Matthew 28:5
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
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(5) The angel answered and said. . . .—We do not read of any words as spoken by the women, but the words which they now heard were an answer to their unuttered questionings and fears. The bright one on whom they gazed knew their distress and amazement at the sight of the emptied sepulchre, and told them that there was no cause for fear.

Matthew 28:5-6. And the angel said to the women, Fear not ye — The resurrection of Christ, which is the terror and confusion of his enemies, is the joy and consolation of his friends; the ground of their confidence and hope, and the source of their comfort and felicity, for time and eternity. For I know that ye seek Jesus that was crucified — I know you are friends to the cause of your late great Master, and I do not come to frighten, but to encourage you. The angel mentions his being crucified, the more to commend their love to him. As if he had said, You seek him still, though he was crucified; you retain your regard and affection for him, notwithstanding that instance of his humiliation. Observe, reader, that true believers love and seek Jesus not only though he was crucified, but because he was so treated. He is not here, for he is risen — To be told, He is not here, would have been no welcome news to those who sought him, if it had not been added, he is risen. Observe, it is matter of comfort to those who seek Christ, and miss of finding him where they expected, that he is risen, and that by his resurrection a firm foundation is laid for their faith, a foundation on which they are invited to build, however unworthy, however guilty; and to whom, as to a living stone, though disallowed of men, all must come that would build for eternity, for other foundation than this can no man lay. As he said — He said he would rise, and you know he is truth itself, and therefore had reason to expect that he would rise: why then should you be backward to believe that which he told you would take place? Reader, let us never be surprised at that, or think that strange, of which the word of Christ has raised our expectation, whether it has respect to the sufferings of this present time, or the glory that shall be revealed. If we remember what Christ hath said to us, we shall the less wonder at what he doth with us. This angel, when he said, He is not here, he is risen, makes it appear, that he preaches no other gospel than what they had already received; for he refers to the word of Christ as his authority for what he affirms; he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay — Probably, in speaking that he rose up, and, going before the women into the sepulchre, said, Come, see the place. This clearly reconciles what St. John relates, (John 20:12,) this being one of the two angels there mentioned.

28:1-8 Christ rose the third day after his death; that was the time he had often spoken of. On the first day of the first week God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. On this day did He who is the Light of the world, shine out of the darkness of the grave; and this day is from henceforward often mentioned in the New Testament, as the day which Christians religiously observed in solemn assemblies, to the honour of Christ. Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone by his own power, but he chose to have it done by an angel. The resurrection of Christ, as it is the joy of his friends, so it is the terror and confusion of his enemies. The angel encouraged the women against their fears. Let the sinners in Zion be afraid. Fear not ye, for his resurrection will be your consolation. Our communion with him must be spiritual, by faith in his word. When we are ready to make this world our home, and to say, It is good to be here, then let us remember our Lord Jesus is not here, he is risen; therefore let our hearts rise, and seek the things that are above. He is risen, as he said. Let us never think that strange which the word of Christ has told us to expect; whether the sufferings of this present time, or the glory that is to be revealed. It may have a good effect upon us, by faith to view the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly. It was good to be there, but the servants of God have other work appointed. Public usefulness must be chosen before the pleasure of secret communion with God. Tell the disciples, that they may be comforted under their present sorrows. Christ knows where his disciples dwell, and will visit them. Even to those at a distance from the plenty of the means of grace, he will graciously manifest himself. The fear and the joy together quickened their pace. The disciples of Christ should be forward to make known to each other their experiences of communion with their Lord; and should tell others what God has done for their souls.And the angel answered and said ... - This was not on the outside of the tomb, for Matthew does not say that the angel appeared to the "women" there, but only to the keepers. Mark says, "entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment" Mark 16:5. Luke says Luke 24:3, "they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus; and as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments." Seeing the stone rolled away and the sepulchre open, they of course anxiously entered into it, to see if the body was there. They did not find it, and there they saw the vision of the angels, who gave them information respecting his resurrection. Infidels have objected that there are three inconsistencies in the accounts by Mark and Luke:

1. that Mark says the angel was sitting, and Luke says they were standing. Answer: The word in Luke does not of necessity mean that they "stood," but only that they were "present." Or it may be that the one that Mark mentions was sitting when they entered, and then arose.

2. It is objected that Luke mentions two, but Mark and Matthew one. Answer: Mark mentions the one who spoke; for it cannot be supposed they both spake the same thing. He does not deny that another was present with him. Luke affirms that there was. This way of speaking is not unfrequent. Thus, Mark and Luke mention only one demoniac who was cured at Gadara. Matthew mentions two. In like manner Mark and Luke speak of only one blind man who was cured at Jericho, while from Matthew it is certain that two were. The fact that but one is mentioned, where it is not denied that there were others, does not prove that there could not be others.

3. Matthew calls this an "angel." Mark and Luke say "a man." Answer: Angels, in the Scriptures, from "appearing" in the form of human beings, are often called as they "appear," and are mentioned as men. See Genesis 18:2, Genesis 18:16, Genesis 18:22; Genesis 19:1, Genesis 19:5. "Fear not ye." That is, "Be not agitated, or troubled, that you do not find the body of the Saviour. I know that ye seek him, and are troubled that he is removed; but you need not fear that he has been stolen. You will see him again in Galilee."

5. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye—The "ye" here is emphatic, to contrast their case with that of the guards. "Let those puny creatures, sent to keep the Living One among the dead, for fear of Me shake and become as dead men (Mt 28:4); but ye that have come hither on another errand, fear not ye."

for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified—Jesus the Crucified.

