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Mtxxvii.63, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while Jerusalem.
he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure
until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and
steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen
from the dead : so the last error shall be worse than the
65. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way,
make it as sure as you can.
So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
The Sabbath being over, Mary Magdalene, the other
Mary, and Salome, purchase their Spices, to anoint
the Body of Christ.
MARK xvi. I.
Mark xvi. 1.
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and
Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet
spices, that they might come and anoint him ®.
The Morning of Easter-Day-Mary Magdalene, the other
Mary, and Salome, leave their Homes very early to go
to the Sepulchre.
MATT. xxviü. 1.-MARK xvi. part of ver. 2.-JOHN XX.
part of ver. 1, Mt. xxviii.l. And after the sabbath?,
• The word “yópavav properly signifies, not, they had bought,
but they bought.' The vulgates render it “ emerunt.” Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary bad staid at the sepulchre till
it was too late to buy their spices; but both they and Salome
took the earliest opportunity of procuring them after the sab-
bath was over; that is, after six o'clock in the eveniog of Sa.
turday, the day preceding the resurrection. The word was
rendered “bad bought,” hy our trauslators, on sutlicient autho-
rity, for the perfect tense is sometimes used in this manner.
(See Chandler on Matt. xxviii. 17.) It is, however, must pro.
bable, that they supposed this translation to be absolutely ne-
cessary to render ibe Evangelists consistent with themselves.
In Luke xxiii. 56 they read that the spices were prepared be-
fore the evening of the sabbath. They supposed, according to
the general notion, that there was one party only of women; and
imagined there would be an absurdity in so translating Mark
xvi. 1. as if that one party had procured additional spices aster
the sabbath. Whereas it is by a scrupulous adherence to the
plain meaning of the Scripture, that all difficulties are removed.
The comparison of these two passages might alone have been
sufficient to shew that there were two parties of women. This
seems to have escaped the attention of Mr. Valpy; who, in his
valuable edition of the Greek Testament, observes, that the
word ought to be rendered as if it was preterpluperfect. His
argument is derived from Luke xxiii. 56. which refers only to
the other party of women.
? We now come to the question concerning the time when
Mark xvi. 2. very early in the morning, the first of the week,
Jerusalem. John xx. 1. while it was yet dark,
the women set out for, and reached the sepulcbre. This diffi-
culty, like all others, vanishes on a careful examination of the
language of the Evangelists.
Lightfoot (a) has attempted to illustrate the various ex-
pressions of the Evangelists, which describe the time when the
women came to the sepulchre, from the distinction of twilight
among the rabbins. His reasoning is founded on the old sup-
position, that there was but one party of women; and is, be-
sides, arbitrary, and unsupported by authority. To inquire
more accurately into the time, we must endeavour to ascertain
the full meaning of the terms which are used by the Evangelists.
The words of St. Matthew are, óyè dè abbátwv, rõ ért-
owokóon eis piav oabba'twv 110€. Late after (b) the sabbath, at
the dawning of the first day of the week.
Τη επιφωσκάση, at the dawning, is used for σύν τη έω επίowokéon, along with the dawning morn. 50€, the proper meaning of this word seems to be, that they set out from their homes at tbis time. The word fpxopal signifies both, to go to, or, set off to, as well as, to arrive at, any place.
Mark xvi. 1, 2. του Διαγενομένα σαββάτε, λίαν πρωί της μιάς cabbátwy. After the sabbath was thoroughly past, very early on the first day of the week.
Here diayevouéve cabbára, is explanatory of Matthew's ott cabbátwv: 'öid,' in composition strengthening the signification. nepwi includes the whole time of the early watch ; and, to mark the dawn, Mark adds diav," very,” which is especially put elliptically for čvvvxov Niav, by Mark bimself, i. 35. very far in the night.
The apwi was the epithet given to the last watch, from threo in the morning to six; the time therefore implied by St. Mark was probably about four o'clock, or a little after.
