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(There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews' preparation day, for the sepulchre was nigh at hand,) it would appear, that the friends of Jesus intended to carry him somewhere else; perhaps, because Joseph's sepulchre was not yet finished, being a new one. The women knowing this, had reason to think that Joseph would remove the body as soon as the sabbath was ended. Accordingly, they bought the spices; they judged it proper to send two of their number to see if Jesus was still in the sepulchre, and if he was not, to enquire of the gardener where he was laid, (John xx. 15.] that when the spices were prepared, that is, pounded, mixed, and melted into an ointment, they might go directly to the place and embalm him."
In support of this opinion, it is alleged, that the word translated dawn, ought rather to be rendered draw on, as the first day of the week, according to the Jewish reckoning, began, vot at midnight, but at sun-set on the Saturday evening; and that, understanding the expression thus, it expressly affirms the time of this first attempt to visit the sepulchre to have been on that day.
“For these reasons, I think it probable, that the two Marys attempted to visit the sepulchre in the end of the Jewish sabbath, or about the setting of the sun on our Saturday evening. I say, attempted to visit the sepulchre, because it does not appear that they actually went thither. While they were going, there was a great earthquake, viz. that which preceded the most memorable cvent which ever happened among men, the resurrection of the Son of God from the dead. This carthquake, I suppose, frightened the women to such a degree, that they immediately turned back : or their retum may have been rendered pecessary by a storm, if this earthquake was attended with a storm : or we may espouse the opinion of Hammond and Le Clerc, who interpret the original words in this passage of a tem pest only. As the tempest, therefore, or earthquake, which preceded our Lord's resurrection, was a great one, it could hardly fail to lay the women under a necessity of returning. The guards, it is true, reinained at the sepulchre all the while ; but there was a great difference between the tempers of the persons, 'pot to mention that the men being soldiers, duty obliged them to keep their post as long as possible. The whole of this account acquires a further degree of probability from the following remark : that" on supposition our Lord's resurrection was preceded by a tempest, or earthquake, or both, which frightened the two Marys as they went to the sepulchre, and made them turn back, we can see the reason why the women did not go out with the spices till the morning, notwithstanding, according to Luke, they had bought and prepared, at least, the greatest part of them, the evening on which Jesus was buried ; and notwithstanding the nature of ernbalming required that they should make as much dispatch as possible.
• After the two Marys returped, they went with their companions, and bought what spices were necessary to complete the preparation. .So Mark says, xvi. I. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, end Saloine, bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. Having set put for the sepulchre, in the end of the Jewish sabbath, when the first day of the week was drawing on, by the time that they returned, they found their companions going to buy more spices, the sabbath being ended, and so went along with them, as Mark affirms. For though the storm had hindered them from proceeding to the sepulchre, they might attend their companions without much inconveniency, especially if the spices were to be, had in any shop hard by. While the women were making these preparations for embalming Jesus, he arose from the dead, his resurrection being preceded by the desçent of an angel, whose appearance at the sepulchre was
ushered in with a great earthquake, and a storm which lasted several hours. (Mat. 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. The angel who now descended, assuming a very awful and majestic form, the guards were exceedingly affrighted. [3, 4.] His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead inen. Probably, they fainted away. It is not said at what particular instant Jesus arose, whether it was before the guards fell into the swoon, or after they recovered themselves and fled. Mark, indeed, by observing that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, may be thought to insinuate that the guards did not see him when he arose; yet the evangelist's words do not necessarily imply this ; for his meaning may be, that he appeared to Mary Magdalene first of all the disciples only. Besides, though the guards saw him arise, it was, properly speaking, no appearance of Christ to them. However, be this as it will, it is certain that Jesus was arisen and gone before any of the women arrived at the sepulchre. Probably, also, the angel had left the stone on which he sat at first, and had entered into the sepulchre ; for, as we shall see immediately, when he shewed himself to the women, he invited them, not to go, but to come, and see the place where the Lord lay. Besides, when the women observed the stone rolled away from the door of the sepulchre, they saw no angél sitting on the stone, as is evident from their going so briskly for ward.
*** On the morning of the first day of the week, according to our form of the day, wheir the weather was become calm, and every thing was made ready, all the women' went out together very early, carrying the spices which they had prepared, to the sepulchre, at which they arrived about the rising of the sun. (Luke xxiv. 1.] Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. (Mark xvi. 2.) And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. [John xx 1] T'he first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre."
That the journey of the women to the sepulchre in the morning, described by Mark and Luke, was made by all of them in one company, and at one time, is higbly probable, since the women said to have gone to the sepulchre are the same in the three cvangelists, and the time fixed for their journey by such is the same.
