on Matthew 26 :2
The passover - A feast instituted in Egypt, to commemorate the destroying angel's passing over the houses of the Israelites, when he slew the firstborn of the Egyptians. See the whole of this business largely explained in the Notes on Exodus 12:1-27 (note). This feast began on the fourteenth day of the first moon, in the first month, Nisan, and it lasted only one day; but it was immediately followed by the days of unleavened bread, which were seven, so that the whole lasted eight days, and all the eight days are sometimes called the feast of the passover, and sometimes the feast or days of unleavened bread. See Luke 22:1-7. The three most signal benefits vouchsafed to the Israelites were,
1. The deliverance from the slavery of Egypt; to commemorate which they kept the feast of unleavened bread, and the passover.
2. The giving of the law; to commemorate which, they kept the feast of weeks.
3. Their sojourning in the wilderness, and entrance into the promised land; to commemorate which, they kept the feast of tabernacles.
See these largely explained, Exodus 23:14 (note); Leviticus 23:2-40 (note).
The Son of man is betrayed, (rather delivered up), to be crucified - With what amazing calmness and precision does our blessed Lord speak of this awful event! What a proof does he here give of his prescience in so correctly predicting it; and of his love in so cheerfully undergoing it! Having instructed his disciples and the Jews by his discourses, edified them by his example, convinced them by his miracles, he now prepares to redeem them by his blood! These two verses have no proper connection with this chapter, and should be joined to the preceding.
on Matthew 26 :2
After two days is - the feast of the Passover.
See the notes at Matthew 12:1-8. The festival of the Passover was designed to preserve among the Jews the memory of their liberation from Egyptian servitude, and of the safety of their first-born in that night when the firstborn of the Egyptians perished, Exodus 12. The name "Passover" was given to the feast because the Lord "passed over" the houses of the Israelites without slaying their first-born, while the Egyptians were cut off, Exodus 12:13. It was celebrated seven days, namely, from the 15th to the 21st of the month Abib or Nisan (April), Exodus 12:15-20; Exodus 23:15. During all this period the people ate unleavened bread, and hence the festival was sometimes called the "feast of unleavened bread," Exodus 12:18; Leviticus 23:6. On the evening of the fourteenth day, all the leaven or yeast in the family was removed with great care, as it is to the present time - a circumstance to which the apostle alludes in 1 Corinthians 5:7.
On the tenth day of the month the master of a family separated a lamb or a goat of a year old from the flock Exodus 12:1-6, which he killed on the 14th day before the altar, Deuteronomy 16:2, Deuteronomy 16:5-6. The lamb was commonly slain at about 3 o'clock p. m.. The blood of the paschal lamb was, in Egypt, sprinkled on the door-posts of the houses; afterward it was poured by the priests at the foot of the altar, Exodus 12:7. The lamb thus slain was roasted whole, with two spits thrust through it - one lengthwise and one transversely - crossing each other near the forelegs, so that the animal was in a manner, crucified. Not a bone of it might be broken - a circumstance strongly representing the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, the Passover slain for us, John 19:36; 1 Corinthians 5:7. Thus roasted, the lamb was served up with wild and bitter herbs, Not fewer than ten, nor more than twenty persons, were admitted to these sacred feasts. At first it was observed with their loins girt about, with sandals on their feet, and with all the preparations for an immediate journey. This, in Egypt, was significant of the haste with which they were about to depart from the land of bondage. The custom was afterward retained.
The order of the celebration of this feast was as follows: The ceremony commenced with drinking a cup of wine mingled with water, after having given thanks to God for it. This was the "first cup." Then followed the "washing of hands," with another short form of thanksgiving to God. The table was then supplied with the provisions, namely, the bitter salad, the unleavened bread, the lamb, and a thick sauce composed of dates, figs, raisins, vinegar, etc. They then took a small quantity of salad, with another thanksgiving, and ate it; after which, all the dishes were removed from the table, and a second cup of wine was set before each guest, as at first. The dishes were removed, it is said, to excite the curiosity of children, and to lead them to make inquiry into the cause of this observance. See Exodus 12:26-27. The leading person at the feast then began and rehearsed the history of the servitude of the Jews in Egypt, the manner of their deliverance, and the reason of instituting the Passover. The dishes were then returned to the table, and he said, "This is the Passover which we eat, because that the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt;" and then, holding up the salad and the unleavened bread, he stated the design, namely, that the one represented the bitterness of the Egyptian bondage, and the other the suddenness of their deliverance.
This done, he repeated Psalm 113:1-9; Psalm 114:1-8, offered a short prayer, and all the company drank the wine that had been standing some time before them. This was the "second cup." The hands were then again washed, and the meal then eaten with the usual forms and solemnities; after which they washed the hands again, and then drank another cup of wine, called "the cup of blessing," because the leader was accustomed in a particular manner, over that cup, to offer thanks to God for his goodness. This is the cup which our Saviour is supposed to have taken when he instituted the Lord's Supper, called by Paul "the cup of blessing," 1 Corinthians 10:16. There was still another cup, which was drunk when they were about to separate, called the "Hallel," because in connection with it they were accustomed to repeat the lesser Hallel, or Psalm 115; 116; Psalm 117:1-2; 118. In accordance with this, our Saviour and his disciples sang a hymn as they were about to go to the Mount of Olives, Matthew 26:30. It is probable that our Saviour complied with these rites according to the custom of the Jews. While doing it, he signified that the typical reference of the Passover was about to be accomplished, and he instituted in place of it "the supper" - the communion - and, of course, the obligation to keep the Passover then ceased.
The Son of man is betrayed - Will be betrayed. He did not mean to say that they then knew that he would be betrayed, for it does not appear that they had been informed of the precise time; but they knew that the Passover was at hand, and he then informed them that he would be betrayed.
To be crucified - To be put to death on the cross. See the notes at Matthew 27:35.
on Matthew 26 :2