Mark 16:1
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.
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(1-8) And when the sabbath was past.—See Notes on Matthew 28:1-8. “Mary the mother of James” (not, as in Mark 15:40, of “James and Joses”) answers, as before, to the “other Mary” of Matthew 28:1. “Salome” appears, as before, in St. Mark only.



Mark 16:1 - Mark 16:13

It is not my business here to discuss questions of harmonising or of criticism. I have only to deal with the narrative as it stands. Its peculiar character is very plain. The manner in which the first disciples learned the fact of the Resurrection, and the disbelief with which they received it, much rather than the Resurrection itself, come into view in this section. The disciples, and not the risen Lord, are shown us. There is nothing here of the earthquake, or of the descending angel, or of the terrified guard, or of our Lord’s appearance to the women. The two appearances to Mary Magdalene and to the travellers to Emmaus, which, in the hands of John and Luke, are so pathetic and rich, are here mentioned with the utmost brevity, for the sake chiefly of insisting on the disbelief of the disciples who heard of them. Mark’s theme is mainly what they thought of the testimony to the Resurrection.

I. He shows us, first, bewildered love and sorrow.

We leave the question whether this group of women is the same as that of which Luke records that Joanna was one, as well as the other puzzle as to harmonising the notes of time in the Evangelists. May not the difference between the time of starting and that of arrival solve some of the difficulty? When all the notes are more or less vague, and refer to the time of transition from dark to day, when every moment partakes of both and may be differently described as belonging to either, is precision to be expected? In the whirl of agitation of that morning, would any one be at leisure to take much note of the exact minute? Are not these ‘discrepancies’ much more valuable as confirmation of the story than precise accord would have been? It is better to try to understand the feelings of that little band than to carp at such trifles.

Sorrow wakes early, and love is impatient to bring its tribute. So we can see these three women, leaving their abode as soon as the doleful grey of morning permitted, stealing through the silent streets, and reaching the rock-cut tomb while the sun was rising over Olivet. Where were Salome’s ambitious hopes for her two sons now? Dead, and buried in the Master’s grave. The completeness of the women’s despair, as well as the faithfulness of their love, is witnessed by their purpose. They had come to anoint the body of Him to whom in life they had ministered. They had no thought of a resurrection, plainly as they had been told of it. The waves of sorrow had washed the remembrance of His assurances on that subject clean out of their minds. Truth that is only half understood, however plainly spoken, is always forgotten when the time to apply it comes. We are told that the disbelief of the disciples in the Resurrection, after Christ’s plain predictions of it, is ‘psychologically impossible.’ Such big words are imposing, but the objection is shallow. These disciples are not the only people who forgot in the hour of need the thing which it most concerned them to remember, and let the clouds of sorrow hide starry promises which would have turned mourning into dancing, and night into day. Christ’s sayings about His resurrection were not understood in their, as it appears to us, obvious meaning when spoken. No wonder, then, that they were not expected to be fulfilled in their obvious meaning when He was dead. We shall have a word to say presently about the value of the fact that there was no anticipation of resurrection on the part of the disciples. For the present it is enough to note how these three loving souls confess their hopelessness by their errand. Did they not know, too, that Joseph and Nicodemus had been beforehand with them in their labour of love? Apparently not. It might easily happen, in the confusion and dispersion, that no knowledge of this had reached them; or perhaps sorrow and agitation had driven it out of their memories; or perhaps they felt that, whether others had done the same before or no, they must do it too, not because the loved form needed it, but because their hearts needed to do it. It was the love which must serve, not calculation of necessity, which loaded their hands with costly spices. The living Christ was pleased with the ‘odour of a sweet smell,’ from the needless spices, meant to re-anoint the dead Christ, and accepted the purpose, though it came from ignorance and was never carried out, since its deepest root was love, genuine, though bewildered.