See Poole on "Matthew 28:8".

And the angel answered and said unto the women,.... Who being come up, were also affrighted at the sight of the angel. The Arabic version leaves out the first part, "and the angel answered": which is a Jewish way of speaking, when nothing goes before, to which it is a reply; and renders the other part thus, "and said to the two women": but from the other evangelists it appears, that there were more women than two; see Mark 16:1,

fear not ye; some put an emphasis upon the word "ye", as if used in opposition to the keepers, who had reason to be afraid, but not these good women. It was very common with gracious persons to be filled with fear at the sight of an angel, as Zacharias, and the shepherds; but without reason; they are their friends, their fellow servants, and ministering spirits to them. The Persic version adds, "but come near before, for ye are his familiars": the reason alleged, by the angel, why they had no reason to fear, is,

for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified: the knowledge which angels have of saints is very considerable, and which arises from their frequent embassies to them, care and guardianship of them, the good offices they perform, and their several ministrations to them; and the knowledge which the angel had of these good women, might not be from immediate revelation, but from the observations he had made of them: they had followed Jesus from Galilee, they had attended him all the while he was on the cross, and were now come to his grave to anoint him; and from their words and gestures, the angel might know that they were the disciples of Christ, and now sought him; and therefore had no reason to fear, as those who were his adversaries: and indeed, such as seek a crucified Christ, and life and salvation by him, have no reason to be afraid of any thing; not of sin, and its damning power, since Christ saves, his blood cleanses, and his righteousness justifies from all sin; nor of the law, its menaces, curses, and condemnation, for Christ has redeemed them from it; nor of Satan, and his principalities and powers, who are spoiled by Christ, and out of whose hands he has ransomed his people; nor of the world, since Christ has overcome it, and delivered his people from it; nor of death, whose sting is taken away, and that abolished as a penal evil; nor of hell, and wrath to come, from which he has saved them; and much less of good angels, who are kindly disposed to them: and such are they that seek a crucified Christ, whom Christ has first sought, and looked up, and found in redemption and the effectual calling; who are made sensible of their lost and dangerous state by nature, to whom Christ has been manifested; and who see both their need of him, and his worth and value: these seek to him in the first place, and with all their hearts, for cleansing, pardon, righteousness, rest, food, salvation, and eternal life: they seek for him where he is, and is revealed, in the Scriptures, in the Gospel, in the ordinances, and at the Father's right hand.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not {d} ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

(d) The word ye is spoken with force to indicate that it was the women to whom he was speaking, as the soldiers were also afraid.

Matthew 28:5 f. Αποκριθείς] said in view of the terrifying effect which he saw was being produced upon the women by what was taking place. Comp. on Matthew 11:25.

μὴ φοβεῖσθε ὑμεῖς] ὑμεῖς is neither to be understood as a vocative (O vos!), nor to be referred to what follows (both of which Fritzsche has suggested); but, as the simplicity of the address and a due regard to the sense require, is to be taken thus: ye should not be afraid, ὑμεῖς being thus regarded as forming a contrast to the sentinels, who are paralyzed with terror. To say that no particular emphasis ever rests upon the personal pronoun (de Wette) is to say what, as regards the whole of the New Testament, is simply not the case (instance also Mark 13:9; Acts 8:24).

οἶδα γὰρ, κ.τ.λ.] Ground of the reassuring terms in which the angel addresses them; he knows the loving purpose for which they are come, and what joyful news he has to tell them!

Matthew 28:5-7. The angel speaks to the women.—μὴ φοβεῖσθε ὑμεῖς, fear not ye, with tacit reference to the guards.—οἶδα γὰρ: γὰρ gives a reason for the soothing tone of the address. The angel recognises them as friends of the Crucified.

5. Fear not ye] The pronoun “ye” is emphatic in the original. A contrast with the alarm of the soldiers is implied.

Matthew 28:5. Μὴ φοβεῖσθε, fear not) An expression used at the commencement of visions, which tempers fear, arising from the glorious sight overpowering the hearts of mortals, which promises security, and conciliates attention.—ὑμεῖς, ye) Although the soldiers are left to their fear.—οἶδα, I know) Thus the angel impresses his words on their heart.

Verse 5. - The angel answered and said. The women arrived probably while the guards were lying unconscious on the ground. They saw them, and they saw the angel rotting on the stone, or, according to St. Mark, "a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe;" St. Luke says that "two men stood by them in dazzling apparel," i.e. first one had shown himself, and then another. Doubtless innumerable angels were thronging around, and one or more became visible to certain persons as they were capable of receiving spiritual impressions, or as these spirits were directed to show themselves. The women spake not, were too affrighted to ask questions; but their amazed look, their blank surprise, were themselves interrogative, and the angel replied to their inward emotion. Fear not ye (ὑμεῖς, emphatic). The soldiers have cause to fear; they are the enemies of the Lord; but ye are his friends, and need feel no alarm. Ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. Ye are seeking him, to do honour to his body; I know your pious intention, but it is useless. The angel shrinks not from the mention of Christ's shameful death, which is now his glory, "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24). "It was the good pleasure of the Father . .. through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross... whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens" (Colossians 1:19, 20). The crucifixion "was not simply a temporary incident in the life of Christ. It is an eternal principle in his kingdom" (Milligan). Matthew 28:5
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