« [Mark xvi. 3.] And, now while the women were going along, they said among theinselves, who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? for it was very great. It seems, they knew not what had happened: for those of them who had set out the preceding evening had not got to the sepulchre. At length, drawing near, they had their uneasiness removed, the stone was rolled away, and the door open. And rchen they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away. Luke xxiv. 31. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. Though they felt all round the sepulchre they could not fipd the body. Being, therefore, in great perplexity, it is natural to imagine that they would consult among themselves about Hie steps they were next to take. The issue of their deliberation secms to have been, that Mary Magdalene, whose zeal disposed, her cheerfully to undertake the office, should go immediately to the apostles, and enquire of them whether the body had been removed with their knowledge, and where they had directed it to bc laid: and that, in the mean time, the rest were to search the garden carefully, in order to find it. Coming out of the sepulchre, therefore, Mary Magdalene departed and ran into the city, where she found the apostles, and told them that the body was taken away.
[Joho xx. 2.1 Then she růnneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whor 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. Peter and John only are mentioned in this relation ; but the circumstances taken notice of by the other evanger, lists, shew that the apostles lodged all together in one honse, as they used to do while their Master was alive. If so, it is reasonable to believe that they all heard Mary Magdalene's report, and were anxious to know the truth of it. But, in their present situation, they would judge it imprudent to go out in a body to examine the matter, and would rather depute two of their number for that purpose. Accordingly, I suppose, that Peter and Johu went to the sepulchre by the advice and appointment of the rest. Peter, therefore, went forth, and that other disciple, and came (or ram, ther,' Weit) to the sepulchre, as is plain from the following verse, 4, so they ran bother together. . .
" While these things were doing in the city, the women at the sepulchre, having searched the garden to no purpose, resolved, now they had more light, to examine the sepulchre a second time; when, to their great surprize, just as they entered, they saw a beautiful young man in shining raiment, very glorious to behold, sitting on the right side. [Mark xvi. 5.) And entering into the sepulchre, (a second time, namely, after Magdalene was gone, and after they had searched awhile for the body in the garden) they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment. Matthew, verse 4, 5, says, that it was the angel who had rolled away, the stove, and frightened the guards from the sepulchre. It seems, he had now laid aside the terrors in which he was arrayed, and assumed the form and dress of a human being, in order that, when the women saw him, they might be as little terrified as possible. (Mark xvi. 5.) And they were affrighted. So a frighted, we may guppose, that they were on the point of turning back : but the angel, to banish their fears, told them, with a gentle accent, that he knew their errand. (Mat. xxvii. 5.) And the angel answered and said unto the women, fear not ye; (Mark, be not affrighted for I know that ye seek Jestis (Mark, of Nuzurech,) which was crucified. (6.). Ha is not here, for he is risen, as he said :-then invited them to come down, and see the place where he had lain, i, e. to look on the linen rollers and the napkin which had been about bis body, but which he had left bebind when he arose ; for to look at the place in any other view, would not have been a confirmation of their faith in his resurrection. Come see (Mark, behold, the place where the Lord lay (Mark, where they laid him.) This is the appearance of the one angel which Matthew and Mark have described. The womon, much encouraged by the agrceable news, as well as by the sweet accent with which the heavenly being spake, went down into the sepul chre, and, lo,' another angel appeared. Probably, the one sat at the head, the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus lad lain; the situation in which they shewed themselves by-and-by to Mary Magdalene. FJolyn xx. 12. This latter is the vision of two angels, which Luke, who wrote his gospel first, las deseribed as the priucipal vision, fxxiv. 3, 4.7 ? . . .
. . . ..
is o n er “ (Luke xxiv. 3, 4.] And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lorxt Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold two mon stood by thein in shining garments. · Froin this account, indeed, it is gencrally inferred, that the angels appeared to the women on their first entering into the sepult chre. But the conclusion is by no means certain; for the evangelist does not tell us where the angels appeared, whether in the sepulchre, or out of it. In his account, therefore, of the matter, there is nothing forbidding us to suppose that the women, after missing the body, came out and searched for it up and down the garden, then
went in a second time, and discovered the angels as they entered; for they were stilt in perplexity when the heavenly inessengers spake to them, which is all that Luke affirms. And as there is nothing in. Luke's narration forbidding us to make the supposition just now mentioned, so the circumstance taken notice of by John, that Magdalene told the apostles, they had taken away the Lord's body, obliges us to make it : for if, when she entered into the sepulchre with her compaụions, the angel had appeared to them and told them that Jesus was risen, she could not have spoken in this manner to the apostles. Luke, indeed, joins the appearance of the two angels with the account which he gives of the women's perplexity, occasioned by their not finding the body, because he did not judge it worth while to distinguish, the appearance of the one augel, while the women were on the top of the stairs, from the appearance of both the angels after they were come down, as they happened in close succession. Matthew and Mark have supplied this defect, by informing us, that immediately upon their entering, the women saw an angel, who toki them Jesus was risen, and desired them to come down and see the place where the Lord lay. Because the women were exceedingly afraid when the first apgel appeared, he spake to them with much mildness. [Mat, xxviü. 5.] But now that their terror was a little abated, and they were come down into the sepulchre, he chid them gently for seeking the living among the dead; by which we are not to understand their coming down in obedience to his invitation, but their having brought spices to the sepulchre, with an intention to do their Master an office that belonged oply unto the dead; for that was a clear proof of their not entertaining the least thought of bis resurrection ; accordingly, he found fault with them also, for not believing the things which Jesus had spoken to them in Galilee, concerning his rising from the dead on the third day; or rather, for not Femembering them so as to have had some hopes of his reviving again. [Luke xxiv. 5, 6, 7.1 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, why seek ye the living anong the dead ? he is not here, but is risen : remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful inen, and be crucified, and the third day rise again This evangelist, having no intention to tell which of the angels spake, attributes to them both, words which, in the nature of the thing, could be spoken only by one of them, perhaps, the one mentioned by Matthew and Mark.
