.D 194 Septimius Severus;
Second row left to right: A.D 199 Caracalla, A.D 200 Julia Domna, A.D 219 Elagabalus, A.D 236 Maximinus Thrax.

In the Roman currency system, the denarius (/dɪˈnɛərɪəs/ di-nair-i-əs; plural: denarii /dɪˈnɛərɪaɪ/ di-nair-i-eye) was a small silver coin first minted about 211 BC during the Second Punic War. It became the most common coin produced for circulation but was slowly debased in weight and silver content until its replacement by the double denarius, called the antoninianus, early in the 3rd century AD.

The word denarius is derived from the Latin dēnī “containing ten”, as its value was 10 asses, although in the middle of the 2nd century BC it was recalibrated so that it was now worth sixteen asses or four sestertii; it may also be the origin of the words dinar and penny.

61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

“I adjure thee” – Jesus refused to answer the question of v. 62, but when the high priest used this form He was legally obliged to reply.

64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

“Rent his clothes” – ordinarily the high priest was forbidden by law to do this (Lev 10:6, 21:10), but this was considered a highly unusual circumstance.  The high priest interpreted Jesus’ answer in v. 64 as blasphemy.

66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.

67 Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,

68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?

69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.

70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.

72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.

74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

The Last Supper and the Passover

Exodus 12 records the deaths of all males in Egypt, except for those born to Israelites whom God spared or “passed over” when the avenging angel saw the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. Passover is the annual festival commemorating God’s miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage.

Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art have been undertaken by artistic masters for centuries, Leonardo da Vinci’s late 1490s mural painting in Milan, Italy, being the best-known example.

Every year thousands of 1st century Jews would make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to celebrate this holy day (the fourteenth day of the first month). 

The Passover celebration involved a sacrifice on behalf of each family present, followed by a sacrificial meal consisting of unleavened bread, bitter herbs and wine. The following day (the fifteenth) was the first day of the seven-day Festival of Unleavened Bread.

During the eight days of these two festivals no one was permitted to eat bread with leaven; this was commemorative of the need to prepare to leave Egypt in haste at the time of the exodus (there  being no time to wait for a dough to rise).

There has been a good deal of debate over whether the Last Supper of Jesus was a Passover meal.  It certainly appears that Jesus understood it to be such (Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:15).  Arguments against it being a Passover meal include the following:

Jn 19:14 indicates that Jesus was crucified on that day of the preparation for the Passover; thus the previous evening could not have been that of the Passover.

– The Passover is traditionally eaten with one’s family, whereas the Last Supper was shared among a group of men, some of whom (such as Simon Peter) were married but who for the most part were unrelated to one another.

– The Gospel accounts of the Last Supper do not mention the lamb or the bitter herbs of the Passover, nor do they use the normal Greek word for” unleavened bread,” speaking instead of ordinary bread.

– Passover wine was consumed using individual cups, but the wine of the Last Supper was drunk from a common cup.

On the other hand, many elements associated with the Passover were present at the Last Supper:

The sacrifice of lambs played a very important role in the Jewish religious life and sacrificial system.

When John the Baptist referred to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), the Jews who heard him might have immediately thought of any one of several important sacrifices.

With the time of the Passover feast being very near, the first thought might be the sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The Passover feast was one of the main Jewish holidays and a celebration in remembrance of God’s deliverance of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt.

In fact, the slaying of the Passover lamb and the applying of the blood to doorposts of the houses (Exodus 12:11-13) is a beautiful picture of Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Those for whom He died are covered by His blood, protecting us from the angel of (spiritual) death.

– The meal was consumed at night, which was the time for the celebration of Passover,

– The drinking of wine was obligatory at Passover, and wine was central to the Last Supper.

– During New Testament times, Jews ordinarily sat when taking meals, but Jesus and the disciples habitually reclined while taking the Passover. At the Last Supper they reclined.

– At Passover, a dish of hors d’oeuvres preceded the breaking of bread; such a dish is mentioned in Matt 26:23.

– A hymn was sung at Passover, as in verse 30.

Some of the arguments against the Last Supper having been a Passover meal probably indicate that Jesus was transforming the Passover and creating a new institution for the new covenant:

– Jesus’ taking the meal with his disciples implies that the church is the family of God (see Mk 3:31-34).

– Jesus may well have used unleavened bread at the Last Supper, but the Evangelists may have used the ordinary word for bread to avoid the implication that it is essential that the Lord’s Supper be taken with unleavened bread.

– The lack of mention of a lamb is probably significant. Jesus was presenting himself as the sacrificial Lamb of the new covenant, and the mention of a literal lamb would have been a misleading distraction in the narrative.

…where Jesus was placed after His crucifixion.