Matthew 28:9
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
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(9) All hail.—Literally, rejoice. The word was probably our Lord’s wonted greeting to the company of devout women, and though used in homage, real or derisive, as in Matthew 27:29, John 19:3, had not necessarily the solemnity which modern usage has attached to “hail.” It was, we may believe, by that familiar word and tone that the other women at first recognised their Lord, as Mary Magdalene had done by His utterance of her own name.

Held him by the feet.—Better, clasped His feet. Mary Magdalene had, we must remember, already heard the words “Touch Me not” (John 20:17), but, if we suppose her to have rejoined the other women, passionate and rejoicing love carried her, as it carried the others, beyond the limits of reverential obedience.

Worshipped him.—The word does not necessarily imply a new form of homage. The prostration which it indicates had been practised before (Matthew 8:2; Matthew 9:18); though (it is right to add) by many persons not connected with the apostolic company, who came with definite petitions. It was the natural attitude of a suppliant servant before his master (Matthew 18:26). It was, perhaps, not till later that the disciples were led to feel that the attitude was one that was due to God and to the Man Christ Jesus, and to no other of the sons of men (Acts 10:26) or angels (Revelation 22:9). (See Note on Matthew 28:17.)

Matthew 28:9-10. And as they went — Or, as they were going, on their way, Jesus met them — These zealous, good women not only heard the first tidings of their Lord, but had the first sight of him after his resurrection. The angel directed those that would see him to go to Galilee; and gave none any hopes of seeing him till they came thither. But Jesus is often better to his people than his word; but never worse; he often anticipates, but never frustrates their believing expectations: saying, All hail! — The old English form of salutation is here used, wishing all health, as the expression signifies. The Greek word here used, χαιρετε, is literally, Rejoice; and answers to the form used by the Hebrews, Peace be unto you. They came and held him by the feet — As soon as they saw that it was Jesus, beginning to recover from their fear, they drew near to him, and in the most respectful manner, and with the greatest reverence, prostrated themselves before him, and embraced his feet, thus manifesting as well the affection they had to him as the greatness of the joy with which they were transported. This favour of embracing his knees Jesus granted to these women, because the angel’s words having strongly impressed their minds with the notion of his resurrection, they might have taken his appearing for an illusion of their own imagination, had he not permitted them to handle him, and convince themselves by the united report of their senses. Then said Jesus, Be not afraid — Fear not being imposed upon by these repeated notices of my resurrection; nor fear any hurt, either by the appearance of a messenger from heaven, or of one coming from the dead; for the news brought you, though strange, is both true and replete with comfort. Go tell my brethren — For I still own them as such, though they so lately disowned and forsook me. John (John 20:17) records our Lord’s using similar language to Mary Magdalene alone, when he sent her to them with the same message. Doubtless these affectionate friends of Christ were exact in reporting this circumstance, that their injured Lord called them his brethren still: and both Matthew and John, to whom the glad tidings were immediately brought, felt it strike so powerfully on their hearts, that they could not but record it. He, no doubt, saw it needful to give it them now to encourage them, knowing how much ashamed and distressed they were for having deserted him in his sufferings. And the appellation was now peculiarly consolatory, not only in that it assured them that they were freely forgiven for their past cowardice, but also in that it opened before them a prospect of such glory and felicity as, it appears, they had before no conception of. For as Jesus was now, by his resurrection, declared with power to be the Son of God and heir of all things, by styling his disciples his brethren, he assures them that they were children of God too, and joint heirs with him of all his joys and glories. By this appellation he also pointed out their duty to each other; for, being all his brethren, they were, of consequence, brethren one to another, and must love as brethren. And as his owning them for his brethren put a great honour upon them, so it also gave them an example of humility in the midst of that honour.

