Mattityahu Jewish New Testament

chapter 26
1. When Yeshua had finished speaking, he said to his talmidim,
2. “As you know, Pesach is two days away, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be nailed to the execution-stake.”
Pesach ("Passover") is the festival established in Exodus 12:1—13:16 to commemorate the freeing of the Jews from Egyptian slavery and their establishment as a nation and as the people of God. The central event of the original Passover was the slaughter by each Jewish family of a lamb "without blemish or spot," whereupon God spared the firstborn sons of the Israelites but slew those of the Egyptians. When Yochanan the Immerser speaks of Yeshua as the "lamb of God" (Yn 1:29), he is invoking both Temple and Pesach imagery (see also 1С 5:6-8&N).

The Last Supper (vv. 17-30 of this chapter) is understood by most scholars to have been a Passover meal or Seder (v. 17N). Many Pesach themes are deepened, reinforced and given new levels of meaning by the events in the life of Yeshua the Messiah and by his words on this night. However, Joseph Shulam has suggested that it may have been not the Seder but a se'udat-mitzvah, the celebratory "banquet accompanying performance of a commandment" such as a wedding or b'rit-milah.

Here is the background for his argument. When a rabbi and his students finish studying a tractate of the Talmud, they celebrate with a se 'udat-mitzvah (also called a xe udat-siyum, "banquet of completion," i.e., graduation). The Fast of the Firstborn, expressing gratitude for the saving of Israel's firstborn sons from the tenth plague (compare Lk 2:22-24&N), has been prescribed for the day before Pesach, Nisan 14, at least since Mishnaic times. When it is necessary to eat a se 'udat-mitzvah, this takes precedence over a fast. With a modicum of foresight a rabbi can plan to complete a tractate on Nisan 14 and thus avoid having to fast; doing so is not construed as cheating, and in fact it has become the custom.

The tradition of the Fast of the Firstborn dates at least from Mishnaic times. But, Shulam reasons, if it goes back a couple centuries more to the time of Yeshua, and if the se'udat-siyum custom applied in the first century to the completing of any course of study, then Yeshua might have arranged to have himself and his talmidim finish reading a book of the Tanakh on Nisan 14. Or, since Yeshua knew he was to die, he may have regarded it as appropriate to complete his disciples' earthly "course of study" with a banquet. This solution would also resolve the perceived conflict between Yochanan and the Synoptic Gospels over the timing of the Last Supper (see Yn 13:29&N, 18:28N).

However, most of the Jewish New Testament Commentary notes on the Last Supper are based on the assumption that the event was in fact a Passover Seder.

3. Then the head cohanim and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of Kayafa the cohen hagadol.
4. They made plans to arrest Yeshua surreptitiously and have him put to death;
5. but they said, “Not during the festival, or the people will riot.”
6. Yeshua was in Beit-Anyah, at the home of Shim‘on, the man who had had tzara’at.
7. A woman who had an alabaster jar filled with very expensive perfume approached Yeshua while he was eating and began pouring it on his head.
8. When the talmidim saw it, they became very angry. “Why this waste?” they asked.
9. “This could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.”
10. But Yeshua, aware of what was going on, said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me.
11. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.
12. She poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial.
13. Yes! I tell you that throughout the whole world, wherever this Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told in her memory.”
14. Then one of the Twelve, the one called Y’hudah from K’riot, went to the head cohanim
15. and said, “What are you willing to give me if I turn Yeshua over to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to Y’hudah. (Zechariah 11:12)
16. From then on he looked for a good opportunity to betray him.
17. On the first day for matzah, the talmidim came to Yeshua and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare your Seder?”
The first day for matzah ("unleavened bread"). Pesach is also known as the Festival of Matzah because an essential element in it is eating only unleavened bread throughout its seven days (Exodus 12:15-20). Furthermore, during that period, "no chametz ["yeast, leaven"] must be found in your houses" (Exodus 12:19). Traditionally, the day before the Festival begins is the day when the last chametz must be removed from the house and burned, and from that moment on the only bread found in the house will be matzah. Thus "the first day for matzah" is the day before the start of Pesach. Since according to the Jewish calendar a day begins at sundown, what this means is that the chametz is burned around midmorning, and Pesach commences with the Seder service after the sun has set.

Seder, literally, "order," but referring here to the ordered ceremony and meal that usher in the week of Pesach. Today the sequence of events, prayers, recitals and foods to be eaten is set forth in the Haggadah (literally, "telling"), which recounts the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt with rabbinical embellishments. Many features of today's Seder were already present in Yeshua's day, as this passage and Lk 22:14-20&NN reveal.

