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46 And about the ninth hour | them ran, and took a sponge, Jesus cried with a loud voice, and filled it with vinegar, and saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabach- put it on a reed, and gave him thani? that is to say, My God, to drink. my God, why hast thou forsaken
47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
48 And straightway one of
early date, incorrectly copied in this instance, and the letter of the alphabet which signifies six, was by mistake written instead of the letter signifying three. There are also some manuscripts, and other similar authority, which present the verse in John as agreeing with the statement in Mark 15: 25, that Jesus was crucified about the third hour.
ther to deride him. It was a common opinion among the Jews, that Elias, that is, Elijah, was personally to appear just before the Messiah, and to assist him in entering upon his office. There being some similarity in the words employed by Jesus to the word Elias, some, who were present, abused them, as if the Saviour were calling for the interposition of Elias to rescue him from his present unhappy state.
48. With vinegar; that is, the common drink of the Roman soldiers, an inferior sort of wine, but not mingled with myrrh and other intoxicating drugs. It appears from John (19:26) that Jesus had said, "I thirst." sponge filled with this drink was fastened round a reed; John (19: 29) says, "upon hyssop," that is, a stick or small branch of a hyssop-bush. For reaching the mouth of a crucified person, a stick two or three feet long would be quite sufficient.
49. The rest said, &c. They endeavored to induce the person to desist from offering drink to Jesus, on the plea that perhaps Elias would come to his succor; thus still further deriding him. It would seem from Mark 15: 36, that this person persevered in offering the drink, saying, Let alone; that is, Permit me. And his reason for giving the drink would seem to have been, to lengthen out the life of this professed Messiah till Elias should come; lest he would die before Elias should make his appearance. Thus no indignity, that the in
47. This man calleth for Elias. The Saviour's language was doubtless un-nocent, holy sufferer could endure, derstood; but some Jews who were present took occasion from it still fur
46. Eli, Eli, &c. These words and the two following are expressed in the language spoken at that time by the Jews in Judea; and Matthew immediately gives the translation of them. Mark (15: 34) slightly varies the sound of the word which signifies God, but without at all affecting the meaning. Whichever of these two forms of expression the Saviour employed, the Jews who were present readily understood the language.
Jesus did not here utter the language of despair, but of extreme anguish. And O, how dreadful must have been the anguish of his soul, to have extorted such a cry! And what a lesson do we here learn respecting the evil and the desert of sin, in the anguish of the Saviour, when thus our iniquities were laid on him! How dreadful the woe of those who, in addition to all the sense of Jehovah's displeasure against them personally as sinners, must suffer the pangs of a guilty conscience for having slighted the provisions of saving love, and turned away from him that speaketh from heaven!
49 The rest said, Let be; let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
50. Cried again. Compare v. 46
51 And, behold, the vail of | watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly, this was the Son of God.
the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of saints, which slept, arose,
53 And came out of the graves, after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
54 Now, when the centurion, and they that were with him,
Luke (23: 46) and John (19: 30) inform us of the sentiments which the Saviour uttered. Yielded up the ghost; gave up his spirit; that is, died.
51-53. The vail of the temple. The most retired and sacred part of the temple was called the holy of holies, and was separated by a veil from the other parts of the temple. It was this veil which was now torn in two pieces. Compare Heb. 9: 3. || The graves; several graves; not graves in general.
And came out of the graves after his resurrection. The arrangement of some of these words in our translation ought probably to be different. By placing a comma and the word and after the word graves, the sentence would stand thus: "And came out of the graves, and after his resurrection went into the holy city," that is, Jerusalem. Such a rendering is in accordance with the original. As the words stand in our version, the idea seems to be that "many bodies arose at the time of the crucifixion, but did not leave the graves till after the resurrection of Jesus. Matthew here groups together several circumstances, some of which, however, did not occur till after the resurrection of Christ, as he himself states. These were, indeed, remarkable events, and fitted to make a deep impression on reflecting minds. They may be regarded as appropriate attestations to the truth of the claims of Jesus, and anticipations
55 And many women were there, beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him;
56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
of what was afterwards to be wrought by his power.
