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耶稣死时的情形(可15:33-41;路23:44-49;约19:28-30)

45从正午到下午三点钟,遍地都黑暗了。
45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
45 Verse 45. There was darkness over all the land] I am of

opinion that πασαντηνγην does not mean all the world, but only

the land of Judea. So the word is used ; , and

in other places. Several eminent critics are of this opinion:

Beza defends this meaning of the word, and translates the Greek,

super universam REGIONEM over the whole COUNTRY. Besides, it is

evident that the evangelists speak of things that happened in

Judea, the place of their residence. It is plain enough there was

a darkness in Jerusalem, and over all Judea; and probably over all

the people among whom Christ had for more than three years

preached the everlasting Gospel; and that this darkness was

supernatural is evident from this, that it happened during the

passover, which was celebrated only at the full moon, a time in

which it was impossible for the sun to be eclipsed. But many

suppose the darkness was over the whole world, and think there is

sufficient evidence of this in ancient authors. PHLEGON and

THALLUS, who flourished in the beginning of the second century,

are supposed to speak of this. The former says: "In the fourth

year of the 202nd Olympiad, there was an extraordinary eclipse of

the sun: at the sixth hour, the day was turned into dark night, so

that the stars in heaven were seen; and there was an earthquake in

Bithynia, which overthrew many houses in the city of Nice." This

is the substance of what Phlegon is reputed to have said on this

subject:-but 1. All the authors who quote him differ, and often

very materially, in what they say was found in him. 2. Phlegon

says nothing of Judea: what he says is, that in such an Olympiad,

(some say the 102nd, others the 202nd,) there was an eclipse in

Bithynia, and an earthquake at Nice. 3. Phlegon does not say that

the earthquake happened at the time of the eclipse. 4. Phlegon

does not intimate that this darkness was extraordinary, or that

the eclipse happened at the full of the moon, or that it lasted

three hours. These circumstances could not have been omitted by

him, if he had known them. 5. Phlegon speaks merely of an

ordinary, though perhaps total, eclipse of the sun, and cannot

mean the darkness mentioned by the evangelists. 6. Phlegon speaks

of an eclipse that happened in some year of the 102nd, or 202nd

Olympiad; and therefore little stress can be laid on what he says

as applying to this event.



The quotation from THALLUS, made by AFRICANUS, found in the

Chronicle of SYNCELLUS, of the eighth century, is allowed by

eminent critics to be of little importance. This speaks "of a

darkness over all the world, and an earthquake which threw down

many houses in Judea and in other parts of the earth." It may be

necessary to observe, that THALLUS is quoted by several of the

ancient ecclesiastical writers for other matters, but never for

this; and that the time in which he lived is so very uncertain,

that Dr. Lardner supposes there is room to think he lived rather

before than after Christ.



DIONYSIUS the Areopagite is supposed to have mentioned this

event in the most decided manner: for being at Heliopolis in

Egypt, with his friend Apollophanes, when our Saviour suffered,

they there saw a wonderful eclipse of the sun, whereupon Dionysius

said to his friend, "Either God himself suffers, or sympathizes

with the sufferer." It is enough to say of this man, that all the

writings attributed to him are known to be spurious, and are

proved to be forgeries of the fifth or sixth century. Whoever

desires to see more on this subject, may consult Dr. Lardner,

(vol. vii. p. 371, ed. 1788,) a man whose name should never be

mentioned but with respect, notwithstanding the peculiarities of

his religious creed; who has done more in the service of Divine

revelation than most divines in Christendom; and who has raised a

monument to the perpetuity of the Christian religion, which all

the infidels in creation shall never be able to pull down or

deface.



This miraculous darkness should have caused the enemies of

Christ to understand that he was the light of the world, and that

because they did not walk in it it was now taken away from them.