Matthew 27:57
When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
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(57) A rich man of Arimathæa.—The place so named was probably identical with the Ramah of 1Samuel 1:19, the birth-place of the prophet. In 1Samuel 1:1 the name is given in its uncontracted form as Ramathaim-zophim, and in the LXX. version it appears throughout as Armathaim, in Josephus as Armatha, in 1 Maccabees 11:34 as Ramathem. It was a city of the Jews, in the narrower sense in which that word meant the people of Judæa (Luke 23:51). The site is more or less conjectural, but if we identify the Ramah, or Ramathaim, of 1Samuel 1:1 with the modern Nebby Samuel, about four miles north-west of Jerusalem, we have a position which sufficiently fits in with the circumstances of the history. Of Joseph we are told by St. Mark (Mark 15:43) that he was “an honourable counsellor,” i.e., a member of the Sanhedrin, and that he was looking for the kingdom of God; by St. Luke (Luke 23:50-51), that he was “a good man, and a just” (see Note on Romans 5:7 for the distinction between the two words); by St. John ( John 19:38), that he was “a disciple, but secretly for fear of the Jews.” He was apparently a man of the same class and type of character as Nicodemus, respecting our Lord as a man, admiring Him as a teacher, half-believing in Him as the Christ, and yet, till now, shrinking from confessing Him before men. For us the name has the interest of being one of the few New Testament names connected with our own country. He was sent, it was said, by Philip (the Apostle) to Britain. There, in the legend which mediæval chroniclers delighted to tell, he founded the Church of Glastonbury; and the staff which he stuck into the ground took root and brought forth leaves and flowers, and became the parent of all the Glastonbury thorns from that day to this. We have to place the piercing of the side, narrated by St. John only (John 19:31-37), before Joseph’s application.

27:57-61 In the burial of Christ was nothing of pomp or solemnity. As Christ had not a house of his own, wherein to lay his head, while he lived, so he had not a grave of his own, wherein to lay his body, when he was dead. Our Lord Jesus, who had no sin of his own, had no grave of his own. The Jews designed that he should have made his grave with the wicked, should have been buried with the thieves with whom he was crucified, but God overruled it, so that he should make it with the rich in his death, Isa 53:9. And although to the eye of man the beholding a funeral may cause terror, yet if we remember how Christ by his burial has changed the nature of the grave to believers, it should make us rejoice. And we are ever to imitate Christ's burial in being continually occupied in the spiritual burial of our sins.When the even was come - That is, some time after three o'clock in the afternoon. Before this, the Jews had besought Pilate that the legs of those who were crucified might be broken and the bodies be taken down, that they might not remain on the cross during the Sabbath. The soldiers, coming to Jesus for that purpose, found that he was already dead, contrary to their expectation. A soldier, however, thrust a spear into his side, and there was furnished the fullest proof that he had expired. See the notes at John 19:31-37.

A rich man of Arimathea - It is uncertain where Arimathea was. There were several cities of that name in Judea. It is commonly supposed to be the same as Rama. See the notes at Matthew 2:17. Luke says that this was a "city of the Jews," and it is probable, therefore, that it was in the tribe of Benjamin, and but a short distance from Jerusalem. This man sustained a high character. He was an "honorable counsellor, who also waited for the kingdom of God" Mark 15:43; he was "a good man and a just" Luke 23:50; he had nobly set himself against the wicked purposes of the Sanhedrin Luke 23:51; he was a disciple of Jesus, though he was not openly his follower, because he feared the Jews, John 19:38.

56. Among which was Mary Magdalene—(See on [1380]Lu 8:2).

and Mary the mother of James and Joses—the wife of Cleophas, or rather Clopas, and sister of the Virgin (Joh 19:25). See on [1381]Mt 13:55,56.

and the mother of Zebedee's children—that is, Salome: compare Mr 15:40. All this about the women is mentioned for the sake of what is afterwards to be related of their purchasing spices to anoint their Lord's body.

