Luke 23:27
(27) A great company of people, and of women.--Here, again, we come across a characteristic incident peculiar to St. Luke, and obviously derived from the devout women to whom we have traced so many facts which he alone records. (See Introduction.) "Daughters of Jerusalem" were there, as our Lord's words show--perhaps one of the sisterhoods which were formed in that city for mitigating the sufferings of condemned criminals by narcotic drinks (Deutsch. Remains, p. 38)--and among these may have been Mary and Martha, but Luke 23:49 implies the presence of women from Galilee also. The wailing was loud and bitter, for they, we may believe, had cherished, even more fondly than the disciples, the thought that "the kingdom of God should immediately appear" (Luke 19:11).

Verse 27. - And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. The great company was made up of the usual concourse of curious lookers-on, of disciples, and others who had heard him in past days, and now came, with much horror, to see the end. The women specially noticed consisted mostly, no doubt, of holy women of his own company, such as the "Maries," together with some of those kindly Jerusalem ladies who were in the habit of soothing the last hours of these condemned ones - unhappily in those sad days so numerous - with narcotics and anodynes. These kindly offices were apparently not forbidden by the Roman authorities. This recital respecting the women is peculiar to St. Luke.

23:26-31 We have here the blessed Jesus, the Lamb of God, led as a lamb to the slaughter, to the sacrifice. Though many reproached and reviled him, yet some pitied him. But the death of Christ was his victory and triumph over his enemies: it was our deliverance, the purchase of eternal life for us. Therefore weep not for him, but let us weep for our own sins, and the sins of our children, which caused his death; and weep for fear of the miseries we shall bring upon ourselves, if we slight his love, and reject his grace. If God delivered him up to such sufferings as these, because he was made a sacrifice for sin, what will he do with sinners themselves, who make themselves a dry tree, a corrupt and wicked generation, and good for nothing! The bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus should make us stand in awe of the justice of God. The best saints, compared with Christ, are dry trees; if he suffer, why may not they expect to suffer? And what then shall the damnation of sinners be! Even the sufferings of Christ preach terror to obstinate transgressors.And there followed him a great company of people,.... Not only of the common people, but of the principal inhabitants of the city; for among these were the chief priests, Scribes, and elders: some went for one thing, and some another; some pitying, and others mocking at him, and all to see the melancholy sight, Luke 23:48 as is usual at executions: and what might make the crowd the greater, was the number of people in the city, which were come from all parts to the passover; as also the fame and character of the person, who was going to suffer:

and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him; not that these were the same with the preficae of the Romans, or the of the Grecians; for though the Jews had their or mourning women, who were hired to assist in mourning; by using mournful gestures, tones, and songs, see Jeremiah 9:17, yet public mourning was not allowed for persons that were executed as malefactors; and therefore it is the more remarkable, that here, and in Luke 23:48 any public tokens of sorrow should be expressed: for,

"those that are executed by the sanhedrim, "they do not mourn for them"; but their near relations come and ask the peace of, or salute the witnesses, and they salute the judges, to show, that they have not any thing in their hearts against them, seeing they have passed a true sentence; but though they do not use mourning, lo, they grieve for them; for there is no grief but in the heart (r).''

The reason why they did not mourn was, because their ignominy and death atoned for their crime (s): but it seems, there was a difference between those that were put to death by the order of the Roman government, and those that were put to death by the sanhedrim:

"all that are put to death by the government, although they are executed by the order of the king, and the law gives power to slay them, lo, "they mourn for them"; and they do not restrain any thing from them, and their substance goes to the king, and they are buried in the sepulchres of their fathers; but all that are put to death by the sanhedrim, "they do not mourn for them"; but they grieve for them; for there is no grief but in the heart; and they are not buried with their fathers, till their flesh is consumed; and their substance goes to their heirs (t).''

And since Christ was condemned to death by the Roman governor, hence it may be public mourning was allowed of, and might be done without notice; but these still were not the mourning women, but persons that followed on their own accord: some expressed their concern and sorrow through a natural tenderness of spirit, and from a principle of humanity, being grieved that so useful and innocent a person, as Christ appeared to be, should be put to such a cruel and shameful death; and others from a spirit of gratitude, they, or their friends, having received cures from him, being healed by him of sicknesses, or dispossessed of devils; and others from a spiritual, as well as natural affection for him; among whom were his own mother and his mother's sister, and Mary Magdalene, and other women that followed him out of Galilee.

(r) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 13. sect. 6. Vid. Misu. Sanhedrin, c. 6. sect 4. (s) Jarchi & Bartenora in Misn. ib. (t) Maimon. Hilch. Ebel. c. 1. sect. 9.

Luke 23:26
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