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Mark xvi. 2.
Mt.xxviii.1. to see the sepulchre.

They came to the sepulchre,



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
the Sepulchre, Christ rises from the Dead.

MATT. XXViii. 2-4.

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the
angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and
rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

is agreeable to the series of St. Matthew's narration. We shall
only observe, that the Evangelists have left us to infer the
arrival of the women from their subsequent coutexts; in
which it is so clearly implied, that there was no necessity for
them to give us any express information about it.

The words of the section, then, may be thus paraphrased :
Matt. xxviii. 1. After the sabbath,
Mark xvi. 2.

John xx. 1.

at about four in the morning, the first day
in the week,

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
other Mary left, their home.

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.
4. Y sun-rise. According to these four phrases we may inter-
pret the evangelical narratives. St. Matthew says, Tň šπIḍWOKÚOy,
as it began to dawn. St. John says, πowi σkorias iri sons, early in
the morning, while it was yet dark. St. Luke's expression corres-
ponds to the third, op0ps Caliwc, very early in the morning and St.
Mark uses a phrase corresponding to the fourth, Aiav πрwi, very early
in the morning, and yet avarɛiλavros rê nλie, at the rising of the sun.
-Lightfoot's Works, Dr. Bright's edit. vol. ii. p. 359. (b) The word
oè, ought to be translated "after," "late after," or "long after," for
the Sabbath among the Jews ended on the Saturday night, when it could
not be dawning towards the first day of the week. Schmidius has quoted
Plut. in Numa, óyè rê Broiλéws xpóvov, after the time of the king;
and Philostratus, òyè ruv Tpwikwv, after the Trojan war.-See also
Bos. Exercit. ap. Bowyer, p. 134. (c) Vide section x, and note. (d)
West on the Resurrection, third edit. p. 38, 39. (e) See Godwin's
Moses and Aaron, lib. iii. p. 81, 82. and Bishop Newcome's Harmony of
the Gospels, notes, p. 58. (ƒ) See Cranfield's observations in loc."

Bishop Horsley has supposed that the women saw the
descent of the angel, and the rolling away the stone; but it is
evident that this opinion is erroneous, for they did not arrive till
it had already been removed. Compare Mark xvi. 4. Mark-
Jand (a) observes on these words σeloμòç éyévero μiyaç, there had
been a great trembling among the soldiers, not an earthquake.
Hesychius σεισμὸς τρόμος.

(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

Mtxxvii.52. And

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
the Sepulchre, and find the Stone rolled away.

MARK Xvi. part of ver. 2. and ver. 3, 4. JOHN XX. part of

ver. 1.

And they said among themselves,

2. at the rising of the sun


the rich and the poor opened to the gaze of the astonished
spectator-the corrruptible put on incorruption, and the
mortal assumed immortality. The bones were seen to come
together; the sinews and the flesh to unite and to revive.
The monuments of marble, the sepulchres of rock shook,
and were rent asunder. The mouldering dust, by a silent
and mysterious process, assumed again its form and features,
and acknowledged the power of an invisible conqueror over the
last great enemy of man. The combat between death and life was
again renewed, and death was swallowed up in victory. Scenes,
such as these, but ten thousand times more sublime and wonder-
ful, are reserved for those that shall be alive in the latter days upon
the earth; when the trump of the Archangel shall sound, and
the Mediator, attended with all the company of angels, in the
glory of his Father, shall receive the full recompense of his
sacrifice for his voice shall call the dead from their graves,
and, amidst the wreck of humanity, announce to the astonished
living that the reign of immortality has begun, and that the
triumph of their God is complete.

The veil which hides the future world from the intrusion of
man, seems to be partly removed when we read this passage.
Time may engrave his changes upon us. The eye may lose its
brilliance, the limb its activity, the frame its strength, but,
God be thanked, for the consolation of a Christian, and the
hope of a resurrection to life. The religion of Him who died
for man, and laid waste the empire of death in that moment
when he yielded to its sceptre, can support us through the
miseries of this state of trial, and bear us safely through the
valley of darkness and corruption. This religion is the only
solid foundation of hope, or happiness, both here and here

(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
read the beginning of ver. 3, with the latter part of ver. 2, as
one sentence, the narrative is complete, and the difficulty aris-
ing from the impossibility of uniting λίαν πρωῒ with ἀνατεί-
Mavros Tou λiov vanishes. I have done this. The former part
of the verse is in Section 7; it reads thus-
ver. 2. They came unto the tomb,

3. And they said to each other,
2. about the rising of the sun,
3. Who shall roll away, &c.

The same reading was in the harmony (a) of Ammonius: et
orto jam sole dicebant; and in the Ethiopic version.

I shall subjoin Mr. Cranfield's remarks on the criticisms
which have been proposed to remove the difficulty, and to
which he rightly objects. Mark xvi. 2. this place, as it stands in
the received text, has created great embarrassment to the com-
mentators and harmonists, owing to the difficulty of reconciling
the descriptive ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίε, with the descriptive λίαν
Tρw. For this question is obvious, How can the dawning of
the day be at the rising of the sun? or, in other words, How
can two hours before sunrise be no space of time? Such is the
natural question that arises from perusing the received text
of the above place; and therefore, as this text labours under so
great an inconsistency, there must be a fault in it; but, as it
is not possible that so gross a blunder (lying within the small
compass of thirteen words,) could escape the notice of St.
Mark, who appears, in many instances, which it is needless to
point out, to be a clear and circumspect writer, the received
reading cannot be genuine. Two ways have been proposed for
removing the difficulty. It has been said, that if we adopt the
reading of Beza's MS. which is avareλλovroç, oriente (b), the
seeming inconsistency in St. Mark will thus be reconciled;
for λίαν πρωϊ, cannot admit of ἀνατείλαντος. Το which I
must reply, that neither can it admit of åvareλλovтoç, unless
it can be proved that this word signifies the dawning of the
day; a sense which surely no accurate person will attempt to
assert it possessed of. The word must signify, at least, that the
upper limb of the sun was very near the sensible horizon, and
therefore, as there can only be the difference of a few minutes
between the times denoted by this reading and that in the re-
ceived text, I think it very immaterial which we follow.

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



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
Magdalene, enter the Porch of the Sepulchre, and see
one Angel, who commands them to inform the Disciples
that Jesus was risen.

MATT. xxviii. 5-8. MARK XVI. 5-8.
And entering into the sepulchre "3, they saw a young man

a period or full stop immediately after the word μvnμeïov. This
would entirely remove the difficulty; for then avareiavros
τῇ ἡλίε would have no connection with λίαν πρωί, and it would
clearly appear, that the two descriptive phrases related to dif-
ferent times, for which, in all probability, the Evangelist in-
tended them both, &c. &c.

(a) Vide Millium in loc. edit. Kusteri.-(b) Bishop Newcome's
Harmony of the Gospel, notes, p. 54.-Bensou on 1 Thess. ii. 7. note N.
and 2 Thess. ii. 13.

"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.

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