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On the Day after the Crucifixion, the Chief Priests and Pharisees seal the Sepulchre and set a Guard of Roman Soldiers over it, by the Authority of the Governor.

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63 Now on the morrow, (that is the day after the preparation-day), the Chief Priests and the Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 saying, "Sir," we remember that that impostor said, while he was yet alive, After three days+ I rise again.' 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre ‡ be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come and steal him away, and say unto the people, He hath been raised from the dead:' and the last imposture will be worse than the first." 65 Pilate said unto them, "Ye have a guard: § go your way, make it secure as ye know how." 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre secure with the guard, having sealed the


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† τον τάφον.

* Κύριε. ↑ Or, within three days, μɛтα тρɛɩs nμepas. See Note † p. 163. Or, take a guard, EXETE KovoTwoiav. The usual guard consisted of four quaternions of soldiers, each set of four to watch for three hours. If such guard had been appointed to the Jewish Rulers for the Crucifixion, and were still under their direction; or if (seo Pearce) there were a body of Roman soldiers then stationed at the entrance of the Temple, who were under the control of the Chief Priests; the indieative rendering is preferable.-There appears to be no ground on which to decide certainly.


The Morning of the Resurrection.

To ascertain the order of the occurrences, with any probability, requires to compare carefully the several accounts of the Evangelists: these must have been principally derived from those women to whom the first disclosures of the Resurrection were made.

The narrative of MATTHEW is obviously derived from the account of some or other of the Roman guard, in connection with what he heard from the other Mary'; and her relation he has recorded-such is the internal evidence-as she first gave it to him on her return to Bethany from the sepulchre. MARK's narrative appears to have been chiefly derived from Salome; but he very distinctly records the fact, that the first appearance of Christ was to Mary Magdalene. JOHN has given what he knew personally or from Mary Magdalene; and to this he confines his narrative. LUKE's account may have been principally derived from Joanna or one of her companions; but he adds some general statements from other sources.-This view of the sources of the four narratives, is, in essence, what Griesbach has taken; and, from him, Kuinoel.

The descent of the angel who rolled away the stone and then sat upon it, may have occurred in the last watch, not very long before sunrise. The Roman soldiers appear to have rushed in terror from their station, on the sudden appearance of the Angel; and, without leaving the garden, to have been out of sight of the women as they were approaching the sepulchre. No mortal eye witnessed the glorious moment when the Son of God came forth from the tomb-the first-fruits of a resurrection to an immortal life; and the narratives of the Evangelists merely respect the disclosures of the great event. Their close adherence to what alone was known, is very striking.

Bethany was about two miles and a half from the garden of Joseph; and it may be admitted that most of the Apostles were residing there, and that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary,' with one or two more, came thence to visit the sepulchre, setting out even while it was dark. Peter and John were obviously residing at no great distance from the sepulchre,—say four or five furlongs, in the direction of Mount Zion ; and Salome, the mother of John, may have resided with him, and set out from that part of the city, with a companion or two, to meet the party from Bethany at the entrance to the garden at sunrise. As they approached the sepulchre, on looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled from the entrance; and Magdalene, at once inferring that the body had been taken away, ran to tell Peter and John. The other women proceed, and are informed by the Angel who had rolled away the stone that the Lord had arisen. Some appear to have seen the heavenly messenger without the sepulchre, before the others had come up; but all entered it, and received a message to the Apostles and Peter.' The women immediately left the garden: those from Bethany proceeded towards the Mount of Olives; and the others towards Mount Zion, but without meeting Peter and John, who, however, must have left their abode on the report of Mary Magdalene, before Salome returned to it by a different route.

The wife of Herod's steward we may suppose to have resided in or near Herod's palace, which was on Mount Bezetha, in the north of the city, about half a mile from the sepulchre. It is probable that Joanna and her companions entered the garden very shortly after the other party had left it. Their stay in it was short. After coming out

from the sepulchre, they saw two Angels, received from one of them the glad tidings, and at once left the place.

The whole of what has been stated, from the entrance of the first party to the leaving of the second, would not occupy more than twenty-five or thirty minutes; and does not require so much. Peter and John next arrived at the sepulchre, followed by Mary Magdalene. The Apostles soon left the spot; but Mary remained; and not much more than half an hour after sunrise, this grateful woman, after having received a suitable preparation of mind for the unexpected joy, first saw her risen Lord. The interview might end about a quarter before seven.