Farther : as it is the custom of the sacred historians, to mention one person or thing only, even in cases where more were concerned, the difficulty arising from Luke's speaking of two angels, and the rest but of one, would have been nothing; because we might have supposed that all the women went into the sepulchre together, as Luke tells us ; and that when they did not find the body, they dispatched Mary Magdalene immediately isto the city with an account of the matter ; and that when she was gone, the angels appeared unto the rest while they were yet in the sepulchre. But as Luke affirms that they had searched the sepulchrç, and were in perplexity on account of the body being taken away, before the angels appeared ; and Matthew intimates that they were out of the sepulchre when they saw the vision he speaks of chapter xxviii. 6'; we are obliged to make the suppositions mentioned above. 73
When the women had satisfied their curiosity by looking at the place where the Lord had lain, aud where nothing was to be found but the linen clothes in wbich he had been swatbed, the angel who first appeared to them bade them go and tell his disciples, particularly Peter, the glad news of his resurrection from the dead, that he was going before them to Galilee, and that they should have the pleasure of seeing him there. (Mat. xxviii. 7.). And go quickly, and tell his disciples, (Mark, and Peter, that he is risen from the dead ; and, behold, he goeth before you inte
5, 6, 7. ring them so as to have had the dead on the thiresus had spoken to
had satisfied their to be found but the linede bem go and tell
Galileo, there shall ye see him, (Mark, as he said unto joi, 10, I have told you: This message, as well as that from Jesus himself, Mat: xxviii. 9, 10.] was ssent to all the disciples, and not to the apostles in particular. The reason may have been this : Our Lord intending to visit his apostles that very evening, there was no oc! casion to order them into Galitee to see him. But, as most of his disciples were now in Jerusatem celebrating the passover, ift may easily be imagined, that, on receiving the news of their Master's resurrection, many of them would resolve to tarry, in expectation of meeting with him ; a thing which must have been very inconvenient for them at that time of the year, when the harvest was about to begin, the sheaf of first-fruits being always offered on the second day of the passover week. Wherefore, ' to prevent their being so long from home, the messages mentioned were seot, directing theta toʻreturn into Galilee, well assured that they should have the pleasure of seeing their 'Lord there; 'and, by that means, he happily relieved from the sugpicion of bis being an impostor, which, no doubt, had arisen in their minds when they saw him expire on the cross. Accordingly, he appeared, as we shall see by-andby, to more than five hundred of them at once, who, in consequence of this appointment, gathered together to see himn. The women, highly elated with the news of their Lord's resurrection, and of his fatending to shew himself publicly in Galilee, went out of the sepulchre immediately, and ran to bring the disciples word. [Luke xxiv. 8.] And they remembered his words. Mat. xxviii. 8.] And they departed quickly from the sepulchre, with fear and great joy, (Mark, thoy went out quickly, and fted from the sepulchre, for they trembled, and were aniaxed,) And did run to bring his disciples word. Mark xvi. 8.7 Neither said they any thing to any man: for they were afraid. [Luke xxiv. 9.] And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven. The eleven were not all present when the women came, for Peter and John were gone to the sepulchre. Yet, as it was not Luke's intention to mention every circumstance minutely, he speaks of their informing the eleven in general, though from Matthew it appears that the women did not tell these things to Peter and John till afterwards : and to all the rest, namely, at different times. [10.] It was Mary Magdalene,' and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. When the women came to the apostles the first time, Mary Magdalene was at the sepulchre witb Peter and John : but her report, though made separately, is fitly joined by Luke with that of her companions for various reasons. [Luke xxiv. 11.] And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not. Their Master's crucifixion gave such a severe blow to their faith, that they laid aside all the thoughts that they had entertained of his being the Messiah : and, therefore, they had not the least expectation of his resurrection, notwithstanding he had often predicted it to theroi: Day, they looked upon the story which the women told them about it as a mere chimera, the delusion of a disordered imagination. For
" While the women were running into the city to impart the glad tidings of the Lord's resurrection, which they had received from the angels, Peter and John were on the road to the sepulchre, having set out to examine the truth of what Mary Magdalene had told them : but, happening to go by a different street, or, perhaps, entering the garden of the sepulchre by a different door from that through which the company of women had departed, they did not meet with them. The two disciples made all the haste they could : for they were anxious to have their doubts cleared up; but John, being the younger man, out-ran Peter; and got to the sepulchre first He did not, however, go in; he only stooped down, and saw the rollers which Irad. been about the body. (Johın xx. 4.] So they ran both together; and the other
su nad - departed, they did not meet ***