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Mark xvi. 2.
They came to the sepulchre,
JOHN XX. 1.
1 And on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene cometh early unto the sepulchre.
After they had left their Homes, and before their arrival at
MATT. XXViii. 2-4.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the
is agreeable to the series of St. Matthew's narration. We shall
The words of the section, then, may be thus paraphrased :
John xx. 1.
at about four in the morning, the first day
While it was still dark,
Matt. xxviii. 1. as the dawn of the first day of the week was
Mark xvi. 2.
beginning, Mary Magdalene, and the
and go to the tomb,
Matt. xxviii. 1. to view the tomb.
(a) The distinction of twilight among the Rabbins is thus given by Lightfoot-1. ¬wn xnx The hind of the morning, the very first perceptible light of the dawn, the women went towards the sepulchre. 2.
when the difference between purple and white משיביר בין תכלת ללבן
may be distinguished. 3. nn nn when the east begins to lighten.
Bishop Horsley has supposed that the women saw the
(a) Markland ap. Bowyer, p. 135.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment Jerusalem. white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
The Bodies of many come out of their Graves, and go to
MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 52. and ver. 53. many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
9 Matt. xxvii. 52, 53.—Καὶ πολλὰ σώματα—ἠγέρθη. Καὶ ἐξελθόντες ἐκ τῶν μνημείων μετὰ τὴν ἔγερσιν αὐτοῦ, ἐισῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν. This seems to be the best way to read this passage. When he yielded up the ghost, the graves opened: and after his resurrection the bodies of those who had been dead went into Jerusalem, and appeared to their friends. They were the first fruits of the resurrection (a).
The Jews believed that in the time of their Messiah the bodies of their patriarchal ancestors should arise from the dead. It is demanded, why did the patriarchs so earnestly desire to be buried in the land of Israel? Because they died in that land, and in that land they shall live again in the days of their Messiah (b) -and again, the promised land is called y, the land of their desire, because the patriarchs enjoyed there many blessings. Jacob desired to be removed to that land, because he and his ancestors should there live again, in the days of the
.מפני שהם חיים תחלה לימות המשיח-Messiah
There is another tradition to be found also in the book Sohar, which speaks in such an evidently Scriptural manner on the subject of the future resurrection, that it is most probable it has been borrowed from the writings of St. Paul (c)
There is certainly no absurdity in the supposition of Fleming, that many of the saints of the Old Testament might have now risen, and been miraculously revealed to some of the more depressed of our Lord's disciples. Neither is it impossible that this might have been a part of the expectation of Abraham, when he rejoiced to see the day of Christ, and he saw it, and was glad (d).
Klopstock, in his Messiah, has made a most beautiful use of the opinion, that the spirits of the Patriarchs, and others of the Old Testament saints arose at this time.
How great must have been the astonishment of the people, and of their rulers, when they passed by the sepulchres of the dead, to behold them open, and the bodies that had been buried visible, and slowly and gradually, perhaps, recovering from the repose of death. Here would have been seen the venerable figure of some aged Patriarch, bursting the cearments of the tomb, the folds and wrappings of the embalmer. There might be seen the beloved form of some cherished child, or parent, over whose recent grave the flowers had not yet ceased to bloom-who was still lamented, and still wept, bearing witness to the great event. It is not impossible that many of those who had beheld the actions, and believed in the words of the Son of God, while on earth, were now restored to life, and were permitted to appear to their friends, as an undeniable evidence of the truth of Christ's resurrection, and of his conquest over death and the grave. The tombs of
Mark xvi. 3.