The other Mary' and her companions from Bethany, would at that time be hastening over the Mount of Olives; and after our Saviour had parted from Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre, he approached them, and gave them also a message to his brethren.'-These women might at this time be about two miles from the sepulchre ; but it is obvious, from Luke xxiv. 31, and John xx. 19, that, in these calculations of time, we are not required to take into account any thing but the movements of the women as respects our Lord himself, all, on that day, bears the character of supernatural; and in the above statement, the approach of our Lord to the women who were hastening to Bethany, is supposed to have taken place immediately after his appearance to Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre.

During the later part of the day the Lord appeared unto Simon,' as well as to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus; and in the evening he presented himself to the Apostles, who (except Thomas) had assembled together-we may presume in consequence of the joyful tidings of the morning, and in the chamber where they ate the passover with their Lord three evenings before. Thus closed the glorious day-the birth-day of our lively hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.'

The following scheme may contribute to elucidate the succession of visits to the Sepulchre. It is framed npon the supposition that some of the women who came with Mary Magdalene saw the Angel who had rolled away the stone, before they entered the Sepulchre. See note +, p. 287. If the reader do not see sufficien: reason to adopt this supposition, he may erase the words, "are accosted by an Angel without the Tomb, and then go within".

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Perhaps also some other disciples may have afterwards come to the Tomb: see Note •

p. 294.

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* Οψε δε σαββάτων.

3 And

they said

"Who shall roll
away the stone for us
from the entrance
of the sepulchre ? "
4 (and when they
looked up, they be-
held that the stone


That is Mary the mother of James and Joses; see ver. 56 and 61 of the preceding chapter, pp. 278, 279. Mapia ǹ Maydaλnvn might well be rendered Mary the Magdalene,' or 'Mary of Magdala,' wherever the name occurs.

σεloμos EYEVεTo μɛyas. The next clause, beginning with yap, for, assigns a reason for what precedes; and best accords with the rendering of σloμos to denote alarm or agitation: Wakefield Also in ver. 4, it is said that the guards &☛ɛloInoay, were alarmed. renders it disturbance.

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• St. John's account is confined to what related to Mary Magdalene, with himself and Peter; though the words of Mary we know not,' imply that there were others with her. By its distinct relation, the less defined account of Matthew, and the general statement of Luke (ver. 10, 11), must be explained; and it is very easy to perceive how both of the latter might have originated in the accounts of the different women on the morning of the Resurrection.-See the Observations at the commencement of this Section.


+ The faithful Translator of Matthew's Gospel, if not the Evangelist himself, must have considered the Angel as first addressing the women without the sepulchre, and then conducting them within: see EKAIηTO, was sitting, ver. 2; vμεic, ye, ver. 5; and OEUTE, come, ver. 6. Mark's record distinctly represents the whole communication of which he speaks, as made within the sepulchre.-We may sup. pose that the other Mary,' with one or two others, came up before Salome, and the woman (or women) with her, had come within sight of the stone; and that the former set received the first communication from the Angel without the sepulchre and, further, that when Salome, &c, entered the sepulchre, an Angel, (either the same, or the other of the two mentioned by Luke), was sitting' by the spot where the body of Jesus had lain, and told them what had been told the others; adding to all together, what is recorded in Matthew, ver. 7, and Mark, ver. 7. In this supposition there appears no improbability; and it has the advantage of exactly combining both records. On the other hand, St. Matthew's account does not minutely coalesce with St. John's, (see Note on ver. 1); and considering the extreme eagerness of mind which must have attended the first narrations of the several women, very minute accordance in the details is not to be expected.-Those who have been engaged in examining the narratives of transactions at once agitating and unexpected, will, if the former view be less satisfactory to their minds, be ready to admit that the account given in Matthew might easily arise from the more definite account in Mark, taken in connection with the information which Matthew alone had received from the soldiers, as to the descent of the Angel, &c. The arrangement in the text is made on the former supposition, as most suited to St. Matthew's record.

Or, he hath been raised up, nyɛpen. So also in the next verse: and in Mark, ver. 6.

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