And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulcher.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And there was Mary Magdalene.—The words imply that they remained by the cross while the body was taken down, and watched its entombment: then returning to the house where they lodged, they prepared their spices and ointment before the Sabbath began, for a more complete embalmment, so that they might be ready by the earliest hour of dawn on the first day of the week (Luke 23:56).John 19:41 that this was in a garden that was "in" or "near" the place where he was crucified. This tomb Joseph had prepared for himself, as was not uncommon among the Jews. Compare the notes at Isaiah 22:16. In this tomb Luke and John inform us that no man had been laid. This was so ordered, in the providence of God, doubtless, that there might be no suspicion about his identity when he rose; that it might not be alleged that another person had risen, or that he was raised by touching the bones of some prophet, as happened to the corpse that touched the bones of Elisha, 2 Kings 13:21. Farther, by being buried here an important prophecy was remarkably fulfilled Isaiah 53:9; "He made his grave - with the rich in his death." The fulfillment of this is the more remarkable, because during his life he associated with the poor and was himself poor. See the notes at Isaiah 53:9. "Which he had hewn out in the rock." This was a common way of constructing tombs in Judea. See the notes at Matthew 8:28. Being cut out of a rock, there was no way by which the disciples could have access to it but by the entrance, at which the guard was placed, and consequently it was impossible for them to steal him away. The sepulchre, thus secure, was rendered more so by rolling a great stone at its entrance; all possible precautions thus being used, in the providence of God, against imposition and deceit.
sitting over against the sepulchre—(See on Mr 16:1).
The Sepulchre Guarded (Mt 27:62-66).Mark 15:42-47, And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Luke hath it, Luke 23:50-54, thus: And behold there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them); he was of Arimathea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
John reports it with some additions, John 19:38-42: And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day: for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
All four evangelists (as we see) repeat this history, one supplying what is wanting in another towards the completeness of it. Nor must we think it is for nothing so punctually related; much depended upon the world’s satisfaction in the truth and certainty of his death, burial, and resurrection, they are three great articles of our faith. We have therefore here punctually described his burial, with all the circumstances of it. As it is with us, so it seems it was with them.
The bodies of those who died as malefactors were taken to be in the power of the magistrates, to dispose of as they pleased, though they were ordinarily granted upon petition to their friends and relations. The person who begged the body of our Saviour is described to us by his name, Joseph; by his city, Arimathea (there it seems he was born, or had his mansion house, though he resided in Jerusalem); by his quality, both his more exterior quality, and his more interior qualification. As for his outward quality, Matthew saith he was a rich man. Mark saith he was an honourable counsellor. Luke also calls him a counsellor, but had not consented to the counsel and deed of them, that is, of them who had examined and condemned Christ: whether he was a member of the Jewish sanhedrim, or of Pilate’s council, (though the last be not probable), or had been a counsellor formerly, but now was not so, is hard to determine; but his quality doubtless made his access more free to Pilate. He went in boldly to him, saith Mark; his quality in the city, and his love to Christ, both contributed to this boldness. For his more inward qualifications, Matthew and John both tell us he was a disciple, one that had learned of Christ, though John tells us, it was secretly for fear of the Jews. Among the chief rulers many believed on him, John 12:42.
As bad as that set of rulers was which now ruled the Jewish affairs, (and a worse could not be), Christ had some disciples amongst them, as well as afterward in Nero’s court: these, for fear of the Jews casting them out of the synagogues, durst not openly own Christ, but secretly loved him. Joseph and Nicodemus were two of them. And to let us know what the disciples of Christ are, and should be, this Joseph is described by Luke to be a good and a just man; by Mark, to be one who waited for the kingdom of God; a believer, one who, believing what Christ had said, both concerning his kingdom of grace and glory, lived in the expectation of it. This man begs of the governor the body of Christ. Pilate wondered that he should be so soon dead, but inquiring of the centurion, and hearing that he was dead, he commands that his body should be delivered unto Joseph.