The same absence of ‘calm practical common sense’ is seen in the too late consideration, which never occurred to the three women till they were getting near the tomb, as to how to get into it. They do not seem to have heard of the guard; but they know that the stone is too heavy for them to move, and none of the men among the disciples had been taken into their confidence. ‘Why did they not think of that before? what a want of foresight!’ says the cool observer. ‘How beautifully true to nature!’ says a wiser judgment. To obey the impulse of love and sorrow without thinking, and then to be arrested on their road by a difficulty, which they might have thought of at first, but did not till they were close to it, is surely just what might have been expected of such mourners. Mark gives a graphic picture in that one word ‘looking up,’ and follows it with picturesque present tenses. They had been looking down or at each other in perplexity, when they lifted their eyes to the tomb, which was possibly on an eminence. What a flash of wonder would pass through their minds when they saw it open! What that might signify they would be eager to hurry to find out; but, at all events, their difficulty was at an end. When love to Christ is brought to a stand in its venturous enterprises by difficulties occurring for the first time to the mind, it is well to go close up to them; and it often happens that when we do, and look steadily at them, we see that they are rolled away, and the passage cleared which we feared was hopelessly barred.

II. The calm herald of the Resurrection and the amazed hearers.

Apparently Mary Magdalene had turned back as soon as she saw the opened tomb, and hurried to tell that the body had been carried off, as she supposed. The guard had also probably fled before this; and so the other two women enter the vestibule, and there find the angel. Sometimes one angel, sometimes two, sometimes none, were visible there. The variation in their numbers in the various narratives is not to be regarded as an instance of ‘discrepancy.’ Many angels hovered round the spot where the greatest wonder of the universe was to be seen, ‘eagerly desiring to look into’ that grave. The beholder’s eye may have determined their visibility. Their number may have fluctuated. Mark does not use the word ‘angel’ at all, but leaves us to infer what manner of being he was who first proclaimed the Resurrection.

He tells of his youth, his attitude, and his attire. The angelic life is vigorous, progressive, buoyant, and alien from decay. Immortal youth belongs to them who ‘excel in strength’ because they ‘do his commandments.’ That waiting minister shows us what the children of the Resurrection shall be, and so his presence as well as his speech expounds the blessed mystery of our life in the risen Lord. His serene attitude of sitting ‘on the right side’ is not only a vivid touch of description, but is significant of restfulness and fixed contemplation, as well as of the calmness of a higher life. That still watcher knows too much to be agitated; but the less he is moved, the more he adores. His quiet contrasts with and heightens the impression of the storm of conflicting feelings in the women’s tremulous natures. His garments symbolise purity and repose. How sharply the difference between heaven and earth is given in the last words of Mark 16:5! They were ‘amazed,’ swept out of themselves in an ecstasy of bewilderment in which hope had no place. Terror, surprise, curiosity, wonder, blank incapacity to know what all this meant, made chaos in them.

The angel’s words are a succession of short sentences, which have a certain dignity, and break up the astounding revelation he has to make into small pieces, which the women’s bewildered minds can grasp. He calms their tumult of spirit. He shows them that he knows their errand. He adoringly names his Lord and theirs by the names recalling His manhood, His lowly home, and His ignominious death. He lingers on the thought, to him covering so profound a mystery of divine love, that his Lord had been born, had lived in the obscure village, and died on the Cross. Then, in one word, he proclaims the stupendous fact of His resurrection as His own act-’He is risen.’ This crown of all miracles, which brings life and immortality to light, and changes the whole outlook of humanity, which changes the Cross into victory, and without which Christianity is a dream and a ruin, is announced in a single word-the mightiest ever spoken save by Christ’s own lips. It was fitting that angel lips should proclaim the Resurrection, as they did the Nativity, though in either ‘He taketh not hold of angels,’ and they had but a secondary share in the blessings. Yet that empty grave opened to ‘principalities and powers in heavenly places’ a new unfolding of the manifold wisdom and love of God.

