|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:50-56 Many, though they do not make any show in outward profession, yet, like Joseph of Arimathea, will be far more ready to do real service, when there is occasion, than others who make a greater noise. Christ was buried in haste, because the sabbath drew on. Weeping must not hinder sowing. Though they were in tears for the death of their Lord, yet they must prepare to keep holy the sabbath. When the sabbath draws on, there must be preparation. Our worldly affairs must be so ordered, that they may not hinder us from our sabbath work; and our holy affections so stirred up, that they may carry us on in it. In whatever business we engage, or however our hearts may be affected, let us never fail to get ready for, and to keep holy, the day of sacred rest, which is the Lord's day.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they returned,.... To the city, and to their own houses, or to some one of them;
and prepared spices and ointments; for the anointing, and embalming the body of Christ, called by the Jews the spices of the dead; see the note on Mark 16:1
and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment, in Exodus 20:8 not knowing as yet the abolition of it, with the rest of the ceremonial law; and therefore, though they had bought and prepared the spices and ointments, they did not carry them to the sepulchre to anoint the body with them, till the sabbath was over; for this was forbidden to be done on a sabbath day. It is asked (f),
"what is that thing that is lawful to be done to a living man, and is forbidden a dead man? It is said, , "this is anointing".''
Though elsewhere (g) this
"is allowed of; for so runs one of their traditions; they do all things necessary for the dead, (i.e. on a sabbath day,) "they anoint", and wash him, only they may not move a limb of him.''
But how he could be anointed, and washed, without a limb being moved, is not very easy to say, as his foot, or hand, or eye brows, which are the parts one of their commentators instances in (h).
(f) T. Hieros. Sahbat. fol. 12. 2.((g) Misn. Sabbat. c. 23, sect. 5. (h) Bartenora in ib.
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