The manner of the Jews was, neither to have gardens nor burying places within the city, but without the wall; it should appear that this Joseph had a garden place without the city, and near to the place where Christ was crucified, and in that garden he had cut out of some great stone a sepulchre for himself. Matthew calls it his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock. The other evangelists do not call it his own new tomb, only Luke and John observe it was a sepulchre in which none ever before was laid. So as when they found him risen from the dead, they could not say it was some other body, for there was no other body in the tomb. But before they laid in the body, both Matthew and Mark observe, that Joseph wrapped it in fine linen, and John further addeth, that they embalmed the body; to which purpose it was that Nicodemus (that ruler who came to Jesus by night, of which we have the story, John 3:1-36, with whom our Saviour had a discourse about regeneration) brought the mixture of myrrh and aloes, of about an hundred pound weight; John adds, as the manner of the Jews is to bury, not ordinarily, but persons of greater note, whose estates were such as they could bear such an expense. This was the beginning of honour done unto Christ, after that he had passed through his lowest degree of humiliation.
Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, that is, the wife of Cleophas, of whom we heard before, stayed to see where he was laid, and took their seats over against the sepulchre. Luke saith, Luke 23:55,56, The women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day, according to the commandment. It seems they sat but a little while (as Matthew saith) right over against the sepulchre, but went home, and prepared spices and ointments to embalm him, but would not do it on the sabbath, which was now beginning, thinking that it would be time enough upon the first day of the week. Matthew saith, that Joseph rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
sitting over against the sepulchre; observing where the body of Christ was put, and how it was laid; for they intended to prepare spices and ointments to anoint it with; and were mourning for the death of Christ: for sitting was a mourning posture, which now they were allowed, the body being taken down from the cross, and interred by leave of the governor; for, for one that died as a malefactor, they might not use the outward signs of mourning: the canon is this (w); for such
"they do not mourn, but they grieve; and there is no grieving but in the heart:
hence these women before stood, John 19:25, but now they sat,And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 27:61 Ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ] present at the burial.
ἡ ἄλλη Μαρ.] see Matthew 27:56. The article is wanting only in A D*, and should be maintained, Wieseler (Chronol. Synops. p. 427) notwithstanding. Its omission in the case of A may be traced to the reading ἡ Ἰωσήφ, which this MS. has at Mark 15:47. Wieseler approves of this reading, and holds the Mary of our text to be the wife or daughter of Joseph of Arimathea. But see remark on Mark 15:47.
καθήμεναι, κ.τ.λ.] unoccupied, absorbed in grief; comp. Nägelsbach on Hom. Il. i. 134.Matthew 27:61. ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ, etc., but, in contrast to Joseph, there was there Mary, the woman of Magdala, also the other Mary, sitting in front of the tomb.—τάφου here, as in Matthew 23:27; Matthew 23:29, used of a place of burial, not of the act of burial. The word is peculiar to Mt. in the N. T.61. the other Mary] The mother of James the less and Joses (Mark 15:47).Matthew 27:61. Καθήμεναι, sitting) A holy and salutary delay.
 καὶ ἡ ἄλλη, and the other) of whom Matthew 27:56 speaks.—V. g.Verse 61. - The other Mary. The mother of James and Joses (ver. 56). These pious women could not tear themselves from the spot where their Lord was buried. The last to leave him dead, they were the first to see him risen. And now they watch the last ceremonies at a distance, intending to complete the imperfect embalmment with loving care as soon as ever the sabbath was over. "Seest thou women's courage?" says Chrysostom; "seest thou their affection? seest thou their noble spirit in expending money [Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56]? their noble spirit even unto death? Let us men imitate the women; let us not forsake Jesus in temptations." We may note that the care of Joseph in providing an inviolable tomb, and the preparations of these good women, showed that they as yet had no faith in the incorruptibility of Christ's body or of his corporeal resurrection from the dead.
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