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posal which he made of returning to Judæa, from which he had lately retired, because the Jews sought to kill him. To this he replies, by saying, that as the man who walketh during any of the twelve hours into which the day is divided, without excepting even the last of them, is not afraid of stumbling and falling, because he has the light of the sun; so he had no reason to fear he should fall by the hands of his enemies during that day or time of service allotted him by Divine Providence.
11. These things said Jesus, and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that
may awake him out of sleep.
Under this soft image does Jesus express the death of Lazarus, of which he was now informed by divine communication; and, pursuing the same image, intimates his purpose of raising him from the dead, by saying that he was going to awake him.
12. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep he shall do well.
His sleeping is a symptom of the return of health. This they said with a view to divert him from his purpose of returning to Judæa: If he sleep and is doing well, what occasion is there for thy going to see him?
13. How beit, Jesus spake of his death: but they thought he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead :
15. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; Vol. 2.]
I am glad I was absent, on account of the confirmation which your faith in me will receive by seeing him raised from the dead.
Nevertheless, let us go 'unto him.
16. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, which signifies the same in Greek, as Thomas in Hebrew, unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
That is, either with Christ, or with Lazarus: for he considered their returning to Judæa, at this time, on account of the temper which the Jews had lately manifested, to be exposing themselves to certain death.
17. Then when Jesus came, (some manuscripts and versions add, “ to Bethany,” and the next verse seems to require this addition) he found that he had lain in the grave four days already..
Of this he was informed by the friends of Lazarus, and not by the same divine communication which acquainted him with his death.
18. Now Bethany, mentioned in the last verse, was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off, or, about two miles.
This is mentioned, to account for the presence of several inhabitants of Jerusalem.
19. And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
This shows that Lazarus and his sisters were persons above an ordinary condition, and that the fact of his death was a matter of public notoriety.
20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard Jesus was coming, went and met him; but Mary sat still in the house, overwhelmed with grief.
21. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
She expresses her faith in his power to have saved her brother from death, if he had been present; and modestly complains of his not having attended to the message which had been sent to him, while he
22. But I know that even now whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
I am persuaded that if thou ask of God the restoration of my brother to life, he will grant thee this favour: but I cannot persuade myself that thou wilt think it right to ask the recovery of life for one who has been dead so many days.
23. Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
Christ meant immediately; but this was more than Martha could venture to hope for.
24. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day.
This expectation of a resurrection she might have learnt from some of the Jewish teachers, but more probably from the discourses of Jesus.
66 the re
25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life, or, surrection of life;" he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
The effect is here put for the cause. Christ calls himself the resurrection of life, because he is to be the author of that resurrection to life which is to take place at the last day; just in the same manner as he calls himself the light of the world, because he gives light to it.
26. And whosoever liveth and be. lieveth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Christ is here generally understood to assert the everlasting continuance of that life which he will bestow at the last day. Others, however, suppose that by the expression whoever liveth, he intends those believers in him who shall be alive on the earth at the day of judgment, and that of them he means to assert that they shall never die; agreeably to whąt Paul says, “ We shall not all die, but we shall be changed, 1. Cor. xv* But, however this may be, it certainly was his intention, by referring Martha to future acts of power which he was to perform, to assure her that he was able to raise her brother from the dead.
27. She saith unto him, Yea, Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
I believe that thou art the Messiah, and therefore, every thing which thou sayest concerning thyself.
28. And when she had so said, she
• Priestley's Harmony, Note on v. twenty-four.
went her way, by the direction of Jesus, and called Mary her sister secretly, for fear perhaps of giving offence to the Jews, saying, The master is come, and ealleth for thee.
29. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto himn.
30. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, “ into the village," but was in that place where Martha met him.
It is supposed that he stopped here, because it was near the place of burial.
The Jews then which were with her in the house and comforted her, when they saw Mary that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to
32. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto bin, Lord, If thou hadst been here my brother had not died.
Modestly complaining of his absence, as Martlia had done before her, while she expressed her faith in his power to heal. The scene now became too moving for Jesus to bear.
33. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping