The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 27:45
Now from the sixth hour…
Which was twelve o'clock at
there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour;
o'clock in the afternoon, the time the Jews call "between the two
evenings"; and which they say F3 is "from the sixth hour, and
onwards". Luke says, the sun was darkened, (Luke 23:45) . This darkness
was a preternatural eclipse of the sun; for it was at the time when
the moon was in the full, as appears from its being at the time of
the passover; which was on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan,
the Jews beginning their months from the new moon: and moreover, it
was over all the land, or earth, as the word may be rendered; and
the Ethiopic version renders it, "the whole world was dark"; at
least it reached to the whole Roman empire, or the greatest part of
it; though some think only the land of Judea, or Palestine, is
intended: but it is evident, that it is taken notice of, and
recorded by Heathen historians and chronologers, as by Phlegon, and
others, referred to by Eusebius F4. The Roman archives are appealed
unto for the truth of it by Tertullian F5; and it is asserted by
Suidas, that Dionysius the Areopagite, then an Heathen, saw it in
Egypt; and said,
``either the, divine being suffers, or suffers with him that
suffers, or the frame of the world is dissolving.''
Add to this the continuance of it, that it lasted three hours;
whereas a natural eclipse of the sun is but of a short duration; see
(Amos 8:9) . The Jews F7 have a notion, that in the times of the
``the sun shall be darkened, (amwy twglpb) , "in the middle of
the day", (as this was,) as that day was darkened when the
sanctuary was destroyed.''
Yea, they speak F8 of a darkness that shall continue a long time:
their words are these:
``the king Messiah shall be made known in all the world, and
all the kings shall be stirred up to join together to make
war with him; and many of the profligate Jews shall be
turned to them, and shall go with them, to make war
against the king Messiah; so (amle lk Kvxty) , "all the world
shall be darkened" fifteen days, and many of the people of
Israel shall die in that darkness.''
This darkness that was over the earth at the time of Christ's
sufferings, was, no doubt, an addition to them; the sun, as it were,
hiding its face, and refusing to afford its comforting light and
heat to him; and yet might be in detestation of the heinousness of
the sin the Jews were committing, and as expressive of the divine
anger and resentment; for God's purposes and decrees, and the end he
had in view, did not excuse, nor extenuate their wickedness; as it
shows also their wretched stupidity, not to be awakened and
convinced by the amazing darkness, with other things attending it,
which made no impression on them; though it did on the Roman
centurion, who concluded Christ must be the Son of God. It was an
emblem of the judicial blindness and darkness of the Jewish nation;
and signified, that now was the hour and power of darkness, or the
time for the prince of darkness, with his principalities and powers,
to exert himself; and was a representation of that darkness that was
now on the soul of Christ, expressed in the following verse; as well
as of the eclipse of him, the sun of righteousness, of the glory of
his person, both by his incarnation, and by his sufferings.
F3 T. Hieros Pesachim, fol. 31. 3.
F4 In Chronicis.
F5 Apolog. c. 21.
F7 Zohar in Exod. fol. 4. 1.
F8 Ib. fol. 3, 4.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 27:45". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=027&verse=045>. 1999.