The angel-a true evangelist-does not linger on the wondrous intimation, but points to the vacant place, which would have been so drear but for his previous words, and bids them approach to verify his assurance, and with reverent wonder to gaze on the hallowed and now happy spot. A moment is granted for feeling to overflow, and certainty to be attained, and then the women are sent on their errand. Even the joy of that gaze is not to be selfishly prolonged, while others are sitting in sorrow for want of what they know. That is the law for all the Christian life. First make sure work of one’s own possession of the truth, and then hasten to tell it to those who need it.

‘And Peter’-Mark alone gives us this. The other Evangelists might pass it by; but how could Peter ever forget the balm which that message of pardon and restoration brought to him, and how could Peter’s mouthpiece leave it out? Is there anything in the Gospels more beautiful, or fuller of long-suffering and thoughtful love, than that message from the risen Saviour to the denier? And how delicate the love which, by calling him Peter, not Simon, reinstates him in his official position by anticipation, even though in the subsequent full restoration scene by the lake he is thrice called Simon, before the complete effacement of the triple denial by the triple confession! Galilee is named as the rendezvous, and the word employed, ‘goeth before you,’ is appropriate to the Shepherd in front of His flock. They had been ‘scattered,’ but are to be drawn together again. He is to ‘precede’ them there, thus lightly indicating the new form of their relations to Him, marked during the forty days by a distance which prepared for his final withdrawal. Galilee was the home of most of them, and had been the field of His most continuous labours. There would be many disciples there, who would gather to see their risen Lord {‘five hundred at once’}; and there, rather than in Jerusalem which had slain Him, was it fitting that He should show Himself to His friends. The appearances in Jerusalem were all within a week {if we except the Ascension}, and the connection in which Mark introduces them {if Mark 16:14 be his} seems to treat them as forced on Christ by the disciples’ unbelief, rather than as His original intention. It looks as if He meant to show Himself in the city only to one or two, such as Mary, Peter, and some others, but to reserve His more public appearance for Galilee.

How did the women receive the message? Mark represents them as trembling in body and in an ecstasy in mind, and as hurrying away silent with terror. Matthew says that they were full of ‘fear and great joy,’ and went in haste to tell the disciples. In the whirl of feeling, there were opposites blended or succeeding one another; and the one Evangelist lays hold of one set, and the other of the other. It is as impossible to catalogue the swift emotions of such a moment as to separate and tabulate the hues of sunrise. The silence which Mark tells of can only refer to their demeanour as they ‘fled.’ His object is to bring out the very imperfect credence which, at the best, was given to the testimony that Christ was risen, and to paint the tumult of feeling in the breasts of its first recipients. His picture is taken from a different angle from Matthew’s; but Matthew’s contains the same elements, for he speaks of ‘fear,’ though he completes it by ‘joy.’

III. The incredulity of the disciples.

The two appearances to Mary Magdalene and the travellers to Emmaus are introduced mainly to record the unbelief of the disciples. A strange choice that was, of the woman who had been rescued from so low a debasement, to be first to see Him! But her former degradation was the measure of her love. Longing eyes, that have been washed clean by many a tear of penitent gratitude, are purged to see Jesus; and a yearning heart ever brings Him near. The unbelief of the story of the two from Emmaus seems to conflict with Luke’s account, which tells that they were met by the news of Christ’s appearance to Simon. But the two statements are not contradictory. If we remember the excitement and confusion of mind in which they were, we shall not wonder if belief and unbelief followed each other, like the flow and recoil of the waves. One moment they were on the crest of the billows, and saw land ahead; the next they were down in the trough, and saw only the melancholy surge. The very fact that Peter was believed, might make them disbelieve the travellers; for how could Jesus have been in Jerusalem and Emmaus at so nearly the same time? However the two narratives be reconciled, it remains obvious that the first disciples did not believe the first witnesses of the Resurrection, and that their unbelief is an important fact. It bears very distinctly on the worth of their subsequent conviction. It has special bearing on the most modern form of disbelief in the Resurrection, which accounts for the belief of the first disciples on the ground that they expected Christ to rise, and that they then persuaded themselves, in all good faith, that He had risen. That monstrous theory is vulnerable at all points, but one sufficient answer is-the disciples did not expect Christ to rise again, and were so far from it that they did not believe that He had risen when they were told it. Their original unbelief is a strong argument for the reliableness of their final faith. What raised them from the stupor of despair and incredulity? Only one answer is ‘psychologically’ reasonable: they at last believed because they saw. It is incredible that they were conscious deceivers; for such lives as they lived, and such a gospel as they preached, never came from liars. It is as incredible that they were unconsciously mistaken; for they were wholly unprepared for the Resurrection, and sturdily disbelieved all witnesses for it, till they saw with their own eyes, and had ‘many infallible proofs.’ Let us be thankful for their unbelief and its record, and let us seek to possess the blessing of those ‘that have not seen, and yet have believed!’