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and Jerusalem. went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and Salome, arrive at
MARK Xvi. part of ver. 2. and ver. 3, 4. JOHN XX. part of
And they said among themselves,
2. at the rising of the sun
the rich and the poor opened to the gaze of the astonished
The veil which hides the future world from the intrusion of
(a) Grotius apud Bowyer's Critical Conjectures, p. 132. (b) Brescith Rabba, sect. xcvi. fol. 93, 4, and Schemoth Rabba, sect. xxxii. fol. 131. 2, ap Schoetgen, Hora Hebraicæ, vol. i. p. 237. (c) Sohar Chadasch, fol. 45. 1. ubi de Messia sermo est, quod tempore Jubilæi venturus sit, quando buccina clangent: Et a clangore, et sonitu buccinarum evigilabunt Patres nostri in medio speluncæ, m2 ppbno" et surgent in spiritu, et venient ad eos, ap Schoetgen. (d) In the unpubfished papers of Lord Barrington, in a letter to Dr. Lardner, I find some very curious and original ideas on this subject.
10 I have adopted the emendation of text in this passage proposed by Mr. Cranfield, after a careful consideration of the reasoning of Archbishop Newcome and Dr. Benson. The text requires only to be pointed differently, and without any alteration of the Greck Vulgate text, the whole passage is made consistent. The original reads thus: ver. 2. Aíav πрw rŷs pião σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον, ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου, ver.
Mark xvi. 3. Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the Jerusalem. sepulchre ?
3. καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς κ.τ.λ. If we place a period at μνημεῖον, and
3. And they said to each other,
The same reading was in the harmony (a) of Ammonius: et
I shall subjoin Mr. Cranfield's remarks on the criticisms
Another way proposed to remedy the difficulty is, that ɛpxovrai should be taken with Xiav row, in the sense of going, or setting out, and always understood with ἀνατέιλαντος τῷ ἠλίκ, in that of coming, or arriving. The ellipsis, however, which this opinion introduces, is certainly very harsh and unusual; and, I think, too far-fetched for being adopted, as it does not seem to flow in an easy manner from the context of the Evangelist; for λίαν πρωῒand ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου are evidently made by the common reading of the place, to be both connected with the same verb, oxovraι; and therefore the proposer of this solution should have offered one important amendment to make good his opinion. What this is, may easily be seen by part of what follows. In the most ancient MSS. there is no distinction of words; no space left between every two words, but all the letters in one line are close together. This being the case, we have warranty to point the text so as to exclude out of the sentence in which λíav root is, which may be done by placing
Mark xvi. 4.
And when they looked, they saw that the stone was Jerusalem. rolled away " for it was very great.
John xx. 1. and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
John xx. 2.
Mark xvi. 5.
Mary Magdalene leaves the other Mary and Salome to tell
JOHN XX. 2.
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
Salome, and the other Mary, during the absence of Mary
MATT. xxviii. 5-8. MARK XVI. 5-8.
a period or full stop immediately after the word μvnμeïov. This
(a) Vide Millium in loc. edit. Kusteri.-(b) Bishop Newcome's
"Looking up they saw with surprize Oewpeow, that the stone was rolled away, ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα, "for it was very great." This was the cause of their surprize.-See Bowyer, p. 181.
12 The distance of the holy sepulchre from Jerusalem was not one mile. It is necessary to remember this fact, to account for 'the rapid going and coming of the agitated and anxious followers of Christ.
Mary Magdalene, as soon as she discovers the stone is rolled away, leaves her companions, without approaching to examine the sepulchre, to inform Peter and St. John of this unexpected occurrence; no doubt hoping to receive some explanation from them, or to have the benefit of their exertions in this unlooked for event.
Other difficulties in the account of the resurrection arise from our not sufficiently understanding the form of the sepulchres which were used by the Jews.
The form of the sepulchres among the Jews is thus prescribed by the Rabbis (a)-He that selleth his neighbour a place of burial, and be that takes of his neighbour a place of burial, let him make the inner parts of the cave four cubits, and six cubits; and let him open within it pɔɔ 'n eight sepulchres. They were accustomed, says the gloss, to bury the same family in the same cave; whence if any one sold his neighbour a place for burial, he sells him room for two caves, and a floor in the middle. is the very place where the body is laid.