18. “Go into the city, to so-and-so,” he replied, “and tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house.’”
19. The talmidim did as Yeshua directed and prepared the Seder.
20. When evening came, Yeshua reclined with the twelve talmidim;
Reclined. The last of the "Four Questions" recited in the modern Seder service by the youngest person present is, "On all other nights we eat our meals either sitting or reclining; why on this night do we all recline?" The answer is that at the time the questions were fixed in the Seder liturgy, slaves ate sitting or standing, while only free Roman citizens reclined. Thus in Roman cultural language reclining represents freedom from Egyptian slavery.

21. and as they were eating, he said, “Yes, I tell you that one of you is going to betray me.”
22. They became terribly upset and began asking him, one after the other, “Lord, you don’t mean me, do you?”
23. He answered, “The one who dips his matzah in the dish with me is the one who will betray me.
Dips his matzah in the dish. The dish may well have contained charoset and/or maror, both used in Seder services today. Charoset is a sweet paste made of fruit, nuts, spices and wine; numerous recipes are in use today in the various Jewish ethnic communities. Its function in the Seder is to recall by its appearance the mortar which the Israelite slaves made in Egypt, and it is referred to by the mid-second-century rabbis Me'ir and Eli'ezer bar-Tzadok in the Mishna (Pesachim 2:8,10:3). Maror means "bitter herbs," calling to mind the bitterness of Israelite slavery to Pharaoh; today horseradish root or lettuce is used as maror. Rabbi Hillel, in the generation before Yeshua, inaugurated the custom of eating a "sandwich" consisting of a piece of the Passover lamb, together with matzah and maror, in literal fulfillment of the command, "On (Hebrew 'al) matzah and maror shall they eat it" (Exodus 12:8). (Today Ashkenazi Jews do not eat lamb at Passover because it cannot be slaughtered at the Temple; however, the S'faradim do.)

24. The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh says he will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!”
The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh says he will. The Tanakh includes the following prophecies of the circumstances and manner of the Messiah's death at his first coming. The New Testament citations or allusions (considered by many to be fulfillment of these prophecies) are given for reference. For a fuller listing of Messianic prophecies see Section VII of the Introduction to the JNT.

Prophecy: The Messiah would be Location in Tanakh Fulfillment in New Testament
Hated without a cause Isaiah 49:7 Yn 15:24-25
Rejected by the rulers Psalm 118:22 Mt21:42, Yn7:48
Betrayed by a friend Psalm 41:9, 15(12-14) Mt 26:21-25,47-50 Yn 13:18-19; Ac 1:16-18
Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Mt 26:15
Subject to having his price given for a potter's field Zechariah 11:13 Mt 27:7
Forsaken by his talmidim Zechariah 13:7 Mt 26:31-56
Struck on the cheek Micah 4:14(5:1) Mt 27:30
Spaton Isaiah 50:6 Mt 26:67, 27:30
Mocked Psalm 22:8-9 (7-8) Mt 26:67-68; 27:31, 39-44
Beaten Isaiah 50:6 Mt 26:67; 27:26, 30
Executed by crucifixion (i.e., having hands and feet pierced; Masoretic text: having a lion at hands and feet) Psalm 22:17(16) Mt 27:35; Yn 19:18, 37; 20:35
Executed without having a bone broken Exodus 12:46, Psalm 34:21(20) Yn 19:33-36
Thirsty during his execution Psalm 22:16(15) Yn 19:28
Given vinegar to quench that thirst Psalm 69:22(21) Mt 27:34
Considered a transgressor Isaiah 53:12 Mt 27:38
Buried with the rich when dead Isaiah 53:9 Mt 27:57-60
The one whose death would atone for sins of mankind Isaiah 53:5-7, 12 Mk 10:45; Yn 1:29, 3:16; Ac 8:30-35
Raised from the dead Isaiah 53:9-10; Psalms 2:7, 16:10 Mt 28:1-20; Ac 13:33; 1С 11:4-6
Ascended to the right hand of God Psalms 16:11, 68:19(18), 110:1 Lk 24:51; Ac 1:9-11, 7:55; MJ 1:3
"Cut off, but not for himself," 69 x 7 years after rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem Daniel 9:24-26 Ro 5:6, 1 Ке 3:18

25. Y’hudah, the one who was betraying him, then asked, “Surely, Rabbi, you don’t mean me?” He answered, “The words are yours.”
26. While they were eating, Yeshua took a piece of matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to the talmidim and said, “Take! Eat! This is my body!”
The piece of matzah here may have been that eaten immediately prior to the meal. If so, Yeshua said the normal blessing over bread (see 14:19N), followed by, "Praised are you, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who has made us holy through his commandments and has commanded us concerning the eating of matzah" (see Exodus 12:15-20).