Luke expresses the time, τη δε μία των σαββάτων όρθρο βαθέος. On the first day of the week, while the rising [sub] was deep, sunk beneath the horizon.
The morning twilight begins as soon as the sun arrives within eightecn degrees below the
horizon, for then the smallest stars disappear. ïhis phrase also is used by the best classical writers: Aristophanes, Thucydides, Aristides, &c. use it, and Plato explains it, H 8 πρωί έτι εσιν; πανυ μεν έν–όρθρος βαθύς. «Ιε it not yet early-surely it is-the rising (sun) is deep."--Crito, p. 32. It is not, however, of so much importance to consider, in this place, the passage of St. Luke, as he relates the time at which the second party proceeded to the sepulchre (c).
John expresses the precise time of the upwl, or watch," differently from Mark. Tñ od pią rwy gabbátwv, mpwi, okotiac étı sons." On the first day of the week, early, while it was still dark. This is more definite than St. Mark. Scotia should not be rendered' “ dark," as in our translation. It is a diminative of σκοτός. Πρωί, υπ' ηοι, οι συν τεύχεσι θωρήχο OEVTES. Early about morn, they armed with their weapons, where υπ' ηοι, seems to be a contraction of υποφωσκώσης έω, sublucente Aurora,
The first part only of the second verse of Mark xvi. is in. serted in this section, on the supposition of Townson, and more particularly of Cranfield, who considers the latter clause only, to relate to the arrival of the women at the sepulchre, while the former refers to the time of their leaving home (d).
The principal difficulty in rocopoiling thoso various accounts
Mlxxvii.l. as it began to dawn, towards the first day of the week, Jerusalem.
went Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
arises from the expression here used by St. Mark, the word
špxguar being supposed, by commentators, to signify both to
arrive at the sepulcbre, or to leave their own bomes to go there.
Those who support the latter opinion, says Mr. Cranfield, have
no doubt the best of the argument, and have offered very pro-
bable reasons for the justness of their plans (e). However, as
some have objected to this opinion, it may be proper to see how
far the setting out of the women admits of incontrovertible
proof, by a comparison with one text and the other; in order to
which, it is necessary that we should first bring in view the fol-
Iowing words of St. Mark, Και λίαν πρωί-έρχονται επί το μνη-
pehov, xvi. 2. The word #pwi signifies the last quarter of the
night, called the morning watch, consisting of the three hours
next before the rising of the sun, and ended at it (). The
phrase diav #pwi, must denote the beginning, or not long after
the beginning, of this watch, and also the dawning of the day,
as will easily appear from another passage in the same Evan-
gelist, which is, apwi évvúxov diav, chap. i. 35. The word
évvuxov, as it stands here, I suppose to signify the darkness of
the night ; and St. Mark appears to have used it explanatory of
diav #pwi. The meaning therefore of the whole phrase seems
to be, towards the ending of the night, or near the dawning of
the day; and perhaps the words may admit of a more proper
translation than that we find in the established version, viz.
“ Very early in the morning, towards the dawning of the day.”
It might hence be fairly concluded, bad we no other argument to
go upon, that Niav apwi (xvi. 2.) signifies somewhat the same
timo as Niav apwi, (i. 55.) But that the phrase alludes to the
dawning of the day, appears evident from the parallel place in
St. John, where the words ororías Erı sons, are designed to
shew in what part of his apwi the act of the women took place.
It is also worthy of regard, that St. Matthew likewise, in the
parallel passage, speaks of the act of the women as taking place
at the dawn. The word diav, therefore, is used in a very em-
phatic and significant sense, and every way concurs to shew that
St. Mark meant to point out by it, the early part of the morn.