28:9,10 God's gracious visits usually meet us in the way of duty; and to those who use what they have for others' benefit, more shall be given. This interview with Christ was unexpected; but Christ was nigh them, and still is nigh us in the word. The salutation speaks the good-will of Christ to man, even since he entered upon his state of exaltation. It is the will of Christ that his people should be a cheerful, joyful people, and his resurrection furnishes abundant matter for joy. Be not afraid. Christ rose from the dead, to silence his people's fears, and there is enough in that to silence them. The disciples had just before shamefully deserted him in his sufferings; but, to show that he could forgive, and to teach us to do so, he calls them brethren. Notwithstanding his majesty and purity, and our meanness and unworthiness, he still condescends to call believers his brethren.And as they went ... Jesus met them - This was when they left the sepulchre the "second" time. Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene when alone, John 20:14. "Afterward" he appeared to the other women, as related by Matthew. See the accounts of the resurrection harmonized at the end of this chapter.

All hail - This is a term of salutation. The word all has been supplied by the translators. It is not in the original. The meaning of the word "hail," here, is rejoice;" a term of salutation connected with the idea of joy at his resurrection, and at meeting them again.

Held him by the feet - Or threw themselves prostrate before him. This was the usual posture of supplication. See 2 Kings 4:37. It does not mean that they took hold of his feet, but only that they cast themselves down before him.

And worshipped him - See the notes at Matthew 8:2. In this place the word "worship" seems to denote the homage due to the Messiah risen from the dead; regarded by them now in a proper light, and entitled to the honor which was due to God, agreeably to John 5:23.

9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail!—the usual salute, but from the lips of Jesus bearing a higher signification.

And they came and held him by the feet—How truly womanly!

See Poole on "Matthew 28:10".

And as they went to tell his disciples,.... This clause is wanting in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, and in Beza's most ancient copy; but it stands in the Ethiopic version, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel,

behold, Jesus met them: that they might be confirmed in what the angel had told them, and their fear might be removed, and their joy increased; and also be capable of reporting to the disciples not only what they had heard from the angel, but what they had seen themselves; they being now eyewitnesses, as well as earwitnesses of his resurrection: so souls in the way of their duty, as these women were, oftentimes meet with Jesus, and he with them, as they may expect, and indeed not otherwise:

saying, all hail; all health of soul and body, all happiness and prosperity, both temporal, spiritual, and eternal, attend you. The Syriac and Persic versions, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel render it, "peace be to you"; which, it is highly probable, was the phrase used by Christ, since it was the common form of salutation among the Jews, and what Christ made use of at other times; see John 20:19,

and they came; near unto him, being encouraged by the above salutation, and knowing who he was by his voice, habit, and gesture:

and held him by the feet; they threw themselves prostrate at his feet, in token of reverence and humility; and they laid hold on his feet, that they might know, and be assured that he was really risen, and that it was not a spirit, or a mere phantom and appearance; and they held him in affection to him, and as desirous of his continuance with them:

and worshipped him: with divine adoration, expressing their love to him; their faith and hope in him, owning him to be their Lord and God; he being, by his resurrection from the dead, declared to be the Son of God, with power; and so the proper object of religious worship.

{2} And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

(2) Christ himself appears after his resurrection, and sending the women to his disciples, shows that he has not forgotten them.

Matthew 28:9. On seeing the strange and superhuman appearance presented by the risen Lord, the women are so filled with consternation (μὴ φοβεῖσθε, Matthew 28:10) that they take hold of His feet in a suppliant attitude (ἐκράτ. αὐτοῦ τ. πόδας), and testify their submission and reverence by the act of προσκύνησις. Bengel says correctly: “Jesum ante passionem alii potius alieniores adorarunt quam discipuli.”

Matthew 28:9. καὶ ἰδοὺ, and behold, another surprise (Matthew 28:2). They are on the way to tell the disciples that they are to be favoured with a meeting in Galilee, and lo! they are themselves privileged to meet the risen One.—ὑπήντησεν, cf. chap. Matthew 8:34, Matthew 25:1; Matthew 25:6.—ἐκράτησαν, etc., they took hold of His feet and cast themselves before Him; the gesture befitting the circumstances, an unlooked-for meeting with one who has been crucified and whose aspect is greatly changed. Impossible to resume the old familiar relations as if nothing had happened.

9. as they went to tell his disciples] These words are omitted in the best MSS.