In the modern Seder three pieces of matzah are placed in a three-part cloth bag called a matzah tash. Early in the service the middle piece of matzah is broken. Half is divided into enough pieces for everyone at the table and eaten. The other half, called the afikoman, is hidden, to be found by children later and eaten by everyone as the last food of the meal (Hebrew afikoman may come from a Greek word meaning "dessert"). While in modern Judaism the three matzot are taken as representing cohanim (priests), L'vi'im (Levites) and Israel (everyone in Israel not in the first two categories), many scholars believe this ritual was added to the Seder service by Messianic Jews, for whom the three matzot represent Father, Son and Ruach HaKodesh. The second matzah — representing the Son, who called himself the "bread of life" (Yn 6:41, 48) and who in the present verse says of the matzah, "This is my body" — is broken for all and given to all (symbolically representing his death for all mankind). Yet there is a mystery, a hidden part, similar to the hidden afikoman: like the middle matzah at the Pesach meal, the Messiah appears twice in history, in a first and a second coming. All of these symbolisms are hidden from non-Messianic Judaism, which has suppressed them and substituted others. But, like the afikoman, these truths about the Messiah will eventually be found and taken in.

27. Also he took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them, saying, “All of you, drink from it!
28. For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven.
The word "new" is not found in all the manuscripts of this text and may have been copied from Luke (see Lk 22:20&N). In any case, the Messiah is here establishing the New Covenant promised to the Jewish people in Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34). This New Covenant does not revoke God's previous covenants. Rather, all five of God's major covenants — made through Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Yeshua — remain in force today.

(1) God's covenant with mankind through Noah (Genesis 9) is, in Jewish tradition, the basis for the "Noachide Laws" under which Genii les receive salvation. Although the New Testament asserts that salvation for Jews and Gentiles alike is only through Yeshua, the minimal conditions for acceptance of Gentiles into the Body of the Messiah, as set forth by Jerusalem Conference (Ac 15), parallel the Noahide Laws. For further discussion see Ac 15:20N.

(2) God's covenant with Abraham (Genesis 12, 13, 15, 17) created the Jewish people. Except for the requirement of circumcision it is an unconditional covenant promising that the Jews are to be a blessing to all mankind. This has proved true especially through Yeshua the Messiah, the "seed of Abraham" (Ga 3:16&N), who came forth wilhin the Jewish people and whose just rulership over all nations will extend from Jerusalem the Jewish capital. The covenant now applies to both Jews and Gentiles who follow Yeshua, as explained in Romans 4 and Galatians 3. The Jewish people will one day bless the world in unprecedented ways (Zechariah 8:23; Ro 11:15&N; Revelation 7,14).

(3) God's covenant with the Jewish people through Moses provided the Torah to exhort and guide them into righteous living, to increase their awareness of sin and of their need to repent, and to teach them to accept God's provision for healing the separation from God caused by sin — at first the animal sacrifices, and in the fullness of time Yeshua's sacrifice. In relation to its blessings and curses the Mosaic covenant is conditional from the Jewish side — but not from God's side, for God is faithful even when his people are not (Ro 3:2-3). According to Scripture, the Jewish people, having broken that covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-32), are currently recipients of its curses and not its blessings (Deuteronomy 28). When Jewish individuals become obedient and cease to break the covenant, God blesses them individually. When the Jewish people as a nation become obedient and cease to break the covenant, God will fulfill his promise to bless them as a nation.

As Judaism correctly holds and most Christian theology incorrectly denies, the Torah supplied under this covenant was given forever, has never been abolished, ;imJ is still in force. But Yeshua's interpretations of it and other New Testament understandings of it are authoritative, not those of traditional Judaism. For more on this see Ga 6:2&N and Chapter V of Messianic Jewish Manifesto.

(4) God's covenant with David (2 Samuel 7) established the throne of his kingdom forever. For this reason the expected Messiah was and is called the Son of David (1: l&N). Messiah Yeshua, a descendant of David, will ascend the throne in God's good time (Ac 1:6-7, Rv 20:2-6).

(5) God's New Covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Jeremiah 31:30-33(31-34) through Yeshua the Messiah blesses all mankind by providing the final and permanent atonement for sin and by promising that the Holy Spirit of God will write the Torah on the heart of anyone with faith. It thus complements the earlier covenants without annulling them (Galatians 3). It was promised in the Tanakh, and the books of the New Testament elaborate on it.

29. I tell you, I will not drink this ‘fruit of the vine’ again until the day I drink new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
27-29 A cup of wine. See Lk 22:17-20&NN. The b'rakhah over wine is: "Barukh attah, Adonai Eloheynu, Melekh-ha'olam, Borey p'ri hagefen (Praised are you, Adonai our God, King of the universe. Creator of the fruit of the vine)." We can be sure Yeshua used the traditional Jewish blessing because in v. 29 he quotes from it the phrase "fruit of the vine."