The Taking Down from the Cross and the Burial (Mt 27:57-60).

For the exposition of this portion, see on [1382]Joh 19:38-42.

The Women Mark the Sacred Spot that They Might Recognize It on Coming Thither to Anoint the Body (Mt 27:61).

See Poole on "Matthew 27:61".

When the even was come,.... The second evening, when it was just at sunset; at which time the Jewish sabbath began, and when the bodies of those that were crucified, must be taken down; and if not dead, their bones must be broken, and they dispatched, in order to be interred in the common burying place of malefactors:

there came a rich man Arimathea: not from thence now, for he lived at Jerusalem; but this was the place of his nativity, or former abode, and from whence he originally came; and is the same with Ramathaim Zophim, and Ramah, and was the birthplace of Samuel the prophet, 1 Samuel 1:1, and is by the Septuagint called Armathaim, in 1 Samuel 1:1. His character, as a rich man, is particularly mentioned, not merely to show that such men may be, and sometimes are, instances of the grace of God; much less in a way of boasting, that such a man was attached to Jesus; but rather to point out the reason, how he came to have such easy access to Pilate, and to succeed in his business with him; as well as to observe the accomplishment of a prophecy, in Isaiah 53:9,

named Joseph; the same name with one of the patriarchs, the sons of Jacob; between whom there was a resemblance, not only as good men, but in their observance of funeral rites and obsequies; the one in those of his father, the other in those of his dear Lord and Master. Some think (k) he is the same with Joseph ben Gorion, the brother of Nicodemus ben Gorion, often spoken of as a priest, and one of the richest of them in Jerusalem:

who also himself was Jesus' disciple; though he was only a secret one, as Nicodemus was: he had not as yet, or till now publicly professed him, for fear of the Jews, who had made a law, that whoever did, should be cast out of the synagogue; see John 19:38.

(k) Alting. Shilo, p. 309.

{15} When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

(15) Christ is buried, not privately or by stealth, but with the governor's consent, by a famous man, in a place not far distant, in a new tomb, so that his death cannot be doubted.

Matthew 27:57. Ὀψίας δὲ γενομ.] the so-called first or early evening, just before the close of the Jewish day. Deuteronomy 21:22 f.; Joseph. Bell. iv. 5. 2. See also Lightfoot, p. 499.

ἀπὸ Ἀριμαθ.] belongs to ἄνθρωπος πλούσιος. Comp. μάγοι ἀπὸ ἀνατολῶν, Matthew 2:1. The other evangelists describe him as a member of the Sanhedrim; an additional reason for supposing him to have resided in Jerusalem.

ἦλθεν] namely, to the place of execution, as the context shows, and not to the praetorium (de Wette, Bleek), to which latter Matthew 27:58 represents him as going only after his return from the scene of the crucifixion. Arimathia, רָמָתַיִם with the article, 1 Samuel 1:1, the birthplace of Samuel (see Eusebius, Onom., and Jerome, Ep. 86, ad Eustoch. epitaph. Paul. p. 673), and consequently identical with Rama (see on Matthew 2:18); LXX.: Ἀρμαθαίμ.

καὶ αὐτός] et ipse, like those women and their sons, Matthew 27:56.

μαθητεύειν τινι] to be a disciple of any one; see Kypke, II. p. 141 f. Comp. on Matthew 13:52. He was a secret follower of Jesus, John 19:38.

Matthew 27:57-66. Burial (Mark 15:42-47, Luke 23:50-56). ἦλθεν, etc., there came (to the place of crucifixion, the centre of interest in the preceding narrative) a man (unknown to readers), rich (this fact put in the forefront by Mt.—εὐσχήμων βουλευτής in Mk. On εὐσχήμων Phrynichus remarks that the vulgar take it as = rich, or in good social position, while the ancients took it as applying to the noble or symmetrical. Mt. may be following vulgar usage, but also with an eye to Isaiah 53:9 : “with the rich in His death”); from Arimathaea (Ramathaim Zophim, 1 Samuel 1:1); the name Joseph, and the relation to Jesus that of a disciple (ἐμαθήτευσε, which, if the correct reading, is an instance of the use of this verb in a neuter sense. Cf. Matthew 13:52, Matthew 28:19, Acts 14:21).

