BLOODY SWEAT (blild''y swet').
According to Luke xxii :44, our Lord's sweat was 'as great drops of blood falling to the ground.' Michaelis takes the passage to mean nothing more than that the drops were as large as falling drops of blood.
(1) The evangelist does not say that it became blood, and the comparison may be used as an illustration of the terrible agony through which our Lord was passing.
An examination of twelve different translations besides the Greek text, fails to find any state ment to the effect that the sweat become blood, or that blood issued from the pores.
In relation to this subject, Dr. Olshausen says: "Although, on the authority of medical statements ue can believe that in the highest state of mental agony a blood exudation may take place, still we must acknowledge that in these words of Luke, only a comparison of the sweat with drops of blood is directly expressed. In relation to real drops of blood, the words 'as it' would be altogether out of place." Butler, "Bible Work," p. 514.) Wakefield's version reads as follows: "And be ing in an agony of distress, he continued praying with unusual earnestness, and his sweat was run ning dawn like great drops of blood to the ground." McKnight renders the verse thus: "And being in an agony of grief, he prayed the more fervently, and his sweat fell like clotted blood to the ground." Rotherham translates as follows: "And com ing to be in an agony, more intensely i was he pray ing, and his perspiration became as f great drops of blood (were) descending to the ground." Several ancient manuscripts besides the Vatican and the Alexandrian omit verses 43-44.
(2) W. W. Keen, M.D., LL.D., in able papers, contributed to The Baptist Teacher, October, 1890; The Baptist Qr. Rev. April, 1892, and the Bib. Sacra., July, 1897, discusses the subject very thoroughly. After citing a large number of cases where the phenomena connected with exuda tion of blood occurred from strong emotion, he contends that human emotion from any cause can be but slight when compared with that of him "upon whom was laid the iniquity of us all," and who presumably from adolescence till his death, and certainly during the three years of his active ministry, felt this burden most intensely. If bloody sweating occurs, as is certainly the case, as a result of the nervous phenomena of hysteria, how much more probable would it be from the intense nervous strain of Gethsemane. More over, though "foxes had holes and the birds of the air had nests, the Son of man had not where to lay his head." he was undoubtedly often sub ject to physical hardships, spent the night on mountains in prayer, was exposed to mob violence, and finally, combining both the acme of emotion and the acme of physical suffering, passed through the awful night in Gethsemane and the physical and mental agonies of the crucifixion. Under such circumstances, with such intensified emotion he yond the limit of human endurance, and with such physical suffering as culminated on the cross, it cannot he a wonder either that his sweat became bloody, or that his heart, even at so early an age as thirty-three, should rupture.
BLUE (btu). See COLORS.