ing watch, or the beginning of the dawn. But the same Evan-
gelist, (xvi. 9.) has dropt the very significant riav, and only
says, that Jesus arose apwi. This variation of expression,
in respect of different facts, depotes that the one described
as taking place Niay apwi, very early in the morning, did
happen prior in time to that which took place, pui, only
early in the morning. The dropping of an adjunct of a
superlative sense, and using the word of positive import,
only by itself is a strong indication of this. When the women
now arrived at the sepulchre, they were almost instantly ac-
quainted by the angelic vision that Jesus was risen. He arose
therefore before the women arrived: but his resurrection took
place #pwi, only early in the morning; consequently St. Mark
has used the verb épxouat, to express some other act of the
women wbich took place aiav apwi, very early in the morning,
before Jesus arose ; and what can this be but their setting out
from their homes? Now the rest of the Evangelists express, by
the same verb, an act of the same women which took place at
break of day, a point of time exactly parallel with the diav Apwi of
St. Mark: but this cannot be their arrival, because the dis-
tance of the sepulchre from Jerusalem was such, as to render
it altogether impossible that they could be there instantaneously.
They therefore spoak of the setting out of the women; and this
Mark xvi. 2. They came to the sepulchre,
Jerasalem. Mt.xxviii.l. to see the sepulchre.
I And on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene cometh
early unto the sepulcbre.
After they had left their Homes, and before their arrival at
the Sepulchre, Christ rises from the Dead.
MATT. xxviii. 2-4.
Mt.xxviii.2. 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 tbeir 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 parapbrased :
Matt. xxviii. 1. After the sabbath,
Mark xvi. 2. at about four in the morning, the first day
in the week,
Joho xx. 1. While it was still dark,
Matt. xxviii. l. as the dawn of the first day of the week was
beginning, Mary Magdalene, and the
other Mary lost their home.
Mark xvi. 2. and go to the tomb,
Matt. xxviii. 1. to view the tomb.
(a) The distinction of twilight among the Rabbins is thus given by
Ligbtfoot:1. XOwn *75** The bind 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. DIDA 778*vn when the east begins to lighten. 4. Onn ya sun-rise. According to these four phrases we may interpret the evangelical narratives. St. Matthew says, TÑ ÁTTIDWOKÁTY, as it began to dawn. St. John says, īpwi okorias étı sons, early in the morning, while it was yet dark. St. Luke's expression corresponds to the third, opOp8 babéws, very early in the morning : and St. Mark uses a phrase corresponding to the fourth, Aiav pui, very early in the morning, and yet dvarellavros tênis, at the rising of the sun. -Lightfoot's Works, Dr. Bright's edit. vol. ii. p. 359. (6) The word áyè, 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, ótè TË Baolléws xpóvov, after the time of the king; and Philostratus, oył tüv Tpwixūv, 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. (f) See Cranfield's observations iv 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) obseries on these words celouós éyéveto usyas, there had been a great trembling among the soldiers, not an earthquake. Hesychius σεισμός τρόμος. .
(a) Markland ap. Bowyer, p. 135.
Mixviii.3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment Jerusalem.
white as snow :
4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became
as dead men.
.מפני שהם חיים תחלה לימות המשיח-Messiah
The Bodies of many come out of their Graves, and go
MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 52. and ver. 53. Mtxxvii.52. And many bodies of the saints which slept arose ,
9 Matt. xxvii. 52, 53.--Kai mollà ospara-nyepon. Kai εξελθόντες εκ των μνημείων μετά την έγερσιν αυτού, εισήλθον εις try dyiav tóliv. 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 wbo 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 Messiab the bodies
of their patriarchal ancestors should arise from the dead. It is
demanded, why did the patriarchs so earnestly desire to be bu-
ried in the land of Israel? Because they died in that land, and
in that land they shall live again in the days of their Messiab (6)
-and again, the promised land is called nyn yux, the land of
their desire, because the patriarchs enjoyed there many bless-
ings. Jacob desired to be removed to that land, hecanse be
and his ancestors should there live again, in the days of the
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 bave now
risen, and been miraculously revealed to some of the more de-
pressed 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 be saw it, and
was glad (d).
Klopstock, in bis Messiah, bas 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 bad been buried visible, and slowly and gradually, perhaps, recovering from the repose of death. Here would have been seen the veuerable 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 rarent, over whose recent grave the flowers bad 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 bebeld 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 toubs of