54. The centurion; the Roman officer who superintended the crucifixion. || Feared greatly; they regarded the earthquake and the rending of the rocks as proofs of the divine indignation against what had been done, and against themselves as the agents of the Jews. || Truly, this was the Son of God. The centurion, doubtless, knew that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God; that is, in the understanding of Jesus and of the Jews, to be the Messiah. The centurion, recalling this, expressed himself as here stated, but probably understood the language differently. He was a heathen, and was accustomed to think of many gods, and to regard some beings as sons of gods, as inferior deities, or as peculiarly allied to the gods. He may have meant to say, He was a son of a god; and his idea, perhaps, included no more than that he certainly was in high favor with some god; that is, that he must have been a truly good man. Accordingly, Luke mentions (23:47), that the centurion said, Certainly, this was a righteous man.
55. Ministering unto him; waiting on him; supplying his wants.
56. Mary Magdalene; tnat is, Mary of the town of Magdala, a town not far from Capernaum; but the precise situation of which is uncertain. See Luke 8: 2. || Mary, the mother of
57 When the even was come, | body to be delivered. there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the
James and Joses. This Mary was sister to our Lord's mother (John 19: 25), and wife of Cleophas. James is the one called James the Less (Mark 15: 40), to distinguish him from James the brother of John. This James and Joses are named in 13: 55, as relatives of our Lord. The mother of Zebedee's children; that is, Salome. See Mark 15: 40. Zebedee's children were James and John. See 10: 2. Luke, without particular mention of names, says (23: 49), that "all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off [afar, compared with the people just around the cross], beholding."
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled
of the Sanhedrim, disregarding the ill-will and the reproach which he would incur from the Jews. John also relates (19: 39), that Nicodemus (John 3: 1,2) came forward at this time to testify his respect for Jesus.
57. When the even was come. The Jews reckoned two evenings; one commencing some time before sunset, and the other at sunset. What is related in this verse and the following, commenced before the latest evening; so that nothing might remain to be done on the Sabbath. The Jewish Sabbath commenced on our Friday evening. A rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph. There were several towns, called Arimathea, in Palestine; one was in the tribe of Benjamin,
58. Begged the body of Jesus, &c. John relates (19: 31--37), that previously to this, the Jews had requested of Pilate, that the death of the three crucified persons might be hastened, as the Jews were unwilling that the bodies should remain on the crosses during the Sabbath, which would be the next day. It was, however, discovered that Jesus was. already dead. This circumstance led Joseph to request the body of Jesus. According to Mark (15: 44), Pilate wondered at Jesus' having died so soon; for it was frequently the case, that crucified persons did not die till after the day on which they had been crucified; sometimes they remained alive several days. The exhausted condition of the Saviour's body and mind sufficiently accounts for his so soon expiring. Among the Romans, the corpses of crucified persons were not buried, except by express permission; they reabout four miles distant from Jerusa-mained on the cross, and there wasted lem; but which of them is here spo- away. But an exception to this genken of, we have not the means of de- eral practice was made in favor of the termining. Mark (15: 43) calls Joseph Jews, on account of the regulation in "an honorable counsellor," as being Deut. 21 : 22, 23. When there was a probably a distinguished member of prospect that death would not speedthe Sanhedrim. That he was a mem-ily take place, they used various methber, would appear from Luke 23: 51. ods to hasten it. In the present inAll the evangelists agree to his being stance, the near approach of the passin heart a good man, a favorer of Jesus; over Sabbath furnished an additional but, according to John (19: 38), he was reason. Even the Romans were in the a disciple secretly. At the time of habit of delivering up to their friends which the evangelist is now speak- the corpses of deceased criminals, ing, he seems to have acquired a com- when one of their festivals was about mendable boldness, and to have plainly to be celebrated. maintained his dissent from the doings
60. In the rock; in a rock. The
a great stone to the door of the 64 Command, therefore, that sepulchre, and departed. the sepulchre be made sure, 61 And there was Mary Mag- until the third day; lest his dalene, and the other Mary, sit-disciples come by night and ting over against the sepulchre. steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
62 Now the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days, I will rise again.
country around Jerusalem was rocky. The tomb was in a garden, near the place where Jesus was crucified. See John 19: 41. It was common for tombs to be out of cities, and to be excavated from a solid rock; frequently having the appearance of a cave.