All hail] Literally, Rejoice; the Greek salutation, both on meeting and on parting.

9, 10. The Appearance of Jesus to Mary. Magdalene and the other Mary

Recorded by St Matthew only

Jesus had already appeared to Mary Magdalene alone. We must suppose that she was now joined by the other Mary, and perhaps by Salome, Joanna, and others; and while these were going to announce the great news to the rest of the disciples [Peter and John already knew] the Lord Jesus met them.

The following is a list of the different appearances of Jesus during the forty days:—(1) To Mary Magdalene alone (John 20:14 foll.; Mark 16:9). (2) To Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, and perhaps other women (Matthew 28:9-10). (3) To Peter (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5). (4) To Cleophas and another on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). (5) To the apostles, in the absence of Thomas, at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36; John 20:19). (6) To the eleven apostles at Jerusalem (John 20:26). (7) To seven disciples at the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:1-24). (8) To the eleven on the highland of Galilee (Matthew 28:16). (9) To five hundred brethren at once—possibly the same appearance as 8 (1 Corinthians 15:6). (10) To James, the Lord’s brother (1 Corinthians 15:7). (11) To the eleven in the neighbourhood of the Holy City (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50; Acts 1:3-12; 1 Corinthians 15:7).

Matthew 28:9.[1228] Καὶ ἰδοὺ, and behold) An elegant expression, denoting something sudden and unforeseen.—ὁ Ἰησοῦς, κ.τ.λ., Jesus, etc.) The obedient receive a further revelation.—χαίρετε, all hail) A formula of frequent occurrence, which is employed by our Lord in a high and peculiar sense.—προσεκύνησαν Αὐτῷ, they worshipped Him) Before His passion, Jesus had been worshipped by strangers, rather than by His disciples.

[1228] The words immediately preceding, ὡςμαθηταῖς αὐτού, are no doubt expressed in the Germ. Vers., but the margin of both the Greek Editions prefers their omission.—E. B.

A supports the Rec. Text, in reading at the beginning of Matthew 28:4. ὡς δὲ ἐπορεύοντο ἀπαγγεῖλαι τοῖς μὰθηταῖς αὐτοῦ. But BD Vulg. abc Memph. Syr. reject the words, which seem to me to have originated from a transcriber’s accidental error in repeating the closing words of Matthew 28:8—a class of errors of frequent occurrence.—ED.

Verse 9. - As they went to tell his disciples. This clause is omitted by the best manuscripts, and the Vulgate and other versions, and is rejected by modern editors. It is not quite in St. Matthew's style, and seems to be rightly regarded as a gloss There is. one advantage in its omission, in that the actual moment of this appearance of our Lord is left undecided, and we are at liberty to harmonize it, if so minded, with other details. Now the women, according to our history, receive the reward of their faith and love. Behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail! Ξαίρετε: literally, Rejoice ye! This is not the usual Eastern salutation, "Peace be unto you!" but one that came with peculiar significance on their lately sorrow-stricken hearts. So he had said to his apostles, "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20), and now he made good his word. This is the only one of Christ's appearances in Jerusalem or its neighbourhood. that St. Matthew relates. They came and held him by the feet (took hold of his feet). As soon as they saw him, they went to him with glad surprise, and yet with such awe, that they could only fall down before him and tenderly clasp his feet. He had appeared before this to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9), but had not permitted her to touch him because he had not yet ascended to the Father (John 20:17), implying thereby either that she would have other opportunities of holding converse with him, as he was not going to leave the earth immediately, and she must not detain him now; or, more probably, that the spiritual body demanded, not the touch of earthly affection, but the attitude of awe and reverence, and that all future contact would be supernatural and spiritual, realizing his presence after a heavenly and supersensuous manner by faith. But these women clung to Christ with something higher than natural, earthly affection, acknowledging his superhumanity, and he allowed them, like Thomas, to assure themselves of his corporeity by touch as well as sight. Worshipped him. They remained at his feet in profound adoration. Matthew 28:9All hail (χαίρετε)

The ordinary Greek form of situation.

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