30. After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Singing the Hallel. This translates one Greek word which means, literally, "hymning." But since this was the Seder, we can know the hymn being sung must have been one of the Hallel ("praise") Psalms recited at festivals. Psalms 113-118 or 136.

31. Yeshua then said to them, “Tonight you will all lose faith in me, as the Tanakh says, 'I will strike the shepherd dead, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered'. (Zechariah 13:7)
32. But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you into the Galil.”
33. “I will never lose faith in you,” Kefa answered, “even if everyone else does.”
34. Yeshua said to him, “Yes! I tell you that tonight before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”
35. “Even if I must die with you,” Kefa replied, “I will never disown you!” And all the talmidim said the same thing.
36. Then Yeshua went with his talmidim to a place called Gat-Sh’manim and said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Gat-Sh'manim. The name means "oil press"; it is usually brought over into English as "Gethsemane." In the place today called the Garden of Gethsemane are very old, gnarled olive trees; they may have been alive when Yeshua was on earth.

37. He took with him Kefa and Zavdai’s two sons. Grief and anguish came over him,
38. and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake with me.”
39. Going on a little farther, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!”
40. He returned to the talmidim and found them sleeping. He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with me for even an hour?
41. Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test — the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”
42. A second time he went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what you want be done.”
43. Again he returned and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy.
44. Leaving them again, he went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words.
45. Then he came to the talmidim and said, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest. . . . Look! The time has come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46. Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”
47. While Yeshua was still speaking, Y’hudah (one of the Twelve!) came, and with him a large crowd carrying swords and clubs, from the head cohanim and elders of the people.
48. The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want — grab him!”
49. He went straight up to Yeshua, said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
50. Yeshua said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they moved forward, laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him.
Do what you came to do. Or: "Why are you here?"

51. At that, one of the men with Yeshua reached for his sword, drew it out and struck at the servant of the cohen hagadol, cutting off his ear.
52. Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back where it belongs, for everyone who uses the sword will die by the sword.
53. Don’t you know that I can ask my Father, and he will instantly provide more than a dozen armies of angels to help me?
54. But if I did that, how could the passages in the Tanakh be fulfilled that say it has to happen this way?”
See v. 24N.

55. Then Yeshua addressed the crowd: “So you came out to take me with swords and clubs, the way you would the leader of a rebellion? Every day I sat in the Temple court, teaching; and you didn’t seize me then.
56. But all this has happened so that what the prophets wrote may be fulfilled.” Then the talmidim all deserted him and ran away.
57. Those who had seized Yeshua led him off to Kayafa the cohen hagadol, where the Torah-teachers and elders were assembled.
58. Kefa followed him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the cohen hagadol; then he went inside and sat down with the guards to see what the outcome would be.
59. The head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin looked for some false evidence against Yeshua, so that they might put him to death.
60. But they didn’t find any, even though many liars came forward to give testimony. At last, however, two people came forward and said,
61. “This man said, ‘I can tear down God’s Temple and build it again in three days.’”
Yeshua had said earlier (Yn 2:19-22), "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again." But Yochanan explains, "The 'temple' he had spoken of was his body," and the fulfillment was in his resurrection.

62. The cohen hagadol stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation these men are making?”
63. Yeshua remained silent. The cohen hagadol said to him, “I put you under oath! By the living God, tell us if you are the Mashiach, the Son of God!”
64. Yeshua said to him, “The words are your own. But I tell you that one day you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven" (Daniel 7:13; Psalm 110:1)
Remained silent Yeshua's silence here and at 27:12-14 fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 53:7, "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he does not open his mouth."

Tell us if you are the Mashiach.... The words are your own. See also Mk 14:61-62&N.
Son of Man. See 8:20N. Coming on the clouds of heaven. See Mt 24:30&N.

65. At this, the cohen hagadol tore his robes. “Blasphemy!” he said. “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard him blaspheme!
Tearing one's garment is a sign of grief and shock; see, for example, Numbers 14:6, Jeremiah 36:24, Job 1:20, Ezra 9:3. It is still Jewish practice to tear one's garment when a close relative dies.

66. What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!”
67. Then they spit in his face and pounded him with their fists; and those who were beating him
68. said, “Now, you ‘Messiah,’ ‘prophesy’ to us: who hit you that time?”
69. Kefa was sitting outside in the courtyard when a servant girl came up to him. “You too were with Yeshua from the Galil,” she said.
70. But he denied it in front of everyone — “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
71. He went out onto the porch, and another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Yeshua of Natzeret.”
72. Again he denied it, swearing, “I don’t know the man!”
73. After a little while, the bystanders approached Kefa and said, “You must be one of them — your accent gives you away.”
74. This time he began to invoke a curse on himself as he swore, “I do not know the man!” — and immediately a rooster crowed.
75. Kefa remembered what Yeshua had said, “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times”; and he went outside and cried bitterly.

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