His own new tomb. Luke says (23: 53), and John (19: 41), that no one had been buried in it. How wisely did Providence order this circumstance, so that after the resurrection of Jesus, there was no possibility of mistake as to his person. || He rolled a great stone to the door. The entrance to sepulchres used to be closed either by stone doors or by a flat stone placed up against it. John informs us (19: 39), that Nicodemus brought a quantity of myrrh and aloes, and that the body of Jesus was prepared for burial in the same becoming manner as was usually practised among the Jews in respect to their deceased friends. The kind interposition of Joseph and of Nicodemus doubtless prevented the body of Jesus from being deposited with those of the robbers in some public burying place, devoted to the burying of criminals.
61. The other Mary; the one mentioned in v. 56; the mother of Joses. See Mark 15: 47. || Sitting over against the sepulchre; noticing where he was laid, and waiting affectionately to see, as it were, the last of their beloved Lord. See Luke 23:55. They then returned to their lodgings, and
prepared spices and ointment for anointing the body, and, having made what preparation they could, rested on the Sabbath. Compare Luke
62. The day of the preparation. The day preceding the Sabbath, or any festival, was called the preparation. | The next day; the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday. The chief priests and Pharisees; doubtless a few of them, as they went on a business which they would not wish to be made public.
63. After three days, I will rise again. Matt. 12: 38-40. 16: 21. Mark 8: 31. Though Jesus spoke some things on this subject to his disciples alone, yet the knowledge of them might be imparted to others. John 10:15, 17, 18.
64. That the sepulchre be made sure ; by stationing guards there.
65. Ye have a watch; the soldiers who had already been engaged at the crucifixion. It was customary among the Romans, when appointing a guard over a prisoner, to employ four soldiers for each watch of three hours, so that the four would be successively relieved by another set of four. They usually employed four of these sets.
66. Sealing the stone. Probably a rope was passed over it in such a way, that the two ends meeting upon were fastened, and some public seal was attached to them. No one, then, could pass into the sepulchre without resisting the public authority.
CHAPTER XXVIII. N the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.
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.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
day. This may appear not exactly to agree with Luke (23 56), who says, that the woman, having returned from the cross, prepared spices, and rested on the Sabbath. But Luke may be understood as merely stating two things; that the women, after arriving at their lodgings, prepared spices, and kept the Sabbath, without mentioning these in the very order in which they occurred. He might well mention the preparing of spices first, as the facts respecting Jesus were doubtless uppermost in his mind. Perhaps, too, the women may have prepared (Luke 23: 56) what spices they had as soon as they arrived at home on Friday evening, just before sunset; and may have bought (Mark 16: 1) an additional quantity on Saturday, after sunset.
2. There was a great earthquake. The connection shows that the verb in the original ought to be rendered had been. || The angel; more properly, an angel. || Rolled back the stone. Compare 27: 60. Mark relates (16: 3, 4), that the women, on their way, had been speaking together about the difficulty of removing the stone, not knowing the arrangement which the chief priests had made for the sepulchre's being kept closed. Perhaps they thought some one could be procured in the neighborhood of the spot to remove it for them; or their remark might have been simply an allusion to the weight of the stone, and the difficulty which they might find in removing it; a difficulty which had not before occurred to them, so occupied were they with the one object of paying respect to their deceas
1. The Sabbath; the Jewish Sabbath, our Saturday. || As it began to dawn. The other evangelists speak of its being very early, while it was not yet fully light. Mark 16: 2. Luke 24: 1. John 20: 1. Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary; the same Mary as is mentioned in 27: 61. By comparing the other evangelists, we shall see that other women accompanied these. See Mark 16: 1, where Salome, mother of James and John, is mentioned; and Luke 24: 10, where Joanna (Luke 8: 3) is also mentioned, with the general remark, that certain others were with them. Matthew mentions by name merely the principal ones. To see the sepulchre. Luke (24: 1) mentions that they brought the spices which they had prepared. Their object was, not merely to see the sepulchre, but also to make use of the aromatic substances which they had prepared. See Luke 23:56. Though they doubtless knew that spices and ointment had already been used (compare John 19: 40), yet their affection for the Saviour led them to prepare an additional quantity. It was the only way in which they could show their regard; and they doubtless believed there might be occasion for more of such preparations than had been used. For, as it was towards evening when Jesus was placed in the tomb, Joseph, and those who were with him, might not have had time to complete the anointing of Jesus. Mark (16: 1) relates that the women bought the spices after the Sabbath had passed; that is, probably after sunset on Satur-ed, beloved Lord."