Mark 16:1. Mary Magdalene, &c., had bought sweet spices — These Galilean women, who had waited on Jesus in his last moments, and attended his body to the sepulchre, observing that his funeral rites were performed in haste, (the body being rolled in nothing but a mixture of myrrh and aloes, brought by Nicodemus, John 19:39,) agreed among themselves to come, when the sabbath was passed, and embalm their dead Lord, by anointing and swathing him in a proper manner. Accordingly, as soon as they had seen him laid in the sepulchre, and the entrance into it blocked up by a great stone, they returned to the city, and bought what other spices were necessary for that purpose. And very early in the morning they came unto the sepulchre — See note on Matthew 28:1. At the rising of the sun — It appears, upon comparing the accounts given by the other evangelists, that they set out while it was yet dark, and came within sight of the sepulchre, for the first time, just as it grew light enough to discern that the stone was rolled away. But by the time Mary had called Peter and John, and they had viewed the sepulchre, the sun was rising.

16:1-8 Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but these good women did not think that enough. The respect others show to Christ, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And those who are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, will find the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we put ourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shall be accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sight of the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they were affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of comfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us. He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is not here, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, but you may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonable comforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus. Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the haste they could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinder us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men, which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 28:1-8.

Mark 16:1

Sweet spices - "Aromatics." Substances used in embalming. The idea of sweetness is not, however, implied in the original. Many of the substances used for embalming were "bitter" - as, for example, myrrh - and none of them, perhaps, could properly be called "sweet." The word "spices" expresses all that there is in the original.

Anoint him - Embalm him, or apply these spices to his body to keep it from putrefaction. This is proof that they did not suppose he would rise again; and the fact that they did not "expect" he would rise, gives more strength to the evidence for his resurrection.


Mr 16:1-20. Angelic Announcement to the Women on the First Day of the Week, that Christ Is Risen—His Appearances after His Resurrection—His Ascension—Triumphant Proclamation of His Gospel. ( = Mt 28:1-10, 16-20; Lu 24:1-51; Joh 20:1, 2, 11-29).

The Resurrection Announced to the Women (Mr 16:1-8).

1. And when the sabbath was past—that is, at sunset of our Saturday.

Mary Magdalene—(See on [1522]Lu 8:2).

and Mary the mother of James—James the Less (see Mr 15:40).

and Salome—the mother of Zebedee's sons (compare Mr 15:40 with Mt 27:56).

had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him—The word is simply "bought." But our translators are perhaps right in rendering it here "had bought," since it would appear, from Lu 23:56, that they had purchased them immediately after the Crucifixion, on the Friday evening, during the short interval that remained to them before sunset, when the sabbath rest began; and that they had only deferred using them to anoint the body till the sabbath rest should be over. On this "anointing," see on [1523]Joh 19:40.Mark 15:1-8 Christ’s resurrection is declared by angels to the

two Marys and Salome.