57. Arimathea] is generally identified with Ramathaim-zophim, on Mount Ephraim, the birth-place of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1), the site of which is undetermined. Many authorities place it much nearer to Jerusalem than the position indicated in the map, p. 28.

Joseph] From the other two Synoptic Gospels we learn that he was “an honourable (Mark) counsellor (Mark and Luke),” i. e. a member of the Sanhedrin. Like Nicodemus, he was a secret disciple of Jesus, and must undoubtedly have absented himself from the meetings of the Sanhedrin when Jesus was condemned. He “had not consented to the counsel and deed of them” (Luke).

An ancient but groundless legend has connected Joseph of Arimathæa with Glastonbury, where, it is said, he built of osier-twigs the first Christian Church in England.

57–66. The Entombment

Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42Matthew 27:62-66 are peculiar to St Matthew. St Mark notes the wonder of Pilate that Jesus was already dead, and the evidence of the centurion to the fact. St John mentions the co-operation of Nicodemus—like Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, who “consented not to the deed of them;” who brought “a mixture of myrrh and aloes about a hundred pound weight.”

Matthew 27:57. Ὃς καὶ αὐτὸς, κ.τ.λ., who also himself, etc.) As well as those pious women.—ἐμαθήτευσε, was a disciple) and was anxious to make disciples.[1215]

[1215] Beng. takes ἐμαθήτευσε here not only in the intransitive sense, He was a disciple, but in the transitive sense, He made, or wished to make disciples, as in ch. Matthew 28:19; Acts 14:21.—ED.

Verses 57-61. - The burial of the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42.) Verse 57. - When the even was come. This was what was called the first evening, the time between the ninth hour, or three o'clock, and sunset, and the great sabbath would shortly be beginning. It was the Roman custom to leave criminals hanging on the cross for days, till their bodies were devoured by birds and wild animals; the Jewish Law enacted that when bodies were penally suspended, they should be taken down and buried before night (Deuteronomy 21:22, 23), that the land might not be defiled. Tomorrow (beginning at sunset), being a specially solemn day, as combining the sabbath and the Passover celebration, the Jews were particularly anxious that the crucified bodies of our Lord and the two robbers should be taken away and put out of sight before the sabbath began. To effect this object, they went to Pilate, and begged him to put an end to their sufferings by the sharp, short process of breaking their legs. St. John's account must be referred to for this and the result of the soldiers' examination of our Lord. There came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple. He is further said to have been "an honourable counsellor," i.e. a member of the Sanhedrin, "a good man and a just, who also waited for the kingdom of God, and had not consented to the counsel and deed" of the rest of the rulers. "It was divinely appointed," says the Ven. Bede, "that Joseph should be rich, in order to have access to Pilate, for no mean man could have access to the governor; and that he should be a just man, in order to receive the body of our Lord." This man's native place was Arimathaea, a town with much probability identified with Ramathaim-Zophim of 1 Samuel 1:1, which lay in Mount Ephraim, and was the birthplace of the Prophet Samuel. That he was "a rich man" naturally gave him some influence with Pilate, and joined with his position as a Sanhedrist, made his request more likely to be granted. "One Joseph was appointed by God to be guardian of Christ's body in the virgin womb, and another Joseph was the guardian of his body in the virgin tomb, and each Joseph is called a 'just man' in Holy Scripture" (Wordsworth). Matthew 27:57When even was come

The Hebrews reckoned two evenings, an earlier and a later. The former began midway between noon and sunset, or at three o'clock in the afternoon. The latter began at sunset, six o'clock. The reference here is to the earlier evening, though the time may have been well on toward the beginning of the later. The preparations had to be hurried because the Sabbath would begin at sunset,

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