Mark 15:9-11 Christ himself appeareth to Mary Magdalene,

Mark 15:12,13 to two of his disciples going into the country,

Mark 15:14-18 and to the eleven; whom he commissions to preach

the gospel to all the world.

Mark 15:19,20 His ascension into heaven; the gospel is preached

every where, the Lord confirming the word with signs.

We are now come to the history of our Saviour’s resurrection, his several appearances to and converse with his disciples, from the time of his rising from the dead unto the time of his ascension up into heaven, which was forty days. Of all the evangelists, St. John is most full in his relation of this part of the history of our Saviour, which we shall consider in order; for his two last chapters are wholly spent in this part of the history: in the mean time, as we did in our notes on Matthew 28:1-20 take notice only of what Matthew hath upon that argument; so we shall, in the opening of this chapter of Mark, take notice only of what Mark hath not concurrent with, and completory of, what Matthew had before said (for what he hath of that nature, we shall refer the reader to our notes on Matthew). See Poole on "Matthew 28:1", and following verses to Matthew 28:20. And here we will also take in what Luke hath that tends to the fuller relation of any thing which Mark hath; not meddling with what John hath, but reserving that till we come to open the fuller account of this whole history, in the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of his Gospel.

Ver. 1,2. Matthew saith, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week. John saith, they came early, when it was yet dark. Luke also saith, very early. But it is manifest from the history, that they came a second time, of which Mark may speak, passing over their first coming.

And when the sabbath was past,.... "In the end of it", as Matthew says, Matthew 28:1; not "when it was the sabbath", as the Arabic version reads; for it was not lawful to buy spices, and anoint with on the sabbath day; See Gill on Matthew 28:1.

Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James, and Salome; who was the wife of Zebedee, and the mother of the other James and John:

had bought sweet spices; or "brought", as the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions read; for though the women might have bought some on the preparation day, the day before the sabbath, the same evening that Christ was buried, Luke 23:56, yet, they might buy more for the same purpose, after the sabbath was over: for this there was a particular market at Jerusalem (d); for we are a told, that

"there were there three markets, one by another; in the first of which were sold, all kinds of precious things, silks, and embroidered work; in the second, various kinds of fruits and herbs; and in the third, all kinds of spices.''

That they might come and anoint him; with those sweet spices, as was the manner of the Jews: hence we read (e) of, , "the spices of the dead"; which were used to expel an ungrateful savour: this they did, out of affection to Christ, but seemed to have no faith in his resurrection, though he had told them of it, which they had forgot. The Vulgate Latin reads, "that they might anoint Jesus"; the Ethiopic version, "anoint his body": but the Arabic thus, "anoint the sepulchre"; his body being anointed before, and wound up by Joseph and Nicodemus; and therefore they came to strew the sepulchre with spices and ointments, and give it a sweet perfume. Though it seems most likely, that they came to anoint his body; for this was one of the things which was customary in Israel to do to dead men, as Maimonides (f) observes, , "they anoint him with various sorts of spices".

(d) Jechus Haabot, p. 24. Ed. Hottinger. (e) Misn. Betacot, c. 8. sect. 6. & Barrenors in ib. T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 12. 2.((f) Hiichot Ebel, c. 4. sect. 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.
Mark 16:1-8. See on Matthew 28:1-8. Comp. Luke 24:1-11.

διαγενομ. τοῦ σαββ.] i.e. on Saturday after sunset. See Mark 16:2. A difference from Luke 23:56, which is neither to be got rid of, with Ebrard and Lange, by a distortion of the clear narrative of Luke; nor, with Beza, Er. Schmid, Grotius, Wolf, Rosenmüller, and others, by taking ἠγόρασαν as a pluperfect. For examples of διαγίνεσθαι used of the lapse of an intervening time (Dem. 541. 10, 833. 14; Acts 25:13; Acts 27:9), see Raphel, Polyb. p. 157; Wetstein in loc.

They bought aromatic herbs (ἀρώματα, Xen. Anab. i. 5. 1; Polyb. xiii. 9. 5) to mingle them with ointment, and so to anoint the dead body therewith (ἀλείψ.). This is no contradiction of John 19:40. See on Matthew 27:59.

Mark 16:2 f. πρωΐ] with the genitive. Comp. Herod. ix. 101, and see generally, Krüger, § 47. 10. 4.

τῆς μιᾶς σαββ.] on the Sunday. See on Matthew 28:1.

ἀνατειλαντ. τοῦ ἡλίου] after sunrise; not: when the sun rose (Ebrard, Hug, following Grotius, Heupel, Wolf, Heumann, Paulus, and others), or: was about to rise (so Krebs, Hitzig), or: had begun to rise (Lange), which would be ἀνατέλλοντος, as is actually the reading of D. A difference, from John 20:1, and also from Luke 24:1; nor will it suit well even with the πρωΐ strengthened by λίαν; we must conceive it so, that the sun had only just appeared above the horizon.

πρὸς ἑαυτούς] in communication with each other. But of a Roman watch they know nothing.

ἐκ τῆς θύρας] The stone was rolled into the entrance of the tomb, and so closed the tomb, John 20:1.

Mark 16:4. ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα] Wassenbergh in Valckenaer, Schol. II. p. 35, would transpose this back to Mark 16:3 after μνημείου, as has actually been done in D. Most expositors (including Fritzsche, de Wette, Bleek) proceed thus as respects the meaning; holding that γάρ brings in the reason for Mark 16:3. An arbitrary view; it refers to what immediately precedes. After they had looked up (their look was previously cast down) they beheld (“contemplabantur cum animi intentione,” see Tittmann, Synon. p. 120 f.) that the stone was rolled away; for (specification of the reason how it happened that this perception could not escape them after their looking up, but the fact of its having been rolled away must of necessity meet their eyes) it was very great. Let us conceive to ourselves the very large stone lying close by the door of the tomb. Its rolling away, however, had not occurred while they were beside it, as in Matthew, but previously; so also Luke 24:2; Luke 24:23; John 20:1. As to σφόδρα at the end, comp. on Matthew 2:10.

Mark 16:5. νεανίσκον] Mark and Luke (who, however, differ in the number: ἄνδρες δύο) relate the angelic appearance as it presented itself (κατὰ τὸ φαινόμενον); Matthew (who, however, places it not in the tomb, but upon the stone), as that which it actually was (ἄγγελος κυρίου). On the form of a young man assumed by the angel, comp. 2Ma 3:26; Joseph. Antt. v. 8. 2 f., and Genesis 19:5 f.

ἐν τ. δεξ] on the right hand in the tomb from the entrance, therefore to the left hand of the place where the body would lie.

Mark 16:6. Simple asyndeta in the lively eagerness of the discourse.

Mark 16:7. ἀλλʼ] breaking off, before the summons which suddenly intervened, Kühner, II. p. 439; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 78 f.

καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ] to His disciples and (among these especially) to Peter. Comp. Mark 1:5; Acts 1:14; and see Grotius. The special prominence of Peter is explained by the ascendancy and precedence, which by means of Jesus Himself (Matthew 16:18) he possessed as primus inter pares (“dux apostolici coetus,” Grotius; comp. also Mark 9:2; Mark 14:33), not by the denial of Peter, to whom the announcement is held to have given the assurance of forgiveness (Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Victor Antiochenus, Calovius, Heumann, Kuinoel, Lange, and others), which is assumed with all the greater arbitrariness without any indication in the text, seeing that possibly Peter might have concluded just the contrary.

ὅτι] recitative, so that ὑμᾶς and ὑμῖν apply to the disciples as in Matthew.

καθὼς εἶπεν ὑμῖν] Mark 14:28. It relates to the whole of what precedes: προάγει ὑμᾶς κ.τ.λ. and ἐκεῖ αὐτ. ὄψ. The latter was indirectly contained in Mark 14:28.

The circumstance that here preparation is made for a narrative of a meeting together in Galilee, but no such account subsequently follows, is an argument justly brought to bear against the genuineness of Mark 16:9 ff. That the women did not execute the angel’s charge (Mark 16:8), does not alter the course of the matter as it had been indicated by the angel; and to explain that inconsistency by the fact that the ascension does not well agree with the Galilean meeting, is inadmissible, because Mark, according to our passage and Mark 14:28, must of necessity have assumed such a meeting,[183] consequently there was nothing to hinder him from representing Jesus as journeying to Galilee, and then again returning to Judaea for the ascension (in opposition to de Wette).

Mark 16:8. δέ] explicative, hence also γάρ has found its way into codd. and vss. (Lachmann, Tischendorf).

οὐδενὶ οὐδὲν εἶπον] The suggestion that we should, with Grotius, Heupel, Kuinoel, and many more, mentally supply: on the way, is devised for the sake of Luke 24:9; rather is it implied, that from fear and amazement they left the bidding of the angel at Mark 16:7 unfulfilled. It is otherwise in Matthew 28:8. That subsequently they told the commission given to them by the angel, is self-evident; but they did not execute it.

εἶχε δὲ αὐτὰς κ.τ.λ.] Hom Il. vi. 137; Herod. iv. 15; Soph. Phil. 681; also in the LXX.

Ch. Mark 16:1-8. The Resurrection

1. And when the sabbath was past] Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday night passed away, three days according to the Jewish reckoning (comp. (a) 1 Samuel 30:12-13; 2 Chronicles 10:5; 2 Chronicles 10:12; (b) Matthew 12:40; John 2:19; Matthew 27:63), and He, Who had truly died, lay also truly buried.

bought sweet spices] Meanwhile the holy women, whom a love stronger than death had drawn to observe the spot on the evening of His burial, had returned in order that they might complete the embalming of the Body, which had necessarily been done in haste, as the Sabbath drew on (Luke 23:54).

Mark 16:1. Ἠγόρασαν, they [had] bought) On the day before the Sabbath they prepared the sweet spices, Luke 23:56; Luke 24:1. Therefore it must have been then also that they had bought them: for on the day following the Sabbath they could not have bought them so early in the morning. Accordingly, either διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου must, by Hyperbaton [the transposition of words contrary to the natural order.—See Append.], be joined with they come [ἔρχονται], Mark 16:2; or else the sense is, the Sabbath having been kept in the interim, viz. between the preparation and the first day of the week.—ἀρώματα, sweet spices;—ἀλείψωσιν, they might anoint) There is a Synecdoche [see Append.] in both words.[11] They were wishing to sprinkle the body with the sweet spices, and to anoint it with ointments, or else to mix together the sweet spices and ointments.

[11] The ἀρώματα, sweet spices, including also ointments: the ἁλείψωσιν, anoint, including also the mixing together of sweet spices and ointments.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 1. - And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα) that they might come and anoint him. A hasty but lavish embalming of our Lord's sacred body had been begun on Friday evening by Joseph and Nicodemus. They had "brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight" (John 19:39). This would be a compound - the gum of the myrrh tree, and a powder of the fragrant aloe wood mixed together, with which they would completely cover the body, which was then swathed with linen cloths (ὀθόνια), also steeped in the aromatic preparation. Then the sindon would he placed over all. Compare the ἐνετύλιξεν, of St. Luke (Luke 23:53), as applying to the sindon, with the ἔδησαν of St. John (John 21:40) as applying to the ὀθόνια. This verse records a further stage in the embalming. What had been done on the Friday evening had been done in haste, and yet sufficiently for the preservation of the sacred body, if that had been needful, from decay. The remaining work could be done more carefully and tenderly at the tomb. Observe the aorist in this verse (hJgo>rasan) "they bought;" not "they had bought